Guest Submission by Gene Brown
I just got off of a two week vacation. About two days into the trip it was strenuously suggested that I should not even think about writing, but instead concentrate on having fun!
So being that I am domesticated and ever obedient, I overtly ignored my stylus. However, there are always lessons to learn and record.
Our trip covered seven states, and I had to brush up on all my in-law, parent, and grandparent skills. The weather fooled us the whole trip; we packed for 90’s. However, clouds and rain resulted in the low 80’s.
While paying California gas prices, I got to check off one of my “bucket list” items when we drove through a California, Redwood Tree. This tree was on private property, and the 82 year-old owner literally ran out to the kiosk in her driveway so she could charge me $5 for the opportunity. Now, I have to come up with another bucket list item, like running when I am 82. I don’t want my list to be completed just yet!
We spent a very pleasant evening with my wife’s cousin in northern Oregon, even though they had to chase us all the way from southern New Mexico to make the meeting.
In western Washington we visited my daughters and one son-in-law, and of course grandchildren, including the new grandbaby. It is a pleasure to watch beloved children respond well to a new challenge; my grandkids have very fine parents. I also had the privilege of taking my granddaughter out for her 16th birthday: dinner and a movie.
We also visited some good friends in the hops and vineyard capital of Washington.
En route home, we visited Mesa Verde cliff dwellings in Colorado, then Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. Both are National Parks showcasing the remains of Indian civilizations that abandoned their homes and towns about 1300AD, even though they numbered in the tens of thousands.
Several ranger guided tours impressed me with how little archaeologists know about what they have been studying since the 1920’s.
One ranger even told us, “Your guess is as good as any of ours why they left.” He also made the comment that many large and impressive structures appeared to have been little used, suggesting “make work projects” for the artisans and engineers.
I am convinced that human nature doesn’t change. Large populations produce power, and inevitable political machinations develop to accumulate that power into the hands of a few. With enough power, “elites” can subsidize segments of a society (public service unions) by taking the fruits of other segments of the society (farmers and tradesmen). The end result is a dearth of freedom and liberty for the entire culture.
As utopian (Socialism) as this sounds, it really can’t last forever. Man desires freedom and liberty, he covets good things for his family, and he eschews tyranny.
Recorded history teaches us that ineptitude in governing (Carter; Obama) can be as destructive as any natural phenomenon.
Unrecorded history should be no different.
That’s my nickle