Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Great Grandpa's Sad Adventure

A record of the old Panorama / Cyclorma of the Battle of Missionary Ridge - no longer in existence.

Read about my Grandpa's Sad Adventure HERE

They call it Missionary Ridge just to the North and East of Chattanooga because that was the boundary the Indians set up to stop the Bible toting missionaries from bothering the Native Americans in the Tennessee River Valley. Well, that did not work out so well. The Bibles got through. The Crackers got through, and years later the Indians wound up in Oklahoma, if they made it that far. CONTINUED ...

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Lewis and Clark's Air Gun

I LOVED the book "Undaunted Courage" about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I read it years ago but I may need to read it again because I really hope to cross over more of the trails from that expedition in the next year or two.  We Have visited Lewis' later route up the Natchez Trace to the place where he ended his own troubled life, only a few years after his greatest achievement. It is eerie to examine the lives of great heroes of America and find the texture of history all woven in. This air rifle is history. The presentation here is one you will enjoy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gone With the Wind and HotLANta

In Country With Uncle Vic - JULY 2014a (published 11/14)    By Vic Campbell .. Copyright 2014 
Atlanta Revives a Whole Book                 Gone With the Wind. Well, there is THAT!

photo album for this column
In July, I volunteered to take my wife’s uncle and aunt up to Atlanta so they could be present for a grandchild’s wedding and see another set of brand new twin grandchildren as well. They come from the greatest-generation (Jack is one of my favorite sailors), so I had no problem finding a way to give them a helping hand up there and back. I did this without taking Karen along. And she trusted me to do that. Amazing. .... ..... ...
CONTINUE THIS COLUMN AT .... THIS LINK A COMPLETE STORY is at this link in a format you can also print to share with non webbed friends.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

An Unsung Veteran

Lest We Forget ... The Chinese who joined our Navy  -- And fought as Americans
USS HOUSTON NEWSLETTER (the story of Ziang Fah Lien)
To a Special Veteran, My Dad:

In 1938, a month before I was born, you joined the navy aboard a heavy cruiser  Of and on, the ship cruised up and down the Chinese coast from Tsingtao to Hong Kong as the flag ship of the Asiatic Fleet of the US Navy, and you as a lowly steward - an Officer's "Boy".  

Then the war drums became louder, the ship retreated to the Philippines in 1941.  You joined many gallant sea battles: the Battle of the Flores Sea, the Battle of the Java Sea, and the Battle of the SundaStrait where the Imperial Japanese Navy wiped out the newly formed and the last remaining suicidal resistance mission of the combined Allied Navy known as ABDA:  American, British, Dutch, Australian.

You gave your life along with 700 of your 1065 shipmates and the ship on March 1, 1942;  to this day, you still stand watch over the ship where she  went down off the Coast of Batavia;  your remaining 380 or so shipmates became POWs to build the bridge over River Kwai in Burma, only about 280 returned home to tell their hellish ordeal in the POW camps three years later  Some never could !

Your destitute family didn't know your whereabouts for 4-5 years during which your wife and one daughter died.  We had yearned that you had survived the sinking and were hiding in the jungles of Java to avoid capture, as some Japanese soldiers did.  But that was not to be, for with your death came the Veterans' benefits for the family, among which was a $3,000 government-issued insurance policy in my name, payable in $3 monthly installments.

Thank you, Dad, for your sacrifice which changed our lives forever, and for thinking about us when you knew the risk when filling in the beneficiary names.  

For decades, not a Veterans' Day goes by without me shedding tears, and thanking you for your sacrifice.  I only hoped to be worthy of your sacrifice.   Others are more fortunate to have fathers, or their fathers' graves to kneel down at, to say a prayer and to offer their thanks, and to place some flowers.  

Your grave is the watery bearing of 7,000 miles away: Long. 107 07' 55" E;   Lat. 05 48'45" S over which one cannot place flowers!

Thank you, Dad, on Veterans' Day.

With love and gratitude;

From your remaining son  

Eric Lien

More Chinese Americans who served with the USS Houston and SURVIVED !  LINK ... see second photo down.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Marine Graduation at Parris Island

I thought it might be a good idea to add all the links to photo albums and video play lists that I created while enjoying the week at the Marine Corps Resort Destination at Parris Island. Karen and I and my brother, retired Navy Captain, Jim were there with friends, The Sewells (from Alabama). I cannot say enough about how great the week was. IF you EVER have a doubt that there are tremendously good and purposeful youth in America -- Just go visit Parris Island. Young Marines in the making.  It is a sight to see.
Here are the LINKS to my collections:

Video PLAY LIST for KILO Company - Graduation Week --

PHOTOS from Tuesday OCT 28
PHOTOS from Wednesday OCT 29
PHOTOS from Thursday OCT 30 (Family Day)
PHOTOS from Friday OCT 31 (Graduation Day)
ENJOY!  The photos are all in easily shareable file sizes. IF you want a copy of the large original file for a big print, let me know the number of the picture. I can email it to you. To Marine Families and Friends - All these photos are to be treated as "your family property". In other words, use them however you see fit. Download, print, repost -- whatever.  If you feel a need to give credit for the shots - you can say provided by me3tv.org, or Vic Campbell.  But you don't need to.

I will be adding some tips and suggestions for those going to future graduations below this line in a few days.   Places to eat. Things to see. Things to do. Things to buy. It was so much fun, I might ask Alex to do it again so we can have a repeat performance.  BUT .. He might have other ideas. Yes, I was in the Navy too. I left after 4 years as a LtJg. and was a Comm Officer for a destroyer in Vietnam. I was my discovery  that the Navy was a military organization that led me to embrace civilian life. I would have lasted about 46 minutes at Parris Island. My ship was USS O'Callahan (DE 1051) . While I was with the O'Callahan, Jim was a Navy Corpsman in Beufort, SC and served a lot of Marines there as an operating room technician. He stayed in the Navy Reserves and eventually retired after 40 years as an O-6 !  We got to revisit some of Jim's old haunts and the chapel where he and his wife were married. She was a Navy Dental Tech ! 


Here is what we did and some suggestions. Some of this involves strategic parking to reduce walking although there are trams which seem to work great.....

FAMILY day begins  about 10 am when they are released in a liberty ceremony in the all weather facility off to the right of the parade field.  So I suggest you have your car parked toward the back side of the parade field parking lot for that. Earlier you can walk to the coffee shop at the visitor center or the museum etc. Your marine may want to go to the museum too (below, I suggest doing this last so they will be close to their report location at the end of liberty) because often they have no clue the other stuff on the island.

AFTER the ceremony - good weather or bad - get to your car and drive to the LYCEUM  -- which is beyond the admin building ... where there will be inside LOTS of tables and lots of room and an uncrowded opportunity to EAT all you want from the buffet (your marine will like this) while you talk and visit as long as you want. The buffet LUNCH at the Lyceum was pay at the door and all you can eat. I think those were more like $12  each but the new marine free. It was an underused resource the day we went so it was away from the crowds and yet in nice relaxed setting and inside.

I think you need tickets for the EVENING command lyceum buffet DINNER ahead of time but there are no quotas. I think $20 each but awesome. Your marine's DI is likely to seek you out from the guest list and assigned tables (they have the list) and talk with you about your marine. They have become very well tuned to your marine's ways and abilities over the three months and you'll hear some great things. The earlier part of the dinner involves some orientation talks about the marines and some Q&A periods. Throughout some marines are stationed nearby your tables and are open to talk about just about whatever questions you have ... even their own career paths.

Parking at he lyceum itself might be tight but there are lots of spaces around other buildings nearby. We often parked in the back parking lot behind the admin building (tall flagpole).

After LYCEUM buffet LUNCH   - our marine needed to get to the MCX and buy up all the stuff he could not buy as a recruit. Us too. So we shopped for awhile there. Various challenge coins are good to get and we got some just to give to people (from Alex) in appreciation for support at home. Some more expensive ones were engraved and bought from one of the service companies online. I think we hit the museum AFTER the MCX so he would be close to report back in on time that afternoon.

I think Alex also got some candy at the MCX to take back to the barracks but the DIs made them eat up all their candy that night so none would be left. Good to ration that idea.

There are good out of weather places to visit ... The all weather facility remains open but it is just bleachers. The BUNKER - near the Museum is used by many but we did not use it since the lyceum served that time well. The visitor center has room in it and a coffee shop. the museum was crowded but Alex was glad he got to see inside it.

ARRIVE EARLY on grad day (0615 maybe) and park at the BACK of the parking lot. Makes it easy to get out  BUT maybe before that drive over to the admin building and park in the back for COLORS (in front of the building) at 0800.  Excellent ceremony and if you can tape the talk by the Command Sgt. Mjr. Hope it is the same guy.

You can take the tram to the colors ceremony and back also.

Wed, when we had the time, we went out to the end of the island to the golf club restaurant and ate. We then took a small road to an historic french fort near the tip of the island. It was a nice outing. I think we did that on Wednesday as we explored around the island.

I know your marine is happy to be done with the crucible. Alex said he kind of enjoyed it except he cracked a rib the first day. He told no one because if you are hurt and get set back it is not fun. By the end of the next week he was fine except for a persistent Recruit Crud cough -- from yelling for three months. The point here is if you can make it on a cracked rib - anybody can ... given the prior conditioning.

Why parking the back side of the parade field? Strategy allows you to move easily from one side of the base to the other on less trafficked roads on that side. After graduation, walk to your car at the back of the parking lot and the traffic will be mostly clear for you to the gate. Most marines are happy to get out the gate asap after graduation.  Alex changed in a service station bathroom about 20 miles out. Some people staying in local hotels -ask for a late release for their marine to change after the ceremony and it seems they are happy to do that.

Also -- for the MOTORUN ... You will get several passes as they run around and back.  We were tipped off to begin observing at the parking lot roadway that disects the parking lot between the parade field and the all weather facility. They begin near there and form up to run.  Get shots there. THEN move over to the main road near the IWO JIMA area and get shots going and coming down the main drag and then move BACK to the original parking lot position to get them on their last stretch of the public parade run route.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Cotton Gin - A Village No More

By Vic Campbell September, 2014 ---- (Prior Column LINK) (Printable Version LINK)
(see extra story resources and picture albums at the end of this column. A sad note - before this was even published - George Causey passed away. See comments at the end for information - Funeral in Milton, Sept. 20 . Notes on the Johnson house are corrected this version)

For the last 50 years, people from Chumuckla have given directions by naming structures that have not existed for half a century. “You go down the the gin (cotton gin) and turn right”. The cotton gin burned down about 1969 or 70. The commissary Pace Company store burned down about 1956.
The Gin - About 1946

Cotton was not ginned at that location for about ten years before it burned down. In that time it became an agricultural farm support center with a feed crusher and small supply store. Cotton ginning was by then more economical to do in Jay, Florida and Atmore, Alabama. In those ten years the community built around the gin and the company store gradually disintegrated. People moved along to work at the chemical plants at the South End of the county or the paper mill across the river, or to cities around the country.

Here we are, nearly fifty years later and great - grand children of people who lived here, who never saw a cotton gin, give directions to people using the “gin” as a marker in their mental map.

A dying man, recently introduced to me through a series of circumstances has revived my curiosity about what happened to all the people who used to live in the supporting village surrounding the gin. The village is gone. Vanished. One of the old mill houses remains on the road down to “the gin”. It is refurbished and occupied. People who lived some of their early lives there are now elders among us. George Causey is one of those. He is dying of lung cancer. He is in hospice care at home, in Pensacola. His sister, Irma, cares for him at her home.
Irma and Her Brother, George Causey

George's mother was Nezzie (Presley Causey) Holley. Nezzie was a fixture in Chumuckla for many years. She provided care for elderly and children and did laundry and other home value work for many people in town. It was extra income in an area where jobs were scarce except for field work and the labor and mechanical work around the gin. She was highly valued for her cooking and cleaning and attention to detail. Yes, there were white ladies that did similar work who were valued as well. Nearly all the families in the area were living “close to the bone” and any manner of work was to be appreciated and sought after.

I recall seeing Miss Neezie walking from Campbell Salter's house to home – a mile distant but it was more common that she would be brought to and from home by car if one was available. Janice Campbell Engert recalls her aunt Juanita Salter having the greatest admiration of Miss Nezzie”. “Miss Nezzie” or “Aunt Mit” were commonly used formal address by the younger chidren (“Miss” and “Mister” being commonly used by children in front of all adult's first names).

George was the only child of E.L. Causey and Nezzie (Presley). George began working at the gin when he was 12 (about 1950. He managed the suction tube to pull cotton up from the wagons into the enGINe. (I learned recently that “gin” is just short for cotton ENGINE). The Causey's divorced and Nezzie married Buster Holley. Meanwhile, E.L. Married Buster's niece, Pearl. Irma, who now cares for George at her home in Pensacola is their child.
The location of the Gin - Now a Machinery Shed

Irma and George visited the old village area that is long turned to dust around the gin. I showed them the old gin area, the road down to the river, and the location of the old Missionary Baptist Church and cemetery. We talked with Copeland Griswold about the old days. He remembered the families with fondness. Nezzie helped with his children when they were young. I myself, remember working for Tom Salter in the fields and preparing vegetables for market with Buster Holley in charge of scrawny boys in the late night. The vegetables had to be delivered – clean and nicely presented – to the produce buyers in Pensacola before daylight. Haber Produce was the main buyer. I recall once having help from Frank Holley to harvest some okra from our own crop, late In the season.
Preacher Harris was too old to plow his mule but our Dad loved to plow with it.
This is him with Jim, Wanda and Me (Vic) - 1960

As the gin connected village began to decline in population, the Pace Company Store fell into disuse. In the early 1950's A group planned a dance at the large Company Store building. Copeland Griswold tells me he heard someone say “that building will burn down in a week”. Sure enough it did. Mrs. "R" said "We must stop the devil from coming to our town". Mrs. "K" said "The devil is already here". Dancing and other sins were not popular among the working folks of Chumuckla. This was about the time Elvis Presley swung his hips and girls fainted. It was getting hot somewhere, but it was not going to be hot in Chumuckla unless there was a fire to remove temptation. The building might have been built about 1910 when John Pace bought out the Skinner operation. Lavern Howell said that as Skinner lay dying, he said he was sorry he never did anything for the community, and he respected how John Pace, who followed him, gave back to the community in so many ways. Skinner plundered the first cutting of timber off the land and sold out to Pace. To John Pace,  it was not just about jobs, but about the community itself. He gave the land for the Elizabeth Chapel Church and Cemetery for instance. His heirs helped fund the University of West Florida.

Only the older folks remained in the village surrounding the gin by the late 60's. By then, George had moved with his family to Milton to be nearer his work with the school board. There were some sad memories from the days these families lived in Chumuckla. Irma recalled stories of her aunts who lived on the road to the river. One of the family of three girls left home one night to visit other family about a mile down in “the flats”. She left with her shoe strings tied together and shoes hanging about her neck – to protect the good shoes from the dirt. That was the last she was seen. A search party looked for days and found no trace of her. The disappearance of that young girl drove fear into the two other sisters. Over time they became reclusive and eventually went insane. One of them died in the state insane asylum. George lost a baby son to a car accident at his house. The baby crawled behind a car when put down for just a moment and the driver, not knowing the danger, backed over the baby. You can imagine the pain for all involved from such a terrible accident.
Winona Griswold remembers Irma and George's Family well. 

Will Thomas' Store near the gin served mostly the black community that surrounded it, and the remaining white families until about 1964. Another couple of stores including a liquor store were just about a quarter mile East of the current school – which in those days was segregated. All the black children were bussed to an all black school in Milton. That is how George eventually came to work for the county. He began by driving the bus to Milton after J.W. Harris (the son of Preacher Harris, who is said to have been the son of slaves) lost use of a leg and had to give up the position. (I am including a photo of Preacher Harris with me and my sister and brother). Later, George became Janitor at the all-black school and then joined the county maintenance department. By the time segregation was outlawed, there was perhaps only one child remaining in the village who was black. The lack of jobs after the cotton gin shut down, and the lack of other work brought on a steady emigration of residents, both black and white. The village eventually faded away.
Lavern Howell remembered the moving of the old Alonzo Johnson House to Pace

Most of the houses were torn down or burned. The cotton gin was destroyed by a tornado in 1972. The commissary burned down earlier. Will Thomas' store burned down. The other stores mostly burned or were torn down, perhaps the last to burn being Burgess' store near the crossroads. One of the old houses from the black village near the gin was moved to Pace and used as a home in the '70's by Paul Cook. Lavern Howell gave us that bit of information. It is a bit of preserved history.It is said to be the former home of Alonzo and Mit Johnson. Before they occupied it – the house was used as a canning facility for cane syrup – a side business of the Pace Company. (correction: The house pictured here, it turns out, is NOT the Johnson house, but what remains of it is behind it on the same property). People recall going by those houses back in the 40's and 50's when they were alive with working and prospering families where the smell of pork roasting or the sight of laundry in the breeze were mesmerizing.

By the time I came to the area in 1957, these iconic houses and stores were already in decline and nobody actually knew it. Film was expensive then and few pictures exist of any of the structures that once lined the roads.
A Grand Memory for the day -- A house similar to the old Johnson House - in great shape in Pace, FL
the ACTUAL old house and former cane molasses bottle shed is not far behind this house on the same property.

 It was a ten year process of slow transition from an active commercial center to rows of empty houses that, over the next few years were erased from the land.  A commercial center never redeveloped for Chumuckla, although there is some hope for service like a grocery to find a home here in the area again.

Young families that want the rural experience are filling up the woods with three and five acre ranchettes. It will be a rural experience, but it will never be the rugged and self reliant rural experience that was embedded in the lives of those hardy souls of times gone by.

This blog sponsored by Angie Pennell - My Plexus

A printable version is available AT THIS LINK.

This column is also sponsored by BUZZCREEK
MORE RESOURCES:  PHOTOS - STORIES… (please send corrections or extended explanations to vic@buzzcreek.com - I might add your comments at the end - below -  thanks)
Myrtlene Pendleton Langham (Lena) posted memories from her time living near the gin. I recall her telling me of the sound of machinery all night long - actually a peaceful sound that brought comfort - knowing the world was turning yet -- or something like that.
Stories from Joyce Joiner Schultz ( A wonderful school mate - deceased)


Friday, August 22, 2014

IN COUNTRY BLOG - Vic Starts Over

About three years ago, Karen and I recovered our senses and returned to the home of our ancestors here in Santa Rosa County. As I recovered my sense of place I may have rediscovered a need to express in writing some of the things that cross my path. I am known as an opinionated person and I form so many opinions it can be a heavy task at times just to keep up with them. But I also have a reasonably accommodating spirit. An occasional opinion may seep into my writing, but my primary purpose is to record in some fashion the spirit of the people both in our region and beyond as Karen and I travel from place to place.

My primary conspirator in taking paths that lead to so many interesting people and places in our own region, is a fifty-ish retired farmer from Allentown, named Roy Allen. Roy is blind now and has nothing to do but ride along with anyone who will drive his truck. I have been absent these environs except for brief interludes, the past 40 years. There was a time when I could depend on my dad, J. Lee Campbell and my mom, Myrtle Carswell Campbell, for all the particulars about the lives of the pioneer families in our county. They are gone now. Roy Allen has become my guide.

Years ago, my dad introduced me to Roy, who was farming then. D. Allen and Parnel Allen were among Roy's uncles. I remember them and others among his relatives There are Jones' and Kelley's. Roy Allen, Sr. ran a mechanics garage over on Highway 89, North of Allentown. Dad told me about Roy's younger brother, Terry, who was an Allentown High basketball prodigy. They called him “Frog”. “Frog” was struck by lightning while mullet fishing in Mulat a week before he was to go to college on a full scholarship. This devastated the Allen family. Eventually the family sorted out their places and Roy was farming full time for the Griswolds as well as farming his own family land. In the course of time, Roy became a consumer of good food which eventually put him in Sumo Wrestling weight class. When I met him again – a long lapse of time expired from my prior acquaintance through my Dad and the meals of pizza or Philly Steak Sandwiches at Diamond's store. And now Roy was blind.

About three years ago our mutual friend, Tom Reynolds of Chumuckla, got us back together. Roy needed an occasional driver to get chores done. Roy provided the truck. I became the driver. Several times a week, I would drive big blind Roy to breakfast, to shop, to see a doctor. For about a year we enjoyed the weekly breakfast with the Kiwanis Sunrise Club that meets weekly at the Tanglewood Golf Club. But we backed off that for awhile as other issues sort out.

Meanwhile, at 480 pounds, Roy decided to lose weight assisted by a gastric bypass. The weight was a big issue anyway, which was a primary factor in his heart attack about five years ago. This heart attack came on in stages so he was rushed to the hospital where bypass surgery was performed. A month after his surgery, he woke up and could not see ANYthing. After the surgery, he had a severe fever for many days and was in a coma. Unknown to any of the doctors or to Roy, he had a pituitary tumor at the base of his brain. In the fever, it swelled up and then died and crushed his optic nerve. The heart surgery was a success. Nobody could have predicted he would now be blind.

After some years of learning to be blind, he was ready for the weight loss regimen and the surgery to help out. At this point, he is about 270 pounds and still dropping weight. Pictures of him three years ago and pictures of him now show a remarkable change.

So – how does a blind man become a GUIDE for a man with vision. It turns out, Roy has a remarkable brain. It is somewhat photographic in quality. He remembers people, places, dates, whole families and it turns out, every bump in every road in our region. He has given people directions over the phone to find places 150 miles away in Dothan, Alabama. It is a wonder to me every time I go somewhere with Roy, with me at the wheel. He will give me a running account of the farms we pass, tell me who is in the field and what they are doing. He'll remark on an old homestead and tell me the people that live in the next five houses and the color and style of the house as we pass them. All this by the feel of the road and something I describe as a bionic GPS.

My dad (J. Lee Campbell, from Chumuckla) could to that. He probably could have done it had he been blind. There are a few people among us who have a full grasp of people and connections and places. And they never forget a name. Roy is one of those. So, Roy is my guide. We meet people whom I am supposed to know. I may have even met them a couple of times already in the past few years – reconnecting with 40 years of lost history. It will take me three or four or more times before I put all the parts in place and have the person back in my mental Rolodex in the right order. Fortunately, Roy helps me to make the connections and patiently re-describes the connections several times before a year passes.

I'll try to revive some of the feel in my past writings, from the long out of print book I authored about 20 years ago. Junction: County Road 197 (mild adventure for the armchair ruralist)” found a sizable audience in the area. I am often asked if I am “the one that wrote the book”. (My brother and I were known as the two Campbell brothers – and he is the retired Navy Captain). It was a fun book. It was a collection of newspaper columns I wrote for the Press Gazette and other regional papers in the first 10 years Karen and I lived in New Jersey. I wrote a farewell to “the South” letter to many of our friends when we packed up and headed from Georgia to New Jersey where careers would take root. Our friend, Wanda Lockett worked at the Press Gazette then and asked if they could print it. From that a whole series of columns emerged. They kept my heart close to home as we adjusted to New Jersey (which by the way, was very pleasant where we lived). I would write a basic story and then call my dad and have him fill in actual names and accurate place descriptions because I wanted the various reflections to carry the weight of authenticity of place. Mom provided some input too. The book was dedicated to them and since few people would buy a book for $20, twenty years ago – I ended up buying up a lot of them that my dad and mom gave away to their friends. That is how it got such wide distribution. They had an awful lot of friends. The book is today, free to read on Google Books . You can download it for a small fee, or you can find used copies on Amazon, sometimes for as little as a couple of dollars!

Bear with me. This episode has been an introduction. Look for travels with Roy, Look for travels with Karen. Karen and I sometimes take trips to various other parts of America where people are exactly like they are here at home, only different. Karen wonders if there is any money in this writing venture. Experience tells me that is not a likely benefit.
All columns are available as printable files for your friends not using the intertubes . CLICK HERE for THIS COLUMN.

This blog sponsored by Angie Pennell - My Plexus
Additional photos and reference links will be available in this blog.
This blog is sponsored by BUZZCREEK.com where you will find links to military history DVDs, Downloadable relaxation videos from Amazon.com and more.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Those gas cans


Sunday, June 01, 2014

Worst Murder Machine in ALL of History

Well, Muslims don't seem to accept this bit of information.

Article from American Thinker

Picture from the War Art of Don Robbins (NJ)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Arlin Moon: Portrait of an Artisan

These pioneer families are much like those in my area of NW Florida. This was filmed in Holly Pond, AL in the mid 1980s. Down home.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Proof That We Are Really tiny...

Proof That We Are Really Insignificant... - The Meta Picture

This is impressive. I did hear it once described thus: "If all the grains of sand along and in all the beaches of the world were to represent all the stars in the universe - there would not be enough sand." Maybe a better way for us to look at it is -- we are just a part of a MUCH bigger picture !