Posts Tagged ‘history’

Hillsboro: A Photo Essay

July 11, 2017
The Who: Sparks (Tommy the Rock Opera)

A Rufous Respite from Serious Topics

I can’t say there was a specific reason why I chose Hillsboro, Oregon as a site for a photo essay, but I was there, and I did have my camera. Also, I was feeling great after a 60-minute deep tissue massage, which I got in Hillsboro. I just felt like taking pictures.

Rather than give you a lot of history in this blog, I’m including this Wikipedia link. Just a side-note, according to Wikipedia, Hillsboro pre-dates Portland. Anyway, check out the Wikipedia info, pretty interesting history. Now for some pictures and more music.

 

Huey Lewis and the News: Back in Time (from Back to the Future soundtrack)

 

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A Few Quotes to Get You Going

Carli Lloyd (American athlete), for anyone who has been through injuries:
“It’s always hard to deal with injuries mentally, but I like to think about it as a new beginning. I can’t change what happened, so the focus needs to go toward healing and coming back stronger than before.” Read more at BrainyQuotes.
Anonymous quote (on a mural in the swimming area at my gym, short, to the point, love this quote):
“Before you can accomplish something, you must expect it of yourself.”
Rachelle Mandik (Reader’s Digest, July/August 2017), puns are very cool:
“Sometimes I just want to go live in the woods and meditate, but other times I think that’d be Thoreauing my life away.”
Jonathan Winters, comedian (Reader’s Digest, July/August 2017):
“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”

 

 

Adam & Eve in Love!

March 31, 2017

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Tine Turner: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

The idea for this blog dawned on me in SoCal (southern California) on one of our many trips down to visit relatives and of course get away from the @#$%^&* rain for a few days – I do love that natural  vitamin D! One morning I was enjoying an early breakfast and reading the Wall Street Journal (provided by the hotel). In the “Review”, section was an essay written by Bruce Feiler. It was adapted from his forthcoming book (March 21), The First Love Story: Adam and Eve and Us.

By the way, my recommendation is that you read the article if you’re a WSJ subscriber, or just use this link and check out the video interview with Bruce Feiler. I think the essay is a very thought provoking piece, especially if you’re married and (hopefully) in love or perhaps recently fallen in love. Rather than get off on a side trail about my opinion of how important love is or what it means, I’ll just let Bruce Feiler’s ideas speak for themselves. I may summarize his ideas along the way. Also, if you have a Bible handy, it might help you to better understand if you read Genesis chapters 1 and 2 and for good measure 1 Corinthians 13 (the “love” chapter) in the New Testament. It’s a lot to digest, but I’ll provide some bullet points that might help.

Here’s a totally irrelevant (but wonderful) quote to get you started. I saw this on a napkin dispenser at MOD Pizza in Beaverton, Oregon on March 28th while I was eating my pizza, enjoying a beer, and making some notes in my blog notebook.

Bob Dylan, Poet Laureate and Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016:
“May you’re your heart be always joyful.
May your song always be sung.
And may you stay young forever.”
Karen O and the Kids: All is Love (from Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack)

Quoting from Bruce Feiler’s Essay

“In December 1867, Mark Twain was touring Jerusalem when he visited a room in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre identified as Adam’s tomb. He was overcome with emotion. ‘The fountain of my filial affection was stirred to its profoundest depths,’ he wrote. Twain became obsessed with his oldest ancestor, at one point urging planners in New York to replace the Statue of Liberty with a monument to Adam. He went on to write a half-dozen pieces about the first couple, including Extracts from Adam’s Diary and an Autobiography of Eve.”

“Adam, in Twain’s retelling, is initially uncomfortable with Eve. It used to be so pleasant and quiet here, he says, ‘I foresee trouble. Will emigrate.’ Eve is equally unimpressed with Adam. ‘He talks very little. Perhaps it is because he is not bright, and is sensitive about it.’ (who says Twain didn’t have a sense of humor!) But slowly the two come around. ‘I see I should be lonesome and depressed without her’, Adam says. Eve echoes his feelings: ‘I love him with all the strength of my passionate nature…It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this life together.’”

Patti; Tuck & Patti: Love is the Key

Adam and Eve in love? Really? Who would think such a thing?”

Feiler goes on to say that several very famous people would agree that, yes, they were in love, and that, given the transitional state of the family for the last 30 centuries – major changes with high divorce rates, lifestyles in our hyperconnected world – maybe Adam and Eve could offer some guidance.

Some Bullet Points in Summary of Feiler’s Ideas

Obviously taken out of context (you really need to buy the book or get a copy of the WSJ essay), here are some more thoughts, quoted and/or paraphrased from the essay.

  • The first couple have been victims of a long campaign of character assassination. One reason is that we rarely read the opening chapters of Genesis with the idea that Adam and Eve might be in love. He goes on to explain this important point in detail.
  • Who is God’s chosen sex, man or woman? If you read and compare Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, the answer appears different. Feiler elaborates, then concludes by saying they are entirely equal.
  • In support of the equality idea, if you look at Michelangelo’s famous painting in the Sistine Chapel, it is Eve, not Adam and not God who occupies the exact center of the room. In the third panel, the two figures (Adam and Eve) reach together for the forbidden fruit. They are not estranged, they are partners.
  • Milton’s Paradise Lost was a step-by-step argument that Adam and Eve were equal.
  • In Shakespeare’s words, “Love is not avoiding conflict; it is about overcoming it”.
  • The most underappreciated aspect of Adam and Eve is how they continually return to each other after periods of separation. They start life united, then Eve goes off alone. She could remain apart but instead returns to Adam. Once out of Eden, they could split, but instead they stay together.
Beatles: And I Love Her

Some Final Thoughts

The Bible is the first to put a man and a woman at the start of the human line. God can’t procreate. He needs human partners – starting with Adam and Eve – for humanity to succeed.

Feiler concludes his essay by saying that the first couple struggled too, yet they found a way to heal their wounds and forgive their wrongs.

Some More Music

Eagles: Love Will Keep Us Alive (Hell Freezes Over album)
Del Shannon: Sea of Love (really old song)
Karen O and the Kids: Building All is Love (from Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack)

noah_loves_the_beach_cropped

Thanksgiving Day – Just Pictures and Some Words

November 25, 2016
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Dad and Son at the Beach

It’s good to step back from all the things going on in our lives and remember the important events, like Thanksgiving Day. Just some brief thoughts before I jump into a few pictures, some quotes, and maybe some music.

Huey Lewis and the News: The Power of Love

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for my family, because they have enriched my life beyond measure. Families should never be taken for granted.

Henry David Thoreau
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
Read more Thanksgiving quotes.

I am thankful for my country and feel very fortunate to live in the United States of America. I was reading in the American Legion magazine about the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. A man who had survived the attack, a sailor on the USS Tennessee, described what it was like to be there when it happened. We should all thank the many men and women who have made sacrifices to protect our way of life.

Coldplay: God Put a Smile on Your Face
Ronald Reagan
“If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.” Read more Reagan quotes.
John F. Kennedy
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Read more Kennedy quotes.

I am thankful that I have the freedom to worship my God freely and express my beliefs freely.

Take a minute and express your own thanks, not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day.

Just Some Pictures

I like taking pictures. More of my pictures are here.

Music from the Lion King: The Circle of Life
Family

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Eagles: Spirit in the Sky

Birds

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J. S. Bach: Toccata in D

Scenic

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What Happened at Crystal City? (Part IV)

August 12, 2016

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The Monkees: Last Train to Clarksville

Saying Goodbye to Crystal City

On February 27, 1948, the Crystal City Internment Camp officially closed. I’m writing this 68 years later in August 2016. I’m not by nature a history buff, never was when I was in school, and I’m only a bit more of a history buff now. However, the whole story about Crystal City got under my skin and made me want to try to understand why it happened.

Stuff Happens, but All Lives Matter

Try this, to put it in perspective for you, to make it personal. Think about something that happened in your life, perhaps a turning point, a wrong decision, a happenstance that sent you down a whole different path. Maybe it was temporary and your life later returned to “normal”. I can think of several episodes in my life – serving a year in Vietnam as a sailor, moving my family cross-country not once but twice. Give it some thought, and you’ll probably come up with at least one episode. How would it have affected your life if you had been one of the thousands of Germans, Italians, or Japanese who were interned (confined) in a camp during WWII?

The answer is “dramatically” of course. Read the following quotes from the book.

More Quotes from Jan Russell’s Book

“Eb Fuhr, who was 17 when he was interned and 22 when he was released said, ‘No one can appreciate the intense terror of government power and the despair of hopelessness that we felt behind that barbed-wire fence’. Then he said, ‘By the same token, no one can appreciate the thrilling sense of freedom I felt when it was over.'”

“Carmen Higa Mochizuki was eleven years old when her father, a poor farmer in Peru who made his living selling milk from his cows was arrested. The government seized her father’s assets. They lost everything in an instant. Her mother, father, and nine siblings were transported to the United States, under American military guard, from Callao, Peru to New Orleans. Their passports and visa were confiscated.”

“At the port in New Orleans, the women, and children were marched to a warehouse, forced to strip, and made to stand in line naked. ‘Then we were all sprayed with insecticide that stung our skin,’ remembered Carmen. ‘Since we had no passports or proof of identity we were arrested as illegal aliens and put on a train to Crystal City. During the train ride, the sister thought we might be killed there.'”

“Politics” Defined: Merriam-Webster
  • “Activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government
  • The work or job of people (such as elected officials) who are part of a government
  • The opinions that someone has about what should be done by governments : a person’s political thoughts and opinions”

Does politics enter into any of this? Was Executive Order 9066, the order that allowed FDR to set up Crystal City even legal. I decided to do some research to answer that question.

Some Wikipedia Stuff

“United States presidents issue executive orders to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself.”

By the way, don’t feel obligated to use the links, but you might find the information edifying.

Use this link to see a list of the number of executive orders issued by past presidents and the current president. By far the most, FDR issued over 3,000 executive orders. You might note that the Federal Register, especially if you’re a “research hound” like me, makes for some very interesting reading about what has been published by various agencies.

There is no constitutional provision nor statute that explicitly permits executive orders. The term executive power in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution refers to the office of President as the executive. He (or she) is instructed therein by the declaration “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” made in Article II, Section 3, Clause 5 or face impeachment.

From ThisNation.com (August 8, 2016)

“Executive Orders are controversial because they allow the President to make major decisions, even law, without the consent of Congress. This, of course, runs against the general logic of the Constitution — that no one should have power to act unilaterally. Nevertheless, Congress often gives the President considerable leeway in implementing and administering federal law and programs. Sometimes, Congress cannot agree exactly how to implement a law or program. In effect, this leaves the decision to the federal agencies involved and the President that stands at their head. When Congress fails to spell out in detail how a law is to be executed, it leaves the door open for the President to provide those details in the form of Executive Orders.”

Wrapping it Up

Remember Howard Beale in Network. See my earlier blog, America, Part 2, August 1, 2013. Are you madder than hell and not willing to take it anymore?

I told myself I’d let this piece about Crystal City speak for itself and not politicize over it. But I felt compelled to add a bit of political content to educate and make sure the issues were clear.

For me, the bottom line question is, if in fact the U.S. government was instituted (from day 1) to serve the needs of the American people, are the American people’s needs being served?

That’s it, I hope Crystal City was a good read for you!

Blogger’s Note

I  am admittedly a “train freak”, something about the sounds, the vibrations as it passes, etc. If you happen to be in Sacramento, I highly recommend you go to the California State Railroad Museum. I was there in 2008 and was very impressed with the exhibits (several full-size engines) and a well-presented history of the transcontinental railroad. The museum sits on the site where it ended.

Blind Faith: Can’t Find My Way Home

IMG_20160731_160030159-2

 

 

 

 

What Happened at Crystal City (Part III)

May 30, 2016

First Things First

In Part I, there is a picture with the caption, “What is It?”. Maybe you weren’t fooled ..

It was merely a garden ornament masquerading as a miniature planet (somewhat earth-like).

The Power of Love (from the Back to the Future soundtrack)

What’s the Big Deal?

OK, so what, the federal government decided to imprison a lot of people against their will because they might be a threat to America. That seems reasonable and justifiable, right? Obviously, not the power of love.

I had to think about what all of it meant to me after I started reading Jan Russell’s book, which as I said before, is really quite interesting and revealing. Note the following passage from her book. Go to Amazon if you want to snag a copy.

“By August 1945, the machinery of internment implemented during the run-up to the war in December 1941, was already being taken apart. Already many of the fifty-four internment camps  operated by the US military and the thirty camps operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service had shut down. The camp at Crystal City, the only family camp, was still open, but with a reduced population That summer 2,548 Japanese, 756 Germans, and 12 Italian internees were left.”

The author estimated that there were approximately 6,000 internees incarcerated at Crystal City during its six years of operation. It was officially closed on February 27, 1948. I had just turned three at the time and was living in Texas.

In her preface to the book, the author talks about the 120,000 Japanese (62% of them American-born) who were forcibly evacuated from the Pacific coast after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She also talks about the executive order signed by President Roosevelt, which permitted the secretary of war to arrest and incarcerate Japanese, Germans, and Italians who had been declared “enemy aliens”.

Just an aside, as you mull over the previous two paragraphs, I want to comment on the effort and methods used to write the book, which author Russell describes in detail in the sources and notes. As a writer, I thoroughly appreciate the effort it took to compile the information. Interestingly, another book, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, also involved internment during World War II and was very well-researched and written and also relied heavily on personal interviews.

It Is a Big Deal!

The answer of course is yes, it is a big deal. I may do more Crystal City installments, after going through the book in more detail and gaining more insights into how I feel about what happened and how I should respond. OK, it was just plain wrong, all of it – there, I’ve said it. Am I going to recommend to others how they should respond? No, it’s up to each individual to make up their mind how to respond.

Back to the Future Main Theme (City of Prague Philharmonic)
A Quick Tour of Washington and Yamhill Counties in Oregon

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What Happened at Crystal City? (Part II)

May 9, 2016
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Gospodor Monument

Note about the pictures and the music: One of the structures in the monument represents the Holocaust, which seemed to be an appropriate photo for this blog. Please Google Gospodor Monument for more information. The picture in Part I, if you’re still curious about it, will eventually be explained. I guess I’ve always had The Police song on my favorites list, and one day while I was swimming laps I decided it was a good choice for this blog. Did I hear someone say “what an understatement”!
The Police: Every Breath You Take

Introduction to Part II

Giving the appropriate credits and attributions is always a necessary part of what I write about in my blog. Without good sources for information and inspiration, the creation process would be much harder if not impossible. One of my sources is a book by Jan Jarboe Russell, The Train to Crystal City, published in 2015 by Scribners, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. I will annotate any direct quotes with her name in this and any succeeding installments. Other credits will be included as needed.

The Five W’s and the H

I highly recommend Jan Russell’s book. The following synopsis comes from Amazon where I bought my copy.

“During World War II, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during the war, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called ‘quiet passage’. Hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City were exchanged for other more ostensibly important Americans—diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, and missionaries—behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.”

Jan Jarboe Russell focuses on two American-born teenage girls, uncovering the details of their years spent in the camp; the struggles of their fathers; their families’ subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan; and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the United States, transformed from incarcerated enemies to American loyalists. Their stories of day-to-day life at the camp, from the ten-foot high security fence to the armed guards, daily roll call, and censored mail, have never been told.

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR’s tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and above all, ‘is about identity, allegiance, and home, and the difficulty of determining the loyalties that lie in individual human hearts’ (Texas Observer).”

Most of us older types and others, perhaps younger history buffs, know about the internment camps that existed during the war, on the west coast and other locations. Manzanar in California is the one that I remember. However, Crystal City was the only family internment camp during World War II. I’m including a Wikipedia link. Be sure to check it out. Wikipedia has included a very interesting map and photos. The number of locations is kind of mind-blowing.

Also, the following caption from a photo in the Wikipedia piece is interesting and ironic.

“The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was composed primarily of Japanese Americans, served with uncommon distinction in the European Theatre of World War II. Many of the U.S. soldiers serving in the unit had families who were held in concentration camp in the United States while they fought abroad.”

More to come in Part III. Read the book if you get a chance.

Two parting quotes

The first quote is off-topic but appropriate for the holiday (May 8), and the other quote is on-topic and also very good.

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. Rudyard Kipling
The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men. Lyndon B. Johnson

 

What Happened at Crystal City? (Part I)

April 25, 2016
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What is It?

Journalism 101

  • What’s the hook?
  • Five W’s and the H
  • The Inverted Pyramid

As Journalism majors in college, we learned that these were the basic requirements of every good news story. The hook was what grabbed your reader’s attention and made them want to continue reading your story. The five W’s and the H were basic components of what happened – who (was involved), what (happened), where (it happened), when (it happened), why (it happened), and how (it happened). These elements weren’t always clearly defined, but they were a good starting point for a reporter who was gathering the facts. The inverted pyramid meant composing the story with the most important facts at the top, in case your reader lost interest before finishing the story.

Time Travel Back to World War II

Back in Time (from Back to the Future Soundtrack)

OK, so picture yourself as a reader of a newspaper story during World War II. Actually, as an aside, let me divert from the main point of this blog. Like many bloggers, I’m opportunistic – I see and hear something, and I get an idea for a blog. Beyond that, it’s a matter of putting it all together. Some ideas and projects obviously require more time to research and figure out, “America’s Social Ills” for example is one on my list. Also, I get ideas from people that I talk to, at the gym or other places – sometimes I think people who go to gyms (myself included) spend more time talking than working out. A classic example, is a conversation I had about Crystal City, Texas.

I was at the gym when I met Luis (not his real name), an older fellow like me. I noticed that he had a very unusual walking stick. I suppose that’s a sign of aging, my fascination with walking sticks. Anyway, I learned that he once lived in Crystal City, Texas.

Note:
Crystal City is a city in and the county seat of Zavala County, Texas. The population was 7,446 in 2013, and it has an area of about 3.6 square miles. It is 116 miles southwest of San Antonio.

Luis lived there during WWII when an internment camp was there. He was very young at the time, but the stories about the camp and the evidence of its existence remained long after it closed. He told me about it.

You’ve probably figured out the “hook” for this blog, but you’ll have to wait for the next installment to get more details about Crystal City. Trust me, you’ll find it very interesting and shocking.

December 7, 1941

December 8, 2014

It was a humbling experience, standing there looking out over Pearl Harbor where it all happened on December 7, 1941, where over 2400 American servicemen died and 1,178 were wounded. Here’s the Wikipedia link if you’re interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor

A bit of back-story on why I was there on December 7, 1996.

I had flown to Honolulu the day before with friends, actually teammates, who were all part of Team in Training that raised money for the Leukemia Society (now called Leukemia & Lymphoma Society). We all raised money and trained for weeks and weeks to run the marathon in Honolulu. For me, because I’m a runner and because my mom died of Leukemia when I was 19, it was the right thing to do. I was honoring her memory. After we checked into our hotel in Waikiki on December 6, Quentin, the runner sharing a hotel room with me and I talked it over and decided to spend our free day before the marathon at Pearl Harbor.

Every year Honolulu honors the Pearl Harbor casualties with a dockside memorial service in front of the museum. If you go there, you should go to the museum and take the tour out to the Arizona site. Along the dockside were tripods set up with a wreath and the picture and name of the honoree. There was an informal service. I don’t remember for sure, but I think there were about 20 people being honored. Then we took the launch out to the site of the U.S.S. Arizona (BB-39). Right next to the partially submerged battleship was a memorial with all the names of the Arizona servicemen who died inscribed on a stone monument. Regardless of how you feel about war and the results of war, it’s hard not to be moved by visiting Pearl Harbor.

Although running the Honolulu marathon the next day was a bit anticlimactic after the Pearl Harbor tour, everyone on the Team in Training team finished the marathon and had a great time celebrating afterwards.


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