Reblog

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Biker Wedding – A Reblog

Published August 22, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Delightful, by judydykstrabrown.com

Biker Wedding

Though I’m just your uncle and backward at that,
I’m exceedingly fond of my sister’s sweet brat.
I hear there’s a biker you’re eager to wed
and though I’d suggest a nice banker instead,
I’m here not to alienate, but advise
(since I am your kin who’s most apt to be wise.)

Instead of a veil you’ll be wearing your patches
and learning his lingo by listening to snatches
of biker bar gossip and those conversations
spawned over road talk and major libations.
You’ll be in your flannels and Kevlar-lined denim
(I’m sure that no bride ever looked better in ’em.)

You’ll whisper “I do” and then exchange your patches
before you head out for a ride down to Natchez.
But, first things being first, you have asked me to aid
in getting your wedding invitations made.
I’ve checked out your spelling. The words are all fine.
Only the printing may be out of line.

Though responsible service may not be impossible,
are you quite sure that leather is embossable?

Sad and Glad – Reblog

Published July 19, 2021 by Nan Mykel

A heartwarmer by dianeravitch from the Washington Post

dianeravitchThe Teen Who Inspired Zaila Avant-Garde to Win the National Spelling Bee

The Washington Post wrote about the teen who inspired Zaila Avant-Garde, the first African American to win the national spelling bee. A 13-year-old girl from Akron, MacNolia Cox, was among the first Black Americans to make it to the national spelling bee, 85 years ago. Her story says a lot about her determination, but also about the racism and segregation that she had to endure when she went to the championship bee in Washington, D.C. (Zaila is not only a spelling champion; she holds three Guinness World Records for her basketball skills. Watch the video. She’s amazing.) I had never heard of MacNolia Cox, but Zaila had, and she knew anything was possible.

About 3,000 people jammed into Union Station in Akron, Ohio, on the evening of Sunday, May 24, 1936. A military band played. A young man led some of the crowd in cheers; others burst into song. They were all awaiting the arrival of an unlikely hero: a tall and slender 13-year-old Black girl named MacNolia Cox. The shy eighth grader was Akron’s spelling bee champion.

A month earlier, MacNolia had stood on the stage at the city’s armory with 50 other children — the top scorers on a written spelling test. After 24 rounds, there were two spellers remaining. After 37 rounds, there were still two. Finally, MacNolia emerged victorious. With the proper spelling of “sciatica” and “voluble,” MacNolia became one of the first two Black children to qualify for the National Spelling Bee, held annually in the nation’s capital. The other was 15-year-old Elizabeth Kenney of New Jersey, who was also bound for Washington.

John S. Knight, the publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal, which sponsored the regional competition, fretted over MacNolia’s win.
“Washington is a segregated city,” he told Mabel Norris, the 21-year-old White reporter assigned to accompany MacNolia, her mother Ladybird and MacNolia’s White teacher, Cordelia Greve, to the competition. “You will have all kinds of difficulties,” he said.

But MacNolia wasn’t thinking about any of that when she boarded the Capitol Limited with a new suitcase filled with new clothes, all gifts from the city’s Black community to a family that could not afford such indulgences. For 30 days, while she diligently studied, MacNolia had been celebrated by Black communities across the country, by churches, social clubs, academics and politicians, even by vaudeville celebrities. Band maestro “Fats” Waller and tap dancer Bill Robinson brought her onstage at the RKO Palace in Cleveland. Her name was mentioned in the same breath as Marian Anderson and Jesse Owens — and now, this send off.

“This is the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” MacNolia declared with a wide grin.

“Bring back the championship,” hollered one person in the crowd.
“I’m going to try,” MacNolia promised as she settled in for her first train ride.

Hours later, near the Maryland border, MacNolia and her mother were ushered from their berths into the Jim Crow car.

The stories Mabel Norris wrote for the Akron Beacon Journal from Washington in May 1936 describe a fairy tale. Young MacNolia was whisked around the capital, seeing all the sights and even meeting President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Beacon Journal did not seem to think its readers wanted to hear the rest of the story.

Norris did not mention the segregated train cars, and she described MacNolia’s accommodations in the city as “one of the finest tributes to the Akron district champion.” MacNolia and her mother were staying in great comfort, as the guests of a prominent Black surgeon, T. Edward Jones, who lived near U Street, the city’s “Black Broadway.” But they were doing so only because they were not welcome at the Willard Hotel where the other White competitors stayed. MacNolia could not understand why, and her mother was at a loss to explain.

On the night before the competition, the 17 finalists were invited to a banquet at the Hamilton Hotel. Mabel Norris waited by the elevator for the pair to arrive, until she felt a tap on her shoulder. The spelling bee champion, in a white frock, stood behind her. Mother and daughter had not been allowed to use the front entrance to the hotel. Instead, they were directed through the kitchen and up the backstairs. In the banquet room, a two-seat table had been set apart from the head table where the White children sat.

But MacNolia seemed undaunted as she crossed the stage at the National Museum auditorium in her blue organdy dress and blue socks just before 10 a.m. on the morning of May 26, 1936. “As cool as a cucumber,” Norris wrote. “The least excited and nervous of the group.” Spelling, certainly, was the same no matter if you were Black or White…

There were 10 spellers left when the competition began airing live on the radio over the Columbia Broadcast System; Elizabeth Kenney had been the 11th. “P-R-O-M-E-N-A-D-E,” MacNolia spelled.
There were just five left when MacNolia got the word “Nemesis.” “Oh, no!” Cornelia Greve exclaimed. She flipped through MacNolia’s dictionary, filled with red check marks for the words the girl had studied, but there was no mark next to “Nemesis.” She had believed proper nouns would be excluded from the word list.

MacNolia looked up at the ceiling again and started to spell “N-E-M- … ” she began.

Mable Norris jumped up in protest as MacNolia finished the word, spelling it incorrectly. Norris, too, believed the word violated the contest rules. “No capitalized words shall be given,” she reminded the judges. Nemesis is a Greek goddess who exacts retribution against those who show hubris.

After a long, heated argument, the judges huddled to consider Norris’s objection. Norris walked over to the CBS announcer and made her case on the air: It was discrimination, she told the national audience. The judges were uncomfortable with the idea of a Black winner, she said, a charge the judges would deny.

MacNolia’s retelling of the next moment, published in “Whatever Happened to MacNolia Cox?,” a biography written by her niece Georgia Lee Gay, is unemotional: “It was supposed to be spelled with a capital letter and was not part of the official list, so the judges ruled me out of the contest.” MacNolia did not shed a tear when she was eliminated, but Norris remembered crying for her.

A Black girl’s triumph

MacNolia Cox returned to Akron to a welcome as grand as her send-off. She was feted with armfuls of roses and chauffeured in a car parade in her honor. The procession ended at her school, where MacNolia was introduced to hundreds of cheering classmates. The city’s former mayor wrote a poem that underlined her achievements: “A child whose forebears sold for gold / On slavery’s auction blocks / Has brought renown to our old town. / All hail, MacNolia Cox.”

But the attention soon faded. Gay wrote that the opportunities and college scholarships that were promised in the months after the bee never materialized and MacNolia was left scarred by the prejudice she experienced. “In some ways, she felt she would have been better off to have never won the Beacon Journal bee,” she wrote.

MacNolia Cox — then MacNolia Montiere — died in 1976 at the age of 53. Her obituary mentioned the Beacon Journal bee, but her story has now faded for most but her family — and one 14-year-old Black girl from Louisiana.

As she stood on the National Bee Stage on Thursday night, Zaila Avant-garde told reporters, she thought of MacNolia and what she had endured 85 years earlier. Then Avant-garde looked down and calmly spelled the winning word — M-U-R-R-A-Y-A — becoming the first African American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

JILL ON GUNS

Published July 6, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Excerpt re-blogged today: …jilldennison.com

At least 150 people fatally shot in more than 400 shootings over the Fourth of July weekend – CNN

Yes, I know I’m spitting in the wind, preaching to the choir, and the gun nuts will go on being just that … NUTS.  But I cannot be silent on this issue!  This is one of the three biggest issues that is threatening to destroy this nation from within, the other two being racism and money in politics.  And yes, I know that I’ve already said all of this before, more than a few times.  But PEOPLE!!!  WAKE UP AND SMELL THE GUNPOWDER!!!  It’s right outside your door!  Two of the fatalities this past weekend happened within a few miles of my home, likely a couple happened near you, too.  Our children are not safe in their classrooms, and we are not safe even in our workplaces.  How can the gun nuts even begin to justify this?  More to the point, how can our elected officials, men and women who are supposed to have our best interests at heart, justify taking bribes from the NRA and refusing to even discuss laws that might save lives?  Does anybody have an answer?  Hell no, for there is no logical answer.  It’s all about profit … profit for the gun industry, corporations such as Smith & Wesson, Glock, Beretta, Remington et al, and profit (money + power) for our not-so-illustrious elected officials whose salaries, I might remind you once again, WE PAY!

The right of a person to own a gun is about as far down on the priority list in my mind as anything could ever be.  And yet, it is the defining ‘right’ of far too many fools in this country.  The next holiday weekend will be the three-day Labour Day weekend, September 4th thru 6th.  Anybody want to make any bets how many of us will end up dead by guns at the end of that one? (Jill Dennison: Filosofa’s Word)

Jill echoes my feelings, but I can’t afford to let myself get riled up about it (health concerns, so I’m selfish in that way.) The main sad-not-mad regret is that so many really good old boy hunters identify guns with their roots, and have come to fear invasion by imagined fellow Americans. What the world needs now is love, sweet love…and common sense, and the ability to see the reasonable life-affirming choice involved. If cave men had possessed guns we probably wouldn’t exist. The quality of life for our children is up for grabs, and grabs, and grabs…

HONESTLY…

Published June 9, 2021 by Nan Mykel

KEITH ON TRUTH – Reblog

The lies are like a loose string in a woven fabric

Posted on 11

“Always tell the truth as you don’t have to remember as much,” said a voicemail greeting from an old friend. His greeting spoke volumes to me when I first heard it. He would alter his greeting at work on a daily basis offering adages or life lessons and this remains my favorite lesson of his.

To me, it is an important lesson as when people do not tell the truth, not only do they have to remember more stories, the lies are like loose strings in a woven fabric. They will eventually begin to unravel. This is especially true when people in leadership positions lie. Their lies are so visible, others have to adjoin their lies with the so-called leader’s. That leaves greater exposure as there are now more strings to unravel.

It truly saddens me how the truth has become more of a commodity these days. Politicians feel they can get away with exaggerations or even bald-faced lies. The know pseudo-news outlets that support their tribe or party will cover for them. To be frank, when someone knowingly covers for a lie, that is also lying.

All politicians lie, but by far the worst of the lot is the former president. But, that is truly not news, as an attorney who worked for him for years before he was elected said the former president “lies every day, even about things of no consequence.” Similar quotes can be found by more than a few people who worked for him over the years and in the White House.

Yet, too many believe this person. He did not win the election – he lost. It was not stolen from him – he lost. He lost because he got seven million fewer votes. He has been unable to prove election fraud losing well over sixty court cases, while winning one. That is a pretty miserable investment of money to pay attorneys for so little return. Some funders actually want their money back as they felt the former president cheated them by insinuating there was fraud.

Yet, these lies led to people dying on January 6 when he invited, incited and pointed protestors at the Capitol. Lies about the seriousness of COVID-19 led to more than deaths than needed and some people still believe it was all exaggerated or a hoax because of such. And, those folks who are still covering for those lies – such as in Texas where it was recently ruled illegal to use the Vaccine passports, reveal a how screwed up this former president has made things.

The truth matters. People rely on politicians to tell them the truth. We need to believe them, but when a president, governor or senator lies, it devalues our country. Being a sycophant to an untruthful person does not bode well for one’s reputation. And, these sycophants know they are lying, which bothers me as much as the lying itself.

Keith Says

Published May 31, 2021 by Nan Mykel

You don’t stroke a bully…

Keith WilsonMay 27, 2021, 10:46 AM (4 days ago)
A Reblog…Musingsofanoldfart

One of my favorite authors is Malcolm Gladwell, a Canadian born to a Jamaican mother and English father. In an interview, he responded to a question about his ability to look from afar at issues close at hand. He noted his bizarre appearance made him an obvious outsider, so he crafted an outside looking in perspective.

One of his books is called “David and Goliath” about how underdogs sometimes are not whom they first appear to be. In one of his examples, he noted the Nazi’s bombing of London during World War II was actually counterproductive. Why?

People did perish and were injured. And, buildings were destroyed. But, the lion’s share of Londoners were not impacted other than being frightened. They were also galvanized with a defiant “I am still here.”

We should not set aside that galvanizing affect as it is crucial to the British resolve. Outside of tacit support from America before December 7, 1941, the British bore the heavy load to fight the Nazis and Italian fascists in the Europe/ Africa campaign. I am still here was a big part of their perseverance, especially after near catastrophe at Dunkirk which may have cost them severe loss of soldiers had it not been for a make-shift volunteer navy.

Standing up against tyrants and bullies requires that kind of perseverance. It is said the tenacious Winston Churchill was the ideal man to lead Great Britain during these times. He saw Adolph Hitler for exactly who he was – a psychopathic tyrant. Churchill’s predecessor tried to appease Hitler, which seems ludicrous in hindsight. You don’t stroke a bully.

The only way to stand up to a bully is with resolve. Please remember that when bullies, name callers and liars try to denigrate and gaslight you. The truth is your ally. So, is your conviction. I am still here. And, I know who and what you are.

ReplyForward

Trying out her wings-Reblog

Published April 27, 2018 by Nan Mykel

Wanted to share this experience.

TheFeatheredSleep

Pain killers did not play a part in my death

You

Featured, light fizuring definition, as star

You captured my appetite in a jar

Left it to pickle sour

We dissected my heart and ate slivers

Outside, like a fevered tongue

Merrymakers ran and dragged

Confetti and plastic cups of eels

Young girls with birthing stretch marks, shaking double chins

If they had three lifetimes it would still not be enough

To celebrate their unfolding life of cards

Queen of Hearts, she sat watching oragami crowds

Easier to be cloud cover, sensing rain in the air

The quiet of needing to say nothing, emptied of small talk

She didn’t need to ever attend a party again

That was another version of her out there in time

Straining to be a light bulb

Her long dangling line

Fishing for fragments of who she had been

How did a wizz, bang, bang…

View original post 124 more words

An American’s declaration of shame – Reblog

Published July 5, 2017 by Nan Mykel

Go get ’em! I’m re-blogging.

THE SHINBONE STAR

Today is Independence Day in the United States, and across this great land we mark the occasion with the iconic images of parades, fireworks, waving flags and blackened weenies on the grill. But one thing you rarely see is the actual image of what this holiday is all about. There it is up above, the Declaration of Independence.

Penned in 1776, the Declaration of Independence set forth principles that should make every American proud.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

At 61, I’m old enough to have seen a lot of bad moments in my nation’s history. Like many Americans, I’ve endured politicians I disliked, along with policies with which I did not agree. But until the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump…

View original post 413 more words

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