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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

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(click on the pic for a larger view.)

So it’s not just about growing vegetables. I guess Dale and I grow about everything we can—the birds(we get to know generations of Cardinals), the flowers(this Old Man Beard’s tree is a wonder every spring)*, the grass-why-oh-why?, 17 citrus trees, several orange varieties, two types lemons, figs, and we’ve one pineapple ripening now and four more forming with 32 planted. Of course, our pears only yield as squirrel food.  Oh yes, we grow squirrels, like it or not.

Bunch of lemons last year.

Feeding the Gold Finch who fly through in the Spring.

Right now, late August-early September, it’s time here in Gainesville to plant the fall garden. I’ll be hoping for green beans, potatoes, squashes, lettuce, the yellow squash, dark green zucchinis and tomatoes to come in for Thanksgiving and to freeze to use during the winter months.

The crops of spring or fall vary from year to year. Two years ago I picked 32 pounds of green beans, but this year’s spring garden with the same planting produced about 5 pounds?!?! Ya just never know with gardening.

The Gardenia is wonderful, and huge—it’s near our front door—but another more unusual planting is directly next to the front door. This indigenous Jasmine is not the kind you so often see growing in clumps around mail boxes or on fence lines. No, this Jasmine grows more like bamboo and even sometimes 12 feet high while dying off to the ground after cold weather. Located in front of our living room  bay window, this plant provides cover from the summer’s sun while letting the winter daylight in. I often use the heavier stalks left leafless after a freeze for tomato stakes the next spring.

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The night blooms fill the yard with a splendid aroma.

.

Oh, right, we’re helping grow Grandchildren as well…

There is nothing like a yard ripened Pineapple.

Let’s put two and two together and come with an answer that’s good ‘four’ all of us!

The start of a pineapple garden.(I got the tops from a grocer.)

Life on the planet is truly amazing.

The oldest known Baobab tree in Limpopo Province, South Africa, is thought to be 1700 years old. Catch this link if you have time **

 

And although there’s nothing like seeing works of man, like a magnificent Greek statue, some of them make me lose my appetite.

As with gardens, ya never know what might or might not pop up now-a-days.

Anyway—-back to appetites.

 

I’m hoping everything comes up roses this Fall for all of you who plant anything. There’s nothing like taking time out to work your butt off beneath the sound of the birds, the wind through the trees and with the sweet smells of Life tickling your nose.

Cheers.

Franque23

*

photo 2

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The Old Man’s Beard tree is coming out again.

 

**https://www.bigbaobab.co.za/


(I received this letter my sister, Sharon Franquemont, had written to a cousin….as it is, our extended family is about 50/50 Democrat or Republican, though some would be libertarian/green party etc. It got me thinking that, as it should be, we are all together, living through trying times. Internal and external forces are always at work in every society and it remains of utmost importance that here, as Americans, and elsewhere that we keep our dialogues going, open, accepting and informative.)

Thanks, sis, for the read.

“A couple of weeks ago a work colleague who voted for and admires Trump and I had a debate about voter fraud.  What we soon discovered is that we both have completely different streams of news and facts. It was illuminating.

I wondered if our exchange was rooted in Russian generated disinformation campaign with the goal to create division and chaos in our country. Or was this stark reality difference guided by something more internal in USA?

BTW, I think chaos, confusion and undercutting of our Democracy was already in the Russian playbook,  regardless of who won the election. if Hillary had won, we’d be hearing about her email fraud, her corrupt murders and bribery, so I don’t think this is a Trump issue. He is far worse than I expected and I expected pretty someone horrible—never believed he was a wise businessman capable of making ‘deals’ that would lead us through to the other side.

And, I never forget that many of my Republican friends were equally horrified by Obama’s Presidency.

As to Climate Change, in 1993 I met my beloved friend and soul brother, David Berry. We worked collaboratively on the volunteer Prayer Vigil for the Earth in DC for 20 years.

At the time I met David, he was working for the Department of Interior and was interested in interdepartmental sharing of environment data  He formed an after hours working group across many of the departments and they began sharing data. This after hours working group eventually lead him to an assignment in the White House working directly for Katy McGinty’s Council on Environmental Quality.  He later became known internationally and is now an honored elder member of the Balaton Group, an elite global sustainable group, and also chair of the USA Roundtable on Water.

Somewhere around 1999 he started very privately telling me and others that statistically there was no turning back. Humanity was over the edge and the Earth would become increasingly hot, seas would rise, and environmental degradation was already on the way.  I worked through a lot of horrible thoughts and feelings about this, but landed on this may or may not happen.  Thus far, it looks like it is happening.

Beyond David, Maurice Strong, the ‘father’ of global sustainability in that he convened the first UN global conversation on the issue in 1972, the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio and 1995 follow-up, and his wife Hanne Strong have been friends since 1995.  Although Maurice died a few years back, I’ve followed via them the perilous path of bringing these issues forward.

I have zero interest in debating Climate Change’s reality with anyone. Ultimately, time will reveal the truth.  Will I stand for Climate Change work? Absolutely.  Do I think, given the state of everything now, Climate Crisis is on the horizon? Yes, I do and not sure what we can do about it, but acknowledge its high probability. Humans have amazing ingenuity and adaptability, so I remain more hopeful than many, yet preparing honestly for different future topography and weather patterns seems like a good idea.

But the issue with you is far broader than Climate Change. I have zero trust in the sources you’ve been quoting and advocating since we began our conversation. And, it even goes deeper than that. Our 2016 conversation on the dock reached for me a critical point when realized how very different our values are. From that perspective, I wasn’t sure how useful our exchange could be for either of us, so was glad when we switched to saying that the systems were suspect.

You and I have been close for many decades and, perhaps lifetimes, if one believes in those things.  May I request that you stop lobbying me from Breitbart or similar news sources.  No, I don’t believe in Bannon’s philosophy or predictions for coming world wars, unless of course, he and the administration are instrumental in creating them.

I cannot fathom your and others continual support for Trump and his administration.  God help us.  I mean that literally.

With abiding affection from a different world and world view,”

Americans hold many world views and freedom of speech is a building block of our society. I have to say, it does bother me how those who oppose the views held by the Alt-right or Neo- Nazi ideologies are often referred to as Leftists in many columns. Thing is, while some who oppose the KKK and Alt-right may be leftists, the basic truth is many claims made by the alt-right, KKK, or Nazi sympathizers are not within the fundamental frame-work of ideas most thought to be American. Many who oppose the radical right marches are simply, Americans.

Simply, American.

Peace-

Franque23(Thanks for the writing, sis.)


Trouble is, the resistance and supporters of the Paris Accord didn’t define the terms of this debate. No, once again out worked and out maneuvered, sympathizers for the World’s climate were tangled and shackled into a debate about Climate Change.

We didn’t ask the right question.*

—this isn’t about whether or not climate change is real-or, it shouldn’t be—the issue surrounding the Paris Accord is do we want to limit toxic emissions or not, period.

Flowers or coal; smelling burning coal or flowers?**

The question is: how can limiting toxic emissions hurt? Some huge companies say limiting their emissions will not hurt their business or profit line. This should’ve been the arena for the debate about whether or not the U.S. should pull out of the Paris Accord…not a discussion about climate change.

We have to better chose what fish to fry.***

Trump has disgraced us all… I ask you, even if our emissions has nothing to do with climate change, even if Climate change isn’t real, how can it hurt to decrease our toxic emissions for our generation and for those that will follow?

I’ve and idea! How about asking the right question?

How can it hurt to reduce our toxic emissions? Big Business say’s it won’t hurt them, so what’s the deal?

Again,this issue isn’t about climate change, whether it’s real or not, it’s about wanting to reduce our toxic emissions. The debate about whether climate change is real or not is just a distraction from the World’s need to reduce our carbon footprint to help our environment, to clean up our air and water.

But, see, even today, the reports are aghast that Trump’s decisions will have a drastic effect on Climate change. Forget that; Climate change is too large of an unknown regardless of the scientific community’s nearly 100 % AGREEMENT ON THE ISSUE. No, Trump’s decision means this: we all will be breathing air and drinking water that is less pure than it could be.

Who wants to vote for polluted air and water? That arena of questions was winnable, but that stage was never set. Why?

Let’s put two and two together and come up with an answer that’s good ‘four’ all of us!****

Robert Reich said it best:

“A short message to the rest of the world:
We apologize. We understand our responsibilities as human beings who share this planet with you. This is temporary. Donald Trump doesn’t reflect the views of most Americans. Most of us didn’t even vote for him. We are doing everything we possibly can to remove him from office as soon as legally possible. And when we do, America will once again be a responsible nation.”

Can’t wait. It’s sorta like having to wait for Christmas.

There’s a red line we don’t want to cross when it comes to Climate change, but many don’t believe this is true. So how’s about’s we just talk turkey-do we want what we might eat to be fed clean food and pure water or not?*****

Cheers

Like this crap falls on the ground, the trees, on our gardens and on us!

Duck and cover, but take time to smell the flowers.

Such beautiful life comes forth from our Mother Earth.

It’s about every crop….%

what we eat-that’s part of what the Paris Accord is really about…

and it’s about life as we know it.

Franque23

Where did the real discussion about the Pairs Accord go?^

  • My daughter sitting on top of a Himalayan peak.
  • our front yard
  • Dad and me fishin’
  • our pineapples
  • Lake Bonaparte
  • Family
  • Me at the lake… bye

It’s that wink of a second in a slip, the moment just before smacking the ground when it all comes back. Yes, those wrong way turns taken so enthusiastically and the too many times pee laughed into my pants, those drinks poured left on the counter by two beers already opened, those broken romances that fractured the same way with a screw you suck-head let’s be friends and the pets who were out for food or thinking of me as food all come zinging back.

It’s all so simple.

It’s in the shape of a shadow when the montage of my trophies, good grades, degrees, parking citations, accidents, lawyer bills and self-written Dear John letters left in dusty closets merge the past and present to unravel through the unknown as History zooms ahead.

If I’d seen that slip coming I’d have laid down first. Thing is, I’d end up on the ground anyway, right? Good intentions have blown up roads.

How nice that guy who got hit by an apple figured out why his head hurt; deduction is a beautiful thing. But what about why falling down is a snap of a fact while getting up takes about sixteen months in the beginning and then becomes impossible near the end of this zillion-ring circus called life? Thing is, the circle of life may be round but it’s hard to find its fair side. Ask the Syrian refugees about fairness.

They say the good die young.

Can the Earth slip?

When we look up, are we?

How can we feel a sense of alarm when these are in clocks, not heads?

A few years back—the timeline’s history so who cares—some guys decided that Europe and North America were on top of a thing that was round, not flat. Maybe, they figured if we were on the bottom of the ball we’d fall off like nothing else did. That logic, along with a cocktail of mistaken thoughts made in history by names no one can spell is the basis of life as we know it, and maybe why so much has slipped.

Is the point to this traffic jammed up madhouse called life killing? There are 135 events in the Old Testament that attribute men’s deaths to the acts of God. The total estimated dead in the events ranges from 2.5 million to 25 million people. The difference in the figures is keyed around, ‘men’s deaths.’ The larger number includes the estimated women and children killed in the total. No matter, the end result of this deluge of death is a world full of people who rush into buildings to break their knee caps kneeling, or their backs bowing, or bang their heads against walls to experience worship.

I think Sodom and Gomorrah’s fate and human history leads as example here: hate something, then go bomb the piss out of it and wait for the survivors to build you temples. So here’s a concrete point before I hit the pavement writing. Does dropping the ‘mother of all bombs,’ the bigly, the huge, the best and big daddy of bombs(MOAB) mean we can expect Isis, yousis, mesis or any ,’sis,’ to come around and start paying us money and respect with prayer? And the answer is?

This may not be an exact quote.

I read the bigly bomb cost $170,000 to make. We killed like 90 guys. What about using those navy seal fellas that use one hundred-dollar bullets and shoot real targets instead? Well, our soldiers cost about a half a million each to train, deliver and keep overseas. It turns out using nukes is the biggest bang for the buck warfare!

We can only hope and pray to survive, come out ahead, the winners, like soldiers on every side hope. For sure, hitting the proverbial bottom hurts. Life has no trampoline and, dang it, if it doesn’t feel like America is somehow slipping right before my eyes. Do we make sense anymore?

See? I have questions and wonder if what goes around comes around, when’s an age of reason coming back?!?!

Some of this sounds familiar…

Whoops!

Ouch! Yeah—this slip trumps them all.

Franque23


Trump effectively won the election by convincing Americans that our country had become the worst thing since rotten apples. Thing is, if today’s successful women’s march on Washington doesn’t end up creating change it will most likely be due to one reason: people are basically too comfortable living to keep up the hard work it will take to force change.

See? It’s a time of weird dynamics, an ill-shaped trapezoid of varying dichotomies festers within American society-inside the heads of American voters. Collectively we drop 90 million at the box office and complain about the price of bread after enjoying the show.

Trump recognized the beast that is our society, grabbed the reins and is now gonna lead us to where ever the hell we are going.  Trump is no moderate. He may be insane, some have claimed it, but he’s no dummy. There have been lunatics in world history, leaders, who didn’t digest power well. How will Trump do? I imagine the plethora of American power upon Trump’s plate. The congress are his servers; Americans his workers. Who will he tip, retain or shaft?

It seems ‘wine-and-dine’ is key when it comes to surviving Trump’s moods.

Those who donated generously to Trump’s campaign efforts are being rewarded with high paying prestigious appointments. The government contracts and financial awards to come may mostly go unnoticed as they pass beneath the table, but they will happen as well.  Mexico will never pay for any part of an American built wall but a relative of a relative or business partner of Trump’s will make out like a bandit building it. They will deposit our tax dollars.border As it stands now, people play volleyball over the Mexican/US boarder fence.

Trump rose to power by raking the imagination of less fortunate  workers with mind twisting lingo, ‘I could shoot someone and my followers would still love me,’ and by opening their closets so full of demons, hate, prejudice, notions of white power and abusive attitudes toward women and minorities in general.  NAFTA, a notion first brought to America’s attention by Ronald Reagan in a televised speech so long ago, has helped fuel the downturn plight of American workers-this and other business dealings have withered the spirits of American workers and enabled them to be set aflame by the biting rhetoric of Trump, the likes of which America has never heard before, not in its entirety, not as such a wide sweeping rout of long-held American ideals. (“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”)

For now, the die is cast for America. The color seems white; the room divvied up by what is hated most. Trump’s call for American loyalty may be a battle cry of a contest that will be held among ourselves.

We just don’t know about Trump’s Presidency, yet. His appointments look bad to anyone who isn’t rich or making a buck digging the earth. Still, Trump has that amazing opportunity to turn on a dime and send America into an economic boom by pushing huge solar power contracts and building the infrastructure needed to make this power source feasible. America certainly needs work done on its roads, bridges and dams; there are huge employment opportunities waiting. Will he punch those buttons, or keep asking his cronies in congress to bring him more wine?

Trump the multi-millionaire appoints other millionaires to run his administration. I wonder how the cowboy who rides in a saddle that needs replacing feels about that? A lot of underemployed or non-working Americans put Trump in office. In turn, you me and every other hard-working American can rest assured that Trump will be making billions for his businesses while in office.

As a protest, the Right, Alt-Right and others have elected the same old, same old. Many of those who voted for Trump are seeing this now. Great. NOT! I suspect many will have to put-off buying new tires for their truck this year or, maybe, for four years. Five hundred thousand American marchers went to Washington D.C. today because they see a possible train wreck that is Donald Trump coming. People marched today all over the world for Humanitarian rights. But are these marchers merely waving signs and flags in front of a charging bull? Time will tell.*

In NYC.

In NYC.

womens_march_london In London

womensmarch Dublin

Australia, Antarctica, France all around the globe…Here’s a link to see them.https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/01/21/womens-march-protests-are-unfolding-in-different-countries-arou/21659913/#slide=4359560#fullscreen

Franque23

  • some numbers in today’s women’s day marches
  • Washington DC 500,000
    LA 500,000 +
    NYC 300,000 +
    Chicago 250,000
    Denver 200,000
    Seattle 150,000
    Boston 125,000
    Madison Wi 100,000
    Portland 100,000
    Minneapolis75,000
    Atlanta 60,000
    Austin 50,000
    Philadelphia 50,000
    Raleigh 18,000
    Des Moines 26,000
    Pittsburgh 25,000
    San Diego 22,000
    Nashville 20,000
    Santa Ana 20,000
    St Petersburg 17,000
    Cleveland 15,000
    Oklahoma City 12,000 +
    Kansas City,MO 10,000
    Charlotte 10,000
    Ithaca 10,000
    Greensboro 8,000
    Montpelier VT 8,000 + (pop 10,000 many I 89 exits shut down)
    Asheville 10,000
    Albuquerque 10,000
    Tallahassee 10,000+
    West Palm Beach 7,000
    Orlando 6,000
    Tucson 5,000
    Trenton 5,000
    Athens Ga 4500
    Doylestown, PA 2,000.
    Hillsborough (my town!) 2000
    Harrisburg PA 1,100
    Jonesborough TN 1000+
    Saskatoon 800-1000 (pop 260k)
    Palmer AK 800
    Murray KY 700
    Black Mt NC 400
    Morganton NC 500
    Houghton / Hancock Michigan: 300+
    and on and on and on.and the whole world. wow.

It's a good time to appreciate one another.

It’s a good time to appreciate one another.

I have to say that John Lennon’s song, So This Is Christmas- War is Over, often runs  on the background hard drive of my brain during the holiday time. The promise of peace looms in my soul somewhat like those three-day work weeks my generation was told we’d live to see, and all due to technological advances that were to come.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

At times things don’t work out as planned.

Today, this glob writer has much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for readers in 82 countries who have clicked in almost 6 thousand times this year to check out what’s banging thru my head on a weekly basis. I have a home, and a lake home, a beach home and rentals to boot, and all from once having hitch-hiked 30 miles to a flea market with all the wares I had to sell on my back. I could go back to even worse times in my life, but I won’t. The simple truth is I’ve been lucky to live the American dream-moving from very little to something that is more than enough. And I have good friends. My job? Being a children’s librarian is about as good as it gets, but at 67 I can actually see the switch on the light at the end of the tunnel so, with luck, I’ll retire someday too soon for me. I’ve five books written. three are on Kindle and a fourth is about to come out -if I can just let go-and that’s all a blast.

This year could go head to head with any other I've had and come out well.

This year could go head to head with any other I’ve had and come out well.

It’s difficult at times for me as an American to realize much of the world’s people don’t have enough to live. It’s easy to look away.

It’s easy to forget the Lakota and other tribes still stand in freezing temperatures hoping to stop the pipeline.

I try to envision Isis truly being stopped, or morphed into a place where negotiation is possible. I still dream of massive food airlifts like the kind America ran in WW II being broadcast throughout the middle East as a huge international peace effort. Food, not bombs. I’d rather police use tranquilizer bullets when shooting people who are running away or held upon the ground by other police. Of course, our law people need to be safe as they go about their job of helping our society function.

At this point, American politics is a mosh pit of speculation. Is a boom or bust coming? Will the next four years or so be a drat splat dump we will wish to flush away in the future, or will these coming years be an awakening of a whole new kind of world-wide détente?Is prosperity our future?

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Some things are certain; the sand-hill Crane still fly south in the winter; migrations continue all over the world. Species extinctions are too prevalent and the sea levels are rising. Whether or not we have global warming, we all know CO2 emissions are not the way to go for the future of Mankind-so why the debate about global warming when the issue is emissions/pollution? Sometimes, I wonder-what’s up with the misdirection.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health - contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health – contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

In the end for now, we did just have Christmas, and we can hope for a happy New Year. Let’s hope together that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Let’s hope those who want to move forward in a kind, loving way that ‘s good for all species, the Earth and it’s people win the day.

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

So many of us pray for World Peace.

So many of us pray for World Peace.

Kindness, Truth, Justice and Life has to prevail. We can make it so-that’s the great part.

I looked different at 23 than I do today at 67, but I feel about the same inside, my hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

23 doesn’t look like 67, but I feel about the same today inside as I did back then. My hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

Peace. It's a wonderful bloom.

Peace. It’s a wonderful bloom. Let’s plant that flower.

Franque23 hopes you’ll forward this glob. Cheers

Thanks for being you.

Thanks for being you.


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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078-2

Keep the faith –

Franque23


To list a few….

Obamacare

détente

Give Me your tired and your poor

Women’s Rights to equal pay

Women’s right to have abortions in most cases

Current Social Security retirement age

Some amount of Social Security Check

A major part of the funding for the EPA

Emission controls for cars a business(The Clean Air Act)

A better, standard minimum wage

Wall street regulations

Union Rights to organize

Defined Pensions for Workers

National Park funding

Alaskan Pipeline resistance

Taxes on the Rich

 

What we get in return?

A President who is inexperienced in the field of World-Wide politics

A President who  seems unaware of people’s constitutional rights and the workings of the U.S. Government

The NRA ( A gun in every closet)

A President who has called some women pigs, dogs and worse.

A President who gloated after 9/11 since the event would make him money

A President who mused how the housing crash and economic crash in the U.S. several years ago would make him money.

A President who is against environmental protections

A President who has gone bankrupt numerous times.

A President who will soon address in court accusations of Fraud (Trump University) and rape charges.

There will be a Wall we will pay for

A First lady who has posed naked for tabloids. ( Not a crime, but is this appropriate considering the stature of the position?)

One more takeaway

You can only squeeze the middle class workers so much and for so long via both political party’s actions before that electorate is willing to shoot themselves in the foot rather than vote for an ongoing economic travesty. 

The day is done; our country’s course is set for the foreseeable future.

Advice for President Obama: 

Sign as many (a thousand or more) Executive Orders between now and January. This might slow that foreseeable future of a beast down.

Franque23.

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The day is done…for now.

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