Sunday, January 20, 2019

poor boy blues by Jeff comer

There is a lot of "lost talent" wandering around the internet.... Enjoy

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Up and Coming Author - Youth Books

Our friend in Georgia is an author. Patricia Collier Began writing novels to market through gatekeeper press. Her target market is wholesome stories with a touch of history for the youth market through ebooks on Amazon and others (search - or see ). Check out the video I made to introduce it. I enjoyed doing this for them. I've grown lazy as an editor and usually just point, shoot and upload my videos anymore. But I put a little time in this. She gathered and paid for all the elements : Photos, music, and provided the text. Was supposed to be a Christmas gift but now it has become a New Year's gift. Her son, Jordan Wayne Campbell Sewell -- and he is our favorite godson since the days we lived in Morrow, Georgia - actually 100 years ago this week.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Purple Hearts - and Respect

Ben Lloyd has a soft spot for those affected by war. He carries some effects himself.  Broken up from piloting an attack helicopter full of holes to a crash landing in Vietnam, he has been decades in healing and therapy.  Part of his therapy is art. He spends hours and hours with detailed "pointilized" ink drawings to create near photographic perfection in his art. 

He had one in his study of a Navy A-4 Skyhawk that impressed me a great deal. This is the A-4M version presented.

Back in 2017 my Navy Ship reunion was held in Pensacola. We held our luncheon at McGuire's to honor the thematic nature of our ship - USS O'Callahan.  The story of that reunion explains to some degree how we began our tradition of Irish Blessings and sharing the heritage with Irish Pubs. 

But we also learned a lot about the manager at McGuire's. Perry Hunter lost his father to a combat death in Vietnam. 

"Perry Hunter's dad, Herbert Perry Hunter , was a Blue Angel. But in combat over Vietnam, his aircraft was shot up and it crashed trying to reach the deck of the Bonne Homme Richard (although his squadron was flying from the Oriskany) . He died. The Oriskany is today an artificial reef and diver's attraction in the Gulf near Pensacola.

Perry's dad's Blue Angel (an F-9F Panther) was until recent years on display at the entrance to Pensacola Airport. The news article linked here honors that legacy. 

Honoring his father -  Perry, Jr.,  supports and encourages the spirit of the warriors at McGuire's. "

In visiting and in correspondence with our friends, the Lloyds, Ben learned of this story and of Perry Hunter. It became important to him to create a revised copy of his original A-4 to be marked and 
armed to reflect the last flight of Perry's father who was a Marine (an A-4M ...shown above)  . 

Commander Hunter's purple heart was posthumously awarded as was the gunner's in the helicopter with Ben. 

Ben at last found some time and enough health to enter back to public activity and we planned with Perry for a presentation this week. Ben brought the art, framed and in a Christmas package to give to Perry, remembering his dad and really, the sacrifice of so many who gave all in service to our nation. 

In Ben's combat crash, he lost his gunner, who was exposed in the front seat of the "Cobra". Included here is a tribute drawing Ben made of his aircraft with his gunner and himself.

Several veterans and wives attended the luncheon, held in the more private "Golf" room. Some of my brother's 4th FSSG MedBN corpsman shipmates were there in support. Ben was honored to be able to present the art and Perry was honored to receive it. It was a day for honors -- and remembrance of those whose lives are changed in the course of serving our nation.

Other Related Links

Bon Homme Richard (Poor Richard) "I Have Just Begun to Fight"

The historic wreck is found.
About the Cobra Helicopter ...

Cobra's in Vietnam
More photos from the presentation luncheon

Ben's mother-in-law is Phyllis Allen of Milton, FL. She has a tradition of making and sharing divinity with friends and family over the Christmas Season.  The day following this, my brother and I joined in at her house to learn to make divinity her special way. Phyllis is the widow of Ray Allen of Allentown and Ray was my brother, Jim's mentor and boss for many years in the Navy Training Comptroller's office at Pensacola NAS.  Northwest Florida being a "soup" of genetics, the Allens and our family share a lot of the same cousins.  It was the Allen home yard, where a tragic crash occured out of Whiting Field in 1953. Dozens of NROTC students died.  Someday, we hope there will be a remembrance placed near there.  There should be a memorial for all those who have died in service while in training.  Their lives cut short in ways as tragic as combat.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Have a Creepy Little Christmas with These Unsettling Victorian Cards

Have a Creepy Little Christmas with These Unsettling Victorian Cards

(via the Library of Birmingham)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

WHERE to Avoid Hurricane Risk in Florida

A friend in NJ who is of Canadian refugee status, asks for a friend hoping to find a home in FL - where to go to live here and be safe from the ravages of Hurricanes.

Well that is a big question.

Natives in Florida look at Hurricanes as part of the landscape and carry in their back pocket a set of dice to roll when any threat begins to look on track for their region of the state. They fully expect something to occur sometime but are never sure what the damage will be. NORMALLY it is zero. A small percentage of the time, the right storm, the right time, the right tide, the right place - it can be a disaster --- as it was in '04 with Ivan and in '18 with Michael.  The dice from the pockets came out and the Fortune tellers prognosticated and the Preachers preached and people made ready.  Tea Leaves, Chicken entrails. It all helps.

MOST of the people that made ready had a good roll of the dice.  BUT for those that stood in the way of a 2 degree shift of direction ... well.... Its not good.  In ten years, you will hardly know there was a hurricane there.  In twenty years, it will be just a fog of tall tales.

SO.... WHERE TO LIVE if you move here hoping to avoid hurricane damage 100%. I would suggest Oklahoma, but then it is tornadoes (which is just one other component of hurricanes anyway).

But... for a 99.8 percent chance of avoiding any major damage, you can pick anywhere in FL that is about 5 miles off the coast - any coast.   It comes down to what kind of lifestyle do you want. 

Most of the heavy gentrified gated type communities are in SOUTH FL. And plenty are inland. My nephew lives in a town just NE of Orlando and loves it.  A friend here near Pensacola has daughter and grand-kids in the town of DeLand or near it and they love that (small town flavor yet striking distance of the bigger cities.)  Lots of options for lifestyle.

The HIGHEST points in FL are North of Crestview Florida (farm and ranch and forest land) to North of Madison, FL.  This includes Tallahassee which is cosmopolitan enough to feel right for people used to the urban life of the NE USA.  It has become a go-to area for a lot of retirees that don't want the SOUTH FL experience.  There are gated communities, retirement condominiums and more. Florida State University is there along with Florida A&M and there is plenty of culture there. 

My favorite is Pensacola (not on the water - but inland about 10 miles). There are some great retirement condominiums and housing areas.  Pensacola has a much less urban feel than Tallahassee, and certainly less than South FL. 

One thought is to skip FL altogether and go to the finest living county in the area - Baldwin Co, Alabama and seek a condo in the Spanish Fort area which has areas high above Mobile Bay.  So it is accessible to both Mobile and to Pensacola.  The Florida Panhandle is attractive to a lot of retirees. Many go to the coast regardless of the "risk". But many are filling up the areas inland too. Cost of living is  probably HALF that of NJ and 1/3 less than coastal S.FLA towns.

More about history and culture in the area are found at Vic's collection of links at


Monday, November 12, 2018

Best Truck Designs EVER

Old   Haulers:  Some really cool vehicles here.  
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RESHARED here by

Saturday, November 10, 2018


References on World War I and and World War II Victory Gardens. including The War Garden Victorious, (1919). (A treat from the folks at the curated news blog - .
It included the posters scattered below.
War Garden Poster 1.jpg
War Garden  Poster 2.jpg
I love to look through books and art like that. So interesting to see how people approached gardening back then.
And here's a more modern Victory Garden Guide from Penn State. You never know when this information could come in handy.
War Garden Poster 3.jpg

Saturday, November 03, 2018


by way of sources...

Jet wash in the
morning mist

Unusual cloud.
Now we know
how to look
like angels

Ice cave,
illuminated by
a torch

Ladybug in the
morning dew

Cloud: incredible

Rain over
ravninoi -
view from the

One in a million

The tsunami of

A magical place
in Austria -
Grer See

A rare and
phenomenon -
"fire rainbow"
This optical
effect in the
manifested in the
appearance of
a horizontal
Localized on a
background of
high cirrus
clouds are

refraction of
light in water

Morskoi sand
under a
with a

Rhodochrosite -
Beautiful Shii
mineral, also
known as the
Rose of the

The view from the
height of 8000

Splash - from the
stone thrown
into the water
during sunset

In rare cases,
you can see a
rainbow at 360
from the plane

The crystal clear
ice of Baikal

Blooming lotus

Lavender fields.
Dawn. Imagine
the aroma ...

Frame-fire: the
reflection of
the setting
sun in her

Winter Fairy