Saturday, August 5, 2023

And Now For Something...

"Good evening,

I hope you're having a relaxing Friday and enjoying the end of another work week.

I'm writing to update you and ask a quick question.

What should we focus on in the coming year?

It's easy - just reply to my email and let us know.

To close, I'd like to remind you how grateful I am that you're part of the Hillsdale community.

Thanks in advance for your response,

Bill Gray, '01
Vice President
National Donor Outreach
Hillsdale College"

...completely different...a brief departure from my usual blog format.

The above is an abbreviated version of an email I received from Hillsdale College, the only institution of higher learning I support financially.

No, I did not graduate from there, nor did any of my kids.

I support Hillsdale because they are, and have been for many years, committed to the twin values of Civil and Religious freedom as ordained by God, enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, and guaranteed in our Constitution.

I know of course Mr. Gray's letter is - how to phrase this politely?  Not a ruse, exactly - but let's face it, if they don't have the 2023/24 academic year already planned, they're in the deep serious.

Certainly no one at Hillsdale is going to read a donor letter and, in a paroxysm of inspiration, loudly proclaim:

Wait!  Hold everything!  I just got a letter that says we should focus on the moral and monetary value of moon pies and pennywhistles!  Scratch the academic year plan, and let's start over!

And if national averages for email marketing hold true, they know they're going to get at best a 10% response rate.

But I decided to go ahead and reply anyway:

"Hello Mr. Gray,

I'm guessing you're in your mid 40's now...graduated in 2001...does it seem possible that happened 22 years ago?

It flew by, right?  You blinked and somehow those years disappeared in a flurry of planned and spontaneous (re)actions as life transpired.

If you married and had kids, the chaos was constant and sleepless nights were part and parcel of shepherding those young lives God entrusted to you from early childhood to ... ?  What are they now...teens, early 20's?

You wonder sometimes how you held it all together, trying to pay attention to the quietly important while playing whack-a-mole with the tyranny of the urgent.

I turned 45 in 2001, so I'm at least 20 years farther down the road than you are.

I grew up when it was accepted that America was the greatest nation on Lincoln said, "We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless."

The last best hope of earth...that was so ingrained in my upbringing - by a WW2 vet - it wasn't even a conscious was the bedrock foundation that all my childhood beliefs and aspirations rested upon.

When we successfully landed men on the moon in 1969 and brought them back home safely, my 12 year old take on it was, "of course we did.  who else could have?"

My, how things have changed.

Self-loathing has replaced patriotism, and morality is just a punchline, something to be sneered at in today's woke society.

As many evangelical pastors have preached, if God spares us, He owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.

So...what should you focus on in the coming year?

The same fundamental and unchanging principles you've been focusing on for all these years...the protection and promotion of our God given, constitutionally guaranteed rights to civil and religious freedom.

"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."
    - Proverbs 22:28

Hold the line, Mr. Gray.


And just fyi, Hillsdale seeks donor support because they accept NO federal funds of any kind.

If you believe as I do - that the battle for America is being waged in college classrooms around the country - please consider donating to Hillsdale College.

Continuing our foray into free form, the rest of this blog entry consists of images and descriptions - pictures I've taken with my Kodak Brownie Hawkeye or cell phone, some that were sent to me, and of course a few fave comic strips.


Here's the best thing that happened on the golf course this week...snapped this cellphone pic of a blue heron and some admirers (don't ask why I was close enough to the water to get this picture):

August is Hibiscus month, at least around our place:

Sorry to say, but like summer itself, they'll be gone all too soon.

From the KBH* files:

gotta love good, cheap wine from Aldi's

why oh why did I decide to golf on laundry day?

These next 3 pics were all taken indoors with the flash attachment...really like the clarity; nothing gets "washed out" as sometimes happens with the camera flash:

weltron radio/record player/8 track player...and it looks fake, but that's a live plant on the right

1960's Philco phonograph...the 8 track cartridges are for the weltron "space ball" 8 track player on the left

some vintage favorites...and a random cat toy on the floor

Back outdoors now:

Karen's lower patio garden in full bloom

August 5th of 1962, the date when Marilyn was found dead.  officially a suicide, but many believe the Kennedy's were involved in her murder

tiger lilies are all done now; glad I got this pic while they were in their glory

These last 2 were taken with a close up lens:

Barbie's pet flamingo, pretty in pink

filed under "peacock, pretty as a"

*KBH: Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, 620 film camera, circa 1950.

Here are a couple of cellphone pics from Larry who attended the races at Berlin in tiny little Marne, Michigan...but don't let the location fool you...there were big name drivers there like Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart and Johnny Benson:

looked like storms were brewing, but all was well

great view from the stands

And finally, who doesn't need some comic relief now and then?

it can be argued that August 8, 1969 is the fault line that separates "what we used to be" from "what we have become"

don't bother denying it; you know you've done this

make mine a triple espresso

I hear my lawn mower calling me, so please let yourself out the servant's exit in the back.

We have our reputation to consider, and we'd rather the neighbors didn't see...well, I'm sure you understand.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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