Saturday, October 31, 2015

Advice From An Old Farmer

Posted to Facebook by Jeff Mersmann
October 2 at 8:57am.

Advice from An Old Farmer

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

And so it goes...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I am a Seenager.

I am a Seenager. (Senior teenager)
I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later.
I don’t have to go to school or work.
I get an allowance (pensions).
I have my own pad.
I don’t have a curfew.
I have a driver’s licence and my own car.
I have ID that gets me into bars and the Beer Store.
The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant.
And I don’t have acne.
Life is great.

And so it goes...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Confederate Flag Controversary


It was not my intent to comment about the Confederate flag controversy but there is so much inaccurate information on various media outlets and the fact that I grew up in the South, that it is hard not to voice an opinion.

This is such an emotional issue for so many people. Whether you are black or white, from the North or South; we all have different views based on our personal experiences and, of course, our cultural differences.

Most of what we know about the Civil War; it causes and why a Nation of United States would go to war against one another we learned from history courses in high school, which were totally inadequate. Most of us assume the civil war had to do with slavery. That is a somewhat simplistic view, but not totally inaccurate.

On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States, beating Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, John C. Breckinridge of the Southern Democrats, and John Bell of the new Constitutional Union Party. He was the first president from the Republican Party.

Take note: There were four candidates for President in the November 1860 election. The Democrats effectively split the vote which allowed Abraham Lincoln to be elected. One of his campaign pledges was to eliminate slavery. He served from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865.

His victory prompted seven southern slave states to form the Confederate States of America before he moved into the White House - no compromise or reconciliation was found regarding slavery and secession. Subsequently, on April 12, 1861, a Confederate attack on Fort Sumter inspired the North to enthusiastically rally behind the Union in a declaration of war. As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South, War Democrats, who called for more compromise, anti-war Democrats (called Copperheads), who despised him, and irreconcilable secessionists, who plotted his assassination. Politically, Lincoln fought back by pitting his opponents against each other, by carefully planned political patronage, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory. His Gettysburg Address became an iconic endorsement of the principles of nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy.

Although the Southern States claimed that the secession was a matter of States Rights (Claiming the Federal Government was infringing on States Rights by proposing to ban slavery in all states of the Confederation; in truth, the Southern States needed slaves in order to continue the Plantation style cotton plantations that were the mainstay of Southern aristocracy. Without large cotton plantations the Southern economy would crumble.

So the issue was economical, politically motivated by the rich and powerful slave owners. Those politically connected understood the necessity of continuing to support slave labor, without which the South would fail.

So yes, it was about slavery! Yet, for the average recruit in the Confederate Army it was about protecting their homeland, their property and their honor. For the average Southerner it was about the Union forces invading their homeland and they were honor bound to defend their homes and their heritage. Why else would a poor Southern farmer put his life on the line except to defend his land and his family against Northern invaders, aggressors?

The vast majority of Confederate recruits had small farms and never owned any slaves. In fact, the vast majority were opposed to owning slaves and would never consider owning slaves. Most Southern families were large, in part owing to lack of birth control, but mostly because offspring, in time, provided the cheap labor needed to produce sufficient crops to survive. Essentially, the average Southern family lived off the land consuming what they grew and selling the surplus for sufficient monies to purchase essentials that could not be grown.

Why then would the Confederate recruits sign on for a war that did not serve their interests? Loyalty to their homeland, Loyalty to their heritage and their basic freedoms, protection of their homelands, their property and their families.

Did the average Confederate foot soldier understand the issues of States Rights, Slavery and large cotton plantations? No!

But does it surprise anyone that surviving soldiers and their families of the generation that fought in the Civil War, although it was a lost cause, would take pride in their efforts to preserve their heritage, their homeland and their way of life? This is where the Southern Pride and the adoption of the Confederate Battle Flag began. It was a symbol of pride and respect. It was a symbol of loved ones lost that would never return home. It served as a symbol of the bravery shown by those that died and those that returned after a devastating loss.

It is not the official Confederate flag. It was adopted as a Battle Flag once it was determined that the official Confederate flag and the United States flag were too similar, causing confusing on the battle field as to who was friendly and who was enemy.

It was a very popular flag although a "Battle Flag" used originally only in battle. Following the end of the Civil War the Battle Flag became the symbol of a defeated nations pride in its just cause, in spite of an overwhelming defeat. The war which many thought would last only 90 days at most continued for four long years. The South, early in the war showed their ability to wage a war with dedicated troops that were capable of defeating the Union forces in battle after battle.

From the end of the Civil War until the current time, the Southern States took pride in the epic battle to win independence from the United States even though through defeat, they once again became a part of these United States of America. It was commonly known as Southern Pride!

Right or wrong, the Battle Flag of the Confederate States became a symbol of Southern pride, Southern Heritage and the Confederate Battle Flag was commonly flown in many predominate places including State Houses, flag poles through out the South and too many places to name. A number of Southern States incorporated the Battle Flag in their State flags. For a long period of time the Confederate Battle Flag was accepted as part of Southern culture for many, many years!

Unfortunately; a number of different organizations adopted the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol to promote hate and racist philosophies. The KKK, the White Supremacists, the Nazi skin heads, and any number of lessor groups, high-jacked the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol of hate.

We stood by and allowed this to happen! We didn't object, we didn't protest, we remained silent!

As a result of our inaction, as a result of our complacency we allowed the hate-mongers to spew their evil. We sat back and did nothing! We didn't protest, we didn't raise a hew and cry; we simply sat back and let it happen!

Personally, as a Southerner, I take pride in the Confederacy. I believe the Confederate Battle flag is a symbol of a bold campaign fought by and supported by a large segment of the Southern populace that was the epitome of bravery, loyalty, and sacrifice and a dedication to a way of life that to their way of thinking, was threatened. .

It is indeed unfortunate that we allowed the Ku Klux Klan, the White Supremacists, the Nazi skin heads, and any number of lessor groups, to adopt the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol of hate. These groups stole our heritage! They took a symbol dedicated to Southern heritage, pride and history and turned it into something evil. A symbol today that is threatening to to African Americans. African Americans look upon the Confederate Battle flag as a symbol of "Hate". That is so unfortunate! The Rebel Flag was never intended to symbolize Hate! How did that happen?

It happened because we allowed it to happen! You, I and all the people that sat back and did nothing when the hate groups adopted it as their symbol of hate!

And so it goes...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Men's Ten Mile Record Broken


On Friday night, June 26, 2015, the Ten Mile Men's Race record at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center was broken.

The Men's Ten Mile record was last set in 1999, at 18:56:71 by Jamie Carney.

That record fell tonight, Friday, June 26, 2015, when Bobby Lea bettered that time in a spectacular bid to set a new record. The official time: 18:12.61.

Interestingly enough Bobby Lea posted this comment to his Twitter account on Thursday:
Bobby Lea
Yesterday at 12:38pm · Twitter ·

10 Mile on the schedule for tomorrow night @thevelodrome. I'm thinking it might be time to try breaking a track record!

He indicated he wanted it and I never for one minute doubted that it was within him to accomplish anything he set out to do.

This is the bike he rode to a new track record in the Ten Mile.

Photo after Bobby set the Ten Mile Track Record; Left to Right, Ali Pompa, Bobby Lea and Kelly Carr Schadler.

Congratulations Bobby Lea on setting a new Ten Mile Track record at the Valley Preferred Cycling center. I have a feeling you are going to be on the podium at the upcoming 2016 Olympic games. I am extremely pleased to have the privilege of calling you my friend.

And so it goes...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Am I getting to be that age?


Am I getting to be that age?

Today I was in a store that sells sunglasses and only sunglasses. A young lady walks over to me and asked, "what brings you in today?" I looked at her, and said, "I'm interested in buying a refrigerator."

She didn't quite know how to respond.


When people see a cat's litter box they always say, “Oh, have you got a cat?”

Just once I want to say, “No, it's for company!”


Employment application blanks always ask who is to be called in case of an emergency. I think you should write, “An ambulance.”


I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse. Since I can't afford one, I'm wearing my garage door opener.


I thought about making a fitness movie for folks my age and call it;

“ Pumping Rust ”.


I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is when you still have something on the ball but you are just too tired to bounce it.


Birds of a feather flock together and then poop on your car.


I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older.
Then it dawned on me ….
They were cramming for their finals.

As for me, I'm just hoping God grades on the curve.


The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.


The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.


Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL?

Cool! But for eighty (80) its LXXX!

Not sure I want to live that long!


The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.


Did you ever notice: When you put the words “The” and “IRS” together they spell “Theirs”?



Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

I'm already there!


Some people try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know why I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.


And so it goes...


Monday, June 22, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Shariah Muslim law Cannot Be Ignored!

This was written by a woman born in Egypt as a Muslim. Make sure you read the paragraph towards the end.

"Joys of Muslim Women"
By Nonie Darwish

In the Muslim faith a Muslim man can marry a child as young as 1 year old and have sexual intimacy with this child. Consummating the marriage by age 9.

The dowry is given to the family in exchange for the woman (who becomes his slave) and for the purchase of the private parts of the woman, to use her as a toy. Even though a woman is abused she can not obtain a divorce.

To prove rape, the woman must have (4) male witnesses.

Often after a woman has been raped, she is returned to her family and the family must return the dowry. The family has the right to execute her (an honor killing) to restore the honor of the family. Husbands can beat their wives 'at will' and he does not have to say why he has beaten her.

The husband is permitted to have (4 wives) and a temporary wife for an hour (prostitute) at his discretion.

The Shariah Muslim law controls the private as well as the public life of the woman.

In the Western World (Canada, Australia, United States and Britain ) Muslim men are starting to demand Shariah Law so the wife cannot obtain a divorce and he can have full and complete control of her. It is amazing and alarming how many of our sisters and daughters attending American, Canadian, Universities and British Universities are now marrying Muslim men and submitting themselves and their children unsuspectingly to the Shariah law.

By passing this on, enlightened Canadian, Australian, American and British women may avoid becoming a slave under Shariah Law.

Ripping the West in Two.

Author and lecturer Nonie Darwish says the goal of radical Islamists is to impose Shariah law on the world, ripping Western law and liberty in two.

She recently authored the book "Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law". Darwish was born in Cairo and spent her childhood in Egypt and Gaza before immigrating to America in 1978, when she was eight years old. Her father died while leading covert attacks on Israel. He was a high-ranking Egyptian military officer stationed with his family in Gaza.

When he died, he was considered a "shahid," a martyr for jihad. His posthumous status earned Nonie and her family an elevated position in Muslim society.

But Darwish developed a skeptical eye at an early age. She questioned her own Muslim culture and upbringing.. She converted to Christianity after hearing a Christian preacher on television.

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In her latest book, Darwish warns about creeping shariah law - what it is, what it means, and how it is manifested in Islamic countries.

For the West, she says radical Islamists are working to impose sharia on the world. If that happens, Western civilization will be destroyed. Westerners generally assume all religions encourage a respect for the dignity of each individual.. Islamic law (Sharia) teaches that non-Muslims should be subjugated or killed in this world.

Peace and prosperity for one's children is not as important as assuring that Islamic law rules everywhere in the Middle East and eventually in the world.

While Westerners tend to think that all religions encourage some form of the golden rule, Shariah teaches two systems of ethics - one for Muslims and another for non-Muslims. Building on tribal practices of the seventh century, Shariah encourages the side of humanity that wants to take from and subjugate others.

While Westerners tend to think in terms of religious people developing a personal understanding of and relationship with God, Shariah advocates executing people who ask difficult questions that could be interpreted as criticism.

It's hard to imagine, that in this day and age, Islamic scholars agree that those who criticize Islam or choose to stop being Muslim should be executed. Sadly, while talk of an Islamic reformation is common and even assumed by many in the West, such murmurings in the Middle East are silenced through intimidation.

While Westerners are accustomed to an increase in religious tolerance over time, Darwish explains how petro dollars are being used to grow an extremely intolerant form of political Islam in her native Egypt and elsewhere.

(In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in Canada, Australia , the U.S., and Britain to elect the heads of Government by themselves! Rest assured they will do so. You can look at how they have taken over several towns in the USA . Dearborn, Mich. is one and there are others....) ( Britain has several cities now totally controlled by Muslims)

I think everyone in Canada, Australia, the U.S. and Great Britain should be required to read this, but with the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on!

It is too bad that so many are disillusioned with life and Christianity to accept Muslims as peaceful. Some may be but they have an army that is willing to shed blood in the name of Islam. The peaceful support the warriors with their finances and own kind of patriotism to their religion. While Canada, Australia, the U.S.A. and Britain are getting rid of Christianity from all public sites and erasing God from the lives of children, the Muslims are planning a great jihad on North America, Australia and Britain.

This is your chance to make a difference! Pass it on to those you think will listen.

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This is a personal comment by Everette Carr: We can ignore the Muslim threat at our own peril. I will not be alive to see it but my grandchildren and great grandchildren will suffer under Muslim law within their lifetimes. That is, unless we recognize the threat now and take action as a Nation to stop its spread. Just look at what ISIS has accomplished in a short time. You should not ignore the killings, the be headings and other atrocities rough by the Muslims. The threat is real! This could be our last great hope of stopping the threat posed by Islam and the Muslims. If we fail to act, if we fail to take the threat seriously, future generations will suffer the consequences.

And so it goes...Sadly!


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Evelyn Tokar

Evelyn Tokar was Born on October 17, 1935 and passed from this earth on August 31, 2011. She was a special individual that had the ability to brighten a room simply by her presence. She was loved by all that knew her. She was a classy lady that garnered the admiration and respect and love of all that she came in contact with. She is greatly missed!

This post is not a special post in commemoration of any specific event, but just an acknowledgement that I loved her dearly and miss her daily!

Evelyn, I acknowledge that you are in a better place, but your absence from my life is still very painful. Rest in peace!

I will love you always!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

A 30-year-old photo of a soldier is social media’s newest sensation. The picture is absolutely breathtaking and speaks volumes about the dedication and discipline the men and women of our military possess.



The viral photo is of Charles Gauldin, while he was guarding the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier, during an epic snow storm. Journalist Raymond Arroyo tweeted the legendary photo from the early 1980s and Americans everywhere have expressed their appreciation for his dedication in the midst of relentless snow.

Even though the beautiful photo is 30 years old, the viral engagement of social media users reveals our respect for the men and women in uniform. The patriotic devotion and discipline by these Guards is admirable and breathtaking.

Our fighting men and women in military service and those that serve in different, but important capacities, deserve our respect and admiration.

And so it goes...


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dean Browning - Airport Authority

It only took a few days for the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority to sort things out regarding an unauthorized report ordered by the nominating committee. Chairman Marc Troutman announced that neither Dean Browning nor David Haines had conflicts of interest, which was indicated by the confidential report. Unfortunately David Haines, a commercial airline pilot, had already resigned in disgust.

Troutman indicated that the next order of business was to address procedures regarding the hiring of outside counsel. Without a vote and without knowledge of most of the board members or the authority's solicitor, Robert Donchez, the nominating committee hired a New York law firm to conduct the unauthorized study.

although the 'conflict' matter has been resolved, there remains a rift among the 15-member board, with members calling for one another to resign. A splintered board is going to find it difficult to function in a normal manner and the authority needs to function at its highest level if the various problems facing the authority are to be addressed successfully.

And so it goes...


Monday, March 30, 2015

The Republican Lehigh County Results Team resorts to attack ads!

Lehigh Results Team
Edited ·

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Dean Browning's power grab backfires and now he's scrambling to hide the fact he was independently found to have a conflict of interest but refuses to resign.


Comments: Everette Carr, Lehigh County Resident

I am greatly disappointed in the four republicans, that call themselves "The Lehigh County Results Team". Rather than tell the Lehigh County voters how they plan to produce results as commissioners of Lehigh County, they have chosen to run Attack Ads and Facebook posts against the only other republican running against their slate. Four worthy candidates, to be sure, ganging up on one former commissioner attempting to regain a seat on the Lehigh County Commission. There are four open seats on the Lehigh County Commission and five candidates running in the Primary. Four of these candidates have formed a coalition or block to keep Dean Browning from being elected to the final slate of candidates to face four Democrats in the November election.

I enjoy the machinations of politics, the debates over differing opinions, etc., but I abhor when candidates for office use nasty tactics to tear down the opponent, particularly when it's four against one!

They use a unauthorized study, by a law firm with questionable and close association with one of the authority members, researching the possibility of conflict of interest on the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Board. This law firm, which supposedly conducted an independent study declared Dean Browning and David Haines as having conflicts of interest.

David Haines, who was challenging the current board chairman, Marc Troutman, immediately quit the board in disgust. The individual that commissioned the study without board approval was Jane Baker, Nominating Committee Chair. Dean Browning has chosen to fight the allegations rather than resign and well he should. They claim Dean Browning has a conflict but Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowsky does not? Are you kidding me?

While I would suggest it would have been better for the coalition of "The Lehigh County Results Team" to take a wait and see approach to the Airport Authority squabbles; They chose to hastily jump in with their shovels in an attempt to bury Dean Browning!

I guess I shouldn't be surprised when politicians fail to play fairly.

I would expect this conduct from Democrats, but I thought Republicans had more credibility! Live and learn!

And so it goes...


Monday, March 23, 2015

Hannah Hayduk





Lindsey Wilson Colllege student injured in cycling accident during road race
By Larry Smith, FM 92.7 the WAVE and FM 99.9 the Big Dawg

A standout Lindsey Wilson student-athlete, Hannah Hayduk, was airlifted from near the scene of an single bicycle crash on Dunbar Hill this morning, Sunday, March 22, 2015, during a collegiate Road Race, according to Adair County Sheriff Harrison Moss and Deputy Sheriff Adam Cravens.

Hayduk, a premedical student from Kutztown, PA, was taken from the scene to a waiting helicopter at the intersection of KY 76/Elkhorn Road and Liberty Road/KY 206 and was flown to the University of Louisville Hospital.

The intersection was closed to all traffic for somewhat less than one hour.

Hayduk herself is a certified EMT, a Begley Scholar, and an active participant in the Columbia community.

Besides the ACSO, members of the Adair County EMS and the Knifley Fire Department were on the scene. - LARRY SMITH, Operatons Manager, Shoreline Communications.













Thank, You Lord God, for your blessings and your guidance. We beseech you to be at the bedside of Hannah Hayduk, a young woman that has met with a terrible cycling accident which has placed her life in peril. Comfort her and ease her suffering. We beg for deliverance, and submit that no healing is too hard for our Lord God, if it be His will.

We therefore pray that You bless our friend Hannah with Your loving care, renew her strength, and heal her wounds and make her well, in Your loving name we pray.

Thank You, Lord.

Looking forward to seeing you soon, Hannah!


Colleen Hayduk Morning of Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thank you so much to everybody who has reached out to me and my family. We really appreciate all the support and are thankful for the kind words and prayers. Hannah is a fighter. The progress she's made in the last 14 hours has been incredible. She was taken out of the coma but has yet to open her eyes. She is breathing on her own and doesn't have to be asked more than two or three times to follow commands about wiggling her left toes, right hand, etc. She knows her name and over night she said, "my head hurts" and "help me". There's still a long way to go but she's doing great and I'm so proud of her. Please keep her in your prayers.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Military Escort

Kurt Lutter

My lead flight attendant came to me and said, "We have an H.R. on this flight." (H.R. stands for human remains.)

"Are they military?" I asked.

'Yes', she said.

'Is there an escort?' I asked.

'Yes, I've already assigned him a seat'.

'Would you please tell him to come to the Flight Deck. You can board him early," I said...

A short while later a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier.

The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us. 'My soldier is on his way back to Virginia ,' he said. He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I told him that he had the toughest job in the military, and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers. The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the Flight Deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure. About 30 minutes into our flight, I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin.

'I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is also on board', she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left.

We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia . The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane.

I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do. 'I'm on it', I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio. There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the dispatcher. I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted. He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family. I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:

'Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now, and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft. The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family.

The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal, where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home.

Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.

I sent a message back, telling flight control thanks for a good job. I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, 'You have no idea how much this will mean to them.'

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit. When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.

'There is a team in place to meet the aircraft', we were told. It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller, we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp controller said, 'Take your time.'

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said: 'Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking: I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.'

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see. I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands. Moments later, more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping. Words of 'God Bless You', I'm sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA.

Foot note:

They die for me and mine and you and yours and deserve our honor and respect.

Prayer Request:

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world... Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.


Thank you all who have served, or are serving. We Will not forget!!!!

Post Script: This story has circulated the Internet for quite some time and pops up from time to time. It is a nice read, a wonderful story that is well written. Presumably the author is Kurt Lutter, the Airline Pilot that piloted the plane with the deceased soldier's remains in the cargo hole. Yet there is no Kurt Lutter listed on google whose career is or was an Airline pilot. Snopes was silent on the authenticity of the story.

So the story may be authentic or fiction. If it is fiction, it is good fiction that carries an important message. Similar scenarios occur far too often. So in a sense it is real!

And so it goes...


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mens Scratch Race - 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships


On Day 2, Thursday, Bobby Lea finishes third in the Mens Scratch Race - 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships | St Quentin-en-Yvelines, France.

Bobby Lea is also competeing in the Omnium. On Friday, the men’s Omnium begins, as does the women’s sprint. Medal finals will be held for the men’s 1km time trial, the men’s points race and the women’s individual pursuit.

Four titles will be awarded on Saturday – the women’s Scratch race, women’s sprint, men’s individual pursuit and the men’s Omnium. The women’s Omnium will also begin, as will the men’s sprint.

The USA Team is represented by the following riders:

USA Men’s roster Matt Baranoski (Perkasie, Pa./Custom Velo): keirin* Jacob Duehring (Irvine, Calif./GS Ciao): omnium Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa./Custom Velo): individual pursuit*; scratch race Nick Rogers (Philadelphia, Pa./QCW p/b Felt Bicycles-JLVelo): points race

USA Women’s roster
Missy Erickson (Alexandria, Minn./Momentum Coaching Group p/b Atomic-Momentum Coaching Group): keirin*; sprint Kim Geist (Emmaus, Pa./Chester County Cycling Foundation-Team Alliance Environmental): points race; scratch race Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./TWENTY16 p/b SHO-AIR): omnium*; individual pursuit*; team pursuit Carmen Small (Durango, Colo./Team TWENTY16 p/b SHO-AIR): team pursuit Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./ UCI PCT/WPT: UnitedHealthcare): team pursuit Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif./TWENTY16 p/b SHO-AIR): team pursuit Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./UCI PCT/WPT: UnitedHealthcare): team pursuit

The following link will take you to the UCI web site where you can view each days results as well as view select videos:

UCI Web Site

And So It Goes...

UCI Track World Championships - Kim Geist


Geist wins women’s points race bronze on Day 1 of UCI Track World Championships

Kim Geist (Emmaus, Pa./Chester County Cycling Foundation-Team Alliance Environmental) earned bronze in the women’s points race on Wednesday to lead things off for Team USA at the 2015 UCI Track World Championships in St. Quentin en Yvelines, France.

Geist climbed the third step of the podium for the first U.S. medal at the five-day event after collecting 25 points in the women’s points race. Geist won the fifth sprint for five points and earned an additional 20 lap points for the third best score of the evening. Stephanie Pohl of Germany and Minami Uwano of Japan collected 38 and 28 points, respectively, to win gold and silver.

The day began for Team USA with a women’s team pursuit qualification, as Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./TWENTY16 p/b SHO-AIR), Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./ UCI PCT/WPT: UnitedHealthcare) Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif./TWENTY16 p/b SHO-AIR) and Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./UCI PCT/WPT: UnitedHealthcare) advanced to the Thursday’s team pursuit first round with the sixth-best qualifying time of 4:28.302.

The men’s team sprint qualifier and final, men’s team pursuit qualifier and women’s team sprint final also ran on Day 1, though Team USA did not have any competitors.

And So It goes...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BBQ Bacon Sushi

Meat, Bacon, Cheese, and Barbecue Sauce

This is a recipe that I haven't tried yet, but you can count on it being on the menu real soon!

Hmmmm! Don't know about you but I am hungry!

And So It Goes...M/p>