Category: My Autobiography
Robert Lewis Dabney Cripps

42 years, 9 months and 5 days…that is how long I’ve had one, or more, of my children continually in the household. It started with my oldest son, J.T., in 1973 and continued through Robert who just started college. Of course, it really doesn’t end there as my step-daughter, Becca Lynn, will place me in 50+ year category before she

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This past July Jen and I, along with my two grandsons J.T. And Kaleb, embarked on our great 2015 Alaskan adventure. The first day we headed to Talkeetna where we had reservations at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. I had chosen Talkeetna so I could photograph Mt. Denali (McKinley), some of the old downtown structures and, of course, the old railroad

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Independence Mine - Cripps Kids

This past July Jen and I, along with my two grandsons J.T. And Kaleb, embarked on our great 2015 Alaskan adventure. The first day we took in the Talkeetna area, and the second day we set out for Hatcher Pass. It was a chilly, dreary day which reminded me that the only thing predictable about Alaskan weather is its unpredictability.

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We shall overcome!

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the massive storm that brought massive change. It changed the landscape of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, leaving much of it nothing but piles of debris. It changed the lives of tens of thousands of people, rendering many homeless and dispersed. It even changed the name of the area between the Pearl River

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Nathaniel Levi Cripps Air Force Graduation

Nathaniel Levi Cripps – Airman First Class On 3 June 2015, the family drove to San Antonio, Texas to attend the Air Force graduation week ceremonies for Nathaniel Levi Cripps. Just six months ago, we had made the trip to Parris Island, South Carolina to attend Pätrick Henry Cripps’ graduation from Marine Corp. boot camp. The two ceremonies were strikingly

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Robert E Lee - Artwork by Frank Swords

Frank Swords, Last of A Dying Breed In this day and age a man should consider himself fortunate to have one or two really good friends. I feel especially blessed to have several. The late Frank Swords was a talented artist, history buff, and a best friend. He was intelligent, honest, kind and hilariously funny. Even though he lived across

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Nathaniel Levi Cripps - son of John Cripps

And then there was one… In August I posted about my daughter, Dixie Lee, heading off to college. The following month I posted about her brother, Pätrick Henry departing for Marines Boot Camp. Now, I get to write about Nathaniel Levi Cripps heading off to Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, for his Boot Camp. Since, the remaining son, Robert

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Several cousins and I recently lamented how sad it is that we only see each other at funerals. My Aunt Mary had just passed away and cousins from near and far drove, or flew in, to attend the services. I hadn’t seen my cousin, Eddie Hodges, since my own dad passed away in 2006. On several occasions another cuz, Jay

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John Cripps on Camel in Isfahan Iran

Isfahan, Iran and the Great Camel Adventure My children love to hear the absolutely true story of the great camel adventure of 1976. I will get to it directly but first I must tell the story of how I can to live and work in the heart of Iran. I had been working at the Bechtel construction site of the

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Columbia Mississippi Tornado

All the phones in the household went off at once. It was a tornado warning alarm, something we take very serious in these parts. Since I’ve lived in Wiggins, there have been three tornadoes hit with a couple mile radius of my home. My sons and I immediately ran to both porches to view the horizon from every direction. The

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Pätrick Cripps with his platoon

Pätrick Cripps Marine Graduation Part 2 Graduation Day finally arrived. It was December 12th, the birthday of his oldest brother who served in the Air Force. It was a cold windy day but everyone was too excited to care. There is something very impressive about soldiers marching, and these Marines put on a damn good show. Thirteen weeks earlier, they

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Patrick Cripps - Parris Island Barracks

Pätrick Cripps Marine Graduation Part 1 He did it! My son persevered the dreaded Crucible and earned the title, United States Marine. On Sunday, Pearl Harbor Day, he got to make one five minute phone call. It was the first time I’d heard his voice in thirteen weeks. I expected him to sound very different, but he was still very

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John Cripps Photography

A Smartphone Doesn’t Make You A Photographer I recently read an article about how “everyone is now a photographer” because of the ubiquitous smartphone. Granted a smartphone camera can be handy, but it doesn’t make you a photographer any more than a hammer makes you a carpenter, or a chisel makes you a sculptor. These are tools, and they can

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The Warrior Poet

The Warrior Poet Several years ago I ran a very popular blog at lochandload.com. When the demands of child-rearing outweighed the website in importance, I chose to shut it down. The title “Loch And Load” was a play on words. The idea was simple: I am coming at you “fully loaded” in this blog…I am not holding anything back. To

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Ernest Tubb Collectible - song on a placemat

The Downtowner Placemat In March, 1975 several members of the Cripps and Bishop family were having breakfast at the Downtowner Inn in Jackson, Mississippi. Shortly after we arrived a tall fella, with an even taller cowboy hat, came in and sat down a short distance from us. He kept staring over toward our table and finally he got up, walked

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John Cripps chooses music over baseball

Being a Southerner, sports was always important. But in the land of football, baseball was my first love. My dad’s job kept us moving when I was young. Though I never even played Little League, I dreamed of being a major league baseball player. Above all I wanted to pitch. It never came to pass because I got derailed at

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This man is a liar

Another unnumbered chapter in my autobiography: Time to Fess Up…I am a liar! There comes a time in life when a man just has to fess up and tell the truth. I admit it…I lied to my children, and I did so for several years. What’s worse is the lack of any regret! It all started when my son Nathaniel

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Jack Bruce & The Crown Prince - Squirrel in tree

Jack Bruce & The Crown Prince I don’t know why I’ve always been fascinated by squirrels. After all, they are basically rats with bushy tails. They may look cute in a country setting perched atop a fence post gnawing on acorns, but they can be major pests in the city as they take residence in your attic. I have experienced

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John Cripps for Governor 2003

Since Election Day 2014 is less than a week away, I thought I would dig through the archives and pull out an article I wrote about this time in 2003. That year I ran for governor in Mississippi. I had a tremendous amount of grassroots support, but being a third-party candidate, a lot of people believed voting outside the two

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Lorraine Cripps, mother of John Cripps

Continuing the autobiography of John Cripps this is an edited version of Chapter One. All dates and places that can be used for identity theft have been replaced by Latin text. I apologize to the honest readers, but I’m in the Internet biz, and therefore very cautious. It is mainly three paragraphs and does not take away from some of

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