Friday, May 26, 2017

The Greatest Commencement Speech Ever

...that our grandchildren never heard.


Neal Boortz web site ^ | 5/24/03 | Neal Boortz
Posted on ‎5‎/‎27‎/‎2003‎ ‎7‎:‎14‎:‎30‎ ‎AM by Elkiejg

I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It's about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you'll have enough smoke blown your way today. And you can bet your tassels I'm not here to impress the faculty and administration.

You may not like much of what I have to say, and that's fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.

This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You’ve heard the old saying that those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.

By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn’t mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot’s license many years ago, he said, 'Here, this is your ticket to learn.' The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.

Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all, you're a compassionate and caring person, aren't you now? Well, isn’t that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a Liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in. Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast .. including your own assessment of just how much you really know.

So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right you will hear "I think." From the Liberals you will hear references to groups --The Blacks, The Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and Libertarians think -- and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual.
Liberals feel that their favored groups, have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives (and Libertarians, myself among them I might add) think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.

In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now.

If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven’t developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.

Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You’re going to actually get a full time job! You’re also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn’t going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn’t want to share in your effort, you’re your earnings.

Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent. An agent representing a strange and diverse group of people. An agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child. An agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist ... but who just can’t manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.

Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills ... but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million-dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent's for their personal enrichment and benefit.

That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have. A power that no individual has, or will have. This agent has the legal power to use force – deadly force – to accomplish its goals.

You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.

Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I'm sorry, there just isn't any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can’t decrease it’s share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.

So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes … a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless … somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

Now – let’s address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.
First – that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia: Diversity!

You have been taught that the real value of any group of people - be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever - is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual's abilities or character, but on a person’s identity and status as a member of a group. Yes – it’s that liberal group identity thing again.

Within the great diversity movement group identification - be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status - means more than the individual's integrity, character or other qualifications.
Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. From this day on every single time you hear the word "diversity" you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.

We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.
You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer, for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.

Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to the results of your labor. I'll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.
You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn’t she? But you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof.

You may also think you have some "right" to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would scream if some urban outdoorsmen (that would be "homeless person" for those of you who don’t want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.

The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn’t cost anyone else either property or time. It's their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.

By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase "less fortunate" a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you'll understand why.

To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is "less fortunate" is to imply that a successful person - one with a job, a home and a future - is in that position because he or she was "fortunate." The dictionary says that fortunate means "having derived good from an unexpected place." There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street.

If the Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of "fortune" or "luck," then it is easy to promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening out the odds a little bit.
This "success equals luck" idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as "people who have won life's lottery." He wants you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky.

It's not luck, my friends. It's choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled "The Greatest Secret in the World." The lesson? Very simple: "Use wisely your power of choice."
That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He’s there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other - victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You S.O.B.! You did this to me!"

The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.
Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school. Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.

Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block - some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy,, the successful, the rich.

Quite a few people have made that mistake.
The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.

Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich.
Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: "The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it.'

The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more "fair."

You have heard, no doubt, that in America the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government's own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor … there’s an explanation -- a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.

Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor in America. So, you need to know that under our government's definition of "poor" you can have a $5 million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and $1 million in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as "living in poverty." Now there's something you haven't seen on the evening news.

How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is "living in poverty," the government measures one thing -- just one thing. Income. It doesn't matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas, or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are 'living in poverty."

This isn’t exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it?
Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government's own statistics show that people who are said to be "living in poverty" spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. just remember all this the next time Peter Jennings puffs up and tells you about some hideous new poverty statistics.

Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of "poor" is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.

I'm about to be stoned by the faculty here. They've already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That's OK, though. I still have my Ph.D. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training.

I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It's a trap. Think about it - the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you’ll be unable to deal with life, or the truth. So, get over it.

Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.

• You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again.

• When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there.

• Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the United States. If someone can’t deal honestly with you, send them packing.

• Don't bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it -- to take their money by force for your own needs -- then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.

• Don’t look in other people's pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What your earn is yours. Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the hell alone.

• Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers. Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don’t see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.

• Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.

• Finally (and aren’t you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,
1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.
2. Use wisely your power of choice.
3. Go the extra mile ... drive home in the dark.
Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can.

Now, if you have any idea at all what's good for you, you will get the hell out of here and never come back.
Class dismissed.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones but...

...words wlll never hurt me."

I'm not so sure of that.

There is at least one word that if I ever hear directed at me again will.......send me over the edge...kicking and screaming all he way o the looney bin.

I haven't heard it uttered since leaving school thank goodness, so I've been able to gain lawful employment and lead a normal, peaceful life.  It's a word that I'm sure is taught to the students on the first day of "teacher's school."  In truth, I believe that after they learn that word, they are 98 percent  ready to start teaching.

That one word contains all the elements of intimidation and fear that gets the attention of most students.

Actually, it's not the word itself that is so awful, but the words that almost always follow it which are
So unwelcome.

The best I can do to describe it is......"It's a threat!  Dressed up like Ronald McDonald."

The word was (I use the past tense WAS...because I hope to never hear it again.)



Friday, May 19, 2017

There Really is.....

a Hell!
It's in Michigan.

Image result for hell mich

Image result for hell michigan

Hell grew up around a sawmill, gristmill, distillery and tavern. All four were operated by George Reeves, who moved to the area in the 1830s/  Reeves was asked what he thought the town he helped settle should be called and replied, "I don't care, you can name it Hell for all I care." The name became official on October 13, 1841.[


Monday, May 15, 2017

Betty Rose's Husband Lou

Friends, as we used to say in TV....."Because of technical difficulties..."   we've been "Off the air" for a few days.  'm back, up and running a little "catch up" is in order:

Lou Palomba
INDIAN LAND, SC::::: Mr. Louis Anthony Palomba, Sr., age 84, died Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at his home, after living a very full and happy life with a loving family and many friends. He was born September 13, 1932 in New York, NY. 

Louis Anthony Palomba, Sr.
He will be deeply missed by his wife, Betty of 58 years; his two sons, Louis A. Palomba, Jr (Tony) and his wife, Melonie; and son, Chris Alexander Palomba; his five grandchildren, Jessica Siemer and her husband, Tim; Shawn Marie and her husband, Brandon; Shannon, Alex and Stephanie. He leaves behind two great grandchildren, Ian and Anastasia Siemer.

Instead of flowers, memorials may be made to the Memorial Endowment Trust Fund at The Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234 North Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte, NC 28211 or to the donor’s choice.

Ashes to be held back until his wife dies and then, both be placed separately in one urn. “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” Desiderata…. Max Ehrmann 1927 

Obituary written by Louis Anthony Palomba, Sr.

An online guest register is available on the obituaries page at
Burgess Funeral Home and Crematory of Lancaster is caring for the family of Mr. Palomba.

We have this contact information:

Betty Rose Palomba
13023 Augusta Ct.
Indian Land, SC  29707

"Are You Still Here?"

Ir's reported those were among the last words Frank Sinatra said to his wife, Barbara before he left his  home for the last time shortly before his death.        

Since this website has been rather "dormant" for awhile, perhaps there are those who are asking the same question of me.

Yes, I'm here. but I think my mind is on vacation.

That's the way it feels.

My old wood burning computer finally went to Heaven, and some very kind and generous old friends felt sorry for me and bought me a new one.

I'm overwhelmed with gratitude!

Now if I didn't know better, my evil twin brother might be able to convince me that it was all a sinister plot to finally push me over the edge and have the men in the white coats come and give me a free ride to the home.

Darn you Bill Gates Jr. or whoever is in charge now, why  in  the world did you think it was necessary to change everything.  You had a good thing going ten years ago when I started this website....which took every brain cell I had to learn how to navigate reasonably well, and now, for no good reason I can think of, you go and change everything!

Oh well, it is....what it is.  Or as Popeye says, "I yam what I yam!"

So bear with me fellow students while I "learn on the job."

And feel free to let me and all us old codgers know how you're spending...."these Golden years!"


Saturday, May 13, 2017



This "getting old" crap is a pain in the butt!

Like most of you, my memory has always been real good.  No problem, Write things down?  Don't make me laugh.  I'll remember everythihg.  Why bother?  What a waste.

Then, I woke up a few weeks ago and couldn't for the life of me remember what day it was.....and realized that I had missed a couple of appointments that I had previously scheduled.

Time to start writing things down.  Everything!

As a card carrying 80 year old,  I find that very helpful...Takes a big load off my mind.

I sure wish I had started doing this years ago........Now, there are passwords that go way back....when I wasn't writing things down.....that have completely escaped me.

One of them is the password for this website.  I believe that somewhere it IS written down.  I am currently searching for it....because as surely as God made little green apples, the website Gods are going to jump out when I'm least expecting it and ask....WHAT IS THE PASSWORD for this site?

And if I can't answer know.

When I was traveling a lot on airliners, there was this expression I heard a lot that went...."If someone tells you to "go to Hell"'ll have to stop in Atlanta first,."

Now, getting there is no problem.....but you have to have a password to get in.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Writing on the Screen

I believe that there are "clues" along the way in this earthly journey as to who, or what, the future may hold for us.

There is nothing original about that statement, but my lunch the other day with an old friend and colleague reminded me of that.

I knew his name long before I knew him because during the 1950s, my Sunday afternoons in the Fall were largely taken up by Washington Redskin football on TV.  And at the end of each game, there was a credit slide that read, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY JIM SILMAN.

I believe the word "Invented" or something like that should have been in there somewhere, because at that time there were no guidelines or standards regarding how football games should be "covered" on TV.  Silman was one of those TV Directors "creating the they did it."

Those Redskin's broadcasts were the first ever  professional football games broadcast on a regular basis. And, as often happens, the "pioneer's" efforts are often never surpassed.

Fast forward about 10 years to my home in Charlotte where I had just returned from a week's vacation from my job at WSOC-TV, much of which I had spent "auditioning" at a couple of  TV stations hoping for a career move to a larger market. The phone rang 
around 10 o'clock that beautiful morning in May....and it was long distance...from Washington

My life was about to change forever.

The voice at the other end explained that he was a Vice President of one of the stations for which I had just "auditioned,' Channel 9 (WTOP_TV) and  that he was offering me a full time announcer's job beginning as soon as I could move up to the Washington area.

I was in Heaven!  It had been my ambition to work at that specific station since my high school days!  The station I had visited while on tour of Washington in 1954 as a wide eyed senior at old CHS.

"And what is your name again?"

"Jim Silman," he replied.

That was the beginning of my 10 year career as an announcer/personality at the CBS outlet in Washington working closely with Jim.  Those years were the highlight of my broadcasting career.  Jim introduced me to his boss, who was a man named George Hartford who had a daughter who later became the love of my life, as my wife and Mother of our three children.

Silman and my careers at WTOP-TV ended about the same time 10 years later when the station completely changed management and its focus. and shortly thereafter, their Call Letters.  We both went in different directions, but to this day stay in touch and remain friends.

Good Friends.  the best kind...Old Ones.


Ilinda                                     Jim Silman.                                     Ed

Monday, April 24, 2017

UP Date from Ellouise

Displaying Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 8.24.47 AM.png
Ellouise and her 1929 Flag
 - - these days my head is in the days of World War One.  The story I am telling most is about World WarOne. I especially love the story of the John Hopkins nurses and its a good thing because others love it too and they are scheduling it. I have entered the Capital Fringe again this year -- with a few  surprises - 7 performances  - - -  in a nice theater at Gallaudet University which requires that all the performances have an ASL signer. The good thing is that the 7 are all scheduled while it is still light outside.

In November I will be telling the story of the Hopkins nurses in Anderson, SC.
One of the Hopkins nurses is from Anderson. Two years ago when I was telling at a festival there I went to her grave and was sad to see that there was nothing on her foot stone to identify her as a WWI Veteran ( they all are - because they were all Army nurses) - so when they asked me to come back I told the Library about this. They too felt something had to be done and they have added a ceremony involving the American Legion to place a marker at her grave. I am sure I will cry,

One bit of Charlotte WWI trivia - John Walter Cobb, Charlotte native and my grand-uncle - is buried in France. He died 6 days before the Armistice - Spanish Flu swept through - anyway - last week, my cousin sent me a terrific surprise. 
Displaying Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 8.25.33 AM.pngCleaning out old boxes of his mother's - he found a silk flag and a medal given to her grandmother (our great grandmother) when she went to France as a Gold Star Pilgrim in 1929 - to visit Walter's grave. In his note he said, "There must be a story in these."
There is. Inspired by my aunt Catherine 20 years ago, John Walter is the reason I began checking out WWI in the first place. Now I am back to him. I keep saying I am going to visit his grave - I hope I do.

Love to you all. 


Nukes, Mickey Mouse Condoms and Elvis!

By Obie Oakley

Recently I was invited to be the guest speaker at a Military Ball celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of my former Army unit, the 23rd Engineer Regiment. Held in Tacoma, WA with 475 current members and their spouses attending, this formal event capped off two days commemorating our heritage.
23d History 2017 Speaker Photo.jpg
Captain US ARMY Obie Oakley

One of my challenges was to deliver a speech holding the interest of an audience one-half my age. Here is some of my thinking.
I realize that this is hardly on a par with giving the commencement address at a major university, however, coupled with other events during the visit, I think it might be something of interest to the class.

What a pleasure it was to spend the day with our young warriors who, for my take, are better trained, smarter and more fit than my generation 58 years ago. Starting at 5:30 am I was on the ground watching their physical training competition finals in the ever-
present Northwest rain. After breakfast, including grits, they opened the motor pool and had crews on station to brief me on the capabilities of all the new equipment that was so strange to me. Where I could, I thanked each one of them for their service, most of them had at least one deployment.

As for my speech, as stated, one of my challenges was to bridge the span of time, pun intended after all it is an Engineer unit, and deliver a speech holding the attention of an audience at least forty years younger..
After the platitudes, I chose to give a brief 100-year history which I called, 101. It is our DNA, our heritage.

Following that, I related several training exercises which were significant. For example, there was my 2:00 am failed mission during an 8-day cold weather exercise and gave my “lessons learned”, including dealing with adversity. They were intrigued to learn of an accident involving an overcharged artillery round
that killed 17 soldiers, which still ranks as the worst in US military history.

Perhaps the most rewarding training we did each year was to bridge across the Main River in a single night and watch those 60 ton tanks come out of the mist and rumble across what we had constructed.
Without a doubt however, three personal experiences generated the most interest:

In 1960, the Soviets shot down one of our U-2 spy planes which resulted in worldwide tension. All our forces were on the highest level of alert. As the special weapons officer, I led a team that was dispatched to pick up a live nuclear device and proceed to the Fulda Tunnel and if necessary, destroy it. Our Infantry Company escort set up a perimeter and no one came or went for 3 days. It is my understanding that this was the only such deployment with a live device in the Army’s history.

The next occurred during a Saturday morning barracks inspection. As I looked into Pvt. Bannon’s locker, there on the shelf was something I could not identify. When I asked him about it, he cautioned, “Please don’t touch it Sir, that is my special condom with Mickey Mouse ears”! He needn’t worry, I wasn’t about to touch it. I think that was when this na├»ve 2nd Lt. lost some of his innocence.

The story that never seems to grow old is my encounter with Elvis Presley which occurred during a tank convoy movement up the Autobahn. There was a scout directing us into a refueling area and I mentioned to my driver, “I think that is Elvis”. He agreed. One
thing I noticed was that he was wearing a different cap than the one prescribed. Later as I was having dinner with his battalion commander, I mentioned my disappointment and commented that he must think he’s better than the rest of us. Lt. Col. Deams, assured me that Elvis was an excellent soldier, one of his best and the reason his hat was different was because the local girls followed him around and had stolen it. He made do the best he could.

All in all, it was an awesome experience and made me prouder than ever of those young men and women who defend our freedom.
In a follow-up note, the current commander said, “Thanks for coming. I think the Soldiers loved your remarks. Nukes, Mickey Mouse condoms and Elvis”! Hence the title.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The LIst

By Jerry Gaudet

At "LDL" today, we recognized classmates who have recently passed away.  This led to some conversation about others who have passed, totaling 112.  Here is the list:

FirstName MiddleName LastName Married Remarks
James Kenneth Allison
Judith Ann Anderson Fainberg Died 11/17/14, suffered Rheumatoid Arthritis, sister Jane Anderson,per Peggy Bedsol Gandy
Nancy Ann Aughtry Kinley Died 11/12/07 (cancer?)
John Earl Ballard John died 7/4/09, Melanoma
Bobby Wallace Benton Died 4/19/2014.
Charles Leroy Berry Died 2/26/04.
Paul Everette Biles died about 1998 of IUP (a lung disease) according to daughter, Tina Ayers, 
James Leroy Boone Murdered in a housebreaking robbery, per John Ballard.
Elizabeth Lee Bowers Shue Died 7/6/16 while in rehab following open heart surgery, 4 bipasses & valve
Mary Carolyn Brakefield Pinner Died 8/31/08 of pancreatic cancer. Peggy Phipps had contact.
Ben Joseph Broadway Died 2/17/09 of complications from COPD.
James Edward Brown Died 10/11/15, pneumonia in additional to other health matters
Mary Glenn Bunn James Died 4/24/1313.
Alma Leona Burton Stevenson Cancer
Frank Busby
Carolyn Webb Byrum Nisbet Died 2/16/08, from broad complications of diabetis.
William Lee Cahoon
Maxine Henriette Carpenter Morrow Died 1/7/99, according to Shirlene
William Ray Carriker Died 2/9/13
Dale Hilliard Cato Boschetti Died in summer of 1995, recurrance of breast cancer.  
Donald Bundy Cooke Carolyn Keziah Hudspeth thinks killed in auto accident in FL.
John Wayne Crockett
Joan Marlene Dalton Garrick Died 5/27/06.
Nancy Louise Davis Nixon Died in 1997 +-, per Anna Lynn Kearse.
Margaret Anne Disher Price
Gordon Luther Edwards
Thomas Lee Ferriot Died 11/10/96
Charles John Fodel
Millie Eloise Fogle Stanton Died 9/29/10, Periteneal cancer
Ronald Edward Foster Died 1/27/96.
Linda Gayle Garmon Huggins
Nancy Lee Gibson Tomlinson Died 4/2/10, cancer & COPD, Married Howard Tomlinson 2/26/05
Jack Nance Gillis
Dennis Leon Gregg Died July 6, 2012 after long decline from Alzheimer's
Robert Love Gregory Jim Cook understands he took his own life.
James Conrad Grimes
Glenna Jean Grogg Crawford Cancer
Charlotte Hardee Bethea Died 10/24/09, presumed cancer
Ralph Lee Harkey
Grady Mack Harmon
Donald Thomas Harris Died 2/7/08 of damaging effects of diabetes. 
Thelma Jacqueline Hart Lookabill Died 8/23/16 in an auto crash
Wayne Frances Hart Moore
Raymond Thomas Hasty Died 2/21/05.
Ann Ruth Henson Boyd
Norman Jay Hexamer Died in December, 1959.  (per Herb Mckinnell, Bob Dodge)
William Martin Hill Died 3/24/17, after long battle from a stroke
John Hondros Died 5/8/03, according to Mary Renfrow.
Frederick Earl Howard Died 11/21/89
William Marion Huntley Died 5/4/05, heart attack
Wade Hampton Ison
Frederick O'Neil Jones Died 6/4/16, pancreatic cancer, Mrs Holly Jones, 322 Westover Drive, Asheville, NC 28801
Harry Motte Joyner
Carolyn Cline Keziah Hudspeth Died 8/24/15, long illness of rare blood disease
Edwin Whitson King
Joel Lemuel Kirkley
Dorothy Anne Kirkpatrick Smarr Died 12/30/08.
Mary Lee Smith Kiser Ellen Abernethy Bates says she died sometime in the 1956-58 from lymphatic cancer.
Derek V. Knell Died 10/23/03, following heart attack.
Jerry Vincent Ledwell Died 7/12/03, heart attack.
Nellie Leventis Boudoucies Died 10/30/10.
Doy Kenneth Lim, aka Arthur Lin Died 7/2/16, think of cancer
Ronald Richard Little SSDI Index search suggests that he passed 7/22/1997
Ewell C. Madden Died 6/20/03.
Margaret Ellen Malone Broome Died 8/16/16, cancer
Charles Harry Mateer Shot down while flying a helicoptor mission in Laos on May 29, 1961
Benjamin Marvin Matthews Died 3/8/10.
Barbara Ann McCall McCall Bob Ellis thinks Barbara Ann McCall passed on 1-24-13
Winifred Churchwell McCall Died in 1984.
Shirley McClanahan Maynor Died 9/26/10, cancer spread to brain
Anna Shirlene McGill Yeargins Died 12/27/12, recurring cancer
Julia Margaret Miller Ellen Abernethy Bates says died from cerebral hemorage within a couple of years of our graduation.
Bradford Donald Mills Died 9/23/00, cancer
Carolyn Stieger Minogue Meacham Died 9/20/06
Sharlene Elizabeth Morris Lightfoot Died 9/30/05, suicide, according to Jane Hoke Bultman & Judy Anderson Fainberg.
Samuel Ernest Phipps Died on 1/15/04, following a massive stroke.
Frances Irene Plyler Best Died 10/11/10.
Ricky James Pope Died 2/29/08, brain cancer
Nancy Kathleen Poplin Died 4/25/16
Frances Eloise Pounds Brooks Ellen Abernethy Bates thinks she passed 9/23/86.
Charles Douglas Presson Died 1/1/08 of pancreatic cancer.
Larry Ray Price Died 10/17/06, Alzheimer's.
George Daniel Randle, III
Harold Foster Reames Died in explosion & fire in his paint store.
Sylvia Ann Reese Plyler Died 12/7/15
Calix Lee Reneau passed away peacefully at his home June 20, 2011
Daniel Snowhill Richards 7/29/06, Bonson & Ann think Dan passed about 10 years ago.
Joseph Edward Riggs
Grace Eugenie Robertson McLendon
Lewis Earl Robinson Willis Rimmer reported Lewis died 5/28+-.
Nancy Donave Ross Stegall Died 3/6/13, Heart valve, Pronounced "Donna-vie"
Larry Fred Russell Died 6/24/03, cancer
Annie Jean Saxon Saxon Died of cancer.
Nancy Sue Scott Wilson Daughter called 9/6/03, Nancy passed away in 2001.
Ernest Lee Shaver Died 4/12/13, See Hilda Beckham Shaver for contact information.
Bobby Russell Small Died 11/17/02, kidney failure following transplant.
Wilson Maurice Snell Died 11/18/15.  Suffered parkensins
Guy Vasser Soule Died 10/16/06, of congestive heart failure.
George W. Spittle
Richard Meredith Stowe Died 1/4/16, liver, heart diabetis problems, Janice McRorie 704/564-7417
Margaret Ellen Strawn Bryan Died in 1975.
John Orville Summey Died 12/28/13
Patsy Ann Sustar McSwain Died 3/29/17 after a very long illness
Susie Juanita Swindler
Carolyn Wayne Taylor Richards
John Anthony Thomas Died 4/20/2012 of multiple health issues
Charles Threatt Died 4/4/16.  Betty Shue informed me
Robert Lee Tribble III passed away 07 DEC 2007.  Frank Clontz informed us.
Wade Edward Turner apparently died 7/6/10
Jerry N. Walker Died 1/24/00.
Donna Lee Waltz Beard died 4/9/12.
Betty Lee Wells Poplin Died in 10/18/04. per her daughter Marsha Brackett, 704/545-5083, son Marshall Poplin, 704/545-8266.

Should any of you have additional information about any of these above, or any overlooked, please share with me.