Category Archives: HISTORY CHANNELS

Stories, biographies, etc., including videos, covering topics and personalities from history.

I Remember: Perhaps a Review of More Than The Movie: “Richard Jewell”

Hi Friends:

The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, was perhaps the most anticipated, and most publicized event in the state’s history. I was living less than 50 miles away, and the publicity surrounding the event began many, many months before, during the “selection process” leading up to the big “It’s Atlanta!” announcement. I still have my “1996 Olympics” sweatshirt.

Those Olympics started on July 19th, with the unforgettable moment when Muhammad Ali lit the cauldron. Days later, it would be another man, Richard Jewell, who would be in for the fight of his life. On July 27th, mid-way through the Games, a bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park, killing one woman, and injuring 111 people. Only minutes before the explosion, Richard Jewell, working as a security guard, had spotted the abandoned green knapsack that contained the bomb, and had called it to the attention of the police, before attempting to move visitors away. He would be praised for his actions, which saved many lives.

However … you know the story … within 3 days … word “leaked out” that it was, in fact, Richard Jewell who had been named as the suspect … the bomber …

What followed is what Mr. Jewell called, in interviews later, “88 days of hell.” He would also compare the media’s constant hounding of him to a frenzy of piranhas.

I remember Richard Jewell, and “all this” from the Atlanta Olympics. I know “the games” were going on, but it seemed like “all the talk” was about Richard Jewell … and, how guilty he was.
Heck … I remember thinking he was guilty. Why wouldn’t I? After all, we could trust the media.
It was all you heard about … the biggest news … not only about Richard Jewell, but “why he did it.” I mean … the newspapers called him guilty, he was the only FBI suspect, so the government called him guilty … you can trust both of those, can’t you??? So, I remember there being “no doubt” they had gotten their man.

The movie: Great.
Carol and I left the theater with tears. Now, a few days later, Carol just said, “I felt so bad for him.” There some funny moments, too. Directed by Clint Eastwood, this isn’t the first movie by Clint Eastwood, based upon true events, which show what a genius film-maker he is. The movie is Rated R, for good reason. Bad language.
Perhaps most remarkable is the performance of Paul Walter Hauser as Richard Jewell:
Remarkable.
And … Cathy Bates plays his mother!
Sam Rockwell plays Richard’s lawyer, Watson Bryant.
Jon Hamm delivers a powerful-believable performance as FBI agent Tom Shaw, and Olivia Wilde stars as AJC reporter Kathy Scruggs.

From what I have been reading, there are only a couple of things put in the movie which were added, but not very much.

It was very, very difficult to watch this movie, and what was happening “right in front of my eyes” on the screen without thinking about what is happening “right in front of our eyes” today. It was just difficult not to see the resemblance between some things which were happening then, and what is happening now.

I’m referring to the “media frenzy” and “government” part. While I feel like I need to be careful about what I write, I must also write how I felt. I saw, played out on the screen, a true story of what happens when the media, and the government combine against a “common foe.”

There were some really great lines in this movie, as you would guess. I’ll just mention two lines which really resonated with me, as I sat there, trying to “enjoy” the movie (which I did, immensely), and not “look around” at the events happening now.

Richard Jewell was innocent, and, because he was innocent, he didn’t realize just how much trouble he was in. He didn’t do it, and he knew he didn’t do it. His attorney knew this, too. However, in an effort to try to get his client to understand how serious this was, his attorney (Watson Bryant) told him to think about this:

“You are facing the two most powerful forces on earth.
The government and the media.”

Another statement was made by Watson Bryant’s girlfriend (who later became his wife), Nadya Light (played by Nina Arianda). In the movie, it is obvious she is from a foreign country. She made this statement, which I couldn’t shake:
“In my country, when the government says you are guilty, it means you are innocent.”

Mr. Jewell made a statement toward the end of the movie. His concern was that now, because of what happened to him, if someone else was in the exact, same situation as he was in at Centennial Park, that he was afraid that person would be afraid to act, because of what had happened to him.

I have the same kind of concern about someone trying to make the decision to run for public/political office today. I’m afraid that because of “the way it is out there,” people who are genuinely qualified for the job, and would do a great job, won’t want to do it, because of the “way it is.”

I know there may be a lot of people who may not like this movie, like, perhaps, the government, and, perhaps the media … but, that in itself makes its own statement.

Do I recommend this movie?
Yes … because it reminds us all, not just of what happened … but, what could happen.

Here’s a trailer from the movie “Richard Jewell,” which also features Clint Eastwood:

From the 1940’s: “How to Behave and Why?”/Add-On to “Be a Good Memory”

Hi Friends:

Recently, we featured the quote about “Be a Good Memory, which led to the most recent post about “The Kind of Parent I Don’t Want to Be.”

Now, from the same folder which contained the “Be a Good Memory Quote,” I discovered this book review, from a book written way back in the 1940’s, by author Munro Leaf, which continues that same theme about “Are most of the people I know glad that I am here?”

Part of me feels that this should reside in the “I Remember” category, and it is unfortunate that I feel that way. However … “I Remember” when books like this were “must reading.” It was popular because … and, yes, I’m going to write this … It was popular because there was a time when a book like this reinforced what we already were taught at home. We understood the book because “that’s just what Mom and Dad have been telling us all along …”

I find it remarkable, reading this book review now, that the book seems to be aimed at parents as much as their children. That … are you ready for this in 2019? … As important as it is for children to “act right,” it is just as important for parents to “act right.” Imagine that? Parents are expected … or, should that be parents “were” expected to act right? The author of this book, Munro Leaf, seems to pinpoint the importance of parent’s behavior … perhaps suggesting that the behavior of parents could influence the behavior of their children?

See how this all ties in?

I discovered this review for the book “How to Behave and Why” in the folder from years ago, and it could be several reviews I had combined. To give proper credit, I’ve included the link to the book on Amazon. Here is how the book is described:

“’How to Behave and Why’ is a timeless classic published in 1946 by Munro Leaf, well-known author of another timeless classic, Ferdinand. Leaf suggests, “The two biggest questions to ask ourselves in life, at any age, are: “Are most of the people I know glad that I am here? Am I glad that I am here, myself?” Because after all, getting along with and being loved and trusted by others is key to happiness and success in life.
“How to Behave and Why” explains to kids that to make good friends and keep them you have to be honest, fair, strong, and wise, “and all that isn’t so easy.”
He reminds kids that learning to live a happy life is a lot like sailing in a boat with other people. You have to learn the ropes before you can command the ship “and help to make the world a better place for all of us.”
First published in 1946, Munro Leaf’s “How To Behave And Why” gives touchingly sincere yet gently funny lessons in Honesty, Fairness, Strength, and Wisdom. Originally intended for the very young, but with meaning for us all, “How To Behave and Why” is a true classic, charmingly illustrated with childlike drawings, and with a timeless message. It is a sure guide for teaching children (and adults) how to behave.”

To check out the link to the book, I looked at current reviews (from today, 2019):

In her Amazon book review, Karin Snelson wrote, “A satisfying reflection of a time when what was right and wrong seemed more black and white. (All ages).”

By the way … in looking at comments about the book, not all were favorable. At least one person did not like the use of the word “stupid” in the book.

I don’t know about you, but … I sure have done some “stupid” things in my life.
Including my adult life.
Maybe … I’ve done more “stupid” things in my adult life than in my childhood … I don’t know …
I just know I’ve done “stupid” things in both.

Here’s the link to the book on Amazon:

How to Behave and Why?

What was Cooking in 1978: “Recipe For Happiness in the Home”

Hi Friends:

I was looking through some old cookbooks, and found this in the opening pages of a cookbook that was put together for the Bi-Centennial Celebration (1778-1978) for the Town of Effingham, New Hampshire.
That was 41 years ago.
There is no author listed.

The cookbook was put together by the Effingham Bi-Centennial Committee, and the introduction was written by Ollie Keller, Chairman of the Committee.

Once again, you just never know where you’ll find inspiration … just always “be on the lookout.”

Enjoy this “Recipe” from 1978:

Recipe For Happiness in the Home

Take one Christian man
Add one Christian woman
Use a marriage ceremony performed
by a minister of God
Stir gently with love
Add children as provided by God
Blend thoroughly with more love
and understanding in an atmosphere
of Christian fellowship
and devotion to God’s word.
To this mixture add a combination
of patience, humor, discipline
and self-sacrifice.
Sprinkle with just enough troubles
and cares to hold all
ingredients tightly together,
Add prayer continually
Allow to grow and brown slowly but
Thoroughly in the sunshine of
God’s grace and blessings.

Quote: What’s in Your “Pack?”

I never know where I’ll find inspiration, but I’m always “on the lookout.”

Recently, I was reading the November 1997 issue of “Northern New Hampshire Magazine,” the print edition, a monthly newspaper (long out of print) which offered mostly historical articles relative to “The North Country.” This particular issue featured “An interview with Screen Legend Fay Wray,” who used to visit Northern New Hampshire each year.

Also featured in the November 1997 issue were 3 book reviews, done by Cynthia Jordan.

One of the books reviewed was “Why I’ll Never Hike The Appalachian Trail … More Writings From A White Mountain Tramper,” written by Littleton, New Hampshire’s Mike Dickerman.

The book shares the author’s opinions on topics such as the use of cell phones “on the trail.” 

Keep in mind this was 1997, and, technically, the “cell phone” of that time was actually called a “mobile phone.” This was before texting, and, really, even before mobile phones could, as a standard feature, access the internet … and certainly, before “Smartphones” were in every hand or pocket.

Sounds like an “I’m not that old, but I remember …” entry.

Think about how mobile telephones have changed in such a short time.

Now, they seem to be almost a matter of life-or-death, a necessity. I have heard teenagers make statements like “I can’t live without my cellphone,” or “My cellphone is my life.” I know that may sound crazy to you … but just ask their parents … if you can get their parents off their cellphones long enough to attempt conversation.

Yes, I just wrote that.

‘Ya know … I’m not that old … but I remember … when there were no cell phones.

Anyway … back in 1997 … it was a serious debate on whether mobile/cellular phones were useful/should be taken on “the trail.”

In the review of “Why I’ll Never Hike The Appalachian Trail,” Cynthia Jordan adds that, in the book, Mike Dickerman comments that ‘cellular phones, while useful as tools, have no place in the backcountry because they can’t replace self-reliance.’

Then, she adds this quote from the book:

“What you carry in your pack is important, but what you carry in your head is even more important.”

He would add that we should rely less on technology … and, rely more on education.

The book is still available on Amazon.

To give proper credit, here’s a link to the book:
Why I’ll Never Hike The Appalachian Trail

I think I’ll add that quote again, from, yes, 22 years ago:

“What you carry in your pack is important, but what you carry in your head is even more important.”

June 29: “Day of the Christian Martyr” and the Groenewald Family

Saturday, June 29, 2019 has been designated as “Day of the Christian Martyr,” to honor the legacy of those who have sacrificed their lives for the advancement of the Gospel. June 29th is believed by church historians to be the day that the Apostle Paul was executed, on the Appian Way, in Rome. This year, Christians around the world will take time on Saturday and throughout the weekend to honor believers, like Paul, who sacrificed their lives for the gospel message and the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.

This year, Werner, Rodé and Jean-Pierre Groenewald’s names will be inscribed onto the Martyrs Memorial in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, at the worldwide headquarters of “Voice of the Martyrs.”
In 2014, Werner, Jean-Pierre and Rodé Groenewald were killed when Taliban fighters attacked their home.

In 2003, Werner and his wife, Hannelie Groenewald, left their comfortable life in South Africa, when God called them to Afghanistan. Along with their two children, Rodé and Jean-Pierre, they served the Afghan people; Hannelie as a doctor, and Werner in discipleship and leadership development.

It wasn’t a popular decision. Some in their own families argued that God would never call them to take their children to such a war-torn and dangerous place. But, they accepted God’s calling. In addition to being a wife and mother, Hannelie became known as a teacher, doctor, and cook in a country not known for welcoming foreigners-especially women.

It was November 29, 2014: At about 3:30 in the afternoon, three Islamists broke into their apartment and shot to death Werner, Jean-Pierre and Rodé. After a two-hour standoff with police, one of the attackers detonated a bomb inside the building, killing himself and others, while the other two attackers were killed in an ensuing skirmish.

Hannelie’s life was spared because she wasn’t there: She had been called to the site of a U.N. meeting to provide medical care in case of an attack … which was anticipated … but, no one knew where the attack would take place …

We’d like to share these links with you, in addition to Hannelie’s own testimony via this video from Voice of the Martyrs:

First, here’s a link where you can read the full story of the Groenewalds.
In addition, you can view this video, and, also, there will be a link to enable you to hear the MARTYRS MEMORIAL INDUCTION CEREMONY, beginning at 9 a.m. CDT on Saturday, via Facebook Live, or you will be able to hear the recording of the ceremony beginning at 10 a.m.
Here’s the link:
MARTYRS MEMORIAL INDUCTION CEREMONY

Another link I’d like to share:
This is a direct link to VOM Radio (Voice of the Martyrs weekly radio program), where you can hear Hannelie Groenewald sharing the heartbreak of losing her family, and her testimony of the goodness of God to sustain her through her grief:
VOM Radio

Now, we share the video. We are honored to support the efforts of Voice of the Martyrs:

Why Not Me? Samuel F.B. Morse Quote Explains

Hi Friends:

When I was in School, one of the first inventions we learned about was the telegraph, and its inventor, Samuel F.B. Morse.

Recently, I read this quote from Samuel F. B. Morse, and his explanation of why he “just happened” to be the one who came up with the invention … His response resonated deep within my soul. We share this with anyone to whom God has given a vision, or a task, which seems too great for them to handle … A vision, a dream, which, when shared with others, may get a response like, “Why would God pick you to do this?” I think, also, that the person to whom God gives such a vision or dream to, may have the same response, deep within themselves: “Why would God give this to me?”

I hope this resonates within your soul, as well.

I think it was a football team, a couple of years ago, which had the motto of  “Why not us?”

The answer may be clearer than we want to think:
Why not us?

Samuel F.B. Morse once said that when he was confronted with problems, when he couldn’t think of an answer, “…whenever I could not see my way clearly, I knelt down and prayed to God for light and understanding.”

On May 24, 1844, Morse sent the historic first telegraphed message, “What hath God wrought!” from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore.

Here’s what Samuel F.B. Morse said, when asked why he was “selected” to bring the life-changing invention of the telegraph to the world:

“I have made a valuable application of electricity not because I was superior to other men but solely because God, who meant it for mankind, must reveal it to someone and He was pleased to reveal it to me.”

This one goes on the wall!

Blessings,
R.V.R.

Eres Tu-Part One: The Guitars of Sonny James

Hi Friends:

Growing up in North Georgia, my older sister would listen to a country music station, WDOD, out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The announcer who did the mid-day shift was Jerry Rivers. If you remember the station’s ID jingle … “WDOD … On the banks of the Tennessee …” At the end of his daily shift, he would play this song, as he would voice-over his “thank yous” and “goodbyes.”

I never forgot this beautiful, haunting instrumental, with the background chorus. So, years later, I used this same instrumental to voice-over my own signoff. It was perfect to speak over, it was instantly recognizable, and it had a great “cold” ending.

The song “Eres Tu (Touch the Wind)” was originally a hit for the Spanish vocal group Mocedades in 1974, and was recorded in 1975 as part an easy listening guitar instrumental album by country music legend Sonny James, entitled “The Guitars of Sonny James.”

A few words about the great Sonny James (May 1, 1928 – February 22, 2016):
As singer, song-writer, and musician, Sonny James’ biggest hit was “Young Love,” which made it to the top of both country and pop music charts in January to February 1957. He was known as “the Southern Gentleman, and he had 72 country and pop-charted records from 1953 to 1983, including a 5-year streak of 16 straight Billboard #1 singles among his total of 26 #1 hits. Twenty-one of his albums reached the country top ten from 1964 to 1976. In 1957, Sonny James became the first country music recording artist to appear on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Sonny James was given a star on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame” in 1961. In 1967, he co-hosted the first Country Music Association Awards Show (with Bobbi Gentry), and was himself inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

In February 1971, James was the first country music artist whose music went into space; he made a special music recording for the crew of Apollo 14. They later presented him with one of the small American flags that they had carried to the Moon.

On the “Guitars of Sonny James” album, notice that track B4 is “Paper Roses.” In 1973, Sonny James helped launch the solo career of Marie Osmond, by producing and arranging her first three albums, including her smash hit, “Paper Roses.”

This was the best recording I could find to share.
Enjoy “The Guitars of Sonny James” with “Eres Tu:”

Johnny Cash With the Statler Brothers: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”

The Johnny Cash Show ran from June 7, 1969 to March 31, 1971 on ABC Television. It was taped at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Cash opened each show with his customary “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” greeting.

The show included a “Country Gold” segment which featured legends rarely or never seen on network TV.

In 1976, CBS ran a revival of the show, “Johnny Cash and Friends,” from August 29 to September 20. The new show was taped at the newly constructed Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Aside from musical performances, this series also featured a greater emphasis on comedy, with Steve Martin and Jim Varney appearing as regulars, and with June Carter Cash performing several comedy routines as “Aunt Polly.”

Following “Johnny Cash and Friends,” an annual Johnny Cash Christmas Special series was launched, starting in 1976, with specials airing almost every year until 1985.

We share Johnny Cash, with The Statler Brothers, singing
“Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

The “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was written by Julia Ward Howe, and originally used the music from the song “John Brown’s Body.” The song was written in November 1861, and first appeared on the front page of the Atlantic Monthly in February of 1862. Editor James T. Fields, who paid her $5.00 for the piece, is credited with having given the song the name by which it is known today.

After the war, Mrs. Howe was active in the women’s suffrage movement. In 1868, she founded the New England Women’s Club and was one of the founders of the New England Women’s Suffrage Association. She was much in demand as a lecturer. Julia Ward Howe died October 17, 1910, at the age of 91.

This is from September 27, 1969.

In the Shadow of Lincoln: Gomer Pyle USMC-“The Impossible Dream”

Gomer Pyle-USMC aired on CBS from September 25, 1964, to May 2, 1969. The series was a spin-off of The Andy Griffith Show, and the show ran for a total of 150 half-hour episodes spanning over five seasons.

It starred Jim Nabors (6/12/June 12, 1930 – November 30, 2017) as Private First Class Gomer Pyle, and Frank Sutton (October 23, 1923 – June 28, 1974) as Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter.

Jim Nabors was born and raised in Sylacauga, Alabama, and graduated from the University of Alabama. After graduating, he moved to New York City, where he worked as a typist for the United Nations. He would move to southern California because of his asthma, and was discovered by Andy Griffith while working at a Santa Monica nightclub.

Frank Sutton, from Clarksville, Tennessee, enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served in the South Pacific, taking part in 14 assault landings. Sutton was a sergeant who served from 1943–1946 in the 293rd Joint Assault Signal Company. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Interestingly, he had been medically rejected by the Marine Corps.

Of course, no writing would be complete without the mention of the voice of Jim Nabors, who would go on to record some 28 albums with that amazing baritone singing voice.
We share this performance of Jim Nabors singing the classic “”The Impossible Dream,” on stage in Washington, D.C., with the United States Marine Band. This episode, entitled “The Show Must Go On,” first aired on CBS on November 3, 1967.
The song was originally composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion.


Looking Way, Way Back: Quiz on 60’s TV Shows

Hi Friends:

OK … so I have been working on a slide-show for the New Year to share, but … does this sound familiar? … I’ve been so busy, so “caught up” with the present, with “what’s going on” now … I haven’t had as much time, as I’d like, to think about the past (year) … or, the future …

Sound familiar?

Speaking of “sounding familiar” … recently, while I was doing research for a recent post, I came across this video, which features the theme songs of popular television shows from the 1960’s. They play the opening of a television theme song, and, for 15 seconds, they play the theme … they then reveal the name of the television show.

I just finished watching the video again (for the first time since I had originally downloaded it), and was amazed that I got the same answers wrong now, as I got the first time I played this.

It also amazed me, and I mean really amazed me, how many great television shows there were, in the 1960’s. I feel comfortable using the word “great” here. They were great. I still enjoy many of these shows again, thanks to cable television.

Except for sports, I don’t watch network television at all.

Yet … many of these shows, from the 60’s, are still part of my life, via re-runs.
I’m glad they are. Many of them are that good, and “that good” just doesn’t “run out.”

It would be easy to use this opportunity to “knock” the current television shows, but that’s not the point. Let’s face it: Television reflects “the times.” Look at those shows from the 60’s. Look at the television shows now. Get it? Television reflects “the times.”

As I look ahead to the New Year, and look back at the last year, I still realize that, at the top of any list, I just need to be more thankful for what I have. What I have right now. What God has already blessed me with.

Yeah, yeah, television has changed.
Yeah, yeah, the times have changed …
Maybe what has really changed is me.

If I can change … then … and, only then … I can change the world around me. Change my world. I saw this on a shower curtain once (yes, a shower curtain):
“When a man is right, his world is right.”

Please enjoy this video quiz, and be amazed, not just at how many of these shows you
remember, but at how many “great” shows there were …