Category Archives: I REMEMBER

Looking back at things I remember from what seems like “not so long ago.”

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 20: “Going Postal!”

Hi Friends:

We get back to our continuing series “Wealth Stored for the Righteous,” thinking about things we are blessed with, right now, today, yet it seems, so often, we take for granted.

It strikes me that, so many of these things we take for granted, things which we have and are able to do or enjoy, are possible simply because of the place we are blessed to live in … the United States of America.

We’ve discussed things so basic to our everyday lives; things like being able to go to the grocery store and get pretty much anything we need, to just being able to travel, freely, “without incident.” We can get in our car and go anywhere we want … crossing state boundaries, without having to be searched, questioned, etc. Just this, which we take for granted, you just could not do, in so many countries around the world.

So, we look at another blessing we have, in this country, which we take for granted. Something so basic to our daily lives, that we just don’t even think about how blessed we are, we just take for granted:

Being able to mail a letter, anywhere in the United States, to any person or business, for the cost of a single postage stamp.
Boy … how many times have we heard the complaint about the price of postage. About how much it costs to mail a letter. I like to think we’ve all done it … complained about a price increase for the mail.

But … think about what a blessing it is to be able to just mail a letter … and have close to 100% certainty that it will arrive at its destination … unopened … in just a matter of days.

Think about that.
For the price of a postage stamp, your letter, your correspondence, regardless of who it is going to, or where … is guaranteed to be delivered, without being opened …
We just don’t realize the blessing that is.

Please note that there are exceptions to every rule. If you want to mail a letter to certain addresses, like (and, boy am I combining the two here), say the President, or a Prison, there are certain exceptions, but I am writing about just the “every day” letter, going to a “regular” address.

OK … I’m not that old … but, I remember when a postage stamp costs less than a dime. I can remember exactly what the price was, but even I can’t believe how much the price of postage has gone up … Uh Oh … Does that sound like a complaint???

Really … this is not an examination of the process or the cost. But, just being able to send a letter across the country for what we have to pay for a stamp is a pretty good deal.

So, I got to thinking about it.
How good a deal is it?
Here goes:

I need to mail a letter from New Hampshire to Los Angeles. That’s pretty much cross-country.
Let’s just say the address isn’t important, for this example.
I just need to get a letter to Los Angeles, from New Hampshire.

I could drive it there:
I did this search: “How far is it from Manchester, New Hampshire to Los Angeles, California?”
Answer:  3,026 miles

Another search: “The driving time from Manchester, New Hampshire to Los Angeles, California.”
Answer: 43 hours, 53 minutes

Let’s see … If I can drive 12 hours a day, that’s over 3 days.
If I get 25 miles to the gallon of gas … that’s 121 gallons of gas.
At 2.00 a gallon, that’s 242.00 in gas.
I’ll need to stay at a hotel. At 75.00 each night, that’s 225.00 for 3 nights.
I’ll need to eat along the way.
At, say, 60.00 a day for food, that’s 180.00 for the 3 days food.
So, just the basics … But, I need to get that letter there …
If I drive out to Los Angeles to deliver the letter, that’s 647.00.
And, that’s the basic expense. Just to get there.

By the way … I’ll need to get back to New Hampshire:
So … double the 647.00 …

It would take 6 days, and 1294.00 to get this letter to Los Angeles, get it delivered, and get back to New Hampshire. Really, it would be more like 7 days, as it is 43-44 hours each way.

1294.00 to get the letter there, and come back.

I know … I know … I think I’ll just fly the letter there.

Here goes:
New search: “Cheap flights from Manchester, New Hampshire to Los Angeles, California:”
First, all airlines showed between 8-9 hours flight time.
This is one way:
268.00
Hey!!! I can “save money if you fly from Boston!”

So, if I double that for the return trip, that’s 536.00 for the airline tickets.
It takes over 8 hours, so that’s 2 days, there and back.
You’d have to stay at a hotel at least once, at 75.00
Food for 2 days would be 120.00
I’d also have to drive to the airport in Manchester.
3 hours’ drive … one way.
136 miles.
I’d also have to leave my car at the airport for 3 days.
Plus … when I got to Los Angeles, I’d have to either rent a car, or take a taxi, to the letter’s destination, and then back to the airport.

Let’s see …

New search: “How long does it take to get a letter from Manchester, New Hampshire to Los Angeles, California?”
Answer:
I can get my letter there-guaranteed by the very next day for a little over 25.00
If I can wait, I can get it there in 2 days-guaranteed, for 7.35
And, hey … For that kind of money … you can track it, and get delivery confirmation!

Or … I can just mail it for 55 cents.
55 cents.

55 cents.
That’s 55 pennies.

That’s a deal.

And, this isn’t to even mention the security of our mail system. You can pretty much guarantee that your letter, or package, will get there. I can’t even begin to explain how big a blessing this is, compared to a lot of countries. Just ask people, around the world, how “safe” their mail is. By “safe,” for this example, we are just referring to the chances of your package actually being delivered. Meaning “not stolen.” Or, opened. Or, held for “security purposes.” Of all the things we write about, comparing the United States to how it’s like “over there,” this is near the top of the list. Just being able to send a letter, or package, “without incident,” is a huge blessing, which we so often, take for granted.

Only 55 pennies.
What a deal.

By the way, as a final note … if you don’t think we’re getting older:
To put in the “I Remember” column … To show how things have changed, yes, even here in our Country … I remember when there was no such phrase as “going postal.” This term was first used in the early 1990’s.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Here’s a direct link to the entire series so far:

Wealth Stored for the Righteous

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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 …

Oak Ridge Boys sing “Amazing Grace” at President George H.W. Bush’s Funeral

After playing their records for several years, I finally got the opportunity, a few years ago, to see “The Oak Ridge Boys” in concert.
It was one of the most memorable, and enjoyable concerts I’ve ever experienced.
I would honestly say that, “I’d see them again tomorrow.”

They are as busy as ever: Their new Gospel Album, “17th Avenue Revival,” comes out in March. They still tour year-round, and are currently traveling on their 29th annual holiday concert tour, “Shine the Light on Christmas,” which is taking the group to 32 cities in 18 states.

This latest holiday tour began on November 14th, in Branson, Missouri.

They would interrupt the tour for a very personal performance:
From their website, https://oakridgeboys.com, they explain:

DEC 1, 2018
The Oak Ridge Boys Remember President George H.W. Bush
“… he was fortunate enough to have been married to one of the most wonderful women who ever walked this planet … We started to sing for him … when he was VP, and we have been singing for him ever since. We have performed our songs on Air Force One, in Kennebunkport many times, and at his home in Houston … at the White House and several of his key birthday celebrations … we would even call him and sing to him when he wasn’t feeling well and Barbara swore that we had a healing effect on our FRIEND. We have laughed together, shared tears together, fished together, hiked together, shared a lot of lobster together, and sang together. We WILL sing for him again one day. THIS is ASSURED!
Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, Richard Sterban, Joe Bonsall
The Oak Ridge Boys

In addition, Duane Allen wrote this:
“He was like a daddy figure to me, and he was all about making everyone around him have a good time. The sting of death always hurts, but I have so many memories to make me smile. The Oak Ridge Boys have sung “Amazing Grace” for him on Air Force One, in Kennebunkport, at the White House, and over the phone when he was in the hospital. However, singing “Amazing Grace” at his funeral will be the most difficult assignment we will ever have.”
Duane Allen, The Oak Ridge Boys

Here’s the performance from CBS News and CBSNews.com:

Senator John F Kennedy on Jack Paar Show: June 16, 1960

On June 16, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy made history by being the first presidential candidate to appear on a late-night television program.

We must remember the times.
In the year 1960, a political candidate making an appearance on a late-night entertainment show was something which had not been done … because, in many circles, such an appearance would be frowned upon.

For example, as Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times, “By the standards of 1960, a Presidential candidate’s appearance on an entertainment program was considered a bit shocking.”

John F. Kennedy would become known as the first “TV President.”

We have only a short clip from the show, but it is amazing how the statements Senator Kennedy made, resonate so clearly with our times, with our world, today.

His response to questions regarding why he went into politics, the responsibility of the United States in world affairs, the responsibility of the office of President, the issue of enemy countries sending “fellow travelers” into the United States, and how important it is for the United States to set an example which citizens of other countries would want to follow.
Senator Kennedy stated that “in the final analyses, they have to believe in freedom themselves. I don’t think you can sell freedom … In the long run, the best asset we have is the desire of people to be free.”

In other words, you can’t “inject” democracy.

For the record, this was 58 years ago.
Yes … 58 years ago.

Robert F Kennedy on Jack Parr Show: March 13, 1964

It was the first public appearance of Robert F. Kennedy, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

This year, Thanksgiving was on November 22.
Like many of you, Thanksgiving is a special day for me. In fact, the entire weekend (for me … 4 days!!!) is something I look forward to, all year.

This year, it seemed that I paid more attention to “November 22” than to “Thanksgiving.”

It may be because, for the past few months, I have been researching the history of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. I have read much, and watched many documentaries and films on their lives, and their families’ lives and history. As I’ve read, and viewed, the one thing that strikes me the most, personally, is how close “John and Bobby” were. That is the one thing I have “taken away” from my studies. I just completed a Library display entitled “A Brother’s Trust,” which I will share in the future.

On March 13, 1964, it was exactly 16 weeks after November 22, 1963.
In his introduction of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Jack Paar stated, “ … A man whose own life reminds us of what brother really means …”

Many of you may remember that Senator John F. Kennedy, as a presidential candidate, had appeared on “The Jack Parr Show” on June 16, 1960.

I think that, even though I didn’t know them personally, I feel a personal connection. Because … I have brothers, too. While I don’t exactly remember President Kennedy, I remember the times that followed. I remember, very well, Robert Kennedy. I remember “the times which followed” both. I remember well enough to ponder, in a deeply emotional way, “what might have been.”