Homecoming

(photo: Aaron Rhoads | Enterprise-Journal)

By Timothy Woerner | Enterprise-Journal
Posted: 05/09/08 – 11:11:10 am CDT

The body of Marine Lance Cpl. Casey Casanova arrived Thursday in Mississippi, carried in a plane that landed at McComb-Pike County Airport in Fernwood, where mourners held an informal, solemn ceremony marking her homecoming.

Casanova, 22, was one of four U.S. Marines killed Friday in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq, where she was serving her first tour of duty.

Also killed were Cpl. Miguel A. Guzman, 21, Norwalk, Calif., Lance Cpl. James F. Kimple, 21, Carroll, Ohio and Sgt. Glen E. Martinez, 31, Boulder, Colo.

They all were assigned to the Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif., in which Casanova served as a radio technician.

Visitation for Casanova is 1 p.m. Saturday at New Heights Baptist Church in Summit until services there at 3, followed by graveside services with full military honors at Adams United Methodist Church in the Auburn community.

A crowd of about 300 people, including local officials and many relatives and close friends, waited for Casanova at the airport. Two lines of cars were parked down the road to the airport — one with a bright red Marine flag mounted from its roof.

The ceremony itself was entirely silent. Marines carried Casanova’s flag-draped casket from the plane to a hearse, family members approached to pay their respects and Patriot Guard riders and city vehicles led a caravan from the airport to the Hartman-Sharkey Funeral Home in McComb.

Yellow and black ribbons marked the procession’s path, and people took time from their jobs and school to line the streets and wave American flags.

Privately, friends shared memories at the airport.

“She was my best friend,” said Kelly McKinney, who met Casanova in grade school at North Pike, and the two remained friends. “Nobody could ever compare to her. She was always there. … Pretty much ever since we met, we were inseparable.”

Casanova has been described as a woman who turned to the military with a desire to make something of herself, telling her mother the career brought meaning to her life.

McKinney said that when Casanova joined the Marines, it was a shock.

“She was always a girly girl, she wasn’t ever the strong type,” McKinney said. “I supported her 100 percent because I knew she wanted to get out of this town and do something. It made her strong. She went from being a girl who would not stand up for herself to strong-minded and strong-willed. She had more of an independence.”

McKinney said Casanova was selfless as a friend, too.

“She was at my baby’s shower. She would come home and not want to talk about her; she wasn’t concerned about herself, she wanted to know how everybody else was doing.”

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Lives…Make Your Own Ethanol At Home!

I came across an interesting article, Make Fuel At Home With Portable DIY Refinery. It’s interesting and informative, and if prices of gasoline and oil continue to rise, it may be an attractive alternative. In the article, the manufacturer, an accomplished inventor, states that the cost of the ethanol from their EFuel Micro Fueler, will be less than one dollar per gallon. A bold claim, that doesn’t factor in all the related costs, such as electricity, water, or the cost of the unit itself. The article is worth the read, if for no other reason, to illustrate the kinds of minds that are at work on the current problems associated with rising fuel prices, and what we may have as options, if fuel ever reaches the point when the majority of the population is no longer able, or willing, to pay the prices, and will find other sources.

After reading this article, I began searching for info related to Henry Ford’s desire with the Model T that farmers would manufacture their own ethanol, and found a wealth of info, with one in particular being filled with more info than I ever knew existed on the subject, in a time line of discovery and research. The following quote from the article, Henry Ford, Charles Kettering And The “Fuel Of The Future.”

“They say we have foreign oil,” he said. “It is … in Persia, and it is in Russia. Do you think that is much defense for your children?”(Francis Garvan noted the problem in a speech promoting alcohol fuel at the Dearborn, Mich. “Chemurgy” Conference on Agriculture, Industry and Science in 1936)

I had no idea that alcohol powered internal engines had been experimented with since 1826, nor all of the political, and business issues, that have surrounded the use of alcohol as a fuel or fuel additive, and how prescient so many people were on it’s use. It truly is an amazing, and lengthy article. In the conclusion of this piece, I will note one paragraph that resonated with me.

If there is an historical lesson to learn from the “fuel of the future,” it is that technology is often political. In this case, fuel technology developed in a direction that was a matter of policy choice and not predetermined by any clear advantage of one technology over another. For different reasons, Henry Ford and Charles Kettering both saw the fuel of the future as a blend of ethyl alcohol and gasoline leading to pure alcohol from cellulose. A dedicated agrarian, Ford thought new markets for fuel feedstocks would help create a rural renaissance. On the other hand, Kettering, as a scientist, was worried about the long term problem of the automotive industry’s need for oil, a resource with rapidly declining domestic reserves. Clearly, the shortage of domestic oil that was feared in the 1920s has occurred in the late 20th century, although it has hardly been noticed because of the abundance of foreign oil. Whether the oil substitute envisioned by the scientists and agrarians of the first half of the century would be appropriate in the latter half remains an open question.

A concise analysis of the history of developing alternative fuel sources, often hampered by abundant oil supply, then spurred on in times of shortages. I am not optimistic we will ever strike a perfect balance on the use of our resources, but I am always encouraged by the technological achievements that can be made when the demand is there, and the entrepreneurial spirit thrives.

*Must Read* U.S. oil production cut by half in last twenty years.

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