Thursday, August 29, 2013

Maryland Beaten Biscuits

During my recent Holiday in Iowa I had the opportunity to read a very interesting book entitled "Frederick Douglas for Kids."  This American Hero lived from February 1818 to February 20, 1895.  The book contained many Children's Activities, which would give them first hand experience to see how people lived during the period of his life.  One activity was baking "Maryland Beaten Biscuits" much like were baked by slaves in Maryland.  Here is a series of pictures as I adhered to the recipe to bake these Biscuits.  The recipe will be included at the end of this post.
This is a hands on procedure

I had never baked biscuits in my life to this was a
totally new experience

Placing the dough on a well floured counter as
the directions indicated

Sprinkle flower over the dough in preparation for the
next step in baking the Beaten Biscuits

The recipe called for the use of the side of an
axe to beat the biscuits.  I used the bottom of a
cast iron frying pan.  I placed flour on the pan to
avoid any sticking

Take the opportunity to view the video later
to see me beating the biscuits

Of course some of the flour spilled on the floor.

Rolling the dough after it was beaten for thirty
minutes in 1 1/2 inch balls to place on the baking

Prior to baking puncture each biscuit with a folk

The recipe stated that the yield should be 18.  I
had 16 on the baking sheet

Placing some of the baked biscuits in a pan to transport
to My Bride's Mother.  We enjoyed the biscuits with a slice
of salt ham.

This is the video I mentioned earlier.  It is rather long, but I think you will enjoy my singing.  I composed a brief song to help while I beat the dough for one half hour.

The Recipe for Maryland Beaten Biscuits

4 cups flour
Dash of Salt
1 1/2 tablespoons of lard or vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cup of water

Mixing Bowl
Large Cutting Board
Meat tenderizer or mallet
Cookie Sheet

Place the flour and salt in the mixing bowl and stir together.  Cut in the Lard by pressing it into the flour with the fork.  Pour in the water and mix together by hand.

Put the lump of dough on a lightly floured cutting board.  Be sure to work on a sturdy surface such as a picnic table or sturdy countertop.  Hit the dough repeatedly with the flat side of the meat tenderizer for half an hour, folding it over when it gets thin.  Take turns with your family or friends.  

When you are finished, roll small pieces of dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet.  Prick the top of each ball with a fork.  Bake at 425 degrees for 26 minutes.  Makes 18 biscuits.

Note:  The dough was placed on a clean tree stump and pounded with the flat side of an ax for half an hour.  The more it was pounded, the lighter the biscuits would be.

Blog Post Editor Comments:  The biscuits tasted good.  We placed a slice of smoked and salted ham in each Biscuit.  My Bride, My Mother-in-Law and I enjoyed them the evening of March 28, 2013 for our Supper.  

A Bibb County Voter

I participated in Early Voting for the September 17th 2013 Election where we in Bibb County Georgia will elect a Mayor for the Consolidated Government which becomes effective 1 January 2014. In addition to the Mayoral race citizens of Bibb County could vote on the Representative for this respective District.

If you are a registered Voter in Bibb County Georgia I would urge you to vote!!!!!   

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Irish Shanti
Gunder, Iowa
Family Fellowship

Seventeen of us gathered for a fun evening of Fellowship and Food at
the Irish Shanti in Gunder, Iowa.  They are famous for the Gunderburger.

Here a younger Family Member enjoys his meal in the company
of his oldest Son.  As you can tell both are John Deere Fans.  

There is no way I can participate in a meal at the Irish Shanti
without ordering a Gunderburger.  I ordered the plain one this year so
that I could also enjoy some Apple Pie with Ice Cream.  The Gunderburger
weighs one pound.
The author of this Blot Post with his Siblings.  I am shown on
the far right with the orange T-Shirt.  The rest of my Siblings
reside in the Great Upper Mid-West.

Every year during my Holiday to the Holy Land (a.k.a. Iowa) we gather together as a family for a meal out.  We have enjoyed the Irish Shanti in the past.  The establishment lives up to its reputation.  Fine Food in a Fun atmosphere with excellent service.

Garnavillo, Iowa
Honors Her Heroes
The gardens surrounding the monument, the planters and the flag poles were recently dedicated in this small town of 700 citizens.  I captured these pictures during my recent Visit in early August to visit Siblings, Family and Friends.  I was impressed.  This display of respect for our Nation's Heroes certainly speaks well of the people who reside in Garnavillo, Iowa and the area surrounding this Farm Town located on U. S. Highway 52 in Clayton County, Iowa.

As I close this post I must be honest.  I attended the Garnavillo Community School during my eight grade and High School years.  I graduated as one member of the Class of 1958 with twenty-five other scholars.

I appreciate what my town has done to Honor Her Heroes.  Well Done!!!!
Georgetown, Illinois
Honoring Their Heroes

Earlier today I discussed my Holiday Travel from Paris, Illinois through Georgetown to ultimately get to my goal of Northeast Iowa to visit my Siblings, other Family Members and Friends.  As I traveled through Georgetown, Illinois I was impressed with the display of their concern for their Heroes.  Each Street Post had three U. S. Flags along with two Plaques which contained the Name and Branch of Service of a Hometown Hero along with the message "Bring Them Safely Home."

What a wonderful tribute to their Heroes.  I proceeded to stop at a Cassey's Store to learn more about this display.  I was informed that a Grand Dad to one of the local Heroes started the project.  The attendant at the Store did not know much more.  As I prepared to post this entry today I learned  that Georgetown had a population of 3,474 during the 2010 census.  What a wonderful display for such small town.  It also displays their dedication to our great United States.  While I did not count the light poles I would estimate that there was at lease fifty local Heroes Honored with this Display in Georgetown.  

Maybe I get very emotional when I view such displays, but I would quickly state, that this is what every American should do.  Honor America and Her Heroes each and every day.  The Folks in Georgetown, Illinois are certainly setting a wonderful example.  No one can miss this display as they travel through Georgetown.  As they say in the U.S. Navy when something is accomplished in an Excellent Manner - "Well Done!!! to the People who make this display possible.

Beans, Budweiser and Corn

As I traveled North on Illinois Highway 1 a few weeks ago during the early morning just after Sunrise I observed the standing fields of Corn and the Beans also flourishing in the neat and well kept fields.  In fact the Farmers keep the grass along the side of the Highway mowed so that one could view the crops without any interference.  It was a scene straight out of a Robert Wood Painting.  The morning traffic was very light.  In fact I do not recall anything except a Budweiser Transport traveling South on his appointed rounds for the day.  This was the scene just North of Paris, Illinois as I was traveling toward Georgetown.  

After giving this scene appropriate contemplation I asked My Bride to make a note of Beans, Budweiser and Corn just North of Paris, Illinois.  She quickly ascertained that I had a Blog Post in my mind.  This this post today.  Here I was traveling in the heart of America.  The Breadbasket of the World and the priorities for the situation fell into place.

Work hard and keep the fields looking good and enjoy sometime relaxing with your fellow Farmers, Family and Neighbors.  It does not get any better than that.

This is America and it is My Desire as I publish this to ask God to continue "To Bless Us All."

Moving Household Goods
A Discussion of Two Firms in this

Most of the readers here know that I served twenty one years in the U. S. Navy.  During the course of my Career I relocated from Washington, D.C. to London, England and of course back to Charleston, S.C. when I was assigned to Sea Duty onboard the USS Hull, a Destroyer.  From Charleston I was relocated to Macon, Georgia.  From Macon to Long Beach, California and then to San Diego, California.  My final move was from San Diego to back to Macon, Georgia where I retired some thirty-five years ago.

It would therefore stand to reason that I note moving vans during my travels in this great United States of America.  During my recent Holiday travels to the Great Upper Mid-West I observed two moving company vehicles that captured my attention.

Two Men and A Truck
All My Sons Moving & Storage.

The mantra for Two Men and A Truck is "Movers Who Care."  The mantra for All My Sons is "Your Friend in the Moving Business.  If I recall correctly I first observed the "Two Men and A Truck" many years ago, while it has only been recently that I have observed "All My Sons Moving and Storage."

Which brings an interesting question to my mind.  Is the All My Sons organization a spin-off of the Two Men organization.  If that is the case, how did Two Men accomplish that?  Did they have a woman or women involved.  Certainly something to consider.  Now, anytime I observe an "All My Sons" moving van I will surely contemplate how they came into being.

Admittedly this not an earth moving post, but it certainly provides material for your consideration and contemplation.  Have A Great Day!!!
Camp Meeting Celebration
The First Annual
held at
Ingleside United Methodist Church
Macon, Georgia
Sunday, August 25, 2013

I am glad that I had the opportunity to attend this uplifting event this past Sunday.  In addition to Ingleside United Methodist Church there were two other congregations who provided Choirs for this Singing event.  They were:

The Martha Bowmen United Methodist Choir
The Singing Saints of Forest Hills United Methodist Church

Each of these Choirs performed several songs each.  However the wonderful songs that were selected to be sung by everyone in attendance were the highpoint of the Celebration for me.  The songs everyone sang included:

We're Marching To Zion
My Hope is Built
Church in The Wildwood
In the Garden
Blessed Assurance
Dwelling in Beulah Land
Rescue the Perishing
Wonderful Words of Life
Love Lifted Me
Onward Christian Solders

There was a "Love Offering for Wesley Glen Ministries" as well as a Finger Food Fellowship at the conclusion of the First Annual Camp Meeting Celebration.

A special and also a wonderful way to enjoy two hours on a Sunday Afternoon.

I am reminded once again, that we who live in Macon have so many wonderful events to enjoy each weekend.  Thank You to the Choirs of the three Congregations as well as the Host Church.  
Macon, Georgia
Street Signs

As I perform my errands around town I often note interesting street signs.  Yesterday I had opportunities to photograph these signs.  I have a few concerns.  
Who determines what citizens can live, work or even play
on this Lane?

The question remains.  Who determines who can live, work or even
plan on this street?  How are potential residents evaluated?
It there a panel in city government that performs the evaluations?
Again, which organization determines which citizens can live,
work or play on this Drive?  Has the City of Macon been involved
in the past?  Or will the new Consolidated Government have
to make these determinations?

Now that consolidation is almost here it will be interesting to see who steps up to the plate to take control of who is allowed to live, work or play on these streets in Macon, Georgia.  I realize that this is not a major problem, but as time goes on, I feel that this concern must be resolved to the complete satisfaction of all citizens of Macon, Georgia.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

2013 District Election
District Four Macon-Bibb County Georgia
Information Meeting

Last Thursday, August 22, 2013 My Bride and I took the opportunity to attend the information meeting sponsored by the Macon League of Women Voters at Vineville Methodist Church.  The League of Women Voters (LWV) Vice-President, Christine Redding Lauder was the Moderator  for the District Four Candidates.  All the Candidates were present:

Mallory Jones - Identified with a "J" for the rest of this post
Beverly Olson - Identified with an "O" for the rest of this post
Theron Ussery - Identified with a "U" for the rest of this post

Ms. Lauder introduced herself and the timekeeper.  It should be noted that each candidate adhered to the assigned times in an excellent manner.

Basic Information:  Each Candidate was asked to provide basic information about their Campaign
  • O - Resided in Macon since 1978.  Involved in the Community Resource Committee.  Member of Macon City Council.  Loves Macon.  We have an excellent Music Legacy as well as a Great Location.  Macon is a diamond in the rough.  We need new business.  We must keep up to date.  Macon's  Airport needs to be improved to handle the potential for new industry and/or new business
  • J - A 1970 College Graduate.  Involved in the Family Business and has been a Realtor for the past 24 years.  Has negotiation skills which were honed as a realtor.  For the past two years has attended 95% of the Bibb Commission Meetings proving that he is aware of the local situation.  Macon has untapped potential.
  • U - A UGA graduate.  A life long Macon Resident.  Next three years will be critical as we move to one government.  Currently serving on the SPLOST implementation committee.  The consolidation Task Force is working well; however we face a lot of challenges as we implement one government.  Sited his twenty years on the City Council.
Question  from the Moderator - What specific action/s will you do to represent the District
  • J - Listen to the people.  Be available to the voters.  Must have the Voter's trust.  Be ready to take advantage of our dynamic assets.
  • O - Already on City Council.  Will continue to donate her salary to the Community Foundation.  Work on funding at risk youth.  Will be available via Cell Phone.  Ready and Willing to continue representing the citizens.  Stressed being available.
  • U - Will be retiring soon so will be available.  Ready to represent the people full time.  Will make self available.  His phone number will be available.  Ready to coordinate with the Mayor and fellow commissioners.
Question from the Moderator - How do you plan to interact with the Full Commission and the Mayor
  • O - Never met a stranger.  Has always been a coordinator.  Will work together.  A team player.  Looking forward to the smaller group of elected officials.
  • U - Pledged to be part of the Team.  Has interacted with the Mayor and the Council and will continue to do so in the new government.  Will rebuild trust.  Work to develop long range plans.  Will be a Team Player willing to work with others.
  • J - Give respect to earn respect.  Has a good relationship/s with the current commission members.  During his Real Estate work has worked with both buyers and sellers for twenty-four years.
Question from the Moderator - The Music Hall of Fame.  What can be done to bring Music Hall/Music Back to Macon
  • U - It is a shame we lost the Hall.  We must develop a funding mechanism to bring it back.  We need to honor the past.  Macon must become a destination rather than a pass through.  Funding for the future is critical.
  • O - The Hall of Fame Inductions are held in Atlanta.  The funds generated during this event have remained in Atlanta rather than being used for the Hall of Fame in Macon.  We must stress our current Music assets - Bragg Jam, the 567, the Music Events during the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival as well as the abundance of music events we already have.  Each of these events/venues need the support of more local citizens.
  • J - The loss of the Music Hall of Fame was a shame.  We have a great music heritage.  Must capitalize on this legacy of Macon, Georgia.  We have an abundance of great music/musicians.
Question from the Moderator - Goals for the District
  • J - Must be transparent and accountable to the citizens to earn their faith and trust.  Expand the airport to bring in new industry and/or business.  The Bronson Year is a great asset.  Currently number 2 in Georgia.  It has the potential to do more.
  • O - Getting the new government functioning well.  The "new" consolidated budget for the year commencing 1 July 2014 is critical.  Work with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Push for Airport runway expansion.  The College Hill Corridor and the work of the Knight Foundation has generated a lot of interest and improvement in Macon.  This must continue.  
  • U - Create positive attitude.  Work to improve the image of Macon.  1) We lack respect for each other and we are often viewed as a dysfunctional city.  2) We must bring in new jobs.  3) Fight Crime. 

Question from a Citizen - During a recent Mayoral Candidate Forum there was a discussion about Budget Cuts.  Please be specific with your response.
  • U - As the new consolidated budget for 2015 is developed the commissioners must look at every item.  Personal (People) and Benefits are always the big items.  Investigate the privatization of trash as currently done in the County.  The new commissioners must develop a "Mean, Mean Working Machine" when it comes to establishing the government and the employees.  There will be tough decisions.
  • O - The new budget will have major challenges.  The initial expenses of badges/uniforms/car markings of the Law Enforcement and other government vehicles will have to be expended.  The first budget the commissioners will have to develop will the the FY 2015 budget, which will require much effort on the part of all involved.
  • J - The year ending in 2015 will be the first one to see budget cuts.  There are many situations where savings can be achieved.  For example the current county attorney is paid over $700,000.00.  Two attorneys could be put on the Staff at $150,000.00 each and considerable savings could be achieved.
Note:  All the Candidates agreed that attrition of current employees will assist in budget and employee reduction concerns.  

Question from a Citizen - What will you do for Macon's Law Enforcement Officials.  This is dangerous work and there are concerns about salaries.
  • J - There is an ongoing study to develop fair pay.  Duplication of services/duties will allow equal pay between the current Police Department and the Bibb Sheriff employees.  Additionally savings in other areas will allow parity in pay for all Law Enforcement Officials.
  • O - We must have parity in salaries for all members of the Law Enforcement employees.  Hopefully  savings in trash/garbage collections will also free up funds.  Other potential savings in the number of employees for the new government will also free up funds for Law Enforcement.
  • U -Salaries/Benefits are a major challenge.  We must have parity.  A study must be conducted to ascertain if there could be savings in some the services currently performed by both governments could be privatized.  We are really talking about millions of dollars.
Question from a Citizen - The current Bibb County Deputies salaries are low when compared with surrounding counties.  We are a training ground for our neighbors.
  • U - We need to achieve parity with neighboring counties so we can keep our well trained deputies.
  • O - We must strive for parity within our new government, but also with the surrounding counties.
  • J - Public Safety is absolutely the number 1 Concern.  We must grow Macon which will also improve the tax base.  Grow/stimulate job opportunities, which will help.
Question from a Citizen - All too often candidates for all offices stress education.  We have a Board of Education for that.  What will you do to assist that Board to achieve improved result.
  • O - Develop Tudor Programs in the Recreation Centers.  Enforce the Truancy Laws we already have on the books.  Our school system generally lacks parental support.  We as a society have a crisis in public education.  Education is a life long experience/opportunity.  The current situation where we have children raising children must be stopped.  
  • U - Crime must be stopped.  Crack houses must be eliminated.  This is a major challenge for law enforcement.  Open up our recreation centers at more times.  Be ready to help, not hinder the Board of Education.
  • J -We the people must hold the Board of Education responsible.  The Board needs support.  Did we do the right thing when we took the budget approval process for the School System away from the current county commissioners.
Question from a Citizen - What can be done to eliminate the pockets of poverty.
  • O - The government must work with many organizations to allow children to see a dynamic future.  Challenges promoting poverty are gangs and lack of education.  We must keep children active and straight.
  • J - Create jobs.  We will now have "One Voice" when it comes to attracting new industry/business to our area.  We have great opportunities in the future.
  • U - Have a positive attitude/outlook for the future.  We need to investigate what we can do better and then do it.
A Statement from the Moderator -  We need to focus on education.  She announced that she was a former educator in Los Angeles, California.  Pre-school makes a difference.  We can not fight poverty in Macon when so many citizens are only working 30 hours a week at minimum wage.  This situation does not promote a good family situation.  We must all know our community.

Question from a Citizen - When Elected then  as you reflect back on your first term in the new government what will be your most significant accomplishment.
  • J - We will be using Middle Georgia Tech to develop a higher trained work force.  We will have expanded the airport runway.  We will have created jobs.  We will make this a fine place to live.
  • U - I will be able to say that I was a great Team Player.  We will have our act together.  We did what we said we would do.  We established a government.
  • O - Helped put the new government into operation.  Was a team player.  Was an Ambassador for Macon!!! throughout the U.S.A.  Enticed new business/industry.  Achieved a safer community.  
Question/Concern from a Citizen - The Arts.  They are important to the quality of life.  Can a 20% cut impact this inasmuch as it is important to sustain the Arts.
  • U - Quality of life is vital.  Our community has the Macon Symphony/Many Arts Organizations/First Friday.  However as regards budget development there will be no sacred cows.
  • O - Arts in the Schools, which is a Board responsibility.  We already have a wonderful quality of life in Macon, unfortunately many to not take the opportunity to participate.  There will be budget challenges.  At this time the impact of available funds is an unknown.
  • J - I am a big supporter of the Arts.  Again we all will face challenges.
Question from a Citizen - If you are not Elected - What will you continue to do.
  • O - I will continue to be a "Macon Ambassador."
  • U - Currently a member of the SPLOST Advisory Committee.  I will work to keep government focused on the funding for buildings.
  • J - Reported that Vineville Methodist is where he is a Member.  He will continue to be involved in the 1) Keep Macon Bibb Beautiful Executive Committee.  2) Macon Touch Down Club.  3) Continue being a Macon Booster.  He reported that he had received the Realtors "Community Service Award."
Question from the Moderator - The Children's Museum is a wonderful asset.  Would like to ride the Nancy Hanks in the future.  
  • U - Financing will be a problem.  A better community in the future will see these types of activities/situations flourish.
  • O - The Children's Museum on Cherry Street.  As a member of City Council it was a requirement to have a financial summary from each organization seeking city funds.  The Museum never submit/generate a summary or an audit report for their consideration.  The museum is a great place/a good idea but currently lacks fiscal responsibility.
  • J - The Children's Museum is a good idea.  Accountability concerns generate a lack of governmental support.  The Nancy Hanks may come after we grow.
Question from a Citizen - Cut backs on employees in government.  What steps will the government employ to help terminated employees.
  • O - Hopefully Quality People can be retained.  Attrition through retirements can also help resolve job reductions.
  • U - 75% of the budget is people/benefits.  Strive for efficiences.   Develop severance packages.   No one knows at this time.
  • J -Attrition will help.  Upper management will suffer the most.  
Question from a Citizen - Why should I vote for you.

Mallory Jones Responded:
  • We are at a crossroads.
  • I will work so that we will realize our potential
  • The people we elect this election is critical
  • We must use common sense solutions
  • We must reduce Crime.
Mallory Jones has the experience to usher in new leadership.

Beverly Olson Responded:
  • Honored to Receive the vote
  • Dedicated
  • Will be responsive to voters
  • Vote Early - Early voting starts on Monday, August 26th
Theron Ussery Responded:
  • A Track Record on City Council
  • I realize that I a not able to accomplish all by myself
  • Team Player
  • With over 100,000 citizens we will have more access to grants which he will assist to seek out
  • Not a Lone Wolf
  • Will restore respect and dignity to our government
Note from the Blog Editor:   Please be aware that this Post is compiled from my notes that I personally took at this event.  The notes are recorded as I understood the comments.  This post is provided so that everyone can possibly acquire information from the District Four Candidates.

Thank You!!!!

Alan F. E. Thiese

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Alan Thiese
the last
Forty-Three Years

While deployed in the USS Sellers (DDG-11) to the Mediterranean
Sea in 1971 the Captain decided to hold a Swim Call for All  Hands.
This picture is from the Cruise Book and the caption was "Mr. America."
Prior to being able to jump into the Sea the motor whaleboat was launched
with an Engineer, a Coxswain and a Gunner's Mate with a weapon to
kill any sharks that attempted to bother us as we conducted the
Swim Call.

This picture was taken as My Bride and I celebrated our twenty-fifth
Wedding Anniversary in October 1997.  I did not want to appear as
a tired mature male so I had my hair permed for this event.
Alan as of 24 August 2013 modeling the same
swim suit that I wore for the Swim Call in the Mediterranean in
1971.  I acquired this Catalina Suit in April 1971 prior
to the USS Sellers deployment at the U. S. Navy Exchange
in Charleston, SC for the sum of $16.00.  It was on sale and
I suspect that no one else wanted it.  I am very content in the fact that
I can still wear this Swim Gear now some 43 years later.
This backstory of this Blog Post is that during our recent Holiday Trip to visit Family, Friends and Former Shipmates the life of Alan became an interesting topic.  Of course this was most likely spurred on by the comments of my Youngest Son who is always ready to relate an interesting story about his Dad.  Thus this post.  Some did not believe that I could still wear the same swim attire now that I did in 1971.  The pictures here prove that I can.  Additionally, some did not believe that I would have ever permed my hair.  The picture here proves that I did.

Even if I say so myself, I am well blessed with good health and the ability to appreciate humor and even laugh at myself as stories are retold about my past.  Have a Great Day!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hannibal, Missouri

The boat landing at Hannibal, Missouri proved to be an excellent spot to capture a panoramic view of the Mighty Mississippi.  Admittedly this is not what Mark Twain saw so many years ago, however it is a view that we all can enjoy today.  Just behind me up the street about two blocks was the Thacher Home and other Hannibal sites.

A Packard Automobile
"Ask the Man Who Owns One"
During a recently completed road trip of over 2600 miles I had the opportunity to enjoy the sights in Mark Twain's Town along the Mississippi River.  

 When I spotted this magnificent automobile I had to stop and capture several images.  Many who know me are aware that I learned to drive an automobile over the roads of Iowa in my tender youth in a 1949 Packard Clipper.  I believe this is a 1956 Packard 400.

This automobile appeared to be well maintained and cherished by it's owner.  When I was a teen I also thought my Dad should acquire one of these fine automobiles to replace the 1949 Clipper. The motto for the Packard ads was "Ask the man who owns one" thus the caption on the top of this blog.

Blue Star Memorial Marker

Several years ago this Marker was dedicated at the Macon Welcome Center Rest Stop on I-75 just North of Macon, Georgia.  When ever I travel from Atlanta to Macon I take the opportunity to visit this marker and see how the plantings at the base are doing.  These plantings were funded and installed by the members of Pine Ridge Garden Club of Macon, Georgia.

The next time you travel from Atlanta to Macon please take the time to visit this Marker which is dedicated to our Nation's Heroes who have served in the Military, are serving or will serve in the future.

"God Bless America!!!"

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Debate Tax
only in
Macon/Bibb County Georgia

I recently returned to Middle Georgia after a sixteen day Holiday to visit Friends, Family and Siblings.  It was a wonderful trip.  Last evening as I viewed the local electronic media I was informed of a "Debate Tax" which was levied by the local Democrat Party as they presented the Candidates for Macon/Bibb Mayor Election which will be held in September 2013.  This election is to determine who will be the Mayor of the consolidated government which will become law on 1 January 2014.

I learned that those who desired to debate (present their ideas/platforms) were required to pay a $50.00 fee to the local Democrat Party.  If I observed the debate correctly on the electronic news  report it was held in the Macon City Hall.  I sincerely hope that the City of Macon as we know it today required a fee for the use of their "Peoples" Hall of Government.

All of the above stated as background information inasmuch as I observed the electronic news report I quickly thought of the long ago, now hopefully illegal "Poll Tax" which was used years ago to reduce the number of voters who could participate in an election.

As I pondered this Post I determined that "Poll Tax" is a noun and is a tax levied on every adult, without reference to  income or resources - often linked to the right to vote.  You and I know this was made illegal many years ago.

Which brings me to the question of the day!!!   Debate Tax is legal?  I would suspect that it is not, but then I suspect there is no law and/or regulation to impede the charging of this fee.  It is a shame and from my point of view it is step backwards to an era when people with power or who thought they had power restricted the basic rights that are a part of being a citizen of the United States of America.

What do you think?  Leave your comments here.  Should we ever approve the establishment of a "Debate Tax?"

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Forest Hill Road Project
Macon, Georgia

Many years ago, more than I care to remember there evolved a scheme to improve the travel conditions from North Macon to The Macon Mall which is abreast of Eisenhower Parkway.  The scheme also included Park Avenue off of Vineville Avenue and if I recall correctly improvements to Napier Avenue and maybe even Edna Place to eliminate the traffic jams of shoppers traveling to The Macon Mall.

Well, most of us know that since this project was developed we have witnessed the new Shopping Meca known as the Shoppes at Riverside developed.  Riverside Drive has been improved,  with it now more commonly known as the Riverside Autobahn,  has been constructed to help shoppers travel to the new Mall, which is not really a Mall, but some among us call it a Mall.  

Yet there are those among us that feel that the Forest Hill Road Project must be done as planned many years ago..  Admittedly this well traveled roadway does now need some improvements; but as I have read recently it does not need to be five, six and even seven lanes at various spots to improve the traffic flow.

I would suggest that such a grand project, once complete, would become an "albatross."  For those who may not know, the term albatross is sometimes used metaphorically to mean a psychological burden that feels like a curse.  

From my limited point of view, we do not need an albatross in the Bibb/Macon road scheme.  It is my understanding that some government officials, which I hope have been duly elected to represent "We The People" will be voting once again on the grand scheme for the Forest Hill Road Project.

No problem, some may say; however, I have fond memories of attending a West Macon Parkway Meeting at Springdale Elementary School at least seventeen years ago.  The West Macon Parkway scheme, if I recall correctly was developed to improve the vital road infrastructure to eliminate the major congestion from Eisenhower Parkway to Riverside Drive, extended.  It was to improve the roads we now know at:

Fulton Mill Road
Heath Road
Tucker Road
Foster Road
Bass Road

While I am not a traffic/road expert I do know that the West Macon Parkway as proposed would serve a useful purpose.  We now have a plethora of Schools (private and public) on this corridor as well as at least fifteen Church Organizations on this proposed Parkway as well as many Church facilities within a mile on either side of this route.

Therefore, it is my humble opinion, and yes, I do know the definition of opinion, that an improved Forest Hill Road Project is indeed necessary, however I also believe that our limited financial resources could better serve the citizens of Middle Georgia if the West Macon Parkway as discussed above was actually completed.

I would suggest that we really do need the West Macon Parkway more than a major road network on the Forest Hill Road corridor.  Yes, improve Forest Hill Road, but keep the project within the reasonable limits of what is really needed.  As I see it, our funds would best serve, and I say again, by expending them on the road infrastructure that most would agree with me is essential, or even vital to Middle Georgia.  

I reside in the area of the West Macon Parkway and am totally aware of the traffic flow on any school day as citizens transport their Scholars to and from the aforementioned Education Facilities that abound in West Bibb County.  Then, also consider the major influx of citizens attempting to travel to the various Football Facilities during the Fall Sports Season.

I could go on, but I think that you and I will agree that we should all work to expend our funds where it will indeed provide the most beneficial impact for all of us.

Thank You for taking the time to read this rather long post.  Continue to have a Blessed Weekend.

Sincerely,  The Flower Child

Last evening, August 2, 2013 the Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation Department sponsored a viewing of this movie at Historic Luther Williams Field here in Macon, Georgia  Several scenes of this epic Movie were shot here in Macon during June of 2012.

I was an extra in this Movie and, even though I had already seen the movie and acquired the DVD, I took the opportunity to enjoy a "Date Night" with My Bride.  The movie was shown on the outfield and we procured our picnic from Ingleside Villiage Pizza.  We arrived early to obtain excellent seating in our lawn chair and blanket.  In addition to the Pizza we enjoyed popcorn and soft drinks which were sold at the entrance to the field.

Parks and Recreation had also set up Hoops to twirl, although we elected to let the younger crowd participate in this.  

Watching this Movie, again, in this setting made it very special.  While I did not count the attendees, I am confident that at lease a 1000 were in attendance.  The crowd consisted of all age groups and I think everyone in attendance enjoyed the performance.

What a great "Date Night" right here in Macon, Georgia