i A Time and a Place...: February 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Forsaking Our Friends...

Do you ever wonder why the United Arab Emirates are so intent on managing American seaports? Follow this link and maybe it’ll become clearer to you.

The Dubai firm, a company of the United Arab Emirates that is ready to take over six of our seaports, along with most other Muslim countries, is now actively boycotting Israel.

What this means is, after the Muslim takeover of our seaports, we will, not just in essence but in fact, be also boycotting goods made in or headed into or out of Israel.

I wonder if George Bush is aware of this? If he is, then he needs to be replaced for what he’s trying to do.

Folks, this is stinking more all the time. We have to be smarter than this. Israel is the only free democracy and our only true friend in the middle east and now it seems we are about to sever our ties to that country.

Now the leader of Iran has stated that if we, the US, do anything to destroy Irans' nuclear sites, Iran will attack Israel.

What has our President said about that? What the hell is happening to our Nation? How can we allow things like these threats to us and our allies and the Muslim takeover of our ports to happen?


Monday, February 27, 2006


This is a poem I wrote some time ago. I sort of enjoyed writing it. It might mean something to you.

I perceive, all the simple little things that never take a lot of thought-
Sixty seconds make a minute, sixty minutes make an hour,
Anything that once is paid for is at once considered bought.

And the seasons; there's the winter and the springtime and the summer and the fall;
And the battles and the games we play don't mean so much to win or lose,
It ain't the win or lose but how we play the games is all.

It's a game-and we can't take it too serious, this life we try to live,
Get up early every morning, go to bed too late at night,
To consider what we get we must consider what we give.

And the giving; must we always take the back seat, stand behind our fellow man?
All these questions need some answers. Is the answer all around us?
Not to play the game so well but just to win it if we can!


Friday, February 24, 2006

Sometimes They Do Listen...An Answer From Senator Barbara Boxer...

I Usually save this kind of post for my other blog but I am impressed this Senator is concerned enough to reply to my letter.
And this is important enough to all of us to repeat it!

I guess miracles do happen! I received this answer from an e-mail I sent to Senator Barbara Boxer concerning the UAE takeover of some of our largest shipping ports. I really do not need to restate my opposition to a takeover of some of our most important shipping ports by a Muslim country.

It is illegal for our federal government to be in competition with private enterprise so how can we allow a foreign government to do it, especially a government who has had ties with some of the terrorists of 9-11 and who allowed terrorists to funnel finances through that nation, the United Arab Emirates, to Al Quaida and other terrorists?

Enough said. Here's the letter.

Dear Jim:
Thank you for contacting me regarding foreign control of U.S. ports. I appreciate the opportunity to review your comments on this important issue, and I agree with you.

Dubai Ports World (DP World) is currently set to take over control of operations at some U.S. port facilities on March 2, 2006. DP World is owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a nation that had ties to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In this post-9/11 world, our ports remain major targets for terrorism. I believe that this deal will pose an unacceptable risk to the security of our ports and our nation. I am also disturbed that the Bush Administration conducted its review of DP World and the potential deal in secret, without briefing Congress.

That is why I strongly support the bipartisan effort in Congress to delay this deal until the administration thoroughly reevaluates the security risks and provides Congress with the details of its findings.

I am also co-sponsoring legislation that would ban any foreign government from controlling U.S. port operations. In addition, I wrote to the President to ask him to revisit his administration's approval of the deal, given the UAE's past and present connections to terrorists.

Rest assured, I will continue monitoring this situation, and I will keep working to protect the security of our nation's ports.

Again, thank you for writing to me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or any other issue of concern to you. Barbara Boxer United States Senator Please visit my website at http://boxer.senate.gov


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chico the Wonder Dog...What a Guy...

Chico the Wonder Dog never ceases to amaze me! I was up quite early this morning (0400), just roaming around the house, trying to decide whether or not to turn the percolater on yet and have a cup of freshly brewed Folgers Coffee, when I heard the sound of Chico the Wonder Dogs' ears flopping back and forth. (He does that to announce his presence, kinda like a rattlesnakes' warning)

I looked down into the dim light of the one small bulb early morning lamp I use and, sure enough, there was Chico the Wonder Dog.

I looked at him, "What are you doing up so early?" (I have to 'look' at him about things because, as we all know, dogs can't talk)

He looked back at me, "I have to go outside and I mean, in a hurry!"

I looked at him, "Are you sure you really need to go that badly? It's 31 degrees out there now!"

He looked a retort at me, "Yes and you'd better hurry or what happens here will be on you, literally!"

I said OK and opened the sliding glass door. A small gust of air blew in and I shuddered as did Chico the Wonder Dog. I saw him hesitate for just a second then step out onto the porch.
He started toward the stairs leading down to his lawn and then turned back for a second and, with a twitch of his nose, looked at me, "If I'm not back in five minutes, come a looking for me and bring an ice pick!" What a guy!


Monday, February 20, 2006

A Followup On My Drink With Hank...

I got to thinking about my drink with the immortal Hank Williams (it was in 1951) and I found this picture of him with Chester Smith on either the same day before Hank played the Riverbank Clubhouse that night or the day before Hank appeared.

This picture was taken at radio station KTRB in Modesto.

When Chester had guests there, some of us kids would often go to the station and sit in an enclosed area separated by glass from the broadcast booth and listen in on the radio show.

I remember seeing at least two other singers there. I seem to remember seeing Lefty Frizzell on the air with Chester once.

I didn't see this radio show with Hank but I saw one there with a very good singer as well as comedian called Terry Preston. Terry put on a pantomine style show (with sound) about a motorcycle rider who wore a baseball cap backwards. Baseball caps weren't worn much in those days and to see one on a mans head backwards was comical.

If I remember right, Terry introduced his own guest, the man with the backward hat and motorcycle, as Simon Crum, his very funny alter-ego.

It was an excellent show, a very funny pantomine type presentation and everyone applauded loudly when it was over. Strangely, no one heard a whole lot about Terry Preston after that.

However, I saw an interview with a famous country singer some time later and heard the interviewer ask the star why he used the name of Terry Preston instead of his own name when he was younger and playing a lot of music.
His answer was, "In those days I didn't think anyone would buy a record recorded by someone with a weird name like 'Ferlin Husky'."

Boy, was he wrong!


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Memories of Shike...

I'm on sort of a memory kick, I guess you could say. I spoke to my sister some time back about when I was a small child and she responded with this by e-mail.

" It is now October 10, 2003 and I just got an e-mail from my sister, Shike, with this story. It needs to be in my journal. I’ll copy it in as it was written by her."

"Just got to looking at the picture on the wall and you were about 18 months old. The first Xmas after that you had turned 2 the month after Christmas. I never will forget that one.

Mother never was a hand at making cakes but that year she made a white cake and it smelled so good like vanilla and she made a boiled frosting to go on it. Poured it on it. Made it all soft and juicy. We had it for supper with a pumpkin pie.

We couldn't open our presents till we ate breakfast so we all gobbled down our oatmeal fast as we could. You were still quite small .We all got a huge orange and a big apple. Except you. We all had to give you two slices out of our orange. Mother fed them to you and saved some of yours.

We each got a little bag with Christmas candy in it. Some of those little ribbons and hard candy with soft centers.

Daddy got a big long present and when we all had a mouth full of candy we wanted to see what he got so we kept begging him to please open his present. When he opened it it was a huge peppermint stick. Wow did our eyes pop open!! Of course we all stood around him until he finally said, well I guess I'd better give all of you some of my candy. That made all of us happy. I remember when he broke it up and gave all of us some of it. Daddy always loved peppermint forever after that.

I got 2 pink ribbons, Joan got 2 yellow ribbons. I think Mickey got a little necklace cause she never did have her hair in pigtails. also a little waist apron Mother had made her. I think Joan and I got a pair of anklets.

Buddy got a new top and a new pair of overalls. I don't remember if mom or Daddy got anything but we all shared our candy with Mom. We didn't have a turkey but had a big stewing hen. Mother made dressing with it. We had a good time oh yes, you got a ball with4 colors on it. You could throw it clear across the room and chase it down. We would sit on the floor and roll it back and forth to you. Well I just thought I would share these memories with you before I went to bed. Take care of my sister.*(Donna) Love to both of you. Shike.***"


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Life As It Was...

This is my Grandfather Johnson and Grandmother Johnson. This was taken about 1916 or so. My Mother is on the right of the photo. She looks to be about 10 years old here.

Grandpa was a striking figure in those days and Grandma was a pretty woman.

I have heard two stories about this trip they were on. One was they were on their way from Alabama to Texas.

The other story, and probably the right one, is they were on their way from somewhere in East Texas to somewhere in South Texas. At any rate, it looks like a great trip. It took some skill to handle a team of Mules and a wagon. And even more skill to handle a bunch of kids.

My mother was the eldest of nine kids and she took her turn helping to raise them. Eight of them, that is. One girl died at the age of 10. What a life it was!


Friday, February 10, 2006

Grandpa and Uncle Bert...

This is a tintype taken of my Grandfather, Alvha (Ab) and his twin brother, Albert. (Bert) To the other sides of the families respectively, they were Uncle Ab and Uncle Bert.

I really enjoy looking back at family history. This picture was taken about 1894 at their age of about 10 years. Grandpa, the boy on the right, grew to be about six feet or so tall and Uncle Bert grew to about five foot eight.

Grandpa and Grandma were general workers as they were growing and they lived in California off and on as Texas 'Okies', picking fruit and cotton and doing a lot of other things to earn a living. Grandpa and Grandma spent a lot of time at Uncle Bert's Ranch and Uncle Bert's son, Uncle LB's ranch in New Mexico.

Their youngest daughter, my Aunt Maudie, stayed with them until she was in her late teens. Neither Grandpa or Grandma drove a car and Aunt Maudie drove for them. I remember their last car was a maroon 1936 Plymouth 4 door sedan.

Grandma always shaved Grandpa or he went to a barber for a shave. He may have shaved himself but I never saw him do it.

Uncle Bert started in the cattle business as his kids were coming along. They had ranches in West Texas and New Mexico.

One of his sons was a state cattle inspector in New Mexico. Another still runs a cattle ranch (he might be retired by now) called 'Bent Spur Cattle and Oil Company' or something like that in Arkansas.

More on Grandpa and Grandma later. 'What a long time ago that was...'

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I Cannot Sing The Old Songs...

I just want to share this beautiful poem…
"I Cannot Sing the Old Songs"
{Claribel} Mrs. Charles Barnard
I cannot sing the old songs,
I sang long years ago.
For heart and voice would fail me
And foolish tears would flow;
For bygone hours come o'er my heart
With each familiar strain.
I cannot sing the old songs,
Or dream those dreams again.
I cannot sing the old songs,
Their charm is sad and deep,
Their melodies would waken,
Old sorrows from their sleep
And tho' all unforgotten still,
And sadly sweet they be,
I cannot sing the old songs,
They are too dear to me.
I cannot sing the old songs,
For visions come again,
Of golden dreams departed,
And years of weary pain,
Perhaps when earthly fetters shall
Have set my spirit free,
My voice may know the old songs
For all eternity.