Saturday, May 31, 2014


Good Morning, Class of '64
Record Player - Karen Sloan
“No man is exempt from saying silly things;
the mischief is to say them deliberately.”
Michel de Montaigne
The Complete Essays

Have You Ever Seen


Have you ever seen a sheet on a river bed?
Or a single hair from a hammer's head?
Has the foot of a mountain any toes?
And is there a pair of garden hose?

Does the needle ever wink its eye?
Why doesn't the wing of a building fly?
Can you tickle the ribs of a parasol?
Or open the trunk of a tree at all?

Are the teeth of a rake ever going to bite?
Have the hands of a clock any left or right?
Can the garden plot be deep and dark?
And what is the sound of the birch's bark?
"Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans.
It is lovely to be silly at the right moment."

In the world we live in there are serious heartbreaking stories, disappointing happenings, and unbelievable events. This ever has been and ever will be - escalating as the years pass, so it seems.

To constantly dwell in that chaotic place would depress and confuse us and cause unceasing weeping. Out there, in that sometimes sordid world, there are and have always been creative people who carry us away and help us forget, if only for a short amount of time. 

They make us smile, grin, chuckle, or laugh. With their writing, their art, their antics or their music we escape for a while into a silly but saner place. Refreshed, we can go back to that other world and maybe find some solutions.

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well and
you should remember some silly thing I've said
or done and it brings back a smile to your face
or a chuckle to your heart, then my
purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."

Red Skelton

My Younger Days

Maya Angelou

When I was in my younger days,
I weighed a few pounds less,
I needn't hold my tummy in
to wear a belted dress.

But now that I am older,
I've set my body free;
There's the comfort of elastic
Where once my waist would be.

Inventor of those high-heeled shoes
My feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now,
But used to wear a seven.

And how about those pantyhose-
They're sized by weight, you see,
So how come when I put them on
The crotch is at my knee?

I need to wear these glasses
As the print's been getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago
I know that I was taller.

Though my hair has turned to gray
and my skin no longer fits,
On the inside, I'm the same old me,
It's the outside's changed a bit.
Witch Doctor
A song performed by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., 
and released in 1958 by Liberty Records 
under the name David Seville,
 of David Seville and the Chipmunks,
 a character whom Bagdasarian portrayed.
Peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Also peaked at number one on the Billboard
R&B chart and on the Cash Box chart as well.
Considered a major surprise hit on the chart,
where it stayed at number one for two weeks
and became Seville's first number-one single.
Sold over one million copies in the United States.
David Seville - 1958
(Ed Sullivan Show)

"The best things in life are silly."
Scott Adams
Blue Chapel - Alice Mason
Ya Ya
The song was inspired by a children’s nursery rhyme.
Reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and 
number one on the R&B singles chart in 1961.
Lee Dorsey - 1961
Oh, well, I'm, UH!, sittin' here,la la
Waitin' for my ya ya, ah-um, ah-um
A sittin' here la la, waitin' for my ya ya, ah-um, ah-um
It may sound funny but I don't believe she's comin', ah-um, ah-um

"God invented mankind because
he loved silly stories."
Ralph Steadman

Cows Night Out - Sue Gunter
The Name Game
A rhyming game that creates 
variations on a person's name.
Released in late 1964 as 
"The Name Game" and went to number 3
on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 4 
on the magazine's R&B charts in 1965.
The name game!
Shirley, Shirley bo Birley
Bonana fanna fo Firley
Fee fy mo Mirley, Shirley!

 "Don't be afraid to look silly."
Tara Strong
Le Visage de la Paix - Alice Mason
It's All Relative

Alessandra Liverani

My mother's brother's sister's name is Grace
She's my aunt and likes to go from place to place
My mother's sister's brother's name is Brad
He's my uncle and he is my cousin's Dad

My grandmother on my mother's side
Is my maternal gran, she is my grandfather's bride
She also is my father's mother-in-law
And not surprisingly they often go to war

My cousin is the nephew of my mother
His father happens to be my mother's brother
My aunty's niece is in fact myself
I hope you're not too confused, because I can't help

"If people never did silly things nothing 
intelligent would ever get done."
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Green Dream - Alice Mason
 “There is something beautiful about watching
two people lovingly act silly together;
behaving as though no one else existed.”
Steve Maraboli
Unapologetically You: 
Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

I Love Lucy
Top Ten Episodes
From the 50th Anniversary Show
I Love Lucy was the most watched show in the
United States in four of its six seasons, and was the
first to end its run at the top of the Nielsen ratings.
The show won five Emmy Awards and received
numerous nominations. The show won the coveted 
George Foster Peabody Award for
"recognition of distinguished achievement in television."
In 2002, it ranked second on TV Guide's list of
television's greatest shows.
In 2007, it was listed as one of Time magazine's
"100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME."

Stunned Surprise


I dreamed death came to me one night,
and Heaven's gates flew open wide.
With kindly grace, St. Peter came
and ushered me inside.

There, to my astonishment, were friends
I had known on Earth.
Some I had labeled as unfit
and some of little worth.

Indignant words flew to my lips;
Words I could not set free.
For every face showed stunned surprise --
No one expected ME!

 "We find it hard to believe that other
people's thoughts are as silly as our own,
but they probably are."
James Harvey Robinson
Houses and a Swirl Tree - Karla Gerard
“Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.”
Shel Silverstein

  A Light in the Attic


Edgar A. Guest

My father knows the proper way
The nation should be run;
He tells us children every day
Just what should now be done.

He knows the way to fix the trusts,
He has a simple plan;
But if the furnace needs repairs,
We have to hire a man.

My father, in a day or two
Could land big thieves in jail;
There's nothing that he cannot do,
He knows no word like "fail."

"Our confidence" he would restore,
Of that there is no doubt;
But if there is a chair to mend,
We have to send it out.

All public questions that arise,
He settles on the spot;
He waits not till the tumult dies,
But grabs it while it's hot.

In matters of finance he can
Tell Congress what to do;
But, O, he finds it hard to meet
His bills as they fall due.

It almost makes him sick to read
The things law-makers say;
Why, father's just the man they need,
He never goes astray.

All wars he'd very quickly end,
As fast as I can write it;
But when a neighbor starts a fuss,
'Tis mother has to fight it.

In conversation father can
Do many wondrous things;
He's built upon a wiser plan
Than presidents or kings.

He knows the ins and outs of each
And every deep transaction;
We look to him for theories,
But look to Ma for action.
Whimsical Sheep - Thaneeya Mcardle

Friday, May 30, 2014


 Good Morning, Class of '64
Coming Home - Rumara Jewett -
“Though a lifetime of listening to
the music of the world has passed,
even now the tone of the rain on
the roof of my home is the sweetest
sound I have ever heard.”
Kensi Brianne Smith
Coming Home - Leslie White
“It's a thing to see when
a boy comes home.”
John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath
Coming Home - Susan Jenkins
"The thrill of coming home
has never changed."

Guy Pearce
Coming Home - Susan Tino Santillo
“There's nothing half so pleasant
as coming home again.”
Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
Lost in the Foothills - Unknown
“The place where you continually return
for love and acceptance—that's home.”
Richelle E. Goodrich
Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, &
Grumblings for Every Day of the Year
Coming Home - Tim Loughner
If you ventured back to the little town at the head of the valley over the Memorial Day weekend, you probably had a wonderful time visiting with your many friends and relatives. You might have taken in some or all of the festivities that the Valley Head Homecoming has to offer, and you likely feasted like a king on home cooking and picnic fare.

But did you give any attention, as you drove in and out of the upper valley, to the Dame's Rocket blooming on the banks and roadside? Did you notice, at all, the pinks, and purples and whites putting on a show just for you?

As you passed the little white church a short distance out of town, did the field full of Dame's Rocket get your attention? Passing by, if you drove with your windows down,
hopefully you breathed deeply the scented air and experienced the sensational aroma of the Dames.

They can be aggressive growers in the garden, spreading rapidly and hiding other more submissive plants. That alone might make them unwanted garden guests, but for the beauty of spring bloom and aromatic bliss, there is nothing like a Dame. In the upper valley, at homecoming time, they grow in abundance welcoming weary travelers home.

There is Nothing Like a Dame
From the 1949 Broadway musical,
"South Pacific", and the 1958 film.

South Pacific - 1958

"be it ever so humble,
there's no place like home"

Valley Head Homecoming Parade

Home Sweet Home &
There's No Place Like Home Medley

This piece is a medley of two tunes,
"Home, Sweet Home" written in 1823 by
John Howard Payne and Sir Henry Rowley Bishop
and "There's No Place Like Home", a 1968
Christmas song written by Sammy Cahn and
recorded by Glen Campbell on his

"That Christmas Feeling" album.
 So, the Christmas references were
purely intentional by the authors.
Kristina Austin Scarcelli
“Home is where somebody notices
when you are no longer there. ”
Aleksandar Hemon
The Lazarus Project

Coming Home - Terry Peasley
Memorial Day isn't just about honoring veterans,
it's honoring those who lost their lives.
Veterans had the fortune of coming home.
For us, that's a reminder of when we come
home we still have a responsibility to serve.
It's a continuation of service that honors
our country and those who fell defending it.
Pete Hegseth
 When the Angels Carry Me Home
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
I fly away to heaven and I won't fall
When the angels carry me home
I want to see Jesus first of all
When the angels carry me home

When the angels carry me home
When the angels carry me home
I want to see Jesus first of all
When the angels carry me home

No more sorrow and no more pain
When the angels carry me home
I ride that heavenly glorious train
When the angels carry me home

When the angels carry me home
When the angels carry me home
I want to see Jesus first of all
When the angels carry me home

I walk Thy highway leading to heaven
When the angels carry me home
I see Jesus waiting for me in heaven
When the angels carry me home

When the angels carry me home
When the angels carry me home
I want to see Jesus first of all
When the angels carry me home
“As truth be told,
homecoming never gets old.”
Soldier Coming Home - John Bollman
“I'm home and safe and filled with the
comfort of being somewhere I've already been.
The ruckus of homecoming is brutally enjoyable
and everyone makes me feel like a champion.
And all I had to do was stay away long enough.”
Miguel Syjuco
Coming Home - Kaiser
“How often have I lain beneath rain
on a strange roof, thinking of home.”
William Faulkner
Coming Home - Richard Robinson
“The ache for home lives in all of us.
The safe place where we can go as
we are and not be questioned.”
Maya Angelou
All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes
Coming Home - Richard Corley

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


 Good Morning, Class of '64
(Extremely Rare) Retired Virginia Militia Officer George Washington 23 Years Old
 Without discipline the Army
would just be a bunch of guys
wearing the same color clothing.
Frank Burns
George Washington Leading the Continental Army at Valley Forge
Discipline is the soul of an army.
It makes small numbers formidable;
procures success to the weak,
and esteem to all.
George Washington

George Washington Resigning His Commission as Army-Commander-in-Chief
Nothing can be more
hurtful to the service,
than the neglect
of discipline;
for that discipline,
more than numbers,
gives one army the
superiority over another.
George Washington
George Washington Addressing the Constitutional Convention

Another Day with Larry

The Army
(Part Four - Conclusion)

After being released from active duty in November, 1972, I joined the National Guard and later the U.S. Army Reserves. I served in a service battery in an artillery battalion, a psychological operations company, and an ammunition company. I commanded 2 of them.

I spent 7 years in the reserve components. I loved the military, but I could not stomach the incompetence of senior officers and the dirty politics among them. Too many officers looked at the reserves as an exclusive club and a way to get away from the wife and family for a week-end.

Those are the officers who spent almost $300,000 of FEMA money after the flood of 1985 to build a three-bedroom house at Camp Dawson. Sure makes a great place for senior officers and politicians to stay when WVU has a home football game. National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers in the 1970’s were better than their active duty counterparts, but they were poorly led.

My criticism is harsh. Let me cite one example. One hot, early fall Saturday, my battalion had its annual weapons qualification at Camp Dawson. I ran the .45 pistol range for officers. Two or three showed up to fire. All officers were required to fire annually; the rest were paper qualified.

After I closed the range, we cleaned and secured the weapons. I noticed that there were no officers in sight. The troops were busy preparing the evening meal, pulling maintenance on the vehicles, cleaning weapons, and doing all the things soldiers do. But no officers were in sight.

Then it dawned on me. West Virginia University had a football game with Pitt. It was televised, a rarity then. I checked the TV room in the officers’ quarters. Sure enough, almost all the officers were drinking beer and enjoying the game in an air conditioned room while their soldiers were working in the hot sun.

The soldiers were WVU fans, too, but the only ones who got to see that game were the privileged officers. Many, perhaps most of them, did not even realize that they were doing anything wrong. I got drunk with some NCO’s and enlisted men that night. I did not even want to see those officers.

I always preferred the company of the enlisted men, NCO’s, and warrant officers. They were the working men. They knew what they were doing. Few commissioned officers in the national guard and reserve knew what they were doing, and even fewer did much work. Notable exceptions were Major John Carline and Captain Clifford Wilmoth, both good men and excellent officers. If I had been an enlisted man, I probably would have stayed 25 - 30 years and served in Desert Storm.

Each veteran has more memories and more vivid memories from his time in the service than any like time in his life. Most veterans would not take any amount of money for that experience. Of course, they would not repeat it for any amount of money!

I am proud of my military service. I went where I was ordered to go, and I did my duty as best I could. But I am a small-v veteran. I salute capital-V Veterans. They are the ones who served in combat. I honor their service and their sacrifices. I, and every other American, owe them a debt that can never be paid.

I never heard a shot fired in anger. I never experienced fear or hardship. My time in uniform was pretty pleasant. I am a proud small-v veteran who looks up to and salutes capital-V Veterans.

The war in Korea has not officially ended; there was only a cease fire. Therefore I am eligible to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I very much admire that organization. But I cannot join it. I would be flying under false colors. I can never be part of that very exclusive brotherhood of capital-V Veterans. My joining would not bother them, but it would bother me.

George Washington at the Battle of Princeton 1777
We try to rehabilitate most people,
but if you have set fire to Chicago,
we probably won't attempt
to rehabilitate you.
Bryan Hilferty

Not everyone is qualified
to join this team.
To enlist you have to both meet
our high standards and be
motivated to serve your country.
Motivation or qualification
alone is not enough.
Bryan Hilferty

My parents were very pleased
that I was in the army.
The fact that I hated it somehow
pleased them even more.
Barry Humphries

Washington Crossing the Delaware - Emanuel Luetze
 Korean War

West Virginia National Guard
It has 38 units and activities
stationed in 22 counties throughout
West Virginia and overseas.
A U.S. Air Force Lockheed C-130H Hercules (s/n 94-6701) from the 167th Airlift Squadron, 167th Airlift wing, West Virginia Air National Guard, flying over Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (USA), the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah (left) rivers. The 167th Airlift Wing transitioned to the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy in 2006.
 Hanover, WV, May 29, 2009 -- West Virginia National Guard troops pick up debris from the side of the highway with construction equipment. The debris was left from early May flooding in Hanover along US Hgwy 52.

Camp Dawson
West Virginia Army National Guard
Camp Dawson lies within close proximity 
of 50% of the nation's entire population. 
An ideal site for military training and conferences.
Offers rugged mountainous regions for SPECIALIZED training.
United States Army Reserve
In times of war, Soldiers in the Army Reserve
may be called up to Active Duty to provide
their expertise for mission success.
Washington Praying at Valley Forge
“America's finest - 
our men and women in uniform, 
are a force for good throughout the world,
 and that is nothing to apologize for.”
Sarah Palin

The One We Lost

“America without her Soldiers would
be like God without His angels.”
Claudia Pemberton

(For a phone number to speak with Larry See, please send an email request by using the contact form you will find in the column to the right of each post. Larry would love hearing from you. Please include your email address or phone number.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Good Morning, Class of '64
The Wall with The Three Soldiers
"You must love soldiers in
order to understand them,
and understand them
in order to lead them."
Henri Turenne

The Three Soldiers - Vietnam War Memorial - Washington, DC
The Wall Song

"Rank does not confer
privilege or give power.
It imposes responsibility."
Peter F. Drucker

Another Day with Larry

The Army
(Part Three)

The Army in 1972 was horrible. Vietnam almost destroyed America. The generation of protestors will have to die before America gets back on track. 

Vietnam pretty much did destroy the Army. The outward symptoms were drug abuse and racism, but the cause was terrible leadership beginning with the President and Congress. They sent an Army into war with no clear objectives. They failed to support the troops. Their failures led to the other problems. 

Low level leadership was also bad. Lt. Calley is an example of that weak leadership. I certainly was not prepared to lead troops in combat. The Army was broken by the Vietnam War. It has since been rebuilt into a superb fighting force, a monumental task.

I read a book by an infantryman in Vietnam. He described a tall hill overlooking his base camp. Putting a base camp under the crest of a hill giving the Viet Cong a perfect place to shoot mortars down on them was stupid. 

His unit assaulted that hill, took it, and occupied it for a short time 3 or 4 times while he was there. Each assault cost blood and lives. They gave it back to Charlie each time. The troops could see the Viet Cong on the hill the day after they left it. 

Wars are won by taking and keeping ground. The troops on the point of the sword were the first to understand that there were no national goals in Vietnam. President Johnson was quoted as saying that he held a knife at the belly of the Viet Cong and would keep gradually increasing the pressure until they surrendered. Any warrior knows that if you have a knife at the belly of the enemy, you search for his backbone with it.

Defense Secretary McNamara and his whiz kids in the Pentagon made another decision that was unbelievably stupid and that cost American lives. They replaced the M-14 rifle with the M-16. 

The M-14 was tested and reliable, one of the best infantry weapons ever invented. It is not designed as a jungle warfare weapon. It is long, heavy, and awkward. The ammunition is heavy. It is extremely difficult to control on fully automatic. But it is reliable and accurate. 

A mixture of M-14’s and M-1 Carbines, a shorter, lighter weapon, would have been effective. The M-16 had not been fully tested when it was issued. The troops were even told that they did not have to clean and lubricate it! It looks and feels like a Mattel toy, but the inside is more like a Swiss watch. It did not function reliably in the dirt and humidity of the jungle. 

The troops, on their own, tried to correct the problem by cleaning and lubricating it, but standard gun oil only caused it to gum up. American soldiers’ bodies were recovered with their M-16 in pieces, dying while desperately trying to get their weapon to function.

The M-16 has since been modified to the M-16 A-1. They chrome-plated the receiver group, added an external locking plug so the shooter can physically force the bolt to lock, and developed a special lubricant for it. That should have been done before the weapon was issued. Doing otherwise was criminal.

We had a race riot in our battalion. The climate in the Army then was scary. In many units, a junior officer or NCO dared not go into the barracks without a side arm.

"Leadership is an opportunity to serve. 
It is not a trumpet call to self-importance."
J. Donald Walters
Marium 14 (M-14) Woodstock -

M-16 A-1 Rifle -
"Whoever is under a man’s power
is under his protection, too."
David J. Schwartz

"Never tell people how to do things.
Tell them what to do, and they will
surprise you with their ingenuity."
General George Patton

"Leadership is the art of getting
someone else to do something you
want done because he wants to do it."
General Dwight D. Eisenhower

I must follow them.
I am their leader.
Andrew Bonar Law

No leader should put troops
into the field merely to
gratify his own spleen;
no leader should fight a
battle simply out of pique.
But a kingdom that has
once been destroyed can
never come again into being;
nor can the dead ever be
brought back to life.
Hence the enlightened
leader is heedful,
and the good leader
full of caution.
Sun Tzu

The Three Soldiers (or Servicemen) Vietnam War Memorial - Washington, DC
More Than a Name on a Wall
Peaked at number 6 on the 
Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
Statler Brothers - 1989
"A people that values its privileges
above its principles soon loses both."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Vietnam Veterans Women's War Memorial -

 "A good general not only
sees the way to victory;
he also knows when
victory is impossible."
The Wall
 I am more afraid of an army of
100 sheep led by a lion
than an army of 100 lions
led by a sheep.
The Wall -

 (For a phone number to speak with Larry See, please send an email request by using the contact form you will find in the column to the right of each post. Larry would love hearing from you. Please include your email address or phone number.)