Sunday, April 29, 2007


"I never thought that in my life time, I would see two wars of the same nature."
old lady

OLD LADY,who has been missin' for a while, commenting on a post from more than a week ago as she catches up. I appreciate howw far back she went looking at my posts and has used 17 words to say what I failed several posts.
My title from this post comes from Colonel Walter Kurtz in Apocolypse Now


My nephew Dave has changed his name from (I don't remember) and can now be found here.

And here--->*
I love him.
He has a great post up from the other day;.... give him a try...tell him I sent you. Do not look for me to embrace anything he says...I need my stupidity...its all I have left!

Friday, April 27, 2007


Gewels and me are goin' on a date maybe someday!
I sure am hopin' so.
I have been wanting to do a post so that I can maybe say
'Welcome to the Family, Gewels"
but I thought I didn't know her well enough.
I thought I might maybe put her and another sister (who cannot be with us presently) together somewhere in Oz. i just don't have that formed in my mind yet and I wanted to recognize Gewels now regardless of what I don't know.
We all like her.
What else can one say?
Is there any other material maybe relevant here?
I know that she's had rough go the last several months and currently qualifies her as what Dylan called one of "these battered brothers and sisters of mine" on an album subtitled 'Songs of Redemption".
ActuallyI just looked and that phrase must maybe come from elsewhere.
Can't say where. Don't recall.
Could maybe be anywhere.
I took a fast liking to her straightforward sly sense of humor (she likes to try to bust my chops) and am finding her kind and soft words spread throughout my own newfound blog family. She seems to take to Tropical climes and brings home nice pictures from picturesque places.
I wan't her to know that for every maybe there is another maybe.
Maybe's are inevitable.
And, she has nice toes.
Based on that, I give you Gewels, and a "Song of Redemption" from 'Desire".

I like to spend some time in Mozambique
The sunny sky is aqua blue
And all the couples dancing cheek to cheek
It's very nice to stay a week or two
And maybe fall in love just me and you.

There's a lot of pretty girls in Mozambique
And plenty time for good romance
And everybody likes to stop and speak
To give the special one you seek a chance
Or maybe say hello with just a glance.

Lying next to her by the ocean
Reaching out and touching her hand
Whispering your secret emotion
Magic in a magical land.

And when it's time for leaving Mozambique
To say goodbye to sand and sea
You turn around to take a final peek
And you see why it's so unique to be
Among the lovely people living free
Upon the beach of sunny Mozambique


I'M NOT BACK (doo-dah)

I see a lot of my old customers at the Subway; its almost like Homecoming. They walk in the door and see me and wave their arms and the look on their faces is one part shock and two parts hilarity and they laugh and say "Are you back?" to which I reply 'I'm not back" and we all laugh and the show begins.
Its a "really big show tonight, folks, really big".

Last night there were two little girls that remember me and how I wore the antlers from December 5th all the way through Christmas that year. They are grown-up now to where they don't have kids meals anymore, and they are as proud of that as their parents, Jim and Sophie, are relieved.
The show is for them especially.

And the lady that comes in three times a week for a 'Crazy Turkey Sandwich" who couldn't believe I remembered everything that goes on it and how sick she was with the flu that year, almost to weak to get out the door.

And Morris, the 'Rock Star" that looks like "Jim Dandy to the Rescue" from Black Oak Arkansas.
And the man that I didn't recognise at all but as he left, he grinned at me real big, handed me a dollar and said "You gave me too much change again" because that's what I used to do a lot.
A big show.

Then there was the brother last night, wearing his fatigues and a "Camp Fallujah" cap, back from his second tour, who ate for free, because "Soldiers don't pay when I'm around".
I added, in a choked voice that I hoped everyone would be home soon; I can't describe the look on his face.
Its a "REEEALLLY B-B-BIG SHOW" over there.

But my absolute favorite is the Massage Therapist who brings in Hot Babes dressed in little Black Numbers from his Acting Class.
His name is Steve Cartiledge!
Can you believe it?

Barbara, one night here the dance instructors from down the street will be in...I know they been missin' me, Big-Time!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


In his 1942 painting Cherokee Trail of Tears, Robert Lindneux depicts the forced journey of the Cherokees in 1838 to present-day Oklahoma.

"Long time we travel on way to new land. People feel bad when they leave Old Nation. Women cry and make sad wails, Children cry and many men cry...but they say nothing and just put heads down and keep on go towards West. Many days pass and people die very much."
a woman survivor, 1839

I saw a History Detective Episode a while back where they tracked down someone’s ancestor that had been on the Trail of tears. It seems that the ancestor was not a Cherokee, but one of the Wagon masters that had contracted to help move the Indians who had been effectively screwed out of their land.
I don’t know that much about the ‘Trail of Tears” and believe it or not, my other historical Posts have been done more or less off the top of my head, with research being done to verify quotations I used.
For my new friend ‘Anonymous” who is home schooling 2 girls, I found this ‘Teachers Aid” that seems to be as directed towards the “how to’s” concerning a research project as much as it is about the “Trail of Tears”.
I've done pretty good with a 5th Grade Education and a good Christian raisin', but I am no researcher. Yet.

What I learned
I had thought the removal of the Cherokee from lands in the Southeastern United States was based on gold being discovered there. Gold was only one part of the equation. The removal of the Cherokees was also product of the demand for land during the growth of Cotton Agriculture (fueling Slavery in the land of Freedom) in the Southeast, and the racial prejudice that many white southerners harbored towards but did not limit to American Indians.

From the ‘New Georgia Encyclopedia”
“In the late 1780s U.S. officials began to urge the Cherokees to abandon hunting and their traditional ways of life and to instead learn how to live, worship, and farm like Christian American yeomen. Many Cherokees embraced this "civilization program." The Cherokees established a court system, formally abandoned the law of blood revenge, and adopted a republican government. A Cherokee man named Sequoyah created the Cherokee syllabary, which enabled the Cherokees to read, write, record their laws, and publish newspapers in their own language.” (the last paragraph in the Sequoyah link is very telling)

It is my understanding that the literacy rates in some Cherokee communities surpassed that of the white settlers encroaching on their land. Most Cherokee Communities were publishing newspapers. If ever there was a group of people willing to embrace a new lifestyle even while in the clutches of an Imminent Domain “ issue, I give you the Cherokee

General Andrew Jackson called for the United States to end what he called the "absurdity" of negotiating with the Indian tribes as sovereign nations. Thomas Jefferson wanted to move all Indians West of the Mississippi and the Louisiana purchase was a big step towards doing that. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee nation to keep their land, it was Jefferson who said ‘Let them try to enforce that ruling”.

The bottom line of all this is that some 15,000- 16,000 (estimated)Indians were forced off their lands and made to walk 1000 miles to lands unknown, some in the middle of Winter while boats for transport were frozen fast in rivers, and others through the brutally scorching sun and humidity of Gulf States.
An estimated 5,000 Cherokee died during this forced march that is now known as the "Trail of Tears”

For many years previous, treaties were made and broken, almost exclusively by the White man and always to the benefit of the White man. It is the under handed nature of the way this was done that I find unsavory.
Racial prejudice was nothing new to our Founding Fathers and it is still a huge global issue.
The idea that a cultures Art and the way they worship should be eradicated is a policy against which we are involved against the Taliban. It was also "Part and Parcel" our policy and practice against the Native Americans.

The term ‘Imminent domain” would be a whole research subject itself. I wonder if there is a way to inflict Imminent domain that is not underhanded.
Another Chapter in this story is that of Cheif Joseph and the Nez Perce, who had their own sort of Trail of Tears 50 years later and 2000 miles to the West.
A wound to the heart.

I never taught my people to trust Americans.
I have told them the truth - that the Americans are great liars.
I have never dealt with the Americans. Why should I?
The land belonged to my people.

sitting bull, 1883

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Several years ago, you may recall that I lived in a burned out trailer, went for a week without a crumb to eat, and was half-mad from trying to be an Independent Ceramic Tile Contractor. I believe my exact words were “I didn’t care if I ever worked again for the rest of my life”.
Part of what saved me was going to work for a lower wage than I had made in 20 Subway Sandwiches. I remember going in and telling the manager:
‘I was a Chef for 20 years and I got burned out and swore I would never work Foodservice here I am!”
She laughed and hired me anyway.
Well I nearly went all the way broke down doing that too, but at least I didn’t go without a crumb or morsel to eat.
And I had the time of my life.
All the young girls would tell me I was the “best Subway Guy Ever” ...and all the Middle aged women admired my youthful exuberence and all the lil' ol' ladies...well, what lil’ ol lady can resist me, a Mothers Day Baby?....I know food and people so well that I could predict what sandwich a person would want when they walked in the door.
Did I mention that I am hilarious and always in a good mood?

I started out to write about one thing but I am going to write about some thing else. It took me 40 years to learn what I was able to confirm at Subway.
For most of my life I didn’t give a good Got-Damn if anyone liked me or not. Somewhere along the way I fairly succeeded in running most of my friends off with this winning attitude.
I discovered that it is important what other people think of you. If it wasn’t, then what the hell are we here for?
From there I discovered another thing.... it makes it much easier for someone to like you if they think you like them. Which translates to... its important that other people think you like them... so...its important to find a reason to like other people!
For some of you, this may not be Earth-Shattering news, but for this cranky ol’ chef, it was a revelation.
I found, working At the Subway, just how easy it is to completely turn someones day around just by being excited to see them. And how good it feels to have someone walk in the door, them hoping you would be there and excited and relieved that you were. When a little ol’ lady would come in and have on an ugly lookin’ brooch, I would comment on how lovely it truly was and the story would come out:
“My Mother was given this brooch by my Father 70 years ago on their second date. They were married right before the War and Momma lost this brooch while Daddy was overseas and it was missing for 20 years until the day we buried my brother. Daddy found it in an old Suit of his and Momma remembered putting it there while she held the suit one night, on June 6, 1944. I wear it all the time, but you are the first one to ask about it”.

To think I had thought that brooch ugly....there are things at work in peoples lives we know nothing about and they all deserve a little more attention than what we sometimes take the time to give.
“I wear it all the time, but you are the first to ask about it”

I was at that Subway shop two weeks ago, and I have a really good job these days, but the Manager asked if I would work for her some because she has a really suck-ass crew and needed someone really bad.
So I have been working for 6.50 an hour (and a Sandwich!) during the evenings and spreading as much cheer as possible and these memories have come back to me. It has been a delight. i had forgotten just how much I really do like people.

"So, how many cookies would you like today?"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Since no one wants to discuss the Civil War or the Plight of the American Indian with an honest -to -God EXPERT...I have just two questions...

1) What has happened to Brie van de Kamp, my favorite of the "Desperate Housewives"? Thats what I want to know....

2)Is there anyone more charming and desrving to keep 'Dancing with the Stars" than Heather Mills? I think she has a sexy smile too- the way one side of her lip curls up- my God!

I wish me and Barbara (Barbara and I) could find a way to get onto that show.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I know almost as much about the native Americans as I do the Civil War- that is to say- quite a lot. Here are two songs from Robbie Robertson and the Red Road Ensemble "Songs for the Native American" ...I like this Album very much.
I like the Native Americans extreme reverence for the Earth and admire the idyllic way the Tribes lived on the land.

The first tune concerns the Ghostdance , where the tribes believed that they could summon their ancestors to help them to fight against the White Men. The Ghostdance would give them enough Warriors to restore the land and bring back the Buffalo that the whites had wastefully slaughtered. Sitting Bull was killed while under arrest and his band was subsequently massacred at Wounded Knee, South Dakota for trying to dance up their ancestors.

Crow has brought the message

To the children of the sun

For the return of the buffalo

And for a better day to come

You can kill my body

You can damn my soul

For not believing in your god

And some world down below


You don't stand a chance against my prayers

You don't stand a chance against my love

They outlawed the Ghost Dance

But we shall live again, we shall live again

My sister above

She has red paint

She died at Wounded Knee

Like a latter day saint

You got the big drum in the distance

Blackbird in the sky

That's the sound that you hear

When the buffalo cry

You don't stand a chance against my prayers
You don't stand a chance against my love
They outlawed the Ghost Dance
But we shall live again, we shall live again

Crazy Horse was a mystic

He knew the secret of the trance

And Sitting Bull the great apostle

Of the Ghost Dance

Come on Comanche

Come on Blackfoot

Come on Shoshone

Come on Cheyenne

We shall live again

Come on Arapaho

Come on Cherokee

Come on Paiute

Come on Sioux

We shall live again


The general rode for sixteen days

The horses were thirsty and tired

On the trail of a renegade chief

One he'd come to admire

The soldiers hid behind the hills

That surrounded the village

And he rode down to warn the chief

They'd come to conquer and pillage

Lay down your arms

Lay down your spear

The chief's eyes were sad

But showed no sign of fear




He spoke of the days before the white man came

With his guns and whisky

He told of a time a long time ago

Before what you call history

The general couldn't believe his words

Nor the look on his face

But he knew these people would rather die

Then have to live in this disgrace

What law have I broken

What wrong have I done

That makes you want to bury me
on this trail of blood


We cared for the land and the land cared for us

And that's the way it's always been

Never asked for more never asked too much

And now you tell me this is the end


I laid down my weapon

Laid down my bow

Now you want to drive me out

With no place left to go

and he turned to his people and said dry your eyes

We've been blessed and we are thankful

Raise your voices to the sky

It is a good day to die
"It is a good day to die" are the words Sitting Bull used to implore his warriors to fight at a place called Little Bighorn by the Whites, or the Greasy Grass by the Sioux. He had seen the battle unfold in a vision months before. Follow this link for a very good and accurate description of the Events that led up to Custers Last Stand.
The only soldier that was left without his body being desecrated was a Trumpeter who had spent his last moments trying to defend himself with his trumpet.
The Sioux respected him for the courage he showed.
An Sioux woman recollected they had pushed sewing needles through Custers ears so that his hearing would improve. The year before he had been warned , and ashes dumped on his boot, not to fight the Sioux or he would surely die.
This song seems to have some elements of the Nez Perce and the 1100 mile escape/retreat they made just hoping to get to Canada and live in peace. They came up 40 miles short and were sent to a Reservation in northeastern Oklahoma.
It is said that somewhere in the tribal graveyard, there are the bones of Merriwethers Lewis' grandson.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Its been rotten week...lets have some Music. Dancin' days will surely be here again.
Houses of the Holy" by Led zeppelin usually cheers me up...especially 'The Ocean"

"Singing in the sunshine, laughing in the rain
Hitting on the moonshine, rocking in the grain
Aint no time to pack my bag, my foots outside the door
Got a date, I cant be late, for the high hopes hailla ball.
got a hell hound on my Tail cause its hell Im headed for
Uh-huh! oh oh yeah!
Singing to an ocean, I can hear the oceans roar
Play for free, play for me and play a whole lot more, more!
Singing bout good things and the sun that lights the day
I used to sing on the mountains, then the ocean lost its way.
Ive been there
Oh oh yeah!
Oh, yeah!Na na na..., la la la...lalalalaladidah!
(thats the part I like) la- di Dah!
Sitting round singing songs til the night turns into day
Used to sing on the mountains but the mountains washed away
Im singing all my songs to the girl who won my heart
She is only three years old and its a real fine way to start."

I started to do "No Quarter" , but we've had enough of War.
This song always reminds me of singin' and dancin' with the Water baby when she was just a little girl.
She would stand on my feet and I'd move her through the room...then at some point we would break apart and rock the Bunny Hop...she would do that charlie Brown dance with her head thrown back and arms sticking straight out.
We had so much fun!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


What Every Soldier Should Know

To yield to force is an act of necessity, not of will;
it is at best an act of prudence.
—Jean-Jacques Rousseau

If you hear gunfire on a Thursday afternoon,
it could be for a wedding, or it could be for you.
Always enter a home with your right foot;
the left is for cemeteries and unclean places.
"O-guf! Tera armeek" is rarely useful.
It means Stop! Or I’ll shoot.
Sabah el khair is effective.
It means Good Morning.
Inshallah means Allah be willing.
Listen well when it is spoken.
You will hear the RPG coming for you.
Not so the roadside bomb.
There are bombs under the overpasses
,in trashpiles, in bricks, in cars.
There are shopping carts with clothes soaked
in foogas, a sticky gel of homemade napalm.
Parachute bombs and artillery shells
sewn into the carcasses of dead farm animals.
Graffiti sprayed onto the overpasses:
I will kell you, American.
Men wearing vests rigged with explosives
walk up, raise their arms and say Inshallah.
There are men who earn eighty dollars
to attack you, five thousand to kill.
Small children who will play with you,
old men with their talk, women who offer chai—
and any one of them may dance over your body tomorrow

Brian Turner, an american soldier

The NEA initiative Operation Homecoming brought distinguished writers – including Tobias Wolff, Tom Clancy, Jeff Shaara, Marilyn Nelson, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Mark Bowden — to conduct writing workshops at 25 domestic and overseas military installations from April 2004 through July 2005.
Operation Homecoming also offered an open call for writing submissions to troops who have served since 9/11, along with their spouses and families. That call resulted in more than 10,000 pages of submissions and produced an anthology of the works. Andrew Carroll edited the anthology, OPERATION HOMECOMING: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


David had a post a while back concerning Darfur and the Genocide that is going on there. As I recall, David had asked his friends to write about this real time atrocity. I know little about Darfur, but if you have not noticed I have lately been studying War.

What I have learned so far is that when men resort to guns, reason has been suspended. I don't know how you bring reason back into the equation, but clearly this is the challenge.
In Americas Civil War, the answer was more guns, and quickly too, because huge armies were engaged. The dissolution of the Union was unthinkable and Slavery had been sleeping underneath the table since the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the writing of the Constitution.
Germany had to be decimated. Germany had to be executed. I think there is a real distinction between WW11 and the wars we have inflicted since.
Korea.Vietman. Bosnia. Nicaraugua.
Somalia and Rwanda. My nephew Dave was in Somalia.
What were the answers there? Was America a good influence?
When shall we know when all that is left is a "Military Solution"?

I depend on the Frontline programs for objective coverage and analysis of the issues facing this country.
Sunday night Frontline began an 11 part series called “America at a Crossroads”. As always it has surpassed my expectations.

“America at a Crossroads is a major public television event premiering on PBS in April 2007 that explores the challenges confronting the post-9/11 world — including the war on terrorism; the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; the experience of American troops serving abroad; the struggle for balance within the Muslim world; and global perspectives on America’s role overseas.
Aimed at creating a national dialogue surrounding the crucial issues explored in the series, an extensive media and outreach campaign in more than 25 communities accompanies the series. The campaign features screening events with the filmmakers and their subjects in discussions with United States military personnel, leading policy experts, leaders of the Islamic community, scholars from across the country as well as members of the public. Integrated Web and educational initiatives further extend the campaign.”

Part Four featured the writings of the soldiers that have been in Iraq and Afghanistan. I enjoyed that very much.
Last night they had Richard Perle as a host for ‘The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom”. My impression was that in stating his case he damned his position.

In typical Frontline fashion they are presenting all positions relevant to the issues. Their goal is to inform and explore.
If you have not been able to see any of the programs take a look at the website devoted to their project.
Tonighes Episode’s are “Europe’s 9/11” and “The Muslim Americans”

From part 1 “Jihad: The men and Ideas behind Al QeadaQuestion" and their on-line discussion group:

#1 Discuss the differences between the historical religious meaning of jihad and Osama bin Laden’s interpretation of this term. What can the United States and its allies do to help counter bin Laden’s use of the term to recruit young men to jihad?

I like the word "counter".

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I just finished a few posts about the rough man from Illinois...our Greatest President. in contrast to Lincoln, this is how George Bush expresses himself:
"Mission Accomplished" ( that one really gets me)
"Bring 'em on" (he can't mean it)
"Brownie, you are doin' a helluva job" (while new Orleans drowned)
"Let 'em eat jellybeans"
"The solution to Iraq -- an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself -- is more than a military mission. Precisely the reason why I sent more troops into Baghdad." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007

"we had to bomb the village in order to save it"
General Curtis LeMay,vietnam era
I would really like to be able to write some kind of angry, mad, and biting words about the "Battle for Peace" the country is involved in right nw but I will defer to Neil Young (and a cast of I do not know how many) on a huge site I found today because Neil is really good at it, and he has a new album out.
There is even poetry on this site from the PBS Special that has been running for 3 days now, written by SOLDIERS who have suited up and walked the streets of Bagdad.

"after the garden" by neil young
"I asked a man on the street what he thought about the war in IRAQ.
He said "Won't need no shadow man runnin' the government. Won't need no stinkin' war."
He looked at me, checking me out.
"Won't need no haircut! Won't need no shoe shine after the garden is gone! What will people say after the garden is gone? What will people do after the garden?"
He just kept lookin' at me like I was crazy askin' about the war. He had bigger things on his mind. He looked like he was a hippie at one time. I don't really know what it was about him that made me think that, but he sure had an intense way about him. He wasn't finished with me. He had been walking away but he turned and looked right at me.
"Won't need no strongman walkin' through the night to live a weak man's day!"
What the hell was he talking about?
"Won't need no purple haze. Won't need no sunshine after the garden is gone!"
That was it. He was definitely a hippie who had taken acid in the 60s. I pondered this. Did this mean he knew more or less than I did? Was his opinion tainted by taking drugs in the 60s? Had he been an environmentalist before it was cool?
I remembered George Bush senior saying that Al Gore was crazy. Something about "chicken little."
Look at them now, Al Gore is right and Bush was and still is wrong on global warming. Al Gore was worried about saving the planet and Bush was worried about saving cash.
I was getting pissed.
The man on the street just stood there looking at me going through my thought process.
"What will people know after the garden is gone?" he asked. "What will people do after the garden?"

Monday, April 16, 2007


“I see the president almost every day. We’ve got so we exchange bows, and very cordially too. I see very plainly his dark brown face with its deep cut lines, the eyes always with a latent sadness in the expression. None of the Artists pictures have caught the deep but subtle and indirect expression of this mans face. One of the great Portrait painters of two or three centuries ago is needed.
walt whitman

Five days after Robert E Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia, ending the 4 years of bloodshed in which 620,000 Americans died fighting each other, President Lincoln was assassinated.
The irony of this is horrific considering the “hard nightmare” Lincoln had lived through.
He was the greatest President the country has known.
Just seven weeks earlier in his Inaugural Address, he spoke of the future. The end of the War was in sight. I love the kindness that is embedded in these words:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Lincoln died at 7:22 A.M. April 15, 1865.
He left, among others, 4 Brothers-in-Law who had all fought for the Confederacy.
In his pockets, there was a pocketknife, several coins, 9 Newspaper clippings.
And a Confederate Five Dollar Bill.

"Before the Civil War, when you spoke of the United States you would say "the United States ARE"...that is the way we saw ourselves, a collection of separate states...after the war, you would say "the United States IS"...
the war made "us " an "is"."
shelby foote, historian

Friday, April 13, 2007


Medusa was one of 3 sisters. She had Snakes for hair, a double-ugly scowl permanently stuck to her face and turned men to stone were they to see her. She had a nasty disposition and was a terror of the underworld. In the 3rd grade I was so fascinated with her that I did a report om her and had a meeting with my Principal to discuss her. Later in life I would have other meetings with other Principals, but this is not about me.
Here in Oz we have the Anti-Medusa. She has shiny Green Hair, the flashiest laser beam smile in the Universe and I can feel the laughter and warmth coming past the satellite or through the fibers or whatever it is that the Internet is. she turns me into a gallon of Butter Double Nut Crunch Ice Cream.

Somewhere over the Rainbow and in another Galaxy, there are little Green Haired men trying to build a Rocketship just to come to Earth to see Annelisa. They are working day and night.
Their doctors and Dentists have charts and full color glossies using her as a guide. Did I mention her smile yet?
Their Religious Leaders argue and write great volumes over whether she be a Deity or merely the most High, for she is Graced with Gods Bounty.
And the Scientists just keep working on that Rocketship. Night and Day.
Their whole Culture is based on either finding her or being more like her in every way.
She enters Forests that become enchanted upon her arrival. I would wager that were she to walk through Saint Annes Court, or Soho, or even Doncaster that the Enchantment meter would Red Line.
Did I mention her smile?
Now you may have heard of Blogathons and Carnivals and such, but her site is pure Picadilly 3 Rings Circus every day. And like so many of you kind ladies, she responds at length to each and every comment she receives, even mine, bringing a quick familiarity to fast friends all over the World. I imagine her to be able to type 1000 words a minute, even underwater.

The Trees spruce and leaf
The hills roll for her.
The dales dole for her and
The moles they mole for her.
The Swans hey-ho-bonny-o for her.
(pleas'do follow the link for she is the Harp playing alone)
The chipmunks genuflect for her
The clouds of the sky billow and sail for her
And Sparrow takes to his wing.
Some where a Rocketship flames for her.
Did I mention her smile?

Oh how I would love to be a frog in her Garden. I would imagine along the trails she enchants, the frogs are fairly lined up, fascinated, dreaming of being smacked by her.
Better keep a sharp eye, Girl!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


"I have just this moment heard from the front. There is nothing yet of a movement, but the Troops are continually on the alert, expecting something. To think we are to have here soon what I have seen so many times...
trains and boatloads of pale and wounded young men again; for that is certainly what we shall have. I see all the signs."
walt whitman, 1864

"War is all Hell"
tecumseh sherman

"Kill 'em. Kill 'em all"
stonewall jackson

"A Black Man has no rights a White Man is bound to honor"
Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 1859

"I feel I have been living a hard nightmare"
abraham lincoln, 1865

The first major battle of the War was fought at Bull Run Virginia in July of 1861. Confederate forces under General Beauregard commandeered the farmhouse of Wilmer McLean. Headquarters were set up in his front parlor and a hospital in his barn. after the battle, McLean moved his family 100 miles to the West to escape the ravages and dangers of the War.
During the Battle Union forces did well early. Crowds of onlookers from Washington came to cheer their troops. But around midday the Confederate General Jackson held a stone wall that he became famouus for. At the same time, the Union General McDowell was making a huge blunder with his artillery; the tide of battle turned.
Emboldened by the arrival of reinforcements and by the first use of the "Rebel Yell", the Confederates charged forth in the late afternoon. The Union line melted away. Retreat quickly transformed into mindless rout as the Northern troops rushed head-long back to Washington, discarding much of their equipment along the way.
From a personal account by a Union private:
Our artillery and baggage wagons became fouled with each other, completely blocking the bridge, while the bomb shells bursting on the bridge made it "rather unhealthy" to be around. As I crossed on my hands and knees, Capt. Smith who was crossing by my side at the same time was struck by a round shot and completely cut in two. After I crossed I started up the hill as fast as my legs could carry and passed through Centreville and continued on to Fairfax where we arrived about 10 o'clock halting about 15 minutes, then kept on to Washington where we arrived about 2 o'clock Monday noon more dead than alive, having been on our feet 36 hours without a mouthful to eat, and traveled a distance of 60 miles without twenty minutes halt.

The Nation was horrified at the 5000 casualties. They did not know that 1 year later the battle would be fought again, over the same ground, with 5 times that number of casualties; 25,000!

April 9th, 1865
General Lee sent two members of his staff into Appomattox Courthouse to find a place suitable for meeting with General Grant for the purpose of discussion of the terms of surrender. The first civilian they came to was Wilmer McLean. The very same Wilmer McLean who had moved from Bull Run almost 4 years earlier to escape the conflict. The meeting and terms of surrender were drawn up in his front parlor.
Is that ironic or what?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Walt Whitman worked in Federal hospitals during the Civil War caring for the 2000 wounded and dying men per week that were being delivered until it overwhelmed him.

An Army Corps on the March
"With its cloud of skirmishers in advance,
With now the sound of a single shot snapping like a whip,
and now an irregular volley,
The swarming ranks press on and on, the dense brigades press on,
Gliterring dimly, toiling under the sun --- the dust-cover'd men,
In columns rise and fall to the undulations of the ground,
With artillery interspers'd --- the wheels rumble, the horses sweat,
As the army corps advances."

walt whitman

The Civil War began at 4:30 in the morning on April 12 1861. Confederate batteries opened fire on Fort Sumter, a man-made island in Charleston Harbor. Commanding the Confederate attack was Brigadier General Gustav Pierre Toutant Beauregard (whew), a West Point graduate who had done so well in his Artillery classes he had been invited to stay on as an Assistant by his Instructor, Major Robert Anderson.
Ironically, it was the very same Major Robert Anderson who was now commanding Federal Batteries inside the fired upon Fort Sumter.
Thirty-Eight hours later, having been under a constant barrage of Artillery fire, Anderson displayed a white flag of surrender. The only casualty had been to a Confederate horse. It was a bloodless begining to the Country's bloodiest War.

The signal to fire the first volleys had been given by a Civilian, , who had preached secession for years.
"Of course" he said "I was delighted to perform the service"
Four years later, upon hearing Lee had surrendered, he would drape himself in a Confederate flag and blow his brains out.
Southerners are very funny about that War.

From the Ken Burns Documentary 'The Civil War":
"The Civil War was fought in 10,000 places, from Valverde, New Mexico, and Tullahoma, Tennessee, to St. Albans, Vermont, and Fernandina on the Florida coast. More than 3 million Americans fought in it, and over 600,000 men, 2 percent of the population, died in it.

American homes became headquarters, American churches and schoolhouses sheltered the dying, and huge foraging armies swept across American farms and burned American towns. Americans slaughtered one another wholesale, right here in America in their own cornfields and peach orchards, along familiar roads and by waters with old American names. (Winchester Va. changed hands 72 times)

In two days at Shiloh (April 6, 1862), on the banks of the Tennessee River, more American men fell than in all the previous American wars combined. (24,000)
At Cold Harbor, some 7,000 Americans fell in twenty minutes.
Men who had never strayed twenty miles from their own front doors now found themselves soldiers in great armies, fighting epic battles hundreds of miles from home.

Between 1861 and 1865, Americans made war on each other and killed each other in great numbers — if only to become the kind of country that could no longer conceive of how that was possible. What began as a bitter dispute over Union and States' Rights, ended as a struggle over the meaning of freedom in America. At Gettysburg in 1863, Abraham Lincoln said perhaps more than he knew. The war was about a "new birth of freedom.""

Greatest use of television I have ever seen.

In Hebrew, Shiloh means "Place of Peace"
On April 12 1861, 1 out of every 7 Americans was owned by another American.
(4,000,000 of 32,000,000)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


"no mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller"

The Christmas Holiday of my 9th Grade year, under the guise of ‘Christamas Caroling” I met up with several Neighborhood friends. After regaling the first house with a rousing rendition of “Where Shepherds Lay” we paired up and headed for the fields and bushes for the purpose of ‘making –out”.
Up to that point I did not know who Rhonda was, but there is a certain ‘growing closer” that can be experienced by the simple act of a very wet kiss. We grew very close that night. Wanting to grow closer still we ‘Caroled” nightly in the trusty woods, all the way to New Years Eve.
It was all so simple then.
For the next year and half, Rhonda was my girl. She had curly hair and a very cute ‘Button’ (word of the Week?) nose and when she said “R-Ruff’ it drove me wild. We had Purple Pants and Green Felt shoes with stars on them that matched and of course there were the Captain America shirts we wore with this get up always on the same day. Oh God.
Our shoes always matched.

We used to go to “Skateland” on Friday nights. The music of the day was “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke”, ’My Sweet Lord” “American Pie” and “Rockin’ Robin”. ‘Rockin’ Robin “ was one of my favorites by Michael Jackson.
So simple then.
As we skated, we danced, and on the ‘Couples Skate” we got to hold hands and they would play something slow like “Nights in White Satin” or "Killing Me Softly"and Rhonda and I would gaze into each others eyes. Then, "All Skate" and the lights would come back on and they would crank it back up with ‘Bad Moon Risin’”.

It was all so prophetic, and Rhonda moved to Phoenix. Five years later, a married Rhonda came to town for her friends Wedding and we went to dinner. We could have taken up where we left off. R-R-Ruff.

During my Senior Year, love found me again by way of “Susie the Slut”. We were Engaged for a time, but she had sense enough to break it off before we made a really big mistake.
I will explain her nickname in another post because this post is about (was supposed to be about) the Movie we went to see. It was called “The Wiz” and it was the Soul Version of the “Wizard of Oz”. Playing the Scarecrow was none other than little Michael Jackson.
Now we all knew that Michael could dance from his "ABC" and “Rockin’ Robin” days, but the exhibition he put on in this Movie was unbelievable. It was but a warm up for Michael, just a precursor of what he would do in the next 10 years.
So where is this really going?
The music for Barbaras Party of course. I would suggest for her Party that she needs to have one of the best selling albums ever...its not something I sit around and listen to, but it is great for Dancin'! I remember watching The Boys from the Crystal Crotchless dance to this stuff. It took me a while to find the genius in it.
Michael Jacksons “Thriller”.
Vincent Price doin' the Rap part:
"And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpses shell"

Pretty scary, huh?

I will also nominate what I think is the best Live album ever done and mandatory boogie for the crowd I party with.
Littlefeat’s “Waiting for Columbus”...from start to finish this album rocks with its slow southern syncopated style. With “Tower of Power” providing horns and Lowell George still at large, from ‘Fat Man in the Bathtub” to "Rocket in my Pocket" to “Willin'’’ this album gets me movin’ every time.

Gewels said that 'Dixie Chicken" stayed with her all day long last week.

"Many years since she ran away,

yes that guitar player shore could play

she always liked to sing along

she always ended with a Song"

Monday, April 09, 2007


I've had this Song as a draft for some time wondering when to post it...
This is a song by a band called "Rumor of the Big Wave" out of Seattle or Portland or something, released in the early 90's, and at the risk of sounding like an 8th Grader, it sounds really cool.
In light of Global Warming and other environmental concerns its fairly relevant.
I believe I suggested this for the Red Dirt Girls Ipod thing...
I used the list of Goddesses in the post 'Wicked Witch of the West"...
The list of Goddesses is used to great effect as a chant in this song called...

In the cool of the evening, they used to gather
'Neath the stars in the meadow circling an old oak tree
At the times appointed by the seasons
Of the earth and the phases of the moon
In the center, stood a woman
Equal with the others and respected for her worth
One of the many we call the witches
The healers and the teachers of the wisdom of the earth

And the people grew through the knowledge she gave them
Herbs to heal their bodies, spells to make their spirits whole
Can't you hear them chanting healing incantations
Calling forth the wise ones, celebrating in dance and song

Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Innana (3x)

There were those who came to power, through domination
And they were bonded in their worship of a dead man on a cross
They sought control of the common people
By demanding allegiance to the church of Rome
And the Pope declared an inquisition
It was a war against the women, whose power they feared
In the holocaust against the nature people
Nine million European women died

And the tale is told of those, who by the hundreds
Holding together chose their death in the sea
While chanting the praises of the Mother Goddess
A refusal of betrayal, women were dying to be free


Now the Earth is a witch, and the men still burn her
Stripping her down with mining, and the poisons of their wars
Still to us the Earth is a healer, a teacher, a mother
The weaver of a web of life that keeps us all alive
She gives us the vision to see through the chaos
She gives us the courage, it is our will to survive

Saturday, April 07, 2007


If you think bein' Santa is fun...

try this!

No, I just wish it was me...
Yes, I bet you wish it was me too!
Its Lily!
Everytime I think I am about over Lily, she does some shit like this and sends me the pictures.

Should I change my name?
Move to another country?
Join the Foreign Legion, like Rocky and Bullwinkle?


Thursday, April 05, 2007


She is Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.
Oz is just another dreary day without her.

She is Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali.
She is Inanna.
She is a Carpenter and a Debutante.
She is the answer to Samsons Riddle.
She is Murphys Law and Brewsters Factor and Hobsons Choice.
She is the White Whale. She is Ahab.
She is Hannibal.
She is Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley and Cat Ballou.
No, she is too smart to be Cat Ballou.
Not just another Lost Angel.
She is 1 part Genius and 2 parts Magic and as far as pure thinking goes, she pushes me.
She tasks me.

One of the blogs I have looked at almost as long as Grizzbabes took me a long time to actually leave a comment. The reason is that it may be in some ways the smartest blog I look at. Now ‘smart “ is largely overrated and if we were going for smart as reading material we probably, none of us, would ever have met. Still Kissyface stands as the smartest blog I will allow myself to look at.
If The Grizz and my three companions in Oz are all holding hands and singing "Kum-bay-ya", then Kissyface would well Qualify as a very Foxy, kinder and gentler Elphaba, better known as The Wicked Witch of the West.
It was Elphaba that admonished Dorothy to ‘Go home” in skywriting from her Broom. Indeed, that is all Dorothy wanted anyway. How could Dorothy have made it home without Elphaba? Hmm?
When the Solstice's and Equinoxi have their days on the Calender , and as the seasons of the Earth and phases of the Moon move through their cycles, I can hardly wait for my lesson and rush to the site for instruction from Kissyface. Her blogs become treatises on all manner of occasion and during Halloween and Valentines Day the reading becomes extremely interesting. She combines Norse with Celt and throws in the Greek and Roman equivalents and I find it all so fascinating.
But she does not stop there....she is Elphaba yet because she is so controversial. She will speak right up with a sharp tongue and a wicked little mouth and because of that she is not for everybody. She is for me.
When we are all trying to recover from MLK Day, she pulls Muhammed Ali from her pointy hat, reminding us of another Great one.
Lately she has taken to finding very nice Photography and writing a bit of Poetry or Prose or something inspired by that image. Back when I was trying to explain what I thought was the difference between passion and Love she came up with this, and I do not know if she had me in mind when she wrote it or if I am just tilting windmills... it seemed to say what I wanted to say...I’ll let you decide...its but an excerpt.

From 'Fifteen"

“People, tread with naked, tender steps,
the careful paces of those who know that each touch
bite of bread
every seed sewn, every limb torn down,
garment dropped
button popped
every lay me down
should be handled like a prayer
whispered in earnest to the Mother
the ear of the lover
to the hole you dig in the ground
because each time is new
every all the time a beginning.”

Kissyface, I believe, Groks Holiness.
She talks to Angels.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I am but a lowly contractor for a very large company. I am a Kelly Girl and I am the best Kelly Girl ever.
I tell them so.
I stop by on my Bicycle to the Kelly Office at least twice a month to tell them so. And since I make more than they do they are obliged to listen to me.
The company I contract with is having their Awards Banquet in Annapolis this month.
They were taking nominations for awards last month and I was not sure if I was allowed to make a fact it would not let me onto the Website to do so; in the hopes that I was in flagrant violation of at least 1 mindless Policy and in my usual no-apologies style I wrote a 1500 word e-mail to the Bosses Bosses Boss nominating the lady I work for/with. She is really something and I lovingly refer to her as the “Queen Bitch of the Universe” a nickname she loves, truly deserves, and her husband has adopted.
That poor Bastard.

Anyway, the Bosses Bosses Boss cleared the way for me to formally submit my Nomination and she was listed along with the other 300 Nominees for an Award.
Last week we got the e-Mail where the Nominees had been trimmed down to a Final Five and guess what?

She travels to Annapolis later this Month to attend the Banquet, having made

The Final Five.

I am so proud of her I could burst.
I keep thinkin' about Emilio and I got this feelin' my girl is gonna win.
Won't that be sumpthin'?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Award was "Best Background Vocalist"

In 1986 at the Fort Worth Hyatt, preparations were being made for the Annual Employee Awards Banquet. Every year, someone is picked by the Executive Committee for this Award, and it was usually a Bartender or a Front Desk Person or the General Managers Secretary or somesuch.
Emilio was a Steward...a Dishwasher/Potwasher/ Floorsweeper. He barely spoke a word of English and he was a skinny, smiling fellow that stayed a s busy as a Bee. You could set your watch by what Emilio was doing, and he was in perpetual motion. When things got super busy and the Kitchen was on Hypercook and the trash cans were reaching the overflow level, Emilio was there just as you began to look for someone, with new liners in his hand and with his smile and energy you were suddenly ready for round two.
Anytime you began to look for a Steward because it was about time for pots to get knocked out, or the floor to be swept or a Cart of Food to be taken to the next floors storage, smiling Emilio would appear in an eerie uncanny way as though the Lords Trump had sounded somewhere and he had been called.
I swear, if an Orange was about ready to roll off the table, Emilio would be there to catch it.

I was so duly impressed by this man that I took it upon myself to lobby with the 9 Members of the Executive Committee, telling them about Emilio and his performance. I went to each Member and pled my case, indicating if Emilio were not to take this "Employee of the Year Award" there was something wrong with the whole slanted system that favored all the beautiful and well spoken people that worked in the 'Front of the House".

And you know what? That year our Employee of the Year was Emilio, whom I loved dearly, and he was none but a lowly Potwasher and the Salt of the Earth.
I should mention that this Honor came with a $2500 Cash Award.

Makes me think of "Mariano".



So if this were Oz, and it kinda is, then Grizzbabe would be Glenda the Good Witch of the North who floated in inside a bubble and advised me to follow the Yellow Brick Road. We exchanged a few E-_mails and she was kind enough to support some fairly lengthy ones where I directly "Blogged" her. From there she went further by sending me EMails about a comment I had left somewhere and saying it was further reason I needed to blog. Too kind.

The three companions I would first take on would be Barbara, Ol Lady and Mother of Invention. I distincly remember the comments left by all three from the old abandoned blog and the posts they had done that compelled me to leave comments, if not on that particular post, on a subsequent one.

Barbara has to be the most Spiritual and loving of us all and it shows through in the softheartedness of her posts. Her post that made a huge impression on me was one where she and a group of ladies were preparing to go into some kind of 'Water Ritual" and Barbara was explaining how the act of cleaning before you go in was directly related to the cleansing effect of the ritual itself. Very wise. I think she brings the Qualities of Scarecrow Tin man and Lion all together, and I think I love her most of all. Her heart is huge.

Ol' lady has the most in common with me...she and I would have a blast with a conveyor Dishwasher and a party of 1000 to serve and clean up for. Rack em' and stack em' baby. She is hard working, tough, not scared of nothin', with a cream filled middle. Did I mention she can be crazy whenever she wants to be? The first post I remember reading from her was about a Van full of party goers in Lawn Chairs that would wobble like weebles whenever they took a turn but they didn't fall down. I think it was 714's that had started the evening and I couldn't help but think I might have been invoved in that somehow. But the Ol'lady has a way remembering that jogs my own. She is like a Country road with stories on both sides and down the middle and in the ruts. Her ancestral wisdom has been passed down like seed corn. She, like myself has led a very interesting life. Certainly she is the Scarecrow and Lion all in one. There are a lot of people that love the Old Lady.

Of course Mother of Invention is hopelessly the sweetest thing in Oz, probably Kansas too, because she combines The Woodsman with Auntie Em rather well, doncha think? Her heart is huge and it doesnt take more than a parargraph of hers to find this. The goodwill and compassion pours, "Spills out" from her site.I don't recall as well the first posts of hers that attracted me so much, but they are all flavored Red and served in Heart-Shaped cups. If ever she has had a cloudy day, we would hard catch but a hint of it. I can also see her as the Wizard, ruling Oz with a Mothers-loving touch and Music nightly in the Atrium of the Emerald City. Her heart is every bit as big as Barbaras.

Between these three I think I better understand what the Wizard told the Tin Man about the heart. He said "The size of a Human Heart is not judged by how much it loves, but how much it is loved by others." I was never sure how I felt about this before, but these three ladies have made my poor Munchkin heart feel much bigger.

Monday, April 02, 2007


"And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone
"A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
It is a sprout well budded out
The work of our Lord's hand"
the mummers dance

April has come and Spring erupts for this half of the globe; those even in cooler climes note the irrepressible budding of the new and the young bursting pollinated feeling in the wind. The soil groaning has given way to sprout and shoot and leaf.
Nature trumps in spades.
Persephone rules and ritual abounds. Ostara fills her nesting place.
You see the signs everywhere.

Here in Texas we have Grackles; they are like inbred Ravens and no one loves them. They are unwanted. Ugly and squawky looking they congregate in great undesired numbers with their ugly selves.
City Officials use dynamite, and shotguns to scare them from commercial areas. Mesh drop cloths can be seen hanging suspended from trees in posh parking lots in protection of Beamers and Porsches and such.
They are quite the nuisance, though I doubt they realize it. I am sure that among their Bird-fellows they are proud and trust in their Collective Unconscious in disregard for these busy noisy ugly humans. To a Grackle I imagine we Humans seem to be a dirty and wasteful creature, congregating in great numbers, busy and greedy with far too many devices.
They see all the signs.

But still, Grackle has his own Ritual to attend to.
Take note of the males with mud colored feathers all puffed and wings suggestively splayed trying to impress their female counterparts. These homely males imagine themselves handsome birds;. They are tireless in their advances, taking on several of the females at any one time. They dance and strut about.
Every Grackle in the County is makin’ like Elvis Presley in feathers, so showy, so suave, and so confident.
They be All Shook Up.
I do sense a bit of desperation.
It is hard to tell if the Females are horrified at this behavior, or if they are just being coy.

I have yet to have any visual confirmation that these tactics have been successful, other than the preponderence of Grackles.....and I am thankful for that.Perhaps it is best that we only see signs of the workings of this World and are spared the full shock force of spring.