Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Inspiration: Magic Bank Account

August 30th, 2017

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I read it. This was found in the billfold of Coach Paul Bear from Bryant, Alabama, after he died in 1982

The Magic Bank Account: Imagine that you had won the Following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 In your private account for your use. However, this prize has Rules:

1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.

2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.

3. You may only spend It.

4. Each morning upon awakening, The bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that Day.

5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time, it can say, Game Over!” It can close the account And you will not receive a new one.

What would you do? You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right?  Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for.  Even for people you don’t know,
because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, am I right? You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?

This game IS real… Are you shocked?

Each of us is already a winner Of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see it. The PRIZE is *LIFE*

1. Each morning we awaken to Receive 86,400 seconds As a gift of Life.

2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is not credited to us

3. What we haven’t used up that day is forever lost.

4. Yesterday is gone forever.

5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING…

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars. Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your LIFE, because time races by so much quicker than you think. Be kind to one another.

So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy LIFE! Start spending….


Sunday in South Dakota: Hot Springs … Again?

August 27th, 2017

Gray dawn swallowed what little light the slowly rising sun was sending over the horizon. Then a silhouette – It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope, wait, planes aren’t shaped like that. It’s a hot air balloon! If you were anywhere new Hot Springs Municipal Airport this Saturday, you couldn’t help but notice hot air balloons bobbing around the skies.

It was all part of the 2nd Annual Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival in Hot Springs. There were also glider rides and Sidewalk Chalk Art walk in the downtown area. It was a nice event for all ages that I hope will continue to grow with coming years.

But wait. There’s more.

I want you to imagine a place where as far as the eyes can see, miles and miles to the horizon, you can see the plains as it was when American Indians rode freely with manes and tails flying in the wind.

Now imagine this place is real just outside Hot Springs. After the Hot Air Balloon Festival, I drove to the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary to experience this dream. I wanted to see the horses in their grassland home of rocky canyons, windswept prairie they share with rattle snakes, coyotes, deer and eagles. This sanctuary has given these 700 mustangs freedom in a place where the sky seems to go on forever. It was a very rare pleasure to have a few of these Cortez mustangs eat out of my hand. http://www.wildmustangs.com/

I hope you kick up your heels and let your spirit soar this week!

Friday Funnies

August 25th, 2017

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a man below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man below replied, “You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist.

“I am,” replied the man, “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help so far.”

The man below responded, “You must be a manager.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know.”

“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you are going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is, you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

Hymns With a Message: Battle Hymn of the Republic

August 23rd, 2017

After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, a national service of prayer and remembrance was conducted at Washington’s National Cathedral. America’s most powerful leaders prayed together, listened to brief sermons and then joined voiced to sing the defiant anthem, “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Its words seemed to perfectly signal America’s intention to battle the forces of terror in the world.

It was written by Julia Ward Howe, a leader in women’s rights and ardent foe of slavery. Julia, who came from a wealthy New York family, was married to a prominent Boston philanthropist and humanitarian. They were both crusaders for progressive moral issues of the day. In 1861, during the darkest days of the Civil War, Julia toured a nearby Union Army Camp on the Potomac. That very night the words came to her in her hotel room.

These defiant words seem just as perfectly suited to today’s terror as they were to Julia during the Civil War and to leaders in 2001: https://youtu.be/QSiVjlknuSw

Sunday in South Dakota: Historic Hill City

August 20th, 2017

Keep Calm – We Have a Change of Plans. The fair wasn’t operating when I arrived so I drove to Hill City. Sometimes your day ends up different and it ends up (tasting) better that way.

I drove in search of scenic beauty, a bit of history and a good meal. I found all of those while strolling the streets of Hill City, the 2nd oldest town in these Black Hills. The “Heart of the Black Hills” is centrally located to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Custer State Park within a scenic 15 minutes which is why it’s continued to flourish over the years. Location. Location. Location.

This location is home to many popular art galleries, wonderful restaurants, year round outdoor activities suitable for families and 3 wineries. Speaking of wonderful restaurants, the Alpine Inn, built in 1886, is the historic landmark I chose for lunch. The Alpine Inn has a reputation for ethnic European dishes, and the reputation is well deserved. My lunch was a delicious change of plans. http://www.alpineinnhillcity.com/our-history/

A short walk from the Alpine Inn and I hopped aboard the 1880 Train for a 20-mile ride between Hill City and Keystone. I’ve always been attracted to vintage train rides. The romance of the rails through the Black Hills was a special treat unlike any other attraction in the area, this railroad helped settle the West. Click to watch a short video: https://youtu.be/lonmaxco77Q

Eat, Play & Love the location you’re in.

Friday Funnies

August 18th, 2017

Ahh, the county fair. Is there anything that signals the end of summer more definitively than the smell of fried cotton-candy-wrapped corn dogs and funnel cakes? I’m looking forward to enjoying the Central States Fair this weekend, but only after sharing a couple funny fair fare:

Stumpy took his wife to the State Fair and one of the exhibits is that of breeding bulls.  They went up to the first pen and there was a sign that said, “This bull mated 50 times last year.” Martha poked her husband in the ribs, giggled and said, “He mated 50 times last year.”

They walked a little further and saw another pen with a sign that said, “This bull mated 120 times last year.” Martha hit Stumpy and said, “That’s more than twice a week! You could learn a lot from him.”

They walked further and a third pen had a bull with a sign saying, “This bull mated 365 times last year.” Martha got really excited and said, “That’s once a day. You could REALLY learn something from this one.” Stumpy looked at her and said, “Go up and ask him if it was with the same cow.”

Now Stumpy and his wife Martha went to the State Fair every year. Every year Stumpy would say, “Martha, I’d like to ride in the airplane.” And every year Martha would say, “I know, Stumpy, but that airplane ride costs ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars.”

This year Stumpy and Martha came out of the bull barn and Stumpy said, “Martha, I’m 71 years old.  If I don’t ride that airplane this year I may never get another chance.” Martha replied, “Stumpy, the airplane ride costs ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars.”

The pilot overheard them and said, “Folks, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take you both up for a ride.  If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say one word, I won’t charge you, but if you say one word it’s ten dollars.”

Stumpy and Martha agree and up they go.  The pilot does all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word is heard.  He does all his tricks over again, but still not a word.  They land and the pilot turns to Stumpy, “By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn’t.” Stumpy replied, “Well, I was gonna say something when Martha fell out, but ten dollars is ten dollars.”

Hymns With a Message: America, the Beautiful

August 16th, 2017

In 1892, The United States observed the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.

As part of the celebration, the city of Chicago sponsored a World’s Fair which carried over to the next year. It was early in the summer of 1893 that a group of professors from Wellesley College visited the Expo on their way to teach in Colorado. The women later compared the wonders of the man-made Fair with the glory of God’s handiwork in the Rockies.

At the end of the school year, the teachers decided to visit Pike’s Peak, elevation 14,000 feet! One of them, Katharine Lee Bates, wrote, “We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse…It was then and there, as I was looking out over the fertile country spreading away so far under those ample skies, that the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind. When we left Colorado Springs the four stanzas were penciled in my notebook. … I copied them out and sent them to print July 4, 1895. The hymn attracted an unexpected amount of attention. In 1904 I rewrote it, trying to make it more simple and direct.”

Katharine’s inspired words are certainly a favorite that resonate my feelings for this vast and diverse nation. “O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life!”

I think we need to hear this now: 

Sunday in South Dakota: Black Hills Caverns

August 13th, 2017

It’s not surprising that prospectors in search of gold discovered many of the underground treasures of South Dakota: its caves and caverns. The Black Hills Caverns was discovered in 1882 by a very slender gold seeker crawling into an even smaller hole in the side of a hill. Lakota Indians had found centuries before. Even now the cave is actively explored revealing new wonders in the beautiful underground landscape.

The Black Hills region is famous for its caves. Fifty million years ago, the caves of the Black Hills were formed when underground water dissolved layers of limestone, resulting in huge passageways, spacious cave rooms, and networks of narrow tunnels. As groundwater flowed into the passageways, full of dissolved minerals. One of these minerals, calcium carbonate, deposits crystals onto cave walls and ceilings, resulting in spectacular cave formations. Black Hills Caverns is formed by the “Paha Sapa Limestone” and contains the most complete variety of formations that exist in any cave in the Black Hills.

Black Hills Caverns entrance

Panning sluice outside visitors can try their hand to find gems.

I enjoy exploring caves as nature intended. That means Black Hills Caverns were on my list because they are free of elevators or escalators spoiling its natural beauty like some caverns. While walking sideways, down steps using hand rails and shimmying through narrow crevasses, the caves were different on each level. The tour gave me an idea of what the original explorers experienced, with the cave pathways kept as natural as possible. The cave Temperature remains a refreshing 45-50 degree. It felt fantastic with a long sleeve jacket.

The Black Hills Cavern is as majestic as it is huge with millions of rock formations that can be seen on one of their cave tours. The cavern offers many different types of crystals and formations to see — Popcorn Crystal, Frost Crystal, Stalactites, Soda Straw Stalagmites, Columns, Box Work, Cave Bacon  Dolomite, and the River of Ages is uniquely beautiful Flowstone. There are also fun natural formations that look like a chicken leg, a buffalo, even an alligator… so much to see! The Black Hills Caverns are well worth your time if you’re in the Black Hills area, are capable of climbing 250 steps and are wearing good shoes.

Forming Stalactites and Cave Bacon

Soda Straw Stalagmites

Dogtooth Crystals

Slippery, narrow passageway

Cave Bacon hanging from ceiling

Buffalo formation. The “eye” was created by early miners lantern soot.

Dust covered Frost Crystals

Wishing well near entrance of cave

Alligator rock

Example of early miner graffiti. This shows Ellis and his friends in 1937 prior to Ellis breaking both legs in the cavern. It took his friends 7 hours to get him out. He returned years later at 85 yr-old for a tour.

River of Ages formation created by Flowstone.

Chicken Leg rock.

Fun Facts: The Black Hills Caverns have a room called the chocolate room which is full of dolomite. Dolomite is a chalky natural substance used in Hershey bars. Also, due to the great flood of 1972 the crystal formations are covered in clay dust and not bright white as in the nearby Wonderland Cave. http://www.southdakotacaves.com/


Friday Funnies

August 11th, 2017

The average age of people living in Westhills Village community in Rapid City is 85. Recently, one of the residents turned 100, and a big birthday party was thrown. Everyone showed up, including his son from Florida. “How old are you?” one of the residents asked the son. “I’m 81 years old,” he answered. The resident shook her head. “They sure grow up fast, don’t they?”

Seeing my patient was wearing a new locket, I asked if there was a memento of some sort inside. “Yes,” said Sally, “a lock of my husband’s hair.” “Hmm. Your husband’s still alive.” “I know, but his hair is gone!”

Police in Delray Beach, Florida, raided and shut down a weekly $4-a-round mah-jongg game played by four elderly women. The Kings Point Gazette asked its readers for titles of crime movies that could be made about this bust:

Golden Girls, Interrupted

The Lavender Hair Mob

Indicting Miss Daisy

No Country for Old Women

The Social Security Network



Hymns With a Message: His Name is Wonderful

August 9th, 2017

This hymn was born in a small church, much like the one I grew up in. In an era when bigger is better and success is usually measured by statistics, it’s important to remember that small churches can do great things.

Audrey Mieir was born in 1916 and after she married Charles Mieir in 1936, she was ordained to the Gospel ministry in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Audrey was a gifted pianist and an inspiring worship leader and song director. In the 1950s she was working at Bethel Union Church in California. Christmas fell on Sunday that year and the church was decorated beautifully. Her choir loft was now a manager scene.

“As the morning service began,” Audrey recounted, “I was almost overwhelmed with the sounds and the gentle moving of the Spirit in that church. The pastor stood to his feet, opened the Bible, and said, ‘His name shall be called Wonderful.’ I tell you the truth, that’s all it took. I wrote the words and music in the back pages of my Bible. In that Sunday evening service, I taught the chorus to a group of young people, and it was sung for the first time.”

Though it was inspired on Christmas day by a traditional Christmas text, “His Name Is Wonderful” isn’t pegged as a Christmas hymn. It’s been a favorite with many around the world for singing throughout the year.


Sunday in South Dakota: City of Presidents

August 6th, 2017

Downtown Rapid City challenged notions I held of small town middle America. At the heart of historic downtown Rapid City, visitors are greeted by the City of Presidents, a series of life-size bronze statues of our nation’s past presidents along the city’s streets and sidewalks. I discovered the free art display while enjoying downtown shopping. A tour around downtown Rapid City is a tour through America’s history, with a president on every corner and stories of the Lakota told through commemorative plaques and statues.

Part of the Rapid City Historic District Tour, the City of Presidents project began in 2000 to honor the legacy of the American presidency. I find it impressive that each of the sculptures is 100% privately funded, and the pattern of placement was chosen to maintain a coherent structure and eliminate any sense of favoritism or political gain. (To view a map click here: http://presidentsrc.com/map.html)

Twelfth President. Zachary Taylor was not known for his education and he had no political background. He was elected solely on his reputation as a war hero. As such, his short time in office was not one full of major accomplishments.

Twenty-Eighth President. Woodrow Wilson played a huge role in determining if and when America would get involved in World War I. One of the first events of Wilson’s presidency was the passage of the Underwood Tariff. This reduced tariff rates from 41 to 27%. It also created the first federal income tax after the passage of the 16th Amendment. During Woodrow Wilson’s presidency women received the right to vote with the passing of the 19th Amendment, the Federal Reserve System was established, income tax was initiated with the birth of the Internal Revenue System, World War I broke out in Europe between 1914 and 1918, sheep grazed on the White House lawn to help the Red Cross raise wool for the war effort and the national observance of Mother’s Day was established.

Twenty-Fifth President.
During McKinley’s time in office, Hawaii was annexed. McKinley was shot two times by anarchist Leon Czolgosz while the president was visiting the Pan-American Exhibit in Buffalo, New York minutes after giving the lucky scarlet carnation from his lapel to a young girl who wanted a souvenir. To commemorate his tragic death, the sculptor gave him a red carnation.

Twenty-Seventh President. William Howard Taft holds a unique position in American political history. He is the only president who also served on the U.S. Supreme Court. He was America’s 27th president as well as the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was the first president to throw out the opening pitch of the major league season. The artist, Lee Leuning, shows him, ever the competitor, shaking off the catcher’s sign and preparing to throw the “heater”.

Ninth President. When Harrison took office, he gave the longest inaugural address ever talking for one hour and 40 minutes. It was delivered in the cold during the month of March. He then got caught in the rain and in the end came down with a cold. His illness got worse until he finally died on April 4, 1841. He only served one month, from March 4 until April 4, 1841. He was the first president to die in office.

Twenty-Ninth President. President Harding’s time in office was marked by some major scandals. Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall secretly sold the right to oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming to a private company in exchange for $308,000 and some cattle. Other officials under Harding were also implicated or convicted of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and other forms of wrongdoing. Harding died before the events affected his presidency.

Eighteenth President. Grant is considered to be one of the worst presidents in America’s history. His time in office was marked by major scandals. Grant as president accepted handsome presents from admirers. Worse, he allowed himself to be seen with two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk. When Grant realized their scheme to corner the market in gold, he authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to sell enough gold to wreck their plans, but the speculation had already wrought havoc with business. This was the cause of “Black Friday”.

Third President. In 1803, Jefferson purchased the Louisiana territory from France for $15 million. This is considered the most important act of his administration. He sent Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition to explore the new territory. Jefferson was the most gifted writer of his time and is displayed during the most important event of American History; the writing of the Declaration of Independence.

Twenty-Sixth President. Roosevelt was a fiery individualist who embodied American culture of the early 1900’s. His conservationism and willingness to take on big business are examples of why he is considered to be one of the better presidents. His progressive policies set the stage for important reforms of the 20th century.

Nineteenth President. When doing the recount, many Democratic ballots were ruled invalid in Florida and Louisiana. An investigative commission voted 8-7 along party lines to give all the electoral votes to Hayes allowing him to win against Tilden. Hayes began his administration with the Compromise of 1877 by which military occupation of the South ended. This helped satisfy Southerners who were upset over the results of the election.

Fortieth President. One of the most important events that occurred during Reagan’s administration was the growing relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Reagan created a bond with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Thirty-Seventh President. While many important events occurred during Nixon’s administration including the end of the Vietnam War, his visit to China, and putting a man on the moon, his time was marred by the Watergate Scandal. Faith in the office of the presidency declined with the revelations of this event and the way that the press dealt with the office changed forever from this time on.

This sculpture represents hope for reconciliation, dignity and respect for all the human race.

Thirteenth President. Fillmore succeeded to the presidency upon Taylor’s death. Millard Fillmore established the White House library. Fillmore was a sullen, introverted man and the sculptor chose to depict him with an expression of slight annoyance as visitors interrupt his reading.

Eighth President. Van Buren’s administration began with “The Panic of 1837”, a depression that lasted until 1845. To combat this, Van Buren fought for an Independent Treasury to help ensure the safe deposit of funds. Texas applied for statehood after gaining independence in 1836. If admitted, it would have become another slave state which was opposed by the Northern states. Van Buren, wishing to help fight against sectional slavery issues, agreed with the North.

Thirty-Sixth President. Johnson took over as president after JFK’s Assassination. Johnson escalated the war in Vietnam and eventually had to turn to peace when the U.S. was unable to achieve victory. He is also remembered for his Great Society policies where Medicare, Medicaid, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1968 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed among other programs.

A Lakota grandmother placing a feather in grand-daughters hair.

Tenth President. Although John Tyler became our tenth president, it was not his first choice of careers. As a young man, Tyler dreamed and studied to become an accomplished concert violinist. In 1841, all the Cabinet resigned but Secretary of State Webster. A year later when Tyler vetoed a tariff bill, the first impeachment resolution against a president was introduced in the House of Representatives. Tyler had to operate as president without a party behind him.

Sixth President. During John Quincy Adams’ term, the Erie Canal Opened. One key event during this time was his role in arguing before the Supreme Court to free the slave mutineers aboard the Amistad. He died after having a stroke on the floor of the US House.

Thirty-Fifth President. His moral leadership of Civil Rights was an important part of the movement’s eventual success. Kennedy had a tough time getting many of his domestic programs through Congress. However, he did get an increased minimum wage, better Social Security benefits, and an urban renewal package passed. He created the Peace Corps and his goal to get to the moon by the end of the 60’s found overwhelming support. His assassination has taken on a mythic quality

Second President . As our second president, John Adams was known for his ability as a great orator. During Adams’ term, the Navy Department and Marine Corps were Created (1798), the Capital moved to Washington, D.C. (1800) and the Library of Congress was established (1800).

Thirty-Ninth President. Widely known as a peanut farmer, on Carter’s first day in office, he issued a pardon for all those who dodged the draft in the Vietnam War. On November 4, 1979, the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran was seized and 60 Americans were taken hostage. Fifty two of the hostages were not released until after his left office.

Eleventh President. James K. Polk increased the size of the United States more than any other president through the acquisition of California and New Mexico as a result of the Mexican-American War. He also claimed Oregon Territory after a treaty with England. He was a key figure in Manifest Destiny. He was also an extremely effective leader – considered to be the best one-term president.

Fifth President. Two major developments during Monroe’s presidency were the Missouri Compromise (1820) and the Monroe Doctrine (1823). He was known to be a very cordial man, a man of charming demeanor who always carried a cane. He is shown tipping his top hat wishing passers by a “good day.”

Fourth President.
Madison wrote most of the U.S. Constitution at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. As the author of the Constitution, decisions made during his time as president were based on his interpretation of the document. He was well respected in his time for not only authoring the document but also administering it.

Twentieth President. Garfield was only in office for a little more than six months. The one major issue that he dealt with was an investigation of whether mail route contracts were being awarded fraudulently with tax money lining the pockets of those involved. Charles J. Guiteau, a mentally disturbed office seeker, shot President Garfield in the back, the wound from which he died.

Fifteenth President. The North and West were hit hard by an economic depression called “The Great Panic of 1857” but Buchanan took no action to help alleviate the depression. Buchanan is portrayed with hands held behind his back symbolizing timidity in the face of crisis.

Thirty-First President. Since President Hoover was a Quaker he did not take an oath of office, instead he affirmed his presidency. During his term, he approved the “Star-Spangled Banner” as our national anthem. Herbert Hoover was president during one of the worst economic disasters in America’s history. Hoover was one of two presidents who did not accept a salary for being president, instead donating his salary to charity.

Thirty-Third President. It was President Truman who made the final decision to use the atomic bombs on Japan to speed up the end of the World War II.

Twenty-Second & Twenty-Forth President. President Cleveland was the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. In 1893, Cleveland forced the withdrawal of a treaty which would have annexed Hawaii because he felt that America was wrong in helping with the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani.

Thirty-Eighth President. Gerald Ford was never elected to be president or vice-president but instead took office upon the resignation first of Spiro Agnew and then of Richard Nixon. As president, Ford tried to calm earlier controversies by granting former President Nixon a full pardon. Gerald Ford survived two assassination attempts.

First President. Despite being a member of the Federalist Party, Washington was immensely popular as a war hero and was an obvious choice as the first president for both federalists and anti-federalists. He was unanimously elected by the 69 electors. Washington was the only president inaugurated in 2 cities – New York and Philadelphia. Washington did his own bookkeeping and recorded every penny of expense or profit.

Forty-Third President. Bush took office in January 2001 and by September 11, 2001; the whole world was focused on New York City and the Pentagon with the attacks by Al-Qaeda operatives that resulted in the deaths of over 2,900 people. This event changed Bush’s presidency forever. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan and the overthrow of the Taliban which had been harboring Al-Qaeda training camps. An important education act during his term was the “No Child Left Behind Act” meant to improve public schools.

Forty-First President. During his term Bush faced a dramatically changing world, as the Cold War ended after 40 bitter years, the Communist empire broke up, and The Soviet Union ceased to exist; and reformist President Mikhail Gorbachev, whom Bush had supported, resigned. He sent troops into Kuwait to help fight Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the First Persian Gulf War.

Fourteenth President . Pierce was the first president to put a Christmas tree in the White House. One issue that caused a lot of criticism against Pierce was the Ostend Manifesto. This was a document published in the New York Herald which stated that if Spain was not willing to sell Cuba to the U.S., the United States would consider taking aggressive action to get it.

Thirty-Second President. Roosevelt’s terms as president were marked by bold moves to fight two of the largest threats to America and the world: the Great Depression and World War II. Also during Roosevelt’s term, the Social Security Act was created and prohibition was repealed. Roosevelt is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms of presidency. And assisted in founding the March of Dimes.

Thirty-Fourth President. He was then named Supreme Allied Commander in charge of the D-Day invasion. Eisenhower’s willingness to send federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas to ensure that local schools were desegregated was an important step in the Civil Rights movement.

Twenty-First President. Arthur succeeded Garfield upon his assassination. He was significant for two important pieces of legislation that occurred during his presidency. The Pendleton Civil Service Act, stipulating that government jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit, has had a long reaching positive impact while the Chinese Exclusion Act which allowed the U.S. to suspend immigration.

Thirtieth President. Coolidge is shown with his big Stetson hat and cowboy boots and is standing next to a saddle that was made especially for him by Rapid City saddle maker Bud Duhamel.

Forty-Second President. During the administration of Bill Clinton, the U.S. enjoyed more peace and economic well-being than at any time in its history. An important protective bill that passed in 1993 soon after taking office was the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Twenty-Third President. In 1890, Benjamin Harrison sponsored a tariff that required those wishing to import products to pay a 48% tax. This resulted in a rise of consumer prices. This was not a popular tariff.

Seventeenth President. Johnson became president after Lincoln’s death. During his presidency, Even though many saw it as folly at the time, it was truly an amazing investment in that it provided America with gold and oil while increasing the size of the United States drastically and removing Russian influence from the North American continent. He became the first president to be impeached while in office.

Seventh President. Andrew Jackson was the first “citizen-president” representing the common man. He believed strongly in preserving the union and in keeping too much power out of the hands of the wealthy.

Sixteenth President. Abraham Lincoln is considered by many scholars to have been the best president. He is credited with holding the Union together and leading the North to victory in the Civil War. Further, his actions and beliefs led to the emancipation of African-Americans from the bonds of slavery.ravel

This walk gave me an inside look of the personal affection Rapid City holds for the men who shaped this nation. An affection that reaches beyond Mount Rushmore. In fact, Rapid City has been honored with the designation “Most Patriotic Town in The United States” partly because of this fantastic city tour. Rapid City is worth the gas to get here.

Friday Funnies

August 4th, 2017

Back when hard-partying outlaw bikers dominated the Sturgis motorcycle rally, there was a running joke, always delivered in a sarcastic tone: Most of the bearded, tattooed, leather-clad bikers, the joke, went, were really “doctors and lawyers and dentists.” From what I heard, there will be a few cowboys at the annual rally this weekend, too.

This is another’s photographers photo from last year’s rally.

You know what happened to one cowboy a few years ago?

A cowboy appeared before St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. ‘Have you ever done anything of particular merit?’ St. Peter asked. ‘Well, I can think of one thing,’ the cowboy offered.  “On a trip to the Black Hills out in South Dakota , I came upon a gang of bikers, who were threatening a young woman.  I directed them to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t listen. So, I approached the largest and most heavily tattooed biker and smacked him in his face ….  Kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring, and threw it on the ground.  I yelled – Now, back off!! Or I’ll kick the crap out of all of you!”. St. Peter was impressed, “When did this happen?”. The cowboy “Just a couple of minutes ago”.

And that’s just one reason I’ll be steering clear of Sturgis this weekend. Be safe and be smiling.

Hymns With a Message: Great is Thy Faithfulness

August 2nd, 2017

The author of this hymn, Tomas Obediah Chisholm, was born in a log cabin in Kentucky. At age 16 he began teaching school. He came to Christ at age 27 under the ministry of evangelist H.C. Morrison. But Chisholm’s health was unstable, and he alternated between bouts of illness and gainful employment in which he did everything from journalism to insurance to evangelistic work.

Like each and every one of us, Thomas had many ups and downs, trials and challenges to deal with during his lifetime. But through all the ups and downs, he discovered new mercies from God every morning. God is good every day then and still is for each of us.

Enjoy the prayer blessing of this faithful hymn: 

I dare you not to hum along – you can’t help it with this song. These words set to music are powerful.

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.