Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Title of Liberty

During the month of July, the U.S. celebrated their independence and the right to govern themselves. The right to be governed by elected officials, both locally and nationally has worked for 239 years and has been the model for other countries that have changed from a monarchy style of government to a republic. In 1976 when the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, this republic style of government was not new to America. About 100 B.C. there was another group of people that lived here in America called the Nephites who ended 500 years of living under a monarchy style of government and changed to a government where the people elected their leaders.

Mosiah, the last Nephite king was the one who proposed the change in their style of government. With the people’s consent he helped establish the laws that they would live by. These laws were based on God’s commandments and were established by the voice of the people. Mosiah said that as long as the majority of the people chose to keep God’s commandments and the laws that they agreed upon that they would be a free people. He also warned them that if the time came that the majority of the people chose iniquity, that they would be visited with destruction (Mosiah 29:26-27).

For 25 years the people under this new government prospered, but then came an important test. There were a certain number of the local elected officials that sought for more power. There was one man who wanted to be made a king over all the land and he promised the others that sought for power that if they helped him become the king he would give them the power they wanted and they would rule with him.

Captain Moroni, the commander over all the Nephite armies, did not want this small group of individuals to the freedoms they enjoyed. He knew if this man would be made their king, he would destroy their church and other freedoms they loved. The scriptures account said Moroni rent his coat and fastened it to a pole, he called it the title of liberty. The account said:

And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took apiece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breast plate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—

Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.

And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments. (Alma 46:12-13, 20-21)

Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty
The majority of the people responded to Moroni’s call to action and their government was preserved, those who sought to destroy the government and their freedoms were defeated.
We are living in a similar situation today, where some of our most sacred freedoms are being threatened by a minority of individuals that seek the destruction of the basis upon which our government was established. Our form of government can only survive if we are willing to keep God’s commandments. The founding fathers of our country understood that this new republic would succeed only as long as we remained a righteous people. John Adams, the second president of this new country said:

[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.

[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. (

Benjamin Franklin had this to say when those who had gathered at the constitutional convention to develop how our new country would be governed could not agree on the balance of the states rights vs the federal powers:

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service. (

When Franklin left the building after the constitution was finally finished, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked “Well, Doctor, what have we got?” Franklin replied: “a republic, if you can keep it.”

How long we keep this republic will depend on how the majority of it’s citizens respond to the current attempts to weaken the constitution upon which our nation was founded. Just as the people at the time of Captain Moroni, we need to raise our titles of liberty in defense of “of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children”. We need to gather with all those who believe in these principles – all Christians and stand up in defense of those “unalienable rights” given us by God. We do this by electing individuals that understand that God’s commandments are supreme and we must live by and protect those laws and that we must not give in to those who seek to destroy or redefine the constitution.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hal’s Drive Inn

Hal's Drive-In - Early 1960's
Top left is Hal, Allis, Mark, Mick. Second
row is Wes, Ken, Judy and Harold (Harry)

Dad purchased a drive in restaurant (like A&W) in the late 1950's; he did this to keep us busy in the summer months and help teach us how to work. I’m not sure when it first opened, but it was in the 1960s and 70s when I worked there. The oldest picture we have (This one with all our family). I am the cub scout so would have been between 8 & 10, so that would have bee 1960-62. This was before the addition of the carport. All the family worked at “Hal’s Drive-In” as it was called. It was the only fast food restaurant in town. Of course our town only had two sit down restaurants to choose from if they didn’t want hamburgers and fries. The drive in was open only from March or April whenever it warmed up enough until about October, when it started to get cold.
There was no inside area for people to come sit down and eat, they either ate in their cars or sat at the tables outside. We used car hops to go out and take the orders and then to deliver their food to them After many years, we finally put in an electronic order system and added the cover. There was a menu and speaker at each place for the cars to pull up and push a button to order their food. We still had to bring the food out to them when it was ready. We had trays that we carried the food on and the tray would hang on the window of the car. All of the children got their chance to work everywhere at the drive in including car hopping. We did hire other car hops as well and had others that helped to cook and fix shakes, etc. Just about everyone worked there sometime or an other and I had a crush on most of the girls that worked there. By the time I was in Jr. High and High School, my friends would come to the drive in and make fun of me when I was taking my turn as a car hop. One time they left a hundred pennies for my tip or do something stupid to mess up the order or simply hassle me all the way in and out from their cars. But I guess dad felt it was a character building experience for us.
Hal's Drive-In with new Car Port & Ordering Stations

One time when Steve Wagner and I were working alone, Tim Beam ordered a 25 cent ice cream cone (which was a large cone) and so we decided to see how big we could make the cone before if fell over. By the time we had finished we had to take the drip tray off the machine because it was getting so big. It was so big that we couldn’t fit it through the front window and had to take it out the back door. The cone was about 2 ½ feet tall. Sometimes on summer nights when things go a little slow at the drive in, Steve and I would go to the grocery parking lot next door and throw a Frisbee around.  One night while we were out throwing the Frisbee, Barney (the town policeman) came on his nightly patrol to check to make sure the grocery store was locked up. When he came in the parking lot, Steve threw the Frisbee and it hit Barney’s car. He stopped the car and didn’t look too happy about what Steve had done. Steve ran over to the car and said: “I’m sorry Barney; I didn’t mean to do it”! I about died, Steve was so new to the town that he didn’t know that “Barney” was just a nick name. Well Barney, gave him a stern look and then sped off in his car. After he left, I told Steve that “Barney” was his nickname, and it he didn’t like being called that. Well we had a good laugh about that for a long time.

Delivery Station Wagon
We even were the first to deliver. This is our station wagon and we used to deliver ice cream sandwiches, pizza and other things. One of the things we like to do on hot days was to go and sit in the walk in freezer for a while. The freezer was quite large and had a large heavy door on it that we would lock before closing at night and going home. It really felt good to go in and sit for a couple of minutes to cool off. It was really hot in the back of the drive in where the grill and fryer was. Just being back there was enough to cause you to sweat like you just got out of the shower. So on particularly hot days when it was slow (which it often was a certain times), we would take turns sitting in the freezer to cool off. Once in a while to be mean or just to be silly we would lock the door so that whoever was in there would not be able to get out. We would finally unlock the door before anyone got dangerously cold, but it still was scary to be in there and not knowing if you would be able to get out. I think we all spent our share of times getting locked in the freezer.
Another fun stunt we would pull on each other unexpectedly was if you would touch the ice cream machine and the freezer that we kept the root beer mugs and frozen ice cream sandwiches and stuff in you would get a fairly good shock. However, if one person was touching the freezer and someone else would touch the ice cream machine and then touch the person that was touching the freezer, the person touching the freezer would get the shock, not the one touching the ice cream machine. This was a particularly fun thing to do if someone was not paying attention and was leaning on the freezer. You could come up and touch the ice cream machine and then touch the other person and they would get zapped. We all know it would happen but sometimes you would forget and be caught off guard and someone would come up and zap you’d get a good jolt and just go nuts with your whole body tingling all over.
I’m not sure if my dad was correct, but he said we were the first to make an ice cream sandwich (I think we called it the wagon wheel. It was two cookies with ice cream between them. He also said we were the first to make dipped chocolate bars on a popsicle stick. He was always coming up with new things to try.
I’m not sure if mom and dad made any money with the drive in, but it did teach us all to work. It helped us understand the value of work and what we had to do to make a business successful. Dad sold the drive-in after I was out of high school (it was called Eby’s for a while and if I remember correctly Bill Beam owned it for a while) so that ended the days and nights spent at Hal’s Drive-Inn. 
This is a picture of taken on July 4th, 2015 showing that it has closed probably to never open again. It is a sad day for Argos.
Picture of Beamer's (formerly Hal's Drive-In) now Closed

If you are part of the Potter (or Strong family from my mother’s side) family or grew up in Argos, Indiana or would come visit family there and have any memories of eating or working at Hal’s Drive-In I welcome your comments.