Memorial Day…2017

It’s Memorial Day here in the States. The day set aside to pause and remember those brave men and women who gave their lives in service to this country. A lot of people get it confused with Veterans’ Day, which goes to show how shabby the U. S. education system is, among other things…but that’s another topic for another time.

Today, I pause to remember my uncle Kermit, who died in the Vietnam War well before I was born. For the longest time I didn’t even know his name. I plan on going to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D. C. to take a rubbing of his name – but, if the “traveling memorial wall” comes through the Pacific Northwest again before that time, I will take one from that to frame until I’m able to visit the real thing.

To Kermit, and to all who made the ultimate sacrifice, thank you. There aren’t enough words to express the gratitude I feel, so I’ll say it with a few pictures and a poignant song.

Tribute Post: Richard Collins III

A promising young life was cut tragically short on Saturday, 21 May. Richard Collins III, a student at Bowie State University (BSU) in Maryland, was visiting friends at the University of Maryland (UMD), enjoying a weekend celebrating his upcoming graduation. At around 0300, while waiting for an Uber near a UMD bus stop, he was approached by a hostile man screaming racist obscenities who ordered him to “step left if you know what’s best for you.” From the Huffington Post:

The FBI is considering the fatal stabbing of a black college student a possible hate crime after learning the suspect is a member of a white supremacist Facebook group. Sean Christoper Urbanski, a 22-year-old student at the University of Maryland, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as first-degree assault following the recent slaying of Richard Wilbur Collins, a senior at Bowie State University. The UMD Police Department enlisted the help of federal law enforcement after discovering Urbanski’s connection to “Alt-Reich: Nation,” a racist Facebook group that posts disparaging content about African Americans and other minority groups.

Collins was visiting UMD during graduation weekend when Urbanski allegedly stabbed him early Saturday morning. The BSU student was waiting for an Uber near a UMD shuttle bus stop with a couple of friends when a screaming Urbanski allegedly approached the group around 3 a.m. Witnesses told police that Urbanski was intoxicated and incoherent as he shouted at Collins to “step left if you know what’s best for you,” according to court documents obtained by News 4 Washington. After Collins refused, Urbanski allegedly thrust a “3 to 4 inch silver blade” into the victim’s chest. When police arrived on the scene, they found Collins bleeding and laying on the sidewalk as Urbanski sat on a bench roughly 50 feet away.”

Richard had been commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army just two days prior to his brutal, senseless murder. Today would have seen him graduate with honours from Bowie State University. Instead, his father accepted his degree, which will be posthumously conferred on another student. A moment of silence was held during the commencement ceremonies, and an empty chair draped with his graduation gown was in the front row seating.

I know that this offends many, but I don’t really give a shit. Me talking about racism when it horribly impacts whole families, not just myself, isn’t “overtly focusing” on it or being “racially charged.” The hate-filled, shit-spouting coward who committed this crime is the one keeping racism alive – not me. A useless, inbred shitstain on the fabric of humanity felt the need to take the life of another human being because of a diseased belief that skin colour makes one superior or inferior. The sickest thing in all of this, are the people who directly contribute to this nonsense by spewing lies in offices, schoolrooms, houses of worship, and / or the privacy of their own homes. A father and mother are mourning their son tonight, hearts breaking as they see that empty chair. Joy and dreams shattered in an instant, all because of the rampant disease of racism – and very few seem genuinely interested in even trying to find a cure.

Travel Photographs: Cemeteries

I’m sorting through my travel photographs, getting them organized into some semblance of chronological order, and came across some pictures I took of various tombstones in different cemeteries. As a child, I would go to the library and check out books, then ride my bicycle to the goat farm, or to the main cemetery – there were three in all – and sit behind one of the biggest tombstones to read. For me, it was a place to be around people who weren’t bothered by my presence, and who wouldn’t bother me.

Cemeteries, to me, are peaceful and serene places. I also think that it would be nicer if trees were planted in memory of people. Still, the artwork of tombstones, and the tales they tell, are fascinating.

Still Speechless…

Final Friday…29 April 2016!!!

I hope that I can finally relax, today! This week has turned out busier than I expected – but, that always seems to happen when I have good posts planned out, LOL!

I had to attend a funeral on Wednesday; that of a friend of a friend of a friend, an old biker dude who had cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, and various other health issues related to hard drugging in his younger years. He had heart issues, too – had some major infection that required open-heart surgery about five years ago, so he lived a bit longer than he expected to. The last surgery he had, last week, was all his body could take. Life is indeed too short…

My phone is giving me hassles and won’t allow me to upload my latest pictures! I had some lovely shots of sushi and oysters on the half-shell, and a couple of pictures of my favourite bridge in Portland, Oregon: the majestic St. John’s Bridge. It is Gothic in design, to my eyes!

My verbal thrashings will have to wait until tomorrow…I haven’t had time to get them crafted, yet! This is why I rarely schedule things; an unscheduled day always goes much smoother for me than a scheduled one, and that includes blog-posts! Speaking of which, I have allowed “SypherPK’s” comment through for everyone’s viewing pleasure – also, so that you can see what “he” said in the original comment, and so that my dear readers will know that I didn’t edit any of “his” words!
XD

Enjoy these three songs – two played at the funeral, and the last is one that I would want played when my ashes are finally scattered to the four winds…time for me to catch up on a bit of reading of the many blogs that I follow!

Good Night, Sweet Prince…

Prince Rogers Nelson: 7 June 1958 – 21 April 2016

Ah, me…an icon from my high-school days passed away. The artist known as Prince was found dead in an elevator in his Minnesota home, Paisley Park. From ABC News:

Prince, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times with hits including “Little Red Corvette,” ”Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry,” was found dead at his home on Thursday in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57.

His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, told The Associated Press that the superstar “died at his home this morning at Paisley Park.” The local sheriff said deputies found Prince unresponsive in an elevator late Thursday morning after being summoned to his home, but that first-responders couldn’t revive him.

No details about what may have caused his death have been released. Prince postponed a concert in Atlanta on April 7, saying he had fallen ill with the flu, and he apologized to fans during a makeup concert last week.

President Barack Obama, for whom Prince was a White House guest last year, said he and his wife “joined millions of fans from around the world” in mourning Prince’s sudden death.

“Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent,” Obama said in a statement. ” ‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.”

The dazzlingly talented and charismatic singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist drew upon musicians ranging from James Brown to Jimi Hendrix to the Beatles, creating a gender- and genre-defying blend of rock, funk and soul.

He broke through in the late 1970s with the hits “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” and soared over the following decade with such albums as “1999” and “Purple Rain.” The title song from “1999,” his funky and flippant anthem about an oncoming nuclear holocaust, includes one of the most quoted refrains of popular culture: “Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999.”

Another name to add to the list of artist I won’t get to see live and in concert…what a shame. He only stood 5′ 2″ – but was a giant on the stage. When he picked up that guitar, it became just as much a part of his body as his own limbs, and he made it talk. I would list him as one of the guitar greats, right up there with Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Carlos Santana, and many, noted others. I can’t really say anything else except through his music…enjoy.

BONUS VIDEO – Morris Day & The Time!!!

XD

Of course

Yes…yes, I would – as many as possible, LMAO!
XD

Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess

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If I could end one thing…

…it would be hate. Ah, Ankara and Brussels…I weep for them.

😐

Friday Tributes…

Happy Friday before a Full Moon…can you feel it? I’ve been very busy this week. I think that my brain officially imploded due to all of the notable passings of the past three weeks, but the political quagmire is what has finally broken me. That steaming pile of shit just got even deeper during the past few days! I have several long posts in the works, but wanted to pay tribute to the legends who have gone on. It’s also been 648 days, in case anyone has forgotten. #BringBackOurGirls

Music while I dive back into my projects…and I hope that you’re able to find the hidden comedy link!

😀

David Bowie, b. David Robert Jones: 8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

John Howard Getty “J. J.” Johnson: 18 October 1947 – 7 January 2016

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman: 21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016

Daniel Francis Haggerty: 19 November 1941 – 15 January 2016

Glenn Lewis Frey: 6 November 1948 – 18 January 2016

If You Don’t Mind…

…I just wanted to share Conan O’Brien’s touching tribute to David Bowie on his show the other night. The first two clips will surely make you smile or laugh out loud, as I did…and the third will certainly have you weeping, as I did.

R.I.P., David…I wish that I could have met you in person, just once.

Conan O’Brien Remembers David Bowie @ TeamCoco.com

David Bowie: “Secrets” on Conan O’Brien @ TeamCoco.com

David Bowie’s 1997 Performance of “Dead Man Walking” on Conan O’Brien @ TeamCoco.com

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