Starting High School in the Fifties

 

Entering high school in 1958, we couldn’t wait for the first day of school. There was a Catholic school about ten miles from Napoleon and since they didn’t have a high school in the tiny town of Millhousen, their kids always transferred to our school.

We only had about thirty-five kids in our class and not many people ever moved in or out of our community, so it was always nice to meet new kids when they came to our school.

We had heard through the grapevine that there were about ten kids in their class of freshman, and the town was noted for having cute girls, so obviously, we couldn’t wait to see who they were. We waited for the bus from Millhousen to pull up in front of the school.

We weren’t disappointed, the girls were really cute.

We already many cute girls in our class, but it doesn’t hurt to add to the herd.

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

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Masonry During the Civil War

 

 

An excerpt from my new book.

The Civil War was the single most divisive event in our nation’s long history. No other war, political event, or national crisis has ever approached the levels of animosity and hatred that the Civil War caused. Brother fought against brother. Fathers against sons. Families were forever split over the idealism of the War. They were not alone. Major national organizations, notably the Baptist Churches, also broke up over the issues of slavery and States’ Rights. The War seemed to destroy the bonds of any organization it touched.

All the organizations, that is, except one: Freemasonry. While the War raged around them, Freemasons held on to the ties and the idealism that brought them together in the first place. Thousands of Masons fought in the War, and many died. But the tenets of the Craft, those ideals and moral codes that we, as Freemasons, strive to abide by, were able to overcome the hatred and the animosity that the War generated.

There are a number of reasons why this organization, more than any other, was able to survive the tumult that was the Civil War. A major reason is the long and storied history of the Craft. The beliefs and tenets of the Lodge predate not only the Civil War, but the Constitution, the discovery of the New World, and, according to some, even the birth of Christ. When a tradition of that many years exists, it is difficult to ignore.

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

Land of the Free

Written by: Gary Wonning

Masonic tenets and symbols have always played an important part in world history, many of which have been in existence since the beginning of time.

We often attend lodge and partake in the degrees, leave the lodge and forget how they can help us in our daily lives.

Today, I would like to discuss logic and how it leads from one phase of our life to another, often without even our knowledge and how applying logic to our lives we can restore faith in America.

Logic teaches us to guide our reasoning discretionary in the general knowledge of things and directs our inquiries after truth. A regular train of argument whence we infer, deduce and conclude according to certain premises laid down and we are given the facilities to conceive and reason where we are able to move from one graduation to another until the point in question is finally known or determined.

Sometimes life, guided by an unseen friend, unknowingly follows logic and we often wind up somewhere and learn something other than what our original intentions may have been.

Such was the case several years ago when I had the opportunity to spend some time in the outback of Australia. Originally, the purpose of the expedition was to photograph various areas of the country with the goal to publish a photo book on the life of the Australian people, including the aborigines.

This particular morning, we were on our way to Ayres Rock, or Uluru as the aborigines call it. A giant monolith in the middle of Australia, the largest sacred site in the world.

The bus picked us up at about 6 AM and as it made the final stop at another hotel to pick up the last two people, a cute young lady and her brother boarded the bus.

By the time the young lady boarded the only remaining seat was next to me, being quite shy, she reluctantly sat next to me.

More interested in getting some sleep than starting up a conversation, it was nap time.

A few hours later I woke from my nap and discovered the young girl had fallen asleep on my shoulder.

Being the perfect gentleman that I am, and quietly deciding what my next move would be, I never moved so as to not disturb her.

Here I am, on a bus, 10,000 miles from home, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of people I’m never going to see again, and I have a cute young girl sleeping on my shoulder, I’m just going to savor this for a while, thank you, God.

Soon she woke up, and realizing where she was, she was quite embarrassed.

Wanting to strike up a conversation, I asked where she was From. “Switzerland”  was the reply. She said she was traveling around the world with her brother and her final stop would be in the United States to visit her fiance who was a cadet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

So much for my well thought out plans.

She then asked about me and I informed her I was from the United States.

She then asked rather rudely, I thought,”What are you doing over here in Australia?”

Picking up my shattered ego, and searching for an answer, I replied that I was with a group of 150 photographers that were photographing various parts of the continent and were planning on publishing a book upon returning to the states.

I asked her why she asked why I was in Australia.

her reply,”If I lived in the United States I would never go anywhere else, you have everything there anyone could ever want or need.”

“WOW” I had never thought that before.

A 19-year-old kid from Switzerland just told me something I had never really totally realized before.

I never forgot that.

A couple of weeks later, near the end of our journey, we entered the tiny town of Daly Waters in the Northern Territory a couple of hundred miles south of Darwin.

After spending nearly a month in the outback, removed from the rest of the world, most of us had forgotten what day it was , it really didn’t matter as long as the driver got us where we needed to be when we needed to be there. By that time most of us didn’t want the adventure to end and remembering the day just made the time seem shorter.

As we entered the tiny village with a population of seventeen, I noticed an old C-47 with U.S. markings sitting on an abandoned runway. At the time I never thought much of it.

We entered the pub, looking for something to quench our thirst.

To our surprise, the pub was nearly full, this was unusual, even by Aussie standards. It was the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the week.

I wasn’t sure what day it was, but I knew it wasn’t the weekend, we were scheduled to be in Darwin on Saturday, this wasn’t Darwin, so it had to be the middle of the week.

Getting a drink, someone asked an older gentleman what they were celebrating.

  He replied they were celebrating the fourth of July.

We were startled, why would they be celebrating this America holiday?

His answer was that Australia was really appreciative about how the Yanks had bailed the Aussies out during WW2 when the Japanese attacked them.

Totally unprepared, Australia would have fallen had it not been for help from the United States.

It was gratifying to see people appreciate what America had done in the past.

It was sure a far cry from the rhetoric from the media.

I could go on and on, there have been numerous times the same theme has been conveyed to myself, and I’m sure to others as well.

Most people, even today realize, in spite of our faults, what a force for good the United States has been in world affairs.

Our local Shriner’s center has a weekly luncheon for the nobles who are able to attend.

A few years ago, a visiting noble from Massachusetts introduced himself and related how he was ninety-three years old, a world war two and Korean war veteran and how he was concerned about the direction the country was headed.

 As he walked back to his seat, he stopped, put his hand on my shoulder and with a tear in his eye, said,”I just don’t want to leave this world in the shape it’s in.”

Here is a retired veteran, who has already given more to his country than most of us would even think about doing, wanting to do more.

That’s something you can hang your hat on.

In this country, We don’t fight for a president, a congress or a government, we fight for an idea, an idea born several thousand years ago carried down through the ages by men seeking light. An idea that finally reached fruition by a group of about two hundred men a couple hundred years ago in a hot humid room in Philadelphia.

The idea of freedom and liberty, the idea that men and women should be able to choose how to live and run their lives with the least amount of government interference possible.

That is what our men and women in the military and law enforcement fight for every day of their lives.

We Americans sometimes forget how lucky we are to live in the country we do, and enjoy the freedoms most others in the world can only dream about.

The same can be said for masonry, and its appendant bodies, masonry or a version of it has been around since the dawn of time. The secrets of masons in masonry will tell you everything you need to know, to not only lead a good life, but improve the lives of others and our country.

Our country had an impressive beginning during the inauguration of George Washington as our first president.

Those who accompanied Washington during the inauguration ceremony, Roger Sherman, Alexander Hamilton, Baron Von Steuben, General Henry Knox, and John Adams, all were masons, except for Adams.

Included in the list, the governors of all the thirteen states were masons at the time of Washington’s inauguration.

President Washington then chose four masons for his first cabinet: Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War, General Henry Knox, and Attorney General, Edmund Randolph, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia in 1788.

The Chief Justice and four Associate Justices of the Supreme Court. Four of the five were masons: John Jay, Chief Justice, and Associate Justices, William Cushing, Robert H. Harrison, and John Blair.

There is a possibility that Associate Justice, James Wilson may have been also a mason, but no solid evidence that he was has been discovered.

The first Congress elected had several masons in its membership.

In the Senate, twelve of the twenty-six were known masons: Oliver Ellsworth, James Gunn, William S. Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Rufus KIng, John Langdon, Richard Henry Lee, James Monroe, Robert Morris, William Patterson, George Read, Phillip Schuyler.

John Langdon was thus elected President of the Senate pro tempore, while twenty of the sixty-six men who served in the House of Representatives are known to have been masons.

Abraham Baldwin, Theodorick Bland, John Brown, Daniel Carroll, Elbridge Gerry, Frederick A. Muhlenberg, John Page, Josiah Parker, John Sevier, Nicholas Gilman, Thomas Hartley, James Jackson, John Lawrence, James Madison, Roger Sherman, William Smith, John Steele, Thomas Sumter, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, with Frederick A. Muhlenberg elected as Speaker of the House.

Quite an impressive start indeed!

What do we need to do to restore faith in America?

We don’t have to do anything new, the mysteries of masons in masonry aren’t secrets, they are out in the open for those able to see them.

The planet is rebooting as we did in the 60s, some things are disappearing and many others are appearing.

Many of the old ways, thankfully, are falling by the wayside, making way for a new and better version.

All we need to do is to not throw the baby out with the bath water, discard what doesn’t work and keep what works.

How do we know what to keep?

Remember what made this country great and all the good we as Americans have done in the world.

As I try to explain in my book, “The Wisdom of Our Ancestors,” I list 39 different principles we were taught growing up that are no longer taught to many of our young people,

All we need to do is get back to the basics and apply the time worn principles of masonry.

How do we, as masons, return our country to its rightful standing in the world and before God?

We just use logic, Logic teaches us to guide our reasoning discretionary in the general knowledge of things, and directs our inquiries after truth.A regular train of argument whence we infer, deduce and conclude according to certain premises laid down and we are given the facilities to conceive and reason where we are able to move from one graduation to another until the point in question is finally known or determined.

We will never have all the answers, we just take one step forward, and follow our guide, the answers will be given to us at the proper time.

We walk by faith, not by sight.

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

 

  

 

Patriot Park Venice Florida

A quiet little park just off the main highway, Patriot Park is a memorial to all have fallen protecting freedom. Located on Highway US 41, (Tamiami Trail) at the point where the business and bypass Highway 41 split as one enters Venice. 

Sign at Patriot Park

This park was created by the Leadership Sarasota County Class of 2002 to remember those who perished on 9/11, as well as the heroes who saved other lives that day, and those who have made sacrifices in the name of freedom in all wars.

[photo fo 911 memorial

911 Memorial in Patriot Park  in Venice Florida

Dedicated to all those first responders who perished on September 11.

Fountain in Patriot Park

 

photo of patriot park

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

Seeing the Future : Our Country in Conflict

At an early age, about five or six, I remember standing in front of our farmhouse, looking east and seeing our nation’s capital in flames.

I was living in Indiana at the time, this was the early fifties and being quite young, I hardly knew what Washington D.C. was. I just knew that sometime in the future, which I perceived to be sometime around the turn of the century, about 2007 or 2008 I knew there would be much conflict, and freedom would hang in the balance. 

At the time I never understood and even though it stuck in my mind, I never really thought too much about it.

Again, in the 1980s, I was reminded by a well-known psychic that the turn of the century would be a trying time for our nation. She said much of the conflict would arise from people not only not instilling common values in their children, but also, even though some of the children were raised correctly, many would stray from the path.

Even then, it didn’t really soak in what spirit was trying to tell me, she said I would be ok as long as I stayed out of the major cities.

The time is here, and I now understand, we, as a nation have done much to undermine our security and freedom. We have forgotten the values that made this country great. The only way to preserve our nation is to return to those principles that our country was founded on and lead our founders to establish the greatest country the world has even known.

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 Battle of Gettysbutrg

 

An interesting article on the battle of Gettysburg, written by Bill Federer.

Washington, D.C., was in a panic! 72,000 Confederate troops were just sixty miles away near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. After the Confederate victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee was under a time deadline. Mounting casualties of the war were causing Lincoln’s popularity to fall, so if Lee could get a quick victory at Gettysburg, he could pressure Lincoln to a truce.

But this window of opportunity was fast closing, as Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was about to capture Vicksburg on the Mississippi, which would divide the Confederacy and free up thousands of Union troops to fight Lee in the east.

Unfortunately for Lee, his tremendously successful general, “Stonewall” Jackson, had died two months earlier, having been mistakenly shot by his own men. On the Union side, Lincoln replaced Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker with Maj. Gen. George Meade to command the 94,000 men of the Union Army of the Potomac.

The Battle of Gettysburg began July 1, 1863. After two days of intense combat, with ammunition running low, General Robert E. Lee ordered a direct attack. Confederate General James Longstreet disagreed with Lee’s plan, resulting in his delayed advance till after all the Confederate artillery had been spent, leaving no cover fire.

Historians speculate that if General Longstreet had made a timely attack, the Confederates may have won the day. As it happened, 12,500 Confederate soldiers marched across a mile of open field without artillery cover to make “Pickett’s Charge” directly into the Union position at Cemetery Ridge. An hour of murderous fire and bloody hand-to-hand combat ensued, followed by the Confederates being pushed back.

The Battle of Gettysburg ended July 3, 1863, with over 50,000 casualties.

The next day, Vicksburg surrendered to General Grant, giving the Union Army control of the Mississippi River. When news reached London, all hopes of Europe recognizing the Confederacy were lost. For the next two years, the South was on the defensive.

On July 5, 1863, President Lincoln and his son visited General Daniel E. Sickles, who had his leg blown off at Gettysburg. General James F. Rusling recorded that when General Sickles asked Lincoln if was anxious before the Battle, Lincoln answered: “No, I was not; some of my Cabinet and many others in Washington were, but I had no fears. …”

Lincoln continued: “In the pinch of your campaign up there, when everybody seemed panic-stricken, and nobody could tell what was going to happen, oppressed by the gravity of our affairs, I went to my room one day, and I locked the door, and got down on my knees before Almighty God, and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him that this was His war, and our cause His cause, but we couldn’t stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville. And I then and there made a solemn vow to Almighty God, that if He would stand by our boys at Gettysburg, I would stand by Him. …”

Lincoln added: “And He did stand by you boys, and I will stand by Him. And after that (I don’t know how it was, and I can’t explain it), soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul that God Almighty had taken the whole business into his own hands and that things would go all right at Gettysburg.”

Discover more of Bill Federer’s eye-opening books and videos in the WND Superstore!

Twelve days after the Battle of Gettysburg, July 15, 1863, Lincoln proclaimed a day of prayer: “It is meet and right to recognize and confess the presence of the Almighty Father and the power of His hand equally in these triumphs and in these sorrows. … I invite the people of the United States to … render the homage due to the Divine Majesty for the wonderful things He has done in the nation’s behalf and invoke the influence of His Holy Spirit to subdue the anger which has produced and so long sustained a needless and cruel rebellion.”

In his Gettysburg Address, Nov. 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln ended: “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Years later at the Gettysburg Battlefield, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated May 30, 1934: “On these hills of Gettysburg two brave armies of Americans once met in contest. … Since those days, two subsequent wars, both with foreign Nations, have measurably … softened the ancient passions. It has been left to us of this generation to see the healing made permanent.”

In his third inaugural address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, Jan. 20, 1941: “The spirit of America … is the product of centuries … born in the multitudes of those who came from many lands. … The democratic aspiration is no mere recent phase in human history. It is human history. … Its vitality was written into our own Mayflower Compact, into the Declaration of Independence, into the Constitution of the United States, into the Gettysburg Address. … If the spirit of America were killed, even though the nation’s body … lived on, the America we know would have perished.”

Destroying A Society, How the Media is Raping You

The media has no loyalty except to itself and revenue sales.

 

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