Monday, March 29, 2010

Cherry Blossom Festival 2010
Where is the Flower Child?
During the past two weeks several individuals have asked me where is the Flower Child? I have enjoyed a brief period from posting Blog Entries. I have been enjoying the opportunity to be a Tour Guide for my Cousin from the Twin Cities who journeyed to Middle Georgia to enjoy the 2010 Cherry Blossom Festival as well as be a tourist in Middle Georgia. Today I will share a few of the highlights of the recent weeks.

No visit to Georgia would be complete without a visit to Plains, Georgia. We stopped here after a visit to the Little Grand Canyon near Lumpkin, Georgia. The Canyon is also known as the Providence State Park within the Georgia Parks System. We enjoyed the peanut flavored Ice Cream in Plains.
One Saturday morning during the Cherry Blossom Festival we visited Central City Park. If you get their early enough you have the opportunity to savor and also enjoy the fine pink pancakes that are produced by the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department. The best meal in Middle Georgia during the Cherry Blossom Festival. For a mere five dollars you can enjoy all the pink pancakes you can eat as well as the finest breakfast sausage anywhere.

After the Pancake Breakfast we visited the Mustang Car Show. Here you can view some of the late arrivals. Please note that there is one misfit lined up to participate in the show. I know that a 1964 Ford Galaxie is not a Mustang, but they let several other Ford products into the show.

The Cherry Blossom Festival also features a Midway in Central City Park for those who enjoy the rides and the various games of chance. I found this pose of the prize dogs interesting. Some may consider this "R" rated.

In addition to enjoying the Little Grand Canyon in West Georgia we also took the opportunity to visit Westfield, a recreated 1850 Town. They actually moved many buildings from various Georgia locations in the 1970s to create this Town where it is always 1850. Here you see a Georgia Court House. I performed some investigative work here to ascertain that this Court House was constructed with a budget of $5900.00 and it contained all the necessary spaces for a court house and a well appointed Court Room on the upper floor.
I realize that times have changed but I would encourage our Bibb County leaders to visit this Court House as they prepare to ask us, "We The People" to approve a SPLOST to construct a new Courthouse right here in Bibb County, Georgia later this year.
Now you know what the Flower Child has been doing. Watch for additional post about the 2010 Cherry Blossom Festival. I would encourage you to "Bookmark" this Blog or make it one of your "Favorites" on your Internet.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I have just completed the sending of a message for our Nation's Lawmakers and also our President. It read as follows:

I know that you have a lot of concerns on Your Plate.

Please be aware that your current concerns about Health Care are a waste of time.

Without JOBS, many JOBS, all of this strife about Health Care is a Waste of Time.

Please remember these Three Words: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!!

If we go not generate more Jobs in this country we will soon reach the point that there will not be enough tax payers to support the current Federal Government, State Governments and the Local Governments let alone some grand scheme to have Health Care For All.

Thank You,


Monday, March 15, 2010

Consolidation Meeting
City of Macon - County of Bibb Georgia
Sponsored by the Douglass Theatre
It was my good fortune to be able to attend the Consolidation Meeting tonight at 7:00 P.M. sponsored by the Douglass Theatre in Downtown Macon, Georgia.
The meeting a moderated event with Representative Peake, City Mayor Reichert, County Commission Chair Hart, City Council Person Lucas and County Commissioner Allen on the panel.
The meeting commenced on time and a brief discussion followed where the panel expressed their thoughts on the Consolidation issue. Everyone was in favor of the Consolidation, but the major problem appeared to be the time frame for execution and a lack of time to educate the citizens about the Charter of the Consolidated Government.
After the Panel concluded their brief remarks the meeting was open to the citizens in attendance to ask their questions.
I addressed the Panel and opened by discussing my situation and my concerns:
  • I choose to live in Macon and currently live in the County of Bibb.
  • I reminded the Panel that the Charter Study Group of the late 1990s was chaired by two individuals who were both well respected and regarded Citizens. I recalled that Mr. Albert Billingslea and Mr. George Israel let the Charter Study Group. I attended one of the meetings which was held at Westside High School. My major concern was the cost savings that would be the outcome of the Consolidation. I informed the Panel tonight that a successful business man Named Mr. Kruger took all of us who were concerned about cost and potential savings into a room and educated us. The initial action of Consolidation might result in the expenditure of additional funds; but that the long term benefits would be savings in tax dollars by having fewer elected lawmakers, fewer staff personel in a Consolidated Government as well as other efficiencies. In summary the cost of government would increase at a slower rate than operating with two governing bodies.
  • To refute the comment I heard about Consolidation being in appropriate because the Citizens of Macon would suffer because of racial concerns I pointed out that my former employer, Brown and Williamson did more than any government has in the past or will do in the future to improve the lifestyles of all citizens in Macon and/or Bibb County. This company did more to level the playing field for the common person, be they white boys, males; white females, black boys, males; and black girls, females.

I then asked my question: Given our current economy, decreasing sales tax revenue and decreasing home values; do we have ten years to complete a City of Macon - County of Bibb Consolidation?

Several on the panel answered the question but the one that stands out in my mind as I compose this Blog Post is a concern that we should not hasten into this Vote on a Charter. We need time to study it and to also educate the Citizens.

The most dynamic comment I recall is the following which I quote: "We are not clear on what we will be voting on!!!"

From my point of view if we have six months to study this proposal after it is enacted by our Georgia General Assembly consisting of both the House of Representatives and our own Georgia Senate that this is adequate time to study the proposal which we would be voting on this November. I also understood that the Consolidation would be effective no earlier than 2012 if it is approved by "We The People" referring to the voters of Bibb County - All Of Us.

Representative Peake also reminded us that we could read the text of the entire proposal online by citing HB 1161. I am confident that this Bill is available.

As I departed the meeting I had to ask my self why anyone would make such a statement such as: "We are not clear on what we will be voting on!!!!"

At this point in my life I am more concerned with this question: "What are our U. S. Senators voting on as regards Health Care for all the Citizens of the United States of America?" What have our Congressmen and Congresswomen submitted to our U. S. Senate for our common good as regards Health Care?

Maybe I have understood this all incorrectly, but I think that ten years is adequate time to Study the Consolidation Charter which was developed in the late 1990s.

Just think, we have been taking about Health Care Reform for all the Citizens of the U. S. A. for less than two years. So what is the rush at the National level on a major proposal that will have impact on all U. S. A. Citizens forever.

Everyone on tonights Panel agreed that Consolidation must be done. The problem was, just how fast. From my point of view if we can enact a Health Care Reform Bill in less than two years why do we need to add more time on a Charter Proposal that has been around for at least ten years.

We need another ten years to implement it? Meanwhile, as my question to the Panel informed them, Our Sales Tax Revenue is Decreasing, as well as our Home Values have also recently decreased.

Where will our duly elected leaders go to acquire the tax dollars to continue two governments here in Macon, Georgia and Bibb County? We all know that the State of Georgia is also suffering from a lack of Sales Tax Revenue.

Or to reflect back on History, Who is fiddling in Macon/Bibb while we Burn? O, forget, that was the City of Rome, Italy.

Health Care in the United States of America

Last evening, March 14, 2010 I sent this message to my two Georgia Senators and the Representative to the U. S. Congress for the 8th District.

On March 8, 2010 I received an E-Mail which contained the following quote:

“Buried in his massive amendment to the Senate version of Obamacare is Reid’s anti-democratic poison pill designed to prevent any future congress from repealing the central feature of this monstrous legislation!

Beginning on page 1,000 of the measure, Section 3403 reads in part: “.it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.””

I would sincerely hope and also pray that this section has been taken our of the proposed Health Care Bill that You are now attempting to pass with a 51 percent of the vote of the U. S. Senate.

Even our Founding Fathers realized that the Constitution was not a perfect document. It has been amended only 27 times over the period of well over 200 years. Yet you think that the proposed Health Care is never going to need any modification is you enact the reported “Harry Reid” proposal.

I do not think that it is possible to enact any law that is totally perfect when one considers the gravity of the proposed “Health Care Reform” such as you are currently considering.

If the section quoted above has been totally removed from the proposal under consideration I would remind you that from what I read the national mood is that my peers as well as myself desire “jobs.” What good is a revised health care system if more and more people, citizens of our great United States of America do not have employment?

Gentlemen, let me make this simple for you. Vote NO on Health Care legislation in 2010 and also the next time such as is currently proposed raises it’s ugly head.

You all could do far better enacting laws which would assist more Americans to acquire employment.

Thank You,


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Time Arrangement
The Flower Child's Handiwork

Today the Flower Child constructed an arrangement for the Pot Luck Dinner at the Lenten Service at Church.
Every Flower in this arrangement is currently in Bloom in the Gardens of the Flower Child's Home in West Bibb County. Of special merit are the Lenten Roses, the Daphne Odera and the Tinus Vibrunum. I am confident that you will recognize the Camellia Blooms as well as the Daffodils.

The Beauty that abounds around us here in Middle Georgia is special. Soon the Dogwood Trees will be in full bloom as well as the Cherry Trees.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Property Tax Roll Back
Bibb County School Board
March 9, 2010 Hearing
This evening I attended the Bibb County School Board hearing regarding Property Tax Roll Back. We first viewed a presentation regarding the Financial Situation confronting the Bibb County School System. The presentation established the fact that all school systems in Georgia are required by various State of Georgia mandates to perform certain task. All too often the funding to meed these mandated requirements is not provided.
After this presentation many citizens spoke to the Board. The comments generally related to the fact that increased taxes based on a defective Bibb County Tax Digest were causing a lot of problems for many home owners.
Others spoke to the fact that the Property Owners are the main source of revenue for school systems in Georgia. Others pointed out that expending more money would not solve the problems confronting our Bibb System. Several addressed the concept that discipline and good order would do a lot toward improving education versus simply taxing the citizens to expend more funds as the answer to the current problems.
The main thrust of many presentations was cuts, cuts, and more cuts are necessary. Citizens addressed the fact that many have made adjustments in their lifestyle to simply be able to enjoy meals and pay the bills and urged the School System to also do so.
Some addressed the fact that unfunded State mandates require the local citizens to expend resources. Several individuals suggested that as Citizens of the State of Georgia that we all, indeed each of us were part of the problem. Several suggested communicating with the State Lawmakers to provide the funds and let the individual systems perform the task of education. After all the Constitution of the State of Georgia requires a Public Education System. The problem as several addressed the Hearing was the education can best be conducted without all the hoops that Lawmakers require to receive State funding. After all, no one but for the Class Room Teacher knows the strengths and weaknesses of the Scholars so flexibility in the class room is required.
Others addressed the lack of discipline in the Bibb School System and the fact that the Tax Payers are not now receiving a good product for the funds expended.
It was a very informative meeting that was well attended. The Board Room was full and their was standing room only in the passageway outside of the board room.
At the end of the Hearing the President of the Board adjourned the meeting and then opened a meeting of the School Board to consider the Tax Mill Rate. After discussion the Board agreed with a vote of 6 to 2 to Roll Back the Mill Rate to be revenue neutral with a one mill increase over being revenue neutral.
I, as the Flower Child am glad I attended this Hearing and the following meeting.
Property Tax Roll-Back
Macon, Georgia
Public Hearing of March 9, 2010

Even though I do not reside in the City of Macon, Georgia I decided to attend the final hearing of three required by law before the City Council could vote on the millage rate for the 2009 Property Taxes for Macon Citizens. As is my normal procedure I arrive early at these events to gather my thoughts and to also see first hand the situation. The above picture is one of the seats in the Council Chambers of the Macon City Hall. I gave up sticking gum under the desk when I departed from Junior High School many years ago. That stated it is sort of refreshing to see that people still stick gum on desk and in this case the side of a seat in the Macon City Hall.

After I acquired the gum picture I was naturally curious to see if there were any more interesting shots to be captured in the Council Chambers. To set the stage here, there are two levels of desk. The first row is used by the Planning and Zoning Commission and are on floor level. The City Council of fifteen members set on a higher level in a horseshoe arrangment. This shot was on the floor level just behind the Planning and Zoning Desk. I found it very interesting that a fake foliage arrangement was placed on the top of two cardboard boxes so that it would be visible to Council Meeting Attendees. I am going to volunteer to construct a box for this arrangement to sit on. I am looking to the City Council to give me some guidance as to what color the Box should be painted. I can paint it red for red ink on financial reports or I can paint it any other color that they desire. Based on what I observed the box should be at least 25 inches high.

The hearing was called to order at 11:00 A.M. and I counted 34 people in attendance at that time. That number does not include the Media or the Members of City Council or the Mayor. Everyone who desired to address the Council was allowed to do so. A few supported the concept of not rolling back the millage rate that the Mayor has requested. Most speakers spoke to the current situation that the Citizens of Macon are facing and reminded the Council that now is not the time to increase property taxes. It will be interesting to learn of the City Council's action regarding this matter.

This Macon Citizen spoke to the Council and reminded them that not everyone currently has a job. She displayed this sign as she spoke. At the end of the meeting at 12:00 Noon she held it up again so that the message could be placed on their minds once again. We were told that the hearing had to last one hour as required by law. At least one speaker took the opportunity to address the Council a second time. It was a very informative Hearing.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

High School Oratorical Contest
The State of Georgia, U. S. A.
American Legion

For seventy-three years the American Legion has sponsored an Oratorical Contest. High School Students prepare and deliver a eight to ten minute speech on the U. S. Constitution. They can select any portion of this Document and deliver their speech with out notes and are evaluated on the speech and their delivery.
The first level of competition is the local American Legion Post, then the various Districts of each state of our Union. The State of Georgia has four areas of three Districts each. The State Competition was conducted on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at the American Legion Post Three in Macon, Georgia.
The picture above shows the four contestants. The High School Sophmore on the far left delivered a very informative and moving speech entitled "The Changing Justice."
The Home Schooled Junior next to him delivered a speech entitled "Responsible Ownership." He compared the Constitution and our Responsibilities as Citizens to the construction of a Home and the responsibilites in maintaining that house.
The Home Schooled Sophmore, third from the left delivered a speech entitled "Valuing the Original Intrepretation of the Constitution."
The contestant on the right, a High School Senior, delivered a speech entitled "We The People."
Each contestant delivered their speech within the time requirements. Some of the germane comments I noted included:
  • The government plays a dangerous game when they ursurp the Constitution. We as Citizens must then duty our duty as Citizens.
  • When government over reaches the scope of the Constitution we can suffer unintended results.
  • In the process of being a Citizen we are educated - building the foundation of citizenship; erecting the walls - learning the scope of the duties of citizenship and finally maintaining the government - performing the duties of citizenship. The duties of Citizenship includes Voting and also running for public office.
  • Learning the process of how our Government serves "We The People." Our Constitution's Bill of Rights protects us and allows us to enjoy our Country without Fear. Our Constitution provides Equality and also the Liberty to enjoy our Country,.
  • Since our Constitution was established we have also been able to amend this document to provide for the "Good of All."

Each contestant was then required to deliver a three to five minute speech on one of five topics which had been published to all contestants at all levels of the competition. At each level of competition one of the five topics is drawn and each is then given five minutes to prepare an applicable speech.

Therefore, each contestant must certainly be prepared to present a short speech on each of these five topics.

After the competition I felt that the future of America is in Great Hands. All four of these High School Students had an excellent grasp of our system of government and also were well aware of their duties as a citizen.

Only one Contestant from each State can proceed to the National Competition which will be held in April in Indiana. The Young Man who spoke on "Responsible Ownership" will represent the State of Georgia. He is the individual shown second from the left above.

I am very glad I attended this event. I was also impressed on the knowledge of our Government and our Constitution that each of these Contestants displayed.

As citizens of our Country they can take great pride in themselves, their respective families, their respective educational organizations, their towns and their state as well as the United States of America.

From my point of view: "Well Done!!!

Happy Birthday Alan
The Flower Child is Surprised
March 6, 2010

I have participated in several American Legion Oratorical Contest as a Volunteer and also as a member of the audience. Several months ago I read the Georgia Legion Newspaper and ascertained that the 2010 Contest would be held at Post Three here in Macon, Georgia.

Thus I was unaware that my Bride and my Children had started planning a surprise Birthday Party for me. The above picture is what the Breakfast Room Table looked like when I arrived home. Of course I was surprised. Not all of the attendees had arrived but I was welcomed home with the traditional Birthday Song.

Here I am, the Birthday Boy with the lovely Cake that was provided by my oldest Son and his Family. Following you will be able to see sgements of the Cake which tell the story of my life.

Most everyone knows that Alan was an Iowa Farm Boy for the first 21 years of his life. Note the Chickens, Sheep, Pig and the Cow in the above decoration. You will also see the picture of a Farm Kid. The truth of the matter is that I wore overalls. I was a very skinny kid and the bib overalls worked best for me. At least that is what my Parents told me. I was the oldest of six Iowa Farm Kids and we all now have fond memories of our days as Farm Kids, although at the time it was sometimes difficult for us to appreciate all the chores we performed.

The second 21 year span of my life involved service in the United States Navy. This decoration of the Navy Seal means a lot to me also. I served on four different ships and three different shore stations, which included Washington, D.C.; London, England; and Macon, Georgia.
After my Navy Duty I retired in Macon, Georgia. If you view the entire cake above you will see that I also worked at Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company here in Macon. I did not include that segment of the cake because I can only publish five pictures in each post.

The final decoration on the Cake included a Camera and the backside views of two Grandchildren. I am currently enjoying a full retirement and also enjoying Grandchildren along with the hobby of photography.
In as much as I am now living in Georgia it was impossible for all of my Family to attend this event. We will visit Missouri and Iowa this Summer and I am already looking forward to attending a Cardinals Game with my Son in Saint Louis. His Bride also designed the "Surprise Birthday Invitation."
After the Saint Louis Stop we will then journey to the Holy Land, Northeast Iowa. I will then celebrate my 70 years on this Planet with my many Siblings and a host of Neices and Nephews.
A very nice surprise Birthday Party.

Friday, March 05, 2010

2010 Cherry Blossom Festival
Macon, Georgia

It all began in 1982 when the First Cherry Blossom Festival was held in Macon, Georgia. At this time there are over 300,000 Cherry Blossom Trees in Macon, Georgia. The 2010 Festival is the 29th Annual Event and will commence on March 19, 2010 and conclude on March 28th, 2010.
Think Pink. This poodle has been placed in the Front Gardens of the Flower Child's West Bibb County Home. Soon Pink Bows and a Cherry Blossom Flag will be placed near the Front Door.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sea Chanters chorus
2010 National Tour
The official chorus of the U. S. Navy
I have just returned home from the Sea Chanters performance here in Macon, Georgia. This group of 22 U. S. Navy musicians certainly represented our United States Navy very well. The Concert was terrific. These musicians can certainly be proud of their accomplishments as musicians, as Sailors, as great Ambassadors of our Country, our very way of life. If you missed this event you missed a great opportunity to appreciate great music performed by a very professional group.