Come & Go Blues. . . .


Winter has seemingly come & gone or so it feels with this our springish weather. Plenty of sunshine to put the laundry on the line instead of the dryer. Marriages more so than engagements are all the rage, in the parks, the beach and any venue seemingly available. It  (Spring) is in the air and sky, the breeze and  morning dew. Buds are on the trees with some species blooming now and all the rest, from azaleas and dogwoods, even the little yellow flowers marching towards their colorful glory.

Why I have enjoyed this season of the year is at times a mystery. There are the emotional connections as well as those panic attack feelings of euphoria from the smells (sinus infections) , the changing weather (hail-v-tornados)  and eye catching colors (hay-fever).

My freshman year (1973) I had become friends with a couple who were seriously in passion and seriously in love with one another. The spring of ’74’ myself and some others  received formal invitations to Ricki and Les’s wedding. Just the excuse for a 3-day weekend and that we did.  Making the long story short we partied all night before the wedding, mainly because Les wanted to stay up all night and rap (not the rap of today). Truly the next morning everyone was dressed and ready to go in time. The wedding was a success although I don’t believe the marriage was.  And I lived to tell the tale ( most of his bachelor party  you will not hear from me but it was seriously tame compared with ‘today’s’ generation).

Myrtle beach 1974

William at 19 in Myrtle Beach S.C.

Their wedding was bright and sunny on the beach,  gentle sunshine, rolling swells, the birds being chased by the water along the shore. Perfect day and all that was missing was a unicorn (the bride) and ……………fill in the blank. It was Les when we arrived who grabbed me, took my shoes (physically removed them) and said, ‘no shoes on the beach’. I flustered  and protested all of 2 seconds and capitulated to his insistence. I thought I was cool till I met that dude ‘Les’. Yeah man, you were good to me and showed me the simple things like the no shoes on the beach. But you owed me, yeah. How many nights did you knock at 2am and bum a smoke, or 10am out of the shower shouting at nobody in particular for a ‘free’ towel. Come on, who goes to the shower and then stands naked hollering for someone to bring it to you cause you knew going in you didn’t have one? Les did and we loved him all the more for it. And Ricki his bride? She was 180 degrees different. Her yin and Him yang I suppose. She would give a friend the shirt off her back the same as I gave Les the shirt off mine……more than once.

 

llllllllllllll

Les in the Tux-Me sitting-John behind me & J. Parks in the green jacket I sorta guess.

 

It’s a beautiful time of year although we have had snow up and until April. The mornings are starting earlier along with the song birds and my cat.  ‘Dude’ demands yard time earlier and earlier and refuses to come back in until the last and I mean in no uncertain terms, the last bird has nested for the night………TWICE!!  Winter may have come and gone but spring still has some growing to do.

 

cam

Red flowering camellia with a dusting….

 

 

A Christmas Fairy Tale…..


Here is a true Christmas Fairy Tale. Brian the groom thought up a plan to surprise his wife to be. This occurred last week, just before Christmas at the Mall of Georgia up the road from where I live. Take a minute to enjoy and celebrate.

Martin Luther King 2013


 Monday, January 21, 2013

Beautiful day off from work and all because we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Weather is blue skies, mild temperatures, light breeze and blazing winter sunshine…good enough.

I dug out my pickup truck from the shop behind my home and we spent the balance of the day running errands. Retrieved my suit from the cleaners where I hugged Ms. H. goodbye. After a generation or two they have sold the business and the plant up the road from here. Shes sincerely old enough and carried the business for long enough, but it was sad and happy time. Cruised the ‘mall’ for winter sales and there are plenty in the clothing departments, just nothing useful for me now or later but I did spend sometime in the parking lot where a new cinema complex is being constructed inside the existing North Point Mall structure.

The movie house across the street @N. P. Mall is way out dated for the business, in a decade and a half, the size of the existing movie-house as well as the nature of viewing and projection equipment has changed. The new movie house is about 3 stories tall to fit the IMAX format and other mulit-venue viewing areas…’I hope I got the talking points close’. Hey I like to watch the big cranes and giant/giant size truck moving the building materials and such about…OK? It’s a guy thing.

Finally nailed a coffee @Starbucks last thing and got some notes put together, especially the opening quote below. The quote was on a Macy’s paid tribute to Dr. King and is tasteful (period). I just wanted to say something a bit ‘furthur up the road’ on Dr. King and his works and well to me and for me there are or is so much unfinished.

I chatted briefly with a retired gentleman in Canada, Francis Rupert Legge just last month, we have shared parts of our lives on FB and become ‘brothers’ and yes Francis we are. In his writings and a prolific writer he is Francis with his education from United States, Cambridge England, his skills Engineer/Physicist are a ‘great resume’ its his writings that should be preserved, maybe not all his opinions (insert lol). It was the day he mention coming to Atlanta to hookup with Dr. King at the old Hartsfield or Midfield airport and ready to head to Selma, Alabama. Speechless as I was I assure any and everyone Francis or Sir Francis as I call him is as so-many in taking little or no credit for being on Dr. Kings front-line as a ‘foot-soldier’, the honesty of those who followed Dr. Kings’ calling it was not then or now a social limelight. Sir Francis is opinionated and experienced and Francis Rupert Legge walked the walk with Dr. King, he saw the writing on the wall as that period of time was happening and sacrificed his time and life at that point and made the effort to come thousands of miles to be a part of the ‘Dream’. From my chats and writings with Francis he is sincere that he was happy to be there in thought, word and deed and that’s good enough for him..read below and for me it pales to what these men ‘Accomplished’.

 

 

MLK notes…

Dr. King Memorial

Dr. King Memorial

 Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase’.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  I’ve come to a somewhat clueless point in a road “as to where” Dr. King would have continued his philosophical debates. More pointedly as he moved from “moral & social” agendas towards economic equality in the United States of America. Surely he was as aware as anyone of the overtones of Socialism was he not? Of “class systems and caste societies “?

Just a question or two that for me in the short or long run of a life or generation I believe promotes many people away from patronizing the good Doctor and his works. But maybe, just maybe questions will propel his works “forward” to someone who will continue his work.

Dr. King was nearly not finished and his work is neither. God only knows how much he gave to the world thru his actions, writings and nonviolent protest. Can we not give back a tithe of that? Can we not refresh his work and carry forward and sincerely “not” lip-service and regurgitate him, his life his family and all their sacrifices as history fades and the old solders who were there vanish?

History is best told by those who lived it not those, no matter how eloquently speak upon it……

Amen Dr. King…..Amen

ps….if I get any of the above ‘really wrong’, either  Sir Francis or Dr. King will nail me. I think I pretty much got the above just about right…

Francis R. Legge

Francis R. Legge

 McTell

From my i-phone

Good bye 2011, goodbye.


As a individual, I’ve little to say about 2011, other than me last day of your year was of no better than the first. Between these two days there is little to nothing of offer, sadly, but truthfully. Never the less there were moments of life in all its reality, played out daily and weekly, offering up only a vague reminder, somewhat akin to tidal wetlands in perpetual low-tide. Other moments and days felt as real and fulfilling as the inward gasp of air when one surfaces from a swim along the depths of a lake, the crashing sound of surface, the shake of the head to clear the waters and the joy of another breath.

At a later time a welcome will be due to 2012.  Till the time arrives, then farewell 2011, farewell. You will not be forgotten.

West by North

Yes, a Merry Christmas.


A strong and everlasting believer of Christmas Magic, and the celebration of the communal feeling, I offer to one and all a “Merry Christmas”.  So many of my friends who I shared this time of year with are gone for good, and gone forever. But, and yes the eternal but, meaning i say this with something else in mind. I’m just saying hi and hello to my friends here now.  To my friends who have passed away, we shared mighty fine moments of the spirit of Christmas and now I alone remain. Those moments, of fun, gaiety, bonding and enlightenment are everlasting. Everlasting as long as one, shall it be only me, remains to kindle the thoughts and memories. A salute of Peace and Goodwill to those I shall miss these days………..Peace on Earth. Its not a dream.

A Chrismas gift for the Men.


Christmas is here! Period, end quote. And we are at the, yes, the very center of holiday celebration, Advent. Listen up now.  Do not let the Christian connotation of Advent trouble you, although we treat the Lenten season like the Advent season and vice-versa, don’t worry, self inspection spiritually will do just fine in the spring. So what’s up, you ask?  Revelation one week later.  Following Christmas is …………………New Years!! The big score, the grand Kahuna of the year end blow. Fellow men, young fathers, single and/or stifled, you’ve suffered immensely whether solo or hitched, young married or family building. From Thanksgiving to Christmas you toiled for family and friends, company and bosses, and now, yes now the night is arriving. Celebrating with wife, blind date, (blind-blind-date, you know the one you met on the internet, first times a charm?), or maybe, just maybe a simple mixer invite, to meet and greets.  First date from a holiday party where ‘I think we like each other’, obviously cheered onwards by a minimum of 27mutual friends, and now its second date for New Years?  Heads up my fellow men, heads up.

I have insight…………………………

The summer past the stately and everlasting gentlemen’s magazine, “Esquire”, put forth a simple plea to females around the country. Would you please ladies, old and young and elsewhere give us your thoughts on men and relationships. Deal breakers, habits, and deal closers, forgotten gestures. From what is rude, to you don’t have to read my mind, I’m with friends and yeah, I like the football game and I’m not here to be picked up. What is stupidity and what is endearing, truly? Yes truly please tell us and we will share with our men readers. The ladies were quick and complete in their responses. I beg you to read forth from a few dozen I gleamed, they are of, from and by the opposite sex.

I see no need to categorize them, from bedroom or bar etiquette, to what really matters to me. Treat them with the respect and tone the women were so gracious to respond in. Many are simple. Such as the homage, ‘some women are city born and raised and well, the rugged countryside sounds nice, she like a older grandmother prefers the comforts of her city life’.

Before you begin, a quote from the master epicurean, author, host, and world traveler Anthony Bourdain……..” Escalators are meant to speed up your travel and therefore one should walk on them not ride. So move you ass.”

A clue.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: The best pickup line is “Hi, my name is ___. What’s yours?”

If you’re shit-talking your ex, her friends, her pets, or her job, we wonder what you might say about us someday.

Your super-close relationship with your mother freaks us out.

If she tells you to never call her again and hangs up on the phone with you, there is a fifty percent chance your girlfriend will be waiting near her phone for you to call her.

Don’t comment on how much or how little we eat.

It’s fine if you don’t like our friends. What’s really important to us is that they like you.

When we cry and you don’t know why, just know this: We’ll be back shortly.

If you’re not a professional athlete, how good you are at sports matters very little to us.

There is nothing cute, interesting, or worthwhile about self-deprecation. If you don’t think you are worth my time, neither will I.

We can tell when the gift was purchased at the last minute. But we still like it.

Life gets so busy, sometimes it’s nice to have someone to make choices for you. Even if it is just the Friday night movie.

Please be the man we know and love, even when we’re at a barbeque reunion with your frat brothers.

There is nothing sexier than following through. If you say you’re going to do something, please do it.

Girls like to whine. It’s a fact.

Sometimes we think we’re in love, and then we see your Facebook profile.

You have the power to make us feel like the only girl in the room. Use it wisely (and often).

Some of us keep imaginary tallies in our head. “He keeps Diet Coke at his apartment because he knows I love it: 5 points. He’s liberal: 10 points. He brought me soup when I was sick: 15 points. He made banana pancakes: infinity points.” Your kindness is noted, appreciated and will be rewarded.

When we are truly angry, we go silent. That is your opportunity to apologize, or run. Neither will save you.

We want you to never stop hunting us. Even if we married you. Remember why you got the gig. Don’t make the trailer the only fun in the whole production. That’s misleading.

We don’t like it when you pull your shirt off from the front. Be a man and pull it over your head from the back.

You only get to ask once about the threesome.

Please remember that if we hang out with a bunch of guys, it doesn’t make us one.

We love the un-expected kiss. Especially the one when you stop us midsentence and make us forget what the hell we were talking about in the first place.

Electronics clipped to your pants are sexy only if you’re Batman, Superman, or any other kind of man who needs them to save lives, not send e-mail.

Presentation counts. Wrap your gift and iron your shirt.

Sometimes we like to drive.

Your waiting in the car to make sure we got through the door okay never gets old to us.

When we are in a large crowd, hold our hand as if you don’t want to lose us.

We can read you like a book, so if something is wrong or bothering you, don’t be afraid to share it. It saves us the trouble of having to spend all day guessing.

No, we don’t always magically know where the remote is.

If we’re brushing your leg up and down, don’t sit and talk with your friends for twenty more minutes. Time’s up!

We put in a relationship absolutely everything we want you to give back.

We like to talk a lot, so even if you don’t really care about what we’re saying, fake it. That’s what we do when you talk about trading players in whatever fantasy sport you’re always talking about.

We know when you don’t know the answer to our question, but it’s sort of endearing when you fake it.

There is something really sexy about smiling when you kiss us.

We are really more forgiving after fights than we let on.

If we had to make the first move, you will be reminded of it for the rest of our relationship.

If we’re at a sports bar during a big game, don’t hit on us. We’re watching the game.

Getting riled up at a restaurant turns us off.

We love the smell of your deodorant so much that some of us wear it.

We remember every detail about a relationship. Every. One.

We like safe drivers. High-speed chases only impress us when they involve Vin Diesel.

Stop worrying about why we take so long in the bathroom. Think of it as uninterrupted free time to watch Sports Center.

We appreciate when you can admit you’re wrong, but we also don’t want you to say sorry too much.

We secretly wish that we could rock out in our eighties hair-band t-shirt and ripped jeans sometimes too. We just don’t try to revive the trend at the neighborhood barbeque.

Always assume that what we contain in our purses is very necessary. When you need insect repellent, a Band-Aid, safety pins, or a moist towelette, you’ll be grateful.

Sometimes we rely on your mother to say what we’ve been thinking. (Like: “You look like a slug in that shirt.”)

“Chuck Norris would do it” is not an excuse for bad behavior.

Don’t be surprised that we have condoms in our top dresser drawer. Be happy.

Sometimes we just wear nice clothes and makeup for no other reason than to look good.

No matter how much we love you we will never care what level you’ve gotten to in Call of Duty.

The way we feel about your kisses on the back of our necks: Think ice cream in August.

We’ll never understand why you slap each other’s butts when you’re playing sports. And that’s okay.

Everything sounds better when whispered close to our ear.

Glasses are to women what lingerie is to men. That’s right: Bookish is that sexy.

We love to cry, and we always feel better after a big sob fest. How much better? Pull down your pants.

Sometimes wingmen can do more harm than good, so be brave: do it alone.

Those little nonsensical arguments, for us, are fun. They give us a chance to see how you deal with things.

One-armed hugs means we’re friends. Two-armed hugs show you care. Squeezing the hell out of us says you love us.

Where do we put on perfume? Where we wish to be kissed.

If you plan a date a week in advance, we’ll spend the next seven days planning our outfit. Starting from the second you hang up the phone.

Yes, we moisturize and walk around the house naked with rubber gloves on when you’re not around.

You aren’t the only gender that can appreciate a big booty.

Quote movies only when absolutely necessary. We like your own words better than those of that old guy on the bridge in Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.

We think the clean-laundry smell of you in your undershirt is a thousand times more appealing than even the best cologne.

We agonize over text messages. For instance, a one-word response means you’re not interested. Right?

Even if we look sad, don’t tell us that we look depressed.

Even if we’re cool with your telling us a girl is hot, remember who you’re coming home to.

Seventy-five percent of the sounds we make during sex are purely for you. That’s how much we care.

If you call the movies “the cinema,” we will only laugh. And laugh.

Surprise field trips are the best, even if it’s “guy stuff.” If we roll our eyes, it doesn’t mean we don’t love the effort.

These days, with Facebook, chances are we know your favorite band well before our first drink with you. Something to keep in mind.

The following posters on your wall are deal-breakers: Bob Marley playing soccer, Bob Marley exhaling, Bob Marley in green, yellow and/or red. Exemplars of the chill-bro variety are reserved, exclusively, for unwashed undergrads.

We prefer an arm around us to holding hands pretty much any day.

Hair starts growing in funny places when we turn fifty. Not much we can do about it.

Even the slightest idea of fashion can be very attractive.

We don’t actually wear matching bras and panties all the time. Shocking, we know.

It’s not that we like the flowers themselves, it’s that the flowers mean you’re thinking about us. And we love that.

We like it when you lend your favorite books to us. For several reasons.

It doesn’t matter what your chosen profession is, as long as you love what you do and do it with passion, and it’s legal and it doesn’t involve being in a production of the Lord of the Dance.

You cleaning your apartment is somehow incredibly sexy. Weird but true.

If we make it through an entire first date without seeing what color your iPhone case is, well, we just might fall in love.

Be careful: singing to us can be totally cute. But only if you can actually sing.

We think saying “ladies” at the end of any statement or question makes it kind of creepy.

If you meet us at a bar, please don’t say, “I’d like to see you without your glasses.” We could go blind, you know.

Sometimes we want to be treated like a princess. Sometimes, we want to be treated like a sex object. It’s up to you to figure out which of these we want to be at any given moment, because we certainly aren’t going to tell you.

We kind of wish we could chest-bump, too.

We appreciate when you keep your condoms within close reach from the bed so we don’t spend ten minutes waiting naked while you search the other end of the apartment.

We love hearing about your family. Even when it’s boring, it’s good to know you think about them.

We know it’s high maintenance, but, for the love of God, don’t sleep on the decorative pillows.

We don’t like it when you pull your shirt off from the front. Be a man and pull it over your head from the back.

We want you to never stop hunting us. Even if we married you. Remember why you got the gig. Don’t make the trailer the only fun in the whole production. That’s misleading.

Panties is a guy word. We call it underwear.

If something in your past will show up on a Google search, be prepared to explain it.

As little girls, we believe that you are gods. As young women, we learn that you are not. As older women, we try to put you back up there.

Meeting your friends for the first time is awkward enough, so we’d appreciate it if you didn’t get drunk.

Everything — from the funny joke you told to the way you dug food out of your back molar — gets discussed over coffee with our friends.

We all have an evil twin. Get to know her.

We never forget. It’s just not in our DNA to let things slide.

Sometimes we play the “you weren’t listening” card when we know very well we just never told you.

When you send us an e-mail of any substance, we forward it to at least four of our friends for explanation.

Men drink coffee, not skinny double-pump soy macchiatos. Ordering the latter doesn’t impress us; it makes us wonder if you’d rather be double-pumping your buddy Todd

We all have an evil twin. Get to know her.

Confidence, not arrogance.

Listen up.

Listen up.

Streets of London


This according to Ralph is for anyone feeling lonesome, left out, getting along in age and feeling as a bit of a castoff. May you, as I do, feel a bit more compelled to lend a hand in any fashion as the holidays are with us as well as them.

Artist: McTell Ralph
Song: Streets of London  1969
Album: Spiral Staircase

Have you seen the old man
In the closed-down market
Kicking up the paper,
with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride
Hand held loosely at his side
Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind

Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?
She’s no time for talking,
She just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home in two carrier bags.

Chorus

In the all night cafe
At a quarter past eleven,
Same old man is sitting there on his own
Looking at the world
Over the rim of his tea-cup,
Each tea last an hour
Then he wanders home alone

Chorus

And have you seen the old man
Outside the seaman’s mission
Memory fading with
The medal ribbons that he wears.
In our winter city,
The rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn’t care

The World of Pain


I have had a great post running thru me mind.  A Memorial Day sharing of the sacrifice a man made for his country, The United States of America. Alas I have a problem not easily beaten nor even able to compromise with.  In other words, ” My Pain will not Negotiate”. Me? I have been to this mountain before, scaled the glaciers, traversed the crevasses and repeated the attempts of it’s summit again, and again. This Mountain is called “PAIN”.  Damage to my central nervous system. Sparing inquiring minds countless me, me, me details.  Hence I speak this.  I fell upon the ground, in the parking lot of a Church as I have never before fallen and I wish upon no-one. December 2010.  My dues apparently are not paid in full to the icy bashing I took.  Bust your ass on the ground in the winter time, total darkness, no one can hear your screams, no one.  I spent enough time upon the ground, Cold, Hard, Wet, Freezing daring not to move till all was calm with only the sound of my singular voice screaming, hollering all the while knowing, indeed knowing for certain there is no one to aid, assist, comfort of help me.  Shit it hurt.

Six months later the pain of the damage done to me CNS has returned with its full gale of fury. I suffer in silence.  Hence I make a bit of a apology for not posting the blog of Memorial Day of Jere Beery and the story of his service, survival and successes.  Me have only 5 minutes in the chair before the computer till the pain is overwhelming.  My fellow suffers of such injuries know what I say.  The balance of blogger who may stumble upon here I sincerely pray……..” You Never Know”.  Scroll down for a taste from the story of Jere’s service to you and I here in America.

*********************************************

Seaman, Jere Beery aboard U.S.S. WESTCHESTER COUNTY, 1966

Water, Black Berets: Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam

God Be Here

By Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler, U. S. Navy

The year was 1968, two days before the start of the Vietnamese holiday called Tet. Lieutenant Godbehere’s patrol had been assigned a psychological operations mission, one designed to get information to villagers about the government and the war effort. The PBRs were good vehicles for these missions because they could get close to the people in the delta by traveling the rivers and canals. Godbehere’s PBR was rigged with a tape recorder and large speakers to broadcast their message, an appeal for the South Vietnamese Government’s Chieu Hoi (open arms) program—the amnesty program that promised protection, money, clothes, and food for any VC who wished to change sides. A sign on each side of the PBR said in Vietnamese, “This is a Chieu Hoi Rally Point. You will be welcomed here.” Godbehere looked at the sign and wondered if any ralliers (called Hoi Chanhs) would turn themselves in to him that day. That had happened to otherPBRs on patrol, but so far never to Godbehere. He hadread a report somewhere that said 28,000 Hoi Chanhs had rallied in the previous year. He had also read that the estimated cost of the Chieu Hoi program was about $150 per Hoi Chanh—compared to the unofficial estimate of$9,000 worth of ammunition expended per enemy killed.

The two-boat patrol got under way and headed down the Bassac River toward the major delta city of Can Tho. Godbehere disliked psychological operations patrols because the PBRs had to move slowly in order to allow the messages to be heard, which made them very vulnerable to attack, and because listening to the taped messages over and over challenged his sanity.

After about 20 minutes, the tape recorder was switched on and the crew settled in for what promised to be a boring patrol. The pre-mission brief had predicted a quiet run. Just a few weeks back, General William Desobry, U. S. Army, upon being relieved as U. S. military advisory chief in the delta region, told reporters that the Viet Cong were “poorly motivated, poorly trained” and that the South Vietnamese Army “has the upper hand completely.” The area around Can Tho was considered relatively friendly.

But as they plodded along, Godbehere had been scanning the banks, and the hair at the back of his neck was beginning to prickle. He had seen the grass-covered huts along the banks with chickens clucking and strutting in front. Tools rested against thatched walls and fishnets were piled or strewn about. An occasional water buffalo would swing its massive horned head in their direction to detect the source of noise as they passed, and the grunting of pigs could sometimes be heard over the rumble of the engines. Rice baskets swayed on hooks in the breeze and hints of incense tickled the nostrils every now and then. It was a pastoral scene except for one element: not a single human being had been in sight for the last several miles. Godbehere had been around long enough to know that this usually spelled trouble. “I don’t like the looks of this, Boats,” he said to the boat captain.

“I know, sir. Too quiet,” came the reply. The boat captain had one hand resting lightly on the reined-in throttles. “Gunner, get your helmet on,” he called forward to the third-class petty officer lounging in the gun tub.

The rest of the crew fastened their flak jackets and warily watched the banks.  Godbehere said to no one in particular, “Charlie’s out there. I can feel him.”

Seconds crept into minutes as perspiration flowed down tense brows into anxious eyes. The minutes grew into hours that seemed like days as they droned along, the taped Vietnamese voice appealing to unseen ears. Twenty-eight miles passed and nothing happened, yet the tension remained. Something was unquestionably wrong.

As they turned about for the return trip, the boat captain said, “Maybe it’s got something to do with this Tet holiday thing. Maybe that’s why nobody’s around.””Maybe,” Godbehere said, not believing it.

The return trip was more of the same. Everything looked normal in the villages except for the absence of the people. The Americans passed from hamlet to hamlet feeling as if they were the only humans left in the world. Only the infrequent passage of a plane or the distant whop-whop of helicopter blades occasionally dispelled this sensation. Godbehere couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched, of believing that at any moment all hell would break loose.

But it never did. The patrol ended at last, and Godbehere and the others returned to base trying to work the knots of tension out of their muscles. They were exhausted.

That night after Godbehere had filed his patrol report and turned in, he lay under his green mosquito net watching the geckos patrolling the walls of his hootch in search of insect prey. He wondered what the strange day meant. The signs were there for trouble—the situation had “ambush” written all over it. And the PBRs were so vulnerable at the low speed required by the mission—Charlie could have hit them if it had in fact been an ambush. But he didn’t. Why? Maybe the boat captain was right: maybe it had something to do with Tet. Maybe the villagers had all gone to their temples or something…No, the animals wouldn’t have been left to wander and the tools would have been put away. There were people nearby; he was sure of it…But why were they hiding? If Charlie was there, why hadn’t he ambushed the PBRs? …Godbehere mulled over these possibilities for a long time before he was able to go to sleep.

Two days later, Dick Godbehere had his answers. The enemy had chosen the Tet holiday of 1968 to launch a coordinated, country-wide offensive within South Vietnam. Thirty-six of the 44 provincial capitals, five of the six major cities, and many district capitals and hamlets were attacked by communist forces. In the Mekong Delta, the attacks involved 13 of the 16 provincial capitals, including Can Tho, the city near which Godbehere’s patrol had been. Four days before Tet, the enemy troops had moved into the hamlets around Can Tho in preparation for the assault. Godbehere had been right: Charlie was there when the PBRs had come through. He had apparently refrained from attacking the small game of two PBRs in order not to reveal his presence before the large-scale attack on Can Tho scheduled to begin in unison with the other attacks throughout the country on the first day of Tet.

The battles of the Tet Offensive raged for 77 days. Game Warden units played a significant role in reversing the tide of battle in the delta. By chance, some units happened to be in the vicinity of the city of Chau Doc, involved in a planned interdiction operation called “Bold Dragon I,” when the Tet Offensive began. These few Game Warden sailors and the SEALs on the operation with them played a major role in the defense of the city. The VC battalions assigned to capture Chau Doc, told that they would be met with waving banners and open arms, were quite surprised when met by the resistance led by the Game Warden sailors. PBRs and Seawolf helicopters also provided the firepower that held the enemy at bay in Ben Tre until reinforcing ground troops could arrive to drive the attackers out of the city.

During February, Lieutenant Godbehere was involved in a few skirmishes on the periphery of the major battles, but nothing terribly significant. This proved to be a lull before the storm for Dick Godbehere.

Lieutenant Godbehere’s two-PBR patrol left Binh Thuy and headed southeast on the Bassac River en route to its assigned patrol area. The sky was growing dark, and the air was cool for a March night in the Mekong Delta.

Signalman Third Class Jere Beery, the after gunner on the PBR carrying Godbehere, politely looked away as one of the other crew members squatted over the rail of the boat, paying the price for having indulged in a local village’s culinary delights. Privacy is one of the casualties of war—particularly on a 31-foot boat with no head.

Beery looked down at his own tailor-made camouflage uniform, but the sky was too dark for him to really see it. He had just bought the outfit from a local Vietnamese seamstress and was wearing it for the first time. His shipmates had teased him about it, saying, “Hey, Jere, where are you? I can’t see you with those camis on,” or “Look at the walking tree.”

The PBRs passed by Can Tho. Most of the city was quiet and dark, but the distant rattle of a machine gun could be heard from the far side. Some weeks back, Can Tho had been enveloped in artillery fire and exploding aircraft ordnance as the allied forces fought to dislodge the Viet Cong from the university there. Beery had heard that the once beautiful Faculty of Science building had been reduced to smoking rubble, but he hadn’t seen it.

A reporter who had come along for a story bumped into something in the dark and cursed the offending object and its ancestry. Beery remembered another occasion when a pair of reporters had talked Beery’s boat captain into taking them into an infamous area known as the Ti Ti Canal. One of the pair was a large-framed man, wearing brand-new fatigues, who had told the section’s commanding officer, “We need to show the people back in the States exactly what our boys are going through over here.” The other was a man about half his companion’s size. They had lugged several cases of camera equipment on board for the patrol. On the way to the canal, the big man was standing on the engine covers with his 16-mm. motion-picture camera on top of the boat’s awning. As they neared the canal, Bailey, the boat captain, had hollered back to Beery, “Tell that son-of-a-bitch to get down here and put on a flak jacket and helmet.” Beery relayed the message (in more polite terms), only to be rebuffed. “I can’t maneuver the camera with all that stuff on,” the big reporter had said. No sooner had he uttered those words than automatic-weapons fire erupted from both banks. The 16-mm. camera flew up into the air as the big reporter dove into the coxswain’s flat, landing right at Bailey’s feet. The boat captain kicked the reporter and yelled, “You better get up there and get your pictures, you son-of-a-bitch, we ain’t comin’ through here for you again!” The reporter’s camera had been broken, and the only things to show for their efforts were a few still photo graphs taken by the little reporter and 136 bullet-entry holes in the hull of the PBR.

The two PBRs passed the upriver end of Cu Lao Mae Island. It was totally black on the river now. Only the radar could see.

A sudden flash of light appeared in Beery’s peripheral vision over his left shoulder. He turned and realized that it must have been a BAD rocket, for a second one had just emerged from the darkness of the island. Both rockets were well off target.

Beery could hear Lieutenant Godbehere on the radio—”Red Rose, this is Hand Lash Delta”—checking to make sure there were no friendly units in the area. All gunners were holding their fire, not only because of the possibility of friendly units but because the flashes from their weapons would give Charlie something besides sound to aim at.

Godbehere got the clearance he sought from “Red Rose” and ordered his patrol units to start a firing run. The PBRs swooped in toward the island and hammered the darkness from which the rockets had come. Flames of small-arms fire and machine-gun bursts flickered in the trees on shore as the boats roared in.

Beery squeezed off about a hundred rounds and then leaned down to open another canister of ammunition. Two fireballs burst out of the trees as he bent over. Beery recognized them as B-40 rounds but was certain that they would miss. He was wrong: one of the rockets struck the gunwale on the starboard quarter and exploded.

Lieutenant Godbehere was just aft of the coxswain’s flat when the rocket hit. As he saw the reddish-orange rocket explode, he felt a blast of heat and pieces of shrapnel tearing into his legs. A few moments later a second rocket found its mark, this one detonating against the grenade locker on the starboard side. Godbehere, thrown to the deck by the blast, climbed back to his feet and looked about, trying to assess his situation. A gunner named Sherman had been standing near Godbehere before the hits; now he was gone. Godbehere thought he had been blown overboard, but soon he appeared next to the lieutenant, a steel fragment protruding from the back of his arm and another lodged in his foot. Aft, Godbehere saw that Beery was still standing at his gun but wasn’t firing. “Go see what’s wrong with Beery,” Godbehere told Sherman and then turned his attention back to the battle that was still raging.

The other PBR in the patrol had been hit many times, and the damage to both boats was too severe to warrant any further engagement. Godbehere ordered the boat captains to retire to a safe location so that they could evacuate their wounded.

Sherman reappeared and said, “Beery’s hurt bad, Mr. Godbehere.”

Godbehere moved aft. Every step was painful; clearly, his legs had taken a lot of metal. When he got to Beery, the young gunner was still standing and holding on to his weapon. “Where’re you hit?” Godbehere asked. “In the gut,” Beery rasped.

Godbehere looked down. To his dismay and horror, he saw that Beery’s abdomen had been sliced open by the exploding rocket: his intestines were trailing down to a grisly heap on the PBR’s deck.

Godbehere grasped Beery firmly by the shoulders and, with Sherman’s help, laid him down on the deck, then carefully piled the moist entrails onto Beery’s abdomen. With a large battle dressing he cautiously covered the hideous mound. Sherman cut away Beery’s trousers; the new camis were full of shrapnel holes, and his right leg and hip were a mess. A large piece of shrapnel had penetrated Beery’s stomach and was protruding from his back. Godbehere doubted that Beery was going to live.

While Godbehere and Sherman worked, trying to dress Beery’s many wounds, Beery tried to speak but didn’t have sufficient breath left to be heard above the PBR’s engines. He pulled Godbehere down and whispered in his ear. “If I don’t make it,” he said so softly that Godbehere could barely hear him, “tell my mom and dad what happened.”

Godbehere said, “You’re going to be all right. Your intestines just fell out. They can put ’em back for you. They do it all the time. You’ll be okay.”Beery shook his head slowly.

 Godbehere yelled, “Goddammit, Jere, you’re going to be all right!”

The two PBRs were out of the firefight by this time, and Godbehere ordered them to head for Tra On village on the east bank of the Bassac River opposite Cu Lao Mae Island. Godbehere had visited several of the eight U. S. Army advisors there, and he knew the village pretty well. It was the nearest place he could think of to effect a safe medical evacuation. As the two boats headed downriver toward Tra On, Godbehere told Bailey to get on the radio and call for “Pedro,” the Air Force medical evacuation helicopter. For the rest of the run into Tra On, Godbehere knelt next to Beery in a pool of their mingled blood, ignoring his own wounds and trying to soothe the mangled man’s fear and despair.

At the village, the Army advisors loaded Beery onto a stretcher. As they started to carry him off the boat, Beery smiled weakly and said, “I don’t know how those guys managed to hit me.” He held up a tattered remnant of his brand-new camouflage shirt. “I thought I looked like a tree.”

Neither Lieutenant Godbehere nor Petty Officer Beery ever fought in Vietnam again. Dick Godbehere’s wounds were serious enough to cause his evacuation for recovery and reassignment. He eventually retired from the Navy as a lieutenant commander.

The same spirit that had permitted Jere Beery to make a joke about his camouflage uniform in his hour of crisis got him through a long and trying ordeal of recovery. He lived and went on to become a motion-picture stunt man.

Jere Beery / Vertern's Advocate

Sheriff of Maricopa County 1984-1988

MLK Day…Clarence B. Jones ” Before I had A Dream”.


I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Open your mind to August 28, 1963.   All we have in this day are the grainy black and white films, the powerful voice of Dr. King and the oral history of many, but decreasing in numbers as the decades move forward with personal recollections of “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”  The day itself took more than two decades to arrive, plus the second Presidential executive order, the first in the 20th century dealing exclusively with the plight of racial discrimination, the first being “The Emancipation Proclamation”.  President Roosevelt’s June 1941 Executive Order 8802, created “Fair Employment Practices Committee” which advanced the Black mans freedom from discrimination and violation of Civil Rights.  The day arrived not in black and white rather with a crystal blue sky, emerald green trees and lawns. In the air a spring like breeze of invigoration .

The seeds of the two day gathering in Washington D.C. belonged not to Dr. King and  Clarence Jones, who eventually took upon himself to become a defense attorney and speech-writer to Dr. King and on a single occasion collecting in person over 100.000$  cash from the Rockefeller brothers to bail Dr. King and as many other protester from the Birmingham, Alabama jail as possible. Rather the ideological godfather “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” was president of the “Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters” A. Philip Randolph.

 

A. Philip Randolph

Before Dr. King had a dream before Clarence Jones  abet reluctantly came on board, the man from Crescent City Florida,  A. Philip Randolph had plowed the unfertile fields of discrimination and planted his seeds of Civil, Social, Military, Labor and Economic equality and begun to spaded racial discrimination from the fields of 20th century America.

Clarence B. Jones has compiled many an article and essay, blogs and town-hall meetings these decades past. He is of now Scholar in Residence, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University a base he uses to expound on issues as well a recollections of civil and human rights, the meaning of the first African American President in the United States.  Looking at as well as reading some of Clarence’s distant and more immediate works I for myself have discovered a shining gem seeming left behind in our media world of the direct here and now, front page today, yesterdays news all too soon.   With so much of Dr. Kings legacy in place, his writings and philosophy properly enshrined with a handful of few equals I do also consider Gandhi one of only a handful who lived and breathed their philosophy and taught by example.  Clarence B. Jones is as close as I have found  who still is faithful to the original days of Dr. King and ” I Have a Dream”.

 

I Have A Dream Copyright.

With all due respects under CCL I submit a paragraph of Mr Jones blog from September 30, 2010 and further below add a link to his most recent and timely work ” What Would Martin Say”.

In closing I add how diffcult at times not being a writer of disclipline a talent to be admired, I found today and last night think about and collecting ideas and thoughts how vast the information of foot-soldiers from the earliest time of the American Civil-rights is available and there are indeed and in life those who still carry the torch Dr. King Held up so high.

 

Clarence B. Jones

“Years ago, I had the privilege, during my work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to also work with the legendary Negro labor leader, A. Phillip Randolph. Randolph, on hearing progressive African-American activists criticize other African-Americans in the Republican Party, commented, “We Negroes have no permanent political friends or enemies. We only have permanent interests. Your ‘friend’ today could be your ‘enemy’ tomorrow. Your enemy today could be your ‘friend’ tomorrow.” Our allegiance must be to our “permanent interests,” irrespective of the person or political party.”
September 30, 2010

Synopsis…..What Would Martin Say

Jones was to become one of King’s two closest allies, whom he called his wintertime soldiers, a man who would stand with him “…in the snow at midnight in the Alpine chill of winter.”

 

Rev. King

 

 

Won’t be long for Christmas/Merry Christmas 2010


Its cool out side in North Georgia and today, Sunday the sky is blue now the Moon rising is full.  The leaves have turned from gold and red along their branches to brown on the ground like a matte of passing snow.  This Christmas as always will be a Joy of the birth of Jesus, a son sent to pay for the sins of all mankind in advance. Truly his karma will never be challenged because of his gift for eternal salvation.  With this upon me always, I will cellebrate life, memories, sunsets and sunrise, rare moments of beauty in nature the human spirit, knowledge reveled and faith in life still to come.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

2010

Hope-Redemption-Salvation