Monday, September 22, 2008

The House That George Tore Down

Sven and FrankenKristin say, "So long, Yankee Stadium!"

BTW, that woman in the background really was much nicer than she appears.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Bridge To Somewhere

As some of you may know, we lost a bridge last year. Here are few pictures I took last summer before the clean-up and rebuilding began.

The new bridge opened at 5:00 am this morning. It took just over 13 months. I wonder how the rebuilding effort on the other end of the Mississipi is going?

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Don't Like Ike

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin'
I still see her dark clouds growin'
It was Sep. 12th when I left Galveston

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the lightning flashing
I drive away and dream of Galveston

I still see her standing by the water
Standing there lookin' out to sea
And is she waiting there for me?
On the beach where we used to run

Galveston, oh Galveston, I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she's crying
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun
At Galveston, at Galveston

*with apologies to Jimmy Webb

Monday, September 08, 2008

Organize This (A Book Recommendation)

I read this book once about a guy who spent his life as a community organizer. The guy was a real historical figure born a long time ago, I think about 2,000 years ago to be exact, and the book was intended to highlight his more important works and set the stage for what he (as well as many of his followers) believed would be a new movement, although I think the word he used was Covenant.

The book begins with several stories of the man’s humble upbringing. He was born to a single mother and step-father, a carpenter if I remember correctly. In his adult life his title was Teacher, however, from a historical standpoint, many consider the work that he did to be that of a Community Organizer. In fact, his legacy is so enduring that one could argue he may have been the greatest Community Organizer to have ever lived. Although he showed remarkable promise as a Teacher and public speaker, he was much maligned by those in power who clung to the traditional notions of determining a persons worth by their position, power, and possessions. From what I read he spent much of his life challenging those notions and, at the risk of giving away the ending, paid dearly for it.

As and adult he began traveling the region, speaking to anyone who would listen and gathering followers along the way. His message begin to resonate with those on the fringes of society, those that the people in power determined to be less than worthy, namely prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers and citizens from foreign lands. He implored the leaders of the day to consider the plight of the poor, the sick, the aged and infirm, and went out of his way to challenge those who would accuse others of wrong doing to look into their won hearts before casting aspersion, or stones for that matter.

In the end he set out a few simple guidelines, or blessing for people to live by. Some of those whom he felt were most blessed were the poor in spirit, those who mourn, as well as those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. He also held a special consideration for the meek, the merciful, the pure of heart, peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness. The last one proving to be prophetically ironic as he was himself persecuted, and ultimately crucified for the sake of righteousness.

His lasting message to those who claimed to follow him and work to organize a community around his legacy was this: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned and welcome strangers with open arms. He believed that as his followers were able to do this for the less fortunate of society, they did it for him.

Sadly, the true nature of his work, organizing communities around a common message of love, unity and change, has been distorted, and in recent days ridiculed by those in power. His legacy does live on in the hearts, minds, and actions of many individuals today, even some who do not profess to follow him, its just really hard to find those people sometimes.

I wonder if Sarah Palin or Rudy Guliani ever read that book?