Category Archives: History

WPC – WEEK 213 – LOW PERSPECTIVE

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day… To some who don’t know about this holiday, here is are 5 ways to celebrate: from bustle.com:

1. Participate in Cultural Appreciation – No, cultural appreciation is not the same thing as cultural appropriation. Cultural appreciation is all about respecting different cultures, understanding the role you play in oppressing or erasing said culture, and not trivializing sacred cultural traditions by simply adopting them.

2. Donate to Indigenous People’s Rights Organizations – Consider donating to the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, a group made up of five nations (and supported by 30 Native American Tribes!) who are in a battle to preserve Bear Ears National Monument that has come under threat because of the Trump administration. Or, donate to Stand With Standing Rock, the group formed of Native activists, different tribes, and allies who halted the Dakota Access Pipeline — and are still fighting against it.

3. Attend vigils, rallies, or other events that Native activists organize – On Indigenous People’s Day, let’s celebrate Native culture, but let’s also recognize why the holiday is needed in the first place. Systemic racism has long erased the narratives of indigenous people from American history, and contributes to the large health and wellness disparities Native Americans face today, when compared to all other Americans. Native American women are especially marginalized, as they are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted than women of any other race. Additionally, so many Native American women end up missing or murdered that North Dakota senators are calling it an “epidemic.” If Native Activists organize vigils or rallies on Indigenous People’s Day, try to show up and acknowledge the harm the United States has inflicted on different nations.

4. Purchase art from Native Americans – Put your money where your mouth is, and support indigenous communities’ artwork and business. Being an ally means showing support through action — not just talking.

5. Don’t just celebrate Indigenous People’s Day; actively disavow Columbus Day – No one’s trying to “rewrite American history,” Brenda — Native Americans have been brutalized and subjected to genocide since the inception of America, and as the popular chant goes: your silence is violence. Sign petitions if your city has yet to recognize Indigenous People’s Day, and don’t be hesitant to have conversations with other white people about why it’s important to celebrate it over Columbus Day.

Why does Christopher Columbus not deserve a holiday? Here is some information from owlcation.com:

For the second voyage to Haiti the following year (1493), Ferdinand and Isabella gave him the resources needed to subdue the population. When he returned to Haiti, Columbus demanded food, gold, and cotton thread, and was increasingly met with resistance. This resistance gave him the opportunity he needed to declare war on the Arawaks. According to Bartolomé de Las Casas, who was there with the Spanish, Columbus chose “200 foot soldiers and 20 cavalry, with many crossbows and small cannon, lances, and swords, and a still more terrible weapon against the Indians, in addition to the horses: this was 20 hunting dogs, who were turned loose and immediately tore the Indians apart.”

The Spanish won the war, of course, for the Arawaks had only rudimentary weapons. As Columbus still could not find the gold he sought, and needed to bring something back to Spain, he rounded up 1,000 Arawaks to be used as slaves. Five hundred of these he brought back to Spain, and the remaining 500 he gave to the Spanish then “governing” the island.

Tribute System
Though now in control of the Arawak Indians and their island Haiti, Christopher Columbus still could not find the gold that he was sure was somewhere on the island.

The Arawaks, I’m sure, were not very willing to tell him where it was. Therefore, he set up a “tribute system” which worked thus:

Every three months, each Haitian over 14 years of age would be required to pay Columbus with either 25 pounds in cotton or a large “hawk’s bell” of gold dust (a lot of gold dust.)

Once the slaves paid this, they would receive a metal token. This token was worn around their necks as a signal that they were home-free for another 3 months (during which time they saved up for their next token, of course.)

Those who did not pay had their nose & both of their hands chopped off.

Genocide
Due to the tribute system, the Arawaks were forced to work in the mines instead of growing food in their fields, which led to generalized malnutrition. According to a letter written by Pedro de Cordoba to King Ferdinand, “As a result of the sufferings and hard labor they endured, the Indians choose and have chosen suicide. The women, exhausted by labor, have shunned conception and childbirth…Many, when pregnant, have taken something to abort and have aborted. Others after delivery have killed their children with their own hands, so as not to leave them in such oppressive slavery.”

The initial Arawak population was estimated at 8,000,000. By 1516 only around 12,000 were still alive. By 1542, less than 200 remained. By 1555, the Arawaks were all gone
Thus, the crime of genocide was perpetuated by Christopher Columbus; not exactly what I learned in public school. He completely exterminated an entire race of 8,000,000 people –and that’s only counting one of the cultures he decimated. “Haiti under the Spanish is one of the primary instances of genocide in all human history.” – Dr. James W. Loewen

Transatlantic Slave Trade
Columbus wasn’t just into subjugating and decimating; he was also interested in the sexual aspect of slavery. According to a letter written by Michele de Cuneo, before his first voyage had even reached Haiti in 1492, “Columbus was rewarding his lieutenants with native women to rape.” Columbus wrote in 1500: “A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.”

Aside from sexual slavery, there existed, of course, the aspect of using slavery for profit. When there were no more Arawaks to mine his gold for him–for they no longer existed–Columbus systematically depleted the Bahamas of their peoples for this task. Tens of thousands of slaves from the Bahamas were transported to Haiti, leaving the islands behind deserted. Peter Martyr reported in 1516: “Packed in below deck, with hatchways closed to prevent their escape, so many slaves died on the trip that a ship without a compass, chart, or guide, but only following the trail of dead Indians who had been thrown from the ships could find its way from the Bahamas to Hispaniola.”

After the new batch of slaves died, Columbus depleted Puerto Rico, and then Cuba. When they had all succumbed, he turned his eyes to Africa, thus establishing the transatlantic slave trade and the concept of “race.” Through his exploits in Haiti, Columbus lead the way for other European nations to begin seeking wealth through domination, conquest, and slavery. In essence, Columbus changed the world, and we recognize this in one way or another by delineating history as being either pre- or post-Columbian.

Getting rid of Columbus Day isn’t about “erasing history”, it is about decided who and what should be exalted by our society.

In short, Christopher Columbus was responsible for the extincion of an entire tribe of people that once numbered over 8 million! Then turned around and invented transatlantic slave trade.

Christopher Columbus does not deserve to be exalted.

Or to put it another way:



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For the third week in a row we have hit double digit submissions! Woohoo! LOW PERSPECTIVE didn’t lead to low participation rates.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 213 - LOW PERSPECTIVE - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 214 - STILL LIFE
STILL LIFE

STILL LIFE! What a great theme! But what is a STILL LIFE photo? A STILL LIFE photo is a photo of an inanimate object. A picture of your kid, not STILL LIFE. A picture of a bowl of fruit. STILL LIFE. A picture of tools. STILL LIFE. A picture of your dog. Not STILL LIFE. If it isn’t alive and it is something you can arrange. That is a subject for STILL LIFE.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

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HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very still Monday!

Just Put Down “Cause Unknown”

I would be remiss if I didn’t start by pointing out today is the anniversary of 9/11. It has been 18 years since terrorists hijacked 4 airplanes and murdered over 3,000 people in senseless acts of violence.

The United States went to war shortly thereafter, and we have been at war in one country or another constantly since then. On that day an unsuccessful real estate magnate and trust fund baby went on television and incorrectly bragged that his building was “now the tallest building in New York City”.

I’m not a trust fund baby, a serial liar, or a sociopath so I spent most of that day working at the Campustown Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire. I wasn’t the store manager yet. I would call myself the virtual store manager. I had pretty much all the responsibilities of a store manager, but none of the pay. The store manager was technically a guy named Mike Booth. He only worked part-time.

I was the 8-4 manager on that day. That meant that I spent the morning balancing all the books from the previous day and putting out whatever fires had happened in the morning. The fires I was putting out that morning were inventory related. We were short a ton of product and I spent my morning calling around to the other Evil Clown Empire outposts trying to find products to get us through until the truck arrived.

Driving around and getting stock from other stores was one of the few parts of the job I enjoyed. It got me out of the store. Sometimes, that was more than enough.

Back then, I listened to Lazer 103.3. This was a radio station that played a brand of music I would describe as “I’m-So-Angry-I’m-A-White-Male-So-I-Was-Born-with-a-Certain-Amount-of-Privilege-But-I’m-Still-So-Angry-Because-I-Have-No-Understanding-of-Systematic-Oppression”. Sometimes it is called hard rock. The bands that were putting out Angry White Male Music back then were particularly dreadful, but I listened to plenty of them back then I suppose. I was a White Male, with certain pockets of suppressed anger, I’m sure. I’m not a psychiatrist. I just can’t think of another excuse for why I owned a Godsmack CD.

On 103.3 in the mornings was a show called Mancow’s Morning Madhouse. When I reflect upon it, it was incredibly inane. I once remember hearing that people want irreverence on the radio in the morning. I’m sure Mancow offered plenty of irreverence and on the rare occasions, just enough clever to keep me tuning in.

When the first plane hit I was driving around Ames with a car full of McDonald’s products. On the radio they reported that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. They joked about it. They had no clue about the seriousness of what happened. None of us did.

The image that called up was of a small one engine plane where the pilot had mistakenly slammed into the World Trade Center. A plane had done that recently to the Empire State Building.

Mancow and his cast of characters described the visual as similar to a cartoon, where a cartoon runs through a wall and their body leaves an outline in the wall. I’ll never forget that comparison.

When I got back to Campus, almost everybody was in the lobby staring at the televisions. We had 3 televisions in the lobby. When I saw the visual, I realized that the Mancow characterization wasn’t accurate. Whatever hit the World Trade Center wasn’t a single engine plane. It was something considerably larger.

I still had no real conception at what was happening. I dropped off the products. While I was doing that, the second plane hit the second tower. I remember people freaking out that watched it live on our lobby televisions.

Things had changed now. Now I knew that this wasn’t some freak accident. This was on purpose. However, I still had a job to do. I got back in my car and went to the next store to collect more products to bring back.

It was about the time I returned to Campus that the second tower collapsed. I was still listening to Mancow. I honestly wasn’t sure if it was a joke. Mancow was known for their pranks, and their pranks were often truly tasteless. They screamed when the tower fell. Their reactions seemed genuine, but I turned to a different radio station to confirm. I didn’t really believe it was happening. Unfortunately, the other radio station confirmed that it was true.

We were living in a new world now.

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One of the few things that can bring my spirits up is looking at cute animals. I reached into the 2018 backlog and found some macros of the cutest little guy.


Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

Spider!

It always feel good to knock another piece of the backlog off.

2009-04-28 & 2009-05-01

There are only 3 days left to vote for what pictures I enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

If you don’t think you have the time or energy to vote in all 6 polls right now, you can vote for one of the Nature polls right now!

Nature Set 2

Poll will Start on August 7
Nature Category - Nature - Choose 1 (2019)
Butterfly
Butterfly
Bird
Insects
Bee
Grasshopper
Pelicans
Bird
Waterfall
Butterfly

If you are ready to vote in all 6 polls, click on the link below:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest

Thanks for voting!

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The pictures in the folders 2009-05-01 & 2009-04-28 are from my backyard when I was still trying to figure out what I had in my backyard.

Except one picture is of a text message I got from James on the day he was given one of the most basic human rights. Hard to believe that it was only 10 years ago. It is hard to believe that such a basic human right was “given” 10 years ago.

It is a reminder that we have come some ways in the civil rights in this country. Even though we have had a major regression in the last couple of years.


2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

By adding these pictures to The Photography 139 Gallery I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

The Land Awakens
Cardinalidae
Don Lockwood
State of Enlightenment

Next week’s walk down memory lane will feature Shannon, very well dressed.

One is the Loneliest Number

Dipping back into the 2018 backlog today. There is a one room schoolhouse that has been restored and is occasionally open to the public northwest of Boone. One June day, when we were returning home from our post church meal, Teresa, Logan, Mom, and I stopped to check it out.

Here are a few pictures from it:


One Room Schoolhouse

One Room Schoolhouse

One Room Schoolhouse

One Room Schoolhouse

One Room Schoolhouse

One Room Schoolhouse

One Room Schoolhouse

One Room Schoolhouse

One Room Schoolhouse

One Room Schoolhouse

I think they even rent it out for events. I’m not sure what kind of events, but you can use your imagination.

2009-02-24 – Arizona Day 8

The pictures in the folder 2009-02-24/Arizona_Day_8 are from my last day in Arizona after the CMM had wrapped up. I took one last stroll around Satan’s Ashtray and then headed for the airport and back to Iowa. Back to where my new house was sitting there waiting. Waiting to be painted. Waiting for the carpet to be ripped up. Waiting for a person to move in.

Here are some pictures from my last day in Arizona:


Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Arizona Work Vacation

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Logan and one of my least favorite things that my church has ever done. I mean until the garbage they pulled on June 2. But that got rectified, so we don’t need to talk about it.

2009-02-03

The photos in the folder titled 2009-02-03 are from when the building on the northwest corner of Story and 8th Street burned down.

I don’t remember how I was tipped off to this fire going on, but I was able to roll out of bed, snap a few photos and then roll on to the Computer Mine to get to work.

It turns out that I never published these pictures on “An Artist’s Notebook”. Although I did include one of the images in The 2010 Photography 139 Calendar. I might have entered it in a photo contest once as well, but I’m not really sure about that.

Here are a few pictures from that event:


8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

8TH & Story Fire - 2009

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane involve a trip to Arizona. Partially for fun. Partially for work.

Throwback Boom!

As I have been trying to reorganize some old pictures, I do want to share another collection of images that pre-date the Photography 139 website.

These are pictures from before and after the Knapp and Storm dormitories were imploded in 2005.

Here are some pictures:


Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Knapp-Storm

Here is a low quality video of the buildings coming down:



I don’t know that there are any other pre-Photography 139 photo collections, but you never know.

Alamo Bowl Road Trip: Branch Davidians

We loaded up the car and I punched the address of the Branch Davidians Compound into the GPS. I had absolutely no clue what we would find what we would find when we got to the place where 76 people died in the Waco Siege.

You see, we had stayed the night in possibly one of the worst places in the United States. If it wasn’t for Chip and Joanna Gains, Waco, Texas would have zero positive press.

When you say Waco, Texas people only think of a handful of things in no particular order:

1. Branch Davidians and their fiery end.
2. The Baylor football program and the scores of sexual assaults and rapes that they committed that were then duly covered up by the school, athletic department, and most disturbingly… the police department.
3. The 1916 lynching, torturing, burning, and mutilating of Jesse Washington. A lynching that was attended by in excess of 10,000 people.*
4. Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy being murdered by fellow Baylor basketball player Carlton Dotson.
5. FIXER UPPER

I wish I would’ve thought to go see the memorial to Jesse Washington, but it was forgotten. Sorry Jesse.

But being someone with an interest in history and more than a bit of a fascination with cults, there was no way we were going through Waco, Texas and not visiting the Branch Davidians and the site of the Waco Siege.

It is not a stretch to think that it was one of the most important historical events of the 1990s. It was an event that contributed to the dangerous rise of the alt-right and was directly responsible for the Oklahoma City Bombing. The deadliest domestic terrorist attack in American history. Killing 171 people. Including 19 children.

It is not overstated it to say that we would be living in a different America if the Waco Siege never happened. If you don’t know or don’t remember the Waco Siege, here is a brief synopsis from the Wiki:

The Waco siege was the siege of a compound belonging to the Branch Davidians, carried out by American federal and Texas state law enforcement, as well as the U.S. military, between February 28 and April 19, 1993. The Branch Davidians were led by David Koresh and were headquartered at Mount Carmel Center ranch in the community of Axtell, Texas, 13 miles (21 kilometers) east-northeast of Waco. Suspecting the group of stockpiling illegal weapons, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) obtained a search warrant for the compound and arrest warrants for Koresh and a select few of the group’s members.

The incident began when the ATF attempted to raid the ranch. An intense gun battle erupted, resulting in the deaths of four government agents and six Branch Davidians. Upon the ATF’s failure to raid the compound, a siege lasting 51 days was initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Eventually, the FBI launched an assault and initiated a tear gas attack in an attempt to force the Branch Davidians out of the ranch. During the attack, a fire engulfed Mount Carmel Center. In total, 76 people died, including David Koresh.

There is too much controversy and too much backstory to really do the Waco Siege justice. If you have questions about it, I suggest you leave them in the comments and I’ll answer with what knowledge I have and what opinions I possess.

What I will state definitively is that the Waco Siege was a terrible waste of life that could have been easily avoided. It is what happens when law enforcement tries to do things for public relations, rather than for… well law enforcement. They took their mistakes at Ruby Ridge and made them exponentially worse.

I’m sure these were some of my thoughts as we pulled up to the gate of Mount Carmel. One gate was open. There was a sign that said that you could get a look around the ranch for $10.

Shortly after we pulled into the ranch a truck came speeding up towards us. Considering where we were, was a little disconcerting. The driver rolled down their window and told us that we should hurry up to the chapel. They were giving a tour up there and we could make it if we hurried.

So we bypassed the building we thought we were supposed to pay at and headed up to the chapel.

Once we got there, there was a guy there telling the story of the Waco Siege. He wasn’t a member of the Branch Davidians in 1993, but now he researched the event with David Thibodeau** (one of the few to survive the fire).

He showed us pictures of the people that perished in the fire. He showed us “trophy photos” that the FBI took after the church (they are offended by the term “compound” because of its militaristic connotation) burned completely down. If you know any hunters, you know what a trophy photo is. You can imagine what you would feel like if people took trophy photos with the remains of your friends and loved ones.

He argued that David Koresh wasn’t even doing anything illegal. It isn’t illegal to stockpile and sell firearms. While it might (you can take out the might for me) be morally reprehensible to most of us to have sex with 14 year old girls, in Texas 14 year olds can be married with parental consent. Which David Koresh did have. Yeah. Gross. Texas, Do better.

Eventually the man (I can’t remember his name) left and we were introduced to Heather***. Heather really made this a special stop.

Heather was 9 years old during the Waco Siege. She was in Mount Carmel when the siege began. She was the last person to leave, days before the final assault that ended in the deaths of almost every Branch Davidian in the building. Including her father.

If you know the timeline of the Waco Siege, Heather’s dad was the mailman that was inadvertently tipped off to the ATF’s attack by a lost member of the media. This is why the ATF didn’t have the element of surprise. This is why the raid should have been called off.

Before he died, he gave her a teddy bear and told her that the bear would watch over her until he saw her again. Then he sent her out into the “Babylonian” world.

As she told us the story she paused and then said, “I didn’t know at the time that he meant, when we see each other in heaven.”

As she walked down the driveway, she expected to be shot in the head every step she took. Finally, she reached the end of the drive and was grabbed by the police. They took the teddy bear away from her and ripped it up.

This wasn’t done (completely) out of malice though. They were checking the bear for a bomb. There wasn’t one.

Tears rolled down her face as she told us this part of the story.

Then she said, “I never got the bear back.”

You could tell with the way she said it that it still hurts that the last thing her dad gave her. The thing that was supposed to “watch over her” was taken from her, destroyed, and never returned.

She wiped the tears off her face and apologized for crying.

We told her not to apologize and thanked her for sharing such a memory to people who were basically tourists in her pain.

Then she offered to give show us the rest of the grounds.


Branch Davidians
The current chapel was built in the same place as the chapel that was burnt down.

Branch Davidians
The fire.

Branch Davidians
Trophy photos.

Branch Davidians
Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Stage.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Telling the story.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Pointing out the “Trophy Photos”.

Branch Davidians
David Koresh

Branch Davidians
Heather is seated in the lower right hand corner.

Branch Davidians
David Koresh thought he was the second coming of Jesus, but this time he wasn’t sinless.

Branch Davidians
Bill Clinton was president during the Waco Siege.

Branch Davidians
Tanks crushed this bus.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
People were trapped in this storage room.

Branch Davidians
Heather’s ducks.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
They built this pool the year before the Siege. They got to use if for 1 year.

Branch Davidians
Heather was really cold. It wasn’t cold for Iowans with plenty of built in insulation.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Oklahoma City Memorial

Branch Davidians
ATF Officer Memorial

Branch Davidians
Current Chapel

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Branch Davidian Memorial

Branch Davidians
Branch Davidians are an offshoot of Seventh Day Adventists.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Gate.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
The road outside of Mount Carmel.

Branch Davidians
The Branch

Alamo Bowl Road Trip
Selfie with Heather.

During the tour Heather didn’t say anything positive about David Koresh. She talked about how he separated her from her dad and took over her discipline.

As a child Heather was pigeon-toed. He used to make her walk back and forth the length of Mount Carmel. He would hit her with a stick when he felt she was walking pigeon-toed.

If David Koresh would have stayed alive and remained in power, she would have become one of his wives when she turned 14.

Mount Carmel burned down when I was in high school. We watched it in class. I have seen at least 5 documentaries on it. I have seen a movie on it. Willy and I watched the WACO television show last year. The tragedy of what happened there didn’t really hit home until I was standing on the same ground where it all happened. It is something I will never forget.

We thanked Heather again for sharing and giving us a tour. I felt like a doucher, but I asked for a picture with her. She obliged willingly. She asked us to friend her on The Facebook. This made me feel like less of a doucher.

I broke my 2 month absence from Facebook long enough to become her friend on The Facebook, but I haven’t been back since. If I ever get the stomach to return, I’ll hit her up and see if she remembers us and see how she is doing.

We gave her a hug. Loaded back up in the rental and left Waco profoundly changed in a way that is hard to figure. My best guess is that it would be the way you would change if you saw the Vietnam War Memorial with a veteran of the Vietnam War or if you talked to a holocaust survivor or met somebody that was in the towers on 9/11. Something that was merely academic, was suddenly real.

We were a couple hours from San Antonio and several hours from the kickoff, but the game seemed decidedly less important than it did just an hour or so earlier.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is RUINS.


WEEK 177 - RUINS
RUINS

A RUINS photo is a picture of something that is in decay.

Happy photo harvesting!

*If we ever have Youth Group again, we will briefly discuss the lynching of Jesse Washington
**David Thibodeau is the survivor that wrote the book that part of the television show WACO is based on. He was played by Rory Caulkin in the show. I can’t recommend that show highly enough.
***Heather is featured in a documentary about the Branch Davidians that aired on A&E in 2018. I have procured a digital copy of it. If you ever want to watch it, I can arrange it. But you have to ask nicely.

Brown vs. Board of Education

On many a trip to Manhattan I have driven through Topeka and seen a sign for the Brown vs. Board of Education historical site. Many a time I have thought, I should stop and check that out. Every single time I have decided against it and kept driving to get to Bill Snyder Country sooner.

In early November I went down to Topeka with Bethany and Becca to see Nate and Laura’s triplets who were still in the NICU in Topeka.

As fate would have it, we stumbled across the Brown vs. Board of Education site. We stopped and we took some pictures.

Here some are:


Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

Brown vs. the Board of Education

If you don’t know what Brown vs. Board of Education is, I’ll assume you are a product of the Boone School Systems.

Here is a little tidbit from the History Channel’s website:

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a landmark 1954 Supreme Court case in which the justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Brown v. Board of Education was one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement, and helped establish the precedent that “separate-but-equal” education and other services were not, in fact, equal at all.

It was interesting to stand in a place that was so pivotal in the civil rights struggle. We didn’t have time to actually go into the school, but I’ll have to return sometime. When I have more time and the government isn’t shutdown.

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Here is an update on my 10 Step Process to buying a drone.

  1. Car paid off. – I got the pink slip daddy!
  2. Training Budget Reimbursement – Bought about 10 books and signed up for an online portrait photography class that I will discuss someday.
  3. Purchase Popcorn Maker – The Union Street theater has procured its very own popcorn maker from Flat Earth Joe. The one that was borrowed from Andy’s friend of a friend has been returned.
  4. Computer Upgrade – I have completed upgrades on my home computer. I’ve put in a solid state drive to run the OS and the applications, I upped the RAM to 16 GB and I replaced the video card with a video card with twice the ram and that is capable of running 3 monitors.
  5. Figure out the effect of the Iowa GOP Tax Scam – The Iowa GOP Tax Scam will indeed result in me paying more taxes. There is about a $7 effect on my paycheck, meaning I am getting a tax cut of roughly $200. (Assuming the withholding from my paycheck is being done right.) However, since the Iowa GOP Tax Scam made it so a 6% sales tax is levied on all online purchases, I will be taxed well more than the $200 benefit. For example, I’ll pay over $100 in taxes on purchasing the drone that I wouldn’t have had to pay before the Iowa GOP Tax Scam became law. 
  6. Rear Brakes – I had the rear brakes replaced on my car last night. It costs me about 40% of what I was expecting Win!
  7. Computer Mine Bonus – I did indeed get a Computer Mine Bonus. I can’t complain about it one bit. 
  8. Bank Fraud Resolution – My bank fraud situation is partially resolved. The bank sent me a letter saying that I would get $150 or so bucks because I was a victim of fraud. I called them and said “Thanks! But that number is about $370 light.” Then we had an exchange where the person that I talked to couldn’t even find my account. Finally they said to send them another affidavit for the other $370 bucks. I’m hoping this time it doesn’t take 2 more months to resolve. I won’t hold my breath.
  9. Federal GOP Tax Scam – The Tax Scam didn’t effect my tax refund at all. It was almost like it wasn’t meant to be a tax cut for lower class and middle class people. It is almost like it was a cash grab for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations under the ludicrous precept that some of the benefits would trickle down to us poor folks. I can say this with 100% certainty. I respect a person that believes the earth is flat way more than I respect somebody that believes in the Laffer Curve. 
  10. Change Jar -I have added some change to the change jar, including the change I won in a football pool at the Computer Mine. However, I am still probably 2 inches short of being almost full. I should effort to go through the cushions of my couches. If I can get within one inch, of the top of the jar, I will call this quest complete and proceed to order a drone.

I am now 8 of 10 steps complete. I am close to ordering that drone. Just need some good news from my bank and to find some more spare change just laying around.

Alamo Bowl Road Trip: USS Batfish

After paying our respects to “The Tall Chief”, we hit the open road. We headed south in Oklahoma and weren’t really sure what we would find.

Several miles down the road we saw a sign for Muskogee. While I am personally devoid of musical talent, I do love music. I wanted to visit the town from the Merle Haggard classic.

Unfortunately, the signs indicated that we needed to make about a 60 mile detour to visit Muskogee. Nothing against Merle Haggard, but we aren’t talking about Johnny Cash here.

However, the signs seemed to be wrong. Not seemed to be wrong. The sign was wrong. We headed straight when it told us to turn. Yet, we drove right into Muskogee, Oklahoma. Where we were able to observe many an Okie. From Muskogee. Many of them seemed to be livin’ right. We didn’t see any that had let their hair grow long and shaggy. Unfortunately I can’t say I saw any Okies holding hands and pitchin’ woo. That being said, it definitely seemed like the kind of place where even squares can have a ball.

Since we had hit the mythical Haggard town, I was hoping to find a statue of Merle Haggard or at least a plaque that bragged up the only reason anybody has ever heard of Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA. But my mad googling didn’t come up with any information on a Merle Haggard statue or even a plaque indicating where kids still respect the college dean or even a store that sells white lightning.

The biggest tourist attraction in Muskogee… Oklahoma… USA.. according to the googles was a park that had a submarine in it.

A park with a submarine in it?

Muskogee is a good 10 hour drive from the nearest ocean, gulf, or sea. So a submarine… in the middle of a park? This is something we had to see.

We put in the GPS coordinates into the phone and before you knew it, we had paid $7 and were staring at a submarine.

This is what we saw:


U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

The submarine is the USS Batfish. It was launched in 1943 and decommissioned in 1969. It is known primarily for sinking three Japanese submarines in a 76 hour period in 1945.

It was definitely one of the surprise bonuses of the road trip. It also confirmed my belief that I would never make it in a submarine. In addition to never wanting to me submerged underwater at a depth of any more than a few feet, submarines are definitely not made for the talls.

Average height for people serving on the USS Batfish was 5 foot 8 inches. I believe anything below 5 foot 10 inches is considered a midget. Some of them preferred to be called dwarves. None of them enjoy being tossed.

We bid a fond adieu to the USS Batfish and got back on the open road. Let the tones of Merle Haggard take us from Muskogee.

“We still wave Old Glory down at the court house…”

As we meandered down to Texas we enjoyed a beautiful Oklahoma sunset on an unknown lake:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

When we hit Atoka, Oklahoma we stopped for gas, snacks, and a restroom break at a Pilot Travel Center. It was here that I made the most wonderful discovery! You could call it an Alamo Bowl miracle!


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

As an aficionado of sweet tea of some note, Gold Peak Extra Sweet Tea is kind of like my holy grail. While southerners cling to their racist past and try to denigrate us yankees incorrectly for not knowing sweet tea, there is one thing they do have. Gold Peak Extra Sweet Tea. I have never been able to find it up north. This makes me melancholy. It is a fact that I have even tried to order it online, with nothing but failure greeting my every step.

I was beginning to think Gold Peak Extra Sweet Tea was something that I had imagined. But it isn’t.

I picked up a few bottles and we hit the open road, more than a little bit happier than before we had met the magical place known as Pilot Travel Center in Atoka, Oklahoma.

Our next stop was for supper. We got a little ways past Dallas and pulled in to the first Whataburger we could find.

Who has two thumbs and LOVES Whataburger?

This guy!

I realize now, that would work better with a picture.

Enjoy these pictures instead:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Whataburger is the #1 franchise we don’t have in Iowa that I wish we had in Iowa. There isn’t even a close second. And not just because as a general rule I can’t stand corporate eateries.

We made the rest of the journey and found a cheap hotel in Waco and bedded down for the night.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

It was a Motel 6. They don’t have breakfast, but it is still relatively nice compared to some of the other places that Jesse and I have stayed.

I slept like a baby. Like an angel. Like a baby angel. I woke up in the morning ready to take on the world.

To be continued…

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is MACRO!



MACRO

But what is a MACRO photo? There is a technical definition that involves the ration of the real life object being a 1:1 ratio for reproduction blah, blah, blah.

All you need to know is that it is close-up photography. Get close to your subject. Very close. Very, very, very close.

Happy photo harvesting!