I was just a baby when the bombs rained down on Pearl Harbor and our country had enough of the imperialists from Japan. For over four years from that day, we fought back across the Pacific and brought Japan to its knees, culminating in a total surrender on the decks of the battleship Missouri. Halfway around the globe from there, the U.S and it's Allies brought another tyrant, Adolf Hitler down to defeat and for a while at least it looked like we had achieved what could be a lasting peace. But history tells us that for all practical purposes there will never be a lasting peace in this world.
Sometimes, as a writer, you want to write about a subject but it seems so steeped in animosity and bad feelings you don't know where to start, or if you should even waste the ink. "Why even try," you say. "Far better to write about the weather, even though you can't control that either but at least it blows both good and bad." Race is a subject that has been visited many times over the years but yet the progress that seems to be made - if you can call it that - simply can't overcome all of the hurt that's been generated on both sides of the road.
As I see the carnage in Baltimore, unfolding on television, I'm at loss for words. Not for what seems to be happening, way too often in this country, but the truth about why it's really happening. We have had civil disobedience before in this country and we will have it again. Lets face it - what happened in Baltimore has little to do with Freddie Gray. Most of these people, causing trouble, wouldn't have known Freddie, if he were standing alongside of them. It has more to do with their utter contempt for people in authority.
I write quite often to the papers. Most of the time, complaining about the sad state of affairs our country is in politically. I had a funny thought this morning and it involved this - what would I say to a joint session of Congress if I, an ordinary citizen, were allowed to address them, and they had to listen to me? I think it would go something like this. Dear members of Congress. Just for today, I would like you to forget that you are Democrat or Republican, Tea Party member or Independent.
Hunting, fishing tradition Last week, I read with some dismay, an article by a sports journalist of the growing unpopularity of hunting and fishing amongst our younger people. I think sportsmen clubs and the state have been tracking this trend for quite some time.
On more than one occasion, I have listened to Pope Francis speak, and all I can say is, "What a breath of fresh air." There are over a billion Catholics in this world and for one of the first times in my 55 years of being one, there seems to be a man at the top who truly cares about not only the church he leads but those outside of the Catholic Church, too.
I wish that I could write a message to everyone that would be full of flowery and optimistic verses, based on a world that has seemed to come to its senses. What I have witnessed in the past year, and within my own makeup at being a realist, throws cold water on those thoughts and we are a very troubled world indeed. But I refuse to be defeated and my only salvation comes in thoughts about how people have overcome adversity before - but then I think it was only because they were committed and really wanted it to happen. My hope - my prayer - is that we will want it bad enough too.
Somewhere between Halloween and Christmas is Thanksgiving. The original intent of the holiday was to set aside a day to give thanks to our Creator for all the good things we have received during the year. We did this by sharing some of our bounty with others, but it went much deeper than that. It was also a day to reunite with loved ones, not just in that celebratory feast, but it was an opportunity to share the love and sense of caring we have for each other. Then entered football games, and Black Friday sales, and all kinds of other distractions.
A while back, an old friend of mine passed away. I've lost a lot of friends lately, so that in itself was nothing new. I guess the difference for me, in this one, was that he was a World War II veteran and there are not a lot of them left. I was born in the spring of 1941, eight months before the start of the war. Memories in humans do not recollect many things before the age of 5. Mercifully, I remember little of life in America during the war, but from the end of the war on to my early adolescence, I remember a lot.
Most of you know that I am a writer of fiction stories; but what I am about to tell you is not fiction, but true and factual. Some of you also know I was a firefighter for the city of Brooklyn Park. What I am about to tell you happened to me and a man named Bill (not his real name). It probably happens much more often than we realize, and it really makes no difference where you are, as a firefighter - this could happen anywhere in any town or city. It was a daytime fire call in our city, and we were short of manpower at most daytime calls, as we were a paid on-call department.