Saturday, July 7, 2007

And So It Begins ~ Moving Thoughts

It is official - today I am starting to move. I will be living in the complex I am managing, and that will be a wonderful blessing of no travel time (from the living room to the office is 4 steps)...and being able to handle and observe more of what's going on around.

Unfortunately, I will be unavailable today (07.07.07) until late Sunday (07.08.07). And the move also means I will have more time to blog and spill the beans share the stories of what is going on in my life and the lives of those around me!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

And On This Day ~ Late Evening Thoughts

The Fourth of July ~ A day of relaxation, picnics, fireworks and all that goes with that. But ~ perhaps ~ we could make it a day of reflection. A day to think about where we've come as a nation, where we are going as a nation. I had something else written but then I was catching up on my favorite blogs and one of my favorite blogs (The durnMoose blog) had something that really caught my eye (and my ear).

Red Skelton, a veteran comic who successfully plied his trade as a sentimental clown figure in vaudeville and radio, delighted television audiences for twenty years playing characters he had perfected Red Skelton on radio — Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader, and the Mean Widdle Kid — on his weekly variety television program, “The Red Skelton Show.” On 14 January 1969, Skelton offered his television audience his reminiscence of an incident from his schoolboy days in Indiana.

This teacher took the Pledge and broke it down basically word for word and explained it ~ in simple terms.

Unfortunately, there is only the audio of this particular show, but it's thought provoking and profound.

If you would like - the Moose also posted a transcript of the story:

the text:

The Pledge of Allegiance:

I: Me, an individual, a committee of one.

PLEDGE: Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.

ALLEGIANCE: My love and my devotion.

TO THE FLAG: Our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there’s respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job.

UNITED: That means that we have all come together.

STATES: Individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries yet united to a common purpose, and that’s love for country.

AND TO THE REPUBLIC: A state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people, and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION: One nation, meaning “so blessed by God.”

INDIVISIBLE: Incapable of being divided.

WITH LIBERTY: Which is freedom, the right of power to live one’s own life without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.

AND JUSTICE: The principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.

FOR ALL: For all, which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: “under God.” Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools too?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Up And Down ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Just a couple of notes ... I had a visit to the doctor today, and she was very pleased with my progress. She is very sure that it was bronchitis AND a viral infection. Of course, she had to add something she didn't tell me the other day ~ which was her concern that it would digress into pneumonia. I'm glad she didn't add that to the mix, my mind was already working overtime on possible problems. Thank you for those who added comments or emails. They were very encouraging, uplifting and ~ frankly ~ a great comfort to me.

And I am happy to report I am about 98% healthy. There is still a little coughing - at least I can talk in complete sentences now - and some "residual" issues. However, I can report I am back in the "pink" of things and enjoying being up and around once again.

The "down" news of the day is that Beverly Sills lost her battle against cancer today. And a beautiful voice has been silenced and a major supporter of the arts and people is no more. And yes, I had a chance to meet her ~ and she was as delightful as people say she was!!! A true artist and a wonderful human being ~ for whom no one was beneath her ~ and as a result had a zest for life and people!!

I said in the last post, that I couldn't find a video of her performances with her close friend Carol Burnett -- but I finally did ... a wonderful mash-up of jazz and opera. It's on the Beverly Sills website, so I can't embed the video ... but --->here is the link<--- which is appropriately titled "The Farewell Medley." One final video ... At the age of seven, Sills was chosen to be in the film short "Uncle Sol Solves It" in which she played a precocious singer whose family had various ideas about where she should study voice. She is taken to sing for Uncle Sol in his "Problem Court." He decides, after her perky rendition of the Arditi classic, that she should study in America. (performed in 1936)

And so I say farewell to a wonderful person, an incredible talent and a person who only wanted the best in all she put her hand to do...and expected no less from those around her.

---more tomorrow