Marshall: a movie review

Marshall

The movie Marshall focuses on one case in 1941 in Bridgeport, Connecticut that was co-lawyered by the famed Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman).  He was sent by the NAACP to defend a black man who had been accused of raping his employer’s wife, Mrs. Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson).

The Connecticut judge deemed that he was not to speak in the court so he had to use the voice of his other lawyer, Sam Friedman (Josh Gad) as they sought to defend Joseph Spell, the family driver (Sterling K. Brown).  As the proceedings continued, they ultimately discovered that the driver was telling only a part of the truth about the events of that fateful night.

It was a highly contentious time and both Marshall and Friedman were roughed up by hired thugs during the trial. Yet they endured to the end. Thurgood Marshall’s brief encounter with a woman at a bar led him to re-phrase his questions for Joseph Spell.  In essence, she said that men will be men and women will be women.

This led Marshall to question the driver again and the truth rolled out like the lifting of a heavy blanket of fog.  Once the truth was uncovered, the case took a huge turn as many witnessed and a victory emerged for both of the lawyers and their defendant.

Thurgood Marshall was not there to hear the closing arguments nor the reading of the verdict but he left Friedman detailed instructions on how to close out the case.  He had been called to help a young teenager who was in trouble in the Deep South.

This is an ample slice from the life of the renowned Supreme Court Judge.  Go see this movie with its landmark cast and see how Chadwick Boseman does it again with his excellent portrayal of Judge Marshall!

 

Lynn M.                                                                     October 21, 2017

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The Little Things

We have all heard the old adage that reminds us to slow down and smell the roses.  It’s the small, everyday things that bring us the greatest glee.  It may be something as simple as opening a window and letting in some new, fresh air after using air conditioning all summer. We can breathe in and experience true nature in all of its glory.

Or, we can take note of the richly colored leaves dotting the landscape during the calm season of autumn.  Many are still on the trees, yet some have fallen but their beauty still beckons and demands our attention.

We can listen to the chatter of children as they walk by and go to and from school.  We automatically smile because we remember when we walked to school filled with innocence and anticipation.  We can recall the faces of dear friends from times gone by.

Perhaps, we decide to drive more mindfully as we travel to work and notice a store that we had not seen before, so we vow to come back and take a look-see.  Or we perhaps run into some old acquaintances and we greet them with friendly smiles, handshakes or hugs.

It is the little things that mean so much.  In our rushed daily living, we may unintentionally take these occurrences for granted.  But, if we are asked to pen a poem or a narrative of some sort, we will usually remember something meaningful and simple that truly touched our hearts most deeply!

So, when life gets hurried or even messy with all of its unexpected twists, turns and challenges, it would behoove us to make a pointed effort to enjoy the small pleasures.  It is what makes life abundant and the most precious things are often free for us to notice, enjoy and ultimately savor!

Enjoy the little things

Lynn M.                                                                                                 October 14, 2017

‘Tis October

 

autumn

Fallen leaves lay all around,
Yes, autumn is now abound.

Those sweater days are now here,
And wearing light coats is near.

Colorful trees are in sight,
We sigh with all of our might.

Pumpkins, apples to be picked.
Harvest, ready to be nicked.

The beauty of October,
Witnessed. Can make you nobler.

Lynn M.                                                                                               October 7, 2017

College Memories!

hefner

Upon hearing about Hugh Hefner’s passing, I was reminded of how his empire touched my life.  In Chicago in the early 70’s, many of our lives were memorably affected by his posh existence.

I remember going to the Playboy Club on the Gold Coast and having dinner.  We were actually served by a real live bunny.  In those days, gifting a Playboy Club key card was quite common.  It resembled a credit card but it gave access to the actual clubs.

I kept my memorabilia for years such as a heavy mug, a stirrer, a lighter and a set of earrings to name a few.  All of them were emboldened with the historic emblem and they were keepsakes which brought lots of pride.

There was also a Playboy dance club on Michigan Avenue.  I remember the headphones that dropped from the ceiling.  The music was amplified and I became my own private dancer in my own world as I moved to the beat. What fun for a college student!

And then there were those weekend getaways for the lucky ones.  Many made the trek up to the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where there was a resort. Hugh Hefner’s empire was enjoyed on an even higher level.  It was a real hotspot.

Oh what glorious memories!  Thank you, Mr. Hefner!!

Lynn M.                                                                         September 30, 2017

The Patriarch

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I just read a book called Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi which was another lucky find from the local library.  It tells how four children’s lives are adversely affected when their father walks off and leaves the family without an explanation.

He, Kweku, is an African doctor living in the States and wearing his white coat means the world to him.  But when he is unable to save an older member of a wealthy family, he is fired.  His younger son happens to see him in an embarrassing position as he pleads for his job at the hospital.

He never tells his wife, Fola and  just simply leaves town and starts over, eventually returning to his homeland in Ghana.  Olu, his oldest son is affected but finds a companion to help him cope, but the twins, Kehinde and Taiwo, are sent to an uncle in Nigeria and they endure mind-boggling abuse from the uncle and his wife. Sadie, the youngest daughter, is hiding her bulimia and her secret affinity towards girls.

Fola does her best to manage and all four of the children eventually reach adulthood.  She relocates to Ghana after receiving some unexpected property.  Upon hearing that Fola has returned to the country, the father, though remarried, has a heart attack and suddenly dies.

The children travel together to attend his funeral and this gives them time to bond. The mother, Fola learns more of their personal stories, pains and irreparable damage done from the father’s absence.  She listens, nurtures and tries to erase some of their grief.

Patriarchs have key roles in families and even for those of us who were not deserted, we are still stymied by their deaths.  We never really get over it but their absences force us to leave our childhoods behind.  We gather what gifts they have left us and we utilize them as we take ownership for being adults.

Our next mission is to pass on the wisdom, share the knowledge and personal stories as we try to equip the next generations with some sure-fired guidelines for living a decent life.  As one cousin said, “We become the family griot who passes on what we know and keep the wholesome traditions alive!”

Lynn M.                                                                                September 23, 2017

The Theater of Good Writing

curtian call

I just read a book called Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger and I could not put it down!  I stayed up well past my bedtime to see who had killed the narrator’s older sister.  The beginning of a well-written book is comparable to the opening of the curtains of a highly-acclaimed play at a theater. Both must draw the audience in quickly and keep them engaged to be considered top-notch writing.

Good writers and playwrights have the ability to take us on excursions into another place and time.  They can keep us spellbound by the descriptive scenes, choice of words and make us care about the welfare of the characters.

When we have read or heard that last line, we silently push back and pause as if we have completed a hearty meal. We become quietly reflective and a thousand what-if’s race through our minds. Good writers reveal life’s beauty in spite of its many imperfections.

Ingredients such as an irresponsible wealthy family, clandestine affairs, murder and suicide will definitely keep those fingers rapidly turning pages or keep audiences sitting on the edges of their seats.

Sometimes, the entire tale is spilled out in the book or on stage, but often there are those soft innuendos that leave blanks and questions. Those unknowns can become the meat of great book club discussions because life can be seen from so many slants and points of view.  Sometimes, it is what was not said that says the most.

Ernest Hemingway said, “In order to write about life first you must live it.”  William Kent Krueger has obviously seen life up close and felt it personally because his writing was like witnessing a great play.

Lynn M.                                                                                  September  16, 2017

Meandering Journeys

journey

Life is a meandering journey.  It is quite different from a clear, cut path.  There are often no quick, pat answers, so the journey continually eludes us.  We have to become quick, change artists and alter our courses as life dictates, one day at a time.

We may have to change our plans an infinite number of times as an alternate path may be commanded from on High.  Birds such as falcons, switch their flight plans at a moment’s notice.  Some unforeseen circumstances prompt them to do so and they take heed.  They follow their intuitive leads which usually warn them of some threat.

We have just embarked upon the hurricane season here in the States and the meteorologists are scrambling to predict the paths of each hurricane.   The residents seek to make good choices to guard themselves against danger. Yet, as in life, only Mother Nature knows the direct path of the hurricanes.

So, out of an abundance of caution, it behooves those who could be impacted to make their journey meander. They must roll with the punches and twist and turn their plans if they want to hold on to life.

We all are on a journey.  Our paths are not known to us but if we listen to our whispering angels, we will get where we are supposed to ultimately end regardless of the route.

Listen, take heed and wind on through to those higher places that offer greater reward and blessed safety!

Lynn M.                                                                         September 9, 2017

Our Own!!

rose single

We must come into our own,
Discard what does not belong.

Weigh the good against the bad,
Delete all that makes us sad.

Dispose the tattered and torn,
Let go, so the new is born.

Battling nerves destabilize,
Tweak, assess or otherwise,

We will suffer under weight.
Of that dark and clinging bait!

 

Lynn M.                                                                                          September 1, 2017

Timeless Thoughts

Agnes Grey

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey.  It is an account of her life as a young governess in two different households.  It is told in the first person and it very much reads like a diary or what we would call a journal today.

I could have written so many notes to put aside as keepsakes because her innermost thoughts and word choices held great meaning for me. Though the work was written 170 years ago (1847), the human experience has not changed.

Due to her proper English background, she had learned to hold her responses to others in check though her feelings ran quite deep.  Today, many people would have spoken these feelings with little hesitation but she had learned to hold them in abeyance.

Here are several scenarios along with the surrounding circumstances taken from the text:

New Boss – “Her company was extremely irksome to me.” (Mrs. Bloomfield)

Job Duties – “The task of instruction was as arduous for the body as the mind.”

Job Stress – “They may crush but they shall not subdue me.”

Self-Talk – “’Be calm, be calm whatever happens,’ I said to myself.”

The Incorrigible Children – “And night and morning, I implored Divine Assistance to the end.”

Applying Parental Advice – “My mother had warned me before to mention them as little as possible to her, for people did not like to be told of their children’s faults and so I concluded I was to keep silence on them altogether.”

After traveling in the snow – “I sat down beside the small, smoldering fire and amused myself with a hearty fit of crying.”

Further prayers – “My prayers, my tears, my wishes, my fears and lamentations were witnessed by myself and heaven alone.”

I really cherished this book by the youngest Bronte sister, Anne.  Haven’t we all had these feelings?  Shouldn’t we pause before we actually voice our deepest sentiments so that we will not offend others?

Lynn M.                                                          August 26, 2017

 

 

Scraping off the Barnacles

sailboat

A barnacle is something that attaches itself to the bottom of a boat.  It weighs it down over time and one might say that it gets a proverbial free ride.  In life, sometimes, things and negative people have subtle ways of latching on to us as well.

For a long time, like the boat, we don’t realize what is impeding our progress.  We just know that we are not advancing or gaining at the desired speed. Our movement has been comprised and hampered.

So like boat owners, we must periodically pull our boats ashore and do a thorough inspection.  When we see that we have been besieged by barnacles such as bad thoughts, unhealthy conditions or toxic company, we know that it is time to make an investment.

It is time to have the barnacles scraped off of the bottom of the boat, no matter how deeply they have managed to lodge themselves onto our backs or hidden sides.  They have multiplied because they act deceptively and operate in low lying places that we rarely have a chance to examine or view openly.

Once we, have had an overhaul, we will naturally feel our movement’s original buoyancy.  We will then be free to move at a mercurial pace as we sail into new and wonderful adventures!

Lynn M.

August 17, 2017