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Entropy Acres - The Random Ramblings of Vance Frickey
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Words to the wise...

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C. S. Lewis

"The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a person only tells them with all his might." - Mark Twain

"It is difficult for those to see whose paycheck depends on them not seeing." - Upton Sinclair.

"It doesn't matter whether inaccurate information is intentionally or accidentally put in our paths, we have the uobligation to know that something is accurate before we repeat it. And it doesn't matter whether the slander is directed at friends or enemies." - James P. Tartaro.

Maxie Martin Chauvin, 1921 - 2004

My Mom didn't have it easy. Her education ended abruptly at the eighth grade so she could help her family survive the Great Depression. Regardless, she continued learning all of her life, setting an example that reverberated throughout my life, my brotherís and our sisters' lives and her grandchildren's lives.

I think that Mom would appreciate a eulogy, even a belated one - I was barely able to stand and speak simple sentences at her funeral in des Allemands, Louisiana - in which her intelligence and determination to learn and achieve despite what today would be considered crushing adversity was celebrated, so that's exactly what she's going to get.

Mom went through three husbands in her lifetime. Her first husband, Herbert Guidry, drowned tragically, leaving her with five young girls to care for. Her second husband, Armand "Lerrie" Frickey - my younger son's namesake and my brother's and my father - took my sisters in, and he and Mom raised us all until he died of a heart attack at the age of thirty-eight, leaving Mom with my sister Brenda, my brother Dwight, and me to finish raising.

After Dad died, Mom took in other people's laundry to wash and iron, and sewed and mended, too. Then a lump grew in her one of her breasts, a lump of cancer. I remember my sister Paula and her husband Frank, a generous, irascible, tough Tunica Indian from Marksville, taking me into their home while Mom went to the hospital in New Orleans to be treated.

In the early 1960s, oncology barely existed as a medical specialty, so Mom endured a radical mastectomy, then doses of radiation that left half of her body scarred and discolored for the rest of her life. She came back home, battled the lingering effects of her surgery and radiation treatment, a crippling bout with depression, and went back to taking in other people's laundry in order to make the pension checks go farther.

And you know, Mom prevailed. It wasn't pretty at times, because great battles seldom are, but she kicked adversity a new ass. Mom's laundry business gave way to better work clerking in a discount store ten miles down the road, and she eventually became assistant manager of one store, then manager of another. For years, Mom's store was the most efficiently-run part of the Dollar General chain in the Gulf Coast, month after month, because Mom had attended what is sometimes the best school for business, the University of Hard Knocks.

By the time I'd left des Allemands for college in Baton Rouge, Mom had much time on her hands, and was re-introduced to Joe Chauvin, who she knew as a child. Before I knew it, those impetuous kids had run off to a Justice of the Peace and gotten married. At the time I was fighting both severe depression - and in those days, there was no magic pill to handle that, no more than there was for Mom - and teenage stupidity, and I didn't make it to their wedding, something I regret to this day.

Mom and Joe had their ups and downs, but they stayed together until Joe died last fall, after twenty-nine years of marriage and a gradual decline in health. Joe Chauvin was a hard-working man who had had about the same number of hard knocks in his life that Mom had had in hers. He made "Frank Barone" in Everybody Loves Raymond look like a wuss, but he'd also give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Toughness and extreme generosity aren't the worst combination in the world.

In fact, what made Joe Chauvin gruff and opinionated was the same personality that has kept our country free all these years - men who were tough when toughness was called for and also knew how to take care of their families. Joseph Chauvin bore a lingering death graced with some of the more painful and less dignified complaints of extreme old age with courage and resignation to what he knew must be..

Joe was in constant misery and in his last year, he'd reached the point where the resources we all draw on to put on a brave face for others had almost run out. Nonetheless, Joe did reach out past his pain to reach out, as much as his condition permitted. It was not so much sad to watch, as infuriating that someone who had led a decent life and not done anything to deserve a life of torment nonethless, had one - it's not difficult to imagine more deserving candidates for such an end.

After Joe died, Mom began to decline, too. I spent a couple of weeks with her in des Allemands when it looked like she was getting over what had put her in the hospital just after Joe died, and honestly, she looked all right - until she started having trouble and we had to bring her back to the hospital. She didn't even have to stay overnight while I was there, so when my sister Brenda called to let me know Mom had gotten badly ill again, I could feel my heart drop through my shoes to the floor under me.

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Mom went to live with Brenda, who works from her home in Elton, 200 miles from des Allemands and could be with her all the time, and went into her final decline in the spring of 2004. I took the bus down from Denver to be with her those last two weeks of her life, and as ghastly as the story of Jesus climbing Mount Calvary to be crucified seemed to me as a child, watching my Mom slide out of life, shedding her usual sharp awareness of everything around her and seeing her die by inches is something that will never leave me.

For months after Mom died, when I dreamed of home, she was there in my dreams. Four days ago, I had the first dream about home in which Mom had passed on, the way she had in real life. I don't even pretend to know what that means. My wife Denise thinks it is my subconscious mind's way of accepting what is. All I know is that it's high time I wrote this and put it out on the Net - it's not much, certainly not as much as Mom deserves, but it's what I have.

Mom, you touched so many lives and asked for very little for yourself.

May God find a nice place for you in Heaven, and give you that wonderful chair you gilded with your work for others here on Earth.

Denise, I and the kids send our love and ask again for your prayers.

Denise's and my grandson (Mom's great-grandson) and our son (Mom's grandson) Eric!!
ericbrandon.jpg
Eric gave us a grandson - Brandon William Pellegrin-Frickey. He's bigger than this now, I'll update ASAP.

 


Vance's Links to Interesting Stuff

A page of military-related links all over the Web : These links are intended for the use of military enthusiasts, historians, writers, modeling hobbyists, and others.

"I'll sleep when I'm dead,"a song by Warren Zevon. Some of you reading this will understand why I like it.

Neat sites which don't fit in with any of my other link pages.

"Christian Urban Legends" This Canadian site exposes several false rumors and outright lies which are circulating all over the Christian and other religious communities. Fascinating reading, especially if someone in YOUR life constantly insists that the Procter and Gamble soap company is owned by satanists and/or the Unification Church.

Vance's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Links: a lot of good data on "emerging diseases" such as Ebola, weaponized disease strains, chemical weapons, radiological and nuclear weapons and the defenses against them mounted here in the U.S. and around the world.
NOTICE: There is no information on this site on how to make a weapon of mass destruction. Disseminating information on how to make such weapons is a violation of Federal (U.S.A.) Law (18 USC 842, et seq.) which I will report to the proper authorities should I learn of it.

And spacecraft get their own page -
Vance's Rocket and Spacecraft Links- A number of links I have found which may prove interesting to spaceship and rocket junkies, some history, some obscure current information.

You can Email me at vfrickey@ricochet.com

 

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