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You’ve heard the word: Antifa. It’s in the news today and has been predominately in America since 2017 but, still, WORD will try to correct the spelling. Isn’t it weird how something like WORD marks the relevance of any label? Thing is, WORD needs to catch up.

How Canada's 'antifa' groups are organizing to fight a growing far ...

Antifa at this point sounds more like a salad choice to me. “Please pass the Antifa and I’d like Russian dressing with that,” though , in this case, that choice of dressing may be a bad one. Anyway, yes, Antifa may not be a Salade niçoise, but no matter what dressing you choose the Antifa is on America’s table of events whether we like it or not. I must admit, until reading up on the group I was somewhat in the left out of the rally group when it comes to this icon’s meaningful movement.

Trump is declaring the Antifa a terrorist organization.

Well, this is awkward.

I learned that this so called, “terrorist organization,” is a bit unique in that it isn’t an organization at all!   Thing is, Trump and his low-‘barr’ are proclaiming the Antifa group a terrorist organization—this is as interesting as it is problematic. Go ahead, ask me why. Okay, if I must answer: it does seem difficult to name a group that doesn’t exist as a terrorist organization, but still, our current administration has proven anything might be possible.

Let’s clear the mud a bit when it comes to Antifa…

What Is Antifa? The Far-Left Group Staging Violent Protests ...

Antifa has no designated leader, no meeting place, no group rallies and no group fund raising. In fact, the feared Antifa has no group anything whatsoever of any kind in any way. So what is Antifa? Maybe, Antifa is a thought, or a bunch of thoughts, lots of people sitting on couches in lots of different places think correct.

In truth, the Antifa that we are being led to believe are a fearsome, down right disloyal, snot nosed, brainless rebel rousers with anti-American beliefs and slogans are not anything of this kind. The Antifa people who randomly show up at rallies and marches to protest those promoting bigotry are simply people who are fed up with the idea that Freedom of Speech can be used to mask one’s right to spew hate speech. Speeches full of lies that promote hatred of another are the clamp-down target here, not opinions, ‘what- ifs’, appeals for non-violent intervention or expression of well-thought out choices: this distinction is important to latch on to here.

Trump is declaring a thought a terrorist organization.

Antifa believe you can say anything you want as long as your words aren’t a hate filled, mosh-pits of lies and slander. Misleading blabber that labels anyone less than any other due to one’s beliefs, their color, their sexual preference, their political leanings or disdain for anyone different from themselves is a non-starter.

This is why people who march against the rights of women will meet Antifa members on the street.

This is why people who march against people of any color will meet Antifa members on the street.

This is why people who march against those with alternative sexual preferences of any sort will meet Antifa members on the street.

KKK will ALWAYS  meet Antifa members on the street.

Here’s the deal in a nut shell…though, again, this may be a poor choice of words… STILL

American’s want Freedom of speech but not at the cost of truth.

Antifa rise to prominence in Donald Trump′s United States ...

This is why the times are a changin’….in many ways, many people agree with many ideas promoted by Anfita.

Scott Crow, a former Antifa member says, “the “radical ideals” promoted by Antifas are starting to be adopted by liberals. They would never have looked at (those ideals) before, because they saw us as the enemy as much as the right-wingers.”

The majority of Antifa members don’t fall into a stereotype. Since the election of President Trump, however, most new Antifa members are young voters.

“The idea in Antifa is that we go where they (right-wingers) go. That hate speech is not free speech. That if you are endangering people with what you say and the actions that are behind them, then you do not have the right to do that…(We) believe that Nazis or fascists of any stripe should not have a mouthpiece.”)*

*https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2020/05/31/what-is-antifa/

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'Eric Garcia @EricG1247 My grandfather was part of an Antifa organization. It was called the United States Army when he was in World War 2 and fought the fascists and Nazi in Europe for the freedom of the world. When did being anti fascist become a bad thing in the US? 5:17 PM 5/30/20 Twitter for Android 12.8K Retweets 50K Likes'

Listen, there’s enough propaganda out there to discredit Tinker Bell. But don’t let lies from Trump fog your vision when it comes to these folks who have had enough of the KKK. Trump refers to people who attack Governor houses with armed weapons or who rampage and threaten blacks, Jews and anyone not as white as them as good people. This is just wrong.

I think it important to note that although Antifa started perhaps around 1920, the group played a heavy hand in fighting against Hitler…Now, I ask—are you with them, or not?

I love America because of what we stand for. We may not meet those aspirations as much as we’d like, but we at least set the goals for Freedom of Speech, freedom of thought, of expression, for the right to choose and for life liberty and pursuit of Happiness. Millions of immigrants who have in the past made our country what it is today are now being jailed at our boarders, or kept out of our country. This is not our America; this is trump’s obscene vision of a land he wants to rule as a fascist or worse.

Call me Antifa, call me for dinner, I don’t care.  But, I know good ideas when I hear them. Trump dispersing peaceful protesters with mace and rubber bullets as he walks to a church he wouldn’t even go in just for a photo op can go to hell.

Please vote and help get our country back in November, 2020. And yes, please, pass the Antifa salad…I don’t care what you call it.

Franque23—I’ve added below my  response to a comment below

“It is an odd experience to be raised American and then realize later on some of your childhood impressions were at best tainted. The ideals are here; the theoretical goals noble. It’s greed and the power of smaller minds that have undercut the best of America. I knew one bullet did not strike President Kennedy four times and that Nam was a futile if not corrupt endeavor but then, as time passes, as one gets busy with the earning of a living, it’s easy to forget the mess America is in. I’ve thought FDR’s New Deal was America putting it’s best foot forward and now, oddly, The Green Deal may be America’s next best step, though even this correctness won’t solve an inherent stream of corruption among our elected officials.” Franque23

 


(Click the pic for a larger view.)

Anyone who knew me as a kid knows it’s an astoundingly, flabbergasting, jaw-dropping, stupefying surprise that I’m a father. Sure, I had a future even a wrong turn could help back then, but it also was clear from the get-go that another planet was, in fact, my home. I lived spaced out most of the time.

Still, there has always been a Father in me.

A fishing Grandpa….who knew?

 

Basically, my kid-self was a walking brain dent.

School was torture, a work around looking to happen, though girls were annoyingly interesting. Sports became my ticket to skate by on in high school. Next came a spin as class VP.  I spent a zillion hello’s on friends passing in school halls like a pseudo-millionaire with no money.

The politician in me continued to thrive through my non-formative years of college.

As a sophomore, the college paper deemed me, Apple Gerry, with a front page picture that showed me ranting about student dorm rights. Soon, I was appointed by the graduating head of , Group X, to be this organization’s next President. Now, Group X had two major agendas. First, our group wanted , ‘open,’ dorms with visiting rights for both men and women 24/7. (Seems my younger interests stuck with me). Secondly, we wanted visiting rights for women in the men’s dorms.  I know, these two agendas seem the same, but agenda two left men out of female dorms. Underlying our two hot pulsing agenda’s were rumors I made sure spread that Group X would host off campus beer parties. It all worked great until those beer parties took effect which is why I don’t remember how long Group X survived and when or why it ended…

Not to be detoured, my free-fallin’, dancing, singing self landed me a membership pre-facto of Phi-Kappa-Phi since I refused to go thru hazing but was made an off-the-record member of the fraternity house anyway. It was a great, wild , short year of being reprimanded by the College Administration. Before our house knew it, women weren’t allowed in our second story where the beds were, so, yeah, we moved all the beds down to the basement and slept there and stuff. This pissed Admin off but it wasn’t until we held a beer-bed floating party in the basement with strippers from Baltimore as hosts that our house got shut down! I mean, completely closed for a year!!! Can you imagine?!?! Of course, I had very little to do with any of this that I remember.

My successful political days weren’t over, but it was time for those college days to fog into post college days of running naked in the Ocala National Forest, jumping naked off lime pits east of Gainesville with 300 hundred others on any given Saturday afternoon and strolling by police cars while at a nude block party on NE 1st street here in Gainesville.  I know, I know, you’re thinking I was a nudist but, no, I wore clothes to job interviews and stuff all the time.

(Clothes on! This is the site of many Bonaparte late night ,’Chunky-dunks,’ but we can’t beat Ireland’s recent Guinness book world record-breaking 2500 nude swimmers at once!)*

All that college,’Fog,’ cleared into pot smoke that guided my way for a few more zillion years as I grew older without growing up. There’s a pill to take for that, but I forget the color!

Next thing I knew, my ears pretty much got too long for my face and my children stole my hair.

I remember waking up one day and staring into the mirror realizing very little.

I’d set down my principles and forgotten where they were unless I tripped over them while changing diapers. It was nifty earning money that was really other people’s money if I made it to the power company on time to keep the lights on. I was consumed with successful failure without notice or care but for my family. I have to say, that bunch got my attention.

I suppose it’s true to say one baby led to another and then another which led to seven others—so far.

(Here’s five of them being still all at once!?!?!)

But through it all I maintained my hat wearing image with uniquely obtuse discernment, a finesse of in-depth leadership and control.

Clearly, this is not me , but a look-a-like! Aaron is, however, wearing my glasses!!! Have you ever noticed children love to wear glasses, but that’s never good for the glasses?

As it turns out, I like to grow things, whether it be debates on issues (have you noticed), babies, grand children, properties, gardens and wrinkles….

Click the pic to see the start of hat construction and the  wrinkle lines I spent hours, days, weeks, heck, years putting on my face!!

I’m not sure what ticket I would have been on if you told me back in high school that I’d end up a  paper bag hat wearing, wrinkled eared, laughing Grandpa. Maybe, the one to the fast train to Berkeley or the over-life sleeper to the deep woods of Canada.

Yep. Throughout the laughs there was a Father in me after all. Man, this is great; a nice surprise, indeed. Who knew I had a plan all along? Me!

(This is my brother-in-law and his wife and me with my wife standing in front of what we believe was the location of my wife’s ancestor’s home. They were hat makers in Denton, England. I was making leather hats in a barn in Gainesville in the 1970’s when my wife first moved in with me! See? That’s called a plan:-)

Franque23

*https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/europe/irish-women-record-breaking-skinny-dip-intl/


My wife and I will never have to worry about plane fair to China, our dog has dug a way there in our back yard.

I have the best dog. He’s smarter than your dog; he went to Harvard. Thing is, he pretends to not get it about snakes. Lately, we have one or twenty snakes, not sure, slithering around our house, front and back. They’re the black friendly kind that scare the bejesus out of me cause as much as I think they’re cool to see I never expect to.  Shadow is forever leaping in the air with his paws straight forward to land on a snake as if it were a tennis ball. All I see happening are vet bills so I scold Shadow, “No! Snake!” as I wiggle my arm in the air. Shadow gives me that concerned look every time: “Pleeease! Hey dumb butt, I’m having fun and you’re a coward.”

Shadow reminds me each morning to check the pool for snakes or unwanted stray cats.

Ever notice everyone was young back in the good ol’ days.

The Republican healthcare plan focus is that ‘Death Panel’ everyone was worried about…

Today, Hersey makes an astonishing announcement: starting this month, their products will have fewer calories! They note the change in calories is due to a change in product formula and, er, size. So I looked up what the change in formula is for their chocolate that might reduce calories and it is, oddly, the switch from using artificial vanilla to real vanilla extract . Turns out, artificial vanilla has no calories whatsoever! What’s left to reduce calories?!?!?! Oh, wait-the SIZE of their chocolate bars…. So Hersey’s big announcement really is that they are making smaller chocolate bars…..nice.

The weather world-wide is showing a troubling flair for heating up. Everyone’s watching the forecasts.

The cost to produce the one-cent coin increased to 1.5 cents during 2016. Why is the government losing money, again?

In 2017, America has an Attorney General—Sessions—who doesn’t understand State’s rights. Just ask Hawaii. ”

“Hawaii was built on the strength of diversity & immigrant experiences- including my own. Jeff Sessions’ comments are ignorant & dangerous”

If a person looses their mind, how would they know?

In a way, Trump getting schooled about the relationship between China and North Korea by China’s President, Xi Junping, is like asking a robber to help you install locks in your home.

I read yesterday that saying, “Hello,” extends life. What if we just text it? Does that work?

Mom say’s hello….

News CNN: “Trump has at least nine times claimed to have spoken to, met, or made contact with Putin.”( prior to his election.) But in 2016 Trump said, “I never met Putin.”

I liked the flapper Era look, when will that come back?

Showing your knees was huge back then.

Fun times,,, the guys wore stupid looking suits like we do today.

I actually went to college when there were no cell phones and no one had computers! It’s like even I can’t believe it!

Funny how everyone knows not to step on a snake but nuclear power is considered the greatest thing.

Crazy is as crazy does.

right twice a day…..

Word on the street, ocean and atmosphere is that we’d better duck and cover. The Fukushima nuclear disaster has been spewing radioactive particles for six years and now, in what is being herald as unprecedented, the core has melted through its containment wall and is burrowing through the earth. Great, huh? Meanwhile, there are currently 60 more new nuclear plants being built world-wide.

This isn’t a fraction of the nutty stuff going on in the world today, but it’s enough for now….See you next time. Got any more info to share-please do. Cheers.

Franque23


I worry. I do worry for Trump’s safety.

“He can blow me!” I’ve heard it said.

“I love the man.” I’ve seen it written.

“Make America great again!” Everyone heard the call that was confusing to some, but it rallied voters.

Thing is, Trump’s successful romp through bankruptcies,  scores of litigation, forthright allegations of sexual abuse and a new world’s record of flip-flops, no wait, of merely not making any position he has clear but that he’d build a wall that Mexico would pay for (except we would pay for it), is a montage of miraculous wonderment.  WTH?!?!

There are few groups left Trump hasn’t lambasted, outed in tweeter rants or belittled. Muslims love the guy, right? China is excited about his position on Taiwan. Some Mexican’s might love to have the guy for dinner-literally. The disabled feel ridiculed-did a man running for President actually imitate a disabled person while on stage?-and women may have to stop wearing skirts when he’s in the room. Of course, with the NRA in America and world-wide wholesale weapon sales, a few of these groups may have guns. Right?

There’s a right and wrong way to get what you want in America-ask Bonnie and Clyde. Trump needs to understand this basic principle.

Working within the system is important.

Working within the system is important.

Then again, it takes guts to right a wrong as the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon found out.

Men attacked the first woman to run in the race....

Men attacked the first woman to run in the race….

Good intentions, truth, what is right shines from within, and no amount of misguided thought can dim that light.

And it all could be so different if only Donald would leave his combatant life style behind and embrace his new-found success. He’s pushed through enough electoral votes to win the Presidency of the United States. Now is not the time for him to dice up the country as though he was engineering a hostile business merger-a take over.

The people surrounding Donald Trump aren’t helping him transition in a successful way.

Trump bites back when he needs to cajole his opponents, not contest them. Trump  needs to persuade, not invade other people’s ideas. When he needs to inveigle people, he enrages them.  For every wheedle he should make, he needles the point instead and makes people sore. Where he should coax, he’s a backwash of shellac; a call for charm seems to prompt him to cause harm, to be verbally abusive, almost child-like, a school yard bully in uppity clothes.

Why? Why can’t Trump relax in his new skin and put on the cloak of negotiation?

Trump needs to wear a new set of clothes.

Effective methods used to gather America’s greatest thinkers and politicians alike would yield Trump real power. If I learned one thing from being a head negotiator for a powerful union it is this: true power does not come from discord, but from keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.*

Someone in the know, for Trump’s sake, for America’s sake , needs to talk to the new President elect and make him see the world in a different light-turn on the light  so to speak.

Someone has to pull this switch, and change Trump.

Someone has to pull this switch, and change Trump.

Trump needs to change if he is to become a successful President.  No one can bankrupt a country and enrage the world and walk away with the profits.

Trump's banging himself over the head with his own words.

Trump’s banging himself over the head with his own words; he won’t cash in.

Trump can change. It’s never too late to change. Thing is, Trump has to change.

The world can only hope. For more on this, here’s  a link to an article that says this all better than I could hope to.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/opinion/retweeting-donald-trump.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-3&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion®ion=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article&_r=0

Franque23.

  • *Sun-tzu
    Chinese general & military strategist (~400 BC)

When you can eat it all now? But wait! The Weight! The weight gain, that is. Yes, the holidays are a smorgasbord of food for pounds.

It is Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks to all the hard work that went into bringing the birds to so many tables in America.article-2236949-162a7f74000005dc-370_634x560

(this is Norma Jeane Mortenson doing the hard work–later known as Marillyn Monroe.)

Thanks to all you hunters and farmers.

turkey-leg

I’d hardly put down the last remaining Thanksgiving Turkey drum stick when the Christmas’ lamb (who may eat ivy-not sure) mairzy doats into my mouth.*  A person’s body can only take so much stuffing, and I was about to find out exactly how much. About that stuffing-orange wedges, cinnamon apple slices and almond slivers helped.

A mosh of smashed candied yams smothered in marshmallow, steamed, salted asparagus, ripe olives, cranberry sauce, too many Hawaiian rolls way over come by how many pies(I forget- burp) -all the remains from Bird Day- had cleared out of my pie hole just enough to make room for the next feast. I think three types of ice cream, homemade orange jam and lemonade helped wash it all down.

I need a body image checkup

I need a body image checkup

This is when my scale started going screwy. “Nah, it can’t be!” To be fair, the cold does affect those floor step on scales, and our floor doesn’t appear to be exactly flat, as it was last week. “Do these things run on batteries?”

So the lamb dinner did a do-si-do  into my life. The gravy thick, chunked chock full of garlic, peppers, onion-eastern Mediterranean sea salt, parsley, rosemary, thyme, pepper, orange peel, paprika-more-clung to the herb crusted  meat. Mashers, creamy, so good ask my daughter how, a salad made of everything, fresh frozen garden green beans from last fall, the loaves of garlic bread and don’t forget the olives, applesauce and the green mint jelly or the carrots and sweet potatoes cooked alongside the lamb basted in the hot juice-it all decorated my plate. Two for one Edward’s pies was a no brainer-an all appetite type of thing-covered in mounds of ice cream seemed so logical.

Have you ever noticed there are more types of chocolates on your table than grains of sand on a beach during the Holiday of Light?

Though, I may have never seen this....

Though, I  have never seen this….

 

chocolate everywhere

of chocolate everywhere-

people do stuff with chocoalte

people do stuff with chocolate

Light, Dark, 30% to 90% cocoa, round, square, kisses, triangular shapes next to chocolate Santa’s, reindeer, orange chocolate balls, I love the coconut filled mounds, and the foreign jobs-those real creamy chocolates, Ferrero’s, more. Not that I ate any of these, but all of them.

Chocolate does stuff to people (The evil dark chocolate colored scale.)

Chocolate does stuff to people (The evil dark chocolate colored scale.)**

You’d think my scale would self correct like computers reset if you unplug them,,,,but not mine. “Stupid thing has me five pounds too heavy!”

Because I could still roll over and get out of bed, still stand and open my mouth, the New Year’s Eve dinner celebration jollied its way  through my palate next.

New Year’s dinners only come once per year, and why-oh-why so soon after Thanksgiving and Christmas meals?!?!?!See? Someone got this all wrong-we need to spread these meals out a bit more throughout the year.

A rare Roast Beef is a pure joy-and Vegan’s hell, I know, but this is all part of the Yin-Yang of life. A thinner gravy is called for, and this time the sweet potatoes needed chopped up Nestle crunch bars mixed into the marshmallow topping…Vegetables? I’m sure there were some, but those, the cakes, pies, breads and drinks all mix together in my jumbled head.

The Holiday so long to come and too soon over; the loved ones gone and some so far away.

some so far away

some so far away

The laughter, cheers, smiles, hugs and hopes we shared rattle my skull. My brain chases the images as if they were shadows in the night in hopes of experiencing them once more. But the shorter days are growing longer. Time has a way of saying goodbye and hello all at once.

4 grandsons pickin green beans before they eat chocolate

4 grandsons pickin’ green beans before they eat chocolate

Funny thing-even with the new coming light of day, my scale is still completely out to lunch.?!?! “This scale is 7 pounds off if not a slim ounce more!”

I weigh my alternatives and realize some things need replacing this New Year. Thank goodness I’d lost 14 pounds over the course of last year!  Thing is, I found a few of them back, and I know just how and where.

More is less-my new year resolution.

Cheers and Beers

Franque23

  • I always enjoyed that Mares eat oats… thingy song.
  • ** other ideas for chocolate.

    weigh only your feet

    weigh only your feet

or…keep clean with chocolate

maybe

maybe


It’s fitting this first post of 2017 should be about the enriching world of children’s books. But first, here’s a picture of one of my grandson’s showing us all how to greet the New Year!15390983_10210312667325616_8515486221660551798_n

Oh yeah and Yay!

Moving on-

Written by  Scotswoman,  Helen Bannerman, and first published by Grant Richards in October 1899, Little Black Sambo is not only one of the very first books I remember being fascinated by as a kid, it did the same for children all over the world for nearly 50 years. Then, the  book attracted uproars from those who had issues with the text and pictures.

Things is, was Helen Bannerman a lifetime ahead of herself? Why do I ask? That’s simple.

It’s a simple story: a boy with fancy clothes is caught by tigers who accept his clothes in lieu of eating the boy. The lions argue over who looks better in the new clothes, chase one another around a pole to get a different piece of clothing from the other and turn into a goo during the process. The tigers run so fast they heat up and melt.**

What Bannerman is describing is energy heat transfer-a solid becoming a liquid as a result. It’s a simple but remarkable thought. Of course, the boy  bringing the goo home so his mom can make pancakes out of it rockets the book up to yummy.

Today, this story just isn’t the warm and fuzzy book it was once thought to be. Time’s change and what we need to be thinking and reading about as people changes along with it.

Moving on—

Bonus picture:

 A one day pick of lemons this past fall.

A one day pick of lemons from my yard this past fall. Two kinds-small Meyer’s, large Meyer’s and a huge Pondarosa. My daughter makes a mean lemonade.

Books will never cease to surprise us if we can only find the time to read. Here’s one I’ve recommended before that will be well worth your effort: Collector of Moments. In my head it’s the Kafkaesque of easy on up to adult books. That’s right, you’ll find this book most often shelved in the children’s Easy section-a picture book- but it reads right on up to adult.collector-of-moments-lion2-1

An illustration from the book-did this picture help inspire the Life of Pi story?

You have to see it to believe it.

A bit like a Van Allsburg book, the NYT’s reviewed this 1999 publication, Collector of Moments , by Quint Buchholz:

“The unexpected details in the pictures demand equally imaginative acts of explanation. In addition, Buchholz often shows people looking at objects behind walls or through doors or even beyond the frame of the paintings — objects that viewers can’t literally see and must therefore envisage for themselves.

As the creator of images most interesting for what they don’t in fact show, Buchholz is himself an accomplished collector of moments. Not only does his book tell young readers things worth knowing about how to look at pictures, but the pictures themselves delightfully repay the kind of attention they invite viewers to give them.”

Enjoy.

You have to see it to believe it.

You have to see it to believe it. The book is a surprise package for sure!

Cheers–Moving on to 2017-it’s all ahead of us now.

Franque 23*

*I’ve been a Library Specialist in the Alachua County Library District for the past 21 years.

Oh my!15390983_10210312667325616_8515486221660551798_n

** The version I was read had the boy and the tigers running around the tree….different takes.


Bare Ass Pond-the late 1970's. I got dressed for the pic.

Bare Ass Pond-the late 1970’s. I got dressed for the pic.

It wasn’t that long ago…

About 1953 on Long Island outside of our family home

About 1953 on Long Island outside of our family home-the Northeastern’s blew snow in almost every winter.

Okay, maybe it was a long time ago.  For me, it’s a blink of a memory comprised of forever.

I built snowmen without a hint of what was to come,,,and that my generation's great dreams may one day melt.

I built snowmen without a hint of what was to come-great dreams for the earth.

Change started massing energy when the Beatle’s sang on Ed Sullivan-those tunes soon morphed into a mud bath called, Woodstock. There were the teachings of tolerance,,, justice, right and wrong, but I think most of all we were taught to hold within each of us a dignity of spirit. Once these ideas were in place, the new world could arrive.

The musical lines gave the message.

Looking back, the festival announcement that the brown acid was bad made the assumption some listeners were still able to discern brown from white, black, green. purple, polka-dotted or blue. We’d stripped  bare to prove the old ways were gone, basic change was here, as fundamental ways of behaving and thinking were dead and gone. The lines between us all had vanished for good.

Conventional laws were taken off and a new course had begun.

Conventional societal mores were cast aside and a new course had begun. Yes, we got naked…(Woodstock)

It’s easy to wonder why any of us thought smoking pot might help the situation we enthusiastically fought to change. You’d think we might have been savvy enough to vote for change, but we’d given up on that. Millions in my generation decided taking it to the streets was the best if not the only way to make change happen. Were we right?

I sang on stage back in the day all about the message-peace, love, freedom and equality.

Pete and I started singing the message early on in High School( I'm in the background)

Pete and I started singing the message early on in High School.  ( I’m in the background)

First serious guitar in it's first gold color...

First serious guitar in its first gold color…(I’m 15.) Hopin’ to sing the message.

So, my wheel turns way back, runs through the middle of so much history and arrives here in the closing days of 2016. To be clear-I remember dad getting our first TV, a thing still new to everyone on our block. I went to college when there were no computers, no cells phones but, yes, short dresses and pot but no Aids that we knew. I began to work as a Library Specialist 21 years ago when the Alachua County Library District had acquired only a few computers. My reference work for patrons was done entirely out of books or through phone calls in those earlier years. All the while, I prayed for peace along with so many other Americans.

Today, many feel political drifts forecast a turning away from the sun shining in as we all hoped it might in the 70’s, from the environmental concerns many of us have held for so many years, and from our hope for peace.

Home coming parade. Gainesville, 1970

Home coming parade. Gainesville, 1970…hmmm, this wouldn’t happen today.

It was once easy for hundreds of Gainesville’s people to strip naked at lime pits and swim with others.

“The year was 1970, and the band was Mudcrutch. Petty sang and played bass alongside Mike Campbell (guitar), Tom Leadon (guitar and vocals), Jim Lenehan (lead vocals) and Randall Marsh (drums).” This is Gainesville in the 70’s, so it doesn’t matter that there are five names and only four people? The main point was in the music.

We shared the understanding that to find the truth of our existence it was necessary to shed the barriers between us and the earth. Open, accepting, and always understanding-Peace was the message. We wanted the naked truth.

1970-gainesville-fl-uf-univ-of-florida-homecoming-parade-press-photo-rkf19999-8e2e3da9b5a6918fa3b501db221baf90

Now? We need to revisit the messages of my generation, to create a solidarity of purpose that keeps America on the right path.  My generation didn’t want the Nam war to go on and we stopped it. Today, we can stop anything as well. The key is to really try, never give up and work harder.

If not ‘Bare Ass’ time, its bare knuckle time. Environmentalists,  humanitarians and lovers of life, it’s time to dress down our opponents. We have to tune up and sing our song louder than false claims, disingenuous motives and misguided hearts can yell. It’s time to dive in and win again.

Franque23

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When I was young, I dreamt I was an Indian. Not once or twice, but often. No one used the term, Native American, not back then, not that I knew. Us white folks simply called the red skinned tent dwelling people, Indians. I held these people in admiration, so swift, one with nature, self sufficient and efficient, they were a people worthy of my fondest thoughts.

Whenever, IF, you see a tree bent like this in the woods it has been formed by Native Americans. They often worked trees to grow is such a fashion as to point int he direction of water, a heard, or home.

Whenever, IF, you see a tree bent like this in the woods it has most likely been formed by Native Americans. They often worked trees to grow in such a fashion as to point in the direction of water, a herd, or home.

I was always a scout. Sleek, sure footed but with the lightest step, I’d climb into a sweet smelling pine to perch high above. There I’d feel the wind with my heart. I’d hear the hawks, the hoot of an owl and squawks of crow.  The blue sky seemed a blanket; the sun laughed.  Leaves rustled while distant hills resembled multi-colored twisted taffy.  The green grasses bent and showed trails of white tailed deer, buffaloes and rabbit runs. The land was clear of danger, resiliently, so peaceful. Scouting was my duty; there were many loved ones back home. Odd, but I never, not ever, saw the end of this dream-I never even climbed down.077-6

This November bulletin board is to reach out to my dreams..

It was only fitting, a magical loop, that brought a pure-blood Cherokee to my side during my college years.  Jana’s father had been a scout in World War II; scrap-metal scars remained on his face. They had horses. At a nearby horse show I stood in a circle that included Jackie Kennedy, all by chance, and that seems a dream now. What doesn’t seem a dream are words Jana spoke one day as we drove back to college after a spring vacation.

“When I was young, ” Jana confided, ” I used to wish I was black, not Indian.”

“Black?” I had to have sounded dumbfounded.

Jana was truly this pretty

This picture of a Native American reminds me that Jana was truly this pretty-and very smart. Still her life had been one of ridicule; I’d no idea.

“Yes. Blacks were much better liked in grade school.” I glanced at Jana- her head was bent down.

Years later, it strikes me that Jana couldn’t even dream of being white as a child-she dare not; that would be too much to even wish.

How different our childhood dreams had been.079-2 another view…

I've and idea! How about we makes maps and globes that represent the true size of all the continents!!! Just call me brilliant and puzzled....

There may be something to this, “Privileged white male” after all?!?!

That she became second in charge of Washington’s Native America bureau under  President Reagan is a credit to her keen efforts, endurance and focus to help her native people. Maybe, this is America at it’s best: if you really try, and never give up, good things can happen.

Thing is, as I heard slanderous words spit this election cycle at people because of their ethnicity it gave me pause, a pain. We were all children once. Children with dreams and hopes-most adults never truly forget those wondrous moments. To have those aspirations sliced apart by loose-lipped fools is more than problematic, it’s wrong on so many levels and in so many ways.

America, we can do so much better. Yes, we can. One day children will not dream of being another color. One day, children’s hearts will soar above the tree tops because of who they are and for what they may become- leaders, inventors, mangers, representative and yes, even President.  People my age, older and younger, we must all remember that dream.

In a way, I’m still a scout in my heart.

 See you later, ...

I’m looking for that dream to come back. Maybe, Trump is right? We do need to make America great again, but not with arrows of division, looks that could kill or with minds full of hate. Not by tearing apart our environment.

It’s time for America to dream and to make those dreams come true. Time will tell.

Now? It’s Native American Month, and Native Americans from many tribes are being pepper sprayed-so much worse- at Standing Rock. Sometimes, the truth seems too much to bear. That’s the bare facts. If only it could stop.

Franque23

2-bent-trees-275x300In many ways- Native Americans are still showing us the way.

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We have such a long way to go.

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Keep the faith –

Franque23


(Click the pic for a larger view)

That’s today-clear, blue skies with an agreeable wind, enough to rustle the leaves but not your hair. It’s cool this morning, but the Florida sun will keep its promise to heat the afternoon hours. The birds are singing. It’s just a day to come and go, one of work, plans and maybe rest. I spot a shiny penny on the ground, pick it up and slip it into my pocket- that’s my custom. Maybe, I do this for luck, or to prove I’m paying attention, or maybe it reminds me of my mom’s words: waste not; want not. Thing is, ninety-eight years ago, October 12th, 1918, on a day that was much like today, normal, soft, promising, my mom was born.

Her Brazilian birth certificate became an issue for my mom when she was in her forties. She’d been born in Recife, Brazil, on a mission-think of a small  building with white, plastered walls, open, sparsely decorate halls with little furniture, and windows that were not covered but open to allow the cooling sea breeze to flow through the dwelling along with any number of flying bugs or crawling snakes. Her Baptist missionary parents had little money, just faith.

When the doctor arrived to deliver mom he came prepared to record by hand the entire event as a solemn witness to the authenticity of her birth. I’ve read the translation of this birth certificate, the one mom needed to show before she could become a teacher, something, I don’t quite remember-I was young, once. Anyway, the document started like this blog has, with a complete description of the day, the morning, the breeze, the temperature and the mood of the people who’d gathered to wait for my mom to arrive-even the birds were singing. The whole thing struck me when I first read the writing. To think, the kind of day it was, not just the date, time and sex mattered. No, first and foremost the doctor thought the day’s nature was important to note. I guess that’s being in touch with the environment and believing that it and everything else about the day a person was born mattered.

Now, I think it did. My mom was always like that day. Soft, mild, never a taker but giver, a person easy to see, to be around. Her company was a joyful gift.

Dad married a 'Looker.'

Dad married a ‘Looker.’

Her smile could shame the sun; her hair, naturally blonde until almost age fifty, glimmered in the sunlight and framed her laughing eyes.

Mom had an artist flair....a painter and musican-

Mom had an artistic flair….a painter and musician-

Mom with my brother and sister

Mom with my brother and sister

She had a special look.

She had a special look.

Of course, she was my bridge to life.

Of course, she was my bridge to life.

I knew i was in luck the day she brought me home.

I knew I was in luck the day she brought me home.

She made music like the birds, playing piano with a perfect pitch and had no need for musical notations; she sparked up every gathering by pumping her pearl overlaid accordion creating sounds that made even tired feet dance.

My mom was a miracle in so many ways. She went to college at fourteen here in the states and graduated campus queen at age eighteen. I’ve an early memory of stepping through the clover and receiving a bee sting on my bare foot. She sat me on top of the newfangled gadget-the washing machine- and that’s when I  blurted out, “Mom, you’re pretty.” How hard she laughed then. My friends had been talking; not only did my pals enjoy the freedom and food my house offered them as kids, they’d noticed her hair, too.

Mom's sister's and brother's all made it to America...

Mom’s sister’s and brother’s all made it to America…

They keep an affinity for the Ocean they once lived by as children in Brazil....Family reunions always involved water.

They kept an affinity for the ocean they once lived by as children in Brazil….Family reunions always involved water.

It's been wonderful to know mom's family...

It’s been wonderful to know mom’s family…

The good years pass like a morning does in a day. One day, not like today, I became a man who had to help my mom move beyond being old to more. That was a bitter day, now over six years ago. Still, as the cardinals flutter to our bird feeder and my dog jumps up one too many times, I’m forever thankful for that day of so long ago. The doctor was right about that day-it was a perfect day. Mom has been such a blessing in my life I couldn’t live long enough to write it all down so you would know.

Whether it’s the wind that comes and goes without warning or the geese that flew over head this morning in the early daylight, chattering from high above with a noise so uniquely theirs, I don’t know. But for this time, this day, it’s all about mom for me, and I wanted you to know. I did pick up that penny when she had me.

franque23

Mom, 1918-2011. Those were good years.


Okay Suzie Q, I do love the way you walk.

Just look at that mud! Woodstock.

Just look at that mud! Woodstock.

Heck, I noticed the difference in first grade. The girls were lighter on their feet, somehow balanced to attract my attention. Their hair was way longer,  worse, they knew stuff-some sort of magical power made them better readers and spellers.

So yeah, those early childhood magical female powers morphed big time during the high school years into throat gulping physical traits, ones that could crack a guys head open with one look.

Here, four guys practice yoga neck exercises on a park bench.  Hot took on it’s third meaning in high school..hot outside, hot to touch and ouch, plain hot. streetharassment-330x220

 

None of anything about this was fair. Girls who I thought of as women filled all guy’s minds with distraction. Females used fashion, makeup, too many smiles, hand holding-more-to dominate the scene from the pseudo-rear of power within our groupings. unnamed-4It’s been going on, like forever….

Plus, all the management of boys was encased by girl’s sharpened wit, tongues that spoke way beyond earthly speed, a million perfumed smells, a ton of books they read, whims that changed daily, skirts that might ride up when they sat at a desk, “Let’s dance” moves, great ideas about kissing, walking and those parties. Every guy I knew remained rigidly fixed by their popularity, or not, among the girls-that was key. For me, sports was an inner drive but the crowd and who it comprised was always important.

Two young men judging woman

Two young men practice math with flash cards.

The saddest thing is most high school guys were aware of the gigantic brains supported by those faces and bodies we looked over but it seldom mattered what those minds thought. The issue was mostly sex. There is an entire book* that postulates America’s move west from the east coast was led by whore houses being built further and further west as a result of laws making prostitution illegal in the east. I remember Chicago was a major whore house for New York City clients once the Big Apple shut down the business-sorta. So, roads needed to be built and other businesses popped up along the whore trade routes.

Why is it all sad? For one, the result of most men’s single fascination with the female body rather than their mind is that Mankind has missed out on most of Women’s mental powers throughout our history! Yikes!!

This man's reading all the fine print about the calamity right now.

This man’s reading all the fine print about the calamity right now.

But let’s put this another way–what if that censorship was on the other foot!??!! What if everything men had to say hadn’t been heard until the last one hundred years or so. Actually, maybe things would be….nah, we need all of us to be heard if we’re ever to make it out of the stupidity muck it seems the world has found.

So Mister Me can accept that fashion shows, world pageants, even back room pole dances are really about how people look, walk, sway, make muscles or bat eyes.

Everyone needs some fun

Everyone needs some fun

Thing is, a person’a intelligence should never be overlooked. If the world could keep it’s eye of the prize-the power of intellect-we might get somewhere. This is why Trump’s recent remark that Hillary hasn’t the look to be President is more than a bit off. What? Would he have ever dated Margaret Thatcher? That’s a low shot but it makes my point.

Looks can be deceiving. Worse, looks can kill more than a man’s ability to think with the correct head, they can kill the potential of many thinkers, hide them beneath a shroud of lust and the odd disdain some men have for owning those feelings. We as a people miss hearing thoughts we need to hear and respect because of  looks.

 
So, head’s up, men and women! And this time, Men, for this election and for the next bazillion years-at least for your lifetime- be sure the right head is up when a woman speaks. Cheers

Franque23

*Actually, I don’t think it’s this title–but this book may cover the idea…https://www.amazon.com/Upstairs-Girls-Prostitution-American-West/dp/1560373571

My books are on Kindle…. The Avatar Magic series, by Gerald Franquemont..I hope you’ll read them….

 

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