Welcome to the Website of Senior Moments Newspaper. I am proud to introduce to you the 16th edition of our newspaper for Summer of 2016. Last issue I reported that I’d stopped “dating” my paper and instead “numbering” each issue. However, when a reader asked me which issue was the current one I couldn’t remember the number—it’s easier to remember the date. So, I compromised in numbering AND dating future issues beginning with this one—Summer 2016 a.k.a. issue #16.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America. But did you know the lyrics come from a poem written on September 13, 1814 by a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet? Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor, was inspired by the large American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the American victory. Read more of the story on page one and on our Website.
From Rosanne Barr’s fiasco to the crowd going gaga over Lady Gaga’s sweeping performance at Superbowl 50, singers have gambled the risks of singing our National Anthem in public. I’ve included something about that too.
View from Menzies Mountain (page 2)
Spring activity at Menzies Mountain has not yet taken a break. I have just reclaimed another three acres or so, from Mother Nature and turned it into a beautifully mowed lawn. It will be just right for flying my new drone (a gift from Twyla) or my grandkids flying kites. As I mow that land now with my speedy zero-turn 50-inch cut riding lawnmower, 44-ounce iced drink in the cup holder, all the while listening to the Rush Limbaugh Show with my headphones, wearing ball cap and dark sunglasses and all lathered up in SPF-50 sun block, I’m always appreciative of the pioneer who came before me and cleared that forest into pasture with probably a mule, sharp axe, strong back, and a few sticks of dynamite.
This page contains my personal ramblings about life on Menzies Mountain. Yes, there really is a Menzies Mountain in Christian County. However, it’s not really a mountain, rather, everyone else in the vicinity lives in a valley. At Menzies Mountain we have no Internet, phone service, or satellite television. Emphasis is on reading, writing & proofreading this paper, praying, cooking, and enjoying our forest. Hopefully, you can have a get-a-way place too—maybe a nearby park or one of our beautiful lakes. Some place where you can clear your head and focus on what and who is really important in your life.
Famous from Missouri
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was the sixth of seven children of John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton. In 1839, when Sam was four, he and his family moved to nearby Hannibal, Missouri. His father thought Hannibal would be a more prosperous place for his business. Sam spent his childhood in this port village nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River. His memories of growing up swimming, fishing, playing pirates, and pulling pranks there made this small Missouri town world famous.
Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley’s Comet, and he predicted that he would “go out with it,” too. He died the day after the comet returned.
Riverboat captain, typesetter, editorial assistant, and nationally-known humorist; William Faulkner called Mark Twain “The father of American Literature.” Twain is this issue’s “Famous from Missouri.”
Sometimes I discuss aircraft and sometimes a pilot. In this issue we write about the former. Prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, the Beechcraft Model 18 or (“Twin Beech” as it is also known) was outsold by the Lockheed 12 by two-to-one. However, war priorities forced Lockheed to concentrate on its heavier aircraft, and Beechcraft received a major boost through wartime contracts and was used by every branch of service and commercial aviation too. Here are just a few things the Beech 18 was used for in civilian aviation: aerial spraying, sterile insect release, fish seeding, dry ice cloud seeding, aerial firefighting, air mail delivery, ambulance service, numerous movie productions, skydiving, freight, weapon- and drug-smuggling, engine testbed, skywriting, banner towing, and stunt aircraft. Mike Mitchell operated N522B as an air ambulance for fifteen years, flying it a million and one-quarter miles and transporting nearly fifteen thousand patients.
I was lucky enough to find one in a junk yard north of Monett and I’ve included its pictures.
This is Gerald Ford’s presidential memoir and autobiography. President Ford may the least appreciated of all our modern presidents--this book demonstrates that he really was a decent man, placed by no choice of his own into exceedingly challenging circumstances. His re-election campaign, in 1976, had zero chance of succeeding because he was a Republican running in the first post-Watergate election.
Ford, who never wanted to lead the country, led it through its most difficult constitutional crisis as well as one of its most difficult periods of foreign relations. He will never get the credit he deserves simply because of the shortness of his presidency. America lost a national treasure when it lost Gerald Ford.
Encountering God in the World’s Great Art
Mary Stevenson Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker. She was born in Pennsylvania, but lived much of her adult life in France, where she exhibited among the Impressionists. Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children.
Cassatt’s paintings have sold for as much as $4.0 million, the record price of $4,072,500 being set in 1996 at Christie’s, New York, for In the Box.
I have included the painting of “Mother Preparing to Wash Her Sleeping Child.” Sadly, from us those days of innocent bliss are gone forever, if we hope to reproduce the embrace of our earthly mothers. But the great news I have for you today is that there is One whose child you have always been, and Who is longing to hold you in an embrace even more peaceful, even more intimate, and even more fulfilling than any mother ever has. Read more about it inside this issue.
Locally, one big purveyor of The Great American Songbook is “The Music of Your Life” radio network. Broadcasting 24/7/365, the songs that you loved the very first time you heard them. You like Frank? Maybe Dean? What about Sammy, Cole, and Hoagy? They’re all onboard at “The Music of Your Life” network on the air or on the Internet. I have a button preset on my car radio.
I stated in the last issue that not every artist who tries to sing these songs succeeds. And I gave a few examples. Since that issue another singer from another genre, country singer Neal McCoy, has decided to put on his fedora and see if he has the chops to master The Great American Songbook. His saving grace may be the fact the album is produced by master Songbook interpreter Steve Tyrell.
A special shout-out to my faithful advertisers. When you visit them please tell them you saw their ad in Senior Moments Newspaper. Also, if you have a comment or question, please drop me an Email at email@example.com. And as usual, I have a challenge for you proofreaders out there—and you know who you are--if you find a typographical error, or a factually incorrect statement, please drop me an Email and tell me. I’d appreciate it. Thanks, Bruce Menzies