|February, 2010: Spent a lot of time this month writing an anthem called "Hymn of the Servant" for
Trinity Presbyterian Church - to celebrate their 50th anniversary. I was honored to be commissioned
to do this piece. The text is by one of the members, Lurline DuPree. Her writing is orderly, concise,
and "ready for music". Lurline is an organist, and she naturally writes words with music in mind
(consciously or unconsciously).
Our senior Dixieland band played for a birthday celebration for my friend, Christine McAdams.
I have probably mentioned Chris in these pages before, but I will mention her again, in case you
missed it. She is a woman of African-American descent who is now approaching her 80th year.
When she graduated as Valedictorian of her class at the all black Fred Moore High School here in
Denton, her formal education ended. How could this happen - with two state funded universities in
our city? It happened, because at that time no person of color could enroll at these "public"
institutions. This was a crime - I repeat, a CRIME. It was a crime that, as a stupid kid, I was totally
unaware. I knew about so-called "separate but equal" that included water fountains, restrooms,
theatre seats, and secondary schools. But universities? It just never occurred to me at the time.
For Mrs. McAdams it meant that her significant life potential was cut short.
At least the idea of "public" universities being what they should be has been updated and partially
fulfilled, but there is still much "segregated" sentiment alive and well in our society. The election of a
black president, whose ideas and style are certainly different, has been met with much criticism.
Criticism is one thing, but when the ones who disagree engage in racial humor to vent their
positions, it is evident that attitudes have not changed as much as they should have.
February, 1980: The race for the White House seems to start earlier each year, but as long as the
candidates are off and running, I may as well add my two cents worth.
The Republican front runners have some interesting plus factors: If elected, George Bush would be
the first President to have an intimate knowledge of the C.I.A and the U.N., Connaly the first
Republican with an intimate knowledge of the Democrats, and Ronald Reagan the first to have an
intimate knowledge of Hollywood (a questionable asset).
Carter's handling of yet unresolved crises are plus factors at present but could become very
negative if situations get much worse. Ted Kennedy has charisma, but seeing him on TV with his
estranged wife and children is too reminiscent of the Andy Williams Christmas Special. If you read
the latest information about Chappaquiddick, you may have some real doubts about his being
suited for the top job.
MEDIA: The TV anchorman described a bogus bomb planted on an airplane as being constructed
of sticks and wood wrapped in a bundle to resemble dynamite. Eager to put a foot in his mouth, the
commentator went on to reassure us that "the sticks were not wired to detonate".
FAMILY: During the Christmas season we discussed some of the customs of other people and
religions. When the subject of Judaism came up, my son made the observation that Jesus himself
was "kinda Jewish".
RHYME FOR OUR TIME: Some folks may not appreciate my trying to make rhyme out of the words
of St. Paul; however, if you ever become too concerned with the question of why I chose to write it,
don't overlook the equally important question of just why you chose to read it.
Love is patient, and love is kind;
no jealous or boastful words does it say.
It is never arrogant and never rude;
It does not insist on having its way.
Love doesn't irritate or harbor resentment;
not of the wrong, but of right it sings.
Love bears, believes, hopes, endures
all people, places, times, and things.
So whether you're young, or whether you're old,
whether short, fat, tall, or lean;
before you say to another, "I love you,"
be sure you know what the three words mean.