Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas in Japan

The Colonel is Santa in this display
  I was stationed in Japan for Christmas in 1963 and 1964, and in 1965 I was back again aboard USS Hornet, so I've seen three there.  I can't remember how to say "Merry Christmas" in Japanese, maybe Wilbur remembers.
  I can tell you it was different, more then than now I think.  We had put a tree up, of course, in our office at the command I was attached too, the Naval Supply Depot, Yokosuka.  The last one aboard ship we didn't have a tree, but had fashioned one for everybodies Christmas cards - there used to be a photo of me there, but it's been lost I think.
  The decoration of buildings and public places was different, and it probably was with good reason, there aren't a great number of Christians in Japan so it's more of a civil holiday.
Godzilla in Tokyo
Ornaments made of split bamboo.

Friday, December 16, 2011


The screen says it all.
  A local area man was stopped for shoplifting the other day.  He had 7 knives of various types, 3 ratchet sets and some other small items.  Not guilty, he said "I always these this time of year.".  He was arrested anyway.
  On the same day a man cut the chain on a hydraulic wood splitter at Home Depot, he was stopped as he pushed the machine across the parking lot.  He told the police he couldn't be arrested for theft because he hadn't left the property.  Wrong, he was arrested for theft and for criminal mischief for cutting the chain.
My diploma!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Copper Beech

A "young" Copper Beech
I wanted to show a photo of the copper beech tree in Portland, Maine; it stands beside the older building at the Portland Museum of Art.  Each year they do or did light it up, small lights on every branch.  But, no photo to be found, so we'll just talk about it.  Back in my drinking days, when I first returned to Maine I spent the first night sleeping in the gated yard under that tree; there's an emotional tie there, even if that hadn't happened I'd still like the tree.
  Known for the leaf color that gives its name the copper beech, like other beech trees, live long lives, I'll show a photo near the end of a 150 year old tree that had been cut down (for a traffic project).  That tree is being made in to bowls by Mark Goodwin you can see them here:  take a peek.
The leaf color
Mark Goodwin and the 150 year old copper beech.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Take it outside!

Christmas in Bangor, Maine

There are lot's of times when a tree is outdoors,
far more obvious than making room to sweep floors;
sometimes an event, like Christmas or today,
is an ideal time to light up a display.

Of course in the big cities and many small towns,
the tree goes up so nobody frowns,
they decorate it with many bright lights,
and Christmas will shine throughout the nights.

You could have one a home, lots of folks do,
decorations and lights sure to suit you,
they'll light up your yard, and put on a show,
and look very pretty when covered with snow.
Levant, Maine 2011
Our deck in Carmel, Maine 2010

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This one is okay!

Angels and snowflakes

After the "right" tree was home,
we still had to work our hands to the bone;
saw off the bottom a little bit more,
build a stand, so it's upright on the floor.

Tree stands back then didn't come from the store,
well, they did really in the form of a two by four;
make a cross and nail it together,  oh maybe a square eight,
two blocks on one piece to make it level and straight.

Nail the tree on make it secure,
but there ain't no place for the water to pour,
no water for the tree back in the day long ago,
it didn't last long, but, oh my what a show.

Some homemade things and more
Medford Maine 1992

Monday, December 12, 2011

The wrong tree!

Not a good one!
After trudging all through the woods,
we always made sure to come home with the goods,
some trees were small or not very large,
and some were big, they came by barge.

We never knew from one year to the next,
or that it was possible for us to be hexed;
but that wicked witch caught us one day,
we completely missed the birth on the hay.

So now when it's Christmas time, we work with care,
you never know when that witch will be there;
be careful, real careful when into the woods you go,
I'm telling you now, don't say you didn't know.
Couldn't be fixed
Maybe next year

Sunday, December 11, 2011


The target
It was about this time of year, as I remember,
yep!  I'm pretty sure it was the middle of December;
mother would say, you boys go and get a tree,
and off we would go, my brother and me.

Down through the woods, often in the snow,
but she wouldn't send us out if it was 20 below;
looking for the Balsam Fir, not that elusive really,
hurry up! find the thing, it's gettin' kinda chilly!

Finally, we found one about 7 feet,
yep! we're pretty sure, it'd be hard to beat;
so on we go, hill and dale, drag the thing behind,
in the end it's pretty, I can see it in my mind.
"How 'bout that one, over there?"