I Remember: Perhaps a Review of More Than The Movie: “Richard Jewell”

Hi Friends:

The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, was perhaps the most anticipated, and most publicized event in the state’s history. I was living less than 50 miles away, and the publicity surrounding the event began many, many months before, during the “selection process” leading up to the big “It’s Atlanta!” announcement. I still have my “1996 Olympics” sweatshirt.

Those Olympics started on July 19th, with the unforgettable moment when Muhammad Ali lit the cauldron. Days later, it would be another man, Richard Jewell, who would be in for the fight of his life. On July 27th, mid-way through the Games, a bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park, killing one woman, and injuring 111 people. Only minutes before the explosion, Richard Jewell, working as a security guard, had spotted the abandoned green knapsack that contained the bomb, and had called it to the attention of the police, before attempting to move visitors away. He would be praised for his actions, which saved many lives.

However … you know the story … within 3 days … word “leaked out” that it was, in fact, Richard Jewell who had been named as the suspect … the bomber …

What followed is what Mr. Jewell called, in interviews later, “88 days of hell.” He would also compare the media’s constant hounding of him to a frenzy of piranhas.

I remember Richard Jewell, and “all this” from the Atlanta Olympics. I know “the games” were going on, but it seemed like “all the talk” was about Richard Jewell … and, how guilty he was.
Heck … I remember thinking he was guilty. Why wouldn’t I? After all, we could trust the media.
It was all you heard about … the biggest news … not only about Richard Jewell, but “why he did it.” I mean … the newspapers called him guilty, he was the only FBI suspect, so the government called him guilty … you can trust both of those, can’t you??? So, I remember there being “no doubt” they had gotten their man.

The movie: Great.
Carol and I left the theater with tears. Now, a few days later, Carol just said, “I felt so bad for him.” There some funny moments, too. Directed by Clint Eastwood, this isn’t the first movie by Clint Eastwood, based upon true events, which show what a genius film-maker he is. The movie is Rated R, for good reason. Bad language.
Perhaps most remarkable is the performance of Paul Walter Hauser as Richard Jewell:
Remarkable.
And … Cathy Bates plays his mother!
Sam Rockwell plays Richard’s lawyer, Watson Bryant.
Jon Hamm delivers a powerful-believable performance as FBI agent Tom Shaw, and Olivia Wilde stars as AJC reporter Kathy Scruggs.

From what I have been reading, there are only a couple of things put in the movie which were added, but not very much.

It was very, very difficult to watch this movie, and what was happening “right in front of my eyes” on the screen without thinking about what is happening “right in front of our eyes” today. It was just difficult not to see the resemblance between some things which were happening then, and what is happening now.

I’m referring to the “media frenzy” and “government” part. While I feel like I need to be careful about what I write, I must also write how I felt. I saw, played out on the screen, a true story of what happens when the media, and the government combine against a “common foe.”

There were some really great lines in this movie, as you would guess. I’ll just mention two lines which really resonated with me, as I sat there, trying to “enjoy” the movie (which I did, immensely), and not “look around” at the events happening now.

Richard Jewell was innocent, and, because he was innocent, he didn’t realize just how much trouble he was in. He didn’t do it, and he knew he didn’t do it. His attorney knew this, too. However, in an effort to try to get his client to understand how serious this was, his attorney (Watson Bryant) told him to think about this:

“You are facing the two most powerful forces on earth.
The government and the media.”

Another statement was made by Watson Bryant’s girlfriend (who later became his wife), Nadya Light (played by Nina Arianda). In the movie, it is obvious she is from a foreign country. She made this statement, which I couldn’t shake:
“In my country, when the government says you are guilty, it means you are innocent.”

Mr. Jewell made a statement toward the end of the movie. His concern was that now, because of what happened to him, if someone else was in the exact, same situation as he was in at Centennial Park, that he was afraid that person would be afraid to act, because of what had happened to him.

I have the same kind of concern about someone trying to make the decision to run for public/political office today. I’m afraid that because of “the way it is out there,” people who are genuinely qualified for the job, and would do a great job, won’t want to do it, because of the “way it is.”

I know there may be a lot of people who may not like this movie, like, perhaps, the government, and, perhaps the media … but, that in itself makes its own statement.

Do I recommend this movie?
Yes … because it reminds us all, not just of what happened … but, what could happen.

Here’s a trailer from the movie “Richard Jewell,” which also features Clint Eastwood:

Video: “What Does it Mean to be Uncommon?”

Hi Friends:

I found this video, produced by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri to be, well “uncommon.” Hope it inspires you, as well.
The web address of the Foundation is noted at the end:

6th Grade Minds on History

Hi Friends:

I shared this several years ago, and ran into it again. Maybe it’s because I now am back to teaching 6th Graders, it struck a new cord with me. 
I originally received, by email, in November of 2011, and now, these 8 years later in November, it still made me laugh, so maybe you’ll do the same.

6th Grade Minds on History

Original Introduction:

Insight into the minds of 6th graders: The following were answers
provided by 6th graders during a history test. Watch the spelling!
Some of the best humor is in the misspelling.

1. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in
hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that all the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

2. Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

3. Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

4. The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

5. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

6. In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits, and threw the java.

7. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: “Tee hee, Brutus.”

8. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw.
9. Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen,” As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted “hurrah.”

10. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. Sir Francis Drake circumsized the world with a 100-foot clipper.

11. The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couple.

12. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

13. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and declared, “A horse divided against itself cannot stand.” Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

14. Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.

15. Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large.

16. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

17. The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbits. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered the radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.

“The Icicles of March”

Hi Friends:

It’s something you have to see to believe.

It’s a natural phenomenon which I’ve only seen here.

The icicles coming down from the garage, turn back up, and end up sideways, or turned up.

These photos were taken on the 16th day of March, last year … only 5 days from Spring.
“The Ides of March” was a day in the Roman calendar that corresponds to March 15. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts.
The expression ‘Beware the Ides of March’ is first found in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in 1601. The line is the soothsayer’s message to Julius Caesar. “The Ides of March” didn’t signify anything special in itself; this was just the usual way of saying “March 15th.”

Interestingly, these photos were taken one day after, on March 16.

You Know You’re in the Country When …

It was last year … Mid-October … we had just gotten our first snow of the year … Yes, that was Mid-October … we had also gotten a serious wind storm a few days earlier, which knocked down several trees in our back yard … and front yard … and side yard … and … well, anyway … we weren’t prepared for the snow, either …
It would turn out that the snow just wouldn’t stop long enough to take care of the trees way back in the back yard until Summer.

But, I had to take care of the trees which were down in the driveway, and then worry about getting the pellets in, for the pellet stove. Both would take time, and the weather wouldn’t cooperate.

I took out the chainsaw, and began work on what trees I could manage around the perimeter of the property. Lost a lot of pine, poplar, maple, birch, and sumac. All this couldn’t be done in a day (or days), and the snow was too deep to lug the chainsaw, and the wheelbarrow, back and forth through the snow. So, I figured I could just keep both downstairs, on the other side of the staircase (out of the way), to be ready on the next rare opportunity to “work outside.”

It gets dark downstairs, even with the pellet stove blazing on the other side of the room.

I finally got the opportunity to work outside. Always one to conserve energy (except my own), I didn’t bother with turning on a light downstairs, after I had “suited up” for my outdoor adventure in adverse weather conditions (which we just simply call “the weather out …”). Keep in mind that when we get ready to go outside for any length of time, we are “suited up” in something resembling a space suit, for the lack of mobility all those layers and heavy snow boots allow …

Anyway, I was making my way toward the chain saw, getting ready to reach down and grab it, when I said the phrase I had never said before, but, the moment I said it (for I knew I would have to explain to those above (2nd Floor) what all the racket was about), I realized what a great line it was, and we must really be out in the country. Keep in mind this was inside the house:

“On my way to the chain saw … I tripped over the wheelbarrow.”

Blessings,

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

2019 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

The 2019 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is Sunday, November 3rd.

Here is this year’s slide presentation from the event’s sponsor,
Voice of the Martyrs.

We’ve added music to the presentation, and hope you will join us in praying … every day … for the safety and protection of our Christian Brothers and Sisters around the world who are suffering for their faith … every day.

Remember:
Same family.
Different neighborhood.

Eres Tu-Part Two: Winning Song for “Mocedades” in 1973

Hi Friends:

In Part One, we featured my favorite instrumental performance, “Eres Tu” by “The Guitars of Sonny James.” Here’s a link to that:

“Eres Tu” The Guitars of Sonny James.

So … Can a song, in which I don’t understand the words … become my favorite video?
Well … I searched and searched for a vocal performance of “Eres Tu” to feature in this short series …
I watched and listened to videos made all over the world … and, to me, this one is my favorite.

A brief history:
A Spanish singing group from the Basque Country, Mocedades represented Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 with this song. Amaya Uranga, the Lead Singer in this video (born February 18, 1947 in Bilbao, Spain), spent 15 years with the group. She formed the group in the late 1960’s with eight members, which included her sister Izaskun, and her brother Roberto. After their success in this contest, the band launched a hugely successful music career in Spain and Latin America, and would go through several membership changes in the next years, becoming popular all around the world.

I just love this video!
Yes … even though I don’t know all the words, I have played this version of the song so many times that I can sing parts of it “by heart.”

All I know is that, for me, this incorporates all of the elements of a great song on video. As an old-time “radio man” I respect and admire a great performance. For me, this one delivers. To me, as an “Old-School” guy, I love the way they alternate between studio and live/stage performance.
Yes … when you watch this video, there is no doubt it comes from “back in the day.”
Yet, for me, “good is good,” regardless of time or place.
It has “back in the day” written all over it, and, for me, that seems to make me enjoy it all the more.

It’s like my favorite instrumental “came to life” and became my favorite music video.
I love the way they did this, showing clips of all of the singers, back and forth between “live” and studio … not missing a beat.
It reminds me of performing in front of very young children: They don’t get the jokes … they just know I am joking … and they love that.

So, I don’t understand the words, but it is such a great performance, I love it.

Enjoy Mocedades and “Eres Tu:”