WHO ARE YOU? FAMILY TO STRANGER, OVERNIGHT

Although 45 will not sign the LGBT “Pride” month proclamation like his predecessors had done, it is nonetheless pride month for many. In that spirit we will look back at some of our past LGBT stories.

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A family of strangers story by Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

Russell was home from the university, perhaps for the last time.  He finally graduated after four and a half years and a double major from the School of Business.  He lived at school each year and came home for the summers.  Now his plan was to get a job, save a little money and move out.  His college roommate would soon become his roommate again, if they could arrange it.

Russell’s parents, now in their 50’s, never seemed to change.  To Russell they always looked the same and acted the same.  Russell’s father was a hard-working, quiet guy whom everyone liked. His mother was also hard-working and dependable.  They seemed to naturally know which household chores to perform without ever talking about it.  Russell sometimes thought they held secret meetings to plan out the details of their lives, Russell’s included.

After…

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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.

ONE WONDERFUL MOMENT

Last week we had a 50th anniversary celebration for these one hit wonders. In case you missed it, we are having another party and you are invited. “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” over to SERENDIPITY by clicking on “View original post” below.

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1968 Edition, by Rich Paschall

Many musicians toil away at their craft hoping to break through the mass of musical acts and reach success with a hit recording.  Following endless rehearsals and low paying jobs, some of the best, or most interesting, will land recording contracts.  These artists wait eagerly for the day when one of their songs will be heard on the radio and climb the pop charts.  In 1968 there was no shortage of new acts to reach the Top 100.

Success may mean interviews and television appearances.  In an era with many television variety shows and, of course, American Bandstand, a chance to show off in front of millions could be at hand.  After finally having made it, performers looked for the next hit.  For many it would not be.  They would go down in music history as “one hit wonders.”

Just one hit song

Some golden…

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THOSE WERE THE DAYS, MY FRIEND

Fifty years ago some rock icons scored one or more of their top hits. Click “View original post” below to head over to SERENDIPITY to find my top 20 songs of 1968. While you are there, find today’s article on the one hit wonders of the same year, One Wonderful Moment.

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The Golden Age of Rock Turns 50, 1968 by Rich Paschall

Everyone will look back on their youth with the belief that the hit music of their time comprised the Golden Age of whatever genre was on top.  We will, of course, make the same claim. In fact every genre of our time hit the pop charts.  Many of those songs have not lost their golden shine 50 years later.  I know you are eagerly awaiting my top ten list of songs having a golden anniversary. You will be pleased to know I initially wrote down so many (46), that I will have to give you a top 20.

The Beatles

Some iconic rock and roll acts had come to prominence and charted singles and albums.  Rock legends Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Doors, The Moody Blues, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Janis Joplin and…

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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.

 

APRIL LOVE OR APRIL FOOL?

Here are my top April songs. Be sure to hit “View original post” at the bottom to follow over to SERENDIPITY to view the list.

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April in Paris, by Rich Paschall


One April early in the 21st millennium, I actually was in Paris.  I thought it would be exciting, even a bit romantic.  I am not sure my travel companion saw it in the same light.  Although he had never been out of the country before, he did not seem overly excited about the trip, much to my chagrin.

At the time I was working for a freight company that had acquired a nice collection of gifts for Christmas.  Since they did not have something for everyone, they raffled off the gifts they had.  The top prizes were the airline tickets.  Of course I had hoped to win the Air France vouchers, but doubted it could be so with such a large group.  There were other nice prizes and I would have been happy with any of them.  When they called my name for the tickets…

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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