Sunday, June 25, 2017


On June 25, 1876,  Lakota Native Americans, along with members of the Arapaho and Northern Cheyenne tribes, were defending their land at a site in the then Montana Territory now known as the the Battle of The Little Big Horn.  To the Lakota and other Plains tribes, the subsequent encounter there is known as the Battle of The Greasy Grass.   The battle was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876.

Back in the Dark Ages, when I was a fifth grader, my teacher Mrs. Mossbarger actually said that Custer was a hero.  I spoke up and said that Sitting Bull was the real hero of the Battle Of The Little Big Horn because Sitting Bull was defending HIS land.  We had never been exposed to other Native American heroes such as Crazy Horse and Chief Gall.

I was taken to the Principal's office, where the Principal telephoned my mother and told her that the teacher thought that I should be expelled for being "disrespectful";  Mother defended my right to have my own opinion and that she agreed with me.  Albeit mortified, I was allowed to return to class.  For the remainder of the year, I suffered retribution of various kinds from the mean-spirited teacher.

When I went home that afternoon I felt especially triumphant, only to be met with my mother's remonstrances:  "Why are you always getting into trouble?  What do you know from Indians?" I wailed, "But you told them I was RIGHT and that you AGREED with me!"  She answered, "Of course I would tell THEM that you're right!"

That tells everything you need to know about my mother and loyalty.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


At one of my management positions, the company employed an assiduous Private Investigator who was sedulous in ferreting out and proving fraud by employees claiming Workers Compensation for alleged accidents and other fraudulent claims.  We worked closely together on numerous occasions and I oftentimes said that he had an automatic "BS DETECTOR";  I guess I could have used the euphemism MALE BOVINE FECAL MATTER DETECTOR!

One case involved a woman named Amanda who had claimed a back injury and was receiving medical care and Workers Compensation.  One day, I went into the women's restroom at work, and as I was in a stall, I heard a voice say, very sotto voce, "I thought you should know that Mandy is working under the table at her step-father's car dealership in Urbana."  I did not know the identity of the whisperer but I hurried back to the office and called the P.I. and he said, "I'll have to check all the dealers in Urbana to try to figure out which one."  I said, "Maybe her personnel file would have her mother's married name as her next of kin and we could find out that way."  I went to Human Resources and voila; there was Mandy's mama's name on her application.  The P.I. said, "You just saved your Company money by thinking of that;  you should be a P.I. in another life!"

When the P.I. went to the dealership, he wore his arm in a sling.  He told Mandy that he wanted to test-drive a car, and he asked her to do the driving, lift up the hood, show him the spare tire, etc.;  all of the activities were prohibited by the restrictions for her alleged injury.   Of course she was unaware that she was being filmed and recorded.

Not only was she charged with committing fraud to the company and Workers Compensation, but she was also reported for not claiming her under-the-table income from her step-father. 

She never knew what had transpired until her hearing and she actually said, "This isn't fair, it's entrapment." Afterwards, the P.I. said to me, "She watched too many TV shows, didn't she?"

After leaving that company, I recommended him and his company whenever I was involved with resolving suspicious claims at my other places of employment.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Anthroponymy is the term for choosing names.

Especially interesting to me are "reduplicated names":

I know a Lewis Lewis.  I wondered, "Of all the names in the world, they chose Lewis as his first name!"

I know a Beverly Beverly.

I know three people named Jesse James (one pictured--LOL)

Evans Evans, an American actress

Fei Fei, an Asian actress

Lisa Lisa, an American singer

Sylvain Sylvain, an American guitarist

Thomas Thomas, a science fiction writer

Helle Helle, Danish author

Wilson Wilson, American actor (the next-door neighbor, always behind the fence, on Home Improvement)

My brother just interjected, "How about Sirhan Sirhan?"

Some examples of WTH were the parents thinking?:  

DWARD FARQUAHR was Dody Goodman's dance teacher in Columbus, OH and she would talk about him with Jack Paar on The Tonight Show. 

Dick Sweat was a NH congressman

Ron Tugnutt (former NHL player)

Andy Friese (another race car driver)

Dick Trickle, NASCAR driver (pictured)

Candace was a very popular name some forty years ago:  Gerald's niece's name is Penelope Candace--they wanted to call her Penny Candy! (WHY do people name a child and then say, "We named him/her that so we can call him/her...": some NICKNAME? Why don't they just name the child the name they are going to call them?)

My sister-in-law had a cousin whose last name was BARR; she ALMOST named her daughter Candace; fortunately, my sister-in-law advised her that the child would inevitably be nicknamed by somebody as Candy and she would live as Candy Barr;  fortunately, she chose another name.

Scarlet Ann Gray: to my knowledge, she was featured in the The Columbus Dispatch three different times:

1. When she was born--her father claimed to be the world's biggest Ohio State University fan.

2. When she started college--at THE Ohio State University.

3. When she married--I bet she was glad to change her name.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


In yesterday's blog, I wrote about the death of Andrew Goodman, who along with Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, was murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi on June 21, 1964.

My Mantelpiece A Memoir Of Survival And Social Justice was written by Dr. Carolyn Goodman, the mother of Andy Goodman.  The book is a wrenching story of dealing with the murder of her son and the continuing fight for social justice.  With her, I still grieve for "what might have been" and mourn the loss of those heroes of the struggle for civil rights.

After Andy's death, Dr. Goodman and Andy's father Robert Goodman, created The
Andrew Goodman Foundation. To quote from the book: "The Foundation was created to carry on the spirit and purpose of Andy's life, with the vision that every person will take action to create a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. The Foundation empowers the next generation to initiate and sustain social action, enabling leaders and their communities to flourish by operating and investing in programs that advance civic engagement and intergenerational coalitions."

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


November 23, 1943--June 21, 1964

"HE TRAVELED A SHORT WHILE TOWARDS THE SUN AND LEFT THE VIVID AIR SIGNED WITH HIS HONOR"--from Andrew Goodman's tombstone (paraphrasing a quote from Stephen Spender's poem,  I Think Of Those Who Are Truly Great)

Andrew Goodman (photo above) was born on November 23, 1943, in New York City and was reared on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the second of three sons of Robert and Carolyn Goodman and brother to David and Jonathan. The Goodmans were an intellectual family committed to progressive activism and social justice. They believed in "doing well by doing good";  Andy was an activist from the age of fifteen; he graduated from the progressive Walden School which was known for its anti-authoritarian approach to learning. While a sophomore at Walden, Goodman traveled to Washington D.C., to participate in the "Youth March For Integrated Schools" and as a senior, he and a friend visited a depressed coal mining region in West Virginia to prepare a report on poverty in the United States. He interviewed Jackie Robinson, one of his heroes.

Goodman attended the Honors Program at University of Wisconsin--Madison, for a semester but withdrew after falling ill with pneumonia. He transferred to Queens College, New York City, partly because of its strong drama department. With his brief experience as an off-Broadway actor, he originally planned to study drama, but switched to anthropology.

In April, 1964, he applied for and was accepted into the Mississippi Summer Project. He volunteered, along with Michael Schwerner, to work as part of "Freedom Summer", a CORE (Congress Of Racial Equality) project to register blacks to vote in Mississippi. Having protested U.S. President Lyndon Johnson's presence at that year's World's Fair, Goodman then left for training at the Western College For Women (now part of Miami University) in Oxford, OH. In June, Schwerner and Goodman were sent to Mississippi to begin registering blacks to vote.

On the night of June 20, 1964, the two reached Meridian, Mississippi, where Schwerner (photo left) was designated to be the head of the field office. There they joined with James Earl Chaney, a black man who was also a civil rights activist. On the morning of June 21, 1964, the three set out for Philadelphia, Mississippi, in Neshoba County, where they were to investigate the recent burning of a local black church, the Mount Zion Methodist Church, which had been designated as a site for the Freedom School for education and voter registration.

The three were initially arrested by Deputy Cecil Price for allegedly driving 35 miles over the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit. The three were taken to the jail in Neshoba County where Chaney (photo left) was booked for speeding, while Goodman and Schwerner were booked "for investigation".

After Chaney was fined $20, the three men were released and told to leave the county. Price followed them on State Route 19 to the county line, then turned around at approximately 10:30 p.m. On their way back to Meridian, they were stopped by two carloads of KKK members on a remote rural road. The men approached their car and then shot and killed Schwerner, followed by Goodman, and finally Chaney.

Eventually the Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff and conspirators were convicted by Federal prosecutors of civil rights violations but were never convicted of murder. The case formed the basis of a made-for-television movie Attack On Terror:  the FBI vs. The Ku Klux Klan" and the feature film Mississippi Burning.

On September 14, 2004, the Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood announced that he was gathering evidence for a charge of murder and intended to take the case to a Grand Jury. On January 7, 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was arrested and later found guilty of three counts of manslaughter--not murder--on June 21, 2005, exactly 41 years to the day after the murders. Killen, then age 80, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Andy's parents, Robert and Carolyn Goodman, set up the Andrew Goodman Foundation in 1966. The mission of the Foundation is "to recognize, encourage and inspire creative and effective local and individual action in support of civil rights, human dignity and social justice". Visit

Goodman Mountain, a 2,176 foot peak in the Adirondack Mountain town of Tupper Lake, NY, where Andy Goodman and his family spent many of their summers, is named in Andy Goodman's memory.

New York City named "Freedom Place" a four-block stretch in Manhattan's Upper West Side, in honor of Goodman. A plaque on 70th and West End Avenues tells his story.

Queens College has a memorial to honor Andy Goodman. The day of his murder is acknowledged each year on campus and the clock tower of the campus library is dedicated to Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner.

The Walden School, at 88th Street and Central Park West, named its middle and upper school building in honor of Goodman's memory. The Trevor Day School now occupies the building and has maintained their building's name as the Andrew Goodman Building.

An outdoor memorial theater exists at Miami University in Oxford, OH, dedicated to the Freedom Summer alums. Miami University's now defunct Western College for Women, also included historical lectures about Freedom Summer.

Those Three Are On My Mind was written by Pete Seeger to commemorate the three victims.

The Simon and Garfunkel song, He Was My Brother was dedicated to Goodman. Paul Simon had been a classmate of Goodman at Queens College.

To hear He Was My Brother,  click on the arrow below.

Andy lives forever in the hearts of his family and friends.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Gerald and I saw a perfect rainbow tonight, but unfortunately he did not have his camera with him and missed the opportunity to capture the exquisite image.  By the time we arrived home, the rainbow had vanished.

I now wish I had listened to the salesman when I purchased the new cell phone--a so-called "smart phone"-- as he was explaining about the camera application. I don't do well taking pictures so I wasn't interested in learning how to use the camera function. Now I wish I had!

At home I told my brother about seeing that perfect rainbow and I compared it to the thrill of seeing seadog formations.  I have seen a seadog formation only twice.  Each time it occurred, it was during foggy and warm mornings when I saw the faint rainbow-like formations; the sunlight reflects in the fog droplets and it produces a ghostly, whitish rainbow.

Seadog formations are also called fogbows, mistbows, and white rainbows.

When I said "seadog formation", my brother asked, "You mean they have those old Navy guys marching?"