April 15

Wednesday, April 15th

And now the rest of the story. Comments on the Titanic Letter, April 14th.

From Erin BucciMy mother is from Belfast, she immigrated to NY in the 1950s.  Once, when I was visiting Belfast, I mentioned to my Granny that I had just heard about the shipyards closing in Belfast to ship building.  She replied, they never employed Catholics.  I was not aware of this at the time, although I did know about my own family’s challenges with education, housing, and employment as Catholics.

I brought my family to Ireland the summer before last, and when we were walking around Belfast we came upon the new Museum of the Titanic.  On a painted mural outside the museum, were the words “She was fine when she left here!”  Leave it to the Irish to always find some humor, even amongst such tragedy!  It’s become an often repeated phrase in our house!

From Robert Decker:    My mother was a survivor of the Titanic.  She was a newlywed coming from Lebanon and boarded Titanic at Cherbourg, France.  Her husband (Antoni Yasbeck) was not allowed in Mom’s lifeboat even though there was plenty of room and he went down with the other 1500.  My mother’s name on the manifest of the Titanic was Saleni Yasbeck.  She later married my father Elias and Mom’s changed to Celiney Alexander Decker.  Someday when we can get together again I can tell you more.


 Wednesday, April 15th

 Good morning. Good morning.

This letter is dedicated to all the farmers in the parish… and anyone else with a truck garden.  Especially our members of the parish St. Teresa of Calcutta Garden Club, hoping to raise crops for the food bank in Leesburg. 

Allow a letter that is completely outside the box from the agrarian experience of Loudoun County.  Ah, it might, in reality one day, be well beyond the levels of suffering found in the current Coronavirus Pandemic.  Global warming you might say?  No, that is for amateurs.  Hmm?  Water management for the bread basket of the world?  Now there are logistics yet to be found in that solution.

For those of you who are familiar with the writings of famed American author, James Michener, you may remember how he, with extensive books, likes to start his stories with exhaustive testimonies on the ancient archeological settings that play into his story lines.  For example, in his book, “Caravans,” he offered an incredible insight to the territories of what we now understand to be Afghanistan. In his book on, “Texas” a similar testimony was offered.  And the piece de resistance, of which many consider his greatest book was, “Chesapeake.”  Um, allow the local folks a certain bias since the great Chesapeake Bay sits in the front yard of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

But what of the bread basket of America?  Consider the ancient glacial experience that continues to enliven one of the greatest bread baskets on the planet earth.  https://www.stormlake.org/565/Glacial-Past

In the current climate experience of the Midwest there is a smokescreen security where people assume there is more than an ample amount of water, exacerbated by recent floods which to keep the bread basket well hydrated. It is true that God has blessed our home territories with plenty of rain to fill the lakes and rivers.  Of course, our one great memories of agrarian disasters in the past century deals with the famed dust bowl… in Kansas. 

In reality, the actual dust bowl stretched from Texas to North Dakota, enveloping the entire state of Nebraska.  It is said that the Kansas ecological disaster was the result of a poor land management where grasslands were pulled up for open fields.  The draught of the century and complimented with incredible open prairie winds carried the naked dirt/dust to great heights in the atmosphere, destroying the hope for developing millions of acres of cropland. 

In the years that followed when the introduction of irrigation systems came on line farmers would have a renewed confidence in their new found farming techniques.  The question that needs to be continually raised, for their success with the soils, dwells on the actual source of the underground water?  Does it come from the aquifers associated with the Rocky Mountains?  Or some other source?  The later… the ancient glaciers flowing South from the Canadian frontier… and that is all she wrote.  When the irrigation process began in the 1940’s the proposed depth of the subsurface water pools may have been around fifty feet deep.  Today, they may be around half that depth. No, little Virginia, that does not mean fifty feet from the surface of the ground but the location of the bodies of water that can be several hundred feet below the ground we walk on.  The concept of, “Over-drafting,”is comparable to the famed elephant in the living room.  No one wants to address it in polite society.

Actual water management may become a serious topic for a distant American generation.  Creative measures may now be set to the drawing boards in our great universities.  The levels of ambition would need to rise to the level of setting up a colony on Mars. Option 1:  Set up a water pipe system similar to our current oil lines and transport water from the mountains, great rivers of the Missouri or Mississippi, and Great Lakes beyond.  Such a design has consistency but morale issues if you and your fellow urbanites on the either great river mentioned above or any of the great lakes should lose your water front property.  Option 2:  Set up major lakes, in each Midwestern state, to serve as massive water retention ponds.  Not easily done as many of the Midwestern states can be as flat as the floor you stand on.  But the second option alleviates the long distant piping.  The fallout may be set in weather patterns if there is a dry year… identified as a drought. 

Of course, if we don’t take it seriously the land of the free may have to invade the Americas of the Southern hemisphere as a future farming investment.  How ironic, we may need to develop their farm systems in order to feed North America… while all our Latino neighbors are heading for the North American borders.  Uhhmmm, they may have to build their own walls to keep the Gringos out.  Yes, Latin/South America may well become the future bread basket for the world.

Let us pray for one another.

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