Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969.

Ike was president when I was born, serving in that office from 1953 to 1961.

One of the more famous speeches by any president is Ike's farewell speech in 1961, when he warned:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Some trivial bits of information...
- He was the only bald president in the 20th century.
- He supposedly smoked four packs of cigarettes a day before quitting under doctors' orders.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chester A. Arthur

Chester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) served as U.S. President number 21 from 1881 to 1885. He was never elected to any public office, moving into the Top Dog post after James Garfield was assassinated, six months into the job. It appears that he didn't like the position all that much, in that he mounted a very lackluster campaign in the 1884 election.
He did, however, earn some accolades. Mark Twain once wrote, "[I]t would be hard indeed to better President Arthur's administration." Or should that be taken as a back-handed compliment?
The dude had some amazing facial hair. I couldn't find any instance where he and Ambrose Burnside (to whom the term 'sideburns' is supposedly attributed) ever met during their stints as generals during the Civil War, but they both sported some crazy cheek fuzz. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Illustration Friday: Silence

Almost 10 years ago I discovered a cool site... IllustrationFriday.com. It's a place where a word... abstract or concrete... is given as a challenge for folks to visualize in art. The art can be digital or traditional. Really the only requirement is that you have a blog or webpage on which to post the art and to which a link is provided at IF's site.

Back in 2005, and for a couple of years after, I posted links to my other blog, twiss54.blogspot.com, darned near every week taking on the topic of the week, and it was my introduction to a form of social media. Folks would comment on the various blogs, and for a time little support cliques sprouted up here and there, and it was all very cool.

It's probably still very cool, and please don't take this as a trite little muse of melancholy. In 2008 or '09 real life got very busy for me, and my submissions to IF dropped off to only one or two a year. I still check the topic of the week and browse. But I've lost touch with most of the folks who used to comment on my stuff and on whose stuff I would comment. The newer format has made it a little harder to follow folks, I feel. I imagine there are still groups of folks who check in on each other, and it's good to see the site thriving.

So, all that said, and looking over it, it probably needn't have been said. Doesn't really say anything. But it would take too much effort to go back, highlight it, and delete it. Maybe that notion of deletion dovetails well with the subject this week... silence. This week's IF topic is here, and I'll post it.

Peace to all, and don't go deaf.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. (Birchard) Hayes, 19th President of the U.S, serving from 1877 to 1881.... another of those bearded folks from the 1800s. I didn't know a lot about this fellow. He only served one term, by his choice. Found out on Wikipedia that he served in the Civil War, starting as an officer and ending up a major general. He was a brave and daring soldier and was wounded five times in that conflict.

From apple4the teacher.com I gleaned these things from the list of 'facts and trivia.'


"- Hayes thought he lost the election because his Samuel Tilden had more popular votes. Hayes had more electoral votes. Congress appointed a special committee to decide the winner. Hayes won by one electoral vote.
- Hayes gave Southern states more say in the government, however they passed laws that took rights away from former slaves.
- Hayes rallied for equal education for African American children.
- Hayes was the first president to have a telephone in the White House. Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the phone) installed it and gave it the phone number "1."
- The first Easter Egg Roll was held in 1878 on the White House lawn with President and Mrs. Hayes.
- President Hayes had a lot of pets in the White House: Jersey cows, 5 kittens, 5 dogs, 5 birds, a goat, and several horses."

I'm a little late posting this... His birthday is today (born October 4, 1822, died January 17, 1893). And Chester Arthur's b'day is tomorrow! October is a busy month for presidential birthdays...Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and John Adams are still to come. Side note: someone with aspirations for the top office has an October birthday... Hillary. Of course, she hasn't announced yet, but I don't think there's going to be any surprise when she gives her decision.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

Time to post the 3rd in the series of U.S. Presidents' caricatures. This one was another fairly easy guy to draw.

Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer who was elected as Governor of Georgia in 1971. A well-meaning public official, I don't think he was ready for prime-time in politics when he was elected President in 1976.

His contributions to the welfare of his fellows on this planet... through Habitat for Humanity and his peace efforts... earned him the Nobel Peace Price in 2002.

He's been fairly critical of presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat, in his later years.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Illustration Friday: Radio

TRAVUS T. HIPP, 1937-2012

There was once an FM radio station in Gilroy, California called KFAT, and it played... well, how would you describe it? Progressive country? Alternative rock? Yeah, that, and a whole lot more. Listening to that station in the late 70s and early 80s is how I first learned of Travus T. Hipp (aka: Chandler Laughlin).

But he had been part of the Bay Area radio scene since 1960... at KSAN, KHIP, KZAP and other places behind call letters.

KFAT became KPIG in the late 80s, and station headquarters relocated over the hill in Freedom, just east of Santa Cruz. KPIG is still in business, and the music is still good, with a mix that guarantees it a preset button on my radio dial.

Travus remained a part of KPIG until his death in 2012, phoning his political commentaries in from Silver City, Nevada. He gave listeners 'all the news you never knew you needed to know--until now.'


William Howard Taft

This guy, William Howard Taft, was the 27th U.S. President. He was born on September 15, 1857, and he will be the subject of the masthead on the 15th of this month, in my ongoing effort to produce a caricature of every person to serve that post and highlight them on their birthday.

Taft was the only man to serve as both a U.S. President and a Supreme Court Chief Justice.

He was a large dude, tipping the scales at around 340 during his presidency. Within a year of leaving office, however, he was able to drop 80 pounds.

He had a pretty epic moustache, too.