Village

In a recent walkabout in a small, rural village, I couldn’t help but notice “the old” and “the new” competing for space. Many of the older houses had huge “new” additions growing out of the back of their 150-year-old structural hosts. Some of the old things were failing and falling with little hope of preservation. A local foundation is dedicated to preserving these old structures, the streets, the history of the village. I admire that effort although I don’t believe that all things vintage should be preserved, I do believe that a discussion is appropriate. Judging from the number of hand driven water pumps visible in the yards of the town, I imagine that well water was the standard for generations and that many of these old hand pumps will be preserved by the house owner…this particular pump was in front of a small, abandoned and dilapidated building so I am thinking that its days are numbered.

A larger number of photos from my Waterford Walkabout are posted on my Photography Blog.

Waterford Hand Pump

Waterford Hand Pump

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Standing Up…

Over the last several weeks our country and our neighbors have been ravaged by hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. Most of Puerto Rico has no water, no food, damaged homes, ravaged infrastructure. People in Florida have lost homes, neighborhoods, communities. First responders have come from all over the US to provide aid and comfort. Medical assistance is strained. Heat. Debris. Confusion. Death. Loss. Sorrow. Tears.

Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Louisiana…Harvey, Irma, Maria… Where is the news coverage? Where is the attention of our president and our congress? Not on disaster recovery but on the flag. I wore a military uniform for many years, I stand for the flag, then and now. But, I wore the uniform to protect our right to NOT stand…to protect our right to speak, the right to care, and the right for justice. In totalitarian regimes, the citizens are required to stand for their flag or face imprisonment. I don’t want that here. I am heartened by the power of the flag, that it’s so important to the protesters that they choose the flag to demonstrate the depth of their passion.

Flag on the USCGC Eagle

Flag on the USCGC Eagle

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9-11

Sixteen years ago today America suffered a terrible terrorist attack. Please take a moment to remember those who perished and those who rushed into the chaos to help the survivors and stabilize the communities.

To everyone in Florida, my prayers are headed your way. Dollars, too, of course. Hard to imagine what you must be going through… Perhaps these two hurricane disasters can bring us together for a single purpose…to help our neighbors.

USCG Eagle

USCG Eagle

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Irma

Wow! What a hideous monster of a storm that’s hit part of America and is barreling towards Florida. We are anxiously awaiting word from our friends in Puerto Rico and we are sending prayers to all who have been so harshly hit by this massive storm. It was raining here in the DC area yesterday so not too many people were wandering about unless it had to do with their work. I took the opportunity to tour the USCG Eagle, a magnificent sailing ship, a “bark” that has docked in Alexandria for a few days. Originally a German ship, it was part of the WWII reparations package and has been part of the USCG training program for many years.  This is an “old fashioned” ship, with sails, block and tackle, climbing rigging. As I walked the wet, wooden decks, and looked up at the web of lines, masts, and sails, I thought of the men and women of the Coast Guard and what they must be doing during this unbelievable storm. I admire them and am very thankful for what they do! And that’s what I told them.

USCG The Eagle

USCG The Eagle

USCG The Eagle

USCG The Eagle

USCG The Eagle

USCG The Eagle

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My heart goes out to the flood victims

I ache for the flood victims, their families, and the land. I lived in Texas for many years and have great memories from that part of the world.  I didn’t live close to the coast, but in Austin, San Antonio, and Big Spring so I don’t know too much about the Houston and Corpus Christi area. The closest I got to the Gulf was when I flew an OV-10 into Harlingen, TX one looonnnggg weekend with a friend for a Commemorative Air Force air show and fly-in. We got to see some awesome WWII airplanes doing their stuff including P-51s & P-40s dogfighting and B-17s bombing the airfield. I met Pappy Boyington and got him to sign his book (I still have it). The coast was beautiful, the people were Texas friendly and we had a superb time. I can’t imagine the devastation and destruction they are suffering now. There are many organizations we can contribute to that will get the resources to the people in need. I suggest using the Red Cross but I know there are others. And… please send prayers.

This flower isn’t from Texas but it is from the west.

Desert Flower

Desert Flower

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