Reflect on Memorial Day, why it’s not a “Happy” day

 

This was originally posted Memorial Day 2016, and I re-post it every year.

We place flags on graves and remember the “Brave”  who have given their lives for their country. In other words, you are NOT going to be “Memorialized” until you’re dead. Of course we appreciate our military men & woman who are still living, from the limbless Marine propped up in a wheelchair, to the veterans both male & female who have come home with the hidden injury we call PTSD. We honor and thank you particular folks on “Veterans Day”. Please understand, I don’t “celebrate” therefore I don’t say, “Happy” Memorial Day! I swear, I did not steal that from an old George Carlin routine.

Tonight, the day before Memorial Day, I was watching the UFC fights live on television from Las Vegas. I noticed that the two or three fighters who mentioned the holiday during their victory speeches, saying “Happy Memorial Day”,  were speaking to “Living” military folks who have come back from a conflict injured and uninjured i.e., the Middle East.  ”God Bless our Troops” people say, as they wave their miniature flags at the soldiers walking in the Memorial Day parade. The only symbol we have left is if the news show pictures of soldiers planting flags next to the headstone in a military cemetery. Headstone. Sort of a slang term for a, wait for it”…………..a “Monument”, something made from a material that won’t rot and blow away. Granite.

Although I admit that for most of my life, it’s just been another holiday that gives me a three-day weekend, I was really struck by the fact that most people will include the living veterans when they are remembering the military dead. Ask the parents who have given sons and daughters who they think of on Memorial Day. If you are a Veteran, you are still alive! As I was growing up, Memorial Day was fun. Even when we were planting flags next to the graves at church on Sunday for Memorial Day. I was scolded one day for taking a flag from a soldiers grave. He was ninety when he died, and wanted to be buried next to his wives ( Mormon soldier). Pretty fancy monument with an Angel on top.

Mom caught me pushing the General’s little flag into the ground at my sisters grave. I went and stuck it back in where I found it. That I was scolded isn’t entirely correct. My mother explained the true reason for Memorial Day. Remember, we didn’t have  60″ Televisions and Facebook when I was growing up. As I grew older, I always remembered and took to heart how we should honor the millions of people who have given their lives for their country. Veterans Day we do honor the living. Those that have come back home with injuries, and those who came back unscathed. Maybe today’s generation needs to be educated. Maybe we should have a ”Wounded Veterans” day? For those of us that survived a war and came home, Memorial Day is the day we honor and remember our buddies that didn’t make it home alive.

Memorial Day is not supposed to be a happy day. It’s not supposed to be a sad day either, except for the parent or child of someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice. If you have a normal experience of memorializing a loved one, you also remember the happy times, as you watch home movies or look through family photo albums. People who have lost a loved one, can laugh as well as grieve. For the rest of us, that’s all of the people that did not lose a loved one, it should be a day of solemn reflection, honoring all military who have died during war.  Just don’t confuse Easter with Christmas. Think about it. The memorial holiday was created to remember and honor the fallen, i.e., to memorialize those that were killed in battle.

Although as a veteran, if you die at 98 Years old, you can be buried in a military cemetery. I think that should be changed. They should only bury soldiers who have died in combat or as a result of their wounds, in military cemeteries. Even if you are wounded in any way but live to be ninety, you should be buried in a civilian cemetery. The government should provide that same simple white headstone that you would have received for your government burial. Your family could use the simple white monument, a really fancy one that costs thousands, or both. The Veterans Administration would also cover the cost of the civilian cemetery plot.

Don’t worry veterans, we will remember and honor you when you die. On Veterans Day. Not, Memorial Day. If you are still breathing, we will shake your hand, honor and thank you for your service and sacrifice, on Veterans Day.

So, along with those surviving parents and children, let’s all remember our fallen heroes. If you give your life for your country, no matter how fucked up war is, you are our heroes.

We sometimes think it is hopeless and against all odds, but hey, we are part of the 99% against the 1% that currently have absolute control. We can and shall overcome the odds, but only if we truly ORGANIZE. Otherwise, we are all just as a “Single Fly, Farting in the Wind”.

For those who have been keeping up with my progress with “The Dead Armadillo” story, here’s my latest:

TheDeadArmadilloManuscript112619

Peace & Abide, La paz y la morada, السلام والالتزام , שלום ושמירה, Paix et Demeure, Խաղաղությունը եւ մնալը, Мир и пребывание,, 平和と遵守, 和平與恪守, Aştî û Abad, صلح و عبید, Fred och Abide, Kapayapaan at Patuloy, Frieden und Bleiben, Mir i Ostanite, शांति और निवास, Hòa bình và ở lại, Мир и Абиде, שלום און בלייַבן, สันติภาพและการปฏิบัติ, Mir in bivanje,

Dr. T. C. Saxe, DD, RSISHE

This website is not filled with a bunch of “Click-On” ads for the latest in “Toothbrushes” “Fashion” or “Free trips to wherever” generating millions of pesos in income. We are not seeking your financial support as a primary goal or function of this website, although we know at some point, that we will have the necessary funding to carry out our mission at ITAD-NAO. First and foremost, If you feel this is worthy of your financial support and you do donate, that’s great, and we sincerely thank you, but first and foremost we are looking for your involvement with whatever skill-sets you may have to offer. Communicate with us, help us organize, help us plan, and help us execute the plan.  Thank you

 

 

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There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware; Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep

I don’t think that I’m a Paranoid  Schizophrenic, but why is it, that everywhere  I go, people are following me. At the grocery store, I’ll turn around and look. See, that little old lady is following me. Standing in line at the DMV. Don’t even turn around, cause they are ALL following you. In a crowded mall, I’ll stop abruptly and turn around to look. Sure enough, those cute little high school girls are following me. The sure way to fool them is to sit down for a minute, until they pass by. Then, as you stand up and start walking again, you glance back and notice that someone else is following you. If you see a dude walking past your house carrying an AK-47, don’t be paranoid. Call 911.I think half of our planet has developed real paranoia. Especially against people of different faiths and religions. Its not just racism and bigotry. These differences in our cultures have been there for thousands of years. “Onward Christian Soldiers, marching off to war, killing millions of other people who don’t believe in the same God as you do”, (sung to the same tune). “From the beginning Men used God to justify the unjustifiable” – Salman Rushdie.

Mankind has a troubled and bloody past. And it seems like we are bound to continue on that same path. The only difference is that our weapons continue to get more and more sophisticated. Its no longer huge swords, and face to face combat. It’s remotely operated Drones firing missiles and dropping bombs with built-in cameras, so the ”Remote” operator can guide that weapon right through the front door of your house.

I think the settlers who came west in the covered wagons got just a little paranoid when they saw the Indians gathering on the hilltop over yonder. Especially if they had been attacked once or twice before. “Circle the Wagons!” People can say, that’s just progress. That’s how the good ole U. S. of A., came to be. Our forefathers were courageous explorers and settlers. We fought the Indians, and settled the land. We trapped the beavers and shot the buffalo. Bullshit!  We wiped out their nations and took their lands. Think about the blood of the women and children of the native indigenous people we massacred.

I’m reminded of the story of “Bear Hair Bob”. A trapper who was fortunate enough to survive a “scalping.” Bob covered up his bloody skull by sewing a fresh patch of bear skin to what was left of his scalp. Pretty odd looking, bear hair and all, trimmed in a thick crew-cut fashion. When the Indians came upon his campsite, he had tried to negotiate with beads and trinkets that he had on hand. The Indians took those, all his Beaver pelts, his horse, scalped him, and left him for dead. Why you ask? For the Indians, he was trespassing on their land, and trapping their beavers. How would you feel if some hunter with a deer rifle came on your land without permission? Bear Hair Bob eventually ended up back in Boston, charging a nickel for anyone who wanted to touch his ”Hair”.

What if the Native American lands had been legally and peacefully procured with beads and trinkets? And they were allowed to be a part of, and assimilate into ” American” society? In other words, real freedom. Would there have been a need for reservations?  I’m sure most of the settlers wanted to live in peace and harmony with the Indians, they were just singing the wrong song. “This land isn’t your land, this land is my land, from California to the………..this land was made for my cousins and me.”

I don’t think all of us are crazy. I don’t think its crazy to believe that every human being on earth should be treated with respect. I don’t think our cultural, societal and religious differences should get in the way of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Regardless of who or what you believe is your Almighty God, I am pretty sure that’s the point Jesus was trying to make. Throw in some religious Mumbo-Jumbo, and what do you get? “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things, and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg.

Back to paranoia. I really don’t think that people are following me. I do think that humankind needs a great awakening. In the meantime, treat all people, treat all things, with respect. If you really think that people are following you, see a shrink.  If you hear strange voices, it’s not your broccoli trying to give you advice, again, have your head examined.

We sometimes think it is hopeless and against all odds, but hey, we are part of the 99% against the 1% that currently have absolute control. We can and shall overcome the odds, but only if we truly ORGANIZE. Otherwise, we are all just as a “Single Fly, Farting in the Wind”. Some thoughts on possible miracles/solutions can be found on the following GOFUNDME page. If you have questions, suggestions, comments, etcetera, again, please feel free to contact me. You can contact me by farcecrap PM, send me an email or fill out the contact form below.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/like-a-single-fly-farting-in-the-wind

For my faithful readers that are aware that I’m finally working on “The Dead Armadillo” story, like say, a Producer, or a Director, or a Screenwriter or someone or a company that desires to option my novel, you can contact me at any time, night or day. If you are a one of those faithful readers that wish to read and follow my progress as I work on this novel, I will be posting updates as a PDF file on every new post on this website/blog. Here’s the latest of “The Dead Armadillo”

TheDeadArmadilloManuscript102019

For those of you that would care to get involved with me on this project, as I intend to hire a professional screenwriter at some point, and produce a feature film, I have recently been approved for a KICKSTARTER campaign where you can contribute. Here is the link to the KICKSTARTER campaign.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thedeadarmadillo/the-dead-armadillo

Peace & Abide, La paz y la morada, السلام والالتزام , שלום ושמירה, Paix et Demeure, Խաղաղությունը եւ մնալը, Мир и пребывание,, 平和と遵守, 和平與恪守, Aştî û Abad, صلح و عبید, Fred och Abide, Kapayapaan at Patuloy, Frieden und Bleiben, Mir i Ostanite, शांति और निवास, Hòa bình và ở lại, Мир и Абиде, שלום און בלייַבן, สันติภาพและการปฏิบัติ, Mir in bivanje,

Dr. T. C. Saxe, DD, RSISHE

ITAD-NAO Home

Some immediate needs. On a volunteer basis for now, we need a WEBMASTER who can work on the ITAD-NAO website, we need a person skilled in “Crowd-Funding” and “Director of Charitable Giving”, we need an attorney to help in the legal matters for ITAD_NAO, including setting us up as a tax-exempt “Church”, we need a Certified CPA to insure the financial integrity of the ITAD-NAO organization, we need a “Chief of Security”, we need a film-maker, first for YouTube, eventually for larger platforms, plus a few other positions. We believe that somewhere down the road, a Billionaire will step up to the plate and write a check for $50 Million or so, which will turn those volunteer positions into paid positions.

 

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“I don’t care about the color of your skin” and, “I don’t care about the color of YOUR skin either”, then we both laughed, and ordered another Black Label on the Rocks

This is a short story about my good friend, Kenneth Strong, with a few life lessons thrown in. Although they could’ve been twins, Kenny wasn’t a Sammy Davis Jr., married to a white chick, hanging out with the Rat pack. Not disparaging Sammy, I was a big fan of him, Sinatra, and Dean Martin.  I actually can say that Sammy’s daughter was a neighbor and friend, and that his grandson Sam, remains a close friend of my daughter’s to this day. The only similarities between the two of them, was the fact that Kenny was small like Sammy, five foot four or so, and they both could dance like champs. Oh yeah, the other difference? Even though he couldn’t carry a tune in a shoe if his life depended on it, Kenny still enjoyed going to Karaoke with me.

His weight and height was proportional up until when his emphysema progressed. Before he died, he had lost fifty pounds and was skin and bones, ninety-eight pounds (easy to carry up and down the stairs). In his healthy years, Kenny was a muscular dude who worked out and ran a mile every day. Kenny, was an ex-marine and veteran of the Korean War, loved his country and eventually became one of my closest friends. In spite of the fact that when I met him face to face for the first time, I thought he was the biggest asshole I had ever met in my whole life.

 

Kenny was the only person of color working in his department, so he was an anomaly of sorts. In fact, at that time, there were very few people of color that had risen the ranks and climbed the “Ladder” of success like Kenny had. He wasn’t sweeping the floor, or taking out the trash, he was responsible for administering the procurement of millions of dollars in high tech equipment and support for a globally recognized company. I was a sales dude at the time,  and my company had not seen any business from Kenny’s company in many years. Our only competitor had 100% of the business.

After many phone calls to try to get in to see him, (they where in upstate NY), I made the trip from California to New York twice with appointments to finally see him. Both times he blew me off with lame excuses. First time, I was told that he had called in sick. Second time, he was there. When I spoke to him from the lobby, he blew me off again, asking me, “Can you come back next week?”. Kenny knew that I had flown cross country to see him. Lets just say that I was just a little pissed. Patient, but pissed. The third trip was successful, however disappointing.

Lets just say that for the average salesman, it wasn’t just disappointing, it was devastating. I stood in the entry of his cubicle for what seemed like several minutes. “Thank you so much for taking the time to see me this morning”, I stated nervously to no avail. No response from Kenny. It’s as if I wasn’t standing there, gazing at all the accolades and awards on the walls. Glancing at his “Employee of the Year” award,  his Bachelors Degree, and all the other plaques, and then looking back at Kenny, I said to myself, “He can’t be hard of hearing, can he?” Lack of peripheral vision?

He was sitting there typing two-finger style, staring at his computer. So I took a few steps to the side chair alongside his desk, and started to sit down. When my butt was approximately five inches from the seat, still directing his gaze at his monitor, he said in a Drill Sergeant manner, ” I didn’t tell you to sit down yet”. Well, I immediately stood to attention and backed up two feet to the entryway into his cubicle. I swear I stood there for another two or three minutes before he swung his chair around and said, “You can sit down now”. Kenny took the next ten minutes telling me all the things wrong with my company. Needless to say, we did not take lunch together, and like I said earlier, I thought he was the biggest asshole I had ever met.

Now, what he said was true. Our prices were way too high, and our lead-times were way too long. I took these insights back to my company, and within six months, we had reduced both to the point where we started to get some of the business. After a year, and several more trips, my company was enjoying 100% of the business, and I was slowly becoming a  part of Kenny’s small circle of friends. I share this with all the sales people out there as a lesson. Three things. Be honest. Be genuine. Be patient. Take your time and really get to know your customer. Don’t get discouraged. Be patient. If you are able to look at your customer with one eye, while reading the documents on their desk upside down with the other eye, you are not my kind of salesman.

Of course your company has to be competitive in all areas. I was fortunate that my company was willing to adapt to the marketplace.  Over time, Kenny became a real friend. We did things that friends would do. Went fishing. Went to the casino, usually with a few other dudes from his office. My favorite thing was going to the racetrack in Saratoga once a year, to watch and bet on the ” Running of the Travers”. To our amazement, I actually won a Trifecta one year.

Kenneth and I went fishing many times. Once on the Hudson River, and several times at his favorite spot on the Erie Canal. Every time we went fishing,  Kenny would give me fishing “lessons”. Like the big brother he was, every time he would try to give me instructions on how to fish, I would tell him, “I’m from Minnesota, I was fishing when you were still in diapers”. Not really true, since he was about fifteen years older than me.

Anyway, Kenny would retort with, ” I don’t care if you are from Zimbabwe, you ain’t gonna catch anything that way”, or, “You’re so full of shit, you should have worn a diaper”, then we would laugh. I would always tease him and ask him to put my worm on for me (I never used anything other than lures).

I always caught the first fish and the last fish before he gave up for the day. Most of the time, I caught the only fish, which really pissed him off. Fishing on the Hudson was fun, but challenging because that one time we did go, it was in an old leaky row boat, oars only, no outboard. We always had a great time fishing except for that one hot, and muggy August day (I did most of the rowing), and we caught nothing.

Kenny and I remained friends after he retired. When his health began to deteriorate more and more, his buddies and I would still take him to the casino. I can remember pushing Kenny, his oxygen bottle, and his cigarette through the casino in his wheelchair. No matter what you said to him about his health and smoking, he would acknowledge, ”Yeah, I know, I should quit, it’s too late for me anyway”.  He never did quit, and it WAS too late, he died.

The last time I saw Kenny, he had been retired for about four years. He was so sick  and weak at that time, when we went to the grocery store or his favorite neighborhood tavern, I had to carry him up and down the stairs of his condo, and throw his wheelchair in the trunk. That last time I saw him was six months before he passed away.

Kenny grew up in a farming community in North Carolina, so he knew what Racism and Segregation was. I grew up in a farming community in Minnesota. I didn’t know what the words meant as I was growing up. We would sometimes have spirited discussions about a variety of subjects, whilst drinking our scotch or having a meal.

The most spirited conversations were when we talked about racism and segregation/integration, i.e., life in general. We mostly agreed on things, and our friendship with each other stayed intact. One of our most memorable exchanges was this one night, already three drinks into a long night, and I was a little pissed at something Kenny had said. I looked at Kenny and yelled, “I don’t care about the color of your skin!”, and Kenny paused for a second and quietly said,” I don’t care about the color of YOUR skin either”.

We laughed at each other, and ordered another Black Label on the Rocks. Kenny was a great friend. I grieved when he died, along with all of his friends and family. Lesson number two. Folks, Racism, Bigotry, Prejudice and Indifference are taught and therefore learned, not in-bred.

Strain: “Mark Twain’s Belly Button Lint”  harvested March 3, 2016

We sometimes think it is hopeless and against all odds, but hey, we are part of the 99% against the 1% that currently have absolute control. We can and shall overcome the odds, but only if we truly ORGANIZE. Otherwise, we are all just as a “Single Fly, Farting in the Wind” and “Useless as Wings on a Penis”.  If you have questions, suggestions, comments, etcetera, again, and you would like to hear my thoughts on possible miracles/solutions, please feel free to contact me. You can contact me by farcecrap PM, send me an email or fill out the contact form below.

For my faithful readers that are aware that I’m finally working on “The Dead Armadillo” story, like say, a Producer, or a Director, or a Screenwriter or someone or a company that desires to option my novel, you can contact me at any time, night or day. If you are a one of those faithful readers that wish to read and follow my progress as I work on this novel, I will be posting updates as a PDF file on every new post on this website/blog. Here’s the latest of “The Dead Armadillo”

TheDeadArmadilloManuscript112619

 

Click on a link here to share:   

 

This website is not filled with a bunch of “Click-On” ads for the latest in “Toothbrushes” “Fashion” or “Free trips to wherever” generating millions of pesos in income. We are not seeking your financial support as a primary goal or function of this website, although we know at some point, that we will have the necessary funding to carry out our mission at ITAD-NAO. First and foremost, If you feel this is worthy of your financial support and you do donate, that’s great, and we sincerely thank you, but first and foremost we are looking for your involvement with whatever skill-sets you may have to offer. Communicate with us, help us organize, help us plan, and help us execute the plan.  Thank you

 

 

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I guess we’re not getting a new puppy today!

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I think I had just turned eight years old. We had been living at the “Old Boxwell Farm” for three years.  My parents paid $60.00 a month to rent the house (built in 1884), and we had full use of any of the buildings that weren’t already being used by the owners.  We would end up living there for another six years. I guess you could say it was like a “Hobby Farm”, just a very large one.  360 acres, a whole “Section” on a map.  With a two-story farm house, a huge red barn, a chicken coop (eventually filled with 300 chickens), a shack for the Muscovy Ducks, and several other buildings and sheds. Google “Muscovy Ducks”.  Not the small, cute little ducks that go quack-quack,  These ducks were large ducks, almost goose size, raised primarily for eating.  They could rip a finger off if you weren’t careful. Continue reading I guess we’re not getting a new puppy today!