Just a man

Just a 109 year old man.

Last survivor of Passchendaele (don't worry - I cannot pronounce it either).

Ok - if that does not ring a bell - how about this?

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
—By John McCrae

Last survivor of a 3 month battle which saw over 500,000 lives lost. Between the start of the campaign on July 31 and its end on November 8, an average of 5,000 men were killed or wounded.

This one survived. He is the last known survivor of the battles on Flanders fields, and one of the last know survivors to see the front lines in World War 1.

You know, ancient history right?

"I fell in a trench. There was a fella there. He must have been about our age. He was ripped shoulder to waist with shrapnel. I held his hand for the last 60 seconds of his life. He only said one word: 'Mother'. I didn't see her, but she was there. No doubt about it. He passed from this life into the next, and it felt as if I was in God's presence. I've never got over it. You never forget it. Never." — Henry Patch, last living survivor of Passchendaele, 12/07/2007

Not for him.

Howz about them apples?

Well, it appears the City has decided on a "tentative" design and scope for the Market Garage project.

How about this? Adding another 6 floors. And only 70 parking spaces.

That's right - Fire Station #1 is about to be loomed over by commerce, housing, or some combination of the two.

So aside from the fact that once the addition goes on - you have now just plunged that intersection into perpetual twilight, explain to me how with either commerce or residential - it makes sense to do it on a tight street with bad access for emergency vehicles?

Well - it would not be so bad, but you removed the closest ones.

And speaking of Fire Station #1 - Kudos to Wishneff and Lea, for finally realizing they are done with the City Council, and taking it to the streets. They are absolutely right about the downtown Amphitheater, Elmwood park would require little modification beyond seating and sculpting.

Plus the benefits to the downtown businesses and residents would be numerous. But, and this is not my but, the "For the City" crew has shown themselves clearly for what they are.

From the Breaking News article the day of the press conference: "The press conference, held at Fire Station No. 1 and attended by about 20 downtown business owners, citizens and members of the media, was not without contention. Local musician Cyrus Pace and John Anderson, president of the Farm, an advertising agency, challenged Wishneff and Lea.

Pace argued that the vote has already been made, and Anderson said the three “For the City” council members who voted for the river location were carrying out a mandate delivered to them when they swept the 2006 council election.

“Why can’t you guys just accept the decision?” Anderson asked.
(emphasis added -ed.)

Lea and Wishneff said they were responding to citizens’ concerns and providing an alternate proposal.

Wishneff said after the press conference that he expects the amphitheater will continue to be an issue through next spring’s municipal elections, when voters will select a mayor and three council members. Wishneff's and Lea’s terms will each be up, along with those of Councilman Bev Fitzpatrick and Mayor Nelson Harris."

I'm sure a bit of digging would reveal some interesting connections between Mr.'s Pace and Anderson and "For the City."

And speaking of Tweedle Dee, Dum, and Doh! - they're reaction (next days article - no mention of the hecklers) - well Dowe says "it's an option" if they do not like what they receive from the Request for Proposals. But "once the council decides to make a decision and go forward, we're in a position where we have to see that through. We have to respect the integrity of that process."

Integrity.. right. Just like back when you were a... no - save that for later. But it is interesting to note that Alfred "Token Candidate" Dowe might actually have some sense about him - and be willing to voice it. He won't be around for long.

Gwen "I'm much funnier than Jackie" Mason had this to say: "The ayes and the nays have been counted, and I'm sure that Mr. Wishneff and Mr. Lea are prepared to put their good brains to work on other issues that are facing the city. But the decision on the amphitheater has been made," Mason said.

SO there. I bet she even pouted a bit after saying it. So what do you think was intended by the "good brains" comment? Is Ms. Mason a zombie? Well.. maybe...

And our sincere and wise Vice-Mayor.. what have you to say? "I think what's going on is to a degree they've learned that a decision is never a firm decision recently. That's really been holding Roanoke back," Trinkle said. "If you can constantly re-debate or make it an election-cycle issue, nothing gets done and the bigger issues like schools get muddied. It's not good leadership to constantly bring old issues up for debate instead of moving on."

Displaying a mastery of how to structure a sentence, Dr. Trinkle reminds us all of how He and his crew even got elected in the first place. Making a non-issue distraction into a political windfall using the shadiest of practices.

Well, I know I've been quiet lately - but it looks like that is all coming to an end. If these half-wits keep things up like this, I might have to make this a full time job.

Oh - and someone tell me why there is a 5 minute "Mill Mountain Incline Update" on the agenda for the next council meeting?