Category Archives: Alabama

Symbolic Bridges

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Oprah and thousands join her as she crosses the bridge in Selma.

She and the cast for the movie, “Selma,” took several takes in

their arm in arm walk together. It could not have been without

some impact on their lives. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Day, I was going to write about the anniversary of the bridge walk.

 

On January 8, 2015, some who chose to walk across the Edmund

Pettus Bridge located in Selma, Alabama. There is a photograph

of this recent bridge crossing. It is a small gathering but the post

has many who wish to view this. It is such a big deal that every

year, not always on the exact days of the peaceful marches, people

go to Selma to cross the bridge. To allow the freedom to soak into

their weary bones. It has not been an easy battle, even to this day.

 

The 50th “Golden” celebration of this famous event will be called

the “Bridge Crossing Jubilee,” held  March 5-9th, 2015. There is

still time to join this annual event for its anniversary.

 

Its kick off  Gospel church music concert will be on March 1, 2015

in Selma, Alabama. The memory of the deceased little girl innocents

will be shining their angelic glow upon the listeners.

 

This all is in tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and of those who

walked across that bridge, some who died or were severely injured.

It is also in triumph, progress made and the way one huge step can

make an equally large impact on a country or world.  After all, our

President Obama may never had made it as far as he did, had not

those everyday men and women walkers had chosen to stay home,

out of fear.

 

The ending of the movie, “Selma,” lists several people whose lives had

changed due to their bridge walk. They include someone who had lived

over 80 years, a black man, never getting a chance to vote. There was

the white woman, first name Viola, (I did not take notes in the darkened

and hushed movie theater) who had chosen to join forces and cross the

bridge on the third time. She died when she drove a black person home

being given the hateful epithet, possibly real or imagined, by a storyteller

of “white nigger.”  The one who rose to be a senator, one who wrote for

a paper and others, all had found and felt the tremendous impact that

came out of one day to remember.

 

I learned one thing, that I did not know since most of the story has

been retold and covered. This is still a powerful movie to watch.

I did not know about the three times the walk across the bridge

was carried out nor how each one ended.

 

This will not ‘spoil’ your viewing of “Selma,” but may make you pay

more close attention:

First time across the bridge, it appears to be one hundred walkers who

have decided to gather and try to make an attempt to rock the country.

There is a place where the leaders of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s close-

knit group gather, enjoy a hearty breakfast and there is joviality and

a sense of brotherhood. Then, sadly, there has to be choice to pick straws

who will be in the ‘front line.’ The details of who got the short straw will

not be revealed here.

 

This walk for the first time is filled with trepidation, since the sheriff of

Selma is extremely bigoted and even there are scenes with the governor,

George Wallace fearing what may happen. When they get to the precipice

of the bridge, a curved bridge where you must walk upwards and then

head downwards, you can see the footsteps slowing down.

 

The next time the group goes up the hill of the bridge, there is a much

larger group and there are reinforcements from priests, ministers and

others who are Caucasian. Their presence buoys the inner sanctum of

MLK, Jr.’s group, they feel vindicated for any wrongdoings and deaths

that have gone on in between. There is a tremendous surge of energy, as

they get to the crest of the bridge. MLK, Jr. stops, he kneels and he prays

silently. The rest of the thousands gathered arm in arm who are behind

him kneel and wait.  Again, I won’t reveal what transpires.

 

History is being made. I felt the emotions in the audience, the bated

communal intake of breaths.

The third time the group gathers, it is in full preparation for the walk

across the bridge. Martin Sheen portrayed the judge who allowed the

sanction of crossing the Selma bridge. The governor and the sheriff,

with his ignorant band of white supremacists, are not going to get this

group to stop their crossing. It is going to happen, there is a broad

expanse and larger numbers than any of the first two attempts, there

are 2/3rds of the group white, according to one of the sources I read.

 

I had not intended to see another emotional upheaval movie. The first

three Academy Award nominated films, were all tear-jerkers. I had felt

‘spent’ and looking forward to meeting my good friend, Gary, who is a

sports writer at the Columbus Dispatch. I had agreed on either going to

“Birdman” or “Grand Budapest Hotel.” The first is with Michael Keaton

and since I felt he was a sensitive past actor who played “Batman,” I

could count on not dropping any tears. I also was amused by the trailer

and write-ups of “Grand Budapest Hotel,” with the funny actors in it.

 

We arrived at the Columbus Gateway Film Center on High Street, to

find a long line of young people chattering and bunched in a thick

group going into the building and up the stairs. Gary and I asked about

the line, it was for the multiple theaters showing, “American Sniper.”

We skipped around this, while Gary whispered to me, “We can use the

old people’s card, should someone try to stop us.” We went up the busy

escalator and when we got to the top saw the huge and bustling area of

the ticket sellers in front of crowded lanes. I was not sure what was going

on but since I assumed Gary may be like many guys I know, I left the line

and went to ask the guard. He said the line on the stairs was coming up

to join the group here, but they were all going to the “American Sniper”

film. So, being a little pushy, Gary took me through the melee and we

got to the front, only to find out that the two easy going movies, one

with a super hero and the other with a group of wacky hotel employees,

were:  “Sold Out.”

 

I did not hesitate to say to Gary, “Let’s go see the movie, ‘Selma!'”

We got into the theater only to find it half full. We each said to the other,

this is sad. We both agreed we had not wished to see an emotional film,

but it may have ‘meant to be.’  I am so glad the karma had the other

two films packed and not allowing us to see this fine film.

 

I will say there are magnificent performances, the director and David

Oyelowo should have been given Academy Award nominations. I

won’t go into the whole debacle about why there is less diversity in

this awards competition, but I am just going to say I am happy that

People’s Choice and Golden Globes nominated this film,

since “Selma” is worthy.

 

The song “Glory,” sung with John Legend and the rapper, Common,

is very beautiful.  Remember, I have seen three of the other contender

movies and will tell you their songs are not as ‘rich’ in sound and

meaning.

 

Some thoughts to share about real and symbolic bridges:

~ We can choose to find our own private bridge to cross.

~ Peaceful choices make a difference.

~ Touching just one life, and changing it, is enough.

~ To be able to reach more lives proceed forward.

 

~ One action or kindness contributes to another producing:

a.  Domino effect

b. Ripple effect

c. Paying forward

 

~ However you label your decision to help someone, it is still help.

~ Emotions and feelings spread easily.

~ Take courage in expressing positive choices.

~ Sharing emotions is instinctive, shown in these two examples.

a. Babies in a nursery cry together. The first one sets off the rest of them.

b. Toddlers in a sandbox see or hear someone else cry, reaching for a toy.

One may hand theirs over, without concern or need for praise.

 

~Giving in and letting go of prejudices and preconceptions is elevating.

~ Love has no boundaries once this happens.

 

Written by Robin O. Cochran

(Not taken from any sources, other than my own feelings about Selma’s bridge.)

 

“The Breakthroughs Issue” of December, 2014 “Preventions” magazine is

a great source of news about health and healthy food choices.

 

A man making a profound difference in prosthetic equipment is featured

in an article called, “Out on a Limb.”

This man, Eythor Bender, is using the ‘bridge’ I listed above to use a “kind

action” to create these wonderful and more natural replacements for arms

and legs. Frustrated by the medical breakthroughs available only to the

“elite” in our society, those who are wealthy, he came up with a program.

“Unyq” is a San Francisco based company which uses 3-D printers to create

symmetrical body parts to the user’s healthy limb. This alone is remarkable,

since in the past they did not often ‘match’ the size or shape to the original

on the other side of the body.

 

Bender was recognized internationally during the New York Fashion Week,

2014. His bionics were on a model walking the runway. Sure this should

make him proud or feel good about himself, but this quote from Eythor B.

says it ‘all:’

 

“People tell me it feels like they’ve got their legs back for the first time

in their lives. That’s really something!”

 

Bender expressed happiness that the new Unyq program is being covered,

since he has made the prices low enough, by many insurance providers.

Keeping the price down, will meet the needs of most of the patients who

need realistic and comfortable prosthetics.

 

This article was uplifting and made me feel it met the ‘requirements’ of

crossing a ‘bridge’ in medicine, with its ripple effect going into all areas

of society and hopefully, the world.

 

Another creative health program which is still in the newer stage and not

necessarily FDA approved is, Immuno-Therapy. This is to fight cancer

through immune system injections. There are three stories, one man and

two women, who participated in this trial program who have seen their

melanoma disappear. This is another ‘bridge’ to cross, hopefully the first

start will be like MLK, Jr.’s first attempt to cross the Selma bridge, one

that will be followed repeatedly,  with more and more positive results.

 

 

 

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

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When things are going well, you may have heard and used the expression,

“Everything’s coming up roses.” Right? As I wished to look up the history of

this expression, I found out from Google “Search Engine,” that the more

frequently used slang expression is, “Everything’s coming up Milhouse.”

Did you know this? Where in the world did this one come from? It came

from the animated, long-lasting television show, “The Simpsons.” There

is a positive character who is always thinking life is just ‘swell’ and his name

is Milhouse.

Why isn’t the song, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” at the top of the list of

expressions? This was Ethel Merman’s song from the 1959 musical, “Gypsy.”

The musical play was loosely based on the life of Gypsy Rose Lee. When asked,

my oldest daughter calls this guy, “Milhouse,” a “Goober-head.” Also, she

pointed out that the first choice of things is based on searches, while the movie

and song may have been popular, more people are familiar with the Simpsons.

 

I ask my oldest daughter why is “Milhouse” a “Goober head?” As soon as she

starts to explain what a goober head is, I think of the character named “Goober”

from the television show, “The Andy Griffith Show.” Where did this slang ‘word

set’ really come from? In my mind and memory, my  first impression evokes the

character, “Goober,” who was a goofy character.

 

She says it does not have anything to do with the historic and iconic show. It also

doesn’t have anything to do with the chocolate covered peanuts, also known as,

“Goobers.” Two generations try to figure out where the expression, “Goober-head”

came from. Did it just evolve from the Andy G. show or is it entirely “new” as the

weird expression, bringing up this Milhouse, is to me?

 

A person you call a “goober” is a “kindhearted, slightly oblivious person” who

also is considered a “lovable goofball.” An example of a “goober head” is “one

who puts an empty carton of milk into the refrigerator.” I thought this was a

teenager!

(This may be found online in the “Urban Dictionary.”)

 

There is no reference to “Goober” Pyle, who is from the show, “The Andy Griffith

Show,” if you look “goober head” up. But when you type the word in to look up

“Goober,” you will find out more about him. Goober was played by the actor,

George Lindsey who read for the part of Gomer Pyle, but was instead chosen to

play the less featured character, Gomer’s cousin. I always liked both Jim Nabors

who was chosen to play Gomer. Did you know both of these likeable and humorous

character actors came from the state of Alabama? Jim Nabors sang on variety shows

and albums, too.

 

N0w, off on another ‘wild goose chase,’ where one strand of thought or while using

one internet pathway takes you off to discover that peanuts are indeed called,

‘goobers.’ Along with these extra facts explaining there is a song about “goober

peas”‘ and another called, “goober grapes.”

This helps you to finally understand why there are two kinds of jars of mixed

peanut butter and jelly made by Smucker’s. They are called, “Goober Jelly.”

Each one features peanut butter and either strawberry or grape jelly contained

within its own jar creating ‘stripes of flavors.’  My own personal taste trial of the

Smucker’s brand of vertically layered PB & J, determined the texture of peanut

butter is kind of mushy and not as tasty as if made from separate jars. I happen

to like the crunchy peanut butter jars, anyway.

 

So, for a brief fun chase, we went from my heading off to write about roses, since

I really do like to ‘stop and smell the roses,’ outside the Sara Moore Nursing Home

and also the rose bushes by the Lutheran Church, while walking to the library.

 

Then, spontaneously writing out the old 1959 title of the song whose lyrics were

written by Stephen Sondheim for my post’s title. I needed to look the song up to

verify its history and origin, finding it was written in collaboration with Jules Styne,

who wrote the  music for “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”

 

The most disconcerting part of all this ‘research’ was you cannot be totally

reassured that the song or the expression came first.

Also, while typing “Everything’s coming up…” another way to finish this

expression goes,  “Like a rosy garden.”

Hmmm….

 

Have I lost you yet? I had to reread this, changing it a bit just to prevent

my own self from getting totally lost!

 

By the way, the internet location called, “The Free Dictionary,” gives this

definition of the words, “everything’s coming up roses,” as an ‘idiom’ that

means “someone is having a successful career or day.”

 

I like my world sometimes to be viewed through rose-colored glasses,

while listening to some old songs like,

1. “My Wild Irish Rose” was written in 1899 by Chancellor Olcott for a musical

production. The version I am more familiar with is from the 1947 movie with

the title, “My Wild Irish Rose.” We used to sing this in school and my Mom

loves it so, since her name is “Rosalie.” It is a sentimental song and can also

be heard in a Celtic version that is so sweetly sung.

 

2. “A Rose and a Baby Ruth,” sung by George Hamilton, IV (1956).

3. “Sweet Kentucky Rose,” sung by Kitty Kallen (1955).

4. “Two Dozen Roses,” sung by the group, “Shenandoah.”

5. “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” sung by Johnny Desmond (1955).

6. “Roses Are Red, My Love,” written and sung by Jim Reeves became

most popular in the Bobby Vinton version of this song, (1962).

 

 

Newer songs,

1. “The Rose,” sung by Bette Midler is fantastic as a duet with Ashley Judd.

“The Rose” was both a movie and a song, 1992.

 

2. “Bed of Roses,” sung by Bon Jovi, (1993).

3. “Cracklin’ Rosie,” sung by Neil Diamond, (1971).

 

 

 

Hope you have a rosy week and keep your outlo0k rosy, too.

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” comes from Shakespeare’s

play, “Romeo and Juliet.” It is discussing the two families names, who are

sworn enemies, along with the two young people who are star-crossed lovers.

 

Tomorrow, more about roses and no sidetracking on the internet!

 

Hope you have a “rosy” week!

Try to keep your outlook, “rosy” and maybe, everything will come up roses for you!