Wednesday, December 07, 2016

RECALLING 1941



In memoriam ...  all those whose lives were sacrificed December 7th and after


Commemorating the forever altered lives of so many.…so our families could survive in a continuing free nation.

…some of us recall the day
…some of us recall our parents describing the day
…some of us recall a school history book account of the day

…war’s horrors had once more been set in motion         

December 7th gives me pause each year to remember…..that Sunday morning in 1941…..

Mother and I learned of the attack on Pearl Harbor while attending our regular weekly church service.    We had arisen that Sunday morning as usual, dressed, ate our breakfast, caught the city bus near our house to ride down town, then walk the few blocks to our church while my high school age brother slept at home.   He had taken a job in a supermarket meat department, working until early Sunday morning hours beginning months earlier.   Mother didn’t expect him to attend church, knowing he needed the rest.   
  
She remembered WWI – the sacrifices affecting family and friends when she was a young single woman.  She had learned then of war’s horrors so knew what another war, possibly on our shores, could mean.    She was now the mother of a son who could be called to fight.
 
I would begin to learn what war meant in the months to come.    
   
The ensuing WWII impacted all our lives in multiple ways.   Following high school graduation, because that was the earliest our Mother would  sign for him to enlist,  my brother finally joined the U.S. Navy where he served in the Pacific Theater – thankfully uninjured when he mustered out at war’s end.  

Years after WWII ended he lived on Hawaii's Oahu.    Circumstances were such I was with him on an occasion to await the arrival of a young non-military loved one returning from summer employment on Eniwetok -- a Pacific coral atoll – site of a WWII battle – years later the site of the first U.S.  H-Bomb test.   

Standing on the landing area at Hickam Air Base which had been so viciously strafed – where our Air Force had experienced so much loss that Sunday morning in 1941 – I was acutely aware those many years later of my surroundings tragic history.    I also was reminded watching the handsome young man deplaning that he would not have been present had his father not survived his WWII Pacific arena military service.   I thought then, and each December 7th, about how many others were not so fortunate.  

The veterans who survived the 1941 attack have dwindled in number just as have all WWII veterans, including my brother where he lived his last years on the Big Island of Hawaii.   We honor those lives specifically lost on that fateful December 7th.     We must not forget those individuals, the lessons of that day, or that war ­-­- World War II. 

We want to continue to honor all those who contributed to our countries survival as a nation. 

How many people realize that had our country and our Allies in other countries not prevailed in WWII that the USA would not exist as the democratic republic in which we’ve been privileged to live?    

The greatest tribute we can offer those who have given so much is to insure our system of government is preserved.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

BOB ALLEN'S MUSIC LIVES ON



New musical interpretations and arrangements from pianist and educator Bob Allen will be  no more.    He died peacefully August 29, 2015 at age 75.   More time has passed than I realized since I learned of his passing but his music will always linger on.  

Audio samples of Invitation, My Favorite Things, My One and Only Love and West Side Story 

An email I received from Bob that Spring noted he and wife Mickey were doing well with this added observation :   
 “This business of getting old is certainly not for the faint of heart. I don't think young people could take it! :) It just takes more doctors and good drugs!"

Bob's words can be most appreciated when the challenges throughout life he encountered are considered.   A Memoriam may be read at the American Council for the Blind with recollections of his personal interests.   His determination evidenced at an early age as he developed skills generally thought of as being only for the sighted.   

I described further adaptations he made in later life, due to health issues, in these two previous posts also featuring what seems now to be an especially moving YouTube video of his piano music arrangement of "One Less Bell To Answer":  




Bob’s unique musical arrangements were enjoyed in Central Ohio performances by so many people over 50 years.    Bob Prahin (Bob Allen was his stage name)

 “… was a titan of Columbus jazz, well-known for his 20+ year engagement with his trio at the Christopher Inn downtown and countless memorable performances throughout the region. He released 8 albums with the trio, including a popular live album recorded at the Christopher Inn.”  Andrew Patton wrote in JazzColumbus Weekly.
  
When the Christopher Inn first opened Bob continued performing as a duo with my husband as bassist as they had been entertaining at Stouffer’s University Inn where I had first heard this marvelous pianist.   Several  years later we relocated out of town when my husband’s career path led elsewhere but I recall with pleasure a return visit which included a memorable evening listening to the trio at the Christopher Inn.

"Love For Sale"  5:08

Bob’s trio continued to entertain at lounges, the Maramor,  regularly at Hyde Park Grill for many years where I last listened to the group in 2006 with his mesmerizing arrangements such as in this informally recorded video by Victoria Summers December 18, 2004:
“He loved to incorporate counterpoint into his arrangements..."

"Invitation"  13:28

“…bandleader Rick Brunetto, who considered Prahin a mentor and his dearest friend…was quoted by JoAnne Vivano in the Columbus Dispatch:

“He was a great virtuoso pianist,” Brunetto said. “He could almost move people to tears with the beauty of his ability to play.”

“Brunetto joined the trio as a drummer in the mid-1970s and played with Prahin for 13 years.”

“I consider him to be the greatest musician I’ve ever known,” he said. “It’s just a terrible loss to the music community.”

“Among his greatest gifts was his creativity and the ability to blend classical music and jazz into something new, said Brunetto and Prahin’s wife of nearly 11 years, Mickey Prahin.”

How often do we realize too late we should have made responsive contact sooner with special others in our life?    I guess we get caught up in our own lives allowing more time to pass than we realize.    Perhaps when we reach “a certain age” (but which one I’m not sure) we should check-in with each other more frequently.    Remembering Bob, we’ll always have the music….

"Moonlight Becomes You"   7:07

"Love Story"   5:18

"I Say A Little Prayer"  4:13

30

Friday, November 11, 2016

VETERANS DAY - CALIFORNIA SECEDE? -- PROTESTS


SALUTE TO ALL VETERANS ..

(USA wars are fought in name of all citizens)


A Tribute always and especially to WWII Veterans 

---our nation would not be here today -- free as we know it -- if not for them.

T H A N K    Y O U   !

 * * * * *

 

A NEW COUNTRY ?      NEW CALIFORNIA

CALIFORNIA is the biggest economy in the U.S. and the sixth largest in the world.  

CALIFORNIA  population racial demographics already reflect what those of the United States of America are expected to be in 2044 -- a diverse nation of people -- based on the Census Bureau's projection:

"By 2044, the United States is projected to become a plurality nation.While the non-Hispanic White alone population will still be the largest, no race or ethnic group is projected to have greater than a 50 percent share of the nation’s total."


Some Californians are considering options for the state to secede from the United States.  
Such an action is partially based on  the rhetoric which the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump  has previously directed toward various Silicon Valley business leaders and their enterprises, including media ownership.    Specifics may be read at this link to the  Guardian article describing current seceding issues.

Here is a link to the official site for California secede.


NEW INFLUENCES
 
The 2016 Presidential Election outcome has increased the impetus for more California residents to give serious consideration to supporting our state becoming our own country.

The degree of actual support for California's secession remains to be seen.   Other states in past years have had residents suggesting seceding for their own various reasons, most recently  as described in Texas. (by Phillip Bump, Washington Post.)

Inquisitor includes comments that select social media is suggesting  some Californians may see if  other Western states such as Oregon, Washington, Nevada  may be interested in seceding.


MY PERSPECTIVE

I presently think  this grand experiment of our democratic republic is best successfully perpetuated if California remains within the union of our fifty states plus Washington D.C.  

Citizens responsibility is to consider the current needs required as we continue to
-- sustain the viability of our way of government with thoughtful voting choices
-- refine, define, change, alter and correct our mistakes by demanding officials act only
    within the parameters  prescribed by these three  USA documents known collectively as

The Charters of Freedom:
Declaration of Independence
The Constitution
The Bill of Rights


The Great Questions  

Has "the establishment" (including the President-elect, House of Representatives and Senate members) received, correctly processed, determined to rectify the existing  inequity situations  -- including the economic gap described in "The Rich and the Rest" by Christina Pazzanese?


How long can our nation's way of government survive as we strive ethically and morally  to provide liberty and justice for all -- to be a positive force in the world and for humanity?  



* * * * *

ELECTION PROTESTS developed as I began this post......

This is the United States of America.    Traditionally the hallmark of our democracy has been a peaceful transition of one administration to another.   In fact, current President Obama has initiated transition arrangements following candidate Hillary Clinton's earlier concession of the 2016 Presidential election to Donald Trump.

However, the offensive nature associated with President-elect Trump's conduction of his campaign has resulted in eliciting strong emotions from voters.    That coupled with the election's outcome triggered citizen protests which began earlier Wednesday afternoon  in New York City outside his Trump Tower residence --- he was the winner when the Electoral College votes were tallied, but received fewer popular votes than his opponent.

This is the second time in the past five elections the Electoral College winner garnered fewer popular votes than the opponent.   In 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to George Bush following the U.S. Supreme Court's intervention to terminate controversial vote-counting in Florida.    A candidate designated to be President based on winning Electoral College votes but not the nation's  popular vote had occurred only three times before in the 1800s.

Most recent developments are that protest groups in cities from coast to coast  have amassed, saying in reference to President-elect Donald Trump, "He's not my president!", stressing Trump did not win the popular vote.    Regrettably, vandalism, disruptions, freeway traffic blockage and some arrests began to occur Wednesday night around midnight necessitating law enforcement response here in Los Angeles as I wrote this.

Typically, only a few protesters are responsible for violence in such events -- always a risk they'll infiltrate the peaceful groups, but with their own destructive motivations -- such as looters, anarchists who desire and will instigate crowd chaos for their own agenda toward overthrowing our way of government.

Fascists, too, benefit from inciting violence as often citizens will relinquish their rights and freedoms to leaders/law enforcement for promised security -- only to eventually find themselves living in an autocratic form of government, a dictatorship presided over by a demagogue systematically depriving them of their rights.

 Undermining freedom in a democratic government can be a many years lengthy process, achieved in slight, incremental, sometimes seemingly innocuous small steps.   Systematic attacks and discrediting other government branches -- judicial, legislative -- also The Fourth Estate (the press) -- to create mistrust in all systems are part of the fascist pattern documented throughout history.  (Legitimate shortcomings in the branches and press must be addressed and corrected, but citizens must guard against being seduced by a leader's conspiracy intimations, intentional distortions of truth through innuendo, deliberate falsehoods.)  

These, hopefully, primarily peaceful protests in additional cities around our nation continue Thursday -- they include many high school, college students of the most populous millennium generation who may be most concerned about their future.   Those of us who are older care about the younger generations and the world in which they will live long after we've departed this earth.  We must pay attention.

After Trump's weeks, months of vitriolic diatribes, misogynistic,  racist, sexist, name-calling directed toward his opponents and others, his sudden measured adoption of rational manner the final week or so of his campaign, and his speech after the election may have aroused suspicions and mistrust in the minds of many citizens -- they may be wondering:

-- who is this allegedly prevaricating,  narcissistic, sociopathic, fascist-sounding person?

-- what are the ethical and moral values of Donald Trump?

-- what does the real Donald Trump truly believe?

-- who is the real Donald Trump?

Most of our citizens do not take lightly a leader whose behavior throughout much of his presidential campaign was insulting and  boorish, to say the least.  Some citizens might also even be inclined to interpret his tactics and some language he has used as mirroring that of fascists whose similar activities, words and actions are described in histories of the nineteenth and twentieth century.  Fascism is not compatible with the U.S. Constitution.

Let our republic have a peaceful democratic transition to the legally elected new leadership.

Let us actively oversee all actions of those we've entrusted to occupy government positions.

Let us use our votes and  all legal means to ensure governing individuals each actually fulfill their Oath of Office.

Let us guard and protect our privacy,  rights and freedoms. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Quotable Thought



" Elections belong to the 
people.  It is their decision.
    If they decide to turn
their back on the fire and
   burn their behinds, then
     they will just have to sit
            on their blisters."

                         ---Abraham Lincoln

                                  

Friday, November 04, 2016

POSITIVE FUTURE POSSIBLE


"When someone shows you who they are, believe them, the first time."  

I wholeheartedly concur....with Maya Angelou.

The Republican Party Presidential candidate has repeatedly shown us who he is -- we need to believe him.   He clearly at heart is not the person he's been trying hard to present this past week or so prior to the election.   His Party's platform, assuming he would even try to promote it -- and I don't trust what he might do -- will not lead our nation to prosperity, especially since the financial approach is a repeat of a previously unsuccessful plan.    He and the wealthiest class will benefit most despite the platitudes of his caring about the rest of Americans -- campaign platitudes which are just that and nothing more.   If in doubt, consider news reports showing workers and businesses who've lost income owed them. 

A positive future is possible, I believe, with Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
I trust this candidate will make every effort possible to promote prosperity for this nation with plans she has outlined.  Hopefully, the legislative branches, especially the House of Representatives, will recognize they are long overdue to accept and engage in meaningful compromise for the good of the people which is precisely their job.   I am aware of her alleged shortcomings but believe them to pale in comparison to those of her opponent.

My perspective.....
I've given serious thought to what is at stake in this election as likely most readers here have also done.     I observed with great interest all the prospective candidates as they each burst on to the scene -- then their numbers were whittled down to the two major political party candidates.  I've been aware of all the shenanigans of one candidate turning this election into the basest of reality entertainment -- heard all the lies, innuendos -- noted the media suckered into providing free promotion of that individual, lessening the credibility of much of the serious news media in the process.   

Consider this.....
Third party candidates will receive votes from a small percentage of people who believe they're making a statement.  Unfortunately,  the reality is this is an empty gesture that will  serve to do little more than sway the election to one of the two realistic potential winners.   This is a critical time for our nation that would be best served if a choice between the top two candidates is made  based on major party platform, consideration of probable need  for Supreme Court nominee appointments.

After the election, third party voters need to then align themselves to actively promote whoever their favored candidate is for the future and build their party  to viable numbers for the future elections.  Some may well believe we need to relegate to lesser status that major party taken over by their current candidate repelling so many of their number -- or maybe some of that party can form that third party, and other possibilities.      

MORE ELECTION THOUGHTS

This is a momentous election year---with choices unlike any others in my lifetime --- so
--- we better get it right on who we select to be in charge of decision-making for us and our nation ---  if we want to retain our constitution's democratic republic as intended by our founders. 
Our next U.S. President needs to be------


... someone who understands our nation's importance and place in the world for our own security and need to foster peace
... someone who respects our country's various relationships with that of other nations
... someone who recognizes the significance of fostering unifying actions within our country
... someone who demonstrates genuine understanding of the needs of all socioeconomic groups 

... someone who actually offers realistic plans and solutions for problems facing our nation rather than simple-sounding grandiose or previously failed trickle-down financial schemes

.... someone not afraid to release their income tax form to demonstrate the truthfulness of claimed charitable contributions, true net worth
....  someone whose life's work has evidence of public service beyond self-aggrandizement
....  someone who speaks civilly of all genders
....  someone who does not disparage, ridicule, belittle and bully other individuals
....  someone who can verbalize meaningful ideas so does not have to resort to name-calling


....  someone who appreciates the need to value and preserve the fourth estate  instead of automatically condemning the press when they report the truth or what is unfavorable to them  
....  someone capable of using reason to recognize and build on what's positive in our government
....  someone  who.........there are more positive comments that could be written .......

VOTE TUESDAY,  NOVEMBER 8, 2016



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BASEBALL DILEMMA

Cubs win World Series ending 108 year drought!     

In 10th Innning after Rain Delay       

 Update 11/02/16



Fall 1948 approached with change in the air for our little family of three -- my parents, new teen me, and two dogs.   A few months prior, I had to heart-breakingly part with my dog, King, which I've previously written about.   Property, all other animals and most of our belongings were sold at public auction that fall.  We moved into a small Trotwood trailer, hitched to our old Plymouth car and drove across the country in search of a climate a doctor reportedly thought might be a more healthy environment for Pop considering his worsening heart and respiratory problems.  

In the months ahead I attended four different Jr. High Schools in various states before we finally unexpectedly settled in one state half-way back across the continent from the Southwest.  We were returning to the  Great Lakes Midwest area but stopped in the South, considerably short of where we had originally started.   Our western Arizona  destination had been reached, but after only a few months in residence,  the ensuing dust storms sweeping across the desert  soon proved to be the exact opposite of Pop's needed healthy breathing environment, so we had headed back home.   

This trek, plus where we actually put down roots in the South for a number of years,  proved  to be an educational experience contributing significantly to  influencing my attitudes and helping form my beliefs -- including my personal philosophy toward marriage, culture, race relations,  living.   

Throughout that relocation trip the memories of the Cleveland Indians good fortunes winning the 1948 Baseball World Series stayed with me .   Their memory seemed to offer  a stable sense of place that was important to me long after the baseball season ended.    That Spring, Summer and Fall we had followed the Cleveland Indians march toward winning an American League pennant.  
I had immersed myself in the sport, charting score cards of every radio broadcast game we heard.  
To this day the names of many of the '48 Indian players and some of their unique plays are etched in my memory.    



The Cleveland Indians in winning the 1948 Baseball World Series, had their first championship since 1920.   Their Boston Braves losing opponents had not won their National League pennant since 1914, so still had that win in which to take pride.     I never followed a major league baseball team as closely afterward, but the Indians always had special meaning for me well beyond sports and baseball.  They symbolized much more to me those many  years ago --  a connection to my often longed-for home state since I was living in a somewhat isolated environment.   

My marriage many years later ultimately lead to my living on the West Coast.    I've long since ceased to regularly follow baseball or any specific team.   I've been aware the long-suffering Chicago Cubs baseball team fans have been awaiting their turn -- to be not only a National League pennant winner participating for the first time in the World Series since 1945  -- but to win that title, too, since 1908 was their last championship.    Through the years when I've heard mention of how the Cubs finished another year without winning, I've come to wish they could -- now, they finally have a chance. 

The Cleveland Indians last represented the American League in 1997, but haven't won a World Series since 1948 -- that significant year to me.    I surely do wish they could finally win again.  
Actually,  I would prefer these two teams were each in the playoffs against some other team -- one this year, the other next year -- rather than against each other, so each could possibly be a World Series winner. 

 I read sports writers predict a Chicago Cubs win, but I have mixed feelings, wanting the Cubs to win, but.....my reticent feelings,  associated with my allegiances to those long ago '48 Cleveland Indians,  coupled with their once symbolic meaning to me, have me wanting the Indians to win, too.  The first game is completed in the Indians favor.   I think this will be an interesting World Series to follow.   Perhaps, when the games conclude I'll be happy with whoever wins, but feel a touch of sadness  for the other team.