July 6th, 2023 

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice at the end of hostilities.  It has been 490 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Our youngest granddaughter, Chloe, is visiting us from Texas. She is so smart and talented, I always learn from my grandkids. Their fresh perspective is so wonderful to watch. 

This week I learned some stuff:

    • I kind of gave up on my Grits experiment or maybe I should say I am still working on it but not every day. This week I decided to just enjoy one of our meal replacement shakes instead. I will restart it in a bit.
    • July 6th is the 187th day of 2023. Just 178 days till Christmas.  On this day in 1854, the first convention of the United States Republican Party is held; Today in 1885, Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog; Today in 1933, the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game is played in Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The American League defeated the National League 4–2; Today in 1939,  Anti-Jewish legislation in prewar Nazi Germany closes the last remaining Jewish enterprises;  Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse today in 1942; Today in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that President George W. Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violates U.S. and international law ; Today in 1944, Jackie Robinson refuses to move to the back of a bus, leading to a court-martial; The AK-47 goes into production in the Soviet Union today in 1947;  Today in 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, three years before forming the Beatles; Sebastian Cabot, English-Canadian actor was born today in 1918; Merv Griffin, American actor, singer, and producer, created Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! was born today in 1925 on the same day as Bill Haley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist; Today was  Janet Leigh, American actress and author’a birthday in 1927; On this day in 1937, Ned Beatty, American actor was born; George W. Bush, American businessman and politician, 43rd President of the United States was born in 1946 as was Fred Dryer, American football player and actor(AKA Hunter) and  Sylvester Stallone, American actor, director, and screenwriter;  Kevin Hart, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter was born today in 1979; Georg Ohm, German physicist and mathematician (invented of the Ohm Meter) passed away today in 1854; William Faulkner, American novelist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate  died today in 1962;  Louis Armstrong, American singer and trumpet player died today in 1971;Roy Rogers, American cowboy, actor, and singer passed way today in 1998; We lost Buddy Ebsen, (AKA Jed Clampet) American actor, singer, and dancer today in 1979;  Robert McNamara, American businessman and politician, 8th United States Secretary of Defense passed away today in 2009;  Charlie Daniels, American singer-songwriter, fiddle-player and guitarist died today in 2020;Finally, we lost James Caan, American actor in 2022. 

This week’s Website Update:

    • Last week for our Vocabulary Quiz !! Yeah!!
    • A New Musical Trivia Quiz !!! Yeah!!
    • This week I realized that I had never written down my mom’s recipe for Potato Salad. Freshly swiped from my Daughter in Law, Jenny, her Ginger Peanut Chicken recipe sounded so good that I just had to try it and of course, tweak it a bit:)
    • The Home Page quote for this week is from, Vincent Van Gough,  “I dream my paintings and then paint my dream.”  

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:

    • I think I finally have the stained glass window design that I want! I am going to get my granddaughter to help me to do the template and order the glass. 
    • I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters. This might be becoming a habit. 


    • I just do not know how to contemplate our 50-year marriage. Our time together has been so long that it’s hard to imagine it. I can manage small parts. Like I remember shortly after we were married this month in 1973 having a dream after I hit the rack after my watch.  I dreamed of us as old people, sitting on a bench somewhere just holding hands. I have to say, I looked a lot better in my dream than I do now when it is coming true.  When we were younger, we lived a dance. Our thoughts and movements in unison and our focus is undivided and complete. Our conversations centered on the mundane – how we were going to get by till payday or just enjoying music together. I was hitchhiking to and from work each day for the first year of our marriage until we got our first car. It was a beautiful 1961 Ford Falcon Station wagon. It truly was owned by one old lady (a shipmate’s grandmother!) and she never drove it anymore. We got it for $25! Best deal I ever made! We drove that little car from Rhode Island to Miami. It was a great car for us and we traded it in for something like $1500 off our new van. I love to think back to those days. I am so grateful to my wife for being with me all this time. I have given her way too many reasons to split but we always seemed to find each other again. I know it sounds corny or trite but I can count on one hand the times I have been truly frightened in my life. All of these fearful moments were related to losing Tippy forever. The first time was when we hopped a freight train in VA (yep we were that dumb!); Another time, when after 30+ hours of labor they had to rush Tippy into the OR for an emergency C-section delivery of our son, Sean. There were a few other times when it looked bleak for us. It just so weird to contemplate us over all that time but I am so grateful to have that difficulty.

Music Update: 

This week I got a bit nostalgic with some of the great songs we listened to that first summer together in Norfolk, Va.  Enjoy.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • 10cc — Rubber Bullets — I always loved this song. It is just so tight and you know the boys were having a lot of fun doing it. This one is from their 1973 self-titled debut release.
    • Pink Floyd — Money  —  For me, “Dark Side of the Moon” is one of the best albums of all time. The signature no-words vocal on this track is by Clare H. Torry. Released in 1973, this song carried us through many a happy night. 
    • George Harrison — Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)  — All of George’s music walked the talk of this spiritual man (until he got to be a Traveling Wilbury as Nelson Wilbury. This is from his second solo album, “Living in A Material World” album released in 1973.
    • Jim Croce —  Bad Bad Leroy Brown — Jim was a master storyteller. This one is from his wonderful album released in 1973, “Photographs & Memories”.
    • Chicago — Feeling Stronger Every Day — This is just very tight music. Blood Sweat & Tears led the way in bringing horns into the mainstream rock and roll world but Chicago was great too. This song is from their “Chicago IV”  album released in 1973. 
    • Toby Gray — Drift Away — This was a big hit in 1973. It was released as a single. Virtuoso guitarist and session man Reggie Young Jr. played on this track, which is known for its distinctive intro. I remember singing to the steering wheel on this one. 

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; Always remember… The best is yet to come! As always, thank you for being my friend!