28 July 2009

Words vs. Action

There are a bunch of emails being circulated around the Internet from people who are concerned with the direction our government is taking us - towards a socialistic state - and they all encourage the recipient to forward them to other friends. Well, it seems to me that sending out such messages should include a request to forward the message to the recipient's Congressional representatives and to our President, who all have email addresses. If we only "talk" among ourselves, our elected officials will never know how we feel about those issues. So next time you receive one of these messages, if you agree with it, send it on to Washington. If you disagree with it, write to Washington anyway and tell how you really feel about it. They may decide their jobs are in jeopardy and start to listen to the people who put them in Washington and who have the power to see that are replaced. Communicate!

24 July 2009


I’ve always liked hymns and Gospel music. I remember listening with my Mother to Edward McHugh sing hymns on the radio when I was a little boy. My favorite was “In The Garden”, which I think was his theme song. And then I remember that my brother and I sang in the choir of the Episcopal Church, probably when I was nine. We moved from Batavia right after I turned ten, and sometime later we joined the choir of the Emanuel Evangelical and Reformed Church in Rochester. I had a boy’s soprano voice and I especially liked “Angels We Have Heard On High” because of the soaring “Glo-o-o-o-o-oria” chorus. It was thrilling to me.

13 July 2009


I just finished reading “Teacher Man” by Frank McCourt, about his years teaching English in New York City High Schools. He encourages his students to write, write, write to help them understand themselves and the world around them. And I started thinking about his teaching methods and his insecurity about his ability to teach and I thought that we’re all teachers. We teach something to everyone we meet. We try to teach them about who we think we are, and they learn about who we really are.

I was a father to seven children at one time in my life, two came as step-children. I tried to teach them, using my parents, aunts, uncles and other adults as role models, but never felt completely comfortable in the role. They learned. They learned some examples of how not to be a father, along with some examples of good parenthood. They grew up under my usually heavy-handed style. They’re parents now, all but two, and they’ve had their turn at teaching their own, and I’m proud of them for the way they’ve handled themselves through all the twists and turns in their lives. And so the teaching continues, generation after generation. And I feel very lucky to have been there during their growth, and thank them for the things they taught me and are still teaching me. I’m sure they don’t think of themselves as teachers to their father, but they are and I’m proud of them for it.

05 July 2009

It was nice of North Korea to help us celebrate our holiday by shooting off fireworks.