Monday, July 31, 2006

"Old Time Values"
In recent weeks we have been exposed to some interesting information concerning Middle Georgia and to be specific, the City of Macon and also Bibb County.
Several years ago a proud Middle Georgia supporter donated funds for a lovely looking sign to announce to the travelers on I-75 South that they were arriving in Macon, Georgia. Because of safety considerations, this magnificant sign was imbedded on the bank parallel to the Interstate. No one really has the opportunity to view it, unless of course you know it is there or just happen to look to the right as you are proceeding on I-75 South.
Recently we read where there is appropriate consideration to placing this stone sign near Gateway Park in downtown Macon. This appears to be very proper and also intelligent.
Of course, I would be neglectful today, if I did not discuss the current crisis with the Macon/Bibb Board of Assessors. I understand that they actually paid a fair sum of money to an outside consultant. We all know that a consultant is someone who lives over 50 miles from the problem area and receives a nice sum of funds to tell someone else what needs to be done. Then the consultant is free to leave town.
Of course, we could also take to task the governmental agencies who recently determined that we need five members on the Board of Assessors. At least that is what I heard on a recent "Fox Files Program." I can recall that when we had three individuals on the Board of Assessors there did not seem to be such emphasis on the Tax Assessors by the Media and the Unhappy public. Maybe, in this case, less could be better. Also, I understand that each member of the Board receives $1000.00 a month. Now, five times $1000.00 times twelve equals $60,000.00. A lot of money when prior to this five person board we expended $36,000.00 and we received a better product.
This blog is entitled "Old Time Values," but it would appear that we have forgotten that sometimes we do not receive value for money. Maybe we should revert to "Old Time Values!!!!"

Friday, July 28, 2006

Power for Peace
On July 26 I posted an article about Israel and also discussed the need for Power for Peace. Today I would like to share with you all some of my life experiences while I was on the great Attack Aircraft Carrier, USS RANGER (CVA-61) in the 1962-1964 time frame.
The pictures of the Carrier with the human flag on the flight deck was done on Flag Day. I know, I was there. I am in the flag somewhere. The picture in the middle is from another time frame when I was not in USS RANGER; but the message is still germane. I sincerely believe in the concept of "Power of Peace."
While I was asssigned to RANGER I was a Yeoman (administrative clerk) assigned to the Operations Office. The Operations Officer was an interesting Officer who often shared his Sea Stories with us. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March.
When we went to sea I was on the night shift from 6:00 P.M. until 6:00 A.M. In addition to field day (cleaning and waxing the deck) the night shift was responsible for publishing and distributing of the daily flight schedule when ever we were conducting air operations. Air operations are a fact of life in an aircraft carrier and way back then the schedule was printed on paper. My task after the schedules were printed and stapled together was to distribute the schedules to each stateroom of the pilots embarked from the assigned Air Wing. Additionally, other offices and Officers of the Ship's Company needed the schedule to also plan the day for their respective departments/divisions. Way back then, each catapult shot of an airplane required 250 gallons of fresh water which had been converted to steam. Therefore the Chief Engineer was always keenly interested in the number of launches scheduled for the coming day. Additionally, the bridge team consisting of the Navigator, the Officer of the Deck, the Quartermasters and of course the Captain had to be aware of the launch times and have the ship speeding into the wind. In order to safely and efficiently launch a jet aircraft you need 25 knots of wind over the deck. There are several ways of doing this. The most effective way is to steer into the wind and hope that it is blowing at 25 knots. Otherwise the ship needs to be traveling at 25 knots.
If you desire to visit a Carrier Web Site with a whole history of Carrier Information of the USS RANGER (CVA-61) along with the pages and a plethora of images from the Sailors who served in this great ship I would encourage you to visit:
This site was developed by a Shipmate of mine. He did not make a career of the U. S. Navy; but his work with this web site reflects the pride that he had, and displays to this day by his dedication to keeping this site up to date.
Thank You for your visit today.
Power for Peace

Thursday, July 27, 2006

"Street Scenes"

Several times in recent weeks we have seen the following in "The Telegraph" published in Macon, Georgia
Seeking Public Involvement
A Day of Brainstorming!
The Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zonning Commission is seeking public comments on the draft Community Agenda component of the Year 2030 Comprehensive Plan.
If you are a sincere citizen of either Macon and/or Bibb County I would urge you to visit the Planning and Zoning Office on the 10th Floor at 682 Cherry Street for review and also the opportunity to comment on the 2030 Plan. For additional information from the comfort of your Computer you may also log on to this Website:
If you reside in Bibb County the Good Folks at Planning and Zoning are eagerly awaiting your comments which you must submit not later than August 7, 2006. If you are like me, a Senior Citizen, I am confident that no matter what Bibb County looks like in 2030 I will be content. My eyes probably will not function very well and I will be happy to just be alive. Why, You may ask!!!! In 2030 I will be 90 years old. The vital aspect of this Comprehensive Plan will impact what will our City, our County look like for our Children and our Grand-Children. If we desire to leave an appropriate legacy for the future we need to act today. Thus this Blog.
Please note that the image above was found on the World Wide Web when I entered "Street Scenes." In as much as I operate a pick-up of the same manufacture I thought that it would be very appropriate to entitel this Blog "Street Scenes."
Together, all of us can leave our Middle Georgia a much better place for future generations. Please do your part today.
Thank You.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Beautiful Vista
vista has several meanings. The one I selected for this blog is: "a view or outlook, especially one seen through a long passage, as between rows of houses or trees."
This particular image is a scene from Israel. I found it on the World Wide Web. Recently we have all been exposed to the carnage taking place in this part of our World. Not a very pleasant picture to be sure.
I feel that the citizens of Israel are doing what they know has to be done. For too long they have responded to the frequent request of the citizens of Lebanon by giving up lands. Always, the citizens of Israel were told that this would insure peace in the future. A quick review of recent events certainly proves that concept to be invalid.
As you all know, my name for this blog is "Flower Child." A review of earlier post will give you the background information regarding that name. Let it also be known that in another life that "Flower Child" was a trained killer. The once nice thing about service in the U. S. Navy is the fact that most of the time we fired our weapons over the horizon at targets. Therefore we seldom had to witness the carnage that our weapons inflicted on the selected target. However to be absolutely honest, I never witnessed or participated in any conflict during my tour in the U. S. Navy.
Although I was a trained killer, our mantra always was, and I believe still is: "Power for Peace." I know that I took an oath to obey the orders of those in Command over me and my Shipmates. As you know, the ultimate Commander of all branches of the United States Military is duly elected by all the citizens of the United States of America. I am grateful for that system of Command and Control.
Now, back to the image in this blog. The citizens of Israel are doing what they need to do. They, just like we the people in the United States of America; have a long proud heritage to defend. They also have a way of life that they are defending.
I selected this image today to also point out to you, my fellow citizens of the United States of America, that other than the Civil War, we have never experienced a "War" on our soil. I also believe that all freedom loving peoples on our Earth long for "Peace." The citizens of Israel have experienced "War" on their soil. I must also be quick to admit that we have only recently experienced an act of "War" on our soil. I personally feel that the events of September 11, 2001 were an act of "War" and an attack on our very way of life.
I close this blog with one simple statement: "Power for Peace."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Fine Living
Several days ago I published my "Angel Trumpet" flower blog. What you are viewing today is a light pink "Angel Trumpet." I acquired six cuttings of this lovely flower from a peer in the Middle Georgia Camera Club last November and rooted them, along with the six cuttings I took from my original plant. The first Pink Angel Trumpet Flowers are in their full beauty today. I still have eight plants that are growing blossoms.
I have recently completed a pleasant road trip through the Great Upper MidWest. This is also an area of the United States that I usually refer to as "The Holy Land." You may ascertain correctly that I am a product of that part of our United States of America.
Our youngest son and his bride of several years now reside in the Saint Louis, Missouri area. That stated it was our pleasant opportunity to visit them for many days in late June and early July 2006.
Needless to say they were great host. While there we enjoyed casual dining at three of the Saint Louis area establishments which also appear to have a U. S. A. wide appeal. You have not enjoyed Ice Cream until you have dined at Ted Drewes. Their Web Site is:
We also enjoyed a full service meal at: This established landmark in a delightful collegiate community features fine Root Beer and Hamburgers, the likes of which I have never experienced. Simply Delightful!!!!!
Not forgetting his Mother's Southern Heritage, our son and his bride took us to a delightful Chicken Place: Great Chicken at warehouse prices. Fast, efficient and reliable service appear to be the hallmark of this family friendly Chicken House.
You will certainly appreciate a visit to Saint Louis, Missouri and also ascertain for yourself why I entitled this entry "Fine Living."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Angel Trumpet Flowers

Today I would like to share with you four pictures from a cutting of an Angel Trumpet that I rooted in November 2005. This is the first of eleven plants which I rooted. I am very satisfied with the result. This is a difficult plant to take picture of. The first cutting with blooms has a total of seven flowers. You will have to look close to see all of these lovely flowers. The pictures of the bottom end or the bell of the trumpet showing the open blooms were taken as I laid on the ground and shot upward. This plant is about five feet tall. The fragrance of these flowers is simply overpowering. I enjoy gardening and working with plants that you do not see very often. I have heard that the "Angel Trumpet" is making a come back from years ago. Just the other day I observed a small plant in a six inch container at a local garden center and the price was $19.00. I hope you enjoy the pictures of this blooming plant.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"the duties, rights, and privileges of this status"
You may be wondering how the picture of a Bride and Groom, or even a young Father pertains to the subject? My parents were married in May of 1939 and were engaged in the vocation of agriculture. They raised six children and I can certainly state that my Parents were my first role models. The child in the arms of the Father just happens to be me.
I have vivid memories of my Father laboring in the corn fields each November. The first one I can recall is when He was picking Corn by hand. I noted that He took time off to go to town to vote. Hardly a sensible thing to do when one considers the labor intense vocation he was engaged in. As the years progressed, the mechanical Corn Picker was introduced, which increased the speed of the annual corn harvest. Yes, My Father always took time off to go vote. Again, even with the labor saving device of a corn picker, a foolish waste of time. What if the fall rains or even snow came and curtailed the harvest? Yet My Father always had time to vote.
As is normal, years go by and during a conversation with my Father in the early 1990s I inquired on how he determined who He would vote for. I was told that the quickest method of determing if a candidate was concerned was to write a letter of inquiry to that candidate and ask a question. If the letter went unanswered that candidate was quickly eliminated. They missed the cut to be sure. This was my Father's method of determing who deserved his vote. He employed this method in Township and County elections. State and National elections were also deserving of his attention and I recall his dedication in listening to news and political conventions on the radio. To this day I rely on my parents mentoring as regards the duties and rights of a citizen.
As you might suspect this article was prompted by what I consider a dismal response of my peers in the Primary Elections held in Georgia yesterday, July 18, 2006. I believe that the level of participation was less than 20 percent. What a shame!!!!! People say that they are too busy to vote!!!!! Some even say that they do not vote so that they will not be summoned for Jury Duty!!!!!
I have yet to meet a member or even a Veteran of our United States Military who regards the responsibilities of citizenship as a waste of time. As I read the newspapers this morning I quickly thought of those Heroes who have served our Country, some even sacrificing their lives, and also those who currently serve our Country and how they would view with contempt those citizens who simply fail to vote because it is not in the normal schedule of their daily routine.
For anyone who has any doubt of the duties of citizenship, their rights and privileges may I offer this statement:
What Price, Freedom?

Monday, July 17, 2006


This picture was taken in 2004 when a local Farm Community conducted the Fall Harvest Days. I attended and my wife took this picture. I am seated on an Allis Chalmers Model "C" Tractor just like my Dad purchased in 1944, when I was four years old. What memories, to sit on a tractor that I learned to operate and cultivate corn with when I was a youthful 12 year old.
This picture of course shows a tractor that has been totally restored. The Price of the Model C that my Dad purchased in 1944 was $700.00. That included a two bottom plow with 12 inch bottoms, and a two row hand lift corn cultivator. The Hand Lift Cultivator was counter balanced with a series of springs so it was not too difficult to operate.
The model C Allis had eleven drawbar horsepower and delivered twenty-two to the pulley for running saws and hammer mills.
I have one Brother who currently owns the 1944 Allis "C" model that my Dad bought in 1944. The engine has been rebuilt several times. While it has a generator to charge a battery, it can also be quickly started with a hand crank.
My how times do change. Tractors now cost more and farmers operate very large farm. Yet they manage to do this so efficiently that I doubt that the price of a bushel of corn has changed much since 1944.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

"Update on Flower Child's Pocket Garden"
Several days ago I published a picture of the Pocket Garden at my home. Today I would like to update that picture.

Another aspect of gardening as a hobby is that your Friends, Family Members and Neighbors are always willing to share plants, cuttings or even seeds with you. I enjoy this aspect of Gardening and appreciate what others have freely shared with me. I cannot recall the name of the plant at the left. I am asking for your help in identifying this lovely plant. I placed it in a six inch terra cotta pot and it has grown lovely leaves for the last two years. It dies back in the Winter time. This is the first year that it has produced any blooms. As you can tell, the flowers are very interesting. The one on the left has been in this state for about seven days. The new shoot on the right is just beginning to display a hint of white on the blooms beneath the star looking foliage at the top of the stem.
It is a very interesting looking plant and I enjoy the unique flower. If you can help me identify this plant I would appreciate it very much. Please leave your comments.
Thank You!!!!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What Did We Do Wrong To Deserve This?

What you are viewing here is a portion of Tucker Road, West Bibb County, Macon, Georgia. This photo was taken today, July 13, 2006. We have not had any measurable amount of rain in recent days. This is a road that was recently reworked under the direction of the Bibb County Road Improvement Program. It was in the planning stages for almost ten years. We have enjoyed the potential of a new nice road as we darted between pylons and Flaggers for almost two years. But as the above image bears out, it would appear that the project engineers or possibly the appropriate contractors ignored the design. We have a nice road way and an adjacent cement sidewalk with an area of soil between. Rain water appears to run down hill, and without a proper drainage system in place it runs over Tucker Road at the low point. I would have thought that a proper Curb and Gutter System could have been employed in this area to prevent this problem.
On a positive note: The walk way is nice touch and I can testify that it is frequently used by the locals as they endeavor to obtain their exercise. It is a shame, however that the aspect of proper water run off was not designed into this project. Or, was it the contractor who failed to follow the design? I do not know, but I suspect that the situation may be corrected. Let us all sincerely hope so.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Living Up To My Name
The image above features a pocket garden that we have recently completed at our home.

The red flower is a "Dinner Plate Hibiscus. The other flower is a Limegreen "Mop Head" Hydrangea. As you know by now I enjoy gardening very much. Both of these plants are currently blooming in the gardens near our home. I am looking forward to a few days from now, when the "Angel Trumpets" which I rooted last fall will commence their blooming. At the current time they have very small bloom pods, which mature very fast. I have two Angel Trumpets in terra cotta pots and nine are planted in the soil. All eleven are doing very well.
Several years ago my wife finally figured out why I love to garden. As a city dweller I have reverted back to my Iowa Farm Boy Heritage. As a child, I like all other farm boys of the era, I was not only expected, but required to assist in the jobs that needed to be accomplished on a farm so that we could all survive. My Dad often told us "We consume the best and sell the rest." We were proud of what we raised, both produce and livestock.
Looking back I realize that our Parents fostered "Self Esteem" in all of us by allowing us to take pride in the task which we accomplished to help support the Farm Family.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

"I am a Baptized Child of God"
I am grateful that I can make this statement. Although I was baptized as an infant, I do have memories of the Baptism of my Baby Sister when she was born four years after me. The practice in our family was to have the Minister come to the home and baptize the baby within a month of birth.
Like myself, all of my siblings were born in the Winter so I think this was the most practical method for the baptisms. My post of July 7th spoke of one of my younger Brothers and how he served in the U. S. Navy. During his recent Funeral Service the Minister used his Confirmation Text for the basis of the message. The text was: Matthew 24:13. "But the one who endures to the end will be saved."
The message was very comforting for all of us. Everyone knew that my Brother was a faithful believer in God. He was known for his attendance at weekly Bible Studies conducted at his Church. He was a dedicated citizen of this world and openly displayed his belief in God by his actions.
I share this information with you today, because even though he was a bit younger than me, I used him as a role model. When I would become overconfident with my attitude that I was doing good things for God, he would always remind me that my Eternal Life in Heaven was the result of my faith, not of any thing that I accomplished. For his guidance I shall be ever grateful.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Today I am reflecting on life of one of my two younger Brothers. During the Vietnam Era in the history of our Country he served in the USS Turner Joy (DD-951) The Ship patch is displayed here. My Brother was a Fire Control Technician and I can recall the horror I felt as I listened to the radio in the Barracks of the Washington Navy Yard as the news announced an attack on the USS Turner Joy in the Tonkin Gulf. Of course I knew that my Brother was on this great ship and immediately I took a renewed interest in the Vietnam War.

Several weeks ago now I received a phone call that my Brother had died. This is my effort to recognize his service to our United States of America. I know that he served our Nation with Pride and as the first week of August approaches each year I am sure that he remembered that hellish night on August 4, 1964 when the Ship he was serving in along with the USS Maddox were under attack.

One of his favorite patches from his U. S. Navy Service was "The Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club" which is displayed on the top of this article.

As I remember my Brother I am approached by friends who offer their condolences. Some even indicate that they do not know what to say. Please be aware that this is my first experience involving the death of a family member or even a friend. My parents died some years ago and both were in their 80s. Their Children were ready, just as they were, for them to pass away.

I appreciate the messages via E-Mail, Telephone and in Person. The messages were usually brief and simply indicated that "I am sorry to hear of your Brother's death" or words in that manner. To each individual who expressed their care to me at this time I am extremely grateful.

For those who feel that they do not know what to say, may I offer this suggestion: "Deliver your message in a caring manner and please be aware that a brief - I am Sorry - is very adequate." I would respond - Thank You!!!!! I am not publishing this blog for additional condolences. I simply wanted to point out the value of saying "I am Sorry" to share with you my own observation when a death occurs

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Travelers Dilemma
(Dilemma = any situation necessitating a choice between unpleasant alternatives)
The above image was taken on Thursday, July 6, 2006 near a rest area on I-475 which is the bypass of Macon, Georgia.
I find the message very interesting. Some states in our great union have these Rest Stops much closer than we do here in Georgia. I know that in Illinois they strive to have a Rest Stop every 60 miles on the Interstate Highway System. Not only is this a safety consideration, but it also allows travelers to discharge the byproducts of their body systems when they are engaged in long distance travel.
I remain amazed that the current health care crisis in our great United States is focused on obesity. I would submit that a portion of the obese problems we hear of are directly related to poor planning on the part of our various Highway Engineers. We simply need more rest stops. Could it be that some people are obese because they have developed large bladders!!!!!!! Something to consider. I am sure that we in Georgia can do better when we plan for future Interstate Improvements. We may even build more Rest Stops.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Traffic Deaths in the United States of Amercia and U. S. Military War Dead in Iraq

First of all, any War Death is a tragic event, just as any death related to an automobile accident is a tragic event. Here is some information that I acquired on a U. S. Department of Transportation Web Site concerning the "Number of Persons Killed in Motor Vehicle Crashes by Year for the United States." It is shocking to know of the number who are no longer with us. Did you know that on an annual basis for the last eight years that well over 40,000 U. S. inhabitants are killed in Fatal Automobile Crashes each year. Generally speaking about 30,000 of these deaths involve the drivers and the balance were passengers.

During my recent road trip to the Upper Midwest I stopped at a Kentucky Rest Stop and there was a plaque there which listed the deaths on Kentucky roads for various years. The one that stuck in my mind was for the year 2005 when 985 people lost their lives on the roads of Kentucky.
I, just as you would prefer that we have no more deaths in Iraq or any other country where our U. S. Military is engaged in the conduct in the "War on Terrorism." I also wish that we could all appreciate the lives of our fellow citizens here in the United States of America.
Some thing to think about when we hear on the evening news every day the number of deaths we have experienced in the War on Terrorism in Iraq!!!!!!!