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Posts Tagged ‘America

The Miracle Happens ! Day After The Election Political Editorial

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Day After The  Election 2012

 

The

Miracle

Happens !

 

Official Photo of the White_House_North_Portico_Photo in the Public Domain

 

By Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I am shocked !

I am stunned !

I am amazed !

 

I am in shock !

 

I woke up at 3:45 p.m., today, and powered on the laptop.

 

I had spent the night trying to overcome the International Date Line time difference between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America. I used the Google search engine of my Firefox browser to surf to the Associated Press, Reuters, ABC News, CBS News, the BBC, CNN, Google News and Yahoo News websites.

 

I read so many stories on the presidential election campaign of 2012 that my eyeballs hurt.

 

I would look at the digital readout of the clock on my laptop, glance up at the clock on the wall and then look at a story and try to decide if Americans in the United States were still voting or had the polls closed and the count of ballots begun.

 

On the Yahoo News website they were thoughtful enough to post a “Polls Countdown Clock” that ticked off the hours until the first polls closed.

 

I had told my wife, Christy, “President Obama is going to be a ‘One Hit Wonder.’” This is one of the few times in my life that I am proud I was wrong.

 

November 6, 2012, I got up at 5 am.

 

The last time I “intentionally” got up at 5 am. I wore the uniform of the United States Air Force.

 

Since I retired, the sun has my permission to rise ever how early it wishes. Roosters in the Philippines love to crow, so the Rhode Island Reds usually start crowing about 30 minutes before the sun actually begins to rise.

 

I had got up early to log on to the laptop and try and find out, “How is Election Day going in the Good Ole’ USA.” I saw the traditional photos of voters standing in line waiting to vote. Those pictures tell you nothing – everyone knows there are a lot of people in the world.

 

The Election Day Photo

 

Go through old newspapers and magazines from the day the first camera was invented and you always find a variation of “The Election Day Photo.” It is an old, tired, photo idea, but, the reason it always works is “Democracy.”

 

Only In A Democracy

 

Only in a democracy, do you have people, who are willing to stand out in the bitter cold and damp to vote. Only in a democracy, do you have people, who sweat, perspire and are obviously in discomfort in sweltering heat to vote.

 

Only in a democracy do people stumble over the rubble of a natural disaster to make their way to a polling place to cast their ballot.

 

Only in a democracy, do officials realize they may have to open the polls early, set up a polling place in another area, provide transportation to get voters to a polling place or be willing to keep a polling place open later than usual, so voters can vote.

 

Only in a democracy is a voter willing to endure the worst Life has to offer for the simple act to cast your ballot.

 

The Defense Defense

 

Online, I read the news stories of how America’s “National Dog And Pony Show” of 2012 – The Presidential Campaign had been the traditional Republican, “The Democrats Are All Bums” and how, of course, the Democrats replied, “The Republicans Are All Bums.”

 

In the middle of all the political rhetoric and “name calling” there were facts like President Obama was set to cut money from the Defense Budget.

 

Never a smart move for an American president to put on the public record in an election year because the Defense Industry in the US employs many Americans and helps to put food on the table.

 

Plus, you have many Americans in uniform at home and abroad and that message is always understood as a lack of support from The White House.

 

Of course, you have us, old retirees and veterans, who wonder if the president remembers that the United States Armed Forces do as much to “protect the peace of the world” as they do to stand ready to respond to a global crisis.

 

The catch, of course, is everyone wants their share of the pie. Congressmen and senators had the concerns of their states and districts, which are funded government programs that supply paychecks back in their voting districts.

 

Who gets the slices of the pie and who gets the crumbs ? When you prioritize government programs, in peace time, standing armies can be downsized and bases closed. World history documents the “feast and famine” conditions that always relate to military forces worldwide. Thus, military forces are usually one of the first of government programs that feel the budget ax.

REPUBLICAN ELEPHANT PIN FACE RIGHT

 

Wall Street Courts Romney

 

I read on through the various news stories. Wall Street was behind the Republican Mitt Romney – that was a “No Brainer.”

 

There are poor people in the United States, who claim to be Republican. Go to Stone County, Missouri and stop anyone on the street and nine times out of ten, they will stick out their chest and tell you, “I am a Republican.”

 

Newsflash – If you ain’t got money; you ain’t “a Republican.”

 

You can claim to be a Republican until you are blue in the face, but if you don’t have money – you ain’t a Republican.

 

The Republican Party takes pride in telling the World, “We are America’s Business Party.” Back in 1854, American businessmen could not get the stubborn American farmers – the Democrats – to change their minds on political issues. The short-lived Democratic Republican Party split and the Republicans went off and created their “business party.” – the Republicans.

 

Republicans Businessmen  REPUBLICAN ELEPHANT PIN_btn_gop

 

Of course, the Republicans are a business party – but, that can also mean from time to time in American history they have given “the American people the business.”

 

It is no surprise then that American millionaires, American billionaires and wealthy Americans are always quick to reach in their wallets and whip out their registered “Republican” card.

 

Pull out your US History books and look at how quickly Republican candidates for President and Republican presidents are in their devotion “Not to tax the wealthy” or how quickly they work to find a way not to raise taxes on the wealthy.

 

Democrats Blue Collar Workers

 

Democrats began as “The Grange Party.” They were the farmers of American, who left the fields and livestock long enough to pass laws to keep people working. Once upon a time the Congress Of The United States Of America only convened three months out of the year and they actually did work.

 

Some Democrats have actually became wealthy. But, The Democrats began as “America’s Blue Collar Party” because they “worked” for a living. The sweat and roll your sleeve up mentality still lives in the Democrat Party.

MULE PIN FACE RIGHT

 

Who Cleans Up The Mess ?

 

The true irony of American history is while Republicans always claim to champion business for America; it is always the Democrats, who “clean up the mess.”

 

Democrat President Andrew Jackson was the first American president to “Balance The Budget Of The United States Of America.” Democrat President Woodrow Wilson instituted the New York Stock Exchange – Wall Street’s reason to live and make money. Democrat President Woodrow Wilson also started the Federal Reserve System, where the banks of America go to get the money – the banks no longer want to loan to Americans. Democrat President FDR took America “Off The Gold Standard”, ordered the establishment and construction of Fort Knox, “America’s Vault” at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

 

Democrat President FDR instituted numerous programs from the National Recovery Act to the Tennessee Valley Authority, Workers’ Progressive Administration and Youth Conservations Corps to get Americas working after Republican President Herbert Hoover sat on his leister as a self-made millionaire and former United States Secretary Of Commerce and watched the United States slip into The Great Depression as jobs disappeared, Americans lost their farms and homes and more than a million tons of top soil blew out into the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Democrat President Harry S. Truman, of The Show Me State Of Missouri, “ENDED” World War II.

 

Truman’s “Exit Strategy” the Atomic Bomb saved the lives of Allies.

 

Democrat President Harry S. Truman “Stopped” Japan’s Economic Conquest Of Asia that had been going on relentlessly from around the 1930s as Japan would conquer or attempt to conquer her neighbors and seize control of their natural resources and citizens. Japan didn’t need the citizens; Japan did need the natural resources.

 

General Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower retired from the United States Army and was persuaded by the Republicans to run for President.

 

The Republicans took The White House and controlled the Congress of the United States of America for many years.

 

Republican Senator Joseph Raymond “Joe” McCarthy started the whole “Communist Paranoia” in America that would spiral out of control and take advantage of “The Cold War” idea that pitted generations of Americans against “The Russians” and “The Communist Chinese”.

 

Generations of Americans lived under “The Constant Fear Of The A Bomb And The Inter Continental Ballistic Missile Scare” that either the Americans, Russians or Chinese would accidentally or on purpose launch a nuclear missile that would start “Mutual Annihilation and Destruction.”

 

MAD

 

MAD was an old government Cold War policy that was the “Worst Case Scenario” for humanity. Regardless, who actually launched the first nuclear missiles, the MAD policy outlined a level of Apocalypse and Armageddon that would be the end of earth.

 

80 Times Over ?

 

One of the weirdest Cold War statistics was the claim that the amount of nuclear weapons detonated on earth would be sufficient to “kill the planet 80 times over.”

 

How do you kill anything “80 times”, when the first time is sufficient?

 

The Communism Versus Democracy Turn The Cold War Into The Ultimate Nuclear War Fear” lingered until the Berlin Wall started to come down and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics disappeared and became Russia in the early 1990s.

 

The Republican Party always claimed that the fat Cold War Defense Budgets were for America’s Defense. Government spending rose from the 1950s through the end of the Cold War.

 

What ever happened to the credit unions ?

 

Everyone forgets the collapse of Savings and Loans and Credit Unions in the United States because those bankruptcies and failures did not trigger a depression.

 

Americans don’t look at the party in The White House during the cycles of “Inflation” and “Recession” in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

Democrat President William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton became the second Democrat President in United States History to “Balance The Budget Of The United States Of America.”

 

Of course, once that fact ended up in newspaper headlines, senior Republicans rushed to the nearest media outlets to try and sneak into the spotlight and make “the lame claim” that President Clinton could not of balanced the budget without them.

 

Democrat President Bill Clinton left America with “A Fat Wallet.” America had “Money In The Bank” when Democrat President Bill Clinton left The White House.

 

The Republicans’ Florida Supreme Court President Awarded The White House

 

The Republican, then sent their so-called “Candidate Awarded The Presidency Based On The Florida Supreme Court System” and a bunch of messed up voting machines to The White House. Two Wars and a Bankrupt United States Economy later, the Republicans step back and let Democrat President Barrack Obama try to “clean up the mess.”

 

No one could “clean up the mess”, the Republicans left behind.

 

That Republican Administration succeeded in getting America’s friends and neighbors to think of the United States as some kind of “Arrogant Overbearing World Power Bent On Global Control Of Every Country On The Globe” and “publicly” divided the world into “US And Them.”

 

The sensible message of standing up to and combating global terrorism came down to a childish claim of “If you don’t help the United States beat up on these big, old, bad, mean, terrorists types then we are going to take our toys and go home. If you are not with us, then, you must be with them.”

 

To my knowledge, know parent has ever turned their full grown son, a supposed president, over their knee and spanked their little behind – but, here was a case, where the politician either needed to be taken to the “wood shed” or locked away in an asylum and Amendment 25 Of The Constitution Of The United States activated to allow the vice president to assume the duties of The Oval Office.

 

This Republican Administration took more than 200 years of history, international good will and hard work of generations of Americans and “threw out the baby with the bath water.” President Obama, definitely came to Washington D.C., with a ‘national mandate’ from the American people to restore the sanity and respect of America.

 

I had wanted President Obama to come to office like a new FDR “busting heads and taking names” to get the US Economy out of the dumpster.

 

The Nice Guy President  DEMOCRAT MULE PIN FACE LEFT

 

His first four years, President Obama was “The Nice Guy” with the Congress of the United States. The former Constitutional Law professor allowed Congress to treat him like a child who had wandered away from his parents as they simply brushed him on his way down the hall of the US Capitol.

 

My hope, this time, is President Obama talks to Congress and reminds them: “Ladies and Gentlemen, there are 435 of you with your staffs. That is 435 elections where voters vote for you.

 

Unless, you do something really stupid to get your name in the newspapers or on television, most of the American people will never even realized you warmed a seat in Congress.

 

I, on the other hand, am Barrack Obama, every American in America knows my name and many know my face. If, as members of Congress you do not work with me to rebuild the United States Economy – Americans will blame me.

 

This time, ladies and gentlemen of Congress, you WILL work with me. We are going to rebuild The Economy Of The United States Of America.

 

The President

And, you ARE going to help me. Every American in the 21st Century can pickup a newspaper, magazine or login to the Internet and see their president. They know I am responsible.

 

The American people know I am the man they voted to do the job. You, ladies and gentlemen are the members of Congress. I am Barrack Obama. I, Ladies and gentlemen, am “The President.’”

SEAL OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

 

Go get them, Mr. President ! “

While I doubt President Obama uses those words to Congress – I truly hope that he is able to look the members of Congress in their eyes and let them know “playtime is over.”

 

I am shocked that President Obama won a second term.

 

I am grateful that the American people didn’t buy the traditional Republican rhetoric of “We Have A Plan.”

 

Of course, once a Republican Administration gets to The White House it seems the “Transition Plan” always comes down to “Fake It Till You Make It.”

 

My Faith In The Universe has been restored.

 

Make Congress “Work”

 

I was afraid American voters were not looking at Congress as the “sticks in the mud” that had reverted to the President Carter Era tactic of “gridlock” to stop projects and keep government deadlocked and stalled.

 

The American people call for change. Congress, The Reluctant Rip Van Winkles, snooze, snore, take their naps, yawn, and every now and then, actual wake up long enough to “do something” to keep “The System” functioning.

 

I am proud the American people realize that the president is trying to wake up the sleeping bureaucrats long enough for them to keep the country running.

 

The Miracle Happened.

 

The American people had Faith in their president.

 

Now, Mr. President, with the American people behind you – “Wake Up Congress And Get Them Working.”

 

Sam

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Here Comes The Genie ! Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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October 31, 2012

 

Happy Halloween !

 

On The Other Side

 

Of The International Date Line

 

and in The United States of America

 

 

Here Comes The Genie !

 

Here Comes The Genie ! is a photo idea that I played with October

31, 2012, in the Philippines. I had some Halloween photo ideas.

  I found the old Aladdin’s lamp incense burner in the packed away

goods shipped from the United States.

 

I positioned it, in front of native Leyte vegetation on the small

bamboo end table. When the Nikon D 100 camera was ready, I

came up with some magick of my own to get the smoke rising out

of the lamp.

 

Then, click. I shot a few photos, until I got the one that says, “Here

Comes The Genie !” Happy Halloween !

Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

 

 

 

America’s Men and Women In Uniform and On Duty

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America’s Men and

Women In Uniform

and On Duty

 

The Purple Heart

 

 

On August 7, 1782 the original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military

Merit, was established by George Washington – then the commander-in-chief of

the Continental Army. The decoration is awarded to service members who have

been wounded or killed while serving in the U.S. military. Today, we take a moment

to recognize those who have earned this decoration for their courage and

dedication–thank you for your service..

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA ! FOURTH OF JULY 2012 !

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Happy Birthday, America !

Fourth Of July 2012 !

Joe Boyer of Nixa, Missouri, rides the horse and proudly displays the American flag, during the Stone County, Missouri 150th Anniversary Parade, in Galena, Missouri. Samuel E. Warren Jr., I shot this photo. It is one of my favorite, “What It Means To Be An American Photos.” The smile on Mr. Boyer’s face shows his pride and confidence, which is the birthright of every American.
The cowboy hat is symbolic of the American West and The Lone Star State – Texas. Stephen F. Austin, a Missouri boy, who went to Texas and did alright for himself – he ended up with the Capitol Of The Lone Star State named after him – Austin, Texas.
And, Texas is a living symbol of Independence – because when Americans were reluctant to go up against Mexico – General Samuel Houston, and the Texicans went it “alone” to do what had to be done for “Independence.”
Mr. Boyer’s western attire reminds Americans that “In The Beginning” in America it was the farmers and the cowboys, who took up their pitchforks and their muskets to answer the call of “Freedom, Justice, Liberty and Independence” against an old British King, who demanded “economic slavery of his subjects.”
From the “Minutemen” to Modern Day Americans, farm boys, farm girls, cowboys, cowgirls, they always “saddle up” and “ride for freedom” joined by the city boys and city girls, who always answer the call to Freedom, regardless, if the battlefield is at their front door as in the American Revolutionary War and the American Civil War to the foreign shores of World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and any crisis in between where Freedom, Justice and Liberty is at stake.
The flag Mr. Boyer carries is a Public Global Ultimatum to the dictators and terrorists of the World that proclaims – “Bring It On, Scumbags ! Freedom, Justice, Liberty, and Independence Are The Chromosomes Of American DNA.”
Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

(Leyte, Republic of the Philippines) – Today, is the Fourth of July 2012.

In the Philippines, it is just another summer day.

In the United States of America, it is actually only July 3, 2012.

Thanks to the mythic International Date Line that exists out in the Pacific Ocean, the calendars and clocks of the Philippines are actually 12 hours ahead of the Good Ole’ USA. And, if you live in one of the US States that plays “The Daylight Savings Game”, then, the Philippines is actually 13 hours ahead.

Young, single Americans, who are International Date Line Scholars or Time and Space Continuum Scholars, if you are aboard a vessel sailing along the International Date Line, then, you realize at sunrise today, you could of began your on board “Fourth Of July Independence Day Party,” which lasts until midnight. Then, you simply stroll a couple of steps across the deck to the other side of the ship, which would be on “that side of the International Date Line, which means it is now the Fourth of July in the United States” and keep your party going until midnight. Thus, your 24-hour “Fourth of July Independence Day Party” is now, “officially” a 48-hour “Fourth of July Independence Day Party.” Who is it that says, “There are not enough hours in the day to get things done ?”

The 48-Hour Day – Welcome To The International Date Line – Of course, The International Date Line is somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean. The Zodiac Alarm Clocks were set up on a table for a photo shoot in Galena, Missouri. One nice thing about the International Date Line perspective is it gives you 48 hours to celebrate “America’s Independence Day” by observing the time difference on both sides of the line. If you get sea sick, you might want to consider having your celebration on dry land. The time factor is a great idea to celebrate a “Long Independence Day”, it also comes in handy when you decide to celebrate your “Happy Birthday.” Ladies, if you hesitate about the “Big 3-Oh Birthday,” then, you might want the “Big 2-9 Birthday” to last a little longer. “America’s Day” “officially” begins in the island of Guam in the Pacific closer to the International Date Line than the mainland United States, thus, trivia buffs take note that before the first rays of sunshine bask Washington D.C., Guamanians and Americans are already on the beaches of Guam under the palm trees. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

A 48-hour day can come in handy. Of course, you probably still want to schedule a “catnap” somewhere along the way.

After more than 200 years of Democracy, some Americans have forgotten the reason that we celebrate the day. Thus, let me refresh your memory with a quick history lesson.

There was an old arrogant, sit on his jowls, British King, who in order to live his life of ease and splendor, needed the colonists of America to work their fingers to the bone and their lives to an early grave, so he could sit on his jowls and enjoy “HIS” life. While the colonists struggled to survive in a strange new land trying to raise crops and kids, the British King sits on his jowls enjoy the fruits of court – “Wine, Women and Song.”

Meanwhile, American colonists struggle against weather and disease in their strange new homeland praying that the crops will grow to feed their families. The British King sits on his jowls and does not care. He only cares that the American colonists pay their “tribute” in the form of “taxes”, so he can continue to sit on his jowls and enjoy his life of ease – “Wine, Women and Song” at court.

Of course, Wine and Women costs money and even singers expect to get paid, thus the old British King, who sits on his jowls, must raise taxes because prices always rise. Thus, it is time to “Tax The Tea Without Representation.” The British Citizens, i.e., the American Colonists finally realized that the British King sits on his jowls enjoying “The Good Life Of Court” – “Wine, Women and Song” while they work like oxen to raise crops to pay his taxes.

Enough. One day the British Citizens had had enough – that day they became American colonists.

They picked up their pitchforks, axes, garden hoes, muskets, cap and ball flintlock pistols and decided it was time for a new way of life and a new government. That day, they decided to tell the British King, who sits on his jowls – “Stick It Where The Sun Don’t Shine !”

The American Revolutionary War began.

When the smoke had cleared the colonists – were now Americans.

The British King, who sat on his jowls. Still sat on his jowls. But, the Americans no longer “paid” him to sit on his jowls and enjoy the good life of court of wine, women and song.

The American colonists had beaten the odds. They stood up for what they believed in.

The American Colonists Convictions brought forth a new nation.

A nation that decided they did not need a King to sit on his jowls and enjoy the good life of court of wine, women and song.

America is born. Americans realize Freedom and Justice give life meaning.

Thus, Independence Day served noticed to the kings, queens, monarchs and dictators of the world.

When the day comes that Citizens rise up for Independence, Freedom and Justice – it is always a Day Of National Celebration that should be celebrated, honored, remembered and celebrated each and every year there after until the end of time.

Unfurl that flag – display that flag proudly – the message is immortal and eternal – “Freedom, Justice, Dignity Is The Universal Blessing And Right Of All Humans”

God Bless The United States Of America !

God Bless The Men And Women Who Have Died Defending The United States Of America !

God Bless The Men And Women Of The United States Armed Forces, who defend the human rights of Liberty, Freedom, Justice, Independence, And The Pursuit Of Happiness !

God Bless The Men And Women Of The United States Of America’s Armed Forces ! Through the ages, American Men and Women in Uniform have always answered Freedom’s call. In peacetime, “The Eagles Of Liberty” soar through the skies. In War, Americans “go down singing and swinging” that the universal birthrights of Freedom, Justice, Liberty and Independence do not perish for humanity. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

God Bless The Citizens Of The World, who seek an Independence Day !

The American Flag Waves Over The South Lawn Of The Stone County, Missouri Courthouse, July 4, 2011.

Happy Birthday, America !

On the Fourth of July, fire up that barbeque for the hot dogs, hamburgers and steaks. Turn up the stereo, put on the Lee Greenwood, “Proud To Be An American” Break out those Bic and Zippo cigarette lighters and “flick them for Freedom.”

 

Party, America ! Party Down America !

Have an ice cold Lone Star beer or Miller High Life for me. Time to celebrate, Freedom, Justice, Liberty and Independence! July 5, when the sun rises again, of course, the duties of “The Defenders Of Liberty” continue and the American flag promises “Americans are always ready ‘to go down singing and swinging’ that Freedom, Justice, Liberty and Independence are universal rights that will not perish for humanity!”

“Uncle Sam”uel E. Warren Jr,, in the photo as, “Sergeant Sam”uel E. Warren Jr., United States Air Force.

“Uncle Sam”uel E. Warren Jr.

 

Happy Birthday, America !

July 4, 2012

 

“Click For Freedom” — Remember to post your “Fourth of July” celebration photos to your blogs and Facebook !

Veterans Day – November 11, 2011

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Veterans Day – November 11, 2011

World War II Sailor Kisses A Nurse in this sculpture on display in Branson , Missouri. The sculpture was one of the exhibits to observe Veteran’s Appreciation Week 2011 in Branson, Missouri. For more information about the "Keep The Spirit of ’45 Alive, visit their website: http://www.spiritof45.org/site/

Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sailor and Nurse Smooch in Times Square Scupture Veterans Appreciation Week 2011 Branson Missouri_0129_Photo by  Samuel E Warren Jr

Written by samwarren55

November 11, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Rocket’s Red Gare Over Galena Pride. Politics, Patriots

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Rockets’ Red Glare – Over Galena

Pride,

Politics,

Patriots

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Galena, Missouri is one of those Norman Rockwell towns that seems best represented by oil paint on canvas.

Galena, Missouri, a small town in the Heartland of America that gets immortalized by a Ralph Waldo Emerson or a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Galena, Missouri is the kind of small town that has New York City, Boston, Hollywood, teenagers in big city high school English classes smirking, “Yeah, Right, dude. Galena. Missouri – Like some small town like that ever existed Maybe, on Paramount’s back lot or in one of those writer guys’ imaginations.”

Galena, Missouri does exists

The Situation Report

Galena, Missouri is a small town of about 500 people in southwest Missouri. We are 78 miles from Joplin, Missouri, which makes us less than a hundred miles from the famous city in Kansas, named Galena.

There are actually eight towns or cities in the United States of America named Galena.

Galena, Kansas is a famous mining town.

Galena is a precious mineral used in lead and used in making ammunition.

The irony of Galena, Missouri is that an early explorer supposedly saw a mineral in the river that he identified as Galena and thus, Galena, Missouri would be born.

This Galena is a small town, which for decades boasted about being “The Float Fishing Capitol Of The World.” The Bill Rogers Motel on the the shores of the James River would welcome hunters and fishermen from throughout the United States.

Table Rock Dam went operational and people quit coming to Galena to go “float fishing.”

Hidden In The Hills

Most of Galena’s businesses in 2011 are out on the shoulders of the state highway. But, if you turn off the highway and go around the hillside or up the road into the city, you will find Galena. Missouri.

The 1920 Stone County Courthouse on the National Register of Historic Places is the hardest working tourist attraction in America because the building has offices, where work still gets done. The Bank of Galena Museum is the other tourist attraction in town. Outside of the funeral home, bank, medical lab, and the Masonic Lodge – basically, county government moved in to take over the abandoned storefronts of the square. The Baptist Church sits near, but not on the square. The new library is in town, but off the square proper.

Y Bridge Park

Over the railroad tracks, you find the Y Bridge Park, which sits directly across from a private home, which was Dick Lebow’s DX Service Station in 1960.

July 4, 2011 — In the city park, people began stopping by to see what the Galena Park Board was up to. The annual fireworks display is set up on the Y Bridge and people can watch from the park.

Mother Nature’s warm attitude sent people strolling into the snow cone concessions on the park grounds. Some grandparents looked for comfortable places to sit up their lawn chairs or a spot to sit on on the ground, while anxious parents rushed around making last minute preparations.

The dunking booth caused a few youngsters to limber up their arms for a possible future in the St. Louis Cardinals. Some kids smiled to show off their face painted kittens and flags. Meanwhile, parents, especially mothers, rushed about with wide pieces of ribbons and long stemmed flowers.

The long lowboy tractor trailer trailer sit front and center and commanded the center stage spot. Hidden behind patriotic pennants and beneath a humongous American Flag, the presence of keyboards, drums and displayed guitars suggested, “the band isn’t in the house – yet.”

An arched white metal trellis entwined in vines sprouts up on the flatbed trailer and like a fairy godmother, the young master of ceremonies seems to magically appear.

Tiny Tots Time.

Stone County’s smallest citizens make their debutante debut. The little girl’s stroll out on to the portable stage. The emcee asks questions and the youngest girls stare back at all the people in the crowd. Judges make their decisions and trophies are awarded to Stone County’s young future Miss America Contestants. Then, the band steps on stage and entertains with a variety of rock and roll and country and western music.

Meanwhile, Bingo is going on under the rural pavilion with the baby blue telephone poles. While the band plays, a few children dance to the music. Everyone is enjoying the sunshine and waiting for the fireworks. I wander around and take some photos for prosperity and my blog.

Then, I get asked if I want to call out Bingo numbers. Why not ?

The Aquamarine Compote

Back in the mid-1960s on the courthouse lawn, during a Stone County Fair, I and some devoted Bingo players settled in to a long highly polished dining room table to play Bingo, on the east lawn of the courthouse. They probably loved the game.

Me, I had my eye on an aquamarine compote to give my mother. That Bingo game lasted until midnight because I still remember how tired everyone seemed, when the person in charged announced the time and said that was the end of the night’s bingo.

I never did win the compote.

But, the man in charge of that Bingo game allowed me to pay ten dollars to buy the compote. At least, I got the compote for my mom.

Bingo Baby Boomer

This Fourth of July, I was willing to try my talents at calling out the numbers. I do have one of the best of all qualifications – I have a big mouth.

Most of the players seemed to be smiling and winning, so I kept calling out the numbers until the game ended before the fireworks started about nine p.m.

The people in the park seemed in a festive mood as I strolled out of the park to find a location to shoot fireworks photos. The number of people in the park reminded me of my childhood in the 1960s and 1970s: Election Night.

Election Night in the 1960s and 1970s, people would come to Galena for election results.

Give Me That Old Time Politics – Election Run Up

Politics in Stone County and Galena, Missouri in the 1960s was like being Neil Armstrong ready to step on the moon – it was an adventure. The excitement in the air was like taking the enthusiasm for the Academy Awards, the Miss America Pageant, The World Series and The Super Bowl and rolling it into one event called: Election Night.

In the 1960s, Independents were like wood nymphs no one could prove they existed – and no one cared.

In the 1960s, there were Democrats in Stone County, but, they were covert.

Democrats were like CIA agents – everyone suspected them of being Democrats, but know one knew for sure. Unless a Stone County Republican died in office and a Missouri Democrat Governor appointed a Stone County man to serve out the term – you never knew.

In the 1960s, Stone County still celebrated Galena’s favorite son, Dewey Short. The congressman had gotten Galena the Y Bridge and gotten Stone County Table Rock Dam and the United States Navy even named a ship, the U.S.S. Stone County. Thanks to Congressman Short’s popularity, no Republican would dare pass up Galena or Stone County.

Congressman Gene Taylor campaigned at political rallies in Stone County. I listened to State Senator Emory Melton at one of the political rallies. I even attended a political rally and fish fry at Shoals Motel for a Republican challenger to Sheriff Tommy Walker. Most of the aggressive, get out the vote, campaigns of the 1960s were not against Democrats, they were Republicans squaring off to take the county nomination in August for the November election.

Crane, Missouri – 38th Parallel Of Missouri Politics

The Crane Broiler Festival was always an important Political Demilitarized Zone: The 38th Parallel Of Missouri Politics. By the broiler festival in late August, Missouri Republicans had earned their local and county party nominations, showing up at Crane to make speeches always helped to bring hold out hardliners into the fold and to remind the people, who said, “I vote for the person; not the party” – that they weren’t in Kansas in ruby slippers – they were in Stone County, Missouri – where even Jesus Christ was expected to vote Republican!

In more than 50 years of life, I never recall a Democrat or an Independent ever speaking at The Annual Crane Broiler Festival.

Election Night In Stone County In The 1960s

Come Election Night, you knew collectively Stone County voted “A Straight Republican Ticket,”; what you didn’t know was how the rest of America voted?

Election Day people would begin drifting into Galena to wait for “the fireworks.” Once the polls closed, then, information would start to find its way around the square. There was always a carnival atmosphere in town. Galena, Missouri has always been a town that “rolls up the sidewalks after 4 p.m.,” but – election night people would sit on the courthouse lawn, camp out in one of the businesses on the square and wait.

A pickup would be parked on the street in front of the courthouse. In those days, the Stone County Health Center was Gene Hicks Cafe and Pharmacy. You could sit in the cafe and watch someone in the back of the pickup scrawling the changing election numbers on to the two joined and tepid blackboards. Some of the local old timers would camp out on the church style pew benches leaned up against one of the trees.

Everyone always waited for the results of two elections: The President Of The United States Of America and The Sheriff Of Stone County.

All the results were yelled out from the back of the pickup before the figures were scrawled on the board, but usually people only seemed to really care about who got the White House and who gets to be The Sheriff Of Stone County.

Sometimes some people would be concerned about who became The Governor Of Missouri and, in later years, some people seemed interested in who won election as County Clerk or one of the county commissioners – Usually, though, in Stone County – the President and the Sheriff were the Big Dogs that kept people on the edge of their seats.

While the fireworks exploded over head to announce the crescendo to this Fourth of July, I realized America Politics will be no less explosive in the 21st Century. The thunderous roar of the blasts served as a reminder that the political apathy that we tolerate keeps us as spectators on the bleachers in our own political processes.

We have to watch our politicians, listen to their words and watch their actions. We have to hold politicians accountable to maintain freedom. When we shrug off those responsibilities, then, we get less than we deserve. We get whatever is let at the bottom of the barrel.

Freedom should always be celebrated by the explosions and fireworks overhead. The loss of American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and the current state of America’s economy suggests that we may have shrugged off the political process once too often. We need to get back into the fray. We need to support Americans with vision for freedom and the future.

Generations of aspiring young pitchers and Miss America contestants have the right to expect more from the inherited legacy of their nation. Freedom should always be protected and celebrated, which is, no doubt, the lesson that The Founding Fathers intended to leave enshrined in our hearts.

Sam

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