Thursday, November 26, 2009


With a turkey and all the trimmings on the table this day of Thanksgiving I had to pause and think just what in the heck am I really thankful for. After eight plus years this country is still fighting wars in foreign lands, the rich are getting richer, the poor getting poorer, jobs have disappeared, rents are too high, banks are closing, crime is rising, yet there must be something to be thankful for!
After filling my belly from a bountiful feast that I will surely hate myself at next months bill paying time for. I looked back into my memory bank and realized how truly blessed I am and gave thanks to the lord above and asked for forgiveness for being so negative. Lets see now, I am thankful for surviving a near death event, for my three wonderful daughters, a loving wife, a roof over my head (as long as I can pay rent) most of all for all the love I receive from my family and friends.
While traveling down my memory lane I recall that Thanksgiving seldom meant a Turkey on the table for my family, we were lucky to get a Chicken. My most memorable Thanksgiving was in the 1950's when a family friend who owned a mom and pop store in Pagosa Springs , invited me to go with him on a hunt for a Turkey. This was not a hunt in the super market but an actual hunt in the woods. After hours of trying to quietly stalk though the leaves on the ground without making a sound my teeth were chattering from the cold, I was hoping to just go home and settle for a chicken. Mr. Whitefield began blowing into some sort of gadget that sounded like a turkey gobbling and soon we heard a real turkey answer back. Well, we got our turkey and that was the first Thanksgiving I remember eating turkey on this wonderful holiday.

Friday, November 6, 2009

God Bless Our Vets

Each year at this time when Veterans day rolls around it brings memories of the days I served. I was lucky never to have seen combat but like to think I was well trained and prepared if the time came when I would be called to lay down my life. The photo here is the wooden hull minesweeper that I called home for four years. Although my time aboard the "Reaper" was during the cold war, there were times when we had our nerves rattled a little. Once while patrolling the waters near Korea we were able to blow up a mine left from the Korean conflict and one time while practicing maneuvers with the Chinese, their air force mistook our mine sweeping gear as targets and began firing at us. There was always the issue of weather and rough seas like typhoon Emma that almost destroyed our sister ship in Japan and as we rode out the storm we lost our mast and fuel stored in barrels on the fan tail.
Now the sea legs have become land grabbers and shades of Grey have crept up on the top, my chest has fallen into my drawers but my pride has only grown deeper for those young men and women who are giving it all for our freedom. Its not only those youngsters who as so dedicated but the older vets of the American Legion and VFW who give there time and talents to aid their fellow man. One of those dedicated souls is my brother who, although he had to end his Naval career with the loss of a leg still devotes most his time to helping veterans and his local American Legion.