A Poet for ALL Ages!

“That old September feeling… of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air…. Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes and failures had been wiped clean by summer.” ~Wallace Stegner

HAPPY AUTUMN! When I was a little girl, before and during elementary school, I used to love the poetry of Scottish poet, Robert Louis Stevenson. Who didn’t own a copy of “A Child’s Garden of Verses?” His poems were great to read aloud! Here’s his Autumn Fires:”

In the other gardens

And all up the vale,

From the autumn bonfires

See the smoke trail!

 Pleasant summer over

And all the summer flowers,

The red fire blazes,

The grey smoke towers.

 Sing a song of seasons!

Something bright in all!

Flowers in the summer,

Fires in the fall!

 

“Dancing in the Street”-Stevenson, Hunter & Gaye

We’re getting close to 50 years since “Dancing in the Street” was released. Currently, I’m reading Mark Kurlansky’s fine book: Ready for a Brand New Beat: How ‘Dancing in the Street’ Became the Anthem for a Changing America. The book is available through your public library, if a copy isn’t there, have them order it. I never buy books anymore, who has the room to store them???   Love the library! 

“Fifty years ago, protesters were taking to the streets across the United States. Philadelphia and Harlem, N.Y., saw race riots. Atlantic City, N.J., saw picketers screaming outside the Democratic National Convention, and in Washington, D.C., anti-war activists took over the National Mall. It was a tense and volatile time. The soundtrack to it all was one song: Martha and the Vandellas’ 1964 hit, “Dancing in the Street.”NPR site

All Around Me

My brother was born today in 1948, he would’ve been 65 years old! 65 years old! He was 4 and a half years older than me. He died in 1993 at age 45 after battling AIDS that progressed rapidly for the last 2 years of his life. I miss him, but he’s all around me. He’s in the music I write about and listen to; He’s in the news tidbits I read about musicians and concerts; He’s in my son’s demeanor, gait and face; He’s in my heart and memory. My mom, my hero, took care of him, physically, mentally, emotionally; she was amazing during that time. “In the English language there are orphans and widows, but there is no word for the parents who lose a child.”JodiPicoult, My Sister’s Keeper. The 60s, an era that I love, also wrought havoc on families through drug usage and that’s how my brother probably contracted HIV. I remember being angry with him when he was last in the hospital and telling him I was angry and he could’ve had a good life; I don’t think he heard me or understood me; He had a form of dementia and was blind and looked 80 years old when he succumbed quietly. So sad. My eyes are tearing right now remembering this. I know my husband, son and daughter remember my brother and loved him very much. At his funeral, my husband referred to him as “an innocent,” my 8-years old son got up to speak (a complete surprise) and said how much he loved his uncle. My brother was the funniest person, a brilliant comedian, truly! He took me to see my first Richie Havens concert on 2nd Ave. in NYC at the former Anderson Yiddish Theater; my first Peter, Paul & Mary Concert at Carnegie Hall; my first Bruce Springsteen concert at the former Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center where the row he was sitting in with friends collapsed and sank!!!!!   Surely a night to remember!   So, this morning as I write this, my brother is all around me; in fact, has never left me and never will. RIP Bro’

We Remember Them…

 In the rising of the sun and in its going down,

We remember them;

 In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,

We remember them;

 In the opening of buds and in the warmth of summer,

We remember them;

 In the rustling of leaves and the beauty of autumn,

We remember them;

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,

We remember them;

When we are weary and in need of strength,

We remember them;

 When we are lost and sick at heart,

We remember them;

 When we have joys we yearn to share,

We remember them;

 So long as we live, they too shall live

For they are now a part of us as

We remember them.

 from Gates of Prayer,

Judaism Prayerbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful Wednesday Music

August 14th in Music History brings some lovely voices to our ears:

Sarah Brightman was born in 1960, Larry Graham in 1946 and a fabulous entertainer, singer, piano player, Buddy Greco in 1926. I remember seeing Buddy Greco on TV, probably on the Ed Sullivan Show. All 3 singers are still alive. Mr. Greco is 87, Ms Brightman is 53 and Larry Graham, a singer, songwriter, master guitarist of “funk” is 67. Larry Graham played with Sly Stone, had his own band, Graham Central Station and a voice smooth as silk. I loved his big hit, “One in a Million.” Sarah Brightman we all know from Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals, an amazing voice!

 “Buddy can make anything swing – nobody comes close in that department.” – Frank Sinatra

 “There is really no other way to explain Larry Graham’s place in the evolution of bass guitar. Simply put, there’s bass before Larry Graham, and there’s bass after Larry Graham.”-bassmusicianmagazine

 

“Sarah Brightman is the biggest-selling soprano of all time with a career that spans three decades and is most often considered to be the main pioneer of classical crossover.”classical-crossover

 

 

 

 

“It’s a hard life, It’s a hard life, It’s a very hard life.”-Nanci Griffith

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”Maya Angelou

July 31st holds several events that remind us that being Jewish has never been easy. Yes, we’ve been able to hide our Jewishness for the most part and not stick out in a crowd, except for when we had to wear yellow stars on our clothing; as opposed to our brothers and sisters of black and brown color who could not hide who they were anywhere or anytime here in the U.S.A.; or our brothers and sisters of Japanese ancestry who also couldn’t hide who they were and were plucked from their homes and placed in camps here in the U.S.A. There are so many examples of a “hard life” for so many people due to: religion, race, skin color, language, ethnicity, place of birth,culture, economic status, disability, challenges…

July 31st, 1492:    Jewish People Expelled from Spain under Alhambra Decree.

July 31st, 1941: “Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS General Reinhard Heydrich to “submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired Final Solution of the Jewish question.”-Wikipedia

July 31st, 1919: Primo Levi was born.

 Wouldn’t it be nice for our children, if this “hard life” became a thing of the past for real?