Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Life is so much about change and adaptation to changing circumstances and seasons of one's life.  Thanksgiving can tend to bring that to one's attention, and it certainly did for Bunny and I this year.

My parents are deceased, Bunny's mother died in 2013, her dad is age 92, and both of our kids live out of state.  For Thanksgiving 2013, we did what my guess is will become a tradition for us.  We are home from spending Thanksgiving Day at Potters House (the soup kitchen) at the Greensboro Urban Ministry.  We helped feed and host 500+ hungry, appreciative men, women, and children to a beautiful turkey dinner. Aching feet have never felt so good.  It was a beautiful, uplifting, peaceful, blessed day. 

It began with a beautiful blessing said by an old black lady who was there volunteering with her daughter and her granddaughter.........three generations of annual Thanksgiving volunteering at Potters House.  Her blessing and the example of her family was a sermon. 

There was wonderful gospel and Negro spiritual music being piped in through speakers.  There were a number of single mothers with 4 for more children to feed, a lot of 'street people', some middle class folks down on their luck, a room turning over with stories of need.  God made provision for them, today at least, and to just be present in that setting was a blessing. 

My guess is Bunny and I will continue to adapt to the changing seasons of our lives. We seem to get it 'more right' with each passing year.  Blessed Thanksgiving to all.  And a thank you to Pastor Alan, for continually reminding us to be the church in the community.  It's getting into our blood stream.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Racial Segregation - The Absurdity and The 'Wrongness'

Anacostia High students at Griffith Stadium praying that the school wouldn't be integrated, c. 1954 [Washington Star photo].

I never cease to be amazed at how wrong we were.  How could we have been so completely on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of that which was right? 

Progress has, of course, been made, but America has not gotten over race.  In so many areas and around so many issues, race continues to be the 'elephant in the room' in America.  The issue of civil rights in America is probably the most significant and engaging issue of the past century.

For me, it is amazing and beautiful that we have had a black President of the United States.  But the issue of ethnicity, race, and related issues such as immigration, will continue to confound us. 

Above, they pray for segregation.  I would pray for clarity, reconciliation, cooperation among all God's brothers and sisters.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Two Giants of the 20th Century

This is a favorite shot of mine.  This is a very human moment between two important world figures of the 20th century, Mikhail Gorbachev and George Herbert Walker Bush.  You can sense the warmth and respect. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Obama Legacy

Below is such a profound observation provided by a historian whose views I respect, as we were discussing the possible affect to the Obama legacy of the government shutdown / debt ceiling debacle. 

"Nothing will ever destroy the Obama legacy. Regardless of what his administration does or doesn't do, he is the first black president of a country built on the backs of slaves - and that's his legacy. Not to trivialize anything he's succeeded at or failed at; history just isn't going to remember it because being the first black president is so significant."

I agree.  Such an insightful observation.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dump the Name "Redskins"......Now

To the left is my friend Ken Rhyne.  We grew up playing baseball against one another and ended up on the same team in the Cape Cod League in the late '60s (he was a professional baseball player in his 20s).  He was always a wonderful guy.  Ken has been, for decades, a nationally renowned Native American activist, he is the most respected Native American interior design architect in America, and he is a world-class Blues harmonica recording artist, with his own Blues band, which has won numerous national music awards. (I recommend googling him).

I honor and respect Ken's opinions and views on Native American affairs.  The last time I saw him, he was on CNN's "Crossfire" passionately debating in favor of ending the use of Native American references in all sports team names.  I am certain he feels passionately about the current discussion  regarding the use of "Redskins" in the Washington NFL name.

This is one of those issues that, for me, so quickly and clearly crystallized.  It took very little thought on my part.  My response and thought was nearly "visceral" in nature when Native American concern surfaced.  My thought went straight to my friend Ken Rhyne, to the beautiful example of his life's work.  I feel clearly and strongly in favor of ending the use of the term.

I like what my DJ friend Brad Krantz said.  "Bob Costas, as usual, is making sense. Just as he did in nailing Jerry Sandusky. Just as he did in addressing the gun culture of the NFL. It is not enough to defend "Redskins," just because they've had the name since the 1930's. Their fight song used to have the line, "fight for old Dixie" in it. That was changed to "old DC." The rule should be: if it's a word you wouldn't use to the face of the person being described, it's a slur and cannot be justified as a team nickname. You can call an Indian an Indian, or a Seminole if they're a Seminole, or you can say someone is Brave. The only time "Redskin" is used is in a John Wayne movie or if you want to start a (possibly) drunken bar fight with an Indian".

Lester Holt ended 'Nightly News' Sunday evening with, "Sunday Night football coming up, Washington versus the Dallas Cowboys".  'Redskins' is no longer used by nearly any journalists. A change is only a matter of time. If the name is of concern to any Native Americans, a change is overdue in my view. 

There are those who point out polls showing low numbers of Native Americans being concerned.  Well, understand this, "The problem with individuals claiming to be Native American when they are not is well known in academic research, and is a particular problem when non-natives claim Indian identity to gain authority in the debate over sports mascots." Springwood, Charles (02/2004). "I’m Indian Too!": Claiming Native American Identity, Crafting Authority in Mascot Debates. Journal of Sports and Social Issues. p. 56".

Here is Costas' full comment.  In addition, I refer you to a letter from Robert Brave Heart, Executive Vice President at Red Cloud Indian School in South Dakota, which once benefited from a fund set-up by then Washington Redskins executive, later coach, George Allen. 

Opposing views are welcome.  I am sure there are many.  Again, for me, the issue, and the urgency of a name change, could not be more clear, compelling, and overdue.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cuban Embargo Delayed for JFK's Cigar Passion

I smoke a few cigars here and there, in spurts I would say. A friend told me this story and then I located this cool video. Seems President Kennedy delayed imposing the embargo on Cuba and directed Pierre Salinger to go to DC area cigar shops and get as many Cuban cigars as possible. Salinger did it and then the embargo was imposed.  Listen to Salinger's account.  Funny story.  There is another good JFK cigar story on the video as well.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

We're Not in a Good Place in America, And I'm Disgusted

I am disgusted today as a radical faction of the Republican Party shuts down the government.  They are attempting to turn back the Affordable Care Act which begins today providing health care to all Americans regardless of income or health condition.  That small faction of radicals in the House of Representatives disgusts me, and I am not easily disgusted.

A group World War II veterans today had to storm the gates of the World War II Memorial in Washington, to view THEIR memorial, due to it's closing as a result of the shutdown.  Can you imagine? 

You probably wonder about the photo above.  That is Billy Martin examining a home run ball  Mickey has just hit 536 ft. out of Griffith Stadium in Washington.  I read a great book recently,  "Mickey Mantle: The Last American Boy, The End of America's Childhood".  Related, a journalism professor friend of mine posted today that only a quarter of his news writing class knew what Mayberry and Sheriff Andy Taylor were. 

America is not in a good pace culturally or politically.  The state of institutional religion in America, which is important to me, is not much better off.  We have forgotten who we are and from where we came.  Yet, Ted Cruz rants on.

Our leaders won't even engage with one another today, as "The Gipper" and Tip O'Neill did, as LBJ and Everett Dirksen did, as even Clinton and Gingrich did.  We are uptight in America.  We are greedy in America.  We have little appreciation for life's simple pleasures and blessings in America.  Robinson Cano may ask for a $300. million contract.

Yes, the older generation didn't get everything right.  We were wrong on civil rights, wrong on the role of women in society.  But I am very concerned with, among many other things, young radical anarchists, who somehow were elected to the once esteemed body of Congress, shutting down the government, wanting to deny health care to Americans after the legislation was passed and upheld by the Supreme Court.  I wonder what Spiro Agnew would call them.  He called '60's radical anarchist bums and elitist snobs.  Where's that '60's political 'hit man' when we need him.

I am, likewise, concerned that the Millennial generation hasn't a clue of what Mayberry and Sheriff Andy Taylor are or represent.  And, oh yes, I am concerned that they haven't even a clue who the two American boys pictured above are, nor a clue of the fun and escape they represented for that World War Two generation, and those just after, who built this great nation.....a generation of men who couldn't even get into their memorial in Washington, DC today.

Rant on Ted Cruz.  You're a radical anarchist, an embarrassment to the once esteemed 'Club of 100'.  In my neighborhood, you would have been called a 'hustler' best.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Woodrow Wilson Collection

Very nice Wilson grouping.  (Belongs to political button collector friend).

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King at Howard University receiving honorary of Doctor of Law degrees. Robinson had just retired from professional baseball earlier in the year. Ca. 1957. 

This is quite a historic shot of, without question, the two most significant figures in the 20th century movement for racial civil rights in America.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cox-Roosevelt Piece - Campaign of 1920

Pictured above is one of the top posters in the hobby of political item collecting.  It is from the campaign of 1920. Pictured are Democratic candidates James Cox, a communications pioneer and giant from Ohio, and a young Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York State.  They would lose soundly to a GOP ticket of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge in November of 1920. 
This poster hangs in the corporate headquarters of Cox Communications in Atlanta, among a collection of the top James Cox campaign pieces in the nation.  The collection is available for view by the public.  It is an exceptional collection of American campaign history.   

Picture of the Day - Eleanor Roosevelt

Here is Eleanor Roosevelt appearing at the 1960 Democratic Convention.

Interestingly, Eleanor herself was born into the wealthy and well-connected New York family, the Roosevelt's.  Eleanor's father was Elliott Bullock Roosevelt.  She was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, Elliott's brother.  She married her father's 5th cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She was the nation's longest serving First lady, serving from 1933 to 1945. 

The Roosevelt's marriage was complicated from the beginning by Franklin's controlling mother, Sara, and after discovering Franklin's affair with Lucy Mercer in 1918, Eleanor resolved to seek fulfillment in a public life of her own.  She was a strong First Lady, very involved with, and very committed to, the affairs of the nation.

Mrs. Roosevelt died, two short years after the above photograph was taken, at age 78, in November of 1962.

Humor For the Day

NSA government surveillance scandal is a concern for many, especially for the little boy now.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Picture of the Day

Here is a nice shot of your 5 living Presidents, a gathering at the recent dedication of the new GW Bush Presidential Library.

On today, July 4th, I realize it is supposedly more appropriate to reflect on those who have served the nation in military uniform, but I choose to reflect on how unique it is that in America the military, and the nation, is lead by citizens out of uniform, by the people.  I salute the service of the 43 men, represented by these living 5, who have chosen to put themselves in this awesome position of world leadership.

Today, I wish a happy, and a grateful, American Independence Day 2013 to each of them and to you the people, who they have attempted to serve and lead for 237 years of our nation.

July 4th, 1939

A panoramic view of perhaps the most historic scene in baseball history. Few moments within the game actually transcend the sport - this is most certainly one of them.  Lou Gehrig, age 36, stricken with ALS, gives his farewell address to the world in which he assures the world that he is "the luckiest man on the face of the earth."  He would die two short years later.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Baseball......the "Ineffable"

Baseball can be fun for some, a nice recreational outlet from life's stresses and challenges.  For others of us, it can be much more.

As a young person, baseball for me built self-esteem, self-confidence, positive self-concept.  It provided social activity, socialization, recreation.  Baseball helped me in college selection and admission and helped with my college tuition.  Baseball resulted in travel opportunities as a young person I would not have otherwise experienced, exposure to the world, my first airplane flight, an unforgettable trip to Cooperstown with my son, Spring Training trips with my wife, and much, much more.

As was so beautifully expressed in a wonderful book I recently read, "Baseball as a Road to God" by John Sexton, baseball can provide very deep meaning for some of us.  For some, baseball can touch the spiritual dimension of life......the "ineffable", as Sexton explains, that which cannot be defined or captured with words.

Sexton reveals a surprising amount of common ground between the game and what we most recognize as religion: sacred places and times, faith and doubt, blessings and curses, hope, struggle, redemption, joy.  He talks of the heroic deeds of those such as the 'saintly' Christy Matheson, the 'sinful', deceptive antics of a Ty Cobb, the loving intimacy of a game of catch between a father and a son.

For some of us, baseball can be about what Sexton describes as "hierophany"....a touching of transcendent places....."when the sacred manifests itself in space, where the real unveils itself", as Elide wrote, "that sacred space, deep and personal to each individual, which may seem quite ordinary to others."  (For Sexton, those "spaces" being such places as by the radio as a child in 1955 on his knees praying for Dodger victory in Game 7 of the World Series. For others, at Forbes Field or in front of the television in 1960 as Bill Mazeroski hits his walk-off home run in Game 7 against the hated Yankees). 

Baseball can be meaningful or it can be mundane.  Either way, a part of Americana it has certainly remained, and for me, yes, "ineffable." 

For beautiful, descriptive, meaningful writing about baseball, I recommend the writing of Renaissance man, former Baseball Commissioner and Yale President, the late A. Bartlett Giamatti.  To read about what the game baseball has meant to my good childhood friend Miles Wolff, and he to it, click here.

(About the collage pictured above:  It contains many of my most meaningful baseball shots...Rob with Phil Rizzuto at Fenway Park, big league umpire friend Drew Coble and me at Elon alumni game, me at first base in Yankee Stadium, Jim Bouton, Johnny Smith and I together, a best friend Mike Carruthers (best hitter outside the big leagues I ever saw), me by my late-friend Thurman Munson's plaque in Yankee Stadium, Mickey Mantle, 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson, on and on.  A few are not baseball, only a few.  Below, hallowed ground).

Monday, July 1, 2013

"1940", by Susan Dunn

Although it is an intriguing part of the book, "1940" is about much more than the presidential election of that year.  It is about the buildup to the second world war and the great divisions in America in 1940.  With a backdrop of the tragic events occurring in Europe, it captures in descriptive detail the buildup to America's critical involvement in the second world war.

It is amazing and distressing to read about the misguided isolationist movement of the late 1930s in America.  One of Hitler's greatest aides and propagandists was Charles Lindbergh, American aviation hero.  A quite shameful picture is painted of Lindbergh as he embraces Hitler and the Nazi movement.  He is joined by a great many well-meaning, misguided Americans, who embrace an isolationist movement in America as Hitler now denominates all of Europe by mid-1940, with the exception of Great Britain.

Isolationists include many industrialists such as Henry Ford, many Midwestern Republicans including 1936 GOP presidential candidate Alf Landon and many Midwestern U. S. GOP Senators, many anti-Semites who could care less about what is happening to Jews worldwide, many anti-New Deal Republicans, and many other anti-FDR Americans.

Author / historian Susan Dunn captures the excitement at both major party conventions in 1940, as thankfully for America and for western civilization, moderate interventionist Wendell Willkie is triumphant at the GOP convention in Philadelphia, and Franklin Roosevelt is easily nominated for an unprecedented third term at the Democratic convention in Chicago.

With charismatic Charles Lindbergh, who shamefully called for surrender to Hitler's demands, a central character in the first third of the book, historian Susan Dunn brings to life the debates, the high-powered players, and the dawning awareness of the Nazi threat as the presidential election looms.  In strict contrast to present day hyper-partisan bickering and fighting across party lines, Willkie and FDR help bring America together as the German threat to Western Civilization worsens.  With December 7, 1941 just over the horizon, in spite of so many American isolationists so firmly on the wrong side of history, America begins to unite behind the stunning and brilliant leadership Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and with the patriotic aid of Wendell Willkie. 

Above is an assortment of campaign pins from the election of 1940 from my personal collection of political Americana.  "1940" helps bring alive pieces from the 1930s and 1940s from my collection, one of the 'golden ages' of political buttons.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Great 'Emo' Showfety

Well, Emo Showfety was a generation or two before my time, but I certainly recall his legend.  Here, he and I are pictured in 1986 at an Old Timers Game at wonderful War Memorial Stadium in Greensboro, NC.

Emo was a Greensboro native, part of a large Lebanese immigrant family consisting of (among others), the Koury's (Joe and Fred Koury), the Showfety's, and the Mack's (John Mack of Mooresville, a football star at Duke in the late '60s, is retired Chairman/CEO of Morgan Stanley). They were (are) an accomplished family.

Emo became one of the region’s greatest minor-league baseball stars. In 1941, Emo started out playing for Danville, followed by the Durham Bulls, Montreal Royals, Raleigh Capitals, Burlington Bees, before finishing up his career with the Greensboro Patriots from 1947-1949. Showfety was a Carolina League All-Star in 1947, 1948, and 1949, hitting 35 HRs and batting .347 for the Patriots in '49.  My older brother 'drug bats' (was 'batboy') during Emo's Greensboro playing days.

Emo is probably the most popular player in Greensboro’s long, storied baseball history.  Showfety, an Elon graduate, was inducted into the Elon Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 for football and baseball and is part of the inaugural class of the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame.

Got to love the old baseball memories and legends.  For those of us who revere the game, they are so much a part of who we are.  Emo left us for 'the big game in the sky', July 11, 2002, at age 82.  Rest In Peace, Great Emo.

Picture of the Day

Angel Oak Tree, Johns Island, SC

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ceremonial "First Pitch" - Opening Day 1962

This is a very cool photo combining two of my interests, politics and baseball.  The photo was taken at RFK Stadium in DC as the President was throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to kick off the 1962 baseball season.  I was age 14.

This is a great photo for identifying Washington power brokers of the day.  I can name 8. See if you know any more.

From left to right: In white raincoat and fedora, the President's very close friend and Navy pal, Paul Fey (he was Secretary of the Navy for a short time), Abe Ribicoff, U. S Senator from Connecticut, Larry O'Brien, JFK Chief of Staff and current, long-time NBA commissioner, Arthur Goldberg, U. S. UN Ambassador, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, House Speaker Hale Boggs, Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, and Treasury Secretary, Douglas Dillon (lower right corner).

It was quite an time in Washington, albeit short-lived, the era of "Camelot", it was said.

(Correction:  After seeing blog, friend Tom Huston, high-level aide in the Nixon White House, indicates that, actually, Arthur Goldberg was Secretary of Labor and subsequently an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court during JFK's administration. LBJ named him UN Ambassador in 1965, three years after this photograph of him in the President's entourage`, to get him off the court to make way for Abe Fortas).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thurman Munson

Great image of Thurman Munson.  Considered the "heart and soul" of the New York Yankees during an 11-year career, Munson became the first Yankee team captain since Lou Gehrig. He led the Yankees to three consecutive World Series, winning two of them.

Thurman Munson tragically died, at age 32, while practicing landing his Cessna in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.  He was a graduate of Kent State University.  While 'tough as nails', he was a prince of guy.  He and I played together for Chatham of the Cape Cod League in 1968, before he signed with the Yankees early in the season.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Chatham of the Cape Cod League - 1968

Well, I am archiving and saving this important picture to me (by way of my blog) of a Cape Cod League team on which I played 45 years ago.  Wow, 45 years ago.  Still today, The Cape Cod League, and Chatham in particular, is considered the top placement in America for summer collegiate baseball.

A few of the best players on the team are not pictured here (Thurman Munson, the first Yankee captain since Lou Gehrig, had signed; Steve Stone, American League Cy Young winner in 1980, had gone home with the mono).  This is a September, end of the season, picture.  A few good friends (roommate Bob Wolfe, pitcher from Princeton, and Ken Rhyne) had just gone home early. 

blog piece I did a few years ago encapsulates some reflections from this, my first of two summers on Cape Cod during college. I may have additional comments later.

(Incidentally, I am on second row from top, left end).  It was an interesting, fun group of guys from around the country, some very good players.  It was good team, but with the guys gone which I mention above, probably not as good a team as a 1967 North Carolina American Legion State Championship team on which I played (6 of 9 starting line-up signed professional contracts, all others went to college on bb scholarships, on that team).  Nice memories.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Friendship Renewed

Nick with Greg Nettles and legendary Whitey Ford during a Spring Training game in the '90s.
Manager Joe Torre with NBC's Gene Shallot, a regular at Yankee Spring Training and a good friend of Nick's.  
Nick with Davey Concepcion, shortstop for the 'Big Red Machine' of the 1970s.

I love these pictures of my friend Nick Eanes (the middle one he took).  Nick was freelance Spring Training photographer for the New York Yankees in the '90s. 

Nick and I finished high school together.  He was very successful in the cemetery / funeral home business before getting very involved with the New York Yankees.  He was especially close with "Catfish" Hunter before Catfish's death.  Nick orchestrated a "Catfish Hunter Day" in Hertford NC ("Catfish's" hometown) the week before "Catfish" died.  Baseball people came from around the world.  It must have been a time.

Nick turned over most of his pictures to me to help him organize, scan, and set-up digitally.  I look forward to that project.  Nick and I are going on a road trip to Atlanta to see the Braves play in July. 

Life has a way of coming full circle in so many ways.  It is a joy to once again renew my friendship with Nick, to be able reflect on our youth together, to share our challenges and our accomplishments from full and rich lives, while at the same time, having fun making new memories.   As they say, 'life is good'.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Thought For The Day

......and grateful and thankful....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 6...........On This Day In History

We are the beneficiaries of significant events and of the vision and courage of great Americans who have come before us.  Some days are particular reminders.  June 6 seems always to be for me.

Embarking on such a critical, historic World War II mission, allied troops stormed the shores of Normandy to begin, literally, saving Western Civilization, on this day, in 1944.  Again, we are indebted to the vision of great leaders, and to the courage of young Americans and allied troops.

In addition, on this day in 1968, an assassin took out a great American progressive and Presidential candidate, Robert Kennedy, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, only 3 short months after the murder of Martin Luther King, only 5 short years after the assassination of his brother. 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thought for the Day

Yep.  Which is why Leno and Letterman air at 11:30 p. m. :)

Political Collecting II

OK, this is the last political button frame I will "show off".  I must admit that part of the fun of collecting is displaying my collection for others to see.  This is an Alf Landon frame from the election of 1936.  Landon was from Kansas and most of his items were in the sunflower design.  His items "show" nicely.  Alf, a very moderate Republican and a good man, lost to Franklin Roosevelt 523 - 8 in the electoral college.  Word was if the campaign had gone another month, Roosevelt would have carried Canada.

Political Collecting

Political collecting is a joy of mine.  Here is my 1896 to 1927 frame.  All candidates for President during that period are represented, most multiple times.  This was a real 'golden age' of colorful, well-designed political items.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Picture of the Day

Very nice photo.  I know it is posed, likely a WWII USO setting during a movie scene, but it so nicely combines the themes of "innocence" and "very sexy".

Friday, May 31, 2013

Pictures of the Day

Stanislov Sidorov - Russian Genre painter, circa 1950

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Picture of the Day - Civil Rights History

Here, Jesse Jackson, President of the Student Body and quarterback on the football team at NC A&T State University in Greensboro, confronts Boyd Morris, a former mayor of Greensboro and owner / operator of the Mayfair Cafeteria in downtown Greensboro.

The image was taken in 1962.  The story is all too familiar from that era.  Jackson wanted service for his fellow students and for his race. As with so much of white America in 1962, Morris wanted the status quo. As we know, thankfully, Jesse prevailed.  It was quite a time.  Most of our issues and concerns today pale in the face of a struggle for civil and human rights.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Superb, Early 20th Century, Historical Photograph

As a lover of Presidential history and a collector of historical memorabilia, I am 'blown away' and 'taken' by this photograph. It was found by my friend Neal Robinson, a great displayer of historical photography.

It is a photograph of Former President and Chief Justice William Howard Taft, President Warren G. Harding, and Robert Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843 – July 26, 1926), son of Abraham Lincoln, during the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday, May 30, 1922, in Washington DC. 

Mr. Lincoln graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1860, then studied at Harvard University from 1861 to 1865 where he received a law degree.  On February 11, 1865 he was commissioned as an assistant adjutant general with the rank of captain and served in the last weeks of the American Civil War as part of General Ulysses S. Grant's immediate staff.

He was 35th United States Secretary of War and he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1889 to 1893. Lincoln made his last public appearance at the dedication ceremony pictured above in Washington, D.C. for his father's memorial on May 30, 1922.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Picture of the Day

1921. "Auto wreck." Vehicular mishap on a wintry day on the streets (and sidewalks) of Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Picture of the Day

What an imagine.  Feel it.

Picture of the Day - John Lennon

At around 10:50 pm on 8 December 1980, as Lennon and Ono returned to their New York apartment in The Dakota, Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times at the entrance to the building.  What a coward.  What a waste.  There was no funeral.  Ono scattered his ashes in New York's Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields memorial was later created.  Nice little place.  Lennon was a giant.  Chapman got 20 years to life, and remains in prison, hopefully until his death.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Great Fenway Park- A Special Place

Do you have places that are special to you?  We all do.  It's fun to think about what they are and why they are special.  I have special local places such as Greensboro War Memorial Stadium (I grew up a block from there), my church, where I am a 55-year continuous member, the place I went to school grades 1-9, the campus of Elon University, etc.

The great Fenway Park in Boston is also a very special place to me.  Fenway is a mecca for those who love baseball.  It was built in 1912 and appears today as it did 100 years ago.  I was there the first time with my first girlfriend who was from New England.  I was there as a young baseball player in the Cape Cod League.  I was there with my son a couple of times, once on a baseball tour and once during a great Boston / Cape Cod trip.  I was there many times with work associates when I was a John Hancock company employee.  All of those experiences elicit wonderful memories. 

Being around Fenway Park in the great American city of Boston, taking in the sights and sounds around the park, watching the vendors, visiting the souvenir shops, smelling the Italian sausages with peppers and onions, visiting The Boston Beer Works micro brew across from the front gate, watching the scalpers and hustlers work, seeing the old Irish guys who've been going to games for 60+ years (and talking with one if you're lucky), make it a just a wondrous, sensuous, magnificent baseball / Americana experience. Get there early, my friend, get there early.

I'll do it again soon, trust me.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lesson for the Day....Using One of My Favorites

If you don't ask, the answer is always going to be no.

"....That's Michael Pollock......Remember that name.......Nice going, Michael......Guy's got chops.....That's how you make.... You take a chance." ~ Billy Joel

Springtime in Norway

Narrow Fjord, Norway

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fine Art

'La hora del baƱo' - William Glackens (1910)
'Hard Times' - John William Gatenby

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Picture of the Day

Fall day on a lake in New Jersey.

Diamond Head

The Hawaiian Islands is one place that will exceed your highest expectations, without question.  Diamond Head on Oahu is a particularly stunning site.  Three times there for me, twice on company trips and once on our 25th wedding anniversary and my wife's 50th birthday, which coincided, makes for great memories.  Probably won't get there again.  Will need to enjoy photos such as this one.....and cool memories.   

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