Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Sunday, June 30, 2013
  A hero leaves us

Mario here:

We all have an Uncle Sam. For most of us, it's The Man in Washington DC. But I have another Uncle Sam, one who I helped bury this weekend.

We don't get to choose who we're related to but I'm pleased to say that my Uncle Sam was one of the good guys. You always knew where you stood with him, and it was always in a positive light.

Uncle Sam was an intensely dignified man and was always well-dressed and groomed. When I was a young kid, I remember seeing him wear fancy tortoise-shell eyeglasses and thick-soled wingtips that any modern hipster would kill to add to their vintage ensemble.

He was friendly and open to all, and yet decidedly unsentimental. He was long-winded in his stories (made worse as he got older when his hearing began to fail). He was a notorious penny-pincher, but more than anything else, he was a man of action and an advocate for the disenfranchised.

Soon after he turned eighteen he enlisted in the Army Air Force, was trained a photo tech, and found himself in Okinawa as a guard for Japanese prisoners-of-war. Once when patrolling the security fence, a prisoner called to him in Spanish. My uncle learned that in the early parts of the twentieth century, thousands of Japanese citizens had emigrated to South America. As Japan prepared for war, many of these ex-pats and their sons were summoned back to the homeland to serve the Emperor. Since they had been educated in Latin America, they were able to converse in Spanish. So my uncle, a junior enlisted man from Belen, NM, found himself as the go-between the US brass and their Japanese counterparts. Later he was transferred to Biggs Air Force Base near El Paso, TX (to again guard more Japanese POWs), where he rekindled a high-school romance with my aunt Alma who he married in 1951, and they stayed together for 62 years.

Uncle Sam worked various jobs while he sought footing in a steady career. He was a barber and a mail clerk before landing a job as a Federal civil servant at White Sands Missile Range.

Meanwhile, he became engaged in local and state politics. He was a prominent player in a civil-rights challenge against the City of Las Cruces that resulted in council members being elected from single-member districts rather than at-large to better represent the city's population.

Later as councilman, he proposed that the growing city needed public transportation to serve those who didn't have access to cars. The city argued that it didn't have the money to buy and maintain a bus system. So my uncle found federal grant money and with the groundwork for a local bus system in place, he returned to the city and said, here you are. Years later, when my youngest sister (who was developmentally-disabled) used the bus to get around town, my uncle said he was especially proud that the city's system was able to give her a measure of independence.

My uncle again locked horns with the good-ole-boy network. When the police requested new patrol cars, my uncle asked about the age of the current fleet. After they informed him it was two years old, he scheduled a test drive in their worst junker. After the drive, he told them the car had at least another three years left on it and to make due. Needless to say, the political machine worked against his re-election.

He sued his employer, the US Army, because he (like so many other minorities) was getting passed over for promotions despite seniority and superior job performance. Eventually he won, but the victory was moot when the army abolished the position he had fought for. Dispirited, he wondered about his next move until he unexpectedly received an offer to be a transportation master for the US Army in Saudi Arabia. Others had turned down the job, but my uncle jumped at the opportunity.

Unfortunately for the Army, my uncle brought his skepticism of big government and its cronies to his office. When the US government sounded the alarm about the dangers of Saddam Hussein, my uncle derisively commented that of course the Iraqis were well armed. He had witnessed the US ship them all those weapons.

However, he was more than a muckraker; he was also a life saver. Tires on military vehicles would explode and kill American and Saudi soldiers. My uncle asked about the exploding tires and was told it was the result of the hot Arabian climate. He replied that he was from Las Cruces, and he knew hot. Tires never exploded from the heat back in New Mexico. He poked around and discovered that the American contractor was shipping used, defective tires in place of new ones. His investigation forced the contractor to replace all the tires and that saved many lives. Later, when he questioned the practice of another American contractor who served hundreds meals for people who never showed up, my uncle was told by the Army it was time to return home.

Not surprisingly, my Uncle Sam was active in many organizations, and a short list includes the United Methodist Church, the Democratic Party, The American GI Forum, AARP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Masons.

Samuel L. Barba, 1928-2013, R.I.P.

May we all live as long and leave such a noble legacy.

Labels: , , , ,

God bless your Uncle Sam, Mario. Wherever he is in heaven right now, I'm sure the Lord has him doing something exciting. He certainly wouldn't be put on harp patrol with that resume...

Seriously, what a great man. You should be so proud.

You have honored and honorable man. We should all be so lucky.


And more hugs.
He sounds like a great guy...and handsome, too!
Bonnie: Thanks for the comments. No, I'm sure he's not on harp patrol.
Peg: Thanks for the hugs. They're always welcome.
Mary: He was a great guy. Appreciate your note.
Mario, thanks for sharing some of your uncle's life with us. He sounds like someone we need more of in today's world, but who also made the world a better place, while here!

"Taps" and a salute.
Nice Site I Am Impresed

World Largest Mp3 Collection......Sites


Boss songspk


Boss songspk

mp3 download

Fresher Requirtment

Are you tired of being human, having talented brain turning to a vampire in a good posture in ten minutes, Do you want to have power and influence over others, To be charming and desirable, To have wealth, health, without delaying in a good human posture and becoming an immortal? If yes, these your chance. It's a world of vampire where life get easier,We have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich, You will assured long life and prosperity, You shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness, Stronger and also very fast, You will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk, This is an opportunity to have the human vampire virus to perform in a good posture. If you are interested contact us on Vampirelord7878@gmail.com
Vampires is not at all like in the movies or books. Sure, I understand. You are young you have the whole world open to you. You can be anything that you choose if you apply yourself and try hard to work toward that goal. But being a Vampire is not what it seems like. It’s a life full of good, and amazing things. We are as human as you are.. It’s not what you are that counts, But how you choose to be. Do you want a life full of interesting things? Do you want to have power and influence over others? To be charming and desirable? To have wealth, health, and longevity? contact the Vampires Lord on his Email: Richvampirekindom@gmail.com
Post a Comment

<< Home

Biting Edge - Blogged

Marta Acosta
Zombie Defense Tactics
L.A. Banks
Robin Brande
Douglas Clegg
Mary Janice Davidson
Midnight Moon Cafe
P.N. Elrod
Christine Feehan
Andrew Fox
Jasper Fforde
Neil Gaiman
Laurell K. Hamilton
Charlaine Harris
Charlie Huston
Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Midnight Hour
First Offenders
Christopher Moore
Susan Squires
Storytellers Unplugged
Carrie Vaughn
Lynn Viehl
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Agent Query
AOL Bookmaven
Bookseller Chick
Bronze Word
Guide to Literary Agents
Grumpy Old Bookman
Marcela Landres
Miss Snark
The Neglected Books Page
Preditors and Editors
Pub Rants
Publishers Lunch
Latino Stories

Alt Vampires
Love Vampires Reviews
Bite Me Magazine
Borderlands Bookstore
Dark Carnival Bookstore
Dark Hunter
Horror Writers Assoc.
Kaleighbug Books
Locus Magazine
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Paranormal Fiction
Paranormality Universe
Realm of the Vampires
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Net
Undead Update
Vampire Genre
Vampire HQ
The Vampire Library
Vampires Vault
Vampyres Online

March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 /

Powered by Blogger