Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I made my first trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1975 when I was in graduate school at UTK in Knoxville.  Three years later, forty years ago, our family made our first hiking trip, when we participated in a church sponsored outing, which included a walk up Mount LeConte.   Since then, we've … Continue reading Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Let’s clear the air: a Vulture is not a Buzzard

  Today’s blog focuses on the Turkey Vulture, another one of the most commonly seen birds here in the Southeast. Before we talk about identifying characteristics though, I thought we could dive into the semantics of the terms vulture and buzzard, because it can be pretty confusing. Before researching this topic, whenever I heard the … Continue reading Let’s clear the air: a Vulture is not a Buzzard

Libraries Lead

This past week, April 8th to 14th, was National Library Week! Hooray! We hope everyone celebrated appropriately with books and movies borrowed from your library. If not, don’t worry, Governor Cooper has declared this month as Library Appreciation Month!  National Library Week was first officially sponsored in 1958, making this the 60th anniversary! This week … Continue reading Libraries Lead

Success in the New Year

Gratuitous cat picture. This blog post has nothing to do with cats There are many worlds held in the stacks of our libraries--some funny, some sad, some colorful and rich. Stories that are taken from real life and those that are wonderful imaginations of the Authors. Any interest one has can be found and explored, … Continue reading Success in the New Year

“Bad Moon Rising,” Vietnam, Pt. 2

After the French left a divided Vietnam in 1955, the United States government agreed to take over the training of South Vietnam's troops.  The first military advisers found an ill equipped,  poorly trained army with an officer corps that was generally inept.  Advisers were embedded at every level of the ARVN and officers were sent to … Continue reading “Bad Moon Rising,” Vietnam, Pt. 2

Truman vs. MacArthur

On June 25, 1950, the North Korean army streamed across the 38th parallel attacking the poorly equipped Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers, driving them southward.  With the backing of the United Nations Security Council, President Harry S. Truman ordered General Douglas MacArthur to send  members of the 8th United States army, then on occupation duty … Continue reading Truman vs. MacArthur

HST and the Cold War in the Far East

If Harry Truman had had his way he would have continued being a senator from Missouri instead of presiding over the Senate as Vice President of the United States.  One rainy afternoon on April 12 1945, while Truman was gathered with Democratic bigwigs in the Speaker of the House's office for a drink and some … Continue reading HST and the Cold War in the Far East

Neutrality: an Explosive Step Closer to War

  When I started this series detailing how the United States became involved in the Great War (afterwards World War I), I envisioned two parts, but when I realized how complicated the story was, I realized it  was going to take three.    Last month's episode involved the sinking of the Lusitania.  The current blog … Continue reading Neutrality: an Explosive Step Closer to War

In Praise of eBooks

One of the things about doing a bit of a retrospective of where you’ve been in the last year is that you occasionally realize things that sort of slid by you when you were actually experiencing them. While compiling my list of top 10 recommendations of books I read in 2016 , I did a count … Continue reading In Praise of eBooks

The Lusitania: United States One Step Closer to War

April is the 100th anniversary of the United States declaring war on Germany and its allies the Great Powers.   The Wilson administration's decision to go to war was not taken lightly or in haste. In fact, it was almost two years after the sinking of the Lusitania that  The president  appeared before a joint session of … Continue reading The Lusitania: United States One Step Closer to War