Posts Tagged ‘memories’

As I walked out of the house this morning, to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather, I decided to start weeding my flower garden and as I pulled the little weeds that were beginning to spring up and cleaned away leaves and debris from around the flowers, I began humming whatever tune that happened to pop into my head at the moment. This morning the tune that dropped into the mental music slot in my cranium happened to be Hello Dolly sang by Louis Armstrong and as I happily hummed it as I worked, I started thinking about that song and the musical it came from. Whenever I hum tunes and then begin to think about whatever I’m humming, I often think of the context I remember the tune in. Whenever I think about the tune, Hello Dolly, I instantly think about Carol Channing’s smile. The beautiful Carol Channing starred in the musical in 1964 and it was a huge success for Hollywood at that time and Carol Channing was a much adored and beloved film and stage actress (when I was growing up we called females that performed on stage and screen, actresses…somewhere along the line I suppose someone got offended and the rush by the thought and speech gestapo to correct the “wrong” was swiftly enacted).

I recall reading a story a few years back about Carol Channing where it was revealed late in her life that her father was half black and she had to conceal that fact because if people had found out that she was any other race or color other than Caucasian then she could not have achieved any level of stardom in Hollywood as an actress. Sure, she may have been able to find work, but she would have been limited to roles that were specific to non-white actors…and that is a shame. My thought progression continued and I started thinking about my country’s history of racism and how for too long that people were snubbed, castigated and looked down upon as second class citizens because of their skin color. I then began thinking specifically about this, relating to Hollywood, and how not only were people judged and graded by their skin color, but also because of their sex (more thought progression).

This made me begin to think about the Me-Too movement that suddenly popped onto the scene and began to get coverage all over the media a couple of years ago…and I guess that this movement, at its core, is a good thing because nobody should have to be judged on the casting couch or to be forced to have sex just to try to get a start or to get noticed in Hollywood (or in politics, it would seem) but that’s the way life was in America, and especially in Hollywood, for much of this country’s history.

That being said, the problem with the Me-Too movement (and others like it) is that liberals and the media get hold of something that has a good solid basis and purpose and they proceed to destroy it to push and achieve a certain agenda. It appears most things that the media become involved suddenly is taken way, way off path to where it becomes unrecognizable to its original founders and they end up politicizing it and ruining the original purpose of it. This coupled with the fact that people are no longer innocent until proven guilty, but are instantly adjured guilty and are demolished by the media while their employers are publicly shamed by bleeding heart liberals to fire them, clearly demonstrates that the “innocent until proven guilty tenet that has been part of our justice system, is tossed out the window. In addition, if these folks want to try to prove their innocence, they have to fight the almost insurmountable uphill battle with their own funds as the media that happily annihilated their lives and reputations, clean their razor-sharp talons of the affair and scan the horizon for other victims like digital carrion birds.

Those folks that consistently hijack the desires to right long-term cultural wrongs, end up turning something good and righteous into these runaway movements that, through false narratives and paid hirelings (who on cue pose as victims to assist the attempt to destroy the current target), have bastardized and politicized years of hard work by good people to the point that they have almost become meaningless and are completely unrecognizable from their original purpose. Also, it seems today you can’t read or watch anything coming from the political left without hearing them accuse someone of being a racist, to the point that they have severely diluted the word as they bandy and fling the accusations about without cause or merit and often in a laughable way, that all they end up doing is jading the public to the point that if someone is justifiably accused of racism, it will not carry the weight or truth that it should. Americans are finally waking up and are beginning to turn a deaf ear to all these adulterations of the truth. You can only cry wolf so many times until folks begin to stop listening to you.



I was walking through a big box store today and saw an enormous TV…it was elephantine and appeared to reach to the sky. I don’t know the size of the screen, but it looked like it was 50 feet across. It wasn’t, of course, but as I walked past it I started thinking about how quickly we get used to the unordinary so it swiftly becomes ordinary, normal and unexciting. As I continued to think about it as I walked through the store, I recalled that when I was a young adult on my own for the first time I had very little. One of the things I owned was a little 13 inch television set that my parents had given me and it served me very well. At the time, a 25 inch set was considered huge and very few households had one that large.

Within a few years I was able to afford a larger television set and I happily graduated to a 19 inch table-top unit and I felt I was stepping in high cotton to obtain such a big tv. Man, that television set was gigantic compared to the little 13 inch set I used up to that point. When I acquired the 19 inch tv, the largest set generally available was a 27 inch model, but occasionally you would see ads for 32 inch televisions but they were much too expensive for most Americans to be able to afford. The only televisions available at this time were CRTs…cathode ray tube units that were deep as well as heavy…I think the 27 inch televisions weighed in around 50 to 60 pounds. If you had a 27 inch television set you had a very big piece of furniture (several years later I acquired a 32 inch television set and that monstrous tv was also monstrously heavy, weighing in at close to 90 pounds). Today the flat screen tvs are generally less than 4 inches deep, but decades ago when televisions had a cathode ray tube as the main component, these things were at least 2/3 as deep as the were wide. A 27 inch television would likely be 24 inches deep and would occupy floor space in the family room as a center piece of furniture. At some point I bought a 25 inch set and I remember watching it and wondering how I was able to watch anything on that little 13 inch set and at that point after getting used to the additional 6 inches of viewing area, the 19 inch television seemed small to me also.

Fast forward to twelve years ago and as I unboxed and plugged in my first flat screen tv that was an astounding 42 inches diagonal I was completely blown away and awe-struck at the size of it. Today we enjoy super sharp images on a 60 inch unit and when I saw a 42 inch television set the other day, it looked so, so small. If I were to build a room that had a wall large enough to fit a 100 inch screen onto, I’m sure that I would look back on the puny little 60 inch screen and wonder how I was able to watch anything on that seemingly minuscule surface.

So, today have we come full circle? I see the younger generation watching movies and gaming on a screen they hold in their palm while those of my era seem to want to bring the stadium jumbo-trons into their homes. Is it all perspective, or could it be something else? Up until I was 35, I could watch a honeybee’s path in the sky as it flew across a field, but today? No, I have to have glasses to read a book and I lose sight of the honeybees after a few feet. It could be that those of us with failing eyesight compensate with larger and larger screen, but after a short while even those screen don’t seem so large anymore…so I think it is a combination of both…age and perspective.


(I mentioned the weight of that 32 inch tv. When I got my first flat screen, nobody wanted CRTs and I eventually was able to give it away. The guy that came to take it off my hands was a big guy that arrived in a tiny car that was leaning to port (left) as he drove up. We struggled, sweated, cursed and stumbled but were finally able to shoe-horn that thing into the passenger side of his roller skate, which left him hanging out the driver window. As he drove away the car was no longer leaning to port, but it was squatting very low to the ground…he would have been right at home in East LA…)

On a side note, When I was younger, I kept the 19 inch television set for several years and as a bachelor, I often would lie on the couch on my side watching tv…so even though the TV had a horizontal aspect sitting on the shelf, my eyes were positioned vertically when I would lie on my side. I started wondering why the television shows looked normal with the difference in aspect…the set being on a horizontal plane and my eyes on a vertical plane, so I decided to experiment and I turned the television set onto its side so the tv and my eyes were on the same plane. That was so weird…I tried to watch the shows from this angle for a few nights and it was so unsettling watching the cowboys on their horses seemingly galloping straight up and straight down a grassy wall that I couldn’t concentrate and had to right the tv back to the proper perspective. So even though I was turned sideways watching a television set sitting on a shelf, my brain compensated for it to the point that when they were both vertically aligned, my brain was still viewing the tv set as horizontal, throwing everything off…strange…


In the last several decades I have seen an extreme change in the culture of America. Thirty years ago the majority of Americans were still somewhat shocked to see open nudity, overt sexual acts and debauchery in the visual, audio and print media. Americans still expected their elected officials to be morally upstanding and they expected the newspapers and news media to be fair, unbiased and correct.

Don’t get me wrong, the eighties were raunchy and decadent enough, but it seems after that decade drew its last breath, it became open season on respect and morality as open nudity, sexual acts and debasing subjects became more and more frequent. The media accelerated its campaign to make people feel personally responsible and guilty for “judging others” that were different from themselves, while movies and television shows depicting perverted church leaders and religious extremists nutjobs seemed to explode onto the scene with the protagonists emerging as a kind, non-judgmental hero that seems to protect us from these wacko extremists. It has continued to worsen to the point where Christians are no longer considered members of the mainstream and the current generation of ideologues and leaders are emerging from the indoctrination centers we used to call public schools and universities with the attitude that there is no right and wrong, there is no moral compass we need to follow, biology is simply a fading fad and anyone that doesn’t readily accept and embrace the new “civil rights” issue called the LBGHQXYZ movement should be either jailed, expelled or cursed and spat upon.

To see our current society treat Christians as bullies, thugs, weirdos or criminals causes a certain amount of anxiety for me. However, I refuse to play ball with them, so to speak, and I cope with this pervasive insanity in this way: I have stopped watching the news and I have stopped listening to the daily rants of the left. Instead I concentrate on the things in life that make me happy and serene. I also have begun to read or listen (read with my ears) to the bible more frequently so to arm myself against the times I will need to confront the antagonists that look on me as a bully, thug or weirdo. Many of the people that rant and rave and wave their fists about cannot be reasoned with for they seem to believe anyone with an opposing idea to their government supported agenda is already committing a “hate” crime by simply not agreeing with them…but there are some that can be reasoned with. I feel the only way we can effectively communicate with those who do not share our views or values is to make sure we do not attack them, but to communicate love and kindness toward them for we are to love them, even though we hate their sin.

Jim Bussell


Throughout my life, I have read striking novels and seen dramatic movies where a character is placed in an impossible situation and asked the question, “would you die for him?”. About the only people I can think of that would unhesitatingly answer “Yes!” to that question are parents. Of course, I hope none of us will ever be faced with such a horrific and odious decision as long as we exist upon this fair earth. However, several decades ago, my mother came close to forfeiting her life for me as I was entering the world for the first time and even that was just a portion of the love she exhibited toward her children as she ceaselessly dedicated her life to my sisters and I as we grew, and continues to do so to this day.

The earliest memories I have of life are predominately ill-defined images, but the early memories I have of my mother are crisp, clear and precise. The birthing process that allowed me to start the mystical journey we call life was only the precursory step I took with my mother. Whenever I was ill, frightened, in anguish, sad, joyous or proud, my mother was there by my side. She was there to give me succor, relief, a kind word or perhaps, simply silent encouragement. She seemed to always be there to share in my accomplishments as well as my tears. I still recall the words to the first songs I remember hearing. Those songs came from my mother’s lips as she would sing to me as I sat in her lap as she rocked me or at bedtime as she soothingly bathed me with her sweet, melodious voice while stroking my hair as my eyes grew heavy from the sandman’s visit after a busy day at play.

She also read to me as a child, opening up countless vistas of exploration of the world, the the universe and life as she would bless me with her words from children’s books, classic literature, stories from the scriptures and more as she attempted to instill in me the lessons learned from all those fantastic pages. She taught me practical lessons also. For instance she taught me to read, write and to count before I was old enough to go to school. She directed and educated me to be functional as I learned how to cook, sew garden and to fix things around the home. My mother did all this and more while suffering from ill health…for the first ten years of my life, she was in and out of the hospital while battling several anomalies including anemia and severe, lingering complications from a difficult, almost deadly, childbirth…yet, I never heard her moan, complain or cry and at no time did she mention her problems, instead she chose to concentrate on the positive aspects of life. Critical and essential lessons such as kindness, honesty, giving, sharing and personal responsibility were not only taught to me by mouth, but more importantly, she drove home all these lessons daily by her life and actions.

Growing up I considered myself a model child, but the factual reality is I caused my mother an endless assortment of agonies and woes, probably on a daily basis, but she continually opened her heart and poured out her love upon me as if I actually were a model child, instead of the hellion I most likely was. Even though I can’t at the moment recall any specific instances, I’m sure I was the source of a joy or two to my mother growing up, but even if I weren’t, I could never tell by her words or actions toward me.

Today my mother is in her seventies and she has had the pleasure of watching my sisters grow and develop, becoming loving mothers and wives themselves. She has also watched me grow into adulthood with children of my own and I can only hope and strive to be able to teach and instill at least a portion of the lessons the she taught me so well all those many years ago. Though I have not been as successful as an adult on the home front as my sisters, you could never tell, for my mother still demonstrates to me daily that she loves just as much as the day I was born…I love you Momma.

1998 written under the pseudonym, Richard Corey


Both of my parents passed away peacefully in their home in the autumn of 2013, three months apart at the ages of ninety years for my mother while my father enjoyed ninety-two fruitful years. My father had been a successful business man, neighbor and WWII veteran and was well known and respected in the community, while my mother dedicated her life to her children and husband. Really, for her, the only thing that could be considered work outside of her home, was as a Sunday school teacher in their church, a role that she enjoyed for over fifty years, only stepping down and passing the mantle of responsibility for the children’s religious education to others while in the eighth decade of her absolved life, when she reluctantly acknowledged she was becoming too old to continue effectively.

During my parents funerals, I earnestly anticipated many people would come to pay their respects to my father, as he had been very well known in our community, and I was not disappointed, as a generous number of folks came to pay their respect to my father and his memory that he had shared with so many. However, what stunned me and caused me to revisit and re-evaluate my thought process on roles in life, was the enormous turnout for my mother’s visitation and funeral. Hundreds of people from several states came to pay their respects to “Miss Mable”, a person that they remembered as a role model and leader and teacher during the formative years of their young lives…memories that stuck with them for decades following as they grew into adults themselves.

As I had mentioned earlier, my sisters and I were unexpectedly surprised when we saw that there were almost double the amount of condolers and well-wishers that came forward to eulogize my mother, as well as to console and provide empathy to us, than attended my father’s funeral, and as I reflect and look rearward, I fully understand that this in no way, demeans the impact my father had on those he touched in his long life, rather it celebrates the gigantic impact my mother had on the all the children she loving educated and nourished, giving each one of them a small portion of the love she gave to my sisters and I every day until she passed. In retrospect, I feel my parents celebrated life as fully as they could and the most paramount and significant legacy they have left everyone was the life lessons they taught us just simply by the way they lived.

Jim Bussell


“and the days dwindle down to a precious few…”

Frank Sinatra

It seems to become more apparent every time I open a statement from an insurance company, that they are blatantly becoming more fearless about raising their consumer rates, often from one statement to the next. In the not too distant past insurance companies would employ surreptitious and covert techniques in raising their rates, to the point we almost had to compare statements to even detect their ploy. They are still fluidly sleek and shark-like in their approach, but now they are completely and overtly informing us of the fact they are, once again, going to be dipping their hands into our wallets (or at least my insurance carrier is).

For example, I received a birthday card from my insurer a few days before my last birthday, which I thought was a nice touch. Their card had a nice, genteel look to it as had all the others I had received over the years…only this card was a little different. Inside was a poem instead of the expected generic greeting that I had come to envisage from my insurance carrier.

It goes as follows:

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you. I hope it’s great one, you know that I do.

   Now that I have that out of the way, I’m raising your rates, effective today.

I’ve done you a service, (I’m sure you won’t mind) By installing a siphon from your bank to mine.

Hard monthly payments and nasty old cash. Won’t worry you now, there’s no time for that.

You’re no longer young, life’s passing you by. So stop by and thank me, before you die.

All at once I was sunned, mortified and flabbergasted, by their audacity and boldness, then I sat back and slowly started to realize that they are no different than most any other company that I deal with today. I suppose, what really bothers me about this whole episode, is that they are forcing me to acknowledge the reality that I am getting older. If they hadn’t been so bloody audacious about it all, I possibly could have gone on several more years pretending that death’s winged chariot is not breezing past my front window on a slowly increasing schedule, and that I am still a young, virile, strong twenty-something year old, instead of the old geezer I am swiftly becoming.

It was a nice card though, I have to say.

1998, newspaper article written under the pseudonym Richard Corey