Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.
|[June 6 D-Day] 75 years ago Thursday 156,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers and small units of Free French with token representatives of few other nations assaulted the beaches in Normandy France in operation Overlord, taking the first steps to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany. The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings with 24,000 paratroopers landing in the dark – first were the pathfinders with radio beacons to guide the glider planes to specific landing locations. The remaining paratroopers and glider troops goal was securing strategic checkpoints and bridges to prevent German reinforcements from reaching the assault beaches. There were massive air attacks and naval bombardments before the amphibious landings began. In the early morning, the landings commenced on five beaches codenamed Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah, with troops from the United States landing on Omaha and Utah, Britain landing on Gold and Sword and Canada landing on Juno.
4,413 of these soldiers died this day in the assault on Europe. Please know and always remember this, 2,499 of these deaths were Americans.
None of these beach assaults were for fun – to have some idea of the horror faced by these Normandy soldiers just watch the first 30 minutes of the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ Yes, it is a movie – but, if you haven’t, watch and imagine what our fathers and grandfathers faced on those beaches at 6:30 a.m. Our soldiers carried M-1 rifles and were faced with machineguns, mortars and artillery from fixed fortified gun emplacements. These soldiers had a one way ticket – out of the Higgins boat, into the water and advance toward the beach which was 200 yards wide followed by 60 foot cliffs. There was no return trip available.
[Spying] I read in the Free Press that an On Star equipped vehicle called the cops to report a child making noises in a car that was not moving. I find that disturbing that a car is spying on noises in your car and relaying the information. So much for “parking” pleasures! Also, I suppose if you try to sleep or nap in your vehicle and start snoring, your car will call the cops! What other information does On Star report?
|[Keys’ Crook Named Peacock] Corvettes are fast, but that doesn’t matter when there’s only one road. With a history of creative crimes, now a car chase on Card Sound Road has landed him in jail again. Link
The new fawns are dropping like the stock market. This is one of a pair of twins just out.
|[Stanley in Africa 1889] We crossed thirty-two streams yesterday, and the mud banks and ﬂats were sorely trying to the patience. It will be a great relief to be delivered from the invasions of the red ants, and to be perfectly secure from their assaults by day and by night. When we have ﬁnally dried the soles of our boots and wiped the mildew of the forest off their tops, our dreams will be undisturbed by one enemy at least. While we smart under the bites of the ferocious small bees, and start at the sting of small ants, and writhe under the venom of a hornet, or groan by reason of the sting of a ﬁendish wasp, or ﬂap away the ever-intrusive butterﬂy from our faces, or dash aside the hurtful tiger slug, or stamp with nervous haste on the advancing greenish centipede, we remind ourselves that these miseries will not be for many days now. A little more patience and then merrier times.
|Karoke is loved by Asians more than anywhere else. Karaoke booths are everywhere in China. For a couple of bucks you and a friend can slip into a booth, put on headsets and sing your hearts out for 15 minutes. These booths are everywhere
[Chicken Tagine with Olives] I’ve omitted the traditional lemon peel. I didn’t like it. I did add a quarter cup of raisins. Recipes > Main Courses > Chicken Tagine with Olives
|[Whit] Being able to respond with sarcasm within seconds of a stupid question is a sign of a healthy brain.
Old marker 24, Looe Key reef sure has seen better days. Now only the frigates can use it.
|[D-Day] I look at it as two giant fists pushing against each other, giving it everything they’ve got. That was the fight that lost the war for Hitler. The allies stormed the beaches into a wall of German lead and shrapnel, but they kept coming! No one could stop us. Patton said, “Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.”
According to Tuesday’s Coco Tele, snoring will cause your wife to leave you! I didn’t realize that. I am going to start practicing snoring tonight. Thank you CT.
|[D-Day Today] The closest date I can find is 2014, but as of then there were perhaps less than 500 D-Day veterans still alive. I’m sure far fewer today. The average age in 1944 of the D-Day assault soldier was 22 years. 75 years have passed since that day, so these few remaining heroes are all in their mid-90s. The D-Day reunion organization is hoping for 35 veterans to attend the ceremonies today.
In the American Normandy Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, France 9,387 servicemen and a few servicewomen are buried—neat rows of milk-white marble crosses, 150 Stars of David, and 307 graves of unknown dead that read, simply, “Here rests in honored glory a comrade in arms, known but to God.”
It rained like hell Tuesday and I was caught in it at Winn Dixie. I’d complain if we didn’t need the rain so badly. According to my unofficial wheel barrow gauge we had 4 inches.
|This was on the radio D-Day morning. This veteran singing was 15 on D-Day, the youngest known survivor of the day. The Brits were so short on crew they suspended the age 16 rule and let him sign onto a tugboat for the operation. He later wrote this song and sings it now at age 90.
The Shores of Normandy–Jim Radford
[Confederate Statue] Histories cost? Dallas’ removed its Robert E. Lee sculpture and sold it at auction for $ 1.4 million. Link
[Another One Bites The Dust] Dr. John, New Orleans musician whose hits included “Right Place, Wrong Time,” has died at 77. Video
|[Diver Down] A Maryland college student died while snorkeling off Key West. Link
I was trying to make an Egg McMuffin so I bought a set of rubber rings to make the perfect round fried egg, but they leaked egg, defeating my purpose.
|[D-Day] I look at today’s wars compared to WWII when we were completely united and try to figure out what wars we’re fighting now, and why are we fighting them. “To protect our country” doesn’t cut it any more, neither does “to fight terrorism”.
[“Air conditioning”] A family gets cool air piped into their Cadillac while they enjoy a meal at a drive-in restaurant, Houston, Texas, 1957. Dad seems to be keeping cool with a Miller High Life.
|Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
|I hate Father’s Day because my mail box gets filled with threats.
Dr. John the Night Tripper is dead. Maybe his gris gris can bring him back.
|[Friday Joke] Senior men. The frequency of sexual activity of senior males depends on where they were born. Statistics just released from Canada and the United Nations Board of Health Teams revealed that: North American men between 60 and 80 years of age, will on average, have sex two to three times per week. Whereas Japanese men, in exactly the same age group, will have sex only once or twice per year if they are lucky. This has been very upsetting news to most of my buddies at the golf club, as none of us had any idea we were Japanese.
[Doe Fight] It was a hell of a fight. I tried to take a video of it because it lasted so long, but couldn’t figure out the camera’s round red dot or the square red dot in time.
|[Bad Trip] Passengers held hostage on alcohol and cocaine-fueled Florida boat trip. Link
|[D-Day] Please take time today to remember all of these greatest generation soldiers and their sacrifice for freedom. Fly your flag today in honor and remembrance of all these brave soldiers on this historic day.
Little palm Island will soon have a two story restaurant.
|[Nasty Politics] In the past Indian universities produced a roll call of politicians and intellectuals. Now India’s places of learning have been hollowed out, the administration and professors chosen for their political ideology rather than basic levels of proﬁciency. Modi is right to criticize an India in which modernity came to be synonymous with Westernization, so that all those ideas and principles that might have had universal valence became the preserve of those who were exposed to European and American culture. What Modi cannot–or will not—do is tell India the hard truth that if she wishes to be a great power and not a Hindu theocracy, the medieval Indian past, mired in superstition and magic, must go under.