Some Political Meandering
Our president continues his long term agenda of accommodation to the Islamic States, and their terrorist organization pals, at the price of our highly trained and selfless warriors, along with hundreds of innocent civilians. The people of the middle east don’t like America. They don’t respect America. They snicker at our accommodation and take our billions of dollars in aid/arms/technology and dole it out to their masked assassins in exchange for blood – often ours.
Our president trades a pat on the head and a new prayer rug for a backhanded slap in the face to the only democracy in the region, our allies and our watch tower, Israel.
At home, his administration works around the clock to insure that the most vulnerable portion of the Democratic voting block, the un-educated, the poor, the economically disadvantaged, experiences exponential, artificial growth by loading that segment of our society with millions of illegal immigrants. Here today, voting tomorrow, making socialist medical care and overall public welfare an American standard.
The seasoned, professional, politicians, both parties, play a dangerous game based on an artificial indicator of influence. Money. The amount of money, coupled with slick speech writers and prejudiced mass media exposure, does not make a quality leader with values and a clean heart. A person with that persuasion can’t be both good/honest versus slick/valuable in the millions. A great example of that is Dr. Ben Carson. Educated, self made, at the apex of his profession.
Carson has a rightfully earned reputation in medicine. Up from the lowest level of American poverty, he is world famous for his pediatric surgical skills – separating conjoined babies. He has developed a philosophy in regard to saving and nurturing disadvantaged bright minds. He and his wife created a foundation to benefit promising students and afford them the threshold to a successful life and freedom from cultural bondage. They have given millions in financial scholarships to thousands of deserving youths.
Many want us to believe that he doesn’t have a tinker’s chance at the presidency. They forget that this is the United States of America . . . “Only in America.” And Carson has a lot to say about that certainty.
If you’d like to know what and how, Dr. Carson is moving towards a national recognition read the New York Times article linked here. The article is long but, refreshingly candid. If you do not know about Carson this will make you want to learn more. Thanx Click Here
A blast from the past compliments of The Rednak Chronicles
Ape Man Turns Up At Springs
One of Harmo’s grandsons, Ben A., a second cousin to Milo‘s children, moved to Milo’s Sink and ended up working a steam packet down on the Ocklawaha River until the railroad took most of the freight and passenger business and the river steamers began to disappear.
Ben then went to work for Colonel Tooey, the Silver River concessionaire that operated the Jungle Cruises out of the Silver Springs outflow, just outside of Ocala. Tooey had populated one of the river’s islands with squirrel monkeys first and then Rhesus Macaques. The squirrel monkeys didn’t fair well during the winter, but the Rhesus monkeys liked the river environment so well they swam over to the banks and in a few years there were several troupes waiting daily, along the cruise’s path, for handouts of peanuts and anything else that looked edible.
The river literally teemed with wildlife. In the river which ran clear as a crystal goblet everything swimming could be plainly seen to a depth of over twenty feet. The glass bottom boats only enhanced the underwater view of a living fantasy. To be seen or encountered on a given day were huge garfish, throwbacks to the age of dinosaurs, large mullet, redfish, bass and bream, catfish, crabs, soft shell turtles the size of small wagon wheels, otters, raccoons, fox, and the occasional black bear, often sows with cubs. And of course, the greatest Florida attraction the alligator, which had been given center stage by a short barrel chested man of fearless countenance who had made himself one of the world’s experts on snakes and crocodilians.
Ross Allen created the Silver Springs Reptile Institute and occupied a section of the waterfront at the springs which during this time period was a carnival of milling tourists and local hotel guests every day of the week. Allen’s snake handlers stepped into a snake pit full of Florida rattlesnakes with only the protection of snake proof boots made from elk or moose leather and a “catch stick”. They let the snakes break balloons with strikes faster than the eye can see and milked the venom from the reptile’s fangs hung over the edge of a cordial glass. Allen was the largest producer of anti- venoms and imported exotic snake poisons from around the world for medicinal and research purposes.
Almost every day, Ross came out, at least once, to subdue a ten to twelve foot gator, riding its back and holding gaping jaws wide before letting the menacing teeth clap loudly shut and leaping to safety for the benefit of the gathered crowds. Allen was only five feet seven in boots and weighed around 160 pounds in his prime. After seeing him do these death defying things most people would swear he was six feet and two hundred pounds! Ross is credited with explaining why a gator could be put to sleep by turning him onto his back and stroking his stomach while the gator lay motionless until with a start when slapped on the stomach, the gator would flip quickly over onto its feet and hiss menacingly, mouth open and tail sweeping back and forth. Ross not only knew reptilian behavior, but he knew the anatomy too. An alligator has a very small brain. No bigger than a golf ball in a nine to ten footer. This “golf ball” floats in a chamber at the base of the gator’s skull. When the gator is rolled over the brain puts pressure on the spinal cord, paralyzing the gator until a slap shock gets the reflex reaction of making the alligator flip upright. No one knows if this gives the gator a headache or not.
Ben and Ross became friends and Ben accompanied him on many local expeditions to hunt rattlesnakes, catch gators or look for unusual specimens such as coach whips or purple/black indigos.
Like Tooey’s squirrel monkeys, a movie star turned ape man didn’t fair too well during the winter’s either. Ben was captaining one of the support boats during the filming of MGM’s 2nd movie on the Silver River, Tarzan And His Mate. He would see Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan almost daily. They would generally be on the third trip to the day’s location after all the equipment, support personnel, and cameras were in place. One especially cold day Weissmuller swung from a very high cedar tree on a vine disguised rope, over a pool in the river and letting go, dove from about twenty feet up into the glassine water. At the time, steam from the cool air was wafting off the water’s surface, giving the whole scene a surreal look. Tarzan hit the water and almost immediately popped up, shaking the wet hair from his face and cursing loudly. No one would hear the tirade from the film as only dialog and some naturally occurring effects were recorded “live”. Everything else was dubbed in later. Weissmuller was obviously upset and angry. He emerged onto the bank, grabbed a bathrobe and came stomping to the boat as he violently wrapped himself in the terry cloth.
“Tarzan’s ass !” He screeched with an accent exaggerated by frustration. “Tarzan is an ape man in the jungle. Not an Eskimo with no clothes on. It is too f_ _ _ _ _ g cold for Tarzan or Johnny to be swimming here!” He looked at Ben and said in a lowered tone, “Captain take me back to the dock and don’t ever let me get on this boat again if the temperature is below 80 !”
Ben would later tell Ross Allen and a group of friends that Weissmuller had never spoken directly to him or much less acknowledged him until that incident. Ben said that listening to Weissmuller talk and say a few lines made him feel that Johnny might be a little light in the loafers. But, after hearing him cuss he was convinced that the guy just had a tenor’s voice in a baritone’s body.
It was rumored that not only did Weissmuller demand that all future Tarzan contracts specify no water scenes in temperatures below eighty, but that a bottle of brandy and a change of clothes to be kept on the utility boat whenever filming was being done on or near water.
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The swim star made 4 more Tarzan movies for MGM on the Silver River through 1942, all during much warmer times of the year, and then went to RKO with Cheeta and Boy, for 6 additional Tarzan films.
The Rhesus monkeys survive in viable numbers along the shores of the Silver and Ocklawaha Rivers and have eluded efforts to capture and move them for over seventy years. It is estimated that there are 8 to 10 family troupes totaling as many as 300 hundred Rhesus monkeys that are fifth and sixth generation descendants of Colonel Tooey’s Jungle Cruise island monkeys.
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