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Just today, It’s Monday the first day in February in the year 2021, I read a fellow blogger’s Blog. She started her blog by writing the following. My blogger friends, do you find you often blog in your mind, but never quite get it to the keyboard state?
Well, let me tell you, I do this all the time. Earlier today my wife finished a quilt and I had the task of taking that quilt to the women who will put it on a Long Arm and finish it for her. We have no Long Arm but we do have a Quilting frame. The Mrs. has made many a quilt on that frame over the years.
I recently saw a Bernina Long Arm machine listed for $20,499.00. Our quilting frame purchased over 20 years ago was $360.00.
Rambling thoughts herein lie. Just wanted to impart a bit of the wonderful work my wife does and the machines that can finish those works of art off.
So, I’m driving on the Bypass with this quilt, it’s cold outside, more snow on the way. What, you had snow you ask. Yes, here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland we got several inches yesterday. The first measurable snow in 706 days. It is reported that we shall get more tonight. I should write about that I thought. I’ll start with ‘HEADLINE, NO SNOW IN 706 DAYS.” That will attract an audience I think to myself.
I’m listening to the radio, Oldies channel, https://kool1043.com if your ever traveling in or around Salisbury, MD and enjoy the oldies. They give you little tidbits such as: This Day in Music History – 1962 – Warner Bros. Records signed Peter, Paul & Mary. 1966 – The Bobby Fuller Four’s “I Fought The Law” was released. 1969 – The “Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” debuted on CBS-TV. 1972 – David Bowie performed as “Ziggy Stardust” for the first time. 1972 – Smokey Robinson left The Miracles. 1979 – Emerson, Lake […] etc. I’m sure you get the point so I’ll get back to my point. I was putting out a Blog in my head.
On November 9, 1965 the United States had a Black Out affecting all of the state of New York and parts of seven neighboring states. chaos prevailed, 800,000 people were stranded in the NY subways. Thousands more were stuck in elevators and trains. Just setting the scene here folks.
This writer was a young Marine Sergeant assigned at the time to USNAD Earle, NJ, a Naval ammunition Depot. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Weapons_Station_Earle
I’m in the Guard Bunker at that facility, I have fellow Marines under my command out on posts, some fixed, some mobile, some in vehicles on roaming patrols. One fixed post on that November evening held a Marine in a Tower overlooking all the bunkers under our watchful eyes that held some powerful ordinance.
I have the radio on, “You’ve got that Loving Feeling,” by the Righteous Brothers is playing and the young Marine in that tower radio’s down to me, “Hey Sarge, NY City has disappeared. Yep, here I am driving the bypass 02/01/21 and I’m back in the moment. It was then that I said, I’ve got to write that in a Blog. Thanks Chrissie, you’ve inspired me.
Then, at precisely 5:21 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, everything went black.
It was Nov. 9, 1965. And suddenly, from Pennsylvania to southern Canada, through parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and northern New England, right up into Ontario, more than 30 million North Americans were without power.
It was the Great Northeast Blackout.
Many people were swept up with the fear that the Russians had attacked and the U.S. was in the throes of World War III. Others felt it was a realistic version of the classic “War of the Worlds,” with alien beings to blame for the widespread power outage upon their arrival on earth.
The hubbub was caused, ironically enough, by a faulty relay estimated by one source as “probably a two-dollar piece of machinery” at the mammoth Niagara-Mohawk Power Plant in upstate New York. Such a minute wrinkle made it sound all the more like H.G. Wells’ fictional “War,” an example of the tiniest of things creating the biggest nuisance.
In New York City, some 800,000 people were stranded in underground subways, while thousands more were trapped for the duration in elevators. Johnny Carson, in his “Tonight Show” monologue, quipped that in nine months, all over the East Coast, mothers would be giving birth and wistfully naming their sons Otis.
For the record, during the week of Aug. 9-15 of 1966 – nine months later – a total of 14 births were registered at Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital.
While many areas – including New York City – were without power for several days, the Greater Gardner area experienced a grand total of two hours and 57 minutes in the dark.
As the blackout hit, emergency generators were pressed into action and continued well past the hour when all power was restored to the area. As the lights went out, on came the candles, kerosene lamps and flashlights.
The very next day would be the 190’th Birthday of the Marine Corps.
Blogging is a great way to pass time during this the Covid Pandemic, there’s plenty of space between me and my readers. Now I’ve written that Blog I thought about and I’ve shared with you a moment in time during the life of The Rooster. Be safe my friends. Oh yes, thanks Chrissie for giving me the impetus to write this. Fall softly, save those knees. It only took me 11 more days to get this out. By the way, when we awoke this morning, 4 inches of snow.
Recently while sitting at our dining area table, my wife and I were reminiscing about our years of growing up. As you get older, you tend to reflect back a lot to days gone by. I call them: Do you remember moments. We are both in our 70s and have a lot of years we can reflect on.
To set the stage a bit, my parents were married during the early days of WW 2, I appeared shortly there after. By 1946 they had separated. Fortunately for me, they were both from the same town on the Jersey side of Philadelphia. Ferry boats were still in use back then, transporting folks over the Delaware River. I would get to see my father every week as well as my fraternal grandparents. There were not a lot of large gatherings at their dinner table. The table was in the kitchen up against a wall and made of metal. Two meals each week never varied. Friday nights was always Oyster Stew or fish, (Yuk.) Saturday meals were always Hot Dogs and Baked Beans, (Toot-Toot.)
My parents were young when married. When the war started, my father was already in the Army. He spent time in the Philippines, and I’m thinking once he came home, the glowing flame of a youthful romance was no longer there. Neither parent ever spoke of negatives about the other. I was fortunate that I was equally shared and held accountable for my actions by both, neither parent would ever put down the other.
My mother and I would share a second-floor apartment in the home of my maternal Great-grandparents. My father would move back into the same bedroom he was raised in with his parents. We were separated by railroad tracks and less than a mile. I would spend a lot of time at both homes. Also, one block away was my maternal grandparents and an aunt. I was loved, spoiled, and watched over by caring relatives.
My wife grew up less than an hour away in Wilmington, Delaware, 36 miles as the crow flies. She was #4 of 5 children whose parents stayed together forever. She had three older brothers and a younger sister. Most of her family’s relatives were in NE Pennsylvania; the family would spend a lot of time visiting that neck of the woods. In her life also, the Dining Room Table would be the gathering place in Wilmington as well as Freeland, PA. Neighbors would constantly drop in at the Wilmington location. My wife remembers one family in particular that timed their visit at dinner time, quite frequently in fact. Not wanting to be rude, they were always invited to stay, and they did. Yes sir E. Bob, “back in the day,” I like to say.
There were not a whole lot of electronic diversions back in the late 40s, early 50s. TV was just getting going and we didn’t have one. I do remember going next door to see Howdy Doody at 5:00 pm. That show came on the air in 1947 and ran until 1960. The folks who allowed me to watch the show would ultimately be the parents of my step-father when my mother remarried. On occasion, I would carry my dinner over with me and watch the show at the dining room table. Looking back, this was a strange place to have a TV by today’s standards. I might add that this home was a strict Methodist facility. Once my mother married their son, Methodist standards took hold. No card playing or sports or rowdiness on Sundays, ever.
Here’s a look back at Granny W’s old-time dining table . This was the table at my maternal grandmother’s home. This home was a Lutheran home. That dining room table would host holiday meals for many years as well as other celebratory events. I can remember having to sit around and listen to whatever it was old people talked about back then. I vividly recall the Truman – Dewey presidential race being discussed. That was November 3,1948, and I was not yet six years of age. Truman won in an upset, by the way. All the newspapers reported Dewey the winner. Yep folks there was even fake news at the time. Many a card game, money on the table, cigar smoke in the air was the norm during a lot of get gatherings.
That Granny “W” could cook, and the aroma of the evening meal would hit you in the face the minute you walked into the house. She had a big part in raising me. Her dining room table was quite large. It had substantial sculpted legs with Gargoyles or something similer on them. Over the table was a chandelier encircled with gold-threaded fringe. Our children still remember being scolded for flicking that fringe. So I’m thinking, does that mean children were always on the fringe while the adults conversed?
The atmosphere at this table was much more jovial than the Methodist table. Many Aunts and Uncles would be in attendance. My grandmother would always have some Mogen David wine in the cupboard. For the men, it was Schmidt’s of Philadelphia beer. What a contrast between the two tables. I’m thinking about the difference between Lutherans and Methodists. I’m sure that’s politically incorrect in this day and age. I’ll call this the happy table and the other the stuffy table.
I would spend many hours at this table listening, trying to picture places and events that were talked about. When I was sent off to bed, I would listen to more stories at the keyhole in the door. Often talk would center around my great-grandfather, and the time he traveled with a Wild West show in the early 1900s. He was a Gun-Smith and kept the show’s weapons functioning. I could really close my eyes and place myself in those days of old. High-O-Siver, away! My grandmothers brother was often in attendance and would tell stories about his life as an Engineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad. I often would dream of riding the rails in the Caboose.
Yes, back in the day there were many things other than electronics to keep a boys mind imagining. I sure did like playing Cowboys and Indians. Thanks to that dining room table, I could place myself in the moment.
Semper Fi theRooster
Travels with Harrison on 12/21/2020
We two have been traveling and dining companions for over a year now. No trip has ever been the same, even if the place traveling to was driven before. Travels were such on this day as we found ourselves heading to Crisfield, MD. On this day, as are most, we headed first on a trash run. As we depart the house through the garage, I notice numerous tied trash bags and paper bags with recyclables sitting at the base of the slalom course that serves as a ramp for Harrison and his walker. I’ve often wondered why it’s not called a wheeler, as it’s something you wheel along in front of you.
Harrison is forever in amazement with the recently built Round-About which graces the intersections of, Camden, Riverside, Carroll and Mill streets in Salisbury. This section of roadway always leads to conversation about the Netherlands and that countries many roundabouts. Harrison’s father emigrated to the United State from the Netherlands back around the turn of the century. This time last year we were in the Netherlands as well as a host of other countries in the general area. On one day’s trip from Garmisch, Germany to the Netherlands we hit Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and France. Most of that trip while traveling through the Alps was in a snow storm.
Let me get back to our trip to Crisfield. At five miles outside of the city we notice a combination bike and walking trail all paved and running parallel to Rt. 413. With Harrison being eighty eight years young, and me only ten years behind him we pass on parking at the beginning of this trail and choose to drive into town. With age comes common sense.
We drive around town, check out the waterfront and hit a few neighborhoods. There has been a lot of rain the past few months and many properties not usually waterfront, are now so. There is not a whole lot of high ground on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, especially in Crisfield, The Blue Crab Capitol of the world.
There were few restaurants open on this cold dreary day so we settled on a McDonald’s. With a Cheeseburger being my partners favorite meal of choice, how could we go wrong. Well folks, let me tell you, it was not to be a Cheeseburger, no sir, not on this day. A big old sign said “Back by popular demand, The McRib sandwich.”
If you never had one of these, wear a bib, old clothes, get plenty of napkins, wet paper towels and look for a shower near by. There was enough Sweet Baby Ray’s likened sauce on this baby to float a small boat, or at least a Gator. The two of us made a contest out of who would win the sticky finger, shirt, pants contest. Harrison won this contest and yours truly came in a close second. Thank you Lord for the bountiful backpack with wet naps in it. This is something not to order if eating in your vehicle.
We took a circuitous route back to Salisbury while avoiding main roads. I’m forever requested to turn onto a road after I hear “I wonder where that goes?” It was another adventure that would fill a page in the Journal I keep daily, especially my days with Harrison. I would get my buddy home safe, we would give his beloved Sylvia a recount of our day and especially our McRib adventure.
On this date, our last in the infamous 2020, I have only a few pages left to fill in my Journal. I remain vertical, as does my wife and all those close to me. Mask up my readers, be safe and I’ll see you next year.
Happy New Year
The Nursing Notes for Shoo-Fly Pie
After following the recipe to a “T”, this is our final written word.
Line 2 pie pans with pie crust
- 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of Brown Sugar, (may use white) a generous 1/2 cups of shortening ( I split 1/2 Lard – 1/2 Butter) Mix with fingers till it resembles fine crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of crumbs to put on top of pie.
2. To the remaining crumbs add one teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of nutmeg.
3. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda in 1/2 teaspoon of Vinegar.
4. Mix together 1 cup of Dark Molasses with 1 cup of boiling water, add dissolved Baking Soda and Vinegar to Molasses mixture.
5. Add all to crumb mix, mix well, pour batter into lined pie pans.
6. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the two pies.
7. Bake in 350 deg oven 30-45 minute until tooth pick comes out clear.
Let cool, eat and enjoy!
God is the silence of the universe, and man is the cry that gives meaning to that silence.
If that be the case, what of the Rooster, asks this author?
I’m an avid follower of a.word.a.day with Anu Greg, I even throw them a $ or two from time to time. Appropriately, at least as this Rooster is concerned, a recent word this week was cock-horse.
(This site gives sharing permission) Thus, we’re all getting educated.
adverb: Mounted with a leg on each side.
noun: A hobby horse.
From cock (rooster) + horse, perhaps from the strutting of a rooster. Earliest documented use: 1566.
The best-known use of the term is in this nursery rhyme:
Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.
As in this nursery rhyme, the term is often used in contexts where a child is riding a hobby horse. The use of the term in today’s usage example though is not as innocent as it sounds. We’ll leave it at that.
“‘Do you want to ride a cock-horse today, Johnny?’ she asked.”
Jak. E. Rander; An Eye for an Eye; Xlibris; 2012.
I was surprised no-one wanted a Game Cock, no one out there from South Carolina?
After waiting another week, most likely due to hanging chad, the poor guy must be still dangling somewhere. Oh, and all the interference from China, Russia, and our friends in the Baltics, we have a WINNER.
We only had three choices after the first vote if you remember. The three to choose from were
Back to the Vote we had going.
- Gregory Peck (our winner)
- Kung Pow
- General Tso
I’m guessing a few of those voters did not see the original blog. https://elfidd.com/2020/09/02/this-rooster-needs-a-name/?
Kipper!!! Someone got a Herring issue!
Russell Crow – This Cock does not eat crow.
Rooster Cogburn after the Duke – (Doubt we could find an eye patch for that one.)
Gunny– Best I did was an E-6 Staff Sgt.
Duke– Duke of Earle? #1 song in 1962 https://youtu.be/h6Uht69h8Is
Someone threw in Colonel Sanders, the original passed on some years back, could not resurrect!
Now we say good by to the two losers on the ballot.
Tso, the general is a loser.
Pow, right in the kisser was gone in the first round with a TKO.
About our winner– When Gregory Peck was designated an enemy of the conservative Nixon establishment, it was as much a recognition of his role within the social symbolism of Hollywood films, as a reaction to his personal involvement with liberal causes. If James Stewart, in his work for Frank Capra, nostalgically embodies the populist image of the smalltown good citizen, Peck creates the figure of the decent and fairminded reformer or the fundamentally good man who rises to the moral demands of the occasion. Only rarely have other qualities of Peck’s persona been explored, particularly the resentment and anger which his intensity suggests. It is in these uncharacteristic roles that he has done some of his most interesting as well as some of his worst acting.
Congratulations Gregory Peck, back from the dead and, ready to live and love once more, your going to love these chicks! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Peck
His leading ladies are to arrive around 22 October. They shall be young’ns and Gregory shall protect them through the growth process.
There will be 12 leading ladies coming via the USPS. They shall be named after leading ladies of the movies. Some of these ladies are named here in: https://bestlifeonline.com/inspiring-leading-ladies-movies/?nab=1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fduckduckgo.com%2F
Come back in late October for the arrival of Peckers chicks.
Knowing the politics of these days, we can only hope live chickens can still be sent through the mail.
Is your local box still there? Check early, check often. Ooops, that was supposed to be vote early, vote often. We shall check back on 3 November for that one. “Wow” that’s a week prior to the Marine CorpsBirthday! I vote for Chesty Puller.
Semper Fi theRooster
My being delivered was mentioned previously and names were sought on various venues. Of all the names chosen by my care givers, the Rooster and wife have selected three (3) they could live with. They are;
- Gregory Peck
- General Tso
- Kung Pow
(3) I know, you’re saying Kung Pao was misspelled. Not in this instance however. Mess with me if this turns out to be the name chosen and, POW, right in the kisser!
(2) General Tso, Tso, you wanna mess with me? I will be the leader and the one in charge for the forthcoming flock, I will be charged with to protect. Generally speaking there will be no issues I shall not be able to handle. Generally, get it?
(1) Who in the name of old deceased actors is Gregory Peck? Well Gregory Peck was the the lanky, handsome movie star whose long career included such classics as “Roman Holiday,” “Spellbound” and his Academy Award winner, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” He hung around until age 87. This Rooster likes the sound of longevity.
Gregory Peck is best remembered for his portrayals of honorable men. Whether it was the idealistic lawyer in “To Kill A Mockingbird” or the reporter exposing prejudice in “Gentleman’s Agreement,” Peck was the epitome of quiet courage and moral strength. Yep, that sounds kinda like me. Plus, if I run out of bullets, I can peck your eyes out if you bring mayhem to my flock.
Now just why are you being asked to name a new representative in the flock? Well, for the first time in 17 years, there is no flock. One of our resident Roosters got to go airborne with an American Eagle a few weeks ago. He was the white one in the Rooster’s banner. God rest his soul. We were down to 2 Hens & 1 Rooster and decided to start anew.
Daughter Sarah suggested a “Free to good home” post in the local FB Web Page. She did the post, Slam, Bam, Thank You Mam, countless contacts applied. Before the next day was out, a meet and greet was arranged and those three now reside across the river. In these parts, it’s kinda like the other side of the tracks. Still haven’t figured out if I’m on the Right or Left side, or is it the other side? Damn Politics!
We have settled on Meyer Hatchery as the Birthing mother for twelve (12) baby hens and one (1) Rooster. They are due on 19 October and shall arrive here on the 22’nd of October. We’ve used Meyer in the past and things have always gone well. We also checked with Murry McMurry Hatchery. Unfortunately no birds that we desired would be available until April. We’ve also used that hatchery in the past and they provided good quality birds as well as Meyer’s did.
It seems this Covid thing has increased the want for birds, chickens in particular. Be it eggs or meat, there is a great market at this time.
So, in the mean time, this rifle toting patriotic bird pictured here today shall be in charge. All we need is a name. Please give us your vote in the comments section and what ever you choose we shall be happy to name him according to our readers wishes.
As they say from our nations capitol, “Vote Early & Vote often.”
theRooster says Semper Fi
I present to you, the newest member of the family.
I’m the newest member of the Rooster‘a family. I was born on 8/11/2020. The doctor who delivered me had the initials UPS. I do not know what the initials stand for. The old Rooster wants everyone to submit a name via his Blog, FB, Twitter or Instagram site. The Rooster and the Mrs (an old hen), will then pick 3 names they like and put the name up for a vote. If you’ve taken the time to read this and decide to vote, here’s some personal info. I was hatched in China, I’m made of 100% synthetic fiber, I’m 19 inches tall and my hatchery named me Ranger as I went out the door. I’ve been called fine looking, the leader of the pack, boss of the hens and, I have colorful plumage. I shall strut about the barn-yard crowing. I’ve been called cocky and my claws and beak are very sharp. As we teach all who vote, when it’s time, vote early and vote often. Thanks guys and girls. No Green Card as yet, I’m hoping soon though.
Granddaughter Abigail was married on Saturday past. What was to be a 200 count guest list was cut to 80. We had a split Rehearsal dinner, daughter Kathryn and husband Jeff (Where in the world is Jeff Berthiaume,) hosted half, the Supreme Hen and theRooster hosted half. Rain had been called for that evening and fifty just would not fit in the Rooster’s hutch. The gathering departed at 8:45 PM after a great meal of Burgers and dogs with many sides. The sky opened up with heavy rain @ 9:15 PM, “Phew,” that was close.
The newly weds were to take a cruise out of Florida, thanks to Covid-19 that was not to be. They did get a few days at the beach in Ocean City, MD.
Last week Umair Hague wrote an article in Medium entitled “How Bad is America’s Coronavirus Surge? Really, Really Bad.” (This is my rain)
Earlier today I was checking on our weather forecast here on Delmarva and stumbled upon, like many of us do, the following. https://www.accuweather.com/en/leisure-recreation/our-top-20-weather-related-songs/655903 If you like weather, especially weather songs, check it out.
Once I got to hear “Have You Ever Seen The Rain,” and I got to thinking, yep, I’ve seen it and I’m now living it. That rain is COVID-19. You see, for those that don’t know, I’m in my late 70’s, and in my golden years. Every day up in the vertical is a Sunny Day! This dang Pandemic thing is just rain on my sunny days.
Just one week prior to my birthday we went into the Lockdown mode. That day was March 19. Part of my every week prior to the Lockdown, I got to spend Mondays and Thursdays for the past four months with a special buddy, his name is Harrison. This man was ten plus years my senior, married to a Bridge, card player, who needed some Her Time. My buddy also liked traveling the Eastern Shore of MD, DE, and VA and needed to get out some himself. Those two letter identifiers, that’s Maryland, Delaware and Virginia for you out of the country readers. That area is also referred to as the DELMARVA PENINSULA. Every day with Harrison was a sunny day.
Pretty much our day got started around nine and ended around four. We would go out for lunch and often would start talking about food shortly after deciding where we would go on that given day. My partner loved history, especially the history of and places available on Delmarva. On occasion we had pre-planned the day. Most often we would decide where to eat while going to get rid of several day’s household trash or going to the local Recycle Bin with the household magazines and newspapers.
We did a lot of pre-planning over our food. Just the planning was a sunny time and it always brought excitement into the future., especially Harrison.
“Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” is a song written by John Fogerty and released as a single in 1971 from the album Pendulum (1970) by roots rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song charted highest in Canada, reaching number 1 on the RPM 100 national singles chart in March 1971. In the U.S., in the same year it peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (where it was listed as “Have You Ever Seen the Rain / Hey Tonight”, together with the B-side). On Cash Box pop chart, it peaked at number 3. In the UK, it reached number 36. It was the group’s eighth gold-selling single.
Some have speculated that the song’s lyrics are referencing the Vietnam War, with the “rain” being a metaphor for bombs falling from the sky. In his review for Allmusic website, Mark Deming suggests that the song is about the idealism of the 1960s and about how it faded in the wake of events such as the Altamont Free Concert and the Kent State shootings, and that Fogerty is saying that the same issues of the 1960s still existed in the 1970s but that people were no longer fighting for them. However, Fogerty himself has said in interviews and prior to playing the song in concert that it is about rising tension within CCR and the imminent departure of his brother Tom from the band. In an interview, Fogerty stated that the song was written about the fact that they were on the top of the charts, and had surpassed all of their wildest expectations of fame and fortune. They were rich and famous, but somehow all of the members of the band at the time were depressed and unhappy; thus the line “Have you ever seen the rain, coming down on a sunny day?”. The band split up in October the following year after the release of the album Mardi Gras.
In a literal sense the song describes a sunshower such in the lyric “It’ll rain a sunny day” and the chorus “have you ever seen the rain Comin’ down on a sunny day?”. These events are particularly common in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but less common in other parts of the country, due to localized atmospheric wind shear effects. In Southern regional dialect, there is even a term for it: “the devil beating his wife”.
Just so we can see some light at the end of the tunnel we have
It never Rains in Southern California
This song’s lyrics and vocals are enthusiastic and hopeful. It reminds us that there is a brighter day coming after the rains. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Never_Rains_in_Southern_California
So my friends out there in the world’s CVovid land, how are you coping? I ask, are you free for the present, soon to be locked down again? Was your 4’th of July parade rained upon? Is your SUNSHINE gone? Will I ever dine with my friend again?
Semper Fi theRooster
Last night we were invited to dinner at our daughter Sarah and son-in-law’ Greg’s home. Grandson Tommy was home from NC for the weekend. Kathryn, Abby, Rachael and pets Cooper & Riley were in attendance. Jeff was on his way to Michigan and Antwaine was working. Low humidity, and a gorgeous sky with no wind made the evening delightful.
Our concentrated discussion centered on Juneteenth. Not one of us prior to the recent events beginning in Minnesota we are all so aware of, had ever heard of Juneteenth.
Oh, the menu you ask. Skirt Steak, fresh caught Tuna and Scallops, Corn on the Cob, (Best ultra sweet, tooth sucking corn I’ve ever tasted,) Asparagus, fresh salad, and it all ended with home made Peach Cobbler by Grannie. Sorry we couldn’t have had you all there. Thanks Sarah and Greg!
Usher Raymond IV is a musician, actor and entrepreneur. He recently submitted this essay to the Washington Post.
At the 2015 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, I wore a T-shirt that caught a lot of people’s attention. The design was simple. The words “July Fourth” were crossed out and under them, one word was written: “Juneteenth.” I wore the shirt because, for many years, I celebrated the Fourth of July without a true understanding that the date of independence for our people, black people, is actually June 19, 1865: the day that the news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached some of the last people in America still held in bondage.
I have no issue with celebrating America’s independence on July 4. For me, wearing the shirt was an opportunity to inform others who may not necessarily know the history of black people in America, and who are not aware that Juneteenth is our authentic day of self-determination. It is ours to honor the legacy of our ancestors, ours to celebrate and ours to remember where we once were as a people. And it should be a national holiday, observed by all Americans.AD
Growing up in Chattanooga, Tenn., I was taught in school one version of U.S. history that frequently excluded the history of my family and my community. The black history I learned came from the “Eyes On the Prize” documentary that aired during Black History Month. That was where I learned about Emmett Till, Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. When I moved to Atlanta at age 13, I went deeper and discovered more about the movement, the horrors of slavery and the resilience of our people. I came to understand Juneteenth’s history a decade ago during a period of reflection and in pursuit of any ancestral history that would tell me who I am.
The liberation Juneteenth commemorates is cause for celebration, but it also reminds us how equality can be delayed. On June 19, 1865, on the shores of Galveston, Tex., Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived by boat to announce to enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended and they were now free. While President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued two and a half years prior, and the Civil War had ended in April of that year, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that almost all of our ancestors were free. We should honor their lives and celebrate that day of freedom forever.
I cherish the words of Nina Simone. I respect the legacy of Harry Belafonte and the unapologetic blackness of James Brown. I admire the entrepreneurship of Madam C.J. Walker. I have learned from my elders. Their wisdom has taught me to use my voice to support my people, so many of whom are hurting right now. Making sure that our history is told is critical to supporting and sustaining our growth as a people. The least we deserve is to have this essential moment included in the broader American story.
Checking the Calendars
So, today I looked at our active working calendar and there on the date block of June 19, 2020 was the word “JUNETEENTH.” I save calendars, along with my Journals, I can go back to the year 2014. No where on any of these previous years was 19 June designated “JUNETEENTH.”
So I wonder, what History I, we, us, were taught back in the 50 & 60’s?
To wrap up this Juneteenth discussion, have you ever learned about this day in history? What else were we never taught, or were those who came before us not willing to share with us?