Posts Tagged With: remembrance

MEXICAN TRADITION-DAY OF THE DEAD.

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The Day Of The Dead is on its fourth year as a celebration in Murphys. Here is a staged family out for a ride…

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I don’t know quite how different it would be in Mexico, but this is America, so of course, the dog rides in the back with the kids.

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One of the vacation rentals puts on displays, and this year’s theme was references to Frieda Kahlo. Beautifully done.

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Folklorico representing various states in Mexico with traditional dances and  costuming held in Murphys Park.

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Kids and adults dress up and paint their faces in sync with the celebration. This group was watching the dancers with rapt attention.

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Like a statue, this little girl didn’t move once during the whole set of dancers.

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When this fellow came out with two, long blades, I knew we were in for something special.

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Flashing blades at considerable speed, over head and under and between his legs made for quite a show. But then, a repeat with a blindfold on had me gasping.

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No small feat. And with dire warnings from the MC, “don’t try this at home.”

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Folkorico music always very fast and invigorating, the costuming beautiful. Very enjoyable. Jim attended a Day of the Dead in Mexico and said the music was deafening.

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A tourist attraction, with staged displays made for a nice outing, but for some people, the celebration is very real, about the death of and remembrance of a loved one.

 

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BIRTHDAY 89-A LIFE WELL LIVED.

dsc08630-copyI met Paul Moeller when he came to my writer’s workshop in 1979. I talked him into taking one of my daughter’s baby cats home. Then later, in 1980, I joined his classes in video taping. He was determined to get public access programing into Calaveras County. He was so dedicated and so hardworking, you couldn’t say “no” to Paul. He’s had some tough years, with two broken femurs, strokes and other injuries. Here he is with his caretaker, Pam. He seems to be kind of wondering why everyone is making such a fuss over his birthday.

dsc08631-copyAfter his wife died, Marilyn Pyle has taken care of his bookkeeping and his mail and most of the things Martha took care of. Indispensable to him and he feels bereft when she is missing. She quickly organized his birthday party. Just some balloons, friends and cheesecake.

dsc08633-copyPaul certainly has aging issues; he speaks very slowly but he said of his good friend and neighbor, Bill with his wife Linda, “If you want trouble, you call Bill. Then you get more trouble.”  It tickled me he could make a joke.

dsc08635-copyPaul is like family and Marilyn’s husband Vern, and his son, Mitch came by. They do the heavy hauling, moving furniture, dump runs-you name it, they show up.

dsc08638-copyMarilyn thought it would be nice to take a group picture, which includes Karen Phillips, his long time driver after his first accident, and on the right Audry, Marilyn’s mother. I’m in the middle.

dsc08640-copyThen about that time, Sue showed up. But, we took a lot of pictures anyway.

dsc08637-copyKaren has a lot of memories of Paul and faithfully visits him every week.

dsc08641-copyMarilyn decided to put a candle on his favorite cake. Cheesecake at his request.

dsc08643-copyAfter we sang Happy Birthday…

dsc08644-copyHe blew out the candle and we spent an hour or more just visiting. He has difficulty hearing on the phone. He rarely has his hearing aids in. But he had calls from friends and relatives in Germany. He has good days and bad days and this one was a good day. He could remember stories and bring up names from the past.

dsc08650-copyHe asked me to take a picture of him with all of his cards. Many of them have cats on them. He lost his cat recently and a stray was hanging around Bill and Linda’s house. They suggested he feed the cat. It is feral and now hangs around Paul’s big sliding glass window. And though he can’t pet it, he enjoys seeing the cat come and eat. He named her/him Roosevelt or Rosie. “I go both ways,” he joshed.

dsc08651-copyI worked on 85 shows with Paul, as his anchor. It amazed me how he could remember names of past friends while I struggled. Paul is a legend in our county. The Board of Supervisor’s named the studio after him as an honor. And his legacy of over 4,000 productions is an everlasting part of our county’s history. A productive, generous life, well lived.

 

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PEACE AND REMEMBRANCE

img982Dawn%20Moore%27s%20Graduation%20Photo%2C%20Escanaba%20High%20School%2C%201951. (Copy)

My sister, Dawn, died yesterday after struggling with cancer. This is her high school graduation picture. img005Dawn%27s%20first%20Communion%20at%20Hardwood. (Copy)

Her first communion. Families mostly took pictures on special occasions.

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Dawn, the oldest, Bill, the first son, and myself, the baby.

img526Dawn%2CMaryRuth%2CBill%2CDan%20inside%20car. (Copy)Then, another brother, Dan, peeking out of the car.

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In her Air Force Uniform.  I idolized my sister when we were growing up.

img140Norman,Dad-Mark,Mom-Clark,Dan, Dawn Bill & Mary standing. 1956 (Copy)

We didn’t have a family picture taken until Dawn was married and had four children of her own.  In front is Norman, Mark, on Dad’s lap, Clark on Mom’s lap, and Dan.

Mark died at age 50 in 2005. Dan died at age 59 in 2002. It is hard to lose siblings. But, I’ve discovered that those we lose are never gone. They stay with us always. I am thankful for remembrance of the times we shared.

 

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FREDRICKSBURG, ADMIRAL NIMITZ AND WWII

In war, ordinary men become heroes. To give your life for your country, to put yourself in harms way for others, is heroic.
We find ourselves in Fredricksburg, Texas where one of the best WWII Museums in the U.S. surrounds the accomplishments of Admiral Nimitz who was born here. He was a modest man, from a small community who gave up his high school education to study for entrance into Annapolis. He rose to great heights in the Navy and was admired by his peers and the enlisted men as well. He was against the bomb; he always wanted peace before killing.
He refused lucrative jobs after his retirement from the Navy and chose to serve his country in other ways. Alameda County, CA has a freeway named for him and I always wondered about this man’s accomplishments. Now I know.
This unusual looking building was the Nimitz family hotel that is now part of the National WWII Museum complex. This is a thorough and excellent presentation of his career and the war. He was raised here by his mother and grandparents. His father died when he was 5 months old. It takes about 5 hours to get through the exhibits in the 33,000 square foot complex.
Early in his career, midshipmen Nimitz met Heihachiro Togo and was very impressed with the Japanese leader. In the end, he was part of the surrender group and signed the papers with the Japanese on behalf of the United States.
In the Presidents Plaza, I couldn’t help but admire Dwight Eisenhower’s statement about war: “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.” It is an ugly truth that the past indicates war is a constant among tribes, communities and nations and always will be.
Nimitz instructed that all men who served under him and gave their lives for us be remembered on this memory wall. It is in reality many walls that stretch for a block. It also encloses a peace garden built by the Japanese after the war.
The town is historic and quaint with many wonderful old buildings and shops. We found people here friendly and fun. Today we expect to taste some authentic, old style German food at Lindenbaums.
They have a brewpub here where I got to sip my favorite porter while Jim tasted that weak looking little glass of “horse piss.” Well, not everyone is perfect.
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