Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Have Something To Tell You And Only You

I Have Something To Tell You And Only You

In the Army, I was stationed in Germany from 1983 until 1991. I married a German lady in January 1987, and I thought this was the place to be. My brother, Matthew "Midnight", Last Partner 3, was stationed there also for about 3 of my 7.5 years. It was party time. Let me tell you and only you this . . .

I do have something to tell you, and only you, for now. Keep reading.

We had plenty of free time to visit each other. Midnight was about an hour away from me, so we got to hook up, party, and do some of the things we could not do in the United States. I took him to see his first nude swimming area in a big construction pit. There was not too many clubs that we did not hit.

We would go to an Imbiss Stand drink a few beer, eat a bratwurst or two. Next we visited a medium size pub where people were dancing, drinking, and having a good time. Kool. We were on a trim hunt. Looking for da booty. Final destination Hanau and Giessen. The Big Apple night club.

There was plenty of autobahn in-between that the car pedal never left the floor. 80 - 90 - 100 - 105 - 106. Damn. My GTI just couldn't take me higher. Zooming down the road, one night, we were passed quite a few times. No problem. Not until two cars passed us, got side-by-side, taking up both lanes, and slowed down, blocking us.

I noticed that this seemed to happen a lot. Daytime. Night-time. Open road or in the cities, they were intentionally messing with the Americans. I told my wife about it, and she laughed, saying that I was crazy. No one was playing a game like this.

One weekend, one of her German friends asked her to ride with her to take her brother down.south to his home. This was not a problem. Her friend was good people. The brother drove the entire way to his house. Autobahn all the way. Every time he came up behind a car with American license plates, he would pass them, then slow down. Oh, did I not say, he was laughing.

When she told me this apologizing, I tripped. But there was nothing I could do about it. Here is the secret.

It seems the same game is being played out here in the United States. Cars are traveling at the speed limit, and you are pacing them. Going the same speed, when the vehicle in front of you slows down causing you to do the same. When you attempt to pass them, they appear to speed up trying to stop you from passing them. Cars in front of me has slowed down to 10 miles below the limit. As I attempt to go around them, I'm speeding up, but I can not pass. Not because of another vehicle, accident or police, it's a 4-lane highway.

After I pass them, they stay with me for a few seconds, then start getting smaller in rearview mirror. Looking at the speedometer, cruise control has me still at the speed limit.

So, is there a game being played on our streets and highway? Pay attention to this the next few days. You might be surprised. Maybe next time I will let you in on near misses and a curfew. Maybe. The Last Partner.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Family Reunion - Bringing The Family Home

A Family Reunion - Bringing The Family Home

Family. I love it when my family comes together, and show the younger folks what being a family is all about. It is very different putting one together for the maternal side and the paternal side of the family. They each have their own sense of what bringing a family together should be about.

Until 1997, I can not remember ever attending one for my mother's family; however, there was one for my father's family in either 1981 or 1982. There were so many people there that I did not know. Quite a few that I wish were not related. I have some beautiful relatives on my dad's side. Either by blood or marriage, they had it going on. We had a great time.

Since that time, whenever there were family together talking, I would think about that day and say, "We need to have a family reunion. As we get older we are slowing moving apart." Our children did not recognize anyone further than second cousin. Hell, first cousins had never met before, or it had been so long ago, no one remembered the other.

On my mother's side, I would bring up having a reunion with a female cousin name Martha, and a male cousin name Paul. That was as far as it went, no matter who else I spoke with. Until, my two cousins started talking more about having one, did anyone jump on the band wagon.

Any way due to difference of opinion, I could not help them to put one together.

With my Dad's extended family, people would start the process by gathering information like addresses, places we could have it at, possible caterers, activities, and designs for a t-shirt to wear. The problem they were having was that they lived so far a part from each other, and there was not enough time to actually work on one.

What I am going to do now is tell you from start to finish how we put our 2007 family reunion together. Many things can be handled differently, it just depend on the person or people putting it together.

First thing, right off the bat is to figure out who is willing to work with you, and actually have time that they can contribute. In the beginning, people are very excited, filled with enthusiasm, and not looking at it objectively. So, find people that can work with you from start to finish. Put a committee together.

Meetings. Get everyone together and figure out when and where you will conduct your first meeting. Will it be at my house or yours? Figure out how long it will be. Everyone will need to be present the full time whenever a meeting is held. Decide what the minimum subjects you will discuss. More can be added later.

No one wants to be in charge, so let's elect a chairperson. . . a vice-chairperson . . . secretary. We are going to elect people for the same positions in the sub-committees. What sub-committees? Let's see, we will need one for the picnic, one for the activities, one for finances, and one for the banquet, if you are having one. I forgot a very important item . . . location . . . location . . . location. Where are we going to have it at?

Location. How do you pick a location? Following tradition, we wanted to bring the family home for the first one. Back to where the ancestors came from. In our case, we choose the area where 3 generations of our family had homesteaded from the late 1800's to present day. The Galla Rock, Arkansas area covering Dardanelle-Danville-Russellville, Arkansas. That was easy. Some families though like to start new traditions, but how can you look to the future without looking back to the past where you came from.

Finances. This is where the committees come together and say how much money they will need to complete their task. We need money for the picnic, and banquet, that's a no brainer. For the picnic we will need food and everything that goes with it. But how much are we going to need for the picnic activities? For the banquet we need to locate a caterer, a location, and entertainment. For this, we will need to know how many people might be coming, and what kind of entertainment. A band, dee jay, etc . . .

One of the best things that may be fun is having fund raisers. This could benefit everyone by paying for the entertainment, t-shirts, and most importantly, assist those that are having a rough time economically. It had been suggested that we, if we have enough funds, set up a scholarship that a committee would handle the selection process. This would be great.

Can you think of something I have not spoken about and is very important to have a function? People. Where the hell are they? The best I could do was start asking family members to give every address, phone number, and even e-mail address if they have it. From this I created a database making a family directory. Once I reached fifty (50) family addresses, I sent out a letter notifying everyone of the impending reunion; I asked them for current addresses; and asked them to RSVP if they were interested in having one. Wait until a set time for the RSVPs and addresses to come back.

At this point a reunion packet was getting put together to be mailed out. It contained the reunion invitation, a request for payment (number of people coming along with t-shirt sizes), a schedule of festivities, and a list of the local motels. Depending on the number of RSVPs, set up blocks of rooms at the local motels.

I set up a bank account to put all money collected in. A checking account at that, with 2 or 3 persons on the signature card, so that in the event something happen to the primary someone else would be able to take over the finances.

We collected well over seven thousand dollars ($7000.00). Even though there was some miscalculations, there was enough. This mostly covers the planning areas of consideration.

This is the prepping, in the next, I will describe the actual events. The Last Partner likes this.
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

PERCEPTIONS - Are We - Family, Friend Or Foe

Thinking about perceptions...how one person view another ... normally the people that thinks the worst of you, know the lest about you...sad when it is family. Since I have minimum contact with certain people for different reasons, there are a variety of opinions about me. What I need to know though, is "are we family, friend, or foe?"

I tend to be a loner, because: 1. most of my old crew either do drugs or are ghost; 2. being surrounded by people I do not know causes anxiety, but being center stage doesn't; 3. preconceived notions by others or myself for others; and 4. conflict of interest mixed with avoidance.

If I am wronged by a person, family member or otherwise, I have no need to be around that person and feel bad. Nor do I wish to force someone to accept my values or views. However, I would appreciate being treated the way I treat you.

Think about something. If you have treated me a certain way for years, I do not expect you to change. But I do expect understanding of the way I feel. In your eyes when I or someone in my family has committed the same offense as you or another family member close to you have, why is mine the worst of the two evils? I treat you with respect, and try to see your point of view, why can you not do the same?

No, I do not think that I am better than you, because I have reliable means of transportation, I have a happy marriage, special kids that I am very proud of, that I do not have to ask you for help or support, but just for your love, nor do I speak badly of you. If you ask something of me that I can do or help you with you know I will.

This is not aimed at any one person or family, but if you see yourself, well .... the Last Partner has spoken.

This is just my point of view.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Past Vs Future - Are We Moving Forward Or Backwards

The Last Partner's thinks . . .

I have made it a purpose to hide from the sadness in the world. I would not watch local or national news on TV, and I would only read specific items in the newspaper, the comics, obituary and bankruptcies. I had  had enough stress while I was in the Army. Why? Is this the past or future? Are we moving forward or backward? Old becoming new.

I spent my last seven years stationed in Germany in a world so much different than here. One structured, controlled by both military standards and U.S. government on international relations. Anything negative that we were involved in reflected on us not as indiviuals, but as a country. So, as you enjoyed yourself during your free time, you had to stay on your p's and q's. This is timeless, moving on.

I heard about the number of people here being homeless growing, about the rise in drug usage, new drugs, and gang rivalry. I did not know what to expect when I was released, but what I saw frightened me. So my BFF was Smitty Wee, my brand new .357 magnum pistol. Seven inch for less kick. I over-reacted.

As the years have passed there has been many things that made me feel like we are headed backwards to old issues. Instead of lynching, there are drive-bys. Instead of a group of Klansmen rallying at your house, dragging you or your loved one out in the middle of the night, there are, well, back to the drive-bys. The colors back during Civil War was blue and gray, North versus the South. In more recent years it is still blue and the gray has changed to red, the East - West wars . East Coast Hip Hop versus West(side) Coast Hip Hop.

Prejudice back in the day was obvious - black versus white. The Afro-Americans were the target. Today, the United States is more diversified. Blacks versus Whites versus Asian versus Mexican or Hispanics. Some cases it is mixed, equal opportunity at its worse.

As time progressed on, the hoods of the Klan came off and they were not afraid to show where their pride lies. As they have had less public appearances, it feels like they are gathering in force in key places of power. A long range plan structured toward white supremacy. I mean, just imagine who or what positions combined could return us to that time period. I.e., leaders of industry, politicians, law enforcement, military, etc.

Over the past decade, racial tension has been rising in some of the same issues of old. Controversial subjects like the rebel flag flying over a capitol building, segregation in some school districts, congressmen lobbying to change or modify laws that has advanced this country into becoming a true nation of the people, for the people, by the people.

At a time when a historical president needs support to accomplish part of the dream, he has to battle old and new people representative to this nation's traditions. We can not keep making everything racial. Yes, it may be a factor, but do not use it just because the president is black. You have better things to do to make the U.S. great, why not do that.

I have heard many people complaining about illegal immigrants, hell, I have complained too. Not because they are Hispanic, because the energy being used to combat this issue is time and money that can be used to improve this country. Their population is growing, and the government do not know how to control it or get a count.

I joke about this some times. The way they are increasing, and spreading out nationally, they want their land back . . . with interest. Remember the Alamo. Yeah, the Alamo.

Speaking of conflicts. During the 1960's and early 1970's, we were involved in the Viet Nam war. I am still trying to figure out why we were there. Today, we have Americans in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and just before that, we were in Kuwait. All over some fossil fuel control. That same crude oil made this one of the richest land on the planet. Getting them there was a hard decision for our president and congress, once the decision is made to bring them home is made, the hard part will be getting them home, and caring for them.

How do I feel? Do I indorse such a thing? I can not articulate what I think or feel about it. Some of the brave people that have gone or is there now I knew. Not the way most people did/do. I trained them or trained with them. I knew their spouses and dependents. Some of their faces will never leave me. Not even if I want them to.

There are many more similarities I could compare, but won't today. The Last Partner is tired.

Keep in mind that I am not a professional in any specialty, so this is not facts that have been researched. It is just one man's view. The view of the Last Partner.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

If I Told You A Secret, Would You Tell?? - The Last Partner

Note: This is an ongoing blog. Some of which will be the truth, some will be just for your enjoyment. It is up to you to choose which is what. There will not be anything classified or detrimental to security. Superb viewing with a Kindle DX eBook Reader.

Hey, I am back to chat. Yesterday, I went to my paternal Grandmother's house for the first time since her funeral in November. I could not stay in her house no longer than 5 minutes on that day. I stayed for over an hour yesterday.

I talked to my dad's only sister, who lives there now. She came home to Grandma's over two years ago from Jasper, Florida. She was overwhelmed initially, I believe, when she got there because she found that she also had to take care of one of her seven remaining brothers. Uncle Bob Cat.

Bob Cat had been bed ridden before Auntty got there. Unable to walk, or talk, and his bottom lip had become so engorged, it hung down to his chin. Then it got to where Auntty was unable to maintain the kind of care needed for both mother and brother, Uncle Bob Cat was placed in a Rehab Center where he could be assisted 24/7. Of course, she consulted with her brothers before taking any major actions.

I am not going to go into anything personal that has no meaning to anyone but me.

Uncle Bob Cat told me that e had just gotten out of rehab a few weeks ago after staying there for one year. As his lip shrunk, and he regained control over his body, he would be taken or would go by himself to the smoking area. Back there along one of the walls, it was brown, as if someone was trying to burn it. The Rehab Center pointed their finger at him.

My Aunt, being his power of attorney, received a telephone call late in the afternoon from the Center. They told her that she had 30 minutes to pickup Bob Cat. He had to go. He tried to burn down the Center.

"Can you believe that? Right now, I can barely remember my name. I think that is because of the medicines they put you on. That's another story" he said to me.

"Anyway, I told them, hell, I'm a Thompson, I wouldn't do anything like that, but if I wanted to, I'm a country boy, hell, I know how to build a fire. This mutha fucker would not be here. Can you believe them?"

"They told me I had 30 minutes to get out. They kicked me out. I told them M.F.s that I needed to get my clothes. They told me 'you don't have time. We will pack your things into a box and ship it to you'. They would not give me time to pack my damn clothes, ha, ha."

There were other things that we talked about, but I thought this was funny. Wouldn't even give him time to pack. That was just down right cold-blooded.

Auntty and I talked in the front room about how things were going since grandma passed. It was going pretty good for them. Her kids either had a job or was in school. Kids are growing up. We talked about my daughter and her grand-daughter, who are both 11 years old, starting to look more mature. How we need to keep an eye on them and boys.

"That is why I got a brand new 30.06 rifle with scope. Gut’s to make sure I hit my mark." I joked with her. "And I have my pistols to protect my son. No, I am not being a hypocrite. I'm versatile like that."

Truth be told, I feel whole and able to be the protector of my family. I trained for over 12 years to defend, kill only if necessary. Go on the offensive in situations where I must act fast and first, or be killed. Over 12 years of government training to kill in the name of our country enforcing freedom so that the world can live in peace. I mean, defending freedom to preserve the peace.

Since 1990, I have been trying to find ways to be able to perform the jobs I trained for. That is hard when you are mobility impaired because of your knees, yea, that was my biggest problem. I feared that being placed in a situation where to live you must be able to depend on your buddy to the left and right of you. They got your back, and you have theirs. If I failed to act with the team, then someone was going to be killed. Maybe even me. I would not have been able to live with myself going in knowing that I could not do my job. The chances of this actually happening were too great to ignore.

That is one secret that only a handful of people knew. To others who did not believe there was a medical reason holding me back or preventing me from physically doing my job, thought that I was a coward. It's been hard just dealing with not being there.

Funny, huh, going from talking about family and ending up talking about the military. Not too many people know that this is the real, but I do.

The Last Partner wants to know . . .

                                                          If I told you a secret, would you tell?

Monday, March 22, 2010

America One Big Family - The Last Partner

For the life of me, I can not fathom why our country is in the shape it is. We are one of the richest countries in the world, depending on the current money market. It's true, we are. We have a responsibility to help our neighbors in the world community, but for some reason we can not help ourself. Unemployment rate is never going to leave us; nor will homelessness.

These problems have been here for a long time, but in the 1980's they decided to combine and said "Here I am. How you like me now?" While these two areas of concern were growing, people wanted to assign the responsibility to anyone but themselves. We are ignorant as to how this happens, and why. Any way, that is not what I am here to rant about. See how it got passed?

America's children are starving for food, money, guidance and love. There has all ways been an abundance of this in America, right? Not the way I see it. We have enough celebrities and other famous people out campaigning for other countries, that are poorer than America, but I have yet to see one on TV asking for food for our children and poor. They are sitting on millions of dollars, needing a tax write off. How about they combine and come up with  a project for America? They all have closed closets not publicized, not known to the general public. A charity here, a charity there, to show that they know how to give back to those that made them the celebrities they are. Most of these are not continuous, they are short lived.

I am not saying give anyone anything free, making them a dependent. Just use their combine write-offs to come up with a program for their community. Oh, yeah, I am talking to the big businesses of industry also.

Until I was unable to work effectively, I did everything in my power to have a job. I always found one. It wasn't my ideal places of employment, but it was a j.o.b. I cooked chicken, burgers, pizzas; drove 18-wheelers cross country, delivered pizzas, and finally, worked in the Technical Support Department for an Internet company. Prior to the start of this, I put in 12.5 years in the United States Army.

Today the young folks want easy money so they sling drugs, hang with a gang. They need to get off their lazy behinds and get a legal job working in a fast food restaurant, if that is all they can find.

A family watches out for one another. Their welfare that includes: making sure you have enough food to eat; a roof over your head; clean clothes; safe from the dangerous elements; and etc. Not continuous. You have to want to help yourself.

America is my home, and to make her healthy, I would key in on what is ailing her. Is it something like a cold that is temporary? Or is it like herpes, here forever like an unwanted guest? Once the ailment has been identified, hopefully we can come up with a cure, instead of just covering the symptoms.

One problem has been obvious for a long time. We do not care about ourselves and others. The generation before us had pride in their communities, their families and how they got to where they are. They had respect for one another, not like the ways things are today. They could tell you the name of all most every child on their street or who they belong to. They protected each other from harm and storms.

We gave our elders the respect they deserved, commanded. No profanity in front of or to them. Kids today don't care. All they can think about is themselves, drugs, and babies. Making babies. There was a time when a little parental discipline deterred this kind of behavior. But thanks to government laws being passed, we have to spare the rod, and end up  with a child that's spoiled.

I do not have any answers to resolve everything that ails America, but if we can train tomorrow's generations the way we were trained, tomorrow would be a brighter day for those that follow.

I do not follow blindly into the good night, nor do I take lightly the things I have touched on, but someone needs to take the reins locally (wherever local might be), and find a way we can get results.

Remember, this is one man views, the Last Partner's view.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What Do You Know? The Last Partner's Thoughts

Well, what do you know about anything? What qualifies you as an expert on this particular subject? Or as a friend says, "what the hell?" "Are you sure about that?" What a can of worms we open when we speak our mind about something, hmmm?Is there any correct answer to the infinite data our brains strive to digest? It depends.

At least once a week, I am going to try to answer these questions, and more here in this blog. Keep in mind that everything I speak about will be what I know, or have an opinion about in this world of ours. If you subscribe to the One Man Views blog/feed, one day your questions might be answered. You will at minimum get my view, and in the comments even more people views.

So, the Last Partner ask, what do you know?

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