Sunday, December 31, 2006

My Wishes For The New Year

To all my blogging Friends, I wish you a Happy New Year, a year of Good Health, Prosperity, and your dreams realized. I could list you all, but I won’t for there are just so many. Links to you are all over this blog.

To my Homeland, the Nation of my birth I wish continued Prosperity, greater unanimity of purpose and Amity, success in our relations with our neighbors and allies, and the defeat of our enemies – named and unnamed, within and without.

To my Writing Friends I wish success in your writing endeavors, completion of those works over which you have labored for so long. May your publishers be eager to print your work, your editors bowled over by your prose and poetry.

To my Family and Friends I wish Love, Good Health, Happiness, Prosperity, and Laughter. May the coming year be more than you could have ever expected, greater than any you have experienced before, a harbinger of things to come!

To GOD above I give Thanks for Your Love, Appreciation for Your Guidance (no matter whether or not I pay attention), Thanksgiving for Your Protection, Gratitude for Forgiveness of my many Sins. Be with me always, Father in Heaven. Protect this Nation, her Friends, and her People. Guide her always.


Gentlemen: Something To Think About Before The New Year Begins

As received in my email (thanks, Joan!) this afternoon:

One Flaw In Women

(to the men, please pass on to the women in your life!)

By the time the Lord made woman, He was into his sixth day of working overtime. An angel appeared and said, "Why are you spending so much time on this one?"

And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable and able to run on diet coke and leftovers, have a lap that can hold four children at one time, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart - and she will do everything with only two hands."

The angel was astounded at the requirements. "Only two hands!? No way! And that's just on the standard model? That's too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish."

"But I won't," the Lord protested. "I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can work 18 hour days."

The angel moved closer and touched the woman. "But you have made her so soft, Lord."

"She is soft," the Lord agreed, "but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."

"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.

The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate."

The angel then noticed something, and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek. "Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."

"That's not a leak," the Lord corrected, "that's a tear!"

"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.

The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love, her loneliness, her grief and her pride."

The angel was impressed. "You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything! Woman is truly amazing."

"She is!" Agreed the Lord. "Women have strengths that amaze men. They bear hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up to injustice. They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.

The Angel walked around this creation called woman as the Lord continued. "They go without so their family can have. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart. Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning. They bring joy, hope and love. They have compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. Women have vital things to say and everything to give."

"Perfect." Said the Angel.

"No," answered the Lord, "there is one flaw in woman."

"What is that?"


Saturday, December 30, 2006


Patrick took this quiz, so I decide to take it, too.

You Are: 70% Dog, 30% Cat

You and dogs definitely have a lot in common.
You're both goofy, happy, and content with the small things in life.
However, you're definitely not as needy as the average dog. You need your down time occasionally.

Patrick also blogged lightly on Saddam's passing. Give his blog a read - well worth it!

Sister Toldjah posts on Saddam; the Anchoress posts on the MSM's reaction to the execution. Gina Cobb posts a Saddam Hussein Post-Mortem; ELAshley posts on this; Anna has a cartoon on the happening; Laura Lee Donohoe takes a look at the Reactions To The Execution of Saddam Hussein.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Blogger Visits - Updated

Camojack of "Uncommonly Sensible" is in Florida this week, visiting family. He emailed me before Christmas to tell me that, and wondered if I'd be interested in getting together. Well, of course! Not only is Camo a fellow blogger, and a frequent visitor to this blog, but he's from my old home grounds, near Philadelphia. "Philly" as we like to say.

He called me yesterday to say he'd made it to his sister's place on the east of Orlando. So we decided - since I have no faith in my own poor wheels - that he'd head over to the Tampa Bay area today. I got some steaks and some Irish Ale (Smithwick's), and will prepare some cheesy potatoes and a fruit salad. I intend to feed my guest well! LOL

He's riding here on his Harley. So I did caution him to beware of Florida drivers. In honor of his wheels I am wearing my M&M Harley t-shirt.

Walp, off to the laundry room to finish that chore. Can't wait to "meet" a fellow blogger! Catch you all later!

Update: Well Camo arrived around 4:30, having endured the Snowbird traffic along I-4 and I-275. His arrival was heralded by the loud tunes on his Harley. It's a big bike with all the trimmings, and a sound system was state-of-the-art. Oy!

From his picture on the bike (see above), I expected one of those big, burly Biker Dudes. But Camo is an average-sized fellow, wearing a small pony tail, and decked in ... you guessed it... camo pants!

We repaired to my apartment and opened some Smithwick's Irish Ale, lit up some Cohiba cigars that he brought with him (sweet cigars!), and chatted away. We ate supper, as described above, and I found out that Camo does something my brother does. He eats one thing at a time, then moves on to the next item. So he ate the steak. Then he ate the cheesy potatoes, and then he dug into the fruit salad with cherry dressing. LOL My brother does exactly the same. No hitting a bit of this and a bit of that. So that felt a bit like old times, y'know?

We made time to watch Jeopardy! on my TV (antenna with crummy reception), and we both did well. Sadly neither of us won a single dollar! But we actually did better than the actual contestants. We are neither of us dummies. Hah!

We both have similar attitudes about religion, politics, and life in general. Camo has the luck of having a lovely Lady friend (who called him while he was here), and has heady plans for his retirement in Hawaii. It was a genuinely nice evening!

Camo asked if he could bed down in the living room. Well, why the heck not? He discovered that the easy chair almost lays back flat, so he slept there. I roused him at 6:45 in the morning, and after he showered and dressed, and drank some reheated coffee from the evening before, we headed out. Camo took off for his other sister's place on the east coast of Florida, and I went to work (yech!).

If Camo is riding in your neighborhood, invite him to stop by. As much as he travels - biking, hiking, boating - Camo may well be in your neighborhood someday soon.

Jack: Thanks for the nice visit! Don't be a stranger! Next time: Pork Chops, roasted Potatoes, Corn, and some sort of veggies I won't worry about until then! Heheheee! I'm glad we met, Man!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Double-Tagged! Why, Oh Why?

Well, it happened! I got tagged! And not just once, either. I got tagged twice! Oy!

I guess I should start with Brooke's tag, via Always On Watch via ... quite a few folks. So here goes.

3 Things I would like for Christmas:
1) I would like to have a major Publisher, or a Motion Picture Producer, discover my book. It would suddenly appear on book shelves, instead of being strictly an online ordering item. The royalties might actually get hefty, and can you imagine how nice it would be to get paid for the Motion Picture rights? Wow!

2) I would like to find a nice, pretty woman who could fall in love with me (with all my many faults), and me fall for her.

3) I would like to learn that this nation's enemies have been found, captured or killed, and exposed to the world for their Evil nature. (yeah, I know: not likely, but I'd like it for Christmas!)

3 Things I don’t want for Christmas:
1) Furniture or anything big. I have the feeling I won't be able to afford the next - expected - rent increase, and I don't want to be bogged down with more junk to move.

2) Green Bean Bake. I know some folks enjoy it, but I only like the french fried onion rings. The casserole itself is just nasty!

3) Car trouble! Any funds I've managed to save for the last two years - indeed, the last decade! - have been sucked dry with huge car repairs. I'm just tired of it. Maybe the Lord can bless my wheels and keep them rolling nicely until I can afford a new car!

Hey, feel free to do this Meme yourself. I'm not tagging anybody with it. Too close to Christmas to nail somebody else. LOL

Now to the second tag. Patrick nailed me with this one, and it's a toughie! So this took a little thinking. I certainly don't want to embarrass myself publicly, now do I? This Meme asks me to list six things that are weird about me. Yeesh! Where do I begin?

Six Weird Things About Me:
1) It has been over two years since the love of my life decided I was never going to amount to anything - not enough ambition - and would never make enough money, and left me. Yet I still miss her. And that's just stupid. Or weird. I'll settle for weird. *sigh*

2) I enjoy Broadway musicals. Listen to Robert Goulet singing "If Ever I Would Leave You" and tell me you aren't moved! I performed in musicals in school, icluding in College, and I love 'em! I'm a straight guy who loves Musicals!

3) I enjoy a bowl of chili con carne for breakfast. No, not on a work day - that's cruel to my co-workers! - but now and then, a hot bowl of chili is just what I need for a morning meal!

4) From beer #3 to beer #6, I am the most voluble, annoying, talkative, opinionated jackass on the face of the earth. From beer #7 I am comatose. I stop at beer #2. Any wonder why?

5) I love Scrapple! Dang! Fried until the outside of the slices are crisp, with a dash of catsup atop the steaming product, it's a Pennsylvania treat! Hard to get down here in Florida, and a lot of folks abhor the stuff, but I love all those pig parts, mushed into a loaf, sliced and fried. mmMMMMMmmm! :D

6) If I sleep on my back I stop breathing. Yeah, it's Sleep Apnea, but it's weird, too! And scary. Because when it really hits, Apnea paralyzes the body. Not the mind. Imagine not being able to breath, or move. Yeesh! Weird!

7) Bonus! I am so claustrophobic I can give myself panic attacks just visualizing tight spaces. I was reading a novel by Lee Child in which the hero is trying to move from one dark cavern into another through a small tunnel. It's so small that he ends up wedged tightly inside, his flashlight dead, and rats running over him. About the time that he begins screaming in fear I had to close the book and walk around for a bit. Look: it's a novel! And I was getting claustrophobic just reading about it! And that's just weird!

Well, that's it! Yeah, there's plenty else that may be considered weird, but why be a glutton, eh? Again, feel free to play along yourself. Heheheee!

And have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Have Confidence

For over a century "experts" have confidently placed the writing of the Gospels, as well as the rest of the New Testament, firmly in the 2nd Century, or even the 3rd Century, after Christ. Their reasoning is usually among these: The early Christians did not write down what Jesus said; the N.T scriptures were later interpolations of word-of-mouth sayings within the early Church; the N.T.Scriptures were simply fiction composed by a splinter group of Jews seeking freedom from the Roman occupation. And there are others. All of them have one aim in mind: the discrediting of the Christian Scriptures and the de-deification of Jesus.

I recall reading, more than once, that by the time of the 2nd Century - the earliest that "experts" accept as the dating of the first writing of N.T.Scriptures - the world of Roman Judaea had changed completely. 1st Century Roman Judaea no longer existed. Writers, then, in the 3rd Century had no idea what the area, wherein Jesus lived and preached, looked like. Because it was gone. Just as surely as Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under lava, Roman Judaea disappeared in A.D. 70, with the sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans.

And yet...

The Christian Gospels, Epistles, etc. describe a world that the writers could not have known. Remember, by the modern times, all of the "experts" knew that Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judaea. The Scriptures call him Prefect. Naturally the Scriptures had to be wrong, thus they were not historical. Because, as we all know, the Scriptures are not history but fiction. Even the reknowned historian Tacitus referred to Pilate as procurator (another nail in the coffin of those who believe Pilate to be non-historical). Tacitus had to be right, didn't he. Until, in HIS own time, GOD revealed the truth. In 1961, during excavation of the ancient amphitheater (built by decree of Herod the Great c. 30 BC), called Caesarea Palaestina in the present city of Caesarea-on-the-Sea (also called Maritima) an inscribed limestone block was unearthed. On the partially damaged block is a dedication to Tiberius Caesar Augustus. It has been deemed as an authentic archaeological find due to the area in which it was discovered: the costal town of Caesarea, which was the seat of power of Judaea during the tyrannical reign of Pontius Pilate.

The partial inscription reads:

It is believed that this is what it likely said:


The Pilate StoneHmmm, imagine that! The Bible was correct and the historians - the "experts" - were wrong. Again. Pilate, among many titles he held while serving Rome in Judaea, was Prefect. Just as the Scriptures said. By the 2nd Century that title was no longer in use. By A.D. 44 the title of Prefect was gone. The term used would hence be Procurator. And just who, among these primitives of Judaea of the 2nd and 3rd Centuries would know the history of Roman titleage?

For in those days there was no Jerusalem Times or Pharisee Herald Tribune whose archives you could check, no Internet, not even a lending library. The synagogue may have held important texts, but after a certain time, those synagogues were gone, too.

No, we may not have in our posession manuscripts in the hand of the original writers of the Gospels. We may not have the manuscripts in existence that Jesus' comrades wrote down. But what we do have is evidence that the manuscripts we do have are accurate. More accurate than the writings of the historians who denigrate the Scriptures as fiction.

Think for a moment on this, while we're at it. Julius Caesar's writings, put down between 100 and 44 B.C. are accepted at face value as accurate history, though biased. The earliest copy in existence dates from A.D. 900 - a span of 1,000 years! The New Testament, believed to have been written between A.D. 40 and A.D. 100, has over 24,000 copies from circa A.D. 125. A tme span of about 25 to 85 years. Despite repeated evidence showing the historicity of the Scriptures, they are considered unreliable and fictional. The "Annals" of Tacitus were written in A.D. 100. they are also considered reliable. The earliest copies date from A.D. 1100. Do you see the problem here?

We know, from archaeology, from writings, from all the evidence available, that the Scriptures are, in fact, historically reliable. We also know from decades, indeed centuries, of "scholarship" that the Scriptures are fiction, fables, unreliable historical records.

Even today we have so-called "Theologians" who will dissect the Scriptures to prove some point. Such as: Jesus was called Jesus of Nazareth. The Scriptures claim he was born in Bethlehem. So why the wrong name? Because he wasn't born in Bethlehem. Nyeahh!

Nice try, but a very silly argument (I threw in the "Nyeahh!")as you can probably tell. I was born in the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia, spent the first two years of my life in a suburb of Philadelphia called Ambler, then was reared in Levittown until adulthood. If we used the same sort of naming devices I would be known as benning of Levittown, not benning of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, or anything else. He was known as Jesus of Nazareth by people who only knew him from Nazareth, or were told he was from Nazareth. It's such a stupid argument that you have to wonder at the desperate nature of those who raise it. Benjamin Franklin is considered a Philadelphian, isn't he? But he was born and reared in Boston. I guess he is a fiction, too, eh?

Are there problems with the understandings of His birth? Yes; no question about it. Jesus was not born in a manger. He was to be found lying in a manger. He was not born the night that Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem. The Scripture does not say that He was. The Wise Men (Magi) were not there at the same time as the Shepherds. The Magi came much later. Jesus may well have been crawling about the floor by the time they arrived.

But all these things are simply matters of reading what the Scriptures say, not relying on what you think they say, and not on Doctrine. The Scriptures are the source of the facts; doctrines are created by denominations. So pay attention.

Our Christmas Celebrations are most likely at the wrong time of the year. But they are in Joyous Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The timing is unimportant. The facts are in the Scriptures. And we can have confidence in them. They are "GOD-breathed", as the word goes. So, have confidence, be Joyful, have Faith!

"Joy to the world, the Lord is come!"

See: Josh MacDowell's "Evidence That Demands A Verdict" for Apologetics that are amazing and bolster Faith in the Scriptures. My own copy, which is falling apart, I bought in 1972.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Make A Snowflake!

One of my blogging friends, Greg (Blandly Urbane of Demediacratic Nation fame) sent me an email telling me he had made a snowflake! Well! Following the link I found a Salvation Army site, hosted by Popular Front, using Flash to allow visitors to create their own snowflake, append a message, and email it to other folks. This is a charity site, for those so inclined, and they are raising money for their charitable works. It ain't bell-ringing, but it's very clever, and all in support of a good cause.

It only allows so many email addresses, so if you wish to send a snowflake to a lot of people, you need to make more than one snowflake!

If you put your mouse over a tagged snowflake, it gets bigger, shows you the name of its creator, and you then have the option of leaving a reply. It's cute!

I emailed a few folks before I realized I'd reached the limit of email addies I could add. So I got to thinking and decided to capture the screen images and shrink them so I could post them right here. That way if you are nervous about How To Make A Snowflake, you have some idea of how it works. Kind of like a snowflake tutorial!

Feel free to make a few of your own and send them off. Also, if the Spirit moves you, donate to the Salvation Army right on the site. These folks are among the Good Guys.

Click on the "Create A Snowflake" image.

Now, use the left button on your mouse and move it over the 'paper'. As you release the mouse the image of a snowflake will appear on the left side of the box. You can continue with your mousing until the image is exactly what you want.

Click on the "Done" button. Now the box will change and you have the opportunity to put your name and a message on it.

Click the "Add" button, and you can now add email addresses. When you're done click the "Send" button and your snowflake is on its way!

Hey, give it a try! Let your kids or grandkids take a shot at it, too. When you are through, surf on over to the Demediacratic Nation and visit Greg. Tell him benning sentcha! You'll enjoy his site. I do.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Burleigh Hunsecker's Christmas or Jingle Hawgs

As promised when I posted my Halloween tale - a dark story, but one that wrote itself so quickly - here is my Christmas tale, born of some odd conversations while on break when I worked at the Seminole Casino. Trust me, the conversations went into some very odd places, but they inspired this tale. I published it in 2002 at T-Zero: The Writer's Ezine for which I received the princely sum of $15. I was honored and joyous to get this puppy published! For the full effect try to hear Andy Griffith while reading it. That's the voice I was using to speak it and then to write it. I hope you enjoy the Dickens out of it!

Burleigh Hunsecker's Christmas or Jingle Hawgs
by benning
(with apologies to Andy Griffith)

Well, sir, this one year I'm a-tellin' you about, Ol' Burleigh got some fab'lous idears in his head. Seems he saw an advertisement in some magazine, and it done sparked him. This was gonna be a Christmas tree to "beat the band." Did I mention that Ol' Burleigh ain't the brightest bulb on th' tree?

Now Burleigh decided a train would be a nice touch, a-circling 'round the floor under that tree, and not just any ol' train neither. It was gonna be big enough to carry Winston. Winston is one of Burleigh's pet hawgs. Burleigh has a soft spot for hawgs; thinks they's smart and nearly as nice as people. Burleigh likes to play checkers with his hawgs, but that's another story.

So Burleigh bought hisself a set of train-tracks and a big enough train to hold Winston. Took him months to find the durn thing, but find it he did. Now, to add to the beauty of the scene Ol' Burleigh decided he wanted to put candles on the ends of the lower branches, and not just any candles. No, sir. He wanted them funny candles what sputter and don't blow out. Ol' Burleigh figgered they'd stay lit longer and look purtier.

Christmas day in Pine Oil Creek 'n the en-tire population of th' town is there, trudgin' up the long icy road to th' Hunsecker home; all 38 of us 'n all 23 of the Hunseckers. Quite a crowd, it was. Th' womenfolk was all decked out in their finest with their perfume battlin' the aroma of turkey 'n spuds. Th' fellers dressed to th' nines and all of 'em an-ticipatin' the taste of Nana Hunsecker's Sweet Tater Pie. Ever'body gathered 'round the big Hunsecker Family Christmas tree for th' lightin'. Ol' Burleigh had a grin on his face to rival th' Cheddar Cat from "Alice in Wunnerland."

We all hushed up as Burleigh lit them funny candles. We "oohed" 'n we "ahhed" as he plugged in the lights. It was the purtiest tree ever. Then come the "piece-of-resistance:" Ol' Burleigh threw the switch and around the tree came that train, a-tootin' 'n a-puffin' smoke. Ridin' behind the engine was Winston, dressed in a bright red Santa coat with a red stockin' cap on his head, beady little eyes wide in fright.

Now I backed up from that tree when I saw this. A 300-pound hawg ridin' a toy train didn't seem such a good idear right then. Havin' been around for the "Great Popcorn Catastrophe," I knowed a Burleigh Hunsecker bad idear when I saw it. Some of th' others moved back, too. We ain't stupid.

Well, Sir, 'bout the third time around that tree we could see Winston's been thinkin' on this. Hawgs don't much care for trains, much less ridin' on 'em, and Winston weren't no different. Natcherly he decided to hop off. When he did, that curly tail hooked onto that purty garland and whipped it right offen that tree. Them funny candles got stuck in the garland 'n they come down, too, still a-sputterin' 'n a-sparklin'.

Thing is, Winston doesn't like this a-tall and he took off a-squealin' in fright. Needless to say this wasn't what Ol' Burleigh had in mind. He let out a yelp and took off after Winston. The tree, meanwhile, teetered and come down, clippin' Nana Hunsecker on the head. Granny Hunsecker yanked open the front door 'n yelled to Winston 'n out the door he scooted, garland and sputterin' funny candles twistin' away behind him. Now Ol' Burleigh is only a step behind and he flew out th' door right after that hawg. Winston was off th' porch 'n flyin' down the walk when he lost his footin' on the ice 'n started a-skiddin'. Ol' Burleigh hit th' ice and he landed on his rump, careening into a snowdrift.

Now when Winston finally came to a stop he's got this garland snakin' 'round him, them candles jest a-hissin' and a-sputterin', 'n he let out a squeal 'n commenced to scramble to git away. Finally his hooves got some traction 'n he was off 'n runnin' again, headin' down th' only other shoveled walk they is. That'd be the one leadin' to the family outhouse. Ol' Burleigh, meanwhile, got to his feet 'n wobbled into th' same walkway.

Now Ol' Burleigh had snow meltin' into his eyes, so LORD only knows what he thought he seen, but he let out a scream and slip-slided down that walkway toward the outhouse. He banged into the door and tried t' open it, but you know how them door latches are in winter. They stick. Winston has a head of steam goin' and he followed right after Ol' Burleigh. Now, a 300-pound hawg takes some stoppin' even on dry ground; on ice there's no stoppin' him. Winston rammed right into Ol' Burleigh, they smashed right through that door and disappeared with a squeal and a howl!

We all heard the splash. We could hear Winston squealin' and Ol' Burleigh bellowin' down there. Musta been cold, not to mention evil-smellin'. I noticed that garland was still stickin' out the doorway with them funny candles still a-sputterin' like crazy. Then it got pulled down. I reckon with all that splashin' around the gasses down there musta churned up some,' cause it weren't a second or two later that they was a "Whoomp!" and a "Whoosh!" and that outhouse plumb disappeared in a cloud of foul-smellin' smoke.

Granny Hunsecker finally caught sight of Ol' Burleigh up in the big Spruce tree by the road. Winston was up there, too, sittin' on top of him. Burleigh had his eyebrows singed off and Winston's tail weren't curly no more.

Now, I'm pleased to report that we all enjoyed Christmas supper at the Hunsecker Homestead that year. The turkey was baked to a fine golden brown, moist and right tasty. The spuds were mashed to a "fare-thee-well" and smooth as could be. Toppin' it off was Nana Hunseckers Sweet Tater Pie that kinda melted sweetly on th' tongue. Yessir, it was a fine meal.

And Ol' Burleigh? Well, Granny Hunsecker made him stay out on th' porch and eat his supper there. The Hunseckers might not be the brightest folks around, but they are jest about the nicest.

Y'all have a Happy Holiday, hear?

Copyright 1998 - 2006, Writopia Inc. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Buy My Book: There's Still Time Before Christmas!

As I posted some months ago, my Historical Novel, Benning's War, is available in print. And the price is slightly lower, too! Wow! I think it's $13.98 right now, so hurry over! Meanwhile, re-read my original post from some months ago:

Yeee-Hah! Guess what? "Benning's War" is finally available in Print! That's right! You can order the book I slaved over, for years, in paperback! Ohhhh, I am so excited I can hardly believe it!


"Benning's War" is my very first literary 'child', and I am proud of it. I think it works real well as an adventure tale, as a love story, as a story of sibling rivalry and of growth. In my opinion it also works fairly well as History. No, it's no text book. But it hits enough important points, in relating a story of the American Revolution, that any reader can learn something about our Founding Fathers.

You see, as important as the Washingtons, Jeffersons, Adamses, and such were, the Revolution was won by ordinary Americans. Men and Women much like you and me, living in a simpler, but harder time. Men and Women who wanted freedom, and could only find it by throwing off their British parents. And my book doesn't celebrate the 'Greats' of the Revolution so much as the ordinary people who fought, died, suffered, won, celebrated.

Image hosted by

I hope you will go buy the book! Please do! I can use a winner, you know? ; )
And remember that it is also available as an ebook: Buy "Benning's War" in ebook!

The ebook is now available at! Buy other epress ebooks there, too! I know the writers, and they are very talented, and their work is impressive! Go! Buy!

See? Excited! Can you imagine what would happen if a producer saw the book? Hehehee! Movie Rights?


Okay, I'm calmer now. ; )

Please go buy my book. Notice I didn't use an exclamation mark? Impressive control, eh?

It's Available in PRINT! YaaaaaHOOOOOOO!

So why not buy a copy? Makes a great gift! Would I lead you astray?

PBS Fluff

I was watching a PBS "documentary" last night. Well, I was flipping back and forth between PBS and reruns of Scrubs, which can be a funny sitcom. I would have liked to stay with the PBS offering except that the "documentary" was utter garbage. Not the utter garbage you expect when watching the BBC news, or any of the PBS-sponsored talk shows. No, this was the sort of garbage that makes you wonder who keeps handing over the money, since it was obviously being pissed away.

I'm sure we've all seen the shows that slip in the latest silliness on Global Warming, the sort of comments that make it seem as though Global Warming is a fact and you'd be asking for trouble if you dared disagree, what are you a 'Flat Earth-er', do you even know how to read a book? Familiar? Yeah, I thought so.

Anyway, I was watching what purported to be an investigation of "GO FORTH: From Creation to Abraham","Episode One of Walking The Bible", something that promised archaeology and something other than the typical Leftist poo-pooing of religion. And it had to be something of substance since it even has a companion book! Wow! Right? Wrong.

Walking The Bible
Here's what the PBS site says about the show:
The holy city of Jerusalem. Best selling author Bruce Feiler begins his epic, ten thousand mile odyssey to explore the greatest stories ever told, in the settings where they actually occurred. It's a daunting prospect in this strife-torn region of the world, where archaeological evidence is hard to find. He teams up with experienced archaeologist and co-adventurer Avner Goren.

By foot, jeep, rowboat, and train, Feiler and Goren set out to experience the Bible in its own world. Their quest takes them first to the birthplace of civilization, Mesopotamia, now part of Turkey. Here, on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, the Bible's storytellers set the Creation, and the Garden of Eden. Bruce and Avner climb Mt. Ararat in search of Noah's ark, travel to the ancient town where some believe Abraham was born….and then to the ancient ruins of Harran, where the Bible says God tells Abraham to "go forth" to the Promised Land. Following Abraham's path back to Jerusalem, they stop to explore the sulfurous land by the Dead Sea, with its salt pillars called "Lot's wife." Could this be dramatic evidence of Sodom and Gomorrah? The episode culminates at Jerusalem's sacred Temple Mount, the very spot where it's believed Abraham brought his son Isaac, and prepared to follow God's ultimate test of faith.

The star of the show, Bruce Feiler, and his archaeologist guide through the show, Avner Goren, made watching their trip painful. They took us to where they believe the Garden of Eden was. Nice travelogue. Scriptures were intoned beautifully by Keith David, a fine actor and vocal talent. Pretty pictures and impressive scenery. And what was the point? Did they think they would see the Garden? Or maybe the remains of the Garden of Eden? Perhaps they figured enough people would think it could be found? Had you watched, and seen the embarrassed smiles of Avner Goren, you would've realized he wasn't doing this for purposes of research, or recent discoveries. No, he was doing this for some pretty stiff fees. The Garden of Eden?

Look, Folks, I happen to believe that the place once existed. I also believe that after Man was tossed from the premises, GOD put some mean Angels on guard to keep people out. Now, even if we all assume the existence at one time of the Garden of Eden, who, in their right mind, thinks it is still out there? Does the word Flood ring a bell? Anyone? How about you Biblical experts? Whatcha think?

Yet, here was Bruce Feiler showing us where he thinks the Garden was. Who cares? Long after the Garden of Eden came the Great Flood, the one where Noah was ordered to build a gigantic Ark to save his family and a lot of animals, and the Garden was washed away forever. If you follow the Bible to find things, you have to take the Bible literally. So why would you look for pre-Flood places? Isn't that fairly stupid?

The pair wandered around Turkey, introduced us to the self-styled "Mayor" of Mount Ararat, who insisted on Bruce dancing, and managed to not find the Ark. A waste? Yes, a huge waste. But here were Bruce and Avner speaking in philosophical nothings about not finding the Ark. Well if it wasn't important to actually find the bloody thing, why waste all that film and videotape? Why the companion book? What the hell was the point?
Bruce FeilerTheir 'walk' alongside Abraham gave us some Muslims at a small city, where they claim Abraham was once tossed into a fire by an enraged pagan King. The caretaker of the shrine tells the cute story, claims the fish in the pond are the descendants of the original fish in the story, and then Bruce says legends claim eating the fish can kill you! He claims some soldiers were blinded by eating the fish in the 1980s.

Hmmm, okay. Interesting enough, I suppose, but not important when linked to Abraham. But beyond that, did anybody test the fishies? Hmmm? Did they try to discover if the fish are toxic, or the water in the pond? Anything even remotely investigative? No? No! Tell a silly story that some Muslims may believe in this primitive part of the world, do no investigations, then head for Jerusalem.

Oh, yeah, and we had the Dead Sea and Sodom and Gomorrah. The gist of the Dead Sea segment was to explain how pillars of salt are created naturally. Now, even though the suspected sites of the Cities of the Plains are known, and contain ruins, did we go there? No. Bruce and Avner talked about how the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are gone.

Not once was I made to nod my head and whisper, "wow, that's interesting." Not once. This was fluff, Folks. Using imposing voice-overs for the relevant Scriptures, they otherwise presented a substance-free philosophical journey through the Holy Land. For non-believers. Because they weren't trying to present new evidence. They were doing what Lefties always do when presented with GOD: They faked it. They did some soft shoe, a little song-and-dance, and shuffled off the stage, hoping that would hold 'em.

I used to long for cotton candy when I was very young. It looked great! A huge ball of colored fluff, sweet and enticing. I also remember the let-down when I tried to get a big mouthful of the stuff. It dissolves into a tiny lump of sugar in your mouth. It is fluff, Folks. There's no substance at all. And so was the case with the PBS offering last night. Fluff, more fluff, and nothing but fluff!

Now, if you are interested in Old Testament stories such as the Creation, The Flood, and so on, there is information out there that makes those tales likely. Indeed, if you read your Immanuel Velikovsky - "Worlds In Collision", "Earth In Upheaval", etc. - you can learn a great deal about the mounds of evidence that support the Exodus, among other things. Go visit Jim Pinkoskis's website and check out the pages. He has a lot of info on many of the Bible stories which tend to prove their historicity. But do not depend on PBS for anything of the kind. You will get not one bit of sustenance from them. All you'll get is fluff.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Harry Anderson - A Different Sort Of Magic

Boys And Toys

Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. said, at BPIB,
"Harry Anderson's story is as unique as his ability. Born in 1906 in Chicago, he was going to be a mathematician. He started college at the University of Illinois in 1925. He took an art course as an easy counterpoint to the math classes and discovered both a talent and a love for drawing. From such simple choices our lives are made."

As Kent Steine says at The American Art Archive,

The Marriage - 1946"Conception, composition, value, draughtsmanship, and painting dexterity," Harry Anderson once said, "must all work together. And they are important in just that order. But the parts all become automatic in time." No picture, according to him, would be deemed acceptable with any of these elements neglected. As one of the top illustrators from the 1930s to the 1980s, Harry spoke with quiet authority on the subject of making pictures.

His work graced the pages of all of the nation's high-profile magazines, as well as the most visible advertising campaigns. Quite often, authors would write to Anderson, informing him that he did a better job telling their story with his picture than they had done.

Just a note: Most of the images here can be enlarged by clicking on them! Worth the time, trust me!

Again, from Jim at BPIB,
He married Ruth around 1940. She worked in the same building as Harry and posed for him on one occasion. The following year he left the agency and joined the studio of Haddon Sundblom - famous for his Coca-Cola Santa Claus paintings. He was too old for military service but he did contribute one poster to the war effort. The purchase of a home during this period led to a second fork in his career path.

What Happened To Your Hand? - 1945He and Ruth joined the Seventh Day Adventist church and in 1944 Harry was asked if he would contribute to their publishing efforts. Harry generously said yes and the next year his most famous image was crafted. "What Happened to Your Hand?" [at left] was done for a children's book in 1945 and immediately touched the hearts of that audience. The adults in charge of the publishing program were less enthusiastic; some even considering it near-blasphemous to show Christ in the present day. Cooler heads prevailed and Anderson spent the rest of his active career splitting his efforts between commercial assignments at his premium wages and religious ones done for love and for scale.

His art director at Review and Herald Publishing was T.K. Martin and it was his vision of Christ as a tangible presence in modern times that was shared and executed over and over again by Anderson. The inner peace that allowed Anderson to make his choice to contribute his time and effort at virtually minimum wage was evident in his paintings and in his depiction of Jesus.

One of the Great Moments of Your Life - Marriage(1951)Actually, that's unfair to Harry. That dedication and calm is present in all of his work. As an important and popular illustrator, he's almost unique in the gentleness of his images. Quite capable of depicting nearly anything, his choice of assignments and his approach to them was always in line with the dictates of his heart. Not many people can live their lives the way they want to. It seems that Anderson did. He enjoyed the same quiet, focused strength in his private life that's evident in his art.

From advertisement art Esso Advertisement

to illustrations for stories of every kind, Just The Two Of Us - 1948
A Little Night Music - 1950

Harry Anderson's skill, and story-telling ability, was evident. And still is. For instance, take a look at "A Way With Boys" from 1948. Click on the image for a bigger version. Do you see the little mouse in the little box? Can you imagine the story here? Don't you want to know it? Look at her hand holding the box. Take a good long look. Is that an amazing work of art?

A Way With Boys - 1948

The Divine Healer - 1948As Harry moved deeper into his religious life and his involvement with the Seventh Day Adventists, his work became more Christ-centered. But it also remained very White. Now, don't get me wrong. Harry was a product of his time, and he painted what he saw, whether in his own life or in his mind's eye. A white Christ is not wrong. But in this day and age it is a tad jarring. And a reminder of a time when the PC Jihadists were not yet in power. Harry could paint what moved his heart and not worry about the Leftist Inquisition.

Harry was free to paint a white Messiah, in a white Israel, without the slightest qualm. Yep! McCarthyism was just rearing its ugly head, but here was an artist painting what he wished. Funny how free we actually were back then, eh?

The ConsultationIndeed, imagine a painting such as "The Consultation", which shows Christ at the bedside of a patient, being hung in a public building today. Yet it hangs in the lobby of a hospital today. Why? Because it came before the Fools of PC arrived to try to shut GOD up. And before even religious institutions were fearful of the reactions of non-believers.

The Consultation in Hospital Lobby

Girl And BibleThere are so many paintings and illustrations available, and so many I would love to post right here. But, as with my other Artist Posts, they are just too numerous. Let me suggest to you, if you have any interest in the works of Harry Anderson, that you visit the web-site of Jim Pinkoski, whose Harry Anderson page remembers the fine artist and recounts Jim's visit with Harry near the end of Harry's life. It is fascinating and quite revealing. And it's chock full of photos of the visit. Jim was very nice to email me some fine quality images that I could use here.

I also recommend Ken Steacy Publishing, where you can find a few nice pictures, as well as BPIB, my old standby, for biographical info, and the American Art Archives, another of my standbys, for the Kent Steine article on "Loose Realism" - Harry's painting style - and more biographical information.

I love the Internet! So much to discover, so much to learn! So go learn some things about Harry Anderson: he had a different kind of Magic!

Okay, one more. This one emailed to me by Jim Pinkoski, titled "Discovery".

As Jim said,

"This was a neat one that was a poster in the 1970s -- see the face of Jesus in the bushes? It's illustrating that we can look at the beauty of nature and see God's handiwork all around us!"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Another One From Bookworm

Bookworm posted the results of another poll. Naturally I took it and didn't do nearly as well as she. But, what the hey? I know I tripped up on the "area of the triangle" question. Math was never my friend!

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Of course, while I was there I couldn't just stop at one, now could I?

Your Christmas lights are glowing 100%.

Awesome! Your Christmas tree lights up the whole room! You are a true lover of all things Christmas, and a joy for those around you!

Christmas Trivia
Make Your Own Quiz

Remembering December 7th

Today, December 7th, 2006, we remember the sneak attack on the US military installation on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. My grandfather was too old to serve during World War II, my father far too young (he was 13 years old in 1941), but my mother's father did serve. My uncle would serve in the US Marines following the war. My respect for all those men and women who have served, and now serve, in the US Military is unbounded.

In 1941 war was everywhere. Yet we were at peace. An uneasy peace, but peace, nonetheless.

From Pearl Harbor.US (Never Forget)
Pearl Harbor. Dawn, 7 December 1941. More than half of the United States Pacific Fleet, approximately 150 vessels and service craft, lay at anchor or alongside piers in Pearl Harbor. All but one of the Pacific fleet’s battleships were in port that morning, most of them moored to quays flanking Ford Island. By 10:00 a.m. the tranquil Sunday calm had been shattered, 21 vessels lay sunk or damaged, the fighting backbone of the fleet apparently broken. Smoke from burning planes and hangers filled the sky. Oil from sinking ships clogged the harbor.

Death was everywhere.

Once again, from Pearl Harbor.US
The attack on Pearl Harbor was the culmination of a decade of deteriorating relations between Japan and the United States over the status of China and the security of Southeast Asia. The breakdown began in 1931 when Japanese army extremists, in defiance of government policy, invaded and overran the northern-most Chinese province of Manchuria. Japan ignored American protests, and in the summer of 1937 launched a full-scale attack on the rest of China. Although alarmed by this action, neither the United States nor any other nation with interests in the Far East was willing to use military force to halt Japanese expansion.

Over the next three years, war broke out in Europe and Japan joined Nazi Germany in the Axis Alliance. The United States applied both diplomatic and economic pressures to try to resolve the Sino-Japanese conflict. The Japanese government viewed these measures, especially an embargo on oil, as threats to their nation's security. By the summer of 1941, both countries had taken positions from which they could not retreat without a serious loss of national prestige. Although both governments continued to negotiate their differences, Japan had already decided on war.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was part of a grand strategy of conquest in the Western Pacific. The objective was to immobilize the Pacific Fleet so that the United States could not interfere with these invasion plans. The principal architect of the attack was admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet. Though personally opposed to war with America, Yamamoto knew that Japan's only hope of success in such a war was to achieve quick and decisive victory. America's superior economic and industrial might would tip the scales in her favor during a prolonged conflict.

Historian historian Dr. Gerhard Weinberg described the results - unintended - of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
"...the Japanese strike was a "strategic and tactical disaster for Japan, though Japan did not recognize this." Because Pearl Harbor was so shallow, the ships that were hit simply settled into the soft harbor bottom, and "were for the most part raised; by the end of December, two of the battleships that Yamamoto had imagined sunk were on their way to the west coast for repairs. All but the Arizona were returned to service."

In addition, since the attack was on a Sunday, most of the Navy personnel were ashore when the planes attacked and so escaped death or injury. When the ships were repaired, they could sail with almost full crews.

The attack was a strategic Japanese failure for four important reasons:

1. Any naval war in the mid-20th century would be an aircraft carrier war; all American aircraft carriers were at sea when Japan attacked, and none of them was even scratched.

2. Ringing Pearl Harbor were petroleum and gas tanks by the score, since petroleum is the life-blood of any fleet. Not one tank was so much as punctured, let alone destroyed.

3. Repair facilities were all around the fleet anchorages to fix any problems a ship would have; not one repair shop was hit.

4. A key component of any navy is the attack submarine. American subs were berthed within yards of the battleship anchorages, yet not one was hit during the air raids.

Thus, for all its shock value, for all the anger vented at this sneak attack, Pearl Harbor was a strategic failure. Within hours, fleet vessels were topping off their tanks and heading out to sea. Damaged vessels were sailed to the fleet repair facilities for patch-up, then sailed to arms storage for ammunition and supplies; they were at sea within hours or days.

The fleet submarines, untouched and eager for revenge, loaded up on food and ammunition and torpedoes and were at sea, hunting Japanese vessels, within days of the attack.

The huge, world-shaping effect of the Japanese attack: In an instant, the American public was galvanized into white hot fury and was ready, even eager, to go to war. This was the sleeping tiger that Yamamoto feared -- it was huge and united and bent on revenge."

And Japan would very shortly reap the whirlwind.

Pearl Harbor Casualties
US Army: 218 KIA, 364 WIA.
US Navy: 2,008 KIA, 710 WIA.
US Marine Corps: 109 KIA, 69 WIA.
Civilians: 68 KIA, 35 WIA.
TOTAL: 2,403 KIA, 1,178 WIA.

USS Arizona (BB-39) - total loss when a bomb hit her magazine.
USS Oklahoma (BB-37) - Total loss when she capsized and sunk in the harbor.
USS California (BB-44) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS West Virginia (BB-48) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS Nevada - (BB-36) Beached to prevent sinking. Later repaired.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) - Light damage.
USS Maryland (BB-46) - Light damage.
USS Tennessee (BB-43) Light damage.
USS Utah (AG-16) - (former battleship used as a target) - Sunk.

USS New Orleans (CA-32) - Light Damage.
USS San Francisco (CA38) - Light Damage.
USS Detroit (CL-8) - Light Damage.
USS Raleigh (CL-7) - Heavily damaged but repaired.
USS Helena (CL-50) - Light Damage.
USS Honolulu (CL-48) - Light Damage.

USS Downes (DD-375) - Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Cassin - (DD-372) Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Shaw (DD-373) - Very heavy damage.
USS Helm (DD-388) - Light Damage.

USS Ogala (CM-4) - Sunk but later raised and repaired.

Seaplane Tender
USS Curtiss (AV-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.

Repair Ship
USS Vestal (AR-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.

Harbor Tug
USS Sotoyomo (YT-9) - Sunk but later raised and repaired.

188 Aircraft destroyed (92 USN and 92 U.S. Army Air Corps.)

For many decades some historians have done everything in their power to place the blame for the Pearl Harbor attack on its victim: the United States. The US was responsible because it tried to limit the Imperial Navy's strength through treaties; we were responsible because we tried to choke off Japan's access to natural resources the Japanese needed to build their industrial society; the US was racist and arrogant toward the Japanese people. And so on. All of those excuses fall flat. Because at the end Japan attacked a sovereign nation without warning, killed its people, damaged its ships and planes, and went on to invade and attack that nation's installations in the western Pacific. They would treat captive peoples with barbarity. And they would move into a military/political alliance with the Axis Powers of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

Every bit of damage inflicted upon Japan during World War II was a direct result of their own actions. And those who insist that the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan was an act of racism, an act un-necessary due to Japan's prostrate condition at the time - ignores reality. In the real world, atomic weapons were created to be used on Germany. When Germany fell before the bombs were ready, they were then available to be used against Japan. Remember: the US military estimated the expected US military death toll of invading the Japanese mainland before Truman decided to drop the "bomb". Many of those, who blithely call the bombing racist, would probably not have been born had the US decided to invade rather than use the most powerful weapon at its disposal. Because their fathers would likely have died storming the beaches of Japan.

War is no place for tender feelings. It is the place for the destruction of the enemy. And Pearl Harbor was the lit fuse that would destroy Imperial Japan. The Japanese lit that fuse themselves.

"I fear that all we have done is awaken a sleeping tiger, and filled him with a terrible resolve." --Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor

Following Hawaiian tradition, Sailors honor men killed during the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Naval Air Station Kaneohe, Oahu. The casualties had been buried on 8 December. This ceremony took place sometime during the following months, possibly on Memorial Day, 31 May 1942.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

An Illustrator You Should Know

In January of 1907, The Century magazine published an article by Theodore Roosevelt, "The Ancient Irish Sagas". Among Roosevelt's well-considered thoughts the reader would have found some stunning illustrations. Those illustrations were the product of one of America's most popular and prolific illustrators: J.C.Leyendecker. relates:
Joseph Christian Leyendecker was born in 1874 in Germany and emigrated with his parents and younger brother, Frank, to America in 1882. He was part of the generation that included Franklin Booth (1874), Howard Chandler Christy (1873), James Montgomery Flagg (1877), F.R. Gruger (1871), Maxfield Parrish (1870), Frank Schoonover (1877), W.T. Benda (1873), Aubrey Beardsley (1872), Jessie M. King (1876), and W. Heath Robinson (1872). Like many of these artists, he developed a distinct, personal style and enjoyed a long, productive career.

Leyendecker was certainly in fine company. If you've ever seen the classic Arrow Collar (later Arrow Shirt) ads, you are very familiar with Leyendecker's style and talent. He was a master at shadows and a glossy style of painting that he kept secret.

Again from
In his heyday, Leyendecker was the most famous Post cover artist they have ever had. His first cover for the magazine was in 1899, before the cover became a miniature poster designed to attract the eye of a newsstand buyer. He returned in 1903 for a 40-year association in which he produced over 320 covers. His covers for the first issue of 1906 featured a winged cherub that was the predecessor of the "New Year's Baby" - a concept that still holds today. Each year, Leyendecker would do the "important" Post holiday covers: Easter, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Christmas, and New Years. I could reproduce a dozen of them here and you'd still only get a hint of how effective he was at producing that eye-catching image.

That New Year's Baby concept is famous and is one that I assumed to be ancient. Who knows? Maybe it is ancient, but Leyendecker made it modern, and infused it into the American consciousness. His male subjects were considered the equivalent of the Gibson Girl, and his illustrations of those men received mountains of fan mail, including offers of marriage, from adoring fans.

Leyendecker was a friend of Norman Rockwell, whose own illustrations show Leyendecker's influence. Leyendecker was believed to be gay, though I've seen nothing that confirms that aside from his having a close companion - Charles Beach - with whom he lived for 50 years. Originally his model, Beach became Leyendecker's assistant and manager. But Leyendecker was famously reticent about his private life, and little is known other than anecdotes from friends and acquaintances. We may be able to infer some things about Leyendecker from some of his images, but beyond that, who cares?

His brother Frank was a talented illustrator in his own right, but far less prolific, and prone to leaving his work undone.
It should be remembered that though Frank was an excellent artist himself, he constantly struggled with the label of "J.C. Leyendecker's brother." According to Schau [Michael Schau, author of a Leyendecker biography in 1974], he had trouble completing jobs, which may account for the dearth of his art.
Frank died in 1924, reportedly from an overdose. But his work also is fine evidence of the family's talents.

Again from
In 1943, the editorship of the Post changed and the new editor felt that Leyendecker was too strongly associated with the "old" magazine. So goes 40 years of a mutually satisfying relationship. Joe had to go looking for work. He found it, but not in the quantity he was used to. He maintained his palatial home in New Rochelle, but had to let the servants go. [Enter Norman Rockwell!]

Some of the new commissions were war posters featuring the commanding officers of the U.S. forces encouraging the purchase of war bonds. The American Weekly hired him in 1945 to do covers. A Sunday supplement to the Hearst newspaper chain, the Weekly was printed on newsprint. The quality of the reproduction was nothing like Leyendecker had been used to and it must have rankled him. The effort he put into the paintings showed some of his frustrations. Many were recycled Post covers with minor changes. In 1951, while working on yet another American Weekly cover, Leyendecker had a heart attack and died. His sister and Beach had a yard sale of his canvases (and there were many as he tried to always insist on the return of his originals). $75 would have purchased any of the Post covers.

The Norman Rockwell Museum website has a webpage devoted to Leyendecker. Among the paragraphs I found this enjoyable anecdote:

Norman Rockwell referred to him as "the great J.C. Leyendecker." in his autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator, Rockwell acknowledges Leyendecker's influence and inspiration. They were friends and neighbors. Rockwell's autobiography devotes a chapter, The Mansion on Mount Tom Road to Leyendecker. He tells of their first social evening when J.C. and his brother Frank were invited to the Rockwell's home for dinner. Rackwell hired a cook to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner in July, complete with turkey and trimmings. After a very awkward beginning of the evening, they were called in to dinner. When the cook came through the kitchen door with the turkey, she slipped on the edge of the rug and the turkey rolled under the table. Rockwell crawled under the table from one side and Leyendecker from the other. They met over the turkey which was lying on its side with stuffing gushing from its breast. "That smells good," Leyendecker said as he tasted the stuffing with his finger. When the turkey was put on another platter and dinner was served, the conversation and laughter flowed and the artists became fast friends and remained friends for over twenty-five years.

So many illustrators today, with all the technological help they can muster, cannot approach the artistry of such illustrators as Leyendecker, Parrish, Rockwell, and the rest. Instead of creating modern advertising's first male sex symbol, they slide down the garbage chute to give us little girls dressed as hookers, and little boys as pimps. Ahhh, what we've lost, eh?

Curtis Publishing has copyrights of many of the cover art from the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines by Leyendecker. Click on through and enjoy the show.

See also MetaFilter for a short, link-laden article.

Artcyclopedia has many links.

And do check out the American Art Archive for more images and information about J.C. Leyendecker. You won't be sorry!