Friday, December 28, 2012

Year-End 2012 Reflection

I occasionally find assessing my place in the world to be helpful, even inspiring.   As I reflect back on 2012, my clear conclusion is that I continue to be very blessed.  2012 was just a wonderful year.  I became a Grandfather.  How wonderful is that?  My health, and that of my immediate family, remains stable.  My little business continues to move along nicely and Bunny continues to enjoy her work. 

I literally loved following the 2012 Presidential election.  The outcome was very much to my liking and the road to November was so exciting and intriguing.  Barack Obama engenders hope, confidence, and excitement in me for America. I was lucky to get to Charlotte to the DNC for a day.  Also, a related political joy for me was my trip to the National 2012 APIC (American Political Item Collectors) meeting in Columbus, Ohio.  That is always fun and this show and meeting was no exception.

Bunny and I once again got to baseball Spring Training in March and it was a joy.  The weather around Tampa was perfect and the games, hotel, beach, food, entertainment, etc. was wonderful.  This is always a great way to spend a week in the Spring after a long Winter, and a great way to get away with Bunny.

We got to Chattanooga to visit with Elizabeth, Scarlett, and Brandon 3 times.  We love Chattanooga, the wonderful baby, and the great couple.  The trips make for relaxing vacations for us.

I got to Rob's in Columbia twice, once for the Presidential primary in February and another time for the PGA Championship on Kiawai in August (we were in the Governor's box on Sunday for the PGA).  Rob is always a hoot to be with.  I love Rob, Jamie, Columbia, and their work is so interesting and exciting to hear about and discuss.

Then there was my 45th HS Reunion, my Wyndam volunteering, my ACC Hall of Champions volunteering, my Elon University classes, my enjoyable time on Facebook and my blog, and our meaningful and important time at the wonderful First Baptist Church of Greensboro.  In addition, a trip to Virginia Beach with cousin Billy Berkelhammer to visit with brother Billy was wonderful.  Eddy came down from Maryland and we were able to visit with Jimbo and his children as well as with Eddy's children, Ashley and Joseph.  It was a wonderful road trip.  I would be remiss not to mention the great summer evenings Bunny and I spent at the beautiful downtown minor league baseball park. 

This has been a wonderful year in every way.  As I said, I continue to be so blessed.  We, of course, never know what the coming year will bring.  But I will pray for peace, prosperity, and contentment for my children and their families, and I pray they will be the people of service that God would have them be. 

In 2013, I have high hopes for my family, for America and her leadership in the world.  I am excited about every facet of what 2013 may have in store.  I will joyfully and gratefully take it one day at a time.  Yes, I realize there may be setbacks, but I will do my best to handle the challenges of each day, thankfully, with God's help and direction.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

William Mangum Art

"Early Winter" by William Mangum.  He is one of my favorite artist.  This reminds me of my father's old home place in the rolling hills of Piedmont North Carolina in early winter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Humor For the Day

The Appointment of Rep. Tim Scott to the U. S. Senate

The symbolism should not be lost on a Rep. Tim Scott, an African American from Charleston SC, being appointed today to the US Senate from South Carolina, the first black member of the Senate from the South since reconstruction, by an American Indian female South Carolina Governor, at a South Carolina State House where numerous Union cannon balls landed in 1865, on the grounds on which stand a confederate flag and statues of  "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman and Strom Thurmond.

My hope would be that Rep. Scott may change ideologically over time, and that he might bring along the less educated, rural, deep south citizenry with him, including their views and attitudes towards economic justice, health care, gay rights, gun control, immigration reform, strict separation of church and state, and climate change recognition.  What a profound way this would be for Rep. Scott to live out and honor the dream of previous African American leaders who paved the way for his opportunity.  Who knows?  Such moves toward moderation and progress, such transformation, has certainly taken place in the political arena in the past.

In any event, as a native southerner, sensitive to our history, I feel a sense of pride in his appointment.  My son Rob, a top aide to Governor Haley, is a close personal friend of Rep. Scott.  Rob was standing only feet away as the very historic appointment was announced by the governor in Columbia. 

Carl Cannon points out in an excellent piece that, "it was neither an accident nor happenstance that the Civil War broke out in South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union. Among the political class, including its congressional delegation, South Carolina was where racism burned brightest, where the skeletons of Jim Crow were buried the deepest, and where the ghosts of slavery have taken the longest to exorcise."

Believe it or not, Cannon further points out, "Tim Scott defeated Strom Thurmond’s son in a 2010 Republican congressional primary. It was a nice historical footnote, but its true significance may have been that Scott’s election wasn’t about race, but about fiscal probity within the GOP. This is a reminder that history doesn’t move in a straight line, but rather takes an uneven course. Sometimes it follows a bending arc, a rainbow that exists in many hues and which ultimately returns to earth."

It is my guess Rep. Scott will be a very long-term serving U. S. Senator from South Carolina.  May God be with him.  I will be watching attentively for signs of the future Senator Scott bending that moral arc of the universe, to which Dr. King often referred, towards justice and fairness, and to him bringing much of his southern citizenry with him.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tragic Day in America

Tragic day in America as 26 killed at an elementary school in Connecticut, mostly 6 and 7-year olds. God be with us.

Monday, December 3, 2012

"What We Used To Be"

Yes, without question.  The divisiveness needs to stop.  We must come together around the table of compromise and collaboration with the best interests of all Americans at heart.  No, all of the divisiveness doesn't come from the "right", but my observation is that it is heavily weighted to the right. We can do better. We must do better.  It needs to start with each of us.  I believe this President will lead us out of it.  If he can not do it, there may be little hope for it in the foreseeable future.

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