IF you prefer to read more about Labor Day, select the link/URL below. I write this blog to honor a loved one and to share my first experience at a memorial service in over thirty years, as a free citizen since my release from federal prison on August 28, 2018.
“What is the meaning of Labor Day?
“Do you get weekends off work? Lunch breaks? Paid vacation? An eight-hour workday? Social security? If you said ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you can thank labor unions and the U.S. labor movement for it. Years of hard-fought battles (and the ensuing legislation they inspired) resulted in many of the most basic benefits we enjoy at our jobs today. On the first Monday in September, we take the day off to celebrate Labor Day and reflect on the American worker’s contributions to our country.” https://nationaltoday.com/labor-day-2019/ [errors corrected by this author]
America celebrates Labor Day in honor of the working men and women who make America great. I will work today at a Goodwill of North Georgia store in McDonough, Georgia.
The work I do does not compare to work done by those who serve in the military, in America and abroad, as well as the emergency responders and all others who serve and protect the public. Pro-war, anti-war, anti-government, or whatever, in my opinion, those brave men and women deserve praise and to be honored; especially, the fallen men and women we celebrate on Memorial Day who gave their lives.
My personal Memorial Day began on August 17, 2019, when a loved one took that flight to a special place in the sky, high above the clouds. I had awakened during the early hours and knew his day had come, so I sent him a text message and one on Messenger to say my farewell to Bob, my brother-in-law, and friend of over fifty years.
He moved on to another life within twelve hours.
Bob P. served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam Era. He left the United States en route to Vietnam, and then a miracle happened: President Richard Nixon began the de-escalation of troops in Vietnam to end the war, so Bob went to Korea and, then later, to Japan instead of Vietnam.
He fought many health battles after his return, many illnesses which were caused by exposure to chemicals used during that period. He survived cancer and then had his first heart attack at the age of thirty-nine, likely caused by drugs used to treat cancer developed from exposure to the chemicals.
The Air Force honored Bob at the Memorial Service. I fought tears and lost several battles during the service, but when the soldier began playing the Taps, the streams began to flow.
Many men and women trapped inside prison walls cannot attend funeral services. Some can but many cannot. I was one who could not because I was viewed as a security risk.
While in prison, I lost my mother and one of my younger brothers. From inside prison, though difficult to deal with the loss of loved ones, whose funerals I could not attend because of my security level, I was somewhat shielded from the emotional effects of death. I wanted to go to their funerals and to be there for them, but couldn’t because of the mistakes I had made decades before.
I had never attended a military funeral but suspect Bob’s won’t be my last. Military or not, I do not like attending such an event; however, I love the survivors enough to deal with my personal discomfort to be there to support them with love and compassion.
The ones I loved and cared for, whose services I attend, have left the body or remains and may be watching and wondering, “Why are they crying, don’t they know I am free and at peace?”
Sex sells! Ask any of the ladies (or men and children) of the night, if you don’t believe it; especially, in the City of Atlanta, Georgia.
Sex sales has always been popular and a “hot ticket” item in Atlanta. One thing that’s been true about Atlanta since I’ve been alive, is that no matter what a person was into, it was available in Atlanta or someone there could find it for the seeker.
Five years ago, in 2014, Atlanta held the Number One ranking in the United States for Sex Trafficking and still holds strong to its perverted image and statistic.
With me having four granddaughters, when I heard about all of the reports on CNN and other news channels about children sex trafficking in Atlanta, I was thankful I did not know of anyone who had harmed either of my granddaughters, daughter, son or other family members. If someone had done that to a loved one and then been put near me or others inside the system who would volunteer to vindicate the injustice on my behalf, I would not have gotten out of prison.
Yes, that’s called vigilante justice and is unlawful but may sometimes be permissible, at least, by my immoral standards.
In federal prison I knew some of the convicted, Atlanta children sex traffickers, and several other people who committed sex crimes. I practiced living by spiritual principles to avoid being judgmental because of my desire to help them recover from their illness, in hope that my higher power, whom I chose to call God, could use me to help protect a child from future victimization if the person was released.
Struggle: Not to be Holier than Thou. Everyone may claim that he or she would never do something like that! But the truth is that, if, “WE” had experienced the same things in our lives that the other person had, we, too, may behave the same.
Okay, so you may wonder what’s the point of all this about the availability of Sex in the City? Well, from a personal perspective, with all of the available sex in the city, I have remained celibate, by choice, for decades. To me, that should give me the right to claim virginity again.
Most people walk out of prison doors with sex on the mind. I did, too, but knew better than to follow that line of thinking.
I explained my position in a blog I wrote before my release, and in my response to two of the most frequently asked questions: “Reentry Plans & a Friend Moves On“
“MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: What is the first thing you plan to eat? Where are you going to go eat at when you get out? What do you plan to do first? 🙂
“My response: I don’t know. I’m thinking of steak and lobster but when I see the price, I may change my mind to steak and shrimp or a Burger King Whopper or a Blizzard at Dairy Queen. Those prices may make me want to prepare my own meal. Then the grocery store prices may make me want to fast.
“I do plan to find a good paying job with benefits so I can afford to eat the way I prefer (healthy choices on most days).
[The good paying job with benefits hasn’t happened yet, and what I first ate was fruit brought to me by my family, per my request, because I didn’t want to stop to eat en route to the halfway house in Atlanta. I was offered my choice of a meal, steak and lobster or whatever. I chose healthy foods! Now I eat more junk food than anything.]
“MOST POPULAR FREE ADVICE: Get a hooker because you’ll fall in love with the first woman you have sex with if you don’t. 🙂
“My response: I’m not walking out the door thinking with my penis. I’ve never paid for sex and I’m not starting when I get out of prison. I’ve been thirty years without getting laid and if I have to wait a little longer, I will survive.”
Well, I have held strong and stuck to my plans but don’t think that it has been easy because it has not. My body has been willing and my mind eager to explore an intimate relationship, but my circumstances have prevented that from happening, and I don’t want to just use a woman for my sexual pleasures, so …. I remain more celibate than many priests.
I will continue to keep doing as I have: Acting like a virgin for the very first time and playing hard to get with all the beautiful young ladies who want my body. That is, until the right one comes along who is simply irresistible. 😉
[Note: this blog post contains a sensitive and possible offensive issue to some people. Click to read other of the many blogs on this site or click to go elsewhere if expecting political correctness. Thanks for stopping by to visit this website.]
Patrick Henry, Second Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775
“In March of 1775, the Second Virginia Convention met at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, to discuss the state’s strategy against the British. It was here that Patrick Henry delivered his most famous speech, ending with the quote, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death!’”
Patrick Henry referred to slavery in his famous speech to unite the movement of men, women, and children to stand and fight for independence from the British. When his peers debated whether to work out peaceful arrangements or to use force against the rule of Great Britian, Patrick Henry spoke words heard today:
“Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? … Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
The photo of Patrick Henry’s statue came from the Town Square of McDonough, Georgia. Fifty yards from where it stands, a memorialized Confederate Soldier stands tall amongst the trees, the McDonough Soldier.
American Civil War Confederate Memorial
The McDonough Soldier has a right to stand in the Town Square, as he is a part of History. Though he may represent an unpleasant part of history, it is history, and that statue represents the relative of someone who fought and died in America’s most gruesome war. He deserves to stand where others deemed appropriate many years ago.
Patrick Henry may have waved the Gadsden Flag during battle, another flag that some have claimed represented racism because the designer, Christopher Gadsden, was a slave trader and owner of slaves.
Personally, I don’t see the relevance of what the designer of the flag did, as making the flag representative of slavery or racism, no more than I see the Confederate Flag representing racism because racists use it in their rallies. (Read more on that topic in the excerpt to follow.)
If you want to know about racism, watch the news because race-related issues flood the news channels and flourishes in many cities today, all across the World; it’s not just an issue in America.
An Excerpt from Southern Pride-Waving the Confederate Flag.
CIVIL WAR: I raise the Confederate Flag in this blog to rebel against all of the politically correct BS in the news about issues surrounding Southern Heritage. Some politicians want to stop the celebration of the Confederate Memorial holiday, and to remove from state buildings and grounds: Confederate flags, monuments, statues of Confederate heroes, and other remnants of the American Civil War (1861-1865) because some people find those things offensive. I find it offensive when people lie about history to support their agenda, such lies as the main reason for the Civil War being slavery.
Was it slavery or was it the economic edge Southern plantation owners had over competitors in Cotton markets, due to the slave labor? Economics. Was slavery more of an ideology used by the Union to get the poor to fight their battles? If the Civil War was fought over slavery, wouldn’t President Lincoln have signed the Emancipation of Proclamation to free all slaves before the war began on April 12, 1861, instead of on January 1, 1863? Weren’t the slaves used by the president to fight off Confederate forces who had proved to be a more formidable force than expected by slaughtering his troops in numerous battles? Yes, is the most logical answer based upon the facts and history of the rich using the poor to fight their battles.
I find it offensive for politicians to use the Charleston Church Massacres that I wrote about in “Love and Evil Are Color-Blind,” as justification to remove evidence of the bloodiest and most gruesome war fought on American soil. The war where smaller bands of Southerners held their own against larger troops of Union Soldiers, until the advent of the repeating rifle, which tilted the war in favor of the Northern troops who had more food, guns, ammunition, and other supplies, because of the economic embargoes placed on the South. The North won the war but never defeated Southern Pride. The Confederate flag is a reminder of that, rather than slavery, as has been used to manipulate the masses to take down the flag.
Six-hundred thousand Confederate Soldiers fought against 2,213,363 Union Soldiers.* The southeastern states were the last to fall. When the war ended with the surrender of the last Confederate troop on May 26, 1865, there were 646,392 Union casualties, with 140,414 of those casualties being battle deaths, compared to the 133,821 Confederate casualties, 75,524 of which were battle deaths. After their imprisonment for their part in the war, another 26,000-31,000 Confederate personnel died in Union prisons. With my long history as a prisoner of such forces, I suspect that most of those died due to disease, lack of medical care, mistreatment, and overall poor living conditions.
REBELS WITH A CAUSE: Rebels, those Confederate Southern Soldiers were called, the proud label worn by those who refused to conform to ways established by a government not of their choosing. Rebels, a part of Southern history and Southern Pride for those who died fighting for a cause; not because of slavery or why the politicians decided to fight the Civil War. It was about fighting to keep what was theirs, fighting those damned Yankees who come down to take their land, who raped their women, murdered their children, and burned their homes in the name of Justice–the same as had been done to Native Americans by several Union troops.
Most Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War never owned a slave and most likely never knew why they had to go out and fight, other than to defend their land and heritage. Firing a gun, running through the woods, and working hard to survive came more natural to the Southern man who grew up hunting and fishing to survive, than it did to the Union troops. You can believe that when Union forces heard the rebel yell and saw those southern soldiers waving the Confederate Flag and charging like bulls, that it made adrenaline and cortisol levels soar, instilling fear in everyone’s heart before the battle began with a brutality not known to the men and boys who stood fighting for their lives. Early into battle, Union troops learned to retreat or die when overran by Confederates who fought with a passion to defend their land against the invaders.