Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
that i am no longer a republican
no longer a republican
i am not a democrat
or a pot smoking libertarian
i am just not a republican anymore
like reagan once said
i didn't leave the democrat party
the democrat party left me
the republican party left me
countless times in fact
i got stood up so many times that i finally got the message
what happened you might ask
i received a letter yesterday from the annual republican campaign
they wanted money
they know how to quote reagan alright
but republicans these days
the ones in office
the ones seeking office
have become soft and moderate
they don't hold to their core values
they cut and run when it comes to an ideological fight
they want to get along
they don't want to stand up
they'd rather bend over and hold their ankles
just to keep their comfortable spot
the republican candidate today desires good press
to keep his or her job rather than do what is right
fight the good fight
reading the gift drive letter irked me
the writer spoke of how we lost the majority in both houses
who's fault was that
republicans who left conservatism behind them
they lost the majority because they refused to lead
and spend spend spend
just let the aliens in
you're not getting my money
and i'll probably throw away my vote
maybe a write-in
for a real conservative
which is what i am
Monday, February 25, 2008
MESSAGE FROM SOLID ROCK - PLEASE READ Hello everybody. Our friend and my wonderful brother Larry passed away at 2:45 Sundaymorning. Kristin and I were with him, holding his hands and sitting in bed with him when his heart finally slowed to a stop. We spent this past week laughing, singing, and praying with him, and all the while he had us taking notes on new song ideas and instructions on how to continue his ministry and art. Several of you friends here got to come and visit with him in the last couple of weeks and were a great source of help and friendship to Larry. Ray Sievers, Derek Robertson, Mike Makinster, Matt Simmons, and a few more. Thank you guys. Larry appreciated your visits very much. And he greatly appreciated the thoughts, wishes, support and prayers that came from all of you are my members on a daily basis. Thank you for being part of his small circle of friends over the years. Yesterday afternoon he knew he was going to go home to God very soon and he dictated the following message to you while his friend Allen Fleming typed these words into Larry's computer:
"I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home. My brother Charles is right, I wont be here much longer. I cant do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help. My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papersetc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.I'd like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again. Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again, somewhere beyond the sky. I pray that you will stay with God .
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye."
Thank you to all of you who were so nice to my brother over the years. Kristin and I will post funeral information in the next day or two. Right now we're not able to function very well, but the whole family is here... our mother Margaret, our sisters Nancy and Kristy, Mike Norman and his new wife Tiffany, and Silver. We miss him beyond words. Thank you for everything. Peace to you all in Christ, Charles Norman
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I just hapened to bump into your info on Henry Westbrok Orchestra. I was playing lead alto for Henry when the orchestra disbanded. It was just too big to book. Eight of us broke away and formed a small eight piece dance band - then we actually played too much. Some of the group: Fred Turberville, trumpet -Jack Downs, Trombone, Harold Lohr,Tenor, Charlie Edwards, tenor, etc. We had a super vocalist, Doris Corley who had just left Blue Barron & Orchestra. Henry was nice to me - He once caught Harold Lohr and me breaking the rules-no booze allowed- we had played just a special and Henry turned to me and said,"Jack you've been drinking"-- I said, how do you know? - cause it sounds so smooth it's making me sick. Great arrangements and fine sidemen- toward the last Floogie Scaphe from the Jimmy Dorsey group and Billie Mustin, piano and vocalist whose trio continued to work the Columbia area for years. I played and worked a big band into the seventies but finally gave up. You just could not sell it. Thanks for letting me blow my horn about a wonderful era.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I mentioned this in a blog about two years ago. My new name has been on my heart ever since. Last Sunday during the Gadsden Vineyard worship kinship, I left the meeting for a few minutes to use the head. While I was away, God once again repeated my new name to me. God had been giving me little visuals for the kinship but that little whisper was for me. When I came back to the room Gina was looking at me funny. I sat down next to her and she asked me what was wrong. I whispered, "nothing wrong - I'll tell you later."
I had mentioned the B-24 Liberator thing to Gina years ago but it didn't really connect with her. Last night, as we drove away from the church, I told Gina what had happened and she teared up. She understood that the Liberator was in flight.
Brook had mentioned a few years ago that B-24 might be God telling me to BE 24. That would take me back to 1982. The incident Sunday has stirred my mind to keep looking back on who I was, where I was, and what was going on in my life during that particular time. I used events of popular culture to take me back:
(1) I was still at home on the Mountain - 2624 Scenic Hwy.
(2) I was hauling furniture for Long Furniture with my friend Derrick Mitchell.
(3) I spent a lot of my spare time with my brother inlaw and dear friend Dan Noojin.
(4) I spent a lot of weekends with Arnie Sanford who was at that time still able to play guitar in the evenings. He had M.S. and evenings were the only times that his nerves/muscles were steady enough to play. He didn't want me coming for a visit unless I brought my songbook.
(5) I was playing at small venues/churches as DREAMER with Michael Bynum.
(6) I was disassociated with Christian Brothers Assoc. at the time.
(7) I believe that I was still a member of Central United Methodist Church. I didn't attend anywhere regularly.
My favorite comedian John Belushi died in March of that year. I had an sad dream of him that following night...where I talked to him after he had died. Strange dream - we sat on the hill behind my house and talked.
My favorite Christian singer/songwriter, Keith Green died that year. Dad, Mom and I were on our way back from Townsend, TN. I remember having to deal with the traffic of the 1982 World's Fair on the way there and back. We were on the last leg of the trip when we heard of Keith's death.
It's amazing what you can remember if prompted by events. More digging...more to come.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
peels back the layers
helps me to think through
say what is unsaid
i enjoy putting the words together
like lining dominos
never knowing the last piece
when God often steps in
to tie it all together
meter and melody
like hidden springs
i rarely write for others
just digging beneath the surface
finding a little more of me
sometimes clarifying who i am
or maybe just dig for digging sake
just to see what might be there
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Johnny Adams of Bridge Between asked me to meet them up at Danny Moon's MoonSong to play some tunes. Gina and I packed the girls and guitar in the car and we drove atop Noccalula Mountain. Danny did a splendid job with the place. It's a venue for singer / songwriters. The Bridge Between cranked up and went into worship. Everyone seemed very receptive to what they had to say and sing. It was a great deal of fun. I was asked to take the stage after they stepped off. Johnny joined me on accoustic and I really enjoy his style. I felt like I walked away with some new friends. Go check out MoonSong when you get a chance.
Gina said the girls were tired and so we left after a few hours at MoonSong. While on Rainbow Drive, Gina said that she wanted to drop by the Coffee Vine Cafe' to say hi to Dr. Harrison...his band was scheduled to play Friday and Saturday evening. As it turned out, The Dixon Band had to cancel because of illness. Gina asked me if I'd go in there and play a few songs. I didn't have a P.A. but my guitar was in the back of the Caravan. I took the stage and four or five songs with Rachael. We were all pretty tired and didn't stay long. Mychael John Thomas was there with a friend offered to come and play Saturday night. Cool beans!
Mychael and I go back to Christian Brother's SKYLIGHT days. He was a regular talent that we would book at our old coffeehouse. Gina and I tried to get the word out Saturday afternoon about the event. It was a nice turn out and Mychael did a great job. He sang songs from his brand new albums WORSHIP and HOME. He mentioned that he'd like to come back and play. I hope he does. I hope those that didn't make it tonight will catch him at a later date. By the way, you can sample some of Mychael's music at http://www.mychaeljohnthomas.com/. Good stuff.
Sunday we are going to roll out of bed and make our way down to Vineyard. Scott Parker will be leading worship again. AJ said that he is going to be on the team. Scott will be playing at next week's AROMA FRIDAY. Our first Aroma was last month and it was really nice. I look forward to seeing what happens next weekend.
By the way, keep us in your prayers...nothing life shattering here but prayer would be nice. Gina's been having trouble with her foot again. She hobbled around on crutches during much of last week. Pray for complete healing. We don't have the money to replace the van that died on us last month. We pour every resource into our business and little to spare. Life is good though. I thank God for my family, getting to spend my days working with Gina...treasuring every little hug and kiss I get from my girls. God's doing stuff in and around our lives...I am not a rich man...but I have a great deal of wealth that has nothing to do with bank accounts. Life is hard but life is so sweet. Thank you Lord for all of your blessing!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
My father was the late Claude Victor Van Sant, Jr. he served aboard LST 620 6/2/44 to 1/12/45 after D-Day. He was an Engineering Officer, Ensign and later promoted to Lt (jg). I assume after D-Day 620 sailed back to the states in the Fall?
Then he served on LST 312 1/13/45 to 5/15/46 after D-Day in US. I assume the time he served on 312 was in the states to repair the damage after the V-1 rocket hit. He never went to the Pacific. At home we have photos of 312 damage and a photo of my Dad landing a dolphin fish (mahi mahi) off the stern of one of the LST's. If it is a mahi mahi then he would have been in the Gulf stream off the US.
Questions..did he go across the ATL on 620..when & what route?
Did he return to states on 620 & what route?
My brother recalls a story about a plane crashing on the deck of an LST? Is this true?
Any information would be great concerning events and history of 620 in Europe and in the states and 312 also.
Claude Victor Van Sant
Jr. Emory University, Atlanta, GA AB Biology 1943USN Engineering Officer. AS. Mid'n., Ens., Lt. (jg) 1943-1946Service Schools #53 Navy Reserve Mid'n Col Univ16 wks#20 Amphib Warfare, C. Brad.8 wksA31 Diesel Engineering, Flint Mich12 wksA72 Amphib Engine NC St.6 wks Entry Date Enlisted 8 Dec 1942Date commissioned 24 Nov 1943 Active Duty 2 Aug 1945Served on USS LST 620
6/2/44 to 1/12/45 during & after D-DayServed on LST 312 1/13/45 to 5/15/46
after D-Day in US.(7/18/44 LST 312 was hit by V-1 Rocket at port in
England).Date of Separation USN 18 Jun 1946Issued American Campaign Medal
European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal 1 starWorld War II Victory MedalAppt in Naval Reserve Ensign, HP 17 Mar 1949Honorable Discharge 1 May 1949
as Lt jg USN ReserveHonorable Discharge from USN Reserve 23 Nov 1957University School of Medicine Augusta, GA. M.D 1950MD 1950 Licenses to Georgia and FloridaInternship- Charity Memorial Hospital, New Orleans, LA July 1950- July 1951. Ob-Gyn/Residence.Member Phi Chi Medical Society.James Downey's tale of a radio operator on 620: http://www.thisweek-online.com/2005/may/27bww2vet.html
Friday, February 1, 2008
Mychael John Thomas called earlier today and said that he was coming. Mychael has a new worship CD out and was bringing me a copy. He emailed me some cuts a few weeks ago and they are great. Mychael used to be a regular artist back during the Christian Brother's coffeehouse days. BTW, Mychael used to play in a band with Don Rakestraw many many decades ago - back when the world was young.
News: Kelsey has had a terrible week. She started off by locking herself in G-mommy's bathroom, where she had to stay for an hour until I could get there and get her out. For a minute there, Jose' thought he was going to have to do some sawing. Kelsey had settled down enough so that I could tell her how to open the old deadbolt lock that was imprisoning her.
I went to see the new Rambo movie with Jose' Wednesday evening. When I got back, Gina was a nervous wreck. She said that Kelsey had wrapped two yo-yo's around her neck and couldn't breath. Gina had a hard time cutting the strings so Kelsey could grow up to see her adulthood. Gina was a nervous wreck the following day because of it.
Be praying for Gina's foot, it's hurting her again. She's been wrapping it daily and using a tens unit between patients. Both Gina and Kelsey have not had a very good week.
Do come out to the vine if you can. Say Michael, do you have a bass? If so, how about coming and playing with me (one or both nights). Jose' said he might try to make it.