A Classy Lady Passes

Barbara Bush, wife and mother to American presidents, one of the great women of American history, will be hugely missed. She had so-o much more class and decency than DJT. A true lady from another time, she exemplified a presidential matriarch more than any other in historical memory. She raised awareness and funds for many notable causes including family literacy. The book cover pictured here (photo credit: Carol T. Powers) was for a delightful illustrated book (William Morrow, 1990) by Mildred Kerr Bush, which I heartily recommend. Mrs. Bush loved dogs and it was a clever stroke to combine her love of animals with literacy.

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Typical Trump

Calls Daniels’ sketch a con job. An old pattern. Anyone he’s ever abused, exploited, and thrown away gets criticism.
Today seems to be “women’s day” with Haley also being criticized for being “confused” after he contradicted her.
The limits of Trump get repeated over and over like his “great” limited vocabulary.

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Henry Fonda as Clarence Darrow

An excellent one-man show, based on Irving Stone’s biography Clarence Darrow for the Defence, preserved on Kino video from 74. Fonda holds viewer attention for 84 memorable minutes as America’s most famous lawyer who fearlessly was involved in many famous cases including Loeb and Leopold and the Scopes Monkey Trial.

The play covering the 1800s and 1900s featured many famous speeches and quotes by Darrow and you see him addressing defendants, judges, his wives, and juries, as well as musing aloud his deeper and funnier introspections.

The late great John Houseman directed the play on Broadway and advised Fonda on this project. It is flawlessly written and acted. The best (spoiler) moment comes at the end of the play while Darrow is defending the aforementioned college-boy-killers, and he makes a case for mercy as an advance over the harder Old Testament justice which prevailed in courts during his career at the time. He feels strongly that there is no humanitarian point in exacerbating violence by killing with court verdicts.

Highly recommended for its perspectives on justice and insights into racial justice, in particular. A memorable filmization of a great man on the American courts history.

Also recommended: Fonda’s other great performances about justice in Twelve Angry Men and The Grapes of Wrath.

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Synchronicity Monday

Travelling to dentist in Edmonton Monday. How many people have the Burt Bacharach CD boxset? Anyway, Bobby Vinton’s “Blue on Blue” comes on as I’m listening in the van, which I ultimately play a couple of times. An olde favorite.

How many people who played “Blue on Blue” yesterday somewhere in the world happen to be watching Jeanne Moos on CNN? She’s talking about Comey and how he wanted to blend in with the drapes at the White House when Trump called him across the floor. She picks up on something he had previously said of not wanting to be noticed and called forth by Trump in a truly awkward social moment.

Of all the choices, Moos might have made yesterday, she decides to play an excerpt from “Blue on Blue”, of all the million possible songs with the color blue mentioned. True, she and I probably lived through the same era of pop music, but what are the odds that I, of all people yesterday in a far away place, would listen to that song Monday morning and that she would decide to use an excerpt from later in her humor spot later that day on CNN, which I just happened to tune into just then?

Synchronicity has happened to me and others I know from time to time. It is always an uncanny random overlapping moment. I can remember saying a word in conversation and two seconds later someone on tv happens to say the same word, as if we’ve been occupying the same place, time, and context.

Like so many people, I know that these connections are random and coincidental, but always there is a sense that someone or something has telegraphed a connection that I’m conscious of, though not understanding fully if it was intended for consciousness, if it means anything or if it suggests something larger and scriptedly or fatedly at work behind the flow of the day.

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Conversationally Speaking

“Someone has said that conversation is sex for the soul.”
–Isabel Allende

“It is not what we learn in conversation that enriches us. It is the elation that comes of swift contact wth the tingling currents of thought.”
–Agnes Repplier

“Ah, good conversation–there’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”
–Edith Wharton

“The only proper intoxication is conversation.”
–Oscar Wilde

“There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. there are intersecting monologues, that is all.”
–Rebecca West

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Trudeau Is in Paris

but he’s not wearing a beret or dancing the can-can for some reason. His pipeline dance will lead directly to the gas being shut off from AB to BC. As usual, Macavity, uh, Trudeau’s not there. He’s outa town whenever the iron is hot; he’s such a busy man with far more important things to do than saving his country from breaking up. What a prince! What a God! What a deliverer of promises! What a Canada lover!

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America has a high tolerance for

morally corrupt and morally bankrupt presidents and politicians. DJT springs to mind automatically.

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Officially, Spring in E-Town

Had my first bike ride today before it snows again!
April 15th would be the latest ever. I’m usually up and rolling in March.

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My December 2016 chapbook

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A Hundred Years Ago or So

(top: me in 1962 receiving a painting on behalf of the school at the 50th anniversary; that painting, incidentally, was nowhere to be found by me or the 2012 principal at the reunion–uh, who piked it?; BTW/ I am standing in the same gym where I later gave my reunion speech in 2012)

(with Hugh Hanson at the reunion, my oldest friend and neighborhood buddy who also went to Bannatyne)

Bannatyne School, my elementary alma mater was built in 1911. In 2012, I went back as the main speaker for the 100th anniversary reunion.

One year later the Titanic sunk–the first major failure of modern technology in the 20th century. The 106th anniversary is being acknowledged today in Halifax where many of the rescued dead are buried in the main cemetery.

Five years later, also in Halifax, the Halifax Explosion–the second major failure of technology in the 20th century occurred.

The connectedness of history and personal lives.

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