Friday, November 29, 2019

The List 5154


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The List 5154 TGB

To All,

A bit of history and some tidbits.

Regards,

Skip


This day in Naval History

Nov. 27

1941—Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Harold R. Stark sends "war warning" to Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, Adm. Husband E. Kimmell, and Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, Adm. Ernest J. King.

BUT,,,,,,,,,On Nov. 26, 1941, under the greatest secrecy, the Japanese armada—commanded by Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumo—left Japan to attack the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor. The armada included all six of Japan’s first-line aircraft carriers—Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku, and Zuikaku. With more than 420 embarked planes, the ships were by far the most powerful carrier task force ever assembled. In addition to the carriers, the Pearl Harbor striking force included fast battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, with tankers to fuel the ships during the passage across the Pacific. An advance expeditionary force of large submarines, five of them carrying midget submarines, was sent to scout around Hawaii. Their mission was to dispatch the midgets into Pearl Harbor to attack ships there and torpedo American warships that might escape to sea.

The first 4 carriers were sunk at the Battle of Midway 7 months later



1942—By orders of French Vice Adm. Jean de Borde, the French fleet is scuttled in Toulon, France to prevent the ships being used by the Germans.

1943—USS Callaghan (DD 792) is commissioned. Named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Rear Adm. Daniel J. Callaghan, who was killed during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal November 1942, she serves in the Pacific until she is sunk by a Japanese kamikaze July 28, 1945.

1943—USS Bowfin (SS 287) sinks the Vichy French cargo ship Van Vollenhoven off the coast of French Indochina while USS Seahorse (SS 304) sinks the Japanese fleet tanker San Ramon Maru in the East China Sea.

1944—Japanese kamikazes sink the submarine chaser SC 744 and damage USS Colorado (BB 45), USS St. Louis (CL 49) and USS Montpelier (CL 57). All the light cruisers are repaired and return to combat duty for the remainder of World War II.



Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, visited USS Gerald R. Ford yesterday.

• Reuters reports Russia claims it showed U.S. officials its new hypersonic missile system before nuclear arms control treaty was abolished.

• USNI News reported on the end of the eight-month deployment of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the Middle East and Indo-Pacific.

• Acting on orders from Defense Secretary Mark Esper and President Trump, the Navy formally canceled the review board for Chief Edward Gallagher, reports USNI News.

Today in History



November 27


43 BC


Octavian, Antony and Lepidus form the triumvirate of Rome.


511


Clovis, king of the Franks, dies and his kingdom is divided between his four sons.


1095


In Clermont, France, Pope Urbana II makes an appeal for warriors to relieve Jerusalem. He is responding to false rumors of atrocities in the Holy Land.


1382


The French nobility, led by Olivier de Clisson, crush the Flemish rebels at Flanders.


1812


One of the two bridges being used by Napoleon Bonaparte's army across the Beresina River in Russia collapses during a Russian artillery barrage.


1826


Jebediah Smith's expedition reaches San Diego, becoming the first Americans to cross the southwestern part of the continent.


1862


George Armstrong Custer meets his future bride, Elizabeth Bacon, at a Thanksgiving party.


1868


Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer's 7th Cavalry kills Chief Black Kettle and about 100 Cheyenne (mostly women and children) on the Washita River.


1887


U.S. Deputy Marshall Frank Dalton, brother of the three famous outlaws, is killed in the line of duty near Fort Smith, Ark.


1904


The German colonial army defeats Hottentots at Warm bad in southwest Africa.


1909


U.S. troops land in Blue fields, Nicaragua, to protect American interests there.


1919


Bulgaria signs peace treaty with Allies at Unequally, France, fixing war reparations and recognizing Yugoslavian independence.


1922


Allied delegates bar the Soviets from the Near East peace conference.


1936


Great Britain's Anthony Eden warns Hitler that Britain will fight to protect Belgium.


1942


The French fleet in Toulon is scuttled to keep it from Germany.


1950


East of the Choosing River, Chinese forces annihilate an American task force.


1954


Alger Hiss, convicted of being a Soviet spy, is freed after 44 months in prison.


1959


Demonstrators march in Tokyo to protest a defense treaty with the United States.


1967


Lyndon Johnson appoints Robert McNamara to presidency of the World Bank.


1967


Charles DeGaulle vetoes Great Britain's entry into the Common Market again.


1970


Syria joins the pact linking Libya, Egypt and Sudan.


1973


US Senate votes to confirm Gerald Ford as President of the United States, following President Richard Nixon's resignation; the House will confirm Ford on Dec. 6.


1978


San Francisco mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the city's first openly gay supervisor, assassinated by former city supervisor Dan White.


1978


Kurdistan Workers' Party (Parti Karkerani Kurdistan, or PKK) founded; militant group that fought an armed struggle for an independent Kurdistan.


1984


Britain and Spain sign the Brussels Agreement to enter discussions over the status of Gibraltar.


1999


Helen Clark becomes first elected female Prime Minister of New Zealand.


2001


Hubble Space Telescope discovers a hydrogen atmosphere on planet Osiris, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.


2004


Pope John Paul II returns relics of Saint John Chrysostom to the Eastern Orthodox Church.


2005


First partial human face transplant completed Amiens, France.


2006


Canadian House of Commons approves a motion, tabled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, recognizing the Quebecois as a nation within Canada.




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This Week in American Military History:



Nov. 29, 1760: Rogers’ Rangers under the command of Massachusetts-born Maj. (future Lt. Col.) Robert Rogers capture Fort Detroit from the French.

U.S. Army Rangers in the 20th and 21st centuries will trace their lineage to Rogers and his British Colonial irregulars.



Nov. 29, 1890: Navy beats Army, 24-zip, in the first-ever Army (West

Point) – Navy (Annapolis) football game.



Nov. 29, 1929: U.S. Navy Commander Richard E. Byrd Jr. makes the

first-ever flight over the South Pole. Byrd – a future rear admiral and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his 1926 flight over the North Pole – is the navigator of the South Pole

flight. His companions include pilot Bernt Balchen, radio operator Harold

June, and photographer Ashley McKinley. The team crosses the Pole in a modified Ford tri-motor airplane.

Nov. 30, 1864: Confederate Army forces under the command of Gen. John Bell Hood (yes, Fort Hood, Texas is named in his honor) clash with Union forces under Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield (yes, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii is named in his honor) near Franklin, Tennessee in what is about to become a Union victory and one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. By early evening, thousands on both sides will have been killed, and six Confederate generals will be dead or mortally wounded. Confederate Private Sam Watkins of the 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment will describe the battle as: “the blackest page in the history of the War of the

Lost Cause. It was the bloodiest battle of modern times in any war. It was the finishing stroke to the Independence of the Southern Confederacy. I was there. I saw it.” Schofield, who will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during the 1861 Battle of Wilson’s Creek (Missouri), is destined for a third star, a posting as U.S. Secretary of War, and the title, commanding general of the U.S. Army.



Dec. 3, 1775: The Grand Union Flag (not to be confused with S.C. militia Col. Christopher Gadsden’s rattlesnake flag or the Betsy Ross flag) is raised above the 20-gun Continental ship, Alfred. The ship, originally named Black Prince, has been renamed in honor of Alfred the Great.The hoisting of the “Grand Union” colors is the first time an American flag is raised above an American warship. On an interesting aside, Alfred will be part of the small flotilla that participates in America's first amphibious operation – Continental Marines and sailors seizing gunpowder and a few cannon from British-held Fort Montague in the Bahamas – the following March.

Dec. 4, 1783: Gen. George Washington bids farewell to the officers of the Continental Army at Fraunces Tavern in New York. According to the memoirs of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge: “After the officers had taken a glass of wine, General Washington said ‘I cannot come to each of you but shall feel obliged if each of you will come and take me by the hand.’ General Knox being nearest to him turned to the Commander-in-chief who, suffused in tears, was incapable of utterance but grasped his hand when they embraced each other in silence. In the same affectionate manner every officer in the room marched up and parted with his general in chief.”



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Naval Historical Foundation - Tribute to Admiral James L. Holloway III

Hand SALUTE!!

Thanks to the Bear and Dutch






It is with great sadness that the Naval Historical Foundation announces the passing of Admiral James L. Holloway III, the 20th Chief of Naval Operations, a true Navy legend, son of a Four-Star Admiral, and former Chairman of the Naval Historical Foundation. The NHF is humbled to pay homage to this incredible warrior and public servant. Admiral Holloway’s life was an inspiration, full of heroic accomplishments and achievements to which many might aspire, but few achieve. Admiral Holloway’s life was one of exemplary service, dedication, sacrifice, leadership, and honor.



Admiral Holloway served as the President, and subsequently Chairman, of the Naval Historical Foundation for twenty-eight years from 1980 to 2008, for which he was presented the Distinguished Public Service Medal by the Secretary of the Navy and elected Chairman Emeritus. Admiral Holloway’s service to the Foundation followed a storied 36-year career in the United States Navy, during which he served in combat in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam and was appointed as Chief of Naval Operations. His career will forever stand as a shining example of exemplary Naval leadership, dedication, and service to others.



James Lemuel Holloway III was born in Charleston, SC, on February 23, 1922 to James L. Holloway, Jr., and Jean Gordon Hagood. His father was a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1919, and attained the rank of Admiral, distinguishing them as the only father-son pair in the history of the Navy to achieve that rank during active service.



Admiral Holloway attended Saint James School near Hagerstown, Maryland and upon graduation in 1939, entered the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1942 as a member of the accelerated Class of 1943 (and where he was a proud member of the wrestling team). He served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II, including North Atlantic convoy duty and in the Western Pacific at Saipan, Tinian, Palau and Leyte Gulf campaigns as gunnery officer of the destroyer USS Bennion (DD-662). During the Battle of Surigao Strait in October 1944, the Bennion was heavily engaged and helped sink the battleship Yamashiro with torpedoes, in addition to shooting down three Japanese aircraft. For his actions during the battle, Admiral Holloway received the Bronze Star Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.


Following World War II, Admiral Holloway reported for flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator. During the Korean War, he flew many combat sorties in the Grumman F9F-2 Panther, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. Admiral Holloway was a pioneer in this early era of carrier-based jet aviation and completed two tours in the heavily contested warzone. During one particularly challenging time, the Commanding Officer of his squadron, Fighting Squadron 52, was shot down, and Admiral Holloway abruptly found himself in the leadership role as commander. Shortly after the war, he served as a technical expert in the production of the critically acclaimed movie, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, a film which generated much-needed public awareness of the conflict and the sacrifices made during it.



From 1965 to 1967, he commanded USS Enterprise (CVAN-65), the Navy’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Admiral Holloway was the third Commanding Officer of the ship, but the first to take her into combat. He was subsequently promoted to Rear Admiral and then Vice Admiral in 1970, commanding the U.S. Seventh Fleet through the end of the Vietnam War.


Admiral Holloway served as Chief of Naval Operations from 1974 to 1978 (including periods where he was acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) during a particularly challenging time in the history of our nation. His accomplishments as a flag officer earned him four Navy Distinguished Service Medals and two Defense Distinguished Service Medals. Following his naval service, Admiral Holloway continued in public service and authored Aircraft Carriers at War: A Personal Retrospective of Korea, Vietnam, and the Soviet Confrontation, a testament to his passion for analyzing history in order to better understand the present and future.

Our Navy and our Nation have lost a great hero. The Naval Historical Foundation is forever indebted to Admiral Holloway for his vision, leadership, and accomplishments at the helm of NHF. Fair winds and following seas, Admiral Holloway.





Dr. Dave Winkler’s biography of Admiral Holloway and overview of his leadership, published by the Naval War College:

https://www.navyhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/ADM-Holloway-Naval-War-College.pdf


Admiral Holloway’s oral history on the Battle of Surigao Strait at Leyte Gulf in October 1944:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3sCYEVFRMI



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Thanks to Mud

Interesting article particularly the part at the end about Joe Foss, a legend in the Marine Corps.



Your History Book Missed Them: Meet These Legendary World War II Marine Aces

S/F,



https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/your-history-book-missed-them-meet-these-legendary-world-war-ii-marine-aces-99262

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Thanks to Al

Monday Morning Thoughts—Thanksgiving These are some of my favorites for Thanksgiving…





The final Thursday in November holiday is from 1863, when Lincoln, after listing many good reasons to give thanks said:

“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Some may think Thanksgiving was to honor our Indian hosts at Plymouth. Others may think it not PC to celebrate Thanksgiving since we took that land the Indians occupied and made the USA. They’re wrong. Lincoln recognized the gifts we had in America and, simply, wanted to celebrate these gifts from God.







Submitted by Al Anderson:



One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.

He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water! She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?"

You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

He said ... "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many years later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.

Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words...

"Paid in full with one glass of milk"

(Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.







I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes... I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me. “Hello Barry, how are you today?”

“H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good.”

“They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?”

“Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.”

“Good. Anything I can help you with?”

“No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.”

“Would you like to take some home?” asked Mr. Miller.

“No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.”

“Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?”

“All I got's my prize marble here.”

“Is that right? Let me see it” said Miller.

“Here 'tis. She's a dandy.”

“I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?” the store owner asked.

“Not zackley but almost.”

“Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble,” Mr. Miller told the boy.

“Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, “There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.”

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the e casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket. “Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size...they came to pay their debt. We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world, but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho...”

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.



We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath. It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!







I am thankful:

For the wife who says it's hot dogs tonight, because she is home with me, and not out with someone else.

For the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato, because he is home with me and not out at the bars.

For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes because it means she is at home, not on the streets.

For the taxes I pay because it means I am employed.

For the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

For my shadow that watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine

For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

For all the complaining I hear about the government because it means we have freedom of speech.

For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking and I have been blessed with transportation.

For my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

For the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means I can hear.

For the pile of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been capable of working hard.

For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means I am alive.

And finally, for too much e-mail because it means I have friends who are thinking of me.







The atheist's most embarrassing moment: When he feels extremely thankful for something, but can't think who to thank for it.







Excerpts from a book called "Then Some Other Things Happened", a collection of short pieces about history written by eighth graders and compiled by Bill Lawrence, a teacher and columnist. (Note that the spelling was not corrected.)

· The Pilgrams were a bunch of English wonderers who wanted to worship as they wanted to. They excaped the Church of England and came over here because they heard that American churches were different.

· The May Flower was the ship with which they came in. It didn't have a bathroom on board so there was quite an oder. Priscillia Mullins was the captain.

· First the Pilgrams had gone to Holland but left when their children started developing customs there. After a stopover at Williamsbug when a large storm blew them off course they landed on a big, slimey rock in Massatusetts. They spent the winter there.

· Before they got off the ship even they drew up an agreement for the people of Plymouth to agree on the voting for governors and congressmen. They kept this hid in the May Flower Compact. Lord Delaware was elected the first governor of Plymouth Rock.

· A friendly Indian named Rhone Oak showed the Pilgrams how to plant corn by putting it in the ground. Rhone Oak had been the first Indian to come to America and always wanted a beer. He traveled around with Miles Standy and translated language. He knew enough English to interupt.

· Another interupter for the white man was Squanto, who was called that because he was so short. Squanto drew up a declaration to give the settlers freedom of goverment in the new land. The Pilgrams gave the Indians thanks for all this and that's what started Thanksgiving.

· The Pilgrams then appointed Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Abraham Lincoln later pronounced it and gave it to them and it soon became a national holiday all around the world.

· These people always wore old shoes with a big buckel on the top of them. The men wore pants that only came a little ways past the knees and the girls wore funny bonets.

· But if these people wouldn't had of come to America the United States wouldn't be like it is today.







Submitted by Ann Schlegel:



"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad . Please don't yell at me when I'm driving.." My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts.... dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man. Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky... he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.." I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair.

As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?"

The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one.. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy.. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said.

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch... "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me.. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!" Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed.

At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp.. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.

Dad 's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years.. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." "I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article...Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter... his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father... and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all, and I had so much to be thankful for.

Submitted by George Webster:


In Phoenix, Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down at her six year-old son, who was dying of terminal leukemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible. The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's dream to come true.

She took her son's hand and asked, "Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up ? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life ?"

"Mommy, I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up."

Mom smiled back and said, "Let's see if we can make your wish come true."

Later that day she went to her local fire department in Phoenix, where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix . She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her six year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.

Fireman Bob said, "Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards ! And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat--not a toy one with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots. They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix , so we can get them fast."

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven.

There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the paramedic's' van, and even the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program.

Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.

One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept--that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.

Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a fireman, so she called the fire chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition..

The chief replied, "We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes. Will you please do me a favor ? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire? It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?"

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window...16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room!

With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they loved him.

With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said, "Chief, am I really a fireman now?"

"Billy, you are, and our Head Chief, God, is holding your hand," the chief said.

With those words, Billy smiled and said, 'I know, He's been holding my hand all day, and

the angels have been singing." The he closed his eyes one last time.


Something For Stevie (Author unknown)



I tried not to be biased in hiring a handicapped person, but his placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. I had never had a mentally handicapped employee, and I wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy, and had the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Down syndrome.

I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meat loaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ;" the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with.

I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks. I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot. After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him.

He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was convincing him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus the dishes and glasses onto a cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag. If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home.

That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie had missed work. He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Down syndrome often had heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery and doing fine. Frannie, my head waitress, let out a war whoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of the 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked.

"We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay."

"I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?"

Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed. "Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK," she said, "but I don't know how he and his mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is."

Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand a funny look on her face.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup," She handed the napkin to me, and three twenty-dollar bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something for Stevie".

"Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply "truckers."

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work. His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy.

I arranged to have his mother bring him to work, met them in the parking lot, and invited them both to celebrate his day back. Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

"Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast," I said. I took him and his mother by their arms.

"Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate your coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me." I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room. I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins.

"First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said. I tried to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table. Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it.

I turned to his mother. "There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. Happy Thanksgiving."

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table.

Best worker I ever hired.


I send jokes almost every week in hopes of brightening your week. For me, it is my way of staying in contact with family, friends, colleagues and the like throughout the year. Thank you for having been some part of my life.

Wishing you much for which to be thankful,

Al



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