Sunday, August 29, 2021

Mission Accomplished ????

On May 1, 2003, not even two years after President George W. Bush put us into the war in Iraq, the “Mission Accomplished” speech was televised all over the world from the deck of the aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln. What a joke ! That was not only untrue, but it made the United States the laughing stock of the world.

Now here we are again ... 18 years later and we are still trying to get out of a place that, in my opinion, we should never have been in anyway. On top of that we have just come out of another horrendous stain on our country … the last four years of the Trump presidency. Whenyou look at it you can easily see why the rest of the world is having a hard time trusting or believing in us. Of course that brings us to today and I want to put in my 2 cents worth.

Of course I was, and am, extremely sad about what is happening with this pull out of Afghanistan. HOWEVER, I have to say that I am pleased that President Biden has put the country ahead of his own ego when it comes to this issue. Bush, Obama and Trump talked big about it and how they were going to be the one to end it … but it all fell apart when they realized how it might affect them politically.

Now President Biden is actually bringing a close to this 20 year war and he is being castigated on all sides for doing so! There is no way that this can be politically “correct” or without loss of service members or personnel and I am sure he is well aware of this, but he has one big thing going for him ... HE HAS THE GUTS TO ACTUALLY BRING IT TO FRUITION.

Thank you President Biden and God bless our country.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

My Dad and the “walking trees”.

Recently I read that the PGA no longer held golf tournaments at the once famous Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. That was of no interest to me but it did remind me of an amusing incident that my Dad had there..

In the mid 50’s he was working for an Ad agency in Boston. He was the Production Manager and seldom called upon to make presentations or to interact with the public. That was just how he liked it because he was a quiet man and perfectly happy to stay in the background.

One day, however, his boss informed him that he had booked three presentations to promote his agency and just realized that he had only two sales men to present them so he advised Dad that he would have to do one of them. Of course Dad couldn’t say “no” but he was extremely nervous about it and, as it turned out he had good reason to be.

When he got home he told us the whole story. I took the train to “The Greenbrier” and was met at the station by a representative of the hotel. He gave me a tour and showed me the banquet room where the meeting would be held the next day. I couldn’t believe how ornate it was. There were three huge windows on the back wall and a low platform with the speaker’s dais in front of the middle window...

Needless to say I got very little sleep that night but I managed to make it to the meeting on time and with my presentation memorized. After the introduction I made my way to the platform & before I had a chance to even give my name the audience broke into spasms of laughter. I was devastated and more than a little hurt. What had I done to provoke this?

I was about to storm off the stage in frustration when I noticed that a lot of the people were pointing to the windows. I turned and watched in fascination as a huge tree seemed to slowly walk it’s way from window to window until it finally disappeared. (Since the windows were above ground level all we could see was the “walking tree” and not the gardeners who were transplanting it.) I had to admit that it was hilarious seen from that viewpoint and luckily it broke the ice and my presentation went on without a hitch after that.”  

Poor dad ... but luckily it was his one and only time "on stage."

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Matthew ... found and lost.

I had a strange experience today and I want to share it with you. For some reason I thought it would be fun to look at the new crop of young and talented painters and choose one whose career I would enjoy following. I wanted to go by their work alone and not be swayed by their bio or what others thought so I made my choice strictly by looking at “paintings by up and coming artists”.

As soon as I stumbled upon the work of Matthew Wong I knew I had found my artist. Here are the 2 paintings that clinched it for me … 

Now of course I started my research and was not surprised to read that he was already well known, although new to me. Also, a few critics wrote of his paintings as being tinged with “melancholic yearning”. I had felt something along those lines too as I studied his work but was shocked to find that this proved to be prophetic. 

On Oct. 2, 2019 Matthew died by his own hand. He had Tourettes syndrome and had grappled with depression since childhood. I am so sad that he is gone but will watch with admiration as his name becomes known worldwide. Just this past October his painting “Shangri La” sold at Christies for a record $4.5 million. 

This is Matthews "Winter Nocturne", 2017.  I love to imagine that he and Vincent might right now be sitting 'neath a starry, starry night and discussing their similar techniques. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

It's gnawing at me ...


Something has been gnawing at me and I've decided to write about it and see if anyone can relate. As many of you know I wrote a book a few years back and titled it “My Halcyon Years”. It basically referred to the eight years after I graduated from Boston University in 1954 until leaving NY City in 1962.

The strange thing is that those years were definitely halcyon for me, but I NEVER equated them with being possible (or “due to me”) because I was WHITE. I never even thought about it because I was brought up in a loving family with four older sisters and a mother and father who I realize now were extremely “liberal” for that time in America. I can't recall ever hearing a racist remark from either of them.

I met my husband, Dick, in New York City in1957. He was a photographer who had just left a 3 year stint at LIFE magazine and was starting his own free lance business and I was thrilled to be working at WABC Radio. It was a very exciting, time for me. It seemed like an extension of my upbringing because my life had always been filled with exciting people of all colors, ethnic backgrounds and customs and Dick's world (which became mine) was, if possible, even more open minded.

Now I come to what's bothering me. I was shocked when Trump became our President and have watched in disgust as he has brought white supremacy and racism to the fore. However it has really opened my eyes and perhaps I should be thankful that it is finally in the open where we can face it.

What really bothers me when I think of “My Halcyon Years” is that, despite my liberalism, I should have made it loud and clear in my book that I had no idea back then that what came so easily to me was a near impossibility for my black, brown and, otherwise “different” friends. I will spend the rest of my life doing all I can to bring about that equality. 

Monday, August 09, 2021

Better late than never

Just this week a dear friend introduced me to Sir Ken Robinson. She sent me the link to his 2006 TED talk and I was enthralled. No wonder it is one of the most ever watched talks for the TED community and I can't believe I had never heard of him.

Sadly Ken passed away just a year ago but I doubt if his legacy will ever fade. HE was a lecturer, a teacher and the author of best selling books about education and his goal was to entice a new generation of educators to follow his lead. He was an advocate for moving schools away from rigid test-prep factories and toward something more artistic and liberating.

He peppered his talks and writings with inspiring anecdotes of children who were taught to realize their potential and of the educators who helped get them there. My favorite Ken quote is this …



Ken Robinson was a source of insight, inspiration and joy for millions. If his name is unfamiliar to you, like it was for me, please check out his first TED talk in 2006. (and I'd love to get your reaction !)

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

October, 2020, He rips off mask ...

It occurred to me recently that, given the opportunity to be of service to their country, most US presidents are or were happy to help, but that certainly cannot be said for our ex-President Trump. He never does ANYTHING without asking himself first “what's in it for me?”

I guess if you are one of the majority of Republican Senators in office now you might shake your head and say, “that's just Trump being Trump”, but for those of us that really care about our country it is a clarion call to wake up. Trump's EGO will be the death of democracy (small “d”) if we allow it to go unchecked.

A perfect example of this was his reaction to his own bout with the corona virus in October, 2020. After a 3 day stint in Walter Reed hospital (where they used everything possible to get him well) it was hoped he would take the virus seriously and encourage Americans to heed social distancing & mask mandates.

This was his chance to show the country that he could put them before his EGO. Instead, he emerged triumphant and ever more defiant, disregarding the fact that he'd had access to health care and treatments unavailable to others. As he tore off his mask he urged people not to be afraid of the virus or let it dominate their lives.

It is now 10 months since that happened and nothing can bring back the lives that have been lost because of his careless words. However, we can certainly learn from it … there is no place in a peaceful and law abiding society for Trump, his cult or his ever present EGO.