Thursday, November 22, 2018

All our thanksgivings are perpetual

Some of my ancestors came from the vicinity of Vikøyri in Vik Municipality, Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. This is a photograph of the Hopperstad Stave Church there. While it is not possible and never will be possible to know if any of my ancestors attended a service there or even saw the church, it is not unreasonable to suppose some might have been there since my direct-line, paternal ancestry has been traced to the mid-1500s in that region and since the church is assumed to have been built around the year 1130 and still stands at its original location.
Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. I like Thanksgiving, and have many good memories of it from years past and hope to create many more in the years ahead. Anyone who comes here and reads here knows I like old books / old films / old music. Other than the photograph, all that is here today are three videos of music from the "last century" .... songs that I like, songs that I am thankful to hear ....
The Rolling Stones .. "She's A Rainbow"
= have you seen her dressed in blue?
The Three Degrees .. "When Will I See You Again?"
= moments of pure beauty in harmony
The Greg Kihn Band .. "The Breakup Song"
or When Love Goes
= one last dance, ok, baby?




Sunday, November 18, 2018

Lost in time & space on a Sunday morning

No, I did not catch a sudden case of religion. I lived in Montana for a while once upon a time and have been thinking about it and the beauty of the state. Actually, my first newspaper job was there and I was more into photography then than I am now. In fact, Montana is where I learned how to run a darkroom for developing film and printing photographs. Anyway, back on point: I was looking through photographs of Montana recently while listening to Bobby Dylan -- all on the internet, of course -- and encountered this view of a presumably abandoned church on the plains of Hill County near Havre, Montana. It does not take much imagination to guess where my mind went from there. Here are three among my favorite songs from Dylan to accompany the high plains church:
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (1965)
I Want You (1966)
All Along the Watchtower (1967)
A few lines
From "I Want You"
Composed & sung by
Robert Allen Zimmerman
Well, I return to the Queen of Spades
And talk with my chambermaid
She knows that I'm not afraid to look at her
She is good to me and there's
Nothing she doesn't see
She knows where I'd like to be
But it doesn't matter
I want you, I want you
Yes, I want you so bad
Honey, I want you ....



Saturday, November 10, 2018

Sort of a split personality ....

Today is the 243rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The photograph here of a Marine and his rifle in a combat situation pretty much portrays the stereotypical image of what the Marine Corps is all about .... does it not? Most individuals enter the Marine Corps because they have something to prove, most often to themselves. Beyond that, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a stereotypical Marine and the "Toys for Tots" program and the commentary by retired Sergeant Major Angela Maness are illustrations of that. Marine Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, founded Toys for Tots in Los Angeles, California, in 1947. The first toy was a handmade doll. About 5,000 toys were collected during the campaign that year. The annual event has grown exponentially since then.

The first video below shows the usual image of the Marine Corps; the second video illustrates the purpose and the significance of the Toys for Tots program. It is an old video, but the message it delivers remains the same. The program, run by the Marine Corps Reserve, distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. It is very active here in the Twin Cities and there is a ton of information about it on the internet. Check it out and participate in it if you want to feel good about yourself the day after Christmas. In the third video, Sgt. Maj. Maness describes how the role of women in the Corps has evolved since she enlisted in 1987 and what it takes to be a successful Marine. Her message essentially is as old as time itself: Be the best you can be. The final video is the traditional birthday greeting from the commandant to the troopers .... Semper Fidelis, now and always ....




Something special ....