I began this journal after I deleted my Facebook account. I had been a dedicated Facebook user. There was no better communication tool available to fill that niche between mass media and face-to-face interactions. I shared a lot of photographs, mainly from our community theater, Brazosport Center Stages, and from our church youth group. I also did my share of celebrating our beautiful, talented grandchildren with occasional Facebook posts. They were, by my design, nameless and homeless in the eyes of strangers, although I was always careful to limit the distribution to “friends”.
I did the total wipe on Facebook. I don’t doubt the files are still out there as backups or as research data for some “university professor” serving a front for a marketing firm or Vladimir Putin. A blog offers only a bit more privacy. At some point, it will be open to the public and most of what I post will be there for all the honest world to see.
So there are some things you may as well know from the start. There is no need to go to all the trouble of developing a psychographic profile based on assumptions about my friends, likes, and ad clicking. So allow me to save you (and perhaps Mr. Putin) the trouble. I am a United Methodist Christian, born once and only once into the faith at the age of six kneeling at the altar with my parents in Jacinto City Methodist Church. I am a Democrat, have always been a Democrat and your suasions on behalf of some other party will probably be wasted on me. I do not hate or even mildly dislike Republicans. I live among them in Lake Jackson, possibly the most conservative 1,609 square miles in the country, and although they caused me lots of discomfort with barbs about Democratic presidents, I don’t hold that against them because I deliver a few aimed at their Republican heroes from time to time. Not feeling the safety in numbers that they feel, I deliver most of my barbs in the privacy of my home.
And I may have been a little hasty or at least too general in claiming no mild dislike for ANY Republicans. There are some ….
You may as well know, too, that I don’t have much truck with guns. I do not belong to the National Rifle Association and never have. I find most of the organization’s public statements and services offensive. But don’t make assumptions. I have been certified a marksman by the government of what is often called the “most powerful nation on earth.” That said, I don’t think the Second Amendment serves any particular purpose beyond the marketing needs of Smith & Wesson and the likes. (Note: I am aware that Smith & Wesson now has a much cooler marketing name designed to conjure memories of Boy Scout camp. But I can’t remember what it is. It isn’t passing the most basic marketing test.)
Now, before readers get all in huff about my claim that the 2nd is not holy, please consider that you could repeal and replace it (that has a nice ring!) with a few words that would accomplish what it is intended to do without giving broad cover to the arms manufacturers to mass produce and market millions upon millions of handguns, rifles and ammo onto a narrow market (just the good guys who will protect the rest of us) while the most of us Americans prefer to move about unarmed and count on trained police for protection.
So, there are my disclosures. You will possibly never hear another word about my politics. Just know that I was drafted five days after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Bobby Kennedy was laid in his grave a couple of months later while I was in basic training at Fort Bliss. I never went to Vietnam but I did get a medal and a marksman badge from the U. S. Army. My manhood depended so much on accomplishing those things. To be able to shoot a gun! And to be a decorated soldier.
Well, the decoration is the lowest order the military awards: an Army Commendation Medal. I got mine for typing 35 or 40 words a minute in a truck with icicles dripping from our battalion field office ceiling on the artillery range at Fort Carson in mid-winter of 1969. I thought that was important until the whole Kansas National Guard was given the same award just to keep them from mutinying while they sat around Fort Carson for a year.
That’s my war story. 1968. It was a hell of a year in the United States of America. And a really bad time to be drafted. And, of course, I was almost certain I was heading off for my death in a rice paddy in a country I had no personal quarrel with. Well, I was lucky. So lucky.
I have never dismissed or taken lightly the sacrifice of my age peers who went and did exactly what their country asked of them. I salute them by not standing on Veterans Day at church when they ask all the members of the armed forces, past and present, to stand and be recognized. I know they aren’t interested in saluting the battalion clerks who spent their time at the Mountain Camp in Colorado typing orders and court martial records for the poor guys returning from combat who went AWOL because they saw no purpose in the mickey mouse training they were required to do to finish their time. Not exactly acts of heroism on my part.
With all that out of the way, let’s get on with my Facebook-like posts about life in Lake Jackson and our glorious community theater. I even have a cat picture. A Russian Blue named Dexter. But you will have to wait.