Showing posts from April, 2019


I grew up listening to Kate Smith singing God Bless America but until the recent controversy involving her supposed racist songs of the 1930's I knew very little about her. As far as I knew God Bless America was the only song that she ever sang. Little did I know that she had a string of hits. Smith was born in Greenville Virginia on May 1, 1909 and died June 17, 1986 in Raleigh North Carolina. She had a weight problem for most of her life and in spite of her powerful singing voice she had to endure many insults regarding her weight. Kate Smith never married. She was 5' 10" tall and weighed roughly 235 pounds. In public she seemed to handle the criticism well but would sometimes be seen weeping in her dressing room. She sang her big hit God Bless America for the first time on November 10, 1938 for Armistice Day. Kate was a star of radio and later television. During WW2 she raised over 600 million dollars in War Bond pledges. In 2018 dollars this amounts to 10.2 billion…


Not much is known about Osceola's life as a young man. It is believed that he was born around 1804 in Alabama. His father was Scottish and his mother was Creek. As a youth he went by the name of Billy Powell. As an adult he identified with the Seminole tribe which was a conglomeration of southeastern tribes and escaped slaves. He acquired the Seminole name Osceola which means ( Black Drink Singer). Seminole purification rites required that a new warrior drink a laxative like black liquid brewed from yaupon holly leaves. Osceola became a hero to the Seminole and many Whites during the Second Seminole War. It became a very costly and unpopular war in the United States. Much like Vietnam. Osceola's first act of defiance was to kill the Indian agent Wiley Thompson at Fort King near present day Ocala Florida. Just prior to the war Thompson unjustly imprisoned Osceola and humiliated him. Osceola quickly proved himself to be a talented military leader. In December 1835 he defeated …


On April 2, 2019 my wife and I traveled down to Tampa Florida to watch my grandson Russell Qualls play in a disabled hockey tournament. Near present day Bushnell Florida I noticed a small brown sign that simply read Dade battlefield. I told her that I wanted to stop there on our way home from Tampa. We followed the signs to the Dade battlefield that was in a beautiful and secluded spot just two miles off of I-75. Making a calculated guess I told my wife that this battle probably had something to do with one of the three Seminole wars that the United States fought intermittently from 1817 until 1858. I am very familiar with the First Seminole War conducted by Andrew Jackson but until I visited this battlefield I knew very little about the Second and Third Seminole Wars. The first war lasted from 1817 until 1818. It was prompted after a boat was attacked in November 1817 commanded by Lieutenant Richard W. Scott coming up the Apalachicola river by the Red Stick Creeks. Only seven sold…


On opening weekend I was able to see the movie Unplanned and it is a powerful story. The movie is about a woman named Abby Johnson who spent eight years with Planned Parenthood. As the director of a clinic in Texas her life was radically changed after witnessing an abortion on an ultrasound. She quit her job and has since become a strong advocate for the pro life cause. Ironically the actress playing Abby Johnson found out from her mother that she was minutes away from being aborted. Her mother had already had one abortion and she was sitting in the waiting room about to abort another baby when she decided not to go through with it. The actress believes that this was divine intervention. This movie is well timed because of the movement going on in various states to protect a woman's ability to have an abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, all the way up to and including the moment of birth. There is also an attempt by Republicans in various states, such as Tennessee, to…