Last week there was a story going around about Mr. Charles Brotman, the 89 year guy who has announced the Presidential Parade for 60 years - - that's 15 Presidents who had been unceremoniously ditched from the role this year when the President-Elect passed the job along to a campaign volunteer as a thank you gift. I felt tears in my eyes when I saw what had happened.
I felt bad for Mr. Brotman but more I kept asking myself - is that how tradition disappears - don't traditions mean anything - they just become a casual gift to a new guy?
But today I was happy about a take on the story. Mr. Brotman received and offer and he will be broadcasting the Inaugural Parade after all.
This is a link to the up-dated story.https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2017/01/12/the-inaugural-parade-announcer-since-eisenhower-wasnt-asked-back-this-time-now-hes-got-a-new-gig/?utm_term=.0990c92f17be
It's nice to see there are good guys and there can be a happy ending.
Since I have reached a place where I am tired of reading about the election results, the Trump Transition and ideas that feel alien to me but I am watching and I have feelings. And, I have a hard time keeping it to myself. So, rather than use Facebook for my opinions of what is going on I am going to write about them on my blog.
With the Transition in full swing I decided to watch the Senate Hearings where the nominees for the Cabinet were being interviewed. Hours and hours of listening to questions of the nominees and chances for some of the members to "show off" as they asked the questions. It was a lesson for me on the way "boys clubs"operate.
The nominees were impressive and if sometimes flawed. Maybe Senator Jeff Jessions has changed but I kept wondering as he flashed his charming Southern Boy smile if he would be strong enough to stand up to the difficult President-elect and take the chance that might be for him. I admit I had tears in my eyes when John Lewis, one of the few living warriors for the vote and equal rights for black Americans, spoke about the cost and the importance of those days.
Mr. Rex Tillerson, nominee for Secretary of State, was an impressive performer and an obviously experienced speaker of authority in top level situations. He spoke off the cuff, no paper and pencils and he did not take any notes that I saw. It was surprised that he had not met with the President - elect to discuss the question of the Russians and probably lots more.
General Jim Mattis, the nominee for Department of Defense too was impressive. I was disappointed he was wearing civilian clothes not his uniform and medals but once he started talking he did not need a costume to be in charge. He speaks openly about his views about defense of the country and the threat of Russia to the United States.
An article of interest about his views on women in the military. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/12/general-jim-mattis-i-won-t-repeal-women-in-combat-or-don-t-ask-don-t-tell-military-reforms.html
It was a lot for somebody like me to take in but I feel bit more informed.
Don't miss this article- they plan tout coverage of birth control.
CNN TOWN HALL WITH HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN
Last night I watched some of the Paul Ryan Town Hall on CNN. It was about what I expected as the arrogant Speaker talked about what "we" are going to do. I had not expected that people from the audience would ask questions which broke the "GOP Speak" and put out a few moving personal questions.
For instance the man who said Obama Care had saved his life. "I would not be alive without Obama Care - I can't believe you are doing away with it." The Speaker seemed surprised and back-tracked a bit - saying there would be a "replacement" but it there was also the recognition that they have wanted to repeal for years. Goes along with the article above where the GOP took the first steps in the dark after midnight.
The second questioner really touched my heart as she stood uncomfortably with her young daughter before this powerful Speaker who has the future of her family in his hands. " Do you think I should be deported - " Speaker Ryan seemed taken back, stammering a little as he answered, saying something like" you seem like a good person, which a fine life ahead, I hope it will be here." I wondered if, for that moment, seeing her standing bravely before him brought images of his children before him.
But there was a jewel in the day yesterday - watching President Barack Obama present the Presidential Medal Of Freedom to Vice President Joe Biden.
I will miss them.
Instead of being at an out-of-town storytelling workshop this week-end I am sitting in my grand-daughter's bedroom this morning typing this blog. The workshop was unexpectedly cancelled and thankfully rescheduled for the Spring.
I had hoped to work with the trusted group on a story I am telling for a radio show taping next week where I will be the one interviewed not asking the questions.
HUGE snow was predicted yesterday and many States across the US had it and still have it - but we have not yet seen any snow although it was supposed to start over our heads during the middle of the night. I woke up this morning in my grand-daughter's bed to a quiet Saturday morning and not a bit of anything white on the ground.
Why am I here and not at home?
The truth is I over-reacted in the face of predictions of possible crippling snow. My arm is not completely healed from recent shoulder surgery which is a bit limiting...although it is getting better.
And, to my surprise, over the past year I have developed temperature related asthma. I am not used to handling it yet so on really cold days I hang out in my house. The threat of a possible deep snow that could cause the power to go off yanked my choke chain and twisted my perspective.
My son and his wife kindly took me in because their house has a generator that takes over if power fails.
It is back at the top my list of things to noodle on.
Could this possibly be part of Climate Change - oops. Sorry.There is no such thing.
Situations like this remind me of my childhood and of the Girl Scouts.
A good motto to live by.
1. Too Much
The first thing I heard on TV this morning was that the GOP in Congress met behind closed doors last night and they gutted the Office of Congressional Ethics in the House. Without this oversight the members of Congress have a free reign.
When I heard about that I felt like I was going to vomit. "so this is how it's going to go", I thought.
It took several hours for my stomach to settle.
I turned off CNN. Enough is enough.
Yes, I know that they were shamed into reversing that vote - however the cat is out of the bag- this is a way these legislators are going to work.
The important thing to note is that the public was strongly heard from - - we have to kept up.
Tonight I am watching PBS television -American Masters. Actor, movie director Sidney Lumet is talking about his career and telling how much his vision was influenced by growing up in New York City in the 1930s, 40s and forward - there is so much popular cultural history in his story and in his movies. He shows many clips from his powerful black and white movies. Many of the images of the city brought back memories of the year and a half Jim and I lived in Brooklyn when he was intern at Kings County Hospital. I was never comfortable living in Brooklyn because I felt like a fish out of my southern waters gasping for air.
Ofcourse there were some good times to soften the lonely tough days. I have written about it before and this is one of my favorite memories. Early in his internship one of Jim's patients, a Choctaw Chief, was so grateful for the care Jim had given him that he asked Jim to become his "blood brother". They had a small ceremony at the Chief's bedside. Jim asked me to bring our son to the ward so he could show his son, Jimmy to Chief Two Bears. Everyone was taken with nine month old Jimmy. The Ward Secretary, an older woman, came up to Jim who was holding Jimmy. She patted Jimmy's hands and told Jim, "Doctor Schoettler you make good babies." Love remembering that and sharing it with our three "good babies."
Today I look back on that time and regret being so frightened by the "big city" that I did not fully enjoy being there and learn more from the experience.
3. Real World
Today at my physical therapy session to strengthen my arm after the surgery I hurt. But not as much as I had last week. Progress. After an hour of varied exercises I lay down on a treatment table and one of the therapists stuck the pads from the "tens' on my right shoulder. She turned on a near-by machine and it started sending electric pricks through my muscle. Believe if or not that makes things better.
I love this PT practice which is run by two very kind and competent therapists who care for a multi-cultural clientele. Its a comfortable environment and an atmosphere where everyone concentrates on "getting better."
The woman stretched out on a treatment table next to me was just beginning her therapy after shoulder surgery. The exercises were terribly painful but she pushed through her pain until tears flowed down her cheeks.
"You are remarkably brave." I said.
"Thank you." she whispered. " No pain, no gain."
We are contemporaries -maybe she is older. I stood beside her after I finished. "My sister taught me something that might work for you too." Her eyes were curious. "Bring music, your favorite music and turn it up as loud as you can stand it. That diverts you."She was quiet for a few minutes.
Then " I have an Apple phone - that should work." I nodded. "perfect! Pick out music you like to listen to- I like 50s on 5, or Southern Gospel." She nodded and smiled.
I took her frail cafe au lait hand. "my name is Ellouise."
"My name is Elvira."
I know we will see each other again. And she will inspire me to keep pushing.
4. More than an Ordinary Day
I was home in time for a scheduled "coffee" visit with my grand-daughter before she returns to Law School. What a wonderful several hours of conversation sharing stories, political ideas, learning more about her world and hearing her thoughts about her future. Especially touched to hear her talk of her admiration for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A Special time.
Time for real conversations with all my local family has been one of the great gifts of the Holidays.
I am particularly grateful for those exchanges.
Its time to look around my house and tell the stories that go with the paintings and objects that are part of the story of my life - - - particularly my life with Jim and our family and friends.
Just as Christmas Trees and their ornaments are a personal album - a memoir - so are our homes and the things we collect and chose to live with. What are the stories they tell?
Seems appropriate to begin my At Home Series in the kitchen.
Loretta was a talented self-taught "Grandma Moses" and we loved having her talk about her paintings. I remember the first time she showed us this painting. She was so delighted with the way she showed the steam of the hot soup.
The tomato soup painting is promised to Robin. Jim, Jr. and Monica already have this painting hanging in their dining room.
I have always admired the contemporary abstraction of this composition since she was not trained in that or in theorem painting.
Our daughter Karen has a delightful painting of delicious-looking apples which I will add
as soon as I have a picture.
There is also a tomato soup story from Jim's childhood that He liked to tell. Fortunately we have a video of him telling the story for his mother and the family at her 80th birthday party... 0ne of my 2017 Resolutions is to gather these treasures together. How about you?Robin S. Fox Jamie Fox Jim Schoettler Danny Fox Scotty Fox Alison Schoettler Juliana Schoettler Loretta was a talented self-taught painter - a family Grandma Moses and we are lucky to have some gems to share with our children ... In fact Jim Schoettler and Monica already have one of them hanging in their dining room -Her composition "Fruit on a Flat Surface" has always amazed me since she never had any training in contemporary abstraction to theorem painting.