Saturday, December 18, 2010


As one may suspect, the “Plane Gang” had a lot of visiting and catching up to do back at the aerodrome. That also gave yours truly some time to take more pictures of one of my favorite places on earth, “Old Kingsbury Aerodrome”. I snapped ‘till my little ol’ heart was contented…for now.

One interesting feature that had showed up for the fly-in was “Canadian John”. John is retired and apparently migrates to Texas in the winter to both escape the harsh Toronto winters and to help work on Ford Model T’s at the aerodrome. He has other works that are notable including an old truck he restored that is now housed at the “Poncho Villa Museum” in Columbus, NM. He knows his stuff.

He has a modest motor home and travels with his faithful companion, “Sebastian, the not so wonder dog”. Sebastian is part wolf and, though somewhat aged, is suspected of the willful assassination of at least two of the aerodrome’s fierce guard chickens, “Rooster Cogburn” and “Henny Penny”.

Rooster was a hoot. At night he would flap up on top of a pile of steel plates. Then he would navigate to a higher platform and then an even higher one. After that, this feathery critter would flap even higher to the welded tube airframe of a WWI SPAD replica that is hung from the ceiling. From there he would flap about 8 more feet up and across to the Piper J-4 airframe also suspended some 25’ directly above the hanger floor. The spot below, of course, became his personal dumping grounds thereby disqualifying him for the “chicken of the year award”. This handsome ruler of the roost will be sorely missed.

We had hardly enough time to wear out our Chinese lunch when Roger herded us all up to a preferred restaurant out in the middle of nowhere. This guy has a hard time figuring out how people find a restaurant that’s parked “out yonder” in southwest Texas. “Out yonder” in Texas could mean around the corner or a day’s ride. There simply wasn’t much near this place other than the regional flora and fauna. Imagine our surprise when four car loads of hungry folks showed up to a restaurant sporting a sign that said, “Closed for re-modeling”. Well, Connie and I were in no danger of blowing away in a stiff wind and our stomachs were not bumping into our backbones so it was no big deal to us. The other’s seemed to be more motivated and said, “Follow us!”.

After heading over, under, around, and through the rather unaccommodating roads of “almost civilization”, we re-discovered smoothly paved roads and the miracle of lights. We got separated from the others in the full-scale onslaught of modern rush hour traffic in the real town of New Braunfels. However, in almost no time, we were pleased that a couple of cars in our party found us.

In a short while we were standing in mile-lone line (well…maybe it was only a half mile long. But, this is Texas, you know) at what appeared to me to be the most popular restaurant within at least five miles. The “Gristmill” in nearby Gruene is at least as popular that I can tell. We had the distinct pleasure of dining there a couple of years ago. The place had marvelous catfish for dinner (is "marvelous" a new species?).

This new place is called “Clear Springs Restaurant” which is situated just out of New Braunfels on the way to Sequin ( Talk about cool-and-a-half! The land on which this place was established was originally surveyed by none other than James Bowie in 1825! It was hard to tell if anyone else was stupefied by standing in this old converted grocery store and cotton barn but this ol’ boy was!

The next thing to draw our attention was the mile-high (well…more like half-mile high) deep-fried Texas onion rings being hauled out to an endless array of hungry Texans and visiting omnivores by able bodied waiters and waitresses. Never having high-jacked a mountain of onion rings before, both ends of our table ordered them and then waited with bated breath for the servers to return. It took a herd of them to serve our party of hundreds of gnashing teeth.

The food was absolutely fabulous. I knocked out a rib-eye steak while the rest of the professional eating team tore into the various offerings of BBQ’d ribs, steaks,and chicken, and grilled fish.

Everyone has heard about the “Texas Two-Step” dance step. But few have heard about the “Texas Postprandial Waddle”. This is where you eat so much phenomenal Texas cookin’ that it’s almost impossible to put one boot in front of the other. You waddle out to your car (with help from the staff if necessary) and go about your merry way and rustle up a nap.

When we returned to the aerodrome, fellow flyer, musician, and dear friend, John Goble and I decided to fling a string and render our version of music to whomever may be at hand. There really wasn’t a crowd to please. Other than Roger and Connie, John’s wife, Linda, and a couple of others, it was Rooster Cogburn and the Curtiss Jenny who were listening. Not that it mattered. We were having a ball!

It is really difficult to express how cool it is to just “pull up a stump” on the hanger floor and “git down” with another musician. In this case, John brought his unique fiddle (Texans don’t play “violins” ‘cause it’s agin’ the law, don’tcha know) and I dragged out my special edition Martin D-16M g-tar and we commenced to have a good time.

One reason we didn’t draw a crowd was that we were outside in the open and in the cool November Texas breeze. The other reason was that it started raining like crazy! Nothing like a good downpour to wreck a really nice two-musician concert, I always say. In any case, John and I had a great time even if no one could hear our caterwauling over the Texas tempest that pummeled the hanger. We played a long while and then our guitar and fiddle got tired. So, we didn’t want to be accused of “instrument abuse” so we put our respective instruments in their cases and called it a night. The day was done and we had fun.

That meant we got to stay in Steve’s “FEMA Castle”. The guys ended up with access to three really nice FEMA trailers that had been originally assigned for assisting with the Hurricane Katrina storm. Two of the trailers had yet to be lived in and one had only been used a short time. The came furnished with beds, a stove, a refrigerator and many other amenities. Such a deal!

We awoke to a really nice day in paradise, believe it or not! To be honest, after the deluge of water the previous evening, it was difficult to have faith that the runway could be used for something other than a mud bog drag race or maybe a goat ropin’ at one end or the other.

With that hope cooking, it was time to grab a camera (after grabbing some coffee, of course) and get ready for the arrival of the airplanes. All-in-all there was about 35 aircraft that showed up. Given the “iffy” weather, that was considered a resounding success! “Snapshot Joe” took a ton of nice pictures. He didn’t take quite as many as last year for some reason. Perhaps the coffee hadn’t kicked in or there wasn’t enough of it.

During the day there were other interesting things happening. For instance, Connie got to ride in a sidecar/hack hooked to a 1921 Indian motorcycle! As they swerved about the aerodrome, she advised that she could just see the old cartoon where the hack left the motorcycle on a curve, flew off by itself and just barely missed annihilation while dodging though a chicken coop, then reunited with the motorcycle. She also said that, because of the military paintjob, she felt like she was “Colonel Klink” in a sidecar. There’s a strange feeling she may pick up the moniker “Ol’ Sidecar”. Naw. She’s happy with the one she has, “Sidecook”. She had a blast.

One of the pictures above is of an early Ford Model “T”. Yours truly got to drive that cute little guy! You simply must drive a Model “T”! It has three pedals, a clutch lever (it’s belt driven!), and the throttle is on the steering wheel along with the spark advance lever. You juggle the levers and pedals until you have forward motion and then your’re on your way! It’s not all that difficult after a few minutes. What an excellent experience to drive the type of vehicle my grand father would have driven!

Now, everyone knows that a having a great day of fun taking pictures and moseying amongst the airplanes works up an appetite. Leave it to Rog to have a plan when hunger smote the gang. All of the kith, kin, and clan boarded their respective vehicles or carpooled and headed back west to Sequin. Just off and alongside “the 10”, we all rolled up to the “Los Cucos” Mexican restaurant and a great big smile formed upon my face. Man! There’s no doubt that I’m going to have a really difficult time going back home.

“Los Cucos” is Spanish for “The Cuckoos”. I think I get it. Only cuckoos don’t come here to eat! If that isn’t the correct interpretation then it has to be, “We’re cuckoo about this place and this is where we gather!”.

Imagine my glee when I noticed that the menu boasted a few new dishes that I had yet to master! And, the servings were huge! I thought I hurt myself at the Chinese buffet! I’ve eaten at a lot of Mexican restaurants in many states. But, I have to place this cantina right at the top of the list. That’s no small feat!

The rain found a new place to fall so we had a nice pleasant, cool, and dry Sunday morning the next day. Connie and I checked to confirm that this was still Texas and that we were still on vacation. Yep! That was still the case. So, later that morning we decided to head just down the street to Mr. Baker’s home.

Mr. Baker is Roger’s dear friend who lives nearby. He is the quintessential “west Texan” who has been retired for probably 15 or more years. A couple of years ago on a previous visit there, the gang all went over to his house for food and fellowship. John Goble and I broke out the instruments and played some of the old Bob Wills music and a few other ditties. This was the first time we had had the opportunity to somewhat recreate such a nice time with him.

As usual, he enjoyed our music. We were only able to stay for a relatively short while because he is experiencing some health issues that leave him tired fairly quickly. It was still a hoot for the roving minstrels who are always looking for a stage.

Most of the remainder of the day was used to rest (rest is my friend) and to just fellowship with the guys. What a nice time of talking about friends, family, and, you guessed it, airplanes (all the guys are pilots and mechanics).

Time for a break. So, don’t touch that dial (some of you…uh…older folks will remember the announcer saying that when it came time for a commercial on the radio or TV). Stay tuned for the next segment of the “Randy and Connie’s Big Adventure” (for you Pee Wee Herman fans, we saw the Alamo on the last trip out here, heheh).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Big Trip-arooski

We did it!! More than 7,400 miles of guiding the big Freestar van between the beer cans were accumulated without suffering anything other than aching squared-off gluteus maximus muscles and having just enough energy left to complain about not having any energy. According to Shirley Gerber, we need an antidote for fun poisoning! Boy! What a great way to suffer!

Hopefully, I can relate to everyone what it’s like to eat one’s way through the several states (and not need an operation by the time the vacation has ended) while enjoying the wonderful sights and sounds of our fabulous country. We broke in at least one new Chinese buffet and hammered a couple of well-used ones. Not even “Home Town Buffet” was left untouched. That was the one where we ate breakfast for three days in advance. I wasn’t about to leave being hungry to chance, HEHEH. I’ll try to get to the hot dogs, tacos, steaks. BBQ’s, biscuits and gravy, and such as the newsletter continues.

The hope was to depart the “Land of Milk and Free Money” (ah, yes…a sprinkle of cynicism) shortly after church on Sunday Nov. 5th. However, just as the plans to leave early fell apart on our previous trip last year, the plans eroded for this trip as well. So, not to be disheartened by mere demands on our vacation time, we simply departed the next morning…later than we had planed but resolute and full of vim and caffeine (I can’t seem to do vigor that early in the day).

It’s a long long way to Texas. In fact, the old adage is that, no matter from where you depart, when you reach Texas, you’re half way there. Just to add to the “Encyclopedia of Interesting Information”, it is the same distance from El Paso, Texas to Phoenix, AZ as it is from El Paso to Abilene.

We drove and drove and drove and the scenery seemed to indicate that we were actually going …nowhere. But, I wasn’t to be fooled because I had successfully traversed this desolate desert on more than one occasion. I knew that my faithful Ford Freestar’s odometer was not failing me. Of course, neither was my bladder deceiving me. When you drink lots of Diet Pepsi on purpose, you know that you will have to stop and resolve all comfort issues at some place along the highway. That means that, when the truck stop where you find relief is different than the one at which you previously found joy, then you are making progress. It’s a simple standard when you stop to think about it but it works really well in Texas when the scenery hasn’t changed in a couple of days.

Kingsbury, Texas is a cool place at which to arrive. It was once a thriving town at the end of the railroad line. All roads led to Kingsbury so it was a town of hustle and bustle. Alas, the railroad pushed on into greener territory and much of Kingsbury remained neglected. Not everyone is unhappy about that. A lack of urbanization isn’t all that bad if you are retired or, like Roger Freeman, you have a beautiful grass strip that can be called a runway for your airplanes.

Connie and I look really look forward to this part of the trip because it involves family. Roger is Connie’s “baby brother”…a point which she seems to lord over him at times. Is that a “girl thing”? Anyway, Roger is tolerant of his elder “seester” as usual. And, we’re all agog because Roger is the curator, owner, chief pilot,and chief mechanic and oil can hoister for the “Pioneer Flight Museum” ( We're talkin' "cool guy" here!

We really dig “Old Kingsbury Aerodrome”! There’s little to not get excited about at this place! You can throw a rock and hit an old airplane. I would actually caution against doing such a thing as it may get you fed to the local catfish by the museum volunteers who, with much blood, sweat, and tears, help to keep the planes and airport in tip-top shape.

These truly committed gents (or at least, some of them need to be…heheh…just joking. You guys are the best!) have the Herculean task of tending everything from the runway to the 1917 Curtiss JN-4 “Canuck”. There are ancient quirky Ford Model T’s with which to contend and which need to be babysat continually, wayward aircraft like the early 1930’s Pietenpol Skyscout powered by a Ford Model A engine that recently overcame a radiator issue, and the rebuilding of some of the important parts of the original WW-I Fokker Dr 1 Tri-plane. Another matter of focus and wonder is the general parts scrounging for which these guys are famous. They can find or make just about anything! Perhaps in another issue I’ll relate how they are building early motorcycle replicas from bicycle frames and two-cycle moped engines! I rode one and it is most certainly….COOL! Included in the update will be the two competing Model T racers that are currently being built! I can’t wait for that project to be finished. Check in with the website to stay apprised of these fun and historical projects. Al Sumrall and Tom Gaylord usually ship out the newsletters and workday updates. I’m sure that wouldn’t mind adding a few new e-mail address.

Anyway…on the way out of town the first day we were able to hook up with Don and Shirley Gerber in Apple Valley. You may recall that they are the bandleaders for the “Cedar Grove Bluegrass Band” for which I was their bass player and harmony vocalist. They treated us to heaping helping of homebuilt chili and cornbread. I think she had cots prepared for a siesta knowing that I can’t get enough chili and cornbread and would be stoked afterwards. That was a wonderful idea and my eyeballs certainly did feel like a couple of lead fishing weights. But, the van needed to be BOI (back on the Interstate) so we could have a fighting chance to see as many people as possible. It was “hugs all around” and then we were warming the tires again.

The end of the first day found us at Kingman, AZ which I personally have found to be about the average stopping place when I depart from this area. By lunch time, we were at a big ol’ Petro Truck Stop which had an “Iron Skillet” restaurant parked in its midst. We commenced to waylay the buffet there for awhile. We showed no mercy to the steam tables. After annihilating any chance of being hungry for the next few hours, we headed out on I-40 and were listening to the Bible on CD (a great way to stay in the word). At about 9PM or so, we called it “quits” at Deming, NM. Not one mile of scenery had changed since the last time we had driven through there.

There wasn’t much to see or to do the entirety of the next day but drive. Drive we did. When you get to Texas, you can expect to see “mile and miles of Texas” (yes….”Bob Wills” and ”Asleep at the Wheel”). We were so far out into west Texas that, by evening time, even the radio signals couldn’t find us! The end of the line for day three was Junction, TX. Once settled, Connie spent awhile sewing on birthday aprons for the grand-kiddies while I cleaned up some e-mail and tried to catch some news on the big TV set that the motel had afforded. Some of motels are now boasting 27” flat screen TV’s. Works for me!

The next day we awoke to a beautiful sunshiny Thursday morning. We didn’t have an abundance of pep so we elected to be rather ho-hum about packing the van and tracking down more coffee and OJ. No sense wrecking a good day off by working, I always say. Traffic was light, the weather was clear, the highway was dry, and the traffic was light. Perfect. We’re BOI.

Not long after noon we finally made it to “Old Kingsbury Aerodrome”. We immediately were greeted by the “ditch crew”. That would be Roger, Chris, and Steve Freeman, who were installing Chris’ water lines to his home-away-from-home trailer there at the airport. They were hip deep in a freshly dug water line trench that was being guarded by a backhoe. I guess a little Texas dirt never hurt a good family greeting.

It was great to see “the guys” again. This was the first time almost three years that Connie, Steve, Chris, and Roger had been together in one place. It was "hugs all around" and time to get caught up on things.

All of the driving and all of that ditch work sho’ nuff welled up an appetite in all parties present. So, at the behest of Rog’, the lead chow instructor who knows the ins and outs of the restaurants there, we headed out to nearby Seguin for lunch.

Seguin is a lovely smallish town about 35 minutes east of San Antonio. It’s a thriving city that is prospering quite well that I could see. It is noted for a number of things but I personally think it’s notable for the large “doorknob to Hell” water tower that rises high above this lovely prairie town with its abundance of restaurants and places to shop. You see a lot of these towers all over the country.

Roger had already staked out a super neat Chinese buffet (it would not be the last one we would visit). Since they all greeted him warmly I could see that he was no stranger. In fact, I'm wanting to say that we can blame Roger's slight Chinese accent on having fequented this place quit often.

This wonderful buffet had many of the common Chinese dishes but Connie and I were surely pleased to see a few that we had yet to try. It only took a few plates to bring our palate experiences rating up to date. The huge meal lasted us until the next huge meal that evening!

Wait, folks! There’s more! Don’t touch that dial and stay tuned for the next addition to the adventures of the sub-dynamic duo, Connie and Randy. We’ll update the Roost as soon as we can.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Christians Arise!

This politically active writer was astounded by certain information tendered by CNN during the previous three election cycles. The fact was that a mind-bending 75% of Christians don’t vote! If that wasn’t enough to rattle one’s eye teeth, the report went on to advise that 25% of those who did vote, voted for the Devil’s man of the hour.

The impact of this deliberate and inexcusable inaction is almost incalculable. Stop and think; there would be no close elections at all if Christians would just vote. Almost all of the elections in the previous decade have been lost or won by a hair’s breadth and some involved great controversy. Please hear this…..there would be no abortions and homosexuality would no longer be shoved down our throats (including trying to convince our grade school children that it is normative). We would be spared the political correctness. Prayer would be returned to schools along with other freedom of expression. We would not be threatened and hampered by lawsuits by the Godless ACLU (an anti-American socialist group from its inception) by merely erecting a nativity scene or a cross. We would have freedom of religion instead of freedom from religion. We could escape the insanity of liberalism altogether.

Yet, for all of this, those who profess to be Christian in their faith are voting for those who delight in the persecution of believers and who believe that most Christians need to be locked up for the safety of society. They vote for the removal of freedom of speech so that pastors can no longer preach against evil without fear of being jailed.

How can such things be justified in their minds? What thinking is it that would deceive them in to thinking that God is “in control” and He will use such evil to effect His will in the earth?! Why would God enslave Christ on this earth (we are the body of Christ) rather than have Him free? Why would God purpose that Christians commit “suicide by government” rather than have life and that more abundantly?!

It’s time to throw off such deadly and unscriptural doctrines that disenfranchise believers from the political system. If they do not, then the political system will, uncontested and by default, rule over them with an iron fist. It was Pericles who stated: "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." Likewise, English statesman, Edmund Burke advises this: “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

The Bible is more than clear that we are to: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). If we are not “doers of the word” but rather are “hearers only” (being deceived), the devil will not flee. He will remain and will win the elections.

“Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge…..” (Isaiah 5:13)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Immigration Law Is Not Emotional

Randy Minnick


According to at least one of the Webster’s Dictionaries, a law is defined as: “That which is not subject to change in its given parameters”. In other words, a law is an absolute unless changed by the one’s who made the law. Then, it may be repealed like “Prohibition”, amended, or modified in some way. This makes sense when one doesn’t want to be governed purely by anarchy or emotional dynamics. The law can be counted on to provide clarity of matters that may evoke great depths of emotion but it will not be moved nor is it supposed to be moved. It has been codified after accounting for all factors pertaining to the issues while applying previous law and experience by men of wisdom and understanding from over the ages.

We can also say that law institutes logic that cannot be swayed by an emotional factor. Rather, it is understood that it is (ideally) the “letter of the law” with the accounting for of the “spirit of the law” so that is fair and just for all. If we have the letter of the law only, then there is an inflexible tyranny foisted upon the people. While the law is, by and large, inflexible, the spirit of the law must be accounted for lest there be injustice. In any case, it is unemotional.

One purpose here is to point out that what has been stated is an absolute that has been the course of wisdom and reason for millennia. Since the beginning of time “truth” has been observed by the vast majority of thinkers (certain philosophers excepted) as being law and therefore absolute. We can even use God’s word as an example because it is “the truth”; it never changes and is, therefore, law. We should consider that some of our current laws are direct descendants of “Hammurabi’s Code” (ca. 1790 BC). This is the desired and proven way for establishing and maintaining the law of the land that is supposed to account for a peaceful and orderly society (without oppression and tyranny as such).

But, there is a fly in this ointment. These things are immutable social truths unless you are a liberal. Liberals abhor bottom-line truth and do not allow it to interfere with their deceitful and utterly corrupt Marxist doctrines. It has been demonstrated on a national level as of late that there are federal, state, and local laws that just aren’t effectual because liberals just don’t like them and refuse to enforce them (or allow them to be enforced). They simply ignore them and tacitly intend to subvert the law. They, likewise, gainsay and oppose anyone who would dare to be patriotic and enforce any law with which they disagree.

It is of great note that this is largely due to the fact that liberals reject all absolutes anyway. That’s why they reject both truth and law and make them entirely subjective and irresolute. It leaves them with rabidly defending such things as the indefensible position that “My truth is better than yours!”. At that point it is a matter of fighting, kicking, screaming, decrying, gainsaying, lying, and smearing to defeat the opposition. They can then define “truth” as they please. Conscience and civility are not allowed to attend these bouts. It is little wonder that they have earned the sobriquet “loony liberals”. They are on logical black ice at all times. They have clearly demonstrated that their conscience has been seared with a hot iron.

Such liberal philosophy introduces the decidedly unstable factor of emotion that determines to undermine the efficacy of law. It purposes to override the establishment (i.e. the established law and culture) by using demagoguery as a key motivator to either change, destroy, or subvert the law to meet their standards and opinions. It never seems to dawn on the employers of such a philosophy that, if what they had was good, peaceful, and truthful, people would come to them rather than having to be brutally forced (e.g. Lenin), and/or deceived (Hitler), into accepting what they tender.

While there is any number of examples, this specific reference is regarding immigration law which has been established for the protection of the people of this country and its sovereignty. Now, let’s tie this into liberalism with more focus.

In effect, immigration law means nothing to liberals. It is a law that is absolute to all but them. That also directly means that the Constitution of the United States is a worthless scrap of paper to them because it is the law of the land. It is the Constitution that gives the government the power to protect its own people. Therefore, immigration law of America has been rendered without teeth and ineffectual because of their subversion of the Constitution and the laws meant to protect "we the people". Americans are suffering brutally because of their disdain.

“What about the “Border Patrol. Aren’t they doing (or allowed to do) their job?” some would ask. This is where the next principle of socialism comes into play. “Change everything except what is apparent or presented to the masses”. It does appear that the “Border Patrol” is enforcing the law. But, to what degree are the allowed to enforce the law? Seriously….does catching a (comparatively) few illegals while millions are unchallenged and are even protected by the president of the United States prove any kind of effective enforcement? Doesn’t the lack of a protective wall or not positioning the Army and/or Marine troops at the border extraordinary proof that America’s leaders are traitors who are prohibiting enforcement of the laws of the land? Doesn’t the almost unhindered drug trafficking along the border and the absolute refusal to protect our citizen’s from drug lords scream of dereliction of duty?

To aid their cause, they force emotional attachment to the plight of (illegal) immigrants using it to instigate class and a (presumed)race conflict. In fact, they level the charge of “racism” and "racist" to those who demand law enforcement and who want to save their country from a mass invasion of illegals (we're talking millions not thousands of immigrants. Ten percent of the population of Mexico is already here in this country). “Mexican” is a nationality and not a race but such facts are ignored by "double-speak" liberals who twist words to fit their desires(the word "attorney" means "word twister"). The sobriquet “illegal aliens” sticks in their crop so political correctness is brutally enforced for just such matters. To mitigate facts and truth, they are now “undocumented workers”.

In carrying out this nefarious practice of distortion, they make “good” appear “evil” and “evil” appear to be “good”. In other words, being a patriot and loving one’s country is considered a “hate crime” to a liberal when few in history would make such a declaration.

In their thinking, one is supposed be sorry and ashamed that he is an American and should apologize for his existence. He should also be punished by forfeiting his culture, his livilhood, and his country. It is therefore considered being “racist” if he doesn’t surrender his land to the invading armies. No, there is no actual rationale or logic to their thinking at all. But, after years and even decades of (soviet style) brainwashing, any lie becomes “truth” to be defended with alacrity (especially if it comes from some bearded anti-American college professor who is a socialist guru). To them, the end justifies the means (including national suicide). If they were alive today, Nietzsche, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Marx, and Mao would be proud of them.

Liberals do this while trying to maintain a phoney and diaphanous moral high ground by clamoring about the greatness of their “spread the wealth” “hate the rich” socialism. Illogically, they maintain and proclaim a philosophy that entitles people to break the law and dine freely at the table of the rich Americans (which, when compared to Mexico, is almost all Americans). They tie in the untenable socialist egalitarian position that every is equal. However,don’t bother to say that it’s their job to bring the middle-class down. In doing, everyone is, infact, equal: equally poor, equally dependent upon the NAZI government, and equally enslaved to totalitarianism and without the cover of our Constitution (which actually does make us all equal under liberty and not slavery) .

If anyone should think that liberals care one whit about the middle class, they need only do a bit of homework to discover that they are in full march to confiscate as much as 75% of the wage earner’s paycheck (it’s actually near that now with all taxes considered). That, incidentally, is precisely the tax rate in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (the USSR being as far from a true republic as a duck is from being a dinosaur).

To compound matters, they scream “diversity is best” while anyone with only a few brain cells to rub together (including our founding fathers) knows that “divide and conquer” is the very first rule of warfare (and they most surely are at war with America). By demanding non-assimilating illegal Mexicans (who are conquering the US without firing a shot), Americans in some parts of the country are now the minority population. They also conveniently overlook “E Pluribus Unum” which means “out of many, one”. It was never our founders' intent to “take one people and turn them into many splinter groups that have no commonality at all and thereby destroying the nation. Ah, but there are those pesky facts again.

It is actually a normal response to care that illegals are human beings. It is understood that they are trekking to this country through the harshest of conditions and that many are suffering brutally. It is also understood that they have much to gain and are in high hopes of boarding the ”freebie train” in the “promised land” that flows with milk and money (sic). Such a reaction understands that these are desperately poor people who are living in squalor and who desire a better life. They want their children to have a chance in life and to escape the grinding poverty in which they were reared. But, are emotions a qualification to usurp standing law? And, even if the law is not accounted for shouldn’t common sense be brought to bear? One would think so until we realize that liberals do not believe in common sense (or we would see at least some modicum of evidence that they did). Common sense is an absolute that has been inculcated into mankinds thinking through the millinea. But, it cannot qualify as a participant in the liberal agenda.

Do I have a true understanding of this suffering or am I just an uncaring armchair soccer forward? Was I un-moved by a recent NPR report on Mexican children and youths who are suffering unexpected hardship and deportation as illegals because they had been brought into this country as babies by their parents? Was I saddened by the fact that they considered themselves to be Americans and yet they actually were not and had to face the consequences of their parent’s actions? Oh, yes. It was sad and I was moved accordingly. But I also knew that the suffering was due to decisions made by the parents and that no one else should bear or be required to bear any of that responsibility. Their suffering was being exploited for political gain to the max. The only thing more powerful than my sadness was the urge to throw up at the blatant demagoguery being vomited by NPR.

And, I’ve also been to the Baja peninsula and to Juarez, Mexico. I’ve seen entire villages that have no running water, no indoor plumbing, and no electricity. Their diets were almost exclusively corn tortillas and frijoles (beans). Then, there are the compos (labor camps) where families are living in what can only be described as chicken coops with tin roofs and dirt floors. One camp had a row of outhouses a hundred yards away across a large dirt yard. It had a single 1 ½ “ vertical pipe with a hose bibb from which the entire camp drew their water by the bucket. I am not unmoved by such a scenario. In fact, I was moved to tears. My emotions were very alive and well and very much affected. So let it be understood that I have first-hand knowledge of the economic conditions that motivate the illegals.

But immigration law is unemotional. This matter of emotion has already been accounted for by those who drafted then passed the legislation. By enacting a law it was understood that a priority had been established and that priority was self protection and preservation and not "spreading the wealth" to anyone who dared invade our nation. And the law is not without care or concern. There is a proviso that says that you are most welcomed to come to this country but do so legally just like everyone else.

The law also accounts for the fact that you can’t “save the entire planet” and assuage all of its misery. It knows that, if you take too many aboard your lifeboat, the boat will sink and everyone will drown. Astoundingly, liberals have no such common sense (their KGB brainwashing having been completed).

Today, far too many of those in Congress have lost that concept of self preservation and are forcing this nation into the dangerous position of becoming overwhelmed with illegal aliens. America is hemorrhaging money and resources like it had a transected aorta and there is no end in sight. But, there is just so much blood and when it’s gone, life as such cannot be sustained.

Congress has turned a blind eye to the preservation of our domestic tranquility and national sovereignty. They have forsaken their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution (a treasonable offense). For instance, according to every reliable news source (now forced to report at least partial truth due to overwhelming empirical evidence), illegals are now responsible for as much as 50% of the crime in border towns and in other cities across this nation. Many have mental health issues and some bring in diseases that this country has not had to deal with in decades (there is whooping cough epidemic in the west now). There is also a bed bug epidemic with which we must contend (after 50 years of having almost no bed bugs in the country at all). Our women are being raped and robbed and our children molested. Our people are being slaughtered on the highways by drunken illegals (the author has been involved in two traffic accidents and both involved drunken illegal Mexicans). Diseases and afflictions not seen in this country for decades are on the rise with some becoming pandemic. Liberals take absolutely no thought for matter at all other than loving and protecting the illegals more than their own countrymen.

Many illegals, along with their American-born supporters, are even activists who belong to openly anti-American organizations and who openly flaunt that they will conquer America with the “power of the penis” and not the gun (e.g. there are three Hispanic births to every one non-Hispanic in my area and there are other regions of California where it is much higher). They have determined that Mexican “love” will eradicate the US. They would appear to be emotional too.

Facts like these should stir another emotional response with our leaders but, incredibly, they don’t. In fact, to a normal person these dangerous assertions should actually evoke a counter emotion and that emotion would be one of self preservation and law enforcement. But, the liberals have yet to do so which, again, points to unmitigated and open treason.

With this understanding, though, we can now also see that liberals/progressives/Marxist/socialist/Democrats/communists (for all intents and purposes they are the same) are a bunch of wild-eyed demagogues who are without the ability to think correctly or accurately and certainly not patriotically. They capitalize on such evocative issues by preying on people’s emotions to garner power with which to steer our country over a political cliff so we will freefall into a “changed nation” of slavery and tyranny. Even after proof after proof that socialism does not work and cannot work, they forcefully campaign for socialism to our destruction. They are completely unconcerned that law is unemotional and do so to the peril of our nation. Is this any less than legitimized insanity?

This matter can no longer be held under an emotional microscope and judged by bleeding hearts with their perverted and twisted logic and their Marxist ranting. And, doing nothing and waiting for someone else to act is no longer an option. There must be line drawn in the sand and the passionate fight for survival must begin.

But, when will enough be enough? When will we passionately enforce the dispassionate laws that were set in place to protect America? When will we fight for our lives with the same alacrity that history recounts happened in WWII? Only time can tell. I certainly hope that it will be soon since the water in the pot is rapidly heating and the frog has hardly budged.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

OPEN LETTER TO BARRY SOETERO AKA BARAK OBAMA: Newsflash! Mr. Obama, Americans Don’t Want Your Stinking Socialist Health Care Disaster!

Mr. Obama, with the defeat of uber-NAZI MA Attorney General Coakley, it should become glaringly obvious to you (supposing that you see lightning and hear thunder) that Americans don’t want your NAZI socialist health care swindle with its corresponding imposition of Big Brother upon us. Americans (i.e. the real Americans who can speak English without an accent and who are still among the living) are sick and tired of you saddling us with mountains of taxes and debt. Only the insane would do such a thing to their countrymen. This leaves us with only two conclusions: either you are not one of us or you are insane (or even both).

In any case, we will have none of your Gestapo hidden-agenda tactics shoved down our throats. As you have seen, we are inclined to shove your NAZI’ism up your….we’ll, you get the picture. Get this memo, sir: the socialist revolution is over! Did you catch that? If you think not, then understand that this nation is on the brink of what you and your band of thugs would call a “civil war”. Americans are committed to fight for their freedom! Did you hear that or do you need us to speak directly into one of your ears?

Just as Jefferson Davis pleaded with the Federalists, this nation is pleading with you. Stop the socialist takeover or there will be hell to pay! Do I make myself clear? Do you not understand that there are hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of armed and seriously committed patriots who absolutely will not allow you to strip them of their Constitutional and God-given inalienable rights? Do you actually think that all men will cower under the threat of your Fourth Reich and the new Gestapo Czars you’ve created? You best think again as you have come up against a brick wall of opposition! WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN! The Constitutionally mandated American militia will rise to the cause and fight against your desires to overthrow our government and to stip us of our sovereignty! We will adhere to the full intentions of our founding fathers and our Constitution and we will fight against your hatred for them!

Walk softly, sir. We are not going to allow you to defile our land and our Constitution any longer! We are tired of your giving sanction to those who slaughter babies in their mother’s wombs. We are tired of illegal aliens to whom you give more rights and whom you protect more than the people of this nation! We are tired of you paying for the conquering of our land! We are tired of you and your band of hypocrites who take glee in removing our Christian heritage and stifling our Christian freedom! We are offended at your insistance upon telling the world that we are not a "Christian nation". Just for your information, WE ARE A CHRISTIAN NATION. And, just because you are not a Christian (there isn't enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian in any court in this land) doesn't mean that the majority of us are not!

Take note, sir, that we will fight you and your SS troops to the last high powered rifle bullet.WE WILL BE FREE and you best take that to the bank! You would be well advised to stand down and stop this socialist revolution while you still can. Make peace with America before it's too late!

If there is any way under heaven there are those of us who will see you impeached and tried for treason. Your Marxist chicanery and deception are no longer under wraps. You flaunt your socialism just as flagrantly as did Adolph Hitler (whom you must adore as you are an exact clone as all evidence indicates). You have been exposed for the fraud that you are. If you do not step down from office, then you will be arrested and you will be found guilty of treason for your anti-American activities.

Be further advised, sir, you are not our president, our friend, or our leader. You are not even welcomed in this country. Be gone with you while you can still safely do so.

One last note: you are under constant prayer for your safety and your conversion from evil. This writer in no way wishes you any harm whatsoever. To the contrary, it is my desire that you come to the knowledge of Christ Jesus the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is my sincerest prayer that you take heed to the leading of the Spirit of God who is constantly prompting you to turn from you wicked ways. Further note that not a single patriot that I am aware of wishes you harm but rather that you just be gone and of no more harm and defilement of our land.

On the other hand, please be advised that there are those on "your side" who can see obvious political benefit from your not leaving office alive. May God forbid that that should happen, sir. All Christians are praying for you that, regardless of any other's intentions, you will be safe thoughout your (hopefully short) time in office. Though I think you are the most dangerous and anti-American of presidents, I pray for you and your family's safety and protection throughout the length of your lives. I will fight as hard for your safety as I do against your politics.

A war of freedom awaits your consideration and your actions.

Red, white, and blue God-fearing patriot and Oath Keeper,

Randy Minnick

Sunday, December 20, 2009

• Obama hails 60th Senate vote for health care (AP)
AP - Jubilant Democrats locked in Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson as the 60th and decisive vote for historic health care legislation Saturday, putting President Barack Obama's signature issue firmly on a path for Christmas Eve passage.

Enough is enough! This socialist evil must stop and it must stop NOW! This health care scam was reportedly DOA when it came to the Senate! Now…it’s going to be passed whether the people of this nation want it or not!! This is more than's supernaturally wrong. It is evil and it bodes of the utter defeat of freedom in our nation

NO MORE SOCIALISM! It’s time to rebel against this resident evil KGB-inspired liberalism in our country, this evil Congress and this evil faux charlatan huckster who is posing as the president of the US. It is time to pull out all stops to force the several states to rebel against the federal government and its insanity that is destroying our nation and enslaving our people!

Just as Jefferson Davis plead with the Feds to stop their anti-Constitutional march to slavery, we the people must rise up and fight to our last breath to defend our Constitution, our Christian heritage, and our culture that is being Mexi-formed before our eyes at the insistence of our government!

We have FAX’d them, we have phoned them, we have pled with them in every way. Yet they have scorned us to the last man. Herr Obama has vilified us to the world and has rendered our nation as a mockery by our enemies. NO MORE!

It’s time that every God-fearing man and woman in the nation contact their state leaders and their sheriffs departments to force them to defend us …or else THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY. We do NOT have to endure this insanity and such anti-Americanism and such secularism that makes it appear that Christians are perpetrators of all of the world’s evil and who need to be locked up for the sake of society. It’s time to flood the phone lines of every single state Senator and Congressman and each governor and do so without resile. There ARE decent people willing to lead this nation in the path which our founding fathers gave us. We must find and ask for their help in returning our country back to us.

If necessary we MUST secede from the Union. We have a MORAL AND LEGAL right to do so. We must NOT accept the Marxist socialism being forced …FORCED … upon us!

Last but not least, we MUST pray! You believers who think that we should just “trust God and let Him work it all out”…are deceived. God gave us a brain and a nation in which we have the right to vote. However, 75% of Christians DO NOT VOTE!!! According to CNN, of those who did vote, 25% voted for the Devil’s man of the hour! Some of the political races have been won and lost by a hair’s breadth! NONE of that would have happened and the Marxist Socialist Candidates (including Herr Obama) would have been SOUNDLY DEFEATED if believers had simply voted!

SHAME be upon all believers who do not fight for their freedom. May the words of Samuel Adams burn in your ears to the grave:

"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Trip to Texas November 2009

Like most travelers who are eager to put some pavement behind them, we were in high expectation of an early departure from home base. In a word, that didn’t happen. We had hoped to leave on Sunday afternoon. No way, Hose A. Then, we re-scheduled for Tuesday. No way Hose B. Ah, yes, says we. We can surely make it on Tuesday. “Not today” was the outcome. After having our brand spanking new set of Michelins checked and after dealing with a computer client (an extra tank of gas, don’tcha know), we did depart on Wednesday but it was 4:00 in the afternoon. I kick the tires and light the fires, a quick wet finger in the air to check the weather (the index finger, silly), and “We’re outta here”. In almost no time our headlights were boring holes into the dark Mojave desert night. We were quite tired after three days of preparation but managed to find some measure of strength to push on. We finally made it to Needles, CA and called it a day.

The next morning we were as fresh as a quart of half-and-half left out in the Sahara for a week. Our daisies were in full tilt wilt indicating that many of our muscles were in rebellion to our very good cause. A hot cup of motel sorta-coffee helped to quiet the huskies for me. Connie suffered until we trudged to Fry-Donalds where she managed to find relief in some OJ and a biscuit. I haven’t figured that one out yet. I’m starting to suspect that she’s probably normal or something.

The original flight plan included exiting Californy via I-10. Several of my brain cells collided at the thought of having to fight the LA freeway system at the rush hour so the route was amended to include I-40 part of the way. That’s how we ended up in Needles.

At Kingman, AZ we diverted NW about 30 minutes to the little sandy burg of Dolan Springs, NV where longtime dear friend and fellow minister, Red Polston and his wife Patty, were helping his parents during a time of trial (please place the family on your prayer list if you would). We hadn’t seen Red and Patty in the two years since our previous trip back east. I hadn’t seen Red’s folks since they moved from Fresno in the late 1980’s! We had an excellent reunion with much gabbing, of course. All too soon we had to hug necks and leave town. Please stop in on Red’s website. He’s the leader of the “Halo Jordan” band and they are changing people’s lives wherever they go. You must see these guys. They just swept the “Absolute Best of Tulsa” awards for 2009!! Check’em out at: HTTP://WWW.HALOJORDAN.COM

I’ve been on I-40 more times than Ricky Skaggs so at Ashfork, AZ, we headed south to Prescott just for the change of scenery. There was a hope to stop and chat with Tom and Jan Luke in Dewey but work and other time considerations precluded the visit. The Lord willing and the Arabs don’t attack, we can make it another time (and soon at that). You will be pleased to visit their excellent ministry work at: HTTP://VOLANTEACADEMY.ORG.

From Prescott, we took the overly well-beaten path to Phoenix where we tied in with the great and mighty I-10. That meant that we were gleefully looking forward to two more days of unchanging scenery. Uh…did I say “gleefully”? Perhaps that’s not exactly the correct adverb to use.

After experiencing miles and miles upon miles and miles, we landed at Lordsburg, NM about as fresh as a paper plate from the last church potluck. Thankfully, all our luggage was stacked for ease of use so it didn’t take long to unload our cleverly disguised dump truck.

The next morning brought a bright sun and clear dry road conditions. After a biscuit and sausage meal we were BOI (back on the Interstate) and rolling comfortably along.

Once in Texas and not far east of El Paso (didn’t I just see Pancho Villa?!), the speed limit jumps to 80mph. That velocity is a bit uncomfortable for me since you’re traveling at 117 feet per second. If someone screws up and things go down hard, you’re moving from one football field end zone to the other in 3 seconds flat just while deciding what to do. After that you still have to stop the vehicle and that’s another 8-10 seconds. If you manage to keep the greasy side down, then you may have a chance to get invited to the next trip to the Chinese buffet after church. Otherwise, they will never finish picking up the pieces. The wide yellow stripe down the middle of my back usually precludes my traveling this fast this low to the ground. I much prefer to be strapped into something that has wings permanently mounted to it so I can avoid vehicles traveling faster than some of the airplanes I’ve flown.

However, reason advises that, if you don’t take advantage of the speed limit, you won’t be anywhere in Texas by Christmas. So, Ol’ Slow Poke Slim just set the cruise control and let the big Ford 4.2 L V-6 hum along at 80mph and 2,600 RPM. The big van wasn’t even breathing hard.

It is quite interesting to note that, when you reach El Paso, it is the same distance to Phoenix, AZ as it is to Abilene. El Paso is also (roughly) equidistant to the California border and San Antonio. That’s a lot of Texas terrain to tear through! Thankfully, there’s no lack of sand, mesquite, and rocks to keep you company.

There was no way we could reasonably reach Kingsbury, TX in one day from Lordsburg. I’m not one to arrive at 2 AM and look into the bloodshot eyes of a friend or relative. And, though I like to drive, certain of my lower body parts had long since declined temptations to be a real stud and drive “straight through”. This old driver could brag of a few times he has done that. However, such feats of full frontal stupidity (when there is no exigency) take a rather hefty toll on one’s body so it isn’t likely it will happen again any time soon. It wasn’t going to happen that evening. So, we called it a day at Kerrville, TX.

The next morning I grabbed some of the John Deere tractor crankcase sludge that the Motel 6 called “coffee” and splashed it into my eyes since it wasn’t even close to being potable.
It wasn’t long after loading the van that it was parked down the street in front of Mickey D’s where an order for the “senior’s coffee” was made. On one hand, I saved 50 cents. On the other hand, I had to admit that I went to grade school with Moses. What mixed feelings for a Scotsman. Sheese!

After a phone call to Connie’s brother, Roger, in Kingsbury, we took the recommended “scenic route” which bypassed San Antonio and saved a few miles and minutes. Since it was our day off, we decided to take his advice and see more of Texas. We certainly were not at all disappointed. Poised amidst the now-familiar tumble weeds and mesquite were many small burgs, farms, and barns that made for good shootin’ with the trusty digital cameras (we took five with us including the built in cell phone cameras).

At last we pulled onto Pershing Lane and onto the Old Kingsbury Aerodrome. We were tired but not needing a senior’s electric scooter yet. It was neck hugging time in Texas.

It was most refreshing to see Roger Freeman again. Roger is a professional pilot and world class WWI aircraft builder and restorer. He is also the head armadillo for the “Pioneer Flight Museum” based at the aerodrome. PFM is part of the “Vintage Aviation Historical Foundation”. If you are up to a trip in the time machine, come to the Old Kingsbury Aerodrome and get an eye full of history. By all means, go to the PFM website and see this awesome collection of ancient aircraft: HTTP://WWW.PIONEERFLIGHTMUSEUM.ORG

Included in the inventory are an original Curtiss Canuck (the Canadian version of the JN series) that has been in a number of movies including “The Blue Max” and “Ace Eli and Roger of the Skies” with Cliff Robertson. I was privileged to be a “wing walker” on this exact aircraft back years ago when movie director James Cameron rented the Jenny from Ernie Freeman (Roger and Connie’s father) so his father would have the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of flying one of these remarkable aircraft. I can still hear the rumble of the OX-5 to this day.

The list goes on. There are two Fokker D-7’s, a Fokker DR-1 Tri-plane, a Meyers OTW, a Piper J-3 Cub, another Fokker DR-1 Tri-plane being built, a Rearwin Sportster, a 1939 Luscombe 8 (converted to an 8A), a Great Lakes biplane, and many other cool aircraft and tons of parts and pieces. You have to see it to believe it!

There must be a law in Texas that dictates that you will eat a lot of BBQ while there. Roger, being in strict obedience to Texas law, made arrangements for us to be a part of the weekly pig-out that evening. These guys do know how to pull off a BBQ bash. It’s difficult to describe how excellent the BBQ’d kielbasa sausages and chicken were. I ate until I looked exactly like an overweight middle-aged white guy. We had a great meal and then a super time of gabbing about just about everyting (though it did lean a lot toward politics).

For the next couple of days we got to visit with Roger and some of his many friends some of who are volunteers there at the aerodrome. One such gentleman was Joe Matlock. Joe was a Marine F-18 Pilot who survived being shot down during the first Gulf War. Does he have some stories to tell!! At some point I may elaborate on his “Lifeboat” project that accounts for the coming darkness upon our land if the Christians refuse to pray and refuse to vote (or refuse to vote correctly).

Joe and his wife, Deanna, invited us to visit their home church for the Sunday worship. Seeing it was the Thanksgiving pot luck and, knowing that Texans are notoriously excellent cooks, we quickly accepted their offer.

We actually got much more than we bargained for when we showed up. These folks blew us away with their hospitality and love for the brethren. It has been awhile since I have seen such a familial Christian environment. After a blessed service that included testimonials and songs, the potluck began. They made sure that the visitors were at the head of the line! We felt most honored to have been there. Of course, we were not disappointed with the quality of food and all of the trimmings. It was a truly blessed time at the Prarie Lea, Texas, United Methodist Church. When we departed, we felt like first cousins to all of them. How neat!

Something quite special happened for Ol’ Ran while at the aerodrome. To be able to put the matter in perspective, I must first relate an experience from the past. As a teenager, I was an A&P apprentice mechanic at my hometown airport. Amongst the tasks that I was called upon to perform was “rib stitching”. That’s the dynamic of using a 12” long needle threaded with bee’s waxed cord to stitch the fabric of an airplane’s wing to the ribs that form the airfoil of wing. I had helped rebuild a 1940 WACO UPF-7, stitched the tail feathers of a Grumman TBM (borate bomber), and was involved with other fabric covered projects. In fact, I had even learned to baseball stitch. Alas, that was many cycles of El Nino ago. Over the years, the rooky mechanic was left behind along with his knowledge of such wonderful capabilities.

Now the good part….Roger, my pal, just happened to have a set of covered control surfaces for a WW-I Fokker DR-1 Tri-plane lying around (OK….actually, he’s building a DR-1 replica for a client from New England where they love saying the word FOKKER). Roger patiently and with all longsuffering, re-taught me how to rib stitch! For a short while, I was 16 years old again and lashing fabric to the wing of an old airplane in a hanger that was reeking with butyrate dope. Man! I don’t know if I was high on the experience or just high on the dope or maybe both! It took about 15 minutes or so to get the hang of it. Most likely, on the next trip back there, it will only take a few minutes for a refresher course to be able to be a real rib stitcher again. I’m almost ready to buy a new needle!

Later in the day Roger showed us one of his latest acquisitions. It was a 650cc Kawasaki motocross motorcycle……straight from the USMC in Afghanistan! He asked me if I wanted to ride it. Well….I suppose I could use it to check the condition of the runway if he didn’t mind (heheh). The big Kawasaki is water cooled and quite cold-blooded. We had to wait awhile while it warmed its torque-laden engine. Once ready, I mounted the dragon. I’m 6’2” tall but still had to tippy-toe the big bruiser around. It wasn’t about to let me be the boss. I eased out toward the runway but instantly noticed that this was going to be a very treacherous trip. It had rained a couple of days prior and much of the water forgot to seep back into the water table. Bystanders (that would be Connie and Roger) report seeing muddy rooster tails flying up from the big bike as I shifted gears. That was really interesting since I was just barely on the throttle because any hint of power would force the rear tire to make a 90 degree change of attitude. I don’t much care for large tire deflections while on muddy ground. After the slow and short runway check, it was back to reveling in the aircraft-stuffed environment.

A special treat was when George Ellis dropped in for a visit. George was an RAF Lightening pilot who later was the chief test pilot for the famous Shuttleworth aircraft collection in England. George recently retired from the position. He has flown almost all of the aircraft including the pre-World War 1 planes, World War 1 fighter planes, and the “heavy metal” from World War 2. We were all dripping with questions and were listening intently to every word the man had to say! The guy is a walking treasury of knowledge and experience!

Someone must have used high voltage batteries to force the clock to move ahead because the days flew by so quickly! We loaded the van and hugged Roger’s neck and advised him that we would return for another dose of Texas when we could. Rog greatly appreciated a few days of enjoying his seester’s (sic) cooking and company. It was tough to have to depart but we had to be in Abilene for Turkey Day on the morrow. We couldn’t begin to thank Roger for his hospitality and for sharing his friends and aerodrome with us.

We actually had to backtrack on I-10 a couple of hours to get to the cutoff that led to Abilene. This route had been taken once before two years ago but we were traveling from north to south. This would be the first time to be northbound.

The small towns hadn’t changed. They were as picturesque as before. We took no few pictures as we closed in on Abilene. One small burg was even experiencing snow flurries as we passed through. The entire drive was most enjoyable.

At last we arrived at my son, Jeff’s, home. Jeff and Sandra have a Windstar that is almost identical to our Freestar. It looked like we had a corner on the Ford van market when you glanced at their driveway. It was a mighty fine time of warm welcoming. We all (the first party of “you all”) visited and talked for quite awhile when Jeff had this wonderful idea involving food! I seconded the notion and he went after it. I mean, he grabbed an apron and whommped up a meal to put a grin on the most demanding gourmand. I was able to snag one of his recipes too!

Later, we broke open the laptops for the guys. Sandra has a nice laptop but the boys were sadly behind the modern times and having to communicate with smoke signals and cans with strings so that had to be remedied. Jeff had sent me his trusty Panasonic Toughbook to build up for my grandson, Randall. Talk about a sweet machine! This little lappy came with Windows 95 and Jeff upgraded to Windows 98! I bumped the RAM up to the maximum of 192MB, stuffed a 100GB hard drive in it, and then loaded Windows XP on it. She’s a stout little workhorse now and can keep up with the big dogs! She’s wireless too! Ziggity!

Randall was pleased with his new toy and went straight to work playing with it. Jeff’s laptop was a nice HP Pavilion that was running XP and also had wireless capability. Ol’ Gramps set up the wireless router and soon the entire family was without tethers. They were free at last. There was much gabbing going on until the end of the evening.

Turkey Day has arrived! I slowly dragged my carcass to Jeff’s genuine and large Hamilton Beach Brew Station and loaded my cup with Cain’s coffee. We brewed a batch the previous evening knowing that at least one of us would need an immediate “fix”. That would be me.

I first hooked up with Cain’s coffee when I lived in Tulsa in the early ‘80’s. I’ve tried to snatch a bag or two when in that region. I reveled in the day’s first cup.

After prying the old eyelids open at a rather late hour (up late the night before), we set about getting ready to …eat. Well….more like getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. This was the first time I had been with my son for Turkey Day in more than 20 years. It was a special event to say the least.

We all loaded up and headed for Sandra’s sister’s home. In no time we were up to our armpits in relatives. They made us more than welcomed and made sure that we had clear view of the football game, too (bless their darlin’ hearts).

I hadn’t watched a football game in probably twenty years and even then it was because I had no options. Nevertheless, it was nice to watch the game and the…uh….cheerleaders (Dallas, of course). The Texans went wild when Dallas kicked the Raiders to the curb. I shouldn’t wonder.

Food…ah, yes…the food. We had turkey and ham and all of the trimmings. There was enough food to feed an army that is...unless… I was there. And, boy, was I there! Even though they let me get in front of some of the heavy hitters, I left some scraps for them so they could say they had been there too. Ain’t I just so sweet?

After the sumptuous meal, there was little left to do but spend some time in serious digestion. After the game we hauled out for home and just rested the rest of the day. Randall was given a cool loom knitting project by Connie. He could hardly wait to get started. Ol’ Ran was in the other room overhauling the resident computer. It seems that it had an issue or two that just needed that “Fonzi” touch. Before leaving, it would be running quite smoothly. We all just chilled and chatted until our systems shut down.

The next day after breakfast, Connie, Randall, and Grandpa the Computer Dude set out for downtown Abilene to see the Grace Museum. We had tried to go there two years ago but one of the local Texans was obviously suffering from dementia and had closed the place down for the day. This time it was up and running when we got there.

This old guy has been around and it takes a lot to impress him. But, I must say that the Grace Museum is impressive and was a real treat. We took in the sights which included local artist’s paintings and pictures. Then we saw dioramas of the previous century from the “teens” through the ‘50’s. It was like a walk through a time machine. Good stuff. Also on the second floor, Randall reveled in the young folk’s science rooms. We blew him away with their air cannon (I know. I know). He was greatly un-injured and laughed accordingly. He then commenced to stage a skit with a commandeered 8 year old who had wandered too close. They donned their western garb and the play started. The un-credited kid played the part of sheriff while Randall, for reasons only God can figure out, played the heavy. Soon after it began the poor conscript forgot his lines. Randall was quick to whisper and mouth the part for him so that he could successfully execute his part.

There was a bit of gun play, of course. You could almost see their index fingers smoking as their arms flailed about in mock gun battle. Immediately after there was the obligatory falling down on the stage while writhing in blood and gasping their last breath. They had killed each other. There was no winner. It was a real hoot.

Randall was a real scene chewer. I have little doubt that his “ham” genes were given to him honestly and deliberately by his grandfather who also spent a little time on the stage in his early days. I’m expecting him to find his way to some how “trod the boards” in his future. He’s a natural.

The coolest part for Grandpa was the wall-mounted touch synthesizer. They have a large contraption on the wall where you put your hand on the artistically arranged wooden pieces. The pieces act like piano or keyboard keys and actuate the synthesizer. You actually play the thing! It gives you all kinds of options including percussion. You can “git down” with it…and we did! Thankfully, there was no one else waiting in line to play so we were able to spend some time making merry music. Randall does have an ear for this stuff!

Randall was ours to keep for a few hours so we did the town and had a good time checking out Abilene’s version of yard sales, grabbing some Cain’s Coffee and Luziane tea (neither of which are available in CA) from a local supermarket, and downing cold drinks. Ahhhh…yes. Life is good.

Later that evening Sandra, Randall, Connie, and I headed down to the “Texas Roadhouse” steak house. Oh, man! Do I like this place! Two years between their steaks is far too long for an omnivore like me. My saliva glands were working in overdrive. Jeff was able to take a break to be with us for awhile. After food (rib eye for Ran and Connie) and fellowship (in Texas and most churches the terms are synonymous) we headed back to the barn.

That would be Jeff and Sandra’s home on Woodhollow Circle. It had been a long but quite nice day. Jeff came home later so we visited until the Westerner’s “Pacific Standard Time” body clocks declared an emergency eyelid shutdown. It was then “lights out”.

Then next morning we stuffed everything into the Ford “Hauls-a-lot” and prepared to depart for McKinney and Celeste, TX. We are grateful and thankful to the highest degree for Jeff and Sandra’s hospitality. It couldn’t have been a better time. The Lord willing, we will return next year at about this same time. Hugs and…we’re gone.

It’s not all that far to Fort Worth and Dallas from Abilene (at least not in Texas terms). On the Interstate (20) we passed through the small burg of Thurber where a number of my paternal relatives had lived and died. There was a temptation to see the old cemetery that I visited in ’03 but we really didn’t have the time. Even on a good day we were going to have to make this day a whirlwind tour.

Interstate 30 breaks off from 20 so we took that route to Dallas. In fact, we passed through downtown Dallas and went under the “Dallas High Five” overpass and exchange. There used to be a couple of webcams that monitored the place 24/7 but they are no longer sponsored. After a bit we were in McKinney where we looked up dear friend Beverly Forte (she knew we were coming). It had been about 4 years or so since the last time we had fellowship.

Bev is an awesome Christian lady and special friend. She is also a real “trooper”. What I mean is that she is doing great after going a couple of tough rounds with the hospital. She has no few folks upholding her in prayer. She has a beautiful praise report to be sure! She is also a “Beanie Baby” collector and shared some of her collection with Connie. Connie is more than familiar with them and digs these little guys. She immediate began coming up with some “Beanie Baby” ideas.

I’m not sure we were even able to visit a full two hours then it was time to head for cousin Joyce Phillips place about 30 min. or so to the east . Once again it was hugs then BOI. Hopefully, we can catch Bev on the next trip east.

It didn’t take long to reach Joyce and Richard’s home in the quite small town of Celeste. You can dang near toss a pumpkin pie from one end of the town to the other. But, it also makes folks easier to find that way too. We drove up and were warmly greeted by Joyce, Richard, and Donna, Joyce’s sister. Joyce and Donna had been to their sister, Janie’s, home in Bullhead City, NV less than a year ago. That’s where I got to meet them all at the same time. We had a grand time in Oldham, AZ then fellowshipped back at Janie’s house after knocking over a local restaurant. Then we got to meet Joyce and Richard's son and their grandaughter. More cousins!

True to Texas custom, they made sure that we had Mexican food to dine on as we talked and gabbed about various and sundry things. Though they invited us to spend the night, we simply had to dash. It was so neat to get to visit with my “new” kinfolks again. We will take longer next time, I can assure you! After receiving directions on how to get to Wichita Falls, we departed into the brisk Texas evening. We were about to see a lot more of west Texas.

Thankfully, Wichita Falls is only a few hours from Celeste. We camped there for the night and headed west after a brief stop for vittles. Armadillo, TX (sic) was the next big city to get in our way. That was fine for a pit stop then it was BOI. This time we were on I-40.

From Amarillo the terrain is unremarkable until you get to Flagstaff. Flagstaff is parked high on a hill and gets snow early in the season (they just picked up 20” in the previous 24 hours as this is being written). This time was no different. There was a light accumulation of white stuff when we got there but the roads were by and large clear and dry. A few miles past Flagstaff is the quite lovely town of Williams. This is where we decided to stop after 14 hours of driving. UGH! Make that two UGH’s. If we had driven any longer, I would have had to deal with permanent flat spots on certain parts of my body.

Williams is where you can catch the steam engine to the rim of the Grand Canyon. There is a super gorgeous lodge at the end of the line. The lodge is near the “Bright Angel Trail” that leads to the bottom of the canyon. It would be nice to ride the old steamer some day.

The next morning broke bright and clear. It was quite a brisk day what with the traces of snow hear and there but the warmness of this pretty town mitigated the winter chill. A splash of coffee and a biscuit from the ubiquitous McDonald's and we are good to go. The hope was to make it to Kingman, AZ the previous night. Kingman is a reasonable stop for the night when traveling eastbound so it figures that it would be the same when westbound. That didn’t happen so I was thinking that we would get back home quite late. As it turned out, we made it to Hooterville at about 7 PM making it a ten hour driving day. After a quick stop for a few supplies, we dragged it on in at about 8 PM and…crashed.

We were “trip spun” for a few days and were wondering around sort of like a lost 2 year old. We couldn’t even handle a one duck parade. Add to that the fact that we were 6 clients deep from the git go. No complaints.

All clients were taken care of during the week and a few more were added. All is well.

That’s the news from Rancho Relaxo. Stay tuned for more adventures.