“Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

copyright 2001  jennifer o’neal simmons

Fine art prints available in all sizes from postcards to murals upon request by leaving a comment regarding your desired size, and I will return message with reasonable quote.

Images are watermarked and subject to federal copyright law.  Violators will be prosecuted.


Damona Waits (Mt. Airy natives) LIVE this Weekend–check sample tracks here

Mt. Airy, NC natives Chase O’Neal (drums), Andrew Simmons (guitar), Tyler Badgett (bass guitar), and Josh Snow (guitar) are redefining the realm of rock n’roll as we speak.

O’Neal, Simmons, and Badgett have been performing together since Gentry Middle School when, along with Will Jackson, they rocked out as The Fishsandwiches.  Since graduating high school, they have teamed up with Surry County native Josh Snow to create a rich, invigorating instruMETAL sound that is by far like no other.  Will Jackson is now lead singer of the metal band “From a Second Story Window” based further north while touring throughout North America.

Before you turn yourselves off, citing that you hate the screech of heavy metal, let me explain–I, personally, am not a metal fan.  I despise Van Halen’s exaggerated riffs and hollow lyrics, and personally can’t connect with the thrash metal scene in general.  Guns n’ Roses, Motley Crue, and similar hair bands were hot back in the day, but in my opinion, other than a couple of classics, their tracks remain stalemates in my repertoire.   There are only three metal bands that I will even consider downloading that have and will continue to withstand the test of time forevermore:

  1. AC/DC
  2. Metallica
  3. Damona Waits

You may claim or think me biased since my brother is the double-bass-pounding-phenomenal drummer that immediately grabs your attention–regardless of your classic rock heritage.  Not so–that only got me to the first show and first downloads.  Combine that along with the reverberating rhythmic thuds Badgett paces in an almost erotic fashion on bass–and no matter your hip hop preference–your torso instantly moves, popping in an instant trance, choreographed beyond your immediate consciousness.  Touched off with an electrical dance of a  lifetime of dedication by guitarists Simmons and Snow, and believe it or not even you, your own most unsuspecting metal fan, will begin tossing your own hair, hands flailing in the air. 

Whether by internet download or live where the vibrations will immediately possess you, they are a performance not to be missed.  Although they feature the occassional guest singer, their music rises above the need for lyrics.  The music tells its own story–one you will subconsciously, yet immediately, define as your own. 

They are currently in studio production fine tuning their much anticipated debute album.  The original release was expected in 2006, but once complete the musical perfectionists were not satisfied with the sound of the Wilmington producers local to their current home.  Ditching the whole project, they began fresh with their old friend and gifted producer, Jamie King of The Basement Recording Studio located in Winston-Salem.  At near completion, the album, artists, and producer are worth every ounce of your support, time, and drive. 

They will be headlining @ The Soapbox in Wilmington, NC tomorrow Friday, 9/7, with doors opening @9:00pm along with Surry County natives Eldora.  Check out their sample tracks below, download them while you can, and gather your friends for a roadtrip that promises to deliver. 

For more info on The Soapbox’s location: www.soapboxlaundrolounge.com/

Check out their 4 sample tracks here on Damona Waits’ website:  http://www.myspace.com/damonawaits.com/

Illegal Immigrants & the Inevitable Can of Worms

Promoting an open-minded appreciation for minority cultures is one thing, but why are Hispanics given preferential treatment when seeking social services?  They are allowed to make more $$ than native citizens, and are encouraged that if they don’t personally qualify, “then someone in your household might.”  All the while my in-law who’s been paralyzed from polio since age 3 and my 78 yr old Papa–an Army Veteran from the Korean War–aren’t allowed even food stamps. 

Forgive me if this seems off topic, but I feel are very valid points when considering the city’s funds about to be spent on a cultural festival glorifying what are for the majority–illegal aliens.  Every major industry in Mt. Airy has been sent overseas, and for what jobs are left, legal citizens have to compete with the illegal population.  Not to mention the over-abundance of crowding & lack of equipment & faculty accountability in public schools (thank God I homeschool my own), the effects on the local ER waits, the high percentage of illiterate, illegal, uninsured drunk drivers, and now Pres. Bush doing his best to allow Mexican truckdrivers to drive our roads at will without US licensure. 

All of these issues affect all of our hometowns, regardless of the amount or efficacy of budgets allocated to revitilize our Main Streets.

Artificial Butter Flavoring Proven Hazardous

That’s right, artificial ingredients are killing people–particularly the by product diacetyl produced when artifically flavored popcorn is microwaved.  The fumes produced during the popping, as well as breathed in once the bag is opened, and even inhaled during chewing are making people sick.  Sick enough to cause death, with suspicious links to lung cancer as well. 

Put simply, the symptoms may be as “minor” as increased coughing, gagging, and phlegm production, or it can be as severe as an instant asthmatic attack.  Over time, particularly with daily consumption and exposure, it is proven to cause extensive damage of the lung tissues–constricting bronchiole airways, even obliterating them all together, along with hyperextension, bursting, and calcification of the airsacs themselves. 

The FDA has been notified in writing that states the needed proof from the needed specialists, yet continue to ignore the problem without even so much as warning the American people that there are issues with the products at hand that need further investigation. 

Don’t dispare–popcorn is still a healthy, whole grain, high fiber snack.  Like other preparation and canning practices, it is time for the sake of our healths to revert back to the old school methods.  Although convenience is addictive, the effects of aluminum canning, plastic bottling, steroid additions, pesticide laden produce, and artificial ingredients and preservatives are proven to be crippling killers. 

As difficult as it may be, I have full faith that our Appalachian heritages still thrive enough to pass the knowledge along in order to keep this generation of latent priorities and past passivity alive.  

To prepare popcorn on the stove:

  1. Buy the bagged kernels of popping corn.
  2. Turn stove burner on high heat.
  3. To save on fat & calories, eliminate butter during popping process.  Otherwise, for a large pot of popcorn, melt 2 tablespoons of butter along with enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom of the pot.
  4. Cover pot with lid as contents begin to heat.
  5. When corn begins to pop, secure lid with both hands (don’t forget your potholders) as you begin sliding pot vigorously back and forth over the burner. 
  6. When popping stops, remove completely from heat.
  7. Beware of steam escaping as you remove lid.  Open away from your face to prevent burns. 
  8. Salt or sweeten with light sprinkle of sugar as desired. 

A Sliver of Constitutional Freedom Restored

As many of you well know, The Patriot Act promoted by President Bush and passed by Congress is not patriotic in the least.  Frankly, it was the most massive flagrant violation of American citizens’ inherent rights and freedoms defined by The Constitution.  It reeked eerily of the prejudiced paranoia and vendetta fueled antics of J. Edgar Hoover, former director of the FBI from 1924-1972.  

At last, early this Thursday morning,   U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled in favor of the American public and our American freedoms, declaring that past legislation involved in The Patriot Act and approved by Congress to be un-Constitutional.

Following is an excerpt and link to the full news article, “Judge strikes down part of Patriot Act,” written 9/6/07 by LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer.

NEW YORK – A federal judge struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act on Thursday, saying investigators must have a court’s approval before they can order Internet providers to turn over records without telling customers.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said the government orders must be subject to meaningful judicial review and that the recently rewritten Patriot Act “offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.”  8)

Myrtle Beach Pavilion 2006 Prior to Demolition

Thumbnails will be added periodically showcasing an extensive series privately commissioned prior to the permanent demolition of The Myrtle Beach Pavilion.  All photographs are copyrighted 2006 by Jennifer O’Neal Simmons.  Prints of all sizes–postcard to mural–available upon request at very reasonable rates.  Secure payment by Paypal accepted.

Myrtle Beach Pavilion Fine Art Prints

copyright 2006 jennifer o’neal simmonscopyright 2006 jennifer o’neal simmons

One of an extensive series privately commissioned prior to the demolition of The Myrtle Beach Pavilion

All photography is protected by federal copyright laws.  Prints are available from postcard size up to 3′ x 5′ murals.  Email me @ myrtlebeachphotographer@yahoo.com if you’re interested.  Paypal accepted.

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