Monday, November 22, 2010

The 1982nd Forward Surgical Team

Did you ever say anything really stupid? Like, imagine this young woman in this photo as she walked up the jetway in Chicago. "Where are going?" I asked. "Afghanistan." "Ooh," I replied with concern in my voice." I sort of recovered with a heart felt, "Thank you." She said "You're welcome," and we parted. The exchange has haunted me since that moment in Chicago. These brave soldiers heading off to Afghanistan, and my last words to one of them was one of impending danger.

So, my hour of googling to figure out who these fine men and women in uniform were. I was hoping I'd remember the unit patch, instead I found her face, their faces. I'll find their address now, and this time I'll chose my words much more carefully as I write one letter to Specialist Ashley Richardson, and a second to the commander. They're brave, they deserve to know it, and they deserve more from me. As I read their story I realized that while I was being inspired by General Colin Powell (Ret.) at Greenbuild 2010, they're following another general.

So to all of you who serve or support the 1982nd Forward Surgical Team from Niagara County, NY, from a former Infantry LRRP, God bless you...HOOAH!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Honestly, I have no idea who this guy is. I'm just an itninerate blogger who shoots a few photos and embelishes them with words. We're not related, and as far as I know he has no historical significance. Who knows if anyone alive still remembers him, or where he's burried? I stumbled on this stone while out geocaching near the town of Cheshire, NY. There are a number of these clay stones...they're really quite unique and beautiful. What strikes me deeply about these old cemetary's (1803 +/-), is the reverence for God by those resting here. Maybe it was a sign of the times? Maybe in the 1800's reverence for God and acknowlegement of heaven was more important, or at least socially acceptable? There are a lot of these around upstate NY, actually around the country. I guess I found myself wondering about William Gooding, age 42. I even googled the text to see if it was an poem...

So, as William Gooding was ushered into eternity, the question that I pondered was this. Did he live up to these words now immortalized in stone, or did he just have a good speech writer...

This saint of God, that sleepeth here,
Will at the judgement day appear;
In shing garments will be dres'd
And live forever with the blest
While he lov'd here, had praying breath
Smil'd often when he talk'd...
His conversation soar'd....
What this vain world in...

Monday, November 1, 2010

October 31st

I didn't write the name of the holiday up there, just the date. We don't really celebrate. But still, in the context of October 31st, I offer a few images...Right out of Psycho isn't it? Reminiscent of the Bates motel. And for the record, it is the Butler Psychiatric hospital. We stumbled on it geocaching yesterday.

To coin a phrase from my daughters, even "creepier" is the site right across the street. A short walk up a neatly hidden path leads to two discreet cemetaries for the patients. People who aren't worthy of names, but rather only numbers. 12" high plate metal markers with numbers raised on them. Life is but a vapor isn't it?