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Archive for the ‘story tellers’ Category

       Yes Oprah is rich and powerful, yes, people hang on her every word…but, with the recent memoir, “Angel at the Fence” written by Herman Rosenblat; some people are looking to point blame at Oprah after finding out that the memoir was based on a falsehood.   Come on, don’t blame Oprah!

        Look the thing is…Oprah gives her endorsement to books that move her.  So what, if this book was written as a work of fiction the story would still be good.  The alleged falsehood of how the couple in the book met; upon which the premise of the book was based, is not any reflection on Oprah.  Herman was a survivor of a concentration camp.  He told a version of meeting his wife as having taken place when the “angel” would bring him apples and bread to the fence of the concentration camp…virtually keeping him alive and helping him to survive the experience.  

         In truth,what was promoted as a love story extraordinare was a lie; they actually met on a blind date many years after his experiences in the concentration camp.  It is a terrible thing to tell everyone a lie about the roots of his marriage; expecting others to perpetuate the myth…just to sell a book.  The Rosenblat’s son did not agree with the falsehood and says he didn’t want anything to do with it. But think about this, when people that his family knew learned of the the writing of the book…and were complimentary….how did his parents expect him to act?  Was he supposed to swallow the truth and pretend that the story being told was the truth?  Or was he to contradict his parents whom I am sure he loves?  What a predictament to put your child in!

         Even though the beginning of the Rosenblat’s relationship is said to be untrue…Herman’s experiences of survival in the concentration camp would have been a very good memoir; one which would have stood up well enough on it’s own, without the lie.  But, the lie is on the author…not on someone who read the book and recommended the book to others not knowing the truth.

          So, again I say…don’t blame Oprah for something in which she had no way of knowing was untrue.  If anything, it should reflect back on the publishing industry.  They are responsible for how they publish and package a book.  If they are going to put a description of the book as a memoir…then they have the responsibility of determining whether or not it is in fact a memoir.  Still, a memoir is a recollection of how one remembers events from their past…and unless the person in charge of publishing the book was there in the past…there has to be some free benefit of doubt that the author is telling the truth.  Ultimately, it is the author of the book that is responsible for whether or not the truth is being published.  In this case, no one else carries the weight of the falsehood more than the person who KNOWS IT IS A FALSEHOOD! 

        The sad thing is that this experience and others like it…only make it tougher for writers to break into an industry that is already famous for being difficult to get published in.   Who deserves to lose the loss of respect over this book for an abuse of trust…the publishers, the author, Oprah or the agents , or the publicity people?

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        I find things that are the most interesting to me, are often things that are going on right around me; figuratively, in my own backyard.  That is why, when i read an article today about a man who lived less than an hour away from me; and actually at one time in my life, lived less than 10 minutes from my childhood home…i took a major interest in the story of his life and his death.  He was an inspiration to watch and learn from.

         This man’s name was Lewis (Luke) Arends.  He lived in Sparta, Michigan.  You might find by reading this post that you may share a connection with him as well.  Luke was 91 years old when he died on Monday.  But, what i found is that he was the man who “discovered” the Paula Red apple, that many of us know and love.  Paula Reds have a sweet/tart tingle on your tongue and when you taste them, they almost remind you of a ripe strawberry.  When mixed with a couple of other variety of apples…they make a wonderfully, tangy applesauce to feed to your family.  The texture is smooth and cool.  The skins remind me of the old saying, red apple cheeks. 

         It seems that Mr. Arends was an apple grower in the 1950’s.  One day, he noticed an apple tree that was a little bit different than the rest.  He continued to watch this tree grow and eventually, produce apples in time.  He learned that this apple tree was different, in the fact that the apples began to ripen much earlier, in August, than the other apples that he had growing in his orchard.  This new variety of apple tree was good and he decided to name it after his wife, who’s name was Pauline.  The tree is still standing there…a natural tribute to the man; and to the fruit growers who were wise enough to recognize a gift from above.  The tree provided early income needed to bridge the gap from one season to the next…helping fruit producers to ride out the ups and downs that naturally occur due to mother nature’s temperment year- to- year.

         This is when the apple called Paula Red was born.  So, through patenting and propagating the species…everyone gets to enjoy a good tasting, early ripening apple before the first bite of autumn makes it’s presence known.  Thank you Mr. Arends for paying attention to the gift growing in your own backyard.  God bless!

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       Well, it is sounding “official”…Big Foot Fooey has once again been perpetuated on the public.  There was a big announcement last week about a supposed finding of a big foot body that was going to be examined by scientists and experts.  Yet, when the news conference took place making that announcement…there were more questions then answers.

        Today, a company in Indiana called, Searching For Bigfoot, Inc. has declared that the finders had perpetuated an alledged hoax.    When BigFoot was unthawed…supposedly, it was a rubber costume.  The company is planning to handle this in a legal manner. 

        I think that most people were of the mindset that this whole thing was not real.  The problem is…those who really do research out in the field looking to document animal species that are unknown…have a harder time convincing people when they make legitimate findings of a new “undisclosed” species of animal.  However, some people are going to believe no matter what, in Big Foot.   Those who are trying to prove the “mythical” Big Foot does exist can’t be happy about bringing the whole topic up for what turned out to be another public mocking experience. 

        The thing is…you have to wonder about the men involved in this particular hoax.  I believe that i read that one of the men was a police officer or maybe a former police officer.  I can’t help but wonder, why would someone who is basically a civil servant want to call in to question his (or in any other case) her credibility?  I mean, their job is based on trust and reliability on a day to day basis…why would they want to make their name synonomous with a laughing stock or worse…a liar that had to know that this “hoax” was so easily proven untrue?  Was there money, somehow involved?  I guess some people will do anything for 15 minutes of fame.  I can’t understand any other reason for wanting to do something that “experts” could prove wrong.

       So I guess in this particular case, take two pieces of baloney and put it between two slices of bread and have yourself a  sandwich of, Big Foot Baloney…cause this “hoax” got busted!

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      Regis Philbin has received an Emmy lifetime achievement award for his 50 years of entertainment on television.  Regis has been a staple in an industry that is famous for chewing up and spitting out performers.  His personality is a lovable mix of charm, crustiness and an entertaining sense of humor.  (more…)

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       In the “old” days…families lived in close proximity to one another, it was important to the strength of the family.  Either several generations lived in the same homestead together or at the very least…lived in the “neighborhood”; close enough to see and communicate with one another on a daily basis.  Parents, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins all grew up together…teaching each other, learning from one another and helping to guide and direct each generation with their own brand of family values; to their place of prominence when it was time.   This type of family bonding has been broken for a long time…going back to the years of the great depression; leaving quite an impact on the way families were structured. It wasn’t willful or voluntary…it was necessary.  (more…)

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      This morning i was doing my usual multi-tasking…getting children ready for school and surfing the net for the news.   I was very sad to read about the death of Dan Fogelberg.  It is a huge loss of talent and inspiration.

       For many of you reading this….you may not even know who this man was, as you are probably too young to remember his music.  He was a premiere story teller through his music.  He was most famous during the 70’s and 80’s.  If you are not familiar with his music do yourself a favor and find some of it to listen to.  It’s stays with you.

       His gift was  connecting the story of his songs with people’s emotions.  He was gifted in this area.  His music was soft, simple and truly sincere in what it offered to the listener.  His music moved you to respond with a swift change of emotion. 

       I am sad that there will  not be more to come (unless there are un-released songs to be published after his death).  I was un-aware that he had prostrate cancer.  This is what took him from this world on sunday morning.  I think i will go buy his CD….i dont have a record player to play the copies of his albums i have on vinyl.  I want to listen and remember!

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      The writer’s workshop i went to last night was fascinating.  It was full of surprises.  The instructor was my kindergarten teacher.  She was impressed that i came to the workshop.  She was very interesting to listen to.  She is an inspiration; she is well groomed,intelligent, and a do-er.  She taught for over 29 years in one way or another.  From early education to college level to community instruction.  I find that fascinating. 

      She encouraged everyone to write their memories; to get them written down for their family members and friends.  These pieces of history, thoughts, and dreams should not go into the ether should they not get documented.

     I think even she was moved as she had us all do snippets of memories from key moments in our lives  in little exercises.  She said that she was made to feel like family as she heard them read aloud and said that if they were that interesting to her how much more important the stories would be to those who knew us and loved us.

      I really believe that we all have things that are common to life experiences that can help us connect to other human beings.  It is amazing to me that the power of words to emotionally connect us to each other can also help us to understand what each other is going through in life. 

       If done well…it can encourage, inspire, deter someone from making the same mistakes, or just give an understanding that was not there before reading the written word. 

      I am glad i went.  At my table alone, it was awesome.  I found myself sitting next to a cousin that i had not seen in years.  There was another lady who was no longer from our area…but she had known many of the others sitting at our table or family members of some of us.  Randomly, as others read their pieces you could not only see people experience a range of emotion but in general, they were  compassionate with the stories that were read. 

      We all have something to offer of value just by living our lives.  I came away with a sense of urgency to encourage others to write things down..whether you feel you have the gift of writing or not.  Each generation has “the story teller” in their family or their circle of friends.  Think about what happens when that person passes if their gift is not written down or if they dont somehow pass along the inspiration to write it down.  We loose the human story part of our histories.  We might be able to do genealogy of dates, names and places…but the stories behind those things are what brings them to life.  Remember and write!

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