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FirstWard

I went to the Olin family reunion last month. I told my sisters, who are in California and North Carolina, that I was going to our hometown of Binghamton, NY. But, for reasons of time, that proved not to really be the case. I went THROUGH Binghamton, on Route 17, heading west to Endicott, as represented in the northern portion of this map, right past my stomping grounds in the First Ward.

When I was growing up, there were houses where that highway is now located. They razed dozens of homes to build a road that would make getting to somewhere else much easier. This broke my heart.

The vast majority of my growing up Read the rest of this entry »

RRHOF.PoliceRock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH, Thursday and Friday, July 14 and 15, 2016

In the Belkin Gallery on Levels 5 and 6 of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was Louder Than Words, a “special exhibit created in partnership with the Newseum in Washington, DC, exploring rock music’s power to change attitudes about peace, equality, patriotism and hope.”

It was magnificent.

On the wall Up the stairway are some lyrics from Patti Smith’s People Have the Power: “And the people have the power To redeem the work of fools From the meek the graces shower It’s decreed the people rule.”

There were kiosks about all the Presidents, from Truman to Obama, describing the music theuy used in their campaigns. But mostly it was music, graphics and artifacts about how the country dealt with a variety of conflicts.

Mississippi Goddam by Nina Simone was one of the songs representing the civil rights movement.

In the Vietnam War period, you heard Waist Deep in the Big Muddy by Pete Seeger and Ohio by CSN&Y, but also The Ballad of the Green Berets, a 1966 hit by Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler.

There was a display about the Read the rest of this entry »

lawnmower
When we bought our house in 2000, while about 2/3 of the backyard was grass, perhaps 1/3, maybe a bit more, was actually brick. There had been an above-ground swimming once upon a time, long before we moved in, but the indentation, framed by railroad ties, was still there.

Our yard had a unique design, and we liked it, for a time. That is until Read the rest of this entry »

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH, July 14-15, 2016
RRHOF.Beatles
Since it’s only about an hour away from the Ashtabula reunion, the family was unanimous in agreeing that we would HAVE to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

I had been there before, in 1998. They had special displays for the Carls Perkins and Wilson, who had recently died. But much has changed in the intervening 18 years.

They recommend that you start your tour on the lower level, and this is appropriate. It has a film about the 2016 induction ceremony. I spent a LOT of time, and could have spent more, in the Stewart Gallery, reading about and listening to “The Roots of Rock: Blues, Gospel, R&B, Country, Bluegrass, and Folk.” Read the rest of this entry »

You start writing a blog post, and sometimes, at some point, it just loses its joy.

Yeah, I was going to write about the lying Ryan Lochte and the other Olympic swimmers, and how he particularly was the Ugly American abroad. And Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada downplaying their actions may be a case of white male privilege Read the rest of this entry »

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