Monday, November 25, 2013

Windows into the Past


In my wanderings, I will roam through some of the small towns.  Seldom do I travel the Interstate any more.  I prefer the slower pace of the old two lane highway.  Many I have driven before, now I see things I used to fly past. 

I put some extra time into my trips now so I can pause for a bit at some of the more interesting things. 

Many of the smaller towns are fading, less farms and ranches to support the communities and the with the Interstate, people whiz on down the road.  Many building sit empty, ghosts of another era now walk the floors, open the doors. 

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Other days, they were active little hubs, people came and went.  Now they are collectors of ghostly webs spun from the past.

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Sometimes these old buildings get a new life.  An out of towner sees one and wants it or sees an opportunity.  Occasionally it is a retiree that likes to fix things up.  A small section gains new life and old falling apart sections gain a new look. 

Then the new owner moves on or passes on and the new life building fades back into the past again. 

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Sometimes it is hope faded.  A vision came to fruition soon to fade.  Empty the building sits, reminder of a hopes that was not shared.  There is a lure of country life.  There is also a harsh side of the romantic notions.  Too many people see nothing and pass by, pausing not to savor the country. 

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Many a dream sits dimly in repose.  Days of different life, lived at a different pace.  The siren song of the big city drawing the masses.  Listen to the ghosts talk.  hear the dreams lived out, fading into oblivion. 

New desires and wants cover over the old.  Wanting the new, buries the past. 

I trundle down the road, capturing moments, freezing them into pixels.  Later times, I return to see vacancies.  My memories are all I see. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Death of President Kennedy The End of the Democratic Party as a Patriotic party.


When President Kennedy was shot in Dallas 50 years ago, it marked the end of the Democratic party being a party that had the interests of the country first.

When Vice President Johnson became President it marked a change in attitude.   Johnson showed no concern for the people he was sending to war in Vietnam.  He did not give them all the tools necessary to win.  He also stood down to pressure from communist China.  No longer were there bombing raids in the north or on the ports.  No full complements of equipment was given to the ground troops to chase across the border fleeing communists. 

Compare this to Kennedy’s duel with Khrushchev over the missile's in Cuba.   JFK did not bow down to the communists, he instead made demands on them and backed it up. 

Then there was the domestic agenda of Johnson, the “Great Society.”

Johnson had a view how people should live and began passing laws to effect how people live. 

Then there were the war protests.  They were ugly nasty and usually outside of the law.  Yet for the law breaking protestors there were no consequences.  No consequences for law breaking is very clear today for protestors.

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As the LBJ presidency continued, there was less and less concern for the people being killed in Vietnam.  Many of the draftees were referred to as cannon fodder.  There were the body counts, very impersonal.  Winning the war was no longer on the table.  Rather is was saving face…. well not really.  So many democrat cronies were making big money off of the war.  The longer young men in Nam were being killed the more money the cronies made. 

If a person looks closely at Nam, one can see some of the coddling of the communists. 

So when the anniversary date of Kennedy’s assassination rolls around, consider how Kennedy would of done in Vietnam and compare the conflicts of the previous presidents to the democratic presidents following his assassination. 

The democratic party has drifted so far to the left they have become cousins of Marx. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Scars We Make


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Out across the land roll the miles of wire, carrying electricity. Keeping the internet fired, cooking the meals, lighting out way into the future.  Like invaders from Mars the poles grasp the high tension wires.  Turbines whirl on far hill making little electrons to travel in the wires.

It is a grid of poles and wires that stretches around the world, ever shrinking the planet earth.  Clear eye stretching vistas are few and far between.  Lights on far hillside twinkle in the darkness, lights glow marking the prison. 

By our demands of conveniences, the landscape changes.  No longer is it trees marking the way.  Now it is logs standing on end, arms stretched out grasping the wire.  It brings a standard of living unthinkable centuries ago.

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Side by side they march, big brother to the station, little boy to the home.  Each leaving their marks, a pock mark on the ground. 

Go back to living with candles, oils and wood.  What would happen if there was no longer electricity?   Smart phone would be nothing, computer would be silent the lantern would flicker.

Would it be the end of life or just a change?

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On far hill are the white towers of the wind turbines, surrounding the high power lines, feeding more electrons into the wires.  Behind sets the gas fired power plant to make up for when the wind does not turn the turbines. 

It is a funny life.  The changes of tomorrow are yesterdays machines.  The windmill was one of earliest powered machines man made.    Returning to the dark ages, have candles, lanterns or oils.  When the toe is stubbed it hurts.  The land is scarred by man, nothing unusual.  Man is always fouling his nest. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Weeds A Tumbling


Across the land they roll, animated weeds a following the wind.  With a life of their own, the tumbleweed follows the path of the wind.  Pausing briefly on a snag.  To wait for the next change in the breezes.

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Fences snag them, make a barrier.  For miles the fence line stretches across the prairie, loaded with tumbling weeds.  There are times the weight becomes enough to snap the wires and when it snows, more pressure is put on the fence.

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During the dirty 30’s these weed barriers would collect blow dirt.  Forming mounds on the fence line.  The cattle could walk over the fence and wander over the other fences traveling with the wind at their back.   Miles away the cattle would travel, walking up and over the fence.

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There were heavy rains late this past summer and the pastures grew tumble weeds by the gross.  Now with the dry weather of fall, the weeds have escaped to travel over the land to spread their seeds.

The Russian thistle came over with the German and Russian immigrants from the Ukraine region.   They brought their wheat seed with them and mixed in the seeds were the seeds of the tumble weed.  Today the German and Russian ancestors roam freely over the land, border to border, covering the prairie.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Mid Autumn Day


Across the roof it chatters,  ruffling the edges, whistling over the eves, howling through the corners, the wind of fall is giving a teaser of the winter to come.  Tiny flakes of white swirl through the air, spotting the damp soil, leaving white prints. 

Over there someplace the storm rages.  Here it is the wind and mild teasers.  Moisture is always welcome yet there are times it rides on the backs of lions, roaring, growling, tossing and turning over the land.  Tumbleweeds are re-tumbled, looking for a new fence to park on.

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The day of no sky, blue replaced by scudding grey, trees waving to the passing wind.  Clouds lifting, teasing that there is sky, wind shatters the moment.  A clattering of tumbling windprints floating over the land, dueling with the clouds.  Lifting clouds, giving hope for a blue moment. 

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Warm fall days giving way to brisk nights.  Days of clouds, cold knives slashing down from the north.  Cutting into the memory of winters past and winters to come.  The days of autumn are passing, the white days are approaching.

Jack Frost is tapping at the window.