“The Fogarty Beach Vortex” from Mindfulness Meditation Creations…

“The Fogarty Vortex” from Mindfulness Meditation Creations, Little Whale Cove, Oregon… https://survivethriveptsd.org/2012/06/the-vortex-experience-of-spirit-and-soul/
Forgaty Beach State Park https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=park.profile&parkId=158

“Spirit and Soul”

http://www.ofspiritandsoul.com/earth%20vortices/vortices.html

“Vortices⁸ are high energy spots on the Earth. Earth energy is due to its electromagnetic field. NASA research has proved that the human energy field is tuned in to certain ‘Earth Waves’. (See section Energies) The joining on the surface of the Earth are ‘hot spots’ of energy focus which we know as the vortices of the Earth, these are linked by ley lines. A Ley line is an energy line, some being of more importance than others.”

The Fogarty Vortex

I felt overcome by the ‘spirits’ coming from the mountains to the sea last Friday when walking the trail to Fogarty Beach near Depoe Bay by the sea. This overwhelming feeling of God’s presence is a big part of my spiritual life on the coast, in the mountains, rivers, oceans, and by the sea…

I live in a Vortex by the sea. I see and feel God with nature as the seabirds fly above and the salty cool air fills my lungs. I breathe and breathe while my soul is filled with joy and peace by the sea…

Fogarty Beach pulls me closer to the shore where I can see life touch my my soul and God too. I start to see millions of years of nature’s imagination and the sculptures of stunning beauty and dream of things yet to be realized.

The Fogarty Beach Vortex. Do you feel it?

I dream again and again as I look across the ocean to west as the sun sets on the horizon. This is not of man. It is God that rules here by the sea…

The Fogarty Vortex brings earth’s energy into these magical places. These moments of heavenly feelings of love of my home by the sea, take me away to far off places, I can only imagine and dream…

I look and see tiny driftwood pieces. I look again and see the shapes and wonder where, when, how, and why. It can only be God, a higher power, I imagine again. This is not of man, I know now…

It is only nature and God’s presence that gives me peace and love by the sea. I see the sea birds fly, swim and roam the the beach close to me. They look at me with peace and love in their eyes…

I feel the spirits overwhelm my heart and soul. It is here, by the sea, where my body and mind feels whole. There can be no evil or hate here by the sea. There is only love here by the sea.

You can find your Fogarty Vortex anywhere you can see and feel love and not hate. It only love that makes me alive and whole by the sea…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.
“Fogarty” by the sea…

Seeking Sponsors and Collaborators to Share in Success!

Judy and Steve Sparks, “Children and Families in Life After Trauma” a platform for healing…

Draftwood Art from Mindfulness Meditation Creations…

We are selectively considering sponsors as early adoptors. “Children and Families in Life After Trauma” has evolved from 10 years of love and passion for this work.

This past year has made our platform a much broader and more robust website. dedicated to healing, mindfulness, empathy, compassion, kindness and love. Especially to share from our home in Little Whale Cove by the sea…

You all are responsible! You pointed us! Friends, family and loved ones guided us. We could see your vision for love, not hate. We listened to you, who’s hearts are open to kindness, love and healing.

Soul food is on the menu. Come with us on this journey of healing…

Our newest and most popular page are the stories included in our new book, “The Furry Loved Ones and Wildlife Friends Who Touch Our Hearts and Souls.” PRE-ORDER now!

Your vision of kindness can be seen here too… Thank you all for your kindness, love and support!

Love ya!

Steve and Judy Sparks

Steve and Judy on our favorite sailing ship, “Stars and Stripes” San Diego, Ca https://www.facebook.com/lynn.hanna.980

stevesparks.associates@survivethriveptsd.org a message. I’ll call you. We can chat…

Mindfulness Meditation Moments from Little Whale Cove, Oregon

“Buddy ‘n Bailey” at The Yaquina Nursery with “Artemis ‘n Bonnie”

“Buddy” The Cockatoo!
https://www.parrots.org/encyclopedia/moluccan-cockatoo/
“Bonnie” ‘n “Bailey” https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/animals/birds/facts/african-gray-parrot
Interview with “Artemis” The Parrot Whisperer…

It was another gorgeous day for a drive down to Yachats. Finding a more beautiful spot just below Cape Perpetua is beyond my imagination…

“Let’s take a drive east on Yachats River Road,” Judy said, with a look of adventure in her eyes. You know, those beautiful blue eyes that would stop 10,000 soldiers.

https://www.softroadingthewest.com/yachats

We turned left on Yachats River Road, before the bridge to the Cape. It would take us to the Yaquina Nursery and Greenhouses 8 miles out in the valley east of Yachats. Succulant plants and cactus waited for our arrival. We talked of seeing the beauty of desert plants thriving in the valley, far from the sea…

We strolled into the nursery, and found Bonnie tending to 100s of succulant plants of so many varieties, my mind couldn’t grasp. She was so helpful and kind to me. I sat for awhile and we talked about lots of things of life and love, including her passion for farm life in the valley, far from the sea…

While Judy explored the nursery with an eye on feasting on the magic of these special plants never seen before. I knew we would not leave without taking a few of them home to add to our own gallery of nature’s gifts by the sea…

Bonnie took me to her home next to the nursery where Artemis ‘n Bailey met me at the door. I never got a welcoming greeting like that before. It was like an orchestra of yapping Parrots I remember hearing at a zoo before long ago now…

Bonnie introduced me to Bailey, the African Gray first. He looked at me, and started yapping, “get out of my face, dude!”

“Bailey’s like that,” Bonnie said, with a chuckle ‘n grin. I tried to get Bailey to say something else, but he kept saying, “get out of my face, dude!”

Bonnie told me Bailey doesn’t like men. I wondered why, then. But, I know now after Bonnie explained that he thinks women are kinder and more gentle than the men she meets. I think she is right, don’t you?

Artemis caught up with Bonnie and me while she was introducing Buddy, The Cockatoo from Morocco… I liked Artemis right away. I could his soul connect to mine right away…

Artemis was so excited about his rare birds from far away places we’ve never seen before. He agreed to do an interview with me. Listen to her enthusiasm and be amazed like me…

Yaquina Nursery and Greenhouses is a must see destination. Only 8 miles east of Yachats on a beautiful drive along the winding road. I loved meeting new friends and the succulants too.

Beautiful Cactus and Succulants from Yaquina Nursery and Greenhouses Inc. https://yachatsnews.com/yaquina-nursery-40-years-of-growing-cacti-succulents-and-love-up-yachats-river-road/

With a box or two of Judy’s favorites from the nursery, we headed back to Yachats and home to Little Whale Cove by the sea. We couldn’t stop talking about how much fun we had while visiting with new friends, especially Artemis, Bonnie, Bailey and Buddy too! And, yes! We’ll be back again soon, to be sure…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.
Judy Sparks, Children’s Advocate…
Cape Perpetua

“Scarlett” My Greatest Gift!

“Scarlett ” My Greatest Gift!
“Scarlett ” looks into my soul.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10215553875280491&id=1848131331 Laura’s favorite quote. I love it too!

Laura Burkett Sparks and “Annie” https://survivethriveptsd.org/2021/03/annie-goes-home-to-a-new-mom-and-loving-home/

Scarlett saved my life! The hungry black bear was on the steps of the porch of the old house looking for a snack or two…

The black bear with cubs in tow, stopped in her tracks when Scarlett looked at her with those eyes that looked into souls.

Scarlett blocked the door so I wouldn’t go out. She knew protecting me was her life’s duty to me…

When I got stuck on the trail, Scarlett pulled me up the steep and slippery slope, never in fear when she was at my side on the high mountain trails…

I was so very depressed in 2009 when she saved my life again…

I was suicidal, confused and frightened sometimes. Scarlett would howl with love in her heart while I cried in the night…

Scarlett would lay her head on my lap and look up at me with her beautiful blue eyes like she was telling me, “I have your back Mom, forever.”

Scarlett is Siberian Husky. She is a pure bred, the most intelligent and loving furry loved one I could imagine…

Scarlett’s love is unconditional with the purest of loyalty, kindness and love for me. I wouldn’t be here if not for her loving and watchful eyes that see my soul…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Fire_(2018)

The big fire was the truest test of Scarlett’s love we could have ever imagined. She saved my life again, and my family’s too…

Scarlett is the greatest gift I ever received. My love for her is from deep in my soul…

Laura Burkett Sparks

                           About the Siberian Husky

The graceful, medium-sized Siberian Husky’s almond-shaped eyes can be either brown or blue—and sometimes one of each—and convey a keen but amiable and even mischievous expression. Quick and nimble-footed, Siberians are known for their powerful but seemingly effortless gait.

As born pack dogs, Siberians enjoy family life and get on well with other dogs; their innate friendliness render them indifferent watchdogs. This breed is also energetic and can’t resist chasing small animals, so secure running room is a must.”

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.

“Ralph ‘n Robbie Wabbit” ‘n Pal Stephen at The Farm c1960…

“Ralph ” and young Steve , Sandstone MN c1960
Sis Laura and Ralph, Sandstone MN c1960…
“Robbie Wabbit ” at The Farm

“Yes, and I remember you bringing dead Ralph, all flat and frozen, into the kitchen while mom and Dad started yelling at you. I went upstairs to my bed to hide,” Laura cried when I asked her about this time so long ago…

Ralph was my first, very first furry loved one. He was my first real pal. We loved hanging out in the woods with Robbie Wabbit…

But when Downtown Willie Wabbit came by, like he always did, things turned bad. “Two is company, three is a crowd,” my Uncle Harry would say at the farm…

While Robbie Wabbit played with Ralph, Downtown Willie Wabbit would always pick a fight with Robbie Wabbit. Ralph chased Downtown Willie Wabbit away, because he wanted to play with Robbie Wabbit and me…

Ralph ‘n me were pals. I didn’t have any close pals back then except for Ralph. He loved to swim in Skunk Lake near the farm, and chase after ducks in the pond…

Ralph ‘n me hiked down to the Kettle River too. Robbie Wabbit always came with us. We loved to swim in the river. Robbie Wabbit waited for us, hiding in the bushes nearby…

When we were swimming in the river near the dam, Downtown Willie Wabbit came by looking to pick a fight with Robbie Wabbit…

“Downtown Willie Wabbit!”

But Ralph saw Downtown Willie Wabbit right away. He swam to shore and chased him away. His friend Robbie Wabbit was safe again…

Ralph was like that. He was a loving and kind friend. He kept me safe too. When I was lonely and scared, he was always with me when no one else was there for me…

Ralph ‘n me had to stay in mostly when it was cold, very cold in the winter. We didn’t like the cold weather in the winter on the farm…

One night, a very cold night at the farm, I let Ralph out to go pee and poop by himself. I was scared to go out at night in the below zero weather. My mom wouldn’t let me anyway…

While calling out for Ralph to come home, I heard a big truck drive by on the highway next to the farm. I called for Ralph again and again but he never came…

I was so scared that night and couldn’t stop thinking about Ralph. I thought the worst had happened. I knew it was too cold for him to survive in the cold, ohhh… so cold cold it was back then…

The next early morning, I went looking for Ralph. I was heartbroken when I found my dear pal frozen dead next to the highway…

I knew then, it was a terrible mistake to let Ralph out the night before alone. I just knew in my heart and soul it was wrong to let him out at night in the cold…

To this day, I grieve for Ralph. I didn’t know about the Rainbow Bridge back then. I know now, though…

I can heal now. For I now know, Ralph ‘n me are still pals. He is safe and happy, waiting all this time to meet him and Robbie Wabbit on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Ralph is still chasing Downtown Willie Wabbit away too. He keeps Robbie Wabbit safe, so we can play in Heaven together, again…

I miss Ralph, my pal, and still do. But now, we heal together, Ralph ‘n me. We’ll play again someday, when we meet again on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.

Cape Kiwanda on a Gorgeous Sunny Sunday on The Coast with My Pal…

//en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_City,_Oregon
Neskowin Blooms…
Cape Kiwanda
Neskowin Shores

I got up this Sunday and looked out at the bright sun and clear skies. A Sunday drive north to Kiwanda was on my mind…

Judy was getting up at the same time, I noticed with some surprise. She likes to sleep in for awhile. I, on the other hand, “rise early to catch a worm,” like my mom used to say…

“Let’s head up to Pacific City and have lunch at the Pelican Pub,” she said to me, with that big pretty smile I adore… She already knew I wanted to go up north to one of our favorite places to hang out and explore…

It’s been over a year since we were there last. Covid kept us away, sadly… We love Pacific City and Kiwanda…

We love the drive north, especially when Neskowin and Proposal Rock fills our mind with adventure and romance…

The Central Oregon Coast is stunningly beautiful and God’s gift on a Sunday drive. The ‘church’ of forests, snow peak mountains and the sea in all of its glory is where we feel God’s presence, not just on Sunday, but each and everyday…

Driving to Pacific City is a left turn, not very far after crossing the Salmon River Bridge. The windy road is a treat no matter how many times we go. Heading west out to the coast to Kiwanda along the Nestucca River’s edge, is a never ending visual experience of nature’s imagination and stunning beauty…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestucca_River

Once over the Nestucca River Bridge heading into Pacific City, the high dunes rise up to greet. We make a right turn for the final mile or so before the magic of Kiwanda appears just off the coast…

Cape Kiwanda…

Pelican Pub is our first stop. But the wait was 90 minutes to long for hungry old folks. Judy ordered Fish ‘n Chips for take-out. They have a new take-out outside order window. Two windows to order at that. The wait was 15 minutes, none to soon for hungry folks…

I’m not walking so good right now. But, love the convenience of a “Disability Parking Permit,” and so does Judy…

We loved sitting in the comfort of our Subaru CrossTrek eating our delicious Cod and fries from the Pelican Pub. It was messy and fun. We laughed and brushed off all the crumbs like little kids about to get in trouble. But, being goofy kids is what we like to do…

On the drive back home we stopped at Neskowin. Proposal Rock is a thing to see. Click on my YouTube short clip to experience this day from us to you…

Yet another Sunday drive to Kiwanda Neskowin and other places to feel nature, breathe, and look at the wonders of Pacific City and Kiwanda by the sea..

With adventure and romance, no matter how young or old, go to Neskowin and Kiwanda whenever you can. You will want to go back more than once just like us…

Steve ‘n Judy Sparks 2018 in Stehekin, Washington
“Proposal Rock” with Judy Sparks

‘A Soul Lost to War’…Vernon H Sparks US Navy 1936-1966

Research from Vernon H. Sparks Naval records 1936-1960 

September 2019 a working DRAFT

Department of the Navy, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington D.C. 

Vernon H. Sparks, BMC, 328 41 29, USNFR-F6, May 1, 1966…30 years of honorable service 

By Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate… 

This body of work is described as a deep dive chronology of my father’s service to America. He was among the “The Greatest Generation” of the men, women, and families who served in WWII and Korean War.

I received Dad’s military records, including medical, in February 2011 and used as a reference for writing my first book, Reconciliation a Son’s Story, published by Signalman Publishing in November 2011.

My goal is to accurately portray the trajectory of Dad’s Naval Service to show the tragic effects of too many years of hard combat deployments on this man, his family, and the intergeneration impact on all of us as a family.

There are too many stories from all wars just like Vernon’s, where the emotional damage of war comes home to the kitchen table.

Without adequate and consistent life-long treatment of symptoms of PTSD, including lingering and painful untreated depression, take a huge toll on the lives of so many military families over several generations until the cycle of pain ends.

In the Sparks family, we now heal as a family, the pain stops with us…no more! As a family legacy we desire that others benefit from the awareness that has provided a foundation for healing decades of emotional trauma and strife as a military family.

How did we survive and thrive growing up in a profoundly dysfunctional home and finally face our own mental health challenges and demons as kids and adults? 

Bos’n Sparks Ship Log 1936-1958, A Soul Lost to War… 

Click each photo to learn more… 

2 Vernon H. Sparks received a temporary appointment of Warrant Chief Boatswain’s Mate (BMC) in 1943 when the USS Belle Grove (LSD2) was commissioned on August 9, 1943 for duty in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. Dad loved to blow the Bos’n Whistle when we were kids in the 1950s to get us out of the rack early. Dad loved the Navy and serving America. He made Bos’n 1st Class in 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. To begin this chronology, following is my father’s first account of his experience aboard the USS West Virginia (BB48) on that fateful day, December 7, 1941. Vernon was a highly decorated US Navy veteran. Vernon earned the following recognitions and medals shown above: 

WWII Victory, Philippine Liberation, Asiatic Pacific (with 1 silver star and 1 bronze star appurtenance), American Defense (with 1 bronze star appurtenance), American Campaign, Good Conduct (with 3 bronze star appurtenance), Korean Service, China Service, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation (Navy). 

National Park Service 

Survivor Questionnaire – Persons Present December 7, 1941, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii 

Vernon H. Sparks, US Navy, Battleship USS West Virginia, Coxswain 

Hometown: St. Paul, Mn 

Brief Account of What Happened to You Before, During, & After the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor. 

I was on the 3rd deck heading for the anchor windless room when the first torpedo hit the USS West Virginia. From there, more bombing and torpedoes- when all hell broke loose. Men in the brig were screaming for help. I could not respond, there was no time…to check where the Marine guard was with the keys to the cells. Evidently, he had already been hit. The men in the brig were engulfed in water and perished. I worked my way up to the 2nd deck with water up to my waist. By this time, I came to a hatch with the manhole still open leading to the main deck. I barely made it out of the escape hatch and was 

3 ordered by Lt. Stark to close that hatch. The men were still down there but it was too late for them. That was the first time I heard that the Japs were attacking our fleet…and the whole island. I watched one of my best shipmates get himself killed-Roy Powers. He stuck his head out the portside close to the ship-fitters shop; and about that time another torpedo hit, and the concussion blew his head off. His body fell back on deck headless. After that it was a matter of surviving. There was no defense, the ship was already listing to port at about 35 degrees angle. I worked myself up further on the deck and observed the Commanding Officer, Captain Mervyn S. Bennion heading for the bridge. The strafing and bombing were still on. When I arrived on the main deck going forward to the number one turret…strafing still going on…I dived under the overhang of the turret. Communications was out, so by word of mouth heard the order, “all hands abandon ship.” Note: Capt. Bennion was lying on the wing of the bridge mortally wounded…He asked the doc, “What kind of chance he had?” And was told, “Not much Captain.” Then, Captain Bennion said, “Leave me on the bridge and this is my last order, ALL HANDS ABANDON SHIP!” He died right after that order… After that order I jumped over the side to starboard and swam to Ford Island…Us guys that made it were standing on the beach watching the USS Arizona blow up sky high…what a helpless feeling. I had torn my white uniform up to use as emergency treatment bandages for the wounded. Anyway, to make a long story short, we dashed across the field under strafing conditions to shelter. In the BOQ, we were able shower in there and salvage clothes from the lockers and helped organize the Harbor Patrol. And was with that duty for a few months – then assigned to new construction with the 5th Amphibious Force hitting the beaches of the South Pacific, all the way, then finally Iwo Jima, & Okinawa until the Peace Treaty was signed aboard the USS Missouri in Toyko, Japan. People like myself could go on & on…but that would take a book… 

Vernon H. Sparks, December 7, 1941, Battleship USS West Virginia 

From Ship’s Crew Muster: 

Sparks, Vernon H. 328-41-29 Cox. 13 Jan. 36 10/12/39 

4 In the 3 photos above… Vernon with friends, and fellow shipmates at the Owl Bar, Manila; on island patrols 600 miles south of Manila c1938-39…Vernon, as a coxswain on the tiller. Vernon’s first shipboard duty 1936, full steam ahead USS Tennessee, click photo for more. 

Vernon was born in Eldred, Mn on December 10, 1918. He spent his childhood growing up in St. Paul, Mn.

Following a challenging time growing up during the Great Depression, he joined the Navy in December 1935 at age 17. Dad wanted to “join the Navy and see the world” as did countless men from that time before WWII.

He graduated from Naval Training Center, Bootcamp, USNTC, San Diego, Ca on June 6, 1936. Vernon’s first duty station was the USS Tennessee (BB43) in March, 1937.

This was the beginning of a story of one man’s journey of honor and duty to country and family. But this is also an all American story of a lifetime of emotional pain. Too many years of sea duty and hard combat changed his life forever, especially decades of painful family dynamics caused by the trauma of war.

The Tennessee sailed to the South Pacific from Bremerton, Wa in March 1937. Vernon became a larger than life coxswain during those early years of fighting in the South China Sea leading up to WWII and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Vernon, according to his medical records, served a total of “66 months” of combat duty for 22 year US Navy career. 

5 Abstract of Service by Ship and Station: 

USNTC San Diego January 13, 1936 recruit training. Vernon lived at 581 Selby Ave., St. Paul, Mn before joining the Navy. Click here… 

USS Tennessee (BB43), June 6, 1936 to March 16, 1937. Vernon dislocated his shoulder on the get go the first time in July 1936 while carrying a box of spuds aboard ship. He lived for most of his adult life with shoulder challenges. Vernon loved basketball and swimming. 

USS Henderson (DD785), April 23, 1937 to September 3, 1937, then back to USS Tennessee 

USS Blackhawk (AD9), October 29, 1937 to July 1938 (Vernon made Seaman 1st Class Feb 16, 1938). He was instructed in the use of Gas Mask and put through Gas Chamber a Navy Yard, Cavite, P.I. Dec20 1937. 

Naval Hospital, Puget Sound Washington, March 16, 1937 to April 23, 1937 

USS Sacramento (PG-19), July 18, 1938 to December 14, 1938 

USS Augusta (CA-31), December 1938 

US Naval Hospital, Canacao, P. I. for treatment January 16, 1939 (6/5/39 on sick list due to own misconduct.) 

USS West Virginia (BB48), October 12, 1939 to December 7, 1941 (one offense of AOL from 0730 on 10/23/39 until 0815 on 10/24/39, confined for 8 days, and loss of pay one month $14. Addresses for family during this surreal and painful period 1941 to 1945; 1351 Lime Ave., Long Beach, Ca; 1501 Scott St., San Francisco, Ca from the left; Jerry, Mom Marcella, Steve as baby, Dad Vernon summer 1946. 

USS Relief (AH1), December 11, 1939 to December 29, 1939 for medical treatment. Vernon was injured in an altercation on his birthday, December 10th while on liberty from the USS West Virginia. He was apparently clubbed in the head, sustained a serious head wound. 

Section Base, Bishop Point, Harbor Patrol, 14th Naval District, Pearl Harbor, Oahu December 30, 1941 to April 6, 1943. AWOL from 2000, 2 July 1942 to 0600, 3 July 1942, 10 hours. Tried on July 6, 1942 and confined for a period of twenty (20) days and $20/month loss of pay for a period of four (4) months per Deck Court- Martial. On April 2, 1943, he was appointed BM1st class. On September 30, 1942, JAG remitted entirely that part of the sentence involving confinement because he “PARTICIPATED IN THE BATTLE OF PEARL HARBOR ON DECEMBER 7, 1941.” 

USS Belle Grove (LSD2), August 9, 1943 to June 2, 1945 Crossed the 180th Meridian with permission of the Golden Dragon Lat. 14 degrees 10’ N., on 20 January 1944. August 9, 1943 recommended for appointment as Warrant Boatswain (temporary). He Participated in the bombardment and capture of Iwo Jima Island March 20, 1945. He was authorized to wear the 

Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Stars ICW ALNAV 64-45. 

On May 9, 1945, Vernon was recommended for appointment to 

rank of Warrant Boatswain. 

US Naval Hospital, Shoemaker, Ca July 23, 1945 to September 4, 1945, post WWII “battle fatigue” (PTSD) treatment and recovery, convalescence. KoreanWar period…The Sparks Clan; from the left, Uncle Ronnie, Vernon, Grandma Mildred, Grandpa Art, Aunt Juneth, & Aunt Dolly. Sparks home St Paul 50s…1608 Van Buren Ave, St Paul, MN 55104 

7 USN Cargo Handling Group No. 1 Oakland, Ca Sept 17, 1945 to November 28, 1945 

USNH Treasure Island, December 10, 1946 for treatment. 

USS Topeka (CL-67), June 17, 1947 

US Naval Hospital, Long Beach Ca July 1947 to Sept 1947, recurring “battle fatigue” symptoms. 

USS Astoria (CA-73) November 6, 1947 (less than month) 

USS St. Paul (CA-73), December 8, 1947 

USNTC San Diego February 25, 1948 to August 24, 1951, recruit training, bootcamp commander 

company 255. 6605 Kelly St, San Diego, CA 92111 

USS Weiss (APB-135) September 7, 1951 to August 16, 1952 (transferred to US Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan for treatment) 

US Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan September 17, 1952 

8 USS Skagit (AKA105), September 30, 1952 to March 19, 1953 

USS LSM(R)-401 March 29, 1953 to June 22, 1953 

USS Andromeda (AK-15), June 22, 1953 to January 25, 1954… 

Dan helped me remember this apparently fun Sunday event of dinner on the ship as a family and hanging out, learning…2804 Gearing Dr, San Diego, CA; 4632 Hawley Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116; 6605 Kelly St, San Diego, CA 92111 

US Naval Hospital San Diego, February 24, 1954 to April 21, 1954 (84 days in hospital) 

In transit status, April 21 to April 28, 1954 

Conus/Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB1) June 30, 1954 to August 2, 1954 

USNTC Great Lakes, September 30, 1954 to June 23, 1955. Vernon re-enlisted for the last time on June 16, 1955. Sister Laura born March 1955 in photo with Marcella and Vernon. 2621 Iroquois Rd, Waukegan, IL 60087 

For the record, his tattoos were noted as the following. 

“Tattoo’s Eagle “USN, USS Tennessee 1935” right forearm, “Honolulu, Manila, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Yokohama” right inner forearm, Girl “USS Sacramento, Asiatic Station 1937-1939 left inner forearm. Sister Laura was born on March 10, 1955.” 

USS Chowanoc (ATF100) Oct 23, 1957 (less than 90 days) 

Construction Battalion #1 

Released from active duty on November 5, 1957. Placed on the retired list of the US Navy from the Fleet Reserve effective October 1, 1965. 

Family home addresses post Navy; 18228 Mettler Ave, Carson, CA 90746; 1249 W Anaheim St, Harbor City, CA 90710 

9 Notes: 

1. Vernon’s final Navy performance rating was 3.980/4.0. Dad was an outstanding 

professional! BMC to BMGC (master chief?) promotion in 1957. 2. Awarded High School GED by St. Paul Public Schools, December 28, 1953 3. Final post retirement medical treatment at US Naval Hospital, Long Beach, Ca. It appears Vernon was under great stress and pain during this time. He was never free from anxiety and depression from PTSD that lingered for a lifetime. He also cut a tendon in “right ring finger” and knee sprain from an accident at home. We lived at 22907 Meyler St., Torrance, Ca. As a family. I recall much chaos and strife at that time on our family as a whole. It was an unmitigated disaster, a completely broken family dynamic. No family should ever live this way, ever…never…no way!

There were absolutely no behavioral health care services for combat veterans except a short stay in Naval hospitals to detox, often for months before returning to duty. Dad knew he had to stay in the Navy to receive the health care he needed desparately when he fell off the wagon. Dad needed a ‘continuum of care’ that only existed in the safety of a US Naval hospital anywhere on the planet. The Navy was Dad’s rock. He struggled so much and none of us knew it. The typical response was, “we don’t talk about stuff like that.” Vernon survived and thrived with serious mental illness and addiction without any clue of how to effectively manage or mitigate his serious mental health problems. Our mother, Marcella, was very sick too, and suffered from acute depression all of her life as well. The post WWII Sparks family was only one example of 1000’s of families during that fateful period that took the war home to the kitchen table. The war never ended in June of 1945 when he came home, it was never over in his mind.

10 

5. Vernon joined the Federal Bureau of Prisons when he retired from the US Navy and stayed for 18 years, finally retiring again. But he worked as a consultant for faith community half-way houses in Tacoma, Wa for several years until retiring for good. Vernon served America for more than 40 years!

6. A sign of the times…Vernon completed a radiological training course.

“Captain Pelican Pete” And, The Flying Aces of Little Whale Cove…

Captain Pelican Pete, The Flying Aces of Little Whale Cove…
“Captain Pelican Pete and The Flying Aces” https://myodfw.com/wildlife-viewing/species/pelicans-and-cormorants

“I want to be a Pelican in my next life. Pelicans fly as a true team with one goal motivated by one thing…love for each other.” Steve Sparks

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelican

“A group of pelicans is called a pod. Actually, there are many other names for pelican groupings — a pouch, a scoop, a squadron or if they are fishing as a group, a fleet. … At first, squadron was a good name as the magnificent…White Pelicans fly low in formation on a stealth mission.”

Oregon has two species of pelicans, American white and the Brown pelican, and three species of cormorants. All are fish-eating water birds with four toes joined by webbing. Depending on the species, pelicans and cormorants inhabit the Oregon coast, rivers or interior waterbodies.”

While looking down closer to the sea below the cliffs, I can see Captain Pelican Pete. He leads his squadron of flying aces on another secret mission along the shore near Little Whale Cove…

I can’t see Captain Pelican most times as they fly by in stealthy form. He leads his squadron of Flying Aces very fast, and so very close to the surface of the sea…

It’s too easy to miss Captain Pelican Pete unless I move quickly to the edge of the cliff. Sometimes I get to the edge of the cliff just in time to see the beauty and grace of his squadron of Flying Aces in perfect formation…

Captain Pelican Pete’s squadron flys near the water surface close to shore. He and the right and left flank commanders spot a school of herring just below the surface.

Captain Pelican Pete hits the water first followed by his stealthy Flying Aces. The herring are surrounded for a gourmet buffet like no other before…

With pouches full with herring, Captain Pelican Pete gives the order to return home. The flight home would be a little slower with pouches full…

Captain Pelican Pete’s squadron of Flying Aces takes off in perfect formation for the return flight home. They fly up high and a little slower while making a perfectly orchestrated approach to Little Whale Cove…

Captain Pelican Pete glides in without hardly a splash. He is followed by 12 of his Flying Aces as they glide in one by one into the Cove below…

I love to watch Captain Pelican Pete and his squadron of Aces splash and play in the fresh water pond In the Cove. It is here when love of brothers and sisters shines through…

I want to be a Pelican in my next life. These beautiful sea birds fly as a true team and family. It is this one goal motivated by one thing…love for each other as brothers and sisters in arms…

In that moment, then, is when my soul speaks to me the most. It is this love I see from my feathered friends that moves my heart and soul so deeply…

Dreams to fly in Captain Pelican Pete’s Flying Aces of Little Whale Cove will someday come true. It is this faith in God that brings hope and peace to my heart and soul…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health
https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Billie-Pillie-Christopher-Evans/dp/1946540919

“I highly recommend this book for all who seek the beauty of the sea and precious wildlife we love…” Steve Sparks

Description

The Adventures of Billie and Pillie tells the story of two young pelicans living along the Oregon coast with their parents.

While Billie does everything right and follows the family rules, his brother Pillie is very mischievous and is always getting in trouble. In fact, he never seems to learn right from wrong.

From the day these two are hatched, the pelican brothers take on one adventure after another, most of which end up with Pillie breaking all the pelican rules. Even the Oregon Coast Guard becomes involved in a sea-to-air rescue involving, you guessed it, Pillie.

About the Author and Illustrator: An Oregon native, Christopher J. Evans taught in Roseburg, Oregon, for thirteen years before teaching overseas for the next twenty-five years. A retired biology/chemistry teacher, he currently lives in a small town on the Oregon coast, with his house a five-minute walk to the beach. This is his first book about Billie and Pillie; however, his children and grandchildren grew up listening to these pelican stories. He volunteers at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and also enjoys hiking with his dogs

Totem Pole Spirits of Love… Native American Culture and Traditions…

The Totem Pole moves my soul…

Totem poles are monuments created by First Nations of the Pacific Northwest to represent and commemorate ancestry, histories, people, or events. Totem poles are typically created out of red cedar, a malleable wood relatively abundant in the Pacific Northwest, and would be erected to be visible within a community.”

“A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol of a tribe, clan, family or individual. Some Native American tribe’s tradition provides that each person is connected with nine different animals that will accompany him or her through life, acting as guides.”

Totem Pole over looking Little Whale Cove…

http://ctsi.nsn.us/ Siletz Tribe…. Click this link…

What is your Totem Pole Spirit? I think about many animals that move my spirit. Animals speak to my soul…

The Eagle comes to mind. I watch Eagles fly above in Little Whale Cove. Their freedom and independence strikes me the most…

I watch the Gray Whales from the shore. These amazing and beautiful animals show love for family and caring for their young ones.

Salmon run up streams and rivers giving new life to all things. The little fingerlings go back to sea and renew life once again…

The furry friends in our lives bring unconditional love and kindness we need the most. They show us true friendship when a friend is needed in times of despair and joy…

What is your animal spirit? What comes to you in your dreams?

Native American Culture and Traditions…

I have been spiritually moved by Native American Culture and Traditions for many decades. But as a younger man on a fast track in my career and everything else, I didn’t know why.

My spirit has always been moved when reading, learning, and exploring Native American history, a very rich history, indeed. I felt their soul. My soul was touched each time and in between…

I was raised a Catholic. I’m a Christian. But Christianity never touched my soul the way Native American culture did.

I know why now. When growing up studying the Catholic teachings, their was something missing. I know now it was my soul.

I didn’t understand or know spirituality as a kid and young man. I thought a ‘soul’ was something rewarded to those who were worthy. I never felt worthy, never ever, until now…

I know now that the first step in finding one’s soul is knowing and feeling your soul. I needed to feel my soul to find my soul…

Native American Culture and beliefs touched my soul deeply. God lives in all things of nature, in the stars, and in the heavens above.. God lives in all peoples and living things…

The early Americans who loved North America worshiped the land. All things living were sacred. Natives surrounded themselves with spirits of love and forgiveness…

When they killed Buffalo, the hunt was a sacred gift. Warriors hunted only so many Buffalo to feed and clothe their families. The skins were used for shelters, lodges, and to keep them warm from the winter’s cold…

After the kill, each Buffalo was honored as a scared gift. When trees were cut, each tree was honored in the same way… All living things were sacred…

Natives knew how to heal warriors who suffered from too many battles. They cared for the children and families who lost fathers in tribal wars, and in fighting the white man.

The white man stoled Native lands. They pillaged, raped and killed without respect for Native American culture. The white man showed little respect for the land and nature’s sacred gifts.

The white man finally realized the true love and spirit of Native American culture. We now honor Native traditions and culture as our own.

It is never too late for forgiveness and love… We can only live in peace and love as one…

As I explore the beaches and forests of the Oregon Coast, Natives are ever present in my mind. My soul heals and my spirits sore…

Animal spirits sing along my soul each and every day in Little Whale Cove. It is this feeling that makes my heart and soul feel alive with love and joy…

I know my soul now. I live in peace and harmony with God’s love now… I know now that God loves all of us, not just some of us…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate. And aspiring artisan…
Matt and Mattie, my Canadian Honker friends, heal my soul…

“Matt n Mattie” Return! It’s early spring in Little Whale Cove, Oregon

“Matt n Mattie” nesting in Little Whale Cove Feb2021 “Facts About Aleutian Cackling Geese
Once thought to be extinct, this small-bodied migratory goose has made a remarkable comeback, with population estimates nearing 200,000 birds.”
https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Humboldt_Bay/wildlife_and_habitat/AleutianCacklingGeese.html
“Matt and Mattie” on a good day at the Cove…

“The population of these small (4-6 pounds) geese has made one of the most astounding recoveries in the history of wildlife management.  The population has soared from <800 individual birds in 1974 to nearly 200,000 today.  Aleutian Cackling geese were formerly known as Aleutian Canada geese until taxonomists renamed and “regrouped” them in 2004.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_goose

Matt and Mattie are back! I love to watch the two lovers nibble on favorite delights in the shallow pond and shore…

Both arrive together as mates for life. I see them sticking close together each and everyday. Just like devoted partners and caring parents do, with joy and love, each and everyday…

Matt and Mattie fly down from the Aleutians way up north. Snow Geese mate while forging in the snow for the long winter..

Matt and Mattie dream of little Goslings born in the late spring. Protecting the delicate eggs from Eagles and Hawks is a great challenge in the nest near the shore.

Matt and Mattie share duties to watch and protect the little ones growing in the shells. When birds of prey circle above, both share in sitting on the nest to keep the little Goslings safe and warm…

The little Goslings 😞 in the shell are eaten sometimes. Matt and Mattie look away at times when nibbling for delights in the shallow pond. Both grieve for the loss of little ones when they return to the nest.

The Eagle waits high above, hungry for more orderves beckoning from the nest below. Matt and Mattie always keep a sharp eye on birds of prey circling high above…

Mattie and Matt are very anxious most years, and so are we. For it’s all too often we see 1 or 2 maybe 3 out of 5 come into the world. The little Goslings quickly make Little Whale Cove a heavenly birthplace once again…

With Matt and Mattie in tow, the little Goslings are still not out of danger, not ever. Mom and Dad watch over their dear little ones by day and by night.

And more often than not, the little ones are swooped up high by hungry Eagles. So precious and spiritual is the little Gosling.

The one that Flys north to the Aleutians to be raised. With a mate for life, a new family is born to fly south to nest in a special place.

I so look forward to Matt and Mattie returning next year. Both will show all of us once again, God’s true 💘. Love…