Hi! I’m Jo Carol

One reason I write on my Weblog (BLOG) is because I like to brag about myself. That makes me a narcissist doesn’t it? Who else do you recognize as a narcissist? Anyway, in my lifetime I have had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to visit five presidential libraries. The most recent one being the best of the five. Earlier this month I also had the extreme pleasure of attending my grand-daughter Abbey’s graduation from high school. Her event also coincided with her little brother’s matriculation from grammar school to high school, and her big sister’s matriculation from the University of Texas to the School of Pharmacy at Texas A&M University.  How would you like that tuition bill?


Abbey wanted to show her grandparents her new school, so the entire family took a drive to College Station, Texas to visit the campus of Texas A & M. The A & M stands for Agriculture and Mining. The family was large enough to need two cars, and included two sets of grandparents and her parents and sister. Her little brother stayed home to take finals at his grammar school. A bonus feature of the Texas A&M campus is the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

When G.H.W. Bush became President he was a relatively obscure person to me so I read his biography.  This man truly served his country. He had so many positions in government the Presidency was nearly the last one left to serve. His life story unfolds in the museum exhibits and I felt like I was re-reading his life story except with photos.


The museum seems small in the vastness of the campus but once inside it feels immense. In the grand hall atrium lies a carpet that easily covers the footprint of an average home.  A woman named  Jo Carol greeted us with a graciousness I have never experienced before. I teasingly said “You have to be from South Texas with a name like Jo Carol?” She corrected me and said she was from the South, the south of Italy. “What town would that be,” I asked? “Napoli,” she replied. Without blinking, she continued on her introduction to the museum. A few feet beyond we met another gracious lady named Joan who gave us special hearing devices which allowed us to listen to narrative at the various exhibits throughout the museum. She noticed my Texas Grandpa hat and told me to wear it proudly, even though I was in the middle of enemy territory of Texas A&M. It turns out that she is an alumnus of UT. I told her that later in the day the family would have an official ceremony to transfer my UT hat for a Texas A&M hat.

We easily spent two hours walking through the exhibits to look at the photographs and reliving the history of America during the 1989-1993 era. I took only a few photos since I left my camera home and had only a cell phone camera. I took photos of a few signs that I considered significant to me, like the quote on the U.N. and another quote on the President’s definition of success.

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The most fun we had as a family occurred in the Oval Office and the Situation Room. We took pictures sitting behind the desk and around the big table in the Situation Room in front of ancient computer screens. Please witness my grand-daughter Dana as the first Woman president of the USA, her little sister is Vice President, and Grumpa Joe is Secretary of Defense. President Dana eliminated all ineffective and needless bureaucracies like Homeland Security, Education, EPA, by Executive Order.




At the end of the museum a rather tall gray-haired man handed me a letter from the First Lady answering my question.

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Notice, I remembered the names of the Ladies whom I met along the way but I can only describe the one man by his physical features. He also told me a great story about the Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Library in Austin.  LBJ wanted his library to have a greater attendance than the JFK Museum in Boston. LBJ used his influence to put the Federal Government in charge of maintaining his library. He built the library across from the football stadium on the University of Texas campus.  Evidently the University does not have enough money to upgrade the stadium restroom facilities so they send people to the Library across the street. Entry into the Library is free and everyone who walks through the doors counts as a visitor. Genius isn’t it. You and I pay to stroke LBJ’s ego for the rest of the life of this country.


Take a hint from me, if you are a history buff or just a good citizen, visit the presidential libraries, in particular visit the G. H.W.Bush Library in College Station, Texas. You will not regret it. While you are there say “hi” to Joan for me.


I almost forgot, the libraries I visited are: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harold S. Truman, Herbert Hoover,  Richard M. Nixon, and George Herbert Walker Bush. I only have seven more to go, and there is one yet to be built which I will never visit even if they build it next door to me.

















Add Islamaphobe to Homophobe, and Racist

You did what?

This morning’s news upset me quite a bit. The announcement about two Universities being terrorized by bomb threats coming by phone from people who sounded mid-eastern was enough for me. I dashed off a letter to my Senators and Congressman. Then I e-mailed the letter. To make sure they got the message, I called their offices and dictated the letter to the aid in charge. Not satisfied, I sent a signed copy of the letter by Priority mail to Senators Durbin, Kirk, and Congressman Kinzinger. The message is don’t f__k with our kids.

The full content of my letter is below. I recommend you copy this letter and send it to your Senators and Congressmen as well. We have to make our voices heard. The insanity must be stopped.


Frankfort, IL 60423

14 September 2012

Senator Richard Durbin

711 Hart Senate Building

Washington, DC 20510

Re:  Homeland Security

Legislation to secure America from attack

Dear Senator Durbin:

Please pass legislation immediately to do the following:

1. Suspend all Visas’ of people from Muslim countries to the USA.

2. Prohibit entry to any Muslim into the USA

3. Find and deport all illegal Muslim people living in the USA

4. Prohibit further immigration of Muslim people into the USA.

5. Interview and watch all non-citizen Muslims within the USA.

6. Close the borders between Mexico and Canada to stem the tide of illegal Muslims entering the USA.

I request this action as a citizen who totally understands the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I also understand that our Congress has control over writing laws to make our country safe. None of the requests I have made above are out of the ordinary nor would they violate any Constitutional rights. Radical Muslims have attacked or threaten to attack us from within. It is our duty  as a nation to take action against these aggressors.

I ask for this legislation because of the most recent attack on the USA by AL Qaeda at the Universities of Texas and North Dakota.  Since we are at war with terrorists these actions are appropriate and mandatory as a way to control the enemy. Since there is no safe way to determine which alien Muslims are radical, and which are not, we must make them all suspect and send them back to their home countries.

We must keep our country safe from attack by anyone from anywhere.

Please do the right thing and place this legislation before the Senate for a vote by next week. I know you can do it if you really care about America.

Respectfully yours,

Grumpa Joe


You call me an Islamaphobe, just add it on to racist and homophobe.

In the meantime. write to your Senators and Congressman.

Burning Gas-River Walk

A few weeks ago Peggy and I took an extended driving trip to points west. My eldest granddaughter was graduating from high school. She is my first, and I couldn’t miss that ceremony.  Dana moved to the Houston area with her parents a year ago. I should say her parents cruelly dragged her out of the Frankfort High School to live in Texas with them. She survived and thrived as did her siblings. They love Texas. She graduated in the top ten percent in a class of one thousand. Not bad, because that is where she was in her Frankfort school. I am so very proud of her, and look forward to more grandpa moments in the future. She is enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin. UT doesn’t understand what is about to hit them; this girl is taking over.

It took us two days to drive to the graduation and my sorry excuse for an ass cannot take those marathon drives anymore. Instead of squandering the driven miles on one event, Peggy and I decided to make something bigger out of it. I planned an even longer driving trip to visit some places I have never seen, and some that I haven’t seen for a long time. I’ll chronicle each place in separate posts.

We departed Houston with the Garmin set on San Antonio.  Nine years ago, I spent a winter in Phoenix and wanted to visit San Antonio on my way home. I tried to book a hotel on the River Walk to learn why San Antonians brag about it so much. I also wanted to visit the Alamo. Much to my surprise there wasn’t a room to be found anywhere in town on the dates I wanted. It turns out I wanted to pass through on the same week as the NCCA March Madness Basketball tournament was happening. San Antonio is a Regional playoff city and the hotels were full. I by passed San Antonio and scooted home instead.

Peggy and I stayed at the Holiday Inn on the River Walk. Most of the hotels in San Antonio are on the River, so it wouldn’t have mattered where we stayed. It was a short walk out of the hotel to the river. We were glad we visited. The River Walk is definitely a cool place to see. I was really impressed with the Venice like bridges and the gondolas taking people on tours. We took the gondola and were not sorry. It is a great way to see everything.  I can spill words all day long, but it is better to watch the video with my photos. The short movie will tell the story much better.