Category Archives: History

What’s a Philippe Beguin?

If there is one thing about collecting watches that makes it fun, it’s the story behind each piece. And oh boy, have I got a story for you!

Last year, while scrolling through watches on eBay, I came across several watches for sale in a lot. In that lot of 8 watches I saw a couple that seemed nice enough, but one was worth the price of all of them, a Casio MD-1010 “Submariner.” So, for 62 dollars I bought 8 watches.

Upon receiving my little box full of goodies, I went straight for the Casio, only to find that it needed more than a battery to work; it needed a new movement. However, I was fortunate to purchase a NOS movement just like the one that had died and before long it was running like new.

There were a couple of other neat watches in the group, including a rare Invicta tank. But what I did not expect to find was a watch connected to one of the most famous watch transactions in history.

A Peace Talk Purchase

In 1954, peace talks were being held in Geneva at the Hotel des Bergues (now the Four Seasons). Attending those peace talks was the last Emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai. As history would show, the peace talks were not that successful, and neither was Emperor Bao Dai who was later exiled in 1955. But if there was one thing that could be said about him, Bao Dai had expensive tastes.

Frustrated with how the talks were going, Bao Dai stepped outside to get some fresh air. On a whim, he left the Hotel des Bergues and walked across the street to the respected watch retailer, Philippe Beguin, and asked for the most expensive Rolex he had.

“Bao Dai” Rolex ref. 6062

Not having anything extravagant enough, the jeweler contacted Rolex and begged for something fancier … and that’s what he got. The watch that Rolex sent over was the one-of-a-kind Rolex ref. 6062 in 18k gold with a diamond-set dial. It is said at that time the watch cost SFr4000, almost the same as a Patek Philippe perpetual calendar.

That Rolex the last Emperor of Vietnam bought became a daily wearer. But later, after his death, in 2002 the “Bao Dai” Rolex ref. 6062 sold at auction for $235,000, making it the most expensive Rolex sold up to that point. But is was in 2017 that the same watch sold by Philippe Beguin to Bao Dai went for a staggering $5,060,427. Yes, 5 million.

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information about Philippe Beguin. However, one interesting thing to note was that his relationship with Rolex was such that each model sold through his store had his name printed by Rolex on the dial! I’d say you would have had to have earned a little respect for that to happen. But as history would have it – and I’ve not been able to find out why – Philippe Beguin went out of business not long after the sale to Emperor Bao Dai.

An eBay Purchase

What does all this have to do with anything? It’s because one of the watches I got in that lot of 8 was a Philippe Beguin. Inside is a gold-plated Peseux 320 movement with a 40-hour power reserve that’s only 3 millimeters thick!

So, for an initial investment of around $7.75, then servicing by James P. Soboleski in California, I have a watch made in the late 1940s to early 1950s which was sold in the shop by the very same man who sold one of the most famous watches in horological history!

Not bad for an eBay find, huh?

(How much would you say it’s worth?)

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Filed under History, hobbies, watches

It’s Labor Day, But I Won’t Be Legalistic About It

Let the Arguing Commence!

Today is Labor Day , and it won’t be long before every other holiday will be upon us.  Along with their arrival, there will come all sorts of arguments for and against observing them. Some arguments will make more sense than others, but lurking around every corner is the temptation to be legalistic.  

How is that possible? Just accuse somebody else of being “worldly” or less spiritual for celebrating one of these special days and you will have succeeded brilliantly!  Hey, you wouldn’t be the first; they did it in the Bible.

Nothing Wrong with Debate

Most people have never considered the roots of Labor Day, so the thought of whether or not to celebrate it has probably never crossed their minds. If you are one of those people, let me bring you up to speed.

Labor Day is a holiday that was founded by the unions, which in turn were founded by those with “collective” and “progressive” ideologies.  From a purely ideological perspective, this holiday is one in which the worker is supposed to feel free to flip a relaxed finger in the face of evil, greedy, imperialistic corporations and fat rich people and say, “This is my day! No profit for you!”  

Essentially, our Labor Day was designed to be a watered-down version of International Workers Day (the Communist May Day holiday).  Is there anything wrong with standing up for the rights of workers?  Absolutely not! However, is there reason to evaluate the intent of some who would move our nation down the path of socialism (aka, AOC and her gang)? You betcha! 

Just Trying to Help

However, I didn’t come here to bash Labor Day. I just don’t want us to be legalistic about it. 

You see, there are other days approaching that can lead many to cringe.  Sour-faced legalists and religious hard-liners will find a reason to complain about Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Easter. But a lot of others will use the holidays to be with family, give thanks to God, and celebrate Jesus’ birthday (even if it wasn’t in December).  

The legalists should keep in mind Paul’s words to the Romans:

Romans 14:5-6  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Not Gonna Waste It

Look, I am taking advantage of this holiday, whether I am for the idea behind it or not.  Why?  Well, why not? I’m not going to celebrate socialism, but this a great time to celebrate the average Joe or Joline who actually goes to work!

And, I’ve already saved a lot of money on paint! Call it what you will, but 48% off is still 48% off! Know what I mean?

Most hard-working Americans are good people who could use a little extra time for grilling burgers with friends and family. So, regardless what the Communists (including BLM and Antifa) may have in mind, I am going to celebrate America and the average guy who worked his rear off to make this country great.

But Halloween is still up for debate 😉

God Bless America!



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Filed under America, History, legalism, Work

Helping a Museum

In Sandersville, Georgia, just a few miles south of me, is an old jailhouse. What makes it special is that up until the 1980’s it was one of the very few jailhouses where the Sheriff actually lived!

Now the jail is a museum and also houses the historical archives for the area. However, because of tourism being down, like with most places, they could use some extra funds to keep things up and going.

If you would like to purchase a print of the painting I did of the jail, click on the link below and 75% of the profit will go to the museum.

Thanks a lot!
Anthony

Click here for the Old Jail website.

Sandersville Jail Museum

$15.00Buy now

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Filed under art, fundraising, History, places

Some Places Never Leave You, Even After You Leave Them

This a view from Edwards Point, the mountain bluff above where I grew up and the pinnacle of every hiking trip I made as a kid.

This is the Tennessee River Gorge. Just across the river is Elder Mountain, where my grandfather hid from revenuers.

To the right is Prentice Cooper Game Reserve. The Cumberland Trail weaves its way through there, down from the top of the mountain, down across the creek, then up to where this scene depicts.

I grew up in the community of Suck Creek. Just out of view, just below the rock bluff, the creek would feed the river. Up until a hundred or so years ago, during hard rain the creek and the river would create a powerful whirlpool capable of pulling small boats under and stopping paddle wheelers.

It was only after a system of dams were built along the Tennessee River (operated by TVA), that the river was tamed enough for safe navigation.

This is also where my Cherokee ancestors on my paternal grandmother’s side resided. They were the ones who actually attacked the early settlers of Nashville when their boats were stuck in the “suck.”

The mountains and the river will always be in my blood. The peaceful drift of the water. The fresh air of old-growth forests. The legends and unforgettable scary bedtime stories from the old-timers.

Unfortunately, much has changed over the last decade. Much of where I spent my childhood and teen years are unrecognizable. Time has exacted a heavy toll from both progress and neglect. And where there was family land that outsiders feared to visit, now there’s million-dollar homes where outsiders moved to “preserve” the beauty.

Yet, I still remember. I still dream. I still imagine. That will never change. Time will only make the memories sweeter and the stories even better.

I may have left, but it’s never left me.

View from Edward’s Point, Signal Mountain, TN

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Filed under community, Family, History, nature, old age, maturity

America Was Established On God, But Then…

I admire this nation formed by God. I respect the brave men and women, motivated by God, who fought to establish this country. The precise structure …

America Was Established On God, But Then…

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Filed under Abortion, America, Guest Posts, History

For Such a Time As This

As I woke this morning, names started coming to mind.

I would like to share them with you.

Of the following names, try to think what is common among them all.

Deitrich Bonhoffer
Jim Elliot
Joseph (the one with the coat of many colors)
Brother Andrew
Cory Ten Boom
Harriet Tubman
Frederick Douglass
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Casey Jones (the railroad engineer)
Todd Beamer (flight 93)
Abraham Lincoln
William Wilberforce (member of Parliament)
Sir Winston Churchill
Horatio G. Spafford (It Is Well With My Soul)
Rosa Parks
William Wallace
Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Col. William Travis
Oskar Schindler
Moses
Esther

If you haven’t figured it out, there may be other similarities, but all of these names have at least one thing in common: You would have never known them had it not been for their moments of adversity, the challenges forced on them, or the stands they took in the face of injustice.

Consider the words of Mordecai to a fearful and hesitant Esther:

Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” – Esther 4:13-14 NLT

Dear friends, whatever the future of this country, God has us here “for just such a time as this.”

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Filed under America, Church, current events, History, politics, Struggles and Trials

I Wouldn’t Ask for More

They Did It!

Last Tuesday I told you that my daughter Katie was getting married that night. Well, despite my advice to walk away while there was still time, my Katie Bug, Katie Marie Baker, became Katie Marie Pearson.

The father and the bride

Don’t get me wrong, as I stood there alone with her behind the paper-thin walls of the tent, waiting for the moment I was to escort her out into the open for the world to see, I wasn’t expecting Katie to walk away. No, her heart and mind were made up, unchangeable, set “like a flint” to walk that aisle and say, “I do.”

And man! Did she ever!

The Vows

I have a few pictures, but I don’t want to share them with the world. What I would rather do is wait until Katie is able to share the professional photos that were taken of the wedding and reception. The only exceptions will be those you see here.

However, I do want to share with you a couple of other things, namely Gus (that’s my new son-in-law’s name) and Katie’s vows . . . and a video which we’ll get to in a moment.

In my years of pastoral ministry, I’ve performed over 200 weddings. That being said, I have never heard wedding vows more biblical and gospel-centered than the ones Gus and Katie shared. I was blown away! There was hardly any need to say anything else but “Kiss your bride.”

Therefore, if you don’t mind, I would like to share with you my daughter and son-in-law’s vows.

Gus’ Vows:

Katie Marie, from just our first few weeks working at Chick-fil-A, I knew our friendship would be a great one. Whenever I was near you, I felt a spirit of joy radiating from you, and there was no doubt where that joy comes from. God has gifted you with a joyous and bubbly personality, and it is one that I wanted to be around often. Today, I stand in front of our family and friends who have chosen to be witnesses to observe the covenant relationship I am making with you and God in marriage. I promise to spend every day I have on this earth with you dedicated and honoring this covenant we have made to each other before God. I promise to protect you and to provide for you and to trust God to do so when I cannot. I promise to love you, Katie Marie, my bride, as Christ loves us, the church, his bride. I will love you selflessly and sacrificially, and as I grow closer to Christ, my love for you will grow stronger. As the head of our household I promise to honor you as my equal in our new life together, and treat you with understanding as we begin this new journey. When hard times come, I promise to strive to exude wisdom and to point us, in our struggles, to the one that holds everything in his hands. Whether a disagreement, a concern, a crisis, that health, or anything that breaks us down, I will take it to God in prayer and seek his guidance. I promise all of these things with the hope for a future that leads us both toward Christ. It is my goal in this marriage to lead you with wisdom in the path God sets before us, and as Christ showed us by example, the best leaders are those who know how to serve. As we take the next step in our journey, I think it would be appropriate to make a reference to where it all began, and say, “Katie Marie, it will forever be my pleasure to serve you.

Katie’s Vows:

Gus, From the moment I first met you, I knew there was something in you that I wanted. You were so loving and kind and warm and welcoming to anyone, and I wanted that to be in my life every day. Today, I am standing next to you in front of all of these people so that I can enter into a covenant relationship with you and with God in marriage. I promise to uphold this covenant for all of the days and nights that I live on this earth with you. I promise to be your helper and give you my time, my energy, and my focus, even if it is limited. I promise to let you be the head of the household and submit to the authority that God has placed within you to be the priest of our home. In the moments of hurt and shattered expectations, I promise to strive in showing God’s wisdom in my actions and reactions with Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And, in the times when I strive too little, I promise to seek forgiveness. I promise all of these things with a hope for a future that leads us both toward Christ. It is my goal in this marriage to be the second violin to your first, and to trust your lead wherever you feel the need to take me.

What more would make me happy? That both of them had great incomes, perfect health, huge houses in which my wife and I could take up a room when we get old?

Honestly, if they keep their vows – and I’m pretty sure they will – I wouldn’t ask for anything more than that.

The father of the bride with Haley, the youngest daughter of the father of the bride 🙂
The oldest daughter of the father of the bride (Alicia), along with the bride and the granddaughter of the grandfather who’s the father of the bride (Emma).

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Filed under Family, History, Marriage, Relationships and Family

Gen. Robert E. Lee: A Man Worth Remembering, Not Erasing

I don’t know where it went during the move, but I am not ashamed to admit that I used to have a 5×7 portrait of Gen. Robert E. Lee hanging in my office (and I’d like another). Robert E. Lee was more than just a Confederate General; he was a man of supreme moral character and a leader like few this world has ever seen.

Yet, today, his statue in Virginia – his home state for which he fought – has been torn down by people who have no appreciation for history or bigger men than them. Petty and pitiful men are convinced that the removal of Lee’s statue will move us “forward,” but without a beginning, a foundation, a starting place, a past, there is no moving forward; it’s nothing more than flailing in mid air.

Therefore, I want to share several quotes from the man so many hate, yet know nothing about. The man that was President Lincoln’s first pick to lead the Union Army. The man that was partly responsible for making the South the “Bible belt” through the revivals he encouraged to sweep through the ranks of the troops. The man who hated war and hated slavery! 

“I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honour for its preservation. I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labour, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will.”

In a letter to his sister, he wrote… “With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the Army, and, save in defense of my native state, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword.”

“What a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbours, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world!”

“My heart bleeds at the death of every one of our gallant men.”

“So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this, as regards Virginia especially, that I would cheerfully have lost all I have lost by the war, and have suffered all I have suffered, to have this object attained.”

“The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Although history knows him mostly as “the Rebel General,” Lee was a disbeliever in slavery and secession and was devoutly attached to the republic that his father and kinsmen had helped bring into being. He was, moreover, very advanced in his rejection of war as a resolution of political conflicts—a fact that has been almost entirely ignored by posterity. As a U.S. Army colonel in Texas during the secession crises of late 1860, he wrote, “[If] strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, I shall mourn for my country and for the welfare and progress of mankind.”

“It is history that teaches us to hope.” Why would we want to erase it?

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Filed under America, Culture Wars, current events, General Observations, History