Saturday, July 31, 2010

YOU ARE THERE - July 31, 1985

A large fairy ring was growing in Iva Park.

A large patch of marijuana was growing behind Anthony Moye's residence near Parkerville.

One Smith brother killed the other, ages 28 and 29. George was shot twice with a 12 gauge shotgun. Roy was cut across the abdomen.

The BOE released THS Principal Larry Keyes from his contract.

Gallon Blood Donors: Neila Young, Wesley Crowe, John Rauton.

50 Years Ago - Miss Ala Moxley opened "The Beauty Nook". By the time I was born, she was Mrs. Carley Harris and living next door where McLeod's is located in 2010.

Teresa Higgs and Mitch Johnson were married July 14.

Kermit Webb received a fellowship to attend the University of Florida.

Patricia Peterson was a part of the TETI program at GSC.

"Muhammed Abdul" had an unusual accident in a blue Toyota station wagon.

Kids from Laurel, Mississippi, attended the First Baptist Day Camp at Lake Helen.

Coach Callahan held football practice in the stadium.

Jon Hutcheson and Matt Crowe attended horse school.

Main and Mickey McLendon showed two huge eggplants grown by Grandfather Gaston McLendon.

Windsor wrote about a few of the recipes that had come in for the Festival Cookbook.

Ricks wrote about columnists, or, as Bo Whaley would joke, communists.

William A. Ricks 
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Regardless of Jim Webb, Vets to Get Their Due

It appears now that regardless of Jim Webb's hearing on September 23, Vietnam Veterans will start receiving compensation a week later on October 1.  I've just received a letter to file information to the VA about my ischemic heart disease, one of the three new presumptive conditions.

My medical files relating to the disease were sent to the VA years ago. I will be sending them summary info so the severity of my condition can be determined and rated. I would like to receive 100%, but any level (minimum 10%) will be fine with me.  I now have Medicare and Social Security to live on, so I'm doing great.

I've been waiting for justice for about five years.  About 220,000 Vietnam Veterans have been waiting for satisfaction, some longer than I. (Satisfaction: remember the Rolling Stones singing while the troops water-skied on the Mekong River? "I can't get no satisfaction..."

In October, some of us vets will start receiving some satisfaction.

If anybody gets offended about my next two sentences, that's your problem, as I've earned my viewpoint: I will always remember which party was in the White House and simultaneously controlled Congress while claims were ignored and backlogged. I will always remember that a Democrat controlled Congress and a Democrat in the White House were responsible for launching this justification a year ago (Obama's first year in office).

I hope you will read the following link, published today:

William A. Ricks 
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

YOU ARE THERE - July 30, 1980

State Highway Office denied a traffic light at GA 29 & GA 46 (the Sammons Funeral Home intersection) but approved widening GA 29 in front of McLeod's Stop N Shop.

A bunch of Cammacks and Asbells thrashed in a kiddie pool in the 100+ heat.

Work began on the newspaper's second annual football supplement. Lots of good football history in those first ones. Look it up at Connie Sumner's office.

Earl Salaam, Isaac Wright, and Delmas Gillis killed a timber rattler.

The Teen Scene by Cynthia Hall praised participants of the North-South All Star Basketbll Game at the Omni, starring: The THS Cheerleaders (yay!), Glenn Williams (yay!), and Coach John Morgan (yay!)

Pete Phillips announced $5,000 of matching funds for the Welcome Center.

Little League and Pee Wees won second in the All Star Tournament.

The Baby Dolls were first in the Women's Softball season.

Forty 4-Hers were at Camp Chatham for the week.

From "50 Years Ago", August 1, 1930: S. S. Mincy, 70, negro Republican leader of Ailey was kidnapped and died of a beating inflicted by masked and robed men. The editor (Horace Flanders, Sr.) called it "one of the most atrocious crimes ever perpetrated in this section."

Windsor and Ricks, both wrote about candidates and elections. Slow Pokin's wrote about Ted "King Edward" Kennedy.

William A. Ricks 
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The Residue of War

When I filed my disability claim with the VA several years ago, I felt sure that my genetic illnesses stemmed from my exposure to ionizing radiation in the underground nuclear testing. In time I found that chemical exposures, such as Agent Orange, were also linked to genetic mutation. My best friend in Vietnam, who served next to me every day, now has full disability due to a blood disease caused by Agent Orange. 
Although the following, written January 23, 2007, is primarily about radiation, ongoing genetic research in the past three years, is making a stronger case for both radiation and Agent Orange as causes of many diseases.
(Go to the bottom for photo description.)
Research funding needed to find a cure for PKD
You've noticed that one of my links is the PKD Foundation, and, if you don't already know, I have this genetic disease. It doesn't run in my family, but I feel sure that PKD and my other four genetic diseases are due to spontaneous mutation caused by exposure to radiation, while I was an Army photographer for the underground nuclear detonations at Nevada Test Site.

The PKD Foundation is working to find a cure for Polycystic Kidney Disease.

PKD added to Research Program in 2006

For the first time in FY2006, PKD was added as a research candidate in the Department of Defense Peer-Review Medical Research Program. Now PKD patients, such as I, are anxious to have that funding in the next appropriation, FY2008, which will begin next October.

In FY 2006, the program was funded at $50 million for disease specific research focused on conditions like PKD, cancer, asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis and several other illnesses.

Why the DOD is concerned about PKD

Why should the Defense Department worry about PKD? Thousands of active duty military and civilian personnel may have the disease, based on a 1 and 500 prevalence rate of PKD. Most individuals enter military service in their teens or early 20s. The military will not realize the full service potential of these individuals before the full effects of PKD are apparent and they develop End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD or kidney failure), which will lead to costly transplants or dialysis.

To cure PKD would result in the saving of billions of dollars in to the military, Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration for dialysis, transplantation and related treatments.

Incredible scientific progress has been made in PKD research over the past 12 years, a significant part of it because of research funding from the federal government. 

While PKD was included in the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program for FY 2006, there are no guarantees about FY 2008. 

If you know someone with PKD, call your Congressman and urge them to support the research again in 2010

Help keep this funding source available for future research efforts. Please e-mail, call, or write Senator Saxby Chambliss, Senator Johnny Isakson, and your Congressman. John Barrow represents the 12th district which includes Toombs, Emanuel, Johnson, Montgomery and Treutlen Counties. Jim Marshall represents the 8th district which includes Laurens County. Jack Kingston, a member of the appropriations committee, represents Wheeler County, Telfair, and Jeff Davis.

Thank you very much.

(Photo: The white "butterbean" is a normal human kidney, about the size of a fist. The other object is a human kidney with Polycystic Kidney Disease.)
William A. Ricks 
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YOU ARE THERE - July 30, 1975

Two monster rattlesnakes - diamond backs - were harvested on Sidney Smith's land.

The Recreation Commission accelerated completion of the first stage of the Recreation Center: fence the single field, build the pavillion, run water and electricity, landscaping. Plus plans to buy five more acres.

Red Bluff Youth held a car wash to help construction of a tennis and basketball court.

The Bicycle Races were postponed for a week due to a muddy track. The same thing had happened in 1974.

Walter Manning's home was burglarized.

Caspar Weinberger predicted that half of the Americans would be on welfare by the year 2000.

Vickie Thomas attended Citizenship '75 in Washington DC.

Cheryl and David Braddy showed off two connected eggs laid at the same time. Their grandparents Phillips owned the hen.

A total of 151 students finished summer school.

Table Supply won the league championship in Men's Softball.

Lucky Robinson held a Howard's Heartbreak Sale.

Miss Janet Smith and Tony Smith of Boaxley visited their grandmother, Mrs. Lula Bell Evans. - Banes Report.

Windsor wrote about Harry Truman.

Ricks wrote about unemployment. Long and boring.

Jim Sidney Claxton submitted a handwritten letter to the newspaper, five pages long. It was reduced and published as he had written it.

William A. Ricks 
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Thanks, Subscribers!

I do appreciate the folks who've subscribed to my blog, and some of them have said that they like getting the daily email, as it stays put until they get around to reading it. Also it makes sure that they never miss one of the posts.

For those who are suspicious, it's like being a blog follower, but privately. Once you subscribe, you will receive the blog email once a day - and only once a day.  It doesn't matter how many times we post, you get only one email per day.

Long-time subscribers already know, but new subscribers will want to know two things.   Go down to the bottom of the email and you will see this:

You are subscribed to email updates from Bill Ricks of Soperton.
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

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1- If you click on the blue letters "Bill Ricks of Soperton", you will be taken to the complete blog with sidebar and other features. Just use the back arrow to get back to your email.

2- We hope you will never need to unsubscribe, but it's easy to do. Just click on the blue letters "unsubscribe now."

Your email address is secure. We never see it, and Google/Blogger never uses it except to email the blogposts.

Now that you know, pass it on to your friends. 

William A. Ricks 
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Widow Writes to Webb on Agent Orange

Army Widow Writes to Sen. James Webb on Agent Orange in Guam and ...
By Veterans Today
You, a Vietnam veteran yourself, are turning your back on your own brothers. … You are denying those who served on Guam their due rights for treatment and compensation. That is criminal. … I will gladly appear [before your committee] to ...
We Shall Never Forget! -

Letter from Vietnam War Widow to Senator Jim Webb
As a Vietnam veteran, Webb is against legislation to help other veterans suffering from Agent Orange contamination. Will the nation's politicians continue ...


William A. Ricks 
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

HR 4899 To Cost $81 Billion

H.R.4899 - Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010

The $13 billion proposed for Vietnam Veterans is just a fraction of the over $81 billion cost of the entire bill. Here is a congressional summary:

This bill would provide $34.7 billion to support US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq in addition to providing non-military assistance and building up State Department Operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It also provides $24 billion to help keep teachers, police, and firefighters employed during the recession, $13 billion to Vietnam War veterans that have been exposed to Agent Orange, $2.8 billion for Haiti relief, $5.7 billion for PELL grants, $677 million to strengthen the border, $275 million for the Gulf oil spill, and $725 million to offset other needs.

Heart Disease - The Link Between Agent Orange and Heart Disease
Agent Orange and heart Disease Gramps Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 05:45 PM. Senator Jim Webb..A retired Col. Marine who served in Vietnam has questions about ...
September Agent Orange hearing set; Webb wants answers—Stand Up ...
Sen. James Webb, D-Va., says he will use a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing ... “It came back this was the Agent Orange law,” Webb said. ...
MOAA: Military Officers Association of AmericaObservation Post ...
... arguably, is more closely tied to the Vietnam War than SenJim Webb (D-Va.) . ... When the [1991 Agent Orange Act] was passed, there were two areas that ...

William A. Ricks 
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Genetics - What Jim Webb Doesn't Know

This article pertains mainly to Vietnam Veterans, but it's okay for others to read it. I posted it on my blog August 29, 2007, and it was one of my most popular posts back then.
Considering Senator Jim Webb's attempt to delay veterans getting what's due them, the information needs posting again:

What a mouthful!

We won't address all of it in this post, but we might get around to it one day.

A written note (Post-it) on a page of my VA disability claim reads "Polycystic Kidney Disease is hereditary".

The statement is only partly true. Read the following two paragraphs from the PKD Foundation:

How does PKD spread?
Because PKD is an inherited disorder, the dominant form of the disease (ADPKD) is passed from one generation to the next by an affected parent. Each child of an ADPKD parent has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease. Scientists have also discovered that approximately 10% of the PKD patient community became affected through spontaneous mutation, and not through inheritance. ADPKD equally affects men and women, regardless of age, race, or ethnic origin.

In ADPKD there is also approximately a 10 percent rate of spontaneous mutation. This means that instead of inheriting the ADPKD gene from a parent with the disease, the gene mutates by itself for no known
reason. It is important to know that even with a true spontaneous mutation, a newly affected person will still pass the mutated gene on to his/her children.

Say it again! 10% of the PKD patient community became affected through
spontaneous mutation, and not through inheritance.

None of my relatives have ever had kidney disease (of any kind). (One has kidney trouble now (2010) but it's not PKD.)

Read two more paragraphs from PKD.CURE:

What are the symptoms of PKD?
Early in the disease there generally are no symptoms at all. In fact, many people are never diagnosed with ADPKD because they have so few or no symptoms. Often the first sign of ADPKD is high blood pressure,
blood in the urine or a feeling of heaviness/pain in the back, sides or abdomen. Sometimes the first sign is urinary tract infection and/or kidney stones.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about 60 percent to 70 percent of people with ADPKD. High blood pressure begins early in the course of ADPKD. In ADPKD it seems that the most likely reason for
high blood pressure is the constricting of blood vessels. In ADPKD, cysts can press on blood vessels in the kidney, resulting in decreased blood flow to some parts of the kidney. Sensors in the nephron react
as though the blood pressure in the kidney was low; renin is then secreted, which in turn generates angiotensin, constricting the blood vessels, and causing high blood pressure. If not treated, hypertension
damages the kidneys, enlarges the heart and can cause strokes.

High blood pressure was present in me before I learned that I also had PKD. PKD either caused or contributed to my various cardovascular problems - heart attack, triple bypass, strokes, headaches, dizziness, low ejection rate, blood clots, and more.

To read the entire Q&A, use the URL below

Environmental conditions can cause spontaneous mutation.
Some veterans are submitting claims based on Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. Others' claims are based on exposure to ionizing radiation. My claim is based on both.

Pressure is mounting to include cardiovascular diseases as presumptiveforAgent Orange.
Read the paragraph below:

Data Suggest A Possible Association Between Agent Orange Exposure And Hypertension, But The Evidence Is Limited, USA
A new report from the Institute of Medicine finds suggestive but limited evidence that exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War is associated with an increased chance of
developing high blood pressure in some veterans...
To read the full article, please go to:

Many types of cancer are already presumptive with Agent Orange or Ionizing Radiation. Since cancers are genetic and other diseases, such as PKD, are genetic, why does the VA handle them differently. As far as I've been able to determine from internet articles is that the VA requested that studies be done on the cancers, but they did not ask for studies on other genetic diseases.
Since my article, medical science has had another three years to study the relationship.  During this time veterans have been denied acceptance of their service-connected claims.  The bulk of the$13 billion dollars allotted for the three new presumptive illnesses will go to Vietnam Veterans who have been denied their claims for a long time.  New claims will cost just a fraction of the total.
I expect that after the Agent Orange matter is resolved in favor of the Vietnam Veteran, the VA will recommend the same for those exposed to radiation.  In my capacity as a life member of the National Association of Atomic Veterans, I talked with a veteran from a distant state this week about his radiation exposure on a naval vessel. 
Regardless of who he is or who appointed him, the Secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs seems to have the same caring attitude as I have experienced from doctors, nurses, and all employees at the Carl Vinson VAMC in Dublin.

William A. Ricks 
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Friday, July 23, 2010

1985 Consolidation or Not

85 0724 17
July 24, 1985

These are only a few of the people who attended the county consolidation meeting in Swainsboro. As might be expected, the audience was almost 100% against the issue.  You will recognize Senator Hugh Gillis and Representative Pete Phillips. Can you name any of the others?

Others that week: Kathy Fallier's twins, Bank's Little League Team, zuchinnis, tomato, 4-H, weight room and 17 proof sheets of Mulberry Bush photos.

William A. Ricks 
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YOU ARE THERE - July 24, 1985

Bobby Lee Gillis died at age 99. He was son of David Gillis (log house at Jean Gillis Park). He was Ordinary (Probate Judge) 1949-1960. His interview was published in the newspaper and Million Pines Souvenir Book. (I still have the micro cassette recording somewhere.)

A hearing at ECJC showed solid support against county consolidation from those who spoke. Several counties were included, Treutlen being one.

Chamber, Development Authority, and other leaders sought advice from the Department of Community Affairs.

Windsor wrote about Air Force Captain Delma Dickens, whose remains had just been returned from Vietnam after 12 years. (It took 3 more years for the VA to recognize the extreme harm of Agent Orange.)

Ricks wrote about the newspaper's IBM PC, stating that he liked it because it was just as impersonal as he was. (Foolish middle-aged man!)

Aurelia Brantley offered her solution to the gnat problem: "Seal them up in something, and send them to the bottom of the ocean."

Gloria Ricks Dixon (Charles and Vickie's daughter) became director of public relations of Hearst Magazines Division.

Bob Green (Old Crooked Run) became Associate of the Georgia Baptist Brotherhood Department.

Banes Reports: Wanda Goss visited her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Goss.

Rosemont VBS averaged 53 children per night.

BOE aproved covered walkway from the first grade building to the remodeled duplex.

Dedra McNeal and Erica Brown showed off two monster zuchinnis grown by "Papa" Emory Morgan.

William A. Ricks 
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

1980 Five-foot Gator in Tiger Creek

80 0723 01
July 23, 1980

Some people suggest that someone caught it in another location and dumped it, but it created a lot of excitement, regardless. Gary McDaniel, Warren Brantley, and Angela McDaniel said it was nearly dead when they found it behind the McDaniel home on Calhoun Street.

Others that week: Baker's station in the rain, Sweat's team at Sweat's, Davis oak tree, Jack Sweat and Wade Clark, hail in hand, night picture of downtown Soperton, giant fig bush at Ester Cone's, digging at the housing project, Cammack family with cancer plaque, sidewalk repair at Courthouse, Cammack Reunion, fire at Wells Street.

William A. Ricks 
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What's the Money Value of a Veteran?

When I began my blog a few years ago, I had four ideas in mind. 1- Share my old pictures, 2- Express my opinions freely, 3- Kidney Disease, especially PKD, and 4- The Military Veteran.

I've been slack for too long on #4, but right now, Vietnam Veterans are about to be turned into a political football.

Everything has to be presented at the extreme these days. Polarization (not the glasses), but hot or cold, white or black, conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican.  That ain't human.

I'm not a doctor or scientist and I haven't found an article explaining connections with Parkinson's or two other diseases to Agent Orange, but I hope that the VA has good medical information. Eric K. Shinseki is the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, so he is the front man in the proposal to add the new diseases to the "presumptive" list.

In the other corner is Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who wants a congressional hearing to examine Shinseki's medical evidence and debate the costs that would be incurred.

Today's young soldiers are popular, and our representatives (even Webb) are eager to spend billions for them, as well we should.

Vietnam soldiers are less popular in that most of the parents, uncles and aunts have already died and don't vote anymore.  Their contemporaries who never served don't really give a rip.  So the question is, how much to spend on the old soldiers.  The proposal will cost billions.

Tens of thousands would almost instantly become eligible for funds denied them over the years, as their paper records have been getting moldy in floors of file cabinets in places like the Atlanta VA.

Yes, I do have a personal axe to grind. My case has been lingering.  My case is based on Agent Orange, Radiation Exposure, and the combination of both. The combination really throws them for a loop. Bureaucracy likes yes-no answers.  No essay answers or paragraphs of explanation.

Webb's hearing has been set for September 23, 2010, right in the middle of campaign season. Imagine that. If you were a Blue Dog, what would be your position? Vote down the VA's proposal and appear to be no friend of veterans?  Or do you vote to sustain the proposal and be accused a big spender with no regard for the deficit?

Webb's challenge is politically smart. Cable news will have a field day!

Although I didn't present it very well, I see one of you standing up with hand raised wanting more information, so here is a reading list. Feel free to comment on my original post or any of the other articles.  If you need to move on and come back later, blogsearch Value Veteran to get back.

William A. Ricks 
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

YOU ARE THERE - July 23, 1980

Amtrak rejected the "MD&S" route through Soperton in favor of a route through Tennille and Millen.

Treutlen County got a check for $144,794 as local option sales tax. Toombs, Montgomery, and Wheeler had not yet opted for a tax.

Frank Radford and Jim Crowdis were on the APDC board.

Windsor wrote about "The Empire Strikes Back".

Slow Pokin' (an anonymous local writer) wrote about Presidential Politics. Referring to Jimmy Carter's statment about whipping Ted Kennedy's (you know what) he wrote "Kennedy hasn't given up, yet. I guess we could say he has turned the other cheek."

Ricks wrote about Richard Queen and Iran. (Who?)

Patti Sumner attained Semester Honor Roll in Mrs. Rosalie Morgan's third grade.

The Cammack Reunion was held at the Community House.

Wind toppled a giant oak at the Albert Davis farm, so the boys had a busy weekend.

Pete Phillips announced the stocking of big channel catfish in the Oconee & Altamaha Rivers.

Mary Lou Mixon provided a snapshot of Crooked Run students.

A small fire was put out at a house on Wells Street.

Hail fell in Soperton. 

Picture from the Lumber City Log of Jerry and Jimmy Cooper who found something big on a set hook in the Ocmulgee River - 7' 8" sturgeon!

William A. Ricks 
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1975 Snack Shack Is Third in Wheeler County Invitational

75 0723 02
July 23, 1975

The Snack Shack traveling Men's Softball Team, including other Treutlen players, took third place at the Wheeler County Invitational Tournament. Those were the days, huh fellas? I know them. Do you? Name them in a comment.

Others that week: Sheriff Johnson at the marijuana field, football workout, Farmers Burglary, landfill hours, tobacco curer mishap, cancer plaque, Eschol Hearn.

William A. Ricks 
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

YOU ARE THERE - July 23, 1975

YOU ARE THERE - July 23, 1975

Largest DOT letting to date. Included I-16 from GA 56 to US 1.
17 year old male youth charged for breaking and entering Delmas Sweat home.
Bicycle Races ready to begin Friday.
Farmers Furniture was burglarized. Failure to break through back wall; jimmied the back door; took jewelry and cash.
The 31-year-old wrote 'Then and Now" about his extensive past in Soperton. (Foolish young man!)
Eschol Hearn grew a tomato shaped like a monkey face.
Howard Cochran held football workouts outside the field house at the canning plant.
GA 29 was completely blocked at the funeral home when an eastbound tobacco curer fell of the flatbed truck.

William A. Ricks 
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Help in Voting Today

Sorry that I didn't have this link earlier:

You can see your registration information and state candidates for whom you may vote.

Courtesy of Terry Coleman's website.

I urge you to vote for my old friend, Terry Coleman for Labor Commissioner.

William A. Ricks 
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

1980 Other Memories McKenzie and Windsor

One of the talents of the young James Windsor.  He told his readers about the Passion Play and illustrated with his own drawing of Aberammergau while he was a soldier in WWII.

The Soperton News, over the years, has employed a number of talented people, but the support of the community was equally important.  An anonymous contributor wrote the article about Mr. Vollie McKenzie.

William A. Ricks 

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

1985 BIG Rattlesnake

85 0717 05
July 17, 1985

Andy Hooks was showing the huge rattler to G. W. Braddy at the Forestry Unit. It was a whopper! Five feet and eight inches long, weighing nine pounds.

others that week: Group- John Lee, Clayton Stephens, John Smith, Donnie Gillis, and Sammie Meeks. Games at TES (probably a lost roll of film from field day), Jody Daniels and Kenny Hester with a 5.5 pound bass, Jim L. Gillis with Paul Scott, state winner of Wildlife division of Conservation competition, unofficial football practice, "Pine Poll" pictures, several pictures of me when I weighed 192.

William A. Ricks 
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Friday, July 16, 2010

For My Anniversary I Want....

What? Bill Ricks, you never married. You don't have an anniversary!

But I do. Every July 19th I remember what happened on that date in 1967. I raised my right hand and pledged to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. And I did.

If you care to celebrate my anniversary, this is what you can do:

1. Use the blog search - white strip at the top - to search until you find something. (If you give up, just type in "the" or "and" for results.

2. Tell me one thing you found when you searched by typing it in as a comment.

3. Finally, type in your email address in the subscription box at the bottom of the blog.

4. Last request.  Clayton Stephens' birthday is next week. Tell one thing you remember about Clayton and add it as a comment on this post.

As Clayton used to say: "For my amusement and hopefully for yours."

William A. Ricks 
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1980 Double Fires on Sumner Lane

80 0716 02
July 16, 1980

Mayor Frank Radford, Gene Hester, and Elvin Young at one of two fire calls that morning to Sumner Lane. The fire department put it out, but a few hours later it was burning again. The second time they concentrated on protecting neighboring houses. A few days earlier the house two doors from this one burned down.

Others that week: Activity at TPS, an Osage orange, City Hall, Courthouse, and Wesley Crowe (without his mustache) presented award to Alphonso Pierce for evidence leading to a shoplifting arrest. It happened at Bill's Dollar Store, so Manager Ruth Ann Cullens was pictured, too.

William A. Ricks 
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why, Jim, Why?

Why would a decorated Vietnam Veteran stand in the way of his fellow veterans receiving compensation for illnesses related to Agent Orange?

Last October the VA Secretary announced a determination that three other diseases should be added to the presumptive list for Agent Orange.  Some Vietnam Veterans would be receiving compensation today except for the intervention or interference of one U. S. Senator from Virginia named Jim Webb.

Someone suggested that 64-year-old Webb is not your typical Vietnam "grunt".  Like everybody else, I took the easy route of reading his Wikipedia biography.

He grew up in a military family, his father being an Air Force pilot.  They moved around a lot, and he attended more than a dozen schools. He attended USC on a ROTC scholarship starting in 1963. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 and by 1969 he was in Vietnam as a Marine officer. He received the Navy Cross for heroism as a Platoon Commander in a search and destroy operation, described in the Wikipedia article. 

After service he went to Georgetown and got his law degree. Climbing the Washington ladder, he became the first Naval Academy grad to serve as Secretary of the Navy. He opposed the expansion of women's roles in the Navy.

He criticized Kerry and Bush in 2004. He is a prolific writer and he wrote that Bush "committed the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory.  He endorsed Charles Robb over his Academy classmate Oliver North for Senate (1994). He endorsed George Allen over Robb in 2000. Then ran against Allen in 2006 and won.

That was when Allen uttered the "macaca" quote. Webb's margin of victory was less than 10,000 votes, but Allen didn't demand a recount.

Wiki also records his confrontation with Bush about Webb's son.

From being the son of a "lifer" to an accomplished writer of fiction, non-fiction, movie scripts, and more, the Reagan Democrat still mystifies friends and enemies in his current role as a U. S. Senator. 

You simply must go to Wiki and enjoy Jim Webb:

How can a "tax and spend" Democrat become a "fiscally conservative" Republican?  How can a Vietnam Veteran turn against other Vietnam Veterans?

What an enigma!

William A. Ricks 
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Please Vote for Terry Coleman

I want you and all my friends to vote for Terry Coleman for Labor Commissioner.  Terry was one of my classmates at Georgia Southern back when the college had about 1700 students.  He was one of those who stood out from the crowd, not as a big man on campus or someone to seek the fame of student government. He was just a person who seemed to like everybody. He thrived on people with his great sense of humor and heartfelt compassion.

He came through Soperton frequently. Being from Eastman, that was his route to Statesboro. He drove an old Chevrolet with a red emergency light, as he was a volunteer fireman.  Like other freshman he was packed into Sanford Hall - three to the room, space hardly sufficient for two. Ask other Soperton students about him, and I'm sure that he would receive great reviews. Tommy Cullens, Hal Jones, Ray Dukes, Roy Gene Thigpen, all knew him well.

Coleman and I enjoyed a common experience, working in a grocery store.  He worked hard in his father's store in Eastman, just as I and my brothers did for Uncle Red.  What I remember most and what I admire him most was how he, as a teenager, took up the reins after the untimely death of his father to take care of the family and build the store into a business success.

During the Griffin - Sanders gubernatorial campaign of the summer of 1962, Coleman went to Atlanta and campaigned for his candidate. He personally called every GSC student he could find just to tell him that he was working for Marvin, and the rest of the conversation was about how we were doing and what was going on. He genuinely loved people.  He was a consummate politician, though younger, as my good friend Herbert Warnock was.

I want you to see his picture so you will know him when you meet. A lot of people say that he and Senator Jack Hill look alike.  Hill also was a Georgia Southern alumnus, and he knows the grocery business.  He has represented us well in Treutlen County.

You can learn more about Coleman at his website:

William A. Ricks 
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