Sunday, March 18, 2007

Million Musician March for Peace

Yesterday, Peggy and I and two of our friends from here at Pecan Grove walked over to the Capitol to participate in the Million Musician March for Peace. This was a nationwide event to mark the 4th anniversary of the President's illegal war in Iraq.

This first photo shows the marchers forming up in front of the State Capitol, where the 45 minute march to City Hall began. I suppose there were a few thousand marchers in the Austin event.

The march was noisy and the crowd was very vocal but, completely non-violent in every way. This group was united in a common message to bring our military forces home, now! I have to say it was quite a moving experience to be among this large group of free thinkers who see right through the haze of fear and intimidation this administration has constructed. Bushy's message of "support the troops", "better to fight in Iraq than here", is falling on more and more deaf ears today. However, enough bought into his BS in 2004 to get the him re-elected.

There were a number of floats that said volumes in their messages, including one by residents of Crawford, Texas. Camp Casey was represented although Cindy Sheehan was not present and, I assume was at the Washington DC march.

Arriving at City Hall we were greeted by an amazing concert featuring Carolyn Wonderland and Guy Foresyth. Notable speakers included Liz Carpenter and US Representative Lloyd Doggett.

This photo to the right is 86 year old Liz Carpenter speaking from her wheel chair. She gave a very entertaining and enlightening talk. The key point I took away in her words was, "If you can write about this, then get after it!" So that is what I am doing today.

Lloyd Doggett, who has always been our friend and a cut above the mealy mouthed, poll watching, double talking Washington bunch, gave a great talk where he minced no words. He pointed out how this President had dragged this country into war with a country which was no threat to us, had lied and manipulated intelligence, cost 3200 American lives, found no weapons of mass destruction, declared "Mission Accomplished", sent an under-manned and under-equiped force, ignored all advice of the Iraq Study Report, is spending 10 billion per month on this foolish endeavor, and wants to be called "The Decider". Well, it is time for Congress to start doing "The Deciding" and bringing our troops home with the only means at their disposal, cutting funding!

The photo on the left is of Rep. Doggett at the podium.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ina Marie Hill 1921 - 2007

Peggy and I are, at the moment, on the road en route to the funeral of my Aunt Ina who died last week. I pretty much stayed up all of last night thinking about my aunt and, this morning, decided I would like to make a blog post regarding my recollections. This first photo is Aunt Ina taken, I am guessing, right around 1950 shortly after moving to Texas from Ohio.

As a child I remember always being happy to visit my Aunt Ina and Uncle Dill and recall my aunt as a very nice, fun person. I liked it even better when they came to visit us in Greenville.

When you really sit and try to think back 50 years to when you were a kid, it is odd the silly things that pop into your head. One goofy thing I have never forgotten was that Aunt Ina had some of these aluminum glasses that used to be popular back in the 50's. Totally impractical inventions that, if you put something cold inside, would condense rivers of water on the outside. Of course, that means nothing to a six year old and I could not wait to get to Aunt Ina's and get a drink out of that wonderful anodized aluminum container.

I also saw my first remote control TV at my Aunt Ina's house and thought it was just incredible. This was probably in the late 50's and the remote had only two buttons, if I remember correctly. One, through a series of gears and belts, rotated the channel tuner clockwise and you can guess what the other one did. Of course you really needed a remote control living right in the heart of the Metroplex and being able to pick up 8 or 9 stations! TV at my Aunt Ina's house was quite an adventure for a young boy from Greenville used to, maybe, three and half stations on a good day. I wonder if women, in those days, understood the male's absolute right to ownership, and sole possession of the remote control?

As a child I saw my aunt as a nice, fun person but, I did not gain a full appreciation for her until well after I became an adult. This is when I learned what an intelligent, opinionated, interesting person she really was. In stark contrast to the vast majority which are meek, compliant sheep willing to be lead around by, so called, political or religious leaders, my Aunt Ina had a mind of her own and was not afraid to express herself, and I loved this about her. In fact, I have noticed that is a characteristic common to most of her brothers and sisters as well. Is that trait learned or genetic? I prefer to think genetic, and hope I inherited some of those genes through the Joneses.

And, speaking of those genes, here are my Grandparents (my aunt's parents), Cliff and Marie Jones. I think this photo is from about 1915 in Cameron, Ohio.

As someone who despises laziness, practically the highest compliment I can give someone is to say they worked hard. My Aunt Ina was one of the hardest working people I have ever known. She raised a large family and I know she worked many overtime hours at General Dynamics and, worked many years longer than financial need required. She was a bundle of energy!

Here is a photo of Aunt Ina and her oldest daughter, Barbara from around 1954. I wish I also had a digital image of Ina and Uncle Dill together to post but, we are driving down the interstate with no way scan a snap shot. And, thank you to Wally and Ruth Ann for the photos that are posted here today.

I am going to miss my Aunt Ina and think the world is probably a little less interesting place this week than it was last.