Saturday, May 28, 2016

"The Oath of a Knight"


"The Oath of a Knight"

Be without fear in the face of your enemies.

Be brave honest generous, and kind.

Oppose evil in all of it's forms.

Shun what is easy. Embrace what is right.

Respect women.

Safeguard the helpless.

Respect the many Faiths.

Beware of Pride the source of all error.

Now in the name of G-d the founder of Dreams.

She who filled the "Well of Forever" with Souls, and put smiles on the lips of the unborn.

In the name of She who painted the Void with Fire, and Hope.

In that Name!

'And the names of Saint Michael, and Saint George the slayers of Dragons.

You are Consecrated,...now rise a Knight, and assume your Responsibilities.

(This is from a story I wrote some years ago. It's the final section, and stands alone fine. Feel free to use it when the opportunity arises to Knight a worthy Soul.)


Stay Tuned.

"AUNT JOSEY"



"Once upon a time", long ago when milk was delivered in bottles, and cars had fins. I used to spend my summers with my Aunt Josey. My "Aunt" or I should say my Grand Aunt Josey, 'cause she was my Grandma's sister, had a little house far out in the country.

She was a sweet Soul made of equal parts of kindness, and patients..

 My Aunt was the one that taught me that there's good in everyone no matter how they may seem on the outside. She also said that all the animals have souls, and go to heaven. No matter what they say in church.

I loved my Aunt Josey.

I remember one time we were up late. After reading my palm we sat listening to old 1930's records on her Victrola. I loved the old time music, and I loved being with Aunt Josey.

About that palm reading she read mine a lot. She gently held my hand closely examining my various "life lines." It would be as if she were reading some strange book that told of all my life had in store.
She'd look at my palm, then look at me, look at my palm again, and take a breath. All as if to say, ..."You have a serious life on the way!"

Fortunately I was a child innocent, and full of grace.

My nasty cynical side still slept. So all I did was giggle as Aunties fingers traced the lines of my life to come. She could read tea leaves too.

She came from an era where the acknowledgement of other realities, other realms of being were taken for granted. This decades before Oprah.

But to the story. As I said it was very late.

After we'd put the records away my Aunt took me by the hand, and led me through the kitchen, and out to the backyard. The night was warm, and sweet smelling. There was a gentle breeze , and a sky full of stars! Fireflies bobbed, and blinked above the grass.

There was a stillness, a quiet that covered everything that night. Like snow,..summer snow. Aunt Josey, and I sat on the back porch, and enjoyed that magical night,..so many years ago.

After a time she looked down at me, and said, "Sidney,..everyone in the world is asleep except for you, and me."

I looked up at her, she smiled. "Yes", she said, "Their all asleep."

"We're the only ones in the whole wide world looking at the stars, feeling the wind or talking to each other." "All of the animals, all the birds, all the fish underneath the sea, and all the people even your Mommy, and Daddy are asleep, and dreaming now.

Holding me close, and looking up at the stars Aunt Josey said, "We're the last ones, the last ones in the whole wide world,..that are still awake."

The Moon, the bright orange summer Moon was large in the sky.

"You see" ..."See." "The Moon has come close to kiss the world good night."
"The whole sleeping world." "It's come to kiss us good night too."

The Moon, the smiling "Man in the moon" filled our sky, and told us it was time to rest, time to sleep.
Aunt Josey picked me up, and took me to my room. She tucked me into bed, and helped me say my prayers. She kissed me good night, and went off to here own room.

In a little while, in a very little while both she, and I joined the Sleeping, Dreaming World.

(A story I wrote about my Grand Aunt "Josey".)


Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"Matris of Deus plenus of Venia"

"Fortunes of War"



Old Ozzie, and his dear gal Harriet were simple decent sweet folks. Complete air heads, but sweet.  

I'll bet they even felt sorry for them Colored folks that was getting the crap beat out'a them by them mean cracker cops down south. Fire hoses police dogs all that.

Ya has to remember this was the mid-1950's.

Why I wouldn't be surprised if the let their kids bring their Negro friends home from school. Being such swell folks I can see Harriet making up something special so them Coloreds will feel right at home.

Maybe cupcakes or black eye peas with fatback, and corn bread. She  thought about watermelon, but that might be a bit much so she got grapes instead.

Ol' Ozzie would probably start going on about what a great ball player Jackie Robinson is, and what a gentleman Nat king Cole seems.

Yep they'd be doing all that. Embarrassing the hell out'a their kids, and making the Coloreds wishing they was having root canal instead.

'But me I'm different I liked all the nice liberal stuff from back in the day. I went through a lot of this steamy liberal guilt jazz from my pal's parents.

I thought it was touching.

They really were trying to be nice,...and that's nice. Sure as shit beats all the evil neurotic double talk we crap on each other today.

I mean I dug all the dripping nice nice they were laying on me. Sure it was nuts as hell, but like I say they were sincere.  Unfortunately things went south for all them nice White folks like Ozzie, and his family.

First the Black racists radicals kicked all the nice White folks out of the Civil Rights movement. That, and grew their hair into giant popcorn poppers...I did. 

Btw sleeping in them Afro things was like drowning in a mattress.

Most of us hated it. 

It was impossible to keep neat, and in the humidity, and heat it was like having a Turkish bath on your head. We're not supposed to say this shit, but hey we're pals.

'But I digress.

Well the 1970's hit our hero's Ozzie, and Harriet like an 18 wheeler slamming into the back of a Pinto. The whole mess combusting into a giant ball'a flame!. First Ozzie lost his good job when the plant went to Pango Pango.

Harriet was forced to go to work, and was mugged at the bus stop. Didn't help that the perp was a kid of Color.

Then Ozzie's block began to change. Yeah 'they' started moving in. This meant of course that City services began to get spotty. Hey it's the American way. 

Less sanitation fewer cops the schools gone to hell...the usual.

Ozzie couldn't find work. There were break-ins around the 'hood for the first time. Their friends began to move out, and Ozzie became a Republican.

Liberals do that when the ethnic shit hits the fan.

Today in 2016 some of Ozzie's grand kids are Neo-Nazis. One of them went to prison for murdering an inter-racial couple. This as an initiation for joining the "Christian Army of the True White Jesus".

Ozzie's daughter married a Black lawyer, and their kid Ozzie's Black grandson  got life in Attica for murdering an inter-racial couple as an initiation for joining the "Islamic Army of the True Black Allah".

Oh my good intended criminally insane sleepless America.

Angels truly weep.

Stay Tuned.

"White Rose"


Today we remember Sophie Scholl -- one of Germany’s most famous anti-Nazi heroes -- who would have celebrated her 95th birthday on this day. As a university student in Munich, Scholl, along with her brother, Hans, and several friends, formed a non-violent, anti-Nazi resistance group called the White Rose.
The group ran a leaflet and graffiti campaign calling on their fellow Germans to resist Hitler's regime.

Born in 1921, Scholl became involved in resistance organizing after learning of the mass killings of Jews and reading an anti-Nazi sermon by Clemens August Graf von Galen, the Roman Catholic Bishop of M√ľnster. She was deeply moved by the "theology of conscience" and declared, "Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. 


They just don't dare express themselves as we did."

In 1943, Scholl and the other members of the White Rose were arrested by the Gestapo for distributing leaflets at the University of Munich and taken to Stadelheim Prison. After a short trial on February 22, 1943, Scholl, her brother Hans and their friend Christop Probst, all pictured here, were found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. 

At her execution only a few hours later, Scholl made this final statement: "How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?"

Following the deaths of the White Rose's leaders, their final leaflet was smuggled to England. In mid-1943, Allied Forces dropped millions of copies of the "Manifesto of the Students of Munich" over Germany. 
Sophie Scholl is now honored as one of the great German heroes who actively opposed the Nazi regime.


Stay Tuned.

"HEIRLOOMS"



My birthday is coming up. I'm getting well into my 60's now. Given all this I've been thinking things over. I've been wondering, where is everybody? Where is my family, my old friends, my school, my dog, my bike?

Where is that world that seemed so big, and complicated, and important. That lost world of dinners, homework, chores, math tests. That time, and place where I got in, and out of all sorts of trouble.

All those birthdays, trips to aunts, and uncles houses. The Christmas's, Thanksgiving's, July 4th bar-b-ques. Was all that a dream? Can whole worlds vanish without trace? The Universe blunders on as if we never were. That world I knew, and lived in has become as smoke in the wind. Curling, drifting, vanishing.

Maybe that's why heirlooms are so important to people. Those little scraps from a family's past. Old snap shots, a battered doll, a music box that doesn't work. These simple tattered things that speak for our past. Speak for all those now gone.

They say to Eternity, these little gems, they say,..."We lived, we were here! We loved, worked, suffered, laughed, learned, and died."

I've recently passed on to my oldest niece my Great Grandmothers music box. It's a simple pewter bowl. The top is a powder puff box, and the bottom is a music box. It's cover was the best part. It's beautifully engraved in the "art nouveau" style with a painted cameo of a lovely young girl in the center.

I used to play it all the time when I was little. Till I broke it, and my Mom had to send it to a jewelers to be fixed. You see before air conditioning people used to powder themselves lightly to stay cool, and prevent rash. I recall being powdered by my grandma, and ma in all my seen, and unseen places from that box.

I felt the time had come to pass this particular gem on. So when Kimberly came out east for a visit I gave it to her. I told her that it had been in our family for a hundred years. My Great Grandmother, her Great Great Grandmother got it as a birthday present from her father in 1915.

Great Grandmother whom we remember as "Grannie" gave it to my Grandmother, Violet, in the 1930's. Grandma Violet gave it to my mother Carmen when she was married in 1948. My Mom gave it to me shortly before she passed away in 1988. In time I gave it to my dear niece Kimberly, and told her to keep it in the family for another hundred years.

Btw, I suggested she only pass it down to the female line of the family as they are generally more sensible, and are less likely to sell it on "eBay" or it's successor business.

"Another hundred years", that's what I told her, and that's what's going to happen. I gave her the music box, and all the stories that surround it for her to pass on into this not so new century.

Amen.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

M-O-U-S-E!"





I was, and am still a "Mouseketeer." I remember that sign-off goodbye song the "Mouseketeer's" used to sing to us. "...and now it's time to say goodbye,..to all our family." "M-i-c,...see ya real soon,..k-e-y." "Why?" "Because we like you." "M-o-u-s-e!"

My Grandma made us, my sisters, and brother mouse ears. "Mickey Mouse" Mouseketeer ears. She used black felt, for the beanie, and ears, and white linen for the "M." She also made a "Zorro" cape special for me, but that's another story.



I was thinking about all of this tonight. All this in the context of the sum of a life. All the wonderful gems, the memories that put together we call our lives. Too often I concentrate on the traumatic, and disappointing. Yeah I know there were no colored kids in the cast of the program. Amazingly for the times Walt Disney did consider an integrated show,..briefly.

This alleged tale is from his brother Roy

A light skinned colored girl was given a screen test separate from the other kids. It was a big studio secret. Remember this was the mid 1950's. It would have been a social bombshell, and killed any chance of major sponsors. All this despite the "Disney" brand.

Believe it or not, we have actually come a bit of a way.

Not a long way, but a bit. Just a bit away from all that. But back then it was thought, that is simple justice was not practical. The youngster didn't get the part.

Sometimes I wonder, if this anecdote is so, I've wondered how things would be different now if important people with influence had decided not to be so practical. I was 6 or 7 years old, and blissfully unaware of this sad history. I just wanted to be a Mouseketeer just like I wanted to be a boy scout.


At the time I could be neither.

Mouse ears, I want mouse ears. I went looking for some. Turns out they're a rarity. Disney puts some out, but they're very small. Only toddler sizes it seems. Somebody should tell them that there are some former 8 year olds, even colored ones, that would like to don the ears,..just one more time.

When Cubby, Annette, and the gang sang that sweet goodbye song I really thought they were singing to me personally. Oh! the wonderful innocence of children. In those days the children's market wasn't as glossy, and slick. There was still at least the "appearance" of sincerity. Enough so to convince many a boomer child that they weren't alone after all.





"Amos, and Andy were Funny"



Back in the old daze before politically correct fear stalked the land like "Repo Men" on crack'n, whiskey! Back then people used to kid around, and laff alot. "Amos, and Andy" was one'a the things that folks used to get a kick out'a laff'n at.
My folks sure did, so did my grand folks come to think of it. I did too when it was on tv back in the 1950's. See, it was funny, we saw ourselves, our friends, our less than perfect families. Humor, look it up. It's what makes this butcher shop of a world bearable.

Anyway the problem was there was nothing being broadcast at that time to offset the buffoonery of the show. I mean if NBC, which carried "A&A" had also broadcast the "James Baldwin Hour" or had "Richard Wright Presents", and other serious Negro programing on during their regular schedule there may not have been problems.


(From the 1950's TV version of "A&A", Alvin Childress, Spencer Williams, and Tim Moore. These are the colored guys that I enjoyed as the dangerous "race traitors" on the TV version. My dad, and Mom listened to Charles Correll, and Freeman Gosden the white "racists" that portrayed the original "A&A" on da radio)

There may not have occurred all the emotional static over our two pals, and later the black actors in the TV version making Colored folks look human. Which is to say,...imperfect.

Sadly things being what they are the white racists used "Amos, and Andy" as an example of Negro simple mindedness. Later Black Cultural Exclusionist forbade it as a symbol of past humiliations. It is absolutely forbidden. You can't even talk about it without starting heated arguments.


(If there's one thing this era has taught us it's that amazingly Nazi's come in all colors!)

There is a cultural trench filled with raw plutonium surrounding poor ol' Amos, and his shifty pal Andy. Cross it at your peril. This is why it's almost never heard not even here at alleged free speech radio WBAI.



As much as I despise the race police, and black Nazi's that have taken over the station I don't cross the "Amos'n Andy Barrier" That one is a zero sum fight. I've learned the hard way to carefully pick my battles with these race nuts.

On the other hand times change, and despite everything people, and cultures mature,..sometimes. Imagine our old friends coming  back to us. Coming home after a half century of media exile.

Can't you just see it.








"HBO Presents, AMOS, and ANDY 2040!"

"Yes folks it's time to smile!" "We're happy to bring you another fun filled episode of your family favorites, "Amos, and Andy"

"This week Amos tries to sell Andy his grandfathers worthless Microsoft stocks. He tells Andy that Lightning has invented a time machine in the basement of the of their condo. For a commission he's willing to take Andy back to before the Crash of 2008 so he can cash in the stocks for Yen!"

"Well there's laughs galore when Safire mistakes the time machine for a portable embryo incubator, and sends her latest test tube offspring back to 1958! Where the baby is found by a young music promoter named "Jackson." He decides to take the little guy into his family. He names him Michael, and the rest as they say is history.


Stay Tuned.