Sunday, August 27, 2006
Today would have been the 98th birthday of the 36th president of the United States: Lyndon Baines Johnson. This troubled man had some brilliant ideas that simply were darkened by his support of the only war the United States has ever lost outright. Vietnam was the biggest mistake this dear country has ever made-- bar none! When Johnson was re-elected as President in his own right following the death of John F. Kennedy, he won that election by the greatest landslide in the hstory of American politics. His opponent: Barry Goldwater (remember him?) won only two states out of fifty. Who can forget that incredible pronouncement that Lyndon Johnson made on television March 31, 1968 when he told a stunned national audience "And therefore, I will not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president." I remember watching that speech and being so damned shocked and then thinking out loud that everything was about to change: that now Robert Kennedy had a chance to win the presidency. How prophetic was the year 1968. Johnson quits, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King are assasinated and Richard Nixon is elected president. Johnson carried on John Kennedy's programs with courage and conviction. Without Vietnam, he might have been considered a very great president. And speaking of exploding events, today marks the anniversary of the greatest natural disaster of all time: Krakatoa: east of Java in 1883. On that morning at 5:31AM Mother Nature put on her greatest temper tantrum of all time. Two thirds of that island group was wiped away by this single violent act of nature. What was not destroyed by the volcano itself was literally done in by the resulting tidal waves the disaster triggered. And in the music gone by department today is the 69th birthday of singer Tommy Sands. I remember Tommy so well playing the very romantic co- lead with dear Annette Funicello in Walt Disney's 1960 masterpiece "Babes In Toyland". That picture also starred the late great Ed Wynn as the Toymaker. Tommy Sands and Annette also sang the the title song "The Parent Trap" written by my good friends The Sherman Brothers. Tommy retired to Hawaii, I understand and was evn operating a clothing store. His last TV appearances were on the very old classic Hawaii-Five-0 show! So there we are! Troubled presidents, exploding volcanos and star fading singers -- all on the same day. It kind of has a theme doesn't it? Another day of work on a Sunday, and once again it will be a very hot day! I had to take my John to the ER for a mind blowing ear ache yesterday but all seems well now! Let us hope the rest of the week goes well!