23 June 2011

Random thoughts and facts

In 1845, the congress of the Republic of Texas agreed to annexation by the United States. Texas is the only state to enter the Union after being a sovereign nation ... thus, it's flag can fly at the same height as our nation's flag.
In 1865, the last Confederate holdouts formally surrendered in the Oklahoma Territory.

Singer June Carter Cash (daughter of Mother Maybelle and wife of Johnny) born in 1929

Birthdays Yesterday:
Sir H. (Henry) Rider Haggard in 1856 an English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations, predominantly Africa, and a founder of the Lost World literary genre. His most famous books are King Solomon’s Mines and She. His most famous characters are ‘She-who-must-be-obeyed’ (aka Ayesha) and Allan Quatermain (not "Quartermain" … with an R …  a common error)
German novelist Erich Maria Remarque ( All Quiet on the Western Front ) in 1898

Bank robber John Dillinger in 1903

Fashion designer Bill Blass in 1922

Singer/actor Kris Kristofferson in 1936 (age 75)a study in contrasts. Rhodes Scholar, US Army Captain / ranger / helicopter pilot, song writer extraordinaire, singer, actor etc.

Basketball Hall of Fame member Peter Press
"Pistol Pete" Maravich in 1947 … Hall of Fame player John Havlicek said "the best ball-handler of all time was Pete Maravich." One of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Maravich was cited by the Hall as "perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history".

Actor Graham Greene in 1952 (age 59) ...
an Onieda, born in Ohsweken on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada. Although he has played Indians in lots of films (Dances With Wolves, Thunderheart, Powwow Highway, et al), he is much more than just an "Indian" actor.

20 June 2011

   I was discussing ... on line ... my Scots-Irish ancestry and the driving force among most southerners. Or should I say "our" ancestry. Most all of you have some scots Irish in you. All of my cousins ... the Dixons, Dinkles, Gillispies, Staples and Groffs, et al are from the same lineage. I thought that I would offer some thoughts of mine about that subject ... since it's my blog.
  About 450 years ago, in Scotland, there were groups of Celtic cattle thieves known as the 'Borderers' because they lived on the unfertile farm lands along Hadrian's Wall that basically separates England and Scotland. Besides stealing cattle, fighting and killing each other (and others), and making whisky (No E in Whisky in Scotland), they lived simple lives. They were (and are) a fiercely independent people ... loyal to their clan or group and anti-government as a whole. They have always been fiercely Protestant and anti-Catholic. So King James 1 of England (King James IV of Scotland) a sawed off little runt and son of Mary, Queen of Scots (though born a Catholic, he converted to Protestantism and ruled Protestant England and Scotland) ... anyway, James was having a little war with Ireland which gave him no end of trouble ... especially in Ulster. So, James decided to settle these Borderers in Ulster in the midst of the Irish Catholics ... which is why we're also known as Ulster Scots. The results are evident even today where the Protestant Orangemen in Ireland are still enemies of the Catholic "Green" Irish. I have heard it said that they were the equivalent to today's Southern Redneck Fundamentalists.
   Because of high taxes and unemployment (sound familiar?) these Ulster Scots / Scots Irish emigrated in droves to America. They reverted to their ways as Borderers, especially in the Appalachian region ... that ridge of mountains that separated the East Coast from the "out there" of the west. With lots of corn for making whiskey, guns with which to kill the Indians, and lots of distance between them and the American guv'ment ... they became the rednecks, hillbillys, and white trash we all know and love today.
    These people (their descendants) still live in the hills and mountains of Virginia, West Va, NC, Penn, Tenn, Kentucky and Ohio. And they have spread their seed westward to Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, etc. These are are the Red states that put George W. into the Presidency. Not only the Scots Irish, but as David Hackett says in Albion's Seed, Italians, Germans, and many others have adopted these Ulster Scots attitudes, values, etc. as THE American attitudes and values. Most of our military non Afro-Americans are of this ancestry and or this set of values and mores. These are the folks that fight for America, and they are usually staunch Christians. American Conservatism  owes its very existence to the Scots Irish and their "borderer" mentality. They want the Gov'ment to leave us alone when it comes to  whiskey, hunting, and all other domestic portions of our existence. I am proud to be from this hardy American stock. We will fight for what we believe in and will live our lives as we wish. In the "Shootist" , John Wayne's character (John B. Books) says ... I do not  want any man laying his hand upon me or interfering with me in any way ... I do not do this to others and will not tolerate them doing it to me. Ethan in "The Searchers", Dunston in "Red River", and many, many of the Duke's other roles are stereotypically Scots Irish people with all their honor and all their failures as people.   
    So, celebrate your heritage.

End of June

Well, it has been a long, long time since I entered anything on here. It just seemed that I had nothing to say ... really strange for me. We had our American Legion Post 36 Officer Installation on Saturday night. I was installed as the Commander for 2011-2012 and Ms Hilda was installed as the Historian in the Auxiliary. Afterwards we had a great dinner and dance to the fabulous 60's Garage Band. They are a really great Tucson band with a lot of talented individuals who have been in music many years. The bass player played with Chubby Checker, The Ronettes, and Little Anthony and the Imperials (among others). Keith Lewallen and his wife are in it. He and his brothers (The Lewallen Brothers Band) were the very first band that I heard in Tucson when I got here from Vietnam in 1970. Anyway, we danced and had a great time with our friends.

                           Here is Ms Hilda getting sworn in

Me getting sworn in by Ken Dowse, with the SAL Commander looking on