Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years - 2011!

Happy New Years to all! Looking forward to a great 2011. I was blessed in 2010. Hope for the very same for my friends and family in 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Picture of the Day

Picture of a facebook friend at the 2010 White House Christmas Party. Nice decorations. He is a member of the press corp. Took his Mother. Nice. I think I would have tried to impress a date.

Having grown up in the pre-civil rights South, I still can not get over the fact that we have a President who is black. How wonderful.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Picture of the Day

This was taken by a talented Facebook photographer friend during the December Linear Eclipse. It is stunning.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Godfrey Christmas 2010 in G'boro.....All Is Well....

Well, the Christmas Season has once again presented itself. It's always a beautiful and unique time. There are always different facets, events, and emotions surrounding it. Although me at age 62 and Bunny at age 60 makes it a particularly reflective and interesting one, if for no other reason than thinking of that fact, it has been exceptionally beautiful and eventful on many accounts this year.

Greensboro has had a picture postcard 6-7 inches of snow, providing the first white Christmas I remember in quite a while (enjoy the photos above). I love it except for the fact that I am concerned about the kids travel back to their homes (Chattanooga and Columbia).

The Christmas Candlelight service at church was beautiful. This was 37 years in a row for Bunny and I being in attendance. For Rob, it was as many in a row as years as he has lived (30) and for Elizabeth the same, except for her two years in Arizona. Ken's wonderful message, the music, and seeing friends and relatives made it special as usual. I always miss my Mother at that the service.

I have enjoyed recalling Christmas' as child this year for some reason. I recall in particular trips downtown with Aunt Annie during the season, many times on Christmas Eve itself. Aunt Annie, a great aunt who lived two doors down with my grandmother, would get her Christmas Club money, $1. a week she had deposited with the bank, (plus a tad of interest), some $52. We would catch the bus on Summit Avenue and head downtown where it would be so very crowded. The decorated light polls and store windows would adorn the season, and we would roam about the three big department stores, Ellis Stone, Meyers, and Belk. Particularly vivid was her example of never passing the ringers without tossing something in. We would end up at the S&W Cafeteria if I was lucky, and we would hopefully catch a glimpse of Deebo Steele, the town's beloved challenged citizen, acting a self-appointed traffic director out in the middle of the "square." What a time and what blessed memories.

The Christmas Eve gathering at the in-laws was especially good this year. The crowd was overwhelming in terms of size. I was not sure if we would even have the gathering this year due to Jean and Andy's health (they are in their late 80s), but from every standpoint, the Good Lord delivered a beautiful time. Again, that was my 37th Christmas Eve in a row at the home of my in-laws, which has been a blessing for me over time. I missed my Mother not being there.

This is Elizabeth's first Christmas home in two years. She could not come at Christmas when she was in Arizona, although she came at Thanksgiving one year and a week in early December the other. It is wonderful having her closer in Chattanooga. Elizabeth and Brandon are recently engaged and have set a date of May 28th to be married. We are very happy for them both and it has been exciting discussing and planning the wedding with her at Christmas. Brandon is a good and solid guy. He is good for Elizabeth and that makes us happy.

It has been a treat talking with Rob and Jamie about their life and work on SC Governor Nikki Haley's senior staff. They have recently moved into a new place in Columbia which we look forward to seeing.
As I reflect on life, and my life with Bunny, here at Christmas, I am very blessed. Bunny's health is a small challenge, and work/business is a challenge, but that all pales in comparison to the ways in which I am blessed. The kids are healthy, they have wonderful significant others, they have great jobs, they live in beautiful cities, and they all know and love the Lord to whom I believe they look for wisdom, direction, and peace. All is well......

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A View of President Obama To Date

As Christmas approaches, I sit in amazement as I follow the closing lame duck session of the 111th Congress. Now that the mid-term elections are behind us, along with the political posturing which accompanies it, so much is being accomplished. The President and his team are proving to be extremely effective at building consensus, moving legislation, and assuring that Obama's ambitious legislative agenda is passed.

The accomplishments of this administration to date are impressive. Health Care Reform, the $789. billion Recovery Act, major financial sector reform, the automotive industry rescue (which is nearly all paid back), appointment of the first Latino to the Supreme Court, expansion of SCHIP for children (health insurance covering 4 million more low income kids), expansion of Pell grants for students, the pulling out of combat troops from Iraq, on and on. What a list. This was before the lame duck session, which includes passage of the massive tax cut bill, DADT repealed, the START Treaty passed, passage of a continuing resolution to keep government running, and a 1st Responder Health Care bill enacted. Astounding.

The retail sector is indicating that this will be a robust Christmas season. All economic indicators, except jobs, point to an improving economy. The transitional world economy, and changing attitudes regarding how we consume, will continue to make this a difficult recovery in terms of employment. Much of the legislation referenced above will have a positive impact on jobs over time. The next big challenge will be attacking the deficit, which has rightly taken a back sit to stimulating a sluggish economy over the past months.

President Obama seems to be hitting his stride. His approval rating has increased significantly..... before the lame duck accomplishments mentioned about. Some progressives continue to be frustrated with him. Continued successes, such of repeal of DADT, should help on that front. Yes, there have been some disappointments such as immigration reform and energy/climate legislation. Their times will come.

An important trait of every successful statesman is said to be the ability to adjust to changing circumstances without selling their soul. President Obama seems to be measuring up. As a friend mentioned, his steady course reminds me of the old idiom, "the cream eventually comes to the top." Keep churning, Mr. President. As a moderate progressive, I could not be happier with your Presidency after two years.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Picture of the Day

General MacArthur signs the surrender documents September 2, 1945, aboard the Battleship USS Missouri at the end of WWII.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Historic WWII Surrender Video Footage

Wonderful, historic footage of Japanese Surrender on the Battleship USS Missouri, September 2, 1945.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

42nd President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton

On November 30, 2010, I was honored to be in the second row under the podium for President Clinton's lecture at the Greensboro Coliseum on his Clinton Global Initiative and on the State of Humanity in 2010. After the lecture, I was able , along with a very small group of others (around 25), to have my picture taken with him and to visit personally (one-on-one) with him for a few very nice minutes. To say that he is quite a valuable citizen of the world is an understatement.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

White House Photographs

These are three of my favorites from the White House photo album. Top is a recent meeting in the Roosevelt Room on the START Treaty. It is attended by a number of former Secretary of States who are pictured, including Madeline Albright, Henry Kissinger, and James Baker. The middle picture of a beautiful morning with a perfect snow on the White House grounds. The bottom picture of of the President signing a baseball.

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