This is the first in my series of columns titled
RAMBLINGS since I intend to just ramble about issues and items happening not only in our local Okaloosa County area, but throughout the nation and the world. There is so much happening in all areas of life and it seems as though many individuals are just happily going along without taking the time to view various issues and without seriously thinking of how issues and events will affect the individual life in our great country.
First, my good friend Nancy Kenaston is scheduled to speak before “:Friends of the Libraries” in Destin, Crestview and Niceville in the coming weeks. September 7 at 10:30 at the Niceville Library; September 9, 10:30 Destin Library; and September 15 at 10:30 at the Crestview Library. Mrs. Kenaston will discuss her book, “When Destiny Steps In” about her experiences as a Reporter for the Nuremburg Trials after World War II. She will have copies of her book to sell and will be glad to autograph them personally. I hope large crowds will be on hand at each presentation.
A couple of months ago I spoke to the Fort Walton Beach Kiwanis Club on the topic “Try Volunteering, You Might Like It”. I was very serious in calling out a lot individuals who simply sit around doing nothing but criticizing what others are doing or not doing. How easy it is to complain. But I’ll also say how easy and how satisfying it is to give of your time and energy to the various groups and organizations in our area that could use your talents and experiences in furthering the needs. I’m particularly calling on the large number of retired military men and women in the area who are basically being supported by the taxpayers through the Military Retirement programs. Many of these individuals have truly great talents and they also have free time that could well be devoted to groups and organizations. Let me give you an account of some of the things I’m involved in at this time. Remember, I turned 82 on July 22 and still feel as if I am 50 or so and I find time to participate. I’m President of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge for the 3rd straight year, and this organization is unique in that it is the only organization licensed by the Federal and state Governments to rescue, rehabilitate and, hopefully, release back into the wild, the wildlife of Northwest Florida. It is also the licensed organization responsible for rescueing stranded water mammals and turtles. It is not engaged in domestic animal rescue and care. We’re getting ready to begin a program to build permanent headquarters on Okaloosa Island which will include a Zoological Charter School scheduled to open in 2012 with one 6th grade class and one 7th grade class. Thereafter it is planned to include other classes as the need arises. I am a past president and now a board member of the Emerald Coast Science Center on Brooks Street. This Center was begun by the Junior Service League many years ago and finally turned over to a group of volunteers who serve as board members. All types of volunteers are needed to assist in working with children as they become more familiar with science through the Center and through their respective schools. I’m a founder, and now a board member of the AMIKids, an alternative school for at-risk youngsters The school was formerly known as the Emerald Coast Marine Institute. Boys and girls are directed to the school through the Department of Juvenile Justice and through the school system. Nationally this school system has an impressive rate of success in turning youth around so they become participating citizens of their community. I am a board member of Elder Services of Okaloosa County and have worked for many years to assist Elder Services in converting the old Fort Walton Beach Hospital into a fully equipped and serviceable Assisted Living facility. Both the old Crestview Hospital and the Twin Cities Hospital have been converted by Ruth Lovejoy and her group into successful Assisted Living facilities that are well received in the communities. Unfortunately the Legislature has not seen fit to help in funding the remaining repairs and additions needed at Autum House (as the old Fort Walton Beach Hospital is now known). I’m a member of the Fort Walton Beach Camp of Gideons International, the group that raises funds and purchases bibles to be placed in hotels, motels, nursing homes, doctors’ offices and other bibles are distributed to school children, college and university students as well as military men and women and to prisoners in jails. This is a world-wide organization and its work is felt by individuals at all levels. I’m a member of the Fort Walton Beach Kiwanis Club and serve as the Program Chairman responsible for providing interesting program for each weekly meeting. Men and women of the community are invited to attend a meeting and find out more about Kiwanis and its service to children and community. It meets each Tuesday at noon at the Fort Walton Yacht Club. I serve as a member of the board of directors of the Okaloosa Anti Drug Coalition. I must admit, though, that because of conflicting obligations I have not attended meetings as I should have in the past few months. I am a member of the Fort Walton Beach Arts and Design Society and I think more people should be involved in promoting the arts for our area. I am a member of the First United Methodist Church where I’m a member of the Choir, Vice President of my Sunday School Class, and Assistance Sunday School Teacher. I’ll stop here even though there are others. If I can continue such a schedule of involvement, then I know that others of you can do so. I call on young and old alike in our area to volunteer now to help. Just give me a call at 376-9098 or send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll be glad to help you make a decision as to which organization or group your services would be most helpful.
People keep asking me if I’m still doing early morning talk radio. No I’m not because getting up at 3 am each morning just became a little much. I do enjoy, however, being a guest on the radio with Ken Walsh at WFTW or with Adrea on Freedom 94.5 when they invite me to discuss issues and events.. You can see what I’m involved with now by going to www.wcvctv.com and clicking on “Jerry Melvin Presents”. You can view the many interviews I have done during the past few months. If you have a recommendation of a person you would like for me to interview, just give me a call or send me an email, because Ken Nielsen at wcvctv is anxious to have interesting interviews on the channel.
I noticed a full page ad in the Sunday, July 24 Parade Magazine that said, “It’s 2011, Do You Know Where Your Children Are?” That was the heading and then it went on to say:
“Our kids are growing up in a very different world from the one you used to know. Different expectations, Stronger pressures and temptations, More choice, Bigger choices, Greater dangers.
“And when the pace of change is so fast even the kids have trouble keeping up, what hope is there for the parents?
“No matter how much you try to stay up to the speed with what your kids are doing, there will always be plenty you don’t know.
“The Partnership at Drugfree.org is here to help parents prevent, intervene in, and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children. So even if you don’t always know exactly where your children are, at least you’ll always know where they’re at.
The page concluded with:
“Come visit us anytime at drugfree.org.”
Please don’t delay in checking with this site if there is any question in your mind as to what and where your children are.
I really like the quotation from Thomas Paine, “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.”
In writing for “The Patriot Post” on August 10, Cal Thomas penned an article titled “Essential Liberty” as follows: “While tea party critics are re-reading the Constitution, they should also consult the Declaration of Independence. That philosophical foundation of the Constitution reserves the right of the people to change their government when it no longer serves the interests of its citizens. The Declaration outlined the proper relationship between government and citizens, noting that Government derives its ‘just powers from the consent of the governed’ (and) whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,. It is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form,, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness’ The British no doubt considered those who wrote and believed such things ‘terrorists’. We call them patriots.”