Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – My Friend Donald (Part One)- by William Spivey


Today William Spivey joins us with his archive posts. In the first article William talks about Donald Trump who he crossed paths with under very different circumstances long before he became the 45th President of The United States.

My Friend Donald (Part one) –  by William Spivey

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I’ve met Donald Trump on two occasions, in the way that when you’re in the same room with a celebrity you feel like you’ve met them even though you never got within more than a few feet.

The first was in 1992 at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. I remember the event far more for Doug Williams and the Redskins decisive victory over Denver than for having been in the presence of “The Donald”. He was with a mini entourage, one of his wives I think Ivana was with him. He was in a suit and a Kojak looking overcoat and she was in a full-length mink coat. The game in Minnesota was played inside in 75 degree weather in the Metrodome but I suppose one had to get from the limo inside and he had people to hand all his stuff. I thought how uncomfortable it must be to watch a game in that attire but I guess when you’re Donald Trump you have an image to maintain.

The second time was maybe 10 years later in New York on the grounds of the US Open Tennis Tournament. For anyone that’s attended that event, inevitably during the first week, the temperature reaches approximately 100 degrees every day. At some time during the second week, the temperature breaks and then it gets cold, catching the uninitiated unawares who then have to buy one of the fleece items sold on the grounds or go home. There is a lot of open space on the grounds of the Open and there is no way to get around and avoid the elements. Donald Trump was there when the temperatures were hot, yet he still wore a suit and was accompanied by a new wife who looked considerably like the first. His hair had acquired a new tint that I couldn’t really attach any color to that I knew by name. He was a bit larger, not larger than life simply larger and he had the feeling this time of having become a caricature of himself that got up each day trying to maintain the image he imagined.

As Donald and I (now having met twice and on a first name basis) don’t really run in the same circles we haven’t had occasion to get together again. Of course, he is on TV from time to time and I might stop to watch my friend, but it was during this election season with his myriad appearances, that I began to see him as if for the first time.

Donald had become shrill in voice and was constantly calling out for attention. I was now finally able to understand the phrase concerning Don Quixote tilting at windmills. His obsession about the President’s Birth Certificate was clearly much more about his vanity and desire to stay in the spotlight than anything else. It was at the White House Correspondents ‘Dinner that he reached rock bottom I thought. When the President of the United States on national television having released his long form birth certificate days earlier, took the time to publicly humiliate my friend Donald with the camera’s pointing at him slinking in his chair. And when it became known that he did so, while Donald occupied only a minor portion of his thoughts, as he was involved at that moment with the raid to get Bin Laden. I wondered who near him would step in with an intervention.

Donald disappeared for a time, but obviously his crack like addiction for attention still needed to be fed so he got back up off the mat and inserted himself back into the public eye. He took credit for having been the one that “got the President” to release his birth certificate while at the same time doubting its authenticity. He stood by Mitt Romney and endorsed him in his own hotel, which has more to do with the shamelessness of Mitt, than the significance of Donald. And as the election wound down and his name seldom mentioned, Donald knew he had to do one last thing to throw himself into the spotlight making his big “announcement” less than two weeks before the election.

Being his friend, I don’t even want to talk about the aftermath. I can usually associate life scenes from old or obscure movies and this time, two came to mind. The first was from “Sunset Boulevard” at the end where the aging Gloria Swanson let Mr. DeMille know she was ready for her close-up when the only interest in her was for her car. The second was from “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” again at the end when Betty Davis was being driven away from a crowd and reporters, smiling when all around her just thought her sad.

For those who haven’t seen those movies, just understand that Donald has become what he would have least desired… the joke. Fortunate is he that he has been spared the shame of the depths of his fall. I don’t want to watch this story’s conclusion when he’ll inevitably start approaching strangers and asking “Don’t you know who I am?” I brushed away a tear while writing this because the Donald I once knew is alas no more!

©WilliamSpivey 2016

Thanks to William for sharing his  post with us and I am sure he would love your feedback.

 

About William Spivey and his blog Inigma in Black

Enigma In Black is one man’s opinion about matters primarily involving politics, education, and race. I suppose I should also add history because, without an understanding of the past, we’re doomed to repeat those mistakes. On the 7th of each month, I’ll publish a segment called, “Shadow Warriors” where I’ll focus on an individual/group that is doing significant work for good and is perhaps slightly unheralded. Blog posts will appear at least once a week, likely more often because I find I have a lot to say.

Trolls are welcome provided you comment with more than just memes. You must use your words in order for your comments to be approved. After your first comment is approved, all others will be automatically posted. There will be no censorship except for those unwilling or unable to remain civil to those who participate here.

Topics bound to keep coming up are Voter Suppression, Politics, and Systemic Injustice. On a lighter note, there will be posts about family, some poetry, and social commentary on whatever strikes my fancy.

My name is William Spivey. I’m a graduate of Fisk University which I credit for much of who I am. I reside in Orlando, Florida. I write to be heard and make a difference. Stay tuned for information about soon to be released books; “Strong Beginnings” and “Letters to Amber.”

You can read a pre-publication review of Strong Beginnings by Yecheilyah Ysrayl here: https://thepbsblog.com/2016/12/23/yecheilyahs-book-reviews-special-edition-introducing-william-spiveys-strong-beginnings/

Connect to William and read more of his posts.

Blog: https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.spivey1
Medium: https://medium.com/@williamspivey
Facebook author: https://www.facebook.com/StrongBeginningsaNovel/

I am now looking for assorted Festive posts for December, recollections of Christmas past, family, humour, short stories, poems, recipes etc.. Have a delve through your previous December posts and if you are not planning on re-using.. pop them over to me at sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Can you Hear the Rumbling by Patricia Salamone


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Today Patricia Salamone shares something that she wrote in the 1970s which has as much relevance today as it did then. A short post but a powerful message.

 Can you Hear the Rumbling by Patricia Salamone.

Can you hear the rumbling?
If you listen close you might.
Can you see despair and poverty?
It is an awful sight!
Can you hear the children crying out in pain?
Can you see their faces as they’re calling out in vain?

Each day you line your pockets. Is that your only goal?
Is human life so meaningless you let degradation take its toll?
Do you see how you are destroying the only world which we know?
We trusted you to lead us and this is all you have to show?
You keep your little circle tight, with nothing but the best.
Once this world is finished, you’ll go down with all the rest.

Promises you made mean nothing anymore.
You will say anything you need to get you in the door.
If you think we’re not aware of what is coming down.
If you think this can go on, you really are a clown.
Quietly we gather; one by one we come.
Silently we move while all of you are having fun.

We are tired of your grabbing, and never giving back.
We are angry you’ve betrayed us. We are about to crack.
You have lost sight of what you’re there for; to lead, and not to take.
Your Greed has taken flight.
Can you hear the rumbling? If you listen close you might

©Patricia Salamone 1970

My thanks to Patricia for sharing this post from 40 years ago that illustrates how little somethings have changed… when it comes to those who lead us.

About Patricia Salamone

Patricia Salamone was born in 1943 in Queens, New York. She has 5 siblings. Her mother was Italian and her father German. The Italian influence always dominated in her home. It was from that seed that the “Italian thing” was born in her. Being a middle child of six children, entertainment was self-reliance. She started writing when she was eight years old to entertain her siblings and the rest of her family.

Patricia and her siblings attended St. Mary’s H. of C. Catholic School and Grover Cleveland High School. It was then off to work to help the family. She married at age twenty and raised three children. She was determined they would attend university, and saw that goal achieved while she worked for AT&T and continued writing. In 2002, a trip to Naro, Sicily changed her life, culminating in her first memoir, “The Italian Thing” in 2008. Patricia was featured as Author of the Week in the Palm Beach Post, and her poem, “Angel Dear”, was published in the poetry book, “Shades of Expressions,” by Gerl Publishing.

Patricia Salamone is the author of The Italian Thing an entertaining account of a family reunion in Italy with all its unexpected and glorious memories.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!

One of the recent reviews for the book

In the spirit of Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad, Patricia Salamone decribes her trip to Sicily with her husband Mike to visit for the first time his Italian relatives for the Christmas/New Years holidays.

Their experiences, told through her wry eyes, are just delightful. Patricia has a sly sense of humor and as she encounters the familiar as well as the differences of the Italian experience, we learn as much as she does as she gains confidence not only in her limited ability in the language but in driving their rented van through the narrow streets of the villages of Sicily and in coping with bathrooms very different from her own back in Florida. Her love of the various relatives they meet (all of whom seem to have variations of the same names) and the cuisine are contagious.

Readers of this book will begin to feel they know these people, and also Patricia and Mike, as members of an extended family. And one’s mouth begins to water when reading of the meals and all those delicious pastries. This is a book anyone who loves family as well as traveling will enjoy. I highly recommend spending time with the Salamones on their journey back home for the first time.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Salamone/e/B00E6ZLPY0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Thing-Patricia-Salamone-ebook/dp/B00EL0AGIG/

Read other reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7515864.Patricia_Salamone

Connect to Patricia

Blog:  https://the-italian-thing.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.k.salamone
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pattisalamone

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Please do not send self-promotional book posts as there are several other ways to promote your books here. I am looking for posts on life, relationships, health, creative writing, food, music and travel.. If you have a short story to share that is great too.

 

 

What Does The World Need Now? With Kim Gosselin author and blogger


Welcome to What Does the World Need Now? In this series I decided to ask the people that I have come to know through blogging and social media to offer their opinions of what they feel is troubling this world of ours. I also asked them to share their ideas and views on how we might move forward to leave behind a better world for the next generation. The subject is very broad, since we seem to have so many issues that need addressing, and I have left it to my guests to choose their own selection. The aim is to find as many differing views and opinions as possible including those regarding politics, religion, education and other social issues.

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Today my guest is Kim Gosselin from the Greater St. Louis area of the United States. She is an award winning author, blogger and public speaker

Like most of the bloggers that I follow, Kim has a wonderful way with words and it is clear that family values, community and care for others are very high on her list of priorities.

Kim has loved books from an early age and at college she also felt at home on the stage in plays and musical theatre. As a young mother, she found that life had some challenges for her to face when her two young children suffered from chronic conditions. Insulin dependent diabetes and asthma.

To educate others parents and children, Kim set up a successful business writing and producing picture books explaining the conditions. Over the next seven years Kim wrote 16 children’s books and published a total of 26 titles successfully marketing over 3 million books. Eventually, the family and her growing sons required more of her attention and Kim sold the company to a New York Publishing house while retaining her author’s copyright.

diabetes at school

However Kim has been very much involved with organisations that focus on children’s health and is a former board member of The American Diabetes Foundation and The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In fact one of her titles, Taking Diabetes to School, is still being lovingly dropped into JDRF’s “Bag of Hope” as a gift to newly diagnosed children even today, nearly 20 years after being written.

Her grown family and grand-children and a “Doodle” Dog are now the recipients of undivided love and attention and it is family that I wanted to ask Kim about first before moving onto the four core elements of the interview.

Thank you Kim for joining us today. You talk about your family in your blogs and it is clear that you are all very close. Can you tell us about your childhood and teen years and what key experiences and people made the most impression on you and how they have influenced you as an adult?

Thank you for having me, Sally. I am so honoured to be asked. Yes, family is a number one priority for me. I am the oldest of five children with thirteen years between myself and the “baby boy” of the family.

When I was 15 months old, my younger brother was born with a hole in his heart. Back then, doctors wouldn’t do surgery until he was a toddler of three. All those months and years my young mother lived with two babies, not knowing if her youngest would survive. His fragile condition probably triggered her life of mental struggles. Although she was the best mother possible to all five of us, she never truly escaped her demons. To this day, Sally, I have great sadness for her needless suffering. How ironic that at babyhood, my fate was set to live a life honored by Chronic Conditions. I use the word, “Honored,” because the people I’ve met through life and work, together with my relatives and my children have amazed me in so many ways. I’ve been blessed, Sally.

sisters

Kim and her sisters as close as ever.

As a child a favorite past-time was using my imagination to play make-believe, probably an escape in some sort of way. I loved telling stories to friends in overgrown fields or putting on plays in our basement for little ones. When Labor Day came around, the neighborhood kids gathered to raise money for Jerry Lewis by putting on carnivals for MDA. My friends chose me to be the Fortune Teller every year, sitting me at a covered card table with a plastic “crystal ball” on top. Beneath it was a slot hiding each child’s school photo, depending on who sat across from me. After telling someone’s fortune, I’d yank off the colored scarf to reveal the chosen one’s picture! Red heads or blondes would plunk down quarters before running away, screaming with eyes all a ’wide. So fun it was, Sally!!

During my pre-teen years I discovered the magic of reading, where I spent hours hiding in our three-story historical library. Throughout the years I devoured everything from picture books to heavy volumes of Shakespeare.   Whenever visiting home, I hurry to skip flights of stairs in order to run fingers across spines of weathered books. Such memories live in that building!

Upon entering high school I met extraordinary teachers who left great impressions on me. Although none of us knew it at the time, fate was already stepping in. Together, they gave me that certain ‘spark’ in life, helping me to believe that anything was possible. Dreams and wishes came true at a later date when creativity was needed to form a children’s publishing company for kids living with chronic conditions and/or special needs.

Parenting in this modern age is more challenging than ever before. What do you believe are the key elements to bringing up children safely and with the ability to fulfil their potential?

First of all, it’s definitely a tough balance. So much has changed from the time I raised my own children. And, my baby grandchildren are being raised even differently. Sadly, it isn’t possible for kids to be brought up as freely as when we were children. At the same time, I would never want to instil ‘fear’ in child. Awareness is key. Education is a must, but at the appropriate age levels. Even kids as young as toddlers of two can begin to learn the difference between proper touching, stranger danger, and when to say, “NO!”

As your children grow and convey their wishes and dreams, encourage them to believe in such. If you do, they will to! Help them to the best of their ability, but be careful not to push a long-lost fantasy of your own into their hearts. If they choose to be a waste management supervisor with gusto and happiness, let them “Go for it!” It never mattered what “degree” my children earned in life, the most important thing to me was their health and happiness. Of course, being able to support themselves financially was always nice too!

The theme behind the show is to discover the varied views of people of all ages and all walks of life on how we might improve the world for those who follow us.

Firstly, perhaps you could tell us about the most useful lesson that you learned in life and how it has impacted you both as an adult and a parent?

Wow! That is a hard one, as I’ve learned so many Life Lessons, particularly while raising chronically ill children. If I had to choose just one, Sally, I believe it would be to “let go of things I can’t control.” There was once a time when I was having great difficulty trying to cope with helping my children through their illnesses. I was worn out. Spent. A very wise therapist took my shaking hands in the two of her own and brushed my weeping eyes one by one to look directly into the soul of them. “Kim,” she said, “No matter what you do, you cannot save them. Only God can do that.” For the very first time in many years I ‘got it.’ Finally, I had permission to ‘let go,’ to live my life and join the family who long awaited me. God would take care of the rest.

There are many issues that are very concerning about the present and the future of the world. It is clear that health is an important issue for you but I am going to put you on the spot and ask you to name three key areas of life that you consider are vitally in need of focus and how you feel we might improve and resolve the issues going forward?

1. Adversity and Tolerance: I’ve always considered myself to be a people person, loving and respectful of all faiths and religions, colors and races, creeds and ethnicities. Everyone is welcome in my home. Yet I live in a city very near the area where protests and riots have taken place for many months. Sadly, I see no end in sight. “Justice” seems to be a word without meaning, for no one can agree on the same definition. All that has taken place in this city that I love and share with others…is this truly the answer? People tell me that unrest has always existed here, lurking beneath the surface which saddens my heart. Now it often propels to an unimaginable magnitude. Protests have left hardworking proprietor’s businesses in ruins or completely without patrons. Buildings have been burned to the ground, some by surrounding neighbors. Others are painted with graffiti or boarded-up and empty.

Yes, I understand anger and I certainly understand frustration in life. I understand the right to free speech and respect everyone’s right to protest. What I do not understand is the rationale behind all of the destruction in the very neighborhood where the protesting is taking place. Isn’t there a better way? How does this help anyone? What does this solve? Please explain this to me…please?   What about the innocents who are trying to make an honest living, the children going to school or toddlers who wish to ride a trike? How about the elderly who lay awake because they cannot sleep and now have no place left to shop? Who will be there to help them? I try so hard to understand. Why can no one come together?

I don’t know how this can be resolved. “Experts” from all over our nation, even the world, have been wracking their brains, discussing the issues on television or have been out among the public grasping for answers. No one wants to ‘budge,’ Sally. Globally it seems to be the same when it all should be so very easy. Meet with one another. Shake a hand. Learn to trust. Someone has to begin a conversation. Don’t be afraid to join in! Hug your neighbors. Look each other in the eye. Really look at one another. Be human for God’s sake. People are people. Love each other. In reference to your song, Sally. “What the World Needs Now…. Oh, if it were only that easy….

2. Technology: The very ideals to make our lives easier have made things more difficult in many ways.   Technology was supposed to give us “more time.” Instead, many of us seem to have less time.   Does it even make sense???   Send an e-mail or text someone. In an instant the receiving end expects an immediate answer. Our children and grandchildren have no down time, Sally.   I never see my children able to relax or take a break. I worry about them being over-stimulated. Will the next generation and the one after that all end up being medicated some day for anxiety? Is it all just too much???   What about our grandchildren? Is it possible for a little one to curl in a cosy corner to read words upon a paper page? Can kids in a group of four play a board game or watch a movie in a theatre with popcorn in their hands??? Wherever I go I see little fingers moving up and down, back and forth. They’re swiping to the right and punching ever so light.   Listen, Sally….You can almost hear the “tap-tap-tapping and click-click-clicking” sounds from early dawn until the dark of night.

For our children and grandchildren this technology will be their normal, I suppose.
They will know nothing else, which is good in a way. We will have to tell them stories of “the old days,” Sally, when we were young. When books were read from pages held in the two of our hands. When “play” was riding bikes till dark or running in the sand.

Technology will continue to improve. It will get better. Faster and smaller, easier and
more efficient. Our children will adapt to all of this change without any problems, hopefully. I must remember the most important lesson I’ve learned in life,“Do not worry about things I cannot control.”

 3. Government Waste: Although I vote, I’m not much of a political junkie. Still, I see so much waste within the Government that it often makes me sick to my stomach. I’m all for helping those in need, but it bothers me terribly to know of so many who could physically work but simply choose not to because they get a check in the mail each month. Cycles and cycles of families, men and women who literally make excuse after excuse why they can’t get a job. “I don’t have a car.” I do have a car, but I’m sick this week.” “My boss yelled at me.” “I can’t work with a baby at home.” “They want me to work, but why bother???” It never ends, Sally.

Not only do people get money for food and shelter, they get free health care together with much, much more. The cycle continues. As their children grow older, they too learn the system, often repeating it. I’ve even seen third generations repeating the cycle! Personally, I know of many who have sold their food and/or shelter assistance for drugs. Afterwards, additional help comes in from parents or relatives who are in denial until another government check rolls in.

There is so much abuse of the system that it would take major efforts on both sides of our Congress to try to solve even a tiny drop in the bucket of water waste before any help begins.

What I would love to see happen is for every welfare recipient pass a spot-on drug test before they are ever handed a check. I know, “the check is in the mail.” So how is this supposed to happen? Well, Sally, I never said I had all the answers….just a few ideas.

As a final word do you have a piece of advice or perhaps a quotation that you would like to share?

Yes, I believe if everyone followed the Bible verse below, much of what we’ve just discussed could easily be solved. “What Does the World Need Now?

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Thank you very much for having me, Sally. It’s been a true pleasure.

LINKS
Website-http://www.kimgosselin.com/
Blog- http://kimgosselinblog.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/realkimgosselin
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/kimgosselinblog

My thanks to Kim for her thoughtful insights on how we might all make a difference to not just our neighbourhood today but on a more global scale in the future when we hand over the reins to the next generations.  It is clear from her views that we all have very similar issues in most of our home countries and local communities.  Perhaps we should all stop inventing the wheel and put our combined heads together to resolve these important challenges. It needs feet on the ground and common sense collaborations at all levels and more publicity for those projects that are desperately trying to make a difference.

Please comment as both Kim and I would welcome your views and if you wish to share and reblog please fire away – make our day.

Have a safe and happy week.   Best wishes Sally