A Cold & Accurate Assessment (Then and Now)

“His principles are all subordinate to his ambition, and he will always be of that doctrine upon which he shall see his way clear to rise.”

—-John Quincy Adams



“runnin’ down a dream
That never would come to me
Workin’ on a mystery, goin’ wherever it leads”

—-“Runnin’ Down A Dream”, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Mike Campbell

“Here’s to ye, Sam: 231 years late.”

“By the malign influence of the eclipses, the United States of America will be troubled with intestine jars, and domestic quarrels, and contentions of every kind.”

—-Samuel Ellsworth, 1786


Sept. 15, 1963: Birmingham

“And the battle’s just begun
There’s many lost, but tell me who has won
The trench is dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters
Torn apart

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday”

—–“Sunday, Bloody, Sunday”, Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Larry Mullen, Paul Hewson

The Ronin’s Tale: Part 1

“Nobody here can dance like me
Everybody’s clapping on the one and the three
Am I the last of my kind?”  

—— Jason Isbell, “Last of My Kind”


August 9, 1945!—72 Years and Counting

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”


Birthday Plus One: 2018

“Survivors seem to function best
When peril is at hand
Where the song of the ocean
Meets a salty piece of land”

——-Jimmy Buffett, “A Salty Piece of Land”

Magnolia River 7/2/2017

“It was not a dream—it all happened. . . I was actually there in person. . . .”

—Mark Twain


163 Years and Counting

“The Senate is now composed of a different material from what it once was. Its glory hath departed. Its halls no longer echo the words of a Clay, or Webster, or Calhoun . . . the void is felt.”

—-Mark Twain, February 1854.

The Last Plane Out of Casablanca: Father’s Day 2017

I gaze at the the last plane my father ever built. Lonely, hanging from the ceiling of my office, going nowhere, slowly yawing in the artificial wind of the HVAC vent. Small, bright translucent yellow and sky blue. So like my dad, though not obvious to the casual visitor.

My dad was large, 6’4″, perhaps another inch in his prime, lean, and thin but not skinny. He bore the weight of war and the joy of family with few complaints and an ambition trimmed to meet those demands. The plane is small; bright only in places necessary to make it seen after landing in unexpected places. Pale blue as in calm. Trim, efficient, stable in the uncertainty of air high above becalmed grass and gravel. Beautiful to those who understand how to see a man and a plane doing what they need to do without pretense. Floating on the thermals of time.