My first post is actually a thank you note to my new friend, Don of Austin, TX, for many Blessings. Yes, indeed, “BOYS WILL BE BOYS – SO WILL A FEW OLD MEN”. Thank you so much to Don Forrester (see Carpe Diem Finding the Adventure in the Commonplace @ https://lifeblogcarpediem.wordpress.com/) for the 2 unique books that arrived yesterday. “BITTER or BETTER” (Please visit this site @ http://donforrester.tateauthor.com/about-the-author/) and “MORE than ENOUGH” (see https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781680283228) will soon be read with honor and endearment and will forever have a special place in my memorial library. What a surprise this was and even more of a surprise that I too have been “obviously oblivious” (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) to how much we have in common. Besides the obvious, I too have an attraction to the many facets of “Carpe Diem”. Brother Ron was an immediate friend when he arrived in Namphong, Thailand in 1972, and I made sure his bunk was next to mine. Together we built a “man cave” attachment to our 8-man hooch that was made out of scrapped surplus lumber that the Navy Seabees had left over. I asked Seabees for any left overs such as tools, nails, etc. and we built the first “hooch annex” which ultimately became our “family room and card room. I wish I could find my progress photos of that event in my decade of slides. That man cave became “Ron’s Poker Palace” and I learned he was not only playing for real money but he also was keeping track of his winnings and losses in a little black book.
Now fast forward 44 years and I learn that you are also Don Forrester, Baptist minister of Henly Baptist Church, Henly, TX. (see http://www.henlybaptistchurch.org/home.html) Wow. And my best friend is Pastor Burl Jernigan, minister of the Girard First Baptist Church, a church founded in my home town of Girard, Ohio in a building that was built in 1903 as the home of the Welch Baptist Church of the village of Girard. One of the items on my “To Do List” is to write the history of all of the churches in Girard. Girard First Baptist website, http://www.fbcgirard.com/ where I am a co-editor of our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Girard-First-Baptist-Church-185560664845160/ but most coincidental is that I also have created a monthly Girard FBC Facebook Calendar, https://www.facebook.com/Girard-OH-First-Baptist-Church-Monthly-Schedule-1462003677405901/. In addition, I change the outdoors bulletin board weekly with the Sunday morning sermon message, serve as long time trustee and most recently joined the choir. And my “General” is the Baptist Chancel & Bell choir director, the love of my life, Sally Jane (Syak) Williams, who has been my dearest friend and classmate since 1st grade. Her grandparents helped start the Girard First Baptist and like Henly Baptist, Girard FBC has babies being christened, youth being baptized, choir members being given certificates for 70 years of continuous membership in a Baptist choir, and also too often, memorial services for 90-something long time member of Girard FBC.
What a “Carpe Diem” event it was when I saw a solemn picture of a young women bent over a memorial tombstone of her father, Ronald Wayne Forrester, USMCR, MIA, on a Facebook Group, “Veterans of Namphong”, late in the night of December 27, 2013. Karoni and I first met via Facebook comments for a while, then IM’s and later that early morning of December 28th we talked on the phone for a few hours until it was daybreak in Ohio at about 6:00 AM. It’s been like that ever since and we’ve often talked, mainly on Facebook, about the “Texas Vietnam Memorial”, the “Run to the Wall”, her Daddy, Marshall Price, another MIA B/N hooch mate and common good friend of Ron and me. Only recently did I provide Karoni with the results of my research of the A6 ejection seat and the emergency locator beeper system as she continues to search for the remains of her father Grumman A6 Intruder. Missing in action since December 27, 1972
And most recently, I have become a Facebook friend of you, Don and Craig. Carpe Diem again. I really could write this blog post all day long, but sometimes “less is more”, right? Many of my old classmates from high School and my neighborhood in Girard, Ohio are aghast (I like that word but don’t get to use it much) when I tell them the best part of being on Facebook is meeting a Facebook Friend in person. Ha, Ha. Did you know my favorite “little” BIG airport in TX is EDC, Austin Executive Airport, (See http://vfrmap.com/?type=vfrc&lat=30.397&lon=-97.566&zoom=10), which is only 21 hours by car and 1400 miles from Girard, Ohio, (www.cirtyofgirard.com) the Heart of the Mahoney Valley, through which you must drive to get from NYC to SFO via I-80. Therefore, whoever comes to visit the other first WINS. Perhaps we can join up on one of your trips to DC for an adventure of our own. (See for January 5, 2017 entitled “BOYS WILL BE BOYS – SO WILL A FEW OLD MEN” @ https://lifeblogcarpediem.wordpress.com/ )
Now my next task is to get my first “blog” contribution posted on my new blog. So much to do, so little time to do it. Youth is wasted on the young. Well after a little bit of work in-between some phone calls about buying an aircraft for a student pilot to learn how to fly, I’m happy and pleased with myself to report that my new blog at Word Press is started. Stay tune for future improvements. Please visit and comment on my new blog at https://followyourdreamscarpediem.wordpress.com
Carpe Diem, Semper Fi & all my best,
Girard, OH 44420 – The Heart of the Valley
email@example.com / 330/545-6477