Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Colored Guys in the RAF"

Speaking of Thanksgiving. When I was a lad,..yeah in Brooklyn!, anyway when I was watching all them WW2 movies on tv back in the 1950's, and 60's. I never saw any guys like my dad blowing the bad guys away. I certainly knew that there were Colored troops in the war.

For heaven's sakes my dad, all my uncles, all my friends dads'n uncles, and the mailman were either fighting the nazis or the nipponese.

They beat'em too.

However they never made it into any of the movies. Well not till the 70's, and 80's. Also they couldn't keep us out of the few Viet-Nam flicks. What with more than half of the black teenagers being drafted out of the American race ghettos to fight that war.

Anyway I came across some Coloreds in the RAF stuff. Interesting. I knew from family that in Trinidad the Raf had colored flying officers during the war. As you know part of my mother's family line is from there.

I'm not sure, but I may have had uncle-cousins, distant relations in all that somewhere. I have faint memories of family talk about having this or that relation flying in the war.

Anyway I was happy to find these images. Imagine Colored Guys in the Battle of Britain. It seems there were some from Jamaica. Cool.

(...what on earth sort of dog is the above?!!)

*In 1953 the movie ‘Appointment in London’ was released. The story was about a Bomber Command squadron in 1943. Someone involved in the movie had the knowledge and courtesy to include a reference to black aircrew. It lasted only a few seconds, but must have confounded the audience at the time – as it did me when I watched a few days ago!
Above is a screen shot. It shows the Wing Commander (played by Dirk Bogarde) chatting to a black airman.

One of the script writers for the movie was John Wooldridge, a commander of 105 Squadron RAF during WW2. It seems reasonable to assume that he was aware of the presence of black aircrew in the RAF and inserted the scene into the movie as a mark of recognition and respect.

*[courtesy Tom Graham from Perth, Australia]

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Republic, and or Soviet of Brooklyn"

Brooklyn, Flatbush Avenyah. I took the above random tilted, shaky snaps while waiting for the light to change. I was out shopping for Thanksgiving like zillions of others.

I would have taken snaps of the chaos at the market, but was busy trampling the other shoppers as they attempted to trample me. Hey the apple pies was on sale.

Our traditions are nuts.

America is like a weird movie to the rest of the world. They can't stand us, but they can't look away either.

Thing about Brooklyn though is that it was an independent city for 120 or so years before New York stole it under the infamous Boss Tweed. So when we go to Manhattan we say we're going to the "City" or "New Yawk".

Brooklyn is a happy jumble of 19th, and early 20th century stones. Okay there's some bits of 18th century stones, and timber still around here, and there. In fact there was an old colonial farm house a few blocks from my boyhood home. Might still be there.

Also as you can see in the second pix our streets, some of them are still too narrow for cars. Sort of like the winding horse'n wagon streets of lower Manhattan.

As for over-building we only have one skyscraper. You can see it in the top pix. They threw it up in the 1930's, and thought,...bad idea. Fuck it.

We haven't had any more since,...thank gawd.

(Btw in the second picture there you can just see the "bulls eyes",...I mean towers of Manhattan on the horizon. Click then double click on the snap, and you'll get an eyeful.)

We're Brooklynites not any of them gussied up clowns from Tribeca.

...and don't you forget it!

I'll take more Brooklyn snaps when I'm slightly saner. Btw when I was a lad I thought it was "Brooklyn Knights". I like that better.

"I Went to the Park"

I was at home hang'n out staring blankly into space. Ya know, like most do these days. Anyway the sun poked out for a few minutes so I ran to the park. I really missed the Earth.

In all the deranged confusion, and madness of our times it's nice to sit under a tree, and stare blankly into G-d.

(Click on all the snapshots, especially the roses below, to enlarge. They're real cute that way.)

"Last of the Summer Roses"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Feeling a bit better today. I'm able to eat again, and go outside for walks. Did some shopping, and took my laundry to be done. I went back to work at the radio station as well.

Although I admit I spent most of my time in my tiny office or the newsroom napping. My pals have been very good about being sweet to me. My gawd I'm blessed!

I'm kind'a feeling a little normal again.

Also I'm hosting my first Thanksgiving Dinner at my new home soon. Nor sure how many are coming. Could be three, could be 10!

I feel so domestic, and I guess rooted, a way. I'm beginning to feel that this is really my home now.

For you late arrivals here in Sydneyland these past several years was a bit of an adventure. Care giving for then losing a close beloved relative, and then later a dear friend.

In the middle of all that losing my house as well. There followed my homeless adventure. Almost a year passed before being rescued by my sister, and friends. I didn't tell anyone what had happened to me.

But now I have a cute new home!

I'm writing a short one person play about all this,...stay tuned.

Anyway it seems the rough seas have calmed, a little, and now I'm becoming just another neurotic Hausfrau again.

Hummm, Thanksgiving, lets see. I'm going to need more dishes, more chairs, place settings,...and oh yes, food.

There's a reason we cling to traditions like this. When all the world is chaos cultural, and family traditions are our safe harbors.

More on the new adventure as events unfold!

"Small Passions"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"I had my cake, and I ate it too!"

Hi gang. Hope you're all well. Me I had some sort of flu. Aw yuck. I'm as empty as empty can be. That bug cleans you out good!

So I'm dehydrated, and I'm still spending most of my time laying in bed reading old comic books. Btw, I just wasted *$24. I can't afford on Stephen King's new book "Under the Dome"

*...'never' buy retail!

Anyway the book stinks. It's a short story that insisted on becoming a 900 page door stop. "The Stand" it ain't. Not even close!

To add on to everything else. My dreams have become unusually surreal. They're full of living, and dead friends, and relatives.

I'm not sure, but I think I had a glimpse of my own memorial. This dream, I hope that's all it was, took place back in the old neighborhood. It was nice to see the old place, and all of the people I grew up with.

Here's the thing,..I was late. Part of this drama was me trying to get to my party/wake on time. I'm still not sure which it was.

I must say it was a swell show once it got started though. Lots of food, and booze for all. Even I had a good time,..I think.

Then in the middle of everything I was suddenly back at my old school.

You know how dreams are.

I was giving a lecture on the complications of history as seen through the prism of the human heart. Basically why do we insist on looting, burning, and butt fucking every damned thing on the planet.

...and twice on sunday's.

It was a swell rant. I pulled out all the stops. 'Wish I could remember it I'd post it here for your befuddlement.

Then I was back at the party.

Btw all this took place either at dusk or late night. That's when alot of my dreams happen now. Anyway the cakes. Pies, cakes, cream puffs. See thing is I rarely have dreams where nice things happen to me.

However in 'this' dream I got cake.

I think this was Toni's intervention. Toni Short my late beloved pal.

I can still see it. Wonderful chocolate cake with a cream filling. My perfect fantasy cake!

Thanks Toni!

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Be Back Soon"

"Terms of Life"

Death is a beautiful thing
for those with the courage to live
death for those who have been
- who really have been -
here in this world on the terms of life
to be part of this world just once
once and once only and never again
this is the eternal flame -
eternal life - not an extension of time -
but the truth of here and of now
that’s why we came

who really has been
dies and returns to the Earth
who turns in her cycles of time
again and again and again
till she too is gone and all her gods
not even her gods remain

but we who have seen
we who have witnessed them
the fragile souls of women and men
who have dined with the gods
and drunk with men
we who were given the chance
to learn our few steps of the dance
and received our portion of light
- we go gladly into the night

Sion Liscannor

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Life, and Death"

This is a scene from the HBO production of "Wit". A very moving, though painful film to watch. Still it speaks to what so many of us have experienced. A loved one nearing death. Struggling with pain, madness, the works.

Many of us have been care givers to both family, and friends. To you comrade givers there's nothing I can say that you don't already know. No doubt many of you were braver, and wiser than I, but we all did what we had to at the best of our ability.

Bless you all.

...death, thou shall die.

I posted the above on another of my blogs over a year ago.

My eldest cousin, due to a stroke, and a cascading dementia, passed away in the spring of 2008. My cousin Tempy's leaving was a 'hard' death as you will surmise from the above content.

Apparently so to with my friend Toni, Toni Short a few days ago. She was in more distress than any of us knew.

She was a proud, and self assured person.

I'm not surprised she kept mostly silent about her condition. We knew she was ill, but were under the impression that she was managing okay.

When I see her again I'll make a point of asking her to unwind a bit on the big stuff.

Well okay she would reach out sometimes. 'But ya know.

Anyway now to carry on with our lives. Um, you should know I'm 'going' to be selfish, resentful, angry, less than rational, and generally difficult for the rest of the season.

I really wish I could come up with some of my funny, ironic bullshit, but I can't. 'just can't. 'too nuts right now.

On the 'up' side Obama seems to be trying to do the right thing again.

Maybe his family told him to help all the poor, and sick people that voted for him. Anyway the far rightwing is openly calling for his *assassination, and the far left is calling him a turncoat.

Okay full disclosure, yeah his slowness to act on 'anything' pissed me off too.

So I guess annoying old commies,(like me), enraging assorted corporate exploiters, and driving nazi race nuts to foam at the mouth means he's doing something right.

*Don't know if you overseas readers are hip to this, but yeah it's bad.

There's a whole demographic running around loose that wants to see the President of the United States murdered.

It reminds me of when I was a boy. The ugly hatred for John F. Kennedy just before Dallas. It was the same sort of people as hate Obama wanting him dead too.

...the more things change.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"As a Thief in the Night"

I've been out sick from the radio station all week. Didn't look at my emails or check my phone messages. I didn't know about Toni's death till today.

Toni Short is an old friend. She is, was a broadcast comrade. She was a talented host, presenter. She was one of the "Old Gang" of us that started out in the 70's, and 80's.

This can't be so, can't have happened, I can't accept this. Not 'just' like that.

Yeah I could say I was just talking to her the other night, and I was. I just saw her, and I did, and she just sent me a nice card, and she did.

So 'how' the hell is she gone?!

This is exactly like when *Paul Williams son passed. (Paul was another pal from the Biz,..he's passed on now too.) One day Paul's son was at the station showing off his new laptop. I remember he was telling me how he was going to use it to make animations.

Then he was gone.

Now they tell me Toni is gone. Just like that.


This is how it happens. A blink of an eye, a beat of the heart, and then eternity.

Goodbye Toni.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"I Feel Funny"

Okay here's the situation. I just worked for about 18 hours straight. I'm completely fried. My eyes are cooked from staring at various ctr screens, and I'm totally irradiated from being in close quarters with broadcast equipment.

But this isn't the problem.

Going blind, being radioactive, having the flu, being radically stressed out, and awake for a couple of days is no big deal I've been doing this sort of thing for 30 years.

What I'm worried about is the eight Ring Dings,(TM) I just ate in rapid succession, and then washed down with several cans of Pepsi.

I figured this would pep me up.

Anyway what I wanna know is,...are them things gonna kill me?

Granted I used to consume vast quantities of dangerous drugs while doing all the above mentioned work. Eh, this was back in the day, and it was socially acceptable.

However Ring Dings as wonderful as they are are also far more dangerous than any combination of nasally absorbed powdered additives. I think the Coke may be the triggering mechanism of this little drama.

I can hear the EMT guys talking over my deflating body in the meat wagon.

"What a dummy."

"If he just sucked down them Pepsi's, and nuthin' else he would'a made it."

"If he had 'only' scoffed down that bucket of Ring Dings, and left it at that ditto!"

"But ya can't do both, and sure as hell not at the same time!"

So should I be calling all the people that have bleeped me over during my life so I either forgive them or finally tell them what I really think of them.

Or...., should I have some more cream filled, chocolate coated, sugar glazed bits of Heaven?

Dammit if this country had National Health I wouldn't have to worry!