Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bradley MacNeil Smith

Brad with his Father in about 1974 getting his 
1964 Falcon ready for paint at Cherry Hill Lane.

The Saigon Fishwagon in North Carolina.
The Saigon Fishwagon in North Carolina
The 1964 Ford falcon at 17 Devon Drive
Bradley MacNeil Smith

  On August 17, 2014 my old friend Brad Smith passed away. It was just nine days short of his 56th birthday. Brad succumbed to the ravages of cancer but from all accounts he was his mischievous self to the very end. Brad was one of the most creative and intuitive people that you could ever meet. Brad could meet you once and mock your voice or mannerisms and he would if he thought you were obnoxious or annoying. Brad was also very kind hearted and would help you out if you needed help. Brad was a special person every way.

Brad and I met back in 1969 in the woods we used to call the Plaza. We were both looking for adventures on my outlaw motorcycle Betsy and his Rupp mini bike. We rode our motorcycles and disturbed all the neighbors in the process. There were others among us like Denny (Doc), Dave, Geoff (Zippy), George, Terry and who could forget Johnny Grigs. We rode our motorcycles through the woods, the police chased us when the neighbors got too annoyed and we partied in the woods with beer and other things that were popular at the time. All those things were such a long time ago.

When everyone else was graduating High School I had already taken my GED test and had enlisted in the US Navy. The last year of High School seemed like such a waste of time to me so I went and took the test and scored high enough in all the tests to be awarded the High School Diploma from the High School as it was their policy at the time in 1975. During this time Brad’s Father worked for General Electric and right around the time for Brad to graduate in the year 1976 his Father got the word that he would be transferred to North Carolina. Brad’s parents stayed long enough for him to graduate and then they picked up stakes and moved to Salisbury North Carolina. 

Brad decided to stay in the area for a while after his parents moved. I was overseas during this time on deployment with my ship the USS Caloosahatchee and I’m not certain of the exact date when Brad decided to move to North Carolina but when he did he moved things like the 1950 GMC panel truck he had acquired in stages. We called the truck “the Saigon Fish Wagon” because it had the name of company that had it before Brad bleeding through the faded red paint and it looked like something you would see on the side of the road in Vietnam that we would see on television every night when we were kids.
Brad finally got all his belongings moved down to Salisbury and he lived there with his parents. I did not know it at the time but his Mother was sick so Brad had gone down there to help out. I came back from my deployment in 1977 and I went to visit Brad or “Hack” as we called him. Brad disliked that name so I called him “don’t call me hack” because that’s what friends do. Anyway when I was finally able to get away from the ship I set out to have Thanksgiving dinner with Brad and his family in 1977.

 On the way there I got a speeding ticket on Virginia Route #58 for doing miles 98 per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone by a Virginia State Trooper. The Trooper caught up to me after about 20 miles of following me at speeds over 100 miles per hour. When he finally caught up to me I saw him get out his interceptor with a big ol’ cigar clenched between his teeth while he put his Smokey Bear hat on.  The trooper comes up to my car and says to me ”that little car sure do run” he’d been trying to catch me for over 20 miles. Well, it ended up I got a big fat ticket but since he saw my military ID and I told him I was going to be late for Thanksgiving dinner he let me go. I told the story to Brad and showed the ticket to him and he laughed and said something like “they got you this time didn’t they?” 

I went to Brad’s again a few more times when I was able to. I was stationed in Norfolk Virginia and it was about a four hour ride to Salisbury if I remember right. We drank in a few of the clubs they had there for drinking and made nuisances of ourselves as was always the case.  After I was discharged from active duty in January of 1980 it was hard to keep in contact with Brad. There were no cellphones and I was trying to establish myself back into civilian life. We stayed in contact and always maintained that same friendship we always had. Brad came to visit for a couple of weddings, a trip to New York State near Poughkeepsie to party at Kevin’s place. We got in trouble there for setting off a black powder cannon he brought. Every one of the old friends knew it was us right away. Trouble is as trouble does.

On Sunday February 16th at 11am Brad's wife JoAnna called me. I had no idea what the number was on my phone but I called back anyway. It was Brad's wife JoAnna and she told me Brad had passed away back in August. It all made sense to me now why he hadn’t returned my calls. I prayed for Brad every night and didn’t know he was already gone. I thank the Lord that JoAnna called to let me know of his passing. God Bless you JoAnna and God bless Brad for being my friend for all those years through thick and thin. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

We're Not Giving You Our Guns

You're going to have to come take them because we aren't giving them up without a big fight.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Obama the Colossal Failure

The Prophet Jeremiah Mourning Over The Destruction Of Jerusalem_Rembrandt Hammerzoon van Rijn

Last Friday when Standard and Poor's downgraded the United States of America's credit rating it was no surprise to us that look at things with common sense and responsibility. How can a great country keep spending much more than it takes in and have no plan or desire to curb such spending without dire consequences. The democrats would have you believe that if you would only agree to have your taxes raised we could solve this problem. That my friends couldn't be further from truth. If new taxes or more taxes were brought in the only result would be new or more spending, leaving the older debts to further reduce our country to the status not unlike those irresponsible countries in Europe such as Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The President of the United States is elected to lead the nation. The current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has at every opportunity to lead, recused himself with the preference to leave the responsibility to others. Barack Obama has no ability to lead and has no desire to be a leader of nation that prospers from a strong economy. Barack Obama accepts no responsibilities for his actions or rather, inaction and chooses to blame others for his massive mistakes and failures. It's almost comical if not sad that when the credit downgrade was announced, Barack Obama's senior adviser came out to announce that it was the fault of the Tea Party.

Well Mr Senior adviser, you have that kind of backward don't you? The Tea Party representatives were sent to Washington to stop the spending spree you, your party and your advisee have gone on with for the past three to four years. It's kind of ironic that you would blame the very people that came there to stop you. I guess your motto should be Mr Senior adviser, "Stop me before I spend again". Yes we will stop you Barack Obama, along with your pitiful and incomptent economic team at every possible opportunity.You have done enough damage to this country.

One thing is very clear though, you have proved a very important point. Socialism never works, it fails every time it's tried. Granted you and "Team Lenin" didn't get the full implementation of your socialist agenda through, the Tea Party stopped you before anymore of it could get enacted. Now it is time to reverse all of the socialist agenda and dismantle the things that were put into place under the regime of Barack Obama and send him and his rotten to the core ideas packing. Freedom and liberty will always prevail. We now must put our house back in order in spite of Barack Obama.

Q:How can we prevent someone as out of touch and ideologically extreme as Barack Obama from ever being elected President again?

A: Change the way we educate our children. We must educate our children to be strong individuals and not to fall prey to an all encompassing welfare state. This has to be part of the education of our children if this nation is to continue to be successful and prosperous.

Loss and Gain

WHEN I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.
I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.
But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, May 02, 2011

Bin Laden Dead

It's taken almost 10 years but finally US Navy Seals found and killed Osama Bin Laden. My Mother was still alive when the 9/11 attack occured. Mom called me in the morning and woke me up to tell me to turn the TV on. I worked at night back then and I knew something bad was going on when Mom called.

Last night I was watching some TV when the news broke in to say that Obama was going to make an important announcement. I thought well, maybe he realized he wasn't up for the job as President and was going to resign like Nixon did. I watched live when Nixon came on TV. Well, that wasn't to be, Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed by US forces while trying to capture him. There was good news and bad news to all of this. The good news is that Bin Laden is dead and no Navy Seals or other US military personnel were killed during the operation. The bad news, Obama is still President.

God Bless our Troops and thank you US Navy Seals.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Desperate Left

The Desperate Man_Gustave Courbet

After all the events of the last few weeks including the murders of six people in Arizona by an insane person, it has become quite apparent to the majority of responsible adults that the left is in a desperate struggle to remain in power. The leftist majority in the House of Representatives is now gone by a wide margin. The Senate democrat majority now teeters on just a few votes. The majority of State governorships are held by Republicans with the majority of State legislatures too. The recent missteps by the leftist press blaming the shootings in Arizona on Sarah Palin has left them with little or no credibility, if they had any at all up to that point. The so called progressive left is in free fall and they are falling under their own weight.

It remains clear that the American people have had enough of the divisive politics that Obama and his administration has brought with him. We now have Federal government agencies running roughshod over decent law abiding American businesses that attempt to meet all the moving target regulations the agencies come up with. An example of which is an out of control EPA run by the Obama administration. The EPA under the direction of Obama, his ultra left confidant and regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein and EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson is defying the laws that Congress has enacted and is threatening even more jobs in region already hit hard by the Obamanomics. EPA Yanks Permit

In a show of elitist outrage, John D Rockefeller III the long serving leftist Senator from West Virginia wrote to Obama to voice his displeasure at this turn of events with the EPA. The newly elected Senator from West Virginia who is also the former Governor, Joe Manchin, who in an election ad shot the Obamacare bill with a hunting rifle and promised to repeal Obamacare, went on to feign his outrage with words like "unprecedented power grab" about the EPA stopping the planned coal mining operation. Who are these people kidding? This is the only way for leftists to gain and hold power. They do it through back door regulation with faceless nameless bureaucrats or those already set to take the fall when it is discovered what they are doing.

When the people find out that their own government is undermining their jobs, their security and the national interests in the name of a foreign idealism called socialism the politicians don't hold onto their offices in the majority of cases and must defer to the underhanded tactics previously described. This is but one example of how our country is being undermined by an administration bent on restructuring our entire societal structure. If truth is hate speech then so be it.

SOME say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost