|June, 2009 - I looked in my scrapbook and found no entries for this month. That's unusual for me,
but I guess it means that I was just busy catching up from the last semester and beginning to get
ready for the new one. Spent a lot of time putting the finishing touches on my new CD entitled "The
Unsinkable Mister Joe". The title is an inside joke based upon my last experience with the Denton
Community Theatre. A few years back I was given the task of directing the music for a production of
"The Unsinkable Molly Brown". Spent a whole month in rehearsals getting ready for the big event,
and then - about a week before opening night, I was dismissed. It was a great disappointment to
me but not an ugly thing, because the Executive Director and I agreed that I was in over my head.
When the opportunity came for them to get someone to take my place, I agreed to take my leave
gracefully. So - now you know the "rest of the story". This CD has something to offend most anyone,
because my wit is unusual to say the least.
By choice I am not affiliated with a political party. The Republicans have been criticizing Obama
since day one - and that is to be expected. Criticism does not bother me, but when the words of
educated people have racial overtones, I am offended. I don't know whether President Obama is
capable of helping us out of the mess that we find ourselves in, but I do recognize what most
Republicans seem to be unable to admit - that the mess was probably created during the eight
years before he took office (and before). With regard to the wars - Obama has discovered that
ending one is not nearly as easy as starting one. With regard to Universal Healthcare - the bills
being discussed contain scary tactics like denying care to the elderly because of life expectancy.
I personally think that provisions like this are not put there to save money but to scare the people and
the Congress into not passing the bill. A lot of folks in Washington talk about closing the border
between the U.S. and Mexico. I think it was Jay Leno who said that building a fence across our
southern border is like building a bridge to Hawaii - if not impossible, certainly close to it. The
Congress seems to forget that this country was founded by persons who were fleeing tyrannical
kings and hoping for better opportunities. Immigrants from Mexico are likewise fleeing poverty and
oppression. A fence will not keep them out - even if it could be built.
June, 1980 - Some names we remember by association; that is, if the cycle of mental calisthenics
doesn't break down. I ran across one the other day that almost slipped, because when I applied the
word of association, "bull", I only came up with Bullfinch, Bullfrog, and Bullfeathers - and not the
name I was trying to remember. It was only when I finally "turned" it all around that I remembered the
word I was searching for - "Turnbull".
Some names we never forget, because they fit the person so well. I will always remember a man I
once knew who was obsessed with neatness in his personal appearance, in his car, and in his
home - where every article had its place. Stray newspapers or magazines were taboo, and one did
not move an ashtray without permission. This story is true, and that is why I will never forget
Sometimes a famous name carries with it certain expectations regarding profession or personality.
When I was in Chicago as a young man, I looked through the phone directory and, sure enough,
there was a listing for Johann Sebastian Bach - composer and teacher of music (what else?).
In the sixties there was a famous name in Washington, D.C. that made reference to the barge on
the Potomac River, where the military bands played each evening during the summer months. It was
a very romantic spot, and whether you sat on the grassy banks of the river or came in a canoe with a
healthy girl (who could do the rowing), it was a beautiful way to spend an evening. Then some
developer took this wonderful name and stuck it on his new apartment complex several blocks away,
and with the help of the committee to re-elect the president the word "Watergate" became a symbol
of ugliness and corruption.
RHYME FOR OUR TIME:
If I'd had my way in every yesterday,
I'm sure I wouldn't be where I am today.
And that's the part that's strange, you see;
because here is where I'd surely rather be.
When I was young, I thought I knew
just exactly what I wanted to do;
but the Lord above had a different plan;
He wanted me to be His man.
He knocked me down then picked me up,
opened my eyes and filled my cup.
Now at last I know what's really mine;
and sure enough - He knew it all the time.