Tag Archive | History

Get out and vote!

VOTE !

VOTE! If you’ve never done it before, do it now! This election will determine the future of the country…that’s NOT hyperbole, hype, or exaggeration. Many people see politics and are repulsed by them. In the past, a significant percentage of the US population has told themselves, “Why bother? Things just stay the same.” This time that won’t happen. The citizens of this country are faced with a formative decision. Shall we continue on the path we have followed for over 200 years, that of focus on individual freedom or shall we proceed down a path trod by others, that of the collective state. History tells us, when it’s allowed, the outcome of both forms. It’s a simple choice. Do what you WANT, or do what you’re TOLD. What makes this election different is that one course may make it nearly impossible to return to the other.

😒 Twitter had originally censored this post!!

This year’s Fourth of July is a day for reflection…

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

Hello fellow Americans! Let me join everyone of you in wishing our wonderful country happy birthday! I’m proud of the place we live. I want to work for its betterment. I want true equality for all people (and canines) and the peace and tranquility that will eventually come with it.

Let’s reflect on how we should get there.

Is using racial hatred as a political tool to SEIZE power a good thing? I’d say not. How about burning down, looting, and beating up anyone who dares think differently than you as a way to pull us together. I don’t think so. Question – Does seeing the type folks doing the trashing of their neighbors hard won homes and businesses make you enthusiastic about becoming best buddies.

How about engaging in a pleasant conversation with someone different from you? Gosh, do you think if we got past the hate most of our media stokes to an inferno we might find we may have more in common than we think? Inviting a family to share dinner will do more to foster brotherhood than tearing down every statue, plaque, and monument in the country.

Let’s see, oh yes, defunding or eliminating the police. Why we can do something better! Let’s eliminate congress, state and local government. They make laws we obviously don’t need. There won’t be an agency to enforce them – just suggest we behave. Good luck with that.

Speaking of defunding, what a bundle of possibilities that opens! A great example! What about defunding colleges and universities? They no longer are places where all ideas are welcomed. No wonder they discourage studying history. The parallels to late 1930s Germany and the USSR are frightening and the Molotov Cocktail throwers being produced in them are scary reminders. (NYU & Harvard?)

It gets down to choices. Which way do you New Yorkers want to see your city?

Macy’s as we love it!

Macy’s converted by ‘the summer of love’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which would you Seattle residents prefer as an image?

A place of violence, hate, where the rule of the jungle prevails

A beautiful, intellectual place to enjoy life…or

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you want? This is the year we will have to make a decision. Right now neither is a great choice. It’s a least worst one! Let’s hope we will celebrate another USA Fourth of July celebration in 2021. —- Not the divided States of America, recovering from from a thirty million casualty civil war. —- Not the first USSA celebration of the United Soviet States of America with totalitarian leaders setting off the fireworks. —- Not the Pu Fung American Province of the Peoples Republic of China. Do we really want any of that?

 

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Escaping the Chinese Crud – Getting away from it all…

Hiding from the Corona Crud – Our “stay in the car” trip

After a while, you just have to get out. That’s what we did! A week ago the Geezer, Mrs. G, and me crawled into the car and headed out. We went to the site of the Geezer’s latest book, “The Grave with Greener Grass.” It certainly put us in a position to observe social distancing and isolation. Kenansville and Lake Marian are in south-central Florida. They are in an area that has escaped the growth much of the state sees. In other words, it hasn’t been spoiled…yet. Geezer said he hadn’t visited the area he used to fish, for thirty years. He was ecstatic observing how little it had changed! As he remarked, “It is wonderful to see there are still places God and nature created that man hasn’t screwed (My word, not his) up.”

The trip was not without its problems. Mrs. G and the Geezer aren’t short-sighted. They realized the need to minimize potty stops. Food and drink intake was severely limited before and during the eight hour trip. Nature doesn’t relent. When you got to go, you got to go. Face masks, gloves, aerosols, none of them leave you with complete peace of mind at the gas station, etc. that becomes a pee stop. Finding open businesses, ones that looked less likely to be infected, and that had facilities available for use, just weren’t plentiful.

Lake Marian – Paradise fishing resort, one very few access points to the lake

Lake Marion’s shoreline is 95% the way nature made it. Gators, snakes, turtles, frogs, otters, herons, cranes, ducks, and other wildlife are the only over population to which its waters are subjected. It is “old school.” Oh yes, there are plenty of bass, specs, and bream swimming around. You can truly “isolate” here.

The Paradise Inn – Lake Marian’s, Ritz Carlton

We visited what would equate to the setting of the main character’s ranch gate in “The Grave with Greener Grass.” The Geezer’s (DL Havlin) novel is the first in a planned six book series featuring redneck light hero, Sly Harrell. A former operative for the DOJ and a defense firm employee where he did industrial espionage, Sly owns the ranch and runs a business the specializes in “finding things.” (Hence “The Finder” series) This is what its entrance looked like.

The ranch gate – the prototype for Sly Harrells property

The trip went well, and my humans began feeling adventurous. They decided to take the unmitigated risk of eating at an actual restaurant! (TIC) They stopped in the wonderful little town of Frostproof. The old main street is a photographer’s delight…it is like stepping through a time portal into the 1930’s. Located on “the scenic highway” in that quaint little city is the Egg Works, a place the Geezer loves to eat lunches and breakfasts. It was opened…he couldn’t resist the stop…and Mrs. G had to go. Try the Philly Cheese Steak! It is outstanding.

One of the Geezer’s favorite places for breakfast or lunch!

“After the ball is over” – The Egg Works after hours…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grave with Greener Grass” is hot off the Geezer’s keyboard and was just turned over to his literary agent in the last two weeks. It’s a mystery/suspense novel with a lot to please reader’s who like to think. I’ll let you all know who the publisher will be and when it will be available. That is as soon as I know!     WOOF!  WOOF!

 

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The Geezer is on the move…

The audience at one of the Geezer’s presentations

 

DL at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County

The Geezer’s season has arrived. He’ll be busy giving presentations and signing books from now to the spring. He was a speaker at the Cocoa Village Book Fest last Saturday, sandwiched in a public service day Sunday servicing as “Mr. Fix It,” for a charity children’s fishing tournament, did two historical presentations and a luncheon at Southwest Florida College for LifeLong Learning, and will be at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County all this weekend.

No dogs allowed. That means I get stuck “cat-sitting” for Missy. Oh, well………

Mischievous Missy

Visit the Geezer. (DL Havlin) He’ll be at the Cultural Center Friday & Saturday 9 to 3 – That’s at 2800 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte, Florida.

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Memories, our most valuable possession………..

Sometimes I like to immerse myself in memories – so do my humans.

In the end, our memories maybe our most valuable possession. When other things are taken away from us we can retain these. They make our lives bearable, when material items are lost, when our physical capabilities are diminished, and most sadly, when those we love are lost to us. 

I have watched my human, one that I love, suffer the loss of his best friend. It was a friendship that is fifty-two years young and one that the Geezer says will transcend his “brother’s” death. Death is not a word we like. We avoid it like we avoid the event, but the knowledge it is inevitable forces us to consider it. Memories are what makes someone or something eternal. At least, that’s what the Geezer believes. 

His friend Chet was one of those people who created memories for so, so many. He achieved many things in life. Chet was a scholar-educator of the highest order, a great athlete, a fine father and husband, and a leader of men and women. He left his imprint on those who knew him. 

 The Geezer and Coach, as everyone called him, shared the highs and lows in life. The hunting and fishing trips, the triumphs and satisfactions of coaching young men, the sharing and support when either succeeded or failed, the unflinching friendship under all conditions, and they always knew if they needed someone they could depend on, it was that special friend. The memories of those times will not die. We love you Coach.

Chet the “Coach” on the left, the Geezer in the center, Miss Betty, Coach’s fair lady is on the right.

“I’ve never felt more alone,” the Geezer told me. “It is like losing mom or dad, again. We had so many good times together, we went through tough ones leaning against each other, it’s difficult to admit to myself I can’t get in the car and visit him.”

I told him, “It is so hard to say goodbye.”

The Geezer shook his head. “It’s not goodbye, it’s until later. Until then he is in my heart and in my mind. We will never be far apart.”

 

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Summertime and the livin’ is easy … or is it?

Main Street, you have to love it!

The good ole summertime or dog days, which is it? People dread it or love it! Some of that depends on the location of your doghouse. If you’re in the mountains of North Carolina or along the Montana – Canadian border, it’s like Hammerstein’s lyrics from Porky and Bess, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Not so if you’re sweltering in the desert southwest or in Florida’s everglades. Give it six months – those songs will change 180°. I like the summer for another reason. My humans are home more, and when they do travel, they’re much more likely to take me along.

Example, I went up into the cool mountain air a couple of weeks ago. The Geezer’s best friend was celebrating a special birthday in the beautiful town of Burnsville, NC. Ah! The mountains! Plenty of deer to chase. Flowers to sniff in the mountain meadows. Crystal waters to drink from spring fed “branches.” The luxury of watching time rock by. What a trip for relieving the tension created by the tortuous times we live in.

Time to watch the world rock by, IF you can keep awake. See me making Zs at the end of the line?

The difference in the two summers was driven home to me when we were returning. Driving south on Interstate 26, we stopped at a rest area, still in the Hendersonville mountain area, so I could sprinkle the grass. The temperature was pleasant, the humidity low. An hour-and-a-half later Mrs. G needed to find a used coffee disposal device (that’s a Geezerism). Hopping out of the car was like jumping into a Swedish sauna with palmettos and pines as decor.

The Herons return to raise a new generation!

Summer is baby manatee season – Mama & offspring relax in our canal

 

Summer is when life renews itself. The proof is in our back yard … in the canal and bushes behind it. Two exhibits are placed in evidence. Matilda the Manatee is shown here with her latest young ‘un. Our resident night herons have had their nests in full operation. The next squadron is already flying. Our canal’s air traffic rivals O’hare at times.

Outside is … outside. That’s hot and fun.

 

Inside is cooler and comfortable in summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I get to go to more of the Geezer’s book events and presentations in the summer. One thing about this season is the drastic difference in outdoor and indoor events. He has two coming up in the next couple weeks. The Geezer will be presenting programs for Master the Possibilities this fall. He’ll be in Ocala for a kick-off meet and greet at 8415 SW 80th Street, in Ocala, FL this coming Friday the 24th at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. It’s in the Cypress and Live Oak’s AC. He’ll also be at Englewood Florida’s Pioneer Days in Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street, September 2nd & 3rd where he’ll be doing some MCing of the program and signing books. It’s outside … it is hot, but it’s fun! 

Don’t forget to check out  “Possibilities! The Hudson comes to the Peace” writers conference at http://www.southwestfloridawritersconference.com . This is going to be a premier conference. If you want to improve your skills, determine if writing is for you, or GET THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE NEW YORK AGENTS & EDITORS VIEW YOUR WORK you need to be there! 

 

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Another way to look at our flag.

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

 

A cool dip on the hot 4th!

Mrs. G getting ready for the parade.

The Geezer took me to an early 4th of July parade. I always ask lots of questions. Watching the parade pass prompted many. Our conversation, part of it, was as follows:

I asked, “Geezer, are fire engines painted red because that’s the color of fire?

The Geezer answered. “No, but I’ve heard two reasons why fire-engines are painted red. One is that early firemen were proud of their trucks and so they painted them the most expensive color available in the late 1800’s. But … The reason I think makes more sense was that most early automobiles were painted black. Firemen in the late 1800’s wanted it to be easy for people to see them coming when they raced to a fire so they painted their trucks red, a color not used on cars back then.

That was good info for my next trivia contest. I decided to ask a question I knew the answer to just to hear the old boy pontificate, “Geezer, why do you humans have fire-engines in a parade, play all that Souza music, and set off fireworks, and wave all those flags, on the 4th of July?”

Geezer grinned and said, “The 4th of July is our country’s birthday so we Americans celebrate it just like we celebrate your birthday on January 18th. But, you knew that, Sandy.”

I complained, “It’s different. My birthday only rates a bluegrass band and the parade consists of Mr. Smith’s pickup and boat trailer.” A band came around the corner, all with flags attached to their hats. “Wow, there are a lot of flags. Why do you humans have flags, anyway?”

Geezer answered, “All people have flags as symbols of their country. We have the stars and stripes, Japan has a rising sun, Canada has a Maple leaf. Those symbols say something about their country.”

“Why do we have the stars and stripes for America?” I asked.

The Geezer thought for a few seconds and then answered, “Sandy, most people will tell you the stars stand for each state we have in our nation and that thirteen stripes stand for the original thirteen colonies that declared their independence. That is true. But …… I’m going to give another reason, one that I believe is as important. I see those stripes as stairs that our country offers to all its citizens, who are willing to do the work to climb them, to reach the stars above.

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For information on the “Possibilities! The Hudson comes to the Peace” writers conference, go to http://www.abc-artisansofbooks.com or https://southwestfloridawritersconference.godaddysites.com .

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The Geezer is at the Crowley Museum this weekend.

That’s where he’ll be this weekend. The #Crowley Museum is one of those places that few human folks know about and that lots of human people should. It’s a living photo of history within a two-and-a-half hour drive for those living in communities from Marco Island to Clearwater and into the center of south Florida. I love that kind of place, but unfortunately, I’m on guard duty this weekend. He’s listed by his author name on their program – DL Havlin, instead of his more descriptive title – Geezer.

 

One of the structures at the Crowley Museum

The Crowley is a late 1800’s frontier town that’s been restored to preserve the area’s heritage. It even has some of the cattle breed the Spanish brought with them in the 1500s that was the foundation for Florida’s first important industry, “ranch herding.” One reason I’m not going is all the farm animals. Chasing is irresistible.

The event for this weekend is the Southwest Florida Heritage Festival. There will be all kinds of demonstrations like squeezing sugar cane and making syrup from the juice just like Florida Crackers did using draft animals and wood fires. Other exhibitions include spinning, whip making, bee keeping, noodle making, pioneer cooking and more! Here are a few pictures.

 

Museum Exhibit – Whip that gave birth to the term “Cracker.”

Transportation – 1880’s Florida style. One of a multitude of exhibits (as they were) at the Crowley Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Cane Press

A place to think and stink back in the day.

Irma was rough on this wonderful example of Florida history. It has just recently been reopened after the extensive work done to put it back as it was! I highly recommend you stop by and see this fascinating bit of Americana. The Geezer will be presenting two historical talks at the Crowley Learning Center. “The Loyal 14th Colony: Florida in the Revolutionary War” will presented Saturday (2/24) at 11:00 AM. He’ll talk about “Florida: The Forgotten Years – 1865 to 1920” on Sunday (2/25) also at 11:00 AM. Both presentations have power point programs with them and the old boy will stick around to answer questions and chat afterwards. He loves that. The Geezer (DL Havlin) will be there both days open to close. Instructions to get to the Learning Center are available on-line and will be at the event.

The Crowley Museum is located very near Sarasota. Exit I-75 on to Fruitville Road East. Fruitville dead ends into Myakka Road. Turn right.  The road twists and turns for a few miles to 16405 Myakka. That’s about 13 miles from the #210 exit off I-75. It’s on the left side of the road traveling east. There is a website with more info. It’s http://www.crowleyfl.org .  GPS should get you there. Come see him this weekend!

 

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A day at the fair …

Englewood Florida’s “Cracker Fair” was a great event. Heavily attended, its organizers deserve to take a bow.

 

Wow! The event I attended over the weekend gets a five bone award on a five bone scale. It had something that all who attended could enjoy. Woof-woof for the “Lemon Bay Historical Society Cracker Fair.” Everything from demonstrations of pioneer living, to the wildlife that Florida’s early settlers had for neighbors entertained and educated. You couldn’t help but be impressed by the folks who made up the very large crowd. I spoke to men and women from nine different countries. (Count ’em – England, Canada, India, France, Denmark, Germany, Columbia, Switzerland, and South Africa.) Like you’d expect, many canines took their humans to the cultural event. I had a chance to bark with breeds from – Boxers to Yorkies – with Chihuahuas, Bull dogs, German Sheperds, and many others mixed in. Of course, other Goldens were well represented. I distributed my canine cookie recipe to so many, I almost ran out of the cards it’s printed on. Below are some interesting pics from the fair.

 

This hawk checked out the spectators. Old talons was part of the wildlife exhibit.

“Who dat?” The wise old owl asked about an admirer. Wildlife was there courtesy of a wildlife rescue/refuge group. They do great work!

There wasn’t a negative about the fair. The result on the Geezer … that’s another thing. It will take a month for the swelling to go down. He was the featured speaker during the town’s history week at Charlotte/Englewood library a few days before and many people stopped by to tell him they really enjoyed his presentation. (At that point, an air-compressor hose was attached to his cranium) A couple individuals asked him to speak to their organizations. If that wasn’t bad enough, four people who have read his books stopped by to buy more and tell him how much they loved his stuff. That last part, the loved his stuff, was bad! The compressor fired off. Putt, putt, putt, putt……… Next, two placed orders for a book he’s in the process of finishing. Compressor. Faster.  Buttabuttabuttabutta……….. Finally, one person left her name with a standing order for each new book when it comes out. Compressor. Race. Bbbbrrrruuuummmmmmmm………. The old turkey will be hard to live with for a while. If I can find a large pin, I’ll puncture that balloon – that is if I can find a way to shelter from the gush of hot air that will rush out at hurricane force.

The Geezer loves history and the culture of ALL of our past. He believes that choosing to ignore history insures the same mistakes will be relived. Ignoring or “deleting” what’s happened won’t change one thing and only drastically increases the probability of an instant replay.

The Cracker Fair is all about history. Some intrepid re-enactors sweated and sweltered in the Florida sun so the visitors could get the flavor of the times. Below are a couple of gentlemen who were walking, talking history books. They added mystic and ambiance besides answering questions about the time period.

Infantryman Gene, a friendly fellow from the Florida militia, circa 1860s

Here comes the cavalry! An officer from the same period. One neat guy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worse, the Geezer will be speaking at the Helen B. Hoffman Library, located at 501 N Fig Tree Lane, in Plantation, Florida, Monday 2/12 at 10 AM. He’ll be speaking about “The loyal 14th colony: Florida in the Revolutionary War.”

I may need a blimp tender to hold him down after that.

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Golden Buddy — Where does all your energy come from?

Me and my niece Remi. This younger generation makes me tired just watching them.

I’m recuperating. My muscles are sore, my joints are jingling, even my tail hurts. Keeping up with the relatives isn’t always a good idea, particularly if the relative is ten percent of your age. The Geezer and Mrs. G took me to visit my niece, Remi, this weekend. She lives in the Jacksonville area. She’s Golden. Yep, she’s a Golden Retriever, too. Remi is a little over one year old. I love her, but she makes Niagara Falls look inactive.

We’ve been together before and I new she was energetic, but I didn’t expect to step into a situation equivalent to a nuclear explosion. When the front  door closed behind me at her human’s house, the action began. In the twenty feet it took to get from the door to the living room, Remi had circled me four times, jumped over me three times and crawled under me once. She was as quick as the animation in one of those super-hero cartoon films. Maybe she thinks she’s The Golden Flash or something.

“Let’s play tug-o-war.” Remi bounded around and picked up a rope with handles on both ends. When I didn’t respond, she added, “Come on, live a little!” I rolled my eyes, but she didn’t receive the same message I was trying to send. “How about we do the tug thing and run and jump into the swimming pool at the same time. How’s that? Huh? Huh?”

I needed some excuse that wouldn’t admit I was at the age that a discussion about the literary classic “Lassie, Come Home,” or an in depth analysis of the pros and cons of dry foods versus canned was more to my liking than a serious romp in the park. The best I could come up with was, “My winter coat is coming in and I’m shedding very badly right now. I need to stay out of your humans pool.”

“OH! Okay! Lets play with a ball. I’ll go get one. We can play take away. I hold it my teeth and growl when I’m ready to begin. You grab it with your teeth and try to pull it away from me.”

I had to think of something. I lied —– “I have false teeth.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Lets play tag, instead of take away. I hold the ball and runaway until you catch me. Then I give you the ball and I chase you until I tag you. I’ll even give you a five second head-start.”

“Honest, Remi, I’m tired from my travel. Right now I’d have a rough time summoning up enough energy to chew my dinner.” I thought that would end the conversation.

“Poor Sandy! Those horrible false teeth. I’ll help! I’ll chew your food for you! You might lose some in the process, but it’s better than starving.”

I knew I was cooked. I said, “Let’s go play.” No other three words have caused me more misery.

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The Geezer had a successful visit to the Florida Heritage Book Festival on Saturday in St. Augustine. His publisher and a number of her authors attended to support this literary event. I’ve included a picture of his display and pictures of our visit to the Camp Blanding Museum on the way home. I’ll being speaking of both in future posts.

DL (The Geezer) in his taylor and Seale tee shirt talking to other T&S people at the Florida Heritage Book Festival

C-47 cargo plane with D-Day wing markings. Aircraft like this one were what our brave paratroops jumped out of to land in France.

Inside the Museum. A room like this was where GIs lived while they trained for combat.

 

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