Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Flower Child's Sailor Days
During my Navy Career I served on four ships. Several years ago I was able to participate in the Reunions of each of these Great Ships. Of course, when you attend a reunion you simply must procure a hat. Today we will show the hats that Navy Veterans collect to remind themselves of the glorious days when they were younger and sailed the Seven Seas.

USS Ranger (CVA-61)
This Attack Aircraft Carrier was homeported in Alameda, California when I was aboard. I worked in the Operations Department Office. Interesting duty and of course we knew what was going on. My duty in Ranger was from April 1962 through July 1965. I had the pleasure to be onboard during one Western Pacific Cruise.

USS Sellers (DDG-11)

This Guided Missile Destroyer was homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. During my time in Sellers (DDG-11) we deployed once to the Mediterrean Sea. While stationed in Sellers I was the Leading Yeoman and the Ship's Secretary. You can observe the Motto of Sellers - "Guardian of Freedom." The Sellers was known for excellence in Anti-Submarine Warfare. I served in Sellers from November 1969 through October 1971

USS John Paul Jones (DDG-32)

The USS John Paul Jones was Commissioned as Destroyer 932. In later years she was converted to a Guided Missile Destroyer and the number was changed to (DDG-32). The famous name of JPJ as we affectionately knew her was named after what most consider the Father of the United States Navy. I was the Leading Yeoman and Ship's Secretary on board John Paul Jones and I enjoyed being a Chief on this Man-of-War. My tour of duty from December 1975 through December 1977 saw the ship homeported in Long Beach, California for an overhaul and then transferred to San Diego, California once the John Paul Jones passed the Sea Trials.

USS Hull (DD-945)

My final Sea Tour in the Navy was in the USS Hull (DD-945), the last all Gun Destroyer to serve the United States of America. We were famous for the Eight (8) inch gun we carried forward. This was an experiment by the U. S. Navy. It was determined that a Destroyer Hull could not handle the shock effects of an 8 inch gun. Every Sailor assigned to Hull was proud to serve on this great ship. My time in Hull, which was homeported in San Diego, California was from December 1977 through 1978. I was onboard for one Western Pacific Deployment.

To clarify what my duties were while I was in the U. S. Navy I will quote what the Duties of a Yeoman are as recorded in "The Bluejacket's Manual" 19th Edition:

"Yeoman (YN) - Peform clerical, administrative and secreterial duties, including stenography, filing and typing, keep records, prepare reports, handle correspondence; serve as office managers; serve as reporters for courts-martial. "

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Triumph of the Human Spirit
One of the definitions of "Triumph" is: "joy or exaultation for success; great gladness, rejoicing"

It is very easy to acquire negative feelings concerning the situations we all face and endure on a daily basis:

  • War on Terrorism
  • Sickness or Serious Injury or Accident
  • High Energy Prices
  • and the list goes on

The Flower Child, like everyone else can feel down. Today, however, I would like to share a few ideas that I employ to maintain a bright outlook on life:

  • Go to a Little League Game and see our youth as they engage in the opportunity to win, and yes, also learn how to cope with a defeat.
  • Attend a performance of Theatre Macon's Youth Actors Company (YAC) to revive your faith in the next generation. The recent production of "Les Miserables" by these kids left me feeling that our future in in great hands.
  • Take the time to watch College Sports, either in person or on Television. The current NCAA College World Series - Baseball is but one example. These students put their hearts into the sport. A joy to behold.
  • Become involved in any program to promote better citizens. Become a Mentor, volunteer to assist a 4-H Club, read at a local school. I also enjoy my part-time employment as an Actor (Standardized Patient) at the Mercer University School of Medicine. I am confident that you can think of many worthwhile organizations that need your skills. Anytime you can assist a fellow citizen - young or even old - you will develope a deep appreciation of your fellow peoplekind!!!
  • Attend a Macon Music Baseball Game. These young men are playing for the love of the game and admittedly some will progress to the majors; but they put their heart and skills into the game and are a pleasure to watch. Great entertainment in our local area and cost efficient. The Seasons will change and hopefully other Sports will return to Middle Georgia.
  • Participate in a "First Friday" Evening in downtown Macon, Georgia.

The Flower Child cannot recommend any system to achieve happiness; but he has learned that by attending meaningful events and participating in fun, wholesome and learning opportunities that he is happier and his quality of life is much better than simply doing nothing, staying home and feeling that there is not one thing to do.

We all can feel needed, useful and much more content if we simply allow ourselves to appreciate the moment by becoming involved. Besides that it is fun to participate in the events of our Society.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pizza and Pasta
One no longer has to travel to Bluffton, SC, Mount Pleasant, SC, Hilton Head Island, SC or even Acworth, GA for great Italian Food. Recently the Giuseppi's organization has opened a Pizza and Pasta eatery here in our very own Macon, Georgia. You may recall the former Sutton's Acura Dealership on Tom Hill Jr. Drive in Macon; but you will be surprised on how our local owner has transformed this empty building into a delightful place to dine. The Flower Child took his Bride to this busy spot on Friday, June 22 and experienced a friendly, efficient Wait Staff from order processing, order delivery and the dreaded paperwork after we enjoyed a great Pizza. The dreaded paperwork was not all that bad as the prices were very reasonable. Just before we left our Table the owner of the establishment visited us to ascertain information about his Wait Staff and our satisfaction with the Food. Excellent!!! No other words need be stated. The best part, was the Owner was interested. The Flower Child is confident that this management style will serve this Stomach Refilling Station (SRS) well in the future.

Friday, June 22, 2007

We Have Pondered!

Now We Can Ponder Even More!!

So the Question that All Of Middle Georgia seeks the Answer to is: How Long Will the Good People of Macon, Georgia Ponder?

Bibb County, Georgia - Our Future

Today the "Flower Child" attended the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Hearings. This hearing, required by law was well publized and a total of five citizens signed up to present their comments and concerns. One deferred because his comments were covered by another speaker. Therefore only four citizens of Bibb County addressed the Commissioners with valid concerns. In a county of about 150,000 citizens I would suspect that more would have concerns for the County Board of Commissioners. That stated, my presentation concerning funding for retirement benefits is quoted herewith:

Chairman and Commissioners of the Bibb County, Georgia Commission,

Today I encourage you to fund the Bibb County Retirement System to the full potential, rather than now engage in ways to save money; at the expense of those who serve us, a move that may in the future prove penny wise and pound-foolish.

Now, before you feel that I am digressing in my comments, please let me remind you of the recent events we all had the opportunity to witness at Macon’s City Hall this past Tuesday, June 19th. We had a vote concerning a Convention Center Hotel; which as I understand it causes the City of Macon to have a financial obligation of One point Seven Million Dollars before the end of 2007 as a payment for something. Yet we continue to hear rumors of Tax Anticipation Notes to allow Macon to make pay roll to those who are sworn to serve and protect, among others.

Please correct me if I am incorrect, but within about 24 hours the City Council announced that they could not fully fund the Police and Firemen’s Retirement Fund at Four percent because they wanted to be fiscally prudent. This methodology, which has permeated Macon’s City Hall, is just too difficult for this citizen to understand.

Yet the actions that I have recently heard about concerning funding retirements for Bibb County Employees appears on the surface to be an attempt to emulate the methodology employed by the City of Macon. Gentlemen, we do not need to do this.

I am a retiree, myself; but please bear in mind that the bulk of my retirement funds come from a much larger unit of our Nation’s Government, so I really have no axe to grind in this matter; except that I am a concerned citizen. We simply must provide for our dedicated public servants. To do less is simply a gross injustice.

In future years I suspect that the cost of Health Care for these County retirees will increase exponentially with no known limits, which can be calculated at this time. You and I have been informed during past County Budget cycles that the care of patients who cannot afford care at our local Medical Center has increased our own health care at the rate of 33 cents on each dollar we are billed.

With your recent actions regarding the Medical Center’s request regarding additional funds for indigent care, you and I can be confident that the 33 cent figure may just be increased.

With these facts in mind I urge you to fund the Bibb County Retirement System at a level appropriate to provide meaningful benefits in the future. If You emulate City Hall I have grave concerns about the County of Bibb and the future employees that will certainly take note of the benefits they have or may obtain, when their older peers discuss their decreasing retirement benefits.

I know that 2008 is an election year, but to hamper the good will that Bibb County employees and all of us citizens currently appreciate would be “Stupid is that stupid does” to quote a headline on the Opinion page of The Telegraph over an article written by Mr. Charles E. Richardson who is a featured Columnist.

In conclusion, do what is right and proper regarding the future reputation of Bibb County and our Employees; without regard to 2008 being an Election Year. A dynamic challenge to be sure, but you have been elected to provide for the general well being of all Citizens of Bibb County, not just a few electors. You can do no less if your desire to accept the Mantra of Leadership, which you pledged to do when you took the oath of office for your current position. Please accept the mantra of “Servant Leadership.”

Gentlemen, Thank You.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

God Is In Charge

Today the "Flower Child" would like to share a testimonial with you and also invite you to visit our Church at 1899 Tucker Road, Macon, Georgia. Our Church Name is: The Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity.

I recall that it was July 2005 when our former “Shepherd” departed our Fellowship. The Board of Elders at that time acquired the services of a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) Clergyman who lived in Macon and had just completed the colloquy program. It was determined that our fellowship would engage him and his services to administer the Sacraments and to also preach God’s Holy Word on an interim basis. We gave him the official title of “Visiting Pastor.” The basic reason for this arrangement was the fact that we realized that we had to live within our means.

I recall that this “Visiting Pastor” arrangement commenced in the Fall of 2005. This arrangement was implemented with the concurrence of the Circuit Counselor and the District President. This scheme served us well; however it was in July of 2006 when our District President met with us and encouraged us to think about our future. We then commenced a series of meetings with the entire membership to develop a comprehensive plan for our future.

In the end we concluded that our needs and the Work of Growing God’s Kingdom here in Macon, Georgia could best be served by Calling a Retired Pastor. The District President forwarded a vita on a possible candidate and we conducted a phone interview with the candidate while still being served by the “Visiting Pastor.”

During this period of time a major concern developed. Our fellowship was being well served and here we were looking for a replacement. Not a great situation as regards human relationships.

We did, however, determine to issue a Call/Contract to the Retired Pastor that we had interviewed. To conclude this testimonial, our “Visiting Pastor” received a Call to become a Full Time Pastor and our incoming “Retired Pastor” was able to join us in a timely manner.

Between these two Clergymen’s service to us our Circuit Counselor arranged for appropriate administration of the “Lord’s Supper,” and as I compose this testimonial today, I realize that I do so to clearly point out that “God Is In Charge!!! We had faith in the system and in the end relied on “Our God, the Creator; Our God, the Son our Savior; and our
God the Holy Spirit.
For additional information about the church, please visit:
Thank You and looking forward to meeting you.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Flower Child's Mystery Question

Attention: Where is the sign/plaque/message posted in Macon, Georgia? The first to leave the correct answer here in the comments section will be awarded a prize. If not Pig in the Pit, an adventure to Five Guys - Burgers and Fries. Deadline for this Contest is June 30, 2007.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day
Yes, I celebrated one Day Early, but it was a very Happy Day. Thanks to My Two Sons!!

Cupalo Removal Team

With Father's Day fast approaching I have become engaged in looking at some of the old pictures in several shoe boxes to help bring back memories of when My Sons were younger.
Today's post involves the Cupalo Removal Team that took the cupalo off of our Home in San Diego, California. I do not know when this was done, but I would think that it was in early 1977. Shown here is the Flower Child, His Son with the snappy Salute and the Young Girl who lived across from us on Debby Ann Place. By looking closely you can view the top of the weather vane that was on top of the cupalo. It is always nice to recall the pleasant events of the past.
Now if you also desire to see My Youngest Son, please visit this Blog and scroll to the entry of June 13, 2007:
Thank You!!!!
April 19, 1942 - June 16, 2006

Friday, June 15, 2007

Why I served!!!!!

Yes, the color theme of this post is Navy Blue. I titled this Blog "Why I Served!!" simply because most Military Personel serve for one or two valid reasons. First of all I joined to avoid the Draft in 1961 and I just knew I did not want to walk on any more gravel. I had done plenty of that in my tender youth as a Farm Boy. Therefore I joined the Navy. After my first enlistment was complete I shipped over for shore duty in England. Now for the reason I Served. I did so to enable allow my Family to continue to live in the land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Just as the generation that served in World War II, to protect their Homeland and also to fight so that their Fox Hole Buddy would survive as I learned in the Epic "Band of Brothers" Miniseries just a few years ago I really served to enable my Family. Of course, the aspect of Duty, Honor and Country also fall into play somewhere in the priorities; but the fact remains that Family and Self come first.

The sign on this Garage Door in October 1978 says it all. You can see my Bride and two sons as they prepare to travel to the U. S. Navy Base in San Diego and Greet the Good Ship, USS Hull (DD-945) as she and the crew returned from a Western Pacific Deployment. This would be my final cruise and my final sea duty because I had only three years to serve before I could Retire. I had my Shore Duty Orders and I was ready to get on with my final duty station and my future doing something other than Navy Duty.

"Happiness Is Being Home"

Please take the time this Father's Day Weekend to send a note to a U. S. Hero who is currently serving in Harm's Way and engaged in the War on Terrorism.

Flower Child (Evel) in April 1977

Hello, Going through the shoe box of pictures has really helped Me, The Flower Child to evoke great memories of my sordid past. The image above was most likely taken during the last days of April 1977 on Debby Ann Place in San Diego, California. I had heard of Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel Jr., and I decided that if he who was a mere two years older than I could be a dare-devil, I could at least ride a Honda to work. I was stationed on the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-32) homeported in San Diego at the time and I figured I could save time and fuel if I rode a Bike to Work. Plus parking on the very congested Navy Base would no longer be a problem. Thus I purchased a Honda 350 and was actually learning how to ride and to also pass the test so that I could obtain a Navy Base Sticker. Well, during one of the first days of May I was riding around the block and attempting to execute the manuevers required to pass the test when I lost control and jumped a seven inch curb, throwing myself off and landing on my left elbow. I was not smart enough to tuck my elbow/arm near my side so I suffered a massive injury to my left elbow. I was wearing a helmet and the residents of the home nearby called my Wife after I told them the number and she rushed to the scene and transported me to the U. S. Navy Hospital in San Diego. After 30 days in the Motorcyle Ward in traction I was released to limited duty and much time spent in the whirlpool baths to regain even limited range of motion. I spend six months on limited duty, lost my ship and was reassigned to the USS Hull (DD-945) in December 1977.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Flower Child between the U. S. Navy and Brown and Williamson Tobacco Factory
Most everyone knows that the "Flower Child" served in the United States Navy and after 21 years of service he retired on December 31, 1981. In order to pay the bills in a timely manner he took the only job offer available at the time. Because of his "Yeoman" experience in the Navy, which is Administration, he worked as the office manager at a local Nursing Home in Macon, Georgia until he was hired by the tobacco factory in May of 1983. You will quickly note that he enjoyed his new found freedom in dress and grooming code. The long hair was a symbol of the freedom of being Retired from the Navy.

Monday, June 11, 2007


In keeping with the mantra of this Blog, "Comments on most anything that is currently happending in Middle Georgia............" the post today will feature a new business in Macon.

I had recently heard of a New Hamburger place in Macon, located in the former Acura Auto Dealership on Tom Hill Blvd in Macon. This evening my Bride suggested that we check this fine food facility out. As we arrived well ahead of the evening rush we were cheerfully greeted. Of course I was counting the Guys. I could only see four. I was quickly informed that the fifth one was in back. As we dined here I observed that every customer who enters is warmly greeted and their order quickly processed at one of two customer service stations. Of special merit was a message posted on a "white board" on the wall at the end of the service counter. "Today's Potatoes are from Rigby, Idaho." It is always nice to know where the potatoes were grown.

As you order your Hamburger which is cooked from fresh beef, you are given a plethora of options on how you want your Burger dressed. Here is but one of the Five Guys (note the cheerful female) carefully fabricating the orders to specifications. This was a delightful dining experience and it is always a pleasure to observe friendly, smiling, well groomed and efficient staff no matter where you dine. Oh, yes, I did enjoy the in the shell, dry roasted peanuts as I awaited our order.

FIVE GUYS - Burgers and Fries will certainly receive future business from "The Flower Child."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flower Child Goes to Church !!

Some may find this difficult to believe, but the Flower Child does participate in organized religion. The Church Flower Child attends installed a new Pastor. The image here shows several of the Clergy Members from the East Georgia Circuit of the Lutheran Church participating in the "Laying on of Hands," which is part of the installation Ceremony. Our fellowship celebrated the installation of our new Pastor for The Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, 1899 Tucker Road, Macon, Georgia today, June 10th.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Old Dodge - New Dodge

Today the "Flower Child" visited the Second Annual Automobile Show held on Cherry Street in downtown Macon, Georgia. The show has been held for the past two years and is a fund raiser for the restoration of "Fort Hawkins," the birthplace of Macon, Georgia. The first show in 2006 was nice and many auto owners participated. This year, 2007 featured many more automobiles and from my point of view, about twice as many specators. A great event and I hope that it continues. The show this year even featured one Rolls Royce. However, you can quickly ascertain the automobiles that captured the "Flower Child's" interest. As the name of this post indicates, if it is not a Dodge, who cares.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Baseball Camp at Historic Luther Williams Baseball Park
Macon, Georgia

The 21 Annual Gaudet Baseball Camp is now History. The above image is but one small group of Campers as they awaited the time to proceed to the Field. The Opening Ceremonies included the National Anthem and the Traditional Throw of the First Pitch. After that the Campers, assigned by age group took the field to learn and practice the skills of Baseball. The Flower Child has been a volunteer for the past two years and has enjoyed the opportunity very much. It is always refreshing to see our next generation of citizens involved in fun activity, while at the same time learning life skills.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Proper Prior Planning!!!!
I suspect that everyone has heard of the six Ps. Thus the title of this post. The next three words are quite easy to discern.
This is June, the traditional month for "Perfect Weddings." The perfect:
  • Site for the Wedding
  • Reception Hall
  • Wedding Dress
  • Photographer
  • Reception Menu
  • Perfect Weather

And the list goes on.

We often read or even hear of engagements in excess of twelve months so all the "perfect" requirements can be achieved. I even recall an engagement announcement where the potential Bride was to marry a "Mr. Perfect." Admittedly, a wedding should be a nice event and even considered a major milestone in the lives of the Bride and the Groom.

After all this is a life long commitment.

With this background in mind, it would also appear appropriate to plan for the next major milestone in an individuals life. When we marry, we pledge to remain "Till Death."

Yet how many plan for the future? I am not advocating the pre-planning and pre-payment of a funeral. What I hope to encourage the people who read this post to do is plan for the long-term future. As a gift to my family I have planned my own funeral and method of burial. I feel that may help take some of the pressure off of what may be a stressful situation. No one will have to ask, "What Would He Have Wanted?"

I enjoyed my wedding day and the honeymoon. But it was not perfect. We hitchhiked home from our Honeymoon because our car was totally destroyed in an accident in North Georgia.

My life since then has not been perfect, but generally speaking, I have enjoyed it. I am confident that my final days of life here on earth will not be perfect.

What I am striving for is a perfect "Life Here After!!"

In Conclusion, planning for the situations and major milestones of our Earthly Life is appropriate. That stated "Planning for the Long-Term Future is Even More Vital."

I quote from Book IV, Psalm 90, A prayer of Moses the man of God, verse 4:

"For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night."

The above quote causes me to believe that whatever is in store for me after my time on this earth will last a long time. In fact, if you take the time to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Psalm 90 you will most likely agree!!!!

Thank You!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Joyful June!!!

The Everlast Hydrangea

For maximum inpact I have finally learned to plant flowers in broad sweeps

A close up of a lovely Mop Head

These Lovely Looking Lace Cap also flourish in the East Gardens

A close up of a lovely Blue Mop Head

I often call this the Funeral Hydrangea because we brought it home from someone's Funeral when no one else wanted it. We have enjoyed these flowers for about twelve years.

This Joyful June post is shared on this blog for the enjoyment of all. I usually take my flower pictures as the Sun is just coming through the trees. No shadows and excellent lighting!!

Have a Great Day!!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Where is This Plaque?

A Good Friend of the Flower Child recently sent me this image. Do you know where this plaque is located in Middle Georgia?

Please leave your comments here. This is a contest with the only reward offered is the fact that you know where the plaque is located. At this time there is no prize being offered for the individual who has the correct answer.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Who Will It Be?
We have been told that the next co-host for the AM-940 Morning Talk Show here in Middle Georgia will be on the air on Monday Morning, June 4th, 2007. Leave your idea in the comment section to this post with the name of who will be joing Jami G on Monday, June 4th.