“Keep The Faith, Baby!”-Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

   

“Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth’s sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won.”

-Louisa May Alcott

Two Americans who spoke their minds, stood for their ideals and didn’t let ridicule hold them down were born today: Louisa May Alcott of Little Women fame in 1832 and Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. of NY in 1908. Louisa May Alcott had many roles in her lifetime: writer, nurse, abolitionist, suffragette and was constantly working having grown up and known poverty very well. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. had a very good upbringing in NYC where his dad, Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. became the pastor of the world famous Abyssinian Church in Harlem. After Adam, Jr. obtained his MA at Columbia University, he took over the pastorship at Abyssinian. From the pulpit and as a 12-term Representative of his District in Harlem, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. never shied away from controversy or from speaking truth to power. As a child I would see him on TV and enjoy listening to him; he was quite charismatic and quite handsome.

Both individuals should not be forgotten. They spoke from the heart; did what they had to do; toiled hard and aggressively. They gave their best.

Also on this day, in 1933, English rocker/blues musician, John Mayall was born and he is still performing. I remember buying his albums and loved “Room to Move,” with the lyric, “I Can’t Give My Best Unless I Got Room to Move.” Happy 80th John Mayall!

I think Louisa May Alcott and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. made their own room and spread their wings and in their own way told the world to “Watch Out, Here I am!”

 

 

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”Eckhart Tolle

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! I sat down at the computer with my morning coffee (for which I am thankful for) and just jotted down a few things I feel so grateful for. Here they are:

Thankful to hear my husband’s gentle snore as I rise another Thanksgiving morn.

Thankful for children who for years have been out the door; getting good educations, leading independent lives yet staying close to their grams.

Thankful that this life we’ve put together still stands; this life built on our unity and respect for each other.

Thankful that I had a solid career with a pension that enabled me to retire.

Thankful that I had a job that supported my creativity and gave me the opportunity to touch many, many lives for the better.

Thankful that I am, in my own way, still touching lives.

Thankful that I had parents and grandparents who were my biggest fans.

Thankful that my mom will be 90 next week and lives so close to us.

Thankful that I am still curious and still love learning and reading.

Thankful that I do not know boredom.

Thankful that I can sit still, read, take pleasure in the moment.

Thankful that I can still touch my toes, exercise and stretch my mind.

Thankful that my children have been given roots to do with what they may.

Thankful  for family near and far and memories of get -togethers where love abounded.

There is so much gratitude in my heart and much to be Thankful for…

Thankful my husband and I are in good health and can take care of my mom.

Thankful for THIS life, OUR life!

That’s it for now, Folks. Please enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving Day and know that I am thinking of you and your families!

“No One Who Cooks, Cooks Alone.”-Laurie Colwin

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.” Laurie Colwin

How true!  This windy, rainy morning, as I sit in my basement typing on my desktop, I can see myself as a young girl in my Bubbie’s (Grandmother’s) kitchen watching her prepare food or helping her. I can see my mom using the meat grinder and helping her prepare chopped liver. We cooks are never alone. Mom, who will be 90 next week, taught me much over the years, she was an excellent cook. From both my mom and bubbie, I learned how to make an excellent dry rub that I use on all meats and poultry; it changes every time, but the basics include paprika, kosher salt, crushed garlic and pepper. In fact, if you just have those 4 ingredients, you’re fine. You can even leave out the garlic and your food will still be delicious. I also learned from the both of them to always, always, season under the skin and years ago I would also place stuffing under the skin. Nowadays, stuffing is made outside of the bird. If I’m in the mood, I place chopped onion and chopped lemon under the skin, I love how lemon tastes after it’s been roasted and has collected the juices of the turkey or chicken. I hope I am not nauseating any vegetarians that may be reading this or perhaps you turned away.

I wish all the bloggers and their families, all over the world, a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving whether you celebrate or not, whether you are American or not, whether you acknowledge the holiday or not. We all give thanks in our own way and with our own words. I enjoy reading your blogs, learning from them and I thank you for visiting mine.

“Hold On

 Hold on to what is good,

Even if it’s a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe,

Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do,

Even if it’s a long way from here.

Hold on to your life,

Even if it’s easier to let go.

Hold on to my hand,

Even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.”

A Pueblo Indian Prayer

“If Ever I Would Leave You…”-Lerner and Loewe

 

“Everything that has been will be, everything that will be is, everything that will be has been.”-Eugene Ionesco

Several people with voices that were surely heard and will never leave us and continue to be heard, were born today, 11/26. First of all, the great Romanian playwright, Eugene Ionescu was born in Romania in 1909 and is associated with Theatre of the Absurd, which as an undergraduate who minored in Speech and Theatre, I studied. When I went onto grad school and got an MA in Educational Theatre, I once again read Ionescu. I probably read him even before entering college since I’m sure my mom also introduced me to him as she was going to night college as I was growing up for 10 years. Robert Goulet, a great singer and very handsome, whose albums my father loved, played Lancelot in the Broadway show, Camelot, was also born today in 1933. I would swoon when I would see him on TV singing If Ever I Would Leave You from Camelot. Beautiful song, beautiful voice. The ever-great Ms Tina Turner, still around, still kickin’, was born today in either 1938 or 1939, I saw both dates listed at various sites.

All three voices had something to say to us. Robert Goulet sang to our hearts, told us he’d never leave or that On A Clear Day You Can See Forever.  Ionesco’s words spoke of justice and non-conformity and he criticized governments. In his drama Eugène Ionesco focuses on the question of human existence as well as the trivia of everyday life. His most renowned play in Germany “Die Nashörner” (1959) is based on his own experience in Romania. This induced Eugène Ionesco to always oppose conformism, to act against totalitarianism, which changes humans and turns them into “Nashörner”.http://www.ionesco.de/

Tina Turner’s life story spoke of strength and inner strength one gains through difficult times. She once said, “I didn’t have anybody, really, no foundation in life, so I had to make my own way. Always, from the start. I had to go out in the world and become strong, to discover my mission in life.”

Tina Turner, Eugene Ionesco and Robert Goulet all loved their careers and lived for writing, for performing, for reaching out to their audience. As Robert Goulet said, “I like being on this stage because it keeps me thinking.”

I know when I hear Tina singing or listen to an old Goulet LP or read Ionescu, “…it keeps me thinking.”

 

DID I TELL YOU?

Couldn’t help myself…cold again this morning, so I came up with this little ditty:

 

Did I tell you how much I hate the cold?

Who in the World haven’t I told?

As blustery winds do their job and unfold

Did I tell you how much I hate the cold?

 

Did I show you the blue on my fingertips?

How I shudder and tense as the wind fiercely whips?

And the dryness it leaves on my cracked aging lips?

Did I leave out the part that my bones it does grip?

 

Did I tell you how much I hate the cold?

Why I detest being in its venomous hold?

As it hurdles such blasts that I can’t control?

Did I tell you how much I hate the cold?

“Those Winter Sundays”-Robert Hayden

 “Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.”-W.H. Auden

It’s 23 degrees and a cold blustery Sunday on the East Coast. The heat is coming up and I just finished my morning coffee. I revisited Robert Hayden’s poem this morning, Those Winter Sundays, and it brought to mind how we or how I do not say “Thank you” nearly enough to those who have loved us and helped us along the way. You can tell from the poem that Hayden endured a difficult childhood and/or relationship with his father and possibly other family members; yet regrets not expressing appreciation for the little things that his Dad did. I think it’s a beautiful poem. Happy Sunday Dear Readers and I hope you’re warm!

Oh…learned this morning that while Hayden was pursuing his graduate degree, he studied under W.H.Auden, another favorite poet of mine!

 Those Winter Sundays

 Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze.  No one ever thanked him.

 

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.

When the rooms were warm, he’d call,

and slowly I would rise and dress,

fearing the chronic angers of that house,

 

Speaking indifferently to him,

who had driven out the cold

and polished my good shoes as well.

What did I know, what did I know

of love’s austere and lonely offices?

“I Have Arrived Safely in Meridian, Mississippi.”-Andrew Goodman

“I think of Andy in the cold wet clay

Those three are on my mind

With his comrades down beside him

On that brutal day

Those three are on my mind”-Frances Taylor &Pete Seeger

Today we remember the birth in 1943 of a lovely idealistic young man, Andrew Goodman, a Queens College student, who asked his parent’s permission, in 1964, to join the Freedom Summer Project  and go down to Mississippi to help register African Americans so they could vote. A privileged young man from the Upper West Side, how could his parents say no to this request. The Goodmans had brought him up to do good and even though they could’ve imagined the danger of such a mission, they gave their permission to their much-loved son, Andy. I was 11 years old when I heard that James Chaney, Mike Schwerner and Andrew Goodman went missing in Mississippi and was very much aware to the WHY.

When The Goodmans heard their son was missing along with Chaney and Schwerner, they received a postcard on that very same day from Andy: “Dear Mom and Dad:I have arrived safely in Meridian, Mississippi. This is a wonderful  town and the weather is fine. I wish you were here. The people in this city are wonderful and our reception was very good. All my love, Andy.”

Paul Simon, who attended Queens College with Andy, dedicated his song, “He Was My Brother” to Andy and Pete Seeger wrote, “Those Three Are On My Mind.”