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This post is back from 2013.  Readership has gone up to 65 countries now, and more than twice as many people read the glob than did six years ago. I saw someone read this post today, I re-read it and decided to re-post for fun…Plus, I still have these questions?!?!?

(Avatar Magic, by Gerald Franquemont, is out on Kindle and it can be downloaded onto most readers.) *Now, a completed trilogy.

Why do swim suits most often look like fishing lures?

Why are garden hoses so often made to look like snakes?

If men never hear what women are saying why do women keep talking?

If money is the root of all evil why does everyone work for it?

Cain Killed Abel, but most people fear snakes more than politicians.

Here’s some food for thought–if you can afford it. $1 of 1960 dollars would be worth: $7.87 in 2013. $1 of 2013 dollars would be worth $0.13 in 1960.  Shouldn’t the dollar shrink in size in accordance with its real buying power? Think of the money we’d save when buying wallets or printing money!

This well-known saying is part of a phrase often attributed to Benjamin Disraeli and popularized in the U.S. by Mark Twain: “There are three kinds of falsehoods: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”  The odds are even that this is true.

Why are size ten shoes in Japan equal to size six shoes in America? Why can’t one country or the other be happy to be either a ten or six and call it good.

In fact, the sound of one hand clapping can be heard. Try the Clam clap.

Recently, I thought I might have had a tick on my back but I’d fallen asleep and then gone to work the next day forgetting to check on it.  I worried all day about that tick! Turned out when I checked in the mirror that night that I had a nose strip suck to my back.  What a relief, sort of.

You can’t go that extra mile. You either do it or you don’t. Show me an extra mile and I’ll show you an extra dollar.

NO one who was scheduled to retire at 65 for most of their life but then had their retirement age moved to sixty-six should think of retiring at age 65 as an “early” retirement. Dude! Do you want more S.S. money or what you thought you’d get most of your life at age 65?

Statistics boggle the mind while History teaches.

Gary Friend and Sue Patterson know lots of stuff.

Why does the same girl who looks good in a bikini on the beach cause car accidents by wearing shorts while walking on a sidewalk in town?

The following numbers seem right after looking over a number of recent polls: 1/3 of our population, 34%, believe in Ghosts and UFOS; 74% believe in the Devil and 92% believe in God. Have you ever wished upon a star?

Consider: for every shark-related human death, we kill 10 million of them.*

*http://www.discovery.ca/article.aspx?aid=18384

Cheers!

Franque23

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I’d found this note in a most unusual place.

Dusty and draped by a cobweb or two, the note obviously hadn’t been read in some time. How long would that be? We’d moved into our house over eighteen years ago and others had enjoyed the house before us-how could it have been in place for so long without being noticed? I think it all a miracle!

It wasn’t even a full piece of paper but just a part of a larger whole. Folded, yellowed and without line, it seemed marked, creased on its outside, by someones’ firm handwriting.

There was no reason to not unfold the paper and read the note; curiosity would clutter my head until I did-I knew. Scanning the words gave me pause.

I fell in love with you at first sight. I knew it then. Nothing was going to keep me from being at your door until you opened it so I might stand by your side. Our faces remained lip-locked for most of that first year, and when we laughed we could feel each others warm breath.

We had no guarantees but for us. Still, that was enough. 

We began our journey into space without boundaries and time no clock could keep. We held hands in super markets-remember? We both loved the beach, the waves, sky and wind in our hair. We ran for miles together almost daily without fail; so much young energy poured from our souls, tingled our fingers and itched our legs that we just had to move. And, all the while, a love for you grew inside me that could never be moved.

You became my home.

Nothing much mattered when it came to things, whether we rented or eventually bought a house remained trappings to the core of us that I held on to so tightly. That soft, core place of love within me burned a fire that warmed each day and night. I worked with you in mind and slept easy with you by my side. 

Years, so many, have passed, and though we’ll eventually leave here and find a new place I wanted to take this moment to thank you for being you. I want to thank you for those smiles you flash, that small laugh you often sport, for that all-seeing way you guide us to better places, and for your touch that means so much. And, I should mention the chocolate-chip cookies. 

I’m so glad I wrote you this note; now, if I can just keep track of it until I give it to you!

There was no signature…

I marveled at the words in this note. Who knows how many years it took this person to finally write them down? Had the other person ever read them? It’s amazing how something this large in meaning might rest for so long inside a person. So much can be buried beneath a life-time of obligation, jobs, bills, some call it progress, beneath all those words that must be said on a daily basis. It seemed I understood it all; life has a way of moving people around their true meaning, the things that really drive them on.

I turned to bring this found treasure to share with my wife but realized that, of course, she was in Japan-a zillion miles away helping and visiting family. I had just me, my dog, and this note.  I began to fold the note for safe keeping to share later but the note had vanished! I looked everywhere! It hadn’t fallen to the floor, slid under the kitchen table or scooted under a nearby tattered chair. No, the note had disappeared.

That’s when I found the note in a most unusual place: the one place I hadn’t thought to look.

Of course, the note was back deep inside of me.

Dale, I’ve loved you for forty-five years.

Happy New Year to all of you. Maybe, write a note this New Year’s Day, and never put it away.

Peace and Love

Franque23

 

 

 

 


If you still support Trump I ask you: can all the people listed below be wrong?!?!?

Trump’s references read like a SNL skit:

McMaster: called him a dope.

Mattis: called him a 5th grader.

Mnuchin: called him an idiot.

Priebus: called him an idiot.

John Kelly: called him a fucking idiot.

Tillerson: called him a fucking moron.

Cohn: called him dumb as shit.

McGahn: called him a fucking idiot.

Mueller: called him individual 1.

McRaven: called him the biggest threat to our democracy.

Bannon: called him a fucking moron.

John Dowd: called him a fucking liar.

Rupert Murdoch: called him a fucking idiot.

William T. Kelley: (Professor at Penn) called him the dumbest goddamn student he ever had.

Tony Schwartz: (the ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal,”) called him a man with a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.

Me? I’d have to say this means Trump really is a, ‘No brainer!’

So, I’m just asking, would you hire a man with these references? Of course not, and America can’t afford to,’hire,’ him again by-election in 2020.

Trump has so many shady spots during his current administration it’s amazing he’s still visible.

Trump just placed the man who ran a plea deal for Epstein ( Epstein  was running an underage sex ring) to be head of America’s Women(girls) illegal trafficking bureau?

So far, there are three things that are constant with Trump: he lies; he blurs the line when it comes to the emoluments clause, also called the foreign emoluments clause. This clause is a provision of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8) that generally prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives; and he has cheated on all three of his wives.

Model claims she saw Trump cheat on pregnant Marla Maples 

May 7, 2018 – A German model claims to have been in the same room with Donald Trump during an alleged romp he had with Playboy Playmate Barbara Moore. She spoke to the Daily Mail about the tryst, which supposedly went down while Trump’s second wife and then-fiancee Marla Maples was pregnant 
2.
We all know trump cheated on Melania just after she gave birth to his child.
3.

​Don’t feel sorry for Trump; he’s a dog of a man.

I do feel a bit off for the Americans who voted for this man.  No one deserves a President like Trump—not even those who voted for him.

There are too many reasons to sort out why some people still support Trump. Why support a man who has not turned our economy around, who has not drained but polluted Washington and who has unleashed the banks so another crash like 2008 is possible? Clearly, Trump is raping America’s National Parks in exchange for big Oil Payola. And about that wall of a wet-dream Trump had and claimed Mexico would pay for? It’s a stupid, useless wall, and now Trump is wanting to spend 5 billion of our tax dollars to build it!

Listen up America: no one is invading our country but for Trump’s current administration. It’s becoming clearer everyday that the Russians helped elect Trump. Why would that be?

In the end, there’s this: most certainly Mueller has a sealed indictment on Trump that will prohibit the statute of limitations to run out on those charges. These charges can be filed on Trump once he is removed from office no matter how loooong that takes. Nobody knows if those charges will stick but here’s the beauty—we all will find out one day.

Franque23


Caring for people enriches our living experience.

Universal Heath care is one way Americans can ensure we care for one another. It is also a fundamental building block when it comes to creating a happy, productive work force.

Don’t be fooled by claims that state how much Universal Health care will cost Americans. These claims side-swipe the truth by listing costs of Universal health care without mentioning that these figures are FAR below the cost of the privately  run health care system we have now.*

Don’t be fooled by the jabbering of politicians or the rich who live inside the pockets of the healthcare industry—The truth is, Universal Health care will save American’s billions of dollars when compared to the projected cost of our current health care system—-BILLIONS. 

Universal health eliminates the constant worry about the cost of aging.  Universal Health care will stop estates being lost due to increasing costs of health care as people who have worked to save all their lives lose their savings to health care providers.

Only the top 1 to 3% of Americans need not worry about the cost of health care as they age. Thing is, those rich enough to pay for health care or those involved in providing healthcare from pharmaceuticals, some doctors, clinic and hospitals on up play a heavy hand in keeping Universal health care boxed out of America.

Barring Universal health care to Americans is a political, money-making scheme that needs to end.

The next time you get sick and have to see a doctor think about Universal Health Care.

The next time you think your savings are growing, think about the cost of aging and how you will feel when you turn your savings over to a health care provider. This is a real situation for just every one of us who are lucky enough to survive to a ripe old age.

Basically, like it or not, America is in for a huge, social upheaval.

America is approaching huge societal change driven by minorities and by those mostly under the age of forty who demand social justice. The time has come to cast off old ways of thinking and the back room deals lobbyists place on American society; the two-step shuffle of lies politicians use to belabor our lives and posterity is over.

We didn’t have a blue wave in 2018—we had a voter’s tsunami.

2020 will bring more of the same voting trends we experienced in 2018. Those involved in old ways of thinking and those entrenched in America’s poor way of providing health care to all of us are in for a shock. It’s all over; change is here.

It’s just a matter of time until America provides its workers and all of its citizens Universal Health care. Those opposed to this change can keep on dancing their two-step lying dance, but the music has stopped.

Voters! Vote for what is healthy for you and yours in 2020.

Cheers

Franque23

*https://www.businessinsider.com/bernie-sanders-medicare-for-all-plan-cost-save-money-2018-7

“According to the Mercatus model, total health spending would actually come in about $303 billion lower in 2031 than under current projections, with $7.35 trillion going to healthcare that year versus $7.65 trillion expected now. Total national health spending would be $2 trillion lower from 2022 to 2031 under the plan, the report found.”


(Click the pic to enlarge.)

A thread on Face book today got this going. The points went back and forth about whether or not American’s should be off work on Election day. Would this help bring out voters? Is it necessary to close businesses when we have early voting or mail-in with even prepaid postage in some states?

You know what? Screw work on election day.

Either call-in on Election Day, take the day off or have it off as a National Holiday. It doesn’t matter if being off on Election Day would increase voting tun-out.  We have to stop the madness in America; we have to throw off this, ‘work until you drop,’ yoke American Big business has used to harness American workers.

American companies and big business have come to value profit more than life, and it’s wrong.

American’s should be off on Election Day–it shows and teaches respect for the process; the same for President’s Day. Businesses should close and Americans should use President’s Day to remember the leaders that have helped shape our country and World. Someone once said that actions speak louder than words. It’s true, our children watch what we do at least as much as they listen to what we say. Look both ways; it’s bed time; eat your veggies: how’s all that jabbering working for you as a parent? No, leaders, parents, teachers, workers and politicians should show the way, walk the walk as well as talk the talk. We all need to stop making work the point.

The work ethic in America is bonkers, and we should keep all our Holidays and add Election Day and President’s day to them. We should also throw in four, ‘ the weather is too nice to work,’ days to boot. Farmer’s knew their horses needed to rest; American workers need a rest, too.

What’s nuts about having election Day off? Here’s what’s nuts: we used to not have just President’s Day off when I was young, but Jefferson’s, Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays off! It’s true! These three days used to be school holidays and many businesses closed as well. More, every business, but for a very few, closed EVERY Sunday! That’s right—just about no one worked on any Sunday—not ever.

The sky will not fall if America stops the madness and gives workers more time off during each work year.

The workers will drop if we don’t give them more rest, not the sky.

Think! Our American society used to give workers more days off than it does now and what happened? America boomed; that’s what happened. American workers were happier, they were better educated and they enjoyed our society.

Sixty years of decreased earnings (when adjusted for inflation), multitasking nightmares, skinnier staffs with additional work to do, the loss of pensions and less time off has reduced American workers to what we are now: an over worked under paid discontented work force.

The rulers, owners and greedy big businesses have been flushing American workers down the toilet for over sixty years now and it needs to stop.

Let’s turn things and us around.

Let’s take Election Day off so we can elect the right people to office. It’s often said that change comes slowly. You know what? Maybe not.  Maybe change is right around the corner; maybe the sun will come up on America. Maybe American voters can stop the madness.

I hope so.

Franque23


Pumpernickel was the most foreign thing around the neighborhood back in my childhood days. A salted Frito was the a vanguard chip and guacamole remained a word hard to pronounce or spell. Now? That long ago time resides on the far side of a poorly mark rut in the road of life.

Certainly, I grew up in a part of America awash in feel good innocence. Then, it was a time of hope for those who lived under the disappearing shadow of World War II. We were the champions of the free world; the winners.

Grandpa was proud of his four boys who all fought in WW II (Dad is second from left.)

Flash: think no computers, no cordless phones of any kind, no internet, no chat, no what’s up, no what’s anything but for phones in phone booths or in homes that featured a brand new item: a tube TV  with about 3 to 13 channels. Now, I wonder what we all did all day?

Morality was a given…

Every kid knew to cross their fingers if they were going to lie; every guy knew girls were not only softer than boys, but annoyingly smarter as well. Still, none of us perceived a battle of the sexes or a societal wrong that had to be righted. Heck no, elementary school years were filled with just people—guys I palled around with and girls I was thinking about getting to know.

Things started to change in Junior High. (1960ish). The fall out of line and get hung out to dry clicks appeared. Guys and gals mostly formed into three groups: the hoods, the sport rats and the way smart what’s up with that group.

Now, the hoods were bad people because some of them smoked cigarettes and they often wore black shirts. (Really not kidding, and I could almost add, they chewed gum in school) The sport rats, the group I belonged to, never smoked cigarettes and we wore saddle shoes.

Clearly, these huge differences were cause for great concern and animosity. Oddly this huge division between the Hoods and Sport Rats meant the gals had to decide which group to belong to and those lines once drawn rarely, if ever, changed through High School. I once ,’hit it off,’ with a gal from the hoods in history class and we became fast buddies. But, when I suggested a soda, she told me, terrified, “Oh no, I could never do that. My group would go nuts. Plus, you don’t know what I do.” So, I realized she smoked cigarettes….sad.

It was an innocent time compared to the likes of today.

Of course, I was young, free to smell the dandelions as I ran across our neighbors’ yard. I was free to imagine that near about everything America stood for and did was good and right. I was free of a bombardment of contraptions that now give us real-time access to things that are happening beyond our sight!

Please, if you are semi-young, like under 40, Imagine this: there was no news until the six o’clock T.V. broadcast; there was no minute-by-minute news of your friends, no daily breaking political sirens. Even the stock market could rally or crash without a peep until evening. Every thing, every day, was on hold until evening. People went to work without worry or care about daily events until nighttime, until they’d gone home and had a cocktail, a smoke or rest.

In many ways, the multitasking, tied to your smart phone generation is cursed with too much information.

Call me old fashion? Maybe try hiking or camping and leaving, God forbid, your smart phone at home. There’s a world waiting for you to discover, one I grew up in, a world of be here now without interruption from things you can’t change anyway.  There’s a world of freedom waiting for you but for one thing: you can’t put that smart phone down.

If the world today were to sculpt a representative statue of Mankind it wouldn’t be, The Thinker.

No, it would be a person looking down at their smart phone or taking a, ‘Selfie.’

The interactions that sooo many studies show are healthy for us—the eye contact, the smiles, the greetings—are now lost to bent heads looking at smart phones…

No, I’m not old fashion: I’m right. Put your phone down for at least one day per week and see how many eyes look your way. The worlds’ presence will once again be yours to see, and it is amazing.

Franque23 dares you to do it…

Simply amazing.

 


My wife recently told  a news story on T.V. to “Go Fund Yourself.” It broke me out in fits of laughter….as my wife often does. She’s smart, a wit-full companion that keeps me thinkin’. Thing is, my first editor of everything you’ve ever read from me is also sharp, and more helpful than you know…. Barbara sent me this tonight,, and I thought in our time of strife it might do us all good to take a look at the,’Will  to Survive’. It’s in all of us, to fight for existence, and that we shall prevail…just look at the trees: they lead the way.

Enjoy, and thanks again to Barbara for the link.

Peace, Franque23

Trees have been around for about 370 million years, and as you can see from these incredible pictures, there’s a good reason why they’ve survived for so long.  Whether they’re growing in the middle of gale-force winds, on the tops of rocky platforms, inside concrete tunnels, or even growing out of each other, trees know how to survive in places that few living organisms can, which explains why the planet is host to around 3 trillion adult trees that cover an estimated 30% of the earth’s land.  Considering that plants produce the vast majority of the oxygen that we breathe, we should all think ourselves very fortunate that trees are as resilient as they are.  We wouldn’t even be here if they weren’t.

#1  A Place Of Enchantment
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#2  This Palm Tree Fell Over And Curved Right Back Up
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#3  This Tree Fell Over And Grew 4 More Trees Out Of Itself
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#4  The Only Tree That Survived The Tsunami In Japan Between 70,000 Trees. Now Protected And Restored.
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#5  Tree Of Life – Olympic National Park, Washington
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#6   A Tree’s Root Spill Over The Sidewalk
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#7   Nature FTW
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#8   A Tree Growing Through Speed Limit Sign
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#9  This Tree That Refuses To Die
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#10  This Tree Still Has Its Leaves Because Of The Light Shining On It
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#11  Life Finds A Way
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#12  Tree Roots Extend Across A Gap To The Mainland For Nutrients
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#13  Life Finds A Way
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#14  Ta Promh Temple In Cambodia
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#15  Striving
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#16  Someone Hung His Skates On A Small Tree When He Was Younger. He Forgot He Had Left Them There And Found Them Years Later

#17  A Tree Growing On Another Tree
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#18 This Tree Is Growing Out Of Another Tree
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#19 This Tree Grew Out Of The Stump Of A Dead Tree And Then The Stump Rotted Away
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#20 A Tree Grows From Third Floor Window
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#21 Life Finds A Way
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#22 I Spent Ages Staring At This Tree Before Taking This Pic. I Hope You Find It As Fascinating As I Did
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#23 This Floating Island That Grew At The End Of A Partially Sunken Tree
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#24 This Wooden Chair My Parents Bought Started Sprouting Leaves
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#25 The Old Piano Tree
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#27 One Tree On My Street Refused To Accept Winter
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#28 My Sister’s Tree Is Eating Her Fence
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#29 This Tree Growing Through A Fence
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#30 Life,Uh… Finds A Way
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This is the winning 2020 presidential ticket. In fact, the more Republicans and right of center groups claim this idea is preposterous, the more Left leaning voters should realize it’s true!

Trump’s election set precedent that a person not directly experienced with holding office can be elected President. The 2018 mid-terms have more than shown voters are agreeable to female candidates, and even female, Black candidates in the South!! Yikes! I wouldn’t have thought this to be the case, but it is. The 2018 mid-term election has proven the American electorate is ready for women of any faith or color. Now is the time for Michelle Obama.

We all know President Obama brought America out of the brink of collapse, along with perhaps saving the entire world economy, so who better to associate with how to truly Make America the shining beacon of hope and posterity it once was under President Obama?  Michele Obama, that’s who can lead the charge in 2020. Michele is the one who can break through that invisible male ceiling the presidency of the U.S. still supports; she is the one who can unite and bring out so many difference Democratic voters.

And what of Bernie Sanders as V.P. on the ticket with Michelle Obama for 2020? This is a slam dunk yes! Bernie calls for a health plan most Americans have come to favor; Bernie calls for living wages and real tax cuts American workers deserve. Any notion that Bernie’s too old, or too socialist, or that, ‘Michelle won’t run,’ is just bull crap being thrown from the Right, a group who literally trembles in fear of this Democratic ticket.

Get Michelle and Bernie on the ticket and America wins.

Elect Michelle and Bernie and Education gets a huge increase in spending; America’s humanitarian efforts resume throughout the world; a living wage comes to fruition; real infrastructure rebuilding programs commence; renewable energy takes off in America and sparks a mass up-swing in employment and prosperity; health care becomes part of our society and not a leech upon on government and our worker’s backs. These are all things American’s want by massive majority numbers.

Get rid of illegal gerrymandering across America and the new world dawns through America’s growth and undeniable will to succeed.

Listen up. Cast fear aside and get Michelle and Bernie on the same ticket for 2020.

Let’s cast aside the party that has once again deregulated banks putting the U.S. in danger of another ,’bubble burst, ‘ as we had Under Bush . Jr. Let’s dump the party that has striped America of much-needed environmental controls, who now drills in our National Parks threatening our famous, Heritage sites. We can beat back Republican corruption and the radical hate groups this party embraces; we can end the hate mongering President Trump seems so happy to spew on a nearly daily basis. We can end the seemingly endless stream of lies now being forced upon the American people from this current Republican administration.

It’s a new day, baby. Democrats! Let’s bring it home.

Franque23

 


It is a prideful mid-term election this time around in America. People, all full of pride, have stood up in numbers representing their position to their friends, neighbors, communities, America and to the World. America hasn’t had the marches we’ve seen across the country in the last two years since the 1970’s. And no, none of this dissent from any side has been entirely peaceful—some have died for what they believed, or for who they were or due to where they were. Upheaval never comes without cost and the past two years in America have sadly borne witness to this truism.

“I’m proud to be  American!”

“I’m proud to be gay, a woman, white, black, tall, good-looking, smart, richer or powerful!”

“I’m proud to hate!”

Theologians often place pride above the other so-called seven deadly sins: lust, envy, anger, greed, gluttony and sloth. Yep, Pride is said to be the ,’Root of all evil.’ How. To. Deal. With. That. This discussion could be an, ‘All-nighter.’

This is a 1913 meeting between North and South civil war survivors. Each was proud to serve.

I am proud.

Toss pride anyway you want: I’m proud of Dale, and she happens to be my wife.  I’m proud of her 40 years of effort during her nursing career to help young and old alike to heal or accept their situation and make the best of that. Most of those 40 years she has helped new born’s while working in NICU; some of her patients weigh three or less pounds. Imagine. Of course, I take no credit for any of Dale’s achievements; I’m proud to know her.  And, this election cycle has been no different.

I’m proud of Dale and anyone like her who has jumped in feet first into the mayhem of this 2018 mid-term election.  Dale has worked the phone lines for her party; she has written, talked and text until her fingers were sore, her voice hoarse and her wit’s at wit’s end. Trump may not know it, but he’s been barbed enough to fill a pin cushion.

Dale is one of millions of Americans who have taken it upon themselves to get off their cushy couches and 300 dollar computer chairs and work to turn their beliefs into action. She is one of millions who are busy doing the,’stuff,’ the real hard work of America. Tomorrow, Dale will be driving people to the polls all day. I think this is great.

Hat’s off to all of you who have persevered over the course of the past two years while trying to right the wrongs they see taking place in America today. It’s not certain how our 2018  mid-terms will turn out, but for all of those who have worked to make the world a better place please remember this: no one, nothing, can ever take away your effort and the solace that comes from a job well done. Win or lose, if you have walked door to door, called number after number and marched when you could and filled out every poll you wanted to, congratulations.

Now, we wait for tomorrow’s election outcome, and it may take weeks to know?

It’s no secret that I’m hoping for a, ‘Blue Wave.’ But, even if I have to go to the beach to see one again, I know I did what I could to make it happen.

I have a word of head’s up though for those of you who favor my political position. Please, don’t think that if the, ‘Blue Wave,’ does come in 2018 and then again in 2020 that the battle to right the wrongs in America will be anywhere near over. No, the seed(s) of hate and division have been well planted in our society and these two elections will not be enough to weed them out.

Every morning gives us all a chance for a new day—I’m hoping tomorrow gives America one of those kinds of great vista’s.

Good luck, America.

Cheers.

Franque23

 

 

 


I’ve always loved seeing movie footage of the past. It makes this short film below that more special in that I was born and raised just outside of The Big Apple and considered it my stompin’ grounds during my High School days.

More, I’ve had a couple of odd coincidencedinks in life that revolve around my early years spent in New York City. I’d often spent time in  New York City, The Village,  roaming the walk down shops after munching on a seventy-five cent pizza slice. By far, the Leather shops were my favorite to visit. I was immediately attracted to the smell of finished leather goods, their shine, polished to deep warm browns or beige and tan colors.  One shop owner in particular was a bit more out going than most, and that was wrapped by a quick sense of humor all tied together by tremendous wit. His name was, Byan. He stood tall with penetrating dark eyes that glowed above the flash of  his smile. Our conversations were never long but they played in my head usually throughout the following days. Mysterious, that was the word for this fellow.

Fast forward eight or so years and I’m attending a bluegrass festival in Hog Town Creek, just outside Gainesville, Florida. I was singing lead for an agent at that time, traveling to gigs with one of the three bands he managed. I’m thinking my pay was about a flat 75 dollars per week. The music drew me to the festival and there the smell of leather goods at a nearby booth attracted my attention. Sure enough, it was, Byan, running a leather stand. It turned out his parents owned a ranch nearby and he’d left NYC to return to his family’s home. He wanted to learn how to play guitar and I was intrigued with leather work… We traded skills and I ended up being a leather worker running three shops for the next 14 years.

Of course, there’s more. I got to know my wife of 38 years while  learning the leather trade from, Byan. We made items for the local leather shops in Gainesville—there were about four of them in town. I often worked on sewing leather hats of all shapes and sizes. A few years later found my wife and I working into all hours of the night sewing wallets and visors as we started our first leather business. It was years later when all of this came to circle.

Thirty years later, my wife and I visited Denton, England, along with her Brother and his wife. It was there that my wife’s family were once hatters. It turns out they started in Denton and finally made it to New York City and I suspect made ,’a killing,’ as they say in retail. Why? Well just look at what everyone is wearing in the film below. Wow. The story of my wife’s ,’Hatters,’ family is also amazing, but that’s for another time.

Enjoy this glimpse into another era; a time gone by.

One more thing: the air seems much more polluted in this film than it appears to be in New York City now. Maybe too much,’Clean,’ coal back then?

Franque23

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