Thursday, August 22, 2013

Letter from a Disillusioned Woman

New York Times  - Organizing For Action - a 501 Social Welfare Group

I should have done my homework before sending an rsvp to OFA saying that my husband and I would be there.  We just went to the location like trusting blind sheep believing we were going to a "meeting" with Congressman Meehan,  assuming, foolishly when viewed from hindsight, that he would be giving us his views and plans on ending gun violence.  I still insist though, that the way this event was presented on OFA's website (which I saw for the first time today) and presented to us via phone call and emails is misleading, implying that Rep. Meehan would be involved in this event.  It's not my intention to condemn the entire agenda  of  Organizing For Action, I'm not sure what there agenda is at this point,  and I still have great respect and admiration for President Obama.  I just want them to stop using sleazy tactics to draw supporters into their fold.  At this point though, I must confess, I find myself disillusioned and  the OFA more than a little bit scarey. 

Last night, after the stressful events of the day, I found the energy to write the following letter to the OFA:

August 21, 2013
To: Organizing For Action (

I will never trust "Organizing for Action" again. Your organization used deceptive measures to get people out to your gun violence rally today in front of  the building where Representative Patrick Meehan has his office. I am thoroughly appalled and feel betrayed, tricked, fooled and manipulated by your actions.  First came the phone call we got from a young man from your organization who asked if we would come out to Patrick Meehan's office in support of stronger and more thorough background checks for persons buying guns and ammo.  Then came the email with the subject "My Son Daniel"  followed by a request for our presence and support for Gun Violence Prevention to be held at 940 West Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064 - Rep. Meehan's address. 

My husband and I are both in our seventies.  We rsvp'd that we would be there to both requests, phone and email, thinking there was going to be a meeting  and discussion with Patrick Meehan in his office.  We kept today open on our calendar, cancelled plans to visit family at the Jersey shore.  I have Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia but I wasn't going to let it hold me back from supporting this important cause.  We consulted our kids on the best route to take from our home  to Rep. Meehan's office.  When we arrived at 940 Sproul Rd we saw a group of people in front of the building but didn't make the connection between them and our purpose for being there. They looked like a bunch of Jimmy Buffet fans - not that there's anything wrong with Jimmy Buffett or his fans.  (eye roll)

To avoid all the commotion in front of the building we parked in the back and entered through the back door.  Inside we saw that Rep. Meehan's office was on the 2nd floor and took the elevator up.  When we stepped off the elevator we saw several police officers and some men in business suits milling around.  We paid them no particular attention and went to Meehan's office, tried opening the doors, we didn't want to be late for the meeting.  The office doors were locked and we were greeted by a receptionist behind a window.  We told her we were there in response to a phone call from  their office and an email requesting our presence and support to discuss solutions to gun violence.  She told us "Our office has nothing to do with those phone calls or emails.  We didn't make the calls or send the emails.  There is no meeting being held here."  That's when we realized we had been duped.

Can you understand why we have lost all respect for and trust in your organization? Your tactics are despicable. Is this what you call organizing for action?  Isn't President Obama having enough problems without your organization adding more?  I would like to add that as I write this I have no idea if Rep. Meehan is Republican or Democrat and I really don't care. Party affiliation means nothing to us.  We want honesty and integrity in the politicians we vote for; we not only want it, we demand it. 

copy to:
President Obama, via Whitehouse Website;  Congressman Patrick Meehan;  Congressman Nick Miccarelli; Mayor Robert O'Neill; Phil Heron, Editor Delco Times

Delaware County Gun Violence Prevention Rally - "Hand Across Pennsylvania" (Not Backing Down -- Action Events)
Across the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania residents have let it be known that we want ACTION on gun violence prevention. Join your Delaware County neighbors in showing support of House legislation to expand background checks on gun sales. Both congressmen representing Delaware County, Rep. Meehan and Rep. Brady, ARE co-sponsors of HR1565. In front of Rep. Meehan's office on August 21st, at 12:00 noon, we will rally to show continued support for HR1565 and send a message to other members of congress, asking them to join in Delaware County's commitment by co-sponsoring that legislation.
Alycee Nelson-Ruley
Rep. Meehan's District Office (Springfield, PA)
940 West Sproul Road Springfield, PA 19064
OFA's Mission Stament via their website:
Organizing for Action
Statement of Purpose

Organizing for Action is a nonprofit organization established to support President Obama in achieving enactment of the national agenda Americans voted for on Election Day 2012. OFA will advocate for these policies throughout the country and will mobilize citizens of all parties and diverse points to speak out for speedy passage and effective implementation of this program, including gun violence prevention, sensible environmental policies to address climate change and immigration reform. In addition, OFA will encourage the formation of chapters that will be dedicated at the grassroots level to this program, but also committed to identifying and working progressive change on a range of issues at the state and local level. In carrying its work, OFA will operate as a "social welfare" organization within the meaning of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Looking Back at Forty

We Have a Dream Concert
June 6, 1982
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

Over 85,000 people showed up at this concert to promote nuclear disarmament.

Performers (in order or appearance):
Gil Scott Heron, Jesse Colin Young, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, Donovan, Timothy B. Schmidt, Don Felder, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Steven Stills, Taj Mahal, Stevie Wonder, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Dan Fogelberg, Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt, Nicolette Larson, Bette Midler, Jackson Browne, Gary U. S. Bonds, Tom Petty.

A Pirate Looks at Forty

Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call,
Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall --
You've seen it all, you've seen it all.

Watched the men who rode you switch from sails to steam,
And in your belly you hold the treasures few have ever seen --
Most of 'em dream, most of 'em dream.

Yes, I am a pirate, two hundred years too late.
The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder
I'm an over-forty victim of fate --
Arriving too late, arriving too late.

I've done a bit of smugglin', I've run my share of grass,
I made enough money to buy Miami, but I pissed it away so fast --
Never meant to last, never meant to last.

And I have been drunk now for over two weeks.
I passed out and I rallied and I sprung a few leaks,
But I got to stop wishin', got to go fishin'
Down to rock bottom again --
Just a few friends, just a few friends.

I go for younger women, lived with several awhile.
Though I ran 'em away, they'd come back one day,
Still could manage to smile --
Just takes a while, just takes a while.

Mother, mother ocean, after all the years I've found
My occupational hazard being my occupation's just not around --
I feel like I've drowned, gonna head uptown,
I feel like I've drowned, gonna head uptown.

Jimmy Buffett - 1974

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blue Guitar Highway - Paul Metsa

I ordered this book today.  I have to thank my good friend Joanna for introducing me to this very interesting writer and musician. 

The legendary Minnesota musician tells the story of making music from folk outpost to pop paradise to stages shared with stars from Seeger to Springsteen

This is a musician’s tale: the story of a boy growing up on the Iron Range, playing guitar at family gatherings, coming of age in the seventies, and honing his craft in Minneapolis, ground zero of American popular music in the mid-eighties. Paul Metsa’s book gives us a close-up, dizzying view of the roller-coaster ride that is the professional musician’s life.
Paul Metsa is a natural-born writer. He can write anything. Lyrics, letters, articles all flow out of him like an exotic, ferocious waterfall splashing down on all the senses. If he writes it, I read it.
— Nora Guthrie

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pretty Saro

The collage video above, was made by filmmaker and previous Dylan collaborator Jennifer Lebeau from images and video stored by the Farm Security Administration in the Library Of Congress.

" Bob Dylan ran through the 18th century English folk song "Pretty Saro" six consecutive times during the Self Portrait sessions in March 1970, but none of those versions made the final cut for the album and the song remained in Columbia's vault for the past 43 years. The track never even leaked onto bootlegs, but on August 27th, it's finally coming out on Another Self Portrait, a 35-track box set of songs cut for Nashville SkylineSelf Portrait and New Morning."

Rolling Stone Magazine
 Read more:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Home Alone

A rare occasion. Home alone, well not exactly, I had Sister over for dinner. We had fried red tomatoes, potato fritters, corn on the cob and ice tea. Sister doesn't eat much, neither do I.

When I posted this picture on FB yesterday it received some interesting comments:

  • Dinner looks yummy, but Sister still makes me nervous!
  • me:  hahaha That's funny. Dinner was really good.
  • Yup I would be a little nervous eating with sister lol
  • I'll take sister's portion. Looks yummy.
  • That looks a little creepy, Aunt Leo.
  • I think Sister took sister's place
  • me:  Some very interesting comments but maybe some are reading too much into my having dinner with Sister. I could have used any number of dolls or stuffed creatures, but Sister was close at hand so I dusted her off and put her in the picture. I guess your observations would be based on your opinion of nuns, positive or negative. I've always loved nuns. Never been mistreated by one or met a mean one. Maybe because her black veil is missing and she now has only her "coif" for headgear she looks like her head is bandaged instead of "coiffed". Also, I have TMJ and eating or chewing triggers terrific pain. I've had it for about a month and lost 12 pounds. I'll concede that the area that appears to be bandaged is exactly where I experience the pain - jaws, temples, ears, and throat. I could only eat 3/4 of a fritter and two bites of corn, but the tomatoes went down easy and were delicious. I'm the only one in the family who likes them red and caramelized. Don't worry or be nervous or creeped out. I had a wonderful day yesterday.
  • Love it!
  • Aww feel better, we love you  
  • Leo, I went to Catholic school one year, fifth grade. What a shock that was!! I never got caught doing a darn thing at public school. But I was in trouble all the time at parochial school. Those nuns didn't fall for any of my stories! A friend and I thought we found a great way to skip school.....that didn't work out too well, we used it one too many times. 5th grade I was back in public school. TMJ ouch, I'd like to loose some weight but not that way.  
  • me: Great and funny comment. Now I can understand why Sister made you nervous. LOL  I only went to Catechism classes, never Catholic school. My husband doesn't like nuns either. He went to Catholic school and talks a lot about a nun named H-Bomb. Once she locked him in the coat closet for acting up in class. He says there were boxes of chocolate bars in there and he ate as many as he could then pulled some coats down to the floor, laid down on them and took a nap. 
Caramelized Fried Red Tomatoes


Potato Fritters & Corn
Iced Tea with Lime

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My To-Do List

1. Cut watermelon open, cube and store in fridge.
2. Eat tomatoes from our garden before they go bad.
3. Finish painting my 6 year old boots that I can't get rid of.
4. Finish painting of indigenous woman.
5. Get rid of that little voice in my head that says I must put a period at the end of each "do" on my to-do list.
6. Be happy that I decided to be artistic today instead of ripping up the carpet in the living room as I had initially planned.
7.  Don't worry about the gaping spaces between 4 and 5 and 5 and 6. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

It takes a lot to laugh

Professor Maurice Cockrill, The Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts and Head of The Royal Academy Schools gives his opinion of the critically-acclaimed Bob Dylan on Canvas Exhibition.

it takes a train to cry.

View the Catalog:
Bob Dylan On Canvas Halcyon Exhibit 2010