My OCS classmate and fellow Viet Nam Veteran Robert "Wiggs" Wiggins is my "Amigo".
Author and Virtual friend Rain Trueax would be referred to as my "Amiga".
What's the politically acceptable term for someone like Caitlyn Jenner?
21 February 2024
17 February 2024
You need to know what the term means.
Nineteen evil men from Saudi Arabia were able to commit the worst attack EVER on our homeland.
What damage could 20,000 people from China possibly do?
I hope I'm being paranoid.
But I'm trying to prepare in case I am not.
13 February 2024
This song is one reason I bought the album "Breakfast in America" in 1978.
So I've been listening to this tune nearly 50 years. How is that possible? If you are of my generation you've probably heard the song thousands of times. But have you REALLY listened to it?
In all those years... turns out I had not.
I never realized how sad it is.
02 February 2024
"When are you coming to town?"
The question was asked by a close friend at my old airport haunt. It's been over a year since I have been present.
"When should I come in?" was my response.
"How 'bout Thursday?" she answered.
She knows my history.
She's been watching events unfold at the airport over 30 years, and she's sort of a helicopter groupie.
She knows I have been instrumental in 30 or so people getting their helicopter pilot's licenses, including at least two that are now actively saving lives flying EMS helicopters.
I arrived at the designated time and place and was immediately handed a glass of premium bourbon with ice.
And the night progressed from there.
Old acquaintances filtered in one by one-
The guy that kept me alive by expertly twisting wrenches on my machine.
Several former students.
Other helicopter jocks that were able to continue flying because I gave them Biennial Flight Reviews.
A couple airplane friends that wanted terribly to be helicopter dudes.
Two hours later there were 12 people seated around the table sharing stories.
My damaged ears could not discern all the individual tales being shared. And that was fine with me.
People were laughing, smiling, and patting one another.
THIS... is the best thing about aging.
I've been absent too long.
And I learned THE lesson.
I won't stay away so long.
30 January 2024
The VERY DAY I departed for Viet Nam in 1968 President Johnson stopped the bombing of North Viet Nam trying to show good faith to our enemy.
And on 1Nov68 those of us trying to make the world a better place? We suffered. Some of us died.
I have long been a student of world happenings. When I woke that morning the first thing on my mind was "I'm headed to a land where people will really be trying to kill me."
And that was okay. I had trained for that possibility for months.
But here's the deal-
I was born and raised in central Indiana in a conservative neighborhood. The first presidential election I can remember having any interest in was the Nixon/Kennedy bout. It didn't go the way my parents wanted it to go. (We've since found out that Mayor Daley of Chicago had his thumb on the scale.)
Nevertheless, at that time I didn't think President Kennedy didn't have the best interest of the country at heart. He was a WWII hero after all.
Then his head got in the way of a projectile and Lyndon Johnson took the reins.
Johnson was an ass.
But even taking that into consideration I never thought he didn't love the country and want the best for it.
After all, his wife was making a TON of money with her Bell Helicopter/Textron stock, right?
And in one of those helicopters I went to war to protect my homeland.
There's a point I want to make here, and it is this-
At NO POINT during my seven decades on this earth have I felt the country was being lead by an incompetent.
This Commander in Chief is incompetent.
And our wonderful country is at risk.
I do not believe Joseph Robinette Biden will be the Democrat nominee for president in November.
But what terrifies and dismays me is that I do not see anyone with a "D" behind their name that I think really has the country's interest at heart.
I often say, "I'm glad I'm old."
But my son is now 40, and I feel I have failed to leave him a sane world.
And for that reason I feel I will die feeling like a failure.
26 January 2024
24 January 2024
We are in Tennessee visiting our son, the movie buff.
He has a library of THOUSANDS of movies and as you know, (if you are a regular reader), we love movies old and new.
We just watched "Dream Scenario" with Nicholas Cage. It's a worthwhile expenditure of your time.
But one of the points of the movie is that the College Professor played by Cage experiences something that troubles him:
While terrible things happen in his presence, he does nothing. He's kind of a "non entity". An observer.
And I realized...
My life has impacted the lives of others.
I am not a non entity.
And that made me feel proud.
21 January 2024
My Dad supervised several crews of power company line-crews at work.
"Sonny" was on one of those crews. He was a single guy and when going on vacation had no place he could safely store his only vehicle... a WWII Willy's Jeep. Dad agreed to let him leave his Jeep at our home for a week.
And I had access to it.
Three speed manual transmission with "high and low" gearbox it had a top speed of about 50 mph, and was just a hoot to drive.
They were sold "surplus" after the war.
Have you checked on the prices to buy one lately?
01 January 2024
"Ask not what your country can do for you... Ask what you can do for your country!"
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
What the **** happened to my country?
(Happy New Year everyone. Pray for us all.)
22 December 2023
My "Cousin-in-law" wrote me three days ago-
"Ron went to be with our Lord last night".
Ron was my first cousin; three months my elder and the only older cousin on the Paternal side of my family. In many ways we were like brothers.
Dementia runs in our family. My Paternal Grandfather spent the last couple years of his life sharing his life with an imaginary person in the room. The stories he told that person may as well have been on an endless loop tape-
He told exactly the same story in exactly the same way over and over and over.
His daughter... Ron's Mother, similarly died of Alzheimer's a few years ago. Ron's Mother's brother, our Uncle Bob, died of the same disease six or so years ago.
Me and all my cousins in that branch of the family are acutely aware that we might have memory problems in the future, so cousin Ron's problem was no surprise.
My sister and I are fortified that my Father and Mother made it into their 80's with their mental faculties intact. But that fact comes with no promises.
So when Sara Jean's sister came down with symptoms indicating some form of dementia we knew what the progression of the disease would look like:
Her sister became combative and paranoid- accused her husband of having an affair with anything with a skirt. She slept with a butcher knife 'neath her pillow. Her husband eventually locked her in her bedroom for his (and her) protection.
Now we're pretty sure Sara Jean is in early-stage Lewy Body Dementia. She still functions ALMOST normally, spoiling Big Bubba and me as if we are Kings.
But we are noticing some slight changes-
She is MUCH more forgetful of simple things.
She imagines she has told us things that neither of us remember talking about.
When we deny she has told us these things she is instantly VERY angry and the anger is, quite frankly, a little scary.
She sleeps A LOT... several hours during the day. Then she doesn't understand why she awakens at 0300 hours and cannot get back to sleep.
At this point the situation has not required much change in my personal life. I do wonder if her sleep habits are going to begin to require a change in my sleeping too. (And of course I worry that eventually she'll bring a butcher knife to the bedroom. And then there's that little Ruger automatic within reach just beneath her side of the bed that I am beginning to be a little concerned about).
Cousin Ron's wife and I have been in contact as his disease progressed. There was a point where she wrote, "He no longer recognizes me".
Therefore... "The Long Goodbye".
We are being realistic, but praying for a miracle.