Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Monday, March 27, 2023

The Frozen Hours by jeff shaara

 It was often called the Forgotten War but it wasn't forgotten by author Jeff Shara. my brother-in-law ray Smith  joined  the Marines immediately after graduating from high school In MississippiShortly before the war in Korea began. some years later on the Great Mall in Washington DC i saw a general of the Marine Corps be honored at the memorial to the american soldiers of nurses who died in Korea On the same day I also saw the new Holocaust Museum Earlier that spring and the Lincoln Memorial for  the third time. also the famous wall commemorating the fallen from Vietnam on the mall. Author 

Jeff Shaara followed in the footsteps of his Pulitzer Prize winning fathers history of the battle at Gettysburg called the Killer Angels. Jeff has continued that tradition.  His historical accuracy of  American Military  conflicts Is faultless  And he tells a good story Which makes it interesting .

Let me assure you as a history teacher this is not a dull book of dates and facts and figures it's the story about the people who were there and who fought& in many cases died. the author tells this  very well. he brings He brings the story to life By telling What individual people did. Of course in a war as in this case there were millions of people who fought. ;  more recently only a few are still alive to give witness to the author  it's now labeled as the forgotten war I'm sure you've heard of it But what really happened. maybeYou do not not have a clue or may have forgotten One of the things that Makes me think that it was forgotten isThat we didn't win The war And we didn't lose it as well  there was       peace treaty it just Ended Witha  ceasefire no wonder it's forgottenThere's an old saying that I have no expeience with but  perhapsas they used to say it was like kissing your cousinNot really something you likelyThought was the high point in your love life. President Truman did not have a dramatic opening to the war like president Roosevelt did   dramatic opening like japan almost totally destroying our Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor Truman called it a "police action" maybe like a small Civil War that was supposed to have had election but it didn't. The Soviet Union occupied the North And the United States occupied the South political complications no doubt But hopefully not world war 3 .The world or the United Nations On the Southern side of the could it become a worldwarinvolvingcommunism \versus freedom.?or Russia versus Ukraine

What were the issues? And would they determine the direction of the story and who were thePeopleon both sides who would carry this storyBy telling what they saw and what they didout of the millions of soldiersWho fought on both sides?Lots of questions Indeed.   General MacArthur an army general and the Navy led the attack against the country Japan which sank much of our navy in a sneak attack against Pearl Harbor. The American peoplewould not have hesitated a secondt o going after Japan first. But  the commander in chief franklin Roosevelt  and America's spies the believed  Germans were already well underway researching some-abombs 5 years later Douglas MacArthur was doing a good job in Japan still with some occupying American troops turning Japan into a non-military democracy. simply they were not American troops We're not training for war and We're not well supplied with updated military equipment. they were not prepared for a wa rin Korea MacArthur seemed to have his job well in hand. In America the issue wasWhich party was to blame for the communists taking over China. MacArthur seem to blame blame The State Department run   by the weak liberals. So cutting to the chase now who are the other individuals groups and  that we're described by the author and of whom   thiscomplex story atomabelieving thatSome progress was being madeAnd perhaps a super powerful with our British alliesunder attack and Europe already conquered by the German armies explosion abmb could be createdThe priority had to be put on defeating Germany firstJapan was already conqueringislandsAn American connection to the PhilippinesBut Japan did not poseThe threat the germans  did Germany had conquered a EuropeAnd it's alliesbut not Great Britainyetaboutnn5 years after the war ended a different war was in the air the Cold War and President Truman again had to make a choice With the Cold War in progress now against former AllyThe Soviet Union Was it wise to take onwar That riskedDrawing in Communist China and the Soviet UnionWho wereAllegedly supplyingCommunist dominated North Korea\ conquer us in a possibly expanding warwar.But MacArthurWas in command of the armyfrom Japan where he's still residedWhen the Korean War broke out the army that was close byWas still in JapanAt that point Japan did not have its own armya small American army was there supervising the piece in Japan andSince it was an occupation armynotReady to fight a real warand not ready to Have all the equipment it neededto win. The weather that year was a challengefor both sides. Many froze and lost  limbs  of the conflictBut thenWas finally pushed back and lost this capital. General MacArthur with brilliant tactics is he often showed in war turn the tide of the war and the American Army supplemented by british and a few otherUnited Nations allies turned the tide and pushed north The yalu river border between North Koreaand China. There are several other soldiers and officers will you probably never heard of waffle narrate the storyAt every other level.Most are realA few are made upbeing soldiers who exemplifiedThelower rankingsoldiers and officersWho tell their storiesSo you canSee howWhat was happening toMost of the ranks. You cannot understand what turn who had been ordered by ed the battles in Korea from Sure disasterous loss to as a hidden Chinese army trapped in surrounded the Marines this book does not tell the story of all the battles in the ups and downs of a very long war it focuses on the first Marine Division and Oliver P Smith commanding Generalit was Marine General Smith who turned sure defeat from a vast nearly out numbered numberedmarine division trapped in well belowfreezingto a fightingEscape from the trap temperatures

macArthur to reach the line of the Chinese bordersIn the far north o f North Koreahours tells the story of Frozen chosen south of the Yellow River and China's bordersof the Korean peninsula and the hands of a brave band of marines battling both the elements and the determined implacable full defending their borderof the history of China this war and a marine author named Manchester who wrote the death of a president by about john Kennedy's assassinationand his wonderful biographyof Douglas MacArthurand his own experiencesFighting as a marineIn the battlesat Guadalcanaland elsewhere against Japan in the Pacific if you have any questions about my views on this book obviously I enjoyed it and thought it was well written but don't hesitate to ask if you want more details orWhat I saidAbout the book. To avoid total boredom in my present situation i've got lots of time to read and write book reviews nowIf spring ever gets here in Minnesota I'll be able to go outside once again without fear of falling on ice and breaking a hip since I don't haveThe legal right toDrive anymore. Most of my hobbiesLikefly fishingwhere I have a bad balance problemAnd don't feel going safeAll in their grizzly bear country of Montana as I and my two sons did for yearsI've always read a lot and done book reviews But as I said no I've got more time to do that doing things around my house such as removing tall ice stems in front of my sheds and so on where I'm downsizing for that hr

Monday, March 20, 2023

North of Hope by John Hassler

 Regaining some hope in my new residence of senior living after initial week of no heat in my bedroom where I had to wear my winter coat to bed.  things finally got better and I have  improved my outlook on my apartment. I it now Although the food here i Okay sometimes &  not very edible at other times.In the midst of all of this had moved some books here as well as donated some to our short of cash  public library. in the    chaos I found  the book north of Hope . It was a gift to my son Ted from the author at St John's College In North Central Minnesota.St John's was a Benedictine Catholic School The Benedictines  are a gentle caring and loving order often focused on nature protecting animals and educationcc&  peace These were values that My son Ted honored And he made a good choice in choosing That college .  Famous novelist  hassler  was Ted's English teach and the book was a gift

looking back on it now I think the book was a golden oldie . Sometime in the late '50s   when many novels lurched into tackiness and obtuseness I migrated to historical fiction And later poetry. The New York Times said it best "when a writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction  established himself as a contemporary literary master it wrote "He's surpasses his own previous work both in scope & intensity. I would add high praise for any author indeed high praise for an  author  indeed.

Now on to judging the books merits and deficiencies of any. I must admit that anytime i read a book by a Minnesota author i'm bound toLike that for several reasons One is I immediately Know where the location of the story actually is as its identified Probably because I've  already been there. more than 20 years in the priesthood Father Frank Healy is going home emulating a 19th century missionary Named father zell, & is bringing Catholicism to the Ojibway  Indians living on the basswood reservation in the North woods. Naturally I have canoed down the boundary waters,Fished and Hunted those woods many times with    myt wo sons       We camped &canoed there Many many times.If the action in the book is in that area  I'v e seen  and  Remembered it 

libby the protagonist priests want to have girfriend  during their growing up years. but Frank  sees that Libby's life is unraveling as she slowly becomes dependent on him the dedicated priest now debating his next step  i n life libby has been pondering the happy family life she never had in her violent childhood home, and her search for love has born bitter fruit : again I have related to this story of faith failure and depression having lost my mother my wife and my son alzheimer's bipolar and my owncognitive impaimentand  Alzheimer's i can add a few samples of ups. A grizzly bear eating lunch in the high country of the old Stone Park bordering Montana the grizzly bear bluff charged me thinking I was about to steal his elk lunch. Of course you don't know if the male bear is going to bluff charge or notHad it been a female I would have been doomed if she was protecting her cubs. No bluffing for a female like thatThen there was thepillThat I took as an example for pain reliefOn myinjured  KneemThe consequence after I ate all the pills wasSomething called Stevens JohnsonsindromdromWhich at first look like alight case of sunburn and gradually grew into a monster of swelling body parts. Mayo Clinic said after a day and and part of an evening in the emergency roomWhere all myvital  systems were collapsingthat I had misseddeathby just a few minutes due to thte Bextra ally pill in a list of long examples On a rainy morningI drove into townvisit a friend who had recently lost his wifeWe talkd f0r a  lengthy period of timeAnd when I decided it was time to go homeI went out into his driveway to see my car had aboutseveral feet of snowcovering a bunch oficeI slept on the driveway fell and hit my headBut managed to get up from that and start my car upDriving through town there waslittle evidence of the width of thestreets but again I managed to make it through with my large SUV plowing through drifts here and there.Reaching the highwayOn the way to my homeThere was a little sign of traffic on the highway except for a few tracks heading into the town that were obviously largtrucksThe problem was immediately evident that I couldn't see theshoulder of the highway which means I couldn't see where the highwayended so I tried to stay in the middle since there walittle evidence of cars but there were some tracks that were obviously slow movingtrucks. Unfortunately I drifted too far to the rightAnd while I didn't go into the ditch I got stuckOn top of the shoulder where we're large driftSo now I'm stuck on the shoulder of the highway

Fortunately I'm right across fromMy neighbor's houseAnd  thought well I'll go in and see if I can call a tow truck to get me outSo looking to the left and seeing no cars coming east from Spring ValleyI decided I could safelycross the highwayThat was the mistake since in the middle I slipped and fell right in the middle of the highway Again checking to my left there were no cars going east and checking to the right I sawa semiComing around the curveProbably about 20 mi an houAnd I was laying on the ground falling from ice I am immediately went to stand up and fell a second and third timeIs he real closer and closer to meCome on manup I guess not it's lockeI'm coming, giving up i tried to roll over to the shoulder since I couldn't stand up androllijg lelftinj reaching the shoulder stop because I could feel the rocks and pebbles underneath me the semi had drifted also to the right and believing I was safe i lay thereAnd he missed me by about a footI would have been flatterer than a pancakeIf my arm hadn't pulled out of the way. In conclusion this is a great story which portrays human weakness and triumph no sentimental musings hereIt's about real peopleand human greatness as well as defeat and sorrow. I liked it a lot. Publishers perhaps in 1990 you may have to find a dust covered in your public library or as I did is a gift from the authorto my now deceased son who is now trout fishing in heaven with God. Ray in senior housing in Spring Valley

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

New home and life going well

So dear friends and bloggers it seems my diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment and stage ones Alzheimer's find somebody doing quite well in my new home in Spring ValleyI actually don't need to be in assisted livingFor a while at least yetsince my diagnosisIs stage 1 Alzheimer'sandI'm takingA drug thatMy wife helped discover at theMayo clinicsResearch Centernamed after Abigail Van BurenWhere Barb discovered or helped discover a pill that slowed the processofmental decline downNow that pill is the prescription medicineapproved by the CDC called MemetineAlso helpful in my case is the fact that my fatherand all his siblings lived well into their 90sAnd often died at that point of heart attackfar lessobjectional to me thenThe last stages of Alzheimer'sWhere Barb Mrs T got very very violent. A heart attack and an older ageCould be a lot worsewith otherproblemsI also do haveWhat my father called the shakes and now known as benign familial essential tremors. That's not fatal eitherThough it can be very annoying when I spill coffee on my lapAnd look like I didn't make itto the bathroomin timeThe facility here where I'm staying is very niceFortunately you are unfortunately depending on your point of viewIt's mostly widowsWho lost their husbandsI of courseI lived my wifeWhopassed on just before the covet hitWhere IAnd those moments had to shelter in placeand learn to be very lonely without my wife. Later my son encouraged metoJoin a dating site which apparently is the modern way of finding a date for manyAnd I found severalWhich didn't work outAnd thenI decided not to dateAnyone living further away than 30 mi to Rochester where are there a lot of nursesIt's about 30 mi away and I will be visiting Oregon and later this summer she will be checking out Minnesota again and I'm pleased to begin to revive my blog has trunk burgerWho knows maybe I might find a little time to do book reviews again It's all good for me  Ray

Friday, March 10, 2023

New home and life

a recent diagnosis of mile the cognitive impairment and first stage Alzheimer's has left me without the ability to legally drive and a new home in the seasons at Spring Valley'scare facility and senior apartmentsalong with assisted livingandMemory Care if necessaryAt this pointI am in senior livingStill quite functionalIn the early stages of Alzheimer'sThis means I will eventually be following the path of my beloved wife BarbNo one here wants this Mrs T for Trout BIRDERmy blogging alias for many years. Since I don't have the legal right to drive anymore my travels and adventures will no longer be possible but if you would like to carry on with her friendships over the years indicate that and I will provide thename and locationof my present  So that you canCall me and we can stillcommunicate from my apartment  ray also known as  troutBirderder