Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sometimes when the moon is full
And the campfire flickers low, 
A sudden spark lights up the dark
Rekindling thoughts of long long ago.
And my mind recalls a distant day
As bright embers stir the fire,
Days of youthful romance,
Wistful dreams and old desire.
Days when mountain meadows
Were lush and green and fair,
When cowboys combed the hills for strays
And the sound of clanking cowbells filled the air;
When men donned slickers and hit the trail,
Despite inclement weather,
When canvas tents were lamp lit,
And smelled of kerosene and well oiled leather.
I can almost see old Hangtown,
When her streets were dust or mud,
When her storefronts smelled of weathered wood
And gold was in our blood.
In my mind, I walk her boardwalks
Passed the Hangman’s Tree saloon,
And I cross the street at Cary House
And dine there on the balcony by the moon.
From my perch I see the Round Tent
As it juts into the street,
With horses nosing wooden troughs.
I can almost smell molasses as they eat.
And across from that, the Bell Tower,
With It's well-known promenade,
And Main Street’s old rut riddled course,
Past the Court House, widening for the grade.
How the old days call me back
Rekindling old desires,
Revisiting youthful romance
And stirring coals of long spent fires.
Dear God, preserve our memories
Of dear folks on Reservoir Hill,
And grant me many fireside dreams
Of moonlit nights in good old Placerville. SC

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th, 2015

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” As we once again celebrate our Country’s birthday, it seems fitting to assess our progress in our long quest for liberty and justice for all. This assessment will vary widely depending on whom one asks.  Most will agree there has been change.  Some see the change as progress, while for others it represents degradation and moral decay. Some embrace new-found freedoms and celebrate progress, while others grow increasingly despondent and foresee doom. Our inclination is to blame someone. Some will blame the government. Others blame special interest groups or political parties, and still others will blame the affluent or the poor. The Bible suggests that our struggles are not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Long ago in his iconic story “The Christmas Carol” Charles Dickens cautioned us against Ignorance and Want, and he suggested that of these two, Ignorance represents the more lethal threat, and he warns that, if unrecognized and unaddressed, ignorance may indeed foretell our doom. Clearly, progress is in the eye of the beholder, and one man’s bend toward justice is another man’s steady decline into moral decay. So what does the future hold? To once again quote Mr. Dickens, the question becomes, “Are these the shadows of things that must be, or the shadows of things that MIGHT be?” The answer depends of course, on our willingness to join in a civil and all inclusive effort to recognize and address the ignorance and want which threaten our unity and result ultimately in the troublesome issues which divide us. If we can face our challenges and work together in a spirit of goodwill and common purpose, then the dream of our Founding Fathers might well be realized, the long arc of the moral universe further extended, and the whole world marvel at the result: a government of, by and for the people, devoted to freedom, committed to mercy, and unified by our mutual pursuit of truth, justice and liberty for all.  SC