Elvis Presley’s Texas Home During Basic Training in 1958 Still Visited by Fans

In 2020, defying lockdowns and wearing masks, we took a 32 day roadtrip from the Texas Hill Country to Washington DC and back.

Our first stop was near Fort Hood in a central Killeen Texas neighborhood. If the walls of the circa 1950 ranch-style house at 605 Oakhill Drive could talk, they’d sing!

Photo by Loralyn ‘Dodie’ Dennis

It’s a nice house but doesn’t have any visual features that dramatically set it apart from the other homes in the area not far from Conder Park. It’s a one-story, brick home with a rather large mailbox out front.

As big Elvis Presley fans, we thought there might be a landmark sign designating it as the house the most famous entertainer in history lived while going through Army training.

At the height of his early fame, the Army drafted Elvis in 1958, and at the Memphis induction center, he received his shots, his buzz cut, and his orders. On March 28, he and others were sent by military bus to Fort Hood, the Second Armored Division, General George S. Patton’s “Hell on Wheels” wild bunch.

Enroute the new troops stopped for a restaurant lunch break in Hillsboro causing “a small riot” when teenage customers recognized him. 

Elvis didn’t want any special treatment offered. His desire was to be just another G.I. His fellow soldiers saw that in him and Elvis became one of the guys.

Private Simon Vega recalled, “I thought he was gonna get special treatment but he did KP, guard duty, everything, just like us.” 

When basic training was completed, the Army allowed soldiers to live off base as long as they had dependents living in the area. It was not long before Elvis’ parents, grandmother, and a friend traveled to Killeen where they found a three-bedroom home to rent from Chester Crawford, an attorney who charged an outrageous $700 a month.

Soon crowds began showing up on Oakhill Drive to catch a glimpse of Elvis. It was common for him to stand outside and talk to fans for hours. Occasionally, he detoured through neighbors’ backyards to avoid the crowds, and according to neighbor Janie Sullivan, the clothesline in their yard once caught Elvis and the dog bit him. 

Elvis with friend Red West (far right)

Not everyone was thrilled by Elvis’ presence in the neighborhood. Some Oak Hill residents called the police to complain about the clouds of dust stirred up by the cars and the carnival-like atmosphere.

While completing an additional ten weeks of advanced tank training, Elvis had to take emergency leave to fly to Memphis to be with his mother, Gladys, who had returned home to be hospitalized. She died two days later on August 14.

After his mother’s funeral, Elvis returned and put in long days at Fort Hood learning to be a tanker. During his final days at Fort Hood, large crowds gathered outside his house, and some nights a hundred people kept vigil. The last night, on September 19, 1958, Elvis and his gang gathered at the home to make the drive to the troop train that would take him and 1,360 other G.I.s to Brooklyn to sail for Germany.


Biographers and friends reported that Elvis’ time at Fort Hood and in the Army was among the happiest of his life. For a time, he was almost “just another soldier.” Everyone agreed that Elvis was a good soldier, one of the best in the company.

His longtime girlfriend, Anita Wood, said, “he had finally found himself.”

Elvis said later, “I learned a lot about people in the Army. I never lived with other people before and had a chance to find out how they think.” 

In 1958, longtime Killeen resident Edith Carlile lived four doors down from the house Pvt. Elvis Presley lived in with his parents, Vernon and Gladys. Presley rented the home for seven months from a local lawyer when he was stationed at Fort Hood.

“The street was extremely crowded with cars going by,” said Carlile, who lived next door to the house Presley lived in before she passed away a few years ago. “People were standing in the yard, wanting to touch him, kiss him.”

Carlile was a mother of four at the time, and wasn’t really into the rock ’n’ roll music that Presley is famous for.

“I’m not a fan of music of that age,” Carlile told a local news reporter, adding she was more into the tunes of the big band era.

Her children did get autographs from Presley, but Carlile said she threw the signed pieces of paper away years later.

She said the rock ’n’ roll king dated a few of the local girls when he was here, and his presence made a big impact, especially in the Oakhill Drive neighborhood, which in 1958 was home to lawyers, business owners and other upper-middle class families.

More than 64 years later, the house is still standing, and although it’s aged, the outside doesn’t look dramatically different from when Presley lived there.

Surprisingly, more recent owners of the Presley’s rental house indicated they didn’t even know the house had once been lived in by Presley when they bought it some years ago.

To this day Elvis fans regularly pop by the house to take a video, some puctures or inquire about the former home of the King.

On display at Graceland complex in Memphis, Tennessee

Some drive hundreds of miles to do so. Others want to peep inside or look at the backyard.

Although there has been updated renovations (exterior windows and roof) owners are reluctant to offer details.

In November 2006, the 2,400-square-foot house was placed for purchase on eBay.

The owner at the time, Myka Allen-Johnson, a sales representative for CenTex Homes, said she wanted to sell the home to someone who would understand the historical significance.

“I didn’t buy the house with the intention of selling it on eBay,” Allen-Johnson told the Killeen Daily Herald in 2006. “I just don’t want people to forget that he lived here in Killeen.”

Ft. Hood front gate 1958

Penny Love was 3 or 4 years old and lived around the corner in 1958. She recalls her family seeing Presley sneak through her backyard to avoid the crowd that waited out front. She said she would sometimes sit on Presley’s father, Vernon’s lap on the front porch.

The community has missed out on any significant tourism and marketing opportunities over the years. In August 1958, Presley fans petitioned the Killeen City Council to change the name of Oakhill Drive to Presley Drive, bringing nationwide publicity to the area. Today, however, Oakhill is still the name of the street.

The owner said she allows Presley fans to take a quick picture of the front of the house. But those who try to pry closer are not totally welcome.

The backyard has a steep incline, she said, which can be dangerous, and a German shepherd patrols back there, too.

Favorite Fan Photos

Elvis Presley, The Rockin’ Motorcycle King in Photos

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/elvis-presley-the-rockin-motorcycle-king-in-photos/embed/#?secret=mCsDyQTdl8

More Rare or Unseen Elvis Presley Pictures From the 60s

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/06/10/more-rare-or-unseen-elvis-presley-pictures-from-the-60s/embed/#?secret=OrH73oXJB4

25 MORE Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the Army

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/09/16/25-more-rare-photos-of-elvis-presley-in-the-army/embed/#?secret=QM7UuXuv5W

20 Rare Photos of Elvis Presley in the U.S. Army

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/20/20-rate-photos-of-elvis-presley-in-the-u-s-army/embed/#?secret=aoCYSwtQ3k

20 Elvis Presley Photos You May Have Never Seen From The 1960s

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/20-elvis-presley-photos-you-may-have-never-seen-from-the-1960s/embed/#?secret=dQQFfwxfNP

Elvis Presley: Rare Shots From the 1970s

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/elvis-presley-rare-shots-from-the-1970s/embed/#?secret=4h7ZdpV2LL

Elvis Presley Movies Ranked

https://cleverjourneys.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/elvis-presley-movies-ranked/embed/#?secret=4IUVI49WXl

10 Rare Elvis Presley Photos in the 1950s

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.
Visit Graceland

These Vintage Trailer Transformations Will Leave You Smiling

We love to travel and especially enjoy roadtrips across America. Since we’ve been married in 2019, the two of us–along with Mr. Beefy, our “King of the Hill Country” canine–have been to Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Maryland.

We also enjoyed Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia…and we’ve just started.

Both of us have peculiar little quirks of interests, individually and those we share: museums, historical sites, camping, amusement parks, birdwatching, theater, concerts and roadside attractions.

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One in particular is viewing restored pieces of history, especially trains, planes and automobiles. When it comes to restoring things from the past, such as an antique or junk someone left behind, there’s plenty of room to let the imagination run wild.

Being Baby Boomers, it’s not so hard to enjoy seeing what others have done by restoring vintage travel trailers. We hope these make you smile.

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What’s New at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee?

We stopped by Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee back in 2020 knowing it is one of the most-visited attractions in that area. Although it was open, we elected not to go in because of limitations due from the pandemic.

It is definitely on our bucket list to go back to what looks to be a world-class theme park. We heard from locals that we made a good decision at the time, but “come back again because they are always making good improvements and introducing something new.”

For 2022, Dollywood officially opened to the general public on March 12th, with season passholders getting a sneak peak on March 11. Dolly Parton was there, her first time at the park since 2019, to greet everyone back.

Dollywood didn’t waste much time with planning exciting updates with a a variety of projects. Here are some of the changes and additions:

🔹The Emporium, a very popular shop with visitors, was updated aesthetically.

🔹Victoria’s Pizza received a kitchen renovation to improve efficiency and help with visitors getting meals faster. An enlarged seating area has also improved the dining experience.

One change that will really benefit the guest experience are the wider walkways and more space for guests to spread out. Congestion has always been a struggle at Dollywood, but now the park is taking steps toward improvement! The park is creating wider walkways and better utilizing spaces throughout the park. Recently crews removed an old mine tunnel near the tracks for the Dollywood Express. This creates more space for visitors to walk, or stop and watch as the train rolls by.

The Flower & Food Festival has quickly become a fan-favorite festival at Dollywood. Now they have expanded it with new iconic Mosaiculture displays that visitors will love, and hundreds of thousands of blooms throughout the park. The culinary team has created a menu full of items that highlights the tastes of spring in the Smokie Mountains.

Another popular festival is the Summer Celebration. In 2022, Dollywood is expanding the Summer Nights drone and fireworks show with even more drones. The show features hundreds of drones flying high above the park, telling a story with 3D animations and a symphony of light.

Dollywood express train

Hoot Owl Hollow

Hoot Owl Hollow is a new area coming to life for Dollywood’s Harvest Festival. It’s located in Craftsman’s Valley and features a number of owl-themed displays in the park and suspended in the trees. The festival has thousands of carved pumpkins, performances from talented artists and Great Pumpkin LumiNights

Dollywood is introducing a brand new season pass structure (Silver, Gold and Diamond) that provides more for guests.

Here’s what to expect with the passes:

🔹Silver – With the Silver Season Pass, visitors get unlimited entries to Dollywood during the 2022 season, 2 Bring-A-Friend Free tickets and a $5 discount on single day tickets. Adult Silver Passes are priced at $149.

🔹Gold – The Gold Season Pass includes access to all-new Golden Hours and Events, unlimited visits to the park, 4 Bring-A-Friend Free tickets, a $10 discount on single day tickets, free parking, and 15% off select food and merchandise. Adult Gold Passes are $204.

🔹Diamond – With the Diamond Season Pass, visitors receive access to Golden Hours and Events, unlimited visits to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country, free parking, 20% off select food and merchandise, 6 Bring-A-Friend Free tickets and a $15 discount on single day tickets. These passes are priced at $314 for adults.

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Goettle HVAC and Plumbing services are located in Phoenix, Tucson, San Antonio, Austin, Las Vegas areas as well as regions in Southern California.

Texas Hill Country Thunder Rally is Back- March 24-27, 2022

Texas Hill Country Thunder Rally is back.

The March 24-27, 2021 event will be the 20th straight rally held at Bandera’s Mansfield Park.

Consisting of tent camping, poker run, vendors, food, and field events, there will be music throughout the day Friday and Saturday. Their bike show, tattoo contest, and Sunday morning church service are popular. 21 OR OVER, NO EXCEPTIONS.

One of the most popular Texas rallies, they feature a covered stage to  enjoy outdoor concerts and contests in “the wide-open fresh air, under the bright stars of the beautiful Hill Country.

“Ride the beautiful Texas Hill Country all day then come back and shop with our many vendors,” their promotional material states. “Enjoy your meals with one of nine Food vendors located outside the Barn, then go shop with over 30 Inside Vendors (spaced out) and over 40 Outside Vendors, before enjoying the evening concerts and contests.”

The first leg of Twisted Sister is now fully opened as the construction of a new bridge on Highway 337 is complete.

See TWISTED SISTER Leg 1 Here

“The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. We start it off loud! Hot Bands rock the night away…We will treat you so many ways you are bound to like one or two.”

The Bike Show categories include Peoples Choice, American Touring,
Metric Touring, Radical Custom, American Cruiser, Metric Cruiser, Antique Trike/Sidecar and Sport.

Other events include a Tattoo Contest, Nightly Risque Contests, The Famous Weenie Bite, Balloon Toss, Drag Race, Slow Race, Pole in the Hole, Keg Push, Keg Throw and Burn Out Contest.

Other features include 2 Beer & Liquor Gardens Ice Sold Onsite Hot Showers Full Hook-Up Spots Available Free Tent Camping Sewer Dump Available Rain Or Shine Event
Lots Of Self Contained Camping
Free Auto Parking Vendors
and lots of shade in this rain or shine event.

“For further information or questions, please contact our office at (409) 655-8800 or visit us at http://www.bikerralliesoftexas.com or follow us on Facebook, Biker Rallies of Texas.”

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Texas Bikers Are Using Cynthia Leal Massey’s Latest Book As a Guide to Plan New Rides Across the Lone Star State

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Goettle HVAC and Plumbing services are located in Phoenix, Tucson, San Antonio, Austin, Las Vegas areas as well as regions in Southern California.

The People’s Convoy of American Truckers Roll in Peaceful Protest to DC

Millions of Patriots Supporting, Praying and Cheering Along Routes

American Truckers launch The People’s Convoy, a peaceful and unified transcontinental movement for freedom, on February 23, 10:00 am, from Adelanto Stadium in California.

This verse was read and shared by thousands before they embarked:

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

Citizens are supporting the Convoy For Freedom by:

  1. Praying for their safety and success.
  2. Attending their send off rallies and cheering them along the routes. 
  3. Driving part way with them.
  4. Donating money through their website. https://ThePeoplesConvoy.org/
  5. Turning out to show support as they pass.
  6. Sharing information about The People’s Convoy on social media and by email.
  7. Living not by lies or fear.

As The People’s Convoy begins their peaceful and unified transcontinental movements for freedom, hundreds of truckers are hearing encouragement and blessings from speakers including FLCCC President Dr. Pierre Kory and Godspeak Church Pastor Rob McCoy.

“The truckers are joined by freedom-loving supporters from all walks of life on this peaceful and law-abiding transcontinental journey for freedom,” one spokesperson said Tuesday night.

“This convoy is about freedom and unity,” they announced.” “The truckers are riding unified across party and state lines with freedom loving people of all colors and creeds. Everyone is welcome to participate by attending the launch rally and/or by following the big rigs in their own vehicles.”

First 4 Days: Truckers, Bikers, RVs, and Other Vehicles Main Convoy Route Across America

Day 1: CA to AZ
Day 2: Through AZ (Snow expected)
Day 3: AZ to TX
Day 4: TX to OK

The People’s Convoy Message

The 23 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a rough road for all Americans: spiritually, emotionally, physically, and – not least – financially.

Good therapeutics and the hard work of courageous, frontline doctors and nurses contributed to declining COVID-19 cases and severity of illness. It’s time to re-open America. It’s time for elected officials to work with American workers to and restore accountability and liberty – by lifting all mandates and ending the “state of emergency.” Americans need to get back to work and living in a free and unrestricted manner.

Adjoining Routes

Truckers Are Ready

Many non-mainstream media reporters, photographers and staff will embed with the Convoy. Note: As of this writing Newsmax, Eric Bolling, Maureen Steele, The Epoch Times and other journalists, media outlets and podcasters are joining.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense’s http://CHD.TV will cover the convoy with live updates every day at 10 am EST at https://live.childrenshealthdefense.org/.

Retired military and security experts are assisting the convoy and spearheading logistics to ensure a 100 percent safe, lawful, and peaceful journey.

“We have the freedom our forefathers and veterans have continually died for over the past two hundred years. Just visit our National Cemetaries and view the rows of sacrifice on the grounds. This freedom needs to be defended whether foreign or domestic,” was a message passed around by supporters to truckers before they left. “All of us must fight these communists. I know this because I am a cold war veteran. This time they have attacked us from the inside via money and political means.”

“Our representatives seem to be very quiet during these times, why? God bless all of you in this endeavor to retain our freedom that we still have today,” wrote FireDogRazor54. “To my brothers and sisters in Canada, your blood has been shared in the past many times and I know personally that you do not quit, defend the Maple leaf! To all I repeat ‘esprit de corps’. Post this message on your trucks!! To the police, go 10-7 with the blue covid flu for about a week, just saying. Where is our clergy? Tend the flock and ward off the foxes!”

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

What Were the Original Names of Disney’s Seven Dwarfs?

One of our favorite rides at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Many young girls have grown up reading Snow White and dreaming about their Prince Charming.

It is only after the world turned into a more “woke” society that certain fringes saw the traditional story as somewhat problematic. To some, this tale is not child-friendly enough. In any event, for me it was the seven little dwarves who were the highlight – even when my cousins and classmates read the books and watched numerous TV adaptations and animated films based on Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.

What Are The Names Of The Seven Dwarfs?

Have you ever thought of the names of these dwarves? Not many can tell you all the seven names. We asked ten people. Only one was able to name all seven. Between the two of us, Dodie and I could only remember five. Don’t peek. How many can you name?

Initially, Walt Disney came up with different names for the dwarves, which were later changed when the cartoon movie came out. If we go by the original names, the seven dwarfs were called:

🔹Wheezy,

🔹Deafy,

🔹Stuffy,

🔹Burpy,

🔹Puffy,

🔹Lazy, and…

🔹Jumpy.

In our humble opinion, the new names are far better than the original ones.

1. Bashful: Known for his shyness and flushed cheeks, Bashful is easily recognizable by his batting of eyelids and blushing. In the 1937 movie, Scotty Mattraw gave his voice to the character. 

2. Doc: In the movie adaptation, he was voiced by the great Roy Atwell. Often regarded as the wise leader of the dwarves, Doc is the only one with the glasses. His bossy attitude, along with those glasses, makes him the natural chief.

3. Dopey: He is like the little kid of the group. You can recognize him by his quietness as well as the affectionate bond he shares with Snow White. Eddie Collins voiced him in the movie. He is easily noticeable among the seven dwarves as he is the bald one wearing a purple hat and his oversized tunic.

4. Grumpy: Staying true to his name, Grumpy has major temperament issues. He is always complaining or arguing and is never up for anything. He is always at loggerheads with Doc, and his angry face makes him distinct. If you see a stubborn faced dwarf in a red tunic, you’d know he is the one. He is voiced by Pinto Colvig in the film.

5. Happy: As the name suggests, Happy is completely opposite of Grumpy. You will never see him without his endearing smile and a joyous mood. Happy is voiced by Otis Harlan in the movie. This dwarf, with his broad smile and puffy stature, is very easy to recognize on the screen.

6. Sleepy: Of course, Sleepy loves his sleep! No matter what time of the day is, this dwarf is always up for a nap, and once he gets drowsy, nothing in the world can stop him from snoring. Not just Grumpy, Pinto Colvig voices Sleepy as well. His droopy eyelids and the tired look is enough to tell you which one of the lots is Sleepy. 

7. Sneezy: No, it’s not COVID! He is the one dealing with flu and cold all the time. It’s best to keep your distance away from him if you don’t want to fall sick. He just cannot control his sneezes. Also, the sneezes are timed at the worst moments. Billy Gilbert voiced him in the movie.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Seniors: Preparing For Your First Bike Ride in Awhile

You have narrowed your bicycle options to a couple of models that you think will work for you. You are preparing to make a purchase.

How Do I Want To Ride?

Consider the primary purpose for which you will use your bike.

A commuter bike may be suitable for general recreation and exercise, and will probably be less expensive than a bike that offers multiple gearing options.

If you intend to ride your bike on a variety of surfaces, you will probably want to consider a bike that has 3 or 7 speeds.

This type of bike may add a little bit to the price tag, but features like multiple gears and front suspension can make or break your ride on hills and over bumps.

The added comfort and safety are probably worth the slight price increment.

Basic Maintenance

You will probably want to consider the level of assembly required concerning your level of skill with bike maintenance and repairs.

Bikes that are not pre-assembled or that have more moving parts often are not a problem for riders who are repair-savvy.

If you don’t have experience in making bike repairs and adjustments, you may want to consider purchasing a bike that is at least 85 percent pre-assembled.

Some bikes come with a set of generic instructions that are not model-specific. These instructions are often complicated for riders to figure out.
You may want to verify the relevance of the included instructions if you think this might be an issue when you attempt to assemble your new bike.

A Word About Sizing

Proper sizing ensures an optimal fit and makes it easy for you to ride your bike without straining.

Correct sizing is also vital for safety, allowing you to dismount in an emergency quickly.

If your bike is sized correctly sized, you should be able to stand astride the bicycle with both feet flat on the ground.

You can verify your sizing choice by consulting the manufacturer’s sizing charts.

If your height spans two different sizes, you can choose the larger size and adjust it for a proper fit. Another approach is to test both sizes to determine which feels like a better fit.

No Pain Is Your Gain

If you do regular physical activity, you may need a little more time.

To condition your body for rides that become increasingly more challenging as you gain riding experience and increase your muscle tone.

Stretching before you exercise warms your muscles, preventing strains and tears.

Here is a great article that describes ten stretches you can do to warm up before you begin your ride. (2)

Stretching after your ride is an excellent way to cool down and to prevent injury as your body returns to its normal state.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Patriotic Truckers Have The Power to Save Citizens From Tyranny

Under White House Resident Joe Biden, unvaccinated illegal aliens by the hundreds of thousands are encouraged and welcomed to come into the United States.

Illegal immigrants allowed into the US each day under Biden.

Hypocrisy rules for the Biden-Harris Administration as their Homeland Security announced Thursday that truckers from Mexico and Canada will no longer be permitted to enter the US without vaccine passports.

“These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy,” Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

Freedom Convoy

On Monday, those in mainstream media who bothered to report it, revealed about 40 Canadian truckers protested near the U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba. By Wednesday, over 45,000 truckers formed convoys throughout Canadian interstates and at key US-Canada crossing points. The goal is to embark on one of the largest protests for citizens of both countries as they head for the capital, Ottawa, on Saturday.

In freezing weather, along all convoy routes, truckers are greeted by thousands of citizens in support of their cause.”

“Twelve of us brought crockpots of hot food and we fed as many as we could,” said Teresa LaFluer in Emerson. “We have friends doing the same further down the highway. We are feeding our heroes.”

Some RVers have joined the convoy to help prepare meals and show support.

Deemed the Canadian-US Freedom Convoy 2022, the group collected over 60,000 donations from GoFundMe since its launch on Jan. 14. These funds will primarily cover fuel costs “and hopefully food and lodgings to help ease the pressures of this arduous task,” organizers said.

“The Biden Administration has been playing a giant game of chicken with the American workforce over the last few months by forcing a vaccine mandate that was unlawful – as the U.S. Supreme Court recently held – and in so doing, undermining our freedoms by way of coercing American workers into taking the vaccine,” noted the Freedom Fighter Nation. “Unfortunately, the government of Canada has been behaving in a similar fashion. But throughout history, countries have risen and fallen on the backs of the blue-collar boys and girls, and this era is no different.”

“The decision by Trudeau and Biden to prevent trucker crossings at our borders by unvaccinated workers was the last straw – it represented the proverbial match that ignited a nation to action: the Canadian truckers have planned a convoy-protest, and America is joining in.”

With pressure from Washington, GoFundMe decided Tuesday to halt distributing more than $3.7 million already raised for the trucker convoys.

“Our goal is to protect the generosity of donors and ensure that every dollar donated on our platform reaches the right place,” a GoFundMe spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday. “We require that fundraisers be transparent about the flow of funds and have a clear plan for how those funds will be spent.”

In the US, estimates indicate over 6,000 drivers are joining in the protests so far.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance and American Trucking Alliance originally estimated that up to 15% of drivers would leave cross-border trucking as a result of the mandates. Recent actions by truckers in both countries indicate that number could be much larger.

Trucks typically haul over $300 billion of freight between the U.S. and Canada annually, with about 75% handled by Canadian drivers.

“This convoy is open to all freedom-lovers: Farmers, moms in Volvos, plumbers, teachers, nurses, doctors, mechanics, restaurant employees, retirees and students – EVERYONE,” said the Freedom Fighters organization. “If you are within a day’s ride to one of these borders – GO!!!

ALL TRUCKERS — as well as all other citizens with automobiles – can support the Canadian-US Freedom Convoy. People from both countries are encouraged to participate and support your fellow Freedom Fighters.

When: Saturday, January 29th at 12:00 noon EST

Where: Rendezvous at the border locations listed below on.

  • Houlton, Maine
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
  • Sweet Grass, Montana

Convoy Route Information: Canadian Truckers can visit the Canada Unity – Bear Hug 2.0 website for more details about the various convoy routes, meeting spots and times.

Trucker Channel Information: Canada truckers will be reaching out to US counterparts to RALLY. Come out in support With Your Rigs/Cars/Trucks, and convoy to the borders.

  • Canadian Truckers use channel 1
  • US Truckers use channel 19

We also are asking for names of truckers that would be willing to strap short-term signage to their trailers. If you are interested, reach out to Maureen at 406-240-7881. Folks, this isn’t about a vaccine: this is about Freedom. “

God Bless Our Truckers

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Best Tire Safety Practices

Tire safety is not something you should ignore. Even before starting your vehicle, you should ensure that your tires are properly maintained and in good working condition to ensure your safety. There are four main factors to tire health: tread depth, tire age, tire inflation load and routine maintenance.


Always consult the owner’s manual of your vehicle and your tire manufacturer’s included literature for specific information about your vehicle/tire performance. The intent of this article is to supplement and not to supersede this material. In the event of a conflict, always rely on the recommendations of your vehicle and tire manufacturer.

Your tires connect your vehicle to the pavement and so play a major role in your safety on the road. Their health and condition are affected by a number of factors that you should know to keep as safe as possible. The following are also important in improving the length of your tire’s life span.

TREAD DEPTH SAFETY

Tread depth refers to the amount of tread remaining on a tire. It is calculated by measuring the distance between the top of the tread block to the bottom of the tread void. This number is normally displayed in 32nds of an inch but can also be displayed in millimeters.

Tread depth affects handling, traction and stopping distance. As a tire wears and tread depth is reduced, these capabilities are reduced. Reduced tread depth causes even more severe diminished performance in adverse conditions like wet or slick roads and surfaces.Infographic - wet stopping distances increase as tread depth is depleted

As you can see in the wet stopping distance chart above, tread depth affects how well your vehicle can stop, especially on wet roads. Keeping an eye on your tire’s tread depth is the first step in driving and operating your vehicle safely.

TIRE AGING SAFETY

Older tires have a higher risk for failure. Tires are made of rubber which begins to break down over time.

A publication released in 2008 from the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society entitled, “Rubber Oxidation and Tire Aging – A Review,” goes into detail how an aged tire has reduced crack resistance, which can lead to an increased rate of tire failure. As tires age, oxygen penetrates the rubber causing it to start breaking down on a molecular level. The rubber begins to harden and become brittle, losing its elasticity and strength.

After a certain point, the tire’s ability to carry weight is reduced and could potentially fail. Even if a tire has never seen service or has been used very little, it has still been exposed to time and the elements leading to compromised integrity.

You can determine the age of a tire by the DOT number stamped on the sidewall of every tire produced for street use. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also conducted studies on tire aging and released findings showing a link between tire aging and the increased chance for tire failure.

Most tire and auto manufacturers recommend replacing your tires between 6-10 years. We change ours at six years.

TIRE INFLATION SAFETY AND LOAD CAPACITY

Properly inflated tires are also important for tire safety. The NHTSA has documented that an under-inflated tire increases the chance of tire failure. A tire must be abl eto hold the weight of not only the vehicle, but also any additional load the vehicle might carry such as fuel, passengers and payload. A tire alone does not have the strength to support this. A tire’s sidewall gains strength as air pressure builds inside the tire, meaning that with proper air pressure, a tire can support a vehicle safely.

Overloading a vehicle with underinflated tires is a recipe for blow outs and tire failure.

Under-inflated tires cannot support the vehicle and quickly become compromised. Driving on an under-inflated tire generates excess heat, causing the rubber to break down. Eventually, a tire will not be able to withstand the excess load and fail.

Check your air pressure often to prevent driving on under-inflated tires. Refer to your owner’s manual or vehicle placard to find the correct tire air pressure for your vehicle.

All vehicles manufactured from 2008 and beyond are equipped with a tire pressure monitor system (TPMS) to help monitor air pressure. The TPMS will alert the driver if pressure falls below 25% or more below the manufacturer’s recommended inflation.

You must check your air pressure often to prevent driving on under-inflated tires. Refer to your owner’s manual or vehicle placard to find the correct tire inflation for your vehicle.

ROUTINE TIRE MAINTENANCE

Proper and timely tire maintenance is crucial to safety. All tires on your vehicle should be inspected, inflated and rotated on a routine basis.

  • Inspect your tires every month. This will help you identify any damage or conditions that could interfere with safety. This is an important preventative step to eliminate risks that could potentially lead to an accident.
  • Check your air pressure every month. Properly inflated tires will sustain the weight of your vehicle and lessen the chance of tire failure due to improper inflation.
  • Rotate your tires every 6,000-8,000 miles. Regular tire rotations prolong tread life, maximizing handling, traction and stopping capabilities of your tires. This also requires removing the tire from the vehicle, allowing a more thorough tire inspection.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Geared For Seniors: Bicycle Guide To Health

There are many good comfort bikes for seniors these days. You might be wondering how you might go about choosing the best comfort bike for yourself.

Bike riding is very good for seniors. Some seniors have age-related aches and pains, or they suffer from conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Bike riding is one of the best forms of exercise for older persons because it provides aerobic exercise that causes little impact on joints.

Cycling gives you an excellent opportunity to stretch your limbs as you ride, providing a gentle way to tone your muscles and to develop flexibility. Riding a bicycle increases endorphins that are critical and create a feeling of well-being.

Cycling increases lung capacity and improves circulation to enhance your overall health.

Riding can be a social sport and can help you to combat feelings of isolation. When children move away, retirement begins, or life circumstances create changes in social networks.

Best of all, most airlines and bus companies now allow you to bring your bike on board. Making it possible for you to see the world on a shoestring budget.

After you make the initial purchase, a well-maintained bike can continue to provide low-cost commuting here and abroad for many years to come.

What Kind Of Bike Is Easiest To Ride?

The easiest bike to ride is lightweight and is equipped with dual brakes to give you maximum control of stopping.

Bikes that have 3 or 7 speeds will be easier for you to handle on hills and rougher terrain.

A suspension system absorbs shock to give you a more comfortable ride. Other features like waffle tread or all-weather tires can improve traction and year-round usability.

As it happens, bikes that tend to fit well into the above description include urban cruisers and hybrids.

While road bikes and mountain bikes also have some of the same features, their large size and heavy weight make long rides uncomfortable for some older adults.

Which Bikes For Seniors Are The Most Comfortable?

Conditions like arthritis and back pain are not exclusive to senior citizens but may occur more frequently in some older adults.

Comfort bicycles for seniors, therefore, have features that are designed to reduce shock and eliminate the potential for you to feel pain as you ride.

Some of the features you probably want to look for include an extra-wide saddle, a padded seat, cushioned handlebar grips, and front suspension.

A comfort bike that lets you maintain an upright riding position will ease pressure on your back. It also provides the most comfortable ride if you have any skeletal pain.

Features like a low step-through and wide pedals can be an asset, letting you easily mount, dismount and move your bike without having to exert undue effort.

How To Buy One Of The Best Bikes For Older Adults?

Here is a quick overview of the essential features to consider as you prepare to purchase your new bike.

Wheels And Tires

The standard wheel sizes are 26 inches or 700C and have widths that range from about 1.0 to 2.2 inches. Urban commuters tend to have narrower tires. The wider tires we see more often on mountain bikes.

Steel alloy rims are very sturdy but much heavier than aluminum. If your bike has steel rims, you will probably want to make sure they have been treated to make them weather-resistant.

For traveling in light traffic and paved roads, many seniors favor lightweight cruisers and commuter bikes. Because they often feature rear racks where they can stow possessions and purchases.

Many of these bikes have 1 or 3 speeds, keeping them functional yet simple to operate and maintain.

Gears And Shifting

Single-gear bikes are a good choice if you plan to ride primarily on pavement and other flat surfaces.

Having extra gears, like a mountain bike for example, gives you more options, including cruising at higher speeds and riding on hills.

If you intend to ride on uneven surfaces, you might want to consider purchasing a 7-speed model that can easily tackle inclines.

High-quality shifters and derailleurs make it possible to shift gears while your bike is moving and let you navigate unpredictable surfaces.

Seniors who intend to take on more challenging rides will probably want to choose a bike that has at least 7 speeds.

This gearing option will make it easier to pedal on inclines, especially if the bike has additional features like fork and seat suspension.

Brake System

Rim brakes, or V-brakes, give you very little control of sudden stops and may not be the safest option if you intend to ride in urban settings.

Disc brakes provide the most thorough type of stopping, making it easy for you to come to a sudden full stop in an emergency.

Hydraulic disc brakes require less effort, but mechanical brakes give you fine-tuned control of stopping.

Frame

Lightweight and affordable, bikes that have aluminum frames are often a good choice for seniors.

Steel is durable but much heavier than aluminum and less practical for long-distance riding.

Carbon fiber and titanium are lightweight and durable materials being used in bike frames. Due to the high cost, however, these materials are mainly used in high-end and competitive cycles.

Additional Features

Wheel swapping is an excellent feature to have if you intend to ride throughout the year.

Look for a bike that has a quick-release mechanism for fast and easy tire changes.

Your bike’s suspension system absorbs shock and provides a more comfortable ride over bumps and on hills.
Add a suspension seat, and you are set to tackle the hilliest surfaces with the greatest of ease.

Other comfort features include a dual spring saddle, waffle tread tires, and an extra-wide padded seat

Ideally, bikes for older people contain lights and reflectors that make it safer to ride your bike at night and in low-visibility conditions.

Mirrors increase your viewing range and can help you to anticipate obstacles so that you can deal with them proactively.

What is an E-BIKE?

E-bikes look like regular bicycles and come in a variety of sizes and styles. They include an electric motor and a large battery that give the bike its power. Riders can choose to pedal manually, without power, or use what is called pedal assist, where the bike’s motor “assists” the rider while pedaling. This gives you the extra help you need to make it up hills without straining or to travel at a faster pace.

Most models in the U.S. also include a throttle that you can use without pedaling. This is good for helping you take off from a stop or to give yourself a short rest from pedaling on longer rides. Some lower-end models have only a throttle, but in my opinion you will be happier buying a bike with pedal assist.

Are There Any Precautions I Need To Take Before I Ride?

Your bike must be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions if it is to continue to provide a safe ride.

If you cannot afford to have a technician fix potential problems, then you must learn to perform at least necessary repairs yourself.

It is a good idea for cyclists of all ages to use appropriate protective gear.

A cycling helmet, gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads will provide comfort and protect you in the event of a fall or impact.

Some riders find that a cycling cap worn under the helmet improves air circulation and absorbs moisture to maximize comfort.

Family of two seniors on bikes wearing bicycle helmets
Wearing a bicycle helmet is a good idea for people of all ages

Cycling offers many health advantages, but it can prove problematic for seniors who have certain medical conditions.

You may want to consult with your health care provider before you begin to cycle, especially if you suffer from a heart condition, asthma, epilepsy, or sleep disorders.

The ability to exercise is probably less related to age than it is to the level of conditioning you currently have.

To ensure an enjoyable and injury-free cycling career, begin slowly and listen to your body’s reactions as you ride and always take something to drink with you!

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Top 10 Most American Cars

Did you know Tesla Model 3 is the ‘most’ American car you could buy right now?


Check out the full list. Some of the results may surprise you.

Primary factors determining this ranking :
– Location of final assembly
– Percentage of U.S. and Canadian parts
– Country of origin for available engines
– Country of origin for available transmissions
– U.S. manufacturing employees relative to the automaker’s footprint

Ranking order

Rank, Car, U.S. Assembly

1) Tesla Model 3, Freemont, California

2) Ford Mustang, Flat Rock, Michigan

Ford Mustang

3) Tesla Model Y, Fremont, California

4) Jeep Cherokee, Belvidere, Illinois

5) Chevrolet Corvette, Bowling Green, Kentucky

6) Honda Ridgeline, Lincoln, Alabama

7) Honda Odyssey, Lincoln, Alabama

8) Honda Pilot, Lincoln, Alabama

9) Honda Passport, Lincoln, Alabama

10) Toyota Tundra, San Antonio, Texas

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

New SkyFly: Soar America Ride Big Hit at Foot of Smoky Mountains

SkyFly: Soar America open in summer 2021 as has become a signature attraction at The Island in Pigeon Forge entertainment park, located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

Designed in a steampunk style, SkyFly: Soar America is themed to a 1900’s world fair airship that provides tours of America’s greatest natural wonders.

According to Mason Schmitz of P+A Projects, which designed the building, the attraction’s complex and curious exterior leads guests into an inventor’s workshop where they board an “airship” for a ride above some of the most famous places in the United States.

Experience flight! Feel the mists of Niagara Falls, smell the swamps of the Everglades, and soar over seals in Alaska in an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind journey across America.

The sensations of flight are created by a state-of-the-art 50-ton ride platform that lifts guests into the air, feet dangling, before a 50-foot spherical screen. The ride gently moves guests in synchronization to the film on the screen to simulate flight, with wind, scents, and mists providing a fully immersive experience. The manufacturer, industry-leader Dynamic Attractions, helped pioneer flying theaters with their work on the wildly popular Soarin’ rides at Disney parks across the world.

THE STORY

Passengers board the “World’s Greatest Air Adventure” and experience the thrill of flying over wondrous and exotic locations with the famous explorer Peter Wilder. Along the adventure, they meet Peter and his daughter Hannah and learn about their travels and the steampunk airship they’ve invented to make such a journey possible. The story unfolds as guests move through the immersive queue and preshow experiences on the way to the flight deck.

THE FILM

SkyFly features an award-winning film that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world, showcasing footage filmed by helicopters and drones over America’s most beautiful and iconic locations. Some of the best pilots and cinematographers in the world produced shots that visitors say takes their breath away.

THE DESTINATIONS

The Island entertainment destination draws over 12 million annual visitors with 23 acres of amusements, shopping, restaurants such as Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Island Hotel, and attractions like the Great Smoky Mountain Observation Wheel and, now, Sky Fly: Soar America.

“This adventure ride will thrill everyone and will quickly become a top reason for families to visit the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge,” states Clay McManus, The Island’s executive that co-led the attraction development in partnership with Dynamic Entertainment. “I encourage everyone thinking of coming to the Smoky Mountains to come and experience this incredibly fun attraction.”

Tickets are in the $20 range. The attraction begins at 10 a.m. each day.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey