Thursday, December 31, 2015

My New Year Prayer

 

Lord....

The Next Sunrise will start a New Year for us here on Earth...


Please help us to understand that our lives are not a given...

That we are all here for a purpose...

Please remind us that if not for you...

There would not have been nor would there be any yesterdays, today or tomorrows...

Help us to learn that "others" are just important as "ourselves"...

Please give us the strength to rise each day to praise your name...

To enjoy life according to your words and your ways...

Help open our eyes to the troubles of this amazing world you gave us...

And give us the determination to help in making it better....

Lord please keep my family safe and happy...

Knowing that through you, all that is given will be rewarded....

Thank You Lord...

For allowing us to be a part of your plan...

Johnny

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Sailors Christmas

Twas just a month or so before Christmas
About the 150th day of our Westpac
On our way back from the Persian Gulf
Finally no worries just the long voyage back
So we settle down to read our letters from home
While lying in our racks

We closed our eyes and allowed our minds to drift.
To the wife all alone, wrapping the last of the kids gifts
Miles from home, but never out of our heads
Thinking of our little ones back home all snug in their bed

Each day our job to protect  never seemed done
Each of us telling ourselves, you won't be here long
You'll be home soon and be with the ones you love
Laughing and singing your favorite Christmas songs

We looked over the waves and sent a message to home
I'll soon be there, no more will I roam
No more will you be lonely because I'm away
And  this time I hope,  I'll be there to stay.

So we traveled the world and displayed a strong force of One
Each Sailor and Shipmates working together to get the job done
Then we'll be back home with our families and friends
Hoping and wishing that all the fighting will end.
Asking them to be patient and understanding
that we do it for them

Now we're back home
Where we really belong
But thinking also of those who helped
In keeping each other strong

So... Here's a Toast to those times
When we were "Over There"
Raise a glass to the Albert David
and to those who were aboard,  give out a Cheer
Merry Christmas to all my Shipmates
and to all a Happy New Year..

Merry Christmas

John Glass, PN2 USS Albert David








 

Friday, December 18, 2015

This Isn't Christmas

The True Meaning of Christmas...

What do you want for Christmas this year?  It's the question you hear so much.  Unfortunately, the answer is usually something that only WE personally want.

I fear that the power of the mighty dollar has stolen the True Meaning and Spirit of Christmas.

We have taken what should be a Day of Celebration of a Amazing Birth.

The dollar amount of giving should not be the basis of what the day means to us.  Instead, the amount of giving can be measured by sharing, caring and expressing our joy of knowing that we are here due to what God gave to us... Jesus.

Thank You Lord.... For Showing Us Your Way....
 

Bluejean Knee Patches

What was being raised on a ranch in Central Texas like?  Well when your the 5th son of 6 boys it meant sharing.  Some of the adventures were fun, some sad, some risky but more then anything they were all learning experiences for me.  Some of the things....

China Berry Fights///Calf Riding///Rat Catching///Blanket Tents///Working Cattle///Picking Corn///Trips in a Station Wagon///Family Reunions on the River//Climbing Trees///Playing "War"//Weather Balloon Tents////School Carnivals//Hay Rides///Old Tire Riding///Metal Drum Swimming Pools///Coon Hunting//Lambs in the House///Gravy and Bread for Breakfast///Kick The Can//Milking the Cows//{Pop Guns///The Big House///Haybarn Tunnels///Chopping Cotton///Camping out on the river///Irrigation Pipe Sitting//Baby Rabbits///The School Bus///Telephone Party Line Sharing///Bees,Wasps, and Scorpions Stings///Hot Dog///Split Lips, Poison Ivy, and Broken Bones/// A Big Worm Bit Me/// Cookers///Hanging the Wash///The Fig Tree///Water Trough Cleaning///The Front Porch Couch///Easter Egg Hunts at Pease Park///Riding on the Tailgate///Puddle Jumping///Baseball Games against Manchaca/// Sand Tunnels at Hornsby///Swimming at Barton Springs....

And Blue Jean Knee Patches....

Each a story in themselves... Each something that needs to be shared... Tell the young ones...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Do You Remember?

It's funny how we remember events in our lives... Happy, sad, funny, embarrassing, or regretful things that have occurred along our path of life that are held in a special place deep in our minds.  There for us to pull up or sometimes they jump up to remind us...  In most cases the experiences have taught us something about ourselves, others or society. With age I have found it harder to sometime "remember' things and even more recently I "re-found" a tactic that was taught to me at a very young age that still works.

In school I had a hard time remembering things but In the 3rd grade my teacher, Ms. Damerau came to me one day when seeing me mentally searching for the answer to a test question, so she taught me a trick to help me remember.  She would say... "It's easy... Close your eyes...Get a good hold on the edge of your desk and shake your head back and force sharply. It will knock it loose and bring it back to the top."

I tried and lo and behold it worked. I'm not sure if it pushed all the other things out of the way or just gave me a chance to 're-think' the question after "clearing my head'.  But no matter how, the tactic seem to work at least for me.  I used the tactic through-out the remaining years of my education but somewhere along the way in the hustle and bustle of growing up I forgot all about it..

 But the other day, while I was in the Grocery Store, I came upon a man who was standing looking perplexed and trying to remember something... He was not as fortunate as myself, my wife takes pity on me and usually has a list of things for me.  Anyway,  I passed by the man but something told me to look back and I watched as the man looked around to check to see if anyone was watching, took hold of the edge of a shelf, closed his eyes and shook his head back and forth several times, stopped for a few seconds then did it again this time a little harder... Then with a smile he got his balance back and turned and walked away definitely now remembering where he could find the item he needed. 

And I  wanted to so badly to catch up with him and ask him... Hey did you have Ms. Damerau as a teacher in school?"

But I didn't.... I was afraid he would say "Why yes I did" and then I would have to explain how I knew..

So if by chance you know me and one day I suddenly close my eyes and shake my head back and forth... Well.... I'm OK, just trying to remember something that I'm having a hard time finding.


Thanks Ms. Damerau....





Thursday, December 10, 2015

Because We Are Veterans



We have a better understanding of what being a PATRIOT is...

We know and understand what being a FRIEND is worth..

We have a better understanding what "DUTY" means...

We can understand why FAMILY should mean so much...

We have a highr level of TRUST in our fellow man...

We can understand that SUPPORT means being there when needed...

We  know that TEAMWORK is the key to getting things done.

We also know how much LIBERTY is worth and is only accomplished via HARD WORK.

All of these thing We feel We learned much more about and APPRECIATE more because....

We went where we were needed.

John Glass, U.S. Navy Veteran

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Little Sparrow Came to Visit Me...

Yesterday morning while standing on my porch I felt something touch my left shoulder. Thinking it was a falling acorn or a twig from the tree.  Then it hit me that those could not be because I was standing under the roof of my porch...

I looked to my left to find a small sparrow sitting on my shoulder. Just sitting there looking back at me.  Dumbfounded I smiled and softly said "Well, Good Morning". Thinking it would surely fly away realizing the predicament it had put itself in. 

No... It sat starring back at me.  I raised my finger to offer a perch and it stepped out onto it.  We stood looking at each other, I in total amazement.  I carefully reached into my pocket and pulled out my phone... Switching to camera I posed with my new friend and snapped off several shots knowing that this was going to be the only way anyone would believe my story...

My wife's cousin had just come to visit and I calmly offered the sparrow a branch to sit on within one of my potted plants.  It stepped onto the branch and looked at me as if to say... "Go... I'll sit right here."

I ran into the house and called for others to come outside.  The cousin followed me out as I went back and offered my new friend my finger perch again.. Again it stepped boldly onto my finger and I  asked Cassie to hold out her finger as I turned to show her Sparrow.  She too, found a new friend as Sparrow introduce itself by sitting on her newly offered perch. 

Again the camera came out and with a few clicks a very overwhelmed young lady had proof that this had actually happened.  After a couple of minutes the bird looked at both of us and with a small chirp few to the ground ten or so feet away from us...

I didn't want the local prowling cat to find it there so I walked over to put it in a safer, higher place but it flew away high away and into a tree.

Now they say... that something like this is or could be considered a Good Omen... I don't know...

What I think is that the Maker of All Things sent one of small ones to remind me just how great the world that he made for us really is..  

And that with just a little trust in one another... Things can be worked out and we could enjoy life a whole lot better. 

Nature is a amazing place... I wish we could learn more from it and it's other inhabitants on how to live life. 

Trust goes a long way if given a chance. 

Johnny
12/7/2015

After Thought... I went back out and stood this morning.. Sparrow didn't return, but I saw several in the trees above and around me... I will remember Sparrow now each time I see one....

Note the date... Many years ago today we as Human Beings showed again just how mean we can be...

Remembering Pearl Harbor....





 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Once Upon A Time.. When I was Young....

Once Upon A Time:

I Could Wear a Size 32 Waist Pair of Jeans....

now... Most of my pants have elastic and are classified by the number of XX's


Once Upon A Time:
I Could Dance All Night and Close the Clubs Down...

now... I can listen to dance music until about 10pm. at home...

Once Upon A Time:
I Could Run 5 Miles Without Stopping...

now... I've stopped running,... even to the mailbox.

Once Upon A Time:
I Could "Jump Up" and go get something.....

now... I have to build up to getting up only after remembering whatever it was
 I am giong to get is located.

Once Upon A Time:
I Could go hunting, fishing, skating, scuba diving, play football, basketball,
 baseball, and tennis without hesitation..

now... I can watch them all on T.V.. for at least a hour without falling asleep.

But.... Now I hold onto the 3 most important things in Life...

 I am Happy, I am Loved and I am still Breathing.

I have also been told that I have become very good at the art of Snoring...
Some Things, it takes years to get right....

Johnny

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

:Love, Devotion and Support

Within the first months of our relationship my Sylvia showed me her devotion and support in the most unusual way.

As a new Dating Adventure She, Her Son Ron and I just happened to find ourselves at a small pond near our home that I liked to go fishing at late in the afternoons.  Syl, had come along with a book and blanket and sat reading on the bank as Ron and I worked around the pond trying to outsmart a few Black Bass that resided within its waters.

The afternoon passed casually and Syl sat on her blanket trying to read but also swatting at and dodging the small flying insects and creepy crawlers that tried to share her blanket with her.  I watched from a distance and had to smile thinking to myself "She must love me to be out here".  I would call out to her and ask if she was OK?  She always answer with "I'm Great,  I'm Fine"  as she continued swatting at the gnats that circled her head. 

As the sunset  came and went I watched her trying harder to read her book in the dimming light until she called out that she was going to go sit in the car to read.  I responded OK and watched her dash for the car. 

Within a half hour. Ron who was only a young teenager had found his was closer to me also since he had watched a water snake swim across the pond and slither along the weeds edging the water.  Fishing was new to him also but he came along on my adventures to show his support in making me feel part of the family. 

Finally, the pond was engulfed in darkness to the point that you could not  longer even see the water surface. 

From the car came a call out from Syl. "John,,, It's kind of getting dark out there isn't it?  I looked at Ron, smiled, put a finger to my lips and responded.  "Your right Babe, could you start the car and turn it so that the headlights shine out here onto the pond.  I think we can get another 30 minutes of good fishing if you could do that." 

There was silence for about 30 seconds and Ron muttered "Naw she won't do it." but just then the cars engine started and the lights came on and the Love of My Life repositioned the car casting its headlight across the pond.  

I called out "Thank Ya Babe...."  Pause.... and then she responded with "OK.. is there anything else I can do?....

I smiled at Ron... and answered back " No. Babe.  Love Ya..."

That's when I said to Ron for the first time... Ya know Ron... I love your Mom a lot. 

He responded with "She'd do anything for you John... You know that don't you? 

And it hit me... He was right... I think she would....

I looked towards the car where she was trying to again swat the mosquitos away and responded..

"Lets go home Son" for I think,  the first time.

We officially became a family when we were married less then 2 months later... 30 years ago. 

And now I have no doubt that if asked again to cut the lights on... She would respond.. OK.. is there anything else I can do?

Love ya Syl...

Johnny

 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Egg Hunting

As a boy on "the ranch" we all pitched in to help around the house.  One of my favorite tasks was to to find eggs from our chickens to help feed the family.  Our hens were not penned. They were free to roam around the area which meant that there was no telling where you may find a nest of eggs.

Behind our house in a large field was the "big house" which had been sitting empty for many years.  On the back porch there was the house's bathroom.  The rooms facilities was simple compared to the contents of the house itself.  I can remember that there was a toilet, a large rug and a bathtub.  The tub was one of those huge claw-footed ones that sat off the floor. It was there that one of ours hens had made a nest and it was in this nest that I could usually expect to find her cache of eggs on a regular basis. 

The nest had been made of the remains of some hay and pieces of a old rotten burlap sack.  I can remember having to "belly up" to the rim of the tub, balance there while plucking the eggs from the nest usually one at a time.  Tip-toe, belly-up, lean forward, balance, reach, pluck, shift weight so my feet would find the ground again, place egg on the rug and return to the tub to continue the "trapeze act" until all but one egg were extracted.  You always left one egg.... Granddaddy taught me that.. Fooled the hen into laying some more eggs he said.

Early one morning I had made my rounds to gather eggs and as always went to check the tub.  Now you also have to understand that this was "the big house" which to a very young boy was a place where you got that uneasy feeling going into it by yourself.  You know what I mean... that little prickly feeling that runs up the back of your neck when a touch of fear found you alone in a place dark and kind of spooky... I always did my duty of getting the eggs but I did it as quick as possible and always found a reason to move a little bit faster when leaving there then it had taken me to approach the room. 

That morning the sun had not yet really "lightened up" the room and so after approaching the house so as to not wake the spirits that I was sure guarded the place I peeked into the tub.  What I thought I saw was only parts of the eggs that appeared to be semi-covered by the old burlap bag.  Not a problem, I can remember thinking and proceeded to my bellying up to the tub's rim procedure. 

It was then, as I was balanced on the edge and starting to reach for the eggs when I noticed that it seemed, that the eggs were moving?  It was also at that time, that the large chicken snake which had found the hens nest and was in the process of enjoying a reward of fresh eggs, raised its head to meet me... 

Now.... picture it,  a small boy, in a dark room, of a "old haunted house" coming face to face with a chicken snake that MUST HAVE BEEN AT LEAST 20 FEET LONG,  at least in the eyes of a 6 year old and me with my feet dangling in the air.

I'm not sure who moved faster, me or the snake... reason? Because the split second it took me to get my feet on the ground, I never looked back.  In fact I don't remember anything that happened until I was starting to slow my running and stop to catch my breath about halfway across the field away from the Big House.

I never went back there to check for eggs again....

I am the egg cooker in my home and embarrassed to must admit. But, very once in a while when reaching for the bowl of eggs, even though they are in the refrigerator... I swear I see something moving......

It is now 55 years or so later and I am sitting, writing about this childhood experience at 5.am. You may wonder why?  Because at 4:30 am I had the same nightmare I have once of twice a year of me falling "into" that tub and battling for my life the 20 Foot Long Chicken Snake.  

Ahhh,,, being raised on a ranch  some of it,  stays with you forever....

Johnny




Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Just a Little Common Sense

There is a reason for carrying a few pennies around with you at all time... They are for a increasing number of our young people of today.

They're for those whom its obvious have no "common sense".

Walk over to them, smile and say.... "Here I would like to give these to you,. Have a nice day". Then smile, turn and walk away... Then when you are at a safe distance turn to see what he is doing. I'll almost guarantee you that 1 of 3 things will happen or maybe 4. 

1. They will be standing there looking back at you with palm open looking at the pennies and then at you.

2. They will be showing them to their friend who is also trying to figure out why you just did that.

3.They will be standing there trying to figure out "What the hell does he think I can buy with 2 cents?"

Or....

4. He is going to calling out to you. " What do I do with these?"

If by chance he does that... Just tell him... Never mind, give them to someone else... Cause its obvious they are not going to help him.

Johnny

End note: If by chance, after reading this and you do not understanding what I'm trying to say...
Never Mind....

A Tap On The Shoulder From My Navigator

The other day I was out with my camera collecting a few shots of the local fauna...  99% of the time I am by myself when on what I call one of my "photo safaris".  I've got a feeling that's because no one would have the patience to travel with ne when I'm "out looking". 

I was standing alone at the edge of a bayou peering into its darkness looking for the holes of light that  penetrates it's canopy.  It is at the edge of those pothole sized pools of light that I find the most interesting subjects to capture on frame.

It was right then, out in the middle of nowhere when I got my "tap on the shoulder"... I didn't have to look around to see who was there. I already knew.  He said.  "I think you want to talk."  I looked down and re-adjusted the settings on my lens as if I didn't feel or hear him...

  "Who do you think your kidding?"  'You called me.. I didn't call you' he whispered into my mind. 

Yea,  I've got some questions that have been bothering me and wondered if you could help out? I muttered as I looked around for a place to sit down and talk.

First... I don't understand why we are out to get each other.  Why do we feel that if a person is not doing what we want or feel how we feel about something, that we have to try and change them?

He answered 'There are those who understand that there are many lifestyles on earth.  Some feel comfortable in allowing each to pick their own.  But there are many others who feel Superior and must demand change. Those are the ones who I am working on... its not a done deal..".

Well how can I best help? I asked.

"By not allowing those who "push" to talk you into going their direction.  You know where you want to go and what you want to do with your life."

But it hurts deep down to see what is happening and not be able to stop it.  I muttered.

"I understand and I too feel your pain, but know this" he said.  'With time, all will be taken care of, all will be right and THAT..... you have my word on..."

"But"... I started to say...

And He stopped me and said "Do You Believe In Me?"

That...  I knew the answer to...

"Then, that's all that matters." as he went his way...  "But stop by anytime you want.. I'm always here."

I sat for a couple more minutes looking at all around me that he has given us.... Knowing that if we Believe... that's all that matters.. 

And I called out to him... Thank You Lord... For Everything....

So.. When things are good and running the way you like, I hope you remember who to thank.

But, if your world seems to be spinning a little fast, take a moment, sit down and call out... He's always there, he's always got a little time to sit and listen..

Johnny
11/25/2016




Thursday, November 19, 2015

I've Been Good....

Several years ago.. I owned a franchise of what I like to call "The Traveling Bookstore".  It was where I set up a display of books at daycares, and pre-schools.  It allowed the parents and others to preview books and order them which I would deliver the following week.  My territory had started in Austin but I expanded it to cover a 9 county area covering most of Central Texas.  What that mean, was that I kind of stretched my self thin especially during the holiday season. 

Of the reasons besides it being a job I enjoyed being around the kids and the people who took care of them.  You never knew what to to expect with kids.. They always kept me laughing and wanting to make them laugh also.

During the winter months I found that the "then popular" nylon warm-up suit with matching stretch pants, shirt and lite jacket fit the bill as a uniform.  I had several and had not thought of how the kids saw me until one day.

I was working my display in the hallway of a very large church nursery.  I was standing, counting my books and tallying the orders when a "duckling" line of little 3 year olds  passed by and worked its way down towards the restrooms. 

After a few seconds or so I realized that they had stopped and I heard the Teacher at the front of the line say "I don't know?  Why don't you go ask him."  Looking around I saw a young man shyly and slowly walking towards me as the entire line stood with their "bubbles in mouths" but wide eyed and watching him make his way to me.  The Teacher was grinning and pointed at the little man as he approached me then put cupped her palm to her ear as if to say "He's going to ask you something".

Now I've been described as a "large/rotund/big/ fellow and it was only when he asked me his question did I realize what he saw standing looking down at him... I was dressed in my Red Satin Warm-up Suit with Black Athletic Shoes, a White Polo Shirt and a Red Mitten Cap. 

He stood at my feet looked up as if finding to hard to talk.  So I said "Can I help you Young Man?"  His question was..

"Excuse me sir.. Which list am I on?.... I've been trying to be good...."

I looked down at him.... knowing that there could be only one answer...

I said with a smile... "Why...  Of Course... I've got you on my GOOD list....

He smiled... thanked me and ran running back to his teacher and classmates screaming "HE SAID I'M ON HIS GOOD LIST!  She looked at me and mouthed "Thank You" to me as he went back to his place in line,

Christmas... has never been the same to me again....  Give to Others..... If nothing else... just a little bit...

Johnny



 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thats Not My Right....

I understand that and
I believe that:

Some Do...
Some Don't....
Some Will...
Some Won't

But..
Some Can?
Some Cannot?

As for me....

I can't see where..
I have that power...
To say who can...
Or Who Cannot...

Because...

If we base our decisions....
Regarding the lives of so many...
On the actions of a few....
Then that makes us no better...
Then... those few...

To throw a blanket over all...
And push them away....
It's not the way we do things...
It's not the way we play....

No one did that to our ancestors
When they first came here....
They were given a chance...
Offered a place to come to...
Without  prosecution or fear....

Some do....
Some don't....
Some will...
Some won't...

Some Can...
Some Cannot...

You can if you want to...
But as for me....
To say No.. Your not allowed here...
To not give someone a chance...

I personally can't tell them that...
To say No... You don't belong here...
Because of a few...

I don't think I have that right....


Johnny





 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Gentle Breeze



Our lives, have become so busy. Over the years, as you grow, you collect daily habitual actions which start to make up your day and before to long your "busy". Busy to the point that we tend to lose the ability to enjoy what is given to us without asking for or working for. The "freebies" of life.

We let these things slip by not realizing that they are what make up so much of the world around us but we don't notice them because we are "busy". I will be the first to admit that there are certain duties, actions and responsibilities that we each should do. But what happens is, that as we are completing these "things" we feel we must take it or make it a little "better". To adapt or tweek the way we do things trying to ensure that we "have done it better then the last time."

But there are things around us each day that are there for just the taking. These I feel are just a few of what we need to slow down and notice.

The sound of children standing, laughing and playing while waiting for the school bus to pick them up...

The first calls of the early birds that are just outside in the tree beside your house. 

To take time to feel the warmth of a soothing shower.

The sun rising, with its promise of a totally new day.

The smell of fresh air before the scents of the working day takes them over.

The buzz of the bees in the flowers outside your window.

Or a gentle breeze... touching you cheek, sweeping quietly by on its way to who knows where. Did it pass by someone else before it got to you... Does it matter? It came and found you for just that second. Yours and yours alone. How soothing, how calming, no purpose behind it nor intention to change your mind nor persuading you to "do something".

These are all things that are there for us to enjoy... They are part of "life" if we will just slow down for a just little bit and let them entertain us... At no cost, no fee, no expectations to get something in return..

The little things in life that we tend to take for granted and overlook even though it would take just a few seconds, maybe a few minutes for ourselves, before we start our "busy" day..

Johnny..

Monday, November 16, 2015

The 5 W's and The "H" Factor....

FLASHBACK to the first days behind 911.... 

France  is trying to pick itself up from last Fridays attacks. Brings back the feelings during the first days after 911 to me. That gut wrenching feeling that no longer were we safe even in our own homes or towns.  Looking over the shoulder,  or up into the sky with apprehensions.  The attention is focused on France right now, which is why I am again looking around wondering the old 5 questions that I learned to ask back in High School Journalism Class, but now with a twist...

Who, What, Where, When, and Why? plus the "H" factor How....

Who? .... Is there anyone that who can be trusted anymore.. I hope so. I hope that we haven't gotten to the point that our trust is lost on everyone out in our public environment... But...

What?  Will we do or can we do to prepare for what may come?

Where?  I'm afraid that question has already been answered.  Anywhere..

When?   Seems, When we least expect it.

Why?  I'm not sure... The people that do these types of devistating acts towards others seem to not need a specific reason for their actions.  Why does a man walk into a movie theatre and take others lives?  Why is a question that I'm afraid is un-answerable.

How?  I think that question is a multi-facited question leading back to the 5 W's. 

But all of these questions, I feel, each of us must be answered with one word. 

 NO. 

No... I'm am not going to allow these actions to stop me from living life to the fullest.

No. I'm not going to let them take over the way I go about my daily life.

No... to those who do these things,

No... You are not going to take control of my world...

Because if we don't shout, NO.  They will win..

But I will be more careful.....

Johnny

Friday, November 13, 2015

Two Texas Sailors

So what happens when two sailors from Austin, Texas meet and find out that their from the same town.  Well you get stories about what each did while they grew up, the friends that are back home, well, you get two crazy Texans who come up with a crazy idea... 

Let's drive home for the weekend!!!

Now... that wouldn't be a big deal if they were close to home but these two sailors happen to be my Best Shipmate David Sweeny and myself and we were stationed onboard the USS Albert David, Fast Frigate 1050.... in..... San Diego, California...

Ahhhh. so just how long would it take 2 Crazy Texas Sailors to drive to Austin, Tx from San Diego. Ca?  Well... with a few pit stops and driver switches,  about 20-23 hours with good roads, good weather and a strong tail-wind.  Hmmm.  that means about 10 hours of driving each without stopping.  Hmmmm..... need more drivers.....

So this is where being a Texan and being able to "Spinning the Yarn" on how great a Night In Austin would be to 2 other innocent, unknowing Shpmates to the point that you convinced them that well.  of course they had to go....

Here is how it went.. Simple... 1 Pilot, 1 Co-Pilot (shotgun seat, he could drink as we went, A Navigator seated behind the Co-Pilot , he also could drink, from the cooler located between him and the Next Pilot, seated behind the Pilot. The biggest rule... The Next Pilot had to sober up before getting behind the wheel which usually meant "crashing" for about 3 hours prior to driving.

 At the pit stop, Pilot goes to Co-Pilot, Co-Pilot goes to Navigator, Navigator goes to Next Pilot position. Next Pilot grabs the steering wheel for the next 3 hours.

Three hours of driving, pit stop, pilot switch and on we went.. The meals consisted of chips, some type of sweets to keep the sugar level up and some type of bread to soak up all the beer... Ahhh Pizza.

We would all acquire 2 day leave passes... yes only 2.. It was up to you to talk your Division Officer into letting you loose at noon on Friday... If you couldn't do that,  you were not "worthy" of the "experience". 

So off we would go... by 1pm on the road Frin David's 1977 Impala... which fit 4 and one cooler well. 

Rules of the Road were properly followed.. Which were.. Flaps down. Full Throttle, Don't get caught speeding because that would cut into our time-line.  The Navigator's job was to handle the "Radar Detector and man the binoculars while traveling IH 10 through California, Arizona, New Mexico and the seemingly never-ending West Texas....

Did it work?  Lets just say we entered Travis County which is where Austin, Texas is if your not a Texan usually about 1pm Saturday afternoon.  We now had about 5 hours to, visit relatives, shower, shave and 1 hour to pick and get to the first Honky-Tonk by about 7pm to catch the last hour of "Happy Hour." 

Now the clubs in Austin closed at 2 a.m.  which was perfect.. Because that meant 2 Texans and 2 now, Honorary Texans could climb back into a certain 1977 Impala and head west on the 24-26 hour trek back to San Diego, Ca. , a little longer cause we were a kind of worn out, about 4 a.m. approximately 2 hours before Reville on Monday morning.

One backlash that we found out about our Texas Trips... For some reason.. We could NEVER get the same 2 Shipmates to make the "experience" a 2nd time... I guess 1 time was enough.... For Them...

How many times did we make this little trip.  If I remember right we introduce 8 shipmates to Texas over the next 2 years. 

Ahhhhhh Texas... Ya  Gotta Love It....






   

In Memory of David Sweeny... My Shipmate

In Memory of David Sweeny RM2,  R.I.P.

While in the Navy David Sweeny became my Best Shipmate...

Being also from Austin it was inevitable that we cruised, couroused and tore up the West Coast the way only 2 Texas Sailors could... David was down home Texas, his manners and his drawl gave him away. I can remember so many times in the clubs the woman saying "Why... are you from Texas?" and he would produce that little smile, give them a wink, and respond with "Well,,, yes I am Little Lady...... Austin, Texas that is.. Would you like to dance?" and that's all it took..

David was the only man, I can remember, that could and would stand up in the middle of any night club, dancehall or "hole in the wall" after being served a Budweiser Beer, and while holding it high above his head would recite at the top of his voice, the Logo found on the bottle...

"This is the Famous Budweiser Beer. We know of no other brand brewed by any other brewer which cost so much to produce. Our exclusive "Beechwood" aging produces a taste, a smoothness and a drinkability you will find in no other beer at any price. Budweiser... The King of Beers."

Then he would add "Amen" and would take a swig of the beer, turn to the waitress and say " Bring me another darlin. This one will be gone by the time you get back."

David Sweeny,,, the man who had my back no matter the situation...

Miss ya My Friend

Johnny

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why Does Old Age Have To Hurt?

Why is it that the older we get the more we ache?

When we were young our body allowed us to take just about anything life would throw at us.  The bumps, the falls, bounces, collisions and accidents that occurred on a daily basis.  Those little impacts with foreign objects that many times we didn't even realize had happened.  Maybe a day or so later your friend may bring that bruise to your attention with "hey what did you do there?" You would look at it, scan back through your last couple of days activities and reply "hell if I know". After laughing at yourself you would continue on, living life to the fullest.

But when you start to get "older" the human body, somewhere along the way, makes a decision that it is going to let you know of every little accident that you have had and its usually almost immediately.

No longer do you walk around the house "barefooted", I do, but I'm a glutton for pain.  We arm ourselves with house shoes or that old pair of "leathers" that your wife won't let you be seen in public in .  I can remember as a teenager walking everywhere barefoot, except sticker burr fields.  We learn to steer clear of those things that want to jump out and hit you just as you walk by or we slow down and watch where we are going...

Now... our bodies no longer let us get away with what it once did.  It usually reminds you of these little collisions with foreign objects as you sit at night watching your favorite show.  You know what I mean... That little "ache" somewhere in your body, that starts small then slowly builds to the point that you can no longer concentrate on trying to be the first to answer the question before the contestants on your game show.  Been there? You know, when your "better half" says what did he say? and your answer is "I'm not sure, I was thinking about something else"...

So.. you start looking around for the over-the-counter pain relief pills that are usually sitting close by.  Yea, there they are right beside your "night medicine" pills lined up waiting your attention.  Those "fix it all" pills your Doctor prescribed you to allow you to make it through the night or just to get you out of his examination room.

My question is... Why does this all happen when we get "older"?  Have we not been through enough already?  Isn't this suppose to be the part of life when we are to enjoy what we have worked so long for to achieve? 

What I think is what we need is a General Purpose, Old Person Numb Pill. Not anything that will put us off into La La Land or mentally stalls you but one that will allow us to not have to put up or feel the little aches and pains of getting old...  And it needs to be something that you can take about once a year... Maybe on your Birthday,  maybe just put it in your Birthday Cake, you know try to blow out all them Damn Candles and eat your Numbing Pill.

But then again... That's just one of  my crazy ideas....  where's my Motrin?  

Johnny

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pierside Daily Rituals

6 a.m. Reveille, Reveille, the Smoking lamp is lite through out the ship, Now Reveille.

Up to the Head..3 Minute Shower..Quick Shave..Straighten the Gig Line....
Where's My Hat..

.Eggs or a Doughnut..Coffee always...

Quarters....Plan of the Day....Morning Assignments,

Lunch, 1st Class, First In Line...Taste first, then Salt & Pepper because you never know...

Quick Nap... Back to Duties,

 Sweepers,  Sweepers, Man your Brooms... Hey Man, I'll Pay Ya to take my Duty?

Slip off to Change to Civies,  Liberty Call. Couple of Hours at the "E" Club.. Back to the Ship...

Movies on the Mess decks at 2000.. The Roach Coach Approach... Nasty Burrito...

Find a place in front of the T.V.

.Now hear this, Taps, Taps, Lights Out.. The Smoking Lamp is Out throughout the Ship..

Now Taps...






Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tell Me a Story Dad

Tell me a story Dad,
about the times when you were here
Talk about the good times that you remember
the times when we were all together

Share with us how it was back then
when things weren't so easy
Times when life made you work for it and
days when your hands hurt when you got home

I remember some times Dad
seeing you sitting in your easy chair late at night
Your mind still working out problems
to make sure everything would be alright

How you rode a horse
always sitting high in the saddle
becoming one with the animal
and letting it know its worth

The hours you spent on a tractor
turning the soil so it give us what we need
Whether it be hot or cold
You just put your shoulder to the sun or wind and paid them no heed

How you spoke with a kind word
Your voice never quivered nor seemed un-sure
how people looked up to you 
and I know that even now,  they still do

There always seemed to be others
who stopped and listened when you spoke
People whether they knew you well
Or just knew of you by your style of living

To many you were Mr. Fielding
and respectfully addressed that way
A man you could go to if needed
when no one else would be there for them

Your  life wasn't always easy Dad
We threw a lot at you that's for sure
But you always seem to have the answers
If you were ask to help set things right.

A man with so much to do
But the one who always found time if we ask of you
You cared for so many
Always giving, never taking for yourself

From sunup to sunset sometimes
you willing played life's game
living one day at a time until each was complete
trying so hard to make our lives the best they could be

I'm not saying you never gave us time
you tried to as much as you could
and for those times when now I think back
I smile and thank you for what you did.

Six Boys became Men because of you Dad
we share a bond that only you could have put there
Its a feeling of pride and a sense of well being
Knowing that we would not be the men we are

If not for you

So come to me now Dad in my thoughts and dreams
and tell me the stories of your life
I'll sit and listen I promise for the rest of mine
Learning only now,  how important you were and still are to me

I still reach out to you Dad
It may be just a thought
or a memory of something you did
Your still fresh in my mind Dad
and  I promise you will never go away

Johnny
11/7/2015




Thursday, November 5, 2015

How Dare You Take My Life In Your Hands.



The other day upon returning from Houston I witnessed two large personal passenger trucks play "catch me if you can" on IH 10 close to the Texas./Louisiana Stateline.  They  were weaving back and forth across lanes at speeds that must have been well over 90 MPH.  Add to the fact that it was raining and a semi-heavy level of traffic. 

Other people were re-acting to their "game" by hitting their brakes, weaving into other lanes or dropping their speed suddenly so as to miss being hit by these "children" on the road. 

Then it happened, suddenly where they had gotten to ahead of me,  one car swerved to avoid collision with one of the trucks which had cut them off the driver drove into the side of another innocent driver starting a 4 car accident. 

The two "children" in the trucks continued on their way. 

So... My question is How Dare You?

I see it everyday... People who have no remorse in endangering others on our streets and highways.  Leaving others motorist to fend for themselves against their in-mature acts of driving.  The results of their actions can have such a devastating effect on others around them and they seemed not to care.  I am not saying to ever try and stop or confront these "brats" but if by chance you get ever a partial plate number call the police on them.

 Or... in many cases they drive the same roads each day playing their threatening games.  If you notice them more then once, there is a good chance it happens everyday.  Call the police and let them know that they have been observed by you more then once at a specific time and location. 

There is a name for the type of behavior these culprits are exhibiting while driving to show off, in the Spanish language it is called "Showing Off Your  Machismo"... They are trying to show "Look.. I am a Man... Look What I Can Do." and they feel they have the "right" to do so... When in reality this is one of the least acts you can do away from being a Man.  To show off to others around you with the hope of being looked up to for threatening other peoples lives?

How stupid... No one has the "right" to endanger,  their passengers or other innocent drivers and their passengers just to prove how great they are...

There is a place for those kind of drivers.  Its called a Race Track... Take your games there.. Go to a Controlled Environment designed for those types of driving... Leave you friends and other drivers out of your fun and games.  If you want to kill yourself... that's your decision.. Our streets and highways are not a race track nor a game board for you to play your silly games...

I am hoping that someone who is reading,  this who does or knows someone who plays "games" on our roadways will stop and think or have enough concern for their safety and the others around them to share this with them....  

Unfortunately, I doubt that the actual unsafe drivers will be reading this because their way of getting information is by TEXTING while driving...

Which brings another concern all its own..

John Glass

 

The Store I Call Wally World

Yesterday I went to a Superstore to get a can of spray paint (brown and cheap). I'm not going to give its name but it starts with W and ends with T.  So from now I'll just refer to it as Wally World. 

 I parked close to the door where I knew the paint dept. was. Went in. got the cheap paint and headed to the cashier. I was told 2 times by a Customer Service Agent that they just closed their register even though their "light" was still on...

Frown....

I ended up being served by the closest "open" register WHICH ENEDED UP BEING ON THE FAR END OF THE STORE.

Double Frown...


Do you think I left without saying something? Well, if you did.. You don't know me as well as you thought you did....

Finding the Customer Service SUPERVISOR who was sitting behind a counter MUCH CLOSER to the door I came in, COUNTING HER MONEY. Yes, I waited until she was into counting her $20.' s and I shared with her my concern... She looked up at me with a frown and I could tell she was upset because I made her lose her count.

After sharing with her my concern which I made sure was long and drawn out I said "Oh... I apologize for making you lose your count... guess your going to have to start all over again aren't you" Bet your feel kind of frustrated right now, don't you?"

And I turned with no more frowns but a smile on my face,  I walked my way out the door which was close to my car.....

Yes... I'm getting old and mean... but I hope she got my point...

Onward Thru The Fog..
Johnny

After-Thought:  : At least the Cheap Brown Paint WORKED WELL.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Henry and the Visitors

At the State School where I worked as a young man there was always something to laugh about. 

Life and working there and was always interesting.  You have to understand that laughing was in many of their minds a pressure release and "messing with people" which was in most cases were taken in jest and was a way for them to be able to accept who they were and accepting being there.

There was a "client" there by the name of Henry.  Henry believed that he assisted with the Administration of the School so he of course dressed the part everyday. He always dressed in a suit and carried a briefcase everywhere he went.  He would walk the streets on what he called "doing a errand for the Superintendent". 

One day... I and several of the "boys" were sitting on the lawn of Dorm 6 just watching the world go by...   Down the sidewalk came Henry with the always present briefcase.  As he approached I noticed a unfamiliar car coming up the street behind him.  The two elderly couples,  two men in the front seat and their wives in the back.  As they approached  it was obvious they were looking for a certain place on campus. 

To our luck both Henry and car meet just next to where we were sitting... The man in the front passenger seat called out to Henry as they came to a stop.  Henry turned and the man asked if him if he could direct them to the Recreation Hall?  Henry turned, looked down the street and in a very dignified manner gave them the longest route I think they could have taken on campus since the Rec Hall was only about 300 yards down the same road. 

After he gave them the directions he asked "Would you like for me to call ahead for you and let them know that you are coming?"  The man said that would be great and thanked him for his help.  Henry turned.. walked over to a metal light pole, put down his briefcase and pretended to pickup a phone receiver and dial a phone number on a "ghost phone" that wasn't there.

 I heard him say... "Ethel... This is Henry, I've got 2 couples on their way down there... Could you kind of keep a eye out for them??????

We all tried to keep a straight face as Henry turned back to them and said "Ethel wants to know who it is your coming to visit so she can make sure their there." 

By that time the car was easing away and I swear all four people had sunk a little lower in the car seats. 

Henry turned look at us and said "Well... how rude... I hope they don't find it.",  turned and continued his walk down the street after of course picking up his briefcase... Henry never went anywhere without his briefcase. 

I can see it playing out as if it were just yesterday....

Thank you Henry,,, for helping me better understand life and learn the real meaning of the old phrase..  Ask a silly question... get a silly answer....

Johnny

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Other Boys In Our Past..

I talk much about my brothers, our parents, and others in our family in  my little jaunts into our past.  But there were some other "boys" that just about each one of us, my immediate family, who also left their marks on the inside walls of the our head.

The "State School" was what it called by most in that area.  After you car climbed the tall hill on the Farm Market Road the campus sat just on the left, its open gates and green lawns with the fishing pond gave one the impression that life down that winding road surly was a place of comfort and a place were the State had  made a place for who need a place for coping with life that was, "just a little bit different" then ours.

 We called them "The Boys", because in most of their cases their mental capabilities, somewhere along their way,  had stopped them from reaching adulthood.  We called them "boys" because that in reality was what they were even though many of them were well into what we now call our "Senior Years".

At one time or another just about everyone in my family had taken on the challenge of working there.  It was a place where you learned a lot about what life can be like for others and how it is so important to help take care of others who are not as fortunate as ourselves.

I first worked there in my last year of High School, going each afternoon to the Central Kitchen and helping to prepare the evening meals, then serving the meals to them in the dining rooms that were attached to several of the dorms that they called home.  It was a abrupt awaking to me of just how lucky I was to have a "normal" life outside of those walls and fences. 

Several years later, I returned to work there helping with the caretaking of a group of them who lived on a specific dorm.  These were the "higher level boys".  Most of these boys held down small jobs in one of the work programs on the campus that allowed them to keep themselves "busy".  It also gave them a pittance of a salary which allowed them extra money that was above what their "state" monthly allowance provided.

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No matter what though, each day came and went just about the same as the day before. Up early, dress for the day, breakfast then off to work.  For the ones on the dorm that did not work we tried to keep them "busy".  Playing games with them, a couple hours of trying to teach them "life skills".  But mainly just making sure that their days went be un-eventful.

In the afternoons, the "working boys" would return for supper, and then about 4 hours of recreation time.  Our job then was to supervise them and I found myself wanting to "entertain" them.  I would take a small group of down to the Recreation Hall for evening dances on Fridays or movies on Saturday evenings.  Some employees would bring their "clients" and go to sit along the bleachers to watch over their "boys" from a distance.  I couldn't do that. I felt that it was part of my job to be with them and interact with them.  On Sunday afternoons I would take a small group to the pond that lay just inside the front gate for a couple of hours of fishing. 

 Never did I have to worry about one of them "running away" even though there had been instances where I feel a few had gotten "lost" and wandered away from the school in the past.  In most of those cases the surrounding community did their part and would report the sighting and in many cases keep "an eye on them" until someone came to get them and bring them "home". 

I enjoyed working there and learned a lot from the experience.  More then anything else I learned to be humble and a strong sense of understanding that everyone needs help every now and then.  I guess that's why even now, if I see one who seems lost or un-certain of their situation I found myself wanting to say "Can I help you?.. 

I guess I do that because I remember the looks and smiles of those "boys" when they understood that they meant something to someone, and the hope that when  and if I am ever in the same kind of situation, someone will come to my aid. 

Isn't that part of life? Being here for each other?  Knowing that you can make a difference maybe in just a small way.

 Sometimes it takes so little to let others know that you really do care...

Johnny





 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Yesterday.. A Veteran from the Korean War arrived at the resort with his ball cap with "Blue with Gold lettering on it, just as I was picking up my clients.

 I walked over and thanked him for his time served and  that I would be proud to carry his bag in.  It only took a minute of my time, considering the time he had spent doing his duty to our country. Isn't it funny how when you approach a person with a extend hand in friendship that the other person smiles, just about every time...no matter what happens from that moment on, they know your someone who cares, 

It doesn't take much to let people know you recognized them for who they are and what they have done. But then again... It can be offered to anyone and it has the same effect on most people doesn't it...

I have no problem with  greeting of the "shoulder bump" but that you can do with your hands still in your pockets... The offering of a extended and open hand has been around for centuries showing to the other person that you are weapon free and are willing to share a "personal contact" if only for a brief second.  Maybe we ought to go back and start using it again and do it more often...

I wish there would come a time and place when we felt comfortable enough with each other to lay down our arms and but I'm afraid that time will never come... But at the same time I feel that those who "Serve to Protect should be recognized not just one day a year but everyday.

They did not go into places unknown to "protect us" just one day a year. They went until the threat was no longer there so that we could be certain that "threat" did not make its way "over here".

Get to Know A Veteran..
Hire A Veteran...
Take Care of a Veteran...
 Recognized Our Veterans... For Who They Are and What They Did for All of Us..

Thursday, October 29, 2015

To The Best Of My Recollections

Be it known that my writings regarding events from my childhood are based on MY memory...

It has been brought to my attention that my "memory" which may not be totally accurate or at the best of times have "lapses" reaching out past what would/could be considered by many as "out of the ordinary or "hard to believe", but they are shared with hopeful understanding that they are not meant to be totally accurate nor factual but a story meant to be entertaining.  That is what in many regions as a "Storyteller".

Now if you know Texans, it's a pretty well known that "facts" are based on what the storyteller is trying to get across to the reader...   Very little is "Set In Stone" or "Hard as Concrete" A Texas Storytellers "facts" are kind of like "Texas Caliche" a type of ground surface found throughout the region which sometimes, when it is wet, kind of gets a little slippery...

Thus the same as the "facts" of a Texas Storyteller..

With that in mind my disclaimer is that my stories are besed on "To The Best Of My Recollections" or other wise know as T.T.B.O.M.R.


Thanks for trying to understand me....

Johnny



 

That Ain't Funny



As a boy on the ranch there were certain talents that you needed to survive. We were lucky enough to have a very long stretch of the Colorado River that bordered the land that we lived on. So that meant that of course you needed to know how to fish.

Now there are different ways to fish. You can sit on the bank of the river with a single pole, attach a grasshopper, or a worm recently un-earth from behind the pig pen (best place around the house to find the biggest worms) and hurl the bait out into the deep waters of the river and wait for whatever type of fish decides to come along and nibble on the bait and with a good tug at just the right moment the fight would be on.

My mother enjoyed this way of fishing. She could sit and set a line or two out, not to far away from each other. Then she would watch them while smoking her cigarette and make small talk about what ever seemed appropriate at the time. Now, there was one main rule that Mom had if you choose to go fishing with her. That was, that once your bait entered the water, and by the time its ripples could not longer be distinguished, you could not speak above a whisper. Because..... the fish may hear you....

As for me... that wasn't fishing.... I found it very hard to just sit and watch the end of a rod to see it twitch as the tale-tale sign that something had come my way. It seemed to me that tempting the fish with a glob of worms or drowning a grasshopper just didn't seem sporting. That and it drove me crazy to sit still for that long. Years later, society came up with a name for boys like me. It was called A.D.D , Attention Deficit Disorder. My Mom had another name, she called it H.G.A.I.H.P. "He's Got Ants In His Pants", because I just couldn't sit still.

I felt that a fish needed to be hunted... Sneak up on them with a lure and fool them into attacking the object. I would travel up and down the banks of the river looking, thinking, and figuring out where I thought the fish would be lying in wait watching for something to come within its range. In my mind, that gave the fish a standing chance, and gave me a good reason to keep moving.

I felt also that for a boy to get the advantage over a 'smart' fish I had to practice my casting abilities to be able to place a lure in just the right place in front of the fish to fool him/her into believing that it was something real that had made the mistake of passing it's way. You may ask how I determined which fish were 'smart'? Well that to me was obvious. The smarter the fish, the longer they lived, the longer they lived... the bigger they got... result, a Smart Fish. So when I caught a large fish,well that only meant I was becoming a better fisherman, which in a young boys world, was a claim to fame. Follow me? But of course.

Now, I could not stay all day on the river practicing my casting styles, I also had chores to do and games to play back at home. So in the evenings, when everything else was done, I would venture out into our back yard with my rod and reel and practice casting a small plastic frog with the barb of it's hook embedded deep with it's body. The target was usually a piece of loose leaf paper, no.. not my homework, so that the wind would catch it and move it to another distance from me, thus giving me several angles to practice my casting.

Well, one afternoon the wind was dead still so after a few casts at the paper I became bored, remember, ADD. Looking around the back yard I made up the idea of using the corner of the house to represent a big brush pile along the riverbank. I prepared to cast just past the "brush pile" so that with a couple of tugs on the rod the frog would come hopping past the target and land in the would be fishes domain..

With the first cast. the fake frog landed about six feet past the corner of the house. With one tug it hopped about three feet. I smiled, and though to myself, "dang I'm good" and again popped the tip of the rod slightly bringing the frog right to the corner of the house just as I wanted it to.
That was when I smiled and was about to "mentally" pat myself on the back when Mom's favorite Tomcat which claimed the backyard his domain, came flying (I swear it was two feet in the air) and pounced on the FAKE rubber frog.

Now.... I, being the talented fisherman that I was did and what just about any other fisherman would have done in that scenario, SET THE HOOK... on my now.. CAT fish. For a brief second.. I found this highly funny until I realized that he was headed back around the corner of the house to the opening to the crawlspace that allowed us to go under the house.
 
For the next twenty to thirty minutes my brothers and I crawled and searched for the CAT fish under the house finally catching him ( he wasn't in the best of moods by that time), nor was my Mother who had heard the commotion and came out of the house and found out what I had done.

Finally with Cat, Frog and boys out from under the house safe... Mom proceeded to tell me that Dad was going to hear about this when he got home and I knew what I could expect...

That was when I decided that.... That Ain't Funny....

Side Note: The cat lived a full life with just a small "hair lip" but did seem to disappear every time I came out the backdoor with my rod and reel ever since....

Boys... will be Boys.... What can I say.... Raised Country, Raised Right

Onward Thru The Fog...

Johnny

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

If Something Doesn't Taste Right.. Change the Ingredients...




 Long ago....  I can remember my Mom tasting one of her meals and saying... "Well,  I'm sorry,  that just doesn't taste right... I'll have to "adjust" that recipe and she would until she got it right. 

My Dad would say "If you have time to do it twice.. you had time to it right the first time".

But today... I hear the favorite phrase of the generation "Opps, My Bad" with a kind of half-smile. But I then see them do the same thing again and their response is "Opps.. My Bad."  That phrase has become a way of saying..'OK.. you caught me but...well that's me... and I'm not going to change.' 

The effects of these actions are here to see and feel. Feelings are hurt, others have to do what the person is suppose to do, allowances are given, excuses are made, or we feel the need to adjust OUR lives to allow the person to continue to make the mistakes over again with, in many cases, expecting to be allowed to be "overlooked" while choosing to make even more mistakes.

We were given a brain to not only keep our body functioning correctly and running smoothly but also to understand that we are capable of making mistakes and figuring out how to not make the same mistake again. 

What many of us have done is forgotten that "mistakes" means something needs to be done to ensure it doesn't happen again if possible,  or has our society come to the conclusion that each of our actions, no matter what it is, should be "acceptable" by others?

What happened to our Social Standards?  Where and when did our society reach the top of the hill and start going down the other side?   What many of us do not understand that, just like in the real world, very seldom is each side of the "hill" the same height nor angle.  In some cases, the "other side of the hill" slopes a lot faster, is longer and due to that,  our "speed" increases.  Hopefully, we have the foresight to see what is happening... And we start applying the brakes...

Before we are out of control..

When are we going to admit that Something Just Doesn't Taste Right and start checking to see what ingredients and spices will make it right again...

Onward Thru The Fog....

Johnny



 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Not If My Life Depended On It....

They say, that there are a few jobs that you wouldn't do for all the money in the world.  I have done one of those and lived to talk about it.  I am not the only one that has shared the experiences of this job, but would like to think that I have come out a better man from it's experiences.

You will find them all over the world fulfilling the expectations of just about each and everyone one of us at one time or another.  We pass by them everyday and without a second thought continue on our way, blotting out what THEY must be going through to achieve the goals set by us as a community. and I must agree when looking back, I'm not sure if I would do it again. 

The job consist of several demands that are out of the ordinary. They rise usually about 4 a.m. to prepared for the day.  In many cases, only after preparing their family for the day ahead do they prepare themselves for what is ahead of them.  Once those duties are done. they leave home in the dark and make their way to their place of business.  Once there and only after helping to UP the moral and spirits of the others who share this job do they face the first duty of the day and that is to ensure the equipment needed for their task is also ready for it's day.

 In many cases this is done in weather that most of us wouldn't ever consider going out into.  It may range from temperatures ranging from below zero up to scalding heat not any less then those found in the worst deserts on earth.  Driving wind and rain are only a part of what they may find facing them as well as the dark of night. Their tool of trade most of us wouldn't dare consider using, yet we as a society expect them to use it at a expert level each and everyday. On average it is about 37 feet long and 9 feet wide. It stands usually about 11 feet high and will hold safely up to 71 passengers. 

Ahhh... I think your getting the picture... Yes it's usually bright yellow, in fact it's color has become a standard for this shade of color.  Yes, that's right SCHOOL  BUS YELLOW... Welcome to the world of the School Bus Driver and for some. who lucky, their Assistants.

I know these people. I have been one of them, trained many of them and helped so they can make the ride for your children as safe as humanly possible.  So lets look at when these amazing people do each and every morning for us and  our children.

At usually about 6 a.m. they place themselves out on our public roads to take on and endure the wrath of that which is before them. The sun is not yet up no are many of us.  But their there,  driving the highways, city streets and country roads to pick up and deliver your children to and from school each day.

Now add to this the increasing amount of traffic that is slowly growing as the minutes into their morning routes continues. They are there for you, taking your kids to school for those who don't want to be on the road or going to work with a sense of "get out of my way".  Or our minds are not on our driving, it's on what our day ahead of us has to offer us.  Most School Bus Drivers will agree that their passengers are not the problems in the morning.  It's dodging the other drivers on the road.  The kids are not yet totally awake yet and step on the bus with a mumble and dragging their backpacks behind them.

 The danger is the lady in the mini-van in front of your bus applying the makeup, talking on the phone and trying to dress the 3 year old that is in the backseat while driving. Yes, I have personally seen it.  Or the man who is shaving, texting and already 30 minutes into his day at the office through the phone while he is still 30 miles away from work.  Lets not forget the guy who is constantly 15 minutes late for work and expects everyone, especially that school bus to get out of his way. 

Ahhh.... but about half way through the route the kids have now woken up and have decided that its time to make their presence known.  Keep in mind, that in most cases the ages ranges from 5 years old to 16 year old "I know everything" teenagers who have not found a friend or got a car that can get them of this "Stupid Bus".

Bobby took Helen's chocolate milk, which wasn't suppose to be opened on the bus in the first place, then threw the dripping, half filled box at Herbert just because Herbert looked at him wrong yesterday afternoon.  Half of them are no longer staying in their seats and Scarlet is letting her long beautiful blonde hair hang out of the very last window in the back and they are coming up to that tree that sometimes brushes against that side of the bus right when that crazy lady with the eye liner pencil is pulling up beside the bus on the other side.

So..... If by chance you see a School Bus Driver who has just finished her/his morning route, do like we do the Veterans and thank them for what they do for us....

Then....  tell them good luck on their afternoon run....

Later.... We will talk about the life of being the General Manager of the School Bus Drivers.

Oh.... the stories I could tell....

Onward Thru The Fog...

Johnny

10/20/2015








Friday, October 9, 2015

Cousin James' Roping Pen


I can remember, as a young boy, going to our Cousin James' roping pen on the week-ends evenings for my Dad to practice his roping. It sat high on a hill overlooking the river valley that we called home just southeast of Austin.

It was a summer outing where many of the ranchers in our area gathered to share quality time. It was where stories of what had happened during the week and updates on what was going on in our own little corner of Texas.

My mom and the other woman gathered along the fence line in their folding chairs to catch up on the local gossip or stories of what the "kids" had surprised them with during the week. A good recipe was always shared if anyone had one or maybe a update on how the canning was coming on the summer gardens.

The men would pull their horses from the trailers, saddle them and lead them into the arena to exercise them. They started with first a walk, then a trot and ending up with a full gallop around the oval shaped arena. I can remember Dad tipping his hat as he went by the ladies and my Mom wishing him Good Luck. then they would tie the horses along the far fence line to wait the start of the roping. I can remember my father walking among his friends with his hand always out for a handshake and a smile.

Before the sun dropped under the hillside, I and my brothers and friends would play games of Hide and Seek among the cars. Sometime the last of the evening light was used to catch grasshoppers and stuffed into a Dr. Pepper bottle with the hopes of going fishing the next day. As darkness took over the hilltop the fireflies floated in the pasture and dirt parking lot and we scattered to catch them.. Then we would bring both of our captures to our mother and show off our "catching" talents.

By the time the lights came on over the arena the calves had been brought from the far end of the pens and the men were loosening up their ropes while stretching their horses legs with quick bursts out of the chute.

Each man took their turn backing their horse into the small enclosure next to the chute. It was then that everything went quite and everyone's focus settled on the man and his horse.
When he was ready, the cowboy would give a nod of his head and the chute gate flew open. The calf would burst out and down the arena with our fathers close behind. With two swings of the rope the loop would fly and hopefully find itself around the calf's neck and the horse would slide to a stop with its back legs set in the dirt to prepare for the snap of the rope bringing
the calf to a wrenching stop. The man would already be off his horse and within a few seconds would have the calf down and with two quick loops and a cinch of his pegging rope have the animal secured.

The older "boys" got their chance at roping when the goats were brought out. Goats were what you learned to rope on... Graduating up to the smaller calves then to the heavy heifers that came with the coming of manhood. It was one of the ways we and the community knew when a boy became a man when he was no longer playing kick the can with his little brothers and friends but standing beside his Dad on his own horse waiting his turn in line to rope.

Finally, with tired horses, worn out kids, and mosquitos taking over the night, the horses were put back in their trailers, hugs were given and with a wave or honk of the truck horn we all headed home down the hill.

I can remember always looking back and watched trying to catch the moment the arena lights went out marking the end of a great night with our family and friends.

We left the ranch before I had the chance to join my Father and his friends in this tradition of this part of ranching. But I still to this day catch the sound of the grasshoppers in the weeds as they start their nightly songs and think back of those good times. Now with camera in hand, I go to visit the local men and their families in a near- by arena.   I sit high in the bleachers and watch them live and enjoy a lifestyle that I hope will never end.

That's part of being Raised Country

Johnny
10/9/2016

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Fears and One Hope


I know that with the coming of age there comes new fear in one's life.

I understand that old age is part of life and each of us have a limited time to be here on earth.

What I fear is what may happen to me in my coming years.

These are my fears;

That my daughter will grow up and ask me to let her go....

Others will think bad of me and shut me out...

I will fail to teach others the importance of believing in God.

I will not be kind enough to others....

I will forget what my Father and Mother taught me....

I will not be there for someone when they needed me....

And then there is my one and only hope.

It is that I will be allowed to remember how fortunate I have been to have lived such a wonderful life.

 I have worked hard for my memory's, my only hope is that I be allowed to enjoy them.

Please help us all by contributing to the fight to find a cure to Alzheimer's Disease.

Pride

It didn't hit me until three days after taking this photo that I realized the connection it and I have.

 I come from a family of  6 Men who were raised to individually stand on our own merits, but with the reassurance that the others are not far away if needed.

As a family we are known by most as "The Glass Boys" and I would have it no other way.   

I am #5.

Childhood Friends

It's amazing how you were so close to your childhood friends but now you think back and wonder, "where are they now?".

I tried to explain it to my daughter once after we moved from one state to another.

She was missing her friends and feeling down.  I asked her to close her eyes and think of one of her friends.

As she did, she smiled and I told her "You see,  their still your friend because when you think of her, you smile".

Friendships can last forever.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Texan Drummer Boy...


 
Twas the night before Christmas and all though the house
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.
The lawn ornaments cast a light glow on the yards down the street,
And Jingle Bells could be heard playing from the house across the creek.

From down the street came a number of low thumping sounds,
we wondered what it was when right after came the barking of hounds.
Next came the sharp rap from what sounded like someone tapping on a piece of tin.
That’s when realized it was coming from the home of that Crazy Texan.

We walked down the road to find out what was all the ruckus,
With my wife gripping about letting these crazy people move in among us.
We snuck across their yard and worked our way up to the window of their new shed.
Where the noise was coming out loud enough to wake the dead.
 
We peaked in the window and was amazed to see,
A white bearded fellow with a set of drum around his knees,
His Son-in-law was hitting a heavy bass,
his Daughter was play a steel guitar that fit right in place.
One of his Grand-Daughters sang Lead accompanied by her Sister
Grandma sat across the room working the sound mixer.
tweaking the knobs and switches to make it all sound just right.
Her t-shirt said “Yea, they call me the  fixer.
Some of the other neighbors sat of the floor swaying to the beat,
And when “Santa Bo” went into a solo they jumped to their feet.
His sticks were moving so fast while banging out the beat
It was quite obvious that he knew how to give the crowd a treat.
By the end of his solo the whole neighborhood stood there
listening and clapping totally amazed.

Then we danced and party’d until the early morning haze.
When finally we could party no more
He walked us to the door
and with final rap of his sticks on the garage door
as it slid slowly down we heard him sing out.
Hope ya'll enjoyed it folks,
it was fun having you here
Merry Christmas to all
and a Happy New Year!!!!