Friday, May 31, 2013

Pictures of the Day

Stanislov Sidorov - Russian Genre painter, circa 1950

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Picture of the Day - Civil Rights History

Here, Jesse Jackson, President of the Student Body and quarterback on the football team at NC A&T State University in Greensboro, confronts Boyd Morris, a former mayor of Greensboro and owner / operator of the Mayfair Cafeteria in downtown Greensboro.

The image was taken in 1962.  The story is all too familiar from that era.  Jackson wanted service for his fellow students and for his race. As with so much of white America in 1962, Morris wanted the status quo. As we know, thankfully, Jesse prevailed.  It was quite a time.  Most of our issues and concerns today pale in the face of a struggle for civil and human rights.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Superb, Early 20th Century, Historical Photograph

As a lover of Presidential history and a collector of historical memorabilia, I am 'blown away' and 'taken' by this photograph. It was found by my friend Neal Robinson, a great displayer of historical photography.

It is a photograph of Former President and Chief Justice William Howard Taft, President Warren G. Harding, and Robert Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843 – July 26, 1926), son of Abraham Lincoln, during the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday, May 30, 1922, in Washington DC. 

Mr. Lincoln graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1860, then studied at Harvard University from 1861 to 1865 where he received a law degree.  On February 11, 1865 he was commissioned as an assistant adjutant general with the rank of captain and served in the last weeks of the American Civil War as part of General Ulysses S. Grant's immediate staff.

He was 35th United States Secretary of War and he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1889 to 1893. Lincoln made his last public appearance at the dedication ceremony pictured above in Washington, D.C. for his father's memorial on May 30, 1922.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Picture of the Day

1921. "Auto wreck." Vehicular mishap on a wintry day on the streets (and sidewalks) of Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Picture of the Day

What an imagine.  Feel it.

Picture of the Day - John Lennon

At around 10:50 pm on 8 December 1980, as Lennon and Ono returned to their New York apartment in The Dakota, Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times at the entrance to the building.  What a coward.  What a waste.  There was no funeral.  Ono scattered his ashes in New York's Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields memorial was later created.  Nice little place.  Lennon was a giant.  Chapman got 20 years to life, and remains in prison, hopefully until his death.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Great Fenway Park- A Special Place

Do you have places that are special to you?  We all do.  It's fun to think about what they are and why they are special.  I have special local places such as Greensboro War Memorial Stadium (I grew up a block from there), my church, where I am a 55-year continuous member, the place I went to school grades 1-9, the campus of Elon University, etc.

The great Fenway Park in Boston is also a very special place to me.  Fenway is a mecca for those who love baseball.  It was built in 1912 and appears today as it did 100 years ago.  I was there the first time with my first girlfriend who was from New England.  I was there as a young baseball player in the Cape Cod League.  I was there with my son a couple of times, once on a baseball tour and once during a great Boston / Cape Cod trip.  I was there many times with work associates when I was a John Hancock company employee.  All of those experiences elicit wonderful memories. 

Being around Fenway Park in the great American city of Boston, taking in the sights and sounds around the park, watching the vendors, visiting the souvenir shops, smelling the Italian sausages with peppers and onions, visiting The Boston Beer Works micro brew across from the front gate, watching the scalpers and hustlers work, seeing the old Irish guys who've been going to games for 60+ years (and talking with one if you're lucky), make it a just a wondrous, sensuous, magnificent baseball / Americana experience. Get there early, my friend, get there early.

I'll do it again soon, trust me.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lesson for the Day....Using One of My Favorites

If you don't ask, the answer is always going to be no.

"....That's Michael Pollock......Remember that name.......Nice going, Michael......Guy's got chops.....That's how you make.... You take a chance." ~ Billy Joel

Springtime in Norway

Narrow Fjord, Norway

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fine Art

'La hora del baƱo' - William Glackens (1910)
'Hard Times' - John William Gatenby

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Picture of the Day

Fall day on a lake in New Jersey.

Diamond Head

The Hawaiian Islands is one place that will exceed your highest expectations, without question.  Diamond Head on Oahu is a particularly stunning site.  Three times there for me, twice on company trips and once on our 25th wedding anniversary and my wife's 50th birthday, which coincided, makes for great memories.  Probably won't get there again.  Will need to enjoy photos such as this one.....and cool memories.   

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nob Hill, San Fransico, USA

A Reflection on a Day - May 9, 2013

I do it seldom, but one of the objectives of a blog is to 'log' in thoughts and reflections.  As I reflect on my day yesterday, simplicity, significance, and blessings come to mind.

My bi-monthly morning coffee with friend Nick was interesting and meaningful as usual.  Nick is long-time high school friend with whom I lost and regained contact in recent years.  He is funny, interesting, and fascinating.  Very successful in the funeral and cemetery business (he was chairman of NC Cemetery Commission for 12 years appointed by Jim Hunt; he owned facilities in Morehead City and Hickory), he has a passionate interest in the New York Yankees.  He owns three championship rings (was wearing one yesterday) and has developed personal relationships with many of the past and present major league players.  He was team photographer when the Yankees were Greensboro's parent club and he spent many Springs in Tampa, with press passes, at Yankee training camp. 

I still work, and yesterday, after much discussion, I wrote Medicare Supplement on Nick.  Nick, like myself, will turn age 65 this summer.  Yesterday also brought service work on some of my existing group accounts. I have a couple of large summer renewals with which to deal.

I was pleased to be elected to the Executive Committee of Life@Elon yesterday.  Our adult education program has over 250 age 50+ students, as well as a long waiting list.  The program has surpassed my highest expectations.  I look forward to helping set vision, policy, and curriculum for the program going forward.  Elon University is a gem of an institution and opportunity for the Triad of North Carolina.

Yesterday brought time in the yard with attention to the grass on a sunny Spring day after much coolness and moisture.  It also supplied some much needed exercise after a slack time at the gym this Spring.  I had interesting email communications with son Rob yesterday, about politics and about one of his hobbies, autograph collecting. 

I had a great evening at the Grasshoppers game.  While visiting with many old baseball friends, I spent most of the evening standing and watching the game with Mr. Melvin, immediate past owner of the stadium and the team.  Every city needs a Jim Melvin and a Joe Bryan, wonderful human beings.

My day concluded by watching a video of granddaughter Scarlett walking for the first time.  What a joy that was.  We are looking forward to heading out to Chattanooga tomorrow for the baby's first birthday.  What a wonderful four or five days it will be.

As I reflect on my day, I can only say I am blessed, far beyond what I deserve.   Anglo-American Catholic writer and mystic Thomas Merton once said, "Happiness is not a matter of intensity--- but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony."  Some days, I pleased say, I just may achieve that.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Quote of the Day - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ike, a 5-Star General, knew from which he spoke, as he warned us about the military industrial complex and about fire arms......a great, mainstream Republican.  Not sure if he would recognize the party.

Quote of the Day - John F. Kennedy

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable".

John F. Kennedy

Picture of the Day

Heavy London traffic, June 1922.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Picture of the Day

Nice oil on canvas with great color.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Boston Beauty!

Appears to have been taken from the top of Prudential Center.  Been there often. Beautiful Back Bay Boston, with a Charles River backdrop.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sleepless In Seattle

A Chatham "Skiff"

What a nice shot of a 'skiff' in Chatham Harbor on Cape Cod. 
For two summers in the late 1960s, one of my first tasks in early June was to remove the small 'skiff', identical to the one above, from the boat house (one of six buildings on the estate of 4-star General Lucius Clay) and get it into the water on Oyster Bay in Chatham, Massachusetts, site of the grand estate on which I worked.  It is a long story, documented here.
A beautiful, tranquil scene, it is, one I likely had little appreciation for at ages 19 and 20.

A Taste of Country Gospel

A wonderful, 'down home' gospel piece by a star-studded country music cast on this, a cool, damp, cloudy Sunday afternoon, May of 2013.  I attended a nice graveside service today.  (I enjoy, and can be inspired by, a variety of music genres).  Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Oil On Canvas - Circa Early 20th Century

Moise Risling - 'Portrait of Jean Coutau' - 1915
Pierre Bonnard -  'La Place Cichy' - 1912
Duncan Grant - 'Interior With Artist Daughter Angelica' - circa 1935-36

Picture of the Day

Friday, May 3, 2013

"The Boss" and That Little Light......"Let It Shine!"

Easily one of my very favorite songs.  What a great rendition by "The Boss".  If this won't take us into the weekend on a high note, nothing will!

Pictures of the Day From Around the World

Bergen, Norway
Venice, Italy
Cairo, Egypt

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hillary Clinton For President

The 2016 Presidential election cycle will be historic.  A Clinton and a Bush will be once again be at, or near, the top of their respective party's primary process.  This means the Clinton and Bush family political dynasties, two of the most formidable and dominate in American political history, ranking up there with the Adams', Roosevelt's and Kennedy's, will be front and center. 

Their political machines and apparatus will be front and center as well.  Their's are the last of the dominate political machines.  It will be an all-out ideological, cultural, and political war.  That's how we do it.  Actually, it's is very American.  We are competitive, we go all in. 

2016 will be classic.  As much as many non-political types will dread it, it is who we are.  Among other things, once again, it will be two and a half year job interview by the American people.

The process is another 18 months away from taking off.  But then, fasten your seat belts.  It will be on.   

Fascinating Illustration of Exponential Global Growth and Health

It is fascinating how rapidly the world is changing. What if you were to have all the information about global GDP and life expectancy, what trends can you predict? This is the question Hans Rosling, a professor of international health in Sweden, is trying to answer.

Using more than 120,000 bits of data and augmented reality, the professor takes us through the last 200 years of global history and its uneven growth of wealth and health. Rosling has continually struggled to find new ways of presenting data that speaks to and engages the audience.

There are serious problems regarding the exponential growth and global health, but there are solutions. Demonstrations like this one could help broader audiences not only grasp the seriousness of the situation, but have hope that we can improve the world with new policies and technologies.

Picture of the Day

I love Facebook for many reasons, not the least of which is the wonderful images I see and have access to.  Here Tony, a friend from Florida posts: "Good morning my friends & faces! Raining here in Florida but still a beautiful day. ;)"

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