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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mathetes Award

Philip at carpe canem has tagged my blog with a Mathetes Discipleship Award.

The description of the award from the originating website reads:

Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple (per the Great Commission) it to make more disciples. I'd like to take the opportunity to award five other bloggers with this award and badge for acting in the role of a disciple of Christ. These five all share the message in their own creative ways, and I admire them all for what they do.In the spirit of this award, the rules are simple. Winners of this award must pick five other "disciples" to pass it on to. As you pass it on, I just ask that you mention and provide links for (1)this post as the originator of the award (Dan King of management by God), (2) the person that awarded it to you, and then (3) name and sites of the five that you believe are fulfilling the role of a disciple of Christ. If you know of other deserving recipients of this award, and would like to start a new string, then please post a link to where you've started in in the comments to this post. I would love for many deserving bloggers to be blessed with this recognition.

I'd like to tag: (as far as I know they haven't been tagged yet, either)

1. Ma Beck

2. Shoved to Them

3. Loved Sinner

4. Journey to Therese

5. Swiss Miss

Inertia Wins

from my junior high days

I learned that inertia is "the tendency of an object to stay in motion if in motion, or of an object to remain at rest if at rest."

Do I get up off this barcalounger and go out to Barrett Lake and have their fish fry? (45 minutes away, close to the border - the last two or three miles going down a mountain into the valley, and it might rain) OR crack open Ballykissangel, Season Six, which I have in my hot medium sized hands? I was at rest. Inertia won. [Big surprise.] Like I can resist watching an episode of Kathleen learning how to drive. It's all old hat to many of you, but I came to the series late, and this is the first time series six is available to me.

Personally, when "push comes to shove" I always thought Fr. Mac was the best priest of the lot. Warts and all.

Friday, September 28, 2007

"We buried him"

"We buried her"

How often I've seen those phrases in literature. Usually, when people say that, they don't mean they themselves took part physically in doing the burying. I've attended many funerals, many of close family - and usually, at most now, family members and friends may be given flowers to throw onto the coffin.

Early this afternoon, after a beautiful Mass, Abbot Claude was interred on the grounds of the Abbey. In Paradiso was sung, as the monks took his coffin outside of church to the burial ground. Abbot Charles presided at graveside. I have never attended a priest's funeral before, but in this case towards the end of the commendation, Abbot Charles himself picked up a shovel full of dirt and threw it on the coffin himself.

Just that sound of the dirt hitting the coffin brought a few tears to my eyes, where before there had been none. All the monks blessed the coffin with holy water, and later all present were afforded the opportunity of throwing a shovel full of earth on to the coffin and bless the grave with holy water. It was truly a community effort of burial. It was moving to be given the opportunity of doing a final personal service for Abbot Claude.

And Almighty God will raise him up on the last day.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Abbot Claude Ehringer, O.S.B. - R.I.P.

Please remem-

Abbot Claude in your prayers today.

Abbot Claude died this past Sept. 17th, 2007, at Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside, Ca. He would have been 99 this November. His funeral Mass and burial will take place, Thursday, Sept 27, 2007, at Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside, Ca. Our loss is heaven's gain.

This photo was taken last year on Sept. 18th. Please check Fr. Stephanos's blog for full biography. I can personally attest Abbot Claude knew just the right thing to say at exactly the right moment.

Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, Through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Treasure Chest - ONLINE!

God bless their little hearts American Catholic baby boomers (and about a 1/2 generation before the boomers) will remember the magazine TREASURE CHEST. It was only sold in Catholic grade schools. It was published from 1946 until the early 1970s. It was essentially a Catholic oriented comic book. The Adventures of Chuck White was a perennial serial comic. The comic also had many stories of interest to Catholic youth, or stories with a Catholic twist. And they often had items of general interest.

Some kind folks at American Catholic History Research Center at Catholic University of America, decided that it was a great idea to scan in each and every page of Treasure Chest from 1946-1963. I started reading regularly the year after that. [Dang, I wish they had 64-65, I never DID find out how one serial episode ended that year, because we moved!] But I am very grateful to see all that went on before! For instance, a while back (before I started blogging) - I read the first two years worth of the Chuck White series. I had no idea he was a convert! The very first issue starts in the spring. It came out every other week from Sept - June, as a rule. It was a real treat.

See here for the story of the 1st Catholic Mass in the English speaking part of what was to become the US or here for a story about Mother Cabrini, or here for the ubiquitous Chuck White. [Sometimes the server goes down for maintenence, so don't let it bug you if you are trying to read it later at night and it's not connecting.]

I feel sorry today's kids miss out. The sort of thing we got in Treasure Chest was often just plain fun, but it reinforced/supplemented the lessons we got in school (or added to them!) and bolstered our home training as well.

Monday, September 24, 2007

She'd have worn them if she had them

I think

The photo's a bit fuzzy, simply because it was cropped from a larger photo. The full photo shows the instigator, who shall go nameless. Given the grin on the instigator's face, I didn't have the heart to remove the glasses. It's a test, anyway, to see how observant the pastor is.

Trust me, if your parish is in a tourist area in the American Southwest, you are going to have a drawer full of left behind sunglasses. Sometimes they are put to uses the original owner could not have foreseen. I expect in Alaska Our Lady may have acquired a pair of mukluks, a sled dog or two, and a parka. It's the thought that counts. Sorta.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Don't miss the "Werewolves post" from On the Side of Angels. This sounds like one of the best party games ever. One Moderator, two werewolves, a seer, and a bunch of villagers, werewolves ripping people to bits at night, and village mobs lynching people by day. What's not to like?!

All this calls for a little Werewolves music by Mr. Zevon. Of course, I would be really good at this game - I mean, it's obvious, isn't it? Look for the werewolves to have "perfect" hair. Especially if they are from London. So help me, once my mother insisted we get on the "wrong bus" in London - and we passed right by "Lee Ho Fuk's" - I thought my mother was a genius - how did she know that was one of my favorite songs that year?

(Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen)

No, this post doesn't have a blessed thing to do with Catholicism, other than be prepared to meet death at any time, by any means.


That black "line" across the photo is my wind-
shield wiper, which I had to use today - for RAIN! It hasn't rained here in ages. It rained all of 0.12" today, and I was thrilled.

It is wonderfully clear after a rain. So I went to San Diego's Mission Trails Regional Park, a few miles north of my house. The photo below shows the view north of the visitor's center, down into Mission Gorge.

This next photo shows a section of the Old Mission Dam - built by the Native Indians under the supervision of the Franciscan Fathers.

Construction was completed between 1813-1816. It fell into disuse after the early 1830s due to constant flooding. It introduced a good water supply for agriculture and crops. The Franciscans of Mission San Diego de Alcala brought agriculture to the Indians in this area. Before that a main source of their diet was wild game, fish, and things like acorns. Efforts to build a dam had been tried as far back as 1775. This dam is a historical landmark, and was a frequent destination for San Diego picnickers in the early 1900s.

Water conservation is so important in California - as is the aqueduct system. On Labor Day when I stopped in Santa Nella, I also had occasion to drive over the present day aqueduct. This aqueduct is over 400 miles long.

(This video is 11 seconds long.)

No one who lives in California long, ever takes water for granted!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Splendid Time was Had by All

I don't usually have much of a social calendar on Friday nights.

But I did tonight. Our parish choir held a "Hurray for Hollywood" dinner tonight. (They had two performances/dinners last week.) Some mingle-mingle- marguerita-marguerita followed by dinner and then the show, which kicked off with "Hurray for Hollywood" and ended with "Thanks for the Memories." The "crew" even managed to get dessert on the table at the top of act two during the opening act number "Be our Guest."

Quite fun to just to get together for a social, when you don't have to "do" anything. (Unless you were part of the choir or kitchen crew - then you worked your tail off!)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fall Equinox Fun

Yes, you really CAN have an egg stand up on its end at the spring or fall equinox.

You can even do it all the other 364 or 365 days of the year too. The season is slightly changing. I can tell. I had a turkey drumstick for lunch the last two days running.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shoved to Them: Purgatory

Shoved to Them: Purgatory

Has the perfect post on why purgatory is a lot like a visit to the Emerald City in the land of Oz. NOT to be missed!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is it just me?

I thought every Catholic carried some-
thing like this

Over on Fr. Mildew's blog, he mentions the difficulty UK hospital chaplains have in finding out if patients are Catholic. He mentions the roadblocks he's seen in the UK and wondered if people could tell him the situation in various countries.

I got to thinking along those lines. When I was growing up in the Catholic schools and in the home, we were taught it was a good idea to carry an "in case of emergency" card. I.E. a card that identified you as a Catholic, so that "they" could notify a priest so you could receive last rights or whatever other assistance you needed (like visits and Communion, etc.)

On the back of mine it has spaces for places/people to contact - i.e. relatives/close friends -- I added my parish information. As a single person without immediate family I find this particularly useful. But is it still common practice for people to carry such cards?

51st Birthday

I'd like to thank my mom and dad, Catherine and Edward Horn, co-creators with Almighty God.

What strikes me is not so much how young I am, but how young my parents are.

And the church still owes us Sept. 18th babies St. Joseph of Cupertino for a feast day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cut That Out, Guys!

I'm serious, I really mean it this time

I LOVED all the readings today - one of the times where all three of the readings are about the same topic - i.e. forgiveness. I got a particular charge out of the Old Testament reading.

There's something very raw and appealing about the God of Exodus:

God: What's going on down there? I save your backsides from slavery in Egypt and your home boys are making moulten calves, yucking it up, jazzing around without a THANK YOU to Me? These people are IMBECILES.

That's it, I've HAD it with those jerks, get out of here Moses, I am going to wipe those so-and-sos out just like I did those guys back in Sodom and Gomorrah. Stay out of my way and you won't get hurt.

Moses: No, wait, DON'T DO IT. You remember ... you PROMISED Abraham that his descendants would be "as numerous as the stars" - have a heart, willya?

God: You were taking notes? I must have had a weak moment, are you sure?

Moses: Got it right here on my digital voice recorder.

God: You have those now?

Moses: Well, yeah, but my brother Aaron doesn't. Don't tell him either, cuz he'll want one too.

[These last few verses got lost, but I saw them in a "vision."]

On a more serious, and joyful note, be sure to catch mulier-fortis's post re: her return to the church. I often feel God gives us "signs" all the time -- it's amazing how many times I've had events happen on particular days when a certain feast was celebrated, or the readings particularly applied to a difficult situation and lent insight. It's more than serendipity, I'm sure.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bible Study? I gotcher Bible Study Right Here

the other day I was reading an item on Swiss Miss's excellent blog, St. Monica's Kneeler. She mentioned she was doing a bible study class with Fr. Echert of EWTN. I commented in passing that since they were concentrating on Matthew, she might even want to do a read through of Mark, as it came first. She said that Fr. Echert specifically took exception to the notion of Mark being written prior to Matthew.

I was surprised, given that even with Catholic scholars today, the weight of opinion is that Mark came first. I then double checked my sources, The New Jerome Bible Commentary, edited by Raymond Brown, and others, and also An Introduction to the New Testament. I also checked with a priest friend and he concurred that in Catholic circles the opinion is "Mark first."

Then I looked up to see where Fr. Echert has studied, because to understand your teachers, you should look and see who their teachers were. According to EWTN he has his Licentiate [Master's Degree] from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and also did further study in Jerusalem. Then I found a page on the Pontifical Biblical Institute's website that had the material an aspiring candidate should have BEFORE he/she is accepted as a student.

One of the items noted:
"Dating of the writings of the New Testament (cf. Jerusalem Bible)"

Naturally, the Jerusalem Bible is one I don't have. So I hiked it over to Barnes and Noble to see what they would say regards dating of Mark and Matthew. Yep. Even they go with "Mark first."

I think Fr. Echert was a little naughty in not telling his students that he was holding an opinion that was definitely in the minority.

Kind of lucky I wasn't there! [Instructors either hate me or love me.]

At any rate, I'm glad the subject came up, because I found the "know this stuff before you even darken our door" page quite fascinating. Probably every Catholic should know the items listed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

More Movies with Catholic Appeal

A while back I had a blog re: movies with religious themes or appeal that I particularly enjoyed. I realized shortly after I posted that I missed a few favorites, and figure now is a good time to add more. The movies often aren't about religion per se, but they have themes and characters that would appeal to most Catholics.

On The Waterfront: Yes, it's about corrupt union bosses - but who could forget the wonderful performance of Karl Malden as the for-sure-not-
from-a-lavender-seminary priest? Manly, tough as nails, and still 100% genuine priest. I love it. This is the movie where Marlo Brando says the immortal lines: "I could have had class. I could have been a contender. I could have been SOMEBODY ..." [Said after he finds his rat brother stuck him with bum fights that didn't do his boxing career any good.]

Gigot: Jackie Gleason tour de force. Hard to find, but keep an eye peeled. Turner classic movies or the like is your best bet. Gleason plays an impoverished French mute janitor whom the town makes the butt of every joke. Out of the kindness of his heart he takes in a hooker and her small daughter. It's agonizingly wonderful when Gleason tries to get the concept of God across to the little girl. The whole movie can make you howl with laughter one moment, and have a lump in your throat the next. Gleason wrote the script and the score too. Gene Kelly directed it. Even though there's a hooker in it, kids from about 10 and up can watch. The adults will "get it" re: what the woman is, but the kids won't. No, nothing "graphic" happens with the hooker.

Little Boy Lost
: Bing Crosby played a newspaper reporter who'd gotten separated from his French wife and baby son in WWII. Wife died, and son was shipped around to various orphanages. Bing thinks he may have found him - but is deceived by the reverend mother of the orphanage. Or is he? Also hard to find - keep an eye peeled on AMC or Turner Classic. Snaps for the woman who played Reverend Mother. She really ripped Bing a new one.

The Seven Little Foys
: Stars Bob Hope, and Cagney makes an appearance as George Cohen. Take one not-terribly-gung-ho-semi-lapsed Irish vaudevillian, cross with one VERY Catholic Italian dancer and her ultra conservative sister, produce 7 kids - who eventually go on the road with dad after mom dies. Add a lot of song and dance and appealing characters and a cameo by the real Eddie Foy, Jr. and you've got yourself a family classic.

Pollyanna: Okay, she's the orphaned daughter of a minister, but why quibble? Great family movie - lead played by Hailey Mills. How can you not like her "glad" passages that she reminds her aunt's until-then hard-nosed minister about?

Sound of Music: Incredibly, I missed it first time around, and it's one of my favorite movies ever. The book it was based on, "The Trapp Family Singers" was the first book written for adults that I ever read as a child. I was nine, and from then on I have been a Maria von Trapp junkie. I usually re-read this book every year or two. Keep an eye peeled for Maria von Trapp's other books which include: "Maria", "A Family on Wheels," "Yesterday, Today and Forever," and "Around the year with the Trapp family." I also gather there were two German movies made about the Trapp family, which I haven't seen, but would love to: "Die Trapp-Familie" and "Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika." Maria actually has a small cameo in "The Sound of Music" - If you look closely during "Doe, A Deer" there is a part where the kids are downtown near a fountain. Not the fountain in the gardens, but the other one where the kids are by the town square - if you look VERY carefully, THROUGH the archway, Maria, dressed in "native" garb crosses. You might have to use slow-mo - but she's there in kerchief et al.

Miracle of the Bells: Frank Sinatra plays a supporting role as a priest in this film which starred Fred MacMurray, and an actress called Valli. It's about a young actress who died after playing St. Joan of Arc. Her body is returned to the small Pennsylvania town she grew up in. The studio wasn't going to release the movie, but is prevailed upon. Hokey, but in a good way. Obscure, but you can find it. Beats Frankie playing an assassin in "Suddenly."

Life with Father: Episcopalian flavor, but how not to like this self-made man finally bowing to the wishes of his wife and getting baptized as an adult? William Powell and Irene Dunne star. Look out for a young Elizabeth Taylor. The movie is fun - but the book is even better. Be sure and try to find a copy of the book that also includes Clarence Day's "Life with Mother" and "God and My Father." The movie plays a somewhat loose with the book, but the books are based on real life vignettes of the vibrant Day family. Father was a stockbroker back in the 1880s - the era of the self-made man. Once read, never forgotten. Clarence Day, Jr. had very stylish elegant prose with a light touch.

Cheaper by the Dozen
: Get the original. Not "Catholic" either - but how could a family with 12 children not appeal? The book is better. But see the movie, and keep an eye peeled for the sequel Belles on Their Toes. Papa didn't belong to any religion, but he said that if he DID join one, it would be the Catholics, because at least he'd get credit for his 12 "Eskimoes."

Yours, Mine and Ours: Get the original, don't bother with the remake. A Navy widow with 8 kids meets a widower with 10 kids. Based on the true story of a two blended Catholic families, the Beardsleys and the Norths. Keep an eye peeled for the book "Who gets the Drumstick?" Movie stars Hank Fonda and Lucille Ball. Cameo by toddler Tracey Nelson.

Almost Angels: A Disney made movie about the Vienna Boy's Choir. What's not to like, other than the fact it's near impossible to find? See if you can find a store that rents off-beat movies. Plot is about a new chorister and an "old boy" who loses his treble voice. Endearing. You can, uh, like find, uh, parts of this movie, if you discreetly google the "obvious" sites. Don't broadcast it though, else it will be "gone."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Patriots, Guns and Ammo, and all that

I've been saving this post for a while now. I figured after I came back from seeing 1776 that I'd wait for Patriot Day, as it is most appropriate.

Frederich Lowenberg
Sept. 14, 1753 - Jan. 20, 1845

Special thanks to a few of my ancestors:

Private Johannes "Long John" Bitler - Berks County Militia
Private Frederich Lowenberg - Pennsylvania Line
Colonel Michael Lindenmuth - Commander, 4th Battalion Berks Cty. Militia
Drummer Michael Lindenmuth, Jr.
Captain Conrad Minnich - Brunswick Militia Company
Private Johannes Rumpel - 3rd Battalion Northampton Cty. Militia

A while back a few folks, including Fr. Ray Blake, wondered what is it re: American Catholics and the right to keep and bear arms.

I can only say that the vast majority of us are descended from people for whom somewhere else wasn't good enough. i.e. either they felt constrained by social strictures for lack of opportunity for upward mobility, or even more importantly, had been deprived some basic freedom in the "old country." Having come to America - often with great trial and tribulations attendant with such a move - they were determined not to give up a hard won freedom easily.

Many came because of religious persecution, or lack of personal freedom. Many emigrants were willing to put their lives on the line to try and guarantee that their descendants, both literal and those who came after would be governed by the people and not have their basic human rights shoved about by autocratic rulers. It isn't "protestantism" vs. "Catholicism." I don't see how you can be a responsible member of a group, if you can't even be responsible for yourself.

This is a "Get up and do" society, rather than a "sit on your butt and wait for someone else to do it" society. Is any society perfectable? No, but life on earth shouldn't have to be a hell-hole either.

The average American doesn't have to look far to find a family history where their ancestors were deprived of some liberty - or opportunity of betterment. I only have to look at my own family tree. I can look around at my co-workers, some of whom fled Vietnam, or the daughter of a Hungarian refugee. One of my own aunts had some of family stuck behind the iron curtain. My maternal grandmother could not write freely to her niece in Czechoslovakia for fear she would bring trouble into her house.

If an ancestor is willing to fight for your right to freedom, you don't hand over your gun because some gun-grabbing simpering dipwad wants it. Free men and women can own guns. You don't HAVE to have a gun, but I can guarantee you, if enough people do, no irrational government will "get ideas" and try and force the lot of you in concentration camps. To give up guns merely because some schmo like Ted Kennedy wants you to just doesn't justify virtually spitting on the graves of your ancestors. Misuse of a right, doesn't justify taking away that right from everyone.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I didn't really

see this sign

But I wish I had.

The long way home

On the 3rd, Labor Day in the US, I drove the 500+ miles back home. I took it easy and stopped at every wide space in the road. I stopped at the newish San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery. It's outside of the small town of Santa Nella, Ca. This veteran's cemetery was only dedicated in the early 1990s but already has quite a number of veterans buried there.

There is a small memorial dedicated to Veterans of the Korean War which contains the names of all those Californians who were killed in battle, MIA, or died in captivity.

The inscription reads:

The Remembrance Memorial for California Korean War Veterans
To the 2,495 men from California who during the Korean War, 25 June 1950, to 27 July 1953, gave their last full measure of valor to their country. On this wall are men killed in action, missing in action, or who died prisoners of war. May this memorial stand as a lasting tribute to their heroism and devotion.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Our Lady and My Dad

I was not able to be with my father when he died 6 years ago today but Our Blessed Mother was.

When I was little, my mother always taught me that I already have a mother in heaven, who would be there for me too, even after she and my dad were gone. It was a great comfort to me that if my dad had to die, as all men do, that he died on the day we celebrate the Blessed Mother's Birthday. If I was not there to hold his hand, she was. "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen."

This window is in my church and I get to sit directly across from it every Sunday. It's my personal favorite. I only wish that I could take it from the right side, as in "real life" the light streams in in an ethereal way - which I just can't quite seem to capture without overexposing. The water, from that angle, almost looks like it's moving. Someday! I've been "saving" her to post today.

I've used this picture of my dad before, but it's too good not to use again.

Edward Henry Horn
June 18, 1932 - Sept. 8, 2001

So help, me, Buddah!

I thought I was hallu-
cinating for a second or two
Unfortunately, I wasn't. I stopped by Long's Drugstore today, and THEY ALREADY had their Halloween crud up. Geez, why do they have to RUIN stuff by putting it out so damned early? It's a minor event, it totally spoils the fun if you're looking at this stuff for almost two months.

No, I have no objections to kids having a little party and a round of trick-or-treat. To everything - there is a season. This ain't it for Halloween. What I really resent is having to put up a fight against candy corn this soon. Why are "they" persecuting me?!


Friday, September 7, 2007

I'm a sucker for this stuff....

this test nailed it

What American accent do you have?
Created by Xavier on

Mid-Atlantic. This is what everyone calls a Philadelphia accent although it's also the accent of south Jersey, Baltimore, and Wilmington. Well, everyone that lives near there, that is. Outsiders can tell you talk differently from them even though they can't tell what your accent is.

If you are not from there, you are probably one of the following:
(a) A New Yorker who, unlike most New Yorkers, rhymes "on" with "dawn"; or
(b) A Yat from New Orleans.
You are probably not from Eastern New England or the Great Lakes area, and certainly not from anywhere in the West or Canada.

Take this quiz now - it's easy!
We're going to start with "cot" and "caught." When you say those words do they sound the same or different?

H/T to Esther over at Hawaii Mom. I was surprised they nailed it so well. Although I have lived in California for years, a lot of my accent is NOT from here if you know what to listen for. For instance, "pen/pin" are NOT the same. Neither is "Mary, merry, and Marry." I lost a lot of Lehigh Valley - but for those "in the know" you'd know I'm not a native Californian.

Happy 51st B'day to Mariette Blais

you go girlfriend!
You were one of my best friends at St. Francis Xavier School in Nashua, N.H. - Your birthday was Sept. 6th - so I got this in under the wire. I still have nightmares about Sr. Aline. If you come across this blog - drop me a note. You'll always be 12 days older than me though. :-D Hope your mom and dad and Roger, Pauline, Therese and David are all fine.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mind Our Properties, Mr. Rutledge!

live theatre, there's nothing like it
Last week we'd seen 1776 six times. One of the fun side effects of doing that is you get to see different things every night, because no two shows are exactly alike. Actors adjust to each other and the audiences. And occasionally **** happens.

For instance, all week James Barbour, as Mr. Rutledge, the delegate from South Carolina, was giving an exhilarating performance of the song Molasses to Rum to Slaves. The song reminds the delegates from New England, that they haven't had pristine hands as regards the issue of slavery, given many Boston merchants provided the ships for the Triangle Trade.
Click here for a sample of the song from the original B'way cast recording.

Usually, the way it's performed, Rutledge has a cane that he cracks two times across a desk mid song during the following patter:

Rutledge: "Gentlemen, you mustn't think our northern brethren merely see our slaves as figures on a ledger, oh no sir, they see our slaves as figures on a block..."

[explosive cane whack]

"Notice their faces at the auction, gentlemen, white faces on African wharves, 'put them in the ships, cram them in the ships, STUFF them in the ships' - well hurry gentlemen, let the auction begin"

[cane thwack]-

Then the song continues with appropriate sound effects as the whip cracks.

Saturday evening the first time Rutledge smacked that cane he broke it right in half. Breath taking. Given the number of people on stage it was amazing he didn't manage to impale anyone. He calmly picked up the other half and for the second smack, cracked the two together.

Next night [God knows what they used to put it back together or if they gave him a new one] that first table "crack" had all the strength of a butterfly farting. My friend and I exchanged "notes" afterwards. Both of us had to stiffle a fit of the giggles. Most of the audience was none the wiser.

(Click here for photo credit and other photos.)

Back to the Future!

Good news on the artsy- fartsy window front.
This past Sunday I attended Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Sacramento. Overall the church is very attractive. I did note a few windows "I could have done without" - the "modern" vineleaves-and-
cutesayings kind. Not abstract enough to make you vomit or anything, and "okay" in their place - like somewhere besides a church - but not something the average Catholic would really look at and say "that window is really inspirational" or "wow."

(artsy-fartsy window begging to be replaced)

A LOT of their windows were really wonderful though, like the ones on the lower eye level in the nave of the church, and the excellent ones behind the altar and in the transcept aisles. I grabbed a bulletin after Mass, and noted the following item:

"As promised when the Cathedral reopened in 2005, the Diocese of Sacramento has purchased a set of antique windows to replace the modern windows in the clerestory of the Cathedral. The first of those windows will be installed in the Cathedral next week, in time for the 150th anniversary of the Sisters of Mercy being celebrated on September 29.

In all, 10 antique windows have been purchased by the diocese—fabricated in the 19th century in the same style and brilliant colors as those in the east end of the Cathedral—portraying the joyful and glorious mysteries of the Rosary.

The diocese bought them from a church in Chilton, Wisconsin, that is being closed because the parish is amalgamating with a neighboring parish. The first window to be installed next week illustrates the first joyful mystery, the Annunciation, and is being sponsored by the Mercy Foundation to honor the 150 years of service by the Sisters of Mercy in the Diocese of Sacramento.

Sponsors are also being solicited for the remaining windows. A window can be sponsored for $150,000, and the sponsor’s name is enshrined at the bottom of the window, in the same style as those in the east end. The sponsors of the east end windows include such historic names as Margaret Crocker, Birdie Fair, and Tessie Fair."

(This video is a little less than a minute)

The sad note is, of course, that it looks like other church parishes were being consolidated in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jesus said I could have TWO...

Some years back when my friend Chris-
tine and I started coming to Sacramento for shows, we had come across Leatherby's Ice Cream Parlour. Believe me, when it can get up to 100+ degrees the thought "Ice cream would really hit the spot now" tends to cross one's mind.

So...we looked in the phone book and "Voila." It's now a "tradition" to stop by - a lot of times more than once. The first time we were there we sat almost right under this crucifix...I hadn't noticed, and my back was actually to it. I had one ice cream, and was REALLY hungry for another one. So I was musing out loud, and Christine said "Go ahead, Jesus would want you to have another one!" I said "huh?" And she pointed above the office door. :-D

This sort of thing, i.e. a crucifix in a public place used to be not uncommon for small restaurants and other little businesses. It's nice to come across it when it still happens. Anyway, Leatherby's is THE place in Sacramento for ice-cream. I'm taking a guess here in thinking the owners are Catholic. Call it a hunch.

I HIGHLY recommend the caramel sundae. You can get it with one, two or three scoops. This one has two. They make their own ice cream, and their own caramel and hot fudge sauces. The caramel has a great taste and consistency. It's not unlike the butterscotch kisses from See's Candy, but gooier - as befits a sauce.

And here's a 20 second video clip of Leatherby's. It was packed. Oh. And Jesus informs me if it's Lent, just have a flavor or a topping you don't like. Offer it up.

Klan Sheep?

meant to post this one the other day I've often thought that people who joined the Klan were sheep, but I never knew they also took sheep's outfits. These cuties had just been groomed for showing at the State Fair.

Monday, September 3, 2007

McNAIR!!!! Fetch me some Rum...

or socks... what-
One thing about travel, is that no matter how much you pack, eventually you run out of clean shirts and need to do your laundry. Actors are also mortal, and do their own laundry. Theatre actors do anyway, because while I was doing my shirts, "McNair" was doing his stuff too. I was pretty sure I spotted him, but wasn't going to say anything...then he happened to put a dryer load in close to where I had set up with my computer. So I said "McNair?" then he turned around and I said "Mr. Bateman, I believe?" He was surprised I recognized him, as on stage all the actors have heavy wigs on and sometimes they can be hard to recognize when they are offstage.

Bill Bateman

We had a nice chat about the show. He's playing Andrew McNair, congressional custodian. McNair is the "gopher" for Congress and provides some great comic relief. He has one of the funniest lines in the musical. After Congress breaks up with a significant portion of "The War Committee" going up to New Brunswick to try and put a lid on the "whoring and the drinking" and "the naked bathing in the Raritan River" - the "Cool, Conservative" men are left to their Minuet, lead by Mr. Dickenson. They all leave, and McNair turns to the post-dispatcher and "Leather apron" and says "Sweet Jesus, how'd you like to try to borrow a dollar from one of them?!"

I hear from my friend Christine, that he played a great Sipos too at Papermill Playhouse in "She Loves Me."

Sunday, September 2, 2007

You Should Be Here

...eventually! If you are from the Americas, you should aspire to have your likeness in the lower right hand corner. This is a photograph of a painting above a side altar in Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in downtown Sacramento. "They" have reserved a spot for you. When I was in my teens I had happened across a little book called "You are called to Sainthood." [Or something like that!] This altar piece is an unintentional reminder that we should all have this aspiration, no matter what our everyday calling is.

Merlino's - so say all of us

..if a Merlino's freeze was good enough for Ronald Reagan, then it's good enough for us. We got ours at Mr. Pickles.

Since we became acquainted with shaved ice a la Merlino, no trip to Sacramento would be complete without a stop

Where the elite meet to eat!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

But it's a DRY heat...

101 in Sacra-
mento today.
Naturally, we didn't just "kick it" but we did decide it was perfect weather to hit the fair. Where else are you going to see Clydesdales,

Watusi cows,

or see the perfect

go to hell shirt?

More pics later, but gotta run. It's "Showtime."
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