New Year’s Eve Traditions

The year 2012 will go down as the year, that I learned I had cancer. I had duodenal cancer surgery on Oct.16 at the Houston VA Hospital and it was successful, but as a precaution I am undergoing chemotherapy for 24 weeks.

I am cautiously optimistic as we embark on the year 2013 later tonight, hoping and praying that the chemotherapy will be non-eventful. I hope to post more often in the coming months, if the chemotherapy continues to go well.

Lime Sherbet Punch, Chips and Dip Tradition

On a happier note, this will rekindle memories of  some New Year’s traditions. One tradition that has been in our family for years is the making of lime sherbet punch with lime sherbet and ginger ale. It makes for an excellent drink, but it is almost addictive, since it tastes so good. Another element in our New Year’s tradition is chips and dip, which goes well with the lime sherbet punch. The combination of chips and dips are great for watching the football bowl games and watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve.

Guy Lombardo New Year’s Eve

Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians band were featured on New Year’s Eve programming on old time radio, as far back as 1929 and were later seen on television. Lombardo’s New Year’s Eve program was on the air continuously from 1929-1976. His program went head to head against Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve until his death. Lombardo was most famous for playing Auld Lang Syne on his program.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve

It will be sad to watch the show tonight with Dick Clark having died in 2012 and his wife Kari said on television this weekend, that she will miss kissing him this New Year’s Eve. Dick Clark created the show and it has aired continuously since 1974, but Clark missed the 2005 show, due to having suffered a stroke. His speech was altered by the stroke and he seemed to gradually improve his speech, in the years since the stroke. Dick Clark  counted down the last few seconds for the last time  before the ball dropped in Times Square in the last show. Ryan Seacrest who has been on the show since 2007 and did almost all the hosting duties anyway will now take over the show.


The Lennon Sisters were very popular, when they were regulars on the Lawrence Welk Show, but that popularity attracted a stalker who killed their father in 1969. I doubt we will ever hear the kind of harmony the Lennon Sisters possessed again. This was first posted on Sept. 22, 2010.

Nostalgia and Now

Image result for lennon sisters

It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 57 years since the Lennon Sisters first appeared on the Lawrence Welk Show on Christmas Eve of 1955.

Who can forget the great harmony of their voices on Lawrence Welk Show and on their recordings? They were on Lawrence Welk Show for 13 years before embarking on their own path.

The oldest sister Dianne will be 73 in December while Janet who was the youngest Lennon Sister is now 66.

Their success attracted a stalker named Chet Young, who thought he could marry Peggy Lennon, if he could eliminate her dad William Lennon. He shot and killed William Lennon in a  golf course parking lot in 1969,  and committed suicide two months later with the same gun.

This website gives much more information about the murder and about how Young stalked the family for five years before murdering their father.

The Lennon Sisters…

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Recollections of General Robert E. Lee Review

I recently downloaded the Kindle book Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee, written by his son Captain Robert E. Lee. The Kindle edition is free and readers can start reading the 504 page book a minute, after it is purchased for free. The book is in the public domain, which is why it is free at

General Lee was born on January 19, 1807 in Stratford Hall, Virginia. He graduated second in his class from West Point in 1829. He married Mary Custis the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington in 1831. He later would be he appointed Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1852.

General Robert E. Lee 1807-1870

Lee loved to communicate through letters and this book includes the text of many letters, that he wrote to his wife, sons and daughters and others he had contact with during his life. He wrote often even during the Civil War years of 1861-1865. When he wrote home he would ask his relatives to send socks for the Confederate troops, many of whom had neither shoes or socks. It had to be a real hardship for Confederate troops, to not have shoes and socks and even blankets during the winter months of the Civil War. He writes in 1862 about the death of his daughter, Anne Carter Lee who died of typhoid fever at the age of 23.

You could feel the compassion for his troops as he pleaded in his letters, for his relatives to send socks for the troops. He wrote about the death of General Stonewall Jackson and how he would be missed by the Confederate Army. He writes in one letter about how outnumbered the Confederate troops were before surrendering to General Ulyssses Grant at Appomatox.  By surrendering Lee prevented the deaths of thousands of Confederate troops, who would have surely died at the hands of the Federal Army, who vastly outnumbered them.

His letters after the war relate how he was offered the presidency of Washington University, which was named Washington and Lee University in later years. His leadership was instrumental in making Washington University, one of the leading collegiate institutions of the south. His wife Mary who suffered from rheumatism often went to places with healing springs and these trips separated her from General Lee, who was living in Lexington, Virginia as the president of Washington University.

He often wrote his sons  after the war and gave them advice, about how to be a successful farmer. He gave them money to help them acquire what they needed for their farms. He even told his son Robert Jr. that Robert needed to find a wife so he could settle down on a farm.

After reading these letters, a reader can tell how much family meant to General Lee and his concern for the welfare of his wife, sons and daughters and the confederate troops, who had served in the Confederate Army under his leadership.  It is evident too how much his faith in God mattered to him.

Sadly, Lee only lived five years after the Civil War ended and died on October 12, 1870 in Lexington, Virginia at the age of 63 of heart disease.  He is buried at Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

General Lee may have been a great general for the Confederate Army, but this book, doesn’t dwell on that as much, as it does on his character which is exemplified in his letters. Numerous books have been written about Lee, but due to his untimely death he was unable to write the memoirs of his life.

The entire book can be heard since there is an option to hear a reader read the book aloud. This book may not be a book Civil War buffs may want to read, since it is more about Robert E. Lee the person, rather than being about Robert E. Lee the Confederate general, but it is still a book worth reading.

This post hasn’t been published since September 8, 2009, but it describes the changes made in newspaper technology from the time I started at Alexandria Town Talk in August of 1966, till today when very employees remain from those days if any.

Nostalgia and Now

When I started work at the Alexandria Daily Town Talk in August of 1966 the paper was still using hot metal for each line of type produced.

My first job was working on the type dump. The linotype operators operated a huge linotype machine that produced a slug for each line of type seen in a newspaper. The slugs were extremely hot after being produced by the linotype machine.

This video shows a restored linotype machine in operation and describes in detail how a line of type is produced from the machine.

When all the lines in a story had been set on the linotype machine the finished  story would be placed in a galley. The galley would be brought to the type dump where the person working at the dump would make any corrections needed by inserting a corrected slug in the place of the incorrect slug.

Once the…

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Best Oldtime Radio Christmas Program

There are a lot of very funny old-time radio programs, but the best Christmas drama I have heard is “A Daddy For Christmas”. It is one of the most heartwarming Christmas shows ever and as far as I know, it has never been made into a television show.

If someone listens to this show and doesn’t tear up, then something is seriously wrong.

The show which was broadcast on December 15, 1948, on the Family Theater program may be 64 years old, but it will still touch the hearts of those, who celebrate Christmas today.

Bobby Driscoll who plays Stevie in the program had made his movie debut in 1943 at the age of 6 and went on to star in Disney movies. Driscoll acquired a drug habit in high school and died at the early age of 31.

The program lasts 24 minutes and 20 seconds.

Medical Update, LBJ: The Mastermind of The JFK Assassination


It has been a month-and-a-half since my cancer surgery at the Michael Debakey VA Hospital in Houston. Since then I have learned I was injected with steroid, which causes meningitis and am now close to starting a 24 week chemotherapy program, to try to prevent the duodenal cancer from returning.

LBJ: The  Mastermind of  The JFK Assassination: By Phillip F. Nelson

I have always thought that there was a conspiracy, behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. After reading LBJ: The Mastermind of The JFK Assassination, there is no other conclusion in my mind, that Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson orchestrated the planning of the assassination.

Illegal Election Involvement

My thoughts of Johnson until lately were that he was a politician well-skilled, at making whatever political maneuvers necessary to win an election. He lost the 1941 election for the U.S. Senate to W. Lee Daniel, with Daniel winning by a 311 vote margin.

The 1948 Senate election was even closer with Johnson defeating Coke Stevenson by 81 votes, out of a million votes cast. A box of ballots was mysteriously found that gave Johnson the win. George Parr a Democratic boss was the one that found the mysterious ballots, which included 99.1 percent voting for Johnson. Some of the voters were dead Mexicans. Johnson knew exactly what was going on and it was just one of many times, when Johnson would resort to criminal activity, to win an election or to get illegal kickbacks.

The 1954 Senate election was won by Johnson by a wide margin, while defeating Republican Carlos G. Watson, with 84.59 percent of the vote.

Forced JFK To Choose Him As Vice President in 1960

Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy had offered Sen. Stuart Symington the chance, to run as the vice presidential candidate.  at the 1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles. Johnson who wanted desperately to be the vice president, then proceeded to force JFK into choosing him as his running mate, by threatening to reveal that Kennedy had been running around with some women and had the information in files kept by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Kennedy had no choice but to withdraw his offer to Symington and offer Johnson a place on the ticket, though he and his brother Bobby did not want Johnson on their ticket.

It was one of the most crooked elections in the history of the United States, when John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States. Richard Nixon, his defeated opponent refused to contest the election, even though if he had it may have revealed the extent of criminal activity in the election.

LBJ’s Hitman: Malcolm Wallace

Lyndon B. Johnson had his own personal hitman in Malcolm Wallace. When someone threatened to reveal Johnson’s criminal activity, Wallace would eliminate them, if requested by Johnson. He killed one man by shooting him in the back five times and the defense tried to say it was a suicide and Wallace was freed. The author of the book says Wallace may have been involved in as many as 17 murders, including the murder of Johnson’s own sister, who Johnson feared would disclose secrets about his criminal activity. The most shocking revelation about Wallace was that his fingerprint was found on a box found, on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

LBJ: The Unhappy Vice-President

Johnson was not a happy camper as vice president, being shunned by the Kennedy brothers. He was sent on fact-finding trips around the world, to get rid of him for an extended time. This story was not in the book, but I remember reading somewhere, that Johnson was making a speech and Bobby Kennedy forced one of his aides to tell Johnson to cut the speech short. After the aide told Johnson what Bobby Kennedy had requested, he continued to talk for another 15 minutes angering Bobby even more.

Even though he was vice president, the Kennedy brothers would not invite him to important meetings. Worst of all LBJ knew that he probably would not be able to run for president, until JFK and RFK had finished their terms as president.

Assassination Plans Started

It had to be during this time that Johnson formulated a plan to assassinate JFK and replace him as president. He pushed JFK to make a trip to Dallas. Johnson was involved in planning the route of the motorcade. He wanted Jackie Kennedy to ride with him, two cars behind the presidential limousine, but Kennedy refused the offer. LBJ wanted his enemy Senator Ralph Yarbrough to ride with the Kennedys, but that didn’t work out either.

Johnson had everything in place for him to be president. When President Kennedy and his wife Jackie started their day on Friday, November 22, 1963, they didn’t know that President John F.Kennedy would be dead that afternoon.

LBJ Hiding In The Killing Zone

The Kennedys may have not known what was about to happen that day, but Vice President Johnson knowing he was entering the killing zone and that President Kennedy would soon be shot, crouched down inside his limousine two cars behind the Kennedy, to avoid getting hit by a stray bullet. His wife Lady Bird Johnson and Senator Yarbrough were not told about the assassination, so they were sitting up and smiling and waving to the crowd. To think LBJ would put his own safety ahead of his wife’s safety tells me all I need to know about Lyndon Baines Johnson.

One mystery about that day is why the presidential limousine stopped in the middle of the gunfire that was hitting President Kennedy. Another odd thing is that Jack Ruby was seen at Dealey Plaza that day with a gun case and then would show up at the hospital and at the police station before the night was over.

There was an ugly scene at Parkland Hospital, when a gun was pulled on a doctor wanting to autopsy the body, but was overpowered as the body was taken to the airport. Another mystery is why the presidential limousine was cleaned, since it was the crime scene and it was taken to Washington and cleaned some more and wound up being rebuilt to remove any trace of evidence.

LBJ Asks Jackie Kennedy To Stand With Him For Oath

As if Jackie Kennedy hadn’t gone through enough on this day, LBJ then asked her, to stand by him as he was administered the oath of office. Johnson had now achieved his life-long dream of becoming president. Now all he had to do was cover up, what really happened on that November day in 1963.

Warren Report Whitewash

President Johnson adopted the lone nut theory, as soon as Oswald was captured. Oswald himself said he was a patsy, but Jack Ruby never let Oswald tell his story. I am amazed that Ruby was allowed in the police station, without being checked for firearms.

Ruby’s action kept Oswald from implicating any of the people, that were behind the assassination. So Ruby made it easy for the Warren Commission to issue a whitewash of a report, not including any testimony that backed a conspiracy theory.

If Johnson hadn’t become president he may have been sent to prison for criminal activity in the Billie Sol Estes and Bobby Baker scandals, since he became rich from accepting kickbacks. Matter of fact a hearing was being held in Washington on the same day that JFK was assassinated, that featured an insurance salesman named Don Reynolds, who knew that Johnson was involved with criminal activity.

J. Edgar Hoover helped the Warren Commission determine it was a lone gunman that killed President Kennedy, by holding back any information that could show, that it was a conspiracy.

Witnesses before the committee, who didn’t agree with the lone gunman theory were not allowed to have their testimony included in the report.


We may never have conclusive evidence revealed that Johnson was behind the assassination, but there is a mountain of circumstantial evidence that points only to him. He had the power, had the right connections and definitely had the motive, since he knew his dream of being president would never be realized, unless President Kennedy was eliminated from the picture.

Anyone reading this book may not be swayed to believe that Johnson planned the assassination of JFK, but they will learn the extent to which LBJ would go to have his way.