Friday, May 31, 2024

Late May Storm Clouds #SkywatchFriday

We, here in the Southern Tier of New York State, were spared the terrible storms that many in the United States were subjected to this past week, but we did have a few moments where the sky wasn't looking too good.

I worked in the office this past Tuesday.  Several of us who work remotely came in to start a certain project, and as we gathered for lunch in a room with windows (our normal work area does not have windows) we noticed the sky was looking pretty dark.

Sure enough, soon, it was soon raining.  Hard.


Later that afternoon, the sun came out for a bit but by the time we were ready to go home, the sky was darkening once again.

I took these pictures as my spouse drove.

A few minutes after I took these pictures, the wind and rain came.

I hope that you, dear reader, was not affected by the storms.

Joining Yogi and other skywatchers each Friday for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Crystal Bridges and a Weather Disaster

 I am on the email list of a museum in Benton County, Arkansas called Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  It isn't just any museum, though.  I know this because my spouse and I had the pleasure of visiting it in 2013.  Most of the post below was written several years later.

But the storms that hit much of the interior of the United States in the past several days weren't kind to the area, though, as I found out from a museum email blast. Some seven tornados hit Northwest Arkansas and nearby parts of Oklahoma on May 26. As of right now, the extensive outdoor trails are closed.  The schools of two nearby cities had to end their school years early.  That damage appears to have been from straight line winds.  Crystal Bridges had to cancel a number of their programs.

But the museum also feels it has a mission to bring comfort to the people of the area.  To quote:

"Crystal Bridges aims to offer a respite to those who seek comfort, safety, and community bonding," Emma Claybrook with Crystal Bridges said. 

Admission to the previously priced exhibit Exquisite Creatures will be free until June 3. They also plan to offer free artmaking activities for people of all ages. 

"Expanded, free, drop-in artmaking activities for people of all ages will be available, a hopeful resource for families impacted by early school year closures in Bentonville and Rogers," Claybrook said. "

Arkansas, the land of art?  Yes. 

Walmart, which is headquartered in Bentonville, has done much with this museum of art.

There isn't just folk art.  But fine art, the museum quality art of people such as Arthur Dove, Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley, Asher Durand, Thomas Cole, and others.  Best of all, general admission is free. (Some exhibitions are not free, but they will be free temporarily in the wake of the storms.)

In the Northwest Arkansas city of Bentonville, where the giant chain Walmart got its start, the family of the late Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton opened a world class art museum called Crystal Bridges in 2011.  It is sponsored by the Walton family - so, when you shop at Walmart, think of this place as your reward.

It is worth seeing.  You can get right up close, and sketch if you want.  It is a dream for those who love to study art.  I am not any kind of art expert, but I enjoyed the little bit of the exhibit I saw.

When we visited back in late August of 2013, we were just slightly overwhelmed.  Yes, a blogger who grew up in New York City, overwhelmed by an art museum.

Can you imagine retiring in this area, as many have, and having something like this in your backyard?

The museum is nestled into a ravine cut by Crystal Spring (hence, the name) with the spring in the middle.

 It really fools you - you think the building is on multiple levels, but (we were assured by a docent) it is only due to the topography.
A Friday concert being set up, near the spring.
This is one of the many outdoor sculptures (it was in the 90's F, and we just didn't have the stamina after a full day of sightseeing to explore the extensive grounds.)  But tomorrow, we hope to explore some of the trails. (We have never returned, and now they have been extensively damaged).

This is one of the art works I enjoyed.  It is called "Winter Scene in Brooklyn" by Francis Guy.  Photography (without flash) is permitted and I hope it is OK to post this.  This scene is from the early 1800's and I loved the scene.

There are even two George Washington paintings by Gilbert Stuart, the man who created the portrait that is on the American one dollar bill.

Arkansas - land of surprises.  The rural Benton County I remembered from the 1980's has grown tremendously.  It was amazing in 2013.

I'm sure it is just as amazing now.

I wish Benton County, Arkansas a speedy recovery as they recover from the May 26 storms.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Avanti #WordlessWednesday

At a car show earlier this month, I saw a car make I had never heard of.


Here are two views of the car. 

 It was the headlights that grabbed my attention.


I was so taken I never looked at the registration sticker to see the year information.  After I got home, I looked Avanti up online and found that it is the descendant of a Studebaker model.  Even after Studebaker ceased to exist (1963 in the United States and 1966 in Canada), others continued to produce various iterations.

I don't think this is an original Studebaker Avanti but I don't know what it is.  Hopefully one of my car loving readers can help.  To me, it's a beautiful car.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Flowers of Late May

I want to celebrate this month before it speeds past me.   So let's take a minute to stop and soak in the beauty of the flowers in my front and back yards.

I hope I can have these flowers for years to come.  I consider myself so fortunate that I have a yard.  I grew up in an apartment building in the Bronx (New York City) and this was a lifelong dream, just to have flowers of my own.  Every spring is like a little miracle all over again.

My bearded iris.  

Most of mine are this variety. Picture taken May 24.  These have a grape kool aid like scent. 

I have two bearded iris I got years ago at a plant sale and I keep forgetting I have them until they bloom. Both of these were taken May 26.


On the other hand, this chive flower at our community garden plot probably smells a lot like onion.  The bee doesn't mind.

I have two rhododendrons.  These are close to forty years old now.

Light pink.


What else?  I'll end with this from my back yard hanging baskets - fuchsia.

All my yard needs now is a hummingbird - a story for another day.

Monday, May 27, 2024

In-A-Gadda-Da-Memories #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday, it's Memorial Day in the United States, and it's time for music.

The bloggers of Music Moves Me blog about music each Sunday or Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only-meaning at least one music video, please! Otherwise, your post may be labeled "No Music".  Our head host is Xmas Dolly, and our co-hosts are Cathy from Curious as a Cathy, joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and, last but not least, me.

Every other week, we have a theme.  On alternate weeks, we can blog on any music theme we want.  This is one of those weeks.

On at least one Memorial Day in the past, I paid tribute to musicians who died recently.  Sadly, I have several to pay tribute to today.  This isn't even a complete list - May was a sad month of inductions into  Rock and Roll Heaven. 

Doug Ingle, lead singer and organist for Iron Butterfly, died May 24 at the age of 78.  He also wrote most of their songs.  He was the writer and organist on perhaps their most famous song, In-A Gadda-Da-Vida.  Ingle was the last surviving member of the original group.

Here is the full version, all 17 minutes of this classic from 1968.  I hope you have the time to listen to all of it. True, the video isn't the best quality.  But, the various solos are so haunting and - well, I just love this song.

John Barbata died on May 8 at the age of 79.  He played for a number of groups either as members or a session musician, including The Turtles, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and both Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.  Here is Barbata with the Turtles and their 1967 hit, Happy Together, hidden in the back.

Charlie Colin, founding member and bassist of Train, died May 22 at the age of 58, reportedly after slipping in the shower.  Here is their hit song Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) from 2001.

Jazz saxophonist and session musician David Sanborn died from cancer on May 12 at the age of 78.  Among many, many songs he played sax on was David Bowie's classic Young Americans.

May they rest in peace.

Now, two songs recognizing Memorial Day.

Dire Straits and Brothers in Arms from 1985.  This song comes out of the Falkland Islands War of 1982, but its message is universal.

Last up in my Memorial Day tribute is a tribute called May We Never Forget Freedom Isn't Free. Note, to play this video you will have to click the link in the "this video is disabled" which tells you that you can play it on You Tube.  Sorry about that; I didn't realize that when I posted this video.  Thank you, Songbird, for the heads up.

I grew up in the Vietnam War years.  The two boys I grew up with in the apartment next door both fought in Vietnam (and came home), along with a former manager of mine years ago who served two tours, and one of my spouse's cousins, who was also exposed to Agent Orange.

May we reflect on the high cost of our freedoms today and every day, and honor those who never came home.

And that's a wrap.

Join me again next week for another episode of Music Moves Me.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Honoring Memorial Day 2024

In the United States, Memorial Day is tomorrow.  First, a memory.

In 2002, my spouse, son, and I were on our way from our home in New York State to the Black Hills of South Dakota.  We stopped off in Iowa City, where one of my aunts (now deceased) then lived.  It was the Memorial Day weekend.

Just after we crossed into the city limits, we passed a cemetery.  It was decorated in a sea of American flags.  I could not believe how many flags there were.  

It showed that the residents of Iowa City had not completely forgotten the meaning of Memorial Day, a special day for residents of the United States.

In 2010, I blogged about a GI love story for Memorial Day.  In other years, I've repeated posts about our Memorial Day in the United States.  This year, I'd like to blog once again about the origin of this holiday, which is tied up with our Civil War, 1861-1865.  

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.  It was first observed in 1868 with laying of flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate troops at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

"Sam the Bear" honors the village of Waterloo, New York - Empire State Carousel

 My home state, New York, was the first to adopt Decoration Day as a holiday.  The village of Waterloo considers itself the birthplace of Memorial Day, and has a museum devoted to the holiday.

After World War I, Decoration Day became a holiday (Memorial Day) to honor the dead of all wars.

I can remember, growing up, when Memorial Day was observed on May 30, no matter what day of the week it was.  In 1971, I believe, it was changed to the current "last Monday in May" so that it could become part of several three day weekends being created.  Many people think that celebrating Memorial Day more as a "first day of summer" blowout beach/BBQ/shopping day has been recent, but apparently even in the early 20th century the day was already starting to drift away from its original meeting.

Another ceremony connected with this holiday is the playing of Taps.  Taps originated during the Civil War, composed by a member of the Army of the Potomac to serve as a "lights out" signal. Research I've done indicates that it didn't take long for Taps to be adopted by both Federal and Confederate armies.  It is so well suited to military burials that, again, its true origin is somewhat buried.


At 3pm, all over the United States,  the 24 notes of Taps will be played as part of a commemoration called Taps Across America.  Each musician has his or her reason for playing.

My late father was a disabled non-combat veteran of World War II.  The war he served in, World War II, took the lives of millions of both civilians and military.  This is a list of the casualties by country.

There is now an official National World War II museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.  I hope to visit it one day.

No matter what war it is, the innocent die and soldiers go off to war, many never to return, or to return whole.

And that is the true meaning of Memorial Day - to honor our war dead and, yes, their loved ones.

Today, tomorrow, and perhaps on all days, let us take a moment to honor the veterans of all wars who gave their lives.  They are our reminders that the price of freedom is sometimes a very steep one for those who pay it on our behalf. 

Let us not dishonor them.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Shadows on a Late May Morning #ShadowshotSunday

 Taken this morning at our local rail trail, as we had a beautiful, sunny morning:

What a shame dame's rocket is an invasive wildflower. It would look so nice in a wildflower garden.  In fact, it was introduced in the 1600's for that very purpose.  But here's why you should never consider planting it (and note, some wildflower mixes include it!)
I wonder if the yellow flower you can barely see in the middle of the picture (I took this from a distance and don't dare blow it up further) is yellow flag iris.  If it is, it is another invasive, at least in New York State.  It's alongside a stream, so the environment would be right for yellow flag iris.
Shadows on the ground.

Taken this morning at our local year-round farmers market:

Shadow selfie on asparagus.


Two bicycle stands.

Joining Lisa at Lisa's Garden Adventures for her #ShadowshotSunday a day early.  We'd love you to come out of the shadows and join us.  All you need is one shadow picture, inside or outside.

Tomorrow is my Memorial Day post, also a day early.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Smoke and Memories on the Catskills #SkywatchFriday

Recently, we were driving through New York's Catskill Mountains.  The morning had been rainy with thunderstorms.  As we drove west, the rain dissipated and where there had been fog or mist, it had cleared except for some patches that were evaporating.

This is not smoke - it is the mist evaporating.  These pictures were taken along NY17.
This is a winding road which eventually will be I-86 (Interstate 86).  Part of NY17 already is.
The Interstate project has been years in the making.  There has been good and bad.   Good is the elimination of some intersections (one in our area was especially dangerous) but there was, for example, the demise of Parksville, New York.  Permit me to share some memories as I share these photos.
Parksville (not pictured) used to have a traffic light that stopped traffic on NY17.  Those days, when we drove this road several times a year to get to downstate) bring back memories for me.  Sadly, Parksville itself was dying before I came to this area in the 1980's but there was a brief revival. We would stop there with our young son to eat lunch or dinner sometimes.  But then Rt 17 being rerouted for the I-86 project bypassed the town and today Parksville is considered a ghost town. 

Parksville had an antique store called Memories, which we visited several times, and is now only a memory.  One day, NY17 may be a memory, too, and it's these Catskills that are holding it up.  Road work still needs to be done in the Catskills stretch on various exits and stretches to bring the road up to Interstate standards.  In the meantime, the motorist is left with the beauty of these mountains.

Finally, here is a sky from yesterday afternoon.

Joining with Yogi and other skywatching bloggers each Friday for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Four Trees A'Blooming #ThursdayTreeLove

"Let's take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees." -Unknown

These aren't all natives or even in woods, but they are all beautiful.

 Four trees that bloomed in the past couple of weeks in my part of the Northeast United States.

1.  A young red horse chestnut tree.  Learn more about the horse chestnuts here.  The red horse chestnut (Aesculus x carnea) is a hybrid coming from a cross between a horse chestnut and a buckeye, and may have originally come from Germany. It's increasing in popularity where I live.

2.  White dogwood (Cornus florida) in a wooded area off a popular rail trail.  Dogwoods are native to where I live and is a small understory tree when in the wild.  They are also popular in landscaping.  Their bloom for 2024 is over now - this was taken about a week ago.

3.  Pink dogwood, planted along the same trail as a tribute to a young woman who died from cancer. Pink dogwoods are native also but aren't common in the wild, as the pink flowers arise from a recessive gene.

4. It's hard to see this but I think this is a wild rhododendron.  I've never seen it locally (although they o grow in this area) and this came as a surprise.  I wish I could have gotten closer to it. 

Joining Parul at Happiness and Food for her twice a month #ThursdayTreeLove.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Page the Cat #WordlessWednesday

For some reason, cats and libraries seem to go together.   None of our local libraries where I live have a library cat, but I saw my first one the other week in Cazenovia, New York.

The tradition of a library cat goes back centuries, in part because of their mousing abilities.  Or maybe it's because people who love libraries also love cats?

May I introduce you to Page the cat.  Signs at the entrance warn people not to let her out after 7pm.

Page has been with the Cazenovia, New York library since 2009. She is their fourth library cat.

She jumped on a chair and let me pet her for a few seconds.

Here's an article about library cats, if it interests you.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Reunion Season Has Come Again

Last week, I read this post by a fellow blogger and it made me think.

Not about nostalgia, though. 

My high school years were turbulent. We were in the midst of the Vietnam War protests.  People just a handful of years older than my graduating class were, to paraphrase the saying, "turning on, tuning in, and dropping out."     One demonstration from a nearby college spilled over onto my high school campus, as I recall.

I am thinking about the past more and more.  Perhaps that's a function of being in your 70's, although I'm not sure about that.

Last year, I wrote a couple of posts about high school reunions. Briefly, my 50th high school reunion was cancelled due to COVID.  My high school ended up holding an "all years" reunion last year.  I originally signed up for it, but there ended up being a conflict with a family event, and I cancelled out.

This year, the alumni association announced another all years reunion.  The date? Doesn't work.  But I wasn't sad at all about it.

Somehow, I have lost the urge to attend.

This is part of what I wrote in 2023:

"When I think of the possibility of reincarnation, one of the things I dread going through once again is my teen years.  Or, well, the teen years of the person I come back as.

Maybe "dread" is the wrong word, but if I come back again and have to go through the teen years, I hope they will be....different.  In a good way.  

Growing up is hard to do.  I think it's getting harder and harder.  It's harder now than when my son was growing up.

True, I grew up in the 50's and 60's, which we sometimes look back at with nostalgia, but the surface truths of those years held deep, dark, nasty secrets.  And the Vietnam War overshadowed the happiness of some of those years.

Then, there are high school reunions, where we are asked to relive some of those years.

After rereading my post on my spouse's 40th high school reunion (the only reunion either one of us has ever attended) I found I'm not the only one who has stayed away from them.  One might say I hit a nerve.

Why do we get so nostalgic about high school?  Is it because of friends we have lost touch with, friends we hope to reconnect with?  Or because we want to return to a time when things were simpler and we were younger?  Except, things were never simpler back when, whatever back when is for you.

It certainly isn't simple now, though, in 2023.

I had signed up for my 50th high school reunion only because one of the two gatherings was going to be held at the high school I went to.  It wasn't a dinner dance, but rather was a daytime event, which was going to feature speakers, demonstrations, and tours of the school (it is still in the same building but things have changed).

There was only one problem - the reunion was scheduled to be held in June of 2020.  You can all guess what happened.  Nothing happened. If it ever happened, I never heard of a rescheduling.  I had other things to think about.

So I am trying again, this year, with an "all years" alumni day, again in June, celebrating my high school's 85th anniversary.  Scheduled during the morning and early afternoon, it will feature speakers, demonstrations, and tours of the school.  It will also feature opportunities to meet current students."

And then, like I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I cancelled out.

Something I have realized with age is that our class of 1970 was not the only high school graduation classes affected by history.   What about the class of 1930, graduating into a major economic depression?  The class of 1942, graduating into World War II?  How about the class of 2002, fresh from 9/11?  And, of course, there was the class of 2020.

Quoting again from my 2023 post:

"I keep in mind that these [the class of 2020] are the students of the pandemic years, the years of active shooters drills, the years of social media bullying.  They are the students who were rudely yanked from their almost spring 2020 routines and dumped into a new nightmare of remote learning, illness, and fear.   Then, they returned to school in the fall of 2021, to masks, illness (when Omicron swept through the school, which I heard about through Reddit) and more fear.

I lost a high school reunion in June of 2020.  They lost so much more.  They were too young to have the resources to cope that someone my age has.  

They persevered.   But at what cost?"

And now many of them are in the college graduating class of 2024. graduating in turmoil and possibly, even, experiencing another cancelled commencement.

Reunion season has come again.

None of us can imagine what will happen in the next 50 years.

For the classes of 2020 and 2024, I can only wonder what their 50th class reunions will be like.  I won't be around to see, unless there are some incredible advances in medicine, but I helped shape (in a small way) the world they are graduating into.

May they have a chance to have a 50th reunion.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Songs of My Mother #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and it's time for music.

We bloggers who are members of Music Moves Me blog about music each Sunday or Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only-meaning at least one music video, please! Otherwise, your post may be labeled "No Music".  Our head host is Xmas Dolly, and our co-hosts are Cathy from Curious as a Cathy, joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and, last but not least, me.

Every other week, we have a theme.  On alternate weeks, we can blog on any music theme we want.  This week, our theme is "Music that makes us think of our mother."

My mother died in the mid 1960's, which is why these are all going to be older songs. So pull up a comfy chair and let's go back to the 20th century, shall we?

I am starting with a couple of her favorite songs.

From 1951, Rosemary Clooney and Come On-A My House.

From 1957, the Everly Brothers and Wake Up Little Susie. 

My Mom grew up in the Big Band era.  She lived in New York City all of her life and I can imagine her going, for example, to see Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra, whose vocalist for this song was one Frank Sinatra.  

Here is Frank's first top 10 hit, Imagination, from 1940.

Another song that makes me think of my mother is from 1939: Glen Miller and Moonlight Serenade. 

One more.

During World War II, my mother worked in a factory, like so many American women supporting the war effort.  This song isn't about her factory but, rather, is devoted to the American legend Rosie the Riveter.  Here are the Four Vagabonds from 1943 with their song  Rosie the Riveter.  

You may be interested in some details of the Rosie the Riveter legend.  I was fortunate enough to view the original artwork by Norman Rockwell when I visited Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas in 2013.  Know what surprised me the most?  How small the picture was!

And that's a nostalgic wrap.

Join me again next week for another episode of Music Moves Me.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Peaceful Park #ShadowshotSunday

 A peaceful set of pictures.

Otsiningo Park,  Binghamton, New York, May 15.
Doesn't it just make you want to sit a while and watch the ducks and geese?

Joining Lisa at Lisa's Garden Adventures for #ShadowshotSunday.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Good and Bad of a New Hospital Building

The hospital addition that I blogged about last year because of its topping tree is completed and almost ready to open to patients.

Today, the public was invited to tour it.  I have no pictures of the outside because it was drizzling.

(Caution, if you proceed, there are pictures of hospital rooms and related views).

Inside, it was state of the art, which, nowadays, is both good and bad.

The good part:  the emergency department.  This hospital badly needed a good one and the new state of the art ED has negative pressure rooms and intentionally built in privacy.  Also, brand new state of the art patient rooms with lots and lots of windows and natural light.  More on that later.

How about a short tour of the non-emergency area, which is exciting to see when you don't have yourself or a family member inside.

Artwork everywhere (created by local artists). All are designed to be calming and to help promote healing.

An example of a patient room and the large window.

Part of the wall of the meditation room - an electronic wall with soothing (one hopes), changing art.

The bad part:   I'll get to it shortly. 

In this patient room, the old fashioned low-tech whiteboard has been replaced with a screen on which you can watch television (if you have a Netflix account you can even sign into it). You can view videos that will educate you if you have a newly diagnosed condition (and they will know if you've played it), and you can bring up info about your care team and your outcome goals.

Outside your room, this tells the professional about to enter more about you.  What's your preferred language?  Are you a falls risk?  

One of many nurses' stations.  This is  small one.

So, what is there not to like?

Wellllllllll....there are two hospital systems in my immediate home area.  The hospital above is part of one of them.  The other was sold to a new owner in February.  The old owner was hit by a ransomware attack on May 8, before the new owner could totally switch their IT infrastructure and related systems over to their own.


We who are patients of doctors in that other system are still feeling the aftereffects of the attack, including their continued inability to access electronic records and make new appointments.

So, about all those electronic gadgets I showed you in those photos - we are assured the owners of this hospital system have strong measures in place to keep them up and running.  But, I also know that the weakest part of a security system is its human users, and the attackers get more sophisticated each day.

I was assured that there are backup systems "just in case".  Let's hope.

It was a beautiful building.

I just hope those whiteboards don't have to be pulled out of storage one day.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Just an Ordinary Sky #SkywatchFriday

 I am not bringing you pictures of the Northern Lights today- our area was totally clouded out of the entire event.

We've had a lot of cloud cover recently so to have a day with ordinary blue skies is a treasure.  Take May 15, for example.

A peaceful, green scene.

It even looks nice from a walking trail that parallels a highway.

Some reflections on the pond.

But I know you want a sunset, so here is one from March 28.

Joining Yogi and other skywatchers each Friday for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

A Living Tribute

We were told on Tuesday, by a grandson of one of our former Presidents, that his grandfather (who has been in hospice care for around a year and a half) has only days or weeks left. We are getting other messages about his health, but it's good to pay tribute while a great man is still alive.

This is a post I wrote on President Jimmy Carter in 2010, when I visited his birthplace in Georgia.  Now, Mr. Carter is 99. He is our longest lived ex- President.  He was a good man.

Mr. Carter still lives outside Americus, Georgia in a modest house on a family compound. He has been in hospice care for the past 15 months. He taught Sunday school until 2020, when he had to stop during the pandemic.  He worked with Habitat for Humanity for years, having helped build thousands of houses.

He has beat the odds (so to speak), before. In 2015, President Carter was treated for melanoma that spread into his brain. His family also has an extensive history of pancreatic cancer, the cancer that Jeopardy host Alex Trebek bravely battled before his death in 2020.

Whether or not you supported Jimmy Carter when he was President, I think you would admit that he's had quite a life of accomplishment after leaving office in 1981.  Here are some fun facts about him.

Here's my 2010 post. I've reposted it a number of times and I would like to pay tribute to him one last time.

They called him....

The Peanut President

Jimmy Carter has always fascinated me.  He came seemingly out of nowhere, seemed to have what it took to be President, but once he got into office he never succeeded.  Yet, in private life, he has succeeded beyond what may have been his wildest dreams.

What in his upbringing, what in his childhood values, what in his education made this man?

And why has this area of Georgia grown organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and others?  What here was so special?

We are visiting the Americus/Plains area to find out. In this blog entry I am concentrating on Jimmy Carter the man.

This is the house that Jimmy Carter grew up in.

Jimmy Carter grew up outside of Plains, GA in a solidly middle class family.  The actual town, which no longer exists, was called Archery.  The realities of rural life in those days created a childhood of lots of hard physical labor.  His father, loving as he was, did not believe in keeping anything on the farm that did not "pay its own way".   And this was hard farming, although the Carters were rich enough to have tenant farmers.  Still, Jimmy worked side by side with area black farmers, performing distasteful chores such as "mopping cotton".

"Miss Lillian", Jimmy's mother, was a nurse who did not turn anyone away, black or white.

Jimmy's father encouraged Jimmy to work and play alongside of the local black farmers.

The Carters grew cotton, peanuts, and sugar cane.  Student farmers still raise these crops at the homestead today.  They kept goats for meat, and mules to plow the fields.

In this windmill, is the germ of using "alternate energy".  There is nothing new about windpower.

The Plains High School the Carters attended has been closed (as part of consolidating various school districts).  This is a classroom set up the way it would have looked for Jimmy Carter in the 7th grade. Like so many famous people, Jimmy Carter credits a high school teacher, Miss Julia Coleman, as another great influence on his life.  In 1940 Eleanor Roosevelt invited her to the White House to honor her. 

 This is the outside of the high school.

Plains was the "Big City" for Jimmy Carter.  This is what it looked like in 2010:

Jimmy Carter lives just outside of Plains today, and when he is in town, teaches Sunday School at his church.  This is Jimmy Carter's "Church Home".

When we had first planned our trip, Mr. Carter was not supposed to be in town but this has since changed. We weren't able to change our plans but it certainly would have been interesting.

END OF 2010 POST.     Back to the present.

We never did return to the Plains, Georgia area.

So, Mr. Carter - may you have a pain free transition into wherever we go at the end of our times on Earth, whether it is soon or still to come later.