Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Nina Simone, JFK and Jane Goodall

This week has been fragmented with hunts for specific boxes for computers, clothing and curtains. There were over 100 boxes piled into the living room due to the unexpected arrival of our belongings early. We made corridors between them and the furniture and using our list we managed to locate the vital ones. I am now typing this onto my desktop which is fantastic after six months working on my laptop. I also have my desk and chair, printer and scanner.. Better than Christmas.. David has worked very hard the last day to get me back up and running.

I am sorting through our curtains we brought with us to identify ones we can use here. Most need altering but I am reluctant to spend hundreds of Euros on buying new or having them made. One of the bedrooms has become my sewing and ironing room and we have located the sewing machine.. that will keep me busy for a while with 16 windows.

The weather can only be described as temperamental! Brief minutes of sunshine followed by rain and wind… set to be in for the next few days and I wonder if we will ever get to work in the garden during the winter with everything so wet.  In the meantime the only way to describe it is ‘Lush’ and suspiciously green!

A Man and his Music.

William and his music

As usual I must than all those who have participated in the week including William Price King who has just returned from the States and we are getting ready for the start of our new series in a week’s time. We have some wonderful contemporary classical singers lined up for you and as William originally trained as a classical singer it will be wonderful to take advantage of his amazing musical background.

This week we were revisted the life of Nina Simone with the final part this Wednesday.

The Sunday Living History Interview


Today John W. Howell revisited the appalling events of November 23rd 1963 when the world was rocked by the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  We were in South Africa at the time and I was ten. Obviously we were in a different time zone but I woke up to hear my mother crying in the next bedroom.  I rushed in to find my father comforting her as they listened to the World Service. I asked what was the matter and my father simply said. President Kennedy of the United States has been killed. At that age I remember the event but it was only later that I would appreciate the enormity of this tragedy.

Please leave your comments in the post to let John and I know where you were on the day that JFK was shot and the impact that it had on you.

Mention in Dispatches

mention in dispatches

A small selection of the many blog posts that I enjoyed this week from some very creative writers.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore book of the week.


Smorgasbord Short Stories

A heartrending tale of a childhood devastated by lack of love. The Little Warrior beautifully written by Tina Frisco.


Smorgasbord Autumn Reading.



Pet of the Week – Millie and Pearl companions to Annabelle Franklin.




I was delighted to welcome Tania Meacher as a guest to right about the healing therapy Reiki.

Medicine Womans larder

My close encounter and near miss with the silent killer – Carbon Monoxide.

Men’s Health Week Revisited.

men's health

My thanks to Kevin Cooper for sharing his experience and the message #getchecked


Humour and Afternoon videos

This week my Inspiring Being is conservationist Jane Goodall.

Weekly Image and Haiku


Thank you very much for dropping by throughout the week and your support.. I am very grateful.. Sally

Sunday – Views of the Neighborhood

John W. Howell is not only looking back at the tragedy of the assassination of JFK in the Sunday Living History interview (plug) but he is also sharing images of the colourful and historical hotel landmarks in his neck of the woods.

Fiction Favorites

This week my producer came up with the idea of providing some pictures of a few of the hotels in Port Aransas. One of the most famous is the Tarpon Inn. It was here that President Roosevelt stayed in 1937 and signed a Tarpon scale. Here is the sign in front of the hotel.

Tarpon Inn

If you look closely (well you can’t see it) there is a replica of the Tarpons scale signed by FDR. Here is a closeup that will help.

FDR Scale

The next sign is all kinds of fun. Each of the cottages is named in keeping with the horse theme.

Laughing Horse

Notice only good dogs are okay to stay. This next sign is for an aviation themed motel. The sign says it all.

Amelia's Landing

The building is attractive as well.

Amelia's Landing

I have always liked this sign. The cottages have fish names which make it tough to enter the wrong room. “Oh excuse…

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The Sunday Living History Interview with John H. Howell – The assassination of JFK.

My guest this morning is author John W. Howell who is a popular blogger in our community entertaining us during the week with fiction and images of his stretch of beach on the Texas coastline. Ther…

Source: The Sunday Living History Interview with John H. Howell – The assassination of JFK.

The Sunday Living History Interview with John H. Howell – The assassination of JFK.

Living HistoryMy guest this morning is author John W. Howell who is a popular blogger in our community entertaining us during the week with fiction and images of his stretch of beach on the Texas coastline.

There have been certain events in our lifetimes that have either influenced the way we look at life or have impacted us so dramatically that we remember where we were and what we were doing when they occurred. Today John remembers a man and an event that shook the world in November 1963.


The Assassination of John F. Kennedy.

I have to admit it was tough choosing a moment of history that I lived to witness. There were so many from which to choose. I thought of maybe the time Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the birth of the personal computer, the advent of the internet, the cell phone, MTV, and cable television. I came to the conclusion that none of these events had the impact on my generation of young people as the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

51mjotftjdl-_uy250_As background, I was in college and like my peers felt that JFK was more like one of us. The group with which I ran worked hard on the campaign and for the first time had a feeling that this President would speak for our generation even though he was almost twenty years older. We liked how he talked about the future and what it meant to be an American. We had a crush on his wife and could imagine stopping into Hyannis for a quick game of football. Yes, we even got in a car and traveled to the Cape to see if it was possible. (no it wasn’t). In short, we all loved JFK and felt the need to be of service to our country.

November 22nd, 1963 hit us like a ton of bricks. We were shocked to return from class to the news that our rock star President is dead. The media switched to full-time coverage, and video tape was a new vehicle in which to rebroadcast the events. We were stunned to witness the running of the Zapruder film over and over. We witnessed the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby and resulting chaos of the event. We saw it happen a hundred times. Since it was video tape the feeling was, it was happening over and over. We had to bear the swearing in of Lyndon Johnson and the blood covered pink dress of Jackie. We began to hate Dallas Texas for lack of protection. We wanted to know why the secret service didn’t save our man. We asked a hundred questions, and there were no answers. The video tape kept repeating the horror. Like it was a duty we stuck by the television as the only way to pay our respects. Walter Cronkite helped us all cry for our loss.

The funeral gave us the opportunity to let the eyes overflow openly. John-John’s salute put us over the edge. Our hearts broke, and all we had left was the eternal flame which is still with us today.

We lost hope that day. We were the children of the cold war and had a distrust of all things positive. We practiced “duck and cover” exercises in grade school. Most of us had nightmares about the atom bomb. Air raid siren tests put the nerves on edge, and it was only the refuge of high school where these things were finally forgotten. We started to come out of the shell that was fear and began to relax and enjoy those fruits of the late fifties. We began to become involved in the affairs that were current. We debated the issues and joined in watching the candidates duke it out. We scoffed at Nixon’s sweaty upper lip and enjoyed watching the tanned and youthful looking man who we knew would be our leader. We felt as if we were authorized to toss our voice and opinion into the circle of life.

The impact of the assassination made us all retreat into our personal space. The grand design of, “ask not what your country can do for you but rather what you can do for your country,” was shattered. A lot my buddies had signed up to become officers and gentlemen in the military or Peace Corps and were forced to serve out a commitment with no thought other than getting out. Before the assassination most wanted a career of service and were now faced with an uncertain future. We turned to business as a productive outlet and became part of the establishment when the Viet Nam war became part of the everyday news coverage. We stood by while the younger generation took to the streets in protest of the US involvement. I think we still hung on to the belief that the government knew best.

This was the first book that raised questions about the official version of events

51d7lr0cwvl-_uy250_About The Great Zapruder film Hoax edited by James Feltzer Ph.D

This is the first book to expose a crucial aspect of the cover-up of the JFK assassination conspiracy: the doctoring of the Zapruder film, allegedly a 27-second home movie shot by Abraham Zapruder in Dealey Plaza. The evidence for alteration of the Zapruder movie takes many forms, including inconsistencies with eyewitness testimony, discrepancies with other films and photographs, impossible movements within the time-frame of the movie, contradictions between the movie and the physical layout of Dealey Plaza, and the multiple versions of the movie itself.

This book brings together all the leading authorities within the assassination research community, including David Healy, authority on technical processes of film production; Jack White, who for forty years has made a special study of the JFK assassination movies and photographs; John Costella, Ph.D., a physicist and engineer with a background in optics, the properties of light, and moving objects; and David W. Mantick, Ph.D., the foremost expert on the medical evidence in the JFK assassination.

And nearly 50 years after the event there are still books asking Who Killed JFK?


About Who Shot JFK? by Robin Ramsey

An updated edition discusses some startling recent work which seems to lead to an answer to the ultimate conspiracy theory.

After nearly 1,000 books, half a dozen journals, two official inquiries, several million pages of declassified documents, dozens of TV documentaries, and hundreds of websites, is there anything left to say about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? Hell, yes. The Kennedy assassination remains both the greatest whodunit of the post-World War II era and the best route into recent American history. Taking it as proved that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed the patsy he claimed to be before he was murdered, this short book explores the major alternative theories produced by the critics of the official version, the major landmarks in the Kennedy assassination research, the disinformation produced on the subject since the event, and some startling recent work, which seems—finally—to lead to an answer to the question “Who killed JFK?”

So today most of us still remember what we were doing when JFK was shot. I think we also have bought into the fact that our country is a great place which could benefit from additional improvement in public policy. I believe we are also very disappointed that we never found another President who represented us quite as well.

Buy the Books

An Unfinished Life – Biography:

The Great Zapruder Film Hoax:

Who shot JFK? :

About John W. Howell.

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and has a number of short stories published in various on-line magazines. One of his short stories has been recognized by Writers Digest in the Popular Fiction Writing contest.

my-grl-resizedHis novel, My GRL published by Martin Sisters Publishing and is the first of many exciting adventures of the book’s central character John J. Cannon.


The second, His Revenge published by Keewaydin Lane Books was published in October 2015..


John’s most recent book, Our Justice, was released on 23rd September and has already received great reviews.

It is rare for me to read a book in one sitting, but this book held my attention, such that I did just that. Fast-paced and well-written, John Howell’s third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy delivers. It kept me wanting to know more.

The characters are well-developed and believable, and the storyline is masterful. A seemingly ordinary guy unwittingly gets caught up in an international terror plot, the result of which you need to discover for yourself. The suspense is palpable and steady. Combined with light romance, and doses of dry humor, this book has the markings of a great thriller – one that easily could find its way to the cinema.

One wild thrill ride! By C. S. Boyack on September 23, 2016

John Howell has produced another nail biting thriller. This third installment of the John Cannon stories does not disappoint.

John’s old enemy, Matt Jacobs is back. This time he has a plot that’s more nefarious than ever, and he’s brought along some frightening new technology.

This book is for those who like pure adrenaline rush thrillers. Check out this series, and Our Justice does not disappoint.

Read the reviews and buy all of John’s Books: Amazon Author’s page –

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

You will find some great articles and photographs on John’s website with a different perspective of the same spot each week..

Connect with John

Blog Fiction Favorites,
Facebook –
Twitter –
Authors db –
LinkedIn –
Google +
Goodreads –
Shelfari –
Amazon Author’s page –
Martin Sisters Publishing – Http://

Thanks to John for sharing his experiences of this tragic event that those of us in our sixties remember very clearly.

Thanks for dropping by today and if you would like to share a story about your own family or about an event that had a profound effect on you and your life then please take a look at the details for the Sunday Living History Interview.


The Piano Teacher – a review

A reading recommendation from Susan Toy and birthday greetings to the author Eugene Stickland the review for the book is by Hubert O’Hearn and well worth a visit to read in full.

reading recommendations reviewed

Today is Eugene Stickland‘s Birthday! So in honour of the special occasion I’m posting the link to this review of The Piano Teacher from Hubert O’Hearn.
And Congratuations! go out to Eugene as well on being awarded
The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize!


The Piano Teacher
by Eugene Stickland
Published by BHouse Publications 2015, Trade Paperback, 251 pages
Purchase copies here

As a general rule (named for one of our country’s finest military leaders) I like to ignore the author’s biographical details when reviewing a piece of imaginative fiction. Knowing where a writer went to school, who he had lunch with in 1974, or the circumstances behind the sort of divorce that sells extra copies of The Daily Mail adds nothing but trivia to a reader’s experience with the work itself. If it adds depth, well then he should have bloody well included it in…

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Meet Guest Author Sarah WaterRaven…

Meet Sarah WaterRaven who is introducing herself to us over on The Story Reading Ape this morning.. Author of two Detective Docherty books with vampires and demons..great covers too..

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

author-avatarHow should I introduce myself? I’m not sure where to start, so how about I start with my indecision? I love sunny days and I love rainy days. I feel young and I feel old and I’ll laugh and laugh, but I too am prone to moments of silence and sadness. I’ll be consumed by waves of creativity, spending weeks as a prisoner of one form of art or another, and then suddenly I’ll drop it and run for the outdoors. I’ll bike or swim, hike, or even camp to feel alive and then slowly make my way back to a more mundane existence. I am a homebody and a traveler; one day I will work tirelessly to make a healthy, raw, vegan meal, and the next day I’ll wash down some greasy fries with a soy latte laced with artificial syrups.

However, my love for life―all life―is absolute…

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BOOK REVIEW – Resolution: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure by Andrew Joyce

Tina Frisco read Resolution by Andrew Joyce in one day as she could not put it down.. she also has written a glowing review. Head over and read and share please…and don’t forget to give Danny the dog a pat as you are passing through..


book-andrew-resolutionI am a big fan of Andrew Joyce’s work, and I’m here to tell you that he’s done it again! Like the author’s first two books – Redemption and Molly Lee – Resolution: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure is packed with excitement, humor, adversarial encounters, treacherous experiences, and yes, exhilarating adventure.

Set in the late eighteen hundreds against the backdrop of the Yukon Territory gold strike, Huck Finn asks Molly Lee to go with him to Alaska.

“I’m not quite sure what will be waiting for us when we get there, but that’s why I want to go; to experience new things, new sensations, in a new land. I want to go to where there isn’t another person for hundreds of miles.”

Little did Huck know that he would soon wish to see a human face – any human face, regardless of persuasion.

************************ Andrew Joyce ************************

Huck and Molly leave…

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Mention in Dispatches – Spam folders, Pen names and Jamaica

mention in dispatchesIn between unpacking boxes and posting a few articles, I have managed to get away from it all by browsing the shelves of wordpress. There would appear to be a number of problems for certain bloggers with commenting, ending up in spam folders and being locked out of their accounts.

Both Hugh Roberts and Debby Gies have highlighted this during the week and at the moment all our Happiness Engineers are away at their annual conference until Monday… It seems that one of their little upgrades might have gone haywire.  Anyway, I am sure it will be resolved but if you are feeling that you are the only one having problems.. one thing I can guarantee is the you are not!

Here is Hugh Robert’s post on the subject.

At a time when refugees are being turned away at borders all over the world, it seems that there is a lot to learn from Albania’s penchant for hospitality. Alk3r
gives us something to think about.

“There were refugee camps set up for the Kosovars all over the country. Albanian families would go to a camp, find a family and then take them home. These weren’t relatives or friends, they were strangers, but the Albanians would take them in, feed them, clothe them, treat them as if they were part of the family.” Read the post…..

Pen names…. a good idea or not? by Kristen Lamb


When I first became a writer, one of my favorite activities was dreaming what my pen name would be. I’d even practice signing it so that, you know, I didn’t accidentally scribble Kristen Lamb in my runaway best-selling book at my glamorous book signing.

Don’t judge me. Y’all did it too .

Before anyone gets in a fluff, understand two things. First, I’m on your side. If you want or need a pen name? Rock on! If you already have one? Keep it! If a sexy exotic name makes you write better stories? Go for it!   Read the post…

A wonderful interview by Tina Frisco with Greg Marcus.


Greg Marcus, Ph.D. is a practitioner, facilitator, and innovator of American Mussar, a 21st century spiritual practice for an authentic and meaningful life. He has a Ph.D. from MIT,  has worked for ten years as a marketer in the biotech industry, and is the author of The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar.

If you feel that you life is out of sync and that you find it difficult to step away from it then you will find this post very interesting and helpful.

Greg Marcus

Linda bethea two

Linda Bethea has some wonderful characters in her extended family including Cousin Bobo
Cousin Bobo was footloose and  fancy-free, unperturbed by the economic responsibilities of four children in three years. He doted on his child-bride, Inez, living quite happily with her and their family in an old unpainted, farm house on her mama’s place. Despite his aversion to a regular work schedule, he and Inez managed fine. Read on…..

alexisAlexis Chateau lives in Jamaica and in this very candid post she talks about the problems and in some cases persecution that members of the gay community experience in this paradise. A thought provoking and well written article.
The Dark Side of Paradise

I must admit to being confused about a number of major global events, alliances and elections and was interested to read this post on Empire Analysis written by an astronautical engineer with deep interest in politics, power and analyzing things. He is also a fitness/gym junkie

And finally 10 things that will make you smile from author Yves-sama

I hope you enjoy visiting these posts and will follow the blogs.  Enjoy the weekend Sally