Tyson and Billy Architects

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a productive day  … if you're scrambling to finish shopping, completing today as the last day of the work week, or peacefully wrapping gifts at home and preparing for the Christmas Weekend ...  may your gifts be in stock, your work be productive, and your bows be tidy.

Just a Tyson & Billy FYI ...

Holiday Office Hours are: 12.23.11 ~ 8 - Noon and 12.26.11 ~ Closed

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

~ Kelly

Image Credits: 2.bp.blogpost.com

70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day

On Dec. 8, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt started his famous speech:

"Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: Yesterday, Dec. 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

Mercury News Media Center
A scrapbook and old photographs of Gordon Van Hauser in the Portola Valley, Calif., home of his son, Gregory. (Gary Reyes/ Staff)

Dec. 7, 1941: The United States naval base at Pearl Harbor is attacked by Japanese planes launched from six aircraft carriers. Four U.S. battleships are sunk, and four others damaged. Over 2,400 Americans are killed, including 1,177 on the battleship Arizona.

LA Times' Framework
Forefront: battleship West Virginia sunk and burning. Background: the battleship Tennessee.

Japanese losses were light, 29 aircraft destroyed, five midget subs lost, 64 killed and one midget sub sailor captured.

Chicago Tribune & the National Park Service
Sailors stand amongst the wrecked airplanes at Ford Island Naval Air Station. Battleship Shaw exploding in the background.

In my research I found so many moving interviews, but this one stood to me as being very poignant:

The Chicago Tribune interview, quotes Pearl Harbor survivor, Navy veteran Lou Gore saying: "I'm grateful to still be alive. So many lost their lives for no reason. ... I wish I had been able to save more" (lives), he said.

A powerful conviction to still be wishing after 70 years.

During the attack Gore, a crewman to the USS Phoenix, took to the anti-aircraft guns. He remembers this moment saying: "We didn't know what was happening. I just did my job."

The USS Phoenix shown below as it steams past the burning battleships Arizona and West Virginia as it takes to sea.

LA Time's Framework

I was grieved to find a article in the NY Times stating:

" The 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack will be the last one marked by the survivors’ association. With a concession to the reality of time — of age, of deteriorating health and death — the association will disband on Dec. 31."

NY Times
Emerie Aresenaul, front, with other Pearl Harbor survivors.

The article also quotes Bernard Comito, of Dalton, Ohio, saying: “You have an organization that doesn't replenish itself. We don't get new members.”

Andrew Spear for The New York Times, Bernard Comito above

This makes me so incredibly sad. The reality that we are losing our living history through these men daily. Indeed, I had a difficult time finding articles from mainstream news yesterday and today. The small blip this landmark anniversary generated bewilders me.

Mercury News Media Center
A portrait of John Tait from his time aboard the cruiser U.S.S. St. Louis. (Karl Mondon/Staff) 

As the granddaughter of a WWII marine who served in the Pacific Theater following the events of Pearl Harbor -  this is a day I will always remember and endeavor to help others do so as well.

Mercury News Media Center
John Tait, 91, of Concord, will be returning to Hawaii to observe the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. (Karl Mondon/Staff)

From the NY Times interview Harry R. Kerr, the director of the Southeast chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors' Association remarks:

“I was talking in a school two years ago, and I was being introduced by a male teacher, and he said, ‘Mr. Kerr will be talking about Pearl Harbor,’ ” said Mr. Kerr. “And one of these little girls said, ‘Pearl Harbor? Who is she?’

“Can you imagine?” he said.

LA Times' Framework
A haunting image of our flag flying in the forefront while the USS California burns in the background.

To the brave men and women who pause today to remember this day first hand …

Mercury News Media Center
Gordon Van Hauser (far left) with fellow Marines at Pearl Harbor in early 1941. (Photo courtesy of Gregory Van Hauser)

… to you we owe a debt of gratitude for your brave actions that day and the days that followed.  We will always endeavor to remember.

Mercury News Media Center
Ed Silveira, 90, recounts his Pearl Harbor experiences during an interview aboard the USS Hornet in Alameda, Calif., Dec. 2, 2011. (Kristopher Skinner/Staff)

I hope you have a opportunity today to visit the below article links and photo galleries.

~ Kelly

Photo credits and information from this post belongs to …

Mercury News Media Center article by Bruce Newman and Images

Los Angeles Times Picture Gallery: Framework

NY Times article by Adam Nagour

The Chicago Tribune article by Suzanne Roig and Reuters

Not directly quoted or referenced in this post but a moving collection of images from The Chicago Tribune  - Pictures: Remembering Pearl Harbor



Happy Thanksgiving to our clients, our friends, and our families.

Image: Norman Rockwell's "Home for Thanksgiving"


And a special thanks to those that have and are currently serving our country and protecting the freedom we celebrate on this holiday.

To you and yours, we wish you every blessing this Thanksgiving.

~ Kelly



Labor Day

Wishing everyone a relaxing & fun filled Labor Day Weekend.

Labor Day Parade, New York City, 1963

Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated as the symbolic end of the summer. For us women … the last day of the year to wear white (does anyone still observe this?)  and for you men … the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons.

Regardless of the what Labor Day is bringing a end to and marking the beginning of … it is a welcomed extra day off to kick back and relax.

Miners & their children at a Labor Day celebration in Silverton, Colorado

Thought I'd do a post on a little history on Labor Day. A good reminder of the tribulations that hard working Americans have faced to bring this day about.

First Labor Day parade: September 5, 1882, in New York City

Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Child Labor

At the advent of the Industrial Revolution, men, women and children were forced to work anywhere from twelve to sixteen hour days in poor conditions, often working them to death or illness.

Breaker Boys working in Ewen Breaker of Pennsylvania Coal Co. 

On September 5, 1882, disgruntled workers decided to stand up and march for their plight. Ten thousand workers marched in New York City to bring attention to the unkind conditions they had been working under, in hopes to cause their own revolution in the industries.

Banner for Rights, 1856

This infamous march set a trend for other workers all over the country. In the next twelve years, other states participated in similar marches during the first week of September to bring their working woes to the forefront of the public agenda.

Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.

Carpenters Union march in Labor Day Parade Baltimore, MD, 1975

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date.

Bakers Union march in Labor Day Parade Detroit, MI

It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement.

Labor Day Parade

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.

Labor Day Parade Houston, Texas. 1955

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy.

Women's Auxiliary Typographical Union

It is appropriate that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Enjoy your weekend!

~ Kelly

Content & pictures from this post credited to the following:

United States Department of Labor, The History of Labor Day, Bright Minds Media, Scan Digital, Argent Additions Historic Photographs, and Wikipedia.



4th of July, Small Town Style

I spent the 4th of July weekend enjoying the big way my small hometown celebrates the 4th of July.

I live in a tiny agricultural community west of Rockford that takes our 4th of July parade VERY seriously.

Although we can't boast the splendor of a big city parade like Macy's with their floats and balloons … (Although one year someone tried to float a huge balloon of Uncle Sam down the street, but the trees got to him and it ended badly. Nothing like a rapidly deflating Uncle Sam to put the kids off their candy. Yikes!) … we do our small town best.

And give out candy. Lots and lots of candy.

Here's a few images I took from our parade. Enjoy!

The parade always opens with the motorcycles. They wiz by and leave the rest of the parade 10 minutes behind them.

Let's just say the marching band does NOT keep up with them.

The motorcycle portion of the parade does not typically shovel out candy as they zing by - so inevitably there is at least one irritated and disappointed child that slams their candy bucket down and goes: "That's it? I showed up for this?! Where's my freaking candy!?"

Okay, so maybe that was me as a child, and I'm projecting. But you can definitely see the dismay on their faces. Can’t you?
















Fine. Maybe he's okay with a empty bucket. (My nephew, Aidan.)

Which leads me to two illustrations.
Good candy thrower:

Look at the wind up! Candy flew for miles after this throw!

Actually it's all in the release and not the wind up. So many candy throws go wrong when they release on the downward slope then the candy gets bounced off the asphalt.

I think most of us know what this candy is like. It starts out like a bright and shiny hopeful dream, then you crunch down on loose pea gravel and your world is never quite the same.

And our second exhibit: the bad candy thrower ...

Don't eat it! Throw it!

This left all the little kids hopefully clutching their candy buckets watching her float pass by staring in horror as she steadily consumed their candy.

Okay, maybe I'm projecting again. She just wasn't doing her job well. *Geesh.

And - Oh! - the vintage cars. So wonderful!

Riding shotgun on her 93 Birthday!

Check out the license plate!

They even had their fans dress in green for a prime photo op.

Yes, it was a coincidence, but such a fantastic one.

Our local coffee place:

The man in the background either knows the driver or LOVES their coffee. I'm going with the latter because I waved vigorously too, only because they do have great coffee.

The "good" candy thrower was riding in the back of the Coffee truck FYI.

My favorite, the McClure Farm Truck.

And the license plate says it all:

"Ol Salt 6"

Army Jeeps are so cool.

I don't know what type of a car this is, but I love that they stuck a bow on it, and off they went.

If I was naming this truck I would call her "Glammy" for the Glamorous Truck she is.
Although the man with the tall socks probably wouldn't agree.

Anyhow, it's a great bow.

Everything gets decorated in our parade. Ev-ery-th-ing. No exception.

Pony, here's your bow for your tail, hold still while we paint you, and here's your Hawaiian 4th of July lei, and the sparklers for your mane. Now you're perfect.

It also cracked me up that this tini-tiny, little pony had two lead ropes held by different people … must be a feisty pony.


Egad! Another feisty pony requiring multiple lead ropes! These ponies were NOT getting away from this parade today.

I won't even comment on this decked out diva, except for, Wow.
Love the little hat and the little flag ribbons in her mane.

My horses would FREAK the heck out if I put something like that on their heads. You wouldn't need two lead ropes, you'd need a elephant dart gun. This is why I'm not in the parade with them amongst other reasons.

We were in no short supply of tractors.

This part of the parade opened with the self proclaimed John Deere Ambassador.

Shirts were not a requirement. Hmmm.

Vintage tractors were abundant and their drivers coordinated in theme and color.

I can't take how cute he is in his orange t-shirt.

By the way, harking back to my earlier comment on the disastrous Uncle Sam balloon … I do believe this was the only balloon in the parade. I hope it survived. Notice the low power lines in the background.

If your tractor did not work …. as we like to say here at the office "Ehhhhh, no problem!"

We'll pull your oversized trailer with our hoof bedazzled pony!

Kidding, kidding.

Glitter toes here was pulling these two:

What a good dog!

More fantastic cars:

I call this one "Redlicious" although I have no authority to name any of these cars.

Pure Classic.

This car should have been playing Perry Como and driving out of a old movie with a car full of kids with glasses like Ralphie in the Christmas Story.




(Thank you Google Images)

I don't know why, but the kids that SHOULD have been riding in that car need these glasses to complete this totally ridiculous image in my head. And the sparkly hat too. Amen.

Check out the front of this car and the perfect detail job.

And last, but not least … zoom, zoom.

On to more practical matters of business … tow trucks!

I got a huge kick out of this parody: The modern truck hauling their vintage tow truck.

Which by the way do you see the tent I kept having to shoot through!!?? We got here 45 minutes before the parade to stake out a spot, and these people erect their giant red tent right next to us 2 minutes before the whole thing kicks off.
Oh man, anger and rage in spades.

Who does that?! I had to frame my pictures between their tent posts. Grrrr.

Also humorous, these boys (pictured above left) were stationary the whole parade and then the BIG truck comes through and they shot to their feet and went running out to the truck.

I bet they thought this truck was throwing full size candy bars. No such luck boys.

Oh how times change.

We've gone from this: a one row corn picker …

… to THIS Monster. Wow progress.

I always find the veteran part of the parade very touching.

Here's my 2nd cousin who just returned home from Iran.

Edward's Apple Orchard supplied the float and a well earned platform to welcome this solider home.

Joining him in this procession was this gentlemen representing the Lost War also known as the Korean War:

And this lady makes me tear up every time. She is in every parade holding her POW-MIA flag. I wonder who she lost.

Each year this part of the parade for WWII veterans gets smaller and smaller.

Always breaks my heart we are losing the men and women from our greatest generation daily.

The Firemen did a incredible tribute to 9-11.

A moment of silence in remembrance of this date and those lost. The men on each side of the flags held firemen's axes.

This part of the parade gave me goosebumps. The parade announcer asked for silence and such a hush fell when this group walked by.

Amazing - all these little kids and not one peep. Such a powerful moment.

Firefighters in agricultural and rural communities serve such a vital role.   They will be the first on scene at a emergency of any type before paramedics from the surrounding cities can arrive. We rely on them to save our farms, those that work them, and all the lives of those who live in the surrounding rural communities.

We are so grateful to our firemen.

Cutest Kid Award:


She kept wondering out in to the street to get the crushed candy. Notice her very attentive father luring her off the road with a tootsie pop. (His hand pictured right.)

Smart Dad Award. Bribery and distraction, often the best method.

So as the parade starts to wind down and paraders with trash cans of candy get fewer and fewer.

The kids start to look like this:

The Bible School Float was a little weary after a few hours in the sun.

Snap out of it, and throw us some candy!

Poor little thing.

Some of the adults on the floats start showing their lack of enthusiasm for the heat as well …

I like to call this picture, "Guess whose no longer having fun?"
Hint: She's at the front of the float not smiling.

Even the dogs in the trucks hauling floats look weary.

Kudos on the wax job, you can see me snapping pictures in the reflection of the truck  =)

Kids stop running for candy and latch on to anything cold.

She gets Best Dressed Award.

And finally … The horses and the guy with the shovel always bring up the rear of the parade.

Who in the world bedazzled all these hooves?!

Such a sweet horse. I think she knows she has precious passengers to carry.

(I do believe she has the remnants of someone's flower bed in her mouth … oops.)

I love kid's saddles. On a big horse you can never find a girth long enough to hitch the saddle to. Luckily they made it to the last punch and these two little dolls are light enough not to off balance the saddle's weight.

Good thing or you end up with road rash and a saddle around the horse's belly. One of the many perils we face to parade in style.

I found it very apropos that the last picture of the day of the last parader was the very well appointed bow on this horse's tail.

I call this picture "The End".

~ Kelly


June 18th: National Hollerin’ Contest Day

To those of you needing a occasion outside of Father's Days to celebrate this weekend … look no farther than National Hollerin' Contest Day this coming Saturday, June 18th.




Porch Holler Contest




No, this is not a national holiday, but the residents of Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina think it should be.

Since 1969 Spivey's Corner, population 49, swells to 5,000 to 10,000 as hollerin' hopefuls flock to enter their ... well ... to enter a hollerin' contest of course!


Lez Bromfield and his wife Lynell enjoy their first ever Hollerin' Contest.




During the course of this daylong event contestants pit their hollerin' skills in hopes to triumph over the competition in four categories: distress, functional, communicative, or pleasure.



Jessica Rogers of Godwin, NC participates in the
Ladies Callin' Contest.



I am thoroughly charmed by this event, and to those non-hollers I recommend still showing up for purportedly the best barbeque in Eastern North Carolina and enjoy the show.

Additional events include: conch shell blowing, a greasy poll climb, and games of corn hole.

If you have unusually strong hands can compete to hold on to a greased watermelon while local firemen try to knock it from your hands.


Karly Thorton, 11, left, and Randie Autry, 8, wait for the judges to make their decisions so they can hand out trophies after the Ladies Callin' Contest.



Here's a little history courtesy of:

"Hollerin' is considered by some to be the earliest form of communication between humans. It is a traditional form of communication used in rural areas before the days of telecommunications to convey long-distance messages. Evidence of hollerin', or derivations thereof such as yodeling or hunting cries, exists worldwide among many early peoples and is still be practiced in certain societies of the modern world."



Trophies waiting to be handed out.




"Each culture used or uses hollers differently, although almost all cultures have specific hollers meant to convey warning or distress."


The judges debate the skills of the hollerers.



Although it might be too late for a plane ticket, surely you can join them in your heart.

Or barring both those … search them on YouTube. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I for one nearly fell off my chair after watching this video, and - Oh my! -  I wish I knew this man. What a jewel!

Follow the link or click the picture:








More Information:
The festival is held at the Fire Department on Hwy 13 one block from Hwy 421.
To Contact, call (910) 567-2600 or visit http://www.hollerincontest.com/index.html



Karley Thorton, 11,  of Clinton, NC hollers her sisters name and wins runner up in the Junior Hollerin' contest.




Sources for this blog:


Have a great National Hollerin' Contest Day and Father's Day this Weekend!

~ Kelly


A Flag Day Reflection

In honor of Flag Day today … a little history, a lot of reflection, and beautiful pictures.

History … because I did not know most of this and thought I'd share:

"On June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned essays on the flag and its significance. This observance, commemorated Congresses adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. This observance was also the beginning of Cigrand’s long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day. The crowning achievement of his life came at age fifty when President Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day. Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day."

Please visit http://www.nationalflagday.com/default.asp for this source and to learn more about Flag Day from The National Flag Day Foundation.

















As the granddaughter of a World War II Pacific Ocean Theatre Marine, I would be remiss to not recognize the significance of our American Flag, and those that protect the Freedom our Flag represents.

I have a very specific memory of my grandfather ceremoniously hanging his Flag out for the 4th of July. He and my grandmother both participated in this, and stood for a few moments watching the Flag billow out in the breeze.

As a teenager I did not understand this collective pause or the true meaning behind our conversation of Flag protocol that day. I remember his seriousness in explaining to me these do's and don'ts, and his intentness to explain each step to me.

How very, very much our Flag meant to this Marine who defended the freedom I know today during the peak of WWII in the Solomon Islands.

His is a legacy I am so very proud of and am grateful for the memories of his lifetime honor of the Flag he fought to protect.

Marine Raiders on Cape Totkina on Bougainville, Solomon Islands  January 1944

In honor of Flag Day a very heartfelt thank you to the men and women who protect our country from both Foreign and Domestic threat.
















11th MEU in San Francisco:
















To those that have fallen in pursuit of protecting our freedom, I will leave it to the words of Ronald Regan to do their memory and my gratitude justice:

"Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known. "

"Flags In"
















To those that sacrifice their time with their families, and to the families of those that serve ~ we will forever be indebted to you for each moment we enjoy with ours.

Chief Petty Officer Joseph Stevenson hugs his daughters goodbye.
















Matthew Sandlin, holds his newborn daughter for the first time after  being underway for six months aboard.
















Sgt. Shawn M. Ruble plays with his daughter before departing to the ships of Bataan Amphibious Ready Group.

And lastly, to those that have and are right now actively fighting to protect our Flag and the Freedom it represents ~ A thousand times thank you.

" On the Run With Stars and Stripes"


Memorial Service:

" America’s Battalion Honors Fallen Marine6"

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
~ Ronald Regan

Please select the images within this blog for photo credits and descriptions.
To see more of these amazing photos as seen in this blog, visit DVID SHUB's Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System:
Photstrearm on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/people/dvids/
Website: http://www.dvidshub.net/

~ Kelly