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Did you know Alabama found Session to be too racist to be a judge in the 1990’S? This is no joke; really—ALABAMA, people, thought Sessions was a racist!!! Oh my Gosh….and now he’s the head DOJ?

I’m not sure if nothing bothers me or if things bother me so much I can’t bother? Okay, I do bother…

Can we just agree that Trump, to push aside so many of his bad qualities, is a racist?

But that’s not what this post is about—this post is about you and me, no matter who you are.

I had an epiphany this past weekend and it came by way of one simple, short conversation with a guy who I came to like.

Vince drove up on his Harley.  The machine screamed of care with shiny chrome from head to toe, elaborate exhausts, a piggy back seat and good size box in the back adorned with a tiny America Flag decal. The thing purred up to our house as he arrived to look over some work he might do for us. Six- foot, muscular, Vince had just shaved his long hair off for charity but his arms remained strong and his smile bright.

“She’s a beauty; a 2001 with a smooth 2800 rate?( I’d no idea what he was talking about) with a four-stroke. Runs like a top until now; been misfiring, I can’t quite get it .” Vince broke into conversation the minute he caught me eyeing his Harley.

“This thing is beautiful. What a rig! ” I kept wondering if you have to polish the chrome or if it just stays this shiny. (this is a good side view of one like Vince’s machine but it lacks the chrome I think.)

“She’s a honey; she been a great ride.”

I liked this guy. There was no denying I felt him a genuine person, one who wears his feelings on his sleeve and means no harm.

“It’s hard to find a time and place to take her to the limit.” Vince smiled and I absolutely understood. BTW, why is it some car odometers go to 120 mph when you’d be lassoed and court ridden for years if you ever dared?

(I have to digress here….in the 1960’s the road out to parking lot number nine at Jones Beach and then on to fire Island was so deserted you could take your car up to ninety or beyond without much worry.)

“I bet. But, it’s got to be nice to cruise as well.” I marveled at the bike’s beauty.

This picture is fuzzy, but it shows more of how Vince’s chrome worked with the dual exhaust?

“Hell yes, brother.” Vince smiled again.

There’d been something on my mind since Vince first drove up on his Harley and I felt it was safe for me to ask. “Tell me. What do you think about Harley maybe having  to leave the country?” I didn’t even include, ‘because of Trump’s tariffs.’ but I know he knew what I meant.

“Nah.” Vince brush the air before him aside. “That doesn’t mean nothing.”

I stared right at Vince knowing a few things.

1)Vince loved his Harley, and has for years and years. This bike was a passion of his.

2) Vince was a smart guy and knew exactly what I was referring to when I mentioned Harley leaving the U.S. of A…

3) Vince had a conflict of interest between his Harley loving life and his support for Trump.

4) Without a second lost, Vince had effaced himself and his love of his Harley and dove head first into supporting Trump.

5) This moment was so real inside Vince that I’d witnessed a flight or fight reaction from him within one second of time.

6) Vince had chosen to lie to himself rather than entertain having a possible ideological conflict with Trump’s policies.

This is huge! I silently watched a fellow who I knew instantly I could befriend deny his own true heart for a political party.

I thought of all the republican supporting moms who would never want to separate children from their mothers but still support Trump…

I thought of all the republican supporting people who desperately need social security and health care to live but who still, none-the-less, support a party determined to end both…

I thought of all the republicans who aren’t prejudice, but never-the-less support a man and group of republicans who are…

I thought of millions who believe in the Bible but seem to support those who only claim to abide by those principles noted in the book—just ask google to show you the tenants set by Jesus and ones given in the old testament that conflict with current Republican agendas(policies) and be amazed…

I thought as I stared at Vince and my heart sank; it sank for him and for me, and then for America.

I would have told you long ago that a person who deny’s his own true heart for another’s agenda was lost, in so much need of help. And here, right before my eyes, I came to understand that today we have an entire voting force of people who mostly do that exact thing. How can this be? How can a huge lot of good Americans, and I mean that, be so programmed that they vote against the very things they believe in? And when they do, they say–“Aww, that ain’t nothing.”

It is something. It’s a first here in America. American’s are the ones who have always stood for what THEY believe—not for what someone else tells them to believe. Fox and other radio shows have worked their magic and convinced so many to vote against their own hearts….

It’s sorta like a Dracula experience.

Really, what else is it if you vote against your own healthcare, your own social security, your knowledge that taking babies away from mothers is wrong and give up your own soul for something other? How is it that Vince, who loves Harley’s, claims to be good with the company leaving his beloved America? It’s not natural, or good. The republican voter has surrendered their own sense of self for the promise of power and , in this way, an everlasting hold on life.

We’ve never seen this sort of mass hysteria in American politics before and, yes, I’m voting and praying we can turn our American hearts back to good.

One more thing: I’ve been thinking that if Trump’s policies hurt enough people his supporters will turn around and change their allegiance to him and vote Trump out. Now? I don’t see Trump supporters changing their vote no matter what he does.

Franque23

 

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(Click the pic for a larger view.)

Anyone who knew me as a kid knows it’s an astoundingly, flabbergasting, jaw-dropping, stupefying surprise that I’m a father. Sure, I had a future even a wrong turn could help back then, but it also was clear from the get-go that another planet was, in fact, my home. I lived spaced out most of the time.

Still, there has always been a Father in me.

A fishing Grandpa….who knew?

 

Basically, my kid-self was a walking brain dent.

School was torture, a work around looking to happen, though girls were annoyingly interesting. Sports became my ticket to skate by on in high school. Next came a spin as class VP.  I spent a zillion hello’s on friends passing in school halls like a pseudo-millionaire with no money.

The politician in me continued to thrive through my non-formative years of college.

As a sophomore, the college paper deemed me, Apple Gerry, with a front page picture that showed me ranting about student dorm rights. Soon, I was appointed by the graduating head of , Group X, to be this organization’s next President. Now, Group X had two major agendas. First, our group wanted , ‘open,’ dorms with visiting rights for both men and women 24/7. (Seems my younger interests stuck with me). Secondly, we wanted visiting rights for women in the men’s dorms.  I know, these two agendas seem the same, but agenda two left men out of female dorms. Underlying our two hot pulsing agenda’s were rumors I made sure spread that Group X would host off campus beer parties. It all worked great until those beer parties took effect which is why I don’t remember how long Group X survived and when or why it ended…

Not to be detoured, my free-fallin’, dancing, singing self landed me a membership pre-facto of Phi-Kappa-Phi since I refused to go thru hazing but was made an off-the-record member of the fraternity house anyway. It was a great, wild , short year of being reprimanded by the College Administration. Before our house knew it, women weren’t allowed in our second story where the beds were, so, yeah, we moved all the beds down to the basement and slept there and stuff. This pissed Admin off but it wasn’t until we held a beer-bed floating party in the basement with strippers from Baltimore as hosts that our house got shut down! I mean, completely closed for a year!!! Can you imagine?!?! Of course, I had very little to do with any of this that I remember.

My successful political days weren’t over, but it was time for those college days to fog into post college days of running naked in the Ocala National Forest, jumping naked off lime pits east of Gainesville with 300 hundred others on any given Saturday afternoon and strolling by police cars while at a nude block party on NE 1st street here in Gainesville.  I know, I know, you’re thinking I was a nudist but, no, I wore clothes to job interviews and stuff all the time.

(Clothes on! This is the site of many Bonaparte late night ,’Chunky-dunks,’ but we can’t beat Ireland’s recent Guinness book world record-breaking 2500 nude swimmers at once!)*

All that college,’Fog,’ cleared into pot smoke that guided my way for a few more zillion years as I grew older without growing up. There’s a pill to take for that, but I forget the color!

Next thing I knew, my ears pretty much got too long for my face and my children stole my hair.

I remember waking up one day and staring into the mirror realizing very little.

I’d set down my principles and forgotten where they were unless I tripped over them while changing diapers. It was nifty earning money that was really other people’s money if I made it to the power company on time to keep the lights on. I was consumed with successful failure without notice or care but for my family. I have to say, that bunch got my attention.

I suppose it’s true to say one baby led to another and then another which led to seven others—so far.

(Here’s five of them being still all at once!?!?!)

But through it all I maintained my hat wearing image with uniquely obtuse discernment, a finesse of in-depth leadership and control.

Clearly, this is not me , but a look-a-like! Aaron is, however, wearing my glasses!!! Have you ever noticed children love to wear glasses, but that’s never good for the glasses?

As it turns out, I like to grow things, whether it be debates on issues (have you noticed), babies, grand children, properties, gardens and wrinkles….

Click the pic to see the start of hat construction and the  wrinkle lines I spent hours, days, weeks, heck, years putting on my face!!

I’m not sure what ticket I would have been on if you told me back in high school that I’d end up a  paper bag hat wearing, wrinkled eared, laughing Grandpa. Maybe, the one to the fast train to Berkeley or the over-life sleeper to the deep woods of Canada.

Yep. Throughout the laughs there was a Father in me after all. Man, this is great; a nice surprise, indeed. Who knew I had a plan all along? Me!

(This is my brother-in-law and his wife and me with my wife standing in front of what we believe was the location of my wife’s ancestor’s home. They were hat makers in Denton, England. I was making leather hats in a barn in Gainesville in the 1970’s when my wife first moved in with me! See? That’s called a plan:-)

Franque23

*https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/europe/irish-women-record-breaking-skinny-dip-intl/


The point. Trump’s latest action to separate children from their parents at our southern border is an administrative decision, one put in place by the DOJ, Sessions. This action is the result of a policy decision—NOT a law.

There is an important difference between a Law and a Policy. A policy can be the result of a back room deal brokered through cigar smoke, dosed in alcohol, sponsored by I.O.U.’s or any random opinion that makes people take notice. A Law, however, must be approved—voted on—by a legislative body unless you don’t live in a Democracy but under some guy wearing a large hat.

Maybe this quote?

“It is important to understand the difference between a policy and a law. A policy outlines what a government ministry hopes to achieve and the methods and principles it will use to achieve them. It states the goals of the ministry. … Laws set out standards, procedures and principles that must be followed”

Some think this swing in our border crossing enforcement is a hole-in-one for Trump! But a hole in what? Democracy? Human rights? Human decency? Rational thought? Introspection; love; hope for humanity? Or, is this policy decision really just a bagel hole that’s being sold as the real deal?

Anyway, what’s scary about today is the Head of I.C.E. was asked if he thought the actions being taken on the immigrants by border agents were Humane? He said: “It’s the Law!” See? Actually, we all know this grande immigration action fiasco that has so outraged the world and many U.S. citizens is not the result of a Law at all! Nope, this action is not by law, but merely a policy decision put in place by those who use nun-chucks for brains instead of thinking power.

I don’t want to get into how degrading this policy decision has been and still is to America and its citizens. I don’t want to rake over how this gross injustice is cutting the Statue of liberty at her knees and shredding the basic principles she stands for so much that soon she’ll have to take a knee! I don’t wanna harp how this improcedente action gives good cause for the U.S. to pull out of the UN’s Human Rights Council! We don’t belong on it! Sure, all of this is true but what matters most is the idiots who did this are still in charge.

2018 won’t wait forever; 2020 might bring America back to the land of the loving, the forgiving, the thinking, caring and leading people we have most often tried to be. America has failed before when it comes to Human Rights, but this border children round-up is putting the U.S. on the fast track to Hell. And it’s so ironic that this administration seems hell-bent against high-speed trains!

The ‘beef’ of the brief is out before us all to see. Trump’s directive to Sessions was a huge, bigly mistake and even his big mouth can’t gobble the words back up quick enough.

From the doctor’s couch: Trump was separated from his parents early on and now he wants to hurt everyone because of this.

Sigh—this is a, ‘hole-in-one.’

Franque23


this post is under construction until tomorrow…


Last year at about this time it was exciting to recommended a day trip to all those up at the lake. The nearby huge rocks and flowing stream was a joy to climb and search throughout Greenwood State Park. (Just east of Harrisville off Rt 3.) * If you haven’t been, and especially if you have children nearby, like in your shadow, 🙂 take that journey.

The stream falls at a good clip…

The rocks are a blast to climb. And this park is free to visit. That’s right-no charge to slip on your rump!

Of course, you could stay at the lake and get in a boat and cruise past the lore of Beer Island—yes an entire Island that once was a bar:-)

or you might take a spin around the naked backside of Round Island,** now a place of camps,

For the longest time, neither Birch Island nor Round Island had any camps on them…Pictured below was the first for Round Island…

Or, you might scare the bejesus out of younger ones by idling down across Mud Lake to navigate a stumpy run on your way to Apline(a) dam. (Oh my gosh, as  kid I always thought we’d hit something in Mud Lake and sink!) And, though I digress, Birch Island got its name because, “Once upon a time, in a place called Bonaparte,” that spot had so many birch trees along it’s shoreline the Island appeared almost white!  This was the same time when High Rocks was only topped by a singular, small wooden cabin occupied by a man they called, Doc Holiday. This was the same time that bull rush bay teemed with bull rush and the hotel weed bed shore line was a muddy, grass laden flat without a home in sight. Still, even with the lake’s rich history and exciting present, there’s more to do than just hang at the lake when you’re lucky enough to visit its shores.

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It’s a lot of work just hanging at the lake…

I know it’s easy to stay stuck at the lake…it’s way hard to find a better place to be. The day-to-day  beauty of the place can drive a fisherman nuttier than they are already—we often simply drove to the big town of Natural Bridge for an ice cream or to shop lift from our cousin’s Morgan store.

Thanks, David….for the free stuff.

Sometimes, however, no matter how many stories there are to tell about the lake, a day trip from the lake is a venture worth taking.

Here’s the place to go: https://www.wildcenter.org/

This Wildcenter will not disappoint. (And it will lighten your wallet, too!) Built to amaze both the young and old alike, the drive up through Tupper Lake to reach this wacky, eye’s wide open, vista park is well worth the time it takes. It’s well worth the price of admission.  There’s a lot to do in this park so plan to leave the lake by 8 or 9 A.M. and return with smiling, tired faces about seven P.M. for an evening swim.

I always want to go to the Blue Mountain Museum but that seems twice as far as this outstanding park. Once you go, you’ll be caught in the Wild Center’s web….

If you can wrangle out of this spin there’s a tree to march down through with a world of information waiting inside.

It can get tiring but no worries: your average run-of-the-mill chair carved out of a single piece of tree is waiting at the must-see museum half of the park.

It’s an interesting journey.

Hands on drawings/ paintings centers the building.

Who knew there was so much life in the water!?!?!

It’s an easy day spent making memories of a different sort. Nothing like watching my Catahoula Leopard clear 28 feet off our dock for a ball, but as much fin! (Whoops, must be thinking about fishing.) Err, fun!!! I mean.

Wait! Did someone mention fishing?

424281_10151140672799254_1284292637_n1

Maybe a big one might come along

Enjoy!

franque23

*https://franque23.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/lake-bonaparte-tips-1/

** Raise your hand if you never swam naked behind Round Island? Sorry, that boat has sailed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Shakespeare wrote, “All are punished.” Dang it if it doesn’t seem Shakespeare’s right, though I suspect the poor suffer more than the rich.

 

(The market crash of 1929 helped us meet our neighbors.)

And maybe, it doesn’t matter which party has been in control of Congress or the Presidency—we all suffer.

I’d like us to focus here.

The most recent shell game of exchanging reality for peanuts has come in the form of stock market envy. Everything we hear or read almost everyday is about the stock market and how it’s doing once the slop about government fiasco is pushed aside.

The stock markets up! Hurrah! The headlines couldn’t be bigger and the news any brighter!!!!

Really?

Funny, how stock news is floated out through every news journal on a daily basis. It’s so important, right? Wrong! Ye God’s and little dill pickles, as my dad used to say, 54% of American’s don’t own stocks whatsoever! For 54% of Americans, the newspapers and TV reports might as well say the neighbor down the street bought another Rolls Royce no one can ride in rather than report the stock market.

Think about that.

I guess this is good news for 54% of Americans-if the market crashes they won’t get hurt at all!!

Somehow, the media, the owners of America, have tricked the American workers into thinking the stock market going up makes their life better—it doesn’t. Only a small percentage of Americans benefit from stock market changes, and they all are in the wealthiest 16% of America’s families.

Fact: 10% of American’s own 84% of ALL stocks…so a roaring stock market does nothing for more than 54% of all Americans who own NO stock whatsoever and very little for those who might own a small nest egg of stocks.

Stock market gains are an illusion for almost all of American workers. You can’t judge our economy, our quality of living by the stock market-–but the rich would like the impoverished middle class of America workers to think those gains in the market reflect a gain in their own life experience. Hog-wash!

Good paying jobs make life possible and help the quality of life for most Americans, not stocks.

Owners and market managers make out like bandits on soaring stock markets, though sometimes, like in 1929, even their investments can fall like a rock.

I read that no one actually committed suicide over the 1929 market crash, but this guy looks dead to me?!?!

The stock market is for most Americans a circus they watch but will never join. American’s pay to watch the stock market game at their place of work by accepting lower wages without benefits that push corporate profits and stuff the linings of rich pockets. Stocks go up! Profits soar! Wages go down!!! What a racket; what a bad deal for the working class.

It’s easy to get side-tracked when the center ring of our political arena is a freak show in every sense of the word.  Since when has such a dearth of bamboozled toxic concoctions called representatives led America to this extent of deteriorating deficiency?  Thing is, it’s easy to believe once you flip through the ghastly pages of America history that the answer to this question may be, ‘since forever,’!

Keep in mind, this less than stellar view of American society and politics isn’t keenly based upon the fact that 4 former U.S. Presidents were shot dead and that someone or group plotted to kill fourteen others. No, the fact that nearly 2/3 of all America Presidents were either killed or some political group in America wanted them dead is not the defining point that brings American society to the dismal depth we’re back-floating on today.

The lies American citizens have been told almost since the start of our nation is what makes our paths so difficult to walk now. Let’s just say, the crazy stories about the Native, wild Indians, the reasons for the Civil War, the Tea time at the Tea Pot Dome, the so-called Black Emancipation , Women’s Right’s successes, (please add all the reasons for America’s involvement in any war or anything called the ,’Good-Ol’-Days,’) and it’s easy to see there’s a pile of crap on our heads.* How can any working American find a good footing now-a-days?

Some questions are difficult to answer.

But, let’s get back to now-a-days! Only 64% of Americans own their houses and all but for 16% of Americans have little or any stock investments. Workers are losing pensions; the government attacks Medicare and Medicaid and hints at removing preexisting conditions for medical health coverage.  This should be the daily headlines in papers, not how the stock market is doing for the rich, top 2% of Americans!

But the media dazzles the eyes with stock figures daily and we all pay to watch. NO WAIT! American workers aren’t watching this three-ring circus! We are the ones being paraded in it while the rich sit and order caviar, campaign, dresses that cost 50 thousand dollars, top coats of silk and smoke fat, imported cigars from those so-called ,’shit-hole,’ countries they frequently fly to while on permanent vacations.

Yes, I see it all now. The middle class thinks we’re watching a circus when we’ve actually been turned into one for kicks.

In the end, it’s easy to see how all might be punished if corporate profit remains more important than the worker’s welfare. Heads have rolled before for this very sort of reason throughout history! I’m not hoping for that repeat. I’m hoping for a new awakening in voters and politicians alike. I’m hoping this current wreck-of-a-circus we call society gets closed down in an orderly fashion—through election—and a new one opens that’s a hell of a lot more fun for everyone.

Things might get worse if we can’t vote in change.

The notion that investors and corporate profits matter more than the workers who bring profit to organizations is the plague of our society now.

Here’s to the mothers, the women, the workers and everyone who knows better.

2018

2020

Franque23

*and the government made up figure called the CPI(consumer price index)which in turn drives annual increases to social security and other benefits.

 

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view.)

Not many people grow gardens, at least not in my neighborhood and this amazes me. People certainly can see the food I grow if they happen to walk by. But let’s take a look for ourselves!

Whoops, I think we made the wrong turn out the front door.

Of course, the gardenia is this way and it’s a wonderful place to visit any time of day, especially when it’s blooming.

Too many blooms to count-well over three hundred!

Yep! Shadow’s there to block our way. I said, “To the garden!” and Shadow’s like, “What?”

Well, the bird bath looks good so we’ll turn around and head in the right direction.

That’s better! Just past the fig tree (on the left) is our destination.

A few musings as we go: I often share the fruits of my labor with neighbors throughout the year. Our oranges bear November thru April and various garden grown veggies come in during the spring and fall!

My back Florida room is often filled with pickings…these are oranges and grapefruit-the last pick of the season. Greening is a disease that is wiping out much of Floridan’s citrus crop and several of my trees, the Valencia especially, are affected as well. I tried mixing some of the green oranges in with good ones for juice but, really, those are a loss.

Hello! Writing books while surrounded by the last orange pick as herbs dry on tin foil behind me.

We all read headlines about the chemicals used on many store-bought foods as well as the gigantic recalls of food for different reasons, so why wouldn’t people want to grow their own food as much as possible and skirt around chemical usage? Of course, more and more naturally grown  food options are becoming available, but unless you’re at a farmer’s market there’s a shipping time to consider when it comes to the freshness of the food you buy.*

Hmmm, we’re almost at the garden. The one minute walk is quicker than any car drive I might make to a nearby store; there are no lines to stand and wait on in a garden, but there’s another VERY important point to growing food. Recent studies show the actual nutritional value of store-bought produce has declined over the years.**

Here we are.  A perimeter row of marigolds are nice to see and may help cut down on the aphid population. (To the left of the post is an orange mint herb plant…wonderful. Parsley, sage, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano and dill grow nearby.)

Because I’m crusty old, stubborn—maybe stupid—I still water my garden using two sprinklers set five feet high on opposite corners…I figure the water falls like rain so what’s not to like? There’s so much more to write here. Briefly, I figure rain is the natural growing environment for any plant, with the rain drops stimulating the leaves as they fall, so why do studies show underground irrigation and other newer techniques of watering give higher yields? Maybe, the water amount is the only major factor in growth, period.

So if you click on the picture above you might see several very large leafy plants(one near middle post) that are collard greens. I point these out because they were actually planted last September and have been yielding greens ever since last October! The taller tomatoes in the background are about six feet tall.

Below, just off-center to the right, is a broccoli plant that was planted along with the greens and it has also been giving broccoli for the past 8 months.

Shadow used to help me weed and dig the garden AND eat green beans right off the plants as I picked them. This went on for his first two years of life. Now, he seems to know he’s a dog and simply lets me do all the work and turns his nose up at fresh green beans. Still, he can’t help but lick his lips when we go out there. Me, too!

You know? I think I’ll go smell those gardenia flowers, again.

Cheers- thanks for stopping by!

Franque23

** http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37396355/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/nutritional-value-fruits-veggies-dwindling/#.Wv8JQDQvzcs

 

 

 


It’s spring. I haven’t seen as nice a one in Gainesville for three years. It’s cool and has been since March first. Here we are, hitting the last week in April and low clouds keep the sun off as flowers reach for the sky. Birds take baths for fun as bees hum like a humming bird’s wings.

Lately, for years, it’s been way too hot in April to call it spring. The blazing temperatures have started early and blasted through the land until October. But this isn’t the norm, not if you consider the past forty years. This year has felt right. The winter hit hard for ten days or so and now March and April have refused to spring forth too quickly.

Have you ever noticed how some people come into your life like season’s change your window view? Some personalities bluster their way into your life as a March 1st wind but then drift off, they move, change or seem so different from what you thought. Soon, they are quietly gone, never to be seen again, as if they were a lamb you never knew but watched trot over a hillside you won’t traverse. Other’s secretly appear without notice, but bloom in months or years right under your nose into your everyday experience and you can’t remember when they weren’t there.

Of course, there are those who insist on being every season of person—you call it a stormy relationship, one you can’t contain but wish to keep. They give both smiles and trimming to your everyday self.  You know, the self you think of being the same as when you were half as old. Some seasons of life pass so unnoticed, don’t they? The old whisper to the young, “Take your time and appreciate what you have.” Thing is, when you’re a young burning pit of passion and energy, it’s hard to find a moment to sit back and take a picture of your life. And, it’s even harder to picture life being any different. 

A dog’s love can be like this. It’s learn this, fetch that, let’s go or sit and then in a few short 12 years or so they are gone.* 

(Don’t miss the link below if you love dogs….)

The season’s passing give us our best sense of time. Sundials came to Babylon about 6 thousand years ago and then the ,”Midday,” concept was made popular by the early Egyptians. Pluto invented the first water based alarm clock, but I’ve no idea what this means. Okay, I’ll take a guess. A sand hour-glass balanced a pot of water above your sleeping head until the sand ran out and the pot dumped a pile of cold water on your face?

I’ve always hated alarm clocks.

It’s during these early months of spring and fall when Florida truly becomes a peninsula weather wise. The air inversions over the ocean sends a smooth wind across the sands, the thick jungles and built-up cities of Florida. It’s a bit like Hawaii in Florida during the two seasons—those living in Hawaii are so lucky, right? But, maybe, every place can be magical.

It’s hard for me to imagine a more peaceful place than a late afternoon up at Lake Bonaparte.

Florida Palms made me laugh when I first hit town some 48 years ago. You don’t find these up North. Tall, skinny, they don’t provide much shade but once you hear the wind blow through their rustling fronds you understand.

There’s a life to this part of Northern Florida, where there are still many more trees than people, and maybe many more lakes, streams and brooks than roads. Here, the bear, coyote, brown, red and grey fox trot. Deer move by mostly at night, even the wild boar plunder the brush—the panther lives. Like us, those animals and the eagles, hawks, birds of every kind, all living things are all touched by the seasons.

We live in an ocean of time.**

Thing is, it’s possible now that all the animals and even the earth are touched more by us than by the seasons. It’s odd to think that the entirety of life is counting on us. They’re counting on mankind making sense like the seasons have for millenniums, that we will come and pass to leave the future open.

Let’s leave it open…

( Thanks to Bonaparte’s web site for picture.)

A seasoned person is one well schooled by life.  We have great thinkers, great leaders, inventors of all kinds, but are we seasoned? Have we been?

I hope the sand in our hour-glass doesn’t run out too late to wake us up.

Franque23

We have to dream big.

*https://franque23.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/toby-toes-youre-a-good-dog/

** My wife of 38 years, though I’ve known her for 45, but who’s counting;-) Bye.


Check this out to understand…

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ross-franquemont-air-force-pilot-captures-stunning-images-of-northern-lights/

Ross didn’t start out this way, a hero now on international news. No, he started as a baby, then grew to be kind of lunatic 4-year-old who insisted on going to airports to watch planes land and take off. Basically, the kid was sick. Closets were recommended; no food for a week came up when that snot nosed kid wouldn’t leave  his dad my Cousin, Jed Franquemont, alone. “Take me to the airport ,dad!”

There were long discussions about the kids fascination for flight. If you can believe it, this little guy wished to be a pilot before most kids figure out how to dress themselves.

Nuts, it’s called. All of a sudden, this kid is taking pictures from a U-2 Plane?!?!?!

Anyway,  Ross probably survived thru the Grace of God, what do I know, he was just some punk of a kid running around making plane noises during family reunions up at Lake Bonaparte as I remember. I’ve got a feeling we launched him off the dock up at the lake more than once to see if he could really fly. Nope: the kid was a flat liner.

Hey flat earth people….it’s possible the Earth isn’t flat after all!

Then, one day I get a call from my cousin Jed who tells me the kid we worried about since the day he was born is a pilot in the Air Force.  Ha!whahahaha. So I cashed in all my bonds, whatever, figuring we were about to lose a war somewhere soon. That didn’t happen and we all started to wonder?

Next I knew this kid who wanted to fly before he could zip his own was flying Generals around Europe!?!?! I figured this had to be some sort of pedal push flight machine we never used as kids. Then I learned the truth.

How was Ross making all this look so real? Sell, Sell. Sell I said to Wall Street!

I need to go back a bit and mention that this kid was never known to drink much*, but , as it came out later, his friends in europe, and the entourage of followers who drafted his wings were huge, bigly drinkers. The result quickly became a shortage of name brand beers coming out of Europe . This forced those brewers and others to develop many off-shoot beers and labels to try to circumvent the slaughter of the known labels his followers were causing…Now, it’s all history. The world has One zillion labels of beer on the shelves, and all of this is due to Ross Franquemont and his followers.

Next, kinda like a meteorite landing on your head, this single ,”I wanna be a pilot, Dad,” nuisance of a son became a U-2 pilot.  What?!?!? I said, “Sell everything and buy land in Russia.”

Rain drops keep fallin’ on my head….Nay, don’t think so.

Now before the women of the world start hoping to join the 70 thousand mile high  club with Ross they need to know that this is Jessica Franquemont, Ross’ wife. Thing is she’s beautiful, smart, articulate, kind and deadly. So kind , in fact, that she says anyone can have Ross as long as they’re six feet under and well decomposed.  Momma bear raises her three little ones with a tight fist and eagle eye! Just forget it: code to live by.

I’m certain Jessica has a good aim…

Yep, this is Ross Franquemont with his wife.. 

A great guy, true husband and father of three…he makes all of us proud. “Sorry dear, I’ll be 70 thousand miles high in the air tonight so don’t hold dinner.”

Ross Franquemont: a true Hero.

NO, Ross didn’t sink a forty-foot jumper to win the NCAA basketball championship; he didn’t heave a hail Mary pass to win the football championship. All Ross has done for the past 18 years and counting is help keep America and the World safe.

When I look up, “Hero,” in the dictionary, Ross Franquemont is in the definition.

Cheers

Franque23

*Maybe

Ross- it was that Franque23 guy who wrote all of this, not me.. Cheers, Unc.

 

 

 


It’s happening today all over America and it happened in Gainesville, Florida, too. Crowds of people got out to say enough is enough! We want to ban large magazines, assault type weapons used most often in mass shooting, demand background checks for all gun purchases at any venue of sale-retail, guns shows and online sales.

We want the mass shooting to stop; thoughts and prayers are not enough!image

The message once was, Peace. Today it’s, Stop Killing Us!

Bands played throughout the first 3 hour session of speeches and I couldn’t help but think of two guys that had a lot to do with my awakening—if not the World’s—to the idea of peace.

88164ecb2198992016fedeadee431b28 Waaay  young John Lennon and George Harrison…

By 1:30 the number pushed well over one thousand and all the time the messages that belong to this movement were heard loud and clear.

The crowd grew and the chanting became louder.

Then it was time to march but first we gathered all the students together in the center to applaud their work on this issue.

I think it’s of historical significance to note that the Nam war protests were led by students mostly college age. It was the young that led the way then as our younger students are leading the way now.* Politicians who scoff at the age of those leading this gun reform movement have failed to pay attention to history.  This group right here, the ones attacking the NRA led agendas in our country, are going to win. The politicians who put their chips down on the NRA are done, over-finished.

So how big was the Gainesville crowd…well, the line stretched nearly 1/2 mile long, and many deep. Old folks, father’s, mother’s, adults of every age, families, people pushing babies, skipping children, a huge amount of school age people and people pushing wheelchairs made the numbers bigly.

The chants continued:

March for Life!

Say No to NRA! Vote them out!29512883_10213899868544779_2253486432933025462_n

It was great to see friends there…**29498062_10213901109895812_8206434635422649271_n

 

The line of marching people felt endless, and my heart hopes so.

29511797_10213901479065041_2842824743314048217_n

As some of the speakers today knew one, two or all of the dead from the Parkland shooting personally, some signs also had a personal touch.

No, today didn’t feel like ,’another,’ event. The words, the feelings expressed, the messages and energy collectively gathered today represent a nation-wide movement that will continue. This time  America’s guns laws and the meaning of  the Right to Bear Arms will change. It’s the Nam protest day’s force all over again and these younger folks will not let go.

But what messages today let’s me know the time’s are a changin’?

We are in this together. And we will vote. Politicians who have so far refused to heed the call to disarm our society are already scurrying for a way to hide or re-invent their position.29541571_10213899931186345_2538367165260030756_n

A huge movement is coming around to think the NRA as it stands today is a real threat to American society.

Sending thoughts and prayers to the parents and loved ones over the death of their loved ones won’t work again, never again. All the so-called kids here today had this on their minds,

and they won’t forget.

Today we had an elegant speaking 11-year-old ask our Representatives one question? “Do you think we are stupid?”

Some Representatives do, and some have belittled the age of these protestors…. Trust me, the time is coming to end the office of those who do.

Power to the People no matter their age is alive and well-

Cheers 

Franque23

*Thanks to dale for this connection and for all of the pictures…

** Thanks to Joey and Debbie for their pictures as well.

 

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