Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Facing it Together | Si & Tempy

What else to say. GOOD SOULS HERE.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Girl Scouts warn parents about forcing kids to hug relatives for the holidays (Actually a pretty good article teaching kids about consent.)

Strange tale: Why the tail chopped from your Thanksgiving turkey will travel 5,000 miles


This idyllic Swiss village wants to pay you more than £50,000 to move there

The News in Zingers

After Weinstein: A List of Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct and the Fallout for Each

25 Richest Members of Congress

What $1,000 invested in 15 popular stocks before Great Recession looks like now

Toyota Warns US Workers: Build Camry for Less, or Else

Amazon wants to disrupt the neighborhood pharmacy—but its sketchy health products could get in the way

$900MM – Stanley Black And Decker Buys Craftsman

Geo-Economics in Central Asia and the ‘Great Game’ of Natural Resources: Water, Oil, Gas, Uranium and Transportation Corridors (WP)

Soil Management: Key to Fighting Climate Change?

More Harvey-Sized Hurricanes Likely to Hit Texas (Same old bulls__t ... Harvey wasn't particularly large, it just hung around for a long time.)

A Helping of Science With Your Thanksgiving Dinner

This man is about to launch himself in his homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat

What monarch butterflies prefer

Are your medical records safe?

• Two women in Arlington, Texas, called police for help on July 10 as a mentally ill man doused himself with gasoline in preparation to commit suicide. When responding officers began talking with the distraught man, he poured more gasoline on himself and appeared to be holding a lighter in his hand. Hoping to subdue him, one of the officers used his Taser on the man and the gasoline ignited, engulfing him in flames. Officers wrapped him in blankets and removed him from the house. His family reports he was severely burned, and at press time he was in critical condition. [NBC DFW, 7/11/2017] 

FCC plan would give Internet providers power to choose the sites customers see and use (This is a really, really, really BAD idea.  The end result will be massive censorship.  If you think the problem with the liberal print media is bad, wait until the liberals control the ISPs.)

Low-skilled immigrants and their correlation with why America can't $hake child-poverty rates

Single U.S. airstrike wipes out 100 terrorists in Somalia

The US Secretly Let Thousands Of Heavily Armed ISIS Fighters Escape Raqqa In Broad Daylight

The Latest: US slaps new sanctions on NKorean, Chinese firms

With technology, these researchers are figuring out North Korea’s nuclear secrets (All of this might be unavailable under the proposed FCC internet rule.)

Air China suspends North Korea flights, deepening isolation


“The last resort of the competitive economy is the bailiff, but the ultimate sanction of a planned economy
is the hangman."
                ~ F. A. Hayek

Saturday, November 04, 2017

STORE PAGE - Vic's Picks

More to add to support local authors and other recommended books and products.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Very Worst Road: Travellers' Accounts

I enjoyed this book. It is about the National Road that crossed Georgia and Alabama enroute to New Orleans.  It was originally a native trail across the Southeast. One of my favorite parts of the book talks about the old Rev War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette making his grand tour, including Alabama in the route. At some point before the Montgomery stop and after Columbus -- he was feted by the Creek Indians with a tremendous display of "lacrosse" - a ball game. The Creeks (there was a faction of Creeks who were always allied to the Americans although the "Red Stick" faction had never settled well into the arrangments.)  were as fascinated by him as were the pioneer folks. This was the early 1820's.  Lafayette was an old man then.

The Very Worst Road: Travellers' Accounts of Crossing Alabama's Old Creek Indian Territory, 1820-1847 (Alabama Fire Ant) by Jeffrey C. Benton
The Very Worst Road: Travellers' Accounts of Crossing Alabama's Old Creek Indian Territory, 1820-1847 (Alabama Fire Ant) 
by Jeffrey C. Benton 

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

A ship and It's SEAL

FROM USS O'CALLAHAN Supported by Save The Collards and WME3 Network

Perry Hunter, Vic Campbell
A lunch at Mcguire's in Pensacola, August 2 was organized to retrieve the USS O'Callahan plaque my shipmates placed there at our reunion in 2016. It will be transported to our new reunion in Valley Forge and hosted at Molly Maguire's, there for the next year. Those who touch the brass seal and say a prayer for a living or deceased veteran or active service member are blessed through Fr. Joseph O'Callahan, the namesake of our ship.

This is a new tradition for us. The seal was donated to us by I.C. Smith, a veteran sailor who left the Navy (he was an FT) in 1966. He found this plaque and several others at a flea market in Virginia that came by them from an estate sale. We do not know the origins other than that --- and that it was cast probably in Taiwan in the early 1970's from surplus brass shell casings left over from gunfire support missions off the coast of Vietnam. I was given one myself from a second (or third) casting during the third Vietnam deployment for the ship. What to do with this new plaque? We could auction it to a shipmate. We could give it to a museum? But ... We came up with the idea of a tradition.

This "ship's seal" in brass was to become an ambassador of good-will through Irish Pubs around America - to be hosted in towns wherever we hold our reunions. The host Pub will encourage admirers of the seal to touch it and say a prayer for living or deceased veteran or serving member of the military. Before the next reunion, the seal is retrieved and brought to the next city - where the tradition is carried forward.

Nancy, Perry, Kathy, Aubrey
in the picture to the left, We have the manager of McGuire's, Perry Hunter, holding a facsimile of his "Port-of-Call" Certificate from the IRISH SONG Association. Holding the plaque is Nancy Dandino who is the daughter of Bill Worthington, our shipmate in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is a USO volunteer here in Pensacola while her husband is attached to the military here. Kathy and Aubrey Penton are standing to the right and helped support our memorial service last year before the McGuire's plaque presentation. Kathy related a story of her dad in the Philippines in WWII and how he would not talk about it or his wounds. This story came up as we discussed Fr. O'Callahan and USS Franklin off the Philippines in 1945, and that his sister ( a nun) had just been released from imprisonment. Fr. Joe was to fly over to visit his sister after all these ordeals but the Franklin was called away in a rush to attack the

Call sign - "IRISH SONG"
home islands of Japan. It was off Japan that the events occurred in which Fr. O'Callahan's actions led to the award of the Medal of Honor. Years later, after his death, Sister Rose Marie O'Callahan Christened our ship when it was launched.

I hope you are following the links in this post. you will learn so much more than what you see in the pictures.

Perry Hunter's dad, ( Perry is the manager of McGuire's), was a Blue Angel. But in combat over Vietnam, his aircraft was shot up and it crashed on the deck of the Oriskany and he died. The Oriskany is today an artificial reef and divers attraction in the Gulf near Pensacola. Perry's dad's Blue Angel (F-8) was until recent years on display at the entrance to Pensacola Airport. The news article linked here honors that legacy. As do the actions every day in which Perry supports and encourages the spirit of the warriors at McGuire's.

Nancy's dad, BT, Bill Worthington was working the boilers on watch one night off the coast of Vietnam while those of us above were taking the ship into harm's way to get close in gunfire support for our forces ashore. (Well, the Captain was taking us - we just followed orders but if given a choice - I would have suggested we go the OTHER way).  An enemy shell "ALMOST" opened a hole in the ship very near to Bill's head. A surprise, you can be sure. Last year, I asked a blind friend to paint his vision of what Bill saw as the lights flickered out in the boiler room and you could peer into the black depths of Bill's pupils. Here is a photo of Roy Allen and some of his other works. Here is a media collection of our ship at the time -- the gun missions start about halfway.

SO -- our tradition is off to a great start, thanks to Mr. I. C. Smith, McGuires and our band of happy (or somewhat happy) shipmates. The register board shown here has our FIRST PUB listed as McGuires for the 2016-17 year.

Our upcoming reunion is in Valley Forge, PA in tandem with the Annual Meeting of the Destroyer Sailors Organization (Tin Can Sailors). We invite other sailors at this meeting to join us at Molly Maguire's as we transition our seal to its next home.

We have expressed our gratitude to Mr. Smith by providing him with one of our challenge coins and a certificate of Honorary Shipmate. Anyone can order challenge coins from our ship's store. Get some to share with very special people who deserve an Irish blessing or a dose of history. The flags on the ship on the reverse side - are BRAVO and ZULU. In Navy code speak this means "WELL DONE". So, giving someone the challenge coin (a poker chip version) is a way of telling your friend - you appreciate their good work or something they have done .. (there is a link to the ship's store).

We are not sophisticated here You'll need to send a check. Coins are 2 for $10. I suggest a pocketful.

The ship was decommissioned about 1988 and transferred to the Pakistani Navy as PNS Anslat. Members of the ANSLAT CREW (Pakistani's) often contribute to our stream of media, especially on facebook. After a few years of service it was returned to the USA and sold for scrap. It was one of the last "STEAM" powered US warships. Within ten years the "Oliver Hazard Perry Class" of FRIGATE (no longer called a Destroyer Escort) came to the fleet. These ran on gas turbines (jet engines). All line ships except the nuclear fleet now use these efficient power plants. The age of steam is gone.

Actually - today - 2017 - Even the Perry Class is gone. Time moves onward.

Thanks also to Pensacola's Beach Bum Trolleys

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Book Reviews from Adm Callo

I know Adm Callo from the NYC Naval Order lunches at which he sometimes spoke with great clarity on some the world's naval histories. His own specialty seemed to be  Admiral Nelson and Trafalgar and also John Paul Jones of the US Navy.  Excellent histories.

Here, he suggests some other books by review.

The links below go to two possible book reviews for your summer reading.

Joe Callo
Joseph F. Callo 
(212) 972-8651
Just one example of the people I would meet at luncheons with the Naval Order in NYC.  This Marine checked out Ted Williams for his squadron in Korea. He also checked out John Glenn. 

 Sometimes the AFTER LUNCH gagtherings were just as informative !

Sometimes my son, Alex got to go with me. Here is was able to talk with two marines (WWII/Korea and Vietnam)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dunkirk - the surrounding story

The Miracle of Dunkirk. Included the last ever use of the English Longbow in combat. This is a fascinating lecture with supporting visuals.  The recent movie will now make much more sense.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Judging Shadows: The Fate of Judge Trueman

I think you will enjoy the sleuthing of Richard Wood who enjoys a CRIME SCENE detective approach to Depression Era crime.  Here is a murder in MILTON, Florida !

Judging Shadows: The Fate of Judge Trueman: During the 1931 tragic events in Milton, the attorney and business partner of Spencer G. “Babe” Collins, was a man named Lewis V. Trueman. ...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Top Side of the Grass

My Aunt Louise Chavers Carswell.  Age -- 95.

Louise says her prayer every day. "Lord please take me today".  So far she remains among us. I suggested she might have to pray harder.  She is in fair health, but the stroke a couple of years back slowed her down and life is just more difficult ... slow ... and fragile.

So, I explained, "The Lord is not taking you today -- I am".

She and Bobby made their life in Panama City, Florida - some 120 miles from her roots in Milton, and his old High School in Allentown.  He became a barber and was one of the most well known people in the town, there, for many years. The town wanted to remove the 1950 strip shops off the downtown piers for years. But, they waited until Bobby died in 2008 because his barber shop was on that pier. And he cut hair for 65 years - most of those years - right there.  Louise held two jobs in the city - the first as a
bookkeeper for a Hotel the second as a bookkeeper for a furniture store.  She retired from the hotel at age 65 and the next day started working for the furniture store. She retired there at age 85, when Bobby died.

Their primary passion was the Florida Gators, University of Florida football team.  Bobby was helpful in recruiting some of the key players over the years and the two of them were regulars at games.  It was a big part of their life and the gator on the grave site commemorates that.

Louise grew up in a large family with 8 children Milton, FL. Of the three remaining, she is the oldest. Her early memories of family and growing up are fascinating. At a young age, her father forced her to say she "was sorry" for some infraction with a sibling. But she felt she was correct in her actions
and later she explained to her dad that she "was NOT sorry" and he cried, realizing he had pushed her to tell a lie.  It may have been an early imprint for her to NEVER lie.  To this day, if she gets a minor fact wrong in some story she tells, she cannot sleep that night until she phones and corrects her error. I usually have a phone call some hours after a visit.  It tells me that visits mean a LOT.  How many people go OVER and OVER in their mind - the conversations of the past few hours? She MUST correct any error and be sure she has told the TRUTH.

By age 14 -she was working.  After school and weekends she worked as an USHERETTE for the
Imogene Theater in Milton. It was built in 1912, so it was about 25 years old when she worked there and movies were the big thing.  Country school buses loaded kids and even some parents came on weekend trips to the movies in Milton. Louise thought it funny that some kids would turn 11 years old and it took them about three more years to turn 12. At age 12 the adult fare applied.  No more nickel movies.

After high school (- she thinks the class of 1940) she went to Ocala to a WPA Business School, where she learned to keep books.  She
remembered going to Sunday services at Silver Springs, especially for Easter.  Before the war broke out, she took a job with Tyndal Air Force Base near Panama City.  She would have stayed there but she had a friend in town whose dad had a Hotel and he NEEDED (begged for) help. She then became a part of the hotel office staff where she worked until 65. And then the Furniture store until age 85. She worked solid for 72 years. Even her year at business school, she worked for board and tuition.

They never saved much of anything. Imagine a well known couple, with graduations of ever customer's grandchild, every wedding, every funeral ... flowers, gifts, cards, cash. No retirement saved. Just social equity. She depends on social security. She lives with her sister in Milton. The sale of her house in Panama city helped to fund some of her new situation with her sister.  She and Bobby had no children.  The Chavers and the Carswell cousins are devoted to her. The memories that come from a graveside visit to "have a little chat" are loaded with laughter, love and family.

And now. Her prayer. "Take me".  Aunt Louise, there is no hurry.

I normally inform my Carswell cousins when I am bringing Louise to Bonifay to visit Bobby. But this time, with her frailty, we both agreed it was best to skip the normally wonderful gathering over a meal and make the trip shorter so she would not be worn out by returning home.  It was a good decision - with apologies to my cousins.

She has a hard and fast rule for her death. No Notice, no obituary, no flowers, no cards, NO Funeral. So we will be stuck -- having a party to regale the wonderful aunt who was always in the background and NEVER wanted to be the subject of attention.

We did make a 15 minute detour to drive around the magnificent lake at DeFuniak, the home of the Chatauqua of the South.  She liked that.  And, she adored the visit with Bobby.

The National Youth Administration - Ocala

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sing It

Please Call Billy and Paula and tell them to CLICK HERE so they can see the entire collection of their music and some more as well .. RIGHT HERE. I think he can find "" on his computer. This link to a collection of church music features him and Paula is also at that address.They are classics. They can't sing like that anymore due to health issues but it is fun to hear them this way.

Church Music Down Home

There is so much "DOWN HOME" talent in our area. We have writers, poets, musicians, historians and storytellers by the bushel and the peck. Follow this blog to catch a plan in development to bring much of this talent to a podcast that you can enjoy with family and friends on your computer or your smart phone. Initial pilot podcasts should be online by March 2017. A partner in this effort is MILTON POST.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Destin's Founding Father

Was able to meet the Author, "Hank" Klein at the Destin Fishing Museum on Feb 5. Destin has a fascinating history. Thanks to Dr. Brian Rucker for taking us with him on his visit to Destin.  I got a signed copy of the book. You can get your copy from the Museum.  You will not be disappointed with the enlightening displays.  You can learn more about the book HERE.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A podcaster up and coming

There was at time in my life that I taught some classes at a genuine American College in New Jersey. In the course of about ten years, several students stood out as having "fire in the belly". Chris O'Mealy is one of those.  He moved along with media work - at Disney and others and now locates near Lancaster, PA where he is involved with media placement and promotion as well as tackling the concept of being a writer.  Here is his blog.