Tuesday, June 22, 2021

For When It's Time

Important note before I begin:  If you subscribed to my blog by email, you will need to resubscribe (using the box at the upper right corner of my right hand column.  My present service is going away in early July.  I apologize for any inconvenience. 

I read about this commercial in a New York Times magazine a week or so ago, and decided to check it out yesterday.

It's a gum commercial, and it's titled "For When It's Time".  It's a bit tricky to film pandemic-themed commercials, but Extra, I think, hit it just right.  There's so much joy (maybe a bit too much joy, if you stay to the end) but I got a big kick out of it.  Yes, they are selling gum, so there are some packs of gum here and there, but I think many of us can identify with this.  After all, if you are running into the street to make out with total strangers, your breath needs to be minty fresh.

Presenting:  For When It's Time. It's set to Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back Now."

In a sign of the times, when this commercial was made, all COVID protocols were observed, and only members of the same households kissed.

As lighthearted as this is, I would be remiss if I don't think of the countries (India, South Africa, and many others) where COVID has remained a serious issue.  I can only hope that one day soon, COVID can be under control everywhere, so we all can have a Season of Joy, each in our own way.

Monday, June 21, 2021

My Favorite Decade #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and we all know what time it is, right?  It's time for MUSIC!  But before we begin I have an announcement for any of you who subscribe to my blog by email.  (Xmas Dolly, I was able to import your address and you should be good.)  But everyone else:  If you subscribed to my blog by email, you will need to resubscribe (using the box at the upper right corner of my right hand column.  My present service is going away in early July.  I apologize for any inconvenience. And now....


Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only , please!)   First, there is XmasDolly, now settled in her new blogging home.  Her co-hosts are: Stacy of Stacy Uncorked, Cathy from Curious as a Cathy, and me. Each month we have a guest conductor. This month we once again welcome none other than Xmas Dolly, who will be setting the themes for the month of June.

Xmas Dolly has chosen as her theme "Build a playlist of your favorite songs from the 80's or 90's".

That "or" is an important one for me today, since, last week, I featured songs from the 1990's. My choice is clear. 

I love the 80's so much I don't know where to start.  Should I exclude songs I've had on the blog before?  Should I pick some of my favorites from when the 80's were happening, or the ones I like the most now?  How about:  All of the Above, in No Particular Order?

Enough talk.  Let's start with 1981 and "The Breakup Song" by the Greg Kihn Band.

This was one of my favorites during the 1980's while we were still in the 80's (along with the next song):  1982's Men Without Hats by the Canadian group Safety Dance.

From 1983 - Jackson Browne's Lawyers in Love.  I just love this song, even though it gets a tiny bit dated towards the end.

When this song, I had no idea who Murray Head was (although I had heard him sing, I never made the connection) or the fact that this song was featured in a Broadway play called "Chess". The album was a lot more successful than the play (in the United States, anyway).   So, from 1984, Murray Head and "One Night in Bangkok".

1985?  So many favorites songs to choose from. 


From 1985, a-ha and "Take on Me" with (just my opinion) one of the best music videos I've seen.

I should stop at 1986 because who can outdo this song?  Queen and "Who Wants to Live Forever". I came to this song after the 1980's were over; I am not sure why I didn't know about it when it came out.

Let's end with 1987 and Depache Mode's Strangelove.

No, wait.  I can't end my favorite decade just yet, so here's a bonus song for you if you have some time to linger.  This is another "favorite while the 80's were happening" songs.  1982's A Flock of Seagulls and "I Ran (So Far Away)".  This brings me back to when the local station near where I lived at the time (KISR, in Ft. Smith, Arkansas) used to have "album 6 packs" where they would play six complete albums in a row, starting midnight Saturday.  If we wanted to record one (on a cassette tape), we would set our alarm and try to estimate the starting time.  The album this came on was one of those we recorded.

Fun times.

That, dear readers, is a wrap.

See you again next week, same time, same place!


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day 2021

Important note before I begin:  If you subscribed to my blog by email, you will need to resubscribe (using the box at the upper right corner of my right hand column).  My present service is going away in early July.  I apologize for any inconvenience.

Today, in the United States, it is Father's Day.   This is a post I sometimes repeat on Father's Day, with some annual edits.

It is July of 1914.  The world is on the brink of World War I, going through a series of crises, but no one knows how close to war the world is yet.  My father is too young to know.  He certainly doesn't know that the life expectancy for a male born in 1914 is only 52 years.  Or that the leading causes of death in 1914 included tuberculosis, influenza, and diarrhea.  Or that his one daughter would use something called the "Internet" one day to blog, and to pay tribute to him.

He would have no idea what a blog was.  Or a cell phone.  Or a computer.  They were way in the future.

When he was a young child, he would have been too young to know that a pandemic would hit, taking some 675,000. American lives, and more than 50 million lives world wide.

My father was born and grew up in Brooklyn, in a neighborhood called Brownsville.  My grandfather owned a candy store, which he ran with the help of his wife, my grandmother, and their six children (including him).  A seventh child died weeks after birth.

In the 1930's, my father's mother died, from complications of high blood pressure, an illness so easily treated today.  My father ended up quitting high school after two years.

He doesn't have too much of an Internet presence, my father, but there are a couple of things I can find.  Several years ago, I looked at his record in the 1940 census, when he was still living at home with his father and several siblings.  1942, his enlistment record in the United States Army, where his term of enlistment was for the duration of World War II "plus six months", show him as "single with dependents". I suspect one of the dependents was his younger brother, the only sibling still alive today.  He and two of his sisters helped to raise my uncle after my grandmother died.

The military experience shaped my father's life.  For the first time, he was out of Brooklyn. He saw the South.  He saw India.  He would sometimes tell me stories about his time in India as bedtime stories.

My father didn't make it to the end of the war.  He suffered a head injury and was flown back to the States.  He was given an honorable discharge but suffered the aftereffects of that injury for the rest of his life. 

Now, his one child is in her late 60's, and our country is in its second year of a pandemic.  We recently passed 600,000. dead.  

When I was 12, my mother died, and my father raised me to adulthood as a single father in their Bronx apartment in a city housing project.

When his last sister died, in the mid 2000's, the funeral procession didn't go directly to the cemetery.  It wound through Brooklyn, going through some neighborhoods before it got on the highway. I wondered where we were going and why.  It didn't occur to me at the time that we were going near to where where my aunt, my father, and their siblings, had grown up.  It was one final tribute.  My father had died almost twenty years before.  I found out about why the path to the cemetery after the funeral.

I owe a lot to my father and the simple, everyday lessons he taught me.  He did what he could the best he knew how. He ended his life in Brooklyn, in the same facility where his own father spent his last days.

My love of history, which love I share with my late father, got me to thinking how much our world has changed in the many years since my father was born.

But also, how much the world has stayed the same.

Happy Father's Day, wherever you are, Dad.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Just a Little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes

Today is June 19, 2021.

For many years, I knew June 19 as the birthday of an almost lifelong friend (now, sadly, no longer with us).

As an adult, I also learned that June 19 had another meaning and another name:  Juneteenth.  Here is a brief history of Juneteenth and its meaning.

I never learned about it in school.  Surprising, perhaps, that my school system in New York City, so highly regarded in the 1950's and 1960's, didn't teach me about Juneteenth in the midst of the 1960's Civil Rights Movement.  But they never taught me about the Tulsa Race Riots, either, or so many other occurrences that Black people suffered through in their just over 400 years in our country.

Now, as of three days ago, Juneteenth, June 19, is a Federal holiday.  Its official name is not Juneteenth, but I suspect Juneteenth is going to be what people call it.

But today isn't just the story of Juneteenth, but it is also the story of 94 year Opal Lee, who watched her home destroyed, her parents' belongings burned, on June 19, 1939.  Her parent's crime?  Moving to a white neighborhood of Ft. Worth, Texas.  That lasted until a mob of some 500 whites came to teach them otherwise.

Maybe it worked in the short term, but it also spurred Opal Lee into a lifetime of teaching and activism. Here is some of her story.

In 2016, she decided to walk (at the age of 89) from Ft. Worth, Texas to Washington, DC to deliver a petition to make Juneteenth a Federal holiday.  She called herself a "little old lady in tennis shoes getting into everyone's business". (To my foreign readers, it's a long way from Ft. Worth to D.C.)

Enter the pandemic, which has uncovered so much about ourselves and our nation.  

Last year, when Juneteenth came to national prominence after the murder of George Floyd, a bill making it a  Federal holiday failed in the Senate by one vote.  This year, it passed both houses and was signed into law on Thursday.

Even the world took note.

At 94, Opal Lee doesn't seem to have slowed down much.  But at least today, June 19, 2021, she can pause (for today) to celebrate a victory, because one person, one woman, can make a difference.

I think my late friend, who was a retired teacher, would be happy reading this story.

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Old New Path #SkywatchFriday

We sometimes walk in Otsiningo Park, a county park where we live in New York State.  Several years ago, they extended one of their walking paths outside the park and onto one side of the Chenango River.

It had been a couple of years since we last walked on that path. Sunday, we decided to walk on it once again.  So, in a way, the path is old, but new again (for us).

I have, somewhere on my phone, pictures I took when the path first opened.  Things have grown a little since.

 


Here's a photo highlighting the clouds and the reflection on the river.  I should note the Chenango is shallow and you can wade across it many years. This was actually the last picture I took before we had to turn around - the trail dead ends here.  For now.  I think there are plans to extend it eventually.


A number of overhead highway bridges criss-cross, making for some interestsing reflection views.


One of the bridges helps to frame this view.

River reflections and a view of our hills in the distance.
 

For our final picture, a curved view.  

Joining up with Yogi and other sky watching bloggers at #SkywatchFriday.


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Following by Email

I need your help.

As anyone who blogs on the Blogger platform probably knows by now, the current service that notifies people who have subscribed to a blog is going away sometime in July.

I know it, and I haven't done a thing.

Now that  I know at least two bloggers who have switched to a new service, it's time for me to ask my regular readers, do any of you follow me by email?

The reason why I'm asking is because of this post.  I've read this blog for a number of years and I pay attention to what she says.  So, now I don't know what to do as far as trying to get a list of subscribers together so I can switch my fans over to follow.it, a service that it appears a number of Blogger blogs intend to use going forward for those who want to subscribe by email to posts.

I don't want to spend hours on this process - I have a lot of things I like to do, or need to do (including work for my employer) and truthfully, at the end of the day, I sometimes don't have much to give to the blogging world (as much as I enjoy this hobby) past writing my daily blog post and reading a number of blogs I enjoy.  

So, I don't know quite how to begin.  If I download a list, I wonder what I am going to find, and if I find a lot of spam type accounts, I certainly don't want to spend time switching bots or worse over to follow.it.  So, any advise you can give me is also appreciated!

So, what can I give you in return?  Today would have been my Mom and Dad's 70th wedding anniversary if they were both still alive (neither are) and I want to honor them with a virtual bouquet.

I know my Mom loved lilacs and geraniums.  I suspect she also loved petunias, but they couldn't be grown on a New York City apartment windowsill too easily.  So, petunias it is.
Petunias in golden hour light

I don't have their wedding album (long story).  I wish I did.  

These aren't petunias, but rather, (mostly) million bells.

These virtual flowers will have to suffice.

I look forward to any advice I receive.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Heirloom Rose #WordlessWednesday

This pink wild rose may (or may not) be an heirloom called Ballerina.

It appeared on my property line, among lilacs that came with our property, perhaps eight or nine years ago.  It was cut back by our neighbor and we don't get much from it - plus, it's in a lot of shade nowadays from the lilacs.

My neighbor's side is sunnier and I found one nice cluster on his side. (This is a rental now, and the owner never minded if I took lilac flower cuttings. So, I crossed onto his side of the border just long enough to take this quick picture).

Although it doesn't look as good from my side, I also realize I should give it a bit more love.

Joining up with Sandee and her #WordlessWednesday.