Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bruce Springsteen, history, and a bunch of dead guys.

As everyone who watches the news has heard by now, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have canceled their show that was to be played on April 10th, in North Carolina. As most people again know, North Carolina has recently passed a law, that discriminates against a certain part of the population.

I work as a historian and ephemera salesman by trade and when stuff like this happens I always go back and see what the dead guys said. You know, those founding fathers, politicians, and other pundits, celebrities, and just plain folks who decided to comment on this very subject. I go back and see what they said, just in case there might be something from back then that might teach us about now.

This is what I found. These are exact quotes. Not one word has been changed.

"Liberty, the precious boon of heaven, is meek and reasonable. She admits that she belongs to all-to the high and the low, rich and the poor, the black and the white-and that she belongs to them all equally."

Gerrit Smith

"Law can offer us a moral precept. To the extent that laws are founded on morality and on logic, they can lead men's hearts and minds. But this aspect of law can have meaning only to the extent that the constituents of the law are moral and rational."

Robert F. Kennedy

" every man his chance-to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity-to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him-this, seeker, is the promise of America."

Thomas Wolfe

"In the cause of freedom, we have to battle for the rights of people with whom we do not agree and whom in many cases, we may not like. These people test the strength of the freedoms which protect all of us. If we do not defend their rights, we endanger our own."

Harry S. Truman

"While democracy must have its organization and controls, its vital breath is individual liberty."

Charles Evans Hughes

"The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias. The spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to the earth unheeded. The spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, nearly two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned but has never quite forgotten-that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest."

Learned Hand

"A manly assertion by each of his individual rights, and a manly concession of equal rights to every other man, is the boast and the law of good citizenship."

Benjamin Harrison

"Under our constitutional system, courts stand against any winds that blow as havens of refuge for those who might otherwise suffer because they are helpless, weak, outnumbered, or because they are non-conforming victims of prejudice and public excitement."

Hugo L. Black

"We ought not to separate the science of public law from that of ethics. States or bodies politic are to be considered as moral persons having a public will capable and free to do right and wrong"

James Kent

"We want a state of things which allows every man the largest liberty compatible with the liberty of every other man."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Laws have their proper place, but the responsibility of worthy citizenship is a personal one. We each have a separate and individual share in eradicating social evils and in refusing to perpetuate practises odious to a free nation."

Herbert Brownell, Jr

"Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not."

Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Anglo-Saxon civilization has taught the individual to protect his own rights. American civilization will teach him to respect the rights of others."

William Jennings Bryant

"....Yet most of all grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all years-a brotherhood not of words but of acts and deeds. We are all of us children of earth-grant us that simple knowledge. If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure. Grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace-that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, and equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean world our hands can make."

Stephen Vincent Benet

"The immediate future of the world has been laid on the doorstep of the individual American."

William B. Huie

I know this is just a bunch of dead guys, and I hated history in school, just like everyone, including Bruce, hated it. And we can ignore it. As Americans we have shown we are good at that. Or maybe, just maybe, we could consider all these words and what they mean, and how it could really be some day. 

Maybe the change starts with a bathroom? I certainly do not know. All I know is what has gone before, and hatred and prejudice, have never won. Hatred and prejudice might get a foothold here and there but it will never win. Too many good people like @a4evanygirl, for that to happen. 

Be True.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Maybe It's This

Maybe it's just going to be a situation, where no one gets what you are doing, or why you are doing it. If it feels right in your heart, then the rest does not matter.

Do it.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

What It Might Be

These are hard and strange times, as they always have been. Strangeness did not start in the year 2000 or even in 1200. It did not start when we switched from 8 tracks to cassettes. No, we as people having been acting strange, as soon as we pulled ourselves up from that primordial soup, and it continues to this moment.

We take things, we leave behind things, we never know what really is going on inside the head of that other person. I know this, because I know people, and I also know that everyone has everything good and bad inside them at the same time. Everything.

It's what we choose to use, and what we leave behind, that makes us what we are right now at this very moment. 

Be true.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


I walk around smiling and saying hello to everyone I meet, especially the ones who look like they are having a bad day. I always gets smiles and salutations. It's nice. Take a chance and try it sometime. You never know what might happen, but I do know you will never be there again. Take a chance.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016


"The Constitution does not provide for first and second class citizens"   Wendall Willkie

Friday, January 15, 2016

This week

This week l participated in three days of tours at the wonderful Agriculture Museum in beautiful Santa Paula, California. Thursday night I participated at the wine and food tasting affair at MVC on Main Street in Ventura. I mostly stayed out of the way and learned a lot about food. Everything was grand and tasty, and I think everyone enjoyed an incredible night. Next week; more kids and tours. Come to the Agriculture Museum or the Museum of Ventura County, and bring your children. Help us celebrate agriculture, it's workers, and our shared history by supporting your local museum.      

Friday, December 25, 2015


Even if you are feeling alone on this Christmas Day remember you still have a light that shines in all the hearts of those you love and who love you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Anne Shilton Graumlich

My dear friend, Anne Shilton Graumlich, died on what would have been Ruth and my 23 wedding anniversary, September 19, 2015. I wrote this about her, and it was published in the Ventura County Museum newsletter in November 2015. She was a true angel.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Changing the Messsage

When I started this blog over 5 years ago I guess it was because I was tired. I was tired of looking at the words, deeds, and outcomes of others, when what I was seeking was change. The worst sort of change really but it's the one we engage in the most, unfortunately.

I wanted everyone to see things the way that I saw them.

You can see something perfect, and yet, as human beings we think we can improve upon perfection, if only someone would listen to our idea. Everyone is the smartest person in the room when there is no one else there with you. You just know you are right.

I got lucky and found a woman who showed me that life was a compromise, a dichotomy, a place to choose your battles, and fight them wisely; with care, love, and understanding. I was with that woman for 23 years before she died almost 2 years ago now.

I learned I was a link, a valuable link, but a link none the less. The chain is all of us together and apart. We are all chained together by belief and hope. So how stupid am I for wanting the thing that kings, politicians, media outlets, and your best friend, also want; to be heard, believed, and considered, if even only for a moment?

I was on Facebook for 93 days this year, and everyone I knew, got to know, or wanted to know, well, I wanted them to see what I had to say and then understand what I was saying and make a change in their lives. I also saw friends and family that I loved, and I wanted them all to see me and then change.

What a fool, I continue to be.

Nothing changes except yourself.

So since those 93 days, I decided to change myself, again, and it worked. Life is so wonderful because it allows you to reinvent yourself over and over again. I am no longer filled with sorrow every minute of every day, bereft of a wife and seeing no future. I realized that liking something or posting something else was never going to get me where I needed to go, so I left, and went back to the real world.

It's a world where I accept people as they are. A world where my heart is open, and filled with laughter, a world where I can change this whole world, in a very real way. I am there now and it is wonderful. I love all my friends and family, I left behind on Facebook, but they all know they are in my heart every day, and they also knew, my real friends anyway, that I was going to be leaving soon. The road always is calling me.

I am needed in the real world so badly, that it is difficult to maintain this technology driven world but I will try. Just know that if you come to my web page you are going to be amazed at the giant mass of insanity there, and you can get to all of my blog pages from there, if they matter to you.

But really, if it does not matter to you, that's OK too. We all have the two lives that we manage everyday and sometimes that leaves no time to think about anything. But I know my two lives, the one I was given, and the other that I made for myself, are all I need, and even if no one reads these words, I will still keep writing them because it's all I can do to try and change myself, and possibly change you too.