Fish and Chips and Vinegar

Here are some random thoughts for today. Fish were a great creation! They are tasty, and they provide us with some essential omega 3 oils while also being a good source of protein. When we lived in England in the village of Eynsham near Oxford, we had a favorite little fish and chips shop. The fish was delicious, and was served with french fries (chips) and had  vinegar drizzled over it, all wrapped up in newspaper.

In Revelation we read of the end-times process of people accepting a “mark” in their forehead or right hand in order to be able to buy and sell in the “beast system”. In our day, the mark would seem most likely to take the form of a chip embedded beneath the skin, something many are already doing with pets, and a process that some companies are encouraging their employees to adopt. All we can say here for sure is that if you wish to avoid an eternity in hell, don’t take it!

The fish was also the symbol of early Christians, and the design is seen on vehicles today. Despite what some say, America was a Christian nation, as the first thing the Pilgrims did at Plymouth was to plant the Christian flag on the beach. The first act of our first president, Washington, was to lead Congress to a little church to dedicate the new nation to God. Some of the first universities were established for the purpose of  “spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ”. (Harvard, Princeton, Yale) Our first Supreme Court Chief Justice (John Jay)  declared the U.S. to be “a Christian nation”, and he also stated that we “should prefer and elect Christians to office”.  Obviously, the church and our government were partners back then. The nation’s children were for the first 100 years taught to read using the Reverend McGuffey’s “Readers“.  America needs to return to Christ today to have any hope of being “great” again.

Vinegar is mostly composed of  acetic acid and water. The other day I got out some old 8 mm movies that my father had made back in the 1940’s. Our family used to have home movie nights at our house on W. Cherry street. Well, much of the ancient film has been undergoing decay, the worst of which is called “vinegar syndrome”, as you can smell the odor of vinegar from the chemical destruction of the acetate film. I have sent off a 200 foot reel to a lab in Canada that can often retrieve images from old dry, brittle, curled film, even some that has been partially eaten away.  I’ll let you know how this turns out. Meanwhile, I still like vinegar on my spinach and Brussels sprouts!


Dr. J


Close Call With Houston Mass Murderers

It was 1973 and I was a pediatric resident in the Baylor College of Medicine program in Houston, Texas. On a warm summer day I was riding my bicycle south on Hiram Clarke Road, and had about 7 or 8 blocks to go to our home on South Brownstone. I had just passed South Fuqua when a white Ford Econoline van passed me and then veered to the curb as it cut me off.

I could do nothing but stop, and I knew this couldn’t be good. The mustachioed man in the passenger seat peered out through the window and said, “Hey, you got any money we could borrow?” I said, “Fraid not” (emphasis on the fraid). He then stated, “Well, maybe we just better check you out”, as he opened the door. I was preparing to hop off and run to a store across the street when the driver said something to him and he shut the door and they drove off.

That was scary enough, but a couple of weeks later I saw the man’s photo (Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr.) along with another man (Dean Corll) on the front page of the Houston Post and they were identified as the Houston Mass Murderers. It turns out that they had tortured and killed some 29 young boys whose ages ranged from 9 to 21, and buried their mutilated bodies in three locations, including the beach at Galveston and a boat shed owned by Corll.

In looking back, I think Corll might have told Henley that I was a bit too old for them to abduct. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt that day, so I may have appeared more as a teen from behind. I am nervous to this day whenever I am behind a white Ford van.

On the day they were discovered,  Henley had shot Corll to death with 6 shots from a .22 revolver in the midst on one of Corll’s torture sessions in southwest Houston. Henley is currently serving 6 life sentences in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system.

I have written to the TDCJ facility where Henley is incarcerated, even identifying him with his TDCJ number, but have never gotten a reply. All I can say is, “thank you, God, for sparing me that day!”

Stay safe out there.

Dr. J


Goodyear Blimp Ride

It was 1971 and I was an intern in the Baylor Medical School system in Houston. One day my resident, Sandy Lewis, said “How would you like to take a ride on the Goodyear blimp?” It was an unusual question, since it did not involve medical issues, but I replied something like, “What?”, and then indicated that it would be a fun thing and that I would like to go.

He later gave me the appointed time, and Valo and I drove to the blimp base north of Houston and signed in. It was a fairly windy day, and we had to wait for a while to see if they would allow the blimp to fly. We eventually got the green light and we climbed aboard. I think we were the only ones in the gondola besides the pilot, and I counted 16 men around us holding on to ropes to tether the helium-filled machine.

Finally, we were turned loose and slowly ascended under power from the two engines turning props. At times the huge ship would pitch forward, causing us to slide forward in our seats, and I could see why it was referred to as an “airship”. After about 20 minutes or so, and having been passed by a small plane as though we were standing still, we turned around and were still quite close to the blimp base!

We slowly descended and actually bounced a time or two before being completely corralled. We climbed out, having shared a rare experience, the reason for which I never really knew.  When I asked Sandy how he was able to arrange this, he said something about having bought a set of Goodyear tires recently. Did he win some contest? Why didn’t he go? I just remain thankful to him and to God for being blessed with another amazing experience!

Dr. J