LINES AND CREASES – RICH PASCHALL

Was your life captured in photos that you have in closets and drawers rather than saved to digital media? What do you do with a lifetime of photos? Be sure to click on “View original post” at the bottom to follow over to SERENDIPITY for my ideas.

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Faded Photographs –

by Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog


People still collect them.  Perhaps not as ardently as they once did, but they still get them.  They order them online.  They print them at home. They might even go to the store to order them.  There is something about having it in your hand that beats looking at it on your phone or even your desk top computer.  At one time, taking your film to be developed and having pictures printed was a big thing.  A really big thing.

I guess there are still stores that specialize in printing pictures, but they are all online shops.  I can download pictures to the drug store and go get prints.  I can take a flash drive to Walgreens where a teenager will print my pictures and might even thank me for coming (okay, probably not the latter).

I have used online services to print…

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BECAUSE I CAN – RICH PASCHALL

Our recent baseball articles on Serendipity have inspired me to share this story again. Wayne Messmer is our favorite National Anthem singer at Wrigley Field and other locations, and his trip to the World Series stage took an unfortunate detour. Click “View original post” at the bottom to follow over to Serendipity for the rest of this story.

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Wayne Messmer Sings, Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

Cubs Win

If you are from the Chicagoland area, or follow the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, you may know his name and his face.  You certainly know his voice.  As far as we are concerned here, he is the best National Anthem singer in the country.  There is no fooling around when Wayne sings.  He delivers the anthem as it was written.  There are no variations to the melody or guitar solos.  He delivers it each time in a rich baritone voice, full of passion and conviction. We consider it a privilege to follow along.  There will be no runs for beer or hot dogs when Wayne grabs the mic and takes to the field.

Wayne Messmer is a multi-talented guy.  His Facebook page introduces him as “Certified Speaking Professional, Singer, Storyteller, Live Entertainer. Chicago guy!”  In addition to singing for the Cubs…

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SEEING THINGS DIFFERENTLY – BY RICH PASCHALL

If you saw last week’s story here, you may be interested in it from a different viewpoint Click on View original post at the bottom to follow over to SERENDIPITY for the rest of the story.

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A Marriage Equality Story, by Rich Paschall


All through senior year of high school, Eddie was telling everyone that he would be going on to college.  He had applied to a four-year university and to a “junior college” just in case he was not accepted or could not afford the university.  He received acceptance from both, a bit to his surprise, actually. While his parents, Edgar and Marge, were naturally quite pleased at Eddie’s acceptance, they advised him almost immediately that there was little they could do to help with the costs of college.  The best they could do was to allow him to continue to live at home for free and could not do much more.

Eddie got a part-time job in the last semester of high school and a full-time job after graduation.  His parents would not co-sign on a loan for the university and showed great reluctance to…

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DID YOU SEE THE PICTURE? – RICH PASCHALL

Will all of these characters take pride in the event described here? What is the reaction of one of them when a certain picture gets posted to social media? To read this Pride Month short story, click View original post at the bottom to head over to SERENDIPITY.

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A Marriage Equality Story, by Rich Paschall

When Eddie went into the army, Marge and her husband Edgar decided to leave the Midwest and head for Arizona.  As each year had past, Edgar found the winters increasingly difficult and the summers impossible.  When the spring and fall brought allergies on and the summer humidity brought breathing difficulty, the decision was easy.  It was time to go south.

Marge received a transfer to a Mesa, Arizona store and Edgar was sure he would find work if only he could breathe easier.  They took their daughter with them, although she had reached 21 years of age.  She did not know what she wanted to do in life and a change of location seemed like a good idea.

Eddie had worked for two years after high school and then decided the army would be his best start in life.  After the army, he would use…

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Decoration Day

Some of the stories below have been told here before.  I thought it was a good time to share them again.   

What bugs me most about our national holidays is that few people know what they are really about. It seems that we take it as some sort of extra vacation day, and that we should all go out and have a party somewhere. The only exception to this might be Thanksgiving Day which remains on the traditional fourth Thursday of November. Most people gather with their families to give thanks at the dinner table. Of course, some are giving thanks that there are 3 football games on television and you can watch all day long. At least families have gathered together, although that is starting to change as well with the change of store hours.

Other holidays are excuses for a party, 3 day weekend trip, backyard barbecue or attendance at a sporting event. If you ask someone of a younger generation the meaning of Thanksgiving, he might tell you it is the day we have football games in Detroit, Dallas and wherever the NFL will get ratings.  Christmas is when Santa comes, Easter is when the Easter Bunny comes, July 4th is when we shoot off fireworks and Labor Day is the end of summer so we should have one big old barbecue or party. The meaning of New Year’s Eve changed since Dick Clark no longer counts down the final seconds of the year and the NCAA destroyed New Year’s Day by moving most bowl games to other days (probably a topic for some New Year’s blog).

Military Cemetery, St. Avold, France

When I went to search for Memorial Day online, I immediately got “Memorial Day sales.” That would probably be good if I needed a new mattress or backyard pool.  I don’t.

There is always media coverage of how Americans are hitting the road for holiday trips. The cynic in me thinks the oil companies plan their oil prices to sell more gasoline this weekend.

It also seems to be a good day for photo opportunities for politicians. They will lay wreathes at tombs of unknown soldiers, as long as there are cameras nearby.  Trump took the opportunity to send out tweets and congratulate himself on a job well done.

The Washington DC website promoted the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally yesterday.  Did anyone know the participates were veterans?  They also wanted you to know about the Top Rooftop Bars in town. This way you know where to celebrate the meaning of the day.

When I was young, my grandmother referred to this holiday as Decoration Day. On May 30th, the holiday then, we would usually go to the cemetery and decorate the graves with geraniums. Some cemeteries put small flags at the graves of those who served in the military. We were told this was the meaning of the holiday. I had no idea how close to the truth this was.

After the American Civil War a date was set aside to decorate the graves of fallen Union soldiers. Southern ladies had already taken up the practice of decorating the graves of fallen confederate soldiers during the war. In the 20th century the day was dedicated to all Americans who paid the ultimate price in combat. Decorating graves could be symbolized by presidents laying a wreath at the tomb of unknown soldiers as there would be no one in particular to decorate those graves.

The official name was Decoration Day until Congress changed it to Memorial Day in 1967. In 1968 they took a bold step toward destroying its meaning, however, when they moved four holidays to Mondays. Now May 30th is not the holiday and Memorial Day has become part of an annual three-day vacation. We can be so caught up in the hoopla we forget what the day is all about. “What time do we meet?” “What shall I bring?” “What is the forecast?” “What time is the game?” “Decorate what? The backyard?”

My father is buried in a military section of a cemetery in another state. Although I can not be there, I know someone will decorate his grave and there will be a small American flag on each military grave. Taps will be played. That is the true essence of the day.

Related articles

Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial

This World War II cemetery at St. Avold, France contains the remains of American soldiers who fought for freedom in Europe and did not return home.  Who will be there to decorate their graves on Memorial Day weekend?  Who will decorate the graves of those who did return home?  Will they be remembered this holiday weekend?

 

Click on a picture and go through the larger versions of each. To read more about the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial visit Serendipity blog here.

WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR BROTHER? – RICH PASCHALL

“Sticks and stones…” but sometimes names do hurt. Before mistreating others, ask “What if it was my brother, sister, family member?” Bullying issues are sometimes addressed in song.  Hit “View original post” at the bottom to follow over to SERENDIPITY for the anti-bullying songs.

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Just Imagine, by Rich Paschall


Growing up. It’s hard, sometimes. For some, it can become hard forever. A youthful psyche can be delicate. An abusive environment can turn out to be too much to bear. Mistreatment can come in many forms, at many places. It can be home, school, or playground.  The young need to be loved — as does everyone. They most especially hate being laughed at.

I’m a little boy with glasses
The one they call a geek
A little girl who never smiles
‘Cause I have braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep

The Peter, Paul and Mary Song “Don’t Laugh at Me” wasn’t just a generic story about kids that are picked on.  The author, Allen Shamblin, wrote it following his daughter telling the tale of being teased at school.   Years later Peter Yarrow was inspired by the song to…

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Look at Me

Schaduw op het Buurkerkhof
Look at me,
That’s what my life has been saying.
Notice me,
That’s what my whole soul is praying.

Those who see me as I am
Do not understand
What my life is really about.
Those who look upon this face
Think I’ve found my place.
They don’t know me.

Take my hand.
My life is in need of guidance.
Make a stand.
I can no longer hide it.

Those who see me as I am
Do not understand.
They think I’m so very happy.
Those who see this smiling face
Have made a great mistake.
They don’t know me.

Look at me.
I am asking you to notice,
Please love me.
I am asking you to show it.

Those who see me as I am
Do not understand
Why I do the things that I do.
Those who think that I am smart,
That I have a happy heart
Do not know me.

Look at Me.

Notice me.

Look at me.

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April is National Poetry month.  Did you read or write any poems this months?

Growing Up

I read so slowly,
Falling behind in everything.
My friends are on the next book;
I’m still on Chapter 2.
They say it is about hate, sex, war,
The downfall of society.
I thought it was about love, childhood,
Playing games.
Maybe they taught something
The day I was absent.

Books, creative commons license

Old friends are no longer close to me.
I thought they were standing still.
Now I meet new people.
Should I move on anyway?

Why do they run when
Walking is much easier?
They are calling for me to catch up.
I can’t turn the pages that fast.

Maybe I’ll buy the “notes.”

 

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 April is National Poetry Month.

 

National Poetry Month Continues

Have you been reading your poetry?  Why not?  After all it is National Poetry Month.
Since you have not been out looking for poems, I see I have an effort from long past on the shelf. I am pleased to share it with you.  

You Were the One

You were the one
with the sparkling eyes
Alive whenever they
looked into mine,
But they no longer shine
like they used to do.
Now the just give me
the blues.

You were the one

You were the one
who smiled with ease,
Knew when to laugh,
knew how to please,
But you no longer smile
like you used to do.
Now it just gives me
the blues.

I still see the places
we spent so much time.
I still pass the inns
where we wined and we dined.
And all of these things
that remind me of you
Are all of the things
that give me the blues.

You were the one
with the tender touch,
That made me feel good;
that I wanted so much.
You no longer touch me
like you used to do.
It’s loss just gives me
the blues.

You were the one
with the right things to say,
That had soothed my soul
almost every day,
But your voice doesn’t sound
quite the way it used to.
The words no longer
ring true.

I still see the friends
we cherished so much.
I still have the gifts
you gave me with love,
But all of these things
that remind me of you,
Are all of the things
that give me the blues.

Copyright Richard Paschall

Photo credit: By Mike DelGaudio (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons