On My Honor

 

theheartsofmen-cover.jpg

My technique for finding good books to read has once again rewarded me. It is simple. Walk into the library, find the recent book shelfs and explore the titles. This time it was the cover art that sucked me in. How could a former scoutmaster like myself resist a book with a Boy Scout on the cover? In fact, this art is not original, I recall this being a Norman Rockwell depiction. Regardless, the story is called The Hearts of Men, by Nickolas Butler.

I have to hand it to Nick, he stayed true to his theme right to the very end, and wrote a story about Scouts and the impact that Scouting has on boys who eventually become men. The story is about friendship that begins in scout camp, and ends at the death-bed.  The lead characters become fathers, and grand fathers whose sons, and grand kids become characters too.

Author Butler also gives us an insight into the effects of the Viet Nam War, and the scars it left on those who fought. It isn’t pretty. My heart felt the pain of the Vets who did make it home to suffer for the remainder of their lives with PTSD, and horrific dreams.

By the end of the story I suffered an attack of dry eye. The outcome being a massive gush of tears flooding from my eyes to compensate for the dryness. I’m sure anyone who reads this story will encounter a similar attack.

The description of scout summer camp could only have been told by a former camper, and the realism of the effects of war also smacks of one who has experienced it. I’m going to be thinking about this story for a long, long time. Within the camp stories there is realistic depiction of men and their relationships with their mothers, fathers, wives, girlfriends, lovers, and buddies. The characters are real, and the emotions expressed are definitely true. The description of the scenes etched pictures in the mind, and the dialogue between characters is very believable and real.

I Love You So!

During America’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976, I was the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout troop number 1776 from Alsip, Illinois. I proudly led the troop to Owasippi Scout Reservation owned by the Chicago Area Council near Whitehall, Michigan. Going to scout camp for two weeks was a big adventure and during the bicentennial it was even more so.

At the final ceremonial campfire the older scouts led us in song. It is then I heard for the first time what I consider to be one of the most beautiful songs I ever heard. The Senior Scout taught us the simple lyrics and melody. He divided us into groups and then led the song in round. The camp fire, and the starry night sky, created an ambiance of pride in America. We left the campfire in silent reverence after singing this stirring song. I am sorry that I could not find a video or recording to feature, but here are the lyrics.

Happy birthday America.

America, America,
How can I tell you, How I feel?
You have given me many treasures,
I love you so.

America, America,
Land of hope and liberty,
Freedom rings from every mountain,
From sea to sea

Have Fun and Win $10,000.00 Too

Join us at the 28th Annual Frankfort Lions Charities Sweepstakes Dance on Thursday September 3, 2009. Purchase a sweepstakes ticket and get a chance to win $10,000.00, as well as entry to the dance for two people. Dance the night away to the music of Brother John.

2009 Sweeps Ticket

Tickets are $20.00 each. We limit ticket sales to 2000. Your odds of winning are very good. There are six other cash prizes as well.

Send a check made out to the Frankfort Lions Club for 20.00 and I will send you a ticket. Contact me via e-mail jsr@mortyangel.com

Frankfort Lions Club

 

Leadership is an Art-form

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

Leadership is an art-form. It takes substantial training, disposition, and intelligence to become a leader. What I am witnessing in the new administration is a lack of real leadership.  My own  tenure in leadership lasted forty two years. I have led projects and departments of many people throughout my career, I understand what it takes to lead. In addition to my professional career, I spent twenty five years as a volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America organization as a Cub Master, Scout Master, District Training Chairman, and more. What I see in our Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is an inability to put a handle on what it takes to run his department. The job is huge, yet he refuses to appoint anyone to assist him. A good leader is only as good as his smartest people. If he was really wise, he’d find people who could do the job better than him.  I can recommend Eagle Scouts who could lead circles around him. 

POTUS could also benefit from the experience of  private enterprise business leaders. He obviously is not getting it. He must not be hearing what business leaders tell him . If he is listening, he refuses to agree it is “Change He Can Believe  In.”  I truly think he will only listen to advisers who push his socialist program.

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