Tag Archives: HISTORY

Lesson in Racism

This is 2012 and one would think that sixty-years after the beginning of the modern civil rights movement and all we’ve been through during these decades we’d be a little better at racism when it slaps us in the face. But, regrettably, such is not the case, and there are those among us who maybe need a refresher course.

So, let’s begin with this photo of President Obama holding an infant and making the kind of face men often make when trying to elicit a smile from a baby. This photo is easily found on the Internet and the caption reads, “Ugly Babies; Testing the will of politicians since FDR.” It appears to have been taken before a mainly black audience and since the baby’s face can’t Continue reading Lesson in Racism

Go to Hell Songs

Ah, the go to hell song. The public rebuke of one once loved. We’ve all listened to these songs after an ugly breakup, amirite or amirite? Hell, “Already Gone” by the Eagles got me through many a night after a love gone bad back in the day, and that song didn’t make this list. Here are my top songs that are an arctic blast at an ex, a cold shot of bristling hate at the one who did ya wrong. And the best thing is, it was a public put-down at it‘s highest form – on the acetate and over the airwaves. Without further ado, here are just a few of my favorites …

Death on Two Legs” – Queen Continue reading Go to Hell Songs

Life in Lynchburg, Parts 1, 2, & 3

I got to looking around for information about a theater in Lynchburg and came across three YouTube videos of life in that fair village during what I’d guess to be the late 1930s. Even though I don’t recognize anyone it is a great flashback to a time and way of life long gone. Something any up and coming geezer could Continue reading Life in Lynchburg, Parts 1, 2, & 3

Trees Bearing Strange Fruit

I’ve been a student of American History for most of my life. The thing that draws me to history is the constant challenge it presents to one’s perception of reality. We all live in a comfort zone and make assumptions that everyone is experiencing what we are and that things have always been as they are. Studying history never stops pulling the rug out from under one’s feet. Just when I thought I couldn’t be shocked, bam!, I’m laying on the floor!

Yesterday I began watching a new DVD on the history of Chicago’s Maxwell Street. In the middle of explaining the black exodus from the South during WWI the front page of a Louisiana newspaper, the New Orleans States, popped up and shocked me. Continue reading Trees Bearing Strange Fruit

Greenfield Historical Society’s New Photo History Book

Hopefully you all purchased the 1999 Bicentennial history of Greenfield when it was published by the Greenfield Historical Society. Well, the GHS is back with a great followup, a 127 page paperback filled with yet published photos from our favorite village’s past. We picked up a copy yesterday and I’m still making my way through it. But, every page has been a treat and as much as I thought I knew about Greenfield, I’m learning something new on about every page. The book, titled Images of America, Greenfield, is available for local purchase at Home Building and Loan Company and both Merchant National Bank locations. Cost locally is $21.99 plus tax and the proceeds go to helping the GHS fund their many projects.

Addendum: I received the following from Harold Schmidt this morning:

The price from us is $23.50 which includes the tax we have to charge.  When patrons buy them at our functions, the Home Building and Loan or either Merchants Bank locations, we get a bigger percentage of the price than if you buy them from Amazon or some other location.  We do get some royalty from thoses purchases but not as much.

We will also mail copies at a cost of $28.50 which includes the book, tax and shipping.  Patrons can order them on our website www.greenfieldhistoricalsociety.org or by sending a check for that ammount to Greenfield Historical Society, 103 South McArthur Way, Greenfield, Ohio 45123.

Wikipedia Isn’t Truth Chiseled in Stone!

As you may know, Wikipedia is a huge online encyclopedia where something about most everything can be found. What you may not know is that the information on Wikipedia is user generated. It is an open document that anyone can add to and/or change. Most recently Newt Gingrich’s staff have been busy erasing many of the well documented facts about Newt’s past. They have deleted any mention of his three wives or the ethics problems he faced while serving in the US House of Reps. Classic example of just because you read it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Am I better off Eight-Years Later?

In February of 2004 I wrote a column for the Times-Gazette newspaper on the subject of whether I was better off than I had been four years earlier. It was a presidential election year and George W. Bush was running for reelection. It’s interesting, in February of 2012 to look back and review my life’s condition compared to then.

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re getting close to the, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” season. As the presidential election grows nearer we Americans will be asked that question often and it is one we need to seriously consider.

After reflection, for me the answer is mostly, no. The conditions of my life, my wife’s, those of our children, our neighbors and the nation have eroded in many ways over the preceding four years. Continue reading Am I better off Eight-Years Later?

Rolling Stone’s List of 10 Worst

The US Congress is possibly at its lowest point ever regarding public perception. Almost rarer than Italian white truffles is a thinking citizen who has anything good to say about congress. How did it come to this? Well, for some insight check out Rolling Stone’s article on the Ten Worst Members of Congress Ever.

Killer Songs*

*For mature readers only, and trust me when I say you’ll look at that little dog differently by the end of this article.

Seriously, songs about killers. Death Songs. Rock and Roll has been rife with these types of oddities since its inception. Probably the heyday of morbid rock was in the 60’s, with songs like “Dead Man’s Curve” or “Last Kiss” (Pearl Jam did a brutal cover of that one a few years back) although that’s not exactly the type of song I’m going to talk about here. I’ve always been fascinated by the tunes with more of an edge, songs with a more threatening tone if you will. If they have a happy little melody to balance things out, well, that’s even better. Hey, there’s nothing cooler than humming along merrily to a song about a serial killer, right?

So without further ado, a list of my favorites:

Run for Your Life – The Beatles

This gem from John Lennon seems harmless enough, at least until you actually listen to the lyrics. It was on Rubber Soul and John pulled no punches regarding what would happen if his girlfriend left him: Continue reading Killer Songs*

Ignore History and Risk Inserting Foot in Mouth

The debate over race in America has not been dampened by the election of the nation’s first African-American president. If anything, the choice of Barack Obama re-festered many a racial sore spot which has lay dormant for several decades.  Much of what I hear and read is simply based on a lack of historical knowledge from a populace too young to have experienced the racial realities of the past or too willing to forget what America was once like. In a recent comment about the civil rights movement, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie may have been guilty of both. Here’s an article by Paul Campos regarding Christie’s comment and placing it in the context of historical reality.

Click HERE for text of Campos’ article.

The Dalton Brothers, Bank Robbers & Early Occupiers?

This isn’t going to be easy because it involves a friend of mine and regardless of how this story unfolds, a myth or two about his ancestors may get dented and bruised a little.

If you know anything about the history of the West you’ve heard of the Dalton Brothers or the Dalton Gang. There were a lot of Daltons and there seems to have been only one, Frank, who spent much on the respectable side of the law. Well, one of my coffee drinking buddies is named Dalton and takes great pride in claiming he is a direct descendant of this famous band of train and bank robbers.

He also claims that the same Dalton family descended from British royalty and I once did a little research for him and verified that Daltons did exist in British nobility. Whether he or the Kansas outlaws share DNA with the élite royal Daltons, however, is subject for debate. Continue reading The Dalton Brothers, Bank Robbers & Early Occupiers?

A New Biz Plan For Pier 1 Imports

Back in the 60s I was living in Whittier, California. Both my wife and I were full-time college students and living off a very meager income. Our entertainment had to come from simple pleasures. Often we’d visit Knott’s Berry Farm which, at that time, didn’t cost anything to get into. Free parking, free admission and you could walk the place over without spending a dime.

Another simple pleasure was driving down to Santa Ana and going to Pier 1 Imports. I don’t know how many of these stores there were in the LA area or if they had gone nationwide yet. The one near us was the only one I knew of.

At that time imported goods weren’t that common in America and the only made in China junk was made in the Republic of China which we know today as Taiwan. The door to trade with the People’s Republic of China, aka Red China or mainland China, was still frozen shut. Most of Continue reading A New Biz Plan For Pier 1 Imports

Professor Irwin Corey, World’s Foremost Authority

Every now and then something jars your memory and you ask yourself, “I wonder if so and so is still living?” Well, it just happened to me regarding Professor Irwin Corey, a guy people my age often saw doing his shtick on TV years ago. Corey was billed as Professor Irwin Corey, World’s Foremost Authority.

While we all knew he was the foremost authority, we never knew what he was an authority on. Usually dressed in a baggy black suit, white shirt, black string tie, and long disheveled hair he would frequently begin by taking several pauses as if trying to recall where he was and why he was there. After gathering his thoughts he would enter into long diatribes filling the air with random words of double-talk that some how sounded like logical thoughts and Continue reading Professor Irwin Corey, World’s Foremost Authority