Monday, January 10, 2022

Waves; No Waivers

It comes in waves, but never wavers,
there is no cure, and no Life Savers.
Just ride it through, it never changes.
A one day break, occassionally savored.

My friends all help and pull me through,
and Sue does all that she can do,
to steer me past these mountainous ranges
of endless views, no changing flavors.

I parse the info which my way passes,
with pain so pure, yet still amasses.
But I hang on, no hope in sight,
I'll never go without a fight.

I know I'll lose, so there's no fright,
there is no wrong, there is no right.
I soldier on, my endless march,
my frailty mixed with ironed starch.

No rain can wither a suit of mail,
a knight in sunlight, in a hopeless jail,
therein which dwells an optimist
who never cries for what he's missed.

What sustains me, I do not know,
so, I'll remain to see the show.
And how it ends, thats the part,
which marks the man, and shows the heart.

And, when they bring the curtain down,
I'll not ask another round.
I've proved my point and shown my mettle,
there'll be no accounts for me to settle!

Friday, January 7, 2022

"Summer Storm" (1944) with Everett Edward Horton

Disregard this misleading movie poster. The film takes place in 1919 and is a film version of Anton Chekov's 1884 novel "The Shooting Party", with the screenplay written by Rowland Leigh.

The trick with this film was how to convey Chekov's 1884 beliefs in Justice, and it's meaning, in pre Revolutionary Russia, with the plight of it's main characters in a post Revolutionary Soviet Union 35 years later. And to make it work.

When all is said and done Rowland Leigh did the remarkable  with a screenplay based on an adaptation by Michael O'Hara. The message i got from the film is the same i took away from the novel.

The question is clear to me; is justice truly blind, or is it just blind to the facts? Or, is the only pure justice one's own conscience; the verdict which one never evades or truly escapes?

With stars George Sanders, Linda Darnell, and a brilliantly nuanced performance by Edward Everett Horton, that question is posed beauifully, and in the end is answered perfectly.

The film is available for free, without commercials, on you tube. The link is as follows: https://youtu.be/7xZOZmoWEag But disregard that bizarre poster! 
 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Bee Bee's Tray


The tray pictured here belonged to my friend's Grandma Bee Bee. She lived at 1900 Quentin Road in Brooklyn, N.Y. When I was in Juinor High I thought nothing was classier than this tray- which was always filled with goodies like Bridge Mix and other delights we didn’t have in my home.

I’m not really sure of the year but it was around 1971 or so when Bee Bee passed away. I was offered a “souvenir” to remember her by- and I chose the tray. To me it epitomized an era of genteel living, when people had “company” on Saturday nights, or “guests” during the week for cards or Scrabble. TV came along and changed all that.

The real “meat” of this story involves the loss and later recovery of this tray- possibly with the aid of “cosmic” forces beyond our understanding or control.

The tray had been on top of a black steamer trunk which I used as a dresser in 1973 while living at 2132 Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn. Remember in July of 1973 I packed up and moved to Ohio where I ended up engaged to Monica and working in the paint factory.

In December of 1973 I left Ohio by car (a 1964 Ford Galaxy 500) for NY- trunk in tow. But the car didn’t make it and I was forced to abandon it on the side of Route 80 in Ohio within sight of an Arco station. Not being able to hitch with the trunk I carried it over to the service station and asked the owner if I could leave it there for a bit, intending to send for it later. The owner gave his consent and I lugged it up a ladder to the attic/storage area and continued to the airport and a flight to NY.

I mentioned to my friend that I had left the trunk at a service station in Ohio alongside Route 80. And then I don’t think I thought about it again except in a passing- “Gee, I wish I had my trunk back” kind of way.

So here it is, almost 2 years later at 2:30 in the morning and my front door bell rings back at 2132 Ocean Avenue. At the door is my friend with a black steamer trunk on his back going “Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!” It was my trunk!

Inside we opened the trunk and I started going through all the things I had missed in the previous 2 years. And the big surprise was that not only was the tray in there- but my friend, who had given me the tray to begin with, had no idea it was in there!

Eventually I got the whole story- he had been driving back to NY from school at Ohio State in Antioch and along Route 80 found himself outside of Cleveland when he remembered that I had lived near there a couple of years back. And then he remembered that I had left a trunk at a service station somewhere alongside Route 80.

Looking up he saw the sign for an Arco station at the next exit and got off. He went in and asked the guy if he had ever stored a trunk for some tall, skinny guy with shoulder length hair. The reply was something like- “Yeah, and if he doesn’t come for it soon we’re throwing it out!” So he took it and drove through to Brooklyn and woke me up.

And that’s when he saw the tray!

We have pondered this little oddity between us over these many years. He didn’t know it was an Arco station- he didn’t know exactly where on Route 80 I had left it- and only a brief whim caused him to stop and check it out. Was it Bee Bee calling out to get the tray? Or just one of those odd coincidences that make life the joy it sometimes can be?

I don’t know- but I do still have the tray.
 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Diego Rivera - LIRING/3 - "The Glorious Victory" (1955) - Corrected


I feel it incumbent upon me to offer a correction to this post concerning Diego Garcia as LIRING/3 for the CIA in Mexico. It was not Mr. Garcia. Though I had double checked 2 separate sources, another private author and the Senate hearings, the actual LIRING/3 is an unnamed protege of Mr. Garcia's .

This is the usual "hall of mirrors" employed by the CIA to obfuscate and mislead researchers and law makers in their quest for information. Please except my apologies for the error of being blinded by the light of the reflections/deflections of the CIA. I should have triple checked this source more diligently. At best this was probably a way for them to discredit Mr. Garcia's lifelong quest for social justice.

At any rate, it is not a good reflection on my research into Mr. Garcia , of whom I am a longtime fan. The real LIRING/3 is last referenced in a CIA document from 2013, when he was still alive, still unnamed, and in his 80's. I am now trying to ascertain which Mexican artist is the real LIRING/3.

As Winston "Win" Scott, one of the most enigmatic agents of the CIA, and a "master of deceipt", said in his still unpublished memoirs, "It Came to Little", taken from a biblical passage, "He looked for much, and lo, it came to little....", I expect my search will yield just that.

The quote comes from the book of Haggai, 1:5 to 9, when  the Lord speaks to Haggai, a prophet, and says of the people, who have not yet began to build the temple, that though they live in paneled houses and harvest much to eat, they are not yet satisfied, for, "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little." Thus was, I believe a reference to the people not yet unraveling the mystery of JFK's assassination. I told you he was enigmatic.

My apologies again for the error of having been misled. I stand humbly corrected.
......................  

Most people wouldn't know it but Diego Rivera was also a link, through an unamed protege named LIRING3 in the Mexico City CIA division in the early 1960's. His story came to light in the late 1960's as the JFK assassination theories were gaining ground. But that's not the focus of this post; which concerns only Mr. River's oil on linen painting by from 1955. 

 It was inspired by the cup d'etat in 1954 in Guatemala. Rather than re-write it in my own words I'll just quote from the two best sites about the painting, which includes The CIA's Dullles brothers, Foster and Allen, center left and Eisenhower on the bomb. 

 Each year around this time I think about the assassination and it's aftermath, up through the 1979 House Committee hearings which sprang from the 1975 Church Committee hearings into the abuses of the CIA. The Guatemalan coup was one of the things covered, or should I say uncovered, in those hearings. 

 By 1979 the conclusion of those hearings was that a conspiracy of some sort, by either the Cubans, or our own Operation Mongoose, had been the operation which led to the assassination of our own President, just 7 weeks after we had killed the Diem brothers in Vietnam, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin incident and resolution in September of 1964.

 Rivera's name enters the picture with the Silvia Duran story. All of that aside, the story told by Rivera in this painting is a story unto itself. You can get into the LIRING/3 aspects on your own if you so chose. But the story of the painting, and the symbolism in it, is fascinating enough. At the end of each of the quotes I have provided the links from where these quotes can be found in a more fuller version. 

Here goes. This is the story of Diego Rivera's "The Glorious Victory." I hope you find this history of the painting as fascinating as I do. 

"The oil on linen paiting addresses the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'├ętat that the CIA backed to overthrow the democratically elected Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz. In the center stands a dumbfounded US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, striking a deal with Guatemala's newly installed right-wing president, Castillo Armas. To their left is a missile held by Foster and bearing the face of the US president Dwight D. Eisenhower. Other American officials surround them, including Allen Dulles, CIA director, and John Peurifoy, US ambassador to Guatemala. 

The group is wedged between an armed rebellion on the right and the slave labor of banana plantations on the left. These three events that seem to happen impossibly at a single moment, collapsing years of violence and corruption into one massive event."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_Victory 

 And now from https://sites.psu.edu/arthistory/2017/01/30/glorious-victory/ which contains enlarged insets of the story. 

"On the left side of the mural, Rivera depicts the business of the United Fruit Company. Poorly clothed men carry bananas onto a ship destined for the United States. The onerous burden of the bananas symbolizes not only the physical baggage, but also the political baggage of the United Fruit Company’s presence in Guatemala. 

A stern looking military officer guards the proceedings, demonstrating how tightly intertwined politics and business were. While the left side of the fresco is a representation of subjugation, the right side is a representation of resistance. In this segment, a group of workers and farmers take arms to defend their elected government from the CIA coup. They brandish machetes and fight for the rights of their people, some of whom can be seen sitting in prison behind."

Friday, October 8, 2021

67!

 

Looks like I hit 67!
Never thought I'd be this old.
But my mind still works, I Still have my quirks,
And my body isn't cold!

I think I've been extended!
Might see another year.
And if thats true, I'll look for you,
Here again next year!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Eyes of an Owl



The eyes of an owl
Piercing and wise
Looking within you
Beyond your disguise

Theres no pretension
And never any guile
Within the piercing
Eyes of an owl.

They're green and they're sharp
They take all inside.
From the eyes of an owl
There's no place to hide.

Where do they come from?
These birds of prey
That swoop down and plunder
All things in their way.

With wings that can lift
And smiles that can scowl
Theres no place to hide
From the eyes of an owl.


September 16, 2021
Photo by Francois Bota

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Missing Moon


 
I haven't seen the moon in months,
I mourn its friendly light
I miss the beams and smiling rays
Of its loving sight.

The craters of its face were like
A friend I need to see
Could it be so, I would bring
Those craters back to me.

Its cold light warmed my heart and soul
And helped soothe me to sleep
The stars all paled to the warmth
Its smile always brought to me.

I cannot go outside to glimpse
The phase that it is in.
And to not know again its face 
Is likened to a sin.

To think that I once complained
Its light kept me from sleep
Makes me sad, now I'd be glad
That count again to keep.

The moon that sets the cycles
Of both space and time
I'd  welcome back, it makes me sad
To miss what once was mine.

Oh Moon how I have wronged thee
On nights when you were full
And even in your quarter states
The tides that you would pull.

I write these words at 3 AM
On a night I cannot sleep
For missing you is something that
I shamelessly do weep.


3 AM September 15th, 2021
Photo by Barry Bloom