The U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

The United States Capitol building, this photo was taken from the window of the Library of Congress.

A picture of the U.S. Capitol building

The Capitol Building

The United States Capitol often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the Federal District, the Capitol forms the origin point for the District’s street-numbering system and the District’s four quadrants.

The original building was completed in 1800 and was subsequently expanded, particularly with the addition of the massive dome, and expanded chambers for the bicameral legislature, the House of Representatives in the south wing and the Senate in the north wing. Like the principal buildings of the executive and judicial branches, the Capitol is built in a distinctive neoclassical style and has a white exterior. Both its east and west elevations are formally referred to as fronts, though only the east front was intended for the reception of visitors and dignitaries.

Photography Prints

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

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Civil War Masonry

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

Another example of masonic brotherly love during times of conflict.

Perhaps one of the best examples of these ties of brotherhood occurred on the battlefield at Gettysburg.

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 “This battle, the turning point of the War, saw 93,000 Federal troops doing battle with 71,000 Confederates. Of those numbers, one in six were killed or wounded in the three days of fighting from 1 July to 3 July, 1863. Of the men who fought, 17,930 were Freemasons, including the roughly 5,600 who became casualties.

One of the most famous events  at Gettysburg was the huge Confederate infantry push known as Pickett’s Charge.

On 3 July, Pickett (a member of Dove Lodge #51, Richmond, Va) led nearly 12,000 men on a long rush across open fields towards the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.

It has been called the last and greatest infantry charge in military history.

One of the men leading that charge was Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead, CSA a member of Alexandria-Washington Masonic Lodge #22 in Alexandria. Originally from North Carolina  he had attended West Point and fought with the US Army for a number of years before resigning his commission to fight for the Confederacy.

During that time, he  served with now Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, USA (Charity Lodge #190, Norristown, Pa.) The two had become good friends.

With Armistead’s resignation, it had been nearly two and a half years since the two men had had any contact. Until Gettysburg.

It was Hancock who had taken command of the fragmented Union troops on Cemetery Ridge on 1 July and organized them into a strong front that withstood three days of pounding from the Confederate guns. And it was his position, in the center of the Union line, that was the focus of Pickett’s Charge. During the action, both men were wounded. Armistead was shot from his horse, mortally wounded. Hancock’s saddle took a hit, driving nails and pieces of wood into his thigh.

As the battle ended, it was clear that Armistead’s injuries were fatal. Knowing that his old friend was somewhere behind the Union lines, Armistead exhibited the Masonic sign of distress. This was seen by Captain Henry Harrison Bingham, the Judge-Advocate of Hancock’s Second Corps (Chartiers Lodge #297, Canonsburg, Pa.). He came to the fallen Armistead and declared that he was a fellow Mason.

The two men spoke for a time,  when Armistead realized that Bingham had direct access to Hancock, he entrusted some of his personal effects to him, his Masonic watch, the Bible upon which he had taken his obligations and a number of other items. Bingham said his farewells, and then returned to the Union camp to deliver the items.

Armistead died two days later.”

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Life Is All About Seventeen Inches

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

I found this somewhere, it’s a good read.

In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  No matter, I was just happy to be there.

He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.  Pointed side down.

Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.

“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”

Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?”came a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.

“And what do they do with a a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over these seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Bobby. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of throwing the ball over it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

Pause.

“Coaches …”

Pause.

” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? What do we do if he violates curfew? What if he uses drugs? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

Then he turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.

“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful….to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.

“… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.

Photography Prints

UPS:Every Effort to Make On time Deliveries

The trials and tribulations of a Parcel Redistribution Specialist

capiture of a ups driver making a delivery

A UPS driver making a delivery to a beautiful blonde

Written by Gary Wonning

UPS always made extreme efforts to deliver every parcel on time, especially air parcels.

One morning as I was preparing to leave the building, my driver supervisor asked me where I was going to be at ten twenty. Being a smart aleck, I replied that I would be the same place I always was at ten twenty.

He said I needed to be at the Dairy Queen at ten twenty. I replied there was no way, I had a schedule to maintain and it would take me twenty minutes to drive out there and then drive back to resume my deliveries.

He replied there was a taxi cab bringing a next day air package from the Indianapolis airport and I needed to meet him and deliver it to the hospital before ten thirty.

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Confused I asked what was going on. He related to me a package had missed its flight in Dallas the night before so UPS bought the parcel an airline ticket, flew it to Indy, and then hired a cab to bring it to Batesville seventy miles from the airport.

What else could I do?

I pulled off my area and drove to the Dairy Queen. As I drove behind the DQ, Gib the owner flagged me on. I stopped anyway and asked him what was going on. He replied the cab driver had been there ten minutes before with the package.

The cabbie asked Gib where the hospital was, Gib pointed to it across the field and instructed the cabbie to just take it over there.

Ah, the benefits of living in a small town.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

Tampa Florida

photo of Siesta Key beach

A photo story of the sunshine state, Florida

Photography by Gary Wonning

Tampa is a city on Tampa Bay, along Florida’s Gulf Coast. A major business center, it’s also known for its museums and other cultural offerings. Busch Gardens is an African-themed amusement park with thrill rides and animal-viewing areas. The historic Ybor City neighborhood, developed by Cuban and Spanish cigar-factory workers at the turn of the 20th century, is a dining and nightlife destination.

The Tampa waterfront is beautiful in the evening.  The Hillsborough River runs through downtown with many restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels on either side.

Twilight in Tampa

With its perfect mix of historic architecture and modern landmarks, Cuban and Spanish culture-infused flavor, vibrant business districts and beautiful waterways, Tampa is a wonderful place to work, play and unwind.

Tampa Bay Front

Tampa is  a great city for all ages and tastes, offering hotel accommodations that fit any budget and catering to everyone from the families to outdoor adventure seekers to foodies and wine connoisseurs. Once known as a melting pot, Tampa remains a welcoming place for those seeking fun, opportunity and a chance to try new things.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Lets Keep Politics Out of Important Issues

Where did common sense go?

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

Often times matters of extreme importance are clouded by politics and once that process begins, regardless of the issue and it’s importance, half of the population will be against any change only because it has been taken up as a banner of a political party.

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Climate change or global warming is a prime example.

Before the year 2000, everyone was on board, and still are about our concerns about the environment. In fact many strides had been made making our environment cleaner than it has been for years.

But, once it became a political football in the year 2000, and if you disagreed with the prognosis of certain politicians you were automatically deemed ignorant, ill informed and politically incorrect, it instantaneously annihilated half the population of the United States, once that half becam indignant, the other half followed suit. 

Since that period of time, almost nothing has been done except hurl brickbats at those with an opposing view.

How much better it was before this came about.

So it is with many of our other social issues, when the people decide for themselves, without the interference of political parties, much better results can be obtained.

The American people are intelligent enough, both sides of the political spectrum, to decide right from wrong. Once politicians and the media gets involved, all bets are off.

The same goes for all our other issues, racial, sexual, economic, etc.

Unless  politicians have been involved in the private sector, the only skill they have is getting reelected.

They know nothing concerning how the world operates.

It’s time they begin assuming the roles they were destined to follow,  the roles designed by our founding fathers.

They are our representatives in government, not our leaders.

We, the people, in America, are our own leaders.

We can be quite good at it if left alone by big brother.

get out of our way, we got this.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

The Lincoln Memorial

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865.

 

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 to April 15, 1865) was the 16th president of the United States and is often regarded as one of America’s greatest heroes because of his role as leader of the Union during on of it’s most difficult times.  He issued the Emancipation Proclamation which abolished slavery.

He rose from humble beginnings to achieving the highest office in the land . He was  tragically assassinated at a time when his country needed him to complete the great task remaining before the nation.

His eloquence of democracy and insistence that the Union was worth saving embody the ideals of self-government that all nations strive to achieve. Lincoln’s distinctively human and humane personality led to an incredible impact on the nation which endowed him with an enduring legacy.