Wednesday, February 26, 2014



I think our government is the worst offender, and perpetrator of this farce called Racism.

Every government form you have to fill out asks of your race. I have started to enter “American” and no one has ever challenged me; yet.

After all, If just one of my ancestors, back in the 1700s, were to be a Chinese, would I be an Oriental. According to our government I would be. I base this on the fact that no matter how long ago a person who had an African ancestor, that person is always registered as Black. I know many so called Blacks who are whiter in skin color than my folks back in Germany and they are still referred to as Black in this country.

This is a game. A vicious game by politicians to keep animosity stirred. The point is, if you are in a so-called Minority there are benefits due to you. All you have to do is keep that “Chip On Your Shoulder” and you qualify.

Would it not be nice if all American citizens simply be called Americans. Then all other classes could be identified as either Visitors, Guest Workers, Illegals, etc.

One of the fallouts of keeping racism alive is the dumbing down of white men. Just notice, whenever a commercial needs a jerk in the add, it is always a white guy. Whenever a commercial needs a clueless guy, it is a white guy. Whenever a fat slob is needed, it is a white guy. If fat kid is pointed out, it is always a fat white kid. It even goes to the extent of showing a white guy breaking into a house on a Home Security commercial. You know why the ad agencies choose whites. They can’t cry “Racism.”

So, I challenge our government to call all Americans “Americans” and do not classify anyone by race.

Just think, if the Media were not allowed to call, or differentiate, simply by color of skin. Or, if it were illegal while taking a survey, or a census, to ask your race? The Government would be able to lay off a gazillion folks who just play with those numbers. 

It would shut up the race mongers and keep them from stuffing their pockets. It would mend the division of Americans. It would keep politicians from catering to certain folks while antagonizing others. I think America would be a better place if describing the looks of people by race were illegal.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

After Thirty-two Years

After Thirty-two Years

It has been a long time since I picked up an artist’s brush and painted just for the fun of it. 

Thirty-two years ago, I felt I had to establish myself as an accomplished artist. I do not know if I ever made that rank, but my name went out, won several first place awards at art shows, and received the recognition I sought. When my name got into the local paper the name of my new business, B&B Printing and Advertising, also made it. 

My pen and ink drawings became the sought-after draw for advertising in real estate brochures, and line drawings found there place on countless church bulletin covers. All were printed by the new printer in Bedford.

This, my first try at painting for years shows, if nothing else, that I’m stale at it. I set out to achieve a more impressionistic look. I found myself falling into a traditional style.

The wall above the fireplace, at the cabin, needed something big and dramatic.

During the day, the lighting from the sun, or cloudiness, makes the painting evolve and bursts into colors.

Some of the detail reveals my attempt at impressionism. The opposites are there, golds vs deep blues, pinks vs bright greens, but not loose enough.

I made the frame and plan to change scenes. I plan to paint a winter scene, and one of spring. Maybe even some of our favorite places Carol and I have visited. 

Retirement is good. Now that I have fewer building projects planned, I can now get back to painting.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Perfect Wind Ensemble

A shorter version of this story is in my book "A TIME AND PLACE The Making of an Immigrant." I have expanded the story and it will be published as part of an e-book in the near future.

The Perfect Wind Ensemble

The following year, I was selected to yet another, and different summer camp. Nuns managed the camp and took care of us.
The place we slept in was different from where we napped. I remember this camp well. Nuns took our temperature under the arm and not the more intrusive way to which I had been accustomed.
Because of an outbreak of mumps, five of us boys were quarantined in one room for a while. So, how do five boys pass time during a quarantine?
During such a time, and the close-knit camaraderie with the other four boys, I learned that flatulence was considered funny. Naturally, each of us in that room wanted to be the funniest. Contests to determine a winner were regularly held.
To counter boredom, we selected players and scorekeepers to judge teams consisting of two boys against the other two. The fifth boy was appointed to keep score. We rotated players and judges so all could get into the competition. Acceptable outbursts were scored in goals. A given timeframe was chosen, much like a soccer tournament.
Much twisting and grunting dominated the event. The scorekeeper had to show keen discernment between a real goal and one fabricated by other means. Accidents did happen––which resulted in frequent trips to the privy.
I learned during those educational times, that the desired noise can quite accurately be duplicated. This is done by placing a cupped hand under the armpit, and then quickly pressing the arm inward. With a little practice, the desired sound always erupted. Well, such learning was considered a magnificent achievement for all five of us. We practiced those joyous sounds until we sounded like the perfect five-piece wind ensemble.
Our wisdom expanded and we even came up with a ten piece orchestra. We learned that by spitting into our palms to dampen them, we could lie on our backs, place a cupped hand under each of our knees and pedal our legs; similar to the pumping of a bicycle. This combined effort filled the room with triumphant music that fed uproarious laughter and giggles. . . .Thank God for the mumps.