Tag Archives: Chattahoochee

Time to Relax

20170113_171540

I have been way too busy. I am trying to find a way to not be so busy, but I’m not sure I’ve found it yet. Every night I’ve been telling myself that I need to post some to this photo blog, but I’ve been too tired and busy to do so. So, I just forced myself to do it tonight!

This photo was shot with my cell phone along the Chattahoochee River in Norcross, GA. It was getting late in the day and I was looked eastward up the river to catch this light. I’d not taken my Canon 7D with me, so I had to make do with my phone.

I am looking forward to this coming Saturday to try to unwind and relax a bit – and who knows? – maybe even take some photos. But until then, looking at pictures like this will have to suffice.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1950, U.S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announced his decision to support the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon theorized to be hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II.

Five months earlier, the United States had lost its nuclear supremacy when the Soviet Union successfully detonated an atomic bomb at their test site in Kazakhstan. Then, several weeks after that, British and U.S. intelligence came to the staggering conclusion that German-born Klaus Fuchs, a top-ranking scientist in the U.S. nuclear program, was a spy for the Soviet Union. These two events, and the fact that the Soviets now knew everything that the Americans did about how to build a hydrogen bomb, led Truman to approve massive funding for the superpower race to complete the world’s first “superbomb,” as he described it in his public announcement on January 31.

On November 1, 1952, the United States successfully detonated “Mike,” the world’s first hydrogen bomb, on the Elugelab Atoll in the Pacific Marshall Islands. The 10.4-megaton thermonuclear device, built upon the Teller-Ulam principles of staged radiation implosion, instantly vaporized an entire island and left behind a crater more than a mile wide. The incredible explosive force of Mike was also apparent from the sheer magnitude of its mushroom cloud–within 90 seconds the mushroom cloud climbed to 57,000 feet and entered the stratosphere. One minute later, it reached 108,000 feet, eventually stabilizing at a ceiling of 120,000 feet. Half an hour after the test, the mushroom stretched 60 miles across, with the base of the head joining the stem at 45,000 feet.

Three years later, on November 22, 1955, the Soviet Union detonated its first hydrogen bomb on the same principle of radiation implosion. Both superpowers were now in possession of the “hell bomb,” as it was known by many Americans, and the world lived under the threat of thermonuclear war for the first time in history.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: During the Civil War, 2% of the U.S. population died. This is equivalent to 6 million men today. While rifles were the deadliest weapons during the war, disease killed more men. Camps became breeding grounds for measles, chicken pox, and mumps. One million Union solders contracted malaria.

Paddlin’ on the River

_MG_9560

It was now a number of years ago when Ike and Tina Turner sang Proud Mary with the line “…rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river.”  The music or vocals weren’t the best, but Tina really put her heart and soul into her music and dancing, didn’t she?

The song was written by John Fogerty for his band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. In the liner notes for the 2008 expanded reissue of Bayou Country, Joel Selvin explained that the songs for the album started when John Fogerty was in the National Guard, that the riffs for “Proud Mary,” “Born on the Bayou,” and “Keep on Chooglin'” were conceived by Fogerty at a concert in the Avalon Ballroom, and “Proud Mary” was arranged from parts of different songs, one of which was about a “washerwoman named Mary.”[2] The line “Left a good job in the city” was written following Fogerty’s discharge from the National Guard, and the line “rollin’ on the river” was from a movie by Will Rogers.  It wasn’t until 1970 that Ike and Tina Turner recorded their version of the song.  Fogerty and his band had it on their 1969 album, Bayou Country.

All these years I thought it was about a steamboat.  Shows you what I know!!!!

Today’s photo was shot a week ago this past Sunday afternoon while my granddaughters were playing along the edge of the Chattahoochee River in Peachtree Corners.  I liked the colors of the kayak and water and the image of serenity.  It has been a tough winter in the Atlanta area (as Atlanta goes) so this beautiful, sunny, warm day was heaven-sent.

Anyway, I’m really tired tonight and am going to bed early.  I’m hoping to find a tad of that serenity  myself tonight!  I hope you do, too!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1948, the communist-controlled government of Czechoslovakia reported that Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk has committed suicide. The story of the noncommunist Masaryk’s death was greeted with skepticism in the West.

Masaryk was born in 1886, the son of Czechoslovakia’s first president. After World War I, he served as foreign minister in the new Czech government and later as Czech ambassador to Great Britain. During World War II, he again took the position of foreign minister, this time with the Czech government-in-exile in London. After the war, Masaryk returned to Czechoslovakia to serve as foreign minister under President Eduard Benes. It was a tense time in Masaryk’s native country. The Soviet Union had occupied the nation during World War II and there were fears that the Soviets would try to install a communist government in Czechoslovakia, as it had in Poland, East Germany, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Masaryk, however, was skillful in dealing with the Soviets, assuring them that a democratic Czechoslovakia posed no security threat to Russia.

In 1947, though, Masaryk made a fatal mistake. When the United States unveiled the Marshall Plan—the multi-million-dollar aid program for postwar Europe—Masaryk indicated Czechoslovakia’s interest in participating. When he informed the Soviets, they absolutely refused to give their approval. This was quickly followed, in February 1948, by a communist coup in Czechoslovakia. President Benes was forced to accept a communist-dominated government. Masaryk was one of the few non-communists left in place. On March 10, 1948, the Czech government reported that Masaryk had committed suicide by jumping out of a third-story window at the Foreign Ministry.

The reaction in the West was characterized by deep suspicion. Secretary of State George Marshall stated that Czechoslovakia was under a “reign of terror,” and that Masaryk’s “suicide” indicated “very plainly what is going on.” Despite suspicions that the communists had murdered Masaryk, nothing has been proven definitively and his death remains one of the great mysteries of the Cold War era.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  In The Godfather (1972), John Marley’s (Jack Wolz) scream of horror in the horse head scene was real, as he was not told that a real horse head, which was obtained from a dog food company, was going to be used.

…in the Chattahoochee

_MG_9557

There is an old spiritual from the early days of the US that talks about wading in the water.  The chorus goes like this:

Wade in the water, wade in the water, children; Oh wade in the water, God’s a gonna trouble the water.

The song relates to both the Old and New Testaments. The verses reflect the Israelites’ escape out of Egypt as found in Exodus:14. The chorus refers to healing: see John 5:4, “For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.”

Many Internet sources and popular books claim that songs such as “Wade in the Water” contained explicit instructions to fugitive slaves on how to avoid capture and the route to take to successfully make their way to freedom. This particular song allegedly recommends leaving dry land and taking to the water as a strategy to throw pursuing bloodhounds off one’s trail. It has repeatedly been reported that Harriet Tubman, who helped hundreds of slaves flee to the North, sang this spiritual as a warning to runaway slaves so she might be its author.

Well, today’s photo has nothing to do with that, but I shot this on Sunday afternoon while watching my two youngest grand daughters play along the edges of the Chattahoochee River in Norcross, GA. This fisherman isn’t trying to flee slavery…but perhaps he was trying to flee from chores around the house! Either way, I hope he caught something. The water was cold, but I liked the way the light lit up his fly-fishing line.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1952, Ernest Hemingway completed his short novel The Old Man and the Sea. He wrote his publisher the same day, saying he had finished the book and that it was the best writing he had ever done. The critics agreed: The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and became one of his bestselling works.

The novella, which was first published in Life magazine, was an allegory referring to the writer’s own struggles to preserve his art in the face of fame and attention. Hemingway had become a cult figure whose four marriages and adventurous exploits in big-game hunting and fishing were widely covered in the press. But despite his fame, he had not produced a major literary work in a decade before he wrote The Old Man and the Sea. The book would be his last significant work of fiction before his suicide in 1961.

Hemingway, born in 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, started working as a reporter for the Kansas City Star in 1917. When World War I broke out, he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross and was severely wounded in 1918 on the Austro-Italian front while carrying a companion to safety. He was decorated and sent home to recuperate.

Hemingway married the wealthy Hadley Richardson in 1920, and the couple moved to Paris, where they met other American expatriate writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound. With their help and encouragement, Hemingway published his first book of short stories, in the U.S. in 1925, followed by the well-received The Sun Also Rises in 1926.

During the 1930s and ’40s, the hard-drinking Hemingway lived in Key West and then in Cuba while continuing to travel widely. He was wounded in a plane crash in 1953, after which he became increasingly anxious and depressed. Like his father, he committed suicide, shooting himself in 1961 in his home in Idaho.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Most of us dream every 90 minutes, and the longest dreams (30-45 minutes) occur in the morning.