Beech Community July 4 Celebration

Beech Community Independence Day parade

Mission Hospital helicopter landing at Beech Community Center for Beech Community Independence Day parade. Immediately after it landed and the rotors stopped turning, the chopper was swarmed by excited kids and more than a few equally excited dads.

The Beech Community July 4th event is the longest running Independence Day parade in North Carolina, its organizers say. The 2014 event was the 130th consecutive year the fire trucks, old tractors and antique cars, and veterans of various US wars have gathered for the quarter-mile parade route to the Beech Community Center (map).

Lots of ATVs and nicely restored cars in the parade.


But my favorites were the fully restored and functional tractors. I can’t explain it but there is something about an old tractor that stirs a primal native Kansan response in me.


And then there were the crowd favorites: kids on decorated bikes – some with training wheels.

Entertainment followed the parade in the auditorium of the Beech Community Center. Leonard R. Hollifield and the Appalachian Consort provided some Bluegrass tunes. Leonard is center on guitar, with Mark Cleverer left on mountain dulcimer and Lee Metcalf right on upright bass.

Unfortunately, Leonard’s father, Leonard Hollifield Sr, was “worn out” from an all-day recording session the day before. The father, who will be 88 years old August 3, is still one of the best pickers in the area.

Neda: “The innocent look in her eyes”

A moving — and chilling BBC interview with Arash Hejazi, the doctor who tried to save Neda Soltan’s life. He is the younger man shown kneeling at her side in the videos of her death on the streets of Tehran.

Dr. Hajazi, who said he did not know Neda and was walking from his nearby office through groups of people who were themselves watching a demonstration, is now in Great Britain. He says that although he fears for his safety and will not return to Iran for some time, he felt compelled to speak about the death of a 26-year-old woman whose bloody image has become an icon of Iranian protest.

“They (the Iranian clergy) are going to denounce what I am saying. They are going to put so many things on me. I have never been in politics. I am jeopardising my situation because of the innocent look in her (Neda’s) eyes.”

Hurricane Season (Already!)

It has started! For anyone like me who lives in Florida, “it” at this time of year can only mean the much dreaded Hurricane Season. It’s supposed to “officially” start June 1, but this year the weather gods are jumping the mark with a new tropical depression, which only has a number (One) for now, off the coast of Rhode Island.

Tropical Depression One

Tropical Depression One


Emergency Landing from Inside the Cockpit

Flight instructor Kyle Davis got a chance to test his own abilities April 19, 2009, when the engine on his small plane quit multiple times and he was forced to land on two lanes of a four-lane road in Winter Haven, FL.

The whole ordeal — from engine failure to heart-stopping landing — was caught on tape from a camera in the cockpit.

“I was incredibly lucky,” Davis told FOX 13 television in Tampa. “It was a whole bunch of luck and a little bit of experience.”

Davis, and his passenger, a professional videographer, left Gilbert Field in Winter Haven around 10:30 a.m. They were on their way to the Sun ‘N Fun Fly in, a 15-minute flight. As the plane descended rapidly, Davis had to make a split second decision: land in a field, a lake or on the road. Fortunately, being a Sunday morning, there was little traffic on the road and no nearby cars in the lanes where Davis landed.

When the plane slowed, Davis turned it into a driveway and rolled to a stop in a parking lot.

links for 2009-05-06

links for 2009-05-05