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Thread: Daily Bread

  1. #311
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    My seven year old granddaughter is spending a few weeks of her summer vacation with us. She likes to make brownies and cupcakes as I suppose most little girls her age do. I suppose to know this and don’t really know this because when my own little girl was seven I was scarcely home long enough to get the grass cut let alone take time to bond with her. So since I am not beholden to any employer, and since I screwed up once and have no intention of screwing up again......I have priority number one......granddaughter. She loves the local public pool and running errands and going to the library. She surprises me by how well she can read and she’s really interested in learning to play a g chord on the guitar.

    So our guest bedroom is basically dedicated to her play things except for the vintage turntable up on the dresser which caught her eye. I thought I was good at explaining things until I tried to explain what vinyl records were and how a needle could produce music. I took her over to my record bin and started flipping through albums. We traversed the Beatles, the Doors, Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, Marshall Tucker, Canned Heat, Miles Davis, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, LED Zeppelin, The Who, ...... she was fascinated by the artwork, the smell of vinyl and the physical act of placing a record on the turntable and dropping the needle.

    Later I got to thinking about a quote I hadn’t thought about in a long time. “The Past is Never Dead. It’s not even Past.” William Faulkner.

    Now there are certainly many many ways we can think about this but I thought about how the past directly influences the present. All those bands and musicians I listened to in the late sixties when I was not much older than my grand baby. And in the seventies I fed at the vinyl trough. I thought it was all in the past but is there ever really ....the past?

    I ran across this ten minute article searching the Faulkner quote. It’s about MLK and racial equality and the recent Presidential election but it’s mostly about how the past is never dead. There is a counter balance between hope and despair. The belief that we are making improvements but the despair that it is taking a mighty long time. I think it’s worth ten minutes of your time to give it a quick read. It took me no more than ten minutes to share what a long play album was with my grand kid. I’m pretty sure it was worth every second.

    https://medium.com/@sojourner1826/th...t-9b6c7642e60b

  2. #312
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    What a great article. Thanks for sharing. The good thing about the counterbalance between hope and despair is that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” --I love that MLK quote. But I also like that the article ends by saying that optimism must be wielded with the vigilance to remediate injustice wherever we find it. Or, at the very least we can use history to break down our denial of it.

    On another note, how wonderful for your granddaughter to spend a few weeks with you!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #313
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    And back atcha

    This article's theme overlaps with your article's, but centers on Abraham Lincoln's warning to heed the Declaration of Independence:

    ....they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  4. #314
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Thanks, WS. Interesting article. I think many of us thought we were further ahead than we seem to be now. I wish the author had spent a little more time on the "byproducts" as they affect far more people than whichever non-white non-evangelical-Christian group is in the gunsights at the moment.

    And I will note that Medium has one of the ugliest most reader-unfriendly user interfaces I've seen in a long time on a site designed for interaction. But maybe that belongs in the Daily Rant thread.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  5. #315
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    There is so much of the US political and social thinking that I have not been party to so appreciate reading thoughtful commentary such as this.
    I was born in South Africa and emigrated to Canada as a child. I have watched the struggle and changes in the country of my birth, in Canada, seen tried to understand the tensions in the US, the midEast, Asia and Europe. Every time, every time, I keep coming back to optimism at the intelligence that I find on thoughtful conversation with each individual to resolve the issues when they get beyond fear and emotionalism about the other. Thank you both to WS and Cath.
    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    What a great article. Thanks for sharing. The good thing about the counterbalance between hope and despair is that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” --I love that MLK quote. But I also like that the article ends by saying that optimism must be wielded with the vigilance to remediate injustice wherever we find it. Or, at the very least we can use history to break down our denial of it.

    On another note, how wonderful for your granddaughter to spend a few weeks with you!
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #316
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Picking up a bit where I left off. I think of them as “rescue records.” They are the discarded vinyl that sits in the plastic crates at the local Salvation Army. Most of them seem to have belonged to older people downsizing or having to move to places where stacks of vinyl and record players are not feasible. So they get dropped off at the portico and haggered employees sort through the stuff that might sell and the stuff that is junk.

    I live in a rural county with a low cost of living. Bargain bin records are 25 cents a piece. I stop in regularly to puruse the offerings. Usually, I don’t find much but on occasion I have doubled, tripled and quadrupled my investment by buying and turning around and selling to a thrift store owner ten miles down the road. But yesterday was about investing in myself.

    I know little about classical Broadway musicals except for certain songs an elementary music teacher insisted we learn from “The Sound Of Music.” So, it seemed appropriate that since I plan on visiting Broadway, I might bone up a bit on musicals. Here is a list of rescue records I got in very good plus condition:

    The Music Man - Meredith Willson starring Robert Preston, Shirley Jones
    West side Story - From the Motion picture with Natalie Woods
    The Sound Of Music - Mary Martin music by Rogers and Hammerstein x2 with a gatefold
    Zorba the Greek - Original Soundtrack from the movie starring Anthony Quinn
    Camelot - starring Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet
    Oklahoma - Sound track of the Motion Picture

    Also I grabbed a sealed mint copy of a Tommy Dorsey Best Of album
    and a Canadian pressing of The Four Tops...”I Cant Help Myself”

    Since the cashier miscounted my nine records as eight.....I got out the door spending $2.12. I’m looking forward to listening but truthfully I get the most pleasure cleaning them up, imagining the joy the original owner had when they were first purchased some fifty years ago and thinking they’d be pleased someone treasures them for the works of art they truly are. The cover artwork is often very interesting and even the record labels themselves can be unique.

    How can one go wrong spending less than a large French vanilla cappuccino costs at the local Tim Hortons for a small piece of history?

  7. #317
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    WS You made me smile. I had all those albums and they were worn out when i got rid of them. Enjoy. I love that you imagine the joy the original owner had in them.

  8. #318
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    I love that you have the time to spend with your granddaughter. Jobs can be so demanding and you had a family you needed to take care of. You did the best you could. Life is always about trade offs.

  9. #319
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    The Music Man - Meredith Willson starring Robert Preston, Shirley Jones
    West side Story - From the Motion picture with Natalie Woods
    The Sound Of Music - Mary Martin music by Rogers and Hammerstein x2 with a gatefold
    Zorba the Greek - Original Soundtrack from the movie starring Anthony Quinn
    Camelot - starring Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet
    Oklahoma - Sound track of the Motion Picture

    I definitely had all those albums in my collection back when I was in high school and I would perform to them in front of my full-length mirror. I also had Gypsy, Oliver, Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, Funny Girl and Sweet Charity. I wore them out.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  10. #320
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I don’t know a rats rear end about Sigmund Freud and his theories on childhood development but I do know that reflections on my childhood have helped me define who I am today and more importantly embrace it.

    My granddaughter leaves tomorrow and the thought of it last night during a beautiful walk around a pristine lake stirred emotions about her departure. At seven, life is graciously simple. Made up of imaginations, fantasies, pretending and role playing about being a teacher, mother, sister, friend or boss. She need only know something is ahead she can look forward to and the current activity is enough, yet she needs the consistency of a schedule and those that pass in and out of her life must pass gently.

    It caused me to reflect on my own year seven and I freely admit these searches into the corner of my mind may turn up shreds of evidence from certain later years but it’s the flavor of the travel back and not the exact recipe I’m after.

    I am sitting in a second grade class waiting for the janitor to ring the lunch bell. When he does my teacher knows I am walking a block south past the barber shop and directly to my grandmothers house. I will flip up the horseshoe shaped rod iron latch to the black metal fencing, slip onto the first concrete step and latch the fence behind me. Then run to the back porch where I will burst into the kitchen door in anticipation of the familiar face of my grandmother.

    It is 1965, there is no evidence of the revolution in music that is occurring with the British Invasion. A compact record player belonging to my aunt is sitting in the living room with a 45 dormant on the turntable. Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool.” Nothing else musical is around. After lunch I will wander in and turn the player on, spin the record and sing with it. But grandma will reheat some homemade chili and grill a cheese sandwich for me first. And she will serve me grape juice in a jelly jar with Flintstones cartoons printed on it. I will sit at the same chair just like my grandfather does drinking his lunch time beer. I watch as he repeatedly tips the bottle and empty’s it into a glass then drags the top of it along the rim of the glass to get the very last drop. He seems to regret the emptiness of his bottle.

    My grandfather does not talk talk to me except to offer me a hot pepper from his garden which he knows I will refuse. It seems to amuse him because he knows I won’t eat it. This is as deep a conversation as I will ever have with my grandfather. He is retired but still wears the same outfit he wore when he was a riveter in a steel bridge manufacturing plant. That was before a steel beam fell and crushed his ankle. He walks with a cane now but still grows a huge garden behind the house full of carrots, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, hot peppers, green peppers, dill, celery, and some flowers for grandma. There is a hutch with rabbits he keeps for fertilizing the garden and because my aunt likes bunnies.

    Grandpa finishes lunch and goes back to the garage where he has a small television repair shop. There are what seems like endless black and white console tube televisions sitting around the garage. He closes the shop door. At the front of the garage is a small vegetable stand people stop by to get fresh food for the table. My grandmother has the sweetest smile for anyone who shows up and is grateful for the coins that slide into the little cash register sitting by the door. At seven, the world seems so right. I’m not aware of Operation rolling Thunder in Vietnam, assassinations, riots, civil unrest, flower power, LSD, the pill, debates over Medicare and Medicaid or the Great Society or the Voting Rights Act. I am aware of Charlie Browns Christmas.

    The needle on the little record player lifts as the last sounds of pops and hisses on Poor Little Fool subsides. I hum and sing bits and pieces on my way back to school for the afternoon. Images on my grandfather and grandmother go with me, soothe me, affirm in me that as long as I am in this place .....I am in the right place. The clank of the rod iron fence latch reverberates in my mind and the smooth cold feeling of the black metal on my fingers signal it is time to go out again into the less familiar. On the walk back a young crossing guard with his silver badge and orange belt and red flag stops a car for me. I must cross back.

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