Archive for the ‘ Refelctivity ’ Category

Candle In The Wind

Marilyn…

So, I watched the Lifetime Marilyn Monroe two part movie this weekend.

The girl who played Marilyn was a dead ringer.

And of course, Susan Sarandon played crazy like crazy should be played.

It was ok-ish.

And it was full of stuff we’ve heard before.

I mean, how much do we really know?

How much is really true?

And just how much more is there to say about a troubled soul who died too soon and was used and abused by many?

Fifty three years after her tragic death – was it murder? Suicide? – we’re still enamored, still hunting, and still asking the questions.

The real kicker is that Marilyn would turn 89 today had she lived.

89.

89.

Seriously, folks, 89.

We will always remember the candle in the wind as the 36 year old beauty that brought America and the world under her spell.

We’re lucky that we’ll never know her as a 90 year old has been who became a caricature of herself.

And we can remember her this way.

Marilyn Monroe

Happy Bastille Day…

Since I am posting from my iPhone, I thought I’d bring back a post from four years ago, so… Happy Bastille Day

…ah the French!

My Dad and I have a running joke that started when I was a kid.  When ever we’re not impressed with something, dislike something, or are annoyed by something, we say, “Well, Happy Bastille Day to you too!”

It started from a comic strip, Dennis the Menace.  Seems Margaret, Dennis’ nemisis was as per usual, angry with Dennis.  The closing frame had her yelling, “Well, Happy Bastille Day to you too!”

Even though it’s a joke with the two of us, Bastille Day is a pretty important day in France.

The Bastille

The first Bastille Day on July 14, 1790 is seen as the UPrising of the modern nation we know as France.  It’s formal name is The National Celebration.  It was to celebrate the reconciliation of all peoples in the Constitutional Monarchy a year after the actual storming of the Bastille.

That event took place  on July 14, 1789.  The Bastille was a Parisian prison.  There were seven inmates at the time of the riots, a couple of forgers, deadbeats, and one “lunatic”, none of them was terribly political, and none was significant.

But the symbolism of the march of the peoples of Paris was very significant.

Louis XVI, King of France faced one major economic crisis after another, the people of France were poor, hungry, and angry.  The Bastille symbolized all that was wrong with France and Royal Autnority, which UP to that time was absolute.  It was a symbol of tyranny.  He of course wasn’t helped by his beautiful Austrian wife, Marie Antionette – one of the most misunderstood figures in history.

The rioters were headed to the Bastille for gunpowder.  They had taken control of 30,000+ guns from the Hotel des Invalides, but there was no powder there.  It was all at the Bastille.  A bit like Barney Fife keeping his gun in the holster and the bullet in his shirt pocket if you ask me!

The crowd was small at first, fewer than a 1,000.  It grew as negotiations dragged on and word spread.  The governor of the prison didn’t want to surrender Royal Property too quickly.  He capitulated, but was dragged from the place, beaten, stabbed, and his head put on a pike for parade.

Paris was in a state of panic.

The King, who all along had listened to the bad advice of his advisors, caved, removed the troops from Paris and LaFayette took over the National Guard.  As many nobles as could fled the country.

The revolutionaries were in control.

Things didn’t get better.

It was the beginning of the French Revolution and the beginning of the end of the Monarchy, Louis and his family.

Today’s present celebration stems from 1878, and honors the Republic.   It didn’t become a national holiday until 1880.

When the debate raged over a national holiday to honor the events of the Bastille, Henri Martin, The Chairman of the French Senate said,

“Do not forget that behind this 14 July, where victory of the new era over the ancien régime was bought by fighting, do not forget that after the day of 14 July 1789, there was the day of 14 July 1790. … This day (the 1790 celebration) cannot be blamed for having shed a drop of blood, for having divided the country. It was the consecration of unity of France. … If some of you might have scruples against the first 14 July, they certainly hold none against the second. Whatever difference which might part us, something hovers over them, it is the great images of national unity, which we all desire, for which we would all stand, willing to die if necessary.”

Claude Monet gave us the best picture of the celebration.

Reu Montorgueil by Claude Monet

It is a day of national pride, a day to celebrate the Republic, and not the revolution.

It’s a pretty big deal!

So Dad, and to all our friends in France, Happy Bastille Day!

(this was posted three months before I lost my dad.)

Sentimental Journey

Father’s Day is rapidly approaching; this will be my fourth without my dad.

Dad was busy when I was growing UP.  There were my brothers and sisters, a family to raise, and there was the church of course.

Sometimes, the church got in the way.

At least to me.

Oh, I was never neglected, I know he loved me, and I know there were times he didn’t like me much.

I was a “difficult” child.

Who wasn’t?

It’s funny how the little things come back to you.

Every once in a while, when Dad was off to some other church to preach – his circle of preacher friends was large, and they loved to have him come and teach the Bible – he’d take me with him.

I was 12 when we went to Natural Bridge, Virginia so dad could preach a revival meeting at the Natural Bridge Baptist Church.  I was excited about the trip because I’d get to see Grandma and Grandpa Brads, the McKemy family, and most of all, Aunt Nette and Uncle Red.

I was to stay with them a few days, which was the highlight of any kid’s summer!

Aunt Nette was the coolest Aunt EVER!

But, I digress.

Back in the days before US 35 was done, the trip from Germantown to Virginia was a little windier, longer, and tiring.

But it was fun.

We always stopped at Trippie’s, now long gone, a restaurant, soda fountain, glass shop.

As in collectible glass.

I was hooked on glass and dishes early in life, and it’s a passion in which I still indulge.

Any thing pretty and shinny and colorful caught my eye, and if I had some extra cash, I picked it UP.

Trippie’s had Fenton glass and other collectibles, mostly low end.

And one, of course, caught my eye.

Hen on Nest

A simple post-WW II carnival glass hen on nest was sitting there waiting for me to come by.

Eyeing it, I knew my vacation cash would have to last so I walked away.

Dad, realizing my thoughts and amazed at a rare moment of frugality on my part, bought it for me.

Imagine my surprise, he rarely bought “junk to sit around.”

On the way out the door each morning, I see the little hen sitting in the kitchen china cabinet, remember the good trip and thank God for a great dad.

Yep, it’s the little things.

Dyer Straits!

It’s June 1st, it’s Sunday, and it’s time for a little religious liberty lesson.

On June 1, 1660, Mary Dyer, Puritan turned Quaker was sentenced to death by hanging at the command of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for repeatedly breaking the law banning Quakers from entering the Colony.

Wait a minute, aren’t these the people who left Merrie Olde England because of religious prosecution?

Yes, yes they were.  The Pilgrims came to the New World for religious liberty, and many turned to Puritanism. Massachusetts was eventually overtaken by the sect, and their laws ruled.

Mary Dyer and her husband, William, a fishmonger and hat maker – odd combo I know – were followers of Anne Hutchinson, a Puritan religious leader and preacher who caused a ruckus in the Bay Colony over how God spoke to people.

Ya see, the Puritan Clergy felt they had the hot line to God.  However, there were some – as in those who actually read the Bible – who knew that God communicates with all who follow him through the Bible.

With Anne espousing such “heresy” and gaining a following, the Puritan leaders of Boston arranged to have her banished to Rhode Island and the Plantations.  They sent Mary Dyer packing as well.

But, Mary, not fond of Rhode Island, headed to England, converted to Quakerism, and came back to “Murica” to spread the word.

The Bostonians, rather than waiting for the other shoe to drop, passed a law banishing Quakers from the Colony.

Mary, against the pleas of her family, decided to head back to Bean Town to argue for the reversal of such liberty infringing statues.

The Puritan Clergy and civic leaders, having already convicted her once, sentenced her to death.

Land of the free? Home of the brave?

Mary Dyer being led to her execution by Howard Pyle

Mary Dyer being led to her execution by Howard Pyle

On the day following her conviction, Mary Dyer was hanged for her “crimes” and buried in an unmarked grave on the Boston Common.

Real religious freedom would not arrive in America until the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution at the insistence of James Madison and others.

Who were neither Puritan nor Quaker.