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OK…. I am going to make this a little harder… here are several child celebrities! Some are going back quite far!

The sweetheart next door…

The neighborhood terror!

In a movie she got a “book on her backside”

She was always playing someone’s sweetheart, and appearing as the younger sister of the most popular motion picture character.

At Fred MacMurray’s insistence, all episodes were filmed out of sequence during the show’s entire run using a technique now known as the MacMurray method. MacMurray would do all of his scenes in 65 nonconsecutive days. The cast regulars got haircuts once a week in order to maintain continuity. Guest stars would have to return months later to complete an episode. All kitchen scenes would be done together, then all scenes in the upstairs hallway would be filmed together, etc. This fact was well concealed until Dawn Lyn joined the cast as Dodie. Her upper front teeth grew in irregularly during the entire 1969-70 season, from being barely visible in scenes with MacMurray to being plainly visible in scenes without him. William Fawley never felt comfortable with this method of filming, having grown accustomed to filming I Love Lucy in sequence during its entire run.

The dog’s name was Tramp.

With 369 episodes over 12 years, this is the second longest-running (live action) comedy in US TV history (as of February 2003), surpassed only by “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (1952).

One of the few shows to ever survive a change in networks. At the beginning of the 1965-1966 season, the show moved from ABC to CBS, where it ran for its final seven seasons.

Not only was the first episode of the 1965-1966 season the series’ CBS debut, it also was the first episode to be shot in color. Before taking the role of Katie, Tina Cole appeared on a couple of earlier episodes in various roles.

When Tim Considine left after the 1964-1965 season, his character of Mike was written out by having him marry his girlfriend Sally and moving to Arizona to accept a teaching position.

The name of the town where the Douglasses lived before moving to California was Bryant Park. However, the state the town was in was never named.

When William Frawley left the show due to declining health, his absence was explained by having Bub move to Ireland to live.

Although officially leaving after the show’s fifth season in 1964-1965, Tim Considine’s last appearance as Mike, the eldest son, was actually in the first episode of season 6 (the series’ first in color). The episode opened with a brief scene showing Mike and Sally’s (Meredith MacRae) wedding. The episode also “launched” Barry Livingston (“Ernie”) as the new son. The characters of Mike and Sally were mentioned in the next two episodes, which dealt with Ernie’s adoption, and in a subsequent episode when Charley and the boys thought Steve was getting married. Mike was referred to by name one last time in the first 1966-1967 episode, when the gang visited Steve’s hometown. After this they were never referred to by name again for the remainder of the series, although Mike was indirectly referred to as, “the first of you” by Steve a few years later.

The character ‘Steve Douglas’ was ranked #7 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” (20 June 2004 issue).

Uncle Charley served in the Merchant Marines before coming to live with Steve and the boys.

Charley was Bub’s brother.

When Don Grady left the show in the final season, his absence was explained by having Robbie get transferred to Peru by his job and have Katie join him there.

The show was originally going to be named The Fred MacMurray Show, but MacMurray didn’t like the idea.

June Haver, Fred MacMurray’s real-life wife, recommended Beverly Garland for the role of Barbara.

One of the original choices for the role of Steve Douglas was Eddie Albert.

Several years later it was revealed that there were different plans in the works for the character of Robbie when Don Grady left the show. One plan was for Robbie and Katie to divorce and another plan was to have Robbie killed off.

Sue Branson guessed correctly…

Clue: Born in 1945 and was a familiar personality as a teenager.
Celebrity: Lynda Bird Johnson-Robb. Linda is the daughter of President Lyndon & Lady Bird Johnson, and the wife of Virginia senator, Charles Robb. Today, Lynda is very active with the LBJ Library in Austin, and looking after her 93 year old mother, Lady (Claudia) Bird Johnson.

Today’s new mystery celebrity:

Was a fairly well-known teenager in the 1970’s whose prom location made headlines.

Taking A Field Trip

When we were children, few words were more exciting to hear than the phrase “field trip.” Field trips were a break from schoolwork and an opportunity to go on an adventure with friends. Now that we are grown ups, taking a field trip can be just as fun and memorable – if only we were willing to sign our own permission slips so we could go on one.

Allowing yourself to get stuck in your routine can make life seem boring. Adding a touch of variety to your life in the form of a field trip can break up the monotony of your days and lead you to adventure. Unlike the jaunts that were regulated by teachers or monitored by parents, taking a field trip as an adult can lead you anywhere you want. You can go on a daylong retreat or spend just a few hours at your destination. A field trip can be an opportunity to explore a new landscape or discover something about yourself. Taking a day trip to another town or visiting an unfamiliar spot in your neighborhood can be educational and fun. There is also much to be said for finding a beautiful spot under a tree where you can read a book. You can even go to one of your favorite spots and allow yourself to experience it as if you were visiting there for the first time. Going on a field trip is as much a state of mind as it is a change in the scenery.

During a “grown up” field trip, schedules, clocks, and duties are put aside so you can focus wholeheartedly on mindfully enjoying yourself. Planning a field trip can be almost as fun as going on one. A field trip is an excursion to look forward to and an experience to be savored after the fact. Wherever you decide to go and whatever you decide to do, going on a field trip can add much pleasure and excitement to your life.

A few years back I read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and thoroughly loved it. I also zoomed right through several of his other books, Deception Point and Angels & Demons. Dan Brown, like another favorite author of mine, Vince Flynn, knows how to keep me attached to a book. I am always eager to begin one of their books, but am always cautious as to when I read one because I become so absorbed for two or three days. Sometimes, my friend, Kay Hetzer, will be reading a Dan Brown book and we will debate it until we are finished.

In three weeks the movie, The Da Vinci Code, will be released and it is already causing a stir with The Church. Back in the 1980’s I can remember when the church was outraged over The Last Temptation of Christ. I was in college and can remember laughing at the petition from my home church. I attended the movie with the Lutheran pastor (and his wife) where I was music director. The three of us loved it and thought the uproar was ludicrous.

Several years back it was The Passion of the Christ which garnered a good deal of press. I attended the opening day, more so out of curiosity. I walked through a little barrage of protestors who stood out on the sidewalk singing “Amazing Grace” with their hands waving over their heads. Some other movie attendees stopped to share with them but continued on.

Inside, I was surprised to find the movie theatre practically full and it seemed most of the audience was filled with Pentecostal church groups. There seemed to be large blocks of people. I was even more eager to gauge the audience reaction. I was prepared for people getting up and walking out, or booing the screen – and I was sorely disappointed. People stayed. No one booed or hissed. In fact, this audience was caught up in the movie and reacted as though they were actually standing along the “Via Dolorosa” or at the foot of Golgatha. They were wailing and sniffling as loud as the actors on the screen during emotional moments. For a movie that attracted such criticism, I was observing something completely different than what I anticipated.

After the movie, I excused myself around women holding one another and crying bitterly as though CNN just broke the news of Jesus’ death. In the lobby there were even more crowds for the next viewing. Outside, the protestors had disbanded and the local news cameras were there to interview the audience.

For both movies, I found them to be nothing more than a product of the performing arts. They did not move me nearly as much as The Ten Commandments does every Spring when it dominates five hours of channel 22, but I still appreciated their value.

I am finding this uproar over The Da Vinci Code to be almost comical. I have read a ton of articles which are incredibly anti Dan Brown, and most of the authors have not even read his work. They are basing their rebuttals against something they have not even read. Last night, I stayed up until 2:00AM reading The Jesus Papers by Michael Baigent. I am not saying I buy into all he says, but I do appreciate his research and his thorough study of the topic.

I have always felt that if a piece of work, whether it be literary or dramatic, shakes one’s faith so greatly, perhaps their faith was not as strong as it could have been. Artists, musicians, dramatists and novelists have been creating works about The Bible, Christ and the other many individuals throughout Biblical history for centuries.

No one protests paintings of Christ with golden hair or fair skin… most nativity scenes are placed in an angular Bavarian structure rather than a cave… most nativity scenes have both shepherds and wise men present when the texts indicate other wise…

The Da Vinci Code presents a not so new approach to the continuity of Christ’s bloodline, marrying him to Mary Magdalene. Many Christians are slamming Dan Brown for creating such a story, yet this concept has been around for centuries. Dan Brown simply used this piece of history to tell a story much like I did the life of the Wright brothers to tell a story. I, too, used some artistic license, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that my characters are thoroughly documented in both print, oral and photography. Neither Dan Brown, nor The Church, can claim access to as much thorough, factual documentation as I can. Dan Brown’s work does not challenge “faith.” What it does do is bring together documented historical items, placing them in a mystery/suspense novel that makes for excellent reading.

Dan Brown has done nothing wrong. This verbal crucifixion of Dan Brown reminds me of the early days of the Christian church when bishops were executed (by the church and not the Romans) for adding their own interpretation. I have listened to many ministers throughout my life and I have never heard two who are exactly alike. No one throws stones at these particular authorities who will often slant things a little differently to get a point across.

The funny thing is that Dan Brown is still under fire when it is the movie being released. Why aren’t people taking Ron Howard or Tom Hanks to task? Now, it is their interpretation based on Dan Brown’s work. It does seem to me, however, that The Church is in a panic over the release of this movie. What is there to defend? Why is it so anxious? If all the Biblical facts are cemented in truth and thorough documentation, why not allow the movie to premiere in theatres and let it blow over like others have done? The funny thing to me is that The Church, when it protests such things, is a great marketing tool for the movies! The Church draws so much attention to the upcoming premiere that it makes people more curious and interested! Again I am reading articles by theologians and clergy with a “shoot to kill” attitude. It amazes me how the political police of the Catholic Church can fight someone like Dan Brown, tooth and nail, over historical items recorded over hundreds of years, yet, for many years, hid under the carpet the allegations from parishioners of the numerous priests sexually molesting alter boys or other members.

I would like to research the making of the motion picture, The Ten Commandments that evolved from a highly embellished script. I want to know if Cecil B. DeMille was criticized as much as Dan Brown.

I found this section of Dan Brown’s webpage to be of particular interest. You can find it at the following link, but I am also including the “Common Questions” and his response.

The Da Vinci Code
is a novel and therefore a work of fiction. While the book’s characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals depicted in this novel all exist (for example, Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings, the Gnostic Gospels, Hieros Gamos, etc.). These real elements are interpreted and debated by fictional characters. While it is my belief that some of the theories discussed by these characters may have merit, each individual reader must explore these characters’ viewpoints and come to his or her own interpretations. My hope in writing this novel was that the story would serve as a catalyst and a springboard for people to discuss the important topics of faith, religion, and history.

If you read the “FACT” page, you will see it clearly states that the documents, rituals, organization, artwork, and architecture in the novel all exist. The “FACT” page makes no statement whatsoever about any of the ancient theories discussed by fictional characters. Interpreting those ideas is left to the reader.

No. This book is not anti-anything. It’s a novel. I wrote this story in an effort to explore certain aspects of Christian history that interest me. The vast majority of devout Christians understand this fact and consider The Da Vinci Code an entertaining story that promotes spiritual discussion and debate. Even so, a small but vocal group of individuals has proclaimed the story dangerous, heretical, and anti-Christian. While I regret having offended those individuals, I should mention that priests, nuns, and clergy contact me all the time to thank me for writing the novel. Many church officials are celebrating The Da Vinci Code because it has sparked renewed interest in important topics of faith and Christian history. It is important to remember that a reader does not have to agree with every word in the novel to use the book as a positive catalyst for introspection and exploration of our faith.

The dialogue is wonderful. These authors and I obviously disagree, but the debate that is being generated is a positive powerful force. The more vigorously we debate these topics, the better our understanding of our own spirituality. Controversy and dialogue are healthy for religion as a whole. Religion has only one true enemy–apathy–and passionate debate is a superb antidote.

I worked very hard to create a fair and balanced depiction of Opus Dei. Even so, there may be those who are offended by the portrayal. While Opus Dei is a very positive force in the lives of many people, for others, affiliation with Opus Dei has been a profoundly negative experience. Their portrayal in the novel is based on numerous books written about Opus Dei as well as on my own personal interviews with current and former members.

Since the beginning of recorded time, history has been written by the “winners” (those societies and belief systems that conquered and survived). Despite an obvious bias in this accounting method, we still measure the “historical accuracy” of a given concept by examining how well it concurs with our existing historical record. Many historians now believe (as do I) that in gauging the historical accuracy of a given concept, we should first ask ourselves a far deeper question: How historically accurate is history itself?

Yes. Interestingly, if you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others feel you must accept the Bible as absolute historical fact. Still others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior are doomed to hell. Faith is a continuum, and we each fall on that line where we may. By attempting to rigidly classify ethereal concepts like faith, we end up debating semantics to the point where we entirely miss the obvious–that is, that we are all trying to decipher life’s big mysteries, and we’re each following our own paths of enlightenment. I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress.

I can’t imagine why. The ideas in this novel have been around for centuries; they are not my own. Admittedly, this may be the first time these ideas have been written about within the context of a popular thriller, but the information is anything but new. My hope for The Da Vinci Code was, in addition to entertaining people, that it might serve as an open door for readers to begin their own explorations and rekindle their interest in topics of faith.

Some readers with albinism have been troubled by this character. I am very sensitive to their concerns. It is important to remember that Silas’s skin color has nothing to do with his violent nature–he is driven to violence by others’ cruelty… not by anything inherent in his physiology. The vast majority of critics and readers (even some with albinism) find Silas to be the novel’s most sympathetic character. I truly believe the novel’s portrayal of Silas is a compassionate exploration of how difficult albinism can be–especially for young people–and how cruelly societies can ostracize those of us who look different.

Yes, many people in organized religion have come out in support of this novel, and, of course, many have come out in opposition as well. The opposition generally comes from the strictest Christian thinkers who feel the idea of a “married Jesus” serves to undermine His divinity. While I don’t agree with this interpretation, this is immaterial because the dialogue itself is a deeply empowering and positive force for everyone involved. Suddenly, enormous numbers of people are passionately debating important philosophical topics, and regardless of the personal conclusions that each of us draws, the debate can only help to strengthen our understanding of our own faith. Much of the positive response I get from within organized religion comes from nuns (who write to thank me for pointing out that they have sacrificed their entire lives to the Church and are still considered “unfit” to serve behind the altar). I have also heard from hundreds of enthusiastic priests. While many of them disagree with some of the ideas in the novel, they are thrilled that their parishioners are eager to discuss religion. Father John Sewell of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Memphis stated it particularly eloquently in the press recently, saying: “This [novel] is not a threat. This is an opportunity. We are called to creatively engage the culture and this is what I want to do. I think Dan Brown has done me a favor. He’s letting me talk about things that matter.”

Stunned. I worked very hard on this novel, and I certainly expected people would enjoy it, but I never imagined so many people would be enjoying it this much. I wrote this book essentially as a group of fictional characters exploring ideas that I found personally intriguing. These same themes obviously resonate with a great many people.

Two thousand years ago, we lived in a world of Gods and Goddesses. Today, we live in a world solely of Gods. Women in most cultures have been stripped of their spiritual power. The novel touches on questions of how and why this shift occurred and on what lessons we might learn from it regarding our future.

Revealing that secret would rob readers of all the fun, but I will say that it relates to one of the most famous histories of all time a legend familiar to all of us. Rumors of this conspiracy have been whispered for centuries in countless languages, including the languages of art, music, and literature. Some of the most dramatic evidence can be found in the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci, which seem to overflow with mystifying symbolism, anomalies, and codes. Art historians agree that Da Vinci’s paintings contain hidden levels of meaning that go well beneath the surface of the paint. Many scholars believe his work intentionally provides clues to a powerful secret a secret that remains protected to this day by a clandestine brotherhood of which Da Vinci was a member.

This particular story kept knocking on my door until I answered. I first learned of the mysteries hidden in Da Vinci’s paintings while I was studying art history at the University of Seville in Spain. Years later, while researching Angels & Demons and the Vatican Secret Archives, I encountered the Da Vinci enigma yet again. I arranged a trip to the Louvre Museum where I was fortunate enough to view the originals of some of Da Vinci’s most famous works as well as discuss them with an art historian who helped me better understand the mystery behind their surprising anomalies. From then on, I was captivated. I spent a year doing research before writing The Da Vinci Code.

Most of the information is not as “inside” as it seems. The secret described in the novel has been chronicled for centuries, so there are thousands of sources to draw from. In addition, I was surprised how eager historians were to share their expertise with me. One academic told me her enthusiasm for The Da Vinci Code was based in part on her hope that “this ancient mystery would be unveiled to a wider audience.”

My interest in secret societies is the product of many experiences, some I can discuss, others I cannot. Certainly my research of organizations like NSA, the Vatican, NRO, and Opus Dei continues to fuel my intrigue. At a more fundamental level, though, my interest sparks from growing up in New England, surrounded by the clandestine clubs of Ivy League universities, the Masonic lodges of our Founding Fathers, and the hidden hallways of early government power. New England has a long tradition of elite private clubs, fraternities, and secrecy. On that theme, the next Robert Langdon novel (already in progress) is set deep within the oldest fraternity in history the enigmatic brotherhood of the Masons.

Hardly. In fact, I’m quite the opposite–more of a skeptic. I see no truth whatsoever in stories of extraterrestrial visitors, crop circles, the Bermuda Triangle, or many of the other “mysteries” that permeate pop culture. However, the secret behind The Da Vinci Code was too well documented and significant for me to dismiss.

Sure. A renowned Harvard symbologist is summoned to the Louvre Museum to examine a series of cryptic symbols relating to Da Vinci’s artwork. In decrypting the code, he uncovers the key to one of the greatest mysteries of all time and he becomes a hunted man.

This weekend is Fairmont High School’s production of Meredith Wilson’s THE MUSIC MAN. The shows are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30PM, and Saturday at 2:00PM. Once again, Terence Kalba is back at the reins as choreographer and his work is always thrilling.

Here are some photos from the rehearsals:

For more photos of rehearsals, please visit:

Chris Stevens guessed last week’s Mystery Celebrity correct:
I am always curious to know what has happened to celebrities when they are no longer in the lime light.

Can anyone guess who this lady is?

Clue: she was born June 17, 1964.

ERIN MURPHY who played “Tabitha” on BEWITCHED.

This week’s mystery celebrity…

Born in 1945 and was a familiar personality as a teenager.

I just read this great book! Highly recommended! Today is the last full day, 141 years ago, when John Wilkes Booth lived his last.

In his book, “Manhunt,” James L. Swanson recounts in detail how Union soldiers and detectives chased John Wilkes Booth.

Abraham Lincoln’s assassination set off one of the greatest manhunts in American history. For 12 days, Union soldiers and detectives chased John Wilkes Booth through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia. In his book, “Manhunt,” James L. Swanson, uses rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln’s own blood relics, to give a gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters. Booth is at the center of this tale. A Confederate sympathizer and a member of a celebrated acting family, he threw away his fame and wealth for a chance to avenge the South’s defeat. Swanson was invited on “Today” to talk about his book.

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One”I Had This Strange Dream Again Last Night”

John Wilkes Booth awoke Good Friday morning, April 14, 1865, hungover and depressed. The Confederacy was dead. His cause was lost and his dreams of glory over. He did not know that this day, after enduring more than a week of bad news and bitter disappointments, he would enjoy a stunning reversal of fortune. No, all he knew this morning when he crawled out of bed in room 228 at the National Hotel, one of Washington’s finest and naturally his favorite, was that he could not stand another day of Union victory celebrations.

Booth assumed that April 14 would unfold as the latest in a blur of eleven bad days that began on April 3 when Richmond, the Confederacy’s citadel, fell to the Union. The very next day the tyrant, Abraham Lincoln, visited his captive prize and had the audacity to sit behind the desk occupied by the first and last president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis. Then, on April 9, at Appomattox Court House, Robert E. Lee and his glorious Army of Northern Virginia surrendered. Two days later Lincoln made a speech proposing to give blacks the right to vote, and last night, April 13, all of Washington celebrated with a grand illumination of the city. And today, in Charleston harbor, the Union planned to stage a gala celebration to mark the retaking of Fort Sumter, where the war began four years ago. These past eleven days had been the worst of Booth’s young life.

He was the son of the legendary actor and tragedian Junius Brutus Booth, and brother to Edwin Booth, one of the finest actors of his generation. Twenty-six years old, impossibly vain, preening, emotionally flamboyant, possessed of raw talent and splendid élan, and a star member of this celebrated theatrical family — the Barrymores of their day — John Wilkes Booth was willing to throw away fame, wealth, and promise for his cause. Handsome and charismatic, he was instantly recognizable to thousands of fans in both the North and the South. His physical beauty astonished all who beheld it. A fellow actor once described him: “Picture to yourself Adonis, with high forehead, sweeping black hair, a figure of perfect youthful proportions and the most wonderful black eyes in the world. Such was John Wilkes Booth. At all times his eyes were his striking features but when his emotions were aroused they were like living jewels.” Booth’s passions included fine clothing, delectable women, and the romance of lost causes.

Booth’s day began in the dining room of the National, where he was seen eating breakfast with Miss Carrie Bean. Nothing unusual about that — Booth, a voluptuous connoisseur of young women, never had trouble finding female company. Around noon he walked over to Ford’s Theatre on Tenth Street between E and F, a block above Pennsylvania Avenue, to pick up his mail. Accepting correspondence on behalf of itinerant actors was a customary privilege Ford’s offered to friends of the house. Earlier that morning Henry Clay Ford, one of the three brothers who ran the theatre, ate breakfast and then walked to the big marble post office at Seventh and F and picked up the mail. There was a letter for Booth.

That morning another letter arrived at the theatre. There had been no time to mail it, so its sender, Mary Lincoln, used the president’s messenger to bypass the post office and hand-deliver it. The Fords did not even have to read the note to know the good news it contained. The mere arrival of the White House messenger told them that the president was coming tonight! It was a coup against their chief rival, Grover’s Theatre, which was offering a more exciting entertainment: Aladdin! Or His Wonderful Lamp. Master Tad Lincoln and chaperone would represent the family there. The letter, once opened, announced even greater news. Yes, the president and Mrs. Lincoln would attend this evening’s performance of Tom Taylor’s popular if tired comedy Our American Cousin. But the big news was that General Ulysses S. Grant was coming with them. The Lincolns’ timing delighted the Fords. Good Friday was traditionally a slow night, and news that not only the president — after four years a familiar sight to Washingtonians — but also General Grant, a rare visitor to town and fresh from his victory at Appomattox, would attend, was sure to spur ticket sales. This would please Laura Keene, who was making her one thousandth performance in the play; tonight’s show was a customary “benefit,” awarding her a rich share of the proceeds. The Lincolns had given the Fords the courtesy of notification early enough in the day for the brothers to promote their appearance and to decorate and join together the two boxes — seven and eight — that, by removal of a simple partition, formed the president’s box.

By the time Booth arrived at Ford’s, the president’s messenger had come and gone. Sometime between noon and 12:30 p.m. as he sat outside on the top step in front of the main entrance to Ford’s reading his letter, Booth heard the galvanizing news. In just eight hours the subject of all of his brooding, hating, and plotting would stand on the very stone steps where he now sat. This was the catalyst Booth needed to prompt him to action. Here. Of all places, Lincoln was coming here. Booth knew the layout of Ford’s intimately: the exact spot on Tenth Street where Lincoln would step out of his carriage; the place the president sat every time he came to the theatre; the route through the theatre that Lincoln would walk and the staircase he would ascend to the box; the dark, subterranean passageway beneath the stage; the narrow hallway behind the stage that led to the back door that opened to Baptist Alley; and how the president’s box hung directly above the stage. Booth had played here before, most recently in a March 18 performance as Pescara in The Apostate.

I am always curious to know what has happened to celebrities when they are no longer in the lime light.

Can anyone guess who this lady is?

Clue: she was born June 17, 1964.

When we enter a room or see an object for the first time, our minds register its color before any other detail. The colors our eyes can perceive are like words that form a subtle language of mood, energy, and insight. Color can exert a gentle effect on the mind and the body, influencing our dispositions and our physical health. Color has the ability to trigger our emotions, affect the way we think and act, and influence our attitudes. You unconsciously respond to the color of the walls in your home, your car, your clothing, and the food you eat based on your body’s natural reactions to certain colors and the psychological associations you have formed around them. The consequences of the decision to paint a room or wear a specific article of clothing therefore goes beyond aesthetics.

The colors you encounter throughout your day can make you feel happy or sad, invigorate you or drain your vitality, and even affect your work habits. Throughout history, cultures spread over many different parts of the globe have attributed varying meanings to different colors. In China, blue is associated with immortality, while people in the Middle East view blue as a color of protection. There is also evidence that human beings respond to color in a very visceral way. Red excites us and inflames our passions. Too much red, however, can make us feel overstimulated and irritated. Pink tends to make people feel loved and protected but also can cause feelings of lethargy. Yellow represents joy or optimism and can energize you and help you think more clearly. Bright orange reduces depression and sadness. Blue and green are known to inspire peaceful feelings, and people are often able to concentrate better and work in rooms painted in soft blues and greens. The darker tones of! both colors can make you feel serious and introspective.

There are ways to integrate color into your life that go beyond picking the hues of your décor and your wardrobe. You can meditate with color by concentrating on the colors that make you feel peaceful or using a progression of colors to symbolize a descent into a relaxed state. Color breathing involves visualizing certain colors as you in inhale and exhale. Choose to surround yourself with the colors that you are attracted to and make you feel good, and you can create an environment that makes you feel nurtured, peaceful, and uplifted.

This past weekend, the Ball State University Singers offered the most moving encore, a tender melody set to a Charles Dickens poem.
Things That Never Die
The pure, the bright, the beautiful
that stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer,
The streams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit’s longing cry,
The striving after better hopes–
These things can never die.

The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need;
A kindly word in grief’s dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed,
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart–
These things shall never die.

Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do,
Lose not a chance to waken love–
Be firm and just and true.
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee–
“These things shall never die.”

~ Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Here are some photographs from the 42nd Ball State University Singers SPECTACULAR…<a

Here are our photos from our Washington, DC portion of our Spring Break. Then go to Spring Break 2005-2006. You can put them on Slideshow and adjust the speed.

We left at midnight Thursday/Friday, and arrived at Arlington Cemetery at 8:30AM… and then we were off running!

* Arlington Cemetery – ironically the favorite portion of the trip for the boys; saw changing of the guard and wreath laying ceremony; also saw graves of President Taft from Ohio and grave site of Robert Todd Lincoln and son, Abraham Lincoln II.

* The Awakening – a really neat statue; ate lunch here

* Mount Vernon – home of George & Martha Washington; in the garden is a bench where my Grandma Donna sat for a photograph during her 1940 senior class trip; since then, each time we visit Mt. Vernon, we sit on this bench for a photo.

* The White House Garden Tour – if you ever have a chance to take this tour – do it! It was as good as going in the house (which I really wanted to do!). The Marine Band was playing on the South Portico (but not for me specifically) and they played a medley from my favorite musical, RAGTIME. You can see the the West Wing, Oval Office and The Rose Garden where Tricia Nixon was married in 1972. Towards the end you can see The Children’s Garden established by Lady Bird Johnson – featuring hand prints in brass molds of all the White House grandchildren since 1968.

* The Old Post Office – we ate lunch in the beautifully remodeled Old Post Office. In the tower we got a great view of all Washington.

* Ford’s Theatre/Peterson House – the box where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and the room/bed in which he died.

* The International Spy Museum – (no photos) Go see this when you visit Washington – I loved this place and could have spent an additional 2 hours!
* Monuments by Night – we took a great walking tour of all the monuments lit up at night. The new WWII Memorial is absolutely moving!

* National Cathedral – we worshiped here at 9:00AM and it was gorgeous. We paid a visit to President Woodrow Wilson’s tomb near where we sat, and then looked a round following the service.

* The Mall – we again toured the Mall to see the monuments

* The Tidal Basin – what a great time to visit – the Cherry Blossom Festival! We walked around the entire Tidal Basin which was packed with others in for the festival. We ate lunch at the FDR Memorial, and then walked around to the Jefferson Memorial. While I was photographing the statue the boys came and grabbed me. Jose said, “Father! We found the other Washington Monument!” When you look through the photographs you will see what he meant. It was a riot!

* The Holocaust Museum – (no photos) Kind of a downer for such a beautiful day, but the boys seemed to appreciate it.
* Union Station – I have always wanted to visit Union Station and this was a treat for me.

* While riding the subway from Union Station to The Smithsonian complex, I accidentally pulled us off the train too early. We hopped back on the next train and Jose said, “Look in the next train! There’s Nick Budich!” Sure enough, there was one of my students, Nick and his family. Nick is in show choir and has been in the musicals at Fairmont. He has often watched our house/pets when we were away, and frequently use our bathroom going to and from school.
* The Smithsonian/American History – we saw the entire American History Museum which is always my favorite part. We spent a good deal of time in the new American War and American President exhibits on the third floor. In the basement is a great exhibit on transportation which I loved. Matthew and I had watched a DVD on the Smithsonian and it featured this exhibit. My two favorite portions were the first automobile trip across the continent and the portion of Route 66 – how cool.

* The Smithsonian/Natural History – we popped in and out of this as it is so huge – but the boys got to see the world’s largest diamond – the Hope Diamond.

* The National Archives – it was impossible to photograph the documents and get them to turn out; however, I did photograph the bathroom where, in the movie NATIONAL TREASURE, Nicholas Cage changed clothes and prepped to steal the Declaration of Independence. They now have a brand new wing called the Public Vaults which has so many interesting items – I could have spent a day here.

* Old Post Office – ate there again and went to the tower.
* The Smithsonian/Air & Space Museum – seeing the 1903 Wright Flyer always gives me chills. Now, instead of hanging in the main hall, it is in its own special exhibit – on the floor for a closer look. I have mixed feelings on this as I love walking into the main hall and seeing it hanging above. Still, the exhibit is fantastic. In another room there are some items from Glenn Curtiss – the aviator who challenged the Wright patent. Curtiss’ motorcycle and trophies are on display. After walking through the fantastic Apollo exhibit, we ate ice cream on the Mall and then returned to watch the 3-D Apollo film in the IMAX.

* After wading through eleven miles of traffic, we arrived at Arlington Cemetery and took the subway to The Capitol Complex.
* Longworth Building – one of the congressional office buildings was named after Nicholas Longworth, a congressman from Cincinnati, who married Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter. We went to the 7th floor and met with the staff of our representative, Mike Turner, a former Dayton mayor (and a damned good one!).

* The Capitol Building – our intern was deplorable! He really did not know his facts, and it was a miserable tour for me. I did keep my mouth shut – though I was boiling beneath the service. He told our group of 8 that President Garfield was shot in the rotunda and died instantly – Garfield was shot in a Washington, DC train station on July 2 and died September 18. And that was only the beginning! Ugh!!! We went in to listen to a speech from a representative from Oregon, and as we were leaving the House Chambers, I heard, “Hey, Mr. Haas!” And there was Nick Budich and his family again.

We returned to Arlington Cemetery via the subway and took the George Washington Parkway out of the city for some great views. The boys both agreed that, though they loved Disney World and Orlando last year, they felt this was the best.

At 10:00PM, Tuesday, April 4th, we pulled into our driveway! The Lockharts, with whom Flyer stayed, was already back and eagerly awaiting us.

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April 2006
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