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(some picture enlarge when clicked , others don’t) ..working on this.

Hippies, who needs them? Imagine, all stoned and thinking we shouldn’t hate anyone for their color of skin, that pot should be legal and that war should end—a bunch of crazy losers, right?

And Hippies believed women were equal to men, and if they didn’t want to wear a bra, okay…. just crazy stuff…right?

I was home on Christmas break about 1970 watching the Nixon/Nam reports with long hair that reached my shoulders or more. I was a musician at heart and singing the protest songs when I could, but my dad was a staunch Nixon supporter…basically, I was an alien in my own home ideologically, but Dad never leaned on me; Dad gave me space.

As lost I was in those struggles to right the wrongs of humanity I felt sure were the savior of mankind, I never once noticed how much my dad had given me without the back of his hand. No, Dad, to my unsuspecting delight had given the love of flowers, the birds, the trees and love of life to me.  I never knew…

I’d hauled in a gardenia bush for Dad from outside and in upon the season while we lived on Long Island because Dad was crazy. Oh my gosh…that planter got to be a hundred pounds and the plant filled a ten by 8 high room on the window side….What on earth…?

Likewise, Dad had those mysterious asparagus patches…those were poison if eaten—I knew.

His basic replica of mid west apple orchards stood in our 1/4 acre back yard to torture me with the picking… but, I admit, I ate about 4 apples per day at least.

Now, of course, Dad is long gone. The last time I held his hand was in 2001…He passed as I sat near by laughing about old times with my sister and mom. In a second, he died.

 

Now, I grow a gardenia we inherited when we bought our home in 2000. The bush is a monster… about ten feet long and 6 feet high, at least… this year we have had over 300 blooms on it…

I’ve no secret about this bush…it just grows,,, but maybe our neighbor’s friendly chicken, Lucy , who loves to live underneath it can’t hurt?

It makes a great way to reach our front door…I always say “hello” to this bush because, yeah, I love the plant.

In fact, Dad taught me to not only notice flowers, the roses and planting he had around our yard on Long Island, he taught me to love them as he loved me. There was something huge about my Dad I never really understood but somehow took inside.

I’d like to think that all the prejudices that passed so easily among white Americans born in 1911 as he was have not stuck to me. Times have to change. I think I’ve shed those bad marks and raced ahead with the good points. Certainly, the love of flowers has bloomed within me…Go ahead, ask the flowers in our yard who I say hello to as they bloom…they will tell you.

The shrimp plant will spread and fall to the ground unless you stake it—butterflies of all kinds and hummingbirds love it.

There’s nothing like taking a early spring drive out to Alachua north of Gainesville to see the roadside flowers the county hasn’t insanely mowed down:-0

This year, Alachua didn’t mow roadside flowers and as a result there was about 5 miles of beautiful flowers along 331 north see as we drove by…

Here, at home, I plant marigolds along our garden fence line and in the garden to help with aphids…but dang, if the birds didn’t help me plant this beautiful Sunflower!

We just love flowers here.  And the red, single hibiscus, though not as flashy as other hibiscus, is a strong, reliable and hearty bloomer.

There’s nothing like having a papaya volunteer out of the compost we spread in our garden launch twenty five feet high…

yummmm papaya…

I really don’t know if Dad liked papaya… but he would have loved all of this…

Thanks to Dad, I do know how to garden. It was a torturous lesson back then while 14 years of age,,,, but how could I know it would lead me all my life? Dad’s can give us so much when they just do take the time.

It’s been a great year here in North Florida for growing a garden. I think we have seen normal weather patterns for our area for the first time in ten years! Odd.

I have to go; Shadow wants to run after the ball.

And then swim in the pool

You know, energies, knowledge and love, all of it transfers many times in ways we don’t know. Dad, thanks for everything…and for those living in Alachua county who want to grow food, I will come help you do it…

It’s about loving life. So thanks Dad, for all that you hated, you taught me how to love so much more. Born in my time, you would’ve been a hippie. I feel certian.

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 


I’m trying to earn my keep here at work! I’ve repeated this board four times over the past 20 years or so. Originally, the scene was of a moose looking up at a winter’s moon with its tracks in the snow–that was at Millhopper Branch Library in the late 90’s. Sue Patterson worked there at the time and she helped me design the moose which is a difficult animal to get right when drawing—about that large nose of a head…Ha!

This is the 2013 version…

I carried the moose theme to the down town Headquarter’s Branch Library in the early 2000’s and ‘re-built’ much of the background set of trees. This board offers an elaborate background scene that’s time consuming to create so I saved all that work when the board came down a second time. To make this board cost efficient to tax payers, I’ve reused the background pieces of this board two more times, though the moose gave way to a deer and the largest tree has changed as well.

I’m thinking this may be the 2016 version….

You can see this years version in two pictures below or in the time lapse linked here. Stop the time lapse when you want to get a better look and feel for how the layering works in this design. This is a time lapse of my Holiday Board… stop it any time to see the progression…  Ho HO HO…..https://www.facebook.com/alachualibrary/videos/2470169859892438/?t=

 

   

So far, our media department (thank you Chris) has videoed a time lapse presentation of two boards I put up this year: a Halloween board and now this holiday board.

I like this board; it’s a peaceful image that sets a good tone for our work space in Youth Services. I hope this board fills your thoughts and the minds of our little and big patrons with wonder while enhancing enjoyment of our public libraries! Visit your public library—they are ours to enjoy!

Have a safe, wonderful Holiday!

Franque23

2013

The moose was really fun to draw and I’m not certain which version of this bulletin board I like more: the Deer with a larger tree and different signage, or the moose in a smaller setting. The background color changes from silver to gold and there is a moon in some and not others….which do you like better? I have to tell you what I so like about this board. The frozen lake presented by the silver paper is actually vertical on the wall but it appears horizontal to add depth to the scene… I love it.


(Click the pic for a larger view)

Imagine, you were born and once lived happily in a Levittown community on Long Island.

Your home town of Roslyn Heights was a Levitt built community….this pic is of a Levittown that was built further away from NYC out on the Island than your home, but it was the same type of community.

You didn’t mind the winters and made piles (ahahah) of dough out of shoveling snow as a kid.

This was my life as I grew up.  Here is a picture of South Park, Roslyn Heights and the house I lived in. Back in the 1950’s we got Nor’easters (snow storms) that blanketed the homes and streets and, thank God, stopped school!

But during college, maybe before, something snapped inside of me and I wanted wide open spaces….I wanted the wild, the untamed, the jungle or was it the wild west? Okay, I really wanted to see, Where the Boys Are*, in Fort Lauderdale and be one of those guys the gals were after. That worked out well and Florida became just that sort of jungle I was after.

I had no idea how Florida, land of melting sun, would attach itself to my soul but it did.

Now, I’ve lived here since ,errr,,, 1972ish?

I’ve had a wonderful time in the surf—I love to surf waves.

This is me catching a good ride.

My wife and I had a rabbit who lived out back in Micanopy in his cage. One morning we awoke to look out and find a bob cat on top of his cage…..that started me thinking….(Don’t go out at night to pee…..)

Apparently, I’m not the only one to have found nature at my door step here in Northern Florida

Heck, I knew I loved this place of wonder, a place of untamed nature.

But I never lost my eye for the power of that nature as well… We landed on the moon, but maybe we don’t control gators?

It’s okay to count on fences to a certain degree…

So there’s a beauty and danger to Florida none of us Floridians should forget.

How about a night dip in the pool?

And then, only twice, I saw in person and close up by mistake, a Great Horned Owl…They can fly up to 40 MPH and have been known to pick up and kill 60 pound pets!! Our dog, I suspect, was attacked twice by one in our fenced in backyard—where he never goes at night anymore.

 

This is a shot tripped by a night camera….

I was running in the woods about thirty years ago when I saw a beast of a bird…it seemed to stand more than three feet tall and when he took off his wing span was about five feet! Just wow. I once saw another Great Horned Owl as I drove down Rochelle Road outside of Micanopy. The bird took off before I reached him and traveled over the road for about one tenth of a mile right before our car. That bird’s wing span seemed to almost reach from side to side of a double lane road–no joke. It was as if we were seeing a dinosaur.

I’ve fished the swamps for over ten years in my younger (err risky?) days….and there’s a beauty to a swamp—not a McDonald’s or Starbucks to be seen.

But always, there are gators. How many gators?

( Those eyes all belong to gators.)

This is the Alachua Sink in Alachua County, Florida. It’s about  one mile from our home. And this shot, by John Moran got him nation wide PR. His photos have appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Smithsonian, the New York Times Magazine and on the cover of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida. Dale and I were lucky enough to canoe down the Suwanee River with John, a time I’ll never forget for many reasons but one of them was having a wart hog pushing against my head from the other side of our tent as I slept at night as he rooted for food.

So, I’ve rooted here in Florida. I love the ocean, always have. And, I love to grow food as my father from Iowa taught me to do. Of course, we have a garden as any Floridian with the space should.

At six months , Shadow, didn’t know he wasn’t me, or human, exactly, and he helped me weed…I miss that help now.

You might be able to see, but at one year old, Shadow figured he should eat green beans right off the plant as we did as we picked them! He stopped eating green beans at about age two.

Once, I was drying herbs out in the front yard in foil sheets when a cop came by, stopped, and walked my way with a grin and his hand on his gun…I smiled and said hello… He looked down at my tins of herbs and said, “What do you have here?”.. “I’m drying herbs!” He wasn’t convinced so I walked him over to the garden and showed him the plants….”Well, I thought I had you busted for pot!”

I can’t blame him….but I didn’t add that I might have learned the entire process by growing and drying pot in my twenties:-)

So, we grow pineapples, too….

Mounds of oranges and grapefruit, too.

It’s all good. This city slicker found a home in the Northern Florida woodland, and I love it.

Heck, the tomatoes came in like a champ this year; Dale canned many.

From Levittown to the wilds of Northern Florida, I’m good. I don’t miss the hustle up north, the quicker pace of life or the traffic. No, I’m good with the gators, bob cat, owls and other critters. The sky here is open to see, and the ocean wind still washes the peninsula by four or five each afternoon. Gainesville is just 60 milers north of the Sub Tropical line. We live in a jungle of 24/7 year round growing just about. The birds love it, and so do I.

Cheers– thanks for visiting.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Franque23

*https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054469/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It’s happening today all over America and it happened in Gainesville, Florida, too. Crowds of people got out to say enough is enough! We want to ban large magazines, assault type weapons used most often in mass shooting, demand background checks for all gun purchases at any venue of sale-retail, guns shows and online sales.

We want the mass shooting to stop; thoughts and prayers are not enough!image

The message once was, Peace. Today it’s, Stop Killing Us!

Bands played throughout the first 3 hour session of speeches and I couldn’t help but think of two guys that had a lot to do with my awakening—if not the World’s—to the idea of peace.

88164ecb2198992016fedeadee431b28 Waaay  young John Lennon and George Harrison…

By 1:30 the number pushed well over one thousand and all the time the messages that belong to this movement were heard loud and clear.

The crowd grew and the chanting became louder.

Then it was time to march but first we gathered all the students together in the center to applaud their work on this issue.

I think it’s of historical significance to note that the Nam war protests were led by students mostly college age. It was the young that led the way then as our younger students are leading the way now.* Politicians who scoff at the age of those leading this gun reform movement have failed to pay attention to history.  This group right here, the ones attacking the NRA led agendas in our country, are going to win. The politicians who put their chips down on the NRA are done, over-finished.

So how big was the Gainesville crowd…well, the line stretched nearly 1/2 mile long, and many deep. Old folks, father’s, mother’s, adults of every age, families, people pushing babies, skipping children, a huge amount of school age people and people pushing wheelchairs made the numbers bigly.

The chants continued:

March for Life!

Say No to NRA! Vote them out!29512883_10213899868544779_2253486432933025462_n

It was great to see friends there…**29498062_10213901109895812_8206434635422649271_n

 

The line of marching people felt endless, and my heart hopes so.

29511797_10213901479065041_2842824743314048217_n

As some of the speakers today knew one, two or all of the dead from the Parkland shooting personally, some signs also had a personal touch.

No, today didn’t feel like ,’another,’ event. The words, the feelings expressed, the messages and energy collectively gathered today represent a nation-wide movement that will continue. This time  America’s guns laws and the meaning of  the Right to Bear Arms will change. It’s the Nam protest day’s force all over again and these younger folks will not let go.

But what messages today let’s me know the time’s are a changin’?

We are in this together. And we will vote. Politicians who have so far refused to heed the call to disarm our society are already scurrying for a way to hide or re-invent their position.29541571_10213899931186345_2538367165260030756_n

A huge movement is coming around to think the NRA as it stands today is a real threat to American society.

Sending thoughts and prayers to the parents and loved ones over the death of their loved ones won’t work again, never again. All the so-called kids here today had this on their minds,

and they won’t forget.

Today we had an elegant speaking 11-year-old ask our Representatives one question? “Do you think we are stupid?”

Some Representatives do, and some have belittled the age of these protestors…. Trust me, the time is coming to end the office of those who do.

Power to the People no matter their age is alive and well-

Cheers 

Franque23

*Thanks to dale for this connection and for all of the pictures…

** Thanks to Joey and Debbie for their pictures as well.

 


Heads up! Please copy and paste this to your friends and associates.

Mike Byerly* has written an informative letter alerting all those who live within Alachua County that regulations protecting our air and water quality are once again under attack. Developers are seeking to reduce Alachua County’s air and water standards.

The meting is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 5 PM. Obviously, a Tuesday meeting held at 5 PM in the county’s Administration building makes it difficult for those who work 9 to 6 or 8 to 5 PM to attend. I suggest those who wish to let their voices be heard or their presence seen at this meeting request an early leave from work on Jan. 23 so they might attend this 5 PM meeting.

One more thing–why not request that any further meetings that address any changes to our county’s air, water or land use be scheduled on weekend days or no earlier than 6:30 PM on week days so voters can attend?

Here’s Mike Bylery’s letter:

“If you have only enough time or motivation to attend one government meeting in 2018 in defense of our environment, make it Jan. 23rd, 5 PM, at the County Administration building. The stakes are high, and turnout could make the difference.

Alachua County is a “charter county.” That means we have a charter, sort of like a constitution, that is the ultimate law on certain matters, and it can only be changed by popular vote. Back in 2000, Alachua County voters overwhelming approved an amendment to its charter that authorized the County to establish countywide minimum protections for water and air. Then, for 18 years, nothing happened. Finally, after several years of analysis and an exhaustive outreach campaign with stakeholder groups, the County is poised to adopt two important new water quality regulations that would substantially reduce the harmful impacts of future development. But this effort may die on the vine.

First up, and the subject of the January meeting, is simply a proposal to extend the County’s current wetland protections to the entire County. Currently, they only apply in the unincorporated County. The County’s standards are significantly stronger than the default state standards in use by most of the County’s municipalities, which allow developers to simply pay to destroy wetlands. Consequently, a number of large landholders have annexed into adjacent municipalities in recent years in an attempt to evade the County’s wetland protections. Plum Creek/Weyerhaeuser is the most glaring example, with large annexations into Hawthorne and to the north of Gainesville.

Second, later this spring, the County will consider whether to adopt new standards for future growth that would reduce the pollutants in storm water runoff that foul our streams, springs, and drinking water supplies. I’ll provide more information on this as the date for action approaches.

Characteristically, the meetings so far have been during the day and largely unpublicized, so the only feedback that County Commissioners and staff have received has been from paid representatives of the folks opposed to any new law: developers and the smaller municipalities. The County Commission needs to learn whether the public at large cares. Also characteristically, the threat is not so much that the County Commission will do nothing, but that they’ll accept so many “fine print” compromises that the final law is completely neutered, in ways that only the professionals can understand.

The time has come to translate talk into action. The Commission is divided on whether to act. Please attend, and bring a friend.”

Good job Mike Byerly! Now it’s up to the people of Alachua County to respond by showing up at this Jan 23rd meeting, 5 PM in the downtown Administration building…See you there!

Franque23
Gerald Franquemont.

*Who is Mike Byerly?
http://www.gainesville.com/opinion/20160729/mike-byerly-standing-up-for-sustainability


This Town’s Walmart Was ABANDONED. What They Did Inside? Oh My Gosh!!!

(This article and the pictures written by another are from 2012. Maybe you’ve seen this, but if not I thought it too great to not pass along.)

This will be my last post for weeks, and it’s fitting that it’s about a huge Library of unusual circumstance. I’ve worked at our Library for the past 22 years and always have admired how we strive to keep the community informed through open access to information. This library in the story, like ours,  is a real  community effort, a great undertaking with surprising results. I hope you enjoy this feel good story.

 

“A lot of people, including myself, are fascinated with abandoned locations. We’ve been lucky enough to actually write about a few of them here at LittleThings: we’ve seen abandoned resorts, stadiums, psychiatric hospitals, and even train cars.

Many times, these buildings will just sit there untouched and slowly fall into ruin. They are often covered in graffiti, decked in spider webs, and they look like something out of a horror film.

McAllen is a town in the southern section of Texas that saw one of its Walmart locations go out of business and sit idle for many years. After the store shuttered, it eventually fell into the property of the city, and the decision was made to turn the building into a public library.

At the size of nearly two-and-a-half football fields, it is now the largest single location public library in the United States.

Learn more about the building by reading below, and please SHARE if you think libraries are a vital part of every city!

Photo Credit: ThinkStock/tupungato

The city had 124,500 empty square feet to utilize.

The firm of Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis was brought in to design the interior. The redesign was a smashing success among designers. It won the 2012 Library Interior Design Competition held by the International Interior Design Association.

The remodel was also a success for the library’s business. Membership increased by 23 percent the year it opened. It has large children’s sections, and even has its own sound proof room for teenagers.

 

It also features 14 study rooms, 64 computer labs, 10 computer labs for kids, two genealogy labs, and 15 public meetings spaces. It’s hard to imagine the library being one of the coolest buildings in town, but that’s what happened.

There’s even a cafe, art gallery, and used book store.

An auditorium hosts screenings, classes, and lectures on a variety of subjects.

I’ve always loved the iconic New York Public Library, but this one might be even more impressive.

How many libraries actually have people lining up to get in?

It also hosts an immensely popular farmer’s market on weekends. McAllen Farmers Market –     The library has become a major part of the community.

Don’t you wish more abandoned spaces could be turned into wonderful things for the community. We definitely need more libraries!

 

McAllen Public Library!!! 

 

Community efforts bring such great joy. See you next time-

Franque23.

And oh, please enjoy some of the other 570 posts I’ve written since 2009 while I go ‘Dark’ for a few weeks. Byeeeeee


And we thought Fukushima was bad-actually it is, and maybe worse than anyone can write about- but for the US it’s about America. Right now, America is steaming from every side of the aisle, from every corner in the hood and from every classroom that can’t supply pencils to students.

It’s time for me to thank my first reader in everything I do, Barbara, for pulling me up above the cesspool of our politics and giving me a much-needed laugh.

My question is: what’s happened to the missing parts of our constitution? Now, protesting certain governmental policies are illegal? Say what?

It’s hard to say who started the mess we are in…

Or, when you start to think that America is on the brink of being torn apart by political agendas and led away from common sense leadership.

Internet privacy certainly is on the table. But so much more as well…

No, none of us are irrelevant; every side counts in the battle America is now facing. How will we shape the coming years so our children live in freedom and prosperity?

I read today-

“As House Republicans frantically seek support for legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, the biggest sticking point is whether the bill fulfills one of the GOP’s central pledges: preserving protections for people with pre-existing health problems.

More than a quarter of adult Americans under 65 have a pre-existing health issue, which includes everything from asthma and diabetes to heart disease and cancer, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.”*

See, the trouble, or devil in this detail, is that the Republican plan will cover pre-existing conditions but in ‘special high-risk’ pools which will be charged more than most people who have these conditions can pay. So, is coverage at a cost few can afford to pay actually coverage? Who foots the bill for those who can’t pay?= US.

Case in point: me. I have adult onset asthma. Right now, Medicare would cost me about 320 per month for complete coverage. The estimates I’ve seen extrapolated from the Republican so-called health care/tax cut for the rich plan now puts my year’s cost at $7,465.00 more for me and those who will be  put in , ‘high-risk’ pools….or a total yearly cost for those(me) who have asthma at  $ 11,305.00 dollars per year for Medicare…How many retirees with asthma can pay that?

Oh, and there’s this..”The number of people with asthma continues to grow. One in 12 people (about 25 million, or 8% of the population) had asthma in 2009, compared with 1 in 14 (about 20 million, or 7%) in 2001. More than half (53%) of people with asthma had an asthma attack in 2008. More children (57%) than adults (51%) had an attack.May 3, 2011″

We all need to breathe a sigh of relief if this bill is drastically altered or defeated in Congress…call your Senator today.

Franque23

*http://www.consumerreports.org/health-insurance/got-a-pre-existing-condition-your-premium-could-rise-sharply-under-new-gop-plan/


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.

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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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the set is about twenty five feet long....

The set is about twenty-five feet long….

(Click on the pictures for much larger views–)

(note: Impossible to believe but true-Odette, pictured below as the Magic Woman, was rear ended years ago, 1988, only two blocks away from the same spot I was rear end the very night of the day we performed this show. Thing is, today, the 15th of DEC 2016, she went to see yet again another doctor about reoccurring neck pain from her accident! Oy Vey! Clear as a bell?-her accident was 28 years ago=she’s still hurting.What’s the chances that two people acting in this puppet show were rear ended years apart in locations not less than two blocks apart? Maybe, good? I need a beer!)

I’ve been doing puppet shows for the Alachua County Library District for the past 21 years; some have been repeated during this time. I like to encourage reading as I pick my favorite stories-literacy is the point. Thing is, this past show, The Magic Bag, may be one of my last.

The Magic woman wants it to always be cold

The Magic woman wants it to always be cold

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Natu and Lima protest the weather conditions!

Really, I have a job I’d never leave but Old Man Time is making one out of me. The show must go on, and my life, too.

Then again, the show turned me into a frog!

Then again, the show turned me into a frog!

Angela- Lima- is turned into a cat....

Angela- Lima- is turned into a cat….due to our complaints!

I write adaptions of stories to fit what can be done in the venue we use. Always from the get-go, I’ve employed ‘outtakes’ which entail the puppeteer also appearing stage front as actors who represent various puppets seen on stage. These are the most uproarious moments of any puppet show we do, and always involve a ton of confetti throwing for any made up reason.

This was one of those reasons: The Woman likes it to snow!!! Oh My!

This was one of those reasons: The Woman likes it to snow!!! Oh My!

The scripts are always intended to entertain both child and adult alike.

I write the scripts, design the sets, direct the practices and take part in the productions. It’s all a kick.

The river was fun, and the over head as well....and AC unit(s) blew the blue foil drop downs.

The river was fun, and the over head as well…. AC unit(s) blew the blue foil drop downs.

This program is based upon a Lakota version of a Native American legend that is found throughout most tribes’ folk lore. Basically, a Magic Woman keeps summer in her magic bag and lets only the cold, winter days out. The animals hate the constant cold, steal the bag, and only agree to return it to the woman IF summer can be let out of the bag 1/2 of every year–then winter reigns the other 1/2.

We always sing during the shows-this adaptation of

We always sing during the shows-this adaptation of “Wouldn’t it be Lovely” to have it snow everywhere….

The puppets steal the Magic Bag and there's trouble when the Magic Woman wants it back

The puppets steal the Magic Bag and there’s trouble when the Magic Woman wants it back.

These are the moments I will remember forever....

These are the moments I will remember forever….

Cheers-and now you know why 1/2 of most years are warm, and the other, 1/2 cold:-)

Franque23.

Credits to Odette Hinson as the Magic Woman and Angela Hassebroek as Lima and puppeteer. Thanks.

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