Monday, May 10, 2010


There was this little girl sitting by herself in the park. Everyone passed by her and never stopped to see why she looked so sad. Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by. She never tried to speak. She never said a word. Many people passed by her, but no one would stop.

The next day I decided to go back to the park in curiosity to see if the little girl would still be there. Yes, she was there, right in the very spot where she was yesterday, and still with the same sad look in her eyes. Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. For as we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play alone.

As I got closer I could see the back of the little girl's dress. It was grotesquely shaped. I figured that was the reason people just passed by and made no effort to speak to her. Deformities are a low blow to our society and, heaven forbid if you make a step toward assisting someone who is different.As I got closer, the little girl lowered her eyes slightly to avoid my intent stare.

As I approached her, I could see the shape of her back more clearly. She was grotesquely shaped in a humped over form. I smiled to let her know it was OK; I was there to help, to talk. I sat down beside her and opened with a simple, "Hello".

The little girl acted shocked, and stammered a "hi"; after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back.We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty. I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me with a sad face said, "Because, I'm different"; I immediately said, "That you are!"; and smiled. The little girl acted even sadder and said, "I know."

"Little girl," I said, "you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent."

She looked at me and smiled, then slowly she got to her feet and said, Really?"

"Yes, you're like a little Guardian Angel sent to watch over all people walking by."

She nodded her head yes, and smiled. With that she opened the back of her pink dress and allowed her wings to spread, then she said "I am. I'm your Guardian Angel," with a twinkle in her eye.

I was speechless-sure I was seeing things.

She said, "For once you thought of someone other than yourself. My job here is done."

I got to my feet and said, "Wait, why did no one stop to help an angel?"

She looked at me, smiled, and said, "You are the only one that could see me," and then she was gone. And with that, my life was changed dramatically.

So, when you think you're all you have, remember, your angel is always watching over you. Like the story says, we all need someone... and, every one of your friends is an Angel in their own way. The value of a friend is measured in the heart. I hope your Guardian Angel watches over you always.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


My friend, Terri Sweatman, sent this clever poem:


Red is for the blood He gave
Green is for the grass He made
Yellow is for the sun so bright
Orange is for the edge of night
Black is for the sins we made
White is for the grace He gave
Purple is for His hour of sorrow
Pink is for our new tomorrow
A Bag full of jelly beans colorful and sweet
Is a prayer, is a promise
Is a special treat!

Have a blessed Easter. God bless everyone and God bless our country.
I wrote this letter to the children last Easter, 2008 ... but it is appropriate for all Easters our family shares.

Happy Easter Everyone,

I cannot let the day go by without wishing each of you a lovely family day. We are alone here, Larry and I as Tom is at Bingo. It is fine as we have had a busy week with Skip, Leah and Matt here, then Elizabeth came with Natalie and Jacob. Even the Modraks came to see us [Erin is Elizabeth's good friend from PSU who she traveled Europe with backpacking]. They came to our villa first for shrimp, wine and cheese,etc., them we all had dinner together at the Ocean Club Sea Oats Room ... outside, beneath the stars, near the beautiful lighted pools. It was a very pleasant evening.

We were busy ... the children were very well behaved however they are a couple of busy little bees ... very energetic and want to be doing something fun every waking moment. They kept Elizabeth stepping ... but we had rented an Island Hopper while Skip and Leah were here and kept it all week. The kids loved riding all over the Plantation.

Skip, Leah and Matt and Tom and Larry and I had a very delicious meal at The Verandah ... our favorite restaurant and The Verandah lived up to its reputation ... in spades! Everyone enjoyed their very fine meal, including the delectable desserts.

It was especially nice having Leah here as we got to know her better and she has won us over big time. Matt is a very intelligent, well-mannered young man. I have never seen Skip so happy. That makes us happy.

Easter brings back so many memories. Our Easters at home, when we were kids, were always fun ... with generous Easter baskets, always lots of jellybeans and family around. I remember Uncle Gene and Audrey and their daughter, Geraldine, coming many times and sometimes Sonny and Arbutus. Uncle Art and Aunt Effie and Frankie came visiting most holidays ... always Father Paul and Mom would make his favorite neck bones and saurkraut dish, with boiled potatoes with the pants on, as he always called them ... she even took time, with all she had to do, to barbeque some for him. She always had a big baked ham, covered with a delicious pineapple/brown sugar coating ... studded with cloves. It was delicious ... it is hard to get hams like those today ... it seems. Hams are too 'neutered or something' ... the reduced fat takes much of the flavor out. But I doctor those babies up good and give them some flavor. Didn't have ham this year.

We are just grazing on leftovers from the week ... which is just fine for us. We have lots of good soups from Harris Teeters, Boars Head meats ... popcorn ... and fruit.

Larry is more than content watching The Masters Tournament. I'm catching up on my reading and emails. The Sopranos are starting their last season tonight, which I will watch and tomorrow is another day ... Therapy, etc. So today is a relaxing day ... only I have to take a full dose of diuretics as I have not been good about taking them consistently while everyone was here, as we were on the go a lot. Yah ... I know ... that is more than you wanted to know ... but it is my life ... what I do with my time ... just thought you'd like to know that I just don't sit and do just anything ... I have jobs to do. Tsk! Yah ... I know ... that's more than you wanted to know, too. Sorry! One good thing about it is that it sure gives me my exercise, getting up and down ... up and down ... etc. At the end of the day, I feel I have had a good workout ... believe me ... and a very sore arm.

Easter, when we were kids was always special, Mom made it so. Seems she always had new outfits that she made for us ... remember the beautiful pleated, plaid skirts and little red blazers? We'd have matching red hats and purses ... and little white gloves. God! How I loved those new purses. Then we would pin on our carnations ... red ones for those whose mothers were alive [that was us] and white for those who were dead [Mom]. And Dad always bought Mom a beautiful Easter Lily that she would later plant outside by her kitchen door, hoping to see it bloom again.

Lots of Easters relatives came ... Aunt Ginny and Uncle Martin and Bob ... Grandma La Flamme ... Aunt June and Uncle Dal and Susan, sometimes their older son, Dutchie. Aunt June always made a beautiful Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream frosting and decorated with Marchiano [sp] cherries. Yummy! Aunt Ginny and Grandma brought baked goods from Awreys in Detroit and some Sanders fudge topping. Remember? And in the evening, Aunt Pete and Uncle Dick and Suzanne would come and we'd put on a 'show' ... skits and singing ... and Suzanne would sing beautifully and play lovely Chopin, that would bring tears to Dad's eyes, on our old upright piano. Then, maybe we'd have a sing-along. Ohhhh ... those were good times!

Mom would sit on Dad's lap and they would harmonize to 'Smile A While' and other romantic songs ... Mom and Dad would play the uke ... and so would Aunt Ginny. Dad would get out his harmonica and Nana would play her spoons on her knees and of course Bob played his boogie woogie on the piano, giving Mom a headache ... giving all of us a headache. Rich would sing his camp songs and tell camp stories. Uncle Dal would do his comical 'ABC' speach number. And when Mom and Aunt Ginny got loosened up enough, they'd do Alouette ... Mom did it best ... tucking up her skirt ... kicking up those beautiful legs! It was her song!

And one Easter Aunt Pete got mad at Uncle Dick and threw one of Mom's homemade lemon meringue pies in his face ... making a terrible mess and destroying Mom's delicious pie. Ohhh ... what a night that was! I think that was the night Uncle Dick paid Nancy $5.00 to sing'I Don't Want Her, You Can Have Her, She's Too Fat For Me' on the ukulele, while kneeling at Aunt Pete's feet. Remember that, Nan? That is probably why Aunt Pete threw the pie in Uncle Dick's face! And while they were cleaning up the mess, you pocketed the $5 with a grin and marched off, big as you please.

We had our own Easter parade down Linwood's sidewalks, showing off our new Easter outfits and carrying our beautiful Easter baskets. We were so proud ... and we'd look back, and there would be Mom and Dad, watching us, proud as two peacocks.

When hunting for our Easter baskets, we often found those darling little dyed chicks peeping in a box. I remember an aqua one for me, one was yellow, one peach colored, one green, anyway ... only one survived, and that was Richard's. It grew big. He kept it in the fish shanty on the side of the store and everyday , the chicken laid one egg. Dad let it run around the yard. I don't know what happened to it, all I know is that we didn't eat it like Dad kept threatening to do. [At least I don't think we did.] Someone probably stole it and ate it. Times were tough.

Jumping ahead, didn't we have good Easters at our house ... had lots of visits from the Randalls, Nancy and Rich. Even Melanie Laine came one Easter ... we had such fun singing old songs and drinking wine ... and Melanie brave enough to return all my silver so I could buy it elsewhere for a better price. [I was too embarrassed to return it after the nice clerks at Rich's called and ran all over Atlanta getting all the pieces together so I could have it for Easter ... only for me to return all of it.]

Remember, when Jonny was only about 2 years old, Randalls came to Dunwoody for Easter. The Easter bunny hid one of the baskets in one of my big pots hanging on my pot rack over the kitchen range. We finally had to give very good hints for them to find it. I can't remember whose basket it was ... all I remember is the tears when they couldn't find it and everyone else had their baskets ... and they were great baskets ... stuffed with lots of chocolate, goodies and toys, etc. We'd have egg hunts in the big back yard, giving Jonny a good head start.

One year, when we had an egg hunt in our home on Mt. Vista, it was too cold and rainy to hunt for eggs outside so we had a hunt in our big den room. When the hunt was over, we counted the eggs and we were missing one egg. We forgot about it. A few weeks later, there was a terrible smell in the den that we couldn't find the cause of. Larry even took off the heat run covers thinking we had a dead mouse or etc. Nothing! Later, when I was doing a thorough cleaning of the den, I found the cause of all that smell ... hidden in my incense burner on the shelf above my desk. What a relief to find that. I spent a small fortune in aromatic candles and sprays to try to temper that gross odor!

Remember you kids going berry picking with your little buckets and wild enthusiasm?
Uncle Rich would take you on nature hikes in the woods. He loved it up there on Mt. Vista.

I remember, during Easter break, when The Randalls and Nancy and Rich came to Dunwoody, spring was started and the wild dogwoods were in bloom behind our house ... [I miss seeing them each spring] and our azaleas were blooming. The weather was so unseasonably warm our pool was warm enough to swim in ... and the kids had a ball!

Yes ... we enjoyed many wonderful Easters with family and have beautiful memories to share. So it is kind of nice to have one of these quiet Easters that we can think back, without interruption, and just remember all the good times. I'm sure Larry thinks of the many Easters we spent at our house with his Mom, Bill, Kris and Susie Mc Neil. Lots and lots of good times with them ... almost every Sunday and many times in between. Lovely family times! Kris, Terry and Meghan and Martha came often at that time of year also and Kris and Terry loved the Malls and shopping. We'd get our hair done and manicures and pedicures.

Lots of cooking! Food! Games! Today, I have a break ... no cooking. Just grazing, which is fine with us. Tom will eat out after or before Bingo. They have a cafe there. I have nibbled on cheese and crackers and will have one of my containers of delicious tomato bisque from Harris Teeters ... later. Then probably a nice, big, plump, delicious grapefruit.

We miss everyone. I think back to many good times on holidays, especially. I remember the folks, and I miss them. I miss Rich and all our aunts and uncles and cousins that have gone ... our grandparents. Life is so short. I think remembering back makes us realize how very short life really is. One doesn't think it is that short, when young, but as the years fly by ... yes, I mean fly by ...faster and faster each year ... it reminds us that we must make the most of what time we have here on earth. No one knows how long it will be ... so enjoy each day ... and each day of your life, whether sunny or cloudy, whatever the weather, embrace it and know that you are very fortunate to be living here in the good old USA ... in a free world ... with a comfortable life ... and family who love and support you always.

I love you all and think of you often. Please know how proud I am of each of you ... and the special news we have of a new grandchild coming this winter ... truly a blessing that Anne and Jeff can bring Connor a brother or sister. What a lucky little boy he is ... what lucky children all of our grandchildren are to have wonderful, loving parents, live in fine homes, have all they want to eat or need. Most of the world is not so fortunate. Remember to thank God each day for your blessings.

Love, hugs and kisses. Have a wonderful Easter!

Mom - Carole

Saturday, October 11, 2008



When in England, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush.

He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.'

You could have heard a pin drop.


There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly : 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'
You could have heard a pin drop.
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.' He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?'
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'
You could have heard a pin drop.
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. 'You have been to France before, monsieur?' the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
'Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.'
The American said, ''The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
'Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France !' stated the customs officer.
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country,I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.'
You could have heard a pin drop.


May 25, 2008


Ken Blackwell
Columnist for the New York Sun

It's an amazing time to be alive in America. We're in a year of firsts in this presidential election: the first viable woman candidate; the first viableAfrican-American candidate; and, a candidate who is the first front running freedom fighter over 70. The next president of America will be a first.We won't truly be in an election of firsts, however, until we judge every candidate by where they stand. We won't arrive where we should be until we no longer talk about skin color or gender.

Now that Barack Obama steps to the front of the Democratic field, we need to stop talking about his race, and start talking about his policies and his politics. The realty is this: Though the Democrats will not have a nominee until August, unless Hillary Clinton drops out, Mr. Obama is now the frontrunner, and its timeAmerica takes a closer and deeper look at him.

Some pundits are calling him the next John F. Kennedy. He's not. He's the next George McGovern. And it's time people learned the facts. Because the truth is that Mr. Obama is the single most liberal senator in the entire U.S. Senate. He is more liberal than Ted Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, or Mrs. Clinton. Never in my life have I seen a presidential front runner whose rhetoric is so far removed from his record. Walter Mondale promised to raise ourtaxes, and he lost. George McGovern promised military weakness, and he lost. Michael Dukakis promised a liberal domestic agenda, and he lost. Yet Mr. Obama is promising all those things, and he's not behind in the polls.Why? Because the press has dealt with him as if he were in a beauty pageant.

Mr. Obama talks about getting past party, getting past red and blue, to lead the United States of America. But let's look at the more defined strokes of who he is underneath this superficial 'beauty.'

Start with national security, since the president's most important duties are as commander-in-chief. Over the summer, Mr. Obama talked about invading Pakistan, a nation armed with nuclear weapons; meeting without preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who vows to destroy Israel and create another Holocaust; and Kim Jong II, who is murdering and starving his people, but emphasized that the nuclear option was off the table against terrorists - something no president has ever taken off the table since we created nuclear weapons in the 1940s. Even Democrats who have worked in national security condemned all of those remarks. Mr. Obama is a foreign-policy novice who would put our national security at risk.

Next, consider economic policy. For all its faults, our health care system is the strongest in the world. And free trade agreements, created by Bill Clinton as well as President Bush, have made more goods more affordable so that even people of modest means can live a life that no one imagined a generation ago.Yet Mr. Obama promises to raise taxes on 'the rich.'

How to fix Social Security?Raise taxes.
How to fix Medicare? Raise taxes.
Prescription drugs? Raise taxes.
Free college? Raise taxes.
Socialize medicine? Raise taxes.

His solution to everything is to have government take it over. Big Brother on steroids, funded by your paycheck.

Finally, look at the social issues.
Mr. Obama had the audacity to open a stadium rally by saying, 'All praise and glory to God!' but says that Christian leaders speaking for life and marriage have 'hijacked' - hijacked - Christianity. He is pro-partial birth abortion, and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will rule any restriction on it unconstitutional. He espouses the abortion views of Margaret Sanger, one of the early advocates of racial cleansing. His spiritual leaders endorse homosexual marriage, and he is moving in that direction. In Illinois, he refused to vote against a statewide ban on all handguns in the state. These are radical left, Hollywood, and San Francisco values, not Middle America values.

The real Mr. Obama is an easy target for the general election. Mrs. Clinton is a far tougher opponent. But Mr Obama could win if people don't start looking behind his veneer and flowery speeches.

His vision of 'bringing America together' means saying that those who disagree with his agenda for America are hijackers or war mongers.

Uniting the country means adopting his liberal agenda and abandoning any conflicting beliefs. But right now everyone is talking about how eloquent of a speaker he is and -yes - they're talking about his race. Those should never be the factors on which we base our choice for president.

Mr. Obama's radical agenda sets him far outside the American mainstream, to the left of Mrs. Clinton. It's time to talk about the real Barack Obama.



Original Message -----

Bill Cosby on Rev. Wright

Article from Wall Street Journal:

Rev. Wright epitomizes the thoughts and actions that have prevented and continue to prevent black America from moving ahead and achieving their potential as a people. He suggests that this United States of America made up of sons and daughters of immigrants (I'm talking of the millions of 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation immigrants in this country) of every race, creed, color and religion each and everyone of them who had nothing to do with slavery, some how owe something to a group of people who have never been slaves?

Its amazing. It seems everyone is to blame for the shambles black society is in with its violence, drugs, high school drop out rates, misogyny, and a host of other real and virulent problems, except for the very people who engage in such behavior.

Enough. As a society, culture or people, they should look within themselves and fix their problems. When did this man become the spokesman for the black church? And of course his church is different, but that doesn't mean his message and philosophy is acceptable, or productive or non-offensive or not-racist or indicative or our greater cultural behaviors, values and norms Americans. And yes, the link between this man and Obama really does matter. At a very minimum, it provides insight into the political and philosophical strain that Obama adheres to.

Comment by Bill Cosby - April 28, 2008
[Letter from an officer:]

Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I'll return to Iraq in January to finish my tour. I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, only to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam.

Maybe it's because I'll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I'm tired:

I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.

I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.

I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they 'Support the Troops' by wanting them to 'Cut and Run' before victory is achieved.

I'm tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.

I'm tired so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy over night.

I'm tired so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent Parliament.

I'm tired of the so called 'Elite Left' that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

I'm tired of antiwar protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers.
A family who's loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.

I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom - Vietnam generation, have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory. I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives then they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies. I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.

Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

Joe Repya
Lieutenant Colonel
U. S. Army 101st Airborne Division