The Lydster: an American patriot

making the signs

The article in Nation of Change explains Why the George Floyd Protesters are American patriots. My daughter has been one of them. I am pleased.

We have always talked about societal issues with her, pretty much since she started watching the news about seven years ago. I wondered at the time whether she was too young to take on such difficult conversations. The trouble is that the issues were out there whether or not we talked about it.

She and most of her friends were at least aware of the shootings of 20 first-graders and six adults in Newtown, CT in December 2012. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when she and some of her classmates walked out of school shortly after the killing of 17 mostly high school students in Parkland, FL on Valentine’s Day 2018.

And they were bitterly disappointed when there was another school mass shooting with double-digit deaths and wounded in Sante Fe, TX two months later. I know from long experience that the demonstrations don’t always seem to work.

A grounding

The former youth director of the church, Christy, had helped ground the youth in issues about gun control, violence, racism, and a number of other hot-button issues. This was usually done in a musical theater setting.

My daughter has not only help organize peaceful protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, but she’s also made many of the signs. She was a bit distraught when she turned her ankle, which swelled up and hurt greatly for three or four days. But she’s now back in the fray. In fact, when a group of protesters hijacked her group’s event, she and a friend went to some of the local restaurants the next day to distance their actions from those of the other group.

Naturally, I, and especially her mother, are a bit nervous about her activities. But I’d be a hypocrite to complain. When I was her age, I was protesting against racism and a far-off war.

She’s also been keeping track of which businesses we should boycott – e.g., Home Depot, whose co-founder backs IMPOTUS. But she also suggests which ones to support, such as Lowe’s, because of its $25 million in minority small business grants.

Some friends suggest that we must have raised her right. We’d like to think so, but, like most parents, we still have no idea what we’re doing.

An American album, as it were

U.S. Blues

AmericanBack in the early days of this blog, i.e., 2005, a bunch of bloggers – Fred Hembeck, Lefty Brown, Greg Burgas, Johnny Bacardi, Thom Wade, Eddie Mitchell, Gordon Dymowski, Tom Collins, and several others across the country- created a series of mixed CD exchanges. We’d burn collections of music and mail them to each other. Kind of quaint, eh? This was one of the earliest I created, if not the first. It’s an American album of sorts.

US: American Roulette – Robbie Robertson. From his first solo album, post-The Band.
NY: New York, New York – Ryan Adams, who has the same birthday as Bryan Adams, November 5.
NJ: Atlantic City – The Band, post-Robbie Robertson, cover Bruce Springsteen.
PA: Allentown – Billy Joel.
MD: Baltimore – Peter Case.

DC: The Bourgeois Blues – Taj Mahal, written by Leadbelly
VA: I Believe – Blessed Union of Souls.
NC: Take the Train to Charlotte – Fiddlin’ John Carson, one of my go-to songs.
SC: Darlington County – Bruce Springsteen.
GA: Oh, Atlanta – Alison Krauss.

FL: Gator on the Lawn – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. From the box set.
AL: Alabamy Home – the Gotham Stompers, an instrumental from “1930s Jazz- The Small Combos.”
MS: The Jazz Fiddler – the Mississippi Sheiks, from the “Roots & Blues” box set, as is NC.
LA: Down at the Twist & Shout – Mary Chapin Carpenter. My problem with her is that I can never remember where I file her, under Car or Ch.
TX: That’s Right (You’re Not from Texas) – Lyle Lovett

More states

So, I guess I created two or three more collections, but I can’t find them, alas. Off the top, what else would I pick?

AZ: By the Time I Get to Phoenix – Glen Campbell or maybe Isaac Hayes
CA: Goin’ to California – Led Zeppelin (and you thought I’d go with the Beach Boys!)
DE: Delaware Slide– George Thorogood & The Destroyers, though I did not own that album at the time
ID: Private Idaho – B-52’s
IL: Goin’ to Chicago – Jimmy Rushing On Vocals With The Benny Goodman Orchestra

MO: Kansas City – Wilbert Harrison
MT: Montana – Frank Zappa
NV: Leaving Las Vegas – Sheryl Crow
OK: Oklahoma Hills – Arlo Guthrie, written by his father Woody
OR: Portland, Oregon – Loretta Lynn with Jack White

What would you pick, either in lieu of my choices or filling in the blanks? I can think of two slots for John Denver, and several for Springsteen.

And finally, back to US: U.S. Blues – The Harshed Mellows at 11:05, from the Deadicated album.

J for Jewish History Museum


I saw a segment on CBS Sunday Morning earlier this year about the National Museum of American Jewish History, which opened in November 2010. I was unfamiliar with the facility, but I assumed it was somewhere in New York; I assumed incorrectly.

It is in fact located in Philadelphia, not far from Independence Hall. This was deliberate, a reflection of, initially, a “tiny minority [who] sought, defended, and tested freedom—in political affairs, in relations with Christian neighbors, and in their own understanding of what it meant to be Jewish.” Then “the migration of millions of immigrants who came to the United States beginning in the late 19th century and who profoundly reshaped the American Jewish community and the nation as a whole.”
“On the Museum’s first floor, the Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame illustrates the choices, challenges, and opportunities eighteen Jewish Americans encountered on their path to remarkable achievement.”

The first eighteen individuals to be featured in the Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame are:
Irving Berlin
Leonard Bernstein
Louis Brandeis
Albert Einstein
Mordecai Kaplan
Sandy Koufax
Esteé Lauder
Emma Lazarus
Isaac Leeser
Golda Meir
Jonas Salk
Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Rose Schneiderman
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Steven Spielberg
Barbra Streisand
Henrietta Szold
Isaac Mayer Wise

How many of the 18 can you identify? I knew 12.

And for no particular reason, here are:
America from West Side Story
There’s No Business Like Show Business, sung by Ethel Merman
A pivotal scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor

ABC Wednesday – Round 9

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