Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mainstream Baptist: Spong on Interfaith Relations and Religious Pluralism

Below is a link to Bishop John Shelby Spong answering questions.  It comes from the blog Mainstream Baptist.

Mainstream Baptist: Spong on Interfaith Relations and Religious Pluralism

Friday, April 27, 2012

Home again

We took a brief vacation this week.  Following a doctor visit on Tuesday, we headed east on 412 toward Branson.  We stopped in Springdale at the Western Sizzlin' steakhouse for our evening meal.  North of Harrison, AR we got on Highway 65 and drove north to Branson.  We stayed at the Comfort Inn just off the 76 strip.  We spent two night there.  They have a good breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausage (included in the room price).  What's more, they sell tickets to Silver Dollar City.  For the price of a one-day admission to SDC, you could get a two-day ticket.  So that is what we did.

WorldFest was going on while we were there.  We heard Peruvian musicians, an all-female mariachi band from Mexico, and the Russian Festival Orchestra.  We also heard a traditional bluegrass band and saw a group of African acrobats.  I took many pictures and will post some later.

Thursday afternoon we drove to Springfield and spent the night with my parents. 

I will continue this later. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

At the brunch

In this picture are:  Mary Rounds (far left), Don Satterthwaite (with pony tail), Marilyn Clarke (in red), myself, Gail Storey, Rev. Gerald Davis (next to Gail), Joy Avery (with white hair), Leah Nunn (at end of table), Joni LeViness (with back to camera).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend review

This past weekend was my big weekend of the month.  I say that because there are three events I usually attend on the fourth weekend of the month.

First, there is Church of the Restoration.  I was there at 9:30 a.m. for the R.E. portion.  Today we talked about immigration.  There were six of us for the discussion.

The service followined at 11:00.  The theme for today's service was Earth Day.  Mary had a rock which she had picked up at a place of significance for her.  She passed it around.  As each person held the rock, he or she would say something about Earth Day.  When I held the rock, I reminded the congregation about the importance of population growth to the planet's well being.  Each day the planet grows by about half the size of Tulsa.  Add the number of births and subtract the number of deaths, and in two days time you have another Tulsa spread out over the globe.  How long can we keep growing like this?

Next was the Atheist Community of Tulsa meeting at the Agora Coffee House.  There were about 20 people there for that.  I had to leave early and go the Food Pyramid and get a food item (potato salad) to take to Marilyn's.  Marilyn hosts the Dream Group.  We gather to discuss our dreams.  I had just three dreams I could recall since our last meeting.  Once we finished talking about our dreeams, we sat around Marilyn's table and ate turkey, bread, potato salad and a few other items.  For dessert we had cookies.

Gail came over today and we practiced duets.  For seven years now she has driven to my house from Tulsa to practice duets.  She has been a blessing in my life.  She and her husband Glenn will be buying a travel trailer this fall.  They intend to travel the country and see the sights.  That will create a hiatus in our duet performances.

I tried to copy the right side of the photo below and upload it.  I am doing something wrong, because the picture shows only the left side of the picture.  I will try again sometime. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

About the picture below

I have posted a picture below taken by Larry Roth at the Restoration Brunch yesterday.  Shown in the picture are Larry Hochhaus of SOS, myself representing the humanists, Rev. Gerald Davis, minister of COTR, a member of the African Heretage Society (name unknown), Don Satterthwaite representing the Quakers, Joni LiVeness of the Tulsa Peace House.  Not all persons are shown in this picture.  I will try to post another picture showing those missing from this view.

Panel discussion at Restoration

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Humanism and the Arts

Today while J was working at the Herbal Affair in downtown Sand Springs, I was at Church of the Restoration taking part in a Humanism and the Arts program.  I played a Russian piece titled "Our Cry" and the familiar "Morning Has Broken."  Gail and I played a duet, Vanhal's "Sonatina No. 1."

The event started with a brunch at 11:00 am.  The purpose of the brunch was to have representatives of the  building's various users get together and get to know one another.  Not only is the building used by the Unitarian Universalists, but also by the Quakers, Muslims, Peace Movement, Secular Organization for Sobreity, and Humanists.  Tables were set up in the main meeting area where we sat to eat the brunch.  About 30 people were there.

Each of the representatives of the participating groups spoke about our organizations.  I represented the Humanist Association of Tulsa.  The event was recorded on videotape by Vanessa.  If it is posted on YouTube, I will let you know.

The Humanism and the Arts program began following the conclusion of the brunch.  I had some concern since only five people had signed up, but once we got going everyone there wanted to get into the act.  The Arts program lasted for two hours.  A few people did multiple things.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Koch Brothers Exposed

I just donated to get a copy of a new documentary that will blow the lid off the Koch Brothers multi-million dollar hold on our democracy. Please join me by clicking on this link to get the film and the action guide to make a difference!
Get the Koch Brothers Exposed DVD and take action!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

This is a beautiful video.  Enlarge to full screen.

Update on picture

I have updated the entry on the Holly Grove school picture below, adding more information.

Last night was the meeting of the poetry group.  We had six people in attendance.  The theme was spring.  Next time we will read poems by Conrad Aiken and one other person whose name I don't recall at the moment.

Yesterday a tornado hit Norman causing some damage to at least one building.  More storms are expected later on today.  How long can we dodge the bullet?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Out and about

Last week we took a trip to Springfield, MO to visit with my parents.  While there I borrowed a photo from my mother taken around 1932.  She would have been ten years old at the time.  She described the people and some of the events at that time in Holly Grove.  Tonight I added more to the narrative.  If interested, you can read it below.

Last Sunday at church the speaker was Mary Rounds.  We had an attendance of 15.  Attendance has grown a little over the last few months.  We have had four people join the church recently.

On Monday, Gail came over for piano duet practice.  We will be having another Humanism and the Arts program soon at the church.  We played some new pieces published just this year which were written by Melody Bober, one of our favorite contemporary composers.  For the Arts program, we plan to play Sonatina No. 1 by Vanhall.

On Tuesday, J and I picked up Glenn and Gail and went to El Rio Verde, a Mexican restaurant with the reputation of being one of the best in Tulsa.  We had to wait to be seated as the seating area will hold only about 30 people.

I have been working on my garden this spring.  I bought several bags of topsoil and some potting soil.  I have two topsy-turvy hanging tomato plants this year, as well as other tomato plants in containers.  I also have a couple of cucumber plants.  Today I put out some beans.  I hope the cold weather is over.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Holly Grove, Alabama, c. 1932

Hanging on the wall in my mother's bedroom in Springfield, Missouri is this picture taken when my mother was in the 5th grade.  Actually I have the picture in my possession at this time, and the 5th grade is an approximation.  It could have been the 4th or the 6th.  Herbert Hoover was president of the nation.  The date was no later than 1933.

Mother stands in the second row, next to the end on the right side.  She believes this photo shows her Indian heritage.

Mother had some memory of most of the people in this picture. So, starting with the first row, left side, I will relay the information my mother told me.

The boy seen here has the last name of Blackwell. Mother could not recall his first name. His family raised sugarcane, from which they made molasses. Mammy (my grandmother on my mother’s side) would buy four gallons at a time. This boy had two brothers, the older of which played football.

Next to him is Anthony Urshery. Anthony was one of four children in this family. You will notice he is barefoot. He had nothing. His was one of the poorest families in Holly Grove. This was during the time of the Depression. Many people were out of work. The mines had closed.

His father was shot in the back and fell dead on a huge rock in front of Rob Guthrie’s store. It was Guthrie who shot Urshery because of Urshery’s inability to repay a debt to Mr. Guthrie. The youngest Urshery child, Truman, was six at the time of the murder of his father. He reportedly said, “Don’t worry. I’ll get Rob one of these days.” When Truman was 19 years old he made good on his promise to “get Rob.” Truman shot and killed Rob Guthrie. Guthrie fell upon the same rock and died, just as Truman’s father had some years before. Truman, who had previously killed his brother-in-law, was heard to say, “Well, I killed one bastard. I might as well kill another,” prior to killing Guthrie. At the funeral of Mr. Urshery, Rob’s brother broke into Truman’s house and stole a hog which had been salted down.

Standing next to Anthony is Edna Lawson. My mother used to play with Edna and her brother Cecil. She and her family moved from Jasper, Alabama to Holly Grove. She became a prostitute in Jasper. The family lived across the street from the Andrews (my mother’s family). Edna died young, an occupational hazard of her trade.

Next to her, fourth from the left, is Raymond Hendricks. He was much better off financially than the other kids in this picture. He was a nice boy.

Next is J. C. Blackwell (no kin to the other Blackwell). He was smart and quiet.

Next, number 6, is Malcolm Jones. Mother says she was struck on him. She thought he was cute. One time Malcolm borrowed my mother’s notebook. Malcolm was accused of cheating by copying some information out of my mother’s notebook.

Next is Virginia Jones, Malcolm’s sister. Her nickname was Toady. Mother recalls her being real nice. She had some physical deformity which can be noted in the picture.

Rounding out row 1 is J. C. Prescott. He had the misfortune of being on the USS Arizona the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He did not survive the attack.
In the second row, the first two individuals on the left side are unknown. The third person is Cecil Lawson, the brother of Edna Lawson. He stole Henry’s (my uncle) shoes one time, but Mammy got them back.

The fourth person is Pauleen Glover. She was molested by J. W. Rollins in the 9th grade. She was the bell ringer in Mr. Rollins’s office. In addition to being a molester, Mr. Rollins was mean.

The name of the fifth person in this row is unknown. Mother recall s having given her coat to this girl, who was something of a loner. She had a rough time.

Next is Beatrice McCullough. She lived on beans and cornbread. Each evening after school she would go to Rob Guthrie’s store and buy a nickel’s worth of butterbeans. Her family had a “muley” cow. She often had epileptic seizures in school. When she got married she got a facelift and bought pretty clothes. She also took guitar lessons. She was from a large family.

Next is Jean Andrews, my mother.

On my mother’s left, the final person in the row, is Mildred Holly, my mother’s best friend. She was from a nice family. She was always clean and neat. She was also intelligent.

Moving now to the third row, the first person on the left is unknown. The second person in that row is Louise Smith. Louise was as poor as you could get. She was so poor that she would eat pine cones. Mother often played with Louise.

Mother does not recall the name of the third person in this row, but she remembers that this girl was bashful and often hungry.

The fourth person is unknown, but standing next to her is Charlene Guthrie, whose mother taught third grade at the Holly Grove school. Mother recalls that Charlene was “snooty.” One day my mother, along with Mildred Holly, Bea McCullough, and Pauleen Grover ambushed Charlene, turning her upside down, exposing her white bloomers.

Person number six is unknown.

Next and last in this row is Jessie B. McGill. He was a trickster. One day he called Mr. Cummins, the teacher, “curly top.” Mr. Cummins, being partially African-American, had kinky hair. Mr. Cummins took Jessie out in the hall and beat him. He did not spank him, rather he worked him over with his fists.

The first person in row 4 is unknown. The second person is Mr. Cummins, the teacher. He had a sadistic streak in him and could be very mean. When he discovered he had cancer at age 60, he committed suicide.

Standing next to Mr. Cummins is a substitute teacher. She often wore a hat, which she has on in this picture.

Last is Hubert Hanley. He wore his grandmother’s hightop shoes to school. He was made fun of because of the shoes. For his lunch, he brought peanuts with him. He later worked for NASA as a mathematician.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Getting ready for Spring

From Move On:
Greenwood Cultural Center

Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 4:00 - 7:00 PM

From the protests for workers' rights in Madison that took over the state capitol for nearly a month, to the 1,000 people who performed civil disobedience at the White House to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, to Occupy Wall Street, everyday citizens changed the political debate last year. But it's not enough - we all know the enormity of the problems we face requires an enormous response. That's why we'll be training 100,000 people on what happened to our economy, on the history of peaceful direct action, and how we can take direct action this spring to challenge corporate personhood, end tax giveaways to the 1%, fight the influence of money in politics, and more.

The relative size of things

Do you ever have trouble conceptualizing the size of the sun relative to the earth?  Or how about the size of an atom compared to the size of a man?  The following should help.