Thursday, July 23, 2015

More Family Tetons, er, Totems

I visited my Aunt today up on the hill and noticed another of my Dad's artwork I needed to photograph. They deserve more professionalism than I can give, but hey, I've got to get what I can. And they're pretty great paintings!

The Grand Tetons, Wyoming, USA
(c) 1975, Larry K. Vaughn
There is nothing to say on the beauty of the rendering of the subject but to thank my Dad. l also thank Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Antiquities Act, and the secret negotiations with the Rockefellers that resulted in a National Park. (Look it up.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Scouting and Bullying - the Gay Policy

As a Scout, I was bullied as a Gay. There were some bullies who called me "fag," "faggot," "little faggot," and "queer." These words out of the mouths of bullies are becoming as socially unacceptable as the "N___" word. And, thank Heavens!

Scouting isn't about bullying. It should be the exact opposite as a place for team-building and citizenship skills in a diverse society which is the ideal of melting-pot USA. And there still is a lot of bullying.

It probably is a natural inclination for groups of boys to ostracize the outcast. I still hear modern Scouts "jokingly" (actually, bullyingly) call each other "Gay" --the targets no more Gay then I was as a teen even if a bit of an outcast or loner. My role as leader has been to nip that in its bud, stop it in its tracks, whatever it takes to kindly yet forcefully teach that such talk and bullying behavior is unacceptable.

And Scouting isn't about sex. Well, at least it's not supposed to be. But I've heard the crudest language and sexual jokes among Scouts and sometimes leaders. On an excursion to Philmont Scout Ranch years ago, there was a Playboy passed around. Sure, I looked. And I played with the cards bought in San Francisco Chinatown with bare-breasted women on them. We kept making jokes about the "stacked deck." OK, not by best moments, but far from the worst as well.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Rush of Historical Preservation

Jane Vaughan Lewis Johns - early 1860s
Aunt Jane is smiling.

No, she really is! She may not be the most beautiful person in the world what with the Vaughan nose and all. It's the same nose that's on her brother's face, the only two siblings we have in photos from that generation (well, so far).

John Vaughan, to the right, is my paternal, 3rd-Great-Grandfather. That's the best copy we have of the picture. It's from an old-style, wide-typewritten, pedigree chart. My Collaborator-Cousin has already put out a notice to search for the original.

That's why I donated the miraculous picture of my 4th-Great-Aunt Jane to the LDS Church History Library today. [oops, I miscounted generations on the form].

It's pretty easy to donate. I've done it before with cousins on my Mom's side with our Great-Grandmother's journal.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Standing for Something (You Don't Agree With)

We have some really good friends who are dedicated home-schoolers. I don't agree with home-schooling. I think that in spite of the best intentions, no parent is able to provide the wide diversity of specialized knowledge that a variety of teachers can in the public schools. It also tends to undermine the purpose of public schools which is to give every child an opportunity for a basic education to be a functioning member of a self-governing democratic republic. The socialization skills with children of different backgrounds also help in the melting-pot ideal of America.

Still, we love our friends dearly. We never debated our differing views on home-schooling. I'm not even sure of their actual reasons for doing it.

At their request, I once participated in a conference where home-schooling families got together to hear presentations on a variety of subjects. I was asked to do a session on the Founding Mothers concentrating on Abigail Adams and her influence on husband John through their rich trove of correspondence. It was fun!

Monday, June 29, 2015


As I continue to walk my own fine line not fighting for or against same-sex marriage. Most of the criticism I have received is from those on the "against" side who seem to use the teachings of the Prophets to condemn me for "not hating gays enough." I don't think that's the message of the Prophets at all.

Anyhoo, I thought I would like to note that there are a lot of messages popping up on the internets linking Gay Marriage to Communism. Even on claimed LDS affiliated sites. Yep, more evidence of the paranoid style in American politics.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Science AND Religion

Absolutely compatible!

That may be enough to challenge plenty of belief systems. But my daughter, faithful LDS, great Mom, and Jr. High Science Teacher, explains it all so well in this newspaper article from the Salt Lake Tribune:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Charleston Address

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the President in Eulogy for the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney

College of Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
2:49 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  Giving all praise and honor to God.  (Applause.)
The Bible calls us to hope. To persevere, and have faith in things not seen.

“They were still living by faith when they died,” Scripture tells us. “They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on Earth.”

We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith. A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered, knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would deliver a better life for those who followed.