Hurricane Sandy – Prayers for those with loss

Having friends and relatives in the path of the ‘Frankenstorm,’ I know that it has not been easy for any of them. I saw a facebook message from one in New Jersey who said he had a couple of trees down last night. Haven’t heard anything more since. Our prayers go out to all those who have been and are yet ‘in harm’s way’ of this unusual force of nature. We can’t change some events, but we can prepare when they are predicted, and I’m quite sure most did just that.

We who live on the porifera of the fury of this storm can only hope and pray the best for those closer in. Here we are getting gusty cold breezes, and within about 100 miles there is heavy snow. Now exactly like most Americans invision for the end of October.

So I say as the leaves of the giant maple out my window fly by, my friends in New England, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Our three most popular books on Kindle

Though there has been a slight delay on the launch of our eVolve Division on the StCP website, we do have one great book available there now, Good to the Finish! by Kent Hesselbein. It’s a wonderful read with lots of true drama.

And our three best-selling paperbacks are on Amazon Kindle, at reasonable prices awaiting your Christmas shopping downloads. Conspiracy in the Town that Time Forgot, by Ron Cunningham and yours truly, is only $6,95 on Kindle. My best-selling phrase book, On the Origin of the Cliches and Evolution of Idioms and Tammy Mentzer Brown’s best-selling true story of broken youth redeemed, A Teacher’s Prayer are each only $5.95. So head on over to Amazon and download yours today!

 

Most expensive election in US history- “What if?”

Yesterday money spent by the presidential campaigns and their super pacs exceeded 2 BILLION dollars. It’s hard for most people to think that high. The hype and expense is mind boggling, to say the least.

If we can get our minds off of the money and on the issues, we all need to speak our minds at the polls. Any other way to look at this is counter-productive. We can all shake our heads and say ‘what if?’ What if we could use this money on taking care of the problems our nation is experiencing? What if we could pull together to heal our nation? And on it goes. The problem is, that won’t happen because we have a divided nation on the issues. What we all need to do is to go out and vote for the team each of us feels will do a better job over the next four years.

I learned a long time ago that complaining is easy and it only makes us more bitter. Remember, ‘if it is to be, it’s up to me.’

Scottish Highland Games at Stone Mountain this weekend

For the past ten years I have been an officer with Clan Sinclair. We who take pride in our Scottish Heritage are likely to have such items as kilts for the men complete with kilt hose and sporans, and perhaps short coats and the like. The women don clan tartan dresses, and there are special pins for each clan. A lot of us belong to Scottish Societies and attend annual Robie Burns dinners.

Across America and in Scotland each year Highland Games and Festivals are held in which we man tents and eat traditional dishes like haggis. They not only have games like caber toss, stone put, and weight and hammer throw, they have sheep dog shows and Highland dancing and lots of bagpipes.

This weekend our clan and its chief are being honored at Stone Mountain, GA. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, come out and join us!

 

Highland Games at Stone Mountain

For the past ten years I have been an officer with my Scottish Clans and taken part in Scottish activities such as manning tents at Highland Games, belonging to a Scottish Society, and going to Burns Dinners. Now, if you are one of the number who takes pride in Scottish Heritage, you will know what I mean; if not, then I’ll give you the “Reader’s Digest Abridged Version.”

We folk who participate are likely to own either kilts (men) or tartan dresses which we wear during the events. At the Games there is much more than you would imagine. There are not only such sports as

Passing of a great songwriter, Joe South, a family member of an old friend

 

Joe South

Last month someone I greatly admired passed away. I was a good friend of his uncle, Frank, many years ago in Atlanta, though he was considerably older than I was. Joe South was one of the great singer-songwriters of his era. He wrote music recorded by everybody from Billy Joe Royal and Brook Benton to Jim Nabors and Gene Vincent, the  Osmonds and Carol Burnett in pop and Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Lynn Anderson and Lorretta Lynn in country. He was nominated for two Grammys and inducted into the Nashville Songwrtier’s Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1981.

Among his songs were Royal’s Down in the Boondocks, and Lynn’s Rose Garden. His own recordings included Games People Play and Don’t It Make You Want to Go Home? (my personal favorite at the time).

He played guitar on such records as Tommy Roe’s Sheila, Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album.

He was born Joseph Alfred Souder on February 28, 1940 in Atlanta, and last month, on September 5, 2012, passed away in Buford, GA. I was even unaware at the time, because there was no media blitz.

I, for one, will miss him.

Early voting

For some, early voting in the US Presidential race has already begun. Here in Tennessee, it begins soon. I have friends on both sides of this race, but I still feel like it is the duty of every American to get out and vote.

Tonight there is another debate being held, this time in a ‘Town Hall’ format in New York. If anyone is still undecided, listen carefully and make your choice based on the issues. This is too clear a choice, too closely contested and the stakes are too high not to participate if you are a registered American voter. Rhonda and I will be getting out early, as usual. 

So, if you don’t vote, you shouldn’t complain about our leaders. Who do you feel will do the better job of leading us out of the current economic crisis and getting our nation moving in the right direction? The choice is yours and mine. Express your rights or you may lose them.

 

Should Columbus Day become Exploration Day?

I, for one, believe that it should. In August 2008 I was among a group of concerned folk who organized, supported and attended The Atlantic Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia featuring numerous speakers from around the world advocating taking another look at the popular teaching that Columbus discovered America. It is common knowledge that there were several explorers who journied from Europe at least hundreds of years before his 1492 venture with the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. In fact, a new book published by St. Clair Publications primarily aimed at youth which is vividly illustrated in brilliant color unvails the story of one of them, ‘Prince Henry’ St. Clair, Earl of Orkney’ by Hazel Brown, which is available on Amazon in the US, the UK and continental European sites.

There is a growing movement to change Columbus Day to Exploration Day, recognizing all explorers for their remarkable feats. If you agree, you may go to http://explorationdayusa.org/ and sign a petition to do so.

Another wonderful book, one which I can only wish I had published, was authored by my friend, Gunner Thompson. It’s called Viking America and may be purchased in either hardback or paperback at a number os online retailers. It gives detailed research information concerning voyages to the New World as far back as the Roman Empire, and includes a shocking map which he discovered from 1414 showing another contenent on an orb resembling our modern maps, though somewhat distorted due to lack of proper charting. So the next time someone says ‘In 14 hundred and 92 Columbus sailed the ocean blue’ you can say, “Yeah, so what?”

Fall is in the air

It seems that a season has only begun when it fades into another. The seasons come and go with lightening speed, and even more so as Father Time works on us forming lines on our faces and blanching our hair till it resembles fallen snow upon our roof tops.

As autumn slips in, many of us will not likely be on the go at quite the pace of summer, and it will be a good time to catch up on our reading. On our home page at http://stclairpublications.com there is now a new video about Tammy Mentzer Brown’s gripping true story, A Teacher’s Prayer, which has already touched the hearts of many, and some have even said it made an impact on their lives. This would be an excellent book to read, either in paperback or Kindle e-book to fill some hours when the temperatures are taking a nose dive and dampness fills the atmosphere outside your window. Get your copy today at our site, on Amazon, from Barnes and Noble, or at Hastings book store. You will be glad you did.

The Value of Family

I’ve heard a lot over the past few years about family values. Nothing wrong with that…they are certainly needed. But how often do we think of the value of our families?

For the past several days I have been visiting with family in another state and staying with my aunt, whom I dearly love, in the hospital. My uncle and aunt only have one daughter and she’s been pushed to the limit. I was so glad to finally be able to give something back to family members who have given so much of themselves to me and many others. Many are praying for her soon improvement and release from the hospital. That’s not a place we are all anxious to spend time, either as patients or guests. But when the opportunity comes, it gives us a sense of pleasure to show our gratitude to family.

Have you told your family lately how valuable they are to you? If not, now is a good time. Don’t put it off till it’s too late.