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Doolittle Raid anniversary

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. I wrote a story about Dean Hallmark, who piloted The Green Hornet.

That led to me befriending one of the best men I know, Adam Hallmark, Dean’s fourth cousin, his wife, friends and a handful of the soldiers with whom Adam has served.

That little profile taught me more about a particular tale of courage and atrocity. Because of it Lauren and I took the opportunity to visit Dean’s grave at Arlington. I had the distinct honor and privilege to meet one of the Raiders, 98-year-old Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole. And it all solidified my respect for what a group of 80 bold, audacious volunteers set out to do.

Adam gave me a print of Dean’s plane, which I hang proudly on my office wall.

It is important that we remember, so that others may never forget, brave men live by the motto “Toujours Au Danger.”




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This cover of my grandfather’s old walk-behind tractor is at least 50 years old. 

David Bradley was a 19th century brick maker. He was also a farm machinery maker. He bought a plow company from an in-law in 1854, building a company that took up a whole block in Chicago. Three decades later he bought out his partner. 

Before the turn of the century he moved shop to what was then called North Kankakee, Ill. The Panic of 1893 almost wiped the place out, but Bradley’s operation was courted and they ultimately renamed the village after him. About 15,000 live there now. 

What came next was common. The Bradley family sold out to Sears, Roebuck in 1910. Sears, in 1962, sold it to the Newark Ohio company. Most of the factory in Bradley was destroyed by fire in 1986.

This cover of my grandfather’s old walk-behind tractor is at least 50 years old.

David Bradley was a 19th century brick maker. He was also a farm machinery maker. He bought a plow company from an in-law in 1854, building a company that took up a whole block in Chicago. Three decades later he bought out his partner.

Before the turn of the century he moved shop to what was then called North Kankakee, Ill. The Panic of 1893 almost wiped the place out, but Bradley’s operation was courted and they ultimately renamed the village after him. About 15,000 live there now.

What came next was common. The Bradley family sold out to Sears, Roebuck in 1910. Sears, in 1962, sold it to the Newark Ohio company. Most of the factory in Bradley was destroyed by fire in 1986.

My great-grandfather, before he went off to the war in Europe.

More here and here.

The white columns in front of which we watched two of our friends get married at Taylor Bridge Farm, Calhoun, Ga.

Standing on that step, being a part of that wedding, and shaking my friend’s hand immediately after it, I got to use the phrase “It was an honor” in one of those rare instances that life gives most of us where you really feel you might know the meaning of the word.

The white columns in front of which we watched two of our friends get married at Taylor Bridge Farm, Calhoun, Ga.

Standing on that step, being a part of that wedding, and shaking my friend’s hand immediately after it, I got to use the phrase “It was an honor” in one of those rare instances that life gives most of us where you really feel you might know the meaning of the word.
When you go to the Harwell G. Davis library on the Samford University campus you rub the nose on Mr. Davis’ bust for good luck. 

You can just see there how years of attention has changed the bridge of his nose.

When you go to the Harwell G. Davis library on the Samford University campus you rub the nose on Mr. Davis’ bust for good luck.

You can just see there how years of attention has changed the bridge of his nose.

Fresh kettle corn at the Syrup Sopping in Loachapoka, Ala.

You could go the custom cast iron route.

You could go the custom cast iron route.

If you paint up the jagged plywood real nice they have to listen.

If you paint up the jagged plywood real nice they have to listen.

Be honest: Who wants one of these?

Be honest: Who wants one of these?

The Great Recession has been so bad no one can afford to be in a bookstore’s millionaire’s club anymore. Books-A-Million closed a good while back. Still empty. A clothes store, a chinese joint and a grocery store are also gone. An Old Navy and a kitchen wholesaler anchor the strip, which tells you a lot about the local economy.

The Great Recession has been so bad no one can afford to be in a bookstore’s millionaire’s club anymore. Books-A-Million closed a good while back. Still empty. A clothes store, a chinese joint and a grocery store are also gone. An Old Navy and a kitchen wholesaler anchor the strip, which tells you a lot about the local economy.