Listen, my family and friends, I wished to dedicate this issue of of the Journal & Blog to a very dear friend of mine...a Mr. Gary Wells. Mona and I met him in 1990, when we began attending Lighthouse Community Church in Fairbanks, Alaska. I had brought the family back up to the north, leaving Whittier, at Prince William Sound, Alaska, to become a State of Alaska Senior Investigator.
Now Gary was an easy man to like and over time we became friends. He also became my church elder and our family's Bible School teacher every Wednesday night in his family's cabin. Some nights it would be lower than 60 below, but we'd still be there. He had a way of making the Bible stories come alive and in time I found out we had a shared fondness for John "The Duke" Wayne and all his some 200 plus movies. We only disagreed on our favorite JW movie. His was "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and mine was "The Quiet Man", which was in his top five. After I retired, a few of us began to have coffee every...I believe it was Thursday morning at the round corner table in Denny's. Got so the waitress was already set up for us.
Then I moved south to Moose Pass and we sort of stayed in touch by phone, about once every 4-6 months. But he called me one day and told me about his writing and how he was having a book published and remembered I had several manuscripts completed. He gave me the company's name he was using and ...well, it be became history. His first book was published and he was finishing up his 2nd and 3rd books. I had my first book published and was pounding the keys to edit my other manuscripts.
By now we were talking once a week, mostly about our work and plot lines, plus kids and grandchildren. He'd been recently thinking about moving to Tennessee because of his knees. Funny, I just couldn't see him outside of Alaska.
Well, I dedicated this journal to him because a few nights ago, Gary made the trip we, as Christians, all look forward to. He passed on and as I felt proud for him, I felt a bit jealous too and grieved the loss of my friend. He got up there ahead of me. Now I do not have many friends, men I find true in nature and loyal to our relationship. About a handful, I guess. But Gary was one of them. Now he'll be able to see and visit with family who went before, plus ol' Duke and Mr. Ward Bond. I know there is a lot of family and friends who will be missing him up in Fairbanks area, but one of my best memories of him is his early morning deep resounding voice coming out over the church's radio station with that vast amount of trivia he had saved up from years of reading. I am currently in the process of writing my very first western manuscript and have decided to honor Gary by making one of my characters named after him. Someone I think he'd like portraying. So, I'll see you, soon enough, my friend and we will continue to pray for your family. Thanks.
You know, I have never understood why my own father was such a loner. He had so very few good friends and the house was usually quiet every night. But during the Korean War he had lost all too many friends and I learned when I came home from Vietnam what having a true friend entailed. As I said earlier, I can count on my hands how many friends I have on my hands and I imagine soon enough it will be down to one hand. I can home from Vietnam with 3 best friends and I have made 4 since then I consider in that category. Now family is different, but I've held one family member up as my best friend, which can be considered different. But with my friends I know I can rely on them and although I have not seen these men for 40 years I'd give anything and everything for them, outside my family and my love of God. That's how I judge friendship. Maybe I picked up the loner gene from my dad, for it seems that I walked alone quite often and a lot of my characters pop up that way in my stories. My wife is a loner, between us we make a whole person that I do not believe anyone can pull apart.
Well, I wanted to get some news services posted, but for tonight it's only these two. You may find them interesting enough to follow along with in day to come:
Russia: Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, 1990 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, said during a recent interview with Der Speigel News Service in Germany, Tensions between Russia and European powers over the Ukraine Crisis could result in major conflict or even nuclear war. "A war of this kind would unavoidably lead to a nuclear war," adding, by this 83-year old Russian Statesman, "This is not something I'm saying thoughtlessly. I am extremely concerned."
Syria: Western Intelligence Services indicates the Government of Syria is constructing new secret nuclear power plant aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Leading German news services, Der Spiegel claims Syrian Government had transported 8000 fuel rods to a location in Southwest Syria. Radio traffic and Intel data left little doubt a new reactor was being built, and deep underground in a remote mountainous region. Code named "Zamzam", the construction began in 2009. According to the Intelligence reports, Syrian Government is in possession of 50-tons of natural uranium, which, once if it is enriched, could provide material for 3- Nuclear bombs. ( It should also be noted, that particular unnamed WMD, were left in 2 to 3 bunkers at a U.S. military base, which were never emptied and later taken over and now in the possession of Islamic Militants. Along with the uranium stolen from the University at Mogadishu and now in the enemy's hands. Without know the inventory of those bunkers, there is no exact way of knowing for the moment of what degree of weapons from deadly gases, pathogens to nuclear weapons the Muslim terrorists could be producing. The big question will always be why this prize of weaponry was left for the enemy and both Democrat and Republican presidents had the watch? There was an ocean right out there to drop it in. )
That's all for tonight, folks. Have a bed to make and a book to read to keep my imaginary flow processing. I wish all of you a great night's sleep and an easy Tuesday. God Bless, BILL