Tuesday, March 31, 2009

228- A ROMANIAN PHILOSOPHICAL THOUGHT!.....

"I am the author of my life; unfortunately, I'm writing in pen and cannot correct my mistakes!"

From a Romanian friend....so introspective!

227- UNCLE REMUS!...........

A) "Song of the South" did it for this potentially creative and highly imaginative munchkin! I came away from "Bambi" tramatized at the shooting of the dad in the woods! But I also came away feelin' good inside and proud of Uncle Remus as a character on the big silver screen. Thanks, to the late Walt Disney and the crew who created that wonderful film! Disney chose an absolutely fresh face to portray Remus in his film...James Baskett. Hey, this guy, me, can still whistle and even sing that song...can you?

B) "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah...." I admit to, having grown up with the Walt Disney film "Song of the South", having a problem with distinguishing between my research on the Joel Chandler Harris books and characters and the Disney song! Back in the summer of 1879, Joel Chandler Harris, 30, was a journalist from Atlanta. That would be the last summer before he reached fame forever!
The Atlanta Constitution published this copy editor's first creative piece..."Story of Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox as told by Uncle Remus." Word spread and mags across America were reprinting The uncle Remus tales. And his book, collections, was published in November of 1880.
When interviewed back then, Harris noted that he simply wanted to "document" the stories in their original dialect, and that he honestly felt that he would not make much of an impression....WRONG!

C) The illustrations with his book and books are outstanding. You need to check out those original illustrations, too. I like what Disney's crew did with their much later illustrations, BUT the Joel Chandler Harris ones were classics! Oh, back in 1879, he was known for a spell as Joe Harris!
Copies of the first Uncle Remus volume, "Legends of the Old Plantation" were published in 1881, and those 1st editions are worth quite a bit! Over time, Harris produced seven (7) volumes, collections.
We know that Mark Twain read the Uncle Remus stories to his children. Clements and his family were excited once to actually meet Harris. If you've ever perused Twain's "Autobiography"....he noted that "He (Harris) was the bashfulest grown person I have ever met. When there were people about he stayed silent and seemed to suffer until they were gone. But he was lovely, nevertheless, but the sweetness and benignity of the immortal Remus looked out from his eyes, and the graces and sincerities of his character shone in his face."

D) I don't have any difficulty keeping the original Harris illustrations of Uncle Remus and gang separated from the Disney version...now!
As a matter of fact, this historian developed voices and mannerisms of Uncle Remus, Bre'r Rabbit, Bre'r Fox and Bre'r Bear and began using the brief skit to speak with groups. A regional storytelling contest was entered in Norfolk....taking 1st place and a chance to go on to compete in Charlottesville for the State Storytelling contest, by using the Uncle Remus tale of the "Tar Baby", complete with all of the actions, voices and mannerisms of the foursome were used! Did Ron Squire win?....hmmm, can you say "yeah"? Gosh, a State champion raconteur, storyteller! Uncle Remus would be proud!

226- OK, DO OPPOSITE'S, ACCORDING To An AGE'S OLD FOLK TALE, ATTRACT?....

Generally...NOT! According in an indepth study of nearly 800 members of a recently published Psychology journal, twosomes did show a correlation preference for those with a like personality, with an average of more than half choosing traits openness, agreeability, being an extravert and possessing a conscientiousness about goals and attitudes.
An earlier study in 2005 also revealed that similar personalitites were more important in other traits like religion, values and even attitudes in general.
Note...what a person SAY they want in a preference often does not match up with what they ACTUALLY choose in forming a satisfying union!
The conclusions in that earlier study also noted that "opposite" attractions often did not mature into serious intimate relationships. And, if "opposites" do mature a bit, those involved tended to end the relationships earlier than expected.
Here again, in an earlier BLOG in "the squire's way", what women generally wanted in a relationship often did not match what the male gender was searching for...a definite gender gap in American society. Oh, what generally did most women want from a guy? Emotional stability...conscientiousness...outgoing. These traits, of course, add up to...investing in a family with children!
As always, YOU read and listen and decide for yourself!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

225- "FaceBook"...MORE THAN MEETS YOUR COMMUNICATION EYE?.....

"Snoop City" is one. Another one? You don't own what you post, including your pics! But, it is fun to many who post on FaceBook, to communicate with real friends! 'Thangs' you didn't realize....
If you expect privacy between your "friends", forget it! Persons can read all that you write within your expanded group...and go through all of the personal and private pics you post, snooping. And, when you read the fine print before signing on with FaceBook, you'll discover that they own the rights to your posted pics and epistles. FaceBook was originally meant to actually communicate with your FRIENDS. However, anyone connected to your "friends" can read all that you send and receive. That would be OK if YOU don't mind or care, but, some do SNOOP and read all of your personal material without your real permission, including looking at those pics that you sent just for a particular friend! For some reason or tother, people believe, think, that what they "write" in FaceBook is oh so private, like writing a letter years ago that was posted and opened in the privacy of your mind! Again, if you don't mind or care, forget my revelation!
And why do I use the word "snoop"? Go figure....

Friday, March 27, 2009

224- THE WORLD'S MOST FASCINATING HISTORY MYSTERIES #8...JAMES SMITHSON!.....

James Smithson....oh, where have you heard that name before?
This successful scientist from the late 18th and early 19th century was a naturalized British citizen (French) who never once set foot in our America, BUT, leaves all Americans, and the world, forever, his name and absolute curious fascinating for....natural science!...and $$$$. Ready to discover how and why?....soon!
He inherited, after his parent's death, a goodly sum of money, but did not let him simply live the good life. He was an avid and diligent researched, determinted to earn a name for himself among the world's scientists....at a young age! His voluminous notes were published from his expert scientif experiements. He even wrote his Last Will and Testament with expert details in 1826.
He left all to a nephew, and state that if his nephew died without an heir the money would go "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowlege...."

And take a gander, today, along the Washington Mall, what encompasses our Smithsonian Institution. I am told that the huge amount of collections are stored away in nondescript warehouses throughout the D.C. suburbs and not in familiar exhibitions along the Mall.

The museums are numerous, and many I have explored. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur Sackler Gallery have Asian American art. The National Museum of African Art, National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History. The latter one is one of my faves, with the huge elephant in the main lobby. And yes, there is quite a collection of mummies inside this one. The Nationa Museum of the American Indian, National Portrait Gallery and National Postal Museum. And the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, with folk art, crafts and photography from the 18th C. to the present.
But, since kidhood, my absolute fave is the National Zoological Park, with over 400 animals spread out over a 163-acre park. Little secret: the REAL title of this zoo is...The Rock Creek Zoological Park. When you check out your trusty and good maps of D.C., you'll notice that there is a narrow green space running for quite a distance in town...that's Rock Creek Park!
Oh, I forgot the Smithsonian Institution Building know as "The Castle", along the Mall. The distinct looking redstone building is now the Info Center. There's also the Hishhorn Museum and Sculture Garden and the popular National Air and Space Museum...both near each other on OUR National Mall!

Thanks, James Smithson, who never visited our America and had NO concept of what today is America's premiere SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION...you done good!

223- L-O-V-E....ARE YOU VULNERABLE?....

A mystery revealed..... How and why the mystery of any kind of love makes us vulnerable, and how that emotion can make us both strong and/or "open to" misunderstandings and hurts for we have a tendency to read into more than what is in front of us. For example: that person is "ignoring" us? Every little action/reaction is being analyzed way out of the norm because we now are vulnerable where we were not before. We've "lost" that edge, that ability to see and reason clearly. And, when this mode sets in, being reassured is all important! A friend, spouse or sweetie has to possess that intuitive skill of reassuring the other, simply "seeing" that someone is a bit jealous or being ignored or needs a...hug.
But, also, being strong can be achieved, too. Nothing will be allowed to deter that feeling of friendship or caring or love...'cause you are sure, assured and/or reassured by that friend, spouse or sweetie! Know what I, uh, mean?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

222- THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND...A C-Ville ORIGINAL!.....

For all of us who have ever studied in Charlottesville, Virginia, at a "little school" out and about town (The University of Virginia), the term C-Ville has a special meaning. But, lo and behold, some of us remember a small live group who began their musical career playing in the cellars of the businesses along Main Street closer to the school in the university town.
Dave Matthews is a South African who came to live in C-Ville. He formed a live band with a racially integrated group of musicians, including a guitar, drums, Sax, violin and bass. Their music associated closely with young people back then, using a mix of rhythm, jazz-rock, celtic folk and blues. People caught on quickly, in the '90s, and the ensemble moved on to gigs in Richmond and beyond. The rest is, uh, history!
Virginia is PROUD of the C-Ville group that made it to the top on originality AND musical skill!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

221- THE COLLEGE Of WILLIAM And MARY CLASS Of 1762!.....

Notice, that's THE CLASS OF 1762! Oh, Thomas Jefferson completed his studies at the College of William and Mary in two (2) years!

"I believe in dreams for the future, rather than history in the past!"
(Thomas Jefferson - W&M Class of 1762)

Jefferson will always be my intellectual and Renaissance hero...no matter what!!

220- The WILLIAM And MARY CAMPUS HISTORY MYSTERY SOLVED!....

Go back to my Blog #153--"W&M Walkabout"--if you want to check, or recheck out neat stuff about one of my fave subjects, the 2nd oldest university in America!
For some time, after researching over the years and composing a series of published newspaper essay about the campus, one history mystery eluded me---the truck ruins by one of the College Woods trials near the intersection of Monticello and Ironbound. This local historian has hiked all of the miles of trials out and about the campus.
Well, thanks to a professor, that truck ruins history mystery has been...solved.
Wanna hear the mystery solved?.......coming......
BUT...I'm getting vibes that, after asking about the truck ruins over the past couple of years, "someone" wants to remove them!!!....NO....

219- "TRUTH In POLITICS...TRUTH In GOVERNMENT?....

Ponder a bit....when was the last time YOU came across someone, anyone, in "politics" or Local government, State government or Federal government who speaks without a "forked tongue"...who tells "it" the way "it" is without gobbledygook ("unclear, wordy jargon")?
Please tell me.......

Sunday, March 22, 2009

218- S-P-A-N-K-I-N-G!...TO Or NOT TO?......

Take some time to ponder this one...I already have!
We need to include terms like "spanking"..."slapping"...and "whipping."
According to many researches over the years, the majority of parents do "spank", meaning a swat ON the fanny. But, from all of my empirical knowlege and readings, there is a huge difference of opinion on a personal level in American society as to whether it's the right thing to do to spank or not to spank. And, remember, no one has ever come up with a teaching class or license in our society's history to judge whether "spanking" works!
A looong 100-year-old series of studies have indicated that spanking does make a spanked child more aggressive in the long run but seems to work in the short term. The researchers have also concluded that, with the "defiant" child, spanking does make the practice worse!
Again, don't forget that the studies relate ONLY to spanking on the butt-butt.
"Slapping" and "whipping" were not included in the research.
This social practice will never be resolved until and unless society goes into a private home and dictates, by law, to or not to! Reminds me, also, of capital punishement and abortion as national issues to ponder.
I was "whipped" as a child, and the practice did create a defiant vow within me to NEVER even consider spanking, slapping or whipping another human being!!! I considered it demeaning and, eventually, realized that the act was done with a form of anger and physical "violence on the part of the person doig the spanking." I believe that anger can beget anger later in life as THE solution to any form of aggresstion or solving any problem! Once, when at the zoo with another family, the father in that other family slapped my legs, shorts, with a switch while I was behaving and enjoying an exhibit. "You leaned over and touched those flowers...." I felt repulsed and revolted by that small action from an adult who didn't have the authority but especially didn't possess the common sense to know right from wrong!
I can onlly imagine the numbers of "ignorant" parents in the past and now who BEAT a child...an adult striking, with anger, YES, a child smaller than themselves. I can imagine, also, plenty of parents in the past and now who feel that a swat on the fanner, without violence, helps to teach good lessons. See...the delimma?
And yes, even within a small societal world of mine, I've listened to stories of whippings given out with a belt and cringed just by the stories! I ask the question of....where does a swat on the fanner end and a "whipping" or "slap" begin? And, most importantly, the frame of mind of the "whipper" while doing it on a smaller size human being?....anger? I say, then, how dare that person do that on and to another human being?
I also pose the question as to whether a BIG "whipper", parent or adult, should have some form of legal punishment meted out for to those who use spanking when mentally enraged. Maybe...have the same slap or whipping or wallop done to the adult or parent in front of an audience, like in early Colonial days? A public whipping? My memory bank can conjure up the action, a time or three, when a parent slapped a child in a grocery store, right of front of the world, at the checkout counter, because they were tempted by that candy always displayed there! And especially seeing that insult and demeaning slap on the face of a FELLOW human while the world watched...I can "see" that humiliatio" on the face of a child right now! And how can I remember it so well? Happened to me......

For me, in my honest personal opinion, NO physical contact...period!

Monday, March 16, 2009

217- LIKE THANKS......

For a week or more, was a bit under the "weather" from a bout with a flu, a first in a long time. And it was appreciated muchly with friends sending "positive vibes." Back at the Rec Center, a guy friend stopped by and said I was missed b the regulars and had kept asking about me. Remember what Ninny said to Evelyn at the end of the bestest film "Fried Green Tomatoes"?..............."Know what I think the most important thing in life is?.....friends!"

216- RUMSPRINGA....An AMISH Custom!....

Growing up as a member of the Brethren, this historian is familiar with the custom of Rumspringa. The term is Pennsylvania German one for "running around." Only SOME members of the Amish allow the custom during their adolescence. In recent years, people in American society have gotten the idea that ALL Amish practice the custom.
The age usually begins around sixteen and ends when the Amish youth chooses to be baptised in the church OR leave the church community. The elders in this sect who do agree with the custom in therory view the time as a courtship for finding a spouse.
The term "Rumspringa" actually, away from popular outside the Amish church beliefs, simply means "adolescence" and not anything goes!
A minority, of course, like in any culture, may go far beyond established customs.

Examples: not attending home prayer...drinking alcoholic beverages...wearing non-traditional clothing and style of hair. (One of my fave films of all time is "Witness"...you do get a good feel for clothing and thinking...in the film you'll hear them refer to "outsiders" as the "English out there.")...also, driving trucks or autos and not a horse drawn buggy. The young man may alter his traditional hat to rebel. In Rockingham County, Va., Dayton and Harrisonburg, you'll find horse and buggy often parked iutside a market and long lines of horse and buggies on Sunday going and coming from church out in the country...Ohio and Pennsylvania, too.

Some Amish youth do go outside the community, among "the English" to live and experience modern technology and may experiment with it all. However, I understand that they are not barred from returning to the church, with, it seems, most do return. Just like any town or culture in American society, each area or community may have their own distinct standards. Therefore, a true historian cannot label one as being true of all!

I've spent considerable time, in the Shenandoah Valley, studying, observing and simply getting to know, in general, the Amish and Mennonites, knowing quite well that within those groups and churches customs and traditions may and do vary from even individual churches in the same county. Want to learn more? Be curious......

215- SOCIAL COMMENTARY #1...SO, WHAT'S A "COUGAR"?....

"Cougar"...a relatively new sociology term....a woman dating a guy more than 8 years her junior. The term originated in Vancouver and had negative connations. Today, the social term is positive.
"She's in control...feels attractive...confident...stable...no commitment...more interesting, having more experience...no cohabitation!" Some feel that the term, "cougar", signifies something preditory and DO NOT appreciate its designation, that something must be wrong with her and her thinking in society. But others cheer her on! Some also see this as a "movement" within societal dating and relationships. That, however would take time time into the future to tract.
YOU read up, please, if you're interested in this social phenomenon, and YOU decide how to view it! My point, as a sociology educator, is to bring it up and out into our American society.

214- GULP!...WHAT WAS IN THAT WENDY'S 'FROSTY' SHAKE?...

Some guys, over the years, have been quite clever in hiding that engagement ring 'til springing the question! Well, now....Kaitlin Whipple drank all of it, while Reed Harris smiled and waited, ready to 'surr-prise' his almost BIG question of "will you?"...all taking place in Farmington, New Mexico.

Later, when he took her to a local hospital, a 'tech' checked with X-rays. Yes, the ring was there...And yes, "this too did pass...."

Friday, March 13, 2009

213- M-E-M-O-R-I-E-S...MAKIN' MEMORIES!...#1...

When sponsor for different classes over the years, each one was given a Motto, and one was "Makin' Memories!" A huge "Signature Wall" (4'x8') idea was created, beginning in 1980, and now extends the length of an entire hall and was agreed on to go down the other side of the hall. In the meantime, after the huge success of the "Signature Wall" for years, art windows were installed in the "unused-to-be" space on the opposite side, ending the early "Signature Walls".
Now, all of the future grads?...go figure!!
Each "Signature Wall" has a designated year, with hundreds of that year's grads individually signing before sealing on the wall. This educator is proud of that creation! For over 20 years, students have come back and touched their name on the "Signature Wall", remembering their MEMORIES and those of their friends.

a- How important are memories in your life? A friend's mom died recently...when the granddaughter stood up, recently, to express the importance of her grandmother's life, composing the eulogy beforehand, she began the most important "speech" of her life and developed a tear or three as she proceeded....BUT, she COMPLETED her memories of love for her grandmother with words. She was "Makin' Memories!"
b- Learning to bake cookies or a cake? Did you have a neat Mom who told you to actually use your fingers to scrap and lick the batter from the bowl? Those WERE memories!
c- Skipping across a meadow! Bet none of you have ever actually learned to SKIP across a yard! My maternal grandmother, when little Ronnie would visit on her farm in Rockingham County, Virginia, once taught me to skip across her meadow from the farmhouse up to the ancient barn. And RON can still do it! I could really FLY across a meadow, skipping...try it? That's one of a thousand or three memories from that old farm!
d- Ice skating! Remember when, in Virginia, it was actually cold enough for a spell for the ponds and lakes to freeze enough to ice skate? This guy had a secret "dream" to zoom across a long stretch of lake ice, going from foot to foot to FLY! But the bestest "dream" was to skate an "8"! While researching through early '50s and '60s Virginia Gazettes on microfilm at the Library, would come across scenes of skaters on Lake Matoaka. Ah...memories of ice skating in our town....
e- MANNERS? Do you remember, memories, when most people in our society felt them inside, internalization, and practiced that Golden Rule of decent manners to and with others? What happened?
f- Memories...a pot of homemade vegetable soup barely simmering all morning on the stove...yeast rolls rising nearby with a cloth across the top?
g- An undisturbed and much needed NAP in the afternoon...do YOU MAKE time?
h- Reading a fresh NOVEL, curled up snug as a bug in a quilt on the sofa, smackdab during a rainy day?...with that neat feeling that a hidden world is inside your own own mind and not in a boob-tube sitting in front of you?
i- What it feels like to receive a LETTER in the USPS postbox from an overdue friend...and you open it quickly, walking back to the pad, reading every word as you wander back?
j- Jumping rope?...singing those silly songs learned years ago with jump-mates?
k- Swinging so high, letting go and sailing through the air...and landing on your feet? They oughta put you on "Dancing With The Swingers"?
l- Dumb jokes? Know what "seafood" is? Knock, knock.....?
m-

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

212- NOW, SIX (6) MORE U.S. QUARTERS!....

a- Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
b- District of Columbia
c- Guam
d- American Somoa
e- the U.S. Virgin Islands
f- the Northern Marianna Islands

aa- All six coin designs have been approved. Puerto Rico's quarter will be out the end of this March. I'm still looking for the new pennies coming out this year, and the "biggie" February in 2010. That penny design is a secret!

bb- My collection now includes the Puerton Rican and D.C. quarters. Guam will be minted in May. Got them from Littleton Coins, a company I trust! Have collected all 50 of the State quarters in a special folder.

cc- Did find the first one of the new Lincoln pennies...on eBay, though. Irrigates me a bit to discover that some "bib" companies sap up collectable coins. There will be three (3) more new Lincoln pennies coming....and the big "mystery" Lincoln penny in February of 20010! We don't know what is on it until..... It will, however, replace the current "memorial" penny.

dd- New "gold" Presidential Dollars....
Have collected the first nine (9) coins, from Gerorge Washington through so far to William Henry Harrison. The 10th coin will be our Virgina Pres. John Tyler on May 16th. I get them at the Bank of America but not for a good week or two after that May 16th issue date. They cost simply a dollar each. However, any coin bought through a business or company will be more than face value!

ee-Anyone else a coin or paper money collector?

FLASH: the U.S. Mint is, I believe, planning to design a series of new QUARTERS honoring our American National Parks, with Yellowstone, I hope, the FIRST ONE!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

211- NEAT AMERICAN PLACES And CULTURES To VISIT AND EXPLORE!..#I...GULLAH HISTORY And HERITAGE!.....

"Ef oona ent kno weh oona da gwine, oona should kno weh oon come from." (Gullah)
The Sea Islands stretch along the coasts of South Carolina and northern Georgia, forming clusters that once upon a time were "hidden" from the mainland. The native islanders' culture and language have always been known as GULLAH!
Because there was a booming business, rice, in the South during the early 1800s, the slave trading 'business' expanded rapidly. And, former slaves from the West African coastal countries of Sierra Leone and Senegal were needed for cultivation of rice would make that area of the South an excellent location. The African slaves were from the Rice Coast of West Africa and the islands climate matched the one in West Africa.
The slaves brought their own tradions, customs and good skills, and, with the isolation of the area, naturally have maintained them for over 200 years, including their Gullah, or Geechee, language.
Because of the unusual size of the rice plantations and complete isolation, even though the slaves were under severe hardship with injustice and abuse of the slave system, their Sea Islands location did create a sense of independence and personal worth. Other rice plantations did not have that. The term for that area of South Carolina and part of Georgia would be known as the "lowcountry."
During the first year of the Civil War, November of 1861, Union troops took over "lowcountry" and the Sea Island slaves were set FREE. They became some of the first to own their own land. Some served in the Union Army, too. A school was established, Penn, and education followed.
The Gullah community is a direct descendent of those from the West African coast, with the isolation all of these years doing justice to their unique language and traditions, culture!

(Gullah translation from above: "If you don't know where you are going, you should know where you come from.")

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

210- "HELLO, 911?...THEY WERE OUT OF NUGGETS! AND TRIED TO PALM OFF HUSH PUPPIES ON ME!"....

"I want my money back! They won't give me my money back! By the way, can I get on TV and make a bunch of money? But I need time to get my hair done before going on TV, ok?" And what do you mean it's against the law, a crime, that I can't call the 911 # for my nugget problem? Nuggets are very important to me, to America!

209- OH MI GA!...IT'S BARBIE'S BIRTHDAY On MARCH 14th!.....

No matter what, Barbie IS a success!!!
Ruth Handler created Barbie in 1959, with pierving blue eyes and that platinum blonde hair, after her own daughter, Barbie. She also had a real son named Kenneth...hence, the Ken doll
Ruth got the idea for a Barbie during a trip to Germany
Her original plan was to create a teenage fashion model, and, over the years, Barbie's clothes took the center spotlight.
Over the years, in 1960s novels, we discovered that her name was Barbie Millicent Roberts, and her father was George and her mother Margaret. Also, Barbie had over 40 pets, including horse, a panda, a lion cub and a zebra. Many girls had a toy pink Corvette, even horse trailers and jeeps. Did you know that Barbie even had a pilot's license?
Ask any grown-up former Barbie lover for tons of additional trivia about the famous blonde doll!
Oh, also ask how many "girls" still have a Barbie or three at home somewhere! AND how many of those Barbie's still have ALL of the hair intact?
ALSO, did your bro ever slip over and play with your Barbies? (Good for him!)....and which one was your absolute FAVE Barbie? Better yet, how many of you coeds openly liked playing with the GI-Joe's?

Barbie TATOOS?...the latest, but they're actually those paper "wet transfers" billions of us, as kids, used!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

208- "CALL NOW!...DON'T DELAY, CALL NOW!!"....HURRY UP And CALL RIGHT NOW!..."PASS MY STIMULUS BILL, NOW, 'CAUSE WE'RE HAVING A MAJOR CRISIS, NOW!....

Where, oh where, have you heard those urgent pleas before?

DON'T be suckered into some slicko advertising and political gimmick like this, blasted AT YOU on radio and TV, constantly. You're much smarter than that to fall for such garbage. Think for yourself! And isn't it an absolute insult to your integrity and intelligence for advertisers and politicians to pull that TRICK? Turn it off......otay?

207- AMERICAN HEROES #3....TOM HOWES, MARC GONSALVES & KEITH STANSELL!....

There were actually five of them in the downed aircraft in Colombia on February 13, 2003.
They were working as military contractors, looking for drub labs and coca fields from a sureillance plane. And the plane's motor failed, with the pilot, later executed, guiding it into a tiny clearing on the side of a mountain. Almost immediately a revolutionary group swarmed the downed airplane. Tom Janis, pilot, was soon executed, along with a Colombian Army Sgt.

Tom Howes, March Gonsalves and Keith Stansell were captured by a group of revolutionaries waging war against the Colombian government for over 40 years and were using the drug trade and kidnappings for ransoms to finance its campaigns.

For 5 and a half years they were held captive and constantly moved many times, being treated in inhumane ways...malnourished...cold...untreated wounds...snakes and insects. Howes' and Gonsalves' marraiges eventually folded. But they continued with HOPE! Many times the kidnappers got a thrill out of playing "chess" with their captives' lives. On June 2, 2008, a helicopter showed up, with the Colombian military tricking the rebels into loading the three Americans and a few high-profile Colombians into the 'copter supposedly to move them to another camp. It WAS a trick!
The rebels were captured and the hostages freed to fly away in the 'copter!

The three former hostages, with the help of a "shadow writer", wrote a book--"Out of Captivity"--that is now out. For those 5+ years spent in horrible conditions, these three guys are American heroes for not giving up, especially spiritually.

206- REMEMBER THOSE RED AMERICAN FLYER SLEDS?.....

Well, since at least the year 2000, the company doesn't make the RED AMERICAN FLYER sleds anymore! They were actually named the American Flexible Flyer wooden sleds, and we could make the front turn to the left or right, hence, the "flexible" part.
The Flexible Flyer sled was invented during the 1860s (that's the Civil War time frame) bu Samuel Leeds Allen, and he has the patent for it's uniqueness. He was from a prominent Philadelphia Quaker family. History tells us that he began his fascination with snow coasting as a boy. Allen's sled design had twin, red runners and that flexible-crossbar for steering. Remember?
When you do your research, you'll discover that, after all of these years since the 1860s, his patented sled design remains unequaled, period!
Now, who has one of 'em stored away?
Gosh, forgot....anyone ever go zooming off on a toboggan on the snow? Let's see...a 4-seater...6-seater...and an 8-seater. First one sat down at the front, with the next one wrapping their legs around the first and so on to the back. AND...if you fell off? Everyone fell off, connected together, sliding all the way down the snow-covered hill on your butt-butts!

Monday, March 2, 2009

205- MY FAVE "PONDERABLES" and NON-FAVE "PISSANTS".....

Among the numerous creativity methods developed in class over the years were the daily "PONDERABLES" printed up on the green board in front. Every single day questions or thoughts, ponderables, were formulated the night before, or on the way to school, to stimulate thinking...a centuries-old tried and proven Socratic method of education! Students were expected to think and then comment...especially to disagree, if they wanted to, with style and respect, the thinking opinions of fellow mates. They all loved it, for years! When I look back, not a single administrator ever positively noted the method's remarkable value in education....hmmmm.

And my non-fave term is "pissant". Yes, the term, "an insignificant or contemptible person or thing", is in our New Oxford American Dictionary. (a)When someone drives around town breaking legal and decency laws, they are a "pissant". (b)When someone breaks into line because they are selfish and in a hurry, they are a "pissant". (c)When a principal drove the car for a conference in another state, with teachers, and they had to insist that one of them drive instead because of driver drinking, he was a "pissant". (d)When a clerk talks on the phone the entire time she's ringing up your order, never looks at you and then does NOT even say 'thank you', she's a "pissant". (e)When someone taps you on your back while you're on a machine at the Rec Center, a NO-NO, wanting you to get off after only being on for 2 minutes because SHE'S in a hurry, she's a "pissant' and rude as..... (f)when someone spreads a lying piece of low-life rumor, they're an absolute "pissant". (g)when someone thinks and acts like they're better than you, they're a "pissant". (h)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

204- "BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO....", According To Neil Sedaka's Song!....

Suppose a relationship, on the part of one of the two, isn't 'growin', maturing? Is it possible to tell the "other" that "breaking up" is a given...and to "break up" in a respectible way?

So, how does one of the two break up, without being a pissant?

There is, generally, a wide difference between genders in American society today, and enough of us understand the gap but not necessarily how to solve it.

a- Call cheating exactly what it is...cheating behind someone else's back. It's dirty pool. "I've met someone else!" also fits into that category. What kind of person would do that with someone they had shared feelings? Have the decency to NOT begin another relationship before resolving the current one. Think of how that person is feeling?
b- Delivering the "news" by e-mailing or note or leaving a message on the phone or getting a third person to tell him or her...that is LOW, a double coward and was done in middle school! Remember? Friendship, honor and respect can be maintained with communicating face to face.
c- No false hopes...what if he or she begins to get highly emotional, and mixed signals are given about "Well, maybe we could...." Won't work, but don't forge that you've been thinking about the breakup, and she/he just heard about it! And do be respectful enough to explain at a later disignated time WHY. That 'dumpee' needs to be heard. Playing the old disappearing game is for a pissant!
d- "Gosh, it's not you, it's me!" C'mon, anyone can see through that lie, you jerk.
e- "One more time for old time's sake?" The other person is vulnerable, and it won't really hurt just one more time? Another "C'mon". How selfish can one be...again?
f- It takes time! One day you may very well be in the "dumpee" column.
g- One's dignity is everything! And I'm not sure that the average male gender has the finesse....that actually means experience WITH sympathetic understanding and caring! NOT in public...saving face means so much
h- Reasons! The female gender, in general, honestly do better with reasons. Most can then accept, or begin to accept, the breakup and "move on" if nothing but gradually. However, eplicit reasons can go too far to hurt. Being rejected is bad enough for a person involved, but to be told that she uses too much makeup?...or that he has b.o? It's way beneath another to breakup and be spiteful!
i- And remember....most of us will probably become the "dumpee" at least once in your dating career....what goes around could just as well come around to you...so, BE a decent person when you breakup, for whatever reason

203- AMERICA'S HEROES #2....Major John Wesley Powell!....

He studied geology, zoology and botanny...on his own, without a teacher, and spent considerable time exploring parts of Illionois, Iowa, Wisconsin and then the Iron Mountain area of Missouri. He deveoped an indepth curiosity by collecting shells and rocks. At the age of 22, he traveled on the Mississippi River, alone for some distance.
When the Civil War broke out in 1860, he enlisted and was appointed a 2nd lt. At the Battle of Shiloh, he lost his right arm but returned to service when the wound healed. His wife, Emma Dean, was granted permisson from Gen. Grant to accompany her husband on the battlefield to take care of him. During the duration of his stay in the Army, he was promoted to the rank of major!

After the War, Powell accepted the possition of professor of geology and curator of the museum for the Illinois Weslayan U. at Bloomington, where he had previously earned a bachelor of arts and master of arts. And he spent considerable time trying to raise money on the lecture tour. In 1886, although not a college grad, he received a Ph.D from Heidelberg and a L.L.D. from Harvard.

Something about the unexplored Grand Canyon area intrigued him during various field trips out west. So, on May 24, 1869 Powell and nine recruits began their history making journey down the Green River from Green River Station, Wyoming. History says that a group of excited people cheered and clapped for them.

By then one of the four boats had been lost in a rapids, along with most of their 10-month supply of provisions. In June one man, Frank Goodman, left the expedition claiming he had already had enough adventure for a lifetime. He walked out to a nearby settlement, but history has lost track of Goodman. The rest made it to the Colorado River (Spanish for "red river").

On the Colorado River, he and his now 8 men, confronted many more rapids, and Powell concluded that he could not safely run them safely...but they did. Three of his men made a strong case for not continuing, but Powell continued. Those three left the expedition leaving Powell and five to complete the trip. Powell, however, left his boat, the "Emma Dean", in case the three changed their mind and come down.

Powell and his remaining explorers headed down the Colorado, not know that ahead would lie only two more major rapids. In the meantime, the 3 who had left the party climbed out of the canyon where the Shivwits Indians, mistaking them for miners they thought had killed a Hualapai women on the south side of the river, killed them. Powell was told that a year later when he came across the Indian group traveling with a Mormon Scout.

On August 29, 1869 and his remaining men reached the mouth of the Virgin River (now under Lake Mead). It was there that Powell met a group of settlers fishing from that river bank. For over three months, they were missing and thought dead. He had succeeded in confirming his theory about the Colorado River through what they called the Grand Canyon. Only wild rumors had been heard of that huge region of America's West. I can only image if Powell had had a Nikon along on that adventurous trip of lifetime!

Powell and his remaining explorers returned to Illinois as heroes! This time, however, when he went on his lecture tour, money flowed because he now had the detailed map and facts! Many more successes came to this all-American hero for the years to follow. You can read about them in various publicatins. When he died in September of 1902, with his honors earned during the Civil War, Johm Wesley Powell was buried in our Arlington National Cemetery. But, over and above those, our country has forever reserved a most honorable place in all of our history books as a true AMERCAN HERO! Put aside the TV one evening and READ about this heroic American's determination and original-style adventures. The Travel Channel has an EXCELLENT hour program filmed...excellent!

202- THE WORLD'S MOST FASCINATING HISTORY MYSTERIES #7....Newlyweds GLEN And BESSIE HYDE!....

Not a trace of the newlyweds has ever been found...hmmm.
Glen Hyde, an Idaho farmer, and his wife, Bessie, were last seen on November 18, 1928. The two newlyweds were rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. It was their honeymoon trip in a homemade built wooden boat. Bessie's goal was to become the first woman ever to raft down the Colorado!
And now the history mystery: about a month later, in December, their wooden boat was found drifting in calm waters. Their supplies were intact, but the couple had disappeared, without a trace!
Urban tales abounded!
Interested, on your own, for delving further into the history mystery? Two newer books have been out for 7 years or so, 2001: the novel "Grand Ambition" (Lisa Michaels) and Brad Dimock's "Sunk Without A Sound". Dimock is a river guide. I have not perused either book but will soon.
Oh, in 1971 an unidentified elderly woman was on a rafting trip and, some say, told the group around the campfire that she indeed was Bessie Hyde---that in 1928 she had killed her husband and hiked out of the canyon. She then began her life anew.
In my honest opinion, without having talked with her, the story is pure bunk!
Think...newlweds!