Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A somewhat different perspective of #MeToo

As a 92-year-old father of two daughters and four granddaughters I yield to no one in my support of the progress being made and supporting equality and respect for women.  "Times (indeed) up" on the male domination of women's' lives in everything from athletics to style to politics.

Yet I feel there are so many aspects of the movement that we continue to ignore. For me it is watching female cheerleaders and baton twirlers dressed in extremely skimpy attire at athletic events. Is this not something foisted upon them by males? Is that there attire of choice, even on cold days?  I can't recall seeing a male cheerleader in a swimsuit.

I'm well aware of my own tendency to have the "discriminated against" take the first step in reconciliation. However in my 92 years that has often been the course for progress in most areas of discrimination.  Certainly economic inequality stands at the forefront of women being discriminated against. Why else would a woman choose to be a waitress at Hooters restaurants, but……

Here's for equality in all phases of our lives from government to the sports page.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

At 92 now - and more worried about our country than I have EVER BEEN BEFORE - I'm going to let the chips fall where they may - and call 'em as I see 'em. No matter who or what I offend!

Regarding our president's – and many of our leaders – view of immigration!

How selfish can we be?  Who do we think we are to limit immigrants to only the brightest and the best from other countries – especially those we deign to call as  coming from the "Third World? Shouldn't the developmental needs of those countries be considered so that their brightest and best might be encouraged to stay there  and work to improve their country's growth and  development?

How selfish can we be?

I'm reminded of a holiday greeting from one of my former junior high school students who stated "I'm not as much concern about taking Christ out of Christmas as I am about taking Christ out of Christians!"

Back again,


Thursday, December 14, 2017


  At 92 I guess I'm not done!  The following will have to do until I get truly settled in my new abode.

Trump is right! 

He is making America great! One state at a time. First is Alabama. 

Just came to me at 3:30 this morning. For any wondering where I have been - since I have been quiet for a bit - Linda and I have moved. More later, but I feel as though I've been "born again!,"

Ron Lehker

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Some unusual, creative thoughts that come to me at 3:30 AM

Where do they come from? And unless I write them down, I forget them. And so upon awakening at that ungodly hour this morning, I jotted down these two notes:

  1. This being the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I have a plan for revitalizing the Christian church through a 2nd Reformation m- specifically the church I attend.
  2. There is another creative way to sell a house with much less strain on the seller.
But then upon awakening and having breakfast, I was dismayed by the tomato on my bagel. What is there about Heirloom tomatoes – they're not red like tomatoes should be, they are ugly and they cost a heckuva lot more?

And then I read about Harvey Weinstein and marvel at the revelation he discloses: that it seems to be only "Playboy–type" women to whom he goes to for creative ideas.  Has he discovered that is only they were endowed with such skill?

I realize I haven't Raved or Ranted for quite some time. I find this a very satisfying way to just talk and vent my feelings at age 91 without interruption.  . 

Any questions?

Stay tuned!

But let me add a previous thought:

Being both patriotic and realizing the injustice we continue to bestow upon a variety of our bothers and sisters, I shall


I invite you to join me. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Standing and/or kneeling with the young athlete.

Standing and/or kneeling with the young athlete.

As a former junior high school and high school coach and principal, my heart goes out to the millions of school football players this Friday. Our outspoken president has chosen to place them in a moral dilemma. External and internal pressures will pull them in conflicting directions. Authoritarian figures, role models, community members and even family and friends will exert untold pressure on them. Too soon they will learn how cruel and judgmental people can be when they compel people to make decisions about complex issues that have perplexed societies for ages.

And what should be my stand as an allegedly thoughtful, mature senior citizen. One who both loves his country but throughout his lifetime has seen, and tried to ameliorate the conditions placed upon various minority groups by the white majority throughout our country's history.

While our president's candidacy and "rule" continues to unfortunately be fraught with divisive actions and statements, perhaps one positive result will be to activate those of us who have to silently "gone with the flow." I can think of two ways that I might personally express my feelings.

  • Why not do BOTH! Those who attend football games this weekend might stand for the first half of the National Anthem and kneel at the half way point as we sing, “And the rockets' red glare....”
  • I shall also personally make a further contribution to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center, two agencies that support free speech and other civil rights efforts.

May each participant and all in attendance be guided by their concern for the "other."

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lessons from history

Learning by Listening and Reading.

Don't you wish our president would develop these two skills? Those two "skills" along with another that I shall refer to at the end of this scree "might" help him develop some abilities which he obviously lacks.

I certainly had no plan to learn about war and peace by reading about early transportation in America, but the appearance in our Little Free Library of "The Great Railroad Revolution: The History of Trains In America" by Christian Wolman was very relevatory to me. And it was just after my last rant in which I discussed the early days of  air travel during the 40s and 50s. Consider these statements:
  • "Henry Poor, the founder of the American Railway Journal, suggested that the railroads were an agent of national peace and that 'the certain prevention of foreign war' will be one of the numerous advantages of the railroads.”
  • Poor says trains and Christianity go hand in hand as forces for good
  • The Cincinnati Daily Chronicle, in 1843, went further arguing the railroads would bring about permanent peace, reducing prejudices and cementing friendships, calculated to perpetuate the institutions under which we have risen from a mere handful.
  • Wolman, in his book, Engines of War: How Wars Were Won and Lost on the Railways "Far from being a catalyst for peace, the iron horse turned out to be one of the most effective weapons of war invented by man, helping create a far more intense, deadly, link to the type of warfare. The story of the American Civil War can, in fact, be told through the railroads. Only an understanding of the role the railroads played in it can explain how this Civil War became bloodier and more intensely fought than any previous conflict.
  • And McCollum adds, "The scale of destruction and carnage can be directly attributed to the railroads.
Since early childhood I became enamored with railroading. But I had no idea that railroading was seen as a precursor of an American tradition – anticipating that new technical inventions would lead to peace and prosperity for all. Isn't that what we have expected from the computer and its revolutionary' forms of communication? Yet it is now apparent they can also be used for a variety of nefarious purpose.

So what is my take away from this chance personal discovery. It's primarily that we humans have sought to explain/blame world conditions on everything from good luck and chance inventions and even  God's will. But we ourselves and the way we make choices together as humans are responsible for most of the world's conditions which are more threatening to me today than in my previous 91 years.


So much for my reading and thought process. I'll take a few weeks off entertain family and friends before embarking on the rant I am most obsessed with.  I'll try to circulate it more broadly when I finish it.


I was encouraged by several reactions and questions about my thoughts on transportation in the 1940s. Particularly the relationship of bus travel to railroad travel. I clearly remember a variety of medium and long distance travels by rail. San Antonio was quite a center for the Southern Pacific Railroad. It was the half way location for train travel between Florida and California and my grandparents home was only a few blocks from the historic and architecturally dramatic depot. East and West bound trains arrived each day about noon. How interesting to see tons of ice added in each of the passengers cars as a source for early air-conditioning.  What fun to sneak chips of ice to suck on for our own personal cooling.

What a thrill then to take that train traveling east and go about 500 miles to my first Marine Corps base in Lafayette, Louisiana. Military leave time provided me with a number of trips by train which was far superior to any bus travel at that time. And what a fascinating experience to take the troop train from Lafayette to Savannah, Georgia and Marine bases on the East Coast.

Upon being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant at Quantico, Virginia, I took my first flight from newly opened National Airport In D. C. to San Antonio via now-defunct Eastern Air with about four stops on the way to San Antonio. After two weeks leave I was headed for Camp Pendleton, California again taking the railroad from San Antonio to Los Angeles.

Indeed train and planes provided long distance travel and it was only for short trips that we took the bus. My most memorable bus trip occurred upon being discharged from the Marine Corps at the Corpus Christi, Texas Naval Base. The remarkable aspect of that was that in going to the bus station I discovered that the Firestone Tire Store had just received four tires that my father had been searching for to get our Model A Ford running again. During the war, tires were rationed and he kept having flats. Upon learning that the tires would not fit into the luggage compartment of the bus, I prevailed upon my three buddies to join me in holding them on our laps for the 160 mile trip.

I've been busy lately traveling and involved with a new project. Much of that will be answering questions again on REDDIT"S Ask Me Anything  And I've also discovered a new venue where I have been invited to share my writings,

I then  PLAN THAT MY NEXT BLOG WILL CONCERN RELIGION and the community that churches provide their attendants. You might recall that it is one of the five factors that have shaped my life although I NOW CONSIDER MYSELF AN ATHEIST rejecting the lifelong teachings I've been exposed to about a god in heaven, the virgin birth and a life in heaven after death. Yet because of what churches have the potential to provide I still find myself a member of and attendant at a variety of churches. You see, along with a number of other factors, I feel religion has not only been a major cause of the world's problems, but I also feel that is the only through a proper understanding  relationship between religions that the world problems can be solved.

IN THE MEAN TIME..................

I'd like to encourage you to take time to read a lecture/sermon that should be read by our PRESENT president about an aspect of his character I find he lacks -  HUMILITY. The advice was given to former president Barack Obama at Washington's National Cathedral upon his second inaugural by Methodist Minister the Rev. Adam Hamilton.

I hope you'll take the time to listen to it in its entirety. I think you will see why president Trump asked that there be no sermon before he would agree to attend a similar service this last January at The Washington National Cathedral.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


As an optimist all my 91 years, I certainly hadn't planned to share these rather bleak thoughts with others. I truly continue to feel that humankind is on a positive trajectory toward the "good" (however one might like to interpret that.) However a nostalgic trip to be with my children and grandchildren in Ann Arbor revealed a heightened degree of societal change that caused me to reconsider views about the current and pending changes in the American lifestyle. They may be somewhat trivial but I felt there was deeper meaning in two respects:
  • The loss of permanence.
In my youth there was a feeling that – except for the seemingly few, distant affluent members of society – we were all a part of a rather broad middle class. (Naturally I am aware, growing up in Texas, that two minority groups were not even considered because of their skin color.) As I visited homes of friends and others who seem to be a part of a upwardly mobile class there was one possession that seem to identify them as different status than us – their home had a PIANO!. To me it symbolized affluence and culture, both aspects that were to be cherished and sought after. What a change to see that now they are objects that are almost impossible to even Give Away!

This alone is perhaps quite trivial, but to me it forces me to reassess what really are the permanent and enduring factors in life.
  • The loss of assurance.
As a graduate student in the 50s, I was bothered by the professor in my major field of study who persisted in asking, "What do you see yourself doing 20 years now?" While I disliked the question, there was some logic in the question. I should be able to plan my future with some certainty. Now however the question seems totally out of place in the new world we have created in the past 20 years. Uncertainty and change are all about us. No longer can we find companies that we know will be around to provide retirement security. Except for a few sacrosanct professions (medicine, protection) vocations are either diminished or disappearing.

So what is the point of this old man's tale? I've slept on it and after 24 hours I find two rising to the surface:

  • Why do we persist in measuring progress by the new things we create for only the few? Before we add the next exotic new smart phone why don't we measure progress by making sure that everyone has a smart phone? I recall a time when progress was measured by something like "A chicken in every pot and a Ford in every garage." It's time to go beyond that and make sure all have a pot and a garage.
  • Rather than measuring progress by planning ahead for careers and training for the few, why can't we measure progress by planning to have adequate healthcare for all rather than inventing a new exotic discovery that only a few can afford?
I remain convinced that there are lessons to be learned from looking at the past. There are lessons to be learned from history