Saturday, October 28

Election Galore

Little genius is required to know it's election November next month. Last minute feeding frenzy for candidates with a bit of money left.

We are so thankful for our system of government --- its freedom to vote for the candidate of our choice --- and are even more thankful when all of the rhetoric, misinformation and hype is over on the first Wednesday following the first Tuesday in November!

Saturday, October 21

Horrors and Heroes

Joe Rosenthal's chance picture of the second raising of the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima has given him legendary status, albeit unwanted in his humble opinion. Joe has died, along with John Bradley, one of the six men in the picture. Three of them later died on Iwo Jima; John and two other survived. Taken back to the states to help raise war bond money, these men accompanied the photo as they spoke to audiences around the country.

I think John is the one who hated doing it. He went on to work as an undertaker at a funeral home in Antigo, Wisconsin. A fellow who works at his 'establishment' commented on the movie and John today on the Nikon photo forum I frequent:

I just got back from seeing Flags of our Fathers. Its really amazing how powerful an image can become. The right picture at the right time can become an unstopable force.

Its a little strange seeing this book made into a movie. It was a little strange all the attention little old Antigo WI got when the book came out, and seeing John Bradley depicted on screen in the theature located one block from the funeral home he ran until his death in 1994... Just a little bit weird.

John never would have wanted that book written, much less a movie made about it. Two of his sons, Tom and Steve run the funeral home now. The original building was tore down ten or eleven years ago, and a new one built on the other side of town. I've worked for them for awhile now, doing memorial videos and a few other things around the funeral home. (they dont pay enough, LOL!) They have this little statue of the flag raising in an alcove off the main hallway. A couple of times people stopped in to get their picture taken by the statue. We would just kind of roll our eyes after they left.

But anyway, getting back to the subject at hand. I think the movie did a good job of showing how powerful an image can be. And how missunderstood.

And from Wikipedia:

Following his appearances at the last bond tour, John Bradley married his childhood sweetheart Betty Van Gorp, settled down in Antigo, and had eight children. He fulfilled his life-long dream by buying and managing his own funeral parlor, but was tormented by memories of the war; Betty says he wept in his sleep for several years and kept a large knife in a dresser drawer for "protection".

Memorial plaque placed by his family on the spot of the flag raisingHis son James Bradley (who wrote a book about the flag-raisers in 2000 titled Flags of Our Fathers) speculated that his father's determined silence and discomfort on the subject of his role in the Battle of Iwo Jima was largely due to memories of John's best friend, Ralph "Iggy" Ignatowski. Ignatowski was captured, dragged into a tunnel by Japanese soldiers during the battle, and was later found with his eyes, ears, and fingernails removed, his teeth smashed, the back of his head caved in, multiple bayonet wounds to the abdomen, and his severed genitalia stuffed into his mouth. Bradley's recollections of discovering and taking care of Ignatowski's remains haunted him until his death.

Ordinary men doing the extaordinary with fear, trembling and an understanding that they might die in battle. It was a time lie face down in the sand, praying to God for mercy.

Thursday, October 19

One Cool Cat

There's little doubt that cats are cool. And they don't mind telling you so. Cool, but clueless. Kind of like some people.

Well, it's all tied up in the 4th inning of the 7th game between the Mets and Cards. I'm rooting for former A's manager. Looks like it will be the Mets and Tigers for the big series. No heart-throbbing here in California over either of them.

The world is going to hell and we get excited about swinging bats and perfect spirals.

Saturday, October 14

The Latest Reason for Global Warming

Whew! The latest word is that you don't have to trade that honkin' SUV in to help save the planet from global warming. We can now start blaming the Indian Ocean for the rise in temperature, at least out here in the western United States.

Maybe it's all those American jobs being exported to India and surrounding countries. That's an awful lot of cargo ships spewing their deadly VOC's into the atmosphere.

Monday, October 9

Happy Birthday, Mike

Mike's 21st birthday will be spent at his FOB in Afghanistan. He's an MP, drives a patrol Humvee that search and destroys Taliban. His mom is sending him two packages of Twinkees, a pack of beef jerky, some other stuff and a card signed by everyone where we work together. She hears from him (computer connection) regularly.

It's the waiting, praying, and trusting that take front row at the front lines and rear lines back home.

Happy birthday, Mike!

My brother, Marty's, birthday was yesterday, so "Happy Birthday, Mart!" You were in a war, too. Vietnam. We don't talk about it. I don't think you got shot at, chased Viet Cong, or drove a Humvee. But someone was praying for you, too.