Monday, August 28, 2017

Don't Mean to Brag...

...but I will anyway.

This is my report on "What's it's like to have brunch with a world - wide celebrity!"

Bottom Line:

"Just like 'breaking bread" with a memorable old friend you once knew in Junior High School

...on Steroids.

That is, if her name is Jan Karon! of the best selling "Mitford" series.

I sat next to her in Coach Edelmans' history class, I believe it was,  and once, during  a "pop quiz" I glanced over (shame on me) to see what she had written.....and....lo and behold....she was drawing pictures!

Being just an "average, run of the mill, kid..."  I tried like "follow the program," and impress the Coach.....but NO.....the best I could do was a "C."

I don't know what Jan's grade was like in that class, but the Coach treated her like she was the smartest student he had ever had, and undoubtedly  she  was.

(Her   drawiings were very good,  by the way.)

The coach was a very smart man...and he knew the difference between a "dumb" kid...and one exceptionally bright....who was bored by it all!

That was Jan.

My last communications with the Coach were about my visit to Jan's mansion outside of Charlottesville...and we fantasized about his flying up from Florida for a visit with us both.

I knew he was in no shape for that to ever happen, but I believe it made him happy to ....think about it.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Idle Hands

My friend Leo once said, "What this country a good war!"

I don't believe he really meant an actual "WAR"....with all the accompanying death and destruction.  I'm sure he was talking about some kind of peaceful event that would capture the imagination of the American public WW2 did.  But without the violence.

I agree, but neither Leo nor I have any idea what that event might be.

Maybe, for us mere Earthlings,  it doesn't exist.

Image result for silent sam unc
Silent Sam

By the time this "posting" appears, the little snowflake fascists will probably have taken down my favorite statue....Silent Sam.....the monument honoring a confederate soldier that stands proudly on the UNC campus lawn just off main Street in Chapel Hill.

What makes Sam so unique is the fact that he's a "working statue."

That's right.  He has a job!

As any boy who's ever spent time there knows....Sam's duty is to fire off his rifle....whenever a virgin walks by.

As I understand it, so far, no Carolina Co-ed has ever been so honored by Sam.

However, they say that one time Sam did fire off his rifle.... when one of the professors walked by.

Unfortunately, the "Monkey See...Monkey Do"  nattering Nabobs (thank you Spiro Agnew) are going to continue to "tear down" statues and do as much damage to our history.....until enough of the rational and productive American adults take time out from their busy lives.....and demand that they stop it.....and send them back to their parents basements!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Eclipse

By Obie Oakley
st on cue, 30 minutes before the eclipse was to start, the

cloudsPicture of an eclipse started moving in and for the next two hours it was pretty much overcast.  However, and this is a BIG however, there were occasional breaks that allowed us to witness this amazing event.  We were teased with glimpses of the moon's progress until at the moment of totality when it cleared enough for us to witness the sun completely darkened and the corona was in a complete circle around it.

    Lee Bowman was with us and we found ourselves almost hysterical in amazement.  Then, it got very very dark.  The crickets did indeed start chirping and "stillness lay across the face earth".
    All I can say that it was a spiritual moment, one which I shall always remember.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Generations

I copied this off the internet.......Seems to me it's pretty accurate!


  • Born 1927- 1945.
  • Went through their formative years during an era of suffocating conformity, but also during the postwar happiness: Peace! Jobs! Suburbs! Television! Rock ‘n Roll! Cars! Playboy Magazine!
  • Korean and Vietnam War generation.
  • The First Hopeful Drumbeats of Civil Rights!
  • Pre-feminism women; women stayed home generally to raise children, if they worked it was only certain jobs like teacher, nurse or secretary.
  • Men pledged loyalty to the corporation, once you got a job, you generally kept it for life.
  • The richest, most free-spending retirees in history.
  • Marriage is for life, divorce and having children out of wedlock were not accepted.
  • In grade school, the gravest teacher complaints were about passing notes and chewing gum in class.
  • They are avid readers, especially newspapers.
  • “Retirement” means to sit in a rocking chair and live your final days in peace.
  • The Big-Band/Swing music generation.
  • Strong sense of trans-generational common values and near-absolute truths.
  • Disciplined, self-sacrificing, & cautious.
Baby Boomer

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers are the demographic of people who were born just after the Second World War; this would give the baby boomer generation an approximate date of between 1946 and 1964 .  World war two ended in a 1945, and as a rule of thumb baby boomers are the children who are born as the war ended, as families settled down again. More >>
  • Born between 1946 and 1964. Two sub-sets:
  • 1. the save-the-world revolutionaries of the ’60s and ’70s;
  • and 2. the party-hardy career climbers (Yuppies) of the ’70s/’80s.
  • The “me” generation.
  • “Rock and roll” music generation.
  • Ushered in the free love and societal “non-violent” protests which triggered violence.
  • Self righteous & self-centered.
  • Buy it now and use credit.
  • Too busy for much neighborly involvement yet strong desires to reset or change the common values for the good of all.
  • Even though their mothers were generally housewives, responsible for all child rearing, women of this generation began working outside the home in record numbers, thereby changing the entire nation as this was the first generation to have their own children raised in a two-income household where mom was not omnipresent.
  • The first TV generation.
  • The first divorce generation, where divorce was beginning to be accepted as a tolerable reality.
  • Began accepting homosexuals.
  • Optimistic, driven, team-oriented.
  • Envision technology and innovation as requiring a learning process.
  • Tend to be more positive about authority, hierarchal structure and tradition.
  • One of the largest generations in history with 77 million people.
  • Their aging will change America almost incomprehensibly; they are the first generation to use the word “retirement” to mean being able to enjoy life after the children have left home. Instead of sitting in a rocking chair, they go skydiving, exercise and take up hobbies, which increases their longevity.
  • The American Youth Culture that began with them is now ending with them and their activism is beginning to re-emerge.
Generation X

Generation X.

  • Born between 1965 and 1980*
  • The “latch-key kids” grew up street-smart but isolated, often with divorced or career-driven parents. Latch-Key came from the house key kids wore around their neck, because they would go home from school to an empty house.
  • Entrepreneurial.
  • Very individualistic.
  • Government and big business mean little to them.
  • Want to save the neighborhood, not the world
  • Feel misunderstood by other generations
  • Cynical of many major institutions, which failed their parents, or them, during their formative years and are therefore eager to make marriage work and “be there” for their children
  • Don’t “feel” like a generation, but they are
  • Raised in the transition phase of written based knowledge to digital knowledge archives; most remember being in school without computers and then after the introduction of computers in middle school or high school
  • Desire a chance to learn, explore and make a contribution
  • Tend to commit to self rather than an organization or specific career. This generation averages 7 career changes in their lifetime, it was not normal to work for a company for life, unlike previous generations.
  • Society and thus individuals are envisioned as disposable.
  • AIDS begins to spread and is first lethal infectious disease in the history of any culture on earth which was not subjected to any quarantine.
  • Beginning obsession of individual rights prevailing over the common good, especially if it is applicable to any type of minority group.
  • Raised by the career and money conscious Boomers amidst the societal disappointment over governmental authority and the Vietnam war.
  • School problems were about drugs.
  • Late to marry (after cohabitation) and quick to divorce…many single parents.
  • Into labels and brand names.
  • Want what they want and want it now but struggling to buy, and most are deeply in credit card debt.
  • It is has been researched that they may be conversationally shallow because relating consists of shared time watching video movies, instead of previous generations.
  • Short on loyalty & wary of commitment; all values are relative…must tolerate all peoples.
  • Self-absorbed and suspicious of all organization.
  • Survivors as individuals.
  • Cautious, skeptical, unimpressed with authority, self-reliant.
Generation Y

Generation Y/Millennium.

  • Born between 1981* and 2000*.
  • Aka “The 9/11 Generation” “Echo Boomers” America’s next great generation brings a sharp departure from Generation X.
  • They are nurtured by omnipresent parents, optimistic, and focused.
  • Respect authority.
  • Falling crime rates. Falling teen pregnancy rates. But with school safety problems; they have to live with the thought that they could be shot at school, they learned early that the world is not a safe place.
  • They schedule everything.
  • They feel enormous academic pressure.
  • They feel like a generation and have great expectations for themselves.
  • Prefer digital literacy as they grew up in a digital environment. Have never known a world without computers! They get all their information and most of their socialization from the Internet.
  • Prefer to work in teams.
  • With unlimited access to information tend to be assertive with strong views.
  • Envision the world as a 24/7 place; want fast and immediate processing.
  • They have been told over and over again that they are special, and they expect the world to treat them that way.
  • They do not live to work, they prefer a more relaxed work environment with a lot of hand holding and accolades.
Generation Z

Generation Z/Boomlets.

  • Born after 2001*
  • In 2006 there were a record number of births in the US and 49% of those born were Hispanic, this will change the American melting pot in terms of behavior and culture. The number of births in 2006 far outnumbered the start of the baby boom generation, and they will easily be a larger generation.
  • Since the early 1700’s the most common last name in the US was ‘Smith’ but not anymore, now it is Rodriguez.
  • There are two age groups right now:
  • (a) Tweens.
  • (a1) Age 8-12 years old.
  • (a2) There will be an estimated 29 million tweens by 2009.
  • (a3) $51 billion is spent by tweens every year with an additional $170 billion spent by their parents and family members directly for them.
  • (b)Toddler/Elementary school age.
  • 61 percent of children 8-17 have televisions in their rooms.
  • 35 percent have video games.
  • 14 percent have a DVD player.
  • 4 million will have their own cell phones. They have never known a world without computers and cell phones.
  • Have Eco-fatigue: they are actually tired of hearing about the environment and the many ways we have to save it.
  • With the advent of computers and web based learning, children leave behind toys at younger and younger age. It’s called KGOY-kids growing older younger, and many companies have suffered because of it, most recognizable is Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls. In the 1990’s the average age of a child in their target market was 10 years old, and in 2000 it dropped to 3 years old. As children reach the age of four and five, old enough to play on the computer, they become less interested in toys and begin to desire electronics such as cell phones and video games.
  • They are Savvy consumers and they know what they want and how to get it and they are over saturated with brands.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

And Now, It's Time For.....

The Weakly Reader Volume III, No. 2 

Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27 July 2017     Welcome to another edition of The Weakly Reader…  brought to you by the makers of Hot Ralston, the warm-up, fill-up breakfast full of cowboy energy.  Take a tip from Tom, go and tell your mom: “Hot Ralston Can’t Be Beat.”

Christmas in July    

Today’s program is entitled “Christmas in July,” a phrase purloined from the Australian TV series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  I watched it last week.  Apparently, it snows heavily this time of year in Australia.  Those down-under snow scenes relieved the stress of the 90-degree days we were suffering in North America.

Shall we get started?  

Yes, it is Christmas in July.  How do I know this?  I know it because I received a wonderful gift on the 25th … of July.  The gift came not from Santa but from a long-time friend and fraternity brother, Fred H. McIntyre who graduated from Charlotte Central High School the year after I did.       We roomed together my last two years at Duke, slogging our way toward degrees in civil engineering.  In the ensuing years neither of us “practiced” engineering.  After spending three years on active duty aboard the aircraft carrier Wasp, I went to Wake Forest Law School, passed the bar exam in August 1965 and started a practice in January 1966.

Family Joke

    My engineering degree became a family joke, one that I have perpetuated to this day.  Fred became president of Mid-State Ceramic Tile Co. in Lexington, NC, retiring years ago.  Alas, like most folks of our age, Fred began to downsize, selling his home adjacent to the Lexington Country Club and moving to a smaller, more manageable condo in nearby Thomasville, NC.  He took a lot of “stuff” with him.  
    Like most of us, Fred has taken many moons to go though the countless boxes associated with downsizing.  I, too, try to shed this house of many personal items but find it virtually impossible to do so.   Here is an example:  I have a 2-inch disc that once adorned the steering wheel of my first car, a 1954 Chevrolet purchased for $50.00 in 1962 from my grandfather’s estate.  My list is endless.  The task is endless.  Fred, though, is much better about this than I… which brings us back to Christmas in July.
Long Gone
    You see, Fred and I not only went to Central and Duke but we also went to Alexander Graham Junior High.  In those days (1949-52) AG  students published an annual, Signing Off.  Every student got one every year.  Mine are long gone.  Fred saved his, all three sprinkled with notes from friends and classmates.  In a remarkable gesture, he offered them to me.  This was especially meaningful because of my close relationship with Mary Sandra (Schulken) Costner who was editor of the 1951 edition of Signing Off.
    The three annuals arrived on the 25th of July in excellent condition.  In addition to seeing the many pictures of old classmates, it was a treat to thumb through the 1951 Signing Off .  It came as no surprise to see that Diana Carpenter was one of the 1951Class Superlatives: Most Scholarly.  I was excited to find this on Page 41:
        Now our time is running out, and we are leaving A.G.  It is goodbye,     goodbye to Alexander Graham, where we have spent some of the best years  of our lives.  We knew we would have to leave, but now we are finding it hard to say goodbye to all the familiar faces and landmarks.
        From here on we each have a separate path to follow, a separate goal to reach.  The struggle to the top will be long and difficult, but with the encouragement and knowledge we have received here it will be made easier,
        We can and must succeed.  We shall try to make the future as pleasant as the past and each in his own way make private history.
                            MARY RAN NORTON    Historian
    Finally, I am grateful to Fred H. McIntyre who sent me these wonderful books.  They look good on my living-room coffee table… right next to my 1954 Chevy steering-wheel disc.  Thank you, Fred, for making Christmas in July a memorable and merry one.  My downsizing will have to wait.
    Merry Christmas, everybody.  Merry Christmas!  
The Weakly Reader
Warren Sparrow, Editor and Publisher

Friday, August 04, 2017

Happy Happy...LDL TODAY!

By Jerry Gaudet

Guess what's happening TODAY? 

It's still hot outside, even in August!
But it's still COOL to be at (and in) Jimmies!
"LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 11:30 AM at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.
We'd like to see you.  Please help spread the word!  Invite other classmates to come!  Even better, bring someone with you! 
                                           Be Cool! 

Marmota Monax

Pauxatauni Phil...of Pennsylvania is the most famous groundhog.....Traditionally, He's brought out each year on January second, to predict the weather for the following winter.

His predictions have been about as accurate as the US weather service's so, he's pretty much been accepted as the official Weather hog. However, that wasn't always the case.

From the Archives: The fascinating and bizarre stories of Groundhog Days in Virginia
Marmota Monax
Virginia used to have a "Weather Ground hog." but tragically, it committed suicide in 1954, strangely enough,  on Groundhog day......that year!

(Some say it was an accident...while trying to get out of his cage) But those of us who live in the "real world" don't "buy" that explanation for a minute!

Experts spent many years ...and a lot of government money (ours) trying to determine the cause..they never came to a final conclusion.  (Surprise, Surprise!)  But, not to worry...the government research continues (with their grandchildren now in charge) to study the problem.....

His, or her.....(They never figured that out either.) Marmota Monax.

Of course, we don't remember that because most of us in the  the "unwashed masses" class,  had real jobs and other things to think about back then.

But Frankly, I suspect a "cover up."
And after some exhaustive  research, I've come up the TRUE facts.

Marmota Monax. was BUMPED OFF!
 That's right, Wasted...sent off to the home of the harp pickers in the sky!

The reason?

Basically the Government hates competition!  Pauxatauni Phil has become the establishment Weather Hog.  And that's that.  The Government  does not tolerate (if it can help it) competition!

At 81 years old, I realize that I don't have the energy to pursue this horrible crime, so it's up to others.
Perhaps a new government agency can be established to investigate....


(I don't want to give those ........  any ideas.)