Renaissance Musings Table of Contents

Note: Entries into this Contents page are being discontinued. I now realize that there are sufficient tools to search this blog and this Contents simply duplicates those tools. Additionally, there are very few indications of “hits” on this page; very few people are using it anyway.

Comments?

Below are brief summaries of the current contents posted to this site.

Posted in response to Sunday Stills challenge: cows.

A photograph, posted in response to Cee’s Which Way Challenge Post of a divided highway that dead-ends a the base of a hill (mountain?).

A Florida sunrise submitted for the “Early Bird” morning light challenge.

The concrete hulk of Battery 223 sits on Cape May Beach like an alien structure from a science fiction movie.

Renaissance Musing’s submission in response to Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Numbers.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Close Ups of our cats: What Are You Lookin’ At?

Photo of the Week, theAnhinga Tree or a cypress tree with several Anhingas watchfully roosting above a Florida lake.

The historic Lightship Barnegat, now more than 100 years old, currently languishes in Camden, New Jersey Marina, the victim of failed attempts at restoration and maintenance, while the Lightship Overfalls has been fully restored and is open for public viewing.

A recent “quote for the day” incites me to ask Does History Repeat Itself? What do you think?

This article reprises an opinion that I wrote about in the first month of this blog. It has been expanded a bit and broken into Part 1 and Part 2.

Monotone chrome treatment of the stairway inside the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse for Cee’s Coloful Monotone Challenge.

My submission for the current week’s Monochrome Madness MM_challenge, Magnificent Manhattan.

A photograph of the 200-year-old Batsto Mansion in Batsto New Jersey in response to Sunday Still’s 100+ challenge.

Fisherman setting catfish traps on a foggy morning in response to the Daily Post challenge to the idea of “ephemeral.”

Our New Jersey outhouse in post prompted by Cee’s request for Black and White Bathrooms and Outhouses.

In response to a Photo Challenge a Week: Dead Center, a photo of an F/A-18 in transonic flight.

Examples of Weathered Wood photos in response to Cee’s Challenge.

The Photograph of the Week is a Sunset over the Chickahominy River, Virginia.”

The Elkhead Bridge in Grundy County was once on the National Register of Historic Sites, but it is no more.

Common, but rarely seen, a Spadefoot Toad evokes some childhood memories—photographs and brief natural history of the spadefoot.

A brief description and photos of the Blue Hole on the Elk River in Tennessee.

Look Up – Look Down Challenge 81 from Navasink Lighthouse, new Jersey.

This photo is posted in response to Cee’s Which Way Challenge Post.

The Photograph of the Week is a “Flowing Mill Stream – Stone Mountain, Georgia.”

What Place do I want to be–learn where and why.

The seed for my interest in flying and aviation was planted in 1952 at an airshow in Richmond, Virginia–There I was – Earliest Memories.

A Photo of Fort Pickens, Florida where an entire section of fortress wall was blown away by the explosion of stored gun powder.

Red fox “photo bomb” of one of my snow pictures

The Photograph of the Week is a a photo of antique Steam Engine Wheels.

Photos and comments from a recent visit to Sewanee, Tennessee, home of The University of the South, specifically to look at the architecture of several of the more impressive buildings.

Lunch at “The Village Tavern, Sewanee, Tennessee” is an “RM Restaurant Experience” during a recent walking photographic excursion through the town of Sewanee, and the University of the South.

“Let the Reader Beware” and the First Amendment is an idealistic rant about misconstruing a person’s statements, in this case, I suspect deliberately.

Photo of the WeekAmerican Oystercatcher.

In response to the Day Two assignment of Blogging 101 I try to answer the question, Why Renaissance Musings for a blog title.

My first assignment for Blogging 101- Who Am I and What Am I Doing Here?!

We discover another fine BBQ restaurant, this time it is John T’s BBQ in Winchester, Tennessee.

My Reward – Sunrises is my contribution to the Rewards challenge issued from The Daily Post.

I get out my soapbox and rant about hoaxes and urban legends “directing” me to “Forward the Message to 25 People.” Also, the consequences of “stretching the truth” and misinformation

The Basics of Dutch Oven Cooking provides a step-by-step guide to getting started preparing delicious meals at your campsite.

The question, Have You Seen the Concrete Ship at Cape May?” sent me on a quest to find the concrete ship near Cape May, New Jersey.

Responding to Charles Ray’s Ramblings to demonstrate the use of the Rule of Thirds in a photo.

Based on my tour of the USS Missouri, I should have enlisted in the Navy rather than the Air Force.

The Photo of the Week is the Durbin Rocket disappearing into a tunnel of trees.

A Lazy Day Watching Contrails (Not Chemtrails) shows contrails overhead and describes how they are formed. Chemtrails are defined.

Why I Blog, Plus offers some thoughts on why I blog.

A 1971 photograph of the Wiscasset Schooner, Luther Little is the Photo of the Week.

The Bridgeport Depot Museum is not only a retired historic train depot but also the repository of vast amounts of historic information of the area.

Barbed Wire – Why it elicits fond memories for me.

Vision of Gold – Book Jacket Text is text that might be used to broadly describe the mysteries that will evolve in the novel being developed at the Renaissance Musings Writing Workshop.

Photo of the Week: a gold chrome rendering of the stairwell from the top of the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, Fort Story, Virginia.

Serendipity along Route 19 in Florida – Real Pit BBQ describes a very good BBQ restaurant in Perry, Florida.

Today we lost an old friend, or at least it seems that way. It had been a part of the homestead for more than 150 years, but it stood dying and it was time to say goodbye to The “Old Hickory Tree.

The Photo of the Week, Railroad Engine Roundhouse, Greenfield Village, Michigan has been modified to emphasize the geometric patterns in the structure.

Thunderstorms – Never Again! describes my first flight as an aircraft commander of a T-29 with a class of navigator students on their very first flight.

NO SMOKING PLEASE is my first reblog. It important to me for several very personal reasons.

Not “Just Another” Gulf Coast Dune Beach describes our camping venture to Post St. Joe’s state park and the neighboring Oyster Fest in Apalachicola.

The Railroad Drawbridge, Hog Jaw Valley, Alabama that crosses the Tennessee River Near Bridgeport, Alabama is the Photo of the Week.

Cat Watching Groundhogs is the Photo of the Week. Our cat likes to sit by the kitchen sink and observe the family of groundhogs that live under the old smokehouse.

Herring Fishing on the Chickahominy River, Virginia, Or “Why he did not get any fish scales on his face!” is a photo essay describing crude commercial fishing on the Chickahominy River in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

About Writers In Response to Don Charisma is my meager response to Don Charisma’s query on what makes a good writer.

There I (wish I) was…The Transition® Flying Car describes a flying car that may soon be a reality.

Photo of the Week: Flat-Bottomed Skiff (January 7, 2015)

Maternal Instincts – Continued includes more observations on the bond between mother and newborn sheep, and a segue to my thoughts on “shepherds.”

The Day that I Boomed Muleshoe was the day I was leading a two-ship formation in a high speed chase over the high plains of west Texas.

Mother Nature and the Maternal Instinct relates a first-hand experience observing a ewe and her newborn twin lambs, where I observed the triumph of the maternal instinct.

Four Roses for Mrs. Roberts relates how a photograph of our junior home room teacher at the class Christmas party, elicits a flood of memories and mixed emotions.

The End of Year Report lists the top 10 blogs, an explanation of Renaissance Musings categories, and blog goals for 2015.

The Honeycomb Campground Solution describes the campground and how we were able to spend relaxed time with family 70 miles from home and not drive home exhausted.

Based on a recent visit, Mariners’ Museum Part 2 provides a summary snapshot of what to expect in the museum.

A True Cat Tale is a brief description of recent events that involve the cat, a tree, a ladder, a pillow case, and a brief bit literary of serendipity.

Mariners’ Museum Part 1 – The Monitor Center provides a brief history of the battle of the “Monitor and the Merrimack” and describes the conservation of major parts of the sunken Monitor that have been on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for more than 110 years.

Williamsburg Christmas Holiday Wreaths – A Photo Essay offers a collection of photos holiday wreaths from Colonial Williamsburg.

More than Just Shucking Oysters describes a recent trip to an oyster shucking plant and a quick lesson in oyster aquaculture.

Old Chickahominy House relates a most satisfying dining experience in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Food For Thought describes a dining unique experience in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Was it self-defense? Relates a story told to me some months ago about a young man, a woman, and a shotgun.

The National Museum of Naval Aviation captures–and displays–more than 100 years of US naval history.

Fort Pickens, Florida Camping Experience describes the campground and its immediate surroundings including the beaches, sand dunes, and historic Fort Pickens.

Blue Angels – Thunder over the Bay Describes a recent Blue Angels demonstration and explains some of the elements of the demonstration from a former military pilot’s point of view.

The Batteries of Fort Pickens describes several interesting gun batteries encountered on a recent visit to Pensacola, Florida.

Gremlins and Aliens – A Young Pilot’s Nemesis relates the events of what appeared to be a UFO encounter high over West Texas.

Pensacola Lighthouse – Marine Lighthouse Saves Airliner offers a brief history of the light on Naval Air Station Pensacola

Fort Pickens – 118 Years and Two Battles briefly describes the history and current appearance of Fort Pickens near Pensacola, Florida. The fort is open daily for exploration.

My First (or Maybe Last) T-38 Progress Check Flight caused me to face the fact that I might be washed out of the Air Force flight training program.

Henry Ford Museum – America’s Memory Lane briefly describes the scope and collections of the museum.

Greenfield Village – The Ford Village Experience: Perhaps the biggest draw for me was the fact that I would have had to spend years to visit all of the homes and sites that have been gathered together at Greenfield Village. The village provides a cross section of 20th century American technology, literature and culture.

Batman Movie Signs on to Save the Bats! Just posted: The new Batman Movie and the Organization for Bat Conservation have cooperated to produce a bat conservation video.

Bats – The Basics continues the narrative of our trip to Michigan. This article describes how we came face-to-face with several species of bats at the Organization for Bat Conservation, including the infamous vampire bat and the endangered little brown bat.

Not Just an Airplane Museum – A National History Lesson; this article describes one airplane and the Research and Development collection in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This is just a glimpse of the 360 aircraft and vast collateral on display in Dayton, Ohio.

Riverside RV – Craftsmanship and Customer Awareness in Action describes our visit to the Riverside RV factory, and updates to my camper.

Two Old Guys Trying to Recapture Their Youth – Part 2. The saga continues with visits to the Bat conservancy, the Ford Museum complex, and the Riverside RV factory.

Two Old Guys Trying to Recapture their Youth – Part 1
This is a summary of a recent trip to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio, and The Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and the Organization for Bat Conservation in Michigan. This is Part 1 of two parts.

“There I was…My Head Mashed against the Canopy> provided me with an unusual perspective of the high plains of Texas around Lubbock. More adventures and misadventures in the T-37.

Where is a “Cedar” not a “Cedar”— In Cedars of Lebanon State Park answers a puzzling question and describes the many activities and adventures available the this Middle Tennessee state park.

There I was… My First Jet Flight On my very first training flight in a jet aircraft, it looked like I may have to use my ejection seat training and parachute landing fall practice. But, “There I was….”

There I was… One aspect of my experience that has not been discussed is flying and aviation. This introduces a new category here, “There I was…. These are the typical words when an aviator is about to tell some hair-raising exploit in an aircraft. With more than 5,000 hours of pilot time in the US Air Force, as commuter airline pilot, as an instructor, and having built and flown my own airplane, I have had several “There I was…” moments.

It has been six months since I launched this blog site, and I have posted 80-plus articles. Campers, Politics, and Farm Life Rank High in Renaissance Musings Top Ten Postings is a quick attempt to see what topics have ranked highest in hits. I am both surprised and pleased with the results. Which one is your favorite?

Early Mornings – A Special Morning Canvas (c. 1954) Since my earliest childhood, I have enjoyed something about each morning. Perhaps I was influenced by my father. My father and I frequently went fishing on Saturday mornings—an activity that I looked forward to. The best fishing was always during that first two hours of the morning.

Early Mornings—Opening Your Daily Canvas It is a little after 0600 here in Middle Tennessee, and, as I routinely do on Sunday mornings I am sitting on the front porch with a fresh cup of coffee easily within reach (and my note pad, writing this).

“Camper Report – Riverside RV Retro 177 “White Water” Update This is an update to the original camper report published in May 2014.

Eavesdropping on Distant GalaxiesThe Green Bank Radio Telescope Several people in the campground and in town asked if we had seen the “Great Big Thing” and learned why we could not use our cell phones. So Sunday, we decided to visit the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, only 13 miles from Durbin, West Virginia.

We Have Our Own Train Right Here! The clickity-clack of the steel wheels on the rails confirmed an increase in speed. We were moving along at the blistering pace of, ohh…. See how we learned about the Durbin Rocket and go along for the ride.

Fun Camping and Horsing Around describes a gem of a campground we discovered in Durbin, West Virginia. Be aware, you will not be chatting on your cell phone here! This is the second article relating to Durbin, West Virginia.

A Town that Railroads Built, Left Behind, and Resurrected I We selected the campground in the town of Durbin because it was within 30 miles easy drive of the reunion we were attending. As frequently happens, we discovered, this happenstance led to many pleasant discoveries, from places to eat to attractions to visit. This is the first of several articles about our “adventures” in Durbin, West Virginia.

A Trip Back to Hog Jaw Valley Part 1 How can you not want to explore a place named Hog Jaw Valley? It is a remote, rural, agricultural, sparsely populated area where Don and I were “thrown out” of two places. And why would it remind me of the Nile River in Egypt.

Upcoming Travel Events With the store soon to close, we have scheduled a busy travel schedule for the rest of the year. See where you can expect travel articles from.

The Fellowship of Suffering – Aftermath Brad is torn between hanging around to congratulate others who finish or getting some sleep. And when he decides on sleep, it does not come easily.

The Fellowship of Suffering – The Race: Day 5 Brad continues, and in doing so, looks after a fellow runner and then has to tend to his feet–all on his own. He even encounters his first threatening dog as he nears the finish line.

The Fellowship of Suffering – The Race: Day 4 Brad deals with more foot problems, but presses on to Lewisburg and past the 200 mile mark.

The Fellowship of Suffering – The Race: Day 3 Brad passes the Natchez Trace Parkway and make a short stop at a campground where the owner has set up a refreshment station for them. Brad thinks he has learned the origin of the word “moonshine.”

The Fellowship of Suffering – The Race: Day 2 Brad makes it to mile 126 at Linden, Tennessee. They have to deal with blisters and local folks disturbing their sleep.

The Fellowship of Suffering – The Race: Day 1 Brad’s account from the start through the first 67 miles.

The Fellowship of Suffering – Introduction and Prelude In a recent blog you learned about the Last Annual Vol State Road Race. The race has been completed, and the racers are recovering nicely. 64 racers started, 45 finished. One competitor, Brand Compton kept a record of his race as he went along, using his rest stops to update his log. He has kindly provided me a copy of his record and many photos along the way. This will be a multi-part series of Brad’s experience.

Grundy County Mayoral and Sheriff Candidate “Debates” Part 6 – GCTV 6 Interview of Clint Shrum I was “channel surfing” yesterday (Tuesday, July 15) when, at 4:30, I stumbled upon an interview with Sheriff Candidate Clint Shrum on GCTV 6. It took me a couple of minutes to find something on which to take notes. I listened as I searched for paper, so the initial notes may not be complete. Also, I did not get the name of the lady who conducted the interview.

Grundy County Mayoral and Sheriff Candidate Debates Part 5 – GCTV 6 Facebook Postings I have been doing a little investigating—which I should have done earlier. I am not a regular Facebook user and quite frankly am not comfortable using Facebook, so it is not my first source of information. That is just a personal thing—keeps me in the “dinosaur class!”

Grundy County Mayoral and Sheriff Candidate Debates, Parts 1-4 This is a series of postings specifically for the citizens of Grundy County, Tennessee. This past weekend, I attended what was supposed to be a debate between mayoral and sheriff candidates for the upcoming election. These postings include what I captured during the “debate” and in Part 4, my impressions of the debate and the candidates.

A Trip Back to Hog Jaw Valley – Part 2 Don and I Continue to Explore Hog Jaw Valley. Don takes me to the railroad bridge that he used to ride when it opened.

Are Please and Thank You Necessary? I recently received a note from a site that I follow. One paragraph in the message reads: “Ideally, the airport, loading dock, street traffic, and crowds will legitimately feel happier and better respected, too. By simply saying fewer please’s and thank you’s and implying more, we’d all become happier.” So I ask you, are “Please” and “Thank you” really necessary. Find out what I think and let me know what you think! “Please.”

River Café, Normandy, TN – Comfort Food Well Done What do an 1852 railroad town, Waylon Jennings’ black Cadillac, George Dickel whiskey, and a restored Shasta camper have in common? The answer is the River Cafe in Normandy, Tennessee, and the remarkable life of Nikki Mitchell.

“Honey, what shall we do this week?” “How about walking 300 miles across Tennessee!” This week the starting gun fires on the “Last Annual Vol-State Road Race.” This is a 314-mile, ten-day trek from the Mississippi River to Sand Mountain near the Tennessee-Georgia-Alabama state lines. Each Vol-Stater must make his or her way on foot, along highways and back roads, from one small town to the next, over hills and across rivers, up mountains and down long valleys, all the while accounting for all of the most basic needs: “What will I eat?” “When will I find water?” “Where will I sleep?” Harry and Ollie’s will again offer a rest stop for all competitors.

As a follow on to the blog on reasons to check out local museums, it seem logical to briefly mention the Museums Photography Etiquette, including a link to another blogger’s page on museum photography.

Six Reasons to Check Out a Local Museum How many times have you driven by that little museum on the corner? For me, it was nearly seven years—the museum had an attractive front, well decorated, and a name that should have forced me to turn in the first time I saw it—Arrowheads/Aerospace. But I had just moved to the area and there would be plenty of time to visit the museum. Now, seven years later, I finally did.

Harvesting Flashback How can riding a modern state-of-the-art harvesting monster take you back half a century? Well, let me tell you–my personal photojournalism assignment turned into a “trip back in personal history.”

Snakes on the Farm – Part 2 (And a Family Reunion)
The announcement for the family reunion just arrived. So how do snakes figure into a reunion? Read excerpts from the announcement.

A Trip Back to Hog Jaw Valley – Part 2 The trip through Hog Jaw Valley, Alabama continues, and I get “thrown out” of another place.

A Trip Back to Hog Jaw Valley Part 1 How can you not want to explore a place named Hog Jaw Valley? It is a remote, rural, agricultural, sparsely populated area where Don and I were “thrown out” of two places. And why would it remind me of the Nile River in Egypt.

Calling All Writers – Would you like to participate in writing a novel?
This is to start the discussion toward creating a piece of collaborative fiction, and I would like to invite anyone interested in writing, history, story telling, editing, etc.
Here are a few things I will provide at the outset:
1. A time line and for the novel and a general profile of the characters for each time period.
2. Details of the setting.
3. Contributors could: write an entire “story,” offer storylines that others may develop, develop characters, read critically for strong story elements, copy editing, etc. Those in creating a can write in almost any genre: mystery, crime, love story, etc.
For more details…

Water Skiing with my Father- My Father’s Turn – Part 2 From the time we first started learning to ski, we took turns pulling each other. The challenge was getting my father up on the skis, but he could not get the skis, tow rope, acceleration, and balance coordinated long enough to actually get up on the skis. I must have dragged him up and down the river every afternoon for two weeks with no success. But, he refused to give up. And, he found the solution.

Water Skiing with my Father – Part 1 It was a cool, still late August evening. The tail of the ski made a slight sucking sound as I skimmed across the glassy smooth water. I cut hard to my right, away from the boat, setting up a sharp turn back to jump the boat’s wake. Just then, he threw the boat into a hard left turn, leaving me at the end of a crack-the-whip maneuver, gaining speed and unable to turn back. This was not going to end well!

“Wave Ex” Explained and Comments from an International Resident In a Viewpoint from Pelham, in a guest post we get a brief perspective of a US resident from Slovakia. There might be a lesson there.

Question about Current State of K-12 Education – I Need Your Help Bill O’Reilly just said early this week (Today, June 6, 2014) that schools “don’t teach history or geography.” Is this true? I have not been in a public school in 40 years and I know things have changed, but no history?? I hear people talking about “fixing” our educational system. My question is, when did it become “broken?” Please help me out here.

Are You A Member of A Flock or a Society? This is a brief essay exploring the political difference between a “flock” of sheep and a “society” of people. Follow the analogy until it breaks down!

A Modest (Book) Proposal I am “sticking my neck out” here; I am considering posting a series that would eventually become a a history-based novel based on the history and people who lived on and around on the Farm–the Moyseneck Farm. Let me know what you think–I will need some encouragement.

Mother – Part 4, Mother and I Tour and African Game Preserve Mother was in the Peace Corps in Africa, and in 1977, I flew to Lesotho for a two-week visit. The highlight of the trip was staring down a rhino in a Volkswagen, followed by a stare-down with a baboon.

Lizards, Turtles and Snakes, Oh My! – Snakes Part 1 From as far back as I can remember, I have been fascinated with all creatures, but especially reptiles and amphibians. My parents encouraged my curiosity. Lois knew most of the reptiles on the farm, and always made a short science lesson out of any creature we discovered. My (maternal) grandmother was deathly afraid of snakes, so I agreed not to mention the tub of snake eggs in my room when she came to visit!

From Fireflies in a Jar to a Disney Movie A Story of Helicopters and Fireflies I heard the distinctive slap-slap-slap of helicopter rotors that sounded lower than usual, and in a true Pavlovian response, hustled out into the front yard. There is a row of trees on the east side of the property and I could see the aircraft’s lights blinking through the trees as it flew low overhead and continued on its way. I would have been content at that point and gone back in the house, but then….

One National Program I would like to See Instituted Okay, I am going to contradict myself—sort of, but the spending program I am going to describe may be one tactic for steering the ship of state back on course. I believe that each able-bodied individual should perform some form of community or public service as part of being a citizen of the United States. Care to comment?

Searching for Fossils – Many More Walks The river, from the marsh to just before curve below the railroad tracks had a small sandy beach. At the fish house, where there was an access road down to the beach, there were ten yards of exposed sand beach at low tide. On one walk, again, I was about 12 (c. 1956), I came across my most exciting find.

Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee – A Guest Post by Peggy Richmond
A story of Women in the wilderness with no electricity, no running water, and no men! Twenty women—a women’s travel group who love camping (most in vintage campers)—gathered at the McIntosh Reserve in Whitesburg, Georgia for a long weekend of kayaking, hiking, outdoor cooking and fellowship.

Another Walk on the Farm–and a Painful Lesson As I grew older, my permissible boundaries were expanded (see “Walking to Susie’s”). By the time I was eight or nine, it was not uncommon for me to announce, in the morning, at breakfast, “I think I am going to take a walk down to the marshes” (about two miles from the house) , and I would pick up my Brownie box camera and leave the house, often for most of the day. The only real misadventure I experienced was when encountered a small raccoon in a hollow in a dead tree trunk.

Governing Part 4 – Financially, Governments are Similar to Families or “It’s About the Money! Here is what I see—I am not an economist, but I can balance a checkbook—and I have often had to say “No” to a good purchase (nice to have) or investment opportunity (i.e., risk involved) because spending the money would drive me (and my family) too close to my “debt ceiling” leaving me no room for some emergency or truly essential unexpected expense. Personally, I think the Government is funding too many “nice to have” programs.

Governing Part 3 – What I Expect of Myself (And Everyone Else) We just went through our primary voting this week. I was thinking about how we decide who we are voting for. It made me ask myself, “What do I want from my government? What do I want from my elected government officials?” And, the last question I asked myself was the most telling: “Do I know what our government is really supposed to do? What are the responsibilities and duties of the government? What are my (our) individual responsibilities? It is important to NOT confuse the two.

Fishing on the Farm Part 2 – Fishing before Football Practice Fish for breakfast was not uncommon in my family. I cast the lure out away from the stump and worked it back to the boat with no immediate luck. I repeated the cast several times, each time tossing the lure a little closer to the stump. On about the fifth cast…

Camper Report – Riverside RV Retro 177 “White Water” Ever since we met, Peggy and I knew that we shared a love of camping—camping comfortably. All that means is that we enjoy getting out to our local, state, national, and many commercial camping areas, setting up camp and enjoying the experience. We found the unit we wanted and we signed the paperwork and towed the “Retro” home the next day.

A Well Dressed Teenager in 1959-1962 I was going through some old photos to illustrate other issues of my “I Grew Up on a Farm in Virginia” blog category and came across this photo of me just back from a successful fishing event. I was not a fashionista in school, and totally unaware of any fashion faux pas.

Walking to Susie’s (Age 4)
I grew up in a simpler time and in a simpler place. By now, if you have followed my “I Grew Up on a Farm in Virginia” series, you know I was an only child, living with my parents on a relatively isolated farm in Tidewater, Virginia.
Lois assumed I was going to the shed to act out my “pretend trip” to Susie’s. I got a simple “Okay.”
And off I started, walking down the farm road.

Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee – Top to Bottom
I was up at 6:00 and on the trail by 6:30, camera in hand. Ordinarily, I like the quiet of early morning hikes. The trail was deserted, but not quiet—I could hear the powerful rush of water cascading over ancient boulders more than a quarter of a mile away. I was on the wooded Campground Trail to the Cane Creek Cascades and Falls,…but I am getting ahead of myself.

Fishing on the Farm Part 1 – The One that Did not Get Away

As I have mentioned before, growing up on the farm, I was spoiled—I just did not know it. We were surrounded by water—the Chickahominy River on one side and Diascund Creek on the other, and a ten-acre pond right in the middle of the property. There were plenty of opportunities to go fishing—and as residents, no fishing licenses were required.

Writing for a Blog (or Anything Else) or Do You Write Right?

I regularly follow and read postings on more than a dozen blog sites. The point of this blog is to emphasize the use of more precise and correct writing skills. These are skills in which most bloggers have been schooled, so knowledge (of grammar, spelling, and sentence structure, etc.) is probably not the issue. On several of blogs that I follow, however, the application (attention to detail) of this knowledge may be sketchy.

Part 2 – What do I Expect of My Representatives in Government?

Note to Readers: Keep in mind, this is an “opinion statement,” and also keep in mind that I vote. If you agree with my general position, then your vote along with mine doubles the strength of our position. If you do not agree with me, you have to vote to cancel my vote!

When we vote for a candidate, we are selecting delegate(s) to our government to represent our community interests (national, state, district, city, county, etc.). Voting is the foundation of governing ourselves via a republican governing model. In summary (if you don’t want to read the whole article), see my list of traits should apply to all elected national-level officials.

Part 1A – A Word about the Constitution and our Government – Guest Commentary>

The following is a follow-up “Guest Blog” posted in category The View from Pelham, in response to “A Plea for U.S. Government to Do Its Job – Part I”

John set me strait on Constitutional phraseology, and expanded on my thoughts on the judiciary and the fiscal responsibilities of the Federal Government. Among other comments, John said, “So overall, I agree with you that Government’s interaction with the economy is crucial, but I would go further and insist that it is not Government’s job to ensure winners and losers, or to provide jobs to any who want one, but simply to supervise and defend a level free enterprise playing field. Even the new Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, I think, is way off target when she recently said…”

You Are Invited to Come Camping…

In 2011, my wife, Peggy, opened Harry and Ollie’s Country Market, a small shop and cafe in Pelham, Tennessee (Middle Tennessee, about half way between Chattanooga and Nashville). Last year we set up a campground adjacent to the store. This article describes the campground, facilities, and introduces many reasons to visit the area. With luck, if you enjoy camping, we will get to meet some of you face-to-face.

A Plea for U.S. Government to Do Its Job – Part I

Note: Due to reader input, several minor but important changes have been made to this posting.
In the next several essays, I will offer my thinking on what I expect from my (our) government and our representatives. I will also explain what I feel my responsibilities and duties are as a citizen of this nation, and finally, will try to offer what I think needs to be done to restore a healthy republic. So who am I: Just a concerned citizen! And,

Handgun Permit Training – Tennessee Style (50 Rounds on Target)Joy Composite
If you read my “Growing Up on a Farm in Virginia” blogs you would know that I grew up with guns. About the age of 10, my father gave me a single-shot .22 rifle and taught me how to use it. When I retired a year or so ago, my gun-enthusiast friend, John, gave me a 9mm semi-automatic pistol as a retirement gift. I recently signed up for, and completed, the Handgun Safety Course required for Tennessee’s Concealed Carry Permit. It was clear to me that this was something I should do as a responsible handgun owner.

I. Renaissance Bucket List:
This Main category is an assortment of travel and other topical areas that are loosely defined as my Renaissance Bucket List. This includes personal experiences or destination topics that have been “checked off,” or are on my active “bucket list.”
Current Travel Destination Articles include:

Visitors may tour the Batsto Mansion on weekends for a modest fee

Tour the Batsto Mansion

Batsto, New Jersey – A Village Grows with the Country
Name five cities or landmarks that are quickly associated with the American Revolution. Your top five responses might include Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Yorktown, and Batsto. Batsto? Okay, Batsto, New Jersey, may not be on the top-five list of familiar Revolutionary era places, but it played an important role in supplying military hardware to the Continental Army, and all because of the bog iron ore along the Batsto River.

An airboat departs Boggy Creek on an hour-long adventure.

An airboat departs Boggy Creek on an hour-long adventure.

Boggy Creek Airboat Ride – The(!) Florida Experience<strong
Dashing Across Lake ToHo in Search of the Illusive ‘Gator
There we were, skimming across the glassy smooth lake, a warm wind in our face, under a cloud-dappled blue sky—lost in this amazing, time-shifting experience. The throaty roar of a Chevy V-8-driven propeller pushed us across the lake and through tall grass at heart-thumping speeds. A n airboat is a time machine. Long before Disney, there were Florida Everglades. The headwaters of the Everglades actually reach north to the Orlando area, and the best way to share the experience of these early explorers is to get out of town and on the lakes of Central Florida—on an airboat.
https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/boggy-creek-airboat-ride-the-florida-experience/

The Lighthouses of Cape Henry, Va., or Where your First Public Dollars were Spent
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The Cape Henry lighthouses (there are two) preside over a point of land that is every bit as historic as Plymouth Rock. In 1607, English settlers landed on Cape Henry before continuing to the site where they would establish Jamestown—the first permanent English settlement in the New World.
https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/twin-light-houses-of-cape-henry-va-or-where-your-first-public-dollars-were-spent/

In the Lofty Steps of Presidents
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Wright Patterson Air Force Base has all of the now retired presidential aircraft ever used, beginning with FDR’s Sacred Cow.
https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/in-the-lofty-steps-of-presidents-2/

And She Said “Dah-di-dah-dah dit di-di-dit”
Edison-s--5
A Visit to where Edison did not invent the light bulb. I am a helpless technology junkie who has also developed an interest in history. Thomas Edison, with more than 1,000 patents—known best for his invention of the electric light bulb—was certainly on the cusp of 20th Century technology.

https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/and-she-said-dah-di-dah-dah-dit-di-di-dit/

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Russia’s Memorial to 9/11

Gesture of Respect or Unappreciated Lightning Rod for Controversy Or both?
At the tip of Bayonne, New Jersey’s man-made cruise ship terminal peninsula stands a 100-foot tall tower made of steel sheathed in bronze. Described as “hypnotic and moving” …

https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/russias-memorial-to-911/

Jamestown, Virginia–The Updated account of the first permanent English Settlement in North America
John Smith Monument-sl
This is a multi-part series based on a recent visit to Jamestown, Virginia and includes new and revealing information unearthed as recent at 2012–and far more than I learned studying Virginia History in school.
Part 1 – A Flashback and Introductionhttps://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/jamestown-virginia-part-i-a-flashback-and-introduction/

Part 2 – John Smith’s Role https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/jamestowne-virginia-part-2-john-smiths-role/

Part 3 – The Story of Janehttps://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/jamestown-virginia-part-3-the-story-of-jane/

II. I Grew Up on a Farm in Virginia:
This second category is a collection of reflections based on the first 21 years of my life growing up on a farm in Tidewater, Virginia. The motivation for this series is to capture some of my family history for my children and grandchildren. Most postings, hopefully, also include a bit of humor–usually at my expense.

Current postings include:
I Grew Up on a Farm in Virginia – The Setting – Moyseneck Farm
Moyseneck Farm
The Farm was the perfect place for me to grow up. It offered the best combination of freedom, responsibility, and inspiration for the youngster that I was and for the adult I would become. My persona is rooted in the soil of Moyseneck Farm, in Lanexa, Virginia. Lanexa is a small community centered on U.S. Route 60, about 20 miles west of Williamsburg, 35 miles east of Richmond.

https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/i-grew-up-on-a-farm-in-virginia/

My Mother: Florence Lois Rice Richmond Part 1
The Early Farm Years, or How I learned to Cuss.
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This is the first of a series of essays about my mother, a major influence in my life. This series is written primarily for my daughters and grandchildren.
https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/my-mother-florence-lois-rice-richmond/

My Mother Part 2 – Fire, Fish Ducks, and Grits
Lois c1944V1j
As mentioned before (Mother – Part 1), my folks had a chicken house with several hundred laying hens. Lois tended the chickens daily and collected the eggs. This event begins shortly after they had received, by mail order, a box of 50 chicks. Invariably, several of the chicks would not survive. The dead chicks would be burned to prevent the spread of any disease.

https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/the-day-my-mother-burned-down-the-tractor-shed/

My Mother Part 3 – Surviving Hurricane Hazel (With Emphasis on “Trees”!)
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It was October 15, 1954. I remember it well. With Hurricane Hazel bearing down, we hurry home from school to the safety (?) of home to sit out the storm. Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season.

https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/my-mother-part-3-surviving-hurricane-hazel-with-emphasis-on-trees/

1960 – How to Earn Money for a Date – Catching Turtles for Date Money In the 1950s and 1960s.
Snapping Turtle
Growing up on the farm in Tidewater Virginia, I participated in just about every enterprise my parents pursued.

https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/1960-how-to-earn-money-for-a-date/

My First Night with the Car! (Or how to break curfew the first night and get away with it!)
jDodge-1958-V1
https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/my-first-night-with-the-car/
I am guessing almost every young man (and many women, too) have had that tension filled moment when they asked for the first time to take the family car out for a date or to visit friends.

A Shotgun Hole in the Corn Crib Roof
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An Example of Learning Good Judgment from Bad Judgment: The corn crib was not tight and the corn attracted squirrels. When I would go in the crib, a dozen or more squirrels would scurry across the overhead beams and out the doors, windows and other holes in the walls. Frequently I carried a rifle or shotgun and would end up bringing home three or four corn-fattened squirrels for dinner.

https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/a-shotgun-hole-in-the-corn-crib-roof/

The night the Silent Service Rocked our House&gt
A 1957 television show explosion rocks our house and sends us searching for the cause.
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https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/the-night-the-silent-service-rocked-our-house/

III. The View from Pelham: This is a random assortment of thoughts motivated by topics that have appeared in the “news.”

Entries posted to this category include:

Viewpoint from Pelham #1 – An Open Message to Political Conservatives (and Liberals too)
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I am a political and fiscal conservative. If you stopped reading there, then you NEED to read the rest of this essay. Of course, I look forward to any information that reflects Conservative thinking. I am, however, a reader of all political offerings. In my opinion, that is the only way that I can make an intelligent decision on where I stand, politically. I am, however, consistently disappointed by other, I suppose, well-meaning conservatives (and liberals) who send me statements, reports, and other assertions that appear to support their positions that are either not accurate or are blatant distortions of the facts.

https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/viewpoint-from-pelham-1-an-open-message-to-political-conservatives-and-liberals-too/

Viewpoint from Pelham #2 – Question Everything
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Especially if it is what you want to hear! You may be the unwitting victim of Agents of Mis- and Disinformation. Politically, I would be described as a Conservative. I am a Conservative because I believe it is NOT the Federal government’s role to take care of each of us all of the time.
Here is what I believe:

https://reninassancemusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/question-everything/

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