Friday, December 30, 2011

You Saw it Here First

This has the old news expression goes. So it will be appearing on your TV and radio soon, but you read it first HERE.
Frankly, it made my day!!  Our nanny government has done its best to drive my blood pressure off the roof for the past several years....and the ban on Edison's light bulbs just about did me in!
Finally, an article today in the AMERICAN THINKER washed over me like a warm southern breeze!  -Ed

December 30, 2011

Upset about Big Brother's Ban on Incandescent Bulbs? Buy a Heatball!

By Selwyn Duke
This is just too good.

Many of you know that in a few days the federal ban on conventional incandescent light bulbs will go into effect. And while House Republicans included a provision in a recent spending bill that will block funding for the ban's enforcement, it's said that it will have little effect; manufacturers have prepared for the new standards and will no doubt abide by the law. So does this mean we'll be forced to buy more expensive LED (light emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs, the latter being those squiggly things said to be loaded with mercury? Not if we follow the lead of German businessman Siegfried Rotthaeuser.

After the European Union banned conventional incandescent bulbs, Rotthaeuser's entrepreneurial spirit was sparked. He started selling another product: heatballs.

What's a heatball? According to this Teutonic Knight of Freedom and Light, it is a "small heating device" that compensates for the loss of heat a home experiences when conventional light bulbs are swapped for more energy efficient ones.

At his English-version website, Rotthaeuser points out the convenience of his invention, writing, "A HEATBALL® is not a light bulb, but fits into the same socket!"

He then touts the new product as "The most original invention since the electric light bulb!" and explains, "Although a heatball is technically very similar to a light bulb, it is a heater rather than a source of light." Elaborating, he also states, "By using heatballs, the heating effort of a normal house is effectively assisted. A heatball is a source of heat. Or do you use your toaster as a desk lamp?"

A businessman with a conscience, however, Rotthaeuser also believes in truth in advertising. He thus is forthcoming about a certain unintended byproduct of his heating element, writing, "During its use as a heater, HEATBALLS have an unavoidable emission of light in the visible spectrum." Pity that. But if heatballs are anything at all like incandescent light bulbs, they should be very efficient little space heaters, indeed.

So maybe you believe that the ban on conventional incandescent bulbs is far afield from the government's rightful scope; perhaps you fret about how such a regulation is blatantly unconstitutional when instituted by the feds. If so, I can't help you. But if you have a tropical plant or pet hamster that needs a space heater - or if you simply want to save on oil or gas used for heating during the winter - buy some HEATBALLS®.

And, hey, something just occurred to me. With heatballs' unintended byproduct of light, you just might be able to forego buying those LED and CFL bulbs.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Golden Party!

Photo by Warren Sparrow
If there had been many more guests at Warren and Becky Sparrow's Golden Anniversary party at North Topsail Beach, NC, the beautiful barrier island might have tilted dangerously at one end.

Party headquarters for the week long celebration was a beautiful ocean-front mansion which was "home" for the 15 special Sparrow guests, who, local residents say, never seemed to rest.

Warren reports that:

"Our daughter Cathy and her husband Alex came from Kansas. Their three daughters were there. Lydia, her oldest, is in the Teach for America program in Washington, DC. Her "boyfriend" Kyle (a Kansas guy) was with us. Melanie, Lydia's younger sister, came from Kansas with her "boyfriend" whose name is also Kyle.

The baby sister of the Kansas gang, Charlotte, came, too. She is a freshman at Kansas State, following her sisters who graduated from K-State. Charlotte is a member of the Classy Cats, one of the 24-member dance team that leads the band onto the field.

We are excited for Charlotte. K-State can be seen on January 6 at the Cotton Bowl in the new Cowboy Stadium. They have sold 100,000 tickets for the K-State v. Arkansas game. Our hope is that the TV folks will show the K-State band at some time during the game."

 Long time residents of the island, most famous for it's turtle habitats, all came out to witness Warren and Becky do their polar bear imitations by taking a dip in the December North Carolina ocean....

....Which was quickly followed by a warm belly flop dive into the Mansion's hot tub. (Parental guidance is not needed for this picture, since Warren is still modestly attired in his bathing suit, in spite of the fact that it has a hole in the knee.)

" Finally, I wish you a Happy New Year. Life is quite good for us. May it be the same for you and all our classmates.  -Warren"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Anchors Aweigh


Our own Warren and Becky Sparrow were married!

I searched the archives to learn what other events took place that day, and discovered that other than the Sparrow wedding, December 16th 1961 was arguably the slowest news day in history:
"Dummy Hoy"  the most accomplished deaf player in major league history, and who is credited  with causing the establishment of signals for safe and out calls had died the night before, but other than that, Warren and Becky's marriage was the only "headline news" of the day that the participants and all their friends will remember about that day.

Warren Sparrow reports:

    "This picture was taken in Manchester, New Hampshire, on the 16th of December 1961. At the time Becky was an RN at Boston Floating Hospital, living on Beacon Hill near Ted Kennedy. I was the Photo Officer on the USS Wasp. I called the ship the "Mighty Wasp" because of her World War II record. We fought no wars during my 36 months aboard her. I tell my friends, "We kept the peace," adding, "everyone was afraid of us."

    On the 16th of December 1961 in Manchester it was quite cold, about 7 degrees. There was snow on the ground. Many of my shipmates were there. Some were decorated World War II vets. A good time was had by all. We expect more good times at our 50th anniversary celebration even though it will not begin until the 17th.

     The lady to the left of Becky is Bridey Maye, Becky's maid of honor. She, too, worked at Boston Floating. A few months after our wedding Bridey married Bill Maye who made the highest score on the Massachusetts CPA exam the year he took the test. We have remained close friends, visiting them at their home in North Andover, MA.

    My best man, Pete Travers, is on the far left. I have not seen him since I left the Wasp in June 1962.


    PS..... Becky and I will celebrate our 50th anniversary on 16 December 2011.  We are going to spend a week at North Topsail Beach, NC, with our four children and six grandchildren, beginning 17 December and continuing until the 24th. -WS

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Best Christmas Lights Display

    ....that's what YouTube calls it.
    This is supposedly on a house near Cincinnati where it's causing huge traffic jams.

    Whether that's true or not.....
     (and I suspect a bit of sleight of hand) it's worth watching. 



    'Twas the night before......

     By Jerry Gaudet

    ..whoa, whoa, here. We’re getting ahead of ourselves.

     It was the “LDL” before Christmas and all thru “Jimmies” the Central High School Class of 1954 was filled with Christmas cheer…

     Mary Sue (Banks) Burnett had prepared a welcoming arrival for us with help from her three wise men, Husband Clyde and their two grandsons, Anthony and Christopher

    We came prepared to share our good fortune with those less fortunate…

    This outpouring of Christmas gifts was for the residents of Avanté at Charlotte, the skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center that cared for our Shirley Maynor until her death, and food and monetary donations for Loaves and Fishes.

    First time participants included Becky Beckham and Sue Patton. It was a delight for all of us to meet them…

    A good time was had by all as we shared in the joys of this Christmas season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!


    Thursday, December 08, 2011

    Christmas Lunch TODAY!

    By Jerry Gaudet

    See you there!
    This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on
    Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 11:30 AM
    at "Jimmies" in Mint Hill.

    We have two Special Projects for December... Mary Sue has again arranged an opportunity for us to honor the memory of Shirley Maynor. Please bring simple Christmas gifts that we can share with residents of Avanté at Charlotte, the skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center that cared for Shirley until her death.

    Following is a list of possible items that we can bring. Other items can always be added. The gifts should NOT be wrapped except for maybe a bow or ribbon (the Avante staff would have to unwrap any gifts to know who should receive each gift). We hope everyone will want to participate as a way to honor our friend, Shirley, and to bring a little Christmas cheer to some nursing home residents. As Mary Sue expressed, “at Christmas we always think about children, but we tend to forget about those who are older, ill and alone”.

    Here’s are some suggestions:
    Candy such as jelly beans, gum drops, mints, chocolates
    Christmas decorations for the bedside tables or room bulletin boards
    Cookies and other snacks
    Crossword puzzle books
    Hand lotion
    Hats, baseball caps
    Pens, pencils, paper
    Small games
    Stuffed animals
    Throws or small blankets

    Or, instead of, or in addition to, we would like to give support to Loaves and Fishes of Charlotte by bring non-perishable foods (or money donations with which Loaves and Fishes can purchase food more economically than we). Checks can be made to "Loaves and fishes". Or, you can make a donation online at .

    In the meantime, Merry Christmas everyone!

    We'd like to share this opportunity with YOU!
    Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, bring someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!

    This link may help you find your way:

    For answers to any conceivable lunch questions, please contact Mary Sue Banks Burnett, , or phone.

    Plan to join us...there's plenty of room.'ll be glad you did!


    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Nature's Canvas

    This is a nature story that has nothing to do with bears in the woods.

    It happened to our own barrister extraordinaire, Warren Sparrow, one morning last week. He went outside, got in his car and guess what he saw splattered on his windshield?


    It was, what could best be described as nothing less than a “work of art!” drawn by mother nature herself!

    Now those less sensitive souls, not properly schooled in art appreciation would probably just think it was nothing  more than leaves that had fallen overnight on Warren's car.  Balderdash!

    Warren and the rest of us might have thought the same thing once upon a time when we were young and hungry and climbing ladders.

    But as age begins to slow us down, I believe it brings with it an enhanced appreciation of the incredible beauty that has surrounded us all our lives.

    Either that, or Warren was hungry that morning.

     From:  Scientific American Magazine
    Brain areas such as the anterior insula and orbitofrontal cortex that are activated by pleasant smells or tastes are also the parts of the brain that are active when we are awed by Renaissance paintings or Baroque concertos. There is virtually no evidence that artworks activate emotion areas distinct from those involved in appraising everyday objects important for survival. Hence, the most reasonable evolutionary hypothesis is that the aesthetic system of the brain evolved first for the appraisal of objects of biological importance, including food sources and suitable mates, and was later co-opted for artworks such as paintings and music. As much as philosophers like to believe that our brains contain a specialized system for the appreciation of artworks, research suggests that our brain’s responses to a piece of cake and a piece of music are in fact quite similar.

    Nevertheless, Warren, I still like it!
    It sure beats what Mother Nature's little feathered painters leave on my windshield every morning!

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Veterans Day 11/11/11

    Veterans Day in Charlotte was a special day, particularly for a group of men and women from the NC National Guard who left for a tour in Afghanistan.

    Our own Obie Oakley can always be counted on to help honor fellow veterans. And this special occasion was no exception. This video is an excellent documentary of what the ceremony was like. Some of the footage was shot at Charlotte's Vietnam Memorial, which was a project that Obie played one of the major roles in building on the old Thompson Orphanage site.

    Our classmate, Charles Mateer, the first American soldier killed in Laos, has a special mention on the memorial.

    Watching this video reminds us of how much our veterans sacrifice for the rest of us.

    They're a special breed!!

    A look at Veterans Day 2011 in Charlotte, NC through the eyes of three generations of Veterans: Two men who served their country and another who is still serving, recently back from Afghanistan. These men share what this day means to them, while on that very morning, more men and women left from the NC Air National Guard to serve in the War in Afghanistan.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    What if...?

    He was an Irish farmer's son with only a 10th grade education, who immigrated to America in 1929 and worked as a chauffeur and later joined the US Navy during World War Two. In 1945 he applied for a job with the government and wound up driving for this country's Presidents beginning with Harry Truman, and ending that day in Dallas in 1963.

    I met William Robert Greer in 1964, when, as I understand it, I was the only reporter he had allowed to interview him since that awful day the year before.

    Total BS
    I could certainly sympathize with Greer's reluctance to talk to the press, which even then was not above twisting stories to fit their own agenda. The latest totally insane conspiracy going around the Internet today is that Greer shot Kennedy.


    I was hoping to do a soft news feature for CBS radio's “Weekend Dimension.”...which broadcast five minute audio vignettes on the half hour throughout the weekend.

    Imagine my surprise when Greer agreed to my request. (He told me later that it was his wife, who watched me regularly on local TV, who convinced him to invite me over.)

    Norelco cassette recorder 1964
    I arrived at his home in nearby suburban Maryland carrying one of the latest (at the time) technological wonders in modern recording devices called a “cassette recorder.”  My particular machine was made by Norelco, which allowed radio reporters to record good quality “on the scene” reports without the aid of a engineer and cumbersome recording equipment. This was a major breakthrough.

    William Greer
    Rare photo of JFK wearing hat
    William Greer was very gracious and invited me into his home in suburban Maryland where we talked for about an hour....with my amazing small recorder doing its thing. He seemed to light up when talking about the happy times he spent driving Kennedy from place to place. He was especially pleased on several occasions when the President unexpectedly had him stop in front of a church and ask to borrow his hat before going inside.

    Greer was technically a Secret Service Agent. But, realistically, he was what he'd always been; a chauffeur. He was not trained as a “protector” of the President, he was simply a driver. The Secret Service procedures in place at the time did not allow Greer to take action without orders from a senior agent.
    Roy Kellerman, was the senior agent who sat to Greer's right that fateful day.

    Kenneth O'Donnell (special assistant to Kennedy) who was riding in the motorcade, later wrote: "If the Secret Service men in the front had reacted quicker to the first two shots at the President's car, if the driver had stepped on the gas before instead of after the fatal third shot was fired, would President Kennedy be alive today?"

    He also stated that after the death of the president  "Greer had been remorseful all day, feeling that he could have saved President Kennedy's life by swerving the car or speeding suddenly after the first shots."

    Author William Manchester reported in Death of a President, that at Parkland Hospital, 

    “Those who had been in the motorcade were racking their brains with... if only this, if only that. One of them, Bill Greer, came to her [Jackie Kennedy] his face streaked with tears, took her head between his hands and squeezed until she thought he was going to squeeze her skull flat. He cried, ‘Oh, Mrs. Kennedy, oh my God, oh my God. I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t hear, I should have swerved the car, I couldn’t help it. Oh, Mrs. Kennedy, as soon as I saw it I swerved. If only I’d seen in time! Oh!’ Then he released her head and put his arms around her and wept on her shoulder.” [Death of a President, p.290]

    It was reported that Mrs. Kennedy felt so sorry for Greer that she requested that he drive the naval ambulance containing the casket to the naval hospital.

    I believe that Greer admired the young President as much as most Americans did. Perhaps more so.

    CBS Radio aired my story, but if my interview were to be graded by any modern journalism professor, it would receive a big fat F.  I didn't ask any of the questions that a reporter these days is taught to ask, such as “how did you feel?”  “What was it like....., describe the scene.." etc.

    But, for what it's worth, I'll tell you how I felt:

    To me, William Greer was like the typical kindly uncle; humble, thoughtful, and  honest. I could still detect a hint of an Irish accent in his voice. His home was modest and warm, but just below the surface, there was a sadness that was almost palpable. He retired on disability from the Secret Service in 1966 because of a stomach ulcer that rapidly grew worse following the Kennedy Assassination. He died in 1985.

    I like to believe that I was able to offer him a few short moments of relief by getting him talking about some of the good times in his American Dream....that so suddenly had turned into a nightmare.   -Ed

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    It's Better in the ...........

    By Don Nance
    (via email)

    Carnival Cruise Line

    As you may remember Letty and I were married on June 24,1961. To celebrate our 50th anniversary we took our 
    children, their spouses, and three of our grandchildren
    on a Carnival Cruise Line to the Bahamas.

    The picture below is the family on the ship. Start at the top:

    Donnie and Ronda, Tommy and Stefanie, Charlotte and Roth is with the children, Patrick and Kim, Letty and Donald, and the three grandsons: Sam, Gabe, and Jackson.

    It was wonderful have the family together. Nathan our oldest grandson was working, and Asher our two years old was to young to take on the cruise with us.
    Talk with you later,

    Monday, November 07, 2011

    Back to Kansas

    By Warren Sparrow
     Becky and I flew to Kansas City from Raleigh on Friday, 28 October 2011.  On Saturday morning we set out from Olathe, KS, the home of our daughter Cathy, for Manhattan, KS, the Little Apple.  Manhattan is the home of Kansas State University.  Two of our grandchildren graduated from Kansas State.  The third one is a freshman there, a member of the KSU Classy Cats  who lead the band onto the field.

    Charlotte Peele
    Believe it or not, her name is Charlotte. And KSU is the Wildcats!  What a hoot, Central fans.  We got to the game two hours before kickoff.  The lots adjacent to the stadium were full.  So we parked in a nearby neighbor's yard for fifteen dollars and walked a few blocks to the stadium parking lot.

     Once there we rendezvoused with K-State fans who were friends of our granddaughter.  A good time was had by all until the game was half over.  Oklahoma blitzed KSU in the second half, winning 58-17 and spoiling KSU's undefeated season.

    But, we had a wonderful time.  Attached are some photos from our trip.

    This is one of the KSU band coming onto the field before the Oklahoma game.  Charlotte and her 23 pals are in front.

    This one (from left to right) shows Melaine Peele, Charlottes' older sister who is a KSU grad, then Charlotte, then me, then Charlotte's mom, Cathy, and then grandmother Becky in the stadium parking lot after the game.

    This  is a Decemebr 2009 picture made when Granddaughter Lydia Peele graduated from Kansas State. She lives in Arlington, VA, and teaches in DC as part of the Teach for America program.

    And this is the K-State football stadium on Graduation Day.          Global warming, anyone?

                        And this one... well, I am not sure what to make of it.  Decide for yourself.  -WS

     (Warren, I recognized it immediately.  It's the plane you flew out of Raliegh on.  I once flew on it myself.  The stewardesses got prettier and prettier....the higher.....uh..... it went.  -Ed)

    Monday Report

    Frank Clontz's (CHS class of 55) wife Shirley writes that

    "... Frank was released from the hospital (I am sure the nursing staff worked overtime to make him well as he is not the most complacent patient), but he is still very weak. It will just take time to rebuild his stamina. He is hoping to feel well enough to attend his class luncheon on the 15th. He was a very sick fellow, but is on the road to recovery.
    Again, thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.


    Mr.Gil Ballance's excellent book, Leah's Journey Home, got a big boost from one of North Carolina's most celebrated academics. The endorsement reads as follows:

    "When young, unwed mother-to-be Leah embarks on a May-December arranged marriage with a Civil War veteran thirty years her senior, moving to his circa-1900 farm hard by the Great Dismal Swamp, she does so with the determined soul of a schoolteacher and suffragette.

    Gil Ballance's social drama, modeled in part on his own family's history, his precise, good-hearted and uplifting novel is a welcome addition to the literature of Eastern North Carolina."

    -Bland Simpson, Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing Co-Director of the Thomas Wolfe Scholarship, UNC Chapel Hill

    Our 92 year old English teacher and founder of one of the first Radio Production Departments in the North Carolina public school system has begun his new career as an author with a "bang!"

    Sunday, November 06, 2011


    Mark it down on your dance card.....for THIS TUESDAY!

    Go here for DETAILS

    My Visit to an Art Show

    I'll bet you can't wait for this one.

    I wasn't expecting much either, but stick with me.

    Around 1986 or 87 a friend of mine dragged me to an event at the Virginia Bader Fine Arts Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia for a showing of a new series of Aviation Art.

    This particular show was highlighting the airplanes of World War Two.

    "Hurricane Scramble" by Robert Taylor

    But, I soon realized that the paintings were just part of the show. when I heard the gentleman standing next to a large painting labeled Hurricane Scramble say that he was very familiar with that plane because during the summer and autumn of 1940. he would sometimes spend 4 or 5 hours a day in “one of those.

    He introduced himself to me as Peter Brothers, and he said his only form of relaxation during what came to be called "the Battle of Britain," was on returning from combat when he would open the cockpit canopy and light up a cigarette.
    Brothers personally shot down a number of German bombers and fighter planes.

    Peter Townsend and Virginia Bader

    He introduced me to the man standing nearby as a man who "also spent many hours in Hawker Hurricanes..." .and in fact was the pilot who shot the first German plane out of the ski over Britain in 1940. Peter Townsend was his name. (Like most Americans, I  remembered his name more for his romantic association with Princess Margaret rather than his daring WW2 heroics.)

    It soon became apparent that the many British accented conversations going on around me belonged to some of the best Royal Air Force pilots of World War Two. Men who Winston Churchill called “The FEW.”

    (After visiting an RAF Operations Room during a day of watching one of the battles Churchill told Major Major General Hastings Ismay Don’t speak to me, I have never been so moved’. After several minutes of silence he said ‘Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.’  He would later use almost those exact words in one of his most famous speeches to parliament.)

    It was truly an evening to tell my grandchildren about.

    It wasn't until later that I learned how such an historic gathering of heroes could possibly have been organized for an “art show.”

    Virginia Bader (the owner of the gallery) was a cousin of Sir Douglas Bader, the most famous fighter pilot Britain has ever known.

    Douglas Bader
    “Bader joined the RAF in 1928, and was commissioned in 1930. In December 1931, while attempting some aerobatics, he crashed and lost both his legs. After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, however, Bader returned to the RAF and was accepted as a pilot.
    On September 7 1940 Bader and the pilots of three RAF squadrons engaged the Luftwaffe in battle over London. Twenty German planes were destroyed, 10 by Bader’s squadron.
    However in August 1941 his combat days came to an end when he was forced to bail out over northern France and was captured. -Wikipedia”

    The fact that Bader had lost his legs in that accident years before actually saved his life, because one of his prosthetic legs had become trapped in his aircraft.....and had been pulled off when his parachute opened...thereby separating Bader from his falling plane.

    German forces treated their famous prisoner with great respect. He and General Adolph Galland, Germany's most famous fighter pilot, became friends.
    Galland arranged safe passage for the British to air drop a new prosthetic leg for Bader.
    He might not have been so gracious had he known that after "Operation Leg Drop," the British plane would continue on to bomb other German installations.

    While captive, Bader was a thorn in the side of the Germans. He was a master of what the RAF personnel called "goon-baiting"... considering it his duty to cause as much trouble to the enemy as possible.
    He attempted to escape so often that the Germans threatened to take away his artificial legs. Finally, they just sent him to the “escape-proof” Colditz Castle....where he remained until the war's end.
    Bader's reputation as the “leader of the few” was enhanced by the 1954 best selling book and film, Reach for the Sky.

    After Bader's death in 1982 his family and friends, many of whom had flown with him during the war formed THE DOUGLAS BADER FOUNDATION a charity honoring his contribution and work on behalf of the disabled. The Foundation's motto is, "A person who fights back is not disabled, but inspired."

    General Adolph Galland

    Surviving airmen from both the British and the German sides are strong supporters of the Bader Foundation. Bader's old friend, General Adolph Galland was in attendance and spoke that evening. He told of the time he had invited Bader to speak at a reunion of his fellow Luftwaffe pilots. He said that Bader looked around the rather crowded room and remarked,

    "My God, I didn't realize that we had left so many of you bastards alive."


    My autographed program from that magic night. -Ed

    Thursday, November 03, 2011

    You Mean It's That Time Again Already?


    Jerry Gaudet, our official notifier, reminds us that you should make plans now to attend!

    CHS'54, "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on
    Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 11:30 AM

    at "Jimmies Restaurant"
    off Hwy. 51 (in Mint Hill)
    7024 Brighton Park Dr.
    Mint Hill, NC


    Please share this word with others! Invite other classmates to come!
    Even better, bring someone with you!

    "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
    -Albert Schweitzer

    Wednesday, November 02, 2011

    Class of 55 News

    (News from the Class of '55 Website)

    By Joan King Hargett

    OCTOBER 28. 2011





    (Frank has also been a good friend of this website, offering news tips and encouragement to this CHS54 site!
     Get well soon, Frank!!  -Ed)

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    It Was Only a Game

    McLean halfback gains two yards
    But I was expecting much more.

    As we approached the ticket window, I could hear the band warming up, and the cheerleaders rehearsing a couple of “YEA HIGHLANDERS!” shouts. I plunked down the money for tickets for my son and his wife their two young sons and Linda and me.

    The kid selling the tickets returned my money for two of them saying that “you and Grandma get in free.”

    Never the one to miss an opportunity for a smart-alec remark, I commented that the reason for that is because “I'm so good looking, right?”

    “No,” he said, “it's because you're so old.”

    I went in anyway.

    Frankly, I was all prepared to do more than just watch our local high school play football.

    I was all primed to strap this old body into the magic time machine in my mind for a sweet journey.... back to some autumn Friday evening in.... 1953.

    McLean High received the opening kickoff....and the game was underway. I was expecting to begin my personal blast off any moment. But, before I knew it, the first quarter had ended, and the cheerleaders outfits were still red and white.

    I thought they should be Blue and White by now. Besides the team was already down by two touchdowns. It was obvious that Carson, Alton or Jack weren't in the lineup. But, just wait, I said to myself...until they finally shore up that line with Don and Max and give the ball to Johnny or Bobby!

    The cheerleaders were OK, but.....well, let's just say they weren't up to the Jackie, Sarah Lynn, Maxine, or Judy standard. And the guys couldn't match the enthusiasm of Linsy, Dickie, Derek or Ernest!
    Looking around the stands I failed to spot any regulars like Shirlene, Sylvia, Ann, Mitzi, Ellouise, Jerry, Obie, Wilson, Pat......or Peggy, Betsy, Barbara, Linda, Mary Sue, Maxcyne.......hey, where is everybody?

    Darn!  I was still in Virginia. I looked at my watch and saw that it was still 2011!

    And that was as far as I went that night. My time machine's fuel tank was empty.

    Football Field circa 1953
    The machine operates on several different types of rocket fuel and for this particular trip the engine required a fill up of HIGH OCTANE BLUE.....which used to be found at every stadium in the country, but is now almost non-existent. That once ubiquitous blue mist-like haze can now be seen only in old sports photographs.

    As you probably know, the sense of smell is the brain's instant re-play button. And without the aid of a good whiff of early 1950 Stadium BLUE my rocket ship to the past just sputtered and died on the launch pad.

    Mclean also lost the game, but any night out with a couple of our grand kids is a good night!

    Evening in Paris
    Besides I'm already planning another trip. This time I'm bringing my own fuel. I discovered a company that re-manufactures products of the past which are not made or sold any more. The company is the Vermont Country Store and my bottle of Evening In Paris rocket fuel should arrive sometime next week.  -Ed

    Actual X Ray Photograph of Ed's Brain

    A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people's moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the "emotional brain," smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously.
    The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning. Despite the tight wiring, however, smells would not trigger memories if it weren't for conditioned responses.  -Wikipedia

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    We Aren't in Kansas Anymore, Toto

    JFK Bust at Kennedy Center

    I'm so grateful that my childhood dreams of becoming famous someday and having my statue in the town square or maybe even the nation's capitol didn't come true.

    It would have been just my luck to wind up looking like poor old JFK for the tourists of the future to gaze upon. Every time I pass by that eight foot tall monstrosity that resides in the huge entertainment center that bears his name, I say a little prayer thanking the Lord for leading me on the path to Mr. Averagedom.

    Albert Einstein on the Mall
    Just look at what the bureaucracy did to Einstein!

    and this jolly old fellow..on the right...

    This is how Charlotte, NC honors the Queen the city was named after. She looks like she was hit in the stomach with a cannonball!

    "Jackalope?" on the Mall

    This lovely....whatever it is...on the proudly displayed on Washington's Mall.

    Statue at Arlington Cemetery

    This whatever adorns Arlington Cemetery.

    Horses used to have names like, "Old Paint."  I guess this one is called "Old Quilt." (R)

    This lovely thing  on the left  hasn't sunk in quite far enough.

    Are there any efforts being made to rid our cities and once beautiful Capitol of some of these monstrosities?


    The only “clean up” effort I know of is the one that the state of Maryland has made to defile (paint over) one of the cleverest bit of “people's art” I've ever seen. To them, it's  “graffitti.”


    Here's the story:  Anyone traveling the Washington Beltway...Interstate 495 going west from say College Park, Md past Silver Spring toward Virginia will round a curve and suddenly be confronted with a spectacular view of the brightly lit Mormon Temple...built there in 1974. It's breath taking!

    The truckers call it Disneyland. But, whatever it's called, you can't miss it.

    Overpass just prior to the Temple exit

    Now as far as the “people's art” that the humorless Maryland Department of Highways keeps trying to hide is the message that someone, no one knows who, keeps writing on the railroad overpass that appears just before the exit to the temple that has brought smiles to untold numbers of travelers.


    I saw it once when it read, TURN BACK DOROTHY.

    Nevertheless, as I understand it, the Mormons haven't complained. The only objections  were from Maryland State Officials who seem determined to rid the state of anything that reeks of humor and replace it with "art" that average citizens laugh at.