Category Archives: Michael Jackson

Songs and Bands Stand the Test of Time

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While driving in your car, especially here  in America, we have the

luxury of a radio, sometimes if a newer car, Syrius. I used to have

this feature and would program my ride somewhere with such fun

topics as “Coffee Shop” tunes or “Old Rock and Roll.” I was listening

to Casey Kasem’s “America’s Top 40” program on the radio. Rest in

peace, you good man! (Casey Kasem died in June, 2014, at age 82 of

sepsis.) I was struck by this comment, paraphrased since my mind is

not a recorder nor a computer:

 

“More than 23,000 songs were written and sung during the seventies

in the United States, only 370 were major grossing songs, (making

Top Ten lists). In this time period, only TWO were number one hits

written by a duo of song-writers.

I will come back, from the commercial to tell you who they were. . .”

 

Of course, I tried to memorize this comment, was an a red light and

jotted down the two numbers and waited ‘with bated breath’ for the

answer. Why the excitement in this upcoming response? You may not

know me well, but music is a special part of my life and the 70’s were

my stomping grounds, where music laid its foundation and made a

huge impact on my life.  I was in band from 4th grade on, played in

three bands in high school, marching band, symphonic band, pep

band for the basketball team and homecoming pep rallies, along with

the stepping stone to symphonic band: concert band. I loved the way

current songs on the radio made their way into our performances,

along with learning the meaning of different musical terms and the

way the music would build and pull on my heartstrings and soul,

during crescendo’s.

 

The two songs were “Loco-Motion” and “Go Away, Little Girl”

whose authors were Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

The first song has such an incredible legacy, along with being a

fun song. It is one of the only songs of all time, which has been

number one in three different decades sung by three different

styles or cultures. What a landmark song!

1. Little Eva, who is African American, sang the song, “Loco-Motion”

in 1962. This helped her career in singing really soar.

 

2. Grand Funk Railroad, (rock and roll, Caucasian band), sang it

in 1974 and put their own ‘brand’ on the song, “Loco-Motion.”

 

3. The Austrailan singer, Kylie Minogue, made this song go

international with her 1988 rendition.

Way to go, Carole King and Gerry Goffin for making this song

a catchy tune that went across generations and cultures.

 

The second song, this tremendous duo wrote, “Go Away, Little

Girl” was one of my favorites in my teenaged years. When I had

a crush on a senior in high school, Todd D. of Science Club and

marching band “fame,” I pictured Todd singing this to me, along

with meeting me by the Bay High Rockets’ goal posts in five years

after I graduated from high school. (I was only a mere freshman

when I had this ‘crush.’)

1. “Go Away, Little Girl” was first sung by Bobby Vee in ’62. Soon

to be followed and reaching higher sales, by Steve Lawrence later

the same year, in 1962. This made the Popular Top 20 list.

2. The Happenings sang and got this song into the top selling

songs in 1966. This was also a popular song with my friends.

3. The most popular version and more often played song, “Go Away

Little Girl” is sung by Donnie Osmond, 1971.

 

While listening to Casey Kasem, another time, I wrote down this

short note on a scrap of paper last Autumn.

The “most popular song played at funerals” is Frank Sinatra’s

popular top 10 song, “My Way.” I can imagine a lot of people who

would embrace this in their different life styles and endeavors but

had no idea that this was so beloved.

It would take years to ‘replace’ this song but a new hit being played

at funerals is from the British comedy movie, “Life of Brian.” Who

could imagine choosing a song from this movie? Well, I can tell

you one: my brother Randy still roars in laughter while watching

this Monty Python spoof movie, once a year with my family. I am

surprised though at this musical choice:

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” by Eric Idle of Monty

Python wrote this as a reaction to “Give a Little Whistle” from

the Disney franchise of upbeat movies, “Pinocchio.”

 

I am sure Eric is laughing out loud should he find out how popular

this song has become over the years.  Somehow, I thought a more

popular song would be, “Taps” or “Amazing Grace.”

 

Frankly, I feel this is refreshing and would cheer me up to know

I don’t have to listen to “Candle in the Wind,” at Randy’s memorial

service, should I outlive him. This may irreverent comment, but

believe me, Randy would be amused at this song being played,

so ‘Always Look at the Bright Side of Life,” will be on the playlist,

brother. Oh, that reminds me, I will have to add one of the songs

from his other ‘favorite’ movie, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”

 

MORE MUSICAL NOTES:

 

The recent death of the Gospel legend, Andrae Crouch, requires a

respectful “note” and pause. At age 72, Andrae had influenced many

listeners with his heartfelt lyrics and soulful songs. Here are a few

which you may wish to check out:

“Let the Church Say Amen.”

“Soon and Very Soon.”

“Take Me Back.”

Along with being what many considered a fine singer and composer,

Andrae helped influence three legendary musicians. Although, he

may not have helped increase each of their popularity levels; he

undoubtedly changed their lives. This was the kind of man Andrae

Crouch was. The tributes and interviews all held warm memories

and kind thoughts of this man.

Michael Jackson was helped with his own song, “The Man in the

Mirror,” by Andrae Crouch’s adjusting its musical arrangement.

Elton John and Madonna received positive influences upon their

careers, by Gospel leader, Andrae Crouch.

 

 

The James Band was one of the alternative rock groups I sometimes

listened to in the 80’s. Do you have any memories of this different band?

Their roots came from Manchester, England. They took breaks in their

recording and individual careers. Some time off, as you may remember.

The first’break’ was a rather long one, after being popular in the 80’s

and leaving the musical scene in 2001;  they got back together in 2007.

Then, another 7 year time span ensued, until last year (2014).

While the members followed their individual pursuits, the James Band

still played on the alternative rock scene on the  radio, though.

Their sales over the years amount to over $25 million.

 

Imagine my surprise and pleasure to say the James Band are back

on the road and had a new album come out in June, 2014 titled,

“Le Petit Mort” including a popular new song, “Moving On.” This

is a solemn, questioning song, one which shows how aging and time

passing influences how you choose your path. James Band has

changed their sound and song choices.  The wisdom found while

growing older is reflected here in their music. The slow pace rises

and slowly builds into a crescendo, with trumpets and guitars

playing. Here are a few snippets of the lyrics I heard of this “new”

song, “Moving On,”

“Leave a little light on. . .”

“Will we recognize our friends when this cycle ends?”

“Will it start again?”

There are moments where time is like seeds being planted,

dreams taken for granted.

Welcome back, James Band!

 

Mick Jones poured out his long and winding road life’s path,

in an interview on the 12/28/14 CBS Sunday Morning show.

Mick’s path is one which encompasses being part of a British

“Spooky Tooth” band, playing with “C’est La Vie” and a French

man named Holliday. Mick Jones said Holliday forgives his

leaving the group to find his own way. Holliday was a “French

Elvis,” according to Jones. Then, Jones proceeded to get to the

‘meat’ of his musical career with “Foreigner.” Not being one

who studies musicians’ lives as they are progressing, I was very

interested in how Jone’s compelling journey went. I always liked

Foreigner’s  songs, “Feels Like the First Time,” “Head Games,”

and “I’ve Been Waiting for a Girl Like You.” When the group

‘went soft’ in one of the band member’s eyes, (or ears)- they parted

ways and the band split up back in 2003.

Mick Jones and Ian McDonald were inducted into the Songwriters’

Hall of Fame, June, 2013, with Elton John presenting them this

prestigious award. They have never made it into the Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame.

Foreigner was unique in its combination of three British and three

American band musicians and singers joining forces. The band’s

3 Brits were Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Dennis Elliot, while

the 3 Americans were Lou Gramm, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.

 

Wow, this has been 12 years since then! Their music is still daily

‘in my ears’ on the radio. Foreigner is a group which has stood the

‘test of time,’  I believe. Only one member of the original band,

has passed away. Ed Gagliardi died in May, 2014.

All have not worked together since 1989. They have had a few varied

combinations of the players.

In 2013,  Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Lou Gramm renewed their

ties and are working on a new collaboration. They were part of the

Summer of 2013 Tour, including Eagles’ Don Felder playing with

Foreigner and the band Styx.

 

What are some “musical notes” you have been listening to?

What musician or group do you feel has stayed the most ‘current’ ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit of Halloween “Lives” in These Vehicles!

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Halloween Cars and Vehicles

In Delaware, a group of Zombies climb annually out of a rented

Hearse. They turn on the music of “Thriller,” sung by Michael

Jackson. My children and grandchildren tell me this Halloween

tradition lives on, in Delaware, Ohio.

Mom and I were happy to get up, she put on a black and white

top, an orange sweater along with a white ghost pin. I wore this

Halloween shirt, that has spiders’ webs, with black velvet spiders

and a haunted house. On the back of this shirt, which has orange

sleeves is a very large velvet spider. I walked with Mom down to

get our pumpkin donuts, frosted in cream cheese icing, along with

a cup of cider and one of coffee, too. We passed some of the candy

out to the morning servers, teens that Mom has connected with,

over the past two years.

I read a great summary of several famous vehicles that embody the

spirit of Halloween and need to give, Terry Troy credit for his news

in the Automobile Sales pages of Wednesday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer.

 

Here are the three vehicles that will go in order of ‘scary’ effects:

#1.  “Christine,” from Stephen King’s book is a 1958 Plymouth Fury,

who is filled with Satan’s soul, according to the thrilling novel. They

used between 20 or more Fury cars, some were destroyed in stunts or

used for parts. This “Christine” is indestructible and a determined “fury.”

 

#2. “Duel” is a memorable horror story of a 1955 Peterbilt 281 tanker truck,

who is chasing through the desert and mountain two lane roads, poor mild-

mannered Dennis Weaver’s character. He is driving a Plymouth Valiant, 1971.

This was, by the way, Stephen Spielberg’s first feature length movie, a triumph

in suspense and deadly scenes, released in 1971. Loud and scary horn is sounded

in a seemingly ‘driver-less’ truck that is relentless in its pursuit.

 

#3. “The Munsters”  television series was funny and not so scary, in my mind, as

the more hauntingly creepy “The Addams Family.” In the show, the Munster

family has two vehicles of note. One that you see more often is that of the family

car, called “Munster K0ach.” Fred Munster would take the family out for a drive

and the neighbors and other travelers on the road would pull over. This strange

but fun vehicle consists actually of three Ford Model T’s cut up and reconnected.

This iconic car was assembled by the famous George Barris, famous for other

television and movie vehicles. His other car constructions consist of the Batmobile,

Beverly Hillbillies Truck and KITT from Knight Rider show.

The “Munster Koach” used to tour with Fall car shows around the country. There

was a year it made it to the Marion Southland Mall, where my three children were

able to peek inside and see the red velvet interior, similar to the fabric used in caskets.

The goggle-wearing “Grandpa” character played by the great Al Lewis, was called,

“Drag-U-La” and was designed by Tom Daniel and built by George Barris.

 

 

 

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Also, hope you enjoyed this post paying homage to creepy Halloween vehicles, found

in movies and television.

Do you have a scary movie to add, whether or not it holds a vehicle?

Holograms and “Ghosts”

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Malfunctions in different work areas can annoy me, slow me down

and also, sometimes create ‘havoc!’ In the zone I was filling my

orders at the warehouse today,there was a ‘ghost!’

I would go to push a button out (they have a light and a Pick #

on them) and the light would ‘flicker’ and go out! Huh?!

Before I actually pressed it! I felt like I was going a little

crazy, since it would then light the next ‘pick’ and just as my

arm went to grab the parts, trying to ‘beat’ it from going out,

the ‘ghost’ would push me forward to the next pick.

I stopped my Filipino friend, Felda, who was in the next zone,

asking her to come and verify what was going on. Unfortunately,

for my sanity’s sake, she was not able to see it happening from

her side of the conveyor belt.

I hurried to the office, telling our order filling ‘clerk,’

Danielle, about my ‘ghost’…

She replied, “That happens when Don is over there! Log off

and try to re-start your picks and I will call Jeff, our

‘systems guy.'” (Well, at least Danielle didn’t think I

was ‘loony tunes!’)

I logged off, scanned my two labels and found the same

frustrating thing going on. I logged off, wrote the time

down and started to sweep, pick up trash and ‘kill’ time.

You never want to be caught doing ‘nothing’ at our

warehouse! (We hand in ‘records’ of our time used, called

time sheets, so what I was then doing was using ‘Indirect

Time.’

Shortly, Jeff arrived and watched the ‘ghost’ firsthand.

He validated my crazy moments with a big dose of reality.

It would take him almost 40 minutes to figure out how to get

the system to stop this ‘ghost!’

By the way, this is how serious ‘Indirect Time’ is, my boss’

boss, Mike, came running down my zone after about 15 minutes,

catching me bending over and getting dusty, fallen parts and

putting them back where they belonged. He told me to,

“Make sure you write this down under the heading, “Cleaning,”

for ‘Indirect Time.'” Apparently, we have Big Brother on the

other end of our system, and big warning, flashing lights

must go off when Robin may be “Dilly-dallying!”

As I was sweeping, I thought about Angela An, on CBS Channel

10 this morning. She said that she thought the part of the

Billboard Music Awards Show, where Michael Jackson danced

with others, as a hologram, was “Creepy.” That is the word

this female broadcaster used.

I reflected how it makes me feel very warm, fuzzy, and happy

when I watch my Dad’s VHS tape of him following my two young

children and me, while holding my six month old youngest at

the Lancaster, Ohio Rising Park. I love the way he is walking

while holding the camera, so it jiggles. I also laugh at his

little comments to the camera, as he is gazing at my children

on what we used to call the “Rock and Roll.” It was like a

big metal barrel, sideways, where about six children, using

their weight could rock the barrel back and forth. It would

make me dizzy, just watching it! It would make me dizzy,

watching it on this tape. (It had been transformed or

transferred to a DVD, thanks to my good friend’s husband.)

Anyway, I thought of Michael Jackson’s family, they must have

felt their chests fill with pride while watching this Awards

Show! I imagine that it made them smile, thinking a bit of

him was ‘still here on Earth.’

I feel blessed and lucky to watch the only tape my Dad took

of the kids at a park. There is another short segment (filmed

at a different time) of my youngest daughter while her older

brother (age 3) and older sister (age 5) were playing on the

Vermilion Showse Park’s gym set. She is looking inside an old

lunch box which has Raggedy Ann and Andy on it, taking out

some little kitchen items in and out, that my Mom had put in

there. The half and quarter cups and the metal measuring spoons

clattered and made noise when the ‘baby’ would close the

lunch box shut and shake it up.

My Dad is using a lilting, ‘baby talk’ voice while trying to

get her to look up. He is trying his best to capture this

precious moment in Time. Watching this, listening to his voice,

gets me teary-eyed. I love the way he is saying her name,

repeating it until my youngest looks up at him and grins.

She is concentrating so hard, on the ‘task at hand!’

Hearing my Dad’s voice floating across time and space gives me

a combination of comfort and brings me sadness, too. I wish

he could have seen my youngest graduate from college. Been here

to see how the others are today. Grown and having families.

This is exactly how I feel about Michael Jackson’s Hologram.

I feel wistful and happy, for his siblings, mother, father

and especially his children. That his music and his image is

captured in ‘videos’ (oh, I mean film!) and this Hologram shown

last night. I don’t imagine that is was at all “Creepy” to them!

The other famous people who have utilized Holograms, include

Natalie Cole singing with her deceased father, Nat King Cole,

to me, showed the transcendence of time. I think it is beautiful

to see father and daughter, transported to a place where they

can sing together.

I don’t consider that “Creepy,” either. I love the combination

of both their voices singing a duet, that without the taped

image of Nat King Cole and his fine voice, a daughter and her

father couldn’t have sung this special and sweet song:

“Unforgettable” is so lovely as a duet reproduced in 1992.

Just to remind you, Nat King Cole died in 1965. If they

had not been able to use technology, his daughter would

not have been singing, as an adult, with her father. I am

very amazed and marvel at this ability to combine both

their beautiful voices together. I enjoyed this when it

came out, then again today, listening to their harmonizing.

It would be like Elvis singing with his daughter, Lisa Marie.

I would embrace this duet, as I do Natalie’s and Nat’s.

Here is a list that my table of coworkers collaborated with me,

to make. It includes, images, faces and full body poses of

famous people who have been videotaped, filmed or otherwise

duplicated by using other amazing ‘tricks of the trade’ to

create commercials or print advertisements.

1. Marilyn Monroe, (for perfume or cologne)

2. Audrey Hepburn, (in magazines for jewelry, recently a lookalike

in a television advertisement.)

3. Elvis (and his lookalikes, too.)

4. “Singing in the Rain” trio, Gene, Debbie and Donald.

5. The Three Stooges.

6. Laurel and Hardy.

7. Superheroes for advertising. (Maybe this could be ‘Creepy?’)

Have you noticed any deceased famous people featured in commercials?

How do you feel about Michael Jackson’s Hologram?

Losing Oneself

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These words make me pensive.

They make me delve deeper into myself.

There are many ways to interpret them:

Losing oneself…

in writing,

in one’s work,

in another’s arms,

in daydreams,

in tasks,

in crafts,

in creating,

in music,

in art,

in church,

in Nature,

in a Higher Being,

God/Buddha/Allah…

in a book,

on your path in life,

in space and time,

on the waters, drifting…

in addictions,

gambling,

drinking,

drugs,

food,

shopping,

losing your mind,

in depression,

and in countless ways.

It is important not to ‘lose yourself.’

It is meaningful to go~ beyond yourself.

It makes a stronger relationship, if

you are you, and they are they.

Don’t go off the deep end, please!

I’d place my ‘bet’ on you being a

winner, in whatever ways you choose

to contribute to this world.

Take comfort, reach out if you need

a shoulder to lean on.

Three songs that cheer me up when I am

thinking of sad times,

1. “Go Your Own Way” by Lindsey Buckingham,

Fleetwood Mac album, “Rumours,” released

in 1977.

2. “I’ll Be There,” sung by the Jackson Five,

featuring Michael Jackson. This song was

written by a team known as the Corporation,

including Berry Gordy, Bob West, Hal Davis

and Willie Hutch. This was their third album,

released in 1970.

3. “With a Little Help From My Friends,”

(Written for “The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely

Hearts Club Band” album with Ringo as

the singer, in the character of “Billy

Shears.”) Released in 1967. Joe Cocker

sang this at Woodstock in 1969. Someone

at work had thought Joe wrote it, but it

was written as a collaboration between

Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Oh, and

I had to look up this fact, now you know

too that the Beatles came BEFORE the

legendary Woodstock!)

Try not to lose yourself in a negative

way and keep your chin up,.

I hope, mainly, you will find yourself.

Here in the colder part of the country,

I feel for the even more frigid areas,

those up North and East of us!

Be Prepared to “Weep” for Winged Creatures…

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Have you ever heard of the Carolina parakeet, the only native parrot to

the U.S.? I hadn’t either. There is a sad story why you haven’t heard of

them. These birds have a small place in the our country’s history. They

were sweet, yellow-headed parakeets and their homes ranged from the

states of Florida to Michigan during Colonial days.

Lewis and Clark were ones who included them in their travel diaries.

They spied them on a tributary of the Kansas River. The birds flocked

in large numbers, sometimes up to 3o0! Imagine the shock or startled

expressions on the faces of the ones who were traveling in Northern

American and seeing what you might expect in the tropics!

The Conestoga wagons carrying people west and south, saw these

lovely winged creatures, bright and cheery in their appearance.

A report of a large flock on a southern Louisiana bayou was made

as far back as 1895. When the sun rose, the description details the

birds rose in a “clamor in a stand of black mulberries.”

Parrots and parakeets are considered “conures.” (Latin name:

conuropsis carolinensis.) Farmers, unfortunately protecting their

berry crops and also seeking food sources, shot them. They wanted

the fruit supplies and found them an annoyance.

Parrots are defined as a “bright colored tropical bird of a family

characterized by a strong hooked bill, by toes arranged in pairs with

two in front and two behind, often with ability to mimic speech.”

Parakeets (or parrakeets) are “any of numerous small slender parrots

with a long pointed tail. Spanish- “periquito” from Middle French,

“perroquet.”

Early European explorers were known also for killing, cooking and

eating macaws. Some gorgeous species were found in the Caribbeans

and on the island of Guadaloupe in the Lesser Antilles, their colors

being a gorgeous “hyacinth” (macaw) with a rich cobalt blue coat of

feathers and “Lear’s” macaw with an aquamarine variation have

been slaughtered into extinction.

Poor parakeets were the victims of firearms unfortunately and

sadly killed by the 100’s in the United States. They are known

for their curiosity and their comradely acts, sticking by ones who

are sick or felled. They showed no fear of the farmers’ aims and

sometimes stayed behind, getting themselves killed along the way.

John James Audubon, known for his books, the magazine using

his name and his exquisite drawings, killed dozens of the golden

parakeets. He would bring home bushel baskets of the dead birds

to provide the “models” for his beautiful and well recognized sketches.

The last Carolina parakeet on record was named “Uncas.” Using James

Fenimore Cooper’s Indian character’s name. This Uncas was known as

“The Last of the Mohicans.” How appropriate a name for such a fine

and lovely winged “angel.” Uncas was kept in the Cincinnati, Ohio zoo

and died in 1918.

As a person who has a bird name, Robin, I have held birds in my heart

for all my life. I have collected feathers, especially since my Grandpa

died and beat his beak upon my window in 1980. (Story is held in the

post, “Cardinals carry special messages”). I think this story emphasizes

once more how very self-centered mankind can be, sometimes not

thinking or looking ahead to the future of our world. The gifts given by

our Higher Being, God, Mother Nature or if you don’t believe in such,

even still we have gifts here to appreciate. I would have loved to see

flocks of Carolina parakeets, their golden brilliance shining in the sun-

rise or sunset! We are very short-sighted in so many ways, when you

ponder all the baby seals, buffaloes, big wild cats and other creatures

that are killed for sometimes just for their skins, leaving carcasses

behind. In the case of the wild parakeets, there were not even meals

made of the birds. Did we not also get created, made to have the finer

brain to help protect and guard all the creatures.

Thinking of the beauty of the Carolina parakeets and singing a sad

tribute in my head. What comes to mind is Michael Jackson’s “Earth

Song” with its mournful lyrics and eerie vocals.

I hope the birds found a lovely place and peace while flying with the other

winged angels in Heaven.

Reminds me of Psalm 91:4 in the Bible:

“He will cover you with his feathers.

He will shelter you with his wings.

His faithful promises are your armour and

protection.

There is absolutely nothing to fear about

tomorrow.

For God is already there.”

Youthful Caretakers of the Wild

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My two youngest granddaughters, Marley and Makyah, came to spend

the night and they wore me out!! There are lots of great things to do

in my apartment and surrounding location.

We played at St. Mary’s Catholic school playground for awhile but

decided the deep blue color of the equipment and dark mulch made it

“too hot.” Then, we went over to check out the creek and had fun on

two of the three bridges that cross over to Ohio Wesleyan Univesity.

We ran along the edge, looking for the ducks, finally finding one solitary

duck. The four year old exclaimed,

“She’s lonely, Nana!”

This made my littlest one, say, “Alone. Why?”

This made me wonder, too. It also makes me realize how young

children are to develop empathetic thoughts and feelings. I was in

awe of this reminder. I think one of the many awesome things about

having grandchildren is just that: learning the capabilities of humane

thoughts at such an early age (or stage) in life.

That, and all the reminders of our youth and our ability to have deep

feelings. I remember cringing when the neighbor boy pulled the wings

off butterflies he caught in a butterfly net. Although it was a hobby, my

brother sometimes was pinning butterflies to his collection boards. I

thought they were beautiful and yet, wondered if they “felt” the pin

pricking them and holding them. Sometime, along the way, I did hear

of some collectors using some form of “ether” substitute that would

anaesthetize the creatures

We all have an affinity for weaker creatures in one way or another. It

may be watching the news and hearing of someone who is not good

at taking care of their animals, hoarding them or not feeding them or

giving water on a hot day.

One day, looking at the ground while he walked home from school and

spying a duckling stuck along the tracks, my son gently eased the

webbed foot out of the black tar it was stuck in.

Unfortunately, when asking someone who worked with wildlife, they

suggested washing the tar off the duck’s feet and replacing it in the

same area. Sure enough, when we walked back to the vicinity of the

location, there was mother duck wildly, loudly quacking to “call her

baby back.” My son remembers that lesson and has always being a

gentle soul

Recently, my son retold his own children that story. When they wanted

to save a chipmunk that one of their dogs had caught. Having to capture

it, letting it go on the other side of their privacy fence, only to hope it

would stay there!

There are many examples you may think of: the windblown nest falling

out of a tree, those precious eggs still intact. What to do? The rabbit who

has misplaced or possibly been killed, when you find the baby bunnies.

Is it okay to try to feed baby animals? The Delaware Humane Society

and when we were young, the Bay Village Nature Center, each advised,

gently, “No,

leave the wild animals alone. Hope it will survive and possibly get

reconnected with a family member.”

Once we got finished sharing our whole wheat bread with the lone

duck, we went onto the grounds and found pinecones. Why is it that

when little ones use such a tender voice, we get all soft inside? Also,

do they do this ‘on purpose’ knowing we react this way?

“Aww, Nana, there is a baby pinecone!”

Do you think it is because we give them such beatific smiles and

loving looks while they do this? Are we making sure to reward these

gentle observations?

I am hoping these are intrinsic values they have instinctively to feel

and care. They may hold creatures dear to their little hearts, without

any extrinsic reinforcement.

While throwing the pine cones into the water, I mentioned it was such

a shame that the walls along the creek. They need to be reinforced by

replacing the stones and placing them more firmly into the walls. There

are a few areas that have big piles of dirt toppling into the once clear

stream This seems to have reduced the wildlife that used to live here.

I dislike seeing so much mud there, as I pointed to an area. The girls’

eyes followed my finger.

When a professor or someone affiliated with OWU, stopped to admire

my precious little towheads, I said, “Thank you and they are just two of

my six grandkids that I enjoy bringing here. Did you notice this wall is

caving in here and down the creek, toot? My oldest grandson, when he

was their age, liked to feed a big flock of ducks, find turtles, spy frogs

and also, toads.

We pulled over rocks and found earthworms, saw crawdads and

would see schools of a variety of fish here.There are less signs of wildlife

here now.”

The gentleman, took a moment to pause and ponder this thought. He

did a fine job of looking quite “professorial” in this moment. He replied,

“Who do you suppose is responsible, the city or the university?”

“Your guess is as good as mine! If you ever run into someone who knows

and cares, will you pass the word on for me?”

He smiled and patted Makyah, the littlest one’s head, intoning in such a

wise way,

“We need to be careful of all our resources for the sake of the future

of these and others’ sake.”

I added, “If it were up to children, they would be wonderful caretakers

of the world. They love every little detail and appreciate the simplest

things.”

Marley, having one year of preschool under her belt, looked up at me

and said, “Nana, we loved the bumblebee on the black eyed susan

flower, too.” (I had sung the silly song, when we observed this, “Bringing

Home a Baby Bumblebee.”)

A short, but meaningful, look passed across from me to the man who

had stopped. He was just crossing the bridge from the parking lot by my

apartment building to the great university that, I believe, he taught at.

If only the children could “run the world.”

There is a Michael Jackson song, “Nature Song” which has a keeing sound

to his voice, while emphasizing how we need to take care of the Earth. It

has a lovely video on Youtube. There are many more songs out there with

those similar thoughts!

 

Of course, several Band Aid and Farm Aid famous participants, along with a

diverse international population who continue to  support environmental,

hungry people, as well as wildlife. All with the specific intent of making this

world a better place,

All starting with the children and ending with them, too.

Changes in Attitude

Standard

I will say that the way Tom Hanks was teased about his character’s different

comments, make me smile about the movie, “Forrest Gump.”

There are so many dramatic sections of the movie that it is hard to remember

the humor; but then you see a Saturday Night Live skit or other comedian

“spoof” his lines and you start to laugh!

Who can forget Forrest’s goofy way of running and the words, “Run, Forrest,

Run!”?

Who can’t smile at his world view in his simple but honest words:

“Life is like a box of chocolates…”?

Each day we can choose to alter our own attitude. There are barely perceptible

ways to change other’s.

Studies have “proven” that walking around with a smile on your face brings a

smile in your attitude. It certainly can help the surrounding people that you

encounter while sharing that smile!

I have almost all my life been filled with the happiness of knowing I am a

blessed person. I have a lot of confidence in my talents and gifts bestowed

upon me from a Supreme Being. I wake up almost every day, feeling lucky and

joyful that I got to see another day arrive.

I have had “blue” days, like in the after the holidays period of time. I wrote a

blog about the “blues.” Lately, I have been feeling just a little blue due to our work

pressure. I had that nice young man, Chad, become like a son to me over two years

ago. He lost his mother, his father’s leg got amputated, and we helped him to

decide to give up on his wife who had changed so drastically from the way she had

seemed before the marriage.

Last Friday, May 31st, while I was at the Center for Dermatology having my MOHS

procedure and the skin draft surgery, my friend Chad got harassed at work by an older

bin order filler. The man’s name is Mike and he said, “Why don’t you pick up your pace?

Your slowness is causing us all to have to work harder to get our rate up!”

Apparently, Chad, who is sensitive to others’ words, went to the office and the “boss”

checked his rate on the computer. The “boss” then, without listening to the complaint,

“wrote Chad up!!” for having too low of a pace which causes your rate based on products

picked by hour to reflect below the “acceptable 95%.” Well, that just irritates the snot out

of me! I mean if I go to complain to a manager, I hope he will listen, maybe try to make

me feel better about myself and not, tell me the person complaining is “right” and “You

need to work harder!” His going to the office, as my last time I went to the office, BACK-

FIRED!”

Chad who is in his twenties, told the manager he quit! Now, I don’t have Chad’s phone

number in Kilbourne nor his cell phone number. So, my “adopted son” who said he

would “pray for your surgery” is no longer my coworker. I can only hope he and

Miranda come downtown for First Friday. Maybe I can get the phone number then.

I am going to close that I can easily be affected by the way others’ treat my friends and

family. I usually want to jump in and help. I think that my ending to this post will be to

close with this thought:

By keeping our attitude positive we can create ripples of joy spreading wider and wider

in circles until we can encompass the ones we hope to “save” and help.

What we do can make a difference. All it takes when you start to get down or “blue”

is to make a change in attitude. I think my ending to this post will be to close with the

lyrics from a great song.

Michael Jackson’s song, “The Man in the Mirror” carries a powerful message, it is

almost like a 70’s folk song. Here are some of the lyrics:

“As I turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat

This wind is blowing my mind.

I see the kids in the street, with not enough to eat,

Who am I to be pretending not to see their needs?

A summer’s disregard

A broken bottle top

And a one man’s soul

They follow each other on the wind ya’ know.

‘Cause they got nowhere to go.

That’s why I want you to know…

I’m starting with the man in the mirror.

I’m asking him to change his ways.

And no message could have been clearer.

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make a change!”

P. S. I was reading an article recently that addresses the subject about a large

number of children on the free and reduced lunch programs that go hungry in

the summertime.

There are new urban programs teaching families to garden. There are still free

dinners served at churches and soup kitchens to volunteer during the Summer

months! Giving back cheers everyone and helps us appreciate what we have!