Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Still I Rise

RIP Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014)

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Your Theory Is Crazy

but not crazy enough to be true.
Niels Bohr

    One Big Happy by Rich Detorie

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sonny Lawson Park And Field

I was at The Denver Eye's facebook page this morning and saw this photo from the Digital Collection at the Denver Public Library:

Taken in 1911 it shows a baseball field at the corner of 23rd and Welton Street in Denver, which I remember as looking like this:

Jack Kerouac probably remembers it looking the same way, but without the sign saying Sonny Lawson Field. This is what he wrote about it in On The Road:

Down at 23rd and Welton a softball game was going on under floodlights which also illuminated the gas tank. A great eager crowd roared at every play. The strange young heroes of all kinds, white, colored, Mexican, pure Indian, were on the field, performing with heart-breaking seriousness. Just sandlot kids in uniform. Never in my life as an athlete had I ever permitted myself to perform like this in front of families and girl friends and kids of the neighborhood, at night, under lights; always it had been college, big-time, sober-faced; no boyish, human joy like this. Now it was too late. Near me sat an old Negro who apparently watched the games every night. Next to him was an old white bum; then a Mexican family, then some girls, some boys — all humanity, the lot. Oh, the sadness of the lights that night! The young pitcher looked just like Dean. A pretty blonde in the seats looked just like Marylou. It was the Denver Night; all I did was die.

Down in Denver, down in Denver

All I did was die

The field's name wasn't change to Sonny Lawson until 1972 and it was named after a prominent Five Points civic leader, Oglesvie L. "Sonny" Lawson.

Mr Lawson was born in Denver on September 12, 1893 and graduated from the old East High School. He went on to Northwestern University and attained a degree in pharmacy. After graduation he came home and worked for the Western Chemical Corporation and then as a clerk for the Denver County Assessor's Office before opening a Pharmacy at 2601 Welton Street with a man named Hulett A. Maxwell. That was in 1924. At first the business was called Maxwell and Lawson but in 1932 it was changed to Radio Pharmacy

In addition to running the Pharmacy, Mr. Lawson was an original member of the Denver Career Services Board, the first African-American to serve on Denver Public Library Commission, the district executive for the Democratic Party in east Denver,  and political mentor to many African-American politicians including Elvin Caldwell Sr. and former Lt. Governor George Brown. He was also a thirty-third degree Mason. Mr. Lawson died on July 17, 1969 and is buried at Riverside Cemetery.

Now the story of Sonny Lawson Field doesn't end with the renaming of the park. There is something else very special about the field.  The park had turned into a hangout for the homeless but one day around 2010 a man named Joe Carabello was stopped at the light at Park Ave. and Welton and spotted homeless people sitting against the fences surrounding the locked field and wondered why it wasn't being used. Then he thought, "What if we could open up the gates and give those people some exercise and recreation for a couple of hours a week?"

So he got a permit to use the field every Saturday morning that summer and got the word out to as many agencies and missions that worked with the homeless as he could. Eleven people showed up to play in the first game. The next game 15 players showed up and the numbers kept increasing as the summer progressed. The Homeless Diamond was a hit.

I'm sure Mr. Lawson and Jack Kerouac would love that.

(Westword article going into more detail about the Homeless Diamond and the almost derailed third season here.)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Garage Sale Today!

Where I bought:

This Glenn Miller 78rpm.

This Keely Smith LP.

This Dean Martin album (I love the orange sweater-vest he is wearing.)

This Best Of Bee Gees record with some creepy looking guy to the right of Barry Gibbs.

And a copy of The Wonderful World of Julie London.

All in all, a good garage sale.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


See you in a day or two.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Today's Big Kerfuffle Headlines

So HGTV was planning to air another "two brothers flip houses" program when the brothers they picked turned out to be anti-gay bigots hiding behind their religion. What has been interesting for me is the Google headlines. Depending on what you read, the brothers were fired either because they made anti-gay remarks or because the rest of us are anti-Christian:

Keene Sentinel, Keene, New Hampshire- Benham brothers lose HGTV show over gay 'agenda' remarks

My comment on this: That will lose you a TV show every single time. (Biblical Recorder) - HGTV cancels Benham brothers' show for Christian conviction?

My comment on this: No, they got cancelled because they made bigoted remarks.

CNN- Should the Benham brothers have lost their HGTV show over their remarks?

My comment on this: Yes, because bigots should not be rewarded for being either ignorant or hateful. Especially when one is too ignorant to even know that what you are spouting is hateful.

In an attempt to diffuse the situation the brothers sat down with CNN where they claimed:

The Advocate- Benham Brothers: 'We Love Homosexuals

My comment on this: Of course they do, as long as neither one of them marries one.

The story doesn't end there:

access Faith-driven critics protest HGTV's decision to cancel show

My comment of this: Go for it, little buckaroos, but you probably won't get anywhere.

For a good overview of this story and why the petition started by Faith Driven Consumer to get the brothers back on the air will fail:

Time magazine- HGTV Abandons Show With Anti-Gay Hosts: What You Need To Know About The Scandal

Well, well, well. If you read the access article a group called Faith Driven Consumer is quoted as saying:

"HGTV has effectively instituted a litmus test for employment and viewership with the network and said that those who hold to pro-life, pro-natural marriage and anti-pornography views are not welcome or respected at their network. This is a blatant example of anti-Christian viewpoint discrimination."

I went to the Faith Driven website out of curiosity and since I use FireFox as my browser this came up:

Hey there Firefox user! We need your help to encourage true tolerance and openness at Mozilla. You’ve probably heard about Mozilla’s recent intolerance toward people with a biblical view of marriage. Last week – following a firestorm of protest from gay activists – the tech company known for its internet browser Firefox compelled its new CEO to step down simply because he, as a private citizen, contributed $1,000 to California’s pro-marriage Proposition 8 campaign…six years ago. Faith Driven Consumer reached out to Mozilla to clarify what their policy is toward faith-driven employees, asking them to respond to three specific questions: 1. Will faith-driven employees be discriminated against and forced into the closet for their personal views on marriage? 2. Is there a “pro-gay marriage” litmus test for working at Mozilla? 3. Will the next CEO be required to openly express support for gay marriage as a condition for being hired? While we wait to hear back, let’s make sure they HEAR from YOU

Someone sure likes the phrase "litmus test" over there.

Oh, and, hey there wackadoodle!  Re: Contacting Mozilla.....Humm, no.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed?

I'm pretty sure it wasn't Goldilocks.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Rocket Away!

And another week almost gets by me. The main reason why is that I am suffering from Spring allergies big time this year. This, I think, is because we had a real Spring and no big freeze to kill all the plant and tree buds before they had a chance to bloom like we did last year. That freeze caused everything to bloom at different times, making allergy season a bit more liveable. But not this year. This year was a perfect storm of pollen which causes me to be sleepy, dopey, and grumpy. The days pass for me in a daze with me being surprised by how quickly five o'clock in the evening seems to come. Wasn't I just getting up? I did manage to go to my book club meeting yesterday and I left home early enough not to be late so I ended up being way too early. I passed the time in a antiques store checking out the books. On the way out I saw a stack of records at the bottom of one bookshelf so I squatted down to look at them. They turned out to be 78s and I wasn't sure my turntable could play them but I flipped through them anyway. That is how I found this:

I had never heard of this company nor had I see or listened to this record and, like I said, I wasn't even sure it would play on my new turntable but I knew I had to have it because I instantaneously fell in love with the cover. Look at it! It has great colors. It has a great graphic. I mean it's a 1950s style rocket ship! What is cooler than that? Even if I couldn't play it I wanted it. So, I bought it. When I got home I looked at my turntable and discovered it could play 78s so I put the record on and was almost frightened by how fast the disc spun. That speed made the record play quicker than I thought it would so each side was shorter than I expected. It takes about six minutes to play both sides and you can listen to the whole recording here.  For me, listening to it took me back to my childhood since it has has such a Disney education cartoon feel to it. 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Let's Not Talk About The Wind Anymore (Still Blowing)

Let's point out a Colorado truth instead.