Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We love this commerical! .... Morty Are You Listening?

The Return of the 4 Musketeers

With the two kids now living back East it is not too often that we all get together to go to an Oregon Duck football game. However, arrangements for a game this fall have now been made, airline tickets purchased, and the 4 DUCK FANS  will be TOGETHER at a game to watch our beloved DUCKS! 
Is this Dad excited or what!
In past years our kids have gotten together to go to Duck games when  the Ducks have gone East for games at Michigan, Purdue and Tennessee but Mom & Dad were not there.  Not this year!
Let's Go Ducks!  Win the Day!

Friday, July 19, 2013

John Wayne: "American Icons TV Guide Speical Edition"

Great Special Edition full size magazine.  Saw it tonight at Fred Meyer in Medford and bought it.  I have seen a lot of "Special Editions" for John Wayne over the years and this one is particularly nice.  It has color posters of 170 of John Wayne's movies broken down by decade from the 1920's through the 1970's. Lots of family pictures I have never seen and I have seen a lot of photo books on The Duke in my large collection of John Wayne memorabilia. I still miss him!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ted Cruz is a legitimate 2016 threat

More importantly, Cruz is arguably the most compelling conservative political activist/intellectual since William F. Buckley in his heyday at the National Review and on the public affairs show “Firing Line.”

Great article in Political on Ted Cruz! I agree completely with the above quote.  Bill Buckley first became a hero of mine when I was in high school. From the time I was a Junior in collage to the present day a picture or poster of Buckley has always adorned the wall of my residence wherever it has been. Until I got married it was always in the living room!

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/ted-cruz-2016-threat-94409.html#ixzz2ZPoG63Yt

100 Degrees in Medford !

Ice tea one of the great things about summer!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Perfect Album of Summer Music!

I posted this several summers ago but it's still true today.

As the temperature hovers around 100 degrees here in Medford, Oregon, I thought it would be fun to list songs about Summer that would have to be included in any album of Summer Music. I love Summer and I love songs about Summer so here is my list.

1. Theme to A Summer Place - by Percy Faith
2. Theme to A Summer Place - by The Letterman

No album would be complete without both versions of this music from the 1959 movie of the same name. According to Wikipedia: "The 1960 hit "Theme from A Summer Place" (composed by Max Steiner and recorded by Percy Faith and His Orchestra) enriched and improved on a secondary musical theme of the film; it remains a classic of its era. A vocal version, with lyrics by Mack Discant, was a hit for The Letterman in 1965"

3. Theme to Summer of 42

Haunting theme to a 1971 movie about young teenage boys "coming-of-age" at a small beach town on Nantucket island on the east coast during World War II. According to Wikipeia: "Legrand's theme song for the film, "The Summer Knows", has since become a pop standard, being recorded by such artists as Peter Nero (who had a charting hit with his 1971 version), Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, and Barbra Streisand."

4. Green Leaves of Summer - by the Brothers Four

The Brothers Four were an early 60's folk group formed at the University of Washington (ugh)and had a hit with this cover from music from John Wayne's movie The Alamo in 1960.

5. A Summer Wind - by Frank Sinatra

According to Wikipedia: "a 1965 song, with music by Henry Mayer and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. A cool, nostalgic tale of a fleeting romance, it is most known for a 1966 recording by Frank Sinatra that is informed by what NPR called "a majestic sadness." It is largely forgotten that singer Wayne Newton had the first national chart hit (1965). The Sinatra version originally appeared on his Strangers in the Night album, and hit number one on Billboard magazine's Easy Listening survey.

By the 2000s, it was one of Sinatra's most-used recordings in various contexts, including a mid-2000s television ad campaign for Mastercard and Major League Baseball.

6. Lazy, Craze Days of Summer - by Nat King Cole

This is one of my favorites. It really gets you into the spirit of summer in this 1963 hit

7. Here Comes Summer- by Jerry Keller

According to Wikipedia:it "was a 1959 song, which was written and performed by Jerry Keller. The song was produced for Keller by Richard Wolf. It reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100,"

Love the lyrics :

" Here comes summer
Almost June the sun is bright
Here comes summer
Drive-in movies every night
Double features
Lots more time to hold her tight
Oh let the sun shine bright on my happy summer home"

8. Sealed With A Kiss - by Bryan Hyland

Teenage "love lost" during the summer in this 1962 hit

"So we gotta say goodbye for the summer
baby I promise you this
I'll send you all my love
every day in a letter
Sealed with a kiss"

9. Summertime Blues - by Eddie Cochran

A 1958 song about the trials and tribulations of a teenager during the summer.

10. Surf City - by Jan & Dean

No summer album would be complete with out a Jan & Dean song. "Two girls for every guy" caught my attention so many years ago in 1963.

11. Surfin' USA - by The Beach Boys


12. All Summer Long- by the Beach Boys

I could fill this summer album up with Beach Boys songs but limited myself to the two listed above. They even have a classic album called "Endless Summer." In fact, the "Endless Summer" album should be a companion to this as it so expresses the feelings of Summer.

13. A Summer Song - By Chad and Jeremy

A sweet song about summer from 1964

14. Here comes the Sun - by The Beatles

One of my favorite Beatles songs

15. Summer in the City- by The Lovin' Spoonful

With the temperature hovering around 100 in Medford this 1966 hit song is very appropriate. "hot time summer in the city back of my neck getting hot and gritty"

16. Summer Breeze- by Seals and Croft

Mellow song from 1973

17. Our Last Summer- by ABBA

On soundtrack to movie Mamma Mia from summer of 2008. One of the best songs from the movie and play.

18. Summer Nights- by John Trivolta & Olivia Newton John

From the movie "Grease" in 1978. I can't belive I put a John Trivolta song on my list!

19. Surfer Girl- by the Beach Boys

Yes, I know I said I would limit my Beach Boys selection to 2 but I just had to add this third song.


20.  Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams

I remember the summer of 69, I graduated from college and was drafted into the United States Army! The United States landed on the Moon and Sen. Ted Kennedy killed a girl at Chappaquiddick.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th of July, 2013

Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it."

— John Adams

John Adams on celebrating Independence Day:

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations (fireworks) from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

Well John it's 237 years later and we are still celebrating.

“The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history — the very ringbolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny,” he declared. “Cling to this day — cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.”

Fredrick Douglass

America Why I Love Her

There is a news story in today's Medford Mail Tribune about a citizenship ceremony that was held up at Oregon's Crater Lake National Park and the reporter interviewed several of the new United States citizens on why they became Americans.  The final interview in the story :
Dallas resident Derek Lee, 59, came from the United Kingdom to settle in northern Oregon a little more than two decades ago. He is employed at Walmart.
It was an American actor who drew the newly minted American to the States.
"John Wayne — he was my hero," Lee said. "I based my life on John Wayne. I was very quiet when I was young, and some bullies tried to bully me. I stood up for myself.
"I am here all because of The Duke," he added. "He was a man among men."
Mr. Lee, Welcome to America this July 4th!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Gettysburg 150 Years Ago Today DAY THREE


July 3, 1863    The 3rd Day


Today is the famous charge of Confederate General Pickett against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.




According to Wikipedia Pickett's Charge became one of the iconic symbols of the literary and cultural movement known as the Lost Cause. William Faulkner, the quintessential Southern novelist, summed up the picture in Southern memory of this gallant but futile episode.

"For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago."


— William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust,


On day two Lee had hit the Union Right and Left with no success. Today he was going to hit the Union Center. James Longstreet continued to argue not to continue the battle at Gettysburg but to maneuver around the dug in Union Army and get between it and Washington DC on ground more favorable to the South which would force the Union out of their defensive positions. However Lee had faith that his army could end the war then and there. The boys in Gray had never let him down.
General Picket was to lead the charge across a mile wide open field an up the sloping hill to the center of the Union Line. When they hit the Union Line it was the high water mark of the Confederacy. 
To prepare the way 130 Confederate cannons planed almost hub to hub started fire with the heaviest bombardment ever seen on the North American Continent for two hours. The sound could be heard as far away as Philadelphia. Most of the shells landed over the Union Line.
Then, between 10,000 and 15,000 men started the 19 minute march across the field. It was the flower of Southern manhood. Longstreet, so sure of the coming slaughter could only node when Pickett asked if he could commence the charge.  Wikipedia describes the attack this way:
“ Three divisions stepped off across open fields almost a mile from Cemetery Ridge. Pickett inspired his men by shouting, "Up, Men, and to your posts! Don't forget today that you are from Old Virginia."[20] Pickett's division, with the brigades of Brig. Gens. Lewis A. Armistead, Richard B. Garnett, and James L. Kemper, was on the right flank of the assault. It received punishing artillery fire, and then volleys of massed musket fire as it approached its objective. Armistead's brigade made the farthest progress through the Union lines. Armistead was mortally wounded, falling near "The Angle", at what is now termed the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy". Neither of the other two divisions made comparable progress across the fields; Armistead's success was not reinforced, and his men were quickly killed or captured.”
Pickett's Charge was a bloodbath. While the Union lost about 1,500 killed and wounded, the Confederate casualties were several times that. Over 50% of the men sent across the fields were killed or wounded. Pickett's three brigade commanders and all thirteen of his regimental commanders were casualties. Kemper was wounded, and Garnett and Armistead did not survive. Trimble and Pettigrew were the most senior casualties, the former losing a leg and the latter wounded in the hand and later mortally wounded during the retreat to Virginia. Pickett himself has received some historical criticism for surviving the battle personally unscathed, establishing his final position well to the rear of his troops, most likely at the Codori farm on the Emmitsburg Road. Thomas R. Friend, who served Pickett as a courier, wrote that he "went as far as any Major General, Commanding a division, ought to have gone, and farther."[21]
“As soldiers straggled back to the Confederate lines along Seminary Ridge, Lee feared a Union counteroffensive and tried to rally his center, telling returning soldiers that the failure was "all my fault." Pickett was inconsolable. When Lee told Pickett to rally his division for the defense, Pickett allegedly replied, "General Lee, I have no division."[22] Pickett's official report for the battle has never been found. It is rumored that Gen. Lee rejected it for its bitter negativity and demanded that it be rewritten, and an updated version was never filed.[23]”


Bruce Catton in his book "This Hallowed Ground" wrote about the charge as follows:
"That moment would linger and shine in the American memory forever, the terrible unforgettable moment of truth that would symbolize inexpressible things......with banners, moving out from the woods ,into the open field by the ranking guns moving out of shadow into eternal legend..... battle flags tipped forward, sunlight glinting from musket barrels...General George Pickett's Virginians and ten thousands men from other commands, men doomed to try the impossible and to fail. it takes time to get fifteen thousand men into line, and these Southerners were deliberate about it... perhaps out of defiance, perhaps out of sheer self-consciousness and pride. then at last they had thing the way they wanted them and they went marching up toward, the clump of unattainable trees and all the guns opened again a great cloud of smoke and dust filled the hollow plain....... the rolling cloud crossed the fields and went up the slope and the crash of battle rose higher and higher as the men came to grips with each other on Cemetery Ridge...... Then suddenly it was finished. The charging column had been broken all to bits, survivors were going back to the Confederate lines ..... the battle of Gettysburg was ended."

The Union center had held! The Union would be saved! The Union  troops started to chant "Fredericksburg.... Fredericksburg" in reference to the Union defeat there when the Confederates held the high ground and destroyed the charging Union army.  Revenge is sweet!
Five years after the war Pickett and John Mosby paid a courtesy call on Lee in Richmond. On departing Pickett told Mosby “That old man had my division slaughtered at Gettysburg.” Mosby is reported to have said “Well, it made you immortal.”
 His Army broken by the attack, Lee had no choice but to retreat back to Virginia. Meade and the Union Army of the Potomac exhausted by the battle let Lee escape and the war continued for two more bloody years.
However, after Gettysburg the South never smiled again.
In Washington, President Lincoln could not contain his despair. “We had them within our grasp ….. we had only to stretch forth our hands and they were ours. And nothing I could say or do could make the army move."
It rained the next day at Gettysburg, July 4, 1863, the 87 Birthday of the United States of America.

A few months later on November 19,1863 Lincoln came to Gettysburg to dedicate the cemetery for those who had fallen and delivered one of the greatest speeches in history when he said:
 "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."



Gettysburg 150 Years Ago Today DAY TWO

July 2,1863                    150 years ago

When Robert E Lee awoke on the morning of July 2, the Union Army of the Potomac was entrench on high ground south of Gettysburg. Lee's best Corps commander General James Longstreet tried to point out that the better tactic would be to move around the Union left and get between the Union Army and Washington DC on ground of their choice.  The Union Army would then be required to leave their high ground an attack Lee who would then be on high ground.  Lee told Longstreet that that is where the Union Army is and that is where I will attack it!

The Union Army was formed like a fish hook with Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill the top of the hook running down to the Little Round Top and the Round Top

Lee ordered attacks on both Union flanks.  Ewell was to hit the right flank and Longstreet the left flank.  There was bloody fighting by Ewell on the Union right that ultimatly failed. Lee wanted Longsteet to take the little Round Top which was not defended earlyin the day.
The Union Army of the Potomac had units arriving hourly from the south and moved units to continue the Union line to the Little Round Top.  The last unit was the 20th Maine under the command of college professor Joshua Chamberlain.He left a comfortable life in Maine to fight for the Union and end slavery. He would be awarded the "Congressional" Medal of Honor for his defense of the Little Round Top this day! The following is from Wikipedia:
"Chamberlain found himself and the 20th Maine at the far left end of the entire Union line. He quickly understood the strategic significance of the small hill, and the need for the 20th Maine to hold the Union left at all costs. The men from Maine waited until troops from the 15th Alabama Infantry regiment, under Col. William C. Oates, charged up the hill, attempting to flank the Union position. Time and time again the Confederates struck, until the 20th Maine was almost doubled back upon itself. With many casualties and ammunition running low, Col. Chamberlain recognized the dire circumstances and ordered his left wing (which was now looking southeast, compared to the rest of the regiment, which was facing west) to initiate a bayonet charge. From his report of the day: "At that crisis, I ordered the bayonet. The word was enough." While battlefield conditions make it unlikely that many men heard Chamberlain's order, most historians believe he initiated the charge."

"The 20th Maine charged down the hill, with the left wing wheeling continually to make the charging line swing like a hinge, thus creating a simultaneous frontal assault and flanking maneuver, capturing 101 of the Confederate soldiers and successfully saving the flank."
That day Chamberlain saved the Union.  When his unit was out of ammunition after fighting off wave after wave of Confederate attacks. The men were getting ammo from their dead comrades and were still running low. The dead and wounded had depleted his command and they could not survive another attack. Chamberlain   had two choices. One, he could  be overrun and or retreat and allow the Union line to collapse on itself as it was outflanked by Lee; or two, he could order "Fix Bayonets" and charge the enemy with little chance of success.  The choice of one man changed the course of history.
After the war  he served as Governor of Maine for four terms as a Republican
 "In May 1913, he made his last known visit to Gettysburg while involved in planning the 50th anniversary reunion. Due to deteriorating health, he was unable to attend the reunion two months later"
There was also fierce bloody fighting in the "peach orchard" but at the end of the 2nd day the Union still controlled the high ground and the battle would continue!
Meanwhile a sad, lonely man who covered his sadness with colorful stories waited  in the War Departments telegraph office near the White House and followed the news of  the battle. So many of his generals had disappointed him with their incompetence.      

Monday, July 01, 2013

Music Video: "Till My John Wayne Comes Along"

A great Music Video with film clips from dozens and dozens of John Wayne movies. Very well done. Make me want to watch them all over again from my DVD collection.

Gettysburg 150 Years Ago Today- DAY ONE

JULY 1, 1863...................150 YEARS AGO TODAY
To the colors men, form to the colors!

At 5;30 a.m.  Confederate troops attacked John Buford's dismounted cavalry  in a minor skirmish to start the battle. Today the issue will be decided by which side can get more men to the line as Union units approach from the south and Confederate troops who are west and north of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania  approach from the north and west. 

At 8 a.m. Confederate General Heth saw that he could not move forward with out a fight. He had orders from Lee to not engage the Union forces but he disregards those orders.

Bruce Catton, a 1960's Civil War Historian, said it best in his book "Never Call Retreat:
"There was no very good reason why these Confederates had to get into Gettysburg except that A.P. Hill (General Heth's Corps Commander) was a pugnacious man who liked to fight whenever he had a chance; and there was no special reason why Yankee cavalry should try to keep them out of Gettysburg, except that Buford felt the way Hill felt about fighting."

At about 9 am Union  General Reynolds of 1st Corps road up on his horse and Buford told him "The devil's to pay".  Reynolds asked Buford if he could hold out a while longer until reinforcements arrived,  Buford replied "I reckon I can."
That was good enough for Reynolds,  "The enemy is advancing in strong force" he wrote to Meade at Taneytown. "I will fight him inch by inch"

Reynolds brought in his 1st Corps to reinforce Buford  to the west of town and XI Corps was deployed to the north of town under Commanding General Schurz and the battle was on. As Catton said: "the  Battle of Gettysburg had begun bought on without choice of Lee or Meade by the fact that the roads that crossed here brought together men possessed by a blind driving urge to fight..... Reynolds did what was in character for him to do.  He was an instinctive, inch-by inch fighter," and now he rode up and down the line.  He was struck by a bullet an toppled from his saddle dead." General Abner Doubleday (yes, that Doubleday) took command of 1st Corps. "for half an hour or an hour ... no one counted minutes very carefully that day.... there was a desperate fight on the open plain to the north and the long ridge to the west. This battle that involve only fraction of the armies grew and more destructive than any intended. The right half of the Federal line collapsed first" in the north. "the flight through town was confused and costly."

"Late in the afternoon the Federals had reassembled in the new position' set up by Major General Winfield Scott Hancock  and his 2nd Corps on Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill South of town.  Now the Union held the high ground! "In killed, wounded and captured the Federals had lost 9000 men.... but the victory "robbed both Lee and Meade of their freedom of action.  They had to finish what had been so violently begun and they had to finish it here. When darkness came on July 1 each commander accepted this fact and ordered the rest of his troops forward."

However, in the end the Union held the high ground because of General Buford's willingness to hold the line until the rest of the Union Army could secure it. Buford survived the battle but died before the year was over in Washington DC of typhoid fever. John Buford died at 2 p.m., December 16, 1863, while fellow cavalry officer, Myles Keogh held him in his arms. His final reported words were "Put guards on all the roads, and don't let the men run to the rear. Myles Keogh died 13 years later with Custer at the battle of The Little Big Horn out west with the 7th Cavalry.

That night General Lee was very disappointed that General Ewell had not captured Culp's Hill south of town as he had ordered during the Federal retreat through town. He would now need to take it on the second day of the battle July 2 after it had been fortified by the Union Army.

To end the first days battle let me quote from George Will's column in this mornings Mail Tribune newspaper:

Books about battles, historian Allen C. Guelxo says tartly, have "acquired among my academic peers a reputation close to pornography," war being in their eyes, chiefly a manifestation of American savagery. But, he says dryly, one cannot discuss the 19th Century without discussing the Civil War era whose "singular event was a war."  and one conducted, not least at Gettysburg and with an "amateurism"..... a "bewildered, small-town incompetence"..... that magnified its bloodiness.