LOL…. Oh my God! The similarities are endless!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Uh huh… just what I thought, too!
The funniest thing heard at band camp last week: “They are big Christians or should I say, they really are BIGGER than most Christians.”
QUESTION: Why do cows try to hide their faces when they see you coming?
After a trip to New Mexico this Thursday thru Sunday, two Navajo brothers, 14 and 12, will be returning with their new dad to live in Kettering, Ohio to begin a new life.
It is amazing just how many Christians avoid, ignore the items on this list… several seem to be too busy being their own Gods while professing to worship another.
We got up early, and by 9am we were having pancakes and eggs for breakfast.
After showers and walking the dogs, we headed to Carillon Historical Park to take early Spring photos. We ran into Alice Hoover and her fiance, David.
The return trip home included some shopping. Pets are fed, and now it is our turn: pork steak, baked potatoes and shell macaroni and cheese.
Since I am dealing with SPAM on this site, and other vermin, I have begun a new site.
If you wish to follow me on the new site, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you the new address.
Thank you for your support, and encouragement!
“Woe to you, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.”
A friend was discussing a situation where some folks at their church, who are always painting themselves to be extraordinary Christians, were actually bringing down a fellow church member’s reputation. Their plot is quite extraordinary, and so masterfully disguised that others would not recognize their actions. How sad… How cruel… But, in the end, the justice will be served.
James 1:26 ESV
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a year as much as I have enjoyed this one. Despite too many funerals of loved ones this fall, 2012 was filled with many new, wonderful, exciting journeys. I am ready to repeat this journey in 2013, only double the wonderful, exciting journeys!
The new year will start off with judging a show choir invitational, watching students perform with The Muse Machine, and within the first month, I will be an uncle, for the fourth time, to Destin and Stacia’s newest addition.
Wishing our family and friends, near far, a beautiful, healthy, exciting, and prosperous new year.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 41,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals
He gave Flyer the command to sit, and then said, “Catch,” to the dog who would do back flips in mid-air to catch a snow ball. My son tossed a treat gently toward Flyer. The treat bounced off her nose. She immediately went into sniff-mode around the floor to find the treat.
I took a treat from my son and repeated the process. The second treat also bounced off her nose.
For several weeks I had noticed Flyer was bumping into things, and losing her balance. Being deaf in one ear, I know how difficult maintaining balance is. I knew Flyer was not losing her hearing as she could be sound asleep and could hear the quietest noise from the kitchen.
It took me several weeks to accept the fact that my beloved little pal was blind. The previous August, 2010, was when Flyer almost died from severe pancreatitis. The afternoon we brought her home from the veterinarian’s office, preparing for our vet-friend to come over the next morning to put her down, I began researching her condition. This research led to her recovery. However, I also learned that her sight would be compromised due to the extremely out-of-control, undetected, diabetes. The next morning, Flyer was up, and walking around, and showing distinct signs of getting stronger.
The fury little trooper survived, and returned to her old self.
Several months later, I was researching how to accommodate a blind dog. These past two years, Flyer has done a superb job adjusting to her new world. This makes one love this dog all the more. She is, undoubtedly, one of the most adorable, intelligent, and loving dogs I’ve ever had (Logan, my cat of 17.5 years equaled Flyer in intelligence!).
This week, I removed all the furniture from my bedroom, thoroughly cleaned the carpets, and rearranged the layout. As with any other changes in the house, or yards, I take Flyer on a walk-thru. She sniffs, and followed my verbal, or finger-snap commands, exploring the new setting. Once, I had traded the wooden floor mat in the bathroom with a rug, placing the wooden mat before the kitchen sink. Flyer stepped on the wooden mat, felt around it and sniffed, walked into the bathroom, felt around it and sniffed, and returned to the kitchen with her tail wagging and her body shaking with excitement.
For two years, Flyer has not been comfortable sleeping in bed with me, or laying on any furniture. Last night, however, she discovered the chair Quintin and I brought up from the basement. Flyer was a puppy when I brought this chair home, and it was one of her favorite comfy-zones in my study while I worked at my desk, or taught lessons. At 3:30am, after Quintin and I finished watching AUGUST RUSH, Flyer seemed excited to rediscover her favorite chair.
And she hopped up into the chair and slept the remaining few hours until 7:30am struck, and all three dogs were ready to start their day. All I could think of was a line from the play/movie, THE MIRACLE WORKER, when Mrs. Keller exclaims, about Helen’s newest achievement, “She folded her napkin!” Flyer’s hopping into the chair was one of those napkin-folding moments for me.
After breakfasting, Flyer came back into my bed-sitting room and hopped back into her chair. It really is nice having her resting in the center of the room, and not curled up in the corner, out of the way.
Looking ahead to next season, Wright State University is among the first arts organizations in The Miami Valley to announce its 2013-14 lineup.
The mainstage offerings will consist of
- Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy
- co-directed by W. Stuart McDowell and a director TBA)
- directed by Greg Hellems and choreographed by Teressa Wylie McWilliams
“The Magic Fire”
- the local premiere of Lillian Groag’s Argentinean drama
- directed by Lee Merrill
- the regional collegiate premiere
- directed by McDowell
“The Wild Party”
- local premiere of Andrew Lippa’s musical
- directed by Jamie Cordes
“The Cherry Orchard”
- directed by Marya Spring Cordes
- presented in the downstairs, black box Herbst Theatre
By 8:00am, the festivities had begun with the stockings being emptied. A short while later, the symphony of ripping and wadding paper began, accompanied by squeals of delight.
A delicious brunch was consumed, followed by family time – mostly watching the little peeps with their new presents.
Will begin the return to The Miami Valley shortly.
Christmas Eve morning, Quintin, Flyer, Navi, Chief and I loaded into the car and pulled out of our driveway at 8:55am. After two stops of pottying and food, we safely, and rather quickly, arrived in Fowler, at 12:58pm – three hours.
We drove around taking some photos, and then settled in at Destin and Stacia’s to enjoy some family time before picking up Mother for our traditional Chinese supper on Christmas Eve.
We finished dinner in Lafayette, and returned to Fowler for Christmas Eve service at Fowler United Methodist Church.
A beautiful day, and evening!
I had never seen THE NUTCRACKER until this afternoon. Quintin, to his knowledge, had never seen a ballet. So, today was a rare treat for us, both.
This production was a brilliant collaboration between The Dayton Ballet and The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. It was beautifully executed in every way! What was so exciting, for me, was to see my seventeen year old son leaning forward in his seat to watch the orchestra, and staging.
I don’t know how I have missed making THE NUTCRACKER a part of my holiday tradition, but I can guarantee it will not happen again. And despite inserting it within last minute Christmas preparations was a brilliant decision on my part. Today’s presentation at The Schuster Center seemed to wrap up this Christmas with a beautiful, musical bow.
I must be honest… as the Snow Queen and Snow King danced during the finale to Act One, my eyes were moist with emotion from the sheer beauty, and artistry I was witnessing. I love these moments when my own field of the performing arts can still move me.
At intermission, Quintin and I sat out on the upper balcony’s balcony watching the folks that passed by. Quinny said that we’ve really seen some great things the past few weeks, right in our own backyard:
The Human Race Theatre Company’s production, OLIVER!
The Muse Machine’s understudy performance of their January production, CRAZY FOR YOU
The Dayton Balley & Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s, THE NUTCRACKER
Three weekends with a brilliant musical offering for each.
Mastro Neal Gittleman never ceases to amaze me with his energy, and the exciting quality he manages to capture with his musicians. For one thing, unlike so many professional conductors, you can actually follow his conducting – he is fun to watch! And, there were several movements from THE NUTCRACKER I had never heard before, or at least did not recognize them as a movement from the score. There were also incredible musical lines I had never noticed in recordings – Tchaikovsky is one of my favorite composers.
The real treat was the question/answer session following the production. Featured dancer, Case Bodamer, and two of his lovely colleagues, fielded questions from gathered audience members, and truly added an additional dimension to this total experience. Knowing the familiar post-performance fatigue that often sets in, I so appreciated this trio taking the time to share their experiences, and their passion, with those of us gathered.
So, Miami Valley folks: you must go see Dayton Ballet’s 2013 production of THE NUTCRACKER. My son and I will be there as part of our family’s new tradition.
This morning, after doing some shopping at our favorite local music store, McCutcheon Music of Centerville, we traipsed around the Miami Valley taking photos of various sites.
Springboro: Null log cabin
Franklin, Ohio: various buildings
Miamisburg, Ohio: The Adena Native American Mound, buildings
Today would have been the 115th birthday of my great-grandmother, Mary Belle Jones-Clary.
December 20, 1897 – January 28, 1969
Belle was the daughter of Joel Monroe Jones & Anna Greenlee, and the older sister of Alpha, Henry & Harry.
Belle married John William Garrett Clary on September 30, 1920, and they had three children, Ronald Monroe Jones (1921-1936), Donna Mae Clary-Barmes (1924-1992), and Joyce Ann Clary-Riser (1933).
Two years ago, today, my 15 year old son, Quintin, arrived in Dayton from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to join our family.
At our home, surrounded by family and friends, his case worker who accompanied him on the flight, led us in a Navajo candle-lighting ceremony to celebrate his birth family, those who assisted him on his adoption and foster journey, and his new adoptive family.
Make a Gift and Make History!
All these years of living in Centerville/Kettering, and I had never been to Polen Farm. I had driven past the Bigger Road location countless times, but had no reason for stopping. In fact, honestly do not ever remember noticing the imposing house – which is hard to believe. When I saw it in someone’s Facebook album this past week, I had to ask where the home was located.
So, today, Quintin and I ventured over to Polen Farm to take photos. We had a blast!
Tonight, I joined the Emery family, David, Maria and Raquel, in the Muse Machine’s rehearsal hall to watch the understudies for the January production, CRAZY FOR YOU, perform. My student, David Emery, did a super job, as did the other fantastic younger performers. Many great moments from these young talents, and the best staging I have seen in a Muse Machine production in many years! Director Joe Deer, along with choreographer, Lula Elzy, seem to be a dynamic creative team, and I was thrilled to see such a fresh, crisp look in the musical staging! I am looking forward to the full production in mid-January, but am so thrilled I was able to see the understudies, and a foretaste of the musical feast to come!
Kettering Parents and Community Members:
At this very difficult time, our thoughts are with the young victims of the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and to the entire Newtown, Connecticut community as they deal with this horrible tragedy.
These types of tragedies compel us to talk with our own parents and community about the issue of safety in our schools. Student safety in school and at extra-curricular activities is the absolute top priority for everyone in the Kettering Schools. Sadly, even schools are not immune to violence, as today’s tragedy and recent incidents here in our own state and across the country have shown.
Our schools are public facilities and we work hard to make them open, welcoming and inviting. At the same time, we are mindful of our responsibility to keep students safe while they are at school. We do have safety procedures in place, such as locking doors in our buildings and requiring visitors to our schools to check in at our main offices. In addition, in the Kettering Schools, we work hard to know our students and families. We work hard to know their lives and their issues. We believe that our teachers and staff members are vigilant in working to know if something is not right, seeing danger coming and acting proactively to avert trouble. This is our first line of defense.
We also work in partnership with the Kettering Police Department in having School Resource Officers in our buildings on a daily basis, getting to know our students, providing support to our staff and serving as a resource in best practices for safety in a public buildings.
All of our buildings engage in regular practice drills — such as lock-downs and tornado and fire drills — so that we are prepared to respond to emergencies. And students are encouraged to report to an adult any knowledge they may have of a potential threat, be it confirmed or a rumor…and can do so anonymously.
I pledge to you that we will continue to do whatever it takes to keep our students…your children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends…safe in our schools. Thank you for the support you provide to the schools that allows us to make student safety a top priority and thank you for your understanding of the steps we take every day to assure that every child is safe while he or she is in school.
Knowing the Kettering community as I do, I am confident that our entire community joins together in sending our thoughts and sympathies to the Newtown community as they struggle to cope with this unimaginable tragedy.
Dr. Jim Schoenlein
Kettering City Schools
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Tonight, we attended, for the second year in a row, the Christmas concert presented by Beavercreek’s Church of the Nazarene. The church’s choir was joined by Beavercreek High School’s A Capella Choir and the Friend’s Show Choir, all under the direction of Sharon Busch. The evening’s lineup included John Rutter’s GLORIA, which is one of my absolute favorites!
An enjoyable evening!
This morning we left for Dayton’s 2nd Street Market to look around and grab some lunch. The last time I had been there was when Jeff Carter and Jim Helton came over from Ball State University to see the Princess Diana Wedding Gown Exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute. The boys and I ate lunch, traveled around downtown Dayton to take photos. The train exhibit was closed due to the bank’s hours, but we could still see it through the window. We saw the Rike’s window displays again, and then traveled to Calvary Cemetery where we could see so many of the beautiful sculptures during the daylight hours.
Some really great events planned these next two weekends!
About ten years ago I saw my first production of OLIVER!, and it was less than mediocre. I was not too keen on seeing The Human Race Theatre Company’s (HRTC) current production of OLIVER!, due to my initial experience with the show, but was intrigued by the director’s concept, and use of ten actors.
I have never been disappointed in a HRTC production, but I was not expecting to be absolutely blown away this evening. This production’s concept was conceived, and directed by Alan Souza, and choreographed by Spencer Liff (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE). I wish I could say I was speechless, but at intermission I was chattering away about the incredibly innovative, crisp, creative and exhausting staging and choreography. Thrilling!
With so many theatre companies, you show up expecting to see the company’s typical production. Since seeing my first HRTC production, ROMANCE, ROMANCE, twenty years ago, I’ve never been disappointed. I always return home, excited and refreshed.
There were remarkable performances from this troupe of ten actors, and not one was lacking. However, three performers ‘wow’d’ me this evening: music director and performer, Helen Gregory; Kettering’s own, Chris Shea; and a HRTC founder and regular, Scott Stoney.
Helen… Helen… Helen… the piano was actually blocked into the staging, and brilliantly executed! Helen only gave up the ivories once, and that was so she could sing and dance while Scott Stoney took over (and well done, Scott!). I have never seen acrobatics at the piano, but Helen made her multi-layered role amusing and impressive. This performance alone was worth the entire evening for me!
Chris Shea has grown tremendously as an actor through the years, and tonight, he was hitting the mark each moment, and with each character change throughout the production. He is a delight to watch, and I am confident he will continue to grow, even more, as an actor. Kudos!
From Shakespeare to Schwartz, and everything in between, and beyond, Scott Stoney just made my night! In this production of OLIVER!, Scott plays Mr. Bumble and several other characters. I’ve always loved what Scott brings to lead roles, but tonight, as Mr. Bumble, he completely won me over. Scott was hilarious, adorable, and so much fun. This man can do it all – lead roles and character roles and make them more 3-dimensional than anyone else I know.
One more performer needs to be mentioned… Sara Shepherd, as Nancy (and others), gave a moving, gut-wrenching delivery of “As Long As He Needs Me.” I seldom get chills, but her choices were fantastic! I did not hear the song – I felt it! Superb! Superb!
The musical numbers were unbelievably staged, and I am still rocking from the thrill of seeing them tonight. Within ten minutes, I had forgotten I was not fond of the show, forgotten my headache/sinus infection, and had stopped worrying about bringing my teenage son out on a chilly night just as he is recovering from the creeping crud.
I know this is an incredibly busy time of the year, but this is one production you do not want to miss.
Thank you, Human Race Theatre Company! This was a damned fine treat for my holiday season!
What do others think of OLIVER! at The Human Race Theatre Company?
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This has been my lucky week of tripping on to events at the last minute, and making it in time! Last night we visited Dayton’s Calvary Cemetery for the second annual “Angel Night” to glimpse all the beautifully sculpted angels illuminated. Tonight, someone posted something on Facebook about the Kettering Tree Lighting at Lincoln Park, a block away from our home. I discovered we had 15 minutes to get there – which was easy to do.
We ran into several student families, and Pati and Ema Rogers.
It was such a nice event! Tons and tons of people strolling through the park to look at the lights strung on trees, poles, etc., by our Kettering Parks & Recreation workers! Beautiful job!
Another fun evening for the Haasienda History Book!
At 48 years, I feel terribly blessed to have known my great-great uncle, Raymond Daugherty, 91, for this many years. Many friends, my age, do not have uncles and aunts living. As of this writing, I still have one great-great uncle, and two great-great aunts, surviving, and eight great uncles and aunts living.
This, indeed, is a blessing!
Uncle Raymond was a younger brother to my great-grandmother, Thelma Daugherty Barmes, who was the mother of my maternal grandfather, Leroy Barmes. Uncle Raymond was born July 25, 1921, only a few months before my grandfather.
The uncle and nephew grew up together, and during the difficult times of The Great Depression, my great-grandmother would take her children back to her parents’ farm. It was on the Daugherty farm near Frankton, Indiana, that my grandfather and his uncle grew up, and spent many summers together. As they neared their late teens, the two young men met two best friends, Betty Church and Donna Clary, who lived in Boone Township, not too far from Summitville, Indiana. Eventually, Raymond and Betty were engaged, as were Leroy and Donna.
Their families remained close through the years. Uncle Raymond and Aunt Betty were two of the first visitors when my mother was born, and in 1964, along with their son, Steve, were the first to visit me. When I adopted my first son, we drove to Houston, Texas, where Uncle Raymond and Aunt Betty were living with their son, Steve, so they would be the first to meet my new son. Raymond and Betty were the first to greet three generations of our family.
My mother often babysat for Raymond and Betty’s only son, Steve. Steve went on to Ball State University, majoring in telecommunications with David Letterman and Joyce DeWitt, with whom he was engaged for a short time. Steve’s career was colorful, and exciting.
January, 2010, Steve passed away following a hideous battle with pancreatic cancer. I’ve terribly missed his emails, his jokes, his telephone calls with the deeply, and dramatically announced, “Cousin Darin!” I so miss hearing about all the colorful celebrities and events from Steve’s life.
December 2011, Aunt Betty passed away just before Christmas. Uncle Raymond, lost in the shadows of dementia, was moved back to a facility in Alexandria, Indiana, where his younger brother and sister-in-law, Dick & Anita, could watch after him.
Today, one of the last folks from my grandparents’ youth has left us. Though it is a sad morning to see this chapter in my family’s history close, I feel greatly blessed for having Uncle Raymond, Aunt Betty, and Steve in my life. They were an incredible trio.
May choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest, Uncle Raymond… please give Aunt Betty, Steve, Grandma Donna, and Grandpa Leroy a hug from me…
Dayton History at Carillon Park hosted its second annual “Angel Night” at Calvary Cemetery of Dayton. Calvary Cemetery is located directly South of Carillon Park on one of the most imposing hills in the Miami Valley. At the top, you can see all around the Miami Valley, and tonight, it was even more beautiful with all the lights of the surrounding valley.
Quintin and I hurried to the cemetery, meeting up with family friends, and my Ball State music pals, Dave & Linda Samworth Lewis, and their teenage son, Chet. It was a fun night, and a great tour of all the beautifully carved, and illuminated angels throughout the cemetery. I learned just enough tonight to want to learn more about Calvary Cemetery that is steeped in rich history.
Bright and early, Saturday morning, Quintin, Flyer and I were in the car heading toward Fowler, Indiana to celebrate Freddie’s, my nephew/godson, 5th birthday. We arrived at 11:00am, and enjoyed some chat time with the family before the other guests began arriving. Parker, 7, and Freddie had just moved their bedroom from downstairs to upstairs, and they were eager to show it off. Carolyne is now in the boys’ old room, ready to make way for the new arrival this January.
We concluded our Indiana visit with a stop at Shapiro’s Deli for supper, and a stroll around downtown Indy. Flyer was in heaven getting to walk with us. It was like old times with her.
A long day, but a fun one!
When you look through the slideshow, you will see the faces of adoption:
and the Angels that make adoption happen.
Another wonderful party hosted by the angels of ACTION Adoption Services.
Today, Quintin and I spent our Thanksgiving with Brian & Joanie Pollock, their two college sons, Tyler, a senior at Butler University, and Zach, my former student, now a freshman at Miami University. Joanie’s parents, Dick & Susan, were with us from Springfield, Illinois.
Before dinner, I learned to play Rummy and Nertz. I never play cards, but I have to admit – I was getting addicted to Nertz! Such fun!
Brian prepared the best meal, and we all sat down to dinner with various hats. Lots of great food, and tons of laughter.
Post-dinner was my first time to watch A CHRISTMAS STORY. Hilarious!
While Joanie and Sue planned their Black Friday shopping strategy, the rest of us enjoyed pumpkin pie and the traditional pink stuff dessert (pineapple, cherry pie filling, Cool Whip, evaporated milk all mixed together).
Before leaving all the men took on the two women in a game called, Battle of the Sexes! Even more fun!
This was just a great day, and we had the best time!
Thank you, so much, Brian, Joanie, Tyler, Zach, Sue & Dick!
Last night I was wide awake, energized by having seen Centerville High School’s production, AVENUE Q (see previous post). By 2:00am, I was finally feeling sleep come over me, and at some point, I was out. At 3:15am, Navi barked when she heard Quintin come downstairs to use the bathroom. The last numbers I remember seeing on the clock were 403 (4:03am).
At 8:15am, I finally gave in to the siege of the three dogs surrounding me with their anxious stare-down. Chief was on my pillow with his nose pressed against mine; Navi was laying on top of Chief smacking me with her tail; and Flyer remained on the floor, staring up at me, and sighing about 2-3 times each minute.
It was a lazy morning of watching the news programs, and enjoyed a wonderful documentary, NOVA: Pocahontas Revealed. It had more to do with the Jamestown Rediscovery and the incredible archaeological work discovering new things about Jamestown life in 1607, and the nearby Indian capitol governed by Powhatan. An excellent Netflix documentary.
Quintin and I gathered up all the pots that once held beautiful Impatiens throughout the summer, and early fall, and brought them to the back deck. In a short while we will head out for groceries, returning in time for me to teach a few lessons for students prepping for jazz band auditions this week at Centerville High School. I suspect we will settle in for a Netflix movie this evening after supper.
But for right now, I am eating lunch and half-watching THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW.
Quintin’s newest voice is not Asian, but rather, Trekkie Monster from AVENUE Q. It is quite hilarious to hear him speaking in the Oscar The Grouch-esque voice, as heard in this video another production: Trekkie Monster singing “Monster School” – AVENUE Q.
I am all prepared for a short week of teaching, and time spent with family and friends!
Photos of my brother and his family…
“Theatre demands different muscles and different aspects of one’s personality.” ― Victor Garber
After about ten minutes into each theatrical production at Centerville High School, I tend to forget I am watching high school students – not college or professional – performing, and running the technical aspects of the show.
They are always THAT GOOD.
I look forward to theatre at Centerville High School as much as I do productions at two other outstanding educational institutions, Wright State University and Sinclair Community College. I never wonder, “how will Centerille pull off this show?” That’s a waste of time to even consider that question; CHS does it better than any other high school in Western Ohio. I am always confident I will leave the auditorium a lot more excited than when I entered – and I always enter CHS’s lobby with a good deal of excitement because I know I am set for a damned good production.
Tonight, my theatre directing friends, Suzanne Grote and Aaron Jacobs, along with Suzanne’s niece, Erin, and my son, Quintin, joined me for AVENUE Q. This quartet is always at my side for Centerville productions, and we never fail to marvel at the tremendous efforts and talent engaged at this high school theatre program.
I like it when the curtain is open upon seating in the auditorium because I have more time to absorb (marvel, shake my head, chuckle at little touches, and appreciate) Mike Cordonnier’s set designs. Mike, like several of his Miami Valley contemporaries – Terry Stump at Sinclair Community College, Bruce Brown at nearly every other venue in town and beyond, the Wright State University crew – never fails to impress and surprise me with his creativity. Mike’s superbly trained brigade of blossoming technical talent can run a show with ease.
Joe Beumer’s clean, creative, and concise stage direction is a perfect marriage to Mike Cordonnier’s set designs and technical leadership. There is an incredible amount of magic when you have Joe and Mike charting the course. And since Ben Spalding’s arrival as CHS’s choral director, the vocal talent, often accompanied by the instrumental direction of either Brandon Barrometti or Joshua Baker, has soared to new heights.
Centerville High School’s theatre program is outstanding in every way!
I had never seen a stage production of AVENUE Q, originally conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who also co-wrote the lyrics and music with Jeff Whitty’s libretto. The school edition is not watered down to the point of dull-dom, as other school musical editions tend to be. My colleagues who accompanied me tonight assured me this version was just as great as the original. And the students – on stage and beyond – lifted this production beyond my already high expectations!
If the creators had been able to see this production, I am certain they would have appreciated, and enthusiastically applauded the phenomenal talents of these high school students, and their exceptional mentors/directors.
I am not joking when I say, “Centerville High School has one of the best, if not the best, high school theatre programs around.”
Go see their shows, and see for your self!
I felt like a kid, tonight. In fact, it felt like I had the excitement of all my birthdays and Christmases all combined.
Quintin and I met Brian Pollock at The Greene to watch the movie I’ve waited several years to see.
The theatre, at 6:30pm, was packed for the 7:00pm showing, and we sat down in the lower tier, or as Brian aptly stated, “laying down in front of the TV on the floor.” I was thrilled to see the theater packed. At first, when I saw the immense lines of young teen girls, I was hopeful that LINCOLN-fever had reached their generation; however, I soon learned they were there to see the new TWILIGHT movie.
My bottom line reaction: BRAVO!
I am sure the historians will find fault with this movie. Naturally, there were items I knew, or believed to be historically inaccurate, but this is not a documentary. LINCOLN is a fictional account based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin, TEAM OF RIVALS. Tony Award winning playwright, Tony Kushner, delivered a tight, believable, and emotional script that highlighted some of our country’s greatest individuals set against the backdrop of the Civil War.
Before the movie even hit theaters, folks were complaining about Sally Field being too old, photos of the White House set not being accurate, or a myriad of other picky items. Folks were concerned the script would not be accurate. Again, it was a fictional account, based on actual events. If we were to examine THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE KING AND I, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, GYPSY, and others, we would be appalled at the truth versus the fictional accounts portrayed on stage. LINCOLN is no different.
Following a robust applause, the credits scrolled upward. It was an impressive line-up of names! I asked Brian if there any actors left in Hollywood to film other movies while this was being filmed. Incredible performances from some incredible actors.
Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field, as President Lincoln & Mary Todd Lincoln, were everything I hoped they would be. I was not let down. Hal Holbrook was brilliant, and I did love the fact that a former Lincoln-actor, LINCOLN (television 1974-1975), was included in this list of stars. There was not one performance that disappointed me.
For me, the most delightful performance was delivered by Tommy Lee Jones, portraying Pennsylvania congressman, Thaddeus Stevens. Outstanding! I smell a supporting actor Oscar nomination!
Many have commented on Daniel Day Lewis’ voice in the movie. I think everyone believes Abraham Lincoln had a booming baritone voice like James Earl Jones; however, Lincoln’s voice was described as “high pitched, thin and reedy.” It served him well during speeches before thousands of spectators in an era without electronic sound amplification. I believe Daniel Day Lewis captured Lincoln’s voice.
In the early stages, several colleagues were fearful of Sally Fields being 20 years older than Daniel Day Lewis, and not matching the 9 year age difference between Lincoln and Mary Todd. I oft reminded the critics that Mrs. Lincoln, at age 44, looked much older, and with the blessings of Max Factor, Sally Field would be right in the ball park.
And, she was!
Sally Field has succeeded a long line of well-known actresses who have portrayed the first lady:
- Jane Curtin
- Donna Murphy
- Sada Thompson (opposite Hal Holbrook)
- Glenn Close
- Ellen Burstyn
- Mary Tyler Moore
- Julie Harris (in the Broadway play, THE LAST OF MRS. LINCOLN, penned by fellow Ball State University graduate, James Prideaux)
- Lillian Gish
- Geraldine Fitzgerald
- Ruth Gordon
- and dozens more…
When Gore Vidal’s LINCOLN premiered on television, I was horrified by Mary Tyler Moore’s abrasive portrayal of Mrs. Lincoln. With the combined script, direction and acting, I felt Tyler-Moore’s particular portrayal was just awful. Sally Field, for me, personally, was Mary Todd Lincoln. Ms. Field was terribly believable, capturing Mrs. Lincoln’s fire, intelligence, grace, doubts, feelings and frustrations of being left out of her husband’s White House work, charm, political savvy, tender and protective maternal nature, and a Mary that was very capable of holding her own in a world ruled by men!
Were there items I feel should have been included to better round out the character of Mrs. Lincoln?
Of course. But this movie was not about Mary Todd Lincoln. It focused on President Lincoln and those who fought to pass the Thirteenth Amendment. The writing and directing of this particular character was far better than previous attempts, and Ms. Field’s professional, and personal choices pleased me very much.
There were a few scenes that were historically adjusted, but those moments seemed to strengthen Mary Lincoln’s heartbreak and devastation at the loss of her son, Willie, who died within their first year of residency in the White House, as well as the fire and capacity that Mrs. Lincoln exhibited, much to Abraham’s success.
So… go see LINCOLN.
If you are a historian, take off your historian cap, as I did, and simply rejoice in the truly great work, and the fact that the Lincolns are currently a fairly hot commodity in motion pictures!
|NPCA | 777 6th Street, NW | Suite 700 | Washington, DC 20001 | 800.NAT.PARK | npca|
Did you know? Even Oscar Hammerstein II struggled with the creative process.
In 1946 he told The New York Times, “Writing comes darned hard to me. I do most of it on our farm in Doylestown. There I have a room with one of those tall old-fashioned desks you used to see in shipping offices. It takes me a long time to get started, and even then the words come slowly. I keep walking up and down the room and when I get what I want I go over to the desk and write in longhand with a soft pencil. I often wonder how many miles an act I walk.”
My favorite time of the morning is when the sun comes peeping up over the rooftops across Shroyer Road, showering my side of the street with little glimmers of morning light. From my bedroom/sitting room window, I can see the the natural spotlight illuminate the beautiful stage that, from my study or bedroom, will be a part of my surroundings throughout the day.
This looks great!
**Angel Night is Back at Calvary Cemetery, Even Bigger and Better!**
Last year’s Evening of Song and Celebration is back by popular demand, this time in partnership with Carillon Park, and bigger and better than ever!
Thursday, November 29 from 5:30 to 9:00 PM, you’ll have the opportunity to view 15 illuminated Victorian era angels on a tour by horse drawn carriages and Wright Flyer Trolleys.
Listen to holiday music from local groups including the CJ High School Choir and Glee Club, Dr. Ritter Werner and others in historic St Henry’s Memorial Chapel.
Frost Christmas cookies, enjoy hot chocolate and other goodies, and bask in the atmosphere of the beautifully decorated
cemetery and Carillon Park.
Definitely family friendly!
Carillon Park will feature local artists with plenty of hand crafted gifts to buy, as well as the Museum Shop full of Dayton History books, toys, games, tee shirts and more.
The event is free to the public, parking, which is exclusively at the Carillon this year, is $5 per car.
For more information, call Rick Meade at 293-1221.
Last night, Quintin and I had front row seats for Beavercreek High School’s CABARET, a delightful production featuring all the high school choirs, the two middle school show choirs, and the high school’s show choir, Friends.
Great performance, and I am so proud of all my students. It was great to see so many former students and their parents, last night!
This morning, Quintin and I headed Southeast of Dayton to Caesar’s Creek where we first stopped at Miami Cemetery. Beautiful.
We traipsed on over to Caesar’s Creek State Park. I had only been to the beach area, and discovered some other areas today that were gorgeous. It was also my first time to Caesar’s Creek Pioneer Village – it was OK.
After grabbing some pulled pork sandwiches at this little mini-mart between the pioneer village and the dam, we headed into Waynesville to walk around and take more photos.
It was such a great day of laughter, time together, and beautiful weather in November!
Some great suggestions that I have used frequently…
Your WebMD Health Newsletter
Today would have been the 91st birthday of my grandfather, Leroy ‘Red’ Barmes.
He was the third generation of our Bavarian family born in the United States, and the eldest child born to Virgil Brewer Barmes, and Thelma Estelle Daugherty Barmes, in Elwood, Indiana. Leroy’s younger siblings: Evelyn, Norma and Danny.
In 1943, Leroy married Donna Mae Clary, and they had three children: Diana, Ron, and Tom.
Grandpa died June 3, 2004.
Personally, speaking, I think this was one of the best fall band concerts at Fairmont High School – and they always give great concerts. All the concert bands – AM Concert Band, PM Concert Band, Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble were outstanding with each of their two pieces presented. The musical line-up was entertaining, and a nice mix.
The tradition that caps off the concert is the marching band’s entrance into Trent Arena (however, they did not march in this year) to perform some of pre-game, and then, the last run through of their fall competition show. I always find this a bit sad because this moment truly is the end of the season, and one of the first marked beginnings of the end for the seniors.
After the concert, the Haas family hurried to Friendly’s for our traditional post-concert ice cream (which has become our post-concert supper). Joining us this year: The Rogers Family – Pati, Mike, Nick, Ema; The Blunt Family – Steve, Dee, Casey, Dawson, Grandma Delores; and The Halls – Ron, Stephanie, Jillian, and Grandma Judy. Lot’s of fun, and laughter.
Here’s to the end of a great marching band season!
Leadership. Integrity. Nobleness. Knowledge. These are all necessary ingredients to the successful guidance of the children and families of Montgomery County. As Election Day draws near, voters will have the unique opportunity to affect much-needed change to the antiquated practices of the Montgomery County Juvenile Court by electing Jeff Rezabek to the bench. As voters, many people may not realize that the juvenile court system is responsible for so many more issues beyond delinquent minors. With over 14 years of experience in juvenile court, Jeff Rezabek has been personally appointed by the Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judges to handle cases involving murder and other violent crimes, shaken baby deaths, abused and neglected children, emotional visitation and custody matters, complicated child support cases, delicate educational cases involving children with special needs, and cases involving drug-dependent children and parents. After only practicing for a few short years, Jeff Rezabek stepped forward and received an approved home study of his own residence in order to provide shelter for an at-risk child. He has won awards and has been recognized repeatedly as an outstanding practitioner in Montgomery County Juvenile Court. Jeff Rezabek’s guidance and advice is sought out by many, including numerous fellow attorneys and professionals actively involved with local families. Through his direct contact with the families of Montgomery County, Jeff Rezabek has gained unparalleled experience and perspective as well as a heightened appreciation for the impact that the actions of juvenile court have on today’s youth and families. Help Montgomery County put into place that final LINK between the court system and our children by electing Jeff Rezabek as your next Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge.
Please forward this on to friends, family and colleagues!
Every Vote Counts
Paid for by Citizens for Rezabek, 111 West First Street, Suite 519 – Dayton, Ohio 45402 Gloria Marano – Treasurer
My friend, Jeffrey Carter of St. Louis, Missouri, posted this on his own blog – which is one of my favorite reads each day. This was a bit aggravating to read!
I have officially voted in my 8th general election. My first election to vote was in 1984.
I am always excited to get my I VOTED sticker. There is something powerful in that little badge of admission that reminds me of my responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America. My little badge does not discriminate by defining me into a political party. It does, however, broadcast I participate in the life of my country.
I pulled into the parking garage at the Montgomery County Building on West Third at 12:55pm. I was a bit daunted by the long line that wound around the main floor hall. In fact, I compared it to lines at Kings Island – long, winding, and filled with a wild assortment of individuals and personalities. Despite the line’s length, I only stood in it for less than 10 minutes.
Next to me in line, and throughout the process was a really neat couple, Don & Jane Russell, from Miami Township. They are friends with several families I know and love, The DeVores and The Kopecs! In fact, they attended my production of The Sound of Music in 1999!
From the first staging area of seating, we were moved downstairs in a group of approximately 150. In the first basement, I received #371. After a ten minute wait in the next area of seating, we were moved downstairs to the auditorium where we filled out our ballot envelope and form.
After a short wait, we were moved into a corral of folks to enter our information into the computer. I was assisted by a lady who happened to be the manager, and she was a delight. In fact, all of the board of election personnel were absolutely kind, and very helpful. Their sense of humor added to the enjoyment of the process.
Within a minute, my ballot was ready and I was aimed to a series of rooms where folks were voting. I finally found a place way in the back, and settled down at the table to fill in my ballot.
I proudly voted for neighbor, Ashley Webb, first. Ashley is running for Montgomery County Commissioner.
I had never voted with pen and paper – always the little punch cards, or electronic voting machines. This felt incredible to actually fill in my own ballot.
When I had completed my ballot, I walked it to the reception area to have it sealed. It was handed back to me so I could place it in the ballot box.
That was so exciting!
As I returned to the one lower level, I saw a prospective voter holding a card with #974! Upstairs, the lines were ever longer, and I followed the line clear out to the parking garage! Incredible! I suspect there were at least 1500 waiting in line on two of the three floors.
All in all, this was a positive experience, and one for which I am proud to have participated. I got to meet some really nice folks (the Russells), and experience the voting process in a completely different manner. It felt good to see tons of people taking the time to vote. Simply impressive!
One hundred seventy years ago, Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln, November 4, 1842.
Thus, Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd were married at the Edwards’ home on Friday evening, November 4, 1842. About 30 relatives and friends, all hastily invited, attended the ceremony which was conducted by Reverend Dresser who was wearing canonical robes. Mary wore a lovely white muslin dress. She wore neither a veil nor flowers in her hair.
Mary’s bridesmaids were Julia M. Jayne (in 1843 she married Lyman Trumbull who later became a U.S. Senator), Anna Caesaria Rodney, and Miss Elizabeth Todd. Abraham’s best man was James Harvey Matheny, 24, who was a close friend and worked at the circuit court office in Springfield. Matheny was asked by Lincoln to be best man on the day of the wedding!
Reverend Dresser used “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony” from a book entitled The Book of Common Prayer According to the Use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States(Philadelphia, Carey & Hart, 1836). Standing behind Abraham during the ceremony was heavyset Judge Thomas C. Browne of the Illinois Supreme Court. Browne was a blunt man not accustomed to weddings. As Abraham was putting the wedding ring on Mary’s hand and repeating the words, “With this ring I thee endow with all my goods, chattels, lands, and tenements,” Browne impatiently blurted out, “God Almighty, Lincoln, the statute fixes all that.” After a brief delay following Browne’s interruption, the ceremony was completed as rain poured outside. Judge Browne was once impeached for feeblemindedness after a hearing in the Springfield courthouse.
A week after the marriage, on November 11, 1842, Abraham wrote a letter to a friend, Samuel D. Marshall. Most of the letter dealt with legal matters, but Abraham closed the letter with the following sentence: “Nothing new here, except my marrying, which to me, is a matter of profound wonder.”
…Love Is Eternal…
The night of their marriage, Abraham Lincoln slipped on to Mary Todd’s finger an Etruscan gold wedding band. Inside the ring, the words, Love is eternal, were engraved.
When historians refer to the wedding ring that Abraham Lincoln gave to Mary on November 4, 1842, they usually claim that the inscription read “Love is eternal.” However, according to the Chicago Tribune edition of July 18, 1882, there were more than three words engraved.
Prior to her death, Mary removed her wedding ring from her finger. On July 16, 1882, in her sister Elizabeth Edwards’ house, the same house where she had married Abraham Lincoln forty years before, she passed away. The following day, some of Elizabeth’s friends found the ring and discovered that the inscription read, “A.L. to Mary, Nov. 4, 1842. Love is Eternal.” The ring was subsequently placed on Mary’s finger, where it had been for forty years, and was buried with her remains in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois.
Happy GOTCHA Day to Flyer!
I went to a farm just South of Xenia, Ohio, and watched four adorable 10 week old puppies scamper about the back. I noticed the black and white runt was the leader for the larger three who were brown and white.
The daddy, Caesar, was a black and white Springer Spaniel, and the mommy, Portia, was a black lab and husky – looked exactly like a slender black lab but had bright blue eyes.
The mother tried to kill the runt by hiding her in the foot rest of a recliner in the woodshed, but the young girls at the farm would rescue her. The family kept the runt alive, and she took over the lead of her 8 siblings (one had died at birth).
I paid $25 – one of the most inexpensive, best $25 I’ve ever paid.
We got into the car, and the puppy sat down and looked around. As I drove away she looked bored, already. She was too small to look out the windows, so she walked over to me, laid down, and laid her head on my thigh.
I decided she would be named, Flyer, in honor of the Wright Brothers. En route to Centerville, we stopped at Woodland Cemetery. Flyer hopped out of the car and hopped among the tomb stones. She stopped at the Wright family estate, sniffed, walked over to Wilbur’s stone, and laid down.
It was not until three years later I learned Wilbur Wright, while demonstrating his flying machine in France, 1908, acquired a dog which he named, Flyer! Wilbur’s Flyer is commemorated on the nifty carousel at Dayton History at Carillon Park.
Flyer knows her commands in English, German, snapping fingers, and when she could see, sign language.
August 2010, Flyer suffered from acute pancreatitis, and nearly died. She rallied, and resumed good health, but within a few months, she began losing her sight. Flyer’s blindness does not prevent her from moving around with ease, nor having a great time with the family.
She’s been a great pal for eleven years.
At Wilbur Wright’s grave through the years…
Wilbur Wright’s Flyer & the Carillon Park carousel’s Flyer…