Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

They call them "The Greatest Generation"... and they deserve the name.
I grew up in their shadow... the men who fought and died in WWII... and then again in Korea. Born in 1945, on the day the Japanese signed the surrender papers on the decks of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor, I could hardly escape it. My namesake, Uncle Frank, was killed in Germany. Several uncles served. All the movies of my youth heralded their exploits.
And today, they are dieing at an alarming rate, these men and women in their 80's and 90's. I have made it my business to meet and thank as many of them as I can. I approached a guy at the Mall in Daytona Beach yesterday. He was wearing a hat that said: "WWII - Silver Star." They don't give those away... They are earned through acts of considerable bravery. I chatted him up and learned that he was an Army Combat Engineer on the D-Day landing in Normandy. He drove a Bulldozer on that hellacious beach, under intense enemy fire, attempting to establish cover for the troops. I listened to his story for about 15 minutes and it left us both misty eyed. I thanked him for his service in WWII - and he thanked me for mine in Viet Nam. Amazing... in that we Viet Nam War Vets are not at all used to being thanked.
Recently, I've met and spoken with a Marine who survived in shark infested waters after his ship, the USS Indianapolis, was sunk by torpedoes in the Pacific. And to an Army infantryman who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. And to an Army Air Corps pilot who flew B-17 bombers, as Luftwaffe fighters tried to knock him out of the sky. A friend of mine from Massachusetts, a military vet himself, has a Dad who was an Ace pilot in the Big War... not many left. Another friend, right here in Palm Coast, is a former Marine (don't ever call them "ex" Marines) and was also awarded the Silver Star for bravery... His challenge came on November 27th, 1950, as 30,000 US Marines, US Army Soldiers, and UN Forces faced off against 120,000 Red Chinese Army Regulars at The Battle of Chosin Reservoir. The brutal winter campaign earned our forces the nickname "The Frozen Chosin."
These people really did "save the world for democracy." It's not just a frivolous saying. What freedom we have today really is a result of the sacrifices this generation made. The other night, I was at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach for a high school graduation ceremony. As the Colors were presented and the Star Spangled Banner was being sung, young people all around me talked and laughed and ignored the moment. Life was good - not a care - no Draft to worry about - the volunteer force will take care of business. It makes me crazy... and I can't imagine what these WWII and Korean War Vets must feel, when they see this kind of disrespect.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Battle of Florida Real Estate

By now, if you haven't seen the amazing video of drama on the African plain, titled: "The Battle at Kruger," you are in an ever decreasing minority... A group of naturalists, visiting Kruger National Wildlife Park, were treated to riveting scenes as they unravelled - and caught it all on a handheld digital camera. To see this once in a lifetime video, click this link: i-CAUGHT :: Battle at Kruger Battle at Kruger Added Jul 31, 2007 By abc. 461091 Views. Channel(s): Animals, i-CAUGHT tv. 18 Comments. Rating. An amazing series of animal attacks is - 51k
A herd of unsuspecting water buffalo are grazing along side a large watering hole, when two adults and a calf wander away from the rest. They are casually strolling... and do not see the pride of five hungry lions, crouching in ambush. WHAM! They explode from their position and the chase is on. Four lions run the adults off, while the fifth overtakes the baby. In the fury of the attack, the two tumble off a ledge and into the water below. A great deal of thrashing ensues, as the other lions join in the apparent kill. But, ahaaa! The ruckus brings two large crocodiles, who try to pull the calf into their domain. It takes five 300 pound lions to pull the calf up the bank... with one of the crocs hanging on! The croc, sensing its vulnerability out of the water, finally lets go. Now the lions are ready to finish the job and enjoy their hard won prize. But wait! The entire buffalo herd has now come back to retrieve their family member. They are enraged and the hunters become the hunted. The bulls chase the lions and toss them in the air on the ends of their formidable horns. The calf miraculously eludes the fierce claws and teeth and escapes back into the middle of the protective herd. The scene ends with the lions cowering and scattering to the winds. You gotta' love it. VICTORY FOR THE UNDERDOG!
Well, guess what? This, as I see it, is a great analogy for this crazy real estate market... and the economy in general... especially in war-torn Florida. We're the Calf in this story. The Lions are represented by Gas Prices, Food Prices, Mud-Slinging Political Contests, The War in Iraq, "Made in China," and the Undervalued Dollar. The Crocodiles are played by Foreclosures, "ShortSales," Inept Banking Business Practices, The Chicken Licken Sky is Falling Media, and Sellers Who Haven't Heard We're in a Down Market. A few blogs ago, I made the comment that "This bad market will be over... when we DECIDE that it's over." I agree with Yogi Berra and believe that 90% of our problems are half mental. And, oh yeah, the Heroic Buffaloes are played by Real Estate Agents who continue to fight the good fight, stay the course, and give customers accurate and cogent advice... even when they don't want to hear it.

Why read "Palm Coast Unplugged?"

"Palm Coast Unplugged" gives a "backstage pass" to locally focused Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, and Ormond Beach, Florida... Real Estate and other useful information:
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