Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Republicans are killing our country !

 


Remember when Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of corruption in Washington, DC ? What a joke ! He not only jumped head first into that swamp but took the majority of the Senate Republicans along with him.

I honestly don't know how these men and women can live with themselves. They all had to swear to an oath of office when they were sworn in. In part it reads … “I shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...so help me God.”

It has become very apparent that the ONE & ONLY concern they have is to regain the majority of Republicans in the Senate … no matter what the cost! No wonder McConnell is nicknamed The Grim Reaper. They have even sunk deeper in the muck of the swamp with their denial that the horrendous attack on the Capitol on January was an insurrection !

Everything is on hold in Washington while they play their games and the saddest part of it all is that the Republicans who are in control all over the nation are doing all they can to put up legal restriction that will make voting more difficult. Once again we see that they don't dare campaign on their virtues … the only way they can win is by cheating !



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

1967 My summer with the Hippies

This is a picture of the old farmhouse my husband, a realtor, purchased in upstate New York in 1967. The land around it was lovely but the house was barely livable. It had electricity and running water but that was it. I could imagine months of emptying, cleaning & painting the inside of the house so I was thrilled when he presented a solution … and it involved me !

Evidently 6 college girls had shown up at our Real Estate office looking for a place that they could rent for the summer. Of course they were strapped for money so Dick presented them with this offer. We would take X amount for the 8 weeks rental if they would help (with my  supervision) with restoring the inside of the house. We would work 6 hours every week day & they would have weekends off. At the end of the 8 weeks, if they had lived up to their end of the bargain, we would give them their money back.

They were ecstatic and we signed papers that day. I had no idea that this was the first link in a chain of events that would provide me with one of the best summers that I would ever experience!

A few weeks later the girls moved in. By Monday they had already planted a small garden in the back yard and had jugs of water sitting in the sun, filled with a variety of exotic tea leaves to make “sun tea”. They had also made “house rules” and one of these was that, during the 6 hour work day, each girl would have an hour to play the music of her choice.

For the rest of the summer whenever we were working we would have music. One girl’s dad was an opera singer and she would play the classics. Then it would be Heavy Metal or Rhythm & Blues or The Beatles, or the new sound of Pink Floyd. We didn’t only listen to the music. We danced our way through the dullness of washing a floor or stripping wallpaper. We’d sing and mimic the artists and we’d talk, talk, talk. I had been out of college for 13 years and it was exhilarating to be back in that milieu.

 A few of the stodgy neighbors complained about our “hippie” farm., but we paid little heed to that. The girls were reliable and fun to be with and they put life back into that old farmhouse. By the end of the summer we hated to see them go. It’s interesting to note that one year later nearly half a million “real hippies” congregated 30 miles north of the property. It was none other than the Woodstock Festival, touted as “a weekend of music, love and peace”, but I'd already had that the summer before !


Thursday, July 15, 2021

(Memory #3) ...AROUND THE DINING ROOM TABLE…in the 1940’s

 

This memory takes me back to the mid 40’s. I was 11 and none of my sisters had left home yet so our dining room table was always full. It was very large…room enough to seat 10 comfortably. We needed that space because we were 5 girls, my mother and father, and an assortment of boyfriends and other guests.

Everyone was welcome and although the menu might be scant, due to rationing or lack of funds, the enthusiasm was abundant. One of our favorite games revolved around the Dictionary. One person would hold the opened book on their lap, eyes closed and point to a word. It was then up to all the participants to define the word and the winner was the one who came closest to the actual definition in the dictionary.

For example the word chosen might be PICOT. The pronunciation would be given but not the definition. Then one by one we would say what we thought it meant. (Typical answers could be: “a small bed”, “a quaint saying”, …etc.) Of course the actual definition is “ornamental loops in embroidery”.It was not only a fun game, but it helped to increase our vocabulary and to promote an interest in words. 

 Our guests were an eclectic group and that made it even more interesting. I loved it all and looking back on my childhood I realize what a lucky little girl I was!



Saturday, July 10, 2021

Another memory … The Palm Spring Follies



As I write this in 2021 I realize that none of my “old friends” are still alive, but I have wonderful memories of them. Ted, from the NY City days in the 50's, was one of my favorites. He and his partner had moved to Palm Springs, California and in 2006 they invited me to fly out to visit.

I did that and one memorable evening we attended the famous “Palm Spring Follies”, a Broadway-type performance of music, dance and comedy of the 30’s and 40’s, with a cast that was old enough to have lived it! I must admit that I was pretty skeptical about watching a bunch of “elder hoofers” do their thing. I knew that the performers ranged in age from 57 to 82 and I was prepared to be generous in my acceptance of their old-age shenanigans.

Was I ever wrong!

From start to finish the Follies proved to be an exceptionally professional performance. The cast sang and danced with a zest that even a teenager would envy. About mid-way in the evening Riff Markowitz, originator of the Follies, introduced the performers individually. He gave their names, ages and a brief biography of their backgrounds. Most of them were from a career in acting and dancing and they loved the opportunity to be back in the spotlight again. The oldest one was an 82 year old dancer and the audience gave her a standing ovation.

Of course time does not stand still and, as the years went by, there were fewer performers who could fit the bill and the Palm Springs Follies ended a 23 year run on May 18, 2014.




 

Monday, July 05, 2021

The Music room … a child's escape.

When I was ten years old our family lived in a 13 room, 3 story Victorian house. The home was nowhere near as elaborate as it sounds. Seven of us lived there…my four older sisters and my parents, and we actually rented out two rooms (made into a very small apartment) to a local schoolteacher to make ends meet. It was a very “lived-in” abode with hand-me-down furniture and an air of hectic fun and chaos. This was true of all the rooms with the exception of one.

We called it the “Music Room” and it was my favorite, especially in the wintertime, when the doors were closed tight (to save on heating) and the room became my private, if somewhat chilly, land of make believe.

I used to sneak into the shivery half-darkness…a braided and scrubbed ten-year old hugging my arms tightly around me. I never turned on the lights. no matter how dark the winter’s day, and I would always sit in the same place…perched high in the exact middle of an austere Victorian loveseat.

Like the afternoon shadows my eyes sought out the objects in the room. The piano dominated the room, covering half the wall and wide enough to carry a Tiffany lamp, 3 stacks of sheet music, a violin and a clarinet atop it’s paisley shawl. It was the most ornate piano I have ever seen, each piece of wood carved and set into the gigantic black body. Even the legs were knobbed and curled into immense pedestals sturdy enough to carry the weight.

The rest of the objects in the room vied with the piano…the marble table tops turning pink from the reflection of the peach colored wallpaper, the leather book covers, the frosted light globe hanging by a “gold” chain and, best of all…two Victorian side chairs, my little “fat ladies” stuffed into flowered brocade, the dark scrolled wood curving into shoulders, short arms jutting at either side and the legs planted firmly apart on the floor.

When I was in the “Music Room” the everyday hustle and bustle of the rest of the house disappeared. I was a grand lady, a princess, at peace in my serene and elegant world. I would give a slight nod to the piano….the recital was about to begin !



 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

WRITER'S BLOCK ...

 


This self-portrait by Norman Rockwell shows that even the most prolific of artists will hit a wall once in a while.  It depicts him approaching a deadline with no idea in mind ... so he used that as his theme and it became the October 1938 cover of the "Saturday Evening Post". 

I'm taking my cue from Mr. Rockwell and using the "writer's block" that is plaguing me lately as my topic for this post.  As most of you know my blog is actually made up of little vignettes of a lifetime of memories and of current things that I want to share with you.  That's my format and it works well except for times like this when my mind goes blank. 

I'm pretty sure that some of you have experienced the same thing and I'd be interested to hear how you've handled it.  I want to keep my blog going and I really like the format but I also don't want to fill my pages with mindless blue sky ... or a constant obsession with the McConnell Republicans ... so I guess I'll give it a few days and see what pops up.  

At the very least it's a great mental exercise and I, at the grand old age of 88, can certainly use that !

 


Friday, June 25, 2021

Afraid to DEBATE ???

I ended my last blog entry bemoaning the fact that the current Republican Senators are refusing to follow our country's democratic system of debating an issue, coming to a compromise and acting on it. Now, as incredulous as it is, they have gone one step further. They actually forced a vote, not on an issue, but as to whether they would simply allow a DEBATE on an issue!

The issue they are so afraid of even debating in front of the American people refers to voter suppression and the 18 states with Republican Governors and other officials who have enacted more than 30 laws that will make voting more difficult.

As Schumer asked … “Are we going to let reactionary state legislatures drag us back into the muck of voter suppression ? Are we going to let the most dishonest president in history continue to poison our democracy from the inside? ...or will we defend what generations of Americans have fought and died for … the sacred right to vote?”

Well, the Senate has spoken … all 50 Republicans voted NOT TO ALLOW A DEBATE on this critical issue. Once again they have shown their true colors ! Does it not occur to any of them that these strategic moves to make it harder for a large part of the public to vote (basically those that come out in large part for Democrats) are more proof that they know they won't win re-election on merit.

THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN WIN IS BY CHEATING.