Monthly Archives: September 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

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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

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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

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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!!

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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