Sunday, August 23, 2015

Eat Local! A W's Steakhouse Review

A review.

Last night Steve and I branched out to a new restaurant: we are creatures of habit and usually stick to two or three restaurants that we really like when we eat out.  We avoid chains and franchises when we can with the exception of Texas Roadhouse which we like.

We live within sniffing distance of W's Steakhouse on E. Kings Highway and the smell of charbroiled steaks has beckoned long enough so we gave it a try last night.  Fabulous!

Any longtime Shreveport resident knows the building -- the beautiful, art-deco building next door to George's Grill.  I ate many an order of Snapper a la Brocato in that building -- the tender, flaky red snapper smothered in a rich cream sauce with shrimp, oysters, and crabmeat and served in a parchment bag.  I had many an order of crab claws and made many trips to the salad bar in that building for "Wop Salad" and that home made bean soup.  Oh, how I miss Brocato's.

So, returning to the building for a fine meal last night was fun, and we weren't disappointed.  The
Old Brocato's Menu
owners have taken care to preserve the karma and atmosphere of Brocato's while dressing it up just a little in modern clothes. We ate in the restaurant side last night, but upon leaving, we looked into the bar area and that looks more my style for next time. The bar side still has the exposed brick walls that I remember from Brocato's and a sort of 1960s vibe.

We both had the 12 oz ribeye; I had the famous augratin potatoes while Steve went with the veggies.  Both of us had the wedge salad with blue cheese crumbles.  The steaks were perfectly seasoned and cooked as ordered.  The augratin potatoes can't be beat anywhere -- except maybe by The Cub which is where I first had them.  They are not your typical augratins: it's a secret recipe with maybe some pepperjack, and a richer, creamier sauce than I've ever had anywhere.  Divine.

The service was great -- not overpowering and not absent.  Our server visited with us and told us she had served at Don's and at Sansone's and that made me happy because I loved those local places, too.

And so that's the point, really, which is how important it is to support local eateries. East Kings used to be one long strip of classic local dining; from Sansone's to Murrell's, from Brocato's to George's Grill, from Cobb's BBQ to Strawn's to Don's, one right after the other.  All local. Mostly gone, now.

W's might be a little pricey for some, but our steaks came with salad and side, and they give a 10%
discount for active and retired military and law enforcement (even though their Facebook page said 20%, most service members are grateful for any discount at all!)

We loved our experience at W's last night and will return. As you are driving along Youree Drive and looking at one chain restaurant after another with one vacuum packed processed meal after another in their freezers, ready to microwave or slap in the broiler on the way to your table, remember your local eateries and support them. The Anvil on Line Avenue, next to Superior, is excellent; The Blind Tiger downtown, excellent. We still have George's Grill and Strawn's.  And there are several local Mexican places, of course -- Nicky's is our favorite.

Thanks W's Steakhouse for reminding us the importance of supporting local endeavors and thanks for an excellent dining experience!

Eat local!

W's Steakhouse
189 East Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71104
Phone: 318-861-1571

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What is the Appeal of Donald Trump?

I've got a post coming up at DaTechGuy on Monday afternoon about Donald Trump in which I recount parts of a conversation we had last night with friends about Trump's candidacy. Like a lot of other voters, apparently, my friend is all in for Trump and really likes what Trump says.

You can read about that over there, but I'm going to put in my two cents about Trump here.

Sure, Trump is saying the right things (sort of, sometimes) because he's a pandering entertainer. A reality TV star. He might be a businessman, but part of that business is entertainment. He's not a conservative and I personally don't think he's serious about being president. I believe he's in there to get publicity, to agitate, to get attention, and maybe to get the candidates talking about the right issues, although I might be giving him too much credit there.

Victor Davis Hanson nails exactly why Trump is at the top of the polls:

Trump preps little. He has no real agenda. And he makes stuff up as he goes along. For such a New York brawler, he has thin skin, smearing his critics, often in creepy fashion. How can a former Democrat, once a pro-choice, pro-amnesty liberal and a supporter of single-payer health care, remain the godhead of the conservative base for weeks on end?  
The answer is that Trump is a catharsis for 15 percent to 20 percent of the Republican electorate. They apparently like the broken china shop and appreciate the raging bull who runs amok in it. Politicians and the media are seen as corrupt and hypocritical, and the nihilistic Trump is a surrogate way of letting them take some heat for a change.

Trump has reversed himself on nearly every single conservative issue.

I've been stunned at the number of presumably intelligent people who have voiced support for him. When I suggested to my friend last night that perhaps Ted Cruz would be a better candidate, he shut me down and said he'd already made up his mind for Trump.

Well, then.

Even The Washington Post, is befuddled:

Trump has supported universal health care, was once an abortion rights advocate (who has since evolved), has a record of donating to Democrats, and is (was?) friends with the Clintons. Plus, he's said this: "I probably identify more as Democrat," Trump told CNN in 2004. But for reasons we're still analyzing (here and here and here), Trump is the conservative darling of the 2016 presidential race at the moment.

It's also important to realize, I think, that while people like Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh might support Trump's right to speak out and confront these controversial issues, they may not necessarily support Trump as president.  The distinction is a large one.

And so, it's important for people like my friend last night, and others on the Trump bandwagon, to fully research the issues and the candidates, not just what they are saying today.  My fear is that we have too many voters who won't make the effort and will simply settle for a reality TV presidency.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

It's Time to Take Responsibility: #AllLivesMatter

Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Several hundred people, including activists and religious leaders, gathered on Canfield Drive and observed four and a half minutes of silence before marching to a local church.

Since the Michael Brown incident, there have been other incidents of what activists are calling a war on black lives by white police officers. From Eric Garner to Sandra Bland to Christian Taylor, it seems this is all we are talking about.  Social media is exploding with rants, hashtags, and protests that #blacklivesmatter.

And then Cecil the Lion gets killed, and #lionslivesmatter.

Don't #alllivesmatter?  That's what they taught me in Sunday school when I was a little kid. Every Sunday at the Episcopal church we sat at little tables and colored pictures of Jesus with lambs, his outstretched hand beckoning the flock. "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight..." we sang in unison, happy smiles on our faces.

When in the world did we become so fractured, again?   Never in my life have I been so aware of racial tensions throughout the country, and I lived through the '60s.

In 2009, we had the President of the United States standing up on television asserting his personal view that "there's a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos stopped by law enforcement disproportionately."

Now, we can get into statistics and studies and evaluate the bias, or lack of bias, of whomever conducted said studies, and we can argue about that all day long. But it seems to me that if you're breaking a law, any law, then you may have to answer to that at some point.  Bottom line.

Just stick to Michael Brown for a moment. If he hadn't walked into the store, assaulted the owner, and stolen some cigarillos, Darren Wilson would never have confronted him.

Did Brown deserve to die for stealing cigarillos?

No, of course not.

Did he deserve to die for leaning into Wilson's car and assaulting him?  Well, no, but you up the danger-stakes somewhat when you assault an officer.  Brown made some pretty bad choices there.

The New Yorker has a long profile of Darren Wilson and the incident in Ferguson that day. Both Wilson and his wife have left the police force and can no longer work in law enforcement because they are considered a liability -- too dangerous. They live in hiding behind sunglasses and security cameras. Wilson has been cleared of any wrongdoing but now is facing a civil suit by Brown's parents. All of these people feel all this "resentment" and anger toward Wilson who, to be honest, was just doing his job. When we look at the actual facts and put aside the emotion of the case, it's not hard to see that. Yes, it was tragic, of course.

But, my point isn't to retry Darren Wilson or what happened that day; let's look at the Sandra Bland case. Why are the police being blamed for her death? She refused to comply with a reasonable order, was confrontational and uncooperative every step of the way, and then took her own life.  But we're going to demonize the police for that all over social media.

My family was on the receiving end last fall of police error, as you may remember if you've been around a while. A neighbor heard kids screaming, thought some woman was being abused, called the cops, and they stormed through my front door with weapons drawn and demanded to know where the screaming was coming from. It was terrifying. And yes, it made us furious. But it was all a mistake. We still have some bitterness about it because the department covered their guy and admitted to no wrongdoing whatsoever, but it's all in the past and as a retired police officer himself, my husband realizes that things happen. It's a very stressful job and certainly a thankless one.

As I reflect back over the past year, and the explosion on social media demonizing police, I personally feel the need to step back from that.

Just this week, here in Shreveport, we lost a bright, young police officer who was shot in the head and killed by a cold-hearted criminal who was already wanted for attempted murder. Officer Thomas LeValley answered a domestic call and was killed for it. They are burying him today.

And yet the drum-beat of anti-police rhetoric continues. Even here in Shreveport, some don't even have the decency to hush until after this boy is buried.

As a nation, we have to stop this. We have to pull together and we have to, absolutely have to, stop letting the Louis Farrakans, the Jesse Jacksons, and the other race whores drive division between us. Do I blame Obama for all this?  No, not directly, but do I think he has set race relations back fifty years?  You bet I do.  Social media hasn't helped, but Obama has been far, far from a peacemaker on this.

It's time for us all to take responsibility for our own actions, put morals and integrity back on the table, teach our children respect for authority and laws, and quit giving a pass to criminals because they've had a hard life.

All. Lives. Matter.

Writers Write

My book is done.

At least, it's done for now. I have submitted it to a publisher that I've been corresponding with about it, and it's a waiting game now. They may either reject it or send it on for further review. In the meantime, I wait.

I'm sort of encouraged -- I've had a couple of folks read it and the feedback has been extremely positive.  But, the standards at an academic press are pretty high and so I'm nervous.

So we wait.

In the meantime, writers write, and so hopefully I'll pick up my blog again. In the past several days since I sent the manuscript off I have found myself with all this time on my hands. What in the world did I do before I spent all day at my desk writing a book?  Oh yes, I taught school and I blogged.

So, here I am.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dear Shreveport, We Need to Talk

DES MOINES -- Dear Shreveport-Bossier, we need to talk.

It's time to see other people.  While I love you, and have spent my entire life with you, you are not making forward progress to the degree that you should; you're not working up to your potential.  You could do so much better.

Nobody is perfect, and I don't expect you to be perfect.  But...

Let's look at Des Moines, Iowa, for a moment.  So often, people around the country laugh at and scoff at old Des Moines.  But Shreveport, let me share a secret with you; I've been having a little affair with Des Moines for several years now.

You see, Des Moines is about the same size as you, generally.  It has suburban areas just like you do.  There isn't a whole lot of difference in the population numbers:  As of 2014, Des Moines had a population of about 209,000 and in 2013, Shreveport had about 200,000 and Bossier City has a population of about 70,000.   Roughly even; at least comparable.

So why does it seem like downtown Des Moines is light years ahead of you, Shreveport?  What gives?

Downtown Des Moines is a thriving, busy, happening place where people live, work, and play.  There are many, many restaurants, cafes, and bars with outdoor seating:

There is one...

...right after another...

I realize it's a lot hotter and it's more humid in Louisiana, but look Shreveport, your neighbor in Dallas has a lot of outdoor patio areas, too.

In downtown Des Moines, there are old buildings that have been converted to apartments; something that you are beginning to do, Shreveport-Bossier.  These lofts and apartments are filled with young people that work and play downtown:

There are even little grocery stores here and there so if you need to pick up something, you don't really have to leave downtown.

And Shreveport, in downtown Des Moines, they restore old buildings, not abandon them and let them rot until they just fall down.  You have so many fine buildings downtown that have fallen into such a sad state of urban decay.  What business wants to come into a town like that?  Why can't your leaders find a way to preserve instead of ignore?

Even the littlest flaws are addressed and marked for repair.

Yes, Shreveport, downtown Des Moines is lovely with its flowers...

...and plentiful green spaces that enrich downtown living.  And it's so clean -- the people take pride in their downtown and so trash and litter is almost non-existent.

But Shreveport, even more than that, and this is where we need to talk, Des Moines has a Triple-A baseball team.  Now, think back to those population numbers I referenced, and let me reiterate:  Des Moines has a Triple-A baseball team.  And don't tell me that you can't have that because "the wealth isn't there."  Band together with your surrounding communities, work together.  Shreveport, Bossier, Benton, Haughton, even Minden.  It's there.

The Iowa Cubs play at Principal Park in downtown Des Moines in a lovely little stadium right on the river.

Principal Park seats 11,500 and replaces the original stadium that was built there in 1947.  The new stadium was completed in 1992, just six years after old, abandoned Fairgrounds Field,  and has gone through some upgrades since then, like the addition of sky boxes, etc.   I've been to see the Texas Rangers in their stadium, and let me tell you, there isn't much difference other than size.  The fun, amenities, and activities are all there.

Even better, the stadium is within walking distance of that busy, thriving downtown that we just talked about.  You can park your car at the stadium, walk two blocks, have lunch in a German bar/restaurant... (because you can only eat so much Mexican and Asian food which is about all you have, Shreveport...I know there are Italian restaurants and steak places, but let's get some variety, eh?)

Have some authentic German food,

...go to a first-class science center:

Then walk over to the ballpark and see a great game.

The tickets to these games at Principal Park are quite affordable.  For less than twenty bucks for two people, you can sit right behind home plate;  look at that view, too!  The beautiful capitol building is lovely all lit up at night.

A person might even be lucky enough to get an autograph from a visiting retired major league player like Lee Smith.

Shreveport-Bossier, why in the world don't you have baseball?

It's a great thing to be able to take the family out to a ball game.

Why, Shreveport, why can't you do this?

And if baseball isn't your thing, Shreveport, Des Moines has two hockey teams - The Iowa Wild which is American Hockey League, and the Des Moines Buccaneers which is the United States Hockey League.  You remember hockey, don't you, Shreveport-Bossier?  There's also basketball, soccer, and pretty much whatever other sports you'd like to see.

And guess what, Shreveport?  Des Moines also has a zoo - a really fabulous zoo.

Like I said, I love you, Shreveport; I really do.  You've been my home my entire life, and that's why I hate to see you languish.  There's more to life than casinos, really!  There's got to be a better tourist draw than the Boardwalk, don't you think?  So, what's the problem?

It looks like people have already given up on you, Shreveport-Bossier.  Given up.

That is heartbreaking.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flag Day 2015: Flag Retirement Ceremony at Lowe McFarlane American Legion Post

The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags is outlined in Resolution No. 440, passed by the 19th National Convention of The American Legion in New York, Sept. 20-23, 1937. The ceremony has been an integral part of American Legion ritual since that date.

WHEREAS, Americanism has been and should continue to be one of the major programs of The American Legion; and
WHEREAS, The observance of proper respect for the Flag of our country and the education of our citizenry in the proper courtesies to be paid the Flag is an essential element of such Americanism program; and
WHEREAS, It is fitting and proper that Flags which have been used for the decoration of graves on Memorial Day be collected after such service, inspected, and worn and unserviceable Flags be condemned and properly destroyed;

WHEREAS, Our Flag which we love and cherish
WHEREAS, In a proper service of tribute and memory and love, our Flag becomes faded and worn and must be honorably retired from life; and
WHEREAS, Such retirement of Flags that have become unserviceable may be done in public with respectful and honorable rites...

RESOLVED, That Flag Day, June 14, be recommended as the most appropriate day on which to annually hold this ceremony.

Sergeant-at-Arms: “Comrade Commander, we wish to present a number of unserviceable Flags of our Country for inspection and disposal.”
Commander: “Comrade Sergeant-at-Arms, advance with your detail and present the Flags for disposal and inspection.”

Second Vice Commander: “Is the present condition of these Flags the result of their usual service as the Emblem of our Country?”
Sergeant-at-Arms: “These Flags have become faded and worn over the graves of our departed comrades and the Soldier, Marine, Sailor, and Airman dead of all our nation’s wars.”

Sergeant-at-Arms: “Comrade Vice Commander, we present these Flags which have been inspected by the Second Vice Commander, for your further inspection.”
First Vice Commander: “Have any of these Flags served any other purpose?”
Sergeant-at-Arms: “Some of these Flags have been displayed in various public places.” 

Sergeant-at-Arms: “Comrade Commander, we have the honor to present for final inspection and proper disposal these Flags of our Country.”
Commander: “Have these Flags been inspected by the First and Second Vice Commanders?”
Sergeant-at-Arms: “They have.”

Second Vice Commander: “Comrade Commander, since these Flags have become unserviceable in a worthy cause, I recommend that they be honorably retired from further service.”
Commander: “Comrade First Vice Commander, what does your inspection show and what do you recommend?”
First Vice-Commander: “Comrade Commander, since these Flags have become faded and worn in a tribute of service and love, I also recommend that they be fittingly destroyed.”

Commander: “Comrades, we have presented here these Flags of our Country which have been inspected and condemned as unserviceable. They have reached their present state in a proper service of tribute, memory and love.
“A Flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze, or a beautiful banner of finest silk. Its intrinsic value may be trifling or great; but its real value is beyond price, for it is a precious symbol of all that we and our comrades have worked for and lived for, and died for a free Nation of free men, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practice of Justice, Freedom and Democracy.

“Let these faded Flags of our Country be retired and destroyed with respectful and honorable rites and their places be taken by bright new Flags of the same size and kind, and let no grave of our soldier or sailor dead be unhonored and unmarked. Sergeant-at-Arms, assemble the Color Guard, escort the detail bearing the Flags and destroy these Flags by burning. The members shall stand at attention.”

Commander: “The Chaplain will offer prayer.”
Chaplain: “Almighty God, Captain of all hosts and Commander over all, bless and consecrate this present hour.
“We thank Thee for our Country and its Flag, and for the liberty for which it stands. “To clean and purging flame we commit these Flags, worn out in worthy service. As they yield their substance to the fire, may Thy Holy Light spread over us and bring to our hearts renewed devotion to God and Country. Amen.”

Commander: “Hand salute.”

(Text courtesy of The American Legion)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Red River Flooding Roundup June 7

Today is the day it will crest; the Mighty Red will crest at 36.5, they say.  At this moment it is at 36.39.

Nothing captures the devastation of this event like this new video from Sky Pixel LA; 

Check out their page for more videos and photos.

One of the dangers now is the sightseers, which is one reason I haven't been back out with my camera.  There are snakes, alligators and other critters that are in unexpected places.  The sightseers are stopping on top of the Shreveport-Barksdale bridge in the lane of traffic to gawk.  I know this because I was behind this person yesterday trying to drive to Bossier City.  One woman I know nearly rear-ended a sightseer yesterday who had stopped on I-20 to look at the river.

On the KTBS page there is a video that shows how flooded the sheriff's substation is; and of course the reporter parked on the bridge to get the video.

It is astounding when you drive over one of the bridges and see all that water in places it should not be.

Here is today's graph:

June 7, 2015
The Bossier Parish Sheriff's page continues to post vivid photos including some yesterday of the rescue of some dogs from a flooded home.

Stay safe and dry!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

D-Day: Remembering the Kelley Brothers

Re-run of last year's post:

On this anniversary of D-Day, I'm running a version ofone of my columns at DaTechGuy; here in Shreveport, one family lost three sons in less than two years in World War II.  During that war many families across our nation lost more than one son, but as far as I know, the Kelley family is the only family in Shreveport that lost three sons-- one of them in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.  

Like all of America, Shreveport watched the unfolding events at Pearl Harbor in 1941 with horror.  

In February 1942, William G. Kelley (his friends and family called him “Bob”) felt the call to service and enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He had graduated from the local high school, attended Louisiana College, and was attending seminary.  He was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Shreveport by Dr. M. E. Dodd.  When he enlisted, Bob was preaching at the Evangeline Mission, a new church in town that he helped build with the assistance of the Queensborough Baptist Church.

William "Bob" Kelley
Bob Kelley went to officers’ school and became a bombardier; he went with the Eighth Air Force to England.  Lt. Kelley had been overseas only six weeks when his plane crashed near Fontainebleau, France and claimed his life on November 10, 1944.  He was twenty-four years old.

The Evangeline Mission, where Bob was a preacher, was renamed for him as Kelley Memorial Baptist Church.

A second Kelley son, Bose, Jr., died in the D-Day invasion.  Al McIntosh, writing for the Rock County Star Herald, wrote on June 8, 1944, after learning that the expected invasion of France had finally taken place:
“This is no time for any premature rejoicing or cockiness because the coming weeks are going to bring grim news.  This struggle is far from over – it has only started – and if anyone thinks that a gain of ten miles means that the next three hundred are going to go as fast or easy he is only an ostrich.”
He was correct:  the grim news was only beginning.

Bose F. Kelley, Jr.
Bose Kelly, Jr. enlisted in May 1942.  Bose graduated from Fair Park High School in Shreveport.  He was married to Betty Miller and working as a mechanic at Central Motor Company, a car dealership.  Bose volunteered for the Army Airborne, went to jump school and became a paratrooper.  Bose was part of the 507 PIR which became attached to the 82nd Airborne in 1943. The 507 PIR was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia on July 20, 1942 and trained there and in Alliance, Nebraska.  In 1943, the 507th PIR shipped out to Northern Ireland, then England, and it was in Nottingham where they prepared for the coming Allied invasion of France.  They studied sand tables, drop zones, and were given Hershey’s chocolates and a carton of cigarettes.

Bose was on a C-47, number 13 in his stick, as the plane lumbered through the fog banks toward Drop Zone T, near the west bank of the Merderet River.  Because of the fog and the incoming German flak, the C-47s flew faster and higher than anticipated which caused almost all of the paratroopers to miss the drop zone.  They were scattered over a 15 mile area.  The 507th was the last regiment to jump and by the time Bose Kelley’s C-47 was over the Cotentin peninsula the entire area was stirred up with flak coming from every direction. There were sixteen men in Bose Kelley’s stick and at least eight of them were killed that night.  The Germans had flooded the valley as a defensive tactic and some paratroopers, weighted down by equipment and unable to swim, drowned.  Bose Kelley was killed by a direct hit from an artillery shell.

Major General Paul F. Smith wrote in his Foreword to Dominique Francois’s history of the 507th,
“This regiment unquestionably received the worst drop of the six US parachute regiments dropped that night.”
Howard Huebner, who was number 3 in Bose’s stick, survived that drop.  He wrote:
I am a Paratrooper! I was 21 yrs old when we jumped into Normandy. 
We knew the area where we were supposed to land, because we had studied it on sand tables, and then had to draw it on paper by memory, but that all faded as our regiment was the last to jump, and things had changed on the ground. Most of us missed our drop zone by miles.  As we were over our drop zone there was a downed burning plane. Later I found out it was one of ours. The flack was hitting our plane and everything from the ground coming our way looked like the Fourth of July. 
When I hit the ground in Normandy, I looked at my watch.  It was 2:32 AM, June 6, 1944. I cut myself out of my chute, and the first thing I heard was shooting and some Germans hollering in German, "mucksnell toot sweet Americanos". 
We the 507th, was supposed to land fifteen miles inland, but I landed three or four miles from Utah Beach by the little town of Pouppeville. I wound up about 1000 yards from a French farm house that the Germans were using for a barracks, and about 200 feet from a river, an area that the Germans had flooded. If I would have landed in the water, I may not be here today as I can’t swim. A lot of paratroopers drowned because of the flooded area.
Local writer Gary Hines spoke to Bose’s widow, Betty, for an article he wrote for the August 2000 issue of SB Magazine.  She told him, “He was going to win the war and come back home.”  Betty was married at 18 and a widow at 20.  She told Mr. Hines “We were both young enough to feel that he was coming home.  He wasn’t going to be one of the ones who was lost.”

Edgar Rew Kelley
A third Kelley son, Edgar Rew, was drafted into the Army in 1943.  He was sent to Camp McCain in Mississippi where he died five weeks later from an outbreak of spinal meningitis.  He never made it out of basic training.  He was 27 years old; he left behind a wife of five years.

The remaining Kelley brother was Jack.  Jack Richard Kelley was serving in the medical corps in Washington at Fort Lewis.  His father, Bose Kelley, Sr., wrote to U.S. Representative Overton Brooks and pleaded with him to prevent his oldest son from going overseas.   It is reminiscent of the scene in Saving Private Ryan where General Marshall reads the Bixby letter to his officers.  In this case, in a letter dated December 8, 1944, Mr. Kelley received word that his son Jack would remain stateside for the duration of the war.  Jack Kelley died in 1998.

Sunday, May 18, 2014
The bodies of Bose Kelley, Jr. and his brother William (Bob) were buried in separate military funerals in France but were returned to the United States in September 1948.  Bose and his brother now rest side by side in the veterans section of Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport.  Their brother, Edgar Rew Kelley, is in a civilian cemetery across town, the Jewella Cemetery on Greenwood Road.  Their father, who pleaded for his fourth son to be spared, died just one month after Bose and William’s bodies were buried in Greenwood Cemetery.  It’s as if he was just waiting for them to come home.

For sixty-five years their sister, Ruby, tended the graves of her brothers.  There has never been a time that I visited the graves that there was not a crisp American flag flying over each and flowers.  Ruby died last year and the graves are now tended by Ruby's daughter.  I visited the graves of Bose and William last week and sure enough, there were two new flags and flowers steadfastly in place.

As we observe this 70th anniversary of D-Day, we remember the sacrifices of young men like the Kelleys all across the country. Their name belongs alongside the Sullivan brothers, the Borgstrum brothers, the Niland brothers, and the Wright brothers.  It is their heroism and their sacrifice, along with that of so many others, that we remember and honor.

For further reading:

Friday, June 5, 2015

Red River Flooding Photos: Part 5

Here are a few photos I took today.

As I said earlier, at this point drone pictures and other aerial photography is best as many streets are now flooded or blocked.

It is still possible to get to the Stoner Boat Launch though, which was my first stop today.  To give a sense of perspective, this image from Google shows what the area normally looks like:

Stoner Boat Launch, Google Maps

You can see the Clyde Fant Parkway north and south bound over to the left.  The parking lot at the top left is the VA overflow parking lot and parking for the Skate Plaza which you see next to the parking lot.  Right now, if you drew a vertical line from the skate park straight down, everything to the right of that line is now water.

So, with that blue pavilion as a point of reference, here's the parking lot which is now a fishing pond:

Stoner Boat Launch, 6/5/2015
In that photo the blue pavilion is on the far right.

People were catching some very large fish out of there today.

Stoner Boat Launch, 6/5/2015
A butterfly was enjoying the rails at the skate park...

Literally everywhere you go on the river people are taking pictures.

High water; Stoner Boat Launch

And the Clyde Fant Parkway is closed.

Turn around.

Undaunted, I put the shoe leather to work...

Clyde Fant Parkway, facing north
Well that would be the Frisbee golf course under water, and that water is getting awfully close to the road.

East and west sides of Parkway under water.
The walking path is well under water but this looks like a great fishing spot, now:

End of the road...
Downtown, things are not any better.

Riverview Hall is sandbagged.

Riverview Hall, 6/5/2015

The Parkway is closed downtown, too; the water is coming up through the drains in front of SciPort:

SciPort parking lot
Why the Parkway is closed:

Clyde Fant Parkway, 6/5/2015
Again, as a point of reference, these are the stairs I was using a few days ago.  The barricades have been moved back closer to the street now, and they aren't letting anyone past them.

Riverview Park, 6/5/2015

The current is incredibly fast.

Red River
A now familiar reference point:

Near Riverview Park
City trucks not afraid of water:

Clyde Fant Parkway
Another familiar reference point:

River Cruise
SciPort is sandbagged:

SciPort sandbagged
And more photographers:

Clyde Fant Parkway
This sculpture is looking more like a watercraft these days:

Along Clyde Fant Parkway
You can see in this shot how close the water is getting to the road:

Clyde Fant Parkway
The J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Visitor Center:

You are no longer allowed on the viewing areas behind the Barnwell; it's all barricaded off now.  Some city employees were behind the barricades looking at the river and some curious citizens went through the open barricade; this is the city employee chasing people off.

It's safe for me but not for you!  Go away!
And a final shot from under the Texas Street bridge:

Through the day the crest prediction was raised to 36.5.

Current levels:

Some apartment complexes are facing possible evacuation.

And, of course, Bobby Jindal was here today.

Thanks for the donations!  It helps keep gas in the Jeep.

Stay dry and watch out for your neighbors.  Be wary of things in the water.  And there are several reports of livestock stranded as officials work rescue operations to save them.  Be safe and help where you can.

Red River Flooding Roundup June 5
Red River Flooding Photos: Part 4 (June 3)
Red River Flooding Roundup June 3
Red River Flooding Photos: Part 3 (June 1)
Red River Flooding Roundup: May 31, 2015.
Red River Flooding photos: Part 1 (May 17)
Red River Flooding Photos Part 2  (May 30)