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

Monday, May 29, 2006

My Hero-My Uncle Bill Johnson...

This is my Uncle Bill, the young fellow on the right. (That's Uncle Frank on the left-his name tag got chopped off) I never knew Uncle Bill personally so my information may be a bit sketchy. He was my mothers' little brother. His name was, William Alvha Johnson and he was the son of Alvha Henry and Lily Lorado Johnson. I have his birth place as Coke County, Texas.

He had three brothers and five sisters. He married Bennie Turner in 1942 and they had at least one child whom I met-Bill Johnson of here in California. They may have had more children, I don't know.

I don't have the date of when but he entered the US Navy during WWII. He was serving on a US Naval ship and reported missing in action and later declared killed in action off Anzio, Italy, in February of 1944. (This is the information I got about Uncle Bills' service.)

Uncle Bill is my hero. He is the only family member I know of who died defending our country.

I was in the Army for three years and never had to face an enemy in combat, thanks to Uncle Bill.

I moved around this country, from town to town; I got and quit many jobs in my lifetime, thanks to Uncle Bill.

I was married twice, to women of my own choosing and had a bunch of kids, as many as I wanted, thanks to Uncle Bill.

I played music for fun and money and I worked until I retired and am living in relative comfort with my wife, thanks to Uncle Bill.

We have a four year old car and a three year old pickup truck, my wife has her computer and I have my computer and we have plenty to eat and good medical care and are secure in our home and in our lives, thanks to uncle Bill.

We travel whenever we feel like it to visit our relatives and friends, thanks to Uncle Bill.

For all of the times I changed jobs,
all our moving around, having all of our children, gaining all of our posessions,
all of our traveling around, visiting people in other cities and states,
all of our visits to a doctor for help to cure our ills and to write this memorial to my hero, my Uncle Bill,
I never had to ask anyone for permission for any of it, thanks to my Uncle Bill!

He is my Hero, this US sailorboy, William Alvha Johnson!

God Bless America and God Bless my hero, my Uncle Bill!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Has It Been That Long?...

I was talking to a friend a couple of days ago about a job he had awhile back and one of us said, "My Gosh, has it been that long?"

Time flies when you're having fun! ..or so the old saying goes. I reckon we've both been having a ton of fun.

I thought about it and decided to show you this picture, the first ever of us all, of my family and me taken in 1938 when I was two years old.

That's all, just show it to you.

Now the New Year reviving old Desires.

The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,

Where the White Hand Of Moses on the Bough

Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

...and I told her, "Donna, it's time to dust the house...it's been a while..."'oops!'

...and she said, "You got it, Bub!!!"

Before the phantom of False morning died,

Methought a Voice within the Tavern cried,

"When all the Temple is prepared within,

"Why nods the drowsy Worshipper outside?"

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before

The Tavern shouted--"Open then the Door!

"You know how little while we have to stay,

"And, once departed, may return no more."


Monday, May 22, 2006

A Line For Today...

My last post (this a m) was really an edit of yesterdays' post so, to keep the record straight, I'll now post something for today.

Mi espousa (my wife; a little Mex lingo there) has been badgered by her back and neck lately. Pain, it seems, has been her almost constant, but not welcome, companion. So she did what any reasonable person would; she took a nap!--'no'--just kidding! After several days of excrutiating pain, she went to see our favorite doctor, Doctor Smith of the Immediate Care walk-in clinic in Chico, Ca, a town 40 miles from here.(There are no good walk-in clinics in Red Bluff)

The good doctor examined her, had her stand and bend and twist and etcetera, etc, etc, and, oh yes, did I mention, etc?
Then he had several xrays made of her back and neck and showed to us the finished pictures. There were no very bad bone spurs and no indication of the worse knid of osteoporosis, only arthritis. He then came to his conclusion and said aloud the most terrifying words we could imagine.

At first he hesitated, seeming to not want to say what he knew he had to say. Then, like the professional he is, he blurted it out! I cringed back in fear and Donna almost fainted when we heard his diagnosis and what had to be done to make life as bearable as possible for Donna in her remaining years.

What, you ask, did the stinking doctor say? OK, you asked for it.

He said, "Donna (the doctor calls my wife Donna because that is her name)"Donna, you need to lose weight and - are you ready? - EXERCISE!"

"GASP!!!" said Mi Espousa, (a little more Mex lingo there)"Not that!-Anything but that!"

Then he looked at me! I could feel beads of cold sweat forming on my brow-little flashes of light rushed across my eyes and I felt I needed to sit down and put my head down in case I started to pass out.

"Doctor Smith, " I murmured, "Does that go for me, too? Are you going to xray me? I mean, after all, I'm retired"

The good Doctor answered in his most sympathetic but professional voice, "Yes, that goes for you, too, but there is no need for an xray! It's obvious, looking at you, the rest of it, the EXERCISE, is crucial."
"Will I actually have to-'gasp'-stand up?" With tears in his eyes he nodded an affirmation. We left the building.

I don't remember pulling my car out of the parking lot-I barely remember driving home to Red Bluff. (That is, after, I foggily seem to recall, mi espousa, Donna and I pigged out at the Home Town Buffet restaurant-a panic reaction to that dreadful news from our Doctor)

Somehow I drove the forty miles home and got the car into the carport without crashing into anything.

The day was a blur, something I hope I never have to go through again. I know we have to live with the doctors' decision. I only hope the good Doctor can.

Before the phantom of False morning died,

Methought a Voice within the Tavern cried,
"When all the Temple is prepared within,
"Why nods the drowsy Worshipper outside?"


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Verses From the Heart...'oops'...

Like others before me, my mind sometimes is devoid of a subject of personal worth about which to pen, so, being a student as well as teacher, I opt to follow the example of another and offer to you, instead, verses which I admire and some, revere.

These verses are, in my humble opinion, the finest things to come out of Persia.(Iran)

Excerpts From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

A BOOK of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Methinks I may have erred, as weird and strange (and unbelievable) as that may seem. I should have added information pertinent to the enjoyment and understanding of Omars' writings.

First, Omar was a tent maker, a scientist and a poet as well as a man who fully and wholly enjoyed the juice of the grape. His favorite exercise seemed to be bending his elbow at the public watering hole and then, talking and writing about it.

I think that information of the man, Omar, will suffice for now.

I have decided, mainly because the Rubaiyat is one of my favorite pieces of literature, to insert a Quatrain (verse) or two into each daily (or whenever) post instead of posting the entire missile. A friend of mine in the bog does this with a cartoon and it seems not to take away from the impact of his astute observations. I will use my own book, the fifth edition of the translation of the Rubaiyat by Edward Fitzgerald from which to extract Quatrains.

Beginning, I have inserted my most favorite Quatrain of the lot. Now I will start the rest off right with the first Quatrain:
Wake! For the Sun, who scatter'd into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heav'n, and strikes
The Sultán's Turret with a Shaft of Light...


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

And Again...With Lupines...


Thanks Again...

A Mans' Home Is His Castle?...It Depends...

I was sitting here admiring my blog showing the Bluebonnets of Texas when Chico the Wonder Dog walked by.

He looked at me, "Whatta you think you're doing?" (He has to 'look at' me because dogs can't talk)
I looked at him, "Looking at these Texas Bluebonnets."
With a snarl, he looked at me, "You're not in Texas anymore. How about something for California?"..and he was gone.

Well, why fight it. He has a point so I am posting a couple of photos of the California State Flower, the Golden Poppy. I'm glad Chico the Wonder Dog reminded me.

I hope the person who actually took these beautiful pictures won't mind me posting them. They are just one more reminder of the wonder and beauty of Gods' creations.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Remembering Again...When I Was Ten...

I was thinking about people with disabilities and remembered a guy from when I was a child, about 1946 or so.

I lived in Modesto on the east side by the airport, in the Airport District, also known as, 'Little Okie.'

*By the way, there is another 'Little Okie' in Modesto. It's better known as, 'South Modesto Acres.' But the Airport District is and has always been Little Okie.

Anyhow, there is a small town east of Modesto called Empire. In 1946 Empire was five miles from Modesto. Now, due to tremendous growth, it is closer to two miles, if that.

There are many big houses on Yosemite Boulevard, the road that goes from Modesto to Empire.They seemed then to me to be very big, considering I was raised in a one room shack, about 12X14.

When I was a kid, I passed by those houses a couple of times a week for one reason or another. There was one in particular that stood out. It was a white, two story frame house that sat in the arc of a circular driveway, about a hundred feet from the roadway.

One day I noticed a small room, a shack of sorts sitting between the house and the roadway, about twenty feet back. It might have already been there for a while when I noticed it.

It was about ten feet high and it was round with a floor that was built up about two extra feet from the ground and it had windows on all sides of it so anyone inside could see out in any direction.

One day I noticed a fellow inside of that room, just sitting there on a chair,looking at the road and the people who passed by. I waved at him and he waved back.

He looked young, maybe in his late teens or early twenties. I started to go over to the room but then I noticed something that stopped me from approaching him.
The right side of his face and his chin were gone from the nose down. So I just waved and kept walking.I was ten years old.

I heard later, the story was that he had cancer and was dying from it. The cancer had already claimed part of his face and would spread until it killed him.He didn't have any friends who would come to see him in his condition so his folks built the room so he could see the street traffic and see people walking by him and wave at them; so he could watch the world go by while he was still able to.

I never saw him being put into the room or taken out and I never saw anyone talking to him. It isn't that people were mean or uncaring. It's just that sick or crippled people were looked at in a different way back then than they are now. What a difference for him if he lived today instead of 1946.

I don't remember just how long he sat in that room. I can't recall the day I walked by there and noticed for the first time that he was gone. I do remember that at some period of time everyone knew he had died.

The house is still there but, as near as I can recall, the room is gone. And the house is a lot smaller now than it was then, when I was ten.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Who's Racist?...

I got this in an e-mail and thought I'd pass it on. Whether or not it's true is up to you, whomever you are who reads it.

You call me "Cracker", "Honkey", "Whitey" and you think it's OK.
But when I call you Kike, Towelhead, WOP, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Gook, Nigger or Chink you call me a racist.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you, so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

You have the United Negro College Fund.
You have Martin Luther King Day.
You have Black History Month.
You have Cesar Chavez Day.
You have Yom Hashoah.
You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi.
You have the NAACP.
You have BET.

If we had WET(white entertainment television) ...we'd be racists.

If we had a White Pride Day... you would call us racists.

If we had white history month... we'd be racists.

If we had an organization for only whites to "advance" our lives... we'd be racists.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships...you know we'd be racists.

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights.
If we marched for our race and rights...you would call us racists.

Did you know that some high school students decided to make a club for only the white students because the other ethnicities had them...
they all got sent to court for being racist but the african-american, latino, and asia clubs were not even questioned.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

I am white. I am proud. But, you call me a racist.

Why is it that only whites can be racists?

Repost (or not) if you agree. Now watch, I'll be a racist for sending this! (or posting it)

Now back to my life!


Saturday, May 06, 2006

And Thanks Again...


And Thanks...

Springtime In Texas...

The Bluebonnet tells us it's Springtime in Texas. Thanks to the Big Guy for this beautiful reminder of Springtime in Texas!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

You Know, I wonder...

how Donna knew what I was going to do?
Why did she have the camera ready to snap a picture of me attempting to intrude on Chico the Wonder Dogs' privacy?

You don't suppose they were in on this together from the beginning?
If they were, how did they know what I was going to try to do? Even before I had decided to do it?

And if they did, which one of them do you suppose figured it out?

This's getting spookier and spookier all the time!


'Whew'...I'll Never Go There Again...

It occurred to me that I have never seen the inside of the bed of Chico the Wonder Dog and I got curious as to just what it looked like.I have always known I wasn't allowed there because it is his sanctuary.

He goes there (or just appears there, as if by magic_you know, 'beam me up') whenever he needs to be a place other than where he is at the time.

I don't know exactly when I became aware I was not allowed to be there or even see inside; it just happened, gradually, I suppose, or maybe all at once but subtly, so's I didn't notice.

Anyhow, I decided to take a look so I looked at Chico the Wonder Dog, "Wanna go outside?" (I have to 'look at' him because dogs can't talk)
Hesitantly, he looked at me, "I guess maybe I do. I'll try. I won't know until I get out there." Then he left the room through the sliding glass doors.

As soon as he got to the foot of the stairs leading down from the porch, I crept into the bedroom and reached for the edge of the virgin sheeps' wool blanket that covers the front of his bed.

Then, as if by some supernatural weird, quirky inside weather phenomenon, a flash of light, almost lightning, blinded me for an instant and I jerked my hand back and saw an apparition in front of my eyes! It was horrible! I thought I saw smoke and a bit of a flame come from it's mouth! It's eyes seemed to look right through me! It scared the crap out of me! I was mesmerized and couldn't move for a second.

Then it began to clear up and, unbeknownst to me, Donna (she'd been standing right behind me all this time with her camera) snapped a picture of the apparition. It had almost completely changed back to it's actual form when she took the picture. Even at that it was still spookier than hell!

I quickly withdrew my shaking hand and retreated from that fateful area.

Chico the Wonder Dog didn't look any comment at me but I think he understands that I'll never try that again! 'whew'