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Sam And The Kids by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Time To Be A Kid

Sam

And

The Kids

093Warren One_Nikon D 200 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. JT3D CU2 DSC_0092_resized

Warren One

Junea Tanahale pilots this radio-controlled helicopter past the coconut trees of Barangay Baras, Leyte, Republic of the Philippines. Saturday, January 5, 2013 is the first time my niece ever “flew” a radio-controlled aircraft. She “logged” this third flight after only working the controls for less than 30 minutes. She made her “Uncle Sam” proud. Nikon D 200 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I was a kid. I still remember what it was like to be a kid. I had fun. Life was great. I enjoyed Life. I still enjoy Life. Adults tell you you will “Grow Up.” You do. Soft of . . . grow up. You get taller and you celebrate birthdays.

 

WARREN ONE SAILS PAST A COCONUT TREE THUMBNAILYou learn to do all those “Adult” things like get a job and earn a living. Somewhere along the way, the Adult world expects people “To Forget” what it means to “Be A Kid.”

 

Grown ups are not suppose to walk down a street in a major American city and just “start dancing along the sidewalk to the corner.” I’ve done it.

 

In a military uniform and in a business suit I’ve broke into a spontaneous dance routine on a sidewalk. People look at you weird. A few always just smile because they remember what it meant to “Be A Kid.”

 

The point is – in Life everyone takes themselves and their jobs “way too seriously.”

 

New Year’s Resolution

Celebrate Life.

 

Naturally, if you are in one of those public jobs where appearance and protocol is   WARREN ONE SAILS ALONG THE BARANGAY BARAS ROAD THUMBNAIL important you aren’t going to suddenly burst into the board room doing your best Gene Kelly “Singing In The Rain,” improvisation.

 

You will not walk into a meeting of global government leaders dressed in sequined jacket, pants, a half cloak and broad a broad smile to sit down at a baby grand piano. The G-8 leaders probably would not appreciate your Liberace showmanship.

 

Nonetheless, even adults can hum in the elevator. You go to another city on a business trip and after your meetings find a place you will probably never, ever see the people again. You get the karaoke microphone or borrow a guitar and sang Hank Williams or Hank Williams Jr., all night long.

 

If you don’t sing, dance and celebrate life every now and then; why do you get out of bed in the morning.

 

Maybe, you can’t be Robert Preston singing “76 Ttombones. . . “, but, you can enjoy life and remember, what it was like or suppose to be like to “be a kid.”

 

Obviously, if you are under the hot lights of an operating room carefully performing a delicate operation in the midst of brain surgery on a patient, you will not break out into a chorus of “The Happy Wanderer” and you will not be tapping your foot and singing out the words to “Bachman Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care Of Business”, or bust out into a rendition of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man.”

 

After the operation, the brain surgeon or the heart surgeon can go home, find that boxed up “Operation” game and put it on the desk and realize and remember that life was simpler when you were a kid. For the record, there is, nor will there ever be a law in any nation that will outlaw you “Being A Kid At Heart.”

RANYIEL WALKS AND FLIES 035Warren One_Nikon D 200 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. FLIGHT 3 LANDING DSC_0034_resized

Rayniel Saldana, my nephew, displays serious concentration in working the radio controls. Nikon D 200 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I am The World’s Oldest Kid

 

I Beat The System.

I Always Stayed A Kid At Heart.

 

I am The World’s Oldest Kid.

 

I am an Adult. I grew up. But, I stayed a kid at heart. Now, I get to enjoy time with my nieces and nephews.

 

In the 1950s and 1960s, Adults let kids be kids.

 

In the 1970s – the World Went Stupid. The World Is Still Stupid.

 

But, there is always hope the World will “Wise Up.”

 

In the 1950s and 1960s, kids usually had a chance to play, enjoy their childhoods and grow up. There were adults on the job, who dealt with the American Civil Rights Movement, The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Korean War, messed up the Equal Rights Amendment, sabotaged the American Woman’s Rights Movement.

 

Suddenly, realized there were more than “two genders” in humanity and these people were ready to step out of the shadows of history and into the sunlight of their lives.

 

Sex, drugs and rock and roll woke up America in the 1960s. America still had the Cold War, Fear of the A Bomb, and leaders were still trying to make sense of The Vietnam War. When the Stupid Seventies arrived only the morons wanted to inherit the earth.

 

Edu-ma-cated Experts

 

By the 1970s, the hard working and intelligent adults stepped off the world stage long enough to grab a hot dog, have a beer and smoke a cigarette.

 

By the time, the leaders were ready for Round 2, the bummers and losers were on the World Stage strutting and cackling about “Political Correctness.”

 

The morons had inherited the earth and no one ever took the time to “check on the kids.”

 

They were tons of “Edu-ma-cated Experts” with initials before and after their names with all kinds of advice about “raising kids.”

 

In the 1950, Dr. Benjamin Spock published a book about raising kids. My mom had a dog-eared, well worn copy, but she used her God-given “Common Sense” and let me “Be A Kid.

198Warren One_Nikon D 200 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.VSTF1 DSC_0001_resized

Vanissa Saldana, my niece, cautiously works the controls of the helicopter. Nikon D 200 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

How To Play

 

Through the years, I have watched kids. No one shows them “How To Play.” I have seen an adult hand a kid a box with a toy in it and walk away. The adult never lingers long enough to see if the kid goes on line and tries to sell the toy on ebay or tries to bully another kid into buying the toy.

 

The adult never stops long enough to notice if the kid tries to “re engineer” the toy to cause it to blow up or watches long enough to make sure the kid doesn’t use the toy as a weapon on his or her younger brother and sisters or the family dog or cat.

 

People ignore kids are “small versions of adults.” Parents just assume their kid is not going to grow up to be the next “Jack The Ripper.”

 

Yet, adults in the late 20th and early 21st Century seem to treat their kids like “rental equipment” like canvas tents to place in the yard for a show and social function.

 

You call the company and they come pick up the tent. Kids had parents that used them as props. Once the show was done, the kid got to “wing it through life until the next social function.”

 

Share The Dreams

 

Parents don’t seem able to share imagination and their dreams with their kids anymore. Manners, common sense, civility were actions that parents once taught their kids. Now, it seems kids are basically creatures that survive on their own in the wilds of life. No one takes the time to respect and teach the kids.

 

Kids are left to “fend for themselves” like humanized wild dogs. Kids walk upright and grumble, rather than foam at the mouth. All of the Edu-ma-cated Experts of the 1970s did was make kids “accessories” for “older kids who needed to play parents for their careers.”

 

In the early 21st Century, it is even easier for the adults, they hand the kid an electronic gadget. The light comes on and the kid is mesmerized like a deer in the headlights. For minutes to hours, the kid gets “sucked in” to the electronic abyss and passes their time.

 

Parents still don’t check on their kids’ so they don’t know if the kid is using the gadget to gain knowledge and work on hand and eye coordination or if the kid is trying to become a “drug courier”, or is using the knowledge to build a pipe bomb in the basement.

Do 20 Questions

 

My mother always “played 20 questions” with me every afternoon when I came home from school. I had to try and remember what I had for lunch. She wanted to know if I had homework. What kind of homework ? What kind of day I had ?

 

Momma’s “Nightly 20 Question” routine was all about teaching me to be responsible and reminding me of what I had done during the day. It let me know I had a mom, who loved me and cared about me. After my afternoon debrief, she would usually head back down on the hill to check on an old sow or we might go to some kind of social function.

 

The Grapevine Is Still FREE

 

It never did any good to with hold information from momma. In the prehistoric days before facebook, twitter, yoono, linked in and all the other social media networks; In The Ozarks, there was still “The Grapevine.”

 

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, relatives, friends and neighbors always talked about the kids. Everyone knew “The Good Kids” and everyone knew “The Bad Kids.” If you acted up at school, someone made a phone call and you were “busted” before you ever walked in the door.

 

If I had acted up at school, I had to stand tall and explain, “My Side Of The Story.” If it was one of those nights, I had homework, she would check the cattle across the road or check on an old sow, but, she always made a point to “check on me.” I never felt like a neglected or “discarded kid.”

People always love to talk. People share the stories about their kids. If you are a grandparent or parent just let people know you love your kids and you want to hear about them. People will make the telephone or cell phone call to let you know. With or without the social media networks, the grapevine still works and it is still FREE.

 

The Big Red M

 

Grandparents and parents should remember to listen to the kid’s side of the story. Momma always listened to my side and weighed all the facts before she responded.

 

I knew I was a “Momma’s boy on a mission.” In the years ahead, I would figure out my mission, but, in childhood – I got to be a kid, have fun and be treated with respect.

 

I never saw “The Big Red M” on the chest of a super heroine costume in one of momma’s closets. I never found “The Big Red F” on a super hero costume in one of daddy’s business suit wardrobe. Regardless, I had “Super” parents because they loved me, respected me and let me “be a kid.”

 

I had a Mother, who knew the M word was more than six letters in an English dictionary that meant a little girl becomes an older girl and swaps out her plastic dolls for a personal miniaturized biological lifeform.

 

 

 

Parental ‘Brood Sow ‘ Mentality

 

Having Kids” and “Raising Kids” is not the same thing.

 

I grew up on a hog farm in Missouri,”any old ‘brood sow ‘can have kids. You put her with an old boar for a few days and then in a few weeks, she has her kids. Most of our old brood sows were good mothers. They looked after and took care of their kids.

 

Shame on me I didn’t check any of them for “Postpartum Depression.: I didn’t have to. They knew what it meant to be a mother and take care of their kids. 

I grew up on a farm in the Missouri Ozarks, where mothers and fathers took care of their kids and they didn’t rely on the American psychiatric community coming up with a new form of depression to explain that Life is tough and requires work.

 

When it came the time to wean the pigs, I didn’t have to drag a TV out to the hog shed or the barn and tune in “Jerry Springer,” “Oprah,” or try to call “Dr. Phil.”

The old sows, of course, already new “how to teach” their kids A Fundamental Life Lesson parents in The Ozarks always told their kids of my generation: “Root Hog Or Die.”  In the political correct vernacular of the early 21st Century, it means, “Life is tough; deal with it !”

 

Animals and wildlife still knows what it means to be “Mom and Dad” and let the kids, “Be Kids.” Humans we forget.

When an old brood sow in Missouri does a better job of raising her kids than some people, then, a parent needs to toss the books from the “Edu-ma-cated Experts” and make a cell phone call to Mom or Dad.

 

People claim to be smarter than ‘brood sows.’

 

I’m The Older Kid

 

I respect and admire my nieces and nephews they are great kids. I know I give them more advice than they want. 

But, hey, I am “The Older Kid.” I am the five year old kid with 52 years experience. I have the seniority and the rank of age. I have been there. I have done that. I have all the T-shirts and all the hats.

 

My goal as their “Uncle Sam” is to love, respect, and help them enjoy their young lives. The day will come soon enough when they have to do “The Silly Adult Thing” of working to earn a living. They will have to “Take Themselves Way Too Seriously.” 

No doubt, they might even have a bad boss that makes will make their life miserable. They might even forget that being a kid meant that you are suppose to learn How To Love And Enjoy Your Life.

 

Play Into Your Jobs

 

Any job will give you money to put food on the table and pay your bills. Find the job that you enjoy.

 

As a kid, if you sat on the floor with a play cash register and get all excited about counting your play money, then, when you grow up you probably will enjoy being an economist, stock broker or banker. Go for it.

 

One of the best things about childhood is you get to “Play Into Your Job” that you want in Life. You don’t have to be the President of the United States of America or the President of the Philippines to sit on the kitchen floor and remind your action figures or your dolls, “ I’m in charge ! ”

 

If you wanted to be an astronaut; why are you working as a landscaper ? Turn in your trowel and live your dream. Fine. You may be too old for NASA. Maybe you don’t have enough or the right “Edu-ma-cation.” Big deal.

 

Use the brain God gave you. Use you Common Sense. Find a way to live your dream. Gene Roddenberry wrote some scripts and remarked that he had an idea about “Wagon Train to the stars.” It worked out well for him. Star Trek is a factor of global cultures.

 

Robert Goddard, an American kid, who built rockets in his yard followed his dream that led to Mercury, Gemini , Apollo and made human spaceflight possible.

 

The Chinese built their firework rockets centuries ago, but it took a kid with a dream to realize “How To Ride A Rocket To The Moon And Back.”

 

Everyone is always more capable of doing things than they give themselves credit for.

 

A Job For “Uncle Sam”

 

Over the holidays, the kids have been keeping themselves occupied. They seem bored.

 

This is a job for their “Uncle Sam.”

 

I didn’t really need the radio-controlled helicopter in the bright and shiny box. But, I never had one as a kid.

 

A few months ago, I had an experimental prototype helicopter , but the kids didn’t get a chance to fly it. We decided to see if “Saldana One” would fly.

 

Being “The Older Kid” I handled the January 2, 2013 refueling operation. It burst into flames. The plastic housing of the cockpit burned away. I was left with the charred radio controlled gadgets on the fuselage frame and the twin alloy tail rotor booms. I overcharged it.

 

Unfortunately, “Saldana One” was experimental from the git-go because it was an “Impulse Buy” that I reacted to, rather than researched. I re-designated the aircraft “Saldana One YX.”  Reclassified as an experimental aircraft I could feel better about placing the rotary wing aircraft in my backyard “boneyard” to become part of the ecology.

Plus, I could not justify to my wife, Christy, my version of Congress, the needed “budget expenditure” to add a model aircraft into my “inventory.”

 

I decided Sam and the kids needed to get in or get out of aviation.

 

Gee, retired Air Force; I wonder what my decision will be ?

 

I spent two hours in the Gaisano Central toy department. The sales girls were looking at me funny. I considered braking into a chorus of “Off we go into the wild blue yonder.” Instead, I smiled, put down the big box and picked up a box with a tiny muddy camo colored helicopter

 

The tiny camo chopper didn’t “sing” at me. I looked at the egg beater that fires plastic rockets and realized they would be lost in the front yard for future archaeologists to discover.

 

The plastic G.I., on the retractable line from the whirlybird looked cool, but, I decided to start the kids with civil aviation.

 

The news chopper really caught my eye because it had the built in video, which was obviously a camera lens on a platform below the fuselage, but it had a boring white paint job.

 

The beautiful metallic red and blue choppers sat at the bottom in big boxes. I read all the information on the front back and sides of the box. These rotary wing aircraft “sang to me.”

 

A Filipino man, who had been studying the model aircraft inventory pointed at the white chopper. “This helicopter has video,” he smiled.

 

It really is cool,” I replied. He looked at the white chopper.

 

I held the red chopper box and looked at it. “Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight.” The words echoed in my ears. I glanced down at the blue helicopter hangar-ed in the box.

 

I put the big boxed red chopper back and picked up the big boxed blue helicopter. Words came to mind: “Jolly Green Giant”, UH-1, “Huey”, “Apache”, “Air Wolf”, and I saw my grin reflected on the plastic window of the box.

I looked at the metallic blue chopper for a moment and recalled a UH-1 chopper flight I had had the opportunity to board a 13th Air Force helicopter from the parade ground out of Clark Air Base. 

The wind in my face and the whirling rotor blades made me feel like at last I could fly with the angels.  I could look out across the horizon at the checkerboard pattern of rice fields until we touched down in Manila.

I stepped off the Huey in my blue uniform with my camera in hand and familiar song lyrics singing in my mind.  I looked back down at this blue model helicopter in the box.

 

I bought the big blue boxed helicopter and strolled out of the store with the familiar song lyrics singing in the back of my mind.

JUNEA AT THE CONTROLS 128Warren One_Nikon D 200 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.JTPF1M DSC_0127_resized

 

Junea Tanahale “pilots” the controls of “Warren One” as the chopper rises to fly in the Philippines’ sky, while Vanissa, her cousin, watches. Nikon D 200 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Flight Line Time

 

Today, I’ got to  “Be A Kid.” Rayniel and I did the preflight check and maintenance last night. We put the eight double A batteries in the helicopter. Junea and Vanissa looked at the helicopter manual. I charged up the chopper, earlier in the day. The movie, “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl” just ended.  Aunt Christy and the kids watched the movie, while I wrote this editorial.

 

Rayniel carries the aircraft. Vanissa and Junea fall in step behind Rayniel toward our imaginary “Red Horse” runway.

 

I grab my Nikon camera and follow the kids. Rayniel does his preflight of the helicopter on the Barangay Baras road and takes the radio control unit. I zoom in on the chopper. The rotors spin.

 

We, kids start to have fun.

 

The chopper starts to rise. I begin to take photos.  The blades are rotating and the chopper is singing.  Over the digital camera shutter, I hear the familiar song lyrics singing in my mind,and the song lyrics sing in my mind:

 

,”. . .nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force.”

 

Enjoy Life !

Fly With The Angels !

JUNEA TANAHALE PILOTS WARREN ONE PAST A COCONUT TREE THUMBNAIL

Sam

Radio Controlled Helicopter Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio-controlled_helicopter

 

Radio Controlled Aircraft Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio-controlled_aircraft

 

Experimental Aircraft List Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_experimental_aircraft

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

January 7, 2013 at 4:14 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Current Events, Ecology, Editorial, Family, Holidays, Leyte, Observances, Opinion, Patriotism, Philippines, Photography, Sam I Am, The Ozarks, Tourism, Tropics

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Christmas In The P.I. 2012 by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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After Action Report Christmas Eve 2012

 

Christmas

In

The

P.I.

Everyone sits down to the Noche Buena 2012 feast  at One Warren Way_resized

Noche Buena Feast 2012

The Warren and Saldana families sit down to the December 24, 2012 “Noche Buena” feast at One Warren Way, Barangay Baras, Leyte, Republic of the Philippines. Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I had a childhood full of Christmas Days, where I got up with goose bumps. I would dash to the old worthless stone fireplace.

 

I would stand with my back to the dancing flames on the wood. The cold draft of air down the chimney always seem to make the flames seem more like a child’s coloring book page than actual warmth.

 

I would spend a few minutes in front of the fireplace trying to warm up. Then, I would dash to the Christmas Tree . My cold fingers would rip at the Christmas wrapping paper to free the toys.

 

I learned to associate cold with Christmas.

 

CHRISTMAS IN THE PI PHOTO ONE THUMBNAIL PHOTO BY SAMUEL E WARREN JRYou would bundle up like “Nannook Of The North.” Swaddled in yards of flannel,cotton and wool, you would waver, walk and waddle to the front door.

 

Push the door open. A deep blanket of fresh snow always seems to rise a foot or two, pushed away from the door. A beautiful vanilla quilt that blankets the ground in all directions to the horizon.

 

Sunlight would always charge certain snowflakes to twinkle before your eyes. The twinkling diamond illusions would, for a moment, allow you to forget the bone-chilling air rushing toward you like an invisible tidal wave.

 

The next step always seemed to be that of a disoriented lunar astronaut. Your foot drops down into the snow and you are off balance for a moment. You stand in knee-high snow and look out to the driveway at the snow-covered pickup.

 

The heat of the running engine against the cold air creates wispy columns of smoke around the pickup’s hood. You lean forward to resume your “Moon Walk.” Through the deep snow, you finally reach and open the passenger’s side pickup door. You climb up into the truck and sit on the seat.

 

Momma backs the grumbling pickup out of the driveway and on to the ice-covered slick highway. You lean your head back against the seat and realize, “ We are headed to grandma’s house for Christmas Dinner ! ”

 

For the briefest of moments, you wonder why your mother didn’t just hook up the Alaskan Husky dog team to the sled. Then, you, remember this is the Missouri Ozarks and not the Yukon Territory of Alaska.

 

As you shiver from the cold, you wonder, “Is there really a difference in Missouri and Alaska in the winter other than temperature and wind chill factor?”

 

By adulthood, I have had so many cold, snowy Christmas Days genetically hardwired into my memory that by October 1, I would pick up a local newspaper to glance at the flag to check out the date and my location on planet earth.

 

Shop For The Egg Nog

 

A cold location means I stock up on the Hiland egg nog. I would snatch up my “Nannook Of The North” Official United States Air Force issue parka, grab my wallet and head to the Commissary to shop for “egg nog.”

 

The parka was always an ugly battleship gray with wide silver sewed on strips of a metallic duct tape material over the zipper front flap and around the cuffs. The synthetic white fake fur lining around the hood made you look like an old French fur trapper. You always looked like an inebriated alien wandering lost in the snow. Nonetheless, it was warm.

 

At the BX I would check for a good snow shovel to be ready to shovel open my front door.

 

A warm location means I lean back in the chair and smile:

Hallelujah ! No Snow for Christmas !”

 

There is a theory, that there are people in the world: “Who Like Snow”

 

I have no use for Snow.”

 

Christmas 2012 is not the first Christmas, I celebrated in the Republic of the Philippines. Christmas 1988 was my first Christmas in the Philippine Islands, which is a “Single G.I. Christmas Story,” I have yet to publish.

 

One major difference between the Philippine Islands and The Ozarks on Christmas is the dinner celebration. Filipinos target Christmas Eve. Ozarkers and Americans usually set their sites on Christmas Day.

 

In the Philippine Islands – “The P.I.” – “Noche Buena”, known as “The Good Night”, is the Christmas Eve Dinner.

 

In the 1980s on the island of Luzon, the cultural tradition of the feast is Filipinos attend Mass and then have dinner, which means you eat around 7 pm or 8 pm. Some families would attend Midnight Mass first, which means you sit down to supper around midnight or 1 or 2 am in the morning.

 

In the Philippine Islands – “The P.I.” – the “Noche Buena” Christmas Eve Dinner on the island of Leyte at One Warren Way, meant, “We eat when the cooks are finished preparing the dinner.”

 

The week before Christmas, every morning the kids would get up at “O – Dark- Thirty” and go to church before school. The sun would be rising and the rooster crowing, when they returned to get ready for school.

 

December 22, 2012 – Christy Warren and Leneil Saldana began preparing the “Noche Buena” feast. Christy got out her yellow legal pad and ink pen and sit down to come up with the holiday menu.

 

Christy, Leneil and Ramon went to the public market for fresh vegetables. Ramon and Mano Bito had the task of providing the meat for Christmas dinner.

 

In the United States, Christy had a kitchen full of appliances,a gas stove and oven, two refrigerators and an upright freezer to prepare birthday meals, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner.

 

In the Philippines, the kitchen is still a work in progress. There is the double butane hot plate, which is the stove. She has no oven. There is one refrigerator. Cooking tends to be more of a “Never-Ending Camping Trip” than food preparation in a kitchen.

 

In my childhood, I had the rustic Ozarks environment and Grandma DeLong’s kitchen was the basics for the Ozarks. Now, in the Philippines, I find, we have basically a tropical version of a rural 1960s Ozarks kitchen.

 

My eyes and my mind do not appreciate the “Twilight Zone Reality Of The Kitchen,” so, I simply stay out of the kitchen, while the food is being cooked.

 

Meanwhile, the kids got to be kids, which meant they played and looked forward to Christmas. Me, I kept working to gather the data, words and photos to keep publishing articles in my world-famous, “Sam I Am Blog.”

 

Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012, Christy sat the table and Leneil began bringing in steaming platters of white rice. Family members began arriving and watching. Esmeralda, Christy’s sister, placed the platter of banana pancakes on the table.

 

Potato Pancakes

 

 

In the Ozarks, in the morning on the wood burning hot cook stove, you would hear the sizzle and Grandma DeLong would move the metal spatula to move the “Potato Pancake” around to brown in the cast iron skillet.

 

The Potato Pancakes were delicious, but they were slightly larger than an American silver dollar.

Banana Pancakes and a platter of steaming white rice for Noche Buena

 

Banana Pancakes and a platter of rice.

The steaming Banana Pancakes piled high on the plate reminded me of the trucker’s breakfast style pancakes of “The Hob Nob Cafe” in DeQueen, Arkansas.

 

The Hob Nob Cafe

DeQueen, Arkansas

 

Momma and I always considered “DeQueen” the halfway point between Houston, Texas and Galena, Missouri. The acres of statuesque Christmas Trees growing and rising into the morning mist meant the surrounding “Arkansawers” were “loggers.”

 

The plethora of semi tractor trailer trucks on the highway sporting huge logs and the empty flatbeds rushing along behind the groaning and moaning Kenworth, Peterbilts and Macks meant “forestry” is serious business in this section of the Ozarks.

 

The 18-wheelers would groan into a parking spot and the truckers in their straw cowboy hats and tractor baseball caps, in western shirts, or coveralls, and wearing cowboy boots or steel-toed work boots, would climb down out of the cab and bring their Texas-sized appetites through the door.

 

Breakfast at “The Hob Nob Cafe” was like Christmas Dinner in The Ozarks. The aroma of fresh scrambled eggs and omelets would tease your childish nose.

 

The mound of strips of fried “taters” with flour gravy, sausage, ham and bacon overwhelmed the senses. Then, a “short stack” or a mound of “flapjacks” would arrive and I would reach for the small pitcher of maple syrup for my pancakes.

 

Lechon

 

My Ozarks’ appetite ignored the white bowls of “blood pork” being placed on the table, but, I waited anxiously for the macaroni salad and the potato salad.

 

Anyone who has ever watched a Henry the VIII movie can appreciate “the pig on the platter” with the apple in it’s mouth. In the Philippines, “Lechon” is the whole pig prepared for special events like baptismals, wedding receptions and of course, Christmas. Mano Bito took charge of the pork preparation.

 

Instead of “the whole hog” ending up on the table, the pieces of cooked pork was also added to white bowls to place on the table.

 

Christy Warren places the silverware on the Noche Buena table_Photo 2

Christy Warren places the silverware to set the Noche Buena table.

Mrs. Warren – Christy had nieces, Junea and Vanissa put on the tablecloth.

Mrs. Warren placed the silverware around the plates before anyone got near the table.

 

In the rural areas of the Philippines, it is not uncommon to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with your fingers. In the States, of course, Americans have their “finger foods” like hamburgers and hot dogs for sporting events, backyard barbeques and the Fourth Of July outdoor picnics.

 

Mrs. Warren told the guests before they sat down at the table,

Merry Christmas ! Everyone this is Christmas. You will use the silverware.”

 

Christy has been in enough social situations, in her lifetime, to know it is the hostess’ responsibility to brief the “guests” on any questions of “etiquette” before the event begins.

 

Leneil Saldana removes pieces of the young coconut to be used as filling for the Coconut and Cheese Salad and the Mississippi Mud chocolate candy for the Noche Buena feast_Photo OneChristy and Leneil kept the hot platters of rice coming to the table. Esmeralda and Virgie Saldana kept an eye on the kids and made sure that they got food on their plates.

Leneil Saldana scrapes out pieces of young coconuts for Coconut and Cheese Salad and for the Mississippi Mud chocolate candy.

 

At dinner, I realized that Christmas Day would not be what I had hoped for this year. I could blame only myself for that part of the holiday, but, I decided I needed to put more emphasis on Christmas Day 2013 because I had not paid attention to the focus of the holiday for the kids.

 

After dinner, the kids spent time playing with their cousins until overwhelmed by The Sandman. They crashed out on palettes.

 

Tuba Time

 

Virgie Saldana Esmeralda Tanahale Leneil Saldana and Christy Warren have red wine and Tuba to relax after the Noche Buena feast of 2012

Virgie Saldana, Esmeralda Tanahale, Leneil Saldana and Christy Warren relax with a bottle of red wine after the Noche Buena feast.

Once the ladies cleared away the table, then, Mrs. Warren opened a bottle of red wine. Leneil Saldana, Esmeralda Tanahale and Virgie Saldana had some red wine and some of the ladies drank some Tuba.

Left to Right Jun Jun Tanahale Ramon Q Saldana Jr Rafel Saldana Virgillio Natividad Romel Barbosa talk and drink tuba_resized

Left to Right  –  Jun Jun Tanahale, Ramon Q. Saldana Jr.,Rafael Saldana (back to camera) Virgillio Natividad, Leneil Saldana’s father, and Romel Barbosa talk and drink tuba.

 

The men: Virgillio Natividad, Leneil’s dad, Ramon Q. Saldana Jr.,Rafael Saldana Romel Barbosa and Jun Jun Tanahale retired to The Christmas Tree area to talk and enjoy “Tuba,” the Philippines’ coconut wine.

 

I pass on “Tuba” because, even though it is drank with Pepsi as a “chaser”, to my picky palette the flavor has “too much of a vinegar whang. I always feel like I need a large chef salad in front of me to drink Tuba. Then, I am never sure if I should drink the Tuba or pour it over the salad as a dressing.”

 

I finished my coffee and put aside the cup for the night. I got to enjoy “My Christmas Present” – Tanduay Ice. Unfortunately, for “Romel”, when I sat down my frosty bottle of bright white rum, he snickered and added,”Ladies’ Drink.”

 

I told him, “Pirates weren’t wimps. They sunk ships and stole cargo and sailed the high seas for centuries. Sometimes the pirates were fired up on rum, so don’t snicker off my drink as a watered down ladies’ drink.”

 

I had not intended to defend the rum industry, but, I’m a Texas and Missouri country boy, so holiday civility and protocol aside, there are just sometimes when, “You need to set the record straight.”

 

My line of Warrens of Texas and DeLongs of Missouri are social, hard-working people, who welcome strangers under their roof as family to celebrate the holidays and social events.

 

Common Sense Social Etiquette

 

In the Hollywood movies, you will see a guest bring a bottle of wine as a “Housewarming Present” or as a “Gift” to the host or hostess for a dinner invitation. In “The Real World”, in civilian life, I have not witnessed this act very often.

 

In “The Military”, guests were always thoughtful enough to bring a bottle of wine for the dinner.

 

One idea of “Common Sense Courtesy,” is for a man or woman to talk to the host before the dinner and ask if they can bring a dish of some sort of food.

 

Some host or hostesses will suggest a dish you can bring, usually these are the “Pot Luck Suppers.”

 

Pot Luck Suppers

 

In The Far East in the 1980s, Asians would always smile, “You can tell if an American is hosting a formal dinner because they always want you to bring a dish for a pot luck.” I was told this comment time and again.

 

Pot luck style dinners are not popular in Asian cultures because if you are hosting a dinner then it is expected that you already have the food to host the dinner or you would not be hosting it and inviting people.

 

West And East Cultural Dinner Differences

 

In the West, around the 1970s, weight issues became frequent stereotypes for people. In the United States, for instance, if a person has a heavy weight they were considered as being “Lazy” and “not willing to work.” The stereotype, never took into consideration “medical” or “health issues” or even, “genetics.”

 

In the Far East, when I was stationed in the Pacific, in the late 1980s, the irony was a “heavy-set person” was respected for their wealth. The belief was that if someone had a lot of weight, then, they ate plenty and they ate often. Thus, heavy-set, chubby and obese people were seen as smart, industrious and wealthy.

 

The idea of the heavy-set person in the Orient explains why in Asian cultures the host or hostess is expected to provide all the food. If you can’t afford to provide the food; why are you having a party ?

 

Single Person Protocol

 

In the case of a single man or a single woman, who gets invited to dinner at someone’s home, it is not expected that a single person bring a bottle of wine, a gift for the host or hostess or even a dish.

 

The reason is usually in the case of a young person, who went away to work, went away to college or went away to serve in the military: the host or the hostess realizes this is a time in life, when a young person needs their money to pay bills and buy groceries,

 

Therefore, the host or hostess knows the single man or single woman would appreciate a “home-cooked meal” and usually all the single man or single woman is expected to bring is “your appetite.”

 

Life can be difficult for anyone at anytime. If something happens – an accident, a natural disaster — and a middle-aged or senior-aged person, experiences an event, that puts them “down on their luck”, then, when they are invited to a dinner or supper, they are just expected to bring “the appetite.”

 

The dinner or supper invitation to someone “down on their luck” is an act of human kindness that recognizes at “family times of the year” like Thanksgiving and Christmas, “no one should ever be or feel alone.”

 

Warrens Of Texas, DeLongs Of Missouri

 

The basic rule of the Warrens of east Texas and the DeLongs of southwest Missouri is: “ Guests are always welcome to make themselves at home. Common sense and civility is expected. And, guests should always realize,”My house; my rules.” If you don’t wish to observe my rules, “The highway, in front of the house, runs in two directions. Pick one.”

 

In Tagalog, Merry Christmas is “Maligayang Pasko”, which is pronounced as, “MAL– Lee – Guy -Young, Pass – koh.”

 

Maligayang Pasko !

 

Merry Christmas !

 

Sam

CHRISTMAS IN THE PI PHOTO THREE THUMBNAIL PHOTO BY SAMUEL E WARREN JR

 

Noche Buena Links

 

Hiland Dairy Foods Egg Nog

http://www.hilanddairy.com/products/egg-nog

 

History of Egg Nog

http://howtomakeeggnog.com/history.php

 

How To Make Egg Nog

Holiday Recipe

http://howtomakeeggnog.com/holiday.php

 

The Traditional Noche Buena

in the Philippines

Yahoo

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-traditional-noche-buena-philippines-4683911.html?cat=22

 

Noche Buena

Filipino Recipes

http://pinoyfoodblog.com/category/celebrations/noche-buena/

 

Nochebuena Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nochebuena

 

Pirates Piracy Wikipedia

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirates

 

Captain Morgan Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Morgan

 

Captain Morgan Rum Website

http://www.captainmorgan.com/

 

Tanduay

http://www.tanduay.com/

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

December 30, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Current Events, Family, Holidays, Leyte, Nature, Observances, Philippines, Photography, Photos, Tourism, Tropics

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