Monday, June 2, 2014

The Escape

On April 9, 1954, a man escaped from the jail at Albany, Kentucky by sawing a latch on the lock to his cell and then, removing several bricks from the back wall of the jail, dropped from the second floor to the ground using a rope made of blankets. Jail officials shouldn't have been too surprised though. Just hours earlier they had confiscated two saws, 56 saw blades, brace and bits, a screwdriver, oil, putty, a rope and other tools from Means' cell, but apparently overlooked the fact that he had been sawing on the latch and had camouflged it with hte t. He was being held on default of an $8,000 bond.

The Professor

On Gilligan's Island, the professor could do just about anything. He went on the three-hour cruise to write a book about ferns but he brought along enough books to last a year or longer. But, in those books were solutions for every single problem the castaways encountered. He thought up all the plans to get the castaways out of danger from island invaders. He could hypnotize the Skipper. He produced electric power for phonographs or washing machines by having Gilligan or the Skipper manually pedal, or turn a pulley, which the Professor engineered. He even invented a way to recharge the batteries in the radio using coconuts and bamboo. The only thing he could never do was fix a two-foot hole in the boat. RIP Russell Johnson. Thanks for all you did to bring comfort to your fellow shipmates, and for all the laughs you gave those of us who were watching from 'a thousand miles away.' You did something that every boy in the world wanted to kissed Ginger. Way to go, dude!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Where We'll Never Grow Old

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4
James Moore (1888-1962) was a Missionary Baptist minister, a singing teacher and a gospel songwriter from Georgia. He wrote over 500 songs. Sales of his phonograph records ran into the millions. His songs included I Believe in Jesus, Inside the Gate and the beautiful classic hymn, Where We'll Never Grow Old, written on April 22, 1914.

I have heard of a land on the far away strand
’Tis a beautiful home of the soul
Built by Jesus on high, where we never shall die
’Tis a land where we never grow old
Never grow old, never grow old
In a land where we’ll never grow old
Never grow old, never grow old
In a land where we’ll never grow old
In that beautiful home where we’ll never more roam
We shall be in the sweet by and by
Happy praise to the King through eternity sing
’Tis a land where we never shall die
When our work here is done and the life crown is won
And our troubles and trials are o’er
All our sorrow will end, and our voices will blend
With the loved ones who’ve gone on before

The Goodman Sacred Singers recorded their version of the song on Champion Records in 1928.

Andrew Means: "The Battle of Horseshoe Bend"

Andrew Means, Jr., was born Randolph County, North Carolina in 1791 and migrated to Overton County, Tennessee in 1808.

As a young man, he fought in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend as a private in Colonel Stephen Copeland's regiment of Tennessee Volunteers.

It was the War of 1812 and the place was Alabama. The Creek Indians had become divided into two factions: the Upper Creeks (or Red Sticks), a majority who opposed the American expansion, and the Lower Creek, who were more assimilated and sought to remain on good terms with the Americans. On March 27, 1814, General Andrew Jackson's troops attacked a red stick Creek village. The battle lasted for more than five hours before the Creek warriors were defeated. Roughly 800 of the 1,000 Red Stick warriors were killed. Jackson lost fewer than 50 men during the fight and reported 154 wounded.

After the war, Andrew and his family migrated to Missouri. He died there in 1879 and is buried in Means Cemetery near Liberty. Andrew and his wife, Sara, raised 11 children.

Andrew's brother, Benjamin Means, was my 4th great-grandfather.

(Andrew Means)

Hitler Rides In The Empty Seat: "Conserving In A War"

The Office of Price Administration was established on August 28, 1941. Its functions were originally to prevent wartime inflation by managing price controls and rents after the outbreak of World War II.

Everyone in the nation was encouraged to 'do their part' to conserve as much as possible. Folks were also reminded that the enemy might be 'closer than they thought.'

Advertising slogans during the war were many...

"Can what you can!"
"Team Up To Keep Food Prices Down!"
"Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew"
"Loose Lips Can Sink Ships!"
and of course....
"When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler!"

The OPA had the power to place ceilings on all prices except agricultural commodities, and to ration scarce supplies of tires, automobiles, shoes, nylon, sugar, gasoline, fuel oil, coffee, meats and processed foods. At the peak, almost 90% of retail food prices were frozen. The OPA was abolished on May 29, 1947.

Here are some of the print advertisements during the OPA's tenure.


Monday, December 16, 2013

The 12 Days Of Christmas Songs: 12. Joy To The World

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

Written by English hymn writer Isaac Watts, based on Psalms 98, Joy To The World was first published in 1719. Watts wrote the words as a hymn glorifying Christ's triumphant return at the end of the age rather than a song celebrating His first coming. In the 20th century, it was the most-published Christmas hymn in North America.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing
Psalms 98 
"O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together Before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity."

The 12 Days Of Christmas Songs: 11. Silent Night

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid." Luke 2:8-9

The words to Silent Night were written in German by the Austrian priest Josef Mohr in 1816. The carol has been translated into over 300 languages and dialects. It was sung simultaneously in English and German by troops fighting in WWI during the Christmas truce of 1914.