Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I voted (and Brooklyn went into the booth with me, so she voted, too. Sort of.)

And, quite frankly, I am afraid for my country. Results are not final yet, but I am appalled that so many supposedly intelligent people (maybe I'm giving too much credit here) were snowed by the liberal media bull**** and a rock star with no credentials. They deserve what they get if Obama gets elected, but the rest of us don't. If you hate America, please go somewhere else and leave those of us who love our country alone.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thoughts on retiring from the Army

I've been at Ft. Polk for a few days taking my retirement physical. That (and my impending retirement) has triggered a lot of reflection on the past. I won't go into a lot of that now, but rest assured, there have been lots of changes. When I enlisted in Shreveport on January 26, 1973, I had no idea I'd still be at it with the military 36 years later. I had a change of underwear, my shaving kit, and a quarter when we left the testing station and went to the bus station. We had a pretty good wait for the bus, so I thought I'd better call somebody and let them know I'd enlisted. I called Aunt Rosa May, since she lived in Shreveport, and asked her to call Mama and Daddy sometime and let them know I'd enlisted and was on my way to Ft. Polk and I'd call them when I got a chance.

It's funny, but I remember some ot the guys I enlisted with really well - Henry Bordelon and Lane J. Gauthier from Marksville, Curley Iles, and a red-headed guy that we all called Red. He had shoulder-length red hair and a long bushy red beard. That lasted until the first day in the reception station, when we went to the barber shop. The barbers charged $1.35 and the haircut was pretty simple - they cut it all off. The drills sent Red back through to get his beard cut off (and they charged him another $1.35). We didn't recognize him. His own mother wouldn't have recognized him!

I'll scan some pictures and get them on here some time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gustav was a bad, bad, boy

Gustav came through the Miss-Lou Monday and left a vast black void. In other words, power was knocked out everywhere. Our lights went out about noon on Monday but I had just bought a generator so we were able to keep the freezer and fridge in Linda's shop going, along with some fans and the satellite and TV. The fans helped a good bit, because it is still cloudy and pretty cool. Our power came back on tonight (Tuesday) about 8pm. Unfortunately, much of the area is still dark and hot. I highly recommend picking up a 5kw or so generator and having someone help you learn how to set it up to keep essential items going. Safely storing some fuel is key as well, because when gas stations lose power no gas comes out of the pumps. Interesting how that works, isn't it? The Church teaches that we need to be prepared - food storage, water, etc. As usual, the Prophet is right.

Brooklyn, Jeni, and Trent came up the 29th for a birthday party and the McClure reunion. Good thing they brought up extra clothes as well, just in case, because the just in case happened. Trent went home today to check on their house (no damage) and his parents. They still don't have electricity, and won't for several days. Much of Baton Rouge will be out for the next couple of weeks. So, Gustav wasn't a Katrina (at least, not in the New Orleans area), but he still spread a pretty good swath of damage across areas of Louisiana that don't often get hit very hard.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Waiting for Gustav

The air is almost eerily still, as if nature is pausing, catching its breath before a massive exhale. It's been still all day, and hot as blazes with humidity so high you feel as if you can't breathe. Gustav is coming. Actually, projections right now have the main part of the storm coming ashore east of Morgan City and moving through the state to the northwest, right through central Louisiana.

When I was little and a hurricane was coming we'd get together at the neighbors and the adults would play Rook all night as we kids watched and played until we got too tired to keep our eyes open. Fun stuff. We had coal oil lamps (kerosene lamps, for younger people) and candles for light if the power went off. Since we didn't have air conditioning, it didn't make any difference as far as staying cool. Naturally, there were no 24-hour news channels giving us breathless up-to-the minute updates that don't change from hour-to-hour, let alone minute-to-minute. I sometimes think we get way too much information now, because most of it is useless fluff that makes people too nervous. I guess that's the price of progress.

More to follow as Gustav permits.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The big 55

Actually, I'm pretty jazzed to be hitting the big double nickle. Things are going great with the Army (with retirement in December coming at me like a fun freight train:)), I have a great family, and I am just having a good time all around. I have reached the point in life where I can say what I feel at work because there's not much anyone can do about it.

I'm at Ft. Polk right now, preparing to do some pre-retirement stuff. It's interesting the way things have come full circle. I enlisted in the Army in January 1973 up in Shreveport, because that's where the testing station was. After we were sworn in we were taken to the bus station to catch a bus to Ft. Polk and I figured I'd better let someone know where I was going. I called Aunt Rosa May (she lived in Shreveport and I only had a quarter) and asked her to call Mama and Daddy and let them know I was on my way to Ft. Polk and would call when I could. I think it was a couple of weeks before we could call. Anyway, I took Basic Combat Training at Polk and here I am coming back here to do retirement stuff. I think I'll participate in a retirement ceremony here in December or January, ending where I started. Cool. I also was stationed here for 4 years (1988 - 1992) and during that time I had the great good fortune to serve as Commander of the 539th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company (General Support). They were great guys and gals, and we deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of the first Gulf War. More about that another time.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!!

Thoughts on approaching (tomorrow) 55.

What the Heck?!?!?! I was 20 just yesterday!! What happened?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Summer Days

When I first typed the title I actually typed "Simmer Days", but my teacher misspelling radar kicked in and I fixed it. But, "Simmer" has been pretty accurate the past couple of weeks. Yesterday and today were nice, at least, temperature wise, but it rained most of this afternoon. No problem, because we needed it.

Summer sure is different from when I was a kid. We lived out on the north side of Little River and we didn't go to town much after school was out. Looking back from the perspective of a 54 (almost 55)-year old father of four and grandfather of three with two more on the way, I totally understand that now. There were six of us, and we were pretty rambunctious, to put it kindly. Fights were not uncommon. In fact, Cay won a pretty good many for a number of years. We had a Volkswagen van with a school bus seat in it. We filled the seat, sat on the engine compartment in the back, or sat on the floor. Seat belts? Not even for the driver and passenger seats. When we went to Daddy's Master's graduation from Northeast he put a kitchen chair in it for Grandma McClure. The floor was metal and driving down a road covered in pea gravel would make your head vibrate. Needless to say, no AC either. That's what windows were for. At one time we also had a big Buick Wildcat, but 6 kids fill up one of those pretty quick, too.

Since we didn't go to town much (once or twice a month to see Grandma and Grandad Godwin), we amused ourselves on the riverbank, in the woods, playing (or fighting) with neighbor kids, reading, playing under the house, etc, etc. I didn't like to go barefoot much, but the others did. Of course, even tennis shoes won't stop a big old thorn, so every now and then Mama would have to operate to get one out. The victim would never stay still because digging around with a needle to get that thorn out hurt like the devil! There was usually an appreciative crowd, too.

No AC in the house, either, but there was a big attic fan that would pull air in all the windows. Not necessarily cool air, but air. Many's the night we lay there with sweat trickling, covered with a sheet. Had to have the sheet to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Mike and I had a bunk bed with me on the top bunk and him on the bottom. It was positioned right by the window, with the top part of the window lowered and the bottom part raised so we could get some air. Whew! The bunk prompted a few fights, too. I guess it offends someone if the person on the top bunk steps on them when they get down. Who knew? Anyway, we survived.

The Bookmobile was always a highlight during the summer. For the unanointed, a Bookmobile is a big van (they'd be called an RV now) with bookshelves crammed with books from the town library that covered a route down all the country roads and lanes so the people out in the country could get library books. It was heaven to us, because we all read voraciously. The Bookmobile ladies had to be some of the most patient in the world, to put up with all us country kids. At our house, each one of us would get all the books allowed. By the time they came back in two weeks we'd have read all our books and all the books our brothers and sisters had checked out. Great stuff!

There's lots more, but it will have to wait for another time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Remington's: 6 Words

The Remington's: 6 Words

Six words

Jessie issued a challenge to describe ourself in 6 words. Interesting challenge, to distill the essence of a complex human being into six unconnected one-word thoughts.

1. Daddy
2. Husband
3. Loving
4. Capable
5. Funny
6. Teacher

How'd I do, Jessie?

Friday, April 18, 2008


I had a really different wake-up this morning!! There I was, sleeping peacefully, when all of a sudden I felt like someone was shaking my bed really hard!! I woke up in a panic (sort of like when you wake up suddenly from a nightmare, if you've ever had that experience) and was looking around for whoever it was who had gotten in my room. It turned out that there had been a 5.2 earthquake about 80 or so miles north of here (I'm at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, just south of Louisville). I have to admit, that was one freaky way to wake up. Fortunately there was no damage, but if something can make a building built on a really solid foundation with concrete block walls move like that even when it's not a "strong" earthquake, I don't want to be anywhere near a strong one!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I guess PapaJeff's mind has been empty for a while. It will reappear soon.