Promises, Promises…

Author’s note: I’m reprinting this for the benefit of readers young and old; and in honor of a lost loved one who wore a uniform…aj

 

How often have we witnessed advertising or political campaigns that profess to have fulfilled a previous promise between the speaker and the electorate?

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Until the campaign 2012 is a memory, we are going to be bombarded with pseudo-summaries in either political announcements or blurb formats from our news stations that any particular politician has once again denounced, corrected, deferred, adhered, obliged, acquiesced, whatever verb you want to put into this sentence… DON’T BE FOOLED.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

Our country’s main media succumbed to editorializing years ago. Tass did not have the market on dog and pony showbiz.  Khrushchev promised he would destroy us from within.  Study the Sixties: the names, the movements, the pledges, the campaign rhetoric; apart from technology’s having inserted itself into our present day lingo, the message is the same.  And it is normally FALSE, anti-free market, anti-capitalistic in its roots.  Do you really know the meanings of Marxism, Fascism, Socialism, Communism, Totalitarianism…oh yes, and our America is a REPUBLIC, not a democracy….look that one up.

Read. Read. And Read again.  Pick up that historical artifact, the newspaper; it is ALMOST a thing of the past…CHALLENGE what you read.  The writers are no longer local; many of them are now syndicated, which means that one man’s voice now overcomes or trumps the local, grass root message.  YOU are being courted by radio, TV, cable, magazines, newsprint…NONE of them are necessarily whole or accurate in their coverage on any one subject.  Challenge all that you read. Fine print no longer means ANYTHING in this printer cartridge world.

Choose to gather AT LEAST three references on the same topic before erroneously adapting or adopting the group think.  Remember what a dictionary is?  Webster comes to mind; this was before Wikipedia for you under forty generations.

YOU are an American, born in one of the greater experiments of liberty and freedom in the world, or YOU are a naturalized citizen.  Speak out, accent and all; we native born need to be reminded once in awhile that the world does NOT operate as we do; and that we are the leaders in liberty. UGLY AMERICANS EXIST; in countenance, in arrogance, in refusal to obey the rule of law.  Point them out and shun them; more importantly, vote them OUT OF OFFICE.

RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL; just listen to our Attorney General and his arguments regarding our border’s security issues.  Fifty plus years after the Civil Rights movement and Herman Cain was attacked.  Did any of the Washington Elite really want to see a Black American with experience and education who achieved the American Dream challenge our present, Black American Community Organizer in Office?  Get real.  I don’t have to be Condi Rice to understand that losing friends in a Sunday school class targeted by bigots was pure hate.  NOT THE AMERICA OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY FIGHT FOR.

Americans insisting on enforcing our sovereignty and its rules are methodically being attacked and defamed.  Joe Arpaio comes to mind.  Would the media and its political contingents really achieve their success if our electorate were better informed or educated?  NOT ON YOUR LIFE.

The ballot box is our last vestige of hope.  This means that all of us at the grass roots level must take an active involvement and support our county clerks in their promise and oath of office to make sure that our votes are collected and counted according to the due process of our American ballot system.

SPEAK UP! VOLUNTEER! TALK WITH AMERICANS WITH ACCENTS!!! They will know and recognize American systems and rules that are being torn asunder under political correctness and present day practices considered “routine”.

CALL.  WRITE.  BOMBARD them with letters.  DON’T LET YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES TELL YOU THERE IS NOTHING THEY CAN DO.  PRESSURE THEM AND MAKE THEM SQUIRM until they understand they WORK FOR YOU, THE AMERICAN PUBLIC; and no public office is higher than its citizenry.  When was the last time you heard a statesman? Why must we go to historic tapes to hear a voice that is focused on what is best for the country as opposed to what is best for the elected official?

Lastly, follow the money.  Monitor present and past congressional leaders who now lobby for special interests…think they don’t know where the loopholes and power centers exist?  And if you believe it is too late, then you don’t deserve any other kind of government than what you have supported; and you are committing your children and grandchildren to a future of serfdom.

Listen. Study. Act. Get involved.  The country you save may be our own.

Talking Turkey

Our most American tradition – celebrating the year’s harvest and blessings – is once again upon us.  Thanksgiving is a holiday that Americans can historically claim as our very own. Does that mean that other peoples before us were ungrateful?  Not by any means.  But IT IS OURS, the one day on the calendar that evokes a melting pot of commonality, culture,  and deep emotions; encouraging a nation of immigrants to give official thanks for the many blessings and bounty we share in our land.

I submit that while holidays can be difficult at times, maintaining some or all of the family traditions can be especially comforting; let these rituals provide the familiar landscape wherein each of you can still participate, even if the role is slightly amended from years before.  If need be, add a new tradition. I suggest:

The “Talk Turkey” Challenge:

  • Give yourself permission to share a story that you’ve never told before; grandparents, this means YOU.
  • Encourage all ages to join in the conversation.  Keep the technology at a minimum (football games excluded)
  • Don’t pull rank; parents often do, then wonder why the kids never talk.  Embrace the ones around you; life is too short to let a minor grievance ruin the holiday camaraderie.
  • Allow a bit of silliness!  (Not necessarily at the expense of table manners, but you be the judge; lots of family stories evolved from dinner tables in past years; try not to shudder.)
  • Fight over the last drumstick; cajoling a sibling into a little childhood skirmish can be fun, especially if one or both parents or an aunt or uncle are still around to watch and laughingly reminisce…
  • Consider each new happenstance a future memory; find the humor in it and laugh together.
  • Look into each face around the table. Observe the personality nuances and mannerisms.  In as brief a span as five years, table personalities will change; children will grow, friends will leave the area; family branches will sprout afar.
  • Can’t travel to be together this Thursday?  Just wait until the next time you can all regroup!  The possibilities are endless!

Growing up, it was easy to take the Thanksgiving holiday for granted; November was a happy month, the start of the Holidays!  Some of us matured rather abruptly once we saw our president assassinated; we all remember where we were, who informed us, and the immediate days after when, as a grieving nation, we gathered that next week to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Many of us remembered only a little boy saluting goodbye to his daddy.

The old adage, Death has no age, was suddenly meaningful; it is this year for some whose  loved one will be missing for the first time this Thanksgiving.  The holiday season can be a particularly painful period.

The coming months present some economic challenges for many; some earners last year are currently unemployed and find themselves in a completely different scenario than the last time they hit the pavement.  Hitting a keyboard can be just as frustrating.

Thanksgiving will arrive just the same. This season, keep our fellow countrymen in prayer.  Choose how to make Thursday one of the sweeter Thanksgiving Days in recent memory.  May we forever feel a depth of gratitude for the lives and goodness He has bestowed upon each of us.

Rejoice! Celebrate! Praise God! Lastly, may God Bless America.

Gifting Outside the Box – 2021 UPDATE

Establishing months for special causes works really well for marketing purposes, but it won’t prevent the occasional gaps that occur in between.  A good example is our Military Families and Veterans.  May and November holidays call attention to these groups, but their needs are year-round.

Americans are some of the most caring and generous people in the world. While each generation may have had its challenges, the time for each of us to think and consider gifting outside the box has arrived…so, I suggest we change our course for Thanksgiving and Christmas Seasons THIS YEAR.  Pick up an extra can or two at the market and delete a gift or two from under the tree; here are some alternative gifting ideas:

  • Donate to the local food pantry at your church or one in your community.  COVID-19 and its ramifications have been financially tougher than most for many of our loved ones; some who previously donated in the past now find themselves on the receiving end. No telling about 2022…so,
  • Fill those plastic bags that the Scouts leave at your door with canned goods and pantry staples up to the brim!
  • Support your local merchant; don’t be fooled by a national brand.  Many of the “chain” stores and fast food restaurants are actually franchises owned by individuals who have faces,  names,  families, and payrolls to meet.
  • Let your children carry change in their pockets…The Salvation Army will have their red kettles out very soon.  They will have more needy than ever to feed and clothe.  The change adds up quickly, and the kids will get a big kick out of contributing!
  • Carry an extra ten dollar bill or whatever you can afford on your person when traveling by air…happen to see a serviceman or servicewoman traveling home or leaving on assignment?  Press the bill in their hand, thank them for their service, and give them permission to “spend” a little something on themselves.  You’d be amazed at the morale booster an unexpected greenback from a total stranger can give…I’ve seen the smiles myself.
  • USO Centers  can only stretch their holiday cheer so far; when multiple units begin passing through in droves during the holiday season, the pickings can get very slim.  Check in with the Center nearest you, especially if you have memories of having yourself spent a holiday at one just like it.
  • Your local VFW will happily accept donations for Operation Uplink, the internet phone program for military overseas to communicate with loved ones at home.
  • Some of us had a child who was helped by medical foundations or organizations like Shriners Hospitals for Children.  There are little ones there now, too…in the same departments we once visited on a regular basis.
  • Whether you belong to a service club or not, you have friends who do.  Ask if they need support on any particular projects.  Rotarians are busy year-round, and their Rotary Foundation is one of the best places to put money to work, locally and globally.

THESE ARE ONLY A FEW IDEAS from your humble writer.  Thanks for indulging my 2021 soapbox persona by reading this special snippet.

Sincerely,

Custer 🙂

To All the Cars I Drove Before

(With apologies to Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias)

(Verses 1 and 2)

To all the cars I drove before

The ones I sat within their doors

I’m glad they came along

Enough to sing this song

To all the cars I drove before

To all the cars that shared my life

The ones before and after “wife”

Muffler warranties unused

My back and neck abused

From all the cars that shared my life

(Bridge)

Though my intentions were sincere, and

Whether hit front, side, or rear

Another tow truck I would see

It’s tow chain dragging me

And the car that shared my strife

(Final Verse)

To all the cars that met their fate

And passed beyond Big Blue Book’s Gate

I pray such times stay few

Hope they ended then with you

And not this Delta Eighty-Eight!

 

 

 

Yes, now even the car has become a classic!

1990/abj

Seasonal American Pie

Having the additional ability to reason and therefore, expected to ably discern differences, man should routinely ask questions.  There is AS YET no harm in being inquisitive; despite what the current, myopic main media might imply, one should freely share and explore all variables of a topic.   While I wouldn’t attempt to read the intent of all the journalists behind the microphones, I would ask that we consider the source.

The US media have been fashioned from liberal arts and collegiate think tanks, many of which are anti-free market.  While there is no immediate harm in being compassionate and relegating a certain amount of the free market net earnings to community needs, the decision makers have grown power-hungry, therefore, less than honest with their philanthropic agendas.  And the main media have been quick to disguise underlying facts to oblige them.

The fiscally aware, i.e. the entrepreneurs and wage earners, are mindful that there are only SO MANY PIECES of the same American Pie…and more than twelve slices are needed in this 21st Century.  Twelve slices of tax payer money are rather thin and finite.  Not nearly enough to accomplish the compassionate missions of the most well-intended; the unscrupulous have yet to be fully vetted or, at the very least, have their microphones taken and discarded.

The competition continually competes for our dollars and rapt attention.    As some of the most benevolent people in the world, perhaps it is better for Americans to test the waters at the local watering hole.  Time to restudy that marketing travelogue…and make sure we are on board and our economic journey correctly remains in a free and open sea.

God Bless America —- and the ones who defend it at home and abroad.

CROCK-POT OPTIMIST

Written to the tune of Cockeyed Optimist from South Pacific, with my apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein.   I couldn’t help but toss a melting pot of ingredients into the crock pot during this political season, especially after listening to one endearing “movie tradesman” remind us of our roles…

 

WHEN MY VEGGIES ARE SPENT AND RATHER SORRY…

I COMBINE EV’RY LEFTOVER I’VE GOT

SO THEY CALL ME A CROCK-POT OPTIMIST

ADDING COLOR AND SPICE TO MY POT!

 

I GREW UP WATCHING MENTORS BRAG AND BLAZE NEW TRAILS

BLESS THIS GROUND IN ACCENTED ENGLISH TONGUES;

BUT BECAUSE I’M A CROCK-POT OPTIMIST

WHERE I WISH, I CAN CLIMB ANY RUNG!

 

I SEE THE RISING DEBT!  I FEEL OUR CHILDREN’S FATE.

SOLUTIONS SEEM BEYOND OUR GRIP

EVEN MOVIE TRADESMEN KNOW:  FREE MARKETS FEED JOBS’ FLOW

TAKE BACK THE HELM! LET GOOD TIMES RIP!!!

 

DO NOT THINK THAT THE OLD DAYS WERE THE BEST OF TIMES

OR THE WORST; THEN IGNOR OUR HISTORY

OF ONE VOICE, WITH ITS STRENGTH AND TO WHAT GREAT LENGTH

IT CAN SHAPE!  IT CAN BUILD!  IT CAN SHINE!

YES….. IT’S……….. TIME…

 

 

 

Pearl Harbor; some 70th Anniversary Reflections

Dear Readers:  This was composed in 2011 for the 70th Anniversary; I felt it appropriate to repeat it once again, as we who came after this day of infamy need to know our country’s history or be condemned to repeat it.

Bless our Veterans and Military Families and remember them year round! May God continue to Bless America and its people, among the most giving and caring on this earth. – Annette

 

Family history in our home was commonly categorized into three eras that everyone from the Greatest Generation on down ultimately understood: “before the war”, “during the war”, and “after the war”.

Like my mother, I always loved reading history.  Her passion for listening to others’ stories became mine also.  Mentors, neighbors and relatives related some tidbits from their personal experiences; other facts below were picked up from history lessons:

A young kid was working as a bag boy at a local market on the East Coast.  The news came over the radio:  Pearl Harbor had been attacked.  The young kid told his boss,

Well, we know one thing for sure: pineapples are going to go up in price!

Once this kid became of age, he joined the military, fulfilling a career in the Air Force.

A little girl came home after school, saw the photo of a man in uniform on the mantle, and began crying… the photo was actually that of her uncle, her daddy’s younger brother, but he looked enough like her daddy to shake her little soul and make her believe: Daddy had gone to war!

Many women went to work in the factories; the iconic poster Rosie the Riveter salutes their contributions during the war years…

Military wives stayed behind, keeping the house and raising their young children…

Some men hunted and brought home extra meat for their own tables and their extended families’ tables as well…

Men too old to enlist left familiar workplace jobs, choosing to work “for the war effort”…

Scrap metal was collected…

Hollywood leading men and women either enlisted and/or made feature releases, using their notoriety to sell War Bonds for the War Department…

In addition to radio and newspaper, newsreels informed the public of the latest war news; Victory At Sea was one such news reel series…

Believing Loose Lips Sink Ships, cryptic messages, codes, and other safeguards were set into place and honored by all military and civilian citizens, including Hollywood’s movie moguls and newspaper journalists.

The neighborhood kid accidentally hit his little friend in the eye.  The eye quickly started to darken; he was obviously going to go home with one good shiner!  The neighborhood kid’s mother used a frozen steak from the freezer as an ice pack on the little friend’s eye and escorted him home.  Using a steak for a poultice! During  wartime?  The little friend’s family was in awe…

When his father was killed in a freak work accident on the docks, the only son was called home from overseas; he arrived home in time to attend his father’s funeral. In his eyes, he was one of the luckier ones, having only suffered some trench foot; but as he remarked, at least he came home alive and in one piece.

Some WWII Widows were fortunate enough to meet men who came home and were willing to raise their fellow brothers-in-arms’ sons and daughters…

A little girl walked out the door one day, telling her widowed mother that she was going to search “for a new daddy”…

Growing up in the late fifties and sixties, I dusted Mom’s mantel space which was often filled with family photos.  Those extras that were older but still cherished were placed inside a dining room sideboard drawer.  We could easily access these so pulled them out on occasion to view.   Professional wedding photographs, twenty-first birthday photos, and yellowed news clippings of friends in uniform were fascinating to read.

There was a particular uncle that we knew only from his wedding photo; he had been killed during the war.  We used to visit his grave and leave flowers.  Daddy was bothered and always uncomfortable about my uncle’s death, even mentioning that he didn’t believe the remains sent home actually belonged to his brother-in-law.

Mom was more pragmatic:  it didn’t matter…they belonged to a soldier. We would leave flowers always.