My thoughts on Memorial Day
5/24/2008 9:11:22 AM
Remembering what’s important this Memorial Day
Memorial Day brings the opportunity to remember those that paid the supreme sacrifice to secure the freedoms we’ll all enjoy on this holiday weekend. In the midst of all the talk of our nation's economy and the endless rhetoric from the political wars its easy to forget that the United States is the greatest nation in the history of civilization. Our success as a nation has always relied on the military’s ability to protect us and to keep us free. We’ve been challenged down through the years and it has been, as it is today, the men and women of the US armed forces that stepped up and got the job done. Let's remember this as we go about whatever we choose to do on this special holiday weekend.
Speaking of the economy, do you realize that, when adjusted for inflation, we are paying no more for gasoline today than our grandparents or great grandparents were paying in the 1920's? That’s hard to believe when we realize it now takes more than one hundred bucks to fill a 4x4 pickup.
I tend to break things down into bite size pieces in order to get a better grip on the situation. Gasoline today is 60 cents more per gallon than it was at this time last year. I drive a Ford F150 that gets 18 highway miles per gallon. If I drive 200 miles to a coon hunt, 100 miles to and from the club to go hunting, and 200 miles back home, that's a 500-mile trip. I'll use 28 gallons of gasoline. At $4.00 per gallon, I’ll spend $112.00 for fuel. At $3.40 per gallon, I would have spent $95.20 last year, $16.80 less than I’ll spend this year. From the looks of the five o’clock traffic on Interstate 40 here in Raleigh yesterday, I would say gas prices aren’t keeping people home this weekend.
AKC moves to new offices
The Coonhound Events Department is now officially all moved into its new office space in the AKC Operations Center in Raleigh. I’ve always considered a coon hunter’s clubhouse or a fairground to be my office but I’m appreciative of the extremely nice space the AKC has provided for my use when I’m not on the road. Everything is state-of-the-art including a large flat panel monitor on my office wall so I can video-conference with other offices in the Operations Center and with the New York headquarters. I’m a high tech redneck now! Our phone numbers are the same although the mailing address has changed. The new address is:
American Kennel Club
8051 Arco Corporate Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617-3390
AKC events set the mark for awards
It’s amazing what the AKC clubs are doing to reward the winners of their events. This month we awarded the amazing AKC/Remington Limited Edition Chevrolet Silverado Crew Club 4x4 to Kenny Sparks and Austin Bane at the AKC National Championship in addition to prizes from Diamond Deluxe, Gramin, Tri-tronics, and K-Light Supply. That’s a pretty high mark to beat but the clubs and associations are catching “awards” fever and presenting some amazing packages.
Last weekend the Appalachian Houndsmen Association presented one of the most attractive sets of plaques I’ve seen at a coonhound event. In July, the AKC Heartland Classic will award a Kawasaki 360 camo 4x4 ATV in addition to a Garmin Astro GPS tracker, a Tri-tronics Trashbreaker Ultra 2-dog system, and a 21-volt K-Light as well as trophies and cash awards.
Just this week, Dean Miller of Ohio announced a $25,000 cash and prize package for AKC Black and Tan Days to be held in Holmesville, Ohio on July 31, August 1st and 2nd. Coming up this fall, the Southeastern Treeing Walker Association will present a $5000.00 added purse to the winners of the 2-night AKC Fall Classic in Salisbury, North Carolina and the list goes on.
Perhaps the $1,700.00 State Championship awards package set the trend for these amazing efforts. Whatever the source, awards for winning coon hunts have really stepped up since the AKC re-entered the coon hunting scene.
Bubba Back Home
My old buddy Bubba back home in the hills says he’s looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend. He said that his intellectually-challenged cousin Rufus has been working as a bouncer at the day care center down at the county seat and is living in a new apartment. He said Rufus invited him over to see the apartment the other night after he and Bubba had stayed down at the local watering hole a little longer than they should’ve and Rufus got stinking drunk. Bubba said it was pretty late when they got to the apartment.
Rufus took Bubba to his bedroom where there was a big brass gong and a
mallet. “'What's with the big brass gong?” Bubba asked.
“It's not a gong. It's a talking clock,” Rufus slurred in response.
“A talking clock? You ain’t serious,” asked Bubba?. “How's it
“Watch this,” Rufus replied. He stumbled across the room, picked up
mallet, gave the gong an ear-shattering pound, and stepped back.
Bubba said they stood in silence, looking at each other for a minute. Suddenly, someone on the other side of the wall screamed, “You SOB. It’s three-fifteen in the morning!”
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!