Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Daddy's 100th Birthday

Lillian Ophelia Wilkerson was only eight when her beautiful twenty-nine year-old mother died. Ruby was just a babe in arms and Jessie was seven. Lillian went to live with her Aunt Lou Annie for a while. When she was 10 her father remarried. Aunt Lou Annie told Lillian, "Don't let that Mattie Kiser boss you around." I can't imagine anyone needing to issue that warning to my feisty grandmother. Evidently her father noticed some tension between his eldest daughter, now eleven, and her step-mother. One day he came to her bedroom, sat beside her on the bed, and suggested, "Sister, don't you think it's about time you started calling your step-mother, Mama." In telling me that story "Mama Shaw" who worshipped her Papa, would say, "If Papa wanted me to do it, I did it." So from that point on, when Lillian said "Mama" she was referring to Mattie Kiser Wilkerson. And when Lillian's grandchildren, including me, came along she was Ma Wilkerson to us.

Like many mill workers, Charles Rueben Wilkerson moved from mill to mill always seeking a better job. He was industrious and smart and his responsibilities increased as he moved from Aragon to Atco to Milstead. At Callaway Mills in Milstead he found a good job and stayed long enough to earn that famous retirement pocket watch. One of the little tragedies of my life is that the watch, given to me for safe-keeping as oldest grandson by Pa Wilkerson's daughter Winnie, was stolen in burglary in the early nineties.

Grady Columbus Shaw also worked at Callaway Mills and met Lillian. They married when she was fifteen.

On May 21, 1919, sixteen-year-old Lillian Ophelia Wilkerson Shaw...

Lillian Wilkerson Shaw as a teenager
...gave birth to her first child, a very blue baby boy.  He was not breathing. He was, the family has always put it, "Born dead." How sad. It was not rare, of course. Few families of any size were untouched by infant death.  Everyone present was sad, but what can you do.
Lillian's step-mother, Mattie Kiser Wilkerson, pregnant herself at the time ...

Mattie Kiser Wilkerson at the time of her wedding
Mattie Kiser Wilkerson as I knew her.
...had no medical training. She had no schooling. She couldn't read, for heaven's sake! But she wouldn't just accept the situation. She would try to change things. She would do something. She wouldn't give up.
She took a handkerchief, doused it with a few heathy splashes of whiskey, ran her chubby index finger through his mouth to clear any obstruction, draped the wet hanky across those little blue lips, and bent to blow her breath into his lungs. After a few puffs the baby sputtered and cried and preached his first sermon, "Never give up!"
So, friends, the old woman I knew as Ma Wilkerson, though no blood kin, is as responsible for my existence as any of my "real" ancestors.
A jolt of whiskey breath awakened Charles Columbus Shaw, a tee-totaling Methodist pastor later in life. He was named for his two grandfathers, Charles Rueben Wilkerson and Columbus Turner Shaw.
Mattie couldn't read, but she loved the movies. After Charles had made it through a few years of school she would have him accompany her to the theater in Conyers, where he could read for her the printed narration that accompanied the silent movies.
Lillian Wilkerson Shaw with her son Charles Columbus Shaw
My Dad would have made a great old man had he had the chance. He would have loved the spunk of his granddaughter (and his mother's namesake) Lillian Matthews Shaw, not to mention several other grandchildren he missed out on, and soon to be 35 great-grandkids.
Charles Columbus Shaw as I remember him.
Happy 100th birthday, Daddy. I still miss you. Few days pass without a twinge of pain at the realization of questions I can't ask, advice I can't get, stories I can't tell you about. But how thankful I am to have been your son. And I am also thankful for that whiskey and the presence on the day of your birth of your illiterate stubborn step-grandmother, who would not give up.

Granshaw and Granmop with seven of their (eventually) 18 grandchildren
L-R: Josh Hearn, Matthew Lewis, Ruth Baird Shaw, Jessica Rogers, Amanda Sims, Lisette Lewis, Brannon Shaw Carlin, Charles Columbus Shaw, Andrew Lewis

Monday, May 20, 2019

Plain Dick Russell




I have collected political items since I was a teenager.... off and on. Someone, and I’m sorry I don’t remember who it was, gave this one to me a few years ago. Somehow I put it in a drawer of my rolltop desk and thought no more of it till this morning. 

I have several political items related to Georgia’s famous Senator Richard B. “Dick” Russell. These four framed buttons are from his 1952 race for the Democratic nomination for president. 




They came from that year's Democratic National Convention along with this banner:

Somewhere I also have a wonderful little whistle from the convention emblazoned with "Whistle for Russell":


I knew that the mustachioed gent on the old button rediscovered this morning, just 7/8 inch in diameter, was from an earlier time. So I googled "Plain Dick Russell" and there he was --- in the December 1911 edition of Cosmopolitan Magazine!

He's the father of "our" Dick Russell and thirteen other children. He ran for governor of Georgia twice, losing both times. He succeeded at politics more often than he lost however. He was the youngest member of Georgia's house at one one time and was elected to judgeships several times. He was Chief Justice of Georgia's Supreme Court when he died in 1938. By that time his son and namesake had succeeded where Dad had stumbled and served a short term as the very young Governor of Georgia and had begun his long tenure as Georgia's US Senator.

Here is the Cosmo story, one of several under the heading "The Story-Tellers". I have pasted together the pieces to make it easier to read. To see it in context visit page 140 of this Cosmo:
https://books.google.com/books?id=2-ZIAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA140
...



Georgia has one of the strange museums right there in our state capitol building, and the most grotesquely fascinating exhibit to the thousands of kids who have visited there has been the two-headed calf's twin noggins on proud display. Do you suppose this is its origin? 

I found a small plate with the gilded senate emblem and Russell's signature at some antique or junk store many years ago.




And my late friend Audley Tucker took a photo of President Carter speaking at the younger Russell's funeral. I'll add that when I find it.


Our Franchise

He pardons war criminals. He mocks the disabled. He cages children. He scoffs at environmental disaster. He openly obstructs justice. He lies with abandon. He fawns upon our enemies and insults our friends. His ignorance is abysmal and his arrogance limitless. 
Several times a day for over 27 months a wave of nausea has hit me with the realization that this severely disturbed man will forever be included in the list that begins "Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison..." How any reasonably knowledgeable and patriotic person can avoid such nausea is beyond me.
Patriots must give all we can in fortune and energy to electorally obliterate Trumpism. There is only a year and a half till the 2020 election. Our republic is on the ballot. The earth is on the ballot. Our children and grandchildren are on the ballot
We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, must give, and work, for the next year and a half as never before. As surely as Japan attacked us militarily in '41, as surely as Al Qaeda attacked us in 2001, our republic is under attack again today. This is a war we must win to survive, but it must be fought at the ballot box. We must crush this enemy with our franchise, while we have it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

God Bless the Bairds


Just ran across this photocopy of a photograph of my great grandparents William Baird (sometimes spelled Beard) and Mary M. Marks (Baird). A distant cousin (Aubrey Sims, I think?) sent this to me decades ago. I do not know who owns the original. William served as a Lieutenant in the 53rd Ga Infantry and was put out of action when he was wounded in the left shoulder as he crossed a fence during the horrible Battle Of the Wilderness on May 6, 1864. William was born in Madison Co., Georgia on October 1, 1827 to Thomas Beard and Mary (Polly) Bone. Mary Marks was born May 30, 1824 in Newton Co., Georgia to Henry Marks and Margaret Daniels (Marks).
After the war William continued to farm until he was “afflicted with paralysis” and “shaking palsy” that made work impossible and he became totally dependent “on the kindness of my son”. (from his CSA pension application)
William and Mary’s youngest son, Benjamin Wilson Baird was born April 22, 1860, Georgia seceded from the Union on January 19 of the next year… pretty much completely altering the rest of Wilse Baird’s life. After the war, with an invalid father, and with a mother and invalid sister to also care for, Wilse (Papa) put off marriage till 1902, when he married at age 42 my 18 year old grandmother. Together those two produced eleven children. The eleventh of those children is my 96 year old mother whom I have the great joy of visiting with in person or by phone almost every day in 2019.

So it is safe to say, from the great heartache and suffering of these two, there may have been other great goods, but the great good of the post-war life of Wilse Baird, and the very existence of my wonderful mother and therefore me and my siblings and our offspring would never have happened. One of the fascinations of my life has been the ways that even from disaster and poverty and evil and death, good can spring up like green grass from the cracks of the pavement. Never give up. Keep striving.

The following is by Malvina Reynolds as sung by Pete Seeger:


God bless the grass that grows through the crack.
They roll the concrete over it to try and keep it back.
The concrete gets tired of what it has to do,
It breaks and it buckles and the grass grows thru,
And God bless the grass.


God bless the truth that fights toward the sun,
They roll the lies over it and think that it is done
It moves through the ground and reaches for the air,
And after a while it is growing everywhere,
And God bless the grass.

God bless the grass that breaks through cement,
It's green and its tender and it's easily bent,
But after a while it lifts up its head,
For the grass is living and the stone is dead.
And God bless the grass.

God bless the grass that's gentle and low
Its roots they are deep and its will is to grow.
And God bless the truth, the friend of the poor,
And the wild grass growing at the poor man's door,
And God bless the grass

Monday, April 08, 2019

Anne-With-An-E

I’ve been to two funerals in the last week.

In 1962 a Methodist pastor died somewhere in North Georgia. In order to fill his position Bishop John Owen Smith and his cabinet created a chain reaction of mid-year reassignments that swept our family from Ellijay where my father was serving Watkins Memorial Methodist Church to Rome’s Trinity Methodist Church and its brand new parsonage in Summerville Park on Timothy Avenue. Soon I was commuting along Redmond Road to my new school West Rome High. Our beautiful new neighborhood was home to many of my new church friends and other school friends. Charlie Wagner was just up Redmond a few houses from Timothy. Paula Craven lived on Dodd just a block and a half away. The District Superintendent’s son Billy Segars lived on Charlton as did Alfred Fletcher. Esther Ransom, Robin Scarborough, Gretchen Lininger. Chastine Parker, Jr. and others lived nearby. 

Up on Robin Street, maybe four blocks away was the rock home of the Ergle family. Bill and Penny had four kids. Anne was my age, Freddy was about three years younger. Kathy was probably my baby sister Beth’s age, and Karl was the baby and about the age of my little brother David. The Ergle’s had moved to Rome so that Kathy would be near Georgia School for the Deaf.

When mother wrote a poem for our family Christmas card one year in the sixties, it’s not surprising that all four Ergle kids made it into the poem. But really mother, why did three of the seven Shaw kids not make the cut?

CHRISTMAS AT TRINITY
Our Nativity scene is live
In living color too!
With teen-aged Mary dressed
Of course, in blue!
She sits beside the manger
Carol, Beth or Anne,
With Joseph standing by
There's Terry, Bill or Dan.
The shepherds stand alert
A turban on each head.
There’s John and Sam or
Allen, Cleve and Fred.
The wise men are bedecked
In jeweled crowns alike -
That hide - the tousled hair
Of Robert, Karl and Mike.
The angels, Kathy, Fran,
Deborah... truly dear
But they can only qualify
As angels - once a year!
I watch the twisted halos
And am amazed to feel
In spite of pomp and pageantry
They somehow make Him real!
Bill and my Dad were both Marines and veterans of World War Two and so had much in common. So our families have known each other for 57 years. We lost my Dad in ’86. Bill has been gone at least two decades maybe more. Penny died eleven years ago. Little Kathy, who forgave my fumbling attempts at sign language and greeted me like a brother whenever she saw me, died of cancer about three years ago.

Today we buried Anne-with-an-E. My West Rome classmate, Anne Ergle (Tatum) died suddenly on April 1. Anne was a pretty girl and a quiet one. She was a gentle soul with a servant spirit who spent her career helping those with handicaps. I was touched that her family asked my mother to speak at her memorial service. Mother is 96 years old and has had some health issues recently, but she prepared a very nice message based on the scripture more often used in funerals than any other, likely, the twenty third Psalm. Despite the frustration of getting some of the pages of her notes jumbled Mother spoke from her heart about the very personal message we find in that psalm, the Lord is MY shepherd, and will lead ME, and walk with ME through even the shadow of death. 

I dug out the 1965 West Rome Watanyah (yearbook) last night and spent a nostalgic hour perusing its pages. Anne had written me a very sweet message on the title page. She was very generous, I must say; she called me “sweet” and “cute”! And wished me the best on that “long road of life.” Well, to this ol’ boy, her 72 years doesn’t seem that long from the current perspective.

Still I’m bright enough to realize that I am well into extra innings. My father and his father never saw seventy. My other grandfather died at the age I am now. And I attend funerals every few weeks. A few days ago it was Norris Gamble’s beautiful service. Today it was Anne’s. It’s a bit morbid I suppose, but can one avoid the question: When will mine come? 

I don’t want to waste any days.

I saw this sign on the wall of Alto Park Elementary when I visited there this week to tell stories for Career Day.

From what I knew of Anne I think she likely would have approved of these goals.  At seventy-two, I know I’ll follow Anne soon enough, even if I manage my mother’s longevity. So funerals bring that reality home to us — to me: 
Days are short. 
Be thankful for each one I am blessed to live. 
Keep it simple. 
Be kind. 
Believe. 
Try. 
Be polite. 
Help folks. 
Treasure family and friends. 
Do my best. 

Listen, laugh, and (the greatest of these) love.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Thomas Paine supported a guaranteed minimum income for all.




Our constitution in its first sentence establishes us as, to some degree, a democratic socialist nation by outlining six purposes for our (we the people) self-governing. Those purposes are:
  1. ever perfecting our union that is therefore (by definition) imperfect. A union of “we the people” is by definition, again, joint universal social enterprise, i.e. (to some degree) socialism
  2. establishing justice. Taking care that all are treated fairly is again restricting those things that might treat folks unfairly, like unrestrained capitalism, i.e. robber barons and oligarchs.
  3. insuring domestic tranquility, which requires the establishment and staffing, by all-of-us jointly, of law enforcement agencies.
  4. providing for the common defense. Once again a  (to some degree) socialistic effort is required to jointly maintain armies and navies, etc.
  5. promoting the general welfare. Well, that’s a mighty liberal idea, isn’t it?
  6. securing the blessings of liberty to all forever.  You ain’t free if all the money is in a few hands. (Of course you are also NOT free if all the power is in the hands of party bosses under extreme “socialism” known as communism.
----------
Thomas Paine was a piece of work. Besides being one of our most influential founding fathers, he was also the first to propose a guaranteed minimum income for every citizen. 
I own a little piece of ground with a very nice house on it. You had better not try to take it from me. I'll fight you. Still I recognise that if you trace if back far enough you will find that this little piece of ground was taken from a Cherokee family. And they, years before probably took it from a Creek. The Creeks perhaps moved in after the Mississippians were decimated by disease. Who knows.
Anyway. Property ownership exists. Paine said all men should receive a "citizen's dividend" to make up for "for the loss of his or her natural inheritance"
Who woulda thunk it? Thomas Paine the Democratic Socialist.
--------
In the years since that first sentence of the Constitution was written we have made our union more perfect by adding 27 amendments. Those have further established that we are a nation, not of the rich, by the lucky, or for the smart, but “of the (whole) people, by the (whole) people, and for the (whole) people.” By definition, we have in America a social compact to share power equally, and work toward the general welfare. 
I doubt Adams and Madison and Jefferson and Paine could have imagined the ways history would “perfect” us, but thank God, they did establish means. They may have envisioned an eventual emancipation of the back race, but Douglass, Carver, King, and Obama were likely beyond their imaginings. By the end of their final century (the 19th) the industrial revolution would produce the robber barons and the revolt against wealth concentration that produced the labor movement that, in turn, would pave the way for Teddy Roosevelt to inaugurate the “American Century” (the 20th). All those men along with Truth, Tubman, Anthony, Abzug, Friedan, Milk, Gompers, Lewis, Chavez, etc. etc. must now be counted among the “fathers” (and mothers) who continue our founding.
The most liberal of the liberals wants strong incentives for invention, hard work, creativity, and innovation. The great leaders I’ve mentioned were not lazy. They valued enterprise. BUT they and we also recognize that “no man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” That wealth is built not by a financial planner in an office somewhere, or even by an inventor, or visionary entrepreneur but by a myriad of hard-working people living and dead who prepared the way for them and us. We all owe a large portion of our wealth, what ever it is, to others. 

Asking the wealthy to give a larger proportion of their second ten million than their first toward the general welfare is perfectly fair, and actually, the essence of justice.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

The Ring of Liberty

We often think of capitalism and socialism as existing on a spectrum from most capitalist to most socialist. I have said that tyranny resides at both extremes and maximum liberty near the middle. 

I wonder if a better image would be a circle with maximum tyranny and maximum liberty at six and twelve o'clock, and with ordinary socialism and ordinary capitalism at three and nine o'clock. The more extreme the capitalist system, the more extreme the socialist system, the closer each system moves toward tyranny. The more capitalism and socialism balance the greater the liberty people have. In such a balanced system the capitalists are free to innovate and profit but are tempered by environmental and human rights protections and protections against extreme wealth concentration.

Is Trump ALL I am Against?

A friend wrote on my Facebook page a while ago that it seems the only thing "the left" is against is "Trump".
And it occurs to me there may be truth in that. 
Hmmmmmm....

I guess it depends on what "Trump" means.
If by "Trump" my friend means the things I've seen Donald John Trump do and say ....
  • Unrestrained never-ending lying
  • Caging kids
  • Wasting billions on a vanity wall
  • Encouraging white nationalists
  • Sexual predation
  • Ridding Americans of healthcare insurance if they have pre-existing conditions
  • Coddling Putin and other dictators
  • Ignoring the murder of Khashoggi
  • Selling out our republic for his own financial gain
  • Dismissal of science
  • Rape of the environment
  • Destruction of public education
  • Concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands
  • Mocking the disabled
  • Ridiculing national heroes and Gold Star families
  • Lying some more
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.
Yep, in that case, "Trump" is pretty much every thing I abhor in one smelly package.
I often write about what I am for too, by the way. Perhaps she missed it. Politically "what I am for" can be summed up nicely in the first sentence of our Constitution, which indicates in less plain but much finer language that the body politic should always be about ---
  • perfecting our republic
  • making sure there's justice for all
  • keeping peace and order within our republic
  • defending us from foreign threats
  • promoting the welfare of all
  • securing the blessings of liberty for all, now and always.
And NONE of that (except maybe ineffective protection from exaggerated foreign treats) seems to concern the man who lost the vote of the people by nearly three million ballots in 2016 and by even more in 2018. I did not watch his word salad called "The State of the Union speech" tonight, but from reports I can tell that he still refuses to even slightly modify his unAmerican attitudes and goals.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Mother Had the Measles

My mother had measles when she was a baby. She'll be 96 in a few weeks. Her three-year-old brother had measles at the same time. The same measles Mama has survived for nine and a half decades killed her brother before he turned 4. My grandmother kept Leon's little shoes in her cedar chest till the day she died. She had no picture of him. She said his hair was a light brown like Tom and Jack not red like Charlie or Grice. Had Leon survived measles he would likely have been gone like all five of his older brothers by now. If not he would turn 100 this October. Even long life is short from my current perspective.
John Franklin Enders "The Father of Modern Vaccines"
My first cousin Lavay is only ten years younger than his Uncle Leon. He and my high school friends David and Robert were all crippled by polio. I got the vaccine. The polio forced Robert to spend most of his short life in bed and killed him before he turned 20. David has spent his life hobbling around, remarkably well, on crutches. Lavay managed despite a bad limp to walk all his adult life thanks to leg shortening surgeries as a little kid. David and Lavay both are now dealing with greatly reduced mobility due to the horrible effects of post-polio syndrome. I managed to avoid the disease long enough to take the vaccine in the mid-fifties along with all my classmates. And I have been awfully grateful for Dr. Enders and Dr. Salk and their vaccines every time I think of those three contemporaries of mine and little Uncle Leon whom I never got to meet.
Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine
Of course we must keep good records and always work to study the effects of all medicines and seek to improve outcomes. There are no guarantees. Even aspirin has side effects. But in the end I believe we must do what science tells us is most likely to protect our kids. 
Vaccines are in the news again as measles outbreaks occur here and there across the nation. A few cases have cropped up here in Georgia. No other vaccine preventable disease causes as many deaths as measles. Vaccines save many lives.
Give a listen to this man who has a unique perspective; he is a vaccine researcher and also the father of an autistic child ----
Anti-Vaxxers Brought Back the Measles

Monday, January 28, 2019

I am a Small-R Republican

Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about things that matter! - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
At 71, I won't be quiet while my country is stolen from We the People.
I am enraged by the following:
In a narrow 5-4 vote. McConnell's Coup has worked again. A decision was made today by the tainted Supreme Court.
Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were both appointed by a moral defective who took our presidency not because of the will of the people but through an election tainted by a sophisticated manipulation of the electorate in certain states by a murderous tyrant in collusion with, at least, members of the current president's campaign to allow the loser of the people's vote to steal the majority of the anti-republican electoral vote. Whew.
In addition Gorsuch's nomination would not have been possible without the despicable racist Republican senate blocking Constitutional advice and consent for the judge nominated by a president elected by a majority of the electorate. Those Republicans stole my 2012 vote.
I am a small-r republican. I love the Constitution and recognize that the 1st, 5th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th and other amendments would not have existed had the founders not hammered out the compromises that allowed the Constitution to become our basic law. Even the embarrassing and just plain disgusting Three-Fifths compromise had to be. But, hallelujah, the founders envisioned a Constitution that would be always in the process of being made "more perfect".
It is past time to do some perfecting.
It is time to rid ourselves of the failed Electoral College. It has never worked anything close to how it was intended to work.
With fifty states that range in size from tiny Wyoming to huge California the Senate is so wildly anti-republican that it is grossly unfair to folks in big states like Georgia. Cobb Dekalb, Gwinnett, and Fulton Counties in Georgia EACH have more people than Wyoming for Heaven's sake! Our state Georgia has 18 times the people of Wyoming. Still that half-million folks in Wyoming have equal representation in the senate with the 10 million Georgians. I am sorry, but that does not jive with the Declaration, in my opinion. It is time to rethink the Senate.
The notion that a corporation should be considered a "person" is offensive and evil. It is time to overturn the Citizens United outrage.
Gerrymandering must be ended once and for all. It is time to standardize how redistricting is done to make it fair for all.
It is time to institute ranked choice voting in all primary and general elections.
It is time to make it clear that the 2nd amendment is not intended to create a bloodbath.

It is time for the people to take back our rights. 
It is time for truly republican government in America.

Dutch Cradle Cross

Many years ago Louise Langham and others in our church established a tradition of celebrating once a year the new children and grandchildren born into our congregation during the previous year. I have spent decades watching others celebrate their grandchildren, but today, finally, I got my turn. Sheila and I were prepared with an 8 x 10 to display to our fellow Methodists since the real deal is ensconced in northern San Diego County in California. 


Now for several years I sang a beautiful arrangement of "Jesus Loves Me" for the baby recognition Sunday. But I did not do that last year and was not expecting to this time around... till I got to church this morning and found myself listed in the bulletin! Somehow I hadn't heard about my solo. I quickly drove back home, located the sheet music, brought it back to church and with eight minutes left before the prelude handed the music to our wonderful pianist Shelly Reid.  

When Clementine Georgia Carlin's name was called Sheila and I proudly joined the other parents and grandparents and babies down front. Sheila held the picture aloft as she collected  the certifiicate...


... a book on parenting a one-year-old, and a beautiful little Dutch Cradle Cross. We had chosen Proverbs 31:25 as her Bible verse. 

So one side of the cross has that reference on it...




The other side has her full name...



The cross was crafted by Glover Hall, one of our church friends who has made these crosses for this celebration for several years. The calligraphy is by our dear friend Anita "Bo" Stewart. Her artistry makes this memento even more precious to us.

There must have been a dozen or more babies recognized this morning. As everyone else headed back to their seats I took the pulpit with zero rehearsal to sing "Jesus Loves Me". Despite a good deal of emotion welling in my sentimental ol' breast, an unsteady first note, and some rhythm difficulties in the middle section, I enjoyed singing the song and it was well-received.

Clemmie's great aunt, Deborah Shaw Lewis was sitting on the first row with her iPad videoing the proceedings.

So Clemmie, (and your Mom and Dad) we'll deliver these things in person or via mail just as soon as we can. A little while ago I took the certificate and cross and picture across town so my mother could see them. 

Thank you to Louise, Glover, Bo, our friends in the "Circle of Friends" UMW group, Shelly, our Pastor Nanci, and everyone who helped make this day so special.












Friday, January 18, 2019

Bovine Excrement

I try to be a bit creative with the language to avoid words like "bullshit", but in a world where a cowardly lowlife like Donald John Trump can sit in the office once held by Washington, Lincoln, and Obama and tweet insults and lies daily, such barnyard language to communicate righteous fury may be necessary.
We must maintain an adequate degree of disgust with this abhorrent stain on our history. He is not yet Hitler, but like Hitler did in Germany, he is eroding our sense of what is normal and decent. The American (minority) president alienates and demonizes democratic allies while lauding totalitarian despots! He does the bidding of Putin, Xi, and Kim, while stiff-arming Trudeau, Merkel, and Macron.
We cannot accept the corruption and, yes I dare call it, tyranny. We must maintain our outrage to throw evil and its enablers out of office. Last November Americans took the opportunity to hand Trump's apologists their worst defeat in since Watergate and at least establish a check on #DonTheGrabber's excesses.
Do not stay silent. Resist. Speak out. Register voters. Get your friends to the polls. Donate to Democratic nominees. As Ben Franklin noted, we have a republic if we can keep it. We the People must save our republic from this "bullshit".