On A to Z

a-z-2013Someone declared April as A-to-Z Challenge Month. Sure, the challenge’s intent is to have a separate post for each letter, but hey – I have a streak of independence.

With 1,167 posts before this one, why not use my archives to meet the challenge? After all, even frequent readers aren’t aware of some of the posts.

Therefore, I present A Frank Angle’s A-to-Z. Visit as many as you like, because as in my tradition, there is something for all …. so hopefully you’ll visit at least one.

AFAa2zBadgeA is for Acquaintance – People that were not in my graduation class: set 1 and set 2

B is for Ballroom – … and ballroom dance delivers benefits

C is for Cruising – We like cruising, so start your trip with a click

D is for Dinner Group – … We hosted a night of Chopped

E is for Education Reform – Although the need is obvious, here are the obstacles

F is for Frank – Yep, that’s my name, but these are the All-Time Franks in baseball

G is for God and Government – I must say that this post about the separation of church and state is pretty darn good

H is for Handbells – It takes many bells to make one instrument

I is for Italian – I’m 100% Italian heritage, and Ellis Island is an important place

J is for Joys – To whatever give you joy, but for some of us, it’s reliving the cartoons of our youth, and here is where the series started, which led to the first honoree

K is for Knowledge – What do you know about supersonic kangaroos?

L is for LearnerLearning should never stop

M is for Moderate – This early post defines an independent moderate, thus shows why neither party wants me … well, except for my vote

N is for News – Staying informed is important, but there is something more biased than the media

O is for Ohio River – A story from my hometown on a river during my youth.

P is for Politics – I wrote this shortly after the 2008 election, but before the Tea Party’s emergence (which is what makes this post interesting)

Q is for Quantum – Actually, this past post was On a Quantum Thought

R is for Recipes – I’m sort of a Foodie, so try Cranberry Sausage Spaghetti or my own spaghetti sauce that offers a little crunch

S is for Science – Like sports, science has players, plays, rules, and boundaries

T is for Trieste – A beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea that is the place of my birth

U is for Universe – The universe is vast and inspiring, and this post includes one of my absolute favorite videos

V is for Victory – The raised arm created an unexpected moment in college

W is for Wonders – There are many wonders in our world, and let’s not forget Fibonacci, Pi, and Tau

X is for X-Factor – and one X-factor in life is forgiveness

Y is for Why because I can – This is the first main post about the religion-science interchange; now there are 44, plus here is the very first post

Z is for Zinfandel – I enjoy a wide spectrum of wines, especially reds, but zins were the first to capture my fancy – and cheers to the wine group at church

AAA+++ Bonus for the bloggers on my sidebar and on the More Bloggers page, for as without them and you, I wouldn’t be here, so try to visiting someone soon that you don’t know, and tell them I sent you.

Addendum: To learn more about the A Frank Angle A-to-Z Challenge, click here.

On Majesty upon the Water

hometown1I grew up in a small town shaped like a shoestring as it nestled between the sandstone hills and a sweeping bend on the Ohio River. It’s a picturesque town, especially from the river or the other side. I saw the river everyday, knew its serenity and playful nature, as well as the flood waters that entered storefronts and even filled the street in front of our house.

River barge traffic was common place, yet I recall my wife’s initial amazement with the sight. Orville, a friend in junior high, liked to talk about his father working on the river. One day while by the river we noticed a barge coming around the bend, so we decided to test Orville with, “What’s the boat’s name?” Orville calmly looked at his watch, part forth a name, and then we waited … and 10 minutes later, we knew Orville’s passion was right.

Depending on the time of day, twice a year would bring a treat – one signaled by the distant sounds of the approaching calliope. This sound of a bygone era would bring people to the river; just to watch and wave to her majesty and its passengers on its journey to or from Pittsburgh.

The Delta Queen, built in 1926, is the last of the overnight steamboats, and a link to times past. I’m now in Cincinnati, Delta Queen’s official home and locally owned from 1946 through 1969; and this city always looks forward to its May visit, as well as during Tall Stacks, an every-four-years-or-so major river festival attracting many riverboats to the Queen City.

The Delta Queen is much smaller and less modern than its contemporary cousin, the Mississippi Queen, but it’s the Delta Queen. Whether it’s docked or cruising the river, its mere presence embodies majestic grandeur and unbridled respect. Of course Cincinnati always cheer for it in its annual race against the Belle of Louisville during Derby week along the Lousiville riverfront.

Majestic America Lines, the Delta Queen’s operator, is now out of business. The Delta Queen lays still in New Orleans; forced to stop sailing after it lost its congressional exemption from a fire safety rule; now only moving from the ripples created by the passing traffic, thus maybe to never race the Belle again. The mere thought of partisan politics is difficult to accept; along with the rumors of its sale, potential gutting, or conversion into a stationsary hotel.

The Delta Queen, both a National Register of Historic Place and a National Historic Landmark, was recently nominated for the National Trust for Preservation list of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places. She deserves more than a mere sideshow because she’s the Delta Queen.

Think about all the national treasures found throughout the USA; and there are many.  The Delta Queen is a national treasure revered by all the towns and cities along the rivers in America’s heartland. She deserves to be saved, and saved as she is – and that is the mission of the grassroots organization, Save the Delta Queen.

And for Orville, wherever he may be, I think he approves this message.


Image courtesy of Majestic America Lines