Tag Archives: google

Days Of Yore

I love this time of year, I hate this time of year. What do I love about this time of year, you ask? I love the festiveness, love of the birth of Christ, the giving, the hibernation of plant life that is awaiting rebirth in three or four months. This is the time that others are seen giving when, actually, it should be done all year ‘round. I love looking at the outdoor decorations, the extreme people have gone to outdo others and wonder how much is spent to do it. I love to watch the joy on the faces of small children as they see the toys, Santa and colorful lights. I love it all and remember my times at that age.

I hate this time of year because it reminds me of my age, of time gone by and of all the well-intentioned money spent on unnecessary things. Bah-humbug? No, just being my practical self. Although this blog comes out at Christmas, I am reminded that at the birth of Christ He did not have much. I hate all the scammers and robbers out there. I hate all the organizations with their hands out, getting plenty of cash so their company officers can get richer. This time of year is a love/hate thing for me.

I long for what is in my memory. A simple life, a simpler time. Smelling the wood fires. These were not just fireplaces, I never knew any family that had one, but wood and coal fires were used for heating and cooking. It was a necessity during my upbringing. I long for looking at the snow-covered houses with smoke curling out the chimney, looking like a picture transformed from a Christmas card. I long for walking into the house, smelling the fire and food slowly cooking on the stovetop. I remember those days, I long for those days and will forever cherish them.

Everyone went to church and it was always more festive during winter. The congregation not only worked together to make Christmas more festive, but they all focused on the upcoming New Year Watch Night and Easter. All festive events were planned many months in advance and everyone pitched in. Church was the starting point as well as the ending for everyone (your baptismal and your funeral).             The entire family went to church and, along with the other families, the entire church was family which made everyone a relative.

Today, young people may have heard about this, but they cannot completely grasp the idea of an era like this. Each succeeding era have a time like this with each era getting more modernized than the previous. Today, young people do not have the time to see the lights, go places that they may smell the chimney smoke, go to church or, if they go to church, work together for months for some far away event in the church. There are many young people that can not cook, have parents that do cook and have never seen a wood burning stove or food cooked on one.

The young people have their phones and tablets, but they cannot smell those by-gone things from long ago through them. They can Google the past but will never experience it. They will never stand in the snow or cold wind and hear nothing but the sound of that wind or see the lights twinkling. The lights were not made that way, but the natural atmosphere make them twinkle, everything is serene. I guess I am old, longing for things that will never be again, but I will never forget them and will forever cherish them.

 

Advertisements

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.