Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No, it's...

Satellite Radio!

After all these years, I think Linda and I finally got a real good deal on a car.  It was "officially" a used car....however it had only been used by the dealer as a "loner."  Total mileage was 13,000 miles...which is considered "barely broken in."

Perhaps this is a gimmick that car dealers are using nowadays, I don't know, but we were very happy with the total price and the car itself.

One of its best features is Satellite Radio!  Now, I realise we have to pay to subscribe to that ourselves, when the dealer's contract with them runs out...but it hasn't run out yet, and we bought the car over a year ago!

But when it does, we'll gladly pay for it.  (I don't think it's very expensive for what we would want. I believe it's around $10 a month, but don't quote me on that.)

However if you had asked asked me before we bought the car if I wanted to have Satellite Radio installed...and pay for it. I would have said absolutely not!  We don't go on long trips anymore, and besides....etc,.etc,..etc...

You have a choice of, 100, 500...I don't know how many  channels....but the one we've chosen is the  SERIOUSLY SINATRA channel featuring the songs of Jerome KernIrving BerlinGeorge GershwinRichard RodgersHarold Arlen and other greats.

The Sinatra Channel, not only features Frank, but also most of the greatest singers of our time such as Ella, Mel Torme, Vic Damone, Nat Cole, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, fact, every first rate singer you ever heard of singing "Our Songs" ...the popular Classics!

Until now, we didn't realize how much we missed listening to good music!

So glad to have it back in our lives.

An added attraction is featured singers that most of us associated only with their commercial hit songs,

such as Rosemary Clooneys "Come ona my house..." or some such awful song. No, no, none of that;

only really fine songs like,, The Nearness of You, or a Nightingale 

Sang in Berkeley Square...(pronounced Barkley) What a talent she was!  And they might feature 

Willie Nelson.....singing Autumn Leaves...with a full string orchestra!

also they play a lot of Doris Day songs....not her commercial ones, but the classics. I never 

realised the full beauty of her voice until I heard her singing great songs on Satellite Radio!

In my opinion, her very successful movie career distracted the public from realising what a

 terrific pop singer she was!

Doris at her 90th Birthday Party

By the way, Doris emerged from her more or 

less "seclusion" last April to celebrate her 90th

 Birthday!  After all these years, I still have a place in my 

heart for Doris!  Even though, she went a bit nuts

over the animal thing. 

But, Nobody's perfect. 


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Memphis Belle

It was great hearing from Warren and Becky Sparrow. They continue to spend their Golden years visiting interesting places and seeing amazing sights.
They didn't have to go very far a couple of weeks ago to see one of the Greatest Generation's most historical symbols of American Heroism:  THE MEMPHIS BELLE.
Becky and Warren and the Memphis Belle at the Winston Salem Airshow

The MEMPHIS BELLE is the most famous of WW2's Flying Fortresses, the Boeing B-17 bombers, which dropped more bombs than any other aircraft in WW2; 1.5 metric tons.

The pilot was Robert K.Morgan from Ashville, NC. His plane was named after his sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. After completing 25 bombing missions, Morgan and his crew returned to the USA and flew the plane on recruting and war bond tours. Morgan wrote that during a flight over Ashville, he buzzed the town at a very low altitude and at one point, lowered his left wing in a 60 degree bank and flew between the City Hall and the Courthouse.

Capt. Robert K. Morgan
in later years. He died in 2004
One of the most amazing features of the B-17s was it's incredible ability to take an enormous amount
of damage...and still survive!

That old WW2 song, A WING AND A PRAYER immediately comes to mind.


PS...Thanks Warren and Becky for giving me an excuse to research
and write about one of my favorite subjects!  -Ed

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hurry Up and Stop

I remember a nationwide poll taken a number of years ago that asked the public to describe the "most dangerous driver" in America.

The winner was,

An Old Man Wearing a Hat!

Now I fit that description perfectly, but they weren't referring to me, or a particular person. They had the "generic" old man in mind.

That might have been true back in the 70's, but the correct answer for today is:

Just about EVERYBODY!

Look up the major causes of auto accidents  and you will see many of the obvious causes, speeding, drunk driving, distractions, etc.  But I did a quick search on the internet, and never once saw one of the major "culprits" mentioned:


Tailgating is the other word for it, and in my opinion it has become a veritable epidemic! So much so, that I'm almost convinced that it's being taught in driving schools.  Another ubiquitous technique that drives me nuts is the almost universal desire to speed up when approaching stopped traffic waiting at a red light.....then
slamming on the brakes. That doesn't make a bit of sense.  But look around, and notice how many people do it.

There will almost always be "distractions" and un-anticipated actions by other drivers whenever you venture out in your automobile. Anyone who doesn't plan on them is just asking for trouble. Give yourself time to react to them by maintaining a reasonable speed and keep plenty of room between you and the car in front to allow for you make the correction when necessary.

 The speed limit is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow. How foolish to speed around blind turns etc. assuming that no other driver is going to run a red light or stop sign or do anything stupid to cause you to be involved in an accident.

Why in the world would you assume all the other drivers are perfect and never make mistakes?

Finally, you and I aren't perfect either, so make sure you have at least $100,000 in liability coverage.

That may seem like "overkill" to us "depression kids"....but in today's environment, I'm assured by lawyers and friends who've been sued in minor fender benders by the the "other driver" who suddenly comes down with the "insuranceitis virus"   (a mysterious virus that attacks an iindividual who is involved in an auto collision that they didn't cause and isn't showing any signs of injury until the police and EMS arrive. Usually due to the fact that when these two organizations arrive, they begin to see dollar signs.)... 

$100,000 is pretty much the minimum. Check with your insurance agent about an "Umbrella" policy.

Unfortunately, it ain't the 1950s anymore. I speak from experience. A couple of years ago I was involved in the most minor of fender benders with a truck. Only damage was a slight dent in my car, not enough to get my insurance company involved. No damage to the truck.

Months later, I was slapped with a $100,000 lawsuit claiming the driver of the truck was injured (get ready for this) putting on his brakes.


And speaking of today's environment:

 Just in Case.....(from the internet)

Fraudulent injury claims are not uncommon in minor accidents where a seemingly harmless fender-bender turns into a drawn out battle between insurance companies and the parties involved. It is possible for the at-fault driver to contest a fraudulent injury claimand win. The driver, however, will have to be prepared to prove the case.

At the Scene

When a minor crash occurs, many drivers exchange information and go on their way with little or no thought about a problem arising down the road. The unfortunate truth is that injury claims can come in weeks or even months after a crash, causing problems for the at-fault driver. Motorists can protect themselves from accident fraud and fraudulent injury claims by:
  • Making sure the police are notified of a crash. Keep in mind that police often will not respond to minor fender benders. If this is the case, physically go to the station and file a report to make sure something is on the record.
  • Taking pictures of the damage that did – or did not occur – as a result of a collision. Make sure to take pictures of all vehicles involved. If there is no visible damage at all, record this, too. The lack of damage can speak volumes about fraudulent injury claims.
  • Making sure to get information, including names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance particulars from the other involved motorists. Also take down information from any witnesses on the scene of a crash.
  • Refusing to admit fault for the crash. When speaking with others at the scene, be very guarded about what is said and what isn’t said. Leave the investigating and assignment of blame to law enforcement.

What to Watch for

Even in very minor fender benders, motorists can sometimes notice behaviors that might be indicative of another driver’s willingness to make a false injury claim. Even if damage isn’t evident on the vehicles, pay attention for signs such as:
  • The motorist complaining of injuries or discomfort
  • The other motorist trying to assign blame even if he or she is clearly at fault
  • Insistence on the use of an ambulance even if physical damage is minimal or nonexistent

Why Disputing Claims Matters

While insurance will likely absorb the cost of a fraudulent injury claim if it is not disputed, the end result can prove costly to the driver blamed. Making sure to fight suspected cases of fraud can protect the driver from:
  • Inflated insurance charges
  • Cancellation of insurance coverage
  • Potential legal action to recover money above and beyond what insurance pays

Get a Lawyer

When a fraudulent injury claim is suspected, hiring a lawyer can be the defending party’s best course of action to take. A skilled automobile accident attorney can investigate a crash, request medical documentation and use collected evidence to successfully dispute claims of injury. Standing alone in this instance can prove costly for a motorist who believes injury reports are fabricated.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


The local stores around here are already jam packed with Halloween candy and stuff; I expect the Christmas merchandise to show up any moment now.

Ever since the early 70's whenever All Hallow's Eve approaches I think of my old friend and co worker at WMAL radio in Washington, John Alexander. John was a newscaster at the station and I was an announcer. It so happened that we worked the same early morning shift every weekend.  John had begun writing a book based on a Halloween show he had produced for WMAL and
John Alexander
asked if I wanted to help illustrate it for him by taking photographs of various "haunted places" in Washington.

He knew of my interest in photography and guessed that I would jump at the chance.  Which I did.

Neither one of us were ever sure the project would see the light of day, much less become the success that it did.  We just thought it was worth doing...and besides, would probably be a lot of fun; which it was.

John's book was published, and the US Park Service sold it in all their National Parks for years, they still might for all I know.

But fun, it was. I still remember fondly those Saturday afternoons clicking pictures of Washington landmarks, both famous and obscure, and visiting just about every old cemetery in D.C.

In those days, the city was not nearly as "up Tight" as it is today.  We couldn't have rummaged through the Washington landmarks today like we did in the early 70s.

It was a different era, although not that long ago.  We had complete and unfettered access to the Capitol where in a lower basement we discovered a bathtub and many forgotten long ago artifacts.

It was at a cemetery in Georgetown that I took the cover photo of the second printing of Johns' Ghost book.  The artwork makes the child's face look "spooky," but in reality the weather made tears simply make it appear very sad.

That photo haunts me to this day. I can think of nothing sadder than the death of a young child, which was oh, so common in the early history of this country.

The inscription on the tombstone is RANDALL.  I tried searching the Internet and discovered that his
Arlington House
father was a Civil War  reporter for a New York newspaper and the family lived in the "Arlington House"  I was unable to find out if  that was the once home of Robert E. Lee, which could have been turned into a hotel of sorts during the war....I have no idea.
Tad Lincoln's Tomb

The Lincoln Chair
Which disappeared shortly after I took
this picture.
As I recall that was the same cemetery that President Lincoln's son Tad, was entombed, and where Lincoln spent many nights sitting with the body, so he wouldn't be alone in that cold dark mausoleum which had been loaned to Lincoln until his son could be buried in Springfield.

The chair (R) inside the tomb where Lincoln spent many nights.

John moved to Charlotte in the 80s and started a video production  company, specialising in medical films. About 10 years ago he and his wife moved to Tennessee. I've lost contact with John, but hope he's doing well. He's a very talented ...and extremely nice ...guy!


Saturday, September 20, 2014


On the outside chance you've run out of things to worry about, here's a new one:


No, not the "Flying" kind. The "Floating" kind.

Unidentified Floating objects.

A whole bunch of them are winding up on the beaches of a Sydney Australia beach and baffled scientists don't know what they are, but for now calling them "green alien eggs.

Their best guess is they are thought to be a rare type of living algae, brought ashore by warmer weather and rough conditions.

Translation: "We have absolutely no idea what they are."


UFOs on Australian Beach

That will be $150

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

From the Internet

Color photography was very rare until the early 1970's so when we see early historical photos, they are all in Black and White. (So was the 1954 Snips and Cuts)

Modern technology now allows those black and white images to be colorized...adding a whole new dimension to those historical icons.

Take a look and enjoy!

Hellen Keller and Charlie Chaplin  1928

Albert Einstien

Lou Gerhig
Mark Twain

Country Store Gordenton, NC  1939

Monday, September 15, 2014

Japanese Secret to a Long Life


Now that's my kind of article. I couldn't wait to pass along the "secrets" to you:

Instead of red meat, eat a lot of fish, including raw fish. That's what the Japanese do.

Instead of sitting, stand. They do a lot of that in Japan primarily because the population is so dense
over there there's not room to sit.

Delicious Seaweed
Eat a lot of seaweed.

Wear masks when out in public.

Eat a lot of rice, soy, tofu and bean sprouts.

Go out drinking with friends. (I'm not making this up.)

Walk a lot and take the train a lot.

Don't drink milk.

The Japanese diet is not easy, but for a long's worth a try.

And what is the life expectancy in Japan?

79 years old.

Never mind.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Rambler

With apologies to our once great CHS newspaper and Warren Sparrow (who was the only student byline I ever remember seeing in that publication) I am stealing the name for this column, since it's such a perfect fit for this post.

Don Nance took a couple of snapshots of last week's LDL at Jimmies of Mint Hill.

And I was shocked to discover that only a bunch of old people showed up.


The attendees actually looked great. I've always felt that our class aged darned well. And it isn't attributable to diminished eyesight either, I really mean that!

I heard that Betsy Villas White got a very good medical report the other day.  It even brought happy tears to her doctor!

I love news like that.

That reminds me of when my Mom insisted that I take piano lesions like my sister. She had bought into the piano teacher's union propaganda that all kids should learn piano before they try to learn any other instrument. I was stubborn. I only wanted to play either the guitar or the violin.
But, for about a year, the piano teacher came to the house and gave my sister lesions, then it was my turn.

My sister was very sensitive and if she felt she hadn't done well and pleased the teacher, she would cry.

When it was my turn to show the teacher how well I had done, he would cry.


There were still occasional horse and buggies on Charlotte Streets in the 40's.  I remember an old black man named Tom used to travel up east 5th street on his way to town at least once a week.

I remember fondly the DDT trucks spraying the storm sewers.  Thank you Lord for DDT and our
leaders who were smart enough to use it.


My first bus ride cost 7 cents.

It cost 10 cents to go to the Kiddie Show at the Visualite on Saturday mornings.

A bottle of Pepsi was a nickle.

A BIG bottle of RC cola was a nickle.

Don't know when they started calling it a "Moon Pie" but the ones I ate were made by LANCE and
they were called "Big Towns."

I won't tell you who it was because you know him, so I'll call him Joe Jones. He signed his Mom's name to his report card. It would have been the perfect crime except the teacher announced to the class that he had made one little error; he had signed it "MISS JONES."

I'd love to hear from some of you.  Let me know what's happening in your exciting lives....or whatever....Me and that old Devil the SHINGLES are just sitting up here keeping on...keeping on...
I do think that SHINGLES is a sissy name for this disease, it should be called something like DEVIL FIRE FROM HELL.

If you haven't already, GET THE VACCINE.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Ultimate Snipe Hunt

Only it's not a prank.

It's real, and it's diabolical.

It might be the the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind, and it's getting very close to succeeding.

Posing for Al Gore.  Polar Bears can swim over 200 miles
It was originally called global warming, until people started noticing that the climate was getting cooler. In fact it's been getting cooler for the past 10 years or so.   

Instead of admitting they might have been wrong, they simply renamed what has become like a religion to them; climate change. I guess they will stick with that, since it covers just about everything.

Ian Plimer, Australia's most prestigious scientist and professor in the school of  Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide, in his book Heaven and Earth, points out that the "Dark Ages" (roughly from 535 - 900 AD) were not only years when almost no human progress was achieved, but were literally DARK.

"It was a terrible time to be alive. Sudden cooling took place.  It was cold; there were wars, famines,
changing empires and the stress humans succumbed to the plague. Around 540 trees almost stopped growing flooded bog oaks and timber from this time have very narrow growth rings.  It was a global event because it is also recorded in tree rings from Ireland, England, Siberia, North and South America. The weather of Constantinople was described by Copropius:

"the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon during the whole year and it seemed exceedingly like the Sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear, nor such as it is accustomed to shed"

A similar account was given by John of Ephesus:

"The sun became dark and the darkness lasted for 19 months. Each day it shone for about 4 hours and still this light was only a feeble shadow...the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes."

Ian Plimer (Hated by the Left)

Plimer says that , "The Dark Ages ended as quickly as they began as the world became warm again. The  Medieval Warming  from 900 to 1280 was followed by two decades of very changeable weather as the Medieval Warming changed to the ensuing Little Ice Age. The Medieval Warming was not all beer and skittles, because there was a cold period from 1040 to 1080 AD when the sun was very inactive. "

 The Medieval Warming is just one of the many warm periods that Earth has enjoyed without any help from humans and and their automobiles and Big Oil and the Koch Brothers.

Nature sure is something!

I can't keep up with what the disciples of the Church of Global Warming believe, because it keeps changing. But I think they were originally saying something like the "Planet has never experienced something as potentially devastating as the possibility that the man is causing the temperature to rise maybe as much as 2 degrees in the next 100 years. The planet will die!  Oh, the humanity!

Al Gore
So far their "computer models and predictions have all been proven wrong (Five years ago, Al Gore
predicted that the Polar Ice Caps would have melted by now; in reality they have increased 50% since 2012.)

Instead of admitting they were wrong about just everything, they now say that they have always claimed that it was unpredictable, and that's why they were right all along.

(If you can explain that logic, then surely I can teach my cat to learn algebra.)

Most of the "Scientists" who are going along with this "man made Climate Change Hoax" are being paid by the Federal government which has spent millions of dollars on Grants that only go to those who support the Hoax.  No money goes to the skeptics, or Deniers who many believers think should be jailed.

Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk
Hence, the government has purchased its own cheer leading squad that is in charge of advising Congress.
Andrew Mountford of the Daily Mail writes that,
"Climatologists base their doom-laden predictions of the Earth’s climate on computer simulations.
But these have long been the subject of ridicule because of their stunning failure to predict the pause in warming – nearly 18 years long on some measures – since the turn of the last century
Global Warmists "prove" Arctic Ice has melted.

In recent days a new scandal over the integrity of temperature data has emerged, this time in America, where it has been revealed as much as 40 per cent of temperature data there are not real thermometer readings.
Many temperature stations have closed, but rather than stop recording data from these posts, the authorities have taken the remarkable step of ‘estimating’ temperatures based on the records of surrounding stations. 
So vast swathes of the data are actually from ‘zombie’ stations that have long since disappeared. This is bad enough, but it has also been discovered that the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is using estimates even when perfectly good raw data is available to it – and that it has adjusted historical records.
Why should it do this? Many have noted that the effect of all these changes is to produce a warmer present and a colder past, with the net result being the impression of much faster warming."

I think that the majority of Americans no longer believe man made global warming.  However, it is continuing to be pushed by the "progressives" and others whose goal in life it to control others. Unfortunately, our President and many of our "leaders" are continuing to push for it.
I don't think they even believe it anymore, but they zealously campaign for it because it will reward them and their followers with what they desire most in life:  More Power and Control.

All we will get is the loss of our freedom and confiscatory taxes.

Speaking of the Dark Ages, can you say, breathing tax?


My thanks to my old Piedmont friend Richard Ratcliffe who introduced me to Ian Plimer's Heaven and Earth book. Richard was one of those who went to Tech but re-connected with me via the Internet. He and Bob Ellis have been friends since grammar school.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Flashes From the Past no particular order.

Those great peanuts in a small wax paper bag served free with every glass of fruit punch from Tanners on Tryon Street with the black lady slicing oranges in the window.  As I recall, the punch was a combination of Orange, Grape and Pineapple juice. The peanuts were the best I ever tasted and were unlike any I have ever seen since.  Someone, somewhere must know what kind they were, but I have searched high and low never even come close to finding out anything about them.

The first, and best ham salad sandwich I ever had was from the drug store counter in the Johnson

I've never been able to learn the name of the long pole that our grammar school teachers used to open the classroom windows. It surely must have a name.

I don't recall any of my Elizabeth School teachers having husbands.  Perhaps because of the war?

The first male teacher I ever had was Irv Edelman, who was my 9th grade homeroom teacher at
Piedmont. World famous author Jan Karon (Janice Wilson at Piedmont) was in that class.

Most of the boys at Elizabeth School wore knickers (made of corduroy which made  noise when you walked....which was almost as "cool" as wearing metal taps on our shoes that made sparks when walking on cement.  That was about as cool as we could get ...until pegged pants came along.

You are encouraged to add to this list......

email me at

Have a good Monday....and don't forget tomorrow's LDL!


Wednesday, September 03, 2014

60 Years Ago

The Excitement of Young Scholars Returning after Summer Vacation

Young scholars eagerly returning to CHS September 1953

Scholars my ......Foot!
Here's why they were eager to return:

And This was just the tip of the iceberg! We are expecting a roomful of our many CHS 54  beauties to be at Jimmies on Tuesday. If that doesn't inspire you men to join us ...then you're older than you think!

This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) to be held on
Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.

Whooping it up at Jimmies a couple of years ago

This is your invitation to join us. Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, bring someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!

-Jerry and -Ed