Wednesday, October 21, 2009

News From the Front (Part 2)

This evening was the League of Women Voters “Meet the Candidates” evening. I will post a new You-tube soon showing my answers. I was disappointed by the small turnout. So, I directed my comments to the vast You-tube audience that will soon see the video that I hope to produce. The best review I heard says what I hoped to accomplish, it was by a 18 year old senior at the high school, and he said, "I appreciated your passion."

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Just for the record, I can grow some nice dahlias, too. Here are some I picked today. My yard is a disaster this year, but ain't the dahlias pretty? The lighting wasn't great so the colors are off a bit.

The red ones are from tubers Mike Bock gave us last year. The others are from tubers I bought last spring.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Report From The Front

Monday I opened the editorial page of the Dayton Daily News to a big article in which the editors recommended that of the five candidates for the school board, Kettering voters should choose the three current board members seeking reelection -- the “best picks.” I write about it here and about the letter to the editor I wrote this morning.

This You-tube is from the League of Women Voters’ program that will air about ten times on the local cable. Each of the five candidates answered the same questions. In this edit, I just show my responses. I was thoroughly depressed after the taping because I was sure I did horribly. During the taping, at one point I remember meandering down some corridor wondering where in the world I could ever find a conclusion. I felt better after I eventually saw the video and my stammerings and partial thoughts did not stand out as much as I had feared.

My best answer, I think, was the third question, “what project would you like to work on, if elected?” I announced my “little book,” -- “Kettering Public Education In 2022.” The shortest Lulu book allowed, in the style of my first book, is 32 pages. I intend on recycling some of my articles from the first book, but I still need about 16 pages of new material. I show an initial outline here. I am pressing to finish the project by Saturday. I will offer a free e-book but ask for a donation as a fund raiser.

Part of the theme I am attempting to develop in the campaign is the importance of transparency, so, in this video, I decided to talk about issues the other candidates avoided -- the need for a new tax next year, the teachers' raise, etc. Staying quiet is usually considered the smart choice -- I am more likely to be punished for this strategy than rewarded.

Somehow the sound and video are not in synch. The new iMovie has the tools to make the correction -- but I don’t think I’ll take the time to try to redo the whole thing.

The DDN editorial didn’t help me. Had this taping occured after the editorial, I would have responded. Of course, it is a mystery how the public makes its electoral decisions. I’m preparing my ego for the possibility that I could come in dead last. We have two community meetings -- with all five candidates -- between now and the election -- both at churches. Both of these two meeting I arranged with the churches and arranged for Kiwanis to sponsor one evening and the League of Women Voters the other.

I hope to make it to Rome after the election, I’m thinking before Thanksgiving, if we can find a good week-end.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sunday Concert: Truthful Lies

Kathryn Windham
(Photo from NSF site)

Bil Lepp likes to brag about his lying. The boy has made off with the top prize for lying in multiple storytelling contests. I can aver that his lies are admirable whoppers.

Bill Harley nearly flushed himself in fourth grade and earned a trip to the office on the very last day of school.

Rev. Robert Jones has made an old sermon illustration into a ballad. You remember the preacher in the flood who turned down three rescue attempts while "trusting in the Lord".

Donald Davis does the quintessential Donald Davis impression. His stories are nearly perfect. I love them despite the fact that his delivery style is relentlessly presentational.

Barbara McBride-Smith had us rolling on the pavement under the bigtop as she gave the exquisite details of how properly to prepare for a mammogram.

John McCutheon with his guitar, banjo, autuharp, and hammered dulcimer, and songs and stories - talking and singing of his friends, Pete Seeger, Mike Seger, Mary Travers and his new wife Carmen Deedy - kept us laughing and weeping and singing till past midnight.

But the queen is 91-year-old Kathryn Windham. No artifice here. From the heart and absolutely true on any level that matters. You know Aunt Bette, and her Daddy, and her Sister, and her stingy uncle by the time she's through. And you know and love the teller and her molten words.

Sheila and I will leave the hotel again in five minutes for the final performance of the day. It is hard to choose. Maybe we'll listen to the "Williams Tell" -- that's Willy Claflin, Bil Lepp, and Bill Harley, together in the "Library Tent".

If you ever get the chance to visit the National Storytelling Festival take it. The first full weekend in October, 37 years running. Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Here's one story song we heard at the Midnight Caberet last night.

Guarranteed to make your day brighter.....

Stolen from Beth Hughes' Facebook wall. I do not know these people