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Archive for August, 2015

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The following is from the final chapter, Reminiscences, of John We Hardly Knew Ye, Memories of John F. Kennedy, by Kenny O’Donnell, David Powers and Joe McCarthy.

In the video clip below, what stands out to us as especially compelling is the President’s statement, “…in the absence of an economic crisis today…”, describing that in his view, while even as the then-present US economic state was strong, he recommended across-the-board tax cuts to bolster the economy even further. It is significant, too, to note his optimistic expectation: this move will result in an “…immediate and permanent benefit to our economy…”

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Kennedy Economics JWHKY page 469

Watch:

Kennedy Economics

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About Walter Heller. It should be noted that while Kennedy’s efforts in economic strengthening were guided largely by Heller and were largely successful, Heller was at the same time an economic philosophy opponent of Milton Friedman. Watch this interesting interview of Friedman by William F. Buckley on his program, Firing Line.

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BONUS ITEM

Here’s a fascinating item, President Kennedy’s speech, The President and the Press. This is a condensed version. Listen and consider. Go here to the JFK library audio collection for the full version.

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Yes, we’ve got a long way to go yet in the 2016 Presidential race, but here’s where it all stands right now, according to AAH.

(Each image in this article is linked to its original publication. Click on the image to get another perspective)

Donald Trump arrives to his Comedy Central Roast in New York, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Donald Trump arrives to his Comedy Central Roast in New York, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

What most of us wrestle with, and what most of us don’t realize, is that we live between intellectual judgment and emotion. We too frequently blur the lines separating them, and often the result is we make decisions based on how we feel rather than what we think. I believe this is largely what happened in electing Barak Obama twice. I suspect that this same phenomenon is propelling Donald Trump this early in the pre-primary season. And he is striking a chord that none of the other GOP candidates are striking. For the long-term, I don’t think the others really need to . . . yet. But it has long been a theme in American presidential politics that we have looked for the greater intangibles – those that appeal to our first impressions, our gut. We do look for that person who can speak to the highest ideals; down in the weeds policy specifics do not always reign supreme. Certainly not early on.

At this very early point in the presidential campaign, it’s all about passion.

It has been said of John F. Kennedy that for his lack of executive experience, he very rapidly and confidently grew in to his role as the most powerful, influential – and inspiring – leader in the world.

As for experience and so-called qualifications, there was little-to-no, really, in hard and long –fought, long and indisputably established accomplishment demonstrated by either Obama or Kennedy, and granted, Obama brought with and in himself additional unique aspects to-date not experienced in the American political scene. It was Robert Kennedy that said almost exactly 40 years to the day before, that a black man would be elected to the White House. Clearly, it was perfecting timing for Barak Obama. And to go up against the Old White-haired White Guy and then the Stiff Rich White Guy, all the more perfect.

But today there is another force at work – one which seems to be swinging from the far opposite side; one of plain, straight talk and of a directness not experienced in our present political and cultural climate, but one which appears to be welling from deep ground waters of discontent and disillusionment. It’s a backlash. It’s passion. It is raw, deliberate and unapologetic, uncensored passion coming from Donald Trump, and it seems it is what many Americans have been thinking and feeling for some time.

The tricky thing about emotions is that they subside. They are a transitory thing, often excited by particular and short-lived events. Not always, certainly, but commonly. With 14 months to go before the general election, and even only 5 months to go before the first primary, much will change. At a minimum, Trump is laying the groundwork for the eventual Republican nominee, regardless who it turns out to be.

So, in the meantime, here’s AAHs 14 months-out analysis of where it all stands. Call it prophecy, call it heresy, call it ill-informed. Call it prescient or call it foolishness. Call it biased. But just remember: I told you so.

Hillary Clinton

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The Democrats

Hillary Clinton will not be the Democrat nominee, and the GOP will win the White House.

The one act that will become, over all else, Obama’s most memorable act and ultimately his legacy – his final and most significant act – will be the pardon of Hillary Clinton. She will go the way of other tragic politicians, and as it goes, it will get ugly and fascinating. Think of just two of too many examples: Dan Rostenkowski and James Traficant; think of too many Illinois governors – except she will not serve time in prison. She will be pardoned after indictment, and she will quietly, defiantly go home and back to her speaking tour where she will explain it all to the true believers, and she’ll make her gazillions on the speaking circuit and she’ll be fine. Nixon recovered to the extent he did, and at least in some circles, he became the Elder Statesman. She will refind and rebuild her way. But she will not be President and she will never hold public office again.

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Bernie Sanders. We’re not ready for socialism in the White House. Plain and simple. Not even his True Believers. Ultimately, he is fringe and his to-the-end supporters are fringe and there are not enough of them. He will syphon off some number, and that’s about it. He’ll get to make his statement, then he’ll go back to Capitol Hill, or maybe home. He gets 100 points for being up front and proud of what he believes, but he loses 100 points for being a socialist and another 100 points for being crazy-wrong. Bottom line? Not on this continent, Bub.

Joe Biden, paraphrased (but not much)

biden_double_guns_AP

“. . .Get a shotgun and shoot it off the balcony. . .” Sorta like Saddam Hussein used to do.

“You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. . . I’m not joking.”

“This is a Big F******* Deal. . .” – TO THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. Oops. Hot mike.

“Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president . . .”

“. . .They gonna putch’all back in chains. . .”

And those are just the ones that occur to me and that I could find this instant. There are, thankfully, many, many more. Bottom line on the possibility that Joe Biden takes Hillary’s place and seeks the nomination? OMG, I hope so.
Want more? Check them out right here.

The rest of the Dems

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Sadly, Jim Webb is not getting any traction. He should have all the traction. If I were to choose to vote for a Democrat and I did not have Evan Bayh or Sam Nunn or Harold Ford, Jr. in the mix, I would choose Jim Webb. Maybe Martin O’Malley. But somehow, the Dems apparently are happier with the old and tired, white-haired, troubled and controversial; the familiar Let’s-go-back-20 years-and-do-it all-again-program. Wow. Really?

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley addresses members of the Maryland House of Delegates on the first day of the 2013 legislative session in Annapolis, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Standing behind O'Malley is House Speaker Michael Busch. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley addresses members of the Maryland House of Delegates on the first day of the 2013 legislative session in Annapolis, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Standing behind O’Malley is House Speaker Michael Busch. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The truth is, far and away, Webb should be the Democrat’s number one choice. He would give any one of the GOP candidates a serious run for their money. I am truly mystified on this one. Except I really do know why: He’s too moderate.

Well, and we all know, and as the electorate taught the Repubs in 2008 and 2012, you get what you pay for. For 2016, I’ll give the Dems a hint: You’re not paying for very much at this point, and it appears you’re not willing to pay much next year. Could change, but I doubt it.

O’Malley ought to be in a close second to Webb. I don’t even want to talk about Chaffee and Warren. And there’s no need. As it stands, I cannot say that the Democrats are serious about winning.

Al Gore or anyone else? No.

The blaring, glaring question is obvious: Is this really the best you’ve got?

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The Republicans – The New Team of Rivals

(Thank you, Doris Kearns-Goodwin)

In short, I am biased heavily. I am deeply impressed with the size and depth of the field to-date. Having said that:

UNITED STATES - MARCH 16:  Dr. Ben Carson during the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center at National Harbor, Md., on Saturday, March 16, 2013. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

UNITED STATES – MARCH 16: Dr. Ben Carson during the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center at National Harbor, Md., on Saturday, March 16, 2013. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Dr. Ben Carson. As wonderful and as capable as Dr. Carson is, he will not be president. Not for lack of all the most important things; this is strictly and only because of his lack of forceful, bold personality. For better or worse, and probably worse, we vote very much on gut and first impression. We live and decide by it. I hope he is selected for a cabinet position.

Donald Trump is generating passion far and above anyone else. He is striking an emotional and volatile chord in a huge number of Americans. He is redefining Presidential Politics… at least for this cycle. But 14 months is a long time in this business, and the pundits all say he will not go far. But seeing is believing, and there is no question he is developing, refining with each day that passes. It appears he intends to stay. I am not holding my breath, but I am not breathing easy, either.

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Jeb Bush, qualified or not, big money support or not, is disappointing many straight down the middle Republicans. But he is likely to demonstrate staying power over the longer run. Still, warranted or not, he is, just by virtue of his name, of the Old Guard, and similar to Clinton, his name reaches too far back in history, a perspective widely held, justified or not. Some will say this is unfair, and perhaps it is. But if elected can he do it well? Of course. It just may not matter. (Reference again James Webb.)

For these and everyone else, suppose the true test were to be a combination of executive experience, the ultimate intangible measure, exhibited in strength of character and personality, the mysterious aura of one who is Presidential (we just know it when we see it); and hard qualifications such as a degree in law or economics or business, or significant experience as a legislator or a business person or both. Who can do it, and do it to the satisfaction of the majority of the country?

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Walker: Possibly-Yes. There is more to life (and performance) than holding a degree. While he’s proven he can achieve respectable success in the midst of significant opposition, high taxes in Wisconsin will be a source of difficulty when the going gets rough.

Christie: Maybe-to-Doubtful, because 1) while he is presently eclipsed by Donald Trump in his ability to be overly blunt, he runs the risk of personality backfire, and 2) though not legitimate, the bridge so-called scandal and high New Jersey taxes may dog him as it will for Walker as low-hanging fruit for the Dems and his rivals.

chris

Pataki, Huckabee and Kasich: Yes, each highly capable and accomplished. But in the end, they will be the last three standing Old White Guys in the room. And according to the Obama election rules, this alone will usher them out.

Paul: No – too quirky, too Libertarian, too much like his Old Man. Too many button-down collars, too. Only a straight collar is presidential. He should know this but apparently doesn’t.

Gilmore, Santorum, Graham: No. And for the longer list of possibles. . . yes, the list is even longer than any of us could have imagined. . . Check it out here.

Fiorina: Yes. No worries about her, no other comments required; full confidence. Just can’t wait to hear her clean up in the CNN debates… if she is given the chance she clearly deserves. Dying to see her head-to-head with Hillary. Still, for some set of poor reasons, the GOP electorate will likely not choose her. Too bad.

Carly_Fiorina_16669797001

Perry: Yes. Yet one more highly experienced governor from Texas – hard to beat, and the only candidate with military experience (and a fighter pilot to boot), still a big plus in my book. But somehow, he does not stir the hearts of voters broadly, and already his funding is flagging. To continue to harken back to his moment of forgetfulness four years ago or to critique his glasses are illegitimate, but effective nevertheless. He will leave early.

Jindal: Yes, and another very well-experienced governor. But just as the appalling and wrong-headed discrimination and suspicion against Romney factored because he is a Mormon, too many will silently and irrationally be racist against him as an Indian. They won’t say it, but they’ll do it.

Cruz: Yes, maybe. He has a fair chance at the nomination. If he gets it, he will bloom as a firebrand for conservatism. But by some segment of his personality, he will exude an ever-so slight level of negativism, different than Trump, and it will become a point of criticism. Ultimately, he will have to convince us of and demonstrate his ability to bring the country together, something he has had difficulty with in the Senate. This problem in particular and by comparison, Marco Rubio does not have.

rubio-marco

Rubio: Yes. Ultimately, if the Primaries show that Trump will not continue as a Republican and he does not run on as an Independent or Trumpian (reference Bill O’Reilly), which is as of yet a real threat to the GOP, Marco Rubio has “all that”: The ability, the personality, the character, the vigor, energy, and vision of youth, and the positive manner, among other less tangible measures, but those which are real to voters. He has all that Obama (and Kennedy) brought into the Oval Office with respect to experience in the Senate, and he has an impressive sense of pace and timing. He will be seen more and more as the clear stand out with the poise and demeanor of a President, even-keeled and yet exuding the passion and producing the stirring rhetoric American voters are seeking.

And finally, all the more to his credit, whether or not one agrees with him, he had deeply developed policy positions that he comfortably and convincingly articulates. He is prepared. He will “come into his own” more and more and forcefully through the Primaries.

Bottom Line: We predict Marco Rubio to be the GOP nominee and to win the White House. The only remaining question will be – Will he form a New Team of Rivals in a similar way to Lincoln? We shall see.

Geo Will Predicts

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The Habit of Return

This first image is entitled The Habit of Return. It is a family tree of sorts. The book in which it is found in fact describes it just that way. Its origin is with a single person, and in this example, with a case number assigned. It is almost 70 years old. Today, we describe this in terms of how a business can grow through referrals.

I believe the single most important aspect of referrals – the thing that defines the word referral – is relationship. Personal relationships.

It literally blooms with one connection – or most importantly for the point – a single referral. A single relationship. If we are honest and sincere, provide a desired and quality product, work with integrity, dedication and commitment, and place the needs of others – including our clients – before our own personal goals, focusing on our mission, we will likely be highly successful. And happy in what we do and more importantly – why we do it.

And sure, success may be defined in part to include financial success, but there is more to life than just money. Lord sakes, I don’t want to talk about money. If that’s all you want, go read somebody else’s jibber-jabber. This is about life.

This image, and the one below are from How to Succeed in Optometry, by Ralph Barstow, Illinois College of Optometry Press, 1948, a book once owned by my father and grandfather, both optometrists in private practice – and so, independent businessmen.

I continue to consider how this might translate to the efforts, trials and rewards associated with the risks that small business creators and owners face even today. Yes, I am happy to be self-employed, like my father and grandfather before me.

Private Practice vs Commercial Mockery

I recently heard a radio ad from a local home repair and improvement provider, a business that bears a family name, but which now advertises that (paraphrased] “we don’t use subcontractors; we hire employees.” This was apparently designed to not only instill confidence in potential customers – a good thing, but also to effectively denigrate subcontractors – a bad thing; to disqualify the “farming out” or subcontracting of particular jobs dependent upon specific areas of expertise.

I take issue with this tactic, especially in light if the fact this very business themselves began small. Just like the many millions of small, independent contractors – subcontractors – that make up the vast majority of businesses in the United States. This is the very thing – the very ambitious activity that made and still makes our country great, even exceptional.

The truth is, contractors, subcontractors – very small businesses – are what make it all work. They are the ones who make it happen and get it done. Every day.

Sure, it’s just a marketing scheme on their part. But what a poorly executed, hurtful and selfish – and FORGETFUL – and so, shameful act of betrayal to all they really know. Small business – which that company still is, after all – is what makes our economy go, and what makes the world go round.

I will never apologize for being or using a small, independent business or contractor. If anyone asks what really makes our economy work, and what makes our families and towns and our individual pride and expertise and productivity soar, you can tell them: Small Business. And yes, that means independent contractors. The Little Guy.

Go Little Guy, go. Stretch. Take a risk. Grow, build and become.

And as for the rest of us, let’s hire them.

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I know a Guy …

Here’s a brief list of just a handful of people I know – Hoosiers – who took a risk, stretched out on their own, chose to become independent business creators and owners, and in the process, have made important contributions to their hometowns and the world.

* …who tried college, found it wasn’t a good fit, went into construction building swimming pools, then eventually created his own custom building business as a carpenter. Is now a well-known, respected and sought-after contractor-builder.

* …who started college far from home; even had a golf scholarship, but wasn’t ready. Went back home to try his hand in several businesses, eventually went back to college when he was really ready, and now owns a very successful business meeting needs and solving problems for his clients and taking care of his family – everyday.

* …who worked at my grandparent’s farm as a laborer, alongside me, cutting grass, raking, painting, cleaning, well into adulthood when he was struggling with health and financial issues and trying to find his place in life (and always with a wonderfully positive and thankful attitude and great smile). Finally found his niche as a bar and restaurant manager, and then a restaurant owner. He became one of the best known and highly respected restaurateurs with multiple successful ventures, and more importantly – loved and respected by thousands. He is gone now, but his businesses from hard work, dedication and many other virtues, remain.

* …who was the brother of the previous guy. He went off to college and went away to the “big city” where he created a great career in the financial industry. Like another, above, he could have taken his talent, money and experience and gone anywhere. Instead, he went home. He picked up where his brother left off, invested, even bought an historic property and brought it back to usefulness and prominence. He has made a huge impact in his community.

* …Actually several women and men who have struck out on their own to become specialty bakery owners, specialty clothing shop owners, bookshop owners, apartment building owners and property managers. I know a gentleman who chose to leave a private medical practice and purchase a farm implement business.

* … who either could not or chose not to go to college; perhaps never even considered it. Started his own trucking business. He now has a fleet of trucks and employees. But more importantly, remains married to his high school sweetheart, has a solid family, and enjoys the security and confidence a strong business can bring.

* … who started out by working as a dental technician – making dentures. (Apologies… no doubt I have terminology wrong). Eventually struck out to start his own practice. Enjoyed it – very important – and worked hard enough and smart enough for long enough that he could sell it and retire early. He spends most of his time now close to his two grown daughters and his grandchildren.

* … who could have chosen to teach English like his father. Could have moved away like his siblings. Was – is – bright enough to be surgeon if he had wanted that. But chose law school, then to heap stress to challenge, returned to his home town to start his own practice. He is successful, practicing with his wife, and spends more time talking about enjoying family and the outdoors life and running – things he has loved since a boy, and I have been privileged and blessed to enjoy those latter two indulgences with him for nearly forty years.

* …several guys who have really stuck their necks out and headed for Nashville. They write music, play, tour and record, and have done it professionally for many years, and have found real success. Maybe most importantly, they have found their own personal niche in life.

… And these are just a very few – all Hoosiers, by the way – I happen to know personally. And I haven’t even mentioned so many we all know in farming – the independent businesses owner-operators who feed us.

Look around everywhere and see personal names on businesses. Notice the small building that has housed a machine shop or repair service or service provider. That means something both extraordinary and common. It’s a huge thing to make the choice to go out on one’s own, but it’s what people do. It’s a huge risk in many ways, but rewarding as well. They are worthy of our support.

To see more small businesses AAH is impressed with and likes to support, check out the We Like page.

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This is for my friends I graduated from high school with, celebrating our 35th reunion and with whom I cannot be on this occasion. If anything gets broken or if anything questionable happens in the next 24 hours, you can assign it to me. Have a great time tonight. I will be thinking of you and will truly miss you all.

As for me, it is remarkable that today, as you prepare to get together over Jeff’s pulled pork and some brews and very changed faces and lives, I am reminded that almost a year ago my father passed away, a moment I still feel today; and that in just two days, my son, Jace will begin his freshman year in high school.

Dad and Jace, Mowing, 2005

Instead of being at the West Vigo Class of ’80 Reunion, I am at the family farm in Kansas this weekend, one last excursion for Jace before school, and recalling that it was while sitting on the front porch of this house just a couple-few years ago that I called and spoke with Robby Cooper, whose father had just passed away. I never knew Rob’s and Roger’s dad, but I read the obituary in the paper and was powerfully compelled to call. We had a nice chat, and though it was entirely unexpected, Rob was gracious and I think we enjoyed our catching up.

By all accounts his dad was a remarkable man, and a veteran as I recall. And most of all, it was clear how deeply he was loved and appreciated. He was a man who made a great difference in the world and would be missed immeasurably by his family and friends.

Enjoy each others company tonight, and stay in touch. It’s really all we have left, and we don’t really need anything else. It is everything, and it is enough.

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Reign, Westside Bash, 1980

I think back, I remember how important, how central to our daily lives our music was to us. And now, of course, when we think of it or hear it, we are transported back in a way that nothing else can do.

How many of you recall the group Ten Years After? I got to know them as a sophomore. A new guy came to my school, then State High, from Frankfurt, Germany and we became friends. Chris von Slatow was into wind surfing, which I had never heard of until I met him; he was a runner and joined the track team; and he was into music I had never heard of, including Ten Years After. He lived with an elderly couple near Union Hospital who raised springer spaniels; my grandparents had bought their hunting dogs from them many years before.

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Now we are all 35 years after high school, and while a lot has changed, our memories are fixed.

These are just two particular things I remember vividly, and they are memories – among hundreds, I suppose – so many of my classmates and good friends are a part of. In fact, these memories would be nothing without you.

I guess distance really does make the heart grow fonder.

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Rare Earth In Concert

In my opinion, one of the best albums ever made; certainly one of the best live albums.

RareEarth_InConcert1_1971

My senior year in high school I sang in a band. Reign.

So on a Monday morning, second hour, my chemistry-zoology teacher was reading the week’s announcements. After Friday night’s homecoming football game, Reign was to play for the “Welcome Back Mixer.” Unfortunately, I sat in the front row.
So as he read, he came to us. “And at the Welcome Back Mixer West Vigo’s own Reign will play….”

Then he paused, looked over his half-lens reading glasses at me and said, “Does this mean you REIGN OVER your fellow students?” I was sick. I don’t remember what if anything I said in response, probably nothing. I am pretty sure the only appropriate response would have been, “No, Sir.”

We covered Foreigner, The Beatles, Ted Nugent, Journey, and a few others, including REO Speedwagon – aside of the Peter Gunn theme, Ridin’ The Storm Out was our theme song – whatever was popular in 1979 and ’80.

We also made some tragic efforts: Get Down, Boogie-Oogie, Oogie by Taste of Honey. Wow. Sorry. Enough said. And Just When I Needed You Most, by Randy Vanwarmer. Whaaa? I had never even heard nor heard of this song or the guy. Someone just showed up at practice one night with the sheet music. Whiniest song and guy I ever heard. Again, sorry everybody.

A couple of other efforts were not quite as tragic only because they were well intentioned. We tried (well, the guys did, and I tried) Aerosmith’s Walk This Way, which went way too fast for me to master. Embarrassing. Then finally, Clapton’s Cocaine, which is a great tune, but I couldn’t feel okay about using that word, so I changed it to Spokane

Anyway, it was fun, but I can’t believe either we as a whole or at least I, individually, didn’t get fired.

So this brings me to Rare Earth.

In retrospect, I am frustrated considering the lost opportunity to play their songs. We didn’t do one. Jeez – they had been one of my favorite bands since fifth grade, about 1971-’72.

My uncle John, the coolest guy on the planet (still, and co-subject of my post “Todd Rundgren and the Sacred Den of Cool” Nov, 2010) had given me his 8-track of Rare Earth In Concert – their 1971 live album – the “backpack album.”

Rare_Earth_-_Ma_-_Front

In fact, I was so crazy about them, in fifth grade art class I made a clay plaque with the band’s name in balloon-bubble letters and flowers on it. It was decorated in many-colored glaze, baked in the furnace. I put two holes at the top so I could lace a string through and hang it in my room. Cool.

– – –

I cannot believe it did not even occur to me that we should learn and play those songs. Makes me want to get back into a band just to sing a few of those. All those great songs – I mean really great – like Get Ready and Hey Big Brother and I Just Want To Celebrate. I knew intimately every song on In Concert and Ma. If I ever wished I could go back it would be to correct history and play Rare Earth in the gym or at the Banks of the Wabash Festival.

Ah, such is life.

– – –
The Internet is awesome.

– – –

So all these years later – about 2001 – I was able to find the CD at Amazon. It was expensive but worth it. I also sent a CD to John, sort of a “thank-you-payback.”

Meanwhile, Jace, my son whom I had introduced to Rare Earth when he was about two, was four in 2005 and now playing drums on a cheapo-set from some cheapo-store. I’d say to him, “Play some Rare Earth,” and he’d whack and bang away. At that age, all his Rare Earth sounded exactly like his U2 – which sounded pretty much like random whacking and banging.

I also found Peter Rivera, Rare Earth’s original lead singer and drummer. A little Google search, and Vwalla….he’s got a website. That voice and those drums. That has to be one of the best packages to ever come together in rock music.

So I wrote to him, telling him my Rare Earth history and about Jace now carrying on to the next generation. He wrote me back, thanked me for my years of loyalty, and thought the Jace story was pretty cool. He also said, “Make sure he learns to read music. I never did, but should have. It’s really not that hard.”

Rare Earth, along with co-founder Gil Bridges, still plays, though Peter is not with them. But when they were together in those early days, nobody put more energy into a concert. Check out this video of “…Celebrate” at California Jam in 1974.

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Promotional insert: Checkout Peter’s site. Pretty interesting and encouraging life. Reading through it, he comes off as the kind of guy you’d really like to know. You can find him on Facebook, too. In searching, you may want to include “Celebrate” along with his name.

– – –

I bought a set of signed sticks for Jace, which he still has, though one is broken; he drums with gusto. No matter. They are sacred and so remain on his bookshelf like religious icons.

So as old as Rare Earth’s music is, the songs are staples in my running-riding-lifting regimen.

To get your own copies, check them out on iTunes.

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Rossington Collins Band
Don’t Misunderstand Me, Rossington Collins Band (Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere, 1980)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rossington_Collins_Band

Summer 1979. We’ve just officially become seniors and Karl and I are driving all over West Terre Haute in his white 1969 Triumph TR6 convertible. We’re smoking Swisher Sweets and listening to this hard-hitting, top-down, post-Lynyrd Skynyrd near-rock anthem.

Man, we feel free and light. Our junior year is over. We’ve made it.

The sun is bright and the open cockpit is a swirl in the wind and it’s anywhere we want. So we want DQ on National Avenue, then we want to go to South Lake, which requires a cruise through Toad Hop to get there.

We park on the west side of the white cinderblock building and saunter into the open-air pavilion, across the cold concrete floor, shaded in the basement of the raised building; we’re in a breeze-way of a concession stand full of neatly aligned green wood picnic tables. We move to the counter to order a follow-up to our DQ visit of just ten minutes before.

We each get a huge Coke and keep glancing out, through the open lake-side of the room, to the beach, its coarse gravel pit-quality sand, same as it ever was, just as it was when we were kids. The tall, galvanized slide standing half in and half out of the water is still there, too, as it has always been. And the warm water in its color of weak coffee with a little cream; that too, just as it has always been.

We were searching for our friends – mainly girls; probably strictly girls, come to think of it – who have come to get a tan.

We are searching when we get there, and searching when we finally leave. Jeez, this is good. And summer has only started.

We continue to search through the summer and all the way through our last year of high school and beyond. And life has only started.

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Find it at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/rossington-collins-band/id64790

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To read all this and a little bit more in the original, just go Top 5 page, scroll down to the original June and July Top Fives, and look for Rare Earth and Don’t Misunderstand Me.

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Audrey Williams

Humanitarian. Pianist. Cellist. Teacher. Music Creator. Engineer

WanderLust

Notes from a Global Nomad

wthhistory

The Rise and Decline of a Small Town

Art Out The Wazoo

"There is no art without contemplation." - Robert Henri

Southern Indiana Agitator

Jeffersonville's Kelley Curran on politics, the media and more

Featherheart's Weblog

a place of poetry and photography

The Deep Friar

Digging a hole. And filling it up again.

Shannon A Thompson

You need the world, and the world needs good people.

Prego and the Loon

Pregnant and Dealing With Domestic Violence

Double Agent

The website of Steve Robert Simmons offering selected writings and personal essays. [Painting: "The Winding Road" by T. C. Steele (1907)]

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