Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Sophie - Sweet Sixteen

Sophia Adeline Rallo

High in the heavens a small bell rings,
Angels arrive to wrap you in wings.

Precious innocent filled with grace
Angels bend down to kiss your face.

God's gift prepared your are sent to Earth,
Blessed are we all by your birth.

Sweet small baby dressed in white,
Bright as the stars that shine at night.

Holy water dampens your brow,
God sanctifies the name you are given now.

Now in the heavens all bells ring,
Angels assemble and begin to sing.

Oh, little child embraced by human arm,
Angels will guide and protect you from harm.

                                               Grandma - 12/18/94

~ ~ ~

I wrote this little poem for Sophie on the day of her christening, December 18, 1994. How quickly the years have past but they have left in their wake a load of wonderful memories. I hope this day, Miss Sweet Sixteen, is one of your happiest. I love you and wish you the best birthday ever.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Orange Coast Crew - 6:30 a.m. Newport Beach, CA

What are your grand-kids doing at this time of the morning?

~ ~ ~

"Pa Dyrus" - Los Angeles, California - June 1911


 by Carl Sandburg
I AM the people--the mob--the crowd--the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is
     done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
     world's food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons
     come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And
     then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
     for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
     I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted.
     I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and
     makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
     drops for history to remember. Then--I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
     People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
     forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
     a fool--then there will be no speaker in all the world
     say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a
     sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob--the crowd--the mass--will arrive then.

~ ~ ~

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Gateway Arch - St. Louis, Missouri

Drawing by Nicholas Rallo

On this day, October 28 in the year 1965 the Gateway Arch was completed. Construction began on February 12, 1963, the completed arch stands 630 feet tall and is 630 feet wide at its base.

While it is a beautiful structure I can only admire it from afar, or I should say from its base. Structures this high up in the air whether they are curved or straight up are not my cup of tea. On a clear day, I am told, the views from the top of the Arch can extend up to thirty miles. The elevators that take you up to the top are egg shaped. The ride to the top takes about four minutes but you can make the return trip in three minutes.

If you come to St. Louis for a visit I think it would definitely be a must see, just don't ask me to accompany you to the top. There is a wonderful museum at the base of the structure, this I have visited. The arch was built to commemorate the Westward expansion of the United States and honors three events in American history; the Louisiana Purchase, the establishment of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and the Dred Scott case.

M-I-Z-Z-O-U - 99th Homecoming - October 23, 2010

They Gathered!

They Cheered!!

They Won!!!

They Celebrated!!!!

They Ran Up the Score!!!!

Photos by Jennifer Sovich, Facebook Page

Give Peace A Chance

Peace is available.
We have only to touch it.
The whole universe is conspiring
to reveal this to us.

                        ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Les Feuilles Mortes

C'est une chanson, qui nous ressemble
Toi tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Nous vivions tous, les deux ensemble
Toi que m'aimais moi qui t'aimais
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable les pas des amants désunis

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold 

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall 

~ ~ ~

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Visiting the Park wih Leonard Cohen

Tower of Song

For your listening pleasure: Tower of Song

My friends are gone and my hair is grey.
I ache in the places where I used to play.
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on.
I'm just paying my rent every day in the tower of song.

I said to Hank Williams: "How lonely does it get?"
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet,
but I hear him coughing all night long,
a hundred floors above me in the tower of song.

I was born like this, I had no choice.
I was born with the gift of a golden voice,
and twenty-seven angels from the great beyond,
they tied me to this table right here in the tower of song.

So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll
- I'm very sorry, baby, doesn't look like me at all.
I'm standing by the window where the light is strong.
They don't let a woman kill you not in the tower of song.

Now you can say that I've grown bitter but of this you may be sure:
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor,
and there's a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong.
You see, you hear these funny voices in the tower of song.

I see you standing on the other side.
I don't know how the river got so wide.
I loved you, I loved you way back when -
And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed,
but I feel so close to everything that we lost-
We'll never, we'll never have to lose it again.

So I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back.
They're moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track.
But you'll be hearing from me, baby, long after I am gone.
I'll be speaking to you sweetly from my window in the tower of song.

My friends are gone and my hair is grey.
I ache in places where I used to play.
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on.
I'm just paying my rent every day in the tower of song.

~ ~ ~

Monday, October 25, 2010

Found Artist - Michael Aaron Williams

I stumbled upon this new young artist on another blog where his street art was being featured. It caught my eye in a couple of ways; first they way you can seemingly look into the soul of the faces he paints and second the way he purposefully creates fragility in his street art. He simply tapes these street paintings up on a wall for a passerby to take, hopefully to find a safe and nurturing home. For more of Michale's street art click here and read his complete story of salvation and the basis of his street art.

Another style he calls art with books can be seen here Book Art where his art is created by tearing out pages of books. Of all his art styles I likes the street art and book art best.

Michael Aaron Willams Street Artist/Fine Artist - make a visit, I think you will find his story and art interesting.

~ ~ ~

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pomona College - Taking a page from history

 My Mother's College Scrapbook 1914

In September of 1914 my Mother began her studies at Pomona College at that time the college was twenty-seven years old, now Pomona College is celebrating its 123rd year. One thing my mother seemed to like to do was keep a scrapbook, she saved literally everything, napkins, ticket stubs and dried flowers from arrangements to name just a few. 

Just over ninety-six years ago she penned these words: September 21, 1914 - I started from home about 7:20 A.M. and arrived in Claremont college at about 9:00 A.M. On leaving the car Father and I were rather at loss as where to go first but finally went to Sumner Hall where we were cordially greeted by some Senior girls.

October 31, 1914 page from scrapbook. 

Click on the image to enlarge and read the newspaper article about 'Witches Hold Sway At Sumner Hall', it's a hoot.

Happy Halloween from Me and My Mom

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mazomanie, Wisconsin

Sometimes rummaging through old stuff creates more questions than answers. If I could sum up my mother's side of the family in one word it would be - mystery. I have tons of photos of people, but few give any clues to names scribbled on the back of photos. For some reason I am drawn to what I will call the Mazomanie, Wisconsin collection. Obviously staged and set-up photos I have no idea who these people are or what the real purpose for these photos were. Maybe someone Goggling Mazomanie, WI will stumbled upon them and make an old family connection. In my head I can hear Vaughn Monroe singing...

Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life
At last, I've found you.

Ah! At last I know the secret of it all.
For the longing, seeking, striving, waiting, yearning.

 The burning hopes,
The Joy and idle tears that fall.

For 'tis love and love alone,
The world is seeking.
And 'tis love and love alone,
That can repay.

'Tis the answer, 'tis the end and all of living,
For it is love alone that rules for aye.

For it is love alone
That rules for aye.

Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life

For more information on Mazomanie, Wisconsin

The Men in the Moon

Unknown characters from an old family photo album c. 1915

The Man in the Moon came tumbling down,
And enquired the way to Norwich;
He went by the south and burned his mouth
With eating cold pease porridge!

Excerpted from Mother Goose in Prose by L. Frank Baum 1897

Friday, October 22, 2010

Warning - Shark Attack!

California closes beach after shark attack leaves state with 12th victim in 90 years.

Human toll of Iraq war estimates 100,000 - 120,000.
Someone needs to post a warning about war as well.

Not for the faint of heart - The Iraq War: A Descent Into Hell


Thursday, October 21, 2010

FIRE! FIRE!! FIRED!!! - except at FOX News

 Juan Williams

FOX News is beginning to look like the only upholder of the Constitution and champion of Freedom of Speech. Today NPR (National Public Radio) fired its longtime news analyst, Juan Williams, for saying the following on Bill O'Reilly's television show:

"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," Williams said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Bill O'Reilly

A few weeks ago Bill O'Reilly was a  guest on The View and in a heated discussion with Whoopi and Joy screamed at them "Muslims killed us on 9/11." Brian Kilmeade, also at FOX News, shares a very similar view when he said on his show, "All terrorists are Muslims."

Here is what I believe, we were attached by terrorists** on 9/11, first and foremost! In the case of 9/11 they may have belonged to an aberrant extremist group of Muslims - but I don't think Muslims when I think of the 9/11 attack, I think terrorists.

Juan Williams doesn't need me to judge him on his political correctness, his words seem only to be reflecting something he feels inside. Maybe similar and as unfounded as what a white person may feel walking in to a black neighborhood.

All that being said, I think it is time to stop attacking a religion for 9/11, all it does is stir up a pot that is frankly over-stirred as it is. Let's put the blame where it belongs on terrorists and terrorism and stop aiding and abetting the enemy by playing into their hands. And yes, I'm talking to you FOX News.

** terrorist

a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.
a person who terrorizes or frightens others.
(formerly) a member of a political group in russia aiming at the demoralization of the government by terror.
an agent or partisan of the revolutionary tribunal during the Reign of Terror in France.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of terrorism or terrorists: terrorist tactics.

November 2, 2010 - Remember to Vote!

Lyrics by Leonard Cohen

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

I'ts coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Role Reversal - Pardon this interruption...

"You are driving me crazy, Mom!"

I received the following email from my daughter last evening:

here's a film recommendation:

The Giffen Good....based on a true story about a mid-western woman who finds herself preoccupied with the midterm elections and emails from a mother whose obsession [is] with the follies of the right wing.  The two forces are distracting her from studying for an economics midterm that she likely will fail based on her own lack of time supply and the demands of a job and family.... ;)
I really had to laugh... I thought it was the Mother who was suppose to tell the kid to get back to work and study. Now I'm going crazy here with a plethora of juicy tidbits and no one to email them to.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Patch - The Cars

As always the Casey Car Ghost is never far from mind, even when wandering about the pumpkin patch. Just a few more of the interesting little tidbits we stumbled upon while trying to find the 'perfect' pumpkin. For more information on Pirsch.