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It’s simple in the most complex way. How something tied within can run from the tongue or written word to announce its preponderance is miraculous. But, again, words don’t work; I just have to try—

I’d been walking through a forest; walking forever…

I often walked to familiar places though no walk could be the same. No, rather than feeling redundant, each walk resembled a reoccurring dream that shifted ever so slightly in my head. Once, when I was young, the leaves held a glistening magic beyond compare and the stars above sang love songs. Breath came and went with a whisper of steam in the winter or without a notice in summer. A night bird’s call held a special treat for every step of the way.

The moon would rise—that was in the air, too.

Places presented a universe of change but that variance was apart from the heart of the matter. What was the heart of the matter? When I walked as a boy and walk now as a man there is one secret, one truth I print with each step I take. When any of us walk, we are searching for what we hope to find—this is the heart of the matter.

One day, I began the walk I had to make.

There were bushes, sticks and vines to push aside as I walked. Streaks of red and yellow stretched across a light-blue sky softly lit to a sun-licked amber hue I’d never seen before. The landscape seemed a mirror that span before me but I couldn’t see myself in it, and certainly not within the darkened places or behind the boulders that lay ahead.

Quiet noise drummed my ears to the beat of my heart. One foot-fall followed the other and mashed a fresh scent of pine from the needles that had fallen from the trees above. A breeze passed as a tap on the shoulder that turned me around again to see if someone was there.

I was alone.

Oh, I loved the twists and turns of life. The ups and downs of Life, the rag-tag moments of laughter that still echoed in my head and tears spent that had run dry to leave a trace upon my cheek were never to forget. I held my life near and dear; it was all I really had. I bent down to pick up a pine cone, took a breath and then moved on beneath a glorious sun-set sky.

There, in an instant quicker than a slip, a clearing appeared. This flowing, smoothly swept, warm as a blanket on a winter’s night place had a voice of its own set in a timbre no ear could deny. Its mysterious opening abruptly ended the maze of life I’d struggled to pass; it was an awakening of peace within my weary heart. The place turned my head, lifted my steps and lightened the tightness in my back. I turned around to make sure I’d left the brambles behind and come to a new place, a new clearing with only the truest of view.

The time turned to rest. All my effort, all the decisions random or not, all the painful struggle and haphazard joys of my journey had led me to this place.

It was amazing.

I’d found my way home to a place I’d never seen before.

Somehow, my heart just knew.

How does the heart know so much? How can the thing we always feel but never touch know the way to travel, the places to see and the people to hold? Love, the heart’s messenger, is startling when it comes whether that’s in the first minute when meeting someone or not. Mellowed by time or arriving in a split second, Love opens the flood gates of the soul so that we pour into a sea of understanding. Some people say being in love is like floating on air. Maybe. To me, Love is finding the ground I was meant to stand upon.

Of course, the clearing I found that day forty-seven years ago was you. I’m so thankful you had made it.

Thank you for being you.

This is the heart of the matter.

Franque23

To Dale, my wife of 40 years of marriage as of 1/3/2020-

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view)

My Mom and Dad visited Lake Bonaparte often before and after I was born. Luckily, they got to spend about 30 summers at the lake after their employment days. Talk about memories!?!? I wonder which ones mom recalled most of all during her last summer on Bonaparte?

You know they had fun! (With our next door neighbors, the Sherman’s.)

My Dad trained for WW II at Fort drum and rested many days long after sitting across the lake from that training Camp’s location. He loved to see the planes fly over.

This is an old map of Bonaparte…(our camp built in 1970 isn’t listed.)

There are so many beautiful days at Bonaparte.

(Picture taken from our overlook of Porter’s Bay)

And cool summer nights to enjoy with family and friends.

(In the Muse Lodge porch camp)

Or stay warm by a fire…

We love our fireplace—overhead fans above the flames circulate the warm air.

Lake Bonaparte has a knack for getting cold. The one span of three days I visited during mid January the night temperatures hit 40 below twice and then warmed up to 30 below.

Even while casting images in a glass window while overlooking Nagasaki, Japan, the memory of  daytime snows falling on our daughter in Natural Bridge, New York, stayed with me.

And speaking of fires by the lake on those skinny dippin’ nights—what was I thinking!?!?! I’ve looked at this ol’ timey picture by Priests for years and years,

AND, mom snagged this Northern right in our bay! Like how many teeth of a good reason is this not to skinny dip?

Forgive me  if you know, but I feel we all should know Cody got bit on the leg in front of the Sherman Boat house in Porter’s bay (broad daylight) by a bass so large he had to go to the hospital! Just maybe, it was this fish I caught about 15 years later?

Fishin’ at the lake. Love it!

Perhaps many don’t know my brother Buz, (Ed Franquemont) helped build the first house on Round Island? He owned Bare Bones, a building outfit.

Here’s the team that built that house….!

My brother, Ed. (This shot taken elsewhere)

However, this shot below is on location on Birch Island where my ex-brother-in-law, Paul Doherty, lived with Meta for 30 plus years. My niece’s husband, Craig Carlock, was in charge of nibbling down trees to clear for pathways on that Island long ago and everyone should know. We still call him ‘Beaver Man,’ though he also does the best drankin’ loon call you’ve ever heard.

This is Craig watching our dog, Shadow, clear 22 feet off our dock going for a ball….and we’ve built that dock again since.

Have you noticed, lake people wave back?

It’s all too much fun! There’s always some to do or think thing about…

Beware of Pirates…..at the lake! Them Morgan clan folk.

I’m thinkin’ even our dog Shadow is looking for fish!

Impossible not to love.

While at the Lake, my sister, Sharon Franquemot, with a book published in nine languages, You Already Know What To Do, remains humble with me about our family’s  Kingly Heritage.

(really….our ancestor’s home is below. Karl Eugen ruled as Duke over most of Germany and Southern France in 1750)

So, the thing about visiting this one of five castles Karl Eugen had… sure it’s large but,….it was hard to find the bathroom.

(Karl Eugen’s largest home in Ludwigsburg, Germany)*

Anyway, I take my love for Lake Bonaparte back home to where I work in Florida and share it on bulletins boards at the Headquarter’s branch of the Alachua County Library district….

What a place to know, right? Lake Bonaparte:

Random shot of another bulletin board and one of Dan Franquemont…at the lake. (Muse Lodge)

So much—

Bye for now.

Franque23 loves Lake Bonaparte—The place and people we never forget.

*https://www.google.com/search?q=ludwigsburg+germany&oq=Ludwigsburg+germany&aqs=chrome.0.0l8.5814j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

 

 


Yep, that’s me. I’m about as conservative as guy can get. This is what got me thinking…..

Just what is conservative about the GOP ‘Conservative’ party?

Does the GOP stand for conserving our drinking water; nope. (Nothing like fracking waste in our water)*

How about our oil supply? Nope. (Let’s use it up.)

Will the GOP conserve our scenic ocean shores and ocean waters? Nope. (Let’s drill and leak huge amounts of oil into the ocean)

How about our money supply? Nope. ( The National debt is growing faster than ever due to tax cuts for the rich)

Is the GOP bent on conserving our National Parks and expansive wetlands and Alaskan vistas? Nope. (We need to drill Alaska, and sacred Native America lands….)

Does the GOP want to safe guard our savings? Nope. (Let’s not regulate the banks. How bad could that be…? See last economic melt down in America that went world wide….)

Does the GOP party hope to conserve basic human rights we all should have when it comes to our bodies and bedrooms? Nope. ( Some GOP controlled states have tried to implement the death penalty for abortions.)

Does the GOP even pretend to want to conserve the integrity of our open and free elections? Nope. (The GOP has constantly voted to block any election reforms and also money for election security)

So what the heck does our so-called conservative party hope to preserve in our society? (The only thing I can come up with is trump’s shorts!)

Image result for cartoon or picture of so-called GOP conservative spending money

If you think for one minute I favor drillin’ the hell out of our National Parks and pristine ocean shore lines you’ve got the wrong cookie! That’s madness and about as radical as any position could get! Heck no, I’m going to conserve what we have as a country! My dad and mom taught me to save what I had, not waste my holdings until they spoil.

Those liberal drill-baby-drill everything in sight GOP radicals are off their rocker. Oddly, don’t they call themselves conservatives? I need to ‘dig’ deeper to figure this out.

When it comes to taxes, the last thing I want to do is give our hard earned tax dollars back to those so rich they don’t notice the difference! Again, freely giving back what our Country has earned in taxes is sheer stupidity. Who the heck gives away free money to the super rich!?!?!? Really? How liberal! No, I was taught to save what you’ve earned and America needs to conserve it’s money supply and stop wasting it on the rich! Dishing out our taxes to the rich hardly seems ‘conservative’ to me. What do you think?

Those aloof wigged out GOP liberal representatives that cheer when America loses tax funding to the super rich are out of their minds! This is my bottom line.

The last thing I want to do is waste resources! Ye Gods! Those dang so-called GOPer’s—really liberals in sheep’s clothing—don’t know how to save anything!

If everything is running on oil why use ours up when we have a way to conserve it by developing solar power and further wind and other renewable energy development!! It’s as if these ‘liberal representatives’—called GOP— who want to drill America to pieces and give our Government’s money back to those who don’t need it can’t wait to open up our piggy bank of oil and spread it all around the place until it’s gone! There’s a really dumb idea: “Hey, we got power let’s use it all up!” This is a perfect idea if you’re some non-conservative type block-head who doesn’t believe in saving what we have!

The entire jargon of American politics has turned on its head.

Today, the so-called liberals want to save everything they can as if for a rainy day and the so-called conservatives can’t wait to consume everything in sight until it’s gone!

As a true liberal I’m so conservative, in fact, I want to save our National Parks, our energy resources, our tax dollars and even our ocean shorelines! Heck, I’m a ‘tight-fist,’ and what I have I want to keep.

Spending money, wasting National lands, giving money away to the rich, none of this is conservative: it’s as radical as it can be!

When it comes to guns, the last thing this conservative wants is for some punk kid getting waxed on pills or liquor while holding. Yeah, no, we good folk don’t need to hide what we’re holding and our intentions as well. This is not a radical thought. What’s radical is to think every Tom, Dick and even if he’s hairy can go across state lines concealing  weapons while violating some State’s law barring concealed weapons! Holy Moly!!!

Yes, I’m for State’s Rights as much as possible while maintaining a Union.  And, while we’re talking about State Rights, how about the ‘state of the body rights?’ When in the world did it get conservative to tell us good people what we can or not do with our own bodies!! Get the State and Federal government out of our bedrooms and out of our bodies—thank you very much. Only pure, radical people would want to tell others what they can and can’t do with their own personal life and bodies for that matter. Hardly is this intrusion in the quality of our lives a conservative view point: btw, doesn’t this type of intrusion qualify as a fascism?

You may call yourself a Republican and think yourself a conservative but nothing could be further from the truth if you support the GOP and trump.

The GOP has entrenched itself in a pile of bullshit they label conservatism when, in fact, they are a radical slobbering gang in cahoots with CRAZY….I see a bunch of numb-nuts who can’t identity a conservative way of thinking to save themselves.

Take this to the bank for me: the GOP is anything but conservative.

Thing is, maybe the bank isn’t such a great idea since, you guessed it, those radical GOP people think banks shouldn’t be regulated but cut loose to spend as they like in Vegas and lose our savings but only, mind you, at our loss.

The Liberals now-a-days are America’s conservatives and the GOP are those who think trump tweeting 101 times yesterday is just what a prez should be doing. There’s a radical thought: let’s have our president on twitter all day. Perfect, right? Wrong!

Yep–I’m as conservative as it gets. I want to perverse America’s resources, regulations for clean water, air, rivers and shore lines, preserve our Parks and National vistas, our standing in world-wide organizations and fiscal soundness. And it sure would be nice too to make American Farming and industry great again,too… If it weren’t for those darn tariffs some radical thought up.

BTW, God Bless our FBI, our CIA and intelligence people who safe guard the U.S. world-wide. If not impeded and slandered by 45 they might be able to do their jobs as well as they did before this disastrous administration . I can’t wait for 46….Make it happen in 2020 you true Conservatives out there! Bring back those who really want to save America.

Franque23

*https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fracking-can-contaminate-drinking-water/

 


 

Peace….IMG_20190626_203722699_BURST001

My daughter is involved with a world-wide communication between groups who intend to better the world in varying ways.* It’s sorta like an umbrella for every organization that ever had a good thought for mankind. Within this group, there is this link with the very short film found below.  It’s amazing to see and listen to.

It’s a sort message; one of peace, enlightenment and hope for all Mankind. What could be better than this? It’s a great time for all of us to step back and give thanks…and thank you for reading my glob and for being you! Cheers.

The full credits are included within the film…Oh, I so hope you watch this, investigated the other link below and share with friends. Peace is ours to create.

Enjoy

Franque23

 

*https://www.jet.org.za/resources/jala-peo-newsletter-term-4-2019.pdf/view?fbclid=IwAR0SbowquGLHcMCo1YI5oh0sVY0UOr3b0FNnL1-clXekLvRYwc97KbIXcKQ


(A Morgan-Franquemont reunion about 1951) Click the pic for a larger view.

Maybe I thought my sister might drop me—why else would I be crying?—pretty sure that’s my best diaper.

Remember being young for just a minute. There’s no hassle waiting to destroy the next minute, no bus, train, plane to catch or deadline to meet. No, you’re just young. Your skin is soft without a blemish and your hair shines like  grass after a brief rain.  You’ve learned to comb your hair but your not exactly sure why you do it. There’s no need to worry and everything feels right once your parents are home; the fire place sets itself and your dog is always fed. T.V. goes on past bedtime but you’ve seen everything you wanted to see and the day has come and gone like any other. Dreams come and go like the wind without cause or problem or forecast direction.

Everything just is. Do you remember now? Shoes or belts seemed useless unless you were playing dress-up.

(Our Son-in-Law running after his son.)

The world is an empty beach to run with dad close behind.

The sky is endless and full of mysterious clouds to watch as they drift by.

(My cousin’s son, Ross Franquemont, takes a selfie as he flies by the Northern lights in his U-2 plane.)

Remember the first time you stared at the clear night sky and realized there were more and more stars to see up above as your eyes adjusted to the blackness. Remember the morning dew on your bare feet. This is about the time you discovered ,’brain-freeze.’

There was so much to take in and share with your cousins and friends.

A la speed-o suit; that’s me.(Morgan dock at Lake Bonaparte-about 1956) ( AND… the person who edits this glob weekly* asked a good question: why am I the only one wearing a bathing suit? The dock is clearly wet?!?! Hmmmm)

Days come as easily as picking up a pencil. The scribbling on the paper wears a smile and it seems your masterpiece is, in fact, a heroic depiction of something meaningful to older folks—it’s some miraculous sketch of objects you’ve yet to see or a panorama of places everyone hopes to go. It’s good to be loved. Daylight loves you; nighttime is a blanket. The rain sounds loud upon the window pane and snow dances in street lights with winds that come from the moon you can’t see.  The pets always sleep on your bed.

Everyday is safe. Every night is cozy. You get along with other  kids, even with those who seem so different!

Being young harbors within it a certain kind of peaceful hope.

(View of Lake Bonaparte from our ‘half-way’ dock.)

Without notice, you assume the older folks will always be here.

Life seems a garden of acceptance.

You can wear any hat you want when you’re young!

(And on Youth Services hat day because we could.)

Routines begin to form. If it rains, you stay inside. If it is sunny you go out. Parents rush off in the morning and come back later after your nap but you’re never really alone, not that you’ve noticed or ever thought about. Tooth brushing is a daily important thing, not the best, but you watch as globs of toothpaste slide out of your mouth onto your cheeks around your out-stretched smile in the mirror and it tastes sweet. Tooth paste types change from being white, then striped, sometimes dotted or with a hidden line of stuff surrounded by white. You just do it.

You think broccoli may kill you but not if you eat just a bit. Vegetables are stupid but they’re the gateway to dessert.

I once thought food first filled my feet, legs, then my middle section, then my arms and finally my head: that’s when I was full. I made sure to save room in my head for dessert.  People talked over dinner but mostly we all came to eat. Someone would say something funny and we’d laugh but always, without fail, my dog’s head was near my lap, soft, warm, nudging my legs occasionally for that bit of something I didn’t care to eat or wanted to slip him anyway.

I hadn’t a care when I was young. Music filled the air and dancing had no steps, just movement.

Of course, I learned later in life that my life was not a universal experience. No, while I was in college there were children in Vietnam who awoke in the night to run out of their homes in fear Napalm bombs would hit their homes and burn them alive as it had some of their friends the night before. And other children weren’t lucky enough to live at all but died without ever knowing what a refrigerator was. Somehow, learning the truthful horror about some life on earth during my twenties put much of my childhood experience in a time-capsule that I cemented in a corner stone of myself.  My memories were too good sometimes to be shown in the face of another’s reality.

I’d been given so much and never knew. I’d been raised in the midst of modest but successful homes full of choices, flavors, designs, music,  friends and surrounded by mowed yards and shoveled driveways all owned by smiling people.

If you’re life was like mine, it’s okay. It’s okay that we may have been born some of the luckiest people on earth. Thing is, now it’s our time to give thanks. Now, if we haven’t already, it’s time for us to payback life anyway we can.  We have to fight for what we believe is best for this earth and give thanks to those who died for our right to do so. If we have something to teach, we have to do it. I think Thanksgiving has never seen a generation who has more to be thankful for than mine. Now, more than ever before, it’s time for my generation to stand up and speak about what we feel is right.

My generation owes the World a difference.

We can do this. It’s time to be young again, strong, wide-eyed, questioning and full of spirit. Spirits don’t age like our bodies, not really. Look in that mirror as you did as a child and see your face, see your smile and remember who you really are. You’re one who can make a difference.

We all can get along; we have to get along and help each other prosper—this is our task and purpose.

Franque23—Happy Thanksgiving.

*Barbara Mullenix gets all the credit for anything spelled correctly in these globs and none of the blame for all the rest….

 

 

 

 


Man has always made weaving’s. Why? We are part of one.

It was just a small spool of thread lying upon the bed in the morning. Two inches of the thread lay extended beyond the spool as if it were searching for a binding that needed stitching. The colored thread was red but not as deep as fire, but rather subdued in a way that mellowed my attention to its purpose.

It all got me thinking about that Abercrombie and Fitch woman, Jamie, I’d met up at Lake Bonaparte who worked in the upper spheres of their purchasing department. She stood tall, but not too much so, and held a strong image of elegance. We bantered and shared the this and that of our lives.

“You must have fun picking out patterns and materials; it feels real artsy.” A few seconds of images passed in mind. “I like patterns; love material. I do leather craft.”

“You work in leather craft?” I watched Jamie’s eyes shift left to view a memory she might have stored about the media.

“Yes. It’s been over ten years now. My wife and I have made about everything you can imagine to do with leather craft.” I was proud of our three shops and success. “I love material; you’re lucky to be working with the designs, material purchases and decisions for such a large outfit.”

Her nod gave way to question.”So, what do you think is the most important part of what I buy for Abercrombie and Fitch?”

The query was unexpected. “Maybe the thread is the most important.” It was an off-hand answer, the first that came to mind when thinking about a blouse, or jeans, or about anything that had sewed pieces.

Her eyes glowed as a full moon in the deep night, “Yes! That’s it completely! Without the best thread, the finest material is lost, so easily torn and soon cast aside. The bindings are what matters.”

Bindings are what matters….

It’s thirty or more years since I heard the words but they somehow still hover near.

The deepest blue waters of Lake Bonaparte glistened around our conversation that day. I can still see the sparkling sunlight dance off the water and spring around the dock as though magic was in the air. Even back then, Lake Bonaparte had become more than a lake to me. The lake was a thread in my life, something that held me together before that day, then, and would well into the future.

My thoughts drifted off that morning just as those past days up at Lake Bonaparte have fled from view. I stared back at the spool of thread on the bed and wondered where it might belong, where it might go should I pick it up.

In truth, that red spool of thread had reached out to me. It had magically asked for me to realize how the threads of my life came together to make me whole, to bring me peace.  But, I have to tell you, that peace hasn’t come easily as a soft wind in the most subtle morning light, not like the evening stars up at the Lake.

My life has never been a smorgasbord of hurrahs, no not that. The red thread had stretched out to me and asked what passed through me, what tied me together. That answer ran a thin line through my eyes to my heart, wrapped around my brain and tightened into a knot.

I was born lucky, white, in America, with a loving dad and mom and all the Christmas tree trimmings any kid could ask for. Still, while others skated free in my childhood I seemed sidelined with some things I can’t even write about now, not yet. Of course, life is a mix for all of us, full of ups and downs we have to turn around and make straight.  We’ve all had our hearts torn out by first loves that were never meant to last but to teach. We’ve all had friends who turned out to be enemies; victories that ended in the loss column. But having a sixth grade friend at a scout meeting ask me for help in a way I could not understand and then hang himself in his parents basement that same night hasn’t been perfect—and so much worse for him. It’s as if the memory of his smile funnels me down along side his pain, one I can’t imagine. Later, not much, my best friend drown before me within hearing distance but beyond site in a lake at Marlborough Vermont. I’ve written about this event before, and there are too many premonitions that led up to this happenstance to recall here now, but I’m not sure I’ve ever left those three days of waiting that it took to find Bobby’s body. Let’s face it: part of me is still in that water and I know it.* Is it a stretch to think we all have pain in life?

We all have to move on; we all have to stitch our lives together the best we can.

So, without a mirror but a cast aside spool of thread I came that morning to reckon what pieces me together, what keeps me balanced, on my feet, smiling, working in the garden and saying hello to those I never think of as strangers. I’ve dug down, tore it all up and realized why I say hello to plants, birds, the sun and the rain. I’m happy; basically, I’m happy.

But, why am I happy?

Though my wife and I have had a small amount of success in our lives, I’m certain no amount of wealth or holdings brings happiness.  A simple, pure joy is a different animal than a bank account. Life is the thread we cling to as we live and in those moments lies the bind of happiness. My wife will tell you there are plenty of mornings, afternoons or evenings I’m doing the happy dance. Sure, I may be blocking my wife’s TV view or arousing our dog, Shadow, to uncontrollable fits of barking but you know what: I’m still happy. I’m happy to see the morning, the rain, the fog, the cold, the lonely stars at night, the snake that slithers away as I call it, the post man who waves back and my work mates who nod as they go by.  I’m happy to hear the wind as it vibrates my ear drums and becomes an inseparable part of me.

I understand the immense hardships humanity has suffered through in the past and is currently having to endure. None of that is good, and, like you, I wish it could end. Still, I cling to the notion that if we are here for a purpose in life it’s to blossom as we can through it. The smallest seed can sprout thought the most solid rock; this is what we must do.

It all comes down to the threads of our lives and how we spool them together to carry with us. If you hurt, unwind that thread and re-spool. Bind yourself to a joy you have known no matter how small and plant that to grow inside you.

Many ask how they might be happy?

In a world of advice, I say know your world.

Know the people, places, animals, land and thoughts in your life as much as possible. Don’t walk though your time as though surrounded by unnamed mysteries: learn the name of the trees, plants, your neighbors, tools, clouds, birds and sights that fill your ears, eyes, mind and heart. Learn the way of everything you can. We are all surround by thousands of threads of life that want to bind with us. Make it happen. Then, the fabric of you will never be alone, and you will bind with the life around you, forever.

Franque23 loves you.

 

*https://franque23.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/the-dream-i-lived/

 


My friend and great artist, Oscar, used to say it was the angles in college football that kept her attention.

Butt, I digress.

Sometimes, things don’t make sense. Walking into a door before we open it is one of them. And I kinda feel like these Gainesville Gator Football hot shots—the movers and shakers of this world—have stepped into a swamp of muddy thinking they’ve inflicted upon all of us. Why? (— scroll down to the part of the publication by U of F on dehydration precautions. It’s in this post.)

Yeah, so if you read that dehydration bit for even a bit you now know the extreme extent the Florida Gator Ben Hill Griffin Stadium group has gone to in order to hopefully prevent the dehydration of the 90 thousand plus fans expected to witness the Gators play Auburn.  That’s nice, and I get it: people who die of dehydration always resurrect lawyers who ask why. Reading the linked article above got me thinking….WT????

How is it possible folks who know enough to publish warnings about the midday sun dehydration, folks who provide thousands of free fans and tons of bottles of dollar water, folks who provide three thousand cooling towels for free, folks who display a map of drinking fountains and even how to locate a very expensive stand alone cool down mist room on wheels can’t think to maybe, duh, change the time of the game from 3:30 baking sun time to 7ish PM cooling sundown time?

It boggles the mind that some northern college football teams in the US will play TV games at night while the smoking hot sun-burned Gators will play at 3:30! Oh wait, I know, it’s all about TV scheduling. See? This is where the rubber meets the virgin? Say what? That’s right,,, the football teams that are forced to play within TV constraints are the rubber meeting the road and doing the work while the TV owners are the virgin schedulers that everyone thinks are beyond reproach.

But, I say the thinking and exchanges going on between college football programs (the SEC) and TV channels is all wrong. Listen up: the football players do the work while the TV stations make the money.

Oh sure, TV may pay Florida $$ for airing the game,,, but the station makes $$$$$$$$ for doings so!!  Check this out! “….TV-ad prices are rising. In the 2011 season, the average price of a 30-second ad during regular Saturday college games airing on ABC, CBS or NBC cost about $93,700, up 12% from the prior season, while the average price of a spot during the Bowl Championship Series was about $810,000, up 9%, Kantar said. So far this season, ad prices are up between 10% and 15%, it said.”**

So, I say it’s a holding call on the 50 yard line of robbery! I say TV channels owe their time outs and talking heads to the blood and guts being spilled on the turf, not the other way around.

Here’s the deal in simple language: football players make TV stations tons of money.

So, if those stations want the money then football teams, their coaches, and staff and administration should get to say when the game will be played, not the other way around as it is today.

Listen up: I’ve been the head of a Union for ten years in my life and if ever one side has the other by the cajones it’s right now. Let’s say the Gators want to play at 7 PM  against the Auburn tigers since people might die of dehydration if they play at 3:30??? Just bring it up and the TV station HAS to submit to the request or lawyers will eat them for lunch should one person,, even a 99 year old, die during the heated game! See???? It’s right there for any wide-out to plainly see. The path to beneficial game times for southern teams is right here to hold and do, but no one seems worthy of the thought.. Why?!?!?!

Florida Gators Administration: stop providing web links and cool down mist trucks. Just a few simple words by you and from now on the Gators will forever play prime time games at 7 PM. “We request that our starting TV broadcast time be moved to 7 PM in order to protect our players and fans from any effect due to dehydration during the game.”

Bingo! The liability due to dehydration now moves entirely upon the broad caster… Take it from me; it’s a done deal.

You are welcome.

So, please forward this to every Bull Gator you know. Please forward this to every Administration member you might know of in U of F. Thing is, if U of F doesn’t do this …they can be sued for forcing a player to play under adverse condition for the want of money…think about that as well…Parents , sue if your child has serious injury while playing in adverse conditions…it’s that simple.

UF…tell the stations to carry our games at night or we’ll find another broadcast. Let’s see who really wants the money.

No more hot September games; no more hot games at all. Just read this to know everyone who should know does: it’s too hot to play at 3:30 in Gainesville—it’s a public health risk for players and fans alike.

*Here’s the gist of the link:

“With high temperatures expected during the early part of the season, heat initiatives will be in place for the first four home games including misting stations located throughout Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Gate 9, Gate 16, Upper North Endzone), free cups of ice and cooling busses outside Gates 2 and 13. Fans are also encouraged to stop by the Comfort Temp Chill Zone at Alligator Alley (west concourse between Gates 1 and 4) to cool down. There will also be 3,000 cooling towels distributed at the Gators Fan Fest prior to the game. Florida Lottery will have 15,000 hand fans to pass out at the Tennessee and Auburn games at select entry gates.

Empty Water Bottle
Fans are permitted to bring one (1) commercially branded (i.e. Aquafina) EMPTY plastic water bottle, no larger than 20 oz. There are several water bottle filling stations inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Non-disposable water bottles, sport bottles, Nalgene-type bottles, cans, heavy plastic, glass bottles, and thermoses are NOT permitted in the Stadium. There are 12 water bottle refill stations throughout Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Hydration Stations
There are eight large Hydration Stations located inside and just outside the stadium, which offer FREE filtered water for fans and visitors to drink. Cups are provided, and inside the stadium fans can also fill their empty water bottle (see policy above).

Hydration Stations are located inside the stadium at Gate 2, 7, and 16, as well as behind Section 1 and 45, along with the upper north end zone behind Section 322. The two locations outside the stadium—which were purchased and sponsored by UF Student Government are outside Gate 8 and 16.

Fans are reminded that all you can drink refill stations are located at concession stands H40, H20, H6.

Complimentary Sunscreen
There will be free sunscreen for fans attending football games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium available at the Guest Service Kiosks at Gates 1, 7 and 16.”

Ya know you’re guilty of taking the money at the risk of us all. Stop opening the door to TV providers while slamming the door on the lives of those who play or care to watch the game. Shame on you.
Franque23 bets on the lawyers.

*https://floridagators.com/news/2019/10/1/football-game-day-initiatives-auburn.aspx

** some random site I was lucky enough to find after 30 minutes of search..this stuff is deeply embedded–they don’t want to own up to the profits.


Greta Thunberg sails to America. She breezes into town with a boiling luster of avid belief full of conviction. There are those who mock this sixteen-year old who dares to stand and speak her mind, strongly, frankly, without regard for the pitfalls honesty can sometimes bring when speaking to those thought to be superior. They’re not.

Because I’ve worked in library services for almost twenty-five years now, this fired-up youth, Greta, conjures up memories of one of the bazillion books I’ve read—or at least in part scanned—over the years.

This book:

This book is a Juvenile Bio of a young man who really lived, Alexander Selkirk, though his true name was Alexander Selcraig. He was a Scott and it’s thought the name deviance as recorded was perhaps due to poor spelling or a rocking boat during the time of transcript.  His relative is alive today and reports that his research suggests, “Selkirk (as a young lad) was a bit of a bastard, more respected in his absence than in his presence.”*

My take is that Selcraig was a bit wild as a child, always in trouble, gifted in math and stubborn as the morning when it came to rising up to defend his right of opinion. Selcraig’s troubled youth may be what led him to become a sailor—it was a means to get away from his past. For whatever the reason, this youth so filled with fury was the real Robinson Crusoe; he lived marooned on an island for four and one-half years, and mostly by his own doing. He chose his path fueled by his own determination, you can call it a hot headed mindset if you like, and thereby set his story forever in history.

This brief description of Selcraig, or Selkirk, the one whose life is now known as Robinson Crusoe, brings to mind Greta Thunberg. Think about it. Though Greta apparently didn’t go around beating up people with sticks as Selcriag may have, she is, by her own admission, somewhat estranged from people by the very nature of her Asperger’s condition.

When Greta headed out with this sign, she was alone with only the company of her determination.  Greta knows she is right when it comes to the issues surrounding climate change and she’s willing to leave whatever she left behind to sail half way across the world to prove her point. Of course, Alexander Selkirk may have left his home to get away from his past while Greta has left home to make her future but, in the very least, the two seem to exhibit the same type of bold, unflinching spirit.

You see, Selkirk, in the year of 1704 approached his captain, Captian Stradling, while they moored by an uninhabited island and insisted the ship wasn’t worthy to sail. He demanded that the crew go ashore and make needed repairs before setting sail. (It’s reported that Selkirk was 28** and a worthy sailor and first mate of the vessel.)  Captain Stadling refused and the young lad, Selkirk, elected to remain behind on the desolate island rather than risk death at sea. It is recorded that, “Selkirk was put ashore with his bedding, a musket, pistol, gunpowder, hatchet, knife, his navigation tools, a pot for boiling food, two pounds of tobacco, some cheese and jam, a flask of rum and his Bible. He had made the biggest decision of his life. No longer just a complainer, he had taken action.” No doubt our Robinson Crusoe to be thought another ship would sail by his island soon enough—that took four and one-half years to happen!

Greta has set herself out upon an island of belief surrounded by a sea of media attention, slashing rhetoric and attacking foes who fiercely disagree with her opinions. She made her decision. and watched the easier life she might otherwise have had set sail. Her standing ground is conviction—but is she right?

It should be noted that Selkirk was. “Dampier(the captian who saved Selkirk) told Selkirk the bittersweet news that he had been all too right about the decrepit Cinque Ports. Soon after abandoning the Scotsman in 1704 the ship sank off the coast of Peru, killing all but Stradling (The Captian who would not heed Selkirk’s advice) and a dozen or so men, who wound up in Spanish prisons.” In fact, that ship sank in a matter of two days after leaving Selkirk on the abandoned island.

It’s also a sad truth that Selkirk became somewhat of a notoriety in England once his story became known, and he had more than enough money, but his life never lived up to the joy he found in solitude.  This is why Selkirk returned to the sea at age 44 to sail once again. However, fever soon took hold of much of the crew who died and they were thrown over board. It was recorded, “On December 13, 1721,………..North to northwest. Small Breeze and fair,” it read. “Took 3 Englishmen out of a Dutch ship and at 8 pm. Alexander Selkirk . . . died.”

Will Greta also find herself living a world she’d rather not see as time goes by? Will Greta Thunberg’s greatest moment be that she set her sights on what is right, but only to see that her message is left behind?  These are turbulent times and it seems those more powerful than her may strand her intentions in a tide of lawyers, business and money. I hope not. I hope Greta Thunberg finds a sea of people ready to right her sail and lift her message as an ocean of truth.

I’m willing to row her boat. You?

The earth is our ‘ship of state.’

Franque23

*For a more complete story

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-real-robinson-crusoe-74877644/

** Some facts differ from the book listed and the postings in the link. For one, Selkirk is said to be a young lad of 18 to 21  in the book when he was left on the island, not 28 as listed in the linked article. Here, I’ve deferred to the article linked.

 

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view)

It made perfect sense back in the day to be awash at the beach by women wearing two piece suits.  Men wore the needed one piece while women wore all sorts of variations of single and two piece suits.

Really from 1960—

None of the suits turned see-through when wet and it seemed society remained relatively sane. Coppertone was widely used so actually I laid out in the sand in a vat full of people developing different forms of skin cancer. It was all good, like cigarettes, as far as we knew.

The two rules I recall at the beach was that there’d be no drinking and no female nipples showing. Not that my young self noticed any of those more risque two piece bonanzas..”Hey dad, can we go to the beach?” “Hey dad , can we go to the beach?” ” Hey, dad…..”

It seemed a no brainer, too, when our college bound hippie movement ushered in the bra-less, see my nipples under my shirt look. Not that any of us guys noticed. Ha! We were talkin’ straight studying of the Humanities or the science of it.

Anyway, today, just now, the news reported that six states currently will allow topless bathing (Is it just bathing?) -in Utah, Colorado, in please take me home, Kansas, New Mexico, even in Muskogee, Oklahoma and in beautiful, wide-open Wyoming. This is very embarrassing for my hippie counter parts: we defeated the bra but never thought outside the entire complex—the shirt, too. Sure, we had naked love-ins, parties, skinny dipping and whatnot, but I never heard anyone say, “Lets legalize topless ladies!”

But this new law didn’t happen over lust, but freedom. And the timing of today’s, “Free the Nipple” campaign is exactly 100 years after men fought to free their own nipples!  That’s right. Newspapers in the 1920 and 1930’s reported the nearly naked outlaws, and denounced the public display of  male nipples on beaches. Men were to cover up those evil nipples for the sake of, well, madness but no one seemed to know it back then.

“If only we could swim in our church suits!’ Said no one.

A semi-sorta prison outfit was a harbinger of things  to come for those guys who ‘freed’ their nipples at beaches!

Soon after the practice jail break beach-suit time, there were reports that indicated men were arrested left nipple and right nipple as they appeared nipple free at beaches…. As the New York Times reported :” No shirtless bather will be allowed “to mar the high standard and fine appearance” of Long Island’s newly created Ocean Beach Park, said resolute local Police Chief Philip B. Kohut, after the trial of three men arrested for swimming topless.”

But men would have none of this scandalously, ridiculous law that bogged them down from showing their nipples on beaches. Arrests were continuously made until 1937. What happened then?  Tarzan came out as a swinger.(Hee-hee)

That was it: men’s nipples were all the rage. The ‘top’ was blown off that stagnate, no male-nipple showing thought and it’s possible men started to think about how to get larger nipples at this time?!!? I’m not sure—just projecting by having the grace of knowledge about our history since this famous date.

Yep, Tazan went swinging and the world went crazy with this news: “‘Bareback’ bathing for men, heretofore taboo in Atlantic City, broke down the last line of official resistance today and will be allowed this Summer,” the New York Times reported on March 29, 1937.”

Women, however, were to remain in one piece bathing suits that only lacked a Chasity belt to be fully correct. So what freed the woman’s belly button? (Lord no, no one was thinking topless…)

Micheline Bernardini, a French nude dancer, was the only model swimsuit designer Louis Réard could find to wear his bikini when it debuted July 5, 1946, in Paris. (AFP/Getty Images)

To this point, here is the heroine of the modern day two-piece female swim-suit…It’s like she deserved the, Noble ‘Piece’ Prize…:-) Yep, leave it to a dancer to strip away antiquated opinions. Can’t you hear it now? All the men across America yelling, “Put your clothes back on! Put your clothes back on!” I gotta admit, I haven’t come across any article about marches of men who were outraged over women wearing a bikini taking place at this time. Weird, huh?

Does time change anything as much as it does fashion? I have to think.

 

Anyway, now-a-days plenty of women have been arrested for barring their souls and bosoms. It’s to America’s credit that six of our states have caught up to Germany who started their first nude beach in 1920. I’m mean that’s only, okay, about 100 years—that’s all it took for American society to almost catch up to Germany’s freedom of expression. So grading on a one one to ten basis, when it comes being able to be partially naked on beaches, America gets about, what, a one?

Yay! We get a one and maybe done for being a leader in not very much at all. I love this country: it’s the one I was born in. It’s just when it comes to so much, we seem so slow to catch on, to make a difference and to lead. Right now, this isn’t the country I grew up in. This is a country that still wants those one piece women swim suits, to dictate how those so different from one another should live by another’s standard. Listen, we fought to be free from the get-go. It ain’t gonna stop.  Women will be topless if they want; gays will marry and have equal rights. Big oil will lose it’s shirt if it doesn’t shift to solar and renewable energies and lying politicians who hate Homosexuality while keeping a closet full of young boys will pass. This is America, and we will right ourselves.

I learned in Boy Scouts how to tie and untie knots…we all did, and can. America is moving forward, not backward.

Cheers.

Franque23 has always been a skinny dippin’, fun loving guy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 


 

(Click the pic for a larger view.)

Sometimes, none of it seems possible. It can’t be that our family dog, Socks, has been gone for over 55 years. I still feel him sleeping in my bed. I still can feel his curly haired ears as I run my fingers through them… I still see him resting by our fireplace on cold winter nights.

Socks was always there to keep us company. Maybe, it doesn’t seem possible I once was young. I know it happened, but where did it all go? Where did my smiling grade school friends go? Where did the innocence of thinking that ice cream guy liked me go?

Of course, we kept busy. Time for growing up is a spring board made of hope, longing and foggy vision. It’s just impossible to focus on being 70 when you’re 10, 15 or 20 years old. Life doesn’t work that way. We arrive to life never intending to leave, or thinking it possible. The view from Christmas as an eight year old is a glorious thing.

6th Grade school  picture;  I’m 6th from the right in back row…So much of my life was unknown.

It seemed time might stand frozen still. How could anything really change?( My dad, Mr. Freeze, me and my dog’s tail. )

Later on, the prom corsages and carnations would be pressed to never be thrown away. All those promises were etched in stone and building blocks we thought we’d stand on and never leave behind. So much gets left behind.

Swimming in Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma was a great moment…cousins on my mom’s side lived out west.

My cousins were all well and growing like me…

My father’s brother, his wife and son.

We had the best time without any sense of it.

My dad was from Iowa and he grew almost an apple orchard in our backyard on Long Island, NY. Some years we picked 40 bushels. We’d eat the apples, bake them and exchange so many bushels for a gallon of cider pressed by a cider mill that was still up and running back then in Suffolk county.

Life, it seemed, would always be this way. I even dreamed of being a rock star. Dreams are free unless they shackle your understanding.

Me with Aunt Edna and my gold plated stereo Gibson ES-355 guitar.

I drifted as many do and had my first child after falling in love with my wife. We were at the most happy schedule in life when my brother and his wife visited us in Micanopy, Florida.

Ed came once again many years later…

Ed is gone now but never from my heart—time can only steal so much.

At seventy, I’ve a view I could never have imagined in my younger, rubber boned, look at me now years. Now, I’m thankful to have the sight—so many of my peers have died without the chance. It seems a lifetime ago when President Kennedy was killed, when Martin Luther King was assassinated. I was only in high school at the time but I remember thinking these two were my brothers in a fight against evil—together we could change the world. Then, even my brother died and anything became possible. For those of you who have parents living, hug them right now if possible. The voices of the dead continue but you can’t hug them.

My mom having a great new year with my mother-in law. Just wow for me.

Mom’s last year at Lake Bonaparte. Her face says it all.

No matter your age, find at least a sliver of a second to tell the ones you love that you do.  A hug lasts forever in the mind and heart and it’s so easy to give.  Feelings are as real as the table or chair you might be sitting by or on. So much in our hurried lives gets unsaid. Go to the ones you love and say it.

Giving  what you can to others is the best thing you can do for your own life—trust me

I believe in you.

Where does it go? It all goes inside of you,  and that’s forever.

Franque23

 

 

 

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