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Thursday, May 5, 2016
Treat yourself (05/03/16)
Heads up. Thursday is this year's National Day of Prayer. You probably have your own venue but a group of us are gathering at Hillside Perks that day for a morning of coffee, breakfast, and prayer. Good combination. Your columnist has been "volunteered" to do the appellation to God on behalf of the media and the military. Fertile ground that for sowing the seeds of hope...
Homestyle Christianity (04/26/16)
Did you notice? McCook, at the Fairground's Kiplinger Arena, was privileged to host some 400+ entries for a Nebraska High School Rodeo event this last weekend. Hundreds of high school age boys and girl from across the state plus horses, parents, grandparents and fans converged on our good facilities...
Guardians of 'correct' (04/19/16)
Shakespeare's exact line "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,'" was stated by Dick the Butcher in "Henry VI," Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73." Every once in awhile, I get reminded that Shakespeare was right on. The bard was commenting about an unscrupulous leader, Henry the 6th of his time, but it still may ring true for the politicians of today...
Beauty among us (04/12/16)
Heads up. Don't miss it. Check out the planted and tended beauty spot on the east end of Hillcrest as you head down West 5th street. The green of spring has arrived as the bulbed flowers, tulips and jonquils, show their welcome colors. The thinned and manicured lilac bushes are leafing out and will be showing their fragrant flowers in short order. It is worth the drive past and next time you see Don Harpst tell him thanks...
Peanut butter spring (04/05/16)
Bring on the warm(er) weather! I've been walking the sidewalks, alleys and best of all the walking trail in McCook. Mine is an attempt to melt off belly fat and yes I know the exercise of pushing back from the table will help greatly in that effort. ...
Odds and ends (03/29/16)
It is the yearly ritual of preparing our income tax return. I've personally done it every year since 1956. Keeping records with the help of a personal computer has been a great help as that aid became available. Then in more recent years being able to purchase a computer program that accounts for every nook and cranny of the complex law, well almost, helps make the task easier...
Palm Sunday to Easter (03/22/16)
Two events in Christendom leading to one of our most sacred observances. It is a time to pause and reflect on the great life we have been privileged to live in our world today. Lessons to note, personal lessons, lessons affecting family and lessons important to our country today...
Observing at the Democratic caucus (03/15/16)
"You can sit in those chairs marked 'Observers' over there along the wall. Please do not participate in any of the discussion throughout the evening." was the courteous remarks of the chairman. In other words Sit down and shut up! Grannie Annie and I, lifelong Republicans, were curious how the local Democrats ran a Caucus in order to select their candidate for the upcoming presidential election. ...
Storms at Hillcrest (03/08/16)
A week ago the Gazette reported on problems at Hillcrest, Red Willow County's wholly owned Nursing Home. What do they call it now -- Long Term Care? Hillcrest is dear to my heart in part because it is where my parents and Grannie Annie's mother spent their last days. Clean, wonderful, shall we say sainted, nurses caring for the patients. In my heart a wonderful asset for the residents in this area...
Taking a trip back in time (02/23/16)
Well it really isn't possible but last week I came close. I needed to make a quick trip to check on my brother who lives in Long Pine. Ah yes Long Pine, Nebraska the small, really small, village that sits high on the bank of Long Pine Creek between Ainsworth and Bassett. ...
Reaction (02/16/16)
Plaudits to City crews and Airport personnel in clearing McCook's big snowfall of the year. Fortunately Grannie Annie and I chose to live on a corner blessed to be an intersection of two snow routes and our streets were kept well cleaned. Those streets off the snow routes took a little longer with several days of hard packed rough driving and it is all a memory now thanks to sunshine and warmer temperatures...
A variety of thoughts (02/09/16)
Allen Millar had one of the best descriptions of life in the Sandhills I ever heard. Allen said that "Where we lived the neighbors were so far apart we had to keep our own tomcats!" I knew and enjoyed Allen during his reign as Dean of McCook College or was that Chancellor or maybe Superintendent and it could have been McCook Community College. No matter we love the place which brings good people to our community...
Small town America (02/02/16)
Saturday last I spent in Holyoke, Colorado. My mission observing (and silently cheering) as an aviation student took the checkride for a Private Pilot license. Why Colorado? Well at the moment there was no FAA designated examiner qualified to administer the test in my student's splendidly kept Stinson 108 (manufactured in 1947). ...
Foundation of faith (01/26/16)
Once in awhile a person gets assigned a task that puts one a little outside his comfort zone ... "Do an interview in front of the camera?" was the request from a "local" television host. "Sure I can do that but let me find someone better and more deserving," was my response. Good luck on that one! Some kind soul, anonymous, had fingered me so the commitment was made...
Long-time human relations (01/19/16)
For some time, Grannie Annie and this old guy have done Bible- based devotions at the close of breakfast. TV off. It is amazing how often the Bible hits the nail on the head. At the moment we are into the Book of Psalms. It is the 12th Psalm and David is complaining to God. David directly to God, no intermediaries, no sorting through the press or Satan or the church, just one on one. I like that...
Taxes and tankers (01/13/16)
Happy day. The Nebraska Legislature is in session. Watch your pocketbook. Governor Pete Ricketts was noising about the need for property tax relief. Always a popular theme for those we elect to be charge of spending our tax money. "Vote for me and I'll reduce taxes." Easily done but it rarely happens...
Taxes and tankers (01/12/16)
Happy day. The Nebraska Legislature is in session. Watch your pocketbook. Gov. Pete Ricketts was noising about the need for property tax relief. Always a popular theme for those we elect to be charge of spending our tax money. "Vote for me and I'll reduce taxes." Easily done, but it rarely happens...
Let's call them Daesch (01/05/16)
The first week in the new year and it is a slow news day. The politicians aren't back to work yet -- not a bad thing. No change in the hopefuls running for president since the end of last year. Trump is full of bombast and no plan laid out on how to get things done. Cruz I like and Rubio not a bad choice either. Hillary and or Bernie too horrible to contemplate. Politics!...
Political theatre (12/29/15)
Inbound to my desk from my favorite wing commander -- a former B-58 pilot. That airplane was our pride-of-the-fleet supersonic bomber but sadly didn't stay in the inventory very long. He later led one of the raids across Hanoi in a mighty but slow B-52...
Happy Christmas (12/22/15)
Christmas coming. Christmas coming. If you haven't already drive out the next night to marvel at the grandest decorated Christmas tree in town. Just east of the gym at McCook College, a multitude of colored lights, candy canes, tall and magnificent. Well done...
Time for change in the Muslim world? (12/15/15)
Today we learn a new word. It is "Deobandi" the name of a fundamentalist Islamic group. In the news we hear of young Muslims that have been "radicalized" and then come to Christian America and Europe to perform terroristic deeds in the name of Allah. Little do we hear of it but those fundamentalists also are committing the same kinds of atrocities against their fellow Muslims whom they deem not true believers as followers of Muhamad...
Happy thoughts (12/08/15)
As you read this Grannie Annie and I will have been to El Paso, Texas to deliver Adopt A Chaplain "Christmas care packages." All those boxes, our SUV packed full to the roof, to Captain Ch. Saare, assigned Chaplain responsibilities for a unit deployed to Bogotá, Columbia in South America. Who knew we had troops in that part of the world? Evidently it is a contingent of troops that has been deployed to duties there for some twenty five years and counting...
World history (12/01/15)
Quite a few years ago a friend, Wayne Boyer, kept a pack coyote hounds at his ranch a few miles south of McCook. Most of the pack were "hot blood" greyhounds he picked up at dog tracks. Wayne and his buddies would load their coyote hounds in a "dog box" in the back of their pickups then drive the pastures and canyons in search of the wily coyote. ...
Retreat and Rejoice (11/24/15)
It was the familiar sound of the bugle sounding retreat. I stepped from my car and came to attention facing the flag. Then came the familiar strains of The Star Spangled Banner". I held a salute as did everyone else at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma when the flag was lowered at the end of the duty day. It was a time of introspection as this old veteran flashed memories of my time proudly serving in uniform...
America at its best (11/17/15)
Have you ever attended a big wedding and had the feeling in your heart that this marriage will last? Sure you have. This was the happy experience of Grannie Annie and your old guy columnist this past weekend. A few years ago I taught the groom to fly right here at the McCook airpatch. ...
The POW Choir in the Hanoi Hilton (11/10/15)
Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, an official United States federal holiday that is observed annually on Nov. 11, honoring people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect). ...
Non-governmental giving (11/03/15)
Matthew relates a parable that Jesus spoke to his followers. The king had made elaborate plans for his wedding feast but many of the invited guests begged off and made excuse not to come. So: "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. ...
Return on investment (10/27/15)
Okay imagine that you are a business-person with your own company. You farm raising corn and soybeans. You own and have paid off all the machinery needed to work the acres that you now till. Now the neighbor across the road offers to sell you a quarter section of ground just like you farm. You put the pencil to it and figure that yes you can meet his price, borrow the money, and pay it off in eight years. Your return on the investment (ROI) is adequate to let you make the deal...
Ahh, the Democratic debat (10/20/15)
Yes Grannie Annie and I watched the breathlessly awaited (by the liberal media -- not us) Democratic Presidential Debate last week. The two-hour program only seemed like it went on and on and on for three hours. Reading my friend "Mike at Night's" weekend column made me pause to wonder if we had watched the same event...
Willis Jones, hero (10/13/15)
Gone but never to be forgotten. Saturday at a large funeral we paid tribute to a life well- lived. Then at an impressive service at the cemetery the American Flag draping his coffin was removed, folded, reverently with great dignity and precision as only a military honor guard can do, and presented to family. The sad lingering notes of Taps sang out, a "21 gun salute" echoed and Willis Jones was sent off on his journey to eternity. God Bless you and thank you for your service...
We were soldiers once, and young (10/06/15)
Well somehow the young went away. Grannie and I just returned from a reunion of the air refueling tanker squadron that I served in from 1966 to 1969. Four years of duty flying the KC-135 -- same airplane that the Nebraska Air Guard operates yet today...
Reunion and more (09/29/15)
It was a great weekend. Forty six classmates, well over half of those still living, from McCook High School class of 1955 showed for our 60th Reunion. A happy to see each other jovial group it was. Members traveled from their homes in Florida, Seattle, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Montana as well as climes more local. One formal event, a banquet and the rest of the time visiting, telling stories and attending many of the events of McCook's Heritage days...
A chance roosting at Roosterville (09/22/15)
One of my aspiring students found an airplane that he was interested in buying, a older but really nice Cessna 182 in the Kansas City area. We hopped into one of Red Willow Aviation's airplanes to fly down to look. Our destination the Liberty, Missouri airport. 0N0 in aviation parlance...
While you were gone ... (09/15/15)
Next week we are hosting a reunion for the McCook High School class that graduated way back in 1955. Sixty years! For the class members that may not have returned to this fair city in all that time I will attempt to point out a few changes. Now of course we classmates haven't changed any, well maybe the hair is a bit thinner and lighter in color, or possibly a few pounds have settled in more comfortable places but what the hey at heart we are the same eager 17-18 year olds that set out to change the world. ...
Just and unjust (09/08/15)
Today in a jail cell somewhere in Kentucky sits a lady named Kim Davis who probably hasn't enjoyed this just passed leisurely Labor Day weekend. As you probably know, it has been on the news big time lately, how County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. ...
Music and taxes (08/25/15)
I have to poke a little fun at friend Mike Hendricks and sympathize a bit at the damage to his pride and joy bright yellow Mustang. It will never be the same yet probably came out better than the poor wet deer that hit him. In his latest column From the Penthouse to the Outhouse Mike proudly tells of spending time and a large amount of treasure to enjoy a few hours of a concert in Kansas City. ...
The Mormon War (08/18/15)
Bulletin: Grannie Annie came through her hip joint replacement surgery splendidly. A big thanks to all you prayer warriors and other good people who express well wishes. It is you that make this such a great place to live. Recent travels from across Nebraska from west to east have shown this old farmer that this is an exceptionally fine year for crop production. ...
Payback (08/11/15)
Little acts of kindness. People are good. Recently Grannie Annie was driving through the mail dropoff at the McCook Post Office. Low car, short arms and the letter dropped on the ground. With a bum hip Grannie struggled to open the door and reach for it. Out of nowhere a slim young lady appeared, offered condolences and fetched the letter off the pavement for her. Cheerfully the angel commented that she had the same problem herself and that it was okay...
Know thine enemy (08/04/15)
Late on some evenings we would sit around and tell stories as flight crews often did while pulling nuclear war alert. Especially memorable one night one of my KC-135 crew commanders was relating things that happened while he was a "guest" of the North Vietnamese in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. ...
Immigration dustup (07/28/15)
In the political news of late there has been considerable angst concerning porous borders and illegal immigration. Yet we as a country are a nation of immigrants. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my light beside the golden door." -- Emma Lazarus. So it says right there on the base of the Statue-of-Liberty in New York Harbor. What happened?...
Requiem for a hangar (07/21/15)
I was headed north on Highway 83. To the northwest I noted a huge column of ugly brown-grey smoke rising to form a familiar mushroom shape. "Gee I hope it is not one of the hangars at the old McCook Army Airbase" I told myself. In a few miles I topped a hill and suspicions confirmed it was the south hangar, the one built to service B-29s during World War II. ...
Sixty years and counting (07/14/15)
Grannie Annie and your humble columnist participated in celebrating a momentous historical event (at least for the two of us) this past Saturday, July 11th. That day in 1955 was Day One of the United States Air Force Academy. We both were present that hot afternoon on the flight line of Lowry AFB, near Denver. ...
Patriotism on display (07/07/15)
Ah, the celebration of our Independence Day. Great fun was watching the 4th of July Parade in Culbertson. The weatherman gave us a beautiful day. Large crowd seeking shade along the parade route, visiting with neighbors, lots of young families and kids scrambling for candy and trinkets thrown from parade floats. Good food -- brats and hamburgers -- served afterward and more visiting. A car show. Free ice cream from the ambulance crews. Small town America at its finest...
The pruning hook (06/30/15)
Not so happy days! SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) has decreed that same sex marriage is to be demanded in all fifty states. Their justification refers to Article IV Section 2 which in essence states that each State will honor all public Acts, marriage in this case, authorized in other States. ...
Black and white (06/23/15)
Raised on a farm in Southwestern Nebraska. High school in McCook where all the students were white and of Christian persuasion. Off to college in an all-white student body; well there were brown skinned Hawaiians and a handful of Jewish brethren but not any to claim an African heritage or none to practice other than a Judeo-Christian faith. Wiley Burch hadn't become a Buddhist yet...
Distinguished and proud (06/16/15)
"Col. Trail this is Gene Budig," announced the answering machine. "Please give me a call when you have a few minutes." He didn't mention anything about the fact that he too is retired Air Force, a Major General (two stars) no less but did give a phone number related to the East Coast...
Sunrise (06/09/15)
Wonderful! Lots of money to spend. Business as usual for the City of McCook. Yes that was the result of the recent "special election" to keep the sales tax revenue rolling in. They didn't get it all. For one, there is that pesky requirement of a sunset. ...
Number Four (06/02/15)
The invitation read: "Come join us to help celebrate Shane's graduation from the Air Force Academy." The young man, now 2nd Lt. Shane German, was one that I was privileged to teach to fly some four years ago. He graduated from Chase County High School, Imperial, Nebraska, number one in his class, that same year and proceeded to his appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs...
Body parts needed (05/26/15)
Being Memorial Day weekend this old veteran, Vietnam, spent considerable time touring a couple cemeteries. As part of a volunteer crew we placed "Old Glory" on every grave that could be identified as belonging to a veteran. I found it poignant to read the gravestones of departed relatives, friends and neighbors no matter their station in life veteran or no. In my view all people are persons of worth and it is well to honor them in life as well as in death...
General aviation's importance to our area (05/19/15)
What in the world is "General Aviation?" It must be important because Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has designated May as "General Aviation (GA) Appreciation Month." Complete with an official proclamation certificate signed and imprinted with the Great Seal of the State of Nebraska. Pretty impressive!...
Time to pay attention (05/12/15)
Garland, Texas. Two Jihadi's intent on mass murder are wiped out by a sharp-shooting off-duty policeman. With his service pistol no less -- great shot! Reportedly the FBI (or some other intelligence agency) investigates the dead men's apartment and gets into their computer. ...
Ballot Blues (05/05/15)
"Dick I don't think that I'll vote in the special election. I believe in a secret ballot and this mail in voting deal is no secret. You have to put your name and address on the envelope, your date of birth and about everything else about your personal life. No secret that!"...
Potpourri (04/28/15)
And they called him Elijah, Elijah Paul! Quite a moniker to hang on a newborn nine and a half pound boy. Yes a big event in our household, huge. The healthy little guy is Grannie Annie and my first great grandson. We are happy. especially so as both his mama and the little guy survived his birth in fine shape and are doing well...
WTIF? (04/21/15)
TIF we hear the term bandied about but what in the world is it? The acronym stands for Tax Increment Financing, TIF, but what in the world does that mean to you and me? Is it a good deal for we the people who pay property tax? Good deal for who? Will it cost us money in the long run? Questions, questions...
A city worker's price (04/14/15)
Metamorphosis. A seventy-five cent word that we wordsmiths use to emote creation of a beautiful butterfly. From ugly worms of green or gray that crawl on their belly, God majestically transforms that very same creature into one possessing brilliantly colored wings bold as the rainbow. Ah the beauty to our eyes as they flutter about their summertime business of laying eggs to begin a new generation...
Good news (04/07/15)
Observed while walking -- good exercise for this old guy. Adjacent to the new paved walking trail just north of the new Peter & Delores Graff Event Center, I have long noted an odd concrete structure. Obviously the crumbling concrete was an anchor for something below as there is a hefty steel rod attached. What in the world could it be?...
Tradition (03/31/15)
One of the really fun times in my childhood came at Easter. Long descended from pagan times of antiquity to celebrate the passing of the hard times of Winter into a refreshing warmth of Spring Christians adopted the rite and called it Easter. The blooming of Easter Lilies and the egg as a symbol of new life has become tradition...
A better idea (03/24/15)
Just thinking. Rather than voting to continue McCook's sales tax at 1.5 percent why not raise it to 4.5 percent? That would make for any purchases in the city limits an add on easy to figure 10 percent. The rate of 4.5 percent would generate a cool $2.4 Million into the city coffers...
Former military (03/17/15)
Stop. Wait. If you haven't seen "Annie Get Your Gun" don't let next weekend go by without attending Irving Berlin's wonderful musical at the Fox. Great costuming and the stage scenery is brilliant but Annie played by Tyler Rambali is superbly done. The young lady obviously has great talent and in my opinion, should she choose, will be a national star in theatre. Guaranteed you will enjoy the evening...
Too much money (03/10/15)
socialism definition. An economic system in which the production and distribution of goods are controlled substantially by the government rather than by private enterprise, and in which cooperation rather than competition guides economic activity. (Google)...
Sales tax defeat would mean prioritization of spending (03/03/15)
Assuming the role of a good citizen I attended last Sunday's "Town hall meeting" concerning reauthorization of McCook's 1.5 percent local option sales tax. The spacious training room in the new City Office Complex wasn't exactly crowded. There were only five private citizens, potential "no" voters, present along with about 20 city staff, employees and council members all sure to vote "yes." The atmosphere was congenial and City Manager Nate Schneider gave a nice professional PowerPoint presentation.. ...
Vote NO on sales tax extension (02/24/15)
It is the season to increase taxes -- yet another time. The McCook City Council is holding meetings to justify the renewal of McCook's local option sales tax. In a related, but sinister move, they also want to extend the sunset period from 10 to 15 years. Evidently it is inconvenient to have to keep justifying what I see as an unnecessary burdensome tax...
Upset in flight (02/17/15)
First I want to say a big thank you to the many readers that have offered congratulations for my honor of being installed in the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame. I am humbled yet proud of being so honored by my peers. Bless you all and it is time to change the subject...
Christian happenings (02/10/15)
Camp Comeca. Sitting high on the hills overlooking the Platte River valley a few miles south of Cozad, Nebraska. It is a camp for kids, both young and old, families too. Situated on a hill top surrounded by cedar trees and a few elms and hackberries, one has a view to the south of rolling Nebraska prairie and a winsome lake formed by the Tri-County irrigation canal. ...
Lessons learned from Cuba (02/03/15)
President Obama's recent embrace of the Castro Brothers, dictators of Communist Cuba still has this old vet seething. Obama supporters assure us that improved relations will somehow loosen the Castro's repressive control of the Cuban people and make things all better. ...
Scallop Festival (01/27/15)
The lesson today was about the time that Jesus was walking the lakeshore and came upon Simon and Matthew, professional fishermen, working on their nets. Jesus commanded that they "Come with me and be fishers of men." The men dropped their nets and went to become lifetime disciples of Christ, two of the twelve. Talk about an abrupt change of profession and a wholly new lifetime of commitment...
Hope is in the air (01/20/15)
Fox News is back on Dish Network. It has been a long dry spell. I was even getting tempted to subscribe to the local cable provider. Most friends that I talked to were having the same withdrawal frustrations but we are happy now. A recent news story reconfirmed my happiness of living in Southwest Nebraska. ...
Deployed and faithful (01/13/15)
Grannie was going through the checkout line at Sam's Club in Grand Junction. She was purchasing a slew of hand and foot warmers to send to "her troops" in Afghanistan. A gentleman behind her in line overheard Grannie tell the clerk that she sends "care" boxes to our military personnel deployed overseas. ...
Driving the long haul (01/06/15)
Grannie and I just returned from the warmth of southern California. Interesting people there. They complain when the temperature gets down to 50 degrees or so. "Cold! Have to wear a jacket!" Ah, the glories of four seasons back home where we have chosen to enjoy our lives. I'm reminded of the wise Scandinavian who noted when being about in challenging weather that "There is no bad weather; just poor clothing!"...
New face of America (12/30/14)
Grannie and your humble correspondent spent the few days before Christmas visiting a granddaughter who lives on the giant west coast Camp Pendleton Installation. She and her Marine husband, when he is not deployed, reside in military family housing built on a high bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It has been an idyllic respite from the rigors of icy roads, wind and snow the norm for Southwestern Nebraska at the moment...
Hope and Cuba (12/23/14)
Well he has done it again. Yes our President Obama has stepped forth to prop up yet another dictatorship, this a hardcore Communist State. His dream is that if we allow our liberty inspired capitalist business world to trade freely with Cuba, our closeby neighbor, those poor oppressed people will see the light and persuade the Castro brothers to loosen their iron grip and democracy will flower and everything will get better. ...
A life well-lived (12/16/14)
Read the news or watch it on TV and one can become disillusioned with our world today. We have a lame duck congress trying to spend us into the poor house. We have a President intent on making our borders porous and eager to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants all in hope of creating more voters for his socialist agenda. ...
Lame duck (12/10/14)
Well finally the mid-term election is over. Mary Landrieu went down in flames so now she can live in peace at her multi-million dollar home in Washington D.C. No more having to check in at the Senate for instruction by President Obama to see how to vote for the good of her long ignored Louisiana constituents...
The beach and a Volt (12/02/14)
California and an interesting adventure last week. I was able to drive my son's new Chevy Volt. The Volt an all-electric car with a small gas burning engine and generator on board. Yes the much ballyhooed Chevy Volt. When you walk up to the shiny black auto it looks like most of the 2014 models on the streets today. ...
Our most generous district (11/25/14)
All in, all out. One hundred fifty large flat rate Christmas boxes sent to Grannie Annie's adopted Chaplains. I am humbled with the outpouring of items and treasure donated by individuals and organizations in this community. It may be a good time to mention that Adopt-a-Chaplain is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt non-profit 501c(3)...
Our eyesore (11/18/14)
Allow me to share a phone call from a concerned lady. She was somewhat upset at the sale, in progress, of city property both the price tendered and the possible future use of the partial residential lot. I share her concern in part. The small piece of presently unused and bare property is located between the new concrete parking lot of the public library and the residence just to the north. ...
1100-11-11 (11/11/14)
First a personal note. I loved the results of last week's election. Evidently my sister, the one of liberal persuasion, not so much. She seems to be blaming marital strife, over-(house) work, all sorts of things that are a temporary crisis in her life on anything except admitting to the sound trouncing of her beloved Democrat Party. Tickles me and I still love the lady. Even my fellow columnist, Mike Hendricks, seems to be leaning toward a more conservative outlook on life. Savor the moment...
King Air (11/04/14)
Sadly this week, for a few short moments between speculation of the upcoming mid-term elections on TV, we saw pictures of an airplane crash in Wichita. The pilot of the King Air airplane and three others on the ground were reported killed. The TV pictured a great column of black smoke coming from what appeared to be a large warehouse looking building not far from the runway. Back to speculation on the election...
Vote wisely (10/28/14)
Next week we vote in the mid-term election cycle. I'd like to tell you whom to vote for but that would be against the editorial policy of this paper and most likely you wouldn't take my advice anyhow. Therefore your columnist will offer some suggestions that might help in choosing where to place your "X" on the ballot...
Junkyard Kid (10/21/14)
Grannie Annie has been on my case this week for being a little hard on politicians in this column as of late. It is hard to resist, this being election season when the airways are filled with incumbents trying to defend a record of poor judgment, and hopefuls making promises that we know won't be remembered. Oops!...
Of this and that (10/17/14)
Received a little insight into the ongoing, so-called Ebola crisis and our President Obama. Remember one of the first things he did after becoming president was to wage a big liberal campaign against "big pharma," the large U.S. drug manufacturing companies...
Fifty years and counting (10/07/14)
A wise man said that "You can't go back" and he was right because things change. Change they did because we did go back and in the 49 years since we last left Cape Cod, it was a little hard to recognize our old haunts. Some 50+ years ago Uncle Sam saw fit to assign Grannie and me plus one baby to duty at Otis AFB on Cape Cod. ...
Include and integrate (09/30/14)
What do we stand for? What is the essence of what we Americans really believe is the true red white and blue? In an attempt to get a well rounded understanding of current world events this old guy looks to several sources. Traditionally it has been the printed word that I turned to for well rounded reporting. ...
To swear or not to swear (09/23/14)
This week I was sorely disappointed in my brothers in arms, the U.S. Air Force. Actually it was some lawyer in the Department of Defense that made a politically correct judgment. "The resulting opinion concluded that an individual may strike or omit the words 'So help me God' from an enlistment or appointment oath if preferred." Tradition be damned!...
Our newest second lieutenant (09/16/14)
Meet Second Lieutenant Asher Brooks United States Air Force one of McCook's finest. As your columnist alluded in last week's column Grannie Annie and I were privileged to travel to Maxwell AFB, Alabama to "swear him in" or more properly to administer the oath of office and commit him to commissioned officer duty in the Nebraska Air National Guard and the US Air Force. ...
Enjoying a slice of the South (09/09/14)
Cajun Cuisine Yep that is what the ad on Grannie's iPad read! Cruising southbound on I-55 just north of Cape Girardeau, Missouri the clock said it was time for supper (that is rural Nebraskaneze for "dinner" the more sophisticated appalachian for the evening meal). ...
Something for nothing (09/02/14)
It has been interesting to follow the trials of the residents in Calabria. The residents' concern appears to be the upkeep of the streets leading to their homes within the City-of-McCook-approved subdivision. Their plight points to a flaw in the way we do local government. ...
An idyllic Sunday afternoon (08/26/14)
It was the usual. Church this morning and a nap after lunch. Mid-afternoon it seemed a good idea to take Grannie Annie to an ice-cream spot just enjoy a "date" together. It was time to head back to the home office to pay and send bills, write a column, help organize an upcoming class reunion--you know the mundane tasks which each of fills our lives...
Heritage (08/19/14)
Recently your columnist lost a childhood playmate and lifelong friend. His name was Gary Mills. Our families farmed in the Stone Church neighborhood a definitely rural area some 15 miles south of Culbertson, Nebraska. As is my sometimes practice, I wrote a letter of my memories of the deceased to his family. Gary's daughter-in law Michelle Lytle responded with a pleased thank you and urged a future column to include those memories...
Three old guys (08/12/14)
It was a reunion of sorts. Three old guys talking about some of their adventures in Vietnam. Two were helicopter pilots, Chuck Trail with the Navy and Jim O'Dell Air Force, the third was your author Dick Trail, KC-135 tanker pilot extraordinaire, at least in my own mind...
Decline of Christianity (08/05/14)
"How can you have church in a school?" was Ray's comment. Good question in today's more politically correct America but it wasn't always that way. Small rural communities throughout our western area came together to first build school buildings which were multi-purposed as church meeting places until a more religious structure could be built by the small congregations. ...
Complex and Pathos (07/29/14)
This past week your columnist was privileged to fly two trips to Denver. (Note for those not interested in aviation--good stuff at the end!) Now I'm talking about flying into DIA, that is Denver International Airport, the big one. For a pilot, that is the big time, treading where only the pros normally go. Actually it is pretty smooth event for one who is adequately prepared...
Helping out locally (07/22/14)
File this under "No good deed goes unpunished"! When Grannie retired from work, for pay, several years ago she migrated to a local thrift store, known as "The Helping Hand" to contribute hours upon hours of volunteer labor. Weekly she joins with some 60 other good Samaritans to contribute an hour or many more to make the store a success. Volunteer meaning no pay for constructive labor but a huge reward for good deeds done for the good of this community...
Thirst for tax money (07/15/14)
This columnist has noted that the McCook City Council is in the throes of putting a campaign to get the voters to reauthorize the City's sales tax. Like all taxes, our city sales tax is beloved by those who spend the proceeds. Not so much loved by those of us that get to pay, no choice, that self-same onerous tax. ...
Annex (07/08/14)
Last week a group of residents gathered with the Red Willow County Board of Commissioners to complain. Their beef had to do with the County not tending to the roads in the Calabria subdivision located a mile of so outside the McCook City Limits. Just a reminder that "all politics is local." The County Board reluctantly agreed to do better...
Essence a concept (07/01/14)
Recently I attended a presentation by the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy. She spoke of budget matters in this era of austere military spending. What she had her staff do was sit down and distill what the essence of the Academy really is -- what is their purpose in being...
The Astronaut (06/24/14)
"Karol there is a something that I've been longing to ask. How in the world do you get used to weightlessness? Personally I don't much care for the feeling of weightlessly floating from my seat when I push the nose over in the small general aviation aircraft that I now fly. ...
A busman's holiday (06/17/14)
Busman's holiday: According to the Wiktionary, first recorded in 1893 in the UK. The idea is that a busman, to go off on a holiday, would take an excursion by bus, thereby engaging in a similar activity to his work. Yes I did that very thing last week. ...
A real soldier's story (06/10/14)
With all the hype on TV of our Commander in Chief's trade of five really bad guys for an army deserter it may be time to share a good news story. In my 25 years of duty in the Air Force I never personally knew of a person to desert, or even go AWOL, of their own volition. ...
Graduation ... and millers (06/03/14)
From 8 and 10 to 584 were the numbers of High School Seniors that Grannie and I watched graduate this spring. The ceremonies were about equal in length but quite different in presentation. Yes, the graduates in the smaller schools received much more individual attention, but each in the large student body were appropriately announced and congratulated. Each ceremony was appropriate to the occasion with proud parents and well-wishers supporting the cast...
Dick Trail
The Way I Saw It