Saturday, December 31, 2011

Picture of the Day

January 14, 1954: Baseball immortal Joe DiMaggio and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe are all smiles after their San Francisco City Hall wedding ceremony.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Prez and The Boss

"I'm the President, but he's the boss." ~President Barack Obama, as he presents Bruce Springsteen the 2009 Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award.

Catching The Boss and The E Street Band on tour in concert is toward the top of my bucket list. Springsteen, a 62-year old New Jersey native, has earned 20 Grammys, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award. He is a classic and an entertainment icon of our time.

Named by 'Rolling Stone' as the 23rd Greatest Artist of All-Time, a career highlight of his for me was his appearance at the 2008 Presidential Inauguration, performing Woody Guthries's "This Land is Your Land" with Pete Seeger.

Quote of the Day

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Picture of the Day

Beautiful winter image featuring the cardinal, a very prevalent bird in North Carolina. New digital camera technology gives us such wonderful images today. Thanks to friend John Pierce for this serene, stunning image.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Powerful Civil War Image

Beautiful Civil War image of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jeb Stuart, as they pray before the Battle of Fredricksburg. This is a print done by John Paul Strain, and shared by friend Winston Blair.

Picture of the Day

Washington, DC, Friday, January 20, 1961: John F. Kennedy and Jacquelyn Bouvier Kennedy proceed from their Georgetown home for inaugural ceremonies and a full day of inaugural activities. This was such a positive, optimistic time for America.

My older brother, Bill, was in attendance at the main inaugural ball, having been selected to serve as an Honor Guard, representing the United States Coast Guard. He was on active duty at Cape May, New Jersey at the time. My Mother was very proud.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

God, Incarnate, reveals Himself to us. The Peace of the Season to all.............all year around.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

ThePoint's Choice as 2011 Picture of the Year

This is the widely viewed photo of the Barack Obama national security team watching the progress of the Navy Seal team's mission against Osama Bin Laden. The mission resulted in the death of Bin Laden.

ThePoint is pleased to select, by a wide margin, this image as it's choice for 2011 Photograph of the Year, due to the critical nature of the setting and the mission, which is no doubt captured in the image. This picture is the essence of superior photojournalism.

Picture of the Day

The Red Room in the White House decorated the Christmas 2011.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One of a Kind

I first heard about this guy in 1976. He was age 29. I was active in the North Carolina Young Democrats and he was the newly elected State Attorney General in Arkansas. They said he was a certain "can't miss". He was talked of him as a young sports sensation who was destined for greatness and the Hall of Fame. He was described as one with ability, looks, skills, charm, instincts, none before him. I'll never forget it.

Bill Clinton has had quite a career......just as they predicted, like no other. Twice a Governor, twice a President, a prolific author, leader and founder of the Clinton Global Initiative and Foundation, and age 65, a continued, respected world leader and significant influence on history's course. Recently, I was honored to meet him, visit with him, and have a picture taken with him. I told him I was seeing Jim Hunt at a function the next night. He said, "tell old Jim I did nothing to embarrass him while here in Carolina", and then he just laughed out loud!

He's been on in the mat, they've had him on the ropes, but he's resilient. He is uniquely one of a kind. I like the following quote from his new book,"Back to Work". He says, "There is simply no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty-first century with an anti-government strategy, based on and grounded in a philosophy of, 'you're on your own', rather than, 'we're all in this together." He believes that conflict between government and the private sector has proved to be good politics but has produced bad policies and a weak economy.

Far from perfect (like all of us), Clinton is one of the good guys..........for both our country and the world.

Christmas Blessings

Christmas is about giving and receiving, and certainly about worshiping. But for me, Christmas has grown to become a time to be grateful for God's gifts, beyond the gift of himself through Christ.

I like Erma's little quote above. She's always witty. But I'm certain I do not use everything He gave me. Each day my prayer is, among others, for forgiveness for not being that person God would have me be or intended me to be.

But being grateful, I can be, and I am. Christmas is a wonderful time to be cognizant of, and focused on, that which has blessed us.

2011 marked the marriage of Elizabeth to Brandon. What a wonderful celebration and weekend that was. The service at First Baptist Church, and the grand reception following, was a life's memory and blessing.

My course time at Elon University this fall was just amazing. I was honored to be introduced to Retired Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Dr. John Sullivan. What courses he lead in humanity.

Our visits to The Carter Center and The Carter Presidential Library and Museum this summer were wonderful. Our short time in Columbia with Rob and Jamie.......our time in Chattanooga with Brandon and Elizabeth, another grand summer with Bunny at baseball games. Other involvements such as volunteer time at the Hall of Champions, the Wyndam, the church.......all blessings. The knowledge that Rob, with Governor Nikki, and Elizabeth, at Blue Cross, are productive citizens and making a contribution........ all are such blessings.

My suggestion is to list them, to count them, to take none of them for granted, to savor them. It's Christmas.

"Hay House" - Macon, Georgia

Completed in 1859, and called "the Palace of the South", the "Hay House" in Macon, decorated for Christmas, makes for a stunning and elegant image.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Picture of the Day

Above is picture of great license tag I enjoyed viewing during a visit to, and tour of, the James Cox For President collection of political memorabilia at the Cox Communications Headquarters in Atlanta this summer. The collection contained the largest number of Cox items in one collection. Cox, the Democratic nominee for President in 1920, ran on the ticket with a young Franklin D. Roosevelt.

On the same trip, I was also fortunate to enjoy an inside, behind the scenes tour of the Carter Center and Carter Presidential Museum and Library.........making it a great trip for a collector of political memorabilia, and, yes, a political and current events junkie.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The End of a War

After divisive war, lasting nearly 9 long years, President Barack Hussein Obama welcomes back home U. S. Army personnel from Iraq, December 14, 2011. God bless the troops, their families, and their sacrifice.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Picture of the Day

Old-time, dirt, stock car race track at the Greensboro NC Fairgrounds. This property is now the site of the Greensboro Coliseum complex.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Picture of the Day

Christmas shoppers crowd into Manhattan's 34th Street on Monday, December 9, 1929.

Season's Greetings

Rejoice in the miracle of the Christmas Season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Era of Segregation

It is always interesting to come upon photographs from the era of segregation in the South. This photo was taken in 1940 in Durham, NC at the bus depot. The bus is owned by Carolina Coach Company. A waiting room for African Americans is clearly marked.

So it was in the South prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Segregated waiting rooms, water fountains, bathrooms, eating facilities, movie theaters, schools, etc. were the order of the day. Thank goodness for progress and a much greater sense fairness for African Americans over the past decades, resulting a greater sense of dignity and quality of life for all Americans.

Much of the change and progress began at the downtown Woolworth's lunch counter in my hometown of Greensboro, NC, February 1, 1960. You will find related blogs in 'ThePoint' by putting "Woolworth's" in the blog search bar.

Picture of the Day

Women campaign by train in 1916 for GOP presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes. Hughes would go on the lose, in a close race, to Woodrow Wilson. Hughes' long life of public serice included his being the 36th Governor of New York, a Law Professor at Cornell, a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and U. S. Secretary of State under President Harding. It was said of Hughes that his "remarkable intellect and social gift".....made him a superb leader and administrator.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pictures of the Day

Comiskey Park, Chicago, Wednesday, September 9, 1931, as Cubs Hall of Fame catcher Gabby Hartnett signs autograph for a beaming proud Papa "Scarface" Al Capone's son Albert "Sonny" Capone. Hartnett draw ire from Commissioner "Mountain" Landis, who was in attendance at the game, for his association with Capone. The Cubs and White Sox were playing a charity game at the southside ballpark.

Wigley Field, Chicago, April 21, 1926, as new Cubs Manager John McGraw comes over to talk with team owner William Wigley prior to the team's home opener against Cincinnati. Wigley and 33,000 cubs fans went home happy as Cubs defeated the Reds 4-3.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Picture of the Day

Very cool 1915 photograph of none other than Casey Stengel, patrolling the outfield for the Brooklyn Dodgers (wearing new fangled sunglasses no less!). Charles Dillon Stengel's nickname, by the way, came from the initials of his hometown, Kansas City, and has nothing to do with the poem, "Casey At The Bat."

Casey went on, of course, to manage the great New York Yankees during the Golden Era of baseball and became known as "the old professor." He guided the Yankees to 7 World Series Championships, including 4 in a row from 1950 through 1953.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The White House - December 1938

A beautiful, snowy day outside of the White House in 1938. President Roosevelt, in not the best of health, legs confined by braces, was likely inside contemplating the growing war in Europe.

Just ahead was a year to be filled with significant events such as the growing menace of Adolph Hitler in Europe, and on the home front the opening of the 1939 New York World's Fair, the premiers of both "Gone With The Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz", Al Capone's release from Alcatraz, Lou Gehrig's retirement from baseball due to his ALS, and the great thoroughbred racehorse Seabiscuit making the front page, above the fold, almost weekly.

As America continued to struggle through the Great Depression and confront major events, big change was around the corner for both the President and for all Americans.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Army/Navy - November 29, 1919

One of my favorite vintage photographs. The Army-Navy game at The Polo Grounds, Manhattan, NY, November 29, 1919.

Dignitaries shown here left to right: General Peyton C. March, Secretary of War Newton C. Baker, General John J. Pershing, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Admiral Archibald S. Scales, Superintendent of the U. S. Naval Academy.

Daniels was Publisher and owner of the Raleigh News and Observer, and was one of President Wilson's primary liaisons and links to the segregated south.

December 7, 2011 Reflection

It is a rainy December 7, 2011, a good day to reflect. 70 years ago today, World War II began for America, "a date which will live in infamy", said President Roosevelt. It was ironically this event that necessitated America finally getting involved in the war, precepitating the alliance between Churchill and Roosevelt, an alliance and relationship which likely saved Western Civilization.

Today is my in-law's 66th wedding anniversary. Andy returned from the South Pacific at the end of the war in 1945 and married Jean a couple of months later. They are 'hanging in there', still in their home of nearly 50 years. Bunny delivered breakfast to them this morning.

I reflect on, and pray hard for, my dear daughter Elizabeth, who is now pregnant with her first child, after a beautiful 2011 wedding to Brandon. I reflect on my man Rob, as he helps Nikki run the great state of South Carolina. I have so much to be grateful for and much to be concerned it should be.

I continue to reflect on my semester long series of classes at Elon this much wisdom imparted. I especially recall, and like, the following two quotes shared by Dr. John Sullivan, Retired Professor of Philosophy, who coordinated the semester. The first one helped open the semester, the second one helped close the semester.

"We stand in the middle of 7 generations, three behind us, the parents, the grandparents, and the great grandparents, and three before us, the children, the grandchildren, and the great grandchildren. Everything we do and everything we say should be measured against, 'does it honor the ancestors and does it teach the children.'" ~Navajo Proverb

"We must look after the children, for they have a long way to go. We must look after the elders, for they have been a long way. We must look after those in the middle, for they must do the work." ~Nelson Mandala

Peace and Blessings of the Season

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Powerful and Moving Photojournalism From 2011

A loyal military dog stays by his soldier. Click the link below to see 44 other emotionally powerful images from 2011.

Picture of the Day

Great, old vintage photograph of Knute Rockne and Christy Walsh between Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, who are flanked by three unidentified gentlemen. Walsh was a pioneer in the sports agent business. He coined the term "ghost writer". My guess is that the photo was taken in a hotel banquet room in the late '20s and was related to the publicizing of the Notre Dame / Southern California football game.

The Low Quality of 2011 GOP Presidential Candidates

I am concerned about the low quality of candidates which have emerged as standard bearers for the Grand Old Party. For the most part, they seem to have neither the intellectual capacity, judgement, values, nor experience we would hope for in candidates for President of the United States and leaders of the free world.

My theory as to why this is relates to the general very low regard that Republicans have for the concept government. This attitude began, in the modern era, as Ronald Reagan was advised by conservative "think tanks", to espouse "government is the problem, not the solution." As a result of this low regard for the public sector, the best and brightest of those with ideological views consistent with this attitude, modern day Republicans, want nothing to do with government. They do not believe in the power of government to help make people's lives better. They see government as an impediment. They generally do not believe in the concept of "community." Therefore, they remain out of government and in the private sector.

They generally believe that if Jim Bob, who has a machine shop around the corner, is just left alone by government, that the world will be just fine, regardless of who is occupying seats of power in Washington. They believe that the marketplace left alone, and a people free from the constraints of government (except for those programs dear to THEM), is all that matters.

Well, that is very far from reality. The next President of the United States, as with past Presidents, will determine the direction in which the world proceeds for years into the future. He will determine matters related to war and peace, to the position of America related to new, emerging economic powers, and he will represent America and her values on the world stage. He will set a vision and strategy regarding domestic issues such as health care reform, abortion, immigration policy, taxation, climate change, job creation, and more.

Republicans need to awaken to the fact the we live in an interdependent nation and world. They need to awaken to the fact that those who lead, who have vision and develop strategy, are very critical to our future and to our direction. They need to get serious about leadership. They need to develop a respect and a regard for the organizational structure of America, called government, which our founding father's established and which has resulted in the wealthiest nation, the most compassionate nation, and a nation with the highest standard of living, for the most people, in the history of the world.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Al Smith for President

The New York Yankees go to bat for Al Smith for President in 1928. Smith was Governor of New York state. Babe Ruth, second from front, and Lou Gehrig, third from the back, are most obvious. The bat boy, in front, looks less than happy with the activity.

FDR at Wigley Field - 1932

Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt attends game three of the World Series at Wrigley field , October 1, 1932, while campaigning for President in the Windy City. Cubs Manager Charlie Grimms and Yankee Manager Joe McCarthy pose with the Governor (wife Eleanor behind him) prior to the game. It was this game, won by the Yanks 7-5, that Babe Ruth was said to have "called his shot" before hitting at home run over the center field fence at Wrigley.

The Roosevelts - 1932

New York Governor and Presidential Candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt, at Hyde Park, NY, January 30, 1932, on the occasion of the governors 50th birthday. Flanking the governor are his mother, Sara, and wife, Eleanor. In the back row , from the left, Mr. and Mrs. Elliott Roosevelt, Mr. and Mrs. James Roosevelt, Anna Roosevelt Dell and her husband Curtis Dell.

Scopes "Monkey Trial" - 1925

Powerful image of opposing counsels Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan at the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in 1925. Even then, in this highly charged trial about the teaching of evolution, these fierce adversaries seem cordial and respectful of one another, a trait seldom seem today.

Picture of the Day

Army's 1968-69 team captain and point guard Mike Krzezewski and coach Bobby Knight. Coach and player are now #1 and #2 in total wins as college basketball coaches with over 1800 wins between them. Coach K recently passed his mentor with 903 wins.

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