As Old As Me

This week I had the lovely opportunity to spend time with my youngest grand-daughter who is ten. On elf her current activities is Tap Dancing. She is pretty good at it too. I gave her a  treat by watching a movie with her. The movie Care Free with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers was a farcical and contrived story written around the dancing and singing abilities of two actor-dancers. Fred Astaire is in my opinion the most talented dancer that ever lived. He is artistic, agile, lithe, powerful, ballet-beautiful, and graceful in his dance moves. Ginger Rogers is equally adept and physically beautiful as well.

Care Free  debuted in 1938 the same year as me. Because of the age the film is in black and white, but the lack of color didn’t obstruct the beauty of the dancing. As I mentioned above the story contrived, but cute. Unlike today’s movies which are usually very strong and poignant based on life stories.

Although this movie is seventy-five years old and the story fanciful, it shows a history of the times, and culture; clothes, cars, homes, etc. are all dated to the era. I particularly enjoyed watching the vintage automobiles, all brand new at the filming scooting around metropolitan areas. The setting for the story is a large city. The characters are all affluent. All of them smoke, all drink, and they typically meet in a country club setting dressed in tuxedos and ballroom gowns. The lady’s hair styles were a hoot, but attractive still.

Jenna and I watched and chuckled throughout the entire film. We loved it, and she got to see tap dancing performed by some of the best dancers of all time, and I got to spend some precious moments with my Jenna Rose.

 

The dance in the clip below is from the movie and is the “Yam. ” The early part of the clip shows the dance sequence and in that last-minute Ginger sings the lyrics to “Yam.”

 

This is My Home Country

I do not know Rosemary La Bonte nor her husband. All I know is that Rosemary wrote a beautiful letter to the editor of the Orange County Register, a California newspaper. It never got published. Her husband David took it upon himself to publish it for her. He sent it to friends via e-mail and asked them to keep it moving, and that is how I got it. Rosemary eloquently writes about immigration and the Statue of Liberty and what it means to her.. statue-of-liberty

Here is her husbands introduction to her letter:

For some reason, people have difficulty structuring their arguments when arguing against supporting the currently proposed immigration revisions. This lady made the argument pretty simple. NOT printed in the Orange County Paper … Newspapers simply won’t publish letters to the editor which they either deem politically incorrect (read below) or which does not agree with the philosophy they’re pushing on the public. This woman wrote a great letter to the editor that should have been published; but, with your help, it will get published via cyberspace! From: “David LaBonte

My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to “print” it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined. Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:

####################################

The Statue of Liberty

Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry. Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today’s American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home. They had waved good-bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German-American or the Irish-American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country’s flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl. And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900’s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags. And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn’t start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

(signed) Rosemary LaBonte

*************************************************************************

In support of Rosemary’s suggestion that we not take down the Statue of Liberty I have often thought that we should build carbon copies of Lady Liberty and place them at the official entry points into the United States.  Along with the statue, I suggest we construct a replica of Ellis Island staffed to take care of all who want to become residents.  We must celebrate a system that worked as well as that which our parents endured with emulation. Instead, we have fellow citizens who want to tear down the successful system and open the door to anyone at anytime to partake of the benefits and to then  return “home” with the booty.

Many times, I asked my Dad if he missed his home country, each time he answered “this is my home country.”  Mom had a slightly different perspective. She pined for her home town and her mother and brother. The pining never stoped, and when she was seventy-eight years old we gifted her with a trip home. She spent six weeks living with her niece in her “home” town. When she returned, I asked her if she wanted to move back home? She responded, “this is my home.” Dad became an American with his first step onto North American soil.  Mom took a few years longer, but she finally admitted she too was an American.

 

Somethings Don’t Make Sense

ist2_Quizzical_Guy_202946

Have you ever come across a situation that you couldn’t make any sense of? Currently, I am reading news accounts of a sudden mass surge of unaccompanied young kids coming across the Southern border into the U.S. from Central America. Yesterday, I heard a report on how our government planned on having this “sudden” surge back in January, 2014. I lost the “sudden” part when I heard the government planned for it six months ago. It is my prediction that the next news flash will be that our government spent a billion dollars to suggest the people of Central America send their kids north. What kind of parents would do that?

When these kids arrive in Texas, (Why Texas?) the Border Patrol herds them onto an airplane headed to California or Arizona. Shouldn’t they be flown back home instead? Well, er, uh, we are a Nation of Laws and in this case we follow the lawful process. Forget that we ignore the laws and allow a wide open border so anyone can walk into our house without a challenge. None of this makes any sense now does it? Except that Obama is willfully trying to overload our social welfare system with new clients.

Evidently, Obama sees a tremendous need for new people in our population; that is good for the economy, or is it? The last time we had large migrations from other countries the people immigrating were adults or close to adults who could work. My parents came here, and did just that, they worked. My mom kept house for a family in Chicago, and my dad labored for the railroad. Thousands of Chinese and Japanese came to build the railroads before that. What doesn’t make sense is this, what kind of work will these six, seven, and eight year old kids do? Besides, we are a nation guided by laws and a kid can’t lawfully work until he is sixteen. Maybe that law doesn’t apply to illegal kids from other countries.

The real question that I want answered is: Why are we paying for hundreds of  thousands of abortions every year if we are going to wind up replacing those babies by importing kids from another country? Is it because the kids from other countries are a higher quality than the ones we are aborting? What? You see,  none of it makes any sense to me at all. What am I missing? Please, please tell me I am losing sleep over this one.

Which Kind of Uncle Tom Are You?

After years of hearing blacks make derogatory remarks about fellow blacks calling them “Uncle Toms,” I decided to learn just who Uncle Tom really is. I can’t believe it took me so long to read a classic like “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Ms Stowe is white, yet she did a very skilful job of describing the lives of slaves. Her use of slave dialect is the hardest part of the book. Let’s face it, if one did not talk daily with a slave, understanding their speech is difficult. I made it through those chapters by phonetically sounding out the words spoken by the slave characters, and even that is hard to understand what they said. It just reinforced for me that learning a new language in a foreign country is not easy if you don’t get any help other than a whip.

uncle tom's cabin

I concluded that anyone who uses the term Uncle Tom as a derogatory term is either 1. Stupid, 2. Never read the book, or 3. professes the Black Power movement. Ms Stowe’s character is not a sellout to his race. He is the exact opposite, but his method ingratiated him with his owners. Uncle Tom believed in doing what his master asked of him and in doing it well. The result was he found favor with his owners until bought by one Simon Legree. Tom also believed in God and his faith kept him strong. He had a positive attitude which also cheered the people around him.

When Legree bought Tom at the New Orléans Slave Market he learned of Tom’s easy-going way and trustworthiness. Legree vowed to break him and have Tom bowing before him. Legree ordered Tom to whip a fellow slave. Tom refused to inflict punishment upon his fellow slave or anyone for that matter. Legree had him brutally whipped. Tom held out, believing being whipped to death would reward him with Heaven.

Eventually, Legree punishes Tom to the point of death, and still Tom holds on to his faith. Legree does not understand, nor does he care to.

In my opinion, blacks who try to degrade others by calling them Uncle Tom’s are ignorant of the true story behind Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Instead they choose to believe one of the distortions invented by various authors who rewrote the story for political, or racist reasons. The distorted definition of Uncle Tom became a black who will do anything to stay in the good of a white, including betray a fellow black. In 1852 when Stowe wrote the story, there were no copyright laws to protect content, and many authors and playwrights plagiarized the work rewriting sections to please audiences. The result is that Uncle Tom, as created by author Stowe is the exact opposite of the distortions.  The real Uncle Tom did not do things to stay in the good of whites, he did them because he believed in doing the best he could no matter what. As far as betrayal, he lived the opposite having died protecting his fellow slaves.

Harriet-Beecher-Stowe

 

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