Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Letter From My Dad

When my Dad was sick and knew he may not make it he wrote me this letter.
To My Son,
Ricky you were the finest son a man could ever want or hope for. You were honest, thoughtful, trusting, generous, never a problem and more things that showed me you loved your fellow man as God would want. Rick always believe and trust in God. Never let anyone tell you any different or try to come between you and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Study your Bible and draw even closer to God through prayer and service to Him. Remember your teaching's of the Bible and always try to live up to them. The Lord will be with you always. Remember and take care of your Mother. She loves you deeply. I love you son. See you in Heaven. Dad

I love you and will see you in Heaven one day too Dad. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day My Dad

If this post looks familier that is because I posted it last week on the wrong day. Oops! Anyway today is veterans day so I am posting a photo of one of my parents. My Dad . He was in the Air Force during the Korean War. He really had it rough. He was stationed in Canada. If you are reading this from Canada then I hope you know that I am kidding. However, it was not as easy as you would think. He was in Newfoundland. I have no idea what Newfoundland is like today but the picture I got from what Dad told me is that it was very cold and icy. Being that far up north was a big change for an Ohio kid. He told me other then your job you were assigned there was not much to do and the men in the white coats were kept busy. Thankfully not with my Dad. In the photo it shows him as a Private but he was a Staff Sgt. And in the Honor Guard when he got out. My Dad was a good Christian man who is now with the Lord. He fought for his country. Raised a good family. Worked for the Lord at his church. This world is a better place because God put him in it. It is hard to put into words what he meant to me. I love him and miss him. I’ll see you again one day in Heaven Dad. Posted by Picasa


Ok the above photo is not Lassie. It really is not even my dog Wimpie. But it looks like the dog that I had till I was about 6 or 7 years old so that is why I am posting it. You see Wimpie was my first dog. My AUnt Betty and Uncle Ray gave him to me. I loved that dog. One day a man drove by our house when we lived in the country. He saw Wimpie and stopped to ask if we would sell him. My Mom said no. The man drove on. The next day Wimpie was gone. I have often wondered about that and what happened to him. I think about him everytime I see a collie. Whatever did happen to him I hope he was happy. We didn't have him long before he went missing so there are no photos of him. The only photo that I remember having taken of him was by a realtor. They came by and took a photo of our house when it was up for sale and Wimpie was in the front yard and got in the picture. When the realtors book came out and I saw the photo I felt very sad. That was about 40 years ago and I still miss him. Posted by Picasa

Veterans Day My Dad part 2

I mentioned that my Dad was in the Honor Guard in my last post. Well here is a photo of him standing proud and tall for the Air Force. That is him on the right. Dad said he he was a guard for President Truman. At big events he even met some famous entertainers like Martin and Lewis. Just wanted you to see him in the Guard. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Illuminator

Here is an interesting book series. Around 1993 Marvel comics and Thomas Nelson publishers got together to produce this comic book about a Christian superhero. It centers around Andy. Andy is a young high school student who gains wonderful powers that make him the Illuminator. Not long after that he meets Gus the custodian of a local church. Gus leads Andy to Christ and each adventure he has helps lead Andy to Biblical truths.
Why Marvel and Neslon teamed up to do this book is a mystery to me but I am glad they did as it was an enjoyable read. I also am sure that it helped lead others to Christ as the Bible says that His word will not return void. I thought that it on ly lasted 3 issues as that is all I could find. However, I have heard that a 4th and 5th issue were also produced. I didn't find this comicbook in comic book shops or in any local Christian bookstores. I found the 3 that I have in Waldenbooks thanks to my cousin who use to work for them. I have searched the internet to find out more about this but so far all I have come up with is that one of the writers for the series Glenn Herdling also wrote the Beavis and Butthead comic book. Bet ya didn't see that one comming. I know I didn't when I found it.
The photo above is from the back cover of issue #2 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Monkees Justus Headquaters

Continuing from the previous note on the Monkees. At the concert most of the songs came from the CD Justus. It was the come back CD for them as a foursome. As most of the Monkees fans know the group has been a quartet, a trio and sometimes a duo. It is with all four of them that they are at their most popular. Since they started out as the cast of a sitcom and later became a band they have fought a long hard fight for creative control of the music. On only two albums have they really been able to take full advnatage of the freedom they were given. Those two were Headquarters and Justus. Oh sure there were others like Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd. and the Monkees Present. However, ON P,A,C &J Ltd. they were back shooting their show and had to find recording time in studios around town to mostly just record their singing. The Monkees Presnt was suppose to be a 2 album set but since the show was not that popular and the Monkees as money makers on the record charts was also sliding it became just a regular album. So they had two spotlight moments and in Headquarters they took full advantage and turned out a great pop album. At the time it was overshadowed by the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonly Hearts Club Band and so were the rest of the albums that year. Only in recent years have I seen it turn up in music articles as a great pop album. One critic went so far as to say that if he were alone on an island with just a handful of records that he would listen to he wanted Headquarters as one of them.
Now with Justus alot of fans felt disappointed. I was one of them. We wanted them to come back as those 20 year old who sang happily about puppy love. About that girl that they knew somewhere because they thought she just may be the one cause they can't get her off of their minds. But they didn't and we felt let down. In retrospect I think it is a really good album. Maybe just as good as Headquarters. The men were now older. They have loved and lost. Had children and grandchildren. They started businesses and lost businesses. Like all of us they lived life. Their heartbreak was reflected in their music. The CD to me is now a tribute to how they have endured. Some have said that the CD and the tour that followed was only to help Mike who was having problems with a lawsuit. Well what was wrong with that? 3 friends got together to help another friend. That shows a strong bond. While both CD's are good, there is alot more character to Justus. It's just something I had on my mind. Posted by Picasa

Monkees concert

Just got a chance to see the Monkees in concert. It was really a tape of what they did when they got their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Since it was sponsered by Billboard Magazine it has become know as the Billboard concert. They had a new album (CD) out called Justus so most of the songs were from that. A true Monkees reunion. They really can rock the house. At one time I heard someone say that Micky was the worst drummer in rock music history. Well they can't say that now. On and off in his career he has probably played the drums for half his life and he was very at home behind that drum set. He should not be remembered for being a bad drummer. After all he only had a few short months to learn it back in the 60's However, he should be know as one of the best singers in pop music history. Anyway that is what I had on my mind. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 07, 2005


Here is a wonderful site that is dedicated to spreading the Word of God through Christian Comics. Take a look. It is very interesting. Especially the numbers that is gives on how much more comic books are read overseas then they are in America.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

How I learned to read

Like alot of people my age I learned to read with comic books. For this I have to thank my Mom and Dad. You see they had a part time job of repackaging the comics that didn't sell at the local drug stores and selling them packaged as 3 comic books for 29 cents. Remember this was the day when just one book cost 15 cents. They let me read them hoping that I would want to know what they were saying in those colorful drawings. It worked. They also said I could keep any that I wanted. But I wanted to be a good son. I knew they made money with this to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table so I never kept any of them. I sort of wished I had kept some. They would be worth quite alot now.
Anyway one day sometime in the late 80's I was at my local comic book shop Comicbook World with my good buddy from college Chuck Baker. Before we left we were going through the $1 bin. When I found the book that is pictured above. I know that at least my Mom had handled this book before. If you look closely above the letter h in Archie you will see a sticker. It says 3/29 cents and it is my Mom's handwriting. I had to buy it. So a book that I could have had for free I was now paying a dollar for it. The owner of the store is Paul Mullins. He prides himself on customer service. When I was checking out he saw the sticker and said "Oh! It's got a sticker on it. Let me take care of that." I nearly leaped over the counter to stop him. "No! That sticker is why I'm buying it." Then of course I had to tell him this story. Anyway that was how I learned to read and it is what I had on my mind. Posted by Picasa

Al Hartley

One type of comic book that sometimes I have on my mind are the Christian comic books. It's only natural since I am a Christian and have a love for comic books. Usually they are just comic book versions of stories from the Bible. That's great. However, one man set himself apart. Actually it was God who did that for him. That man was Al Hartley. He did this by writting and drawing stories that people could relate to in the modern day. Along the way the story would give you a Bible lesson. He gave you Christian biographies of Tom Landry, Johhny Cash, David WIlkerson and more. His most important contribution to the field was being able to bring Archie Andrews and the whole Riverdale gang into the Christian comic book field. That was how God had planned it.
Al Hartley, like all of us, was not always a Christian. He was making a living drawing romance and humor stories in the 50's. Then in the 60's the superhero boom came. Most of Mr. Hartley's work was comming from Marvel and Stan Lee tried to use him on some of the superhero books they published. He did one for Thor as an artist then wrote a story for the Wasp and another one for Iron Man. But his best work was in the humor and romance areas. His books were selling very well in those areas. One strip that he drew was called Pussycat. It was for a men's magazine that Martin Goodman published. Mr. Goodman also published the Marvel comic line of books. When Mr. Hartley went to him and told him that he had become a Christian and didn't think he could do Pussycat anymore Mr. Goodman did not make him continue on the strip. However, he also took away all the other assignments Mr. Hartley had at Marvel.
For the first time Al Hartley was out of work. But not for long. Out of the blue he got a call to draw for Archie comics. Rarely has there been a better fit of character and creator. However, it didn't stop there. When Mr. Hartley was going to start producing Christian comics he asked the creators and owners of Archie if he could use their charactors. Since they were of the Jewish faith he didn't think they would allow him to use them. To his surprise they did. God used Al Hartley and his talent to get the word of God to alot of people in a most entertaining way. I have read that he prayed over every page that God would use it to reach others. His career was controled by God and he thanked Him for it every day with his artwork. Mr. Hartley left behind a wonderful legacy and it continues to this day with his comics and his family. Whenever I go to my local comic book shop I sometimes find one of his books in the $1 bin. I am already a Christian so instead of buying it for myself I leave it there. That way there is a chance that someone who likes Archie comics and is not a Christian will buy the book and hopefully something about it will speak to their heart. So if you see one of his books and don't know a non-Christian to give it to then leave it for someone else. But, if you do know someone who likes comics and is not a Christian, get it for them as a gift. Hopefully one day they will thank you for it when you both are in Heaven.
If you want to know more about Al Hartley then go to this page. There is more to his story. Posted by Picasa

Champion Sports and Rookie of the Year

I haven't seen anywhere these two stories have been compared. I have wondered about it for awhile now. So I guess I will do it here.
Champion Sports #1 featured a story called "The Kid Who Beat The Oakland A's" It was published in 1973 by DC Comics. I am not sure who owned them at the time but a few years later they were owned by Warner Brothers and still are to this day.
The story centers around a high school student. He wants to be a sports writer and decides to try out for the high school baseball team. That way he will have real life experience. He is not very good until he hurts his arm and suddenly he is one of the most powerful pitchers around. He get signed by a new team called the Bulls . Like the title said he pitches against the then world champion team Oakland A's and they win. Later a car accident cause them to have to operate on him. The Dr. notices something is wrong with his arm during the operation and fixes it. After that the boy just has a normal pitching arm and has to quit baseball.

Now rookie of the year. The move was produced by 20th Century Fox in 1993. It centers around a boy who is maybe in the 8th or 9th grade. Loves baseball and hurts his arm while playing baseball with his firends. Suddenly when his arm heals he has one of the most powerful pitching arms around. He is signed by the Chicago Cubs. Later another accident happens to his arm and he now throws normal for a boy his age and has to quit baseball.

I am not a person who believes in alot of lawsuits. However, I have always wondered why there were none around this. There are alot of similar plotpoints in these two stories. Maybe it is because that Warner Brothers didn't own DC at the time. Couldn't DC have done it on their own? Who knows? This was just something that I had on my mind. Posted by Picasa