Thursday, February 28, 2008

Army Service and Prince Harry
The English Media announced that Prince Harry was able to leave the United Kingdom and travel to the War Zone in the Far East. I understand that he left on Christmas Eve 2007. What a fine young man that the Sitting Queen of England can certainly take a great amount of pride in. Here in the Colonies we have far two many in the "Ruling Class" that display contempt for our Heros that are engaged in the War on Terrorism. When I say "Ruling Class" I am referring to our Nations duly elected "Lawmakers" who have openly decried our Heroes.
The English have one of the Grandsons of the Queen who was upset when they cancelled his orders to Iraq last year. But this fine young man, and I might add, a fine example for all youth everywhere to emulate, insisted that he should serve his Country and the Queen. Admittedly, young Harry was reported as saying something like, "I serve the Queen and She just happens to be my Grandmother."
Way to go, Harry, Warrior engaged in the War on Terrorism. Thank You!!! You certainly have set the Gold Standard.
Solving the Problems Confronting the United States of America!!!
Good Day!!! I, the Flower Child listen and also watch with great interest to the three current candidates for the Office of President of the United States of America. Soon the respective parties will have their Conventions and after that we can hear and watch how they all feel about the current Leadership in Washington, D.C. In fact, I have already heard more than I need to hear about the "Current Leadership in Washington, D.C." In fact they are saying that we are in our current situation because of the current leadership in Washington, D.C.
The last time I checked, all three current candidates are Sitting Senators in the United States of America Senate. Could they be part of the problem they currently decry with such retoric?
I think So. Until you become part of the solution, you are indeed at best condoning the problem, and at worse, you are part of the problem. In the meantime, the campaign retoric is interesting to listen to and also makes watching the evening news very interesting.
Maybe I can find comfort in what my Dear Dad always told me so many years ago. "The United States of America is such a great Nation because of it's Citizens, that no President can totally screw it up during his/her four year term." (Or words that mean we will survive.) I just hope that this adage remains true and that the majority of Americans remain dedicated to the Country inspite of who is elected to the Office of President of the United States of America.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Road Side Litter in Georgia
During Flower Child's recent road trip from Calloway Gardens to Middle Georgia it was impossible to not notice the abundance of roadside trash that our Citizens have carelessly deposited along side of the road. We traveled from Pine Mountain (formerly known as Chipley) back to Middle Georgia on State Highway 18 and 74. The plastic grocery bags and the white carry out containers as well as the plastic drink cups were in great abundance along the Western End of Georgia Highway 18.
We all know that Calloway Gardens is an international tourist meca and you can be certain that many visitors from other states and overseas have the opportunity to view our littering attitude here in Georgia. What a Shame!!!! We are not putting our best foot forward to show our Great State and it's Proud Citizens. What a Mess!!!!
USS Ranger (CV-4) Commissioned
The USS Ranger was the first true Aircraft Carrier built for the U. S. Navy. This carrier was constructed as a carrier from the keel up. She was commissioned in 1933. Note the straight deck. This configeration prevented the launch and recovery of aircraft at the same time. Newer carriers featured the angled deck which did allow launch and recovery at the same time. As you may know the Flower Child served in the USS Ranger (CVA-61), which was the third Carrier in the Forrestal Class of Carriers constructed by the U. S. Navy.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Flower Child Visits Calloway Gardens

The Flower Child and his Bride Visited the famed Calloway Gardens in West Georgia on Thursday and Friday, February 21st and 22nd. Although it rained, the Flowers in the Sibley Horticulatural Center were protected from the weather. It was a delightful day and an excellent opportunity to also be motivated for the Spring Gardening season, which will soon be upon us all here in Middle Georgia.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Music Man - a.k.a. "Flower Child"
For the past ten days the Flower Child has been enjoying the Music Events in Middle Georgia. The first event was held on Sunday, February 10, 2008 at the Vineville United Methodist Church. It was a Concert featuring "The Manhattan Piano Trio." The Trio consisted of:
Milana Strezeva-Bahl, Piano
Dmitry Lukin Violin
Dmitry Kouzov, Cello
This talented group came from the Juilliard School of Music, New York City. The concert featured works by Haydn, Schumann, Bartok, Joun, Liszt and Ravel. A delightful Sunday afternoon, indeed.
Then on Friday Evening, February 15, 2008 there was a gala performance by the Diaz Trio. This spirited group performed at the Neva Langley Fickling Hall in the McCorkle Music Building on the Campus of Mercer University. This spirited group performed as a Trio for the first segments of the Concert. The Trio was:
Andres Cardenes, Violin
Roberto Diaz, Viola
Andres Diaz, Cello
After a brief intermission these performers were joined by:
Amy Schwartz Moretti, Violin
Reid Harris, Viola
Christopeher Rex, Cello
The music was composed by Dohnanyi, Francaix and Brahms. The vigor displayed by the performers and also the smooth melodic performances was exceptional. The Neva Langley Fickling Hall is a stellar venue for this type of Concert, which is as it should be. The Mercer University Music Department is also the Home of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings. For those who read this Blog who are not familiar with Macon and Mercer, let it be known that Robert McDuffie is a product of Macon, Georgia who has received international acclaim as a Solo Performer on the Violin.
All of this background stated to also let it be known that the six performers who concluded the Concert on February 15, 2008 each have impressive credentials. The Biographies of the Six Artist consisted of three pages.
Then on Saturday, February 16th, 2008 I attended the Macon Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Concert #4 at Macon, Georgia's Historic Opera House. The performance was billed as "An Evening of Opera Choruses" and it most certainly was the high point of the Musical Performances available in Middle Georgia. Seventy-four young women and men from these four Colleges/Universities of Middle Georgia comprised the Chorus.
Mercer University Singers
Georgia College and State University Chorus
Macon State College Chorus
Wesleyan College Woman's Chorus
The Symphony and Combined Choruses performed with exceptional brilliance and vigor. A true joy to behold. One more delightful evening of music. Selections for the evening were:
Overture to "Rienzi" by Wagner
Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from "Nabucco" by Verdi
Pilgrims' Chorus from "Tannhauser" by Wagner
Humming Chorus from "Madam Butterfly" by Puccini
Polovtsian Dances from "Prince Igor" by Borodin
Voyagers' Corus from Idomeneo" byMozart
Soldiers' Chorus from "Faust" by Gounod
Bridal Chorus from "Lohengrin" by Wagner
Anvil Chorus from "Il Trovatore" by Verdi
Carmen: Suite No 2 by Bizet
Each of the above selections were special in as they were "First Macon Performance" by our own Macon Symphony Orchestra. Each of the selections performed during this Evening of Opera Choruses was well done and received thunderous applause. For the Flower Child, the Verdi piece from the Opera "Il Trovatore," known as the Anvil Chorus was the high light of the entire concert. The "Anvil" performer was right on time and target with a striking performance that captivated the entire House.
I might also state here that while each of the four Vocal Groups practiced at their respective schools, they only had two sessions as the Combined Choruses for a total practice time of about three hours. I asked one of the performers and this is what I was told. They certainly performed well and each group represented their respective schools in the best tradition of their school.
Well Done!!!!! to the Macon Symphony Orchestra and the Vocalist. It was an outstanding evening of Musical Entertainment and it was Opera!!!
To conclude this Review of Music in February in Middle Georgia I must state that today, Feburary 19, 2008 I attended the "Third Tuesday Organ Interludes" sponsored by the In-Town Church Congregations of Macon. The Interlude today was held at First Presbyterian Church on Mulberry Street. This series is held at Noon and today's Organist was Dr. Robert Parris, of Mercer University. This 30 minute Concert consisted of the following:
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.... J.N. Hanff
Lamb of God, Most Holy.....J.S. Bach
Stations of the Cross.....Marcel Dupre
The Music Selections were very appropriate for the Lenten Season.
The Flower Child has had a very enjoyable and varied exposure to great Music this February of 2008. Thank You to all the fine performers and the respective organizations who sponsor such fine culture to us Citizens of Middle Georgia. In my humble opinion, "World Class" Culture. Because my Navy Career involved World Wide Travel I can truthfully say that what we have in Macon, Georgia equals the Opera Performance I attended at the San Carlo in Naples or the production of "Golden Boy" by Sammy Davis Jr in London in 1968. We certainly have much to be grateful for, here in Middle Georgia.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A New Era in NASCAR

NASCAR is running the 50th Spring Race at Daytona today. So many things have changed this year, but the most dramatic change has been the change of sponsorships of many of the Young Drivers. You may not have heard, but Kasey Kahne is now sponsored by "Budweiser." He is still driving a Dodge product, at least as far as the nameplate is concerned. The Flower Child and his Bride wish you, Kasey Kahne Well this 2008 NASCAR Season. To learn more about Kasey please visit:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bibb County Challenge

From time to time the Flower Child has a picture in this Blog which contains a Challenge. If you can post a comment to this Blog no later than February 22, 2008 that contains the location of this great doorway you will certainly be treated to a delightful lunch courtesy of the Flower Child.
Previous Challenge Winners have dined at:
Pig in the Pit
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Although the site for this Challenge Winner's Lunch has not been determined you can be certain that it will be a delightful and wholesome place.
Please note the Challenge Title. This door way is in Bibb County, Georgia. Thousands of citizens pass this door way every day. Once the Winner, or the location is announced after February 22, 2008, you will know that you need to slow down and enjoy the view as you engage in your rush, rush lives. In other words, this one is so easy that I am laughing to myself right now as I post this Blog.
Flower Child Serving in the USS Ranger (CVA-61)

Although the Flower Child's first duty station was an Aircraft Carrier, you can certainly ascertain that there was not an abundance of space for each Sailor.

The USS Ranger (CVA-61) visited Hong Kong, B.C.C. during the 1963 Cruise. Of course we all had to be tourist. Here you can view the Flower Child as he sits on the wall overlooking downtown Hong Kong from Victoria's Peak. Across the water is the City of Kaloon, China.

Valentine's Day 2008

The Flower Child had a lovely Valentine's Day. His Bride developed a very appropriate Table Setting and Flower Arrangement for the Dining Room Table. She used flowers and live plant material from the Gardens that surround their home in West Bibb County, Georgia.

Selections included in this lovely arrangement:

Tinus Virburnum

Lenten Roses


Dwarf Nandina

Snow Drops

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Russian Bear Aircraft and U. S. Navy Carrier Overflights

Yesterday we displayed the most recent Russian overflights of a U. S. Navy Aircraft Carrier, the USS Nimitz. This is not a new event. During the "Cold War" it was a common place experience. A fellow USS Ranger Sailor of the early 1960s sent me this image. It shows a Bear aircraft operating in the vicinity of the USS Ranger (CVA-61). As you can see the year this happened is 1987. My fellow USS Ranger Sailor of the 60s also reported that during his time in Ranger the Carrier was overflown by Bears during each of the three cruises where he was a participant

During the Cold War it was thought that the Russians were attempting to discredit the U. S. Navy and their potential to wage war by clearly showing that they, the Russians, could always find our Carriers at any time.

The USS Ranger (CVA-61) was known as "The Top Gun" way back in the 1960s. On this date, February 14th, as we remember the First Salute by a Foreign Nation, France, to our new U. S. Flag it is also appropriate to know that John Paul Jones was in Command of the Ranger which flew this new Flag. I recall a ceremony being held on the Flight Deck of the USS Ranger (CVA-61) to observe this historic event. The Marine detachment conducted Evening Colors as members of the Crew stood at attention on the Flight Deck. A well done ceremony which allowed us Ranger Sailors to celebrate and also remember our proud U. S. Heritage. We we were deployed to the far Pacific and we were in Port.

Even today, the Flower Child is proud to be a part of the History of the USS Ranger legacy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

USS Nimitz visited by a Russian Bear Aircraft

One of two Russian Tu-95 Bear long range bomber aircraft which neared the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) on Feb. 9, 2008 south of Japan. As standard procedure the carrier launched a fighter intercept of F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVN ) 11 as escort. Nimitz was transiting through the Western Pacific on a regularly scheduled deployment when the incident occurred. U.S. Navy Photo (Released)
When the Flower Child was stationed in USS Ranger (CVA-61) U. S. Navy Attack Aircraft Carrier during the 1960s the Russian Bear aircraft overflew the USS Ranger. The Ranger had just departed Japan and was enroute back to the U. S. of America after a Six Month Deployment. So this is nothing new. I believe the Ranger overflight by a Bear was in 1963.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pearl Harbor Myths
Last Saturday evening, February 9th I was watching a Television show entitled "Pearl Harbor Myths," which was dedicated to stating the History of the tragic events of December 7th, 1941. The United States Navy actually fired the first shot on this Historical Date. Sailors onboard the USS Ward (DD-139) were patrolling the waters near Pearl Harbor. They shot a Japanese Submarine which sunk. The show featured a Crewmember from the USS Ward actually making a dive down to the site of the Japanese Submarine. You can learn more about this event by visiting:
The Gun from the USS Ward which fired the fatal shot is now a fitting memorial on the Grounds of the State Capital of Minnesota, in Saint Paul. Because so many Sailors in USS Ward were from the Midwest the State of Minnesota dedicated this Gun as a Memorial to these Heroes of the War in the Pacific, Sailors of the USS Ward (DD-139).
To learn about this Gun and to view images of it on the Grounds of the State Capital please visit:
The Flower Child considers himself quite well educated on the History of the U. S. Navy; but this was new information. I share it today, just in case you also have never heard that the United States of America fired the first volley of the Pacific War during World War II.
This certainly also proves the adage: "One is never too old to learn!!!"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Writers Strike Over!!!
Did the Flower Child hear the news correctly? That the writers stirke is over!!!! Does this mean that the classic phrase we have all grown to appreciate on ABC Television's Sunday Night Winner will change? I for one have developed a deep appreciation for the phrase: "Move That Bus!!!" This is one great program that has done so much for so many deserving families. It also allows us all to develope a deep sense of appreciation for the many people who labor in building these lovely homes. I sure hope that the phrase: "Move That Bus!!!" is not removed from the hit ABC Program, Extreme Home Makeover.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Flower Child's Gift for a Lovely Grandchild!!

Look closely and you can view the wording - "See Raegan Grow" There is a tape measure on the edge. It is set up so that every six months her parents can measure her and place a pre-made sticker on the front of this Grow Board. A line will point to the height on the edge.

Here is a view of the "Flower Child" with the entire "See Raegan Grow" board. The custom paint job matches the very first gown she ever wore immediately after her birth. Oh, what fun to make custom made gifts for Grandchildren.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Flower Child's February Flowers

Lenten Roses (a.k.a. Helleboros) flourish in the Gardens at 128 Weatherby Drive here in Macon, Georgia. They are called Lenten Roses because they normally bloom during the season of Lent.
In addition to their refreshing Winter Beauty, the deer do not consume these flowers or the plants. They also self seed in abundance. A delightful plant that flourishes in a shaded landscape that has captured the heart of the Flower Child. Certainly a low maintenance plant.

USS Georgia (SSGN-729)
Return to Service

Thank You to the U. S. Navy for this released photo of the USS Georgia (SSGN-729) as she is moored pierside in Norfolk, Virginia in December 2007. This grand Boat has just completed conversion to serve our Nation as a "Guided Missile Submarine."
Yesterday, February 4th, the Flower Child attended the ceremony here in Bibb County honoring this Boat and Her Crew as the Georgia Flag travels to every county in Georgia. The Governor of Georgia will present this Georgia Flag to the USS Georgia Crew on the "Return to Service" ceremony to be held at Kings Bay on March 28, 2008. Kings Bay will be the home port of this Great Vessel.
Prior to the conversion, the USS Georgia saw service as a ballistic submarine. As a Guided Missile Submarine she will carry 154 cruise missiles and she is also fitted to transport U. S. Navy Special Forces in support operations in the War on Terrorism. This new vessel is equipped to transport U. S. Navy Seals anywhere in the world where needed to support the defense of our great Nation.
Honor America
Honor the Heroes

February 5, 2008. There really is no finer way for all American Citizens to Honor their Country and the Heroes that make the way of life we enjoy than to exercise your right to Vote.
If you are a registered Voter, please vote this election year. The Flower Child resides in Georgia so he was a part of the Super Tuesday voting rush in the Presidential Preference Primary held today.
Now, if you are of age and have never registered to vote, or you have registered; but have never exercised your right to vote consider your self a "Bottom Feeder." The American Heritage Dictionary list one of the definitions of "Bottom Feeder" as "A low or descipable person." I can certainly agree with that definition.
To many people have labored or fought and some have perished so that we might have the way of life we all enjoy.

Sunday, February 03, 2008