Monthly Archives: October 2016

A Week of Delectation

I am still on cloud nine from all that I have seen, done and went through this week. In a nut shell, I interviewed the last graduating airman from the famed Tuskegee Airmen of Tuskegee, Ala. Myself and Len Rasmusen, with Len driving, went to northern Virginia to meet with (Ret.) Col. Carl Johnson. He was the last to graduate because before his class graduated he had a bout of appendicitis and was hospitalized. When he got out of the hospital, his class had graduated and he was all alone. He was thinking he would be sent home but, instead, he was allowed to finish his training and graduate as the Last Tuskegee Airman.

At 91, he is clear voiced, full of spirit and was eager to talk about his storied career as an Army Officer although he did time in the USAF and the Army National Guard. Through him, I found out about Tuskegee Airmen flying bombers, although it was after WWII. He also flew in Korea and Viet Nam and was posted at the Pentagon, among many other places. Len and I viewed a number of scrapbooks and saw pictures of many people of note, such as Gen. Chappie James as a lieutenant. We were told that he was good friends with Chappie James, because he was his co-pilot, and they remained friends for years.

I have it all recorded so I can refer to it as I write a longer, more precise, work for The MPP (The Mighty Pen Project), the Virginia War Memorial and self-gratification. I love history. Everything about history. I love to dig deeper as I ask the question, why? I don’t mind the research nor do I mind the inevitable self induced trance I fall into.

In the middle of the week Imperial Plaza took us to the new Afro-American Museum, officially entitled, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. After lunch in Washington, D.C., we traveled the very short distance to the museum, which was very crowded. A word of caution for anyone that is planning to go there. Go on-line and get tickets first but plan to wait a few months before the tickets will allow entrance. Getting tickets now will allow you entry in April or May although there is a line for people that arrive without a reservation but there is not a guarantee that you will get in that way, even if you wait all day.

There is no way you can view the entire museum in one day so I concentrated on the lower three floors (basement) of the eight floors. I quickly went through most of the displays, not spending too much time on any one thing. I had three hours and almost didn’t make it although three hours seem like a long time but when you are engrossed in the displays, time flies and there is so much.

The thing that bothered me most were not the displays but the kids. Most of the kids were either running through the place, playing with each other or mindlessly texting. The great majority were not interested and, I will make a bet, could not tell you about anything there. What a shame. What a waste.

In that section was a short display on the Tuskegee Airmen and, I noticed, one of the pictures on display was one that I took a photo of from Col. Johnson’s scrapbook. There, on display, is one of the planes that the Tuskegee Airmen flew (The Spirit Of Tuskegee) and a few other pictures. I wish the display had more but you take whatever there is to take. The photos of some of the grotesque hangings done to my people where very haunting to say the least. The display of an actual slave house really show how small they were for the number of people that lived in them, or should I say survived in them. That’s all there was then, survival any way you could.

That was my week and I am overjoyed to have lived it. Col. Johnson and the museum made my entire week and I’m happy for it. Imperial Plaza’s Activity Department get thumbs up for the work in getting tickets, getting us there and getting us back safely. Praises to Kayle, Ron and Jerome.

See you next blog. Don’t forget to check out my other blog, although it will automatically pop up on other sites (twitter, google, etc). The weekend is coming and my wife and I are off again. Our schedule is full and we have a lot of fun and adventures to catch up on. Bye-bye and remember…Be kind to your neighbors and ensure your words are soft and sweet.

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Watson

Looking back, I can see many things that were, years ago, thought to be either science-fiction or someone’s imagination or just plain entertainment because it was considered an impossibility. To give an example (young people don’t know about this) just look at Dick Tracy from the comic strips. He had a wrist watch that he could not only talk into and hear but he could see the person he contacted and the person could see him. I was always fascinated then and can see all of it now. For those of you that can’t remember when Dick Tracy was printed, try the 1950’s and ’60’s.

Quite a few things have come from the original Star Trek Series (Capt. James Kirk, Mr. Spock, etc) that, at the time, had my head spinning. There is so much that have come from the imagination of others that wanted to entertain us but, instead, were ahead of the world they were in. They jumped to another sphere. A sphere that no one, not even them, could have seen without a crystal ball into the future. And the then future is still coming, little by little.

We seniors, if you think a little, can see things that came about when we were young that boggled the mind, but, were thought about years before that. The people that were proposing those things were said to be crazy or were completely ignored. And, just think, the not so imaginary things are still coming about. Remember Lost In Space? Remember the robot in Lost In Space?

There is a lot of work being done on AI (Artificial Intelligence). That is the project being done on robots and making them super intelligent. They are making robots that can think, never forget and get smarter on it’s own. Also, they are making robots that are making robots. I can still remember watching Lost In Space on a black and white television and saying to myself that it was impossible for a robot to do the things that it did.

The computer that was on Jeopardy and won the game (named Watson) was a hit for quite some time. Watson is still around. Wrap your head around this; Watson is being used in a hospital diagnosing ailments and proposing a course of action. Watson has read everything there is to read about medicine and every medical journal that comes out. A doctor can not do that nor remember the entire written material. Watson can and did. Watson not only reads written material, it can also look at x-rays, MRI’s and all the other things. I remember reading comic books about that back in the early sixties.

I also remember reading, and seeing movies, about computers going amok, taking over the world and treating humans as slaves. There are scientists who are now thinking the same thing and is getting a lot of resistance to that idea. As a senior citizen, I don’t have to worry about that. I don’t have that much longer in this world and robots aren’t developing that fast. Or are they?

Some people are saying robots are not around them (I guess they are thinking about machines running around doing things) but I beg to differ. I’ll name a few things and, believe me, there are so, so many more things I could name. There are self driving vehicles, cell phones, television (broadcasting units and viewing apparatus’), all sorts of computers, and to put things into a nut shell, everything that is anything has some type of electronics in it. These things can or almost can operate on it’s own or remotely, by another human or by another computer.

All of us at Imperial Plaza utilize some sort of computer (robot) each and every day, from the time we awaken (does a robot (alarm clock) awaken you) to the moment we go to sleep (does the computerized TV or radio put you to sleep), whether we realize it or not. It is a beautiful thing. Or is it? Will the robots take over Imperial Plaza? Will they take over the world? Time will tell. More time than I have left.

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

Wow, busy is as busy does and I have been a little busy, for a retired person. First, at Imperial Plaza there was a fashion show of which my wife and another woman worked extremely hard to present it and decorate the stage (can’t forget the Activities Department). It turned out really good and I have included a smidgen of photos. Personally, I like the Elvis impersonator (LOL). He was a gas and sang two or three Elvis songs. Of course, I was roped into participating, therefore, I was made the photographer.

Myself and two others, from The Mighty Pen Project (MPP) (go to the web site or Facebook page) got together for coffee and, accidentally through conversation on various topics, an idea was formed. There was an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch, which was originally in the Washington Post, about a ninety one year old Tuskegee Airman (remember the movie Red Tails) and he live here in Virginia, about three hours away. Well, he was contacted and myself and another person will interview him next month. I will write a back story about him and I’m not quite sure what else, we’ll figure that out as we go. He seem quite nice and, so far, I’ve spoken to him twice. Keep me in your prayers that the story will be good.

Oh, how I love pro football season especially my Dallas Cowboys. The rookie quarterback, Dac, is good and he is a great improvement to the team. I said that in order to say this. You know what I am doing on Thursday night, all day Sunday and on Monday night. Are you ready for some FOOTBALL? On the other side, my Dolphins still find ways to lose even when they play a team that they should conquer. Oh well, such is life.

Imperial Plaza was going to the new Afro American Museum, but, the overwhelming response for entry have caused the museum to issue entry tickets. The next available possible bulk ticket issue for bulk tours is next spring, I am told by the Activities Department. Instead, we will go to D.C. just for lunch and I guess for the ride. I can hardly wait to go. Other things are on the schedule, especially, ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out), so I have a full plate when football is added in the mix. Then I have my writing, in which I have slacked off lately, and I have to get back into it. I have seen some notices about freelance writing jobs/contests, etc. and I am missing out on some good cash by not writing like I should.

The people that have garden plots said they wanted rain for the things they are growing. As a kid I was always told to be careful what I ask for because I just may get it. Well, the rain has come and now the cry is that it is too much. All that was needed was patience enough to wait for the state fair to arrive. Why? It always rain during the state fair, without fail.

Well, after I edit this before uploading, I must start in earnest the writing I have been putting off for so long. In fact, I have more than one piece I am presently writing on. So, next week I am hoping to post my other blog, faithingodministries.net, before I go to a military retirement ceremony in Hampton next weekend. If not I’ll post it the following weekend and this post following that. Sorry about the delay but, as I’ve said many times before, I am retired and I don’t have a schedule anymore. See ya later! Gotta get a move on!

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