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Beginnings

2018 MAY NEWSLETTER,  MEMORIAL DAY

NEW BEGINNINGS, IT WORKED FOR ME!!

Memorial Day can pave the way, for us say thank you, thank you, thank you: Fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, relatives, neighbors. Everyday man, everyday woman you know who you are so deserving our fervent hopes and prayers to live in a country where freedom is a reverent outpouring and needs to be memorialized on a regular basis and on a regular basis shown some measure of appreciation in your deeds and words. Right on, Remember the Day, or we will be In Memoriam.

For those that have lost loved one’s serving our country, Our heart-felt loss and sympathy.

AND DON’T FORGET: FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!!

Will S.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Memorial Day can pave the way, for us say thank you, thank you, thank you, Fathers, sons, daughter, brothers, sisters, friends, relatives, neighbors. Everyday man, everyday woman you know who you are so deserving our fervent hopes and prayers to live in a country where freedom is a reverent outpouring and needs to be memorialized on a regular basis and on a regular basis shown some measure of appreciation in your deeds and words. Right on, Remember the Day, or it we will be In Memoriam.

For those that have lost loved one’s serving our country, Our heart-felt loss and sympathy.

AND DON’T FORGET: FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!!

Will S.

 

 

 

21 Memorial Day Quotes To Celebrate & Honor The Red, White, & Blue

By Marisa Casciano

Memorial Day is this coming Monday, which means barbecues and road trips with our besties are right around the corner. You’ll see lots of patriotic shirts on social media, and maybe check out the parade in your town. It’s always sweet to have a reason to celebrate, but it’s also so important to remember exactly why we’re waving our flags. These Memorial Day quotes will set the perfect tone for your celebrations, and remind you to pause and reflect during your day off.

In between all of the burgers and beach days, take time to come together with your friends and family and honor what this day is all about. Sure, it’s nice to have some time away from work to relax, but this holiday is meant to commemorate all of those men and women who have served our country. We can’t thank them enough; they were incredibly brave in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness for all.

We may not have know them personally, but proudly putting our flags up this weekend is a great way to show our appreciation, and pay tribute to those who have died fighting for our country. These 21 quotes will help you celebrate the stars and stripes this Memorial Day.

  1. “Home of the free, because of the brave.” — Unknown
  2. “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” — Peter Marshall
  3. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John F. Kennedy
  4. “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.” — William J. Clinton
  5. “Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.” — Mary Roach
  6. “To those in uniform serving today and to those who have served in the past, we honor you today and every day.” — Unknown
  7. “Their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.” — Daniel Webster
  8. “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight — it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
  9. “We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.” — Unknown
  10. “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” — John F. Kennedy
  11. “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” — Theodore Roosevelt
  12. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” — Maya Angelou
  13. “We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.” — Barack Obama
  14. “Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay.” — Barack Obama
  15. “What we need are critical lovers of America — patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it.” — Hubert H. Humphrey
  16. “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” — Benjamin Franklin
  17. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” — Joseph Campbell
  18. “Memorial Day: celebrate, honor, remember.” — Unknown
  19. “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” — John F. Kennedy
  20. “Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.” — Calvin Coolidge
  21. “Honoring the heroes who served to hold our flag high.” — Unknown

Hopefully, you found a few quotes that reminded you of the beauty and strength of the land of the free and the home of the brave. This Memorial Day, Just be sure to raise your flags, and send your love out to those who fought for the red, white, and blue.

We may not have know them personally, but proudly putting our flags up this weekend is a great way to show our appreciation, and pay tribute to those who have died fighting for our country. These 21 quotes will help you celebrate the stars and stripes this Memorial Day.

Hopefully, you found a few quotes that reminded you of the beauty and strength of the land of the free and the home of the brave. This Memorial Day, Just be sure to raise your flags, and send your love out to those who fought for the red, white, and blue.

     

 

IT WORKED 4 ME!!

 

I think this is going to blow peoples’ minds, the fact that I’m even here to tell the story.

This is my initial attempt to reach out and relate this to other paranormal incidents in my life, only kidding.  Paranormal would be an oxymoron for me, but it has still been a most remarkable journey.  It hasn’t been easy, but it also hasn’t been disastrous. There have been too many guardian angels looking out for me and working overtime; time and a half and double time.

Well, now that we are ready to begin I’ve been waiting for this opportunity. In embarking on the initial post of “It worked 4 me,” I have conceptualized a few areas of interest to focus on. I’ve even expanded upon a few themes.

Topics of Interest

Health Issues,

Daily Routine

Activities and Exercising Issues

Spiritual Concerns

Musical Hankerings

Making a Difference

Relationships Personal & Interpersonal

Intergenerational Connections

As I explore and expound upon these topics there will be some antidotes to possibly add to your arsenal of fighting off evil spirits or enhancing your tactics for dealing with life’s trials and tribulations.

Although the title is “It Worked 4 Me” there are so many implications revolving around this title. I will be revealing not only “what worked for me but in the reverse universe; what didn’t seem to work, will sort that out later:

So where do I begin?  I guess it wouldn’t hurt to begin from the beginning.It all started by having two very loving and caring parents. Don’t know if you can be loving and not caring, it was a package deal. Tying it in with hard work and managing to survive the ups and downs in order to elevate into the confines of the middle class. Their conscientious efforts would bear fruit.

Survived being a 6-week early preemie. I had every childhood illness imaginable by the time I was 5: mumps, whooping-cough, measles, etc.

So where do I begin?  I guess it wouldn’t hurt to begin from the beginning.

It all started by having two very loving and caring parents. Don’t know if you can be loving and not caring, it was a package deal. Tying it in with hard work and managing to survive the ups and downs in order to elevate into the confines of the middle class. Their conscientious efforts would bear fruit.

Survived being a 6-week early preemie. I had every childhood illness imaginable by the time I was 5: mumps, whooping-cough, measles, etc. Did wind up with pneumonia from that water/ flooding episode. Mom and Dad had to take me to the hospital at 2 am from convulsions and things.  What saved me was getting my tonsils out then and that seemed “To work 4 me.” As most of you know about this “saving grace,” and I will be using this term a great deal, I woke up to the fact that I could have whatever flavors of ice-cream I wanted.  This has stayed with me a lifetime. There are at least 7 or 8 assorted varieties of ice cream in my freezer, from your Bluebell and Breyers to Klondike bars and ice cream sandwiches. It’s 10:30 pm, think I’m going to get some now. Edy’s, French Silk and Blue Bell, Cherry Vanilla with a dollop of Cool Whip. OK now I’m ready.

I do have a sibling; a younger sister who balanced the scales so that my folks, Thelma and Joe felt that they were entitled to a breather after 5 years of a hellion on wheels. Didn’t have to be on LAND necessarily, could be AIR; falling out of trees (or almost from a 5-story apartment window), SEA; locking myself in the bathroom with a 4-year old buddy and turning on the faucets until the super could get the door unlocked; with only a couple of inches of water accumulated. Just another example of how challenging I was even at an early age.

To corroborate this, my lovely sister, Bonnie Lynn had taken a very important step. She thought enough of my early adventures  to collet a few of them and on my 29th birthday proceeded to deliver, “Billy Stories, First Edition.” I will only wiki-leak one of the 10 as a sampling to whet your appetite for the time being.

I have been blessed with very good jeans and DNA. My parents and family have lived healthy lives for the most part. My experiences with being fit and avoiding life’s pitfalls have been nothing less than extraordinary of which I hope this doesn’t change the previous course of action.

So here are other samplings.

Exercise regimen: From the outset I was always fast. Hyperactive so to speak. If they knew about all the things that they tell parents not to have their children do or eat I would be the prime candidate of what not to do. Trouble added to this; my middle name. I was even fast for New York. My folks would say that our neighbors would tell them they recognize Bill from the back as he was always running through their backyards and bushes. This is one of the first entries in my sister’s BILLY STORIES, VOL. 1

Bill’s editor’s note: Never did own a Jaguar. Was hoping book sales would help grease the track; not happening.

 

This put me in good stead (running through backyards) because it got me started in a landscaping business which began when I was 12 and continued until I was 20 years old; nine years. I developed my inward and outward growth. Taking care of lawns, mowing and doing the gardening. This was in Syosset, on Long Island, New York. From March until October each year with 10-11 lawns a week to take care of by me, myself and I. It was good exercise and I supplemented this with my conditioning workout of push-ups and sit-ups that I started in my teenage years and have continued throughout my life. The money wasn’t bad either for going through these impressionable years (this creates another Billy story which will appear later on).  When it was decided that I would be going to the local community college; Nassau Community College the money saved from my lawn service helped pay for my transportation for the 30-45-minute commute. I was able to purchase a nice red Buick, LeSabre convertible. The folks were able to help out a little, but I felt pretty good about working all those years and having something nice to show for it.

As I said I was a preemie and an incubator baby, 6 weeks ahead of schedule. It was and is the only time I’ve been early. And I was always fast which made a conundrum to the expression “hurry up and wait.“ I wasn’t waiting; that’s been part of my problems. My hair guy says I will even be late to my own funeral. As long as I can there. Anyway, the John Denver’s song “Around and Around” belies that sentiment, I want to be there when I die. The refrain goes like this:

And I love to see the morning as it steals across the sky

I love to remember, and I love to wonder why

And I hope that I’m around, so I can be there when I die

And when I’m gone.

It really is a fun song and I hope to fill in some of the other versus along the way. For those interested here is the link for John Denver’s Around and  Around.

As you can gather, music has been a very big part of my life. This was instilled in me early on from my parents. They enjoyed music and had a nice collection of record albums, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Henry Mancini and Mitch Miller plus a lot of the Broadway show tunes. Growing up so close to the great White Way, “45 Minutes from Broadway” you would say it was a close encounter of the second kind. They of course loved to croon with the big band sounds of the 40’s and their growing up years.

I picked-up on this with the music of rock n’ roll, the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I play many of them on my guitar. It may be something to impart to my readers; who will then become listeners, lol 

I am so happy to be able to create this Blog.  I am hoping to share with you some wonderful things.  I’m a Pollyanna and a cosmic optimist. So, I want to reveal some of the little things, sometimes the little things mean a lot.  I’ll be going to the Holy Land next month, leaving June 12th.  I realize this is not a little thing. I am so excited as I’ve never been there.

After Dad’s book was finished I promised myself I would go, and I was hoping book sales would help pay for the getaway.  This is not the case, so I will be taking some of my life savings and going.  It just so happens there is a very nice family gathering involving my cousin Pam, whose daughter, Jessica is getting Bat Mitzvah; which means she will be turning 13 years old in Madrid Spain. Pam lives there with her dear husband Ramon, and her other older children Rebecca and Jake. So, for the nominal charge of $40, Gate1 Travel arranged for the flight home to be split, I will fly from Tel Aviv to Madrid after the 14-day Israel Tour and spend 10 days in Spain before flying back to Miami, and then Miami, and then home to Tampa.

Back to the little things.  I just received my passport which had to be updated and it’s a beautiful little document and they’re equally beautiful sayings if you have one of the newer ones; it’s been 10 years. They must have regular updates, so as I was leafing through it, came across two particularly pertinent quotes.

“The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or sect, a party or a class – it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.” Anna Julia Cooper.

And then on the last page a nice picture of the moon and the earth with the orbiting lunar command module. The quote that appears on the top, “Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds… To look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.” Ellison S. Onizuka.

 

So, I’ll be hoping to have my June Newsletter tied together with both posts: “It worked 4 Me” and “American Dreamer. “It should be most interesting to have the Newsletter sent from the Holy Land. I’m praying that it can be done as it worked when I sent my November 2017 newsletter while on the Disney and TCM (Turner Classic Movies) Cruise and could utilize the ship’s Wi-Fi.

OK for now. Will be putting together  a whole litany of projects this summer. I plan on utilizing material from my first two books plus a lifetime of material that I am carrying around inside with me that can be put to good use. Looking to do more motivational tours and speaking engagements starting in the fall. A lot is going to be happening between now and then so stay tuned.

 

ALSO WORTH NOTING:

Dr. Herman’s Lecture featured in the 2018 APRIL NEWSLETTER PT. 1 is going viral

We’ve had considerable success with our Earth Day outreach efforts that was Part 1 of the 2018 April Newsletter. Dr. Herman Koren’s Lecture about Silencing Science and our Environmental nightmare is meeting with astonishing success.

There have been:

4,000 transmittals to the American Public Health Association.

 3,000 Environmental Health Section another 2,000 Policy and Planning

The Chief Executive of American Public Health Associations is being asked to send it out to all 60,000 of its members

Thanks again for your interest and wishing you all a great month ahead with warmest regards and much progress with all your endeavors

Copyright © 2018             William Sefekar

 

New Beginnings

2018 MAY NEWSLETTER,  MEMORIAL DAY

NEW BEGINNINGS, IT WORKED FOR ME – COULD WORK 4 YOU!!

Please also check out my new Blog at www.itworked4me.com thanks and enjoy!

Memorial Day can pave the way, for us say thank you, thank you, thank you: Fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, relatives, neighbors. Everyday man, everyday woman you know who you are so deserving our fervent hopes and prayers to live in a country where freedom is a reverent outpouring and needs to be memorialized on a regular basis and on a regular basis shown some measure of appreciation in your deeds and words. Right on, Remember the Day, or we will be In Memoriam.

For those that have lost loved one’s serving our country, Our heart-felt loss and sympathy.

AND DON’T FORGET: FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!!

Will S.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Memorial Day can pave the way, for us say thank you, thank you, thank you, Fathers, sons, daughter, brothers, sisters, friends, relatives, neighbors. Everyday man, everyday woman you know who you are so deserving our fervent hopes and prayers to live in a country where freedom is a reverent outpouring and needs to be memorialized on a regular basis and on a regular basis shown some measure of appreciation in your deeds and words. Right on, Remember the Day, or it we will be In Memoriam.

For those that have lost loved one’s serving our country, Our heart-felt loss and sympathy.

AND DON’T FORGET: FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!!

Will S.

 

 

 

21 Memorial Day Quotes To Celebrate & Honor The Red, White, & Blue

By Marisa Casciano

Memorial Day is this coming Monday, which means barbecues and road trips with our besties are right around the corner. You’ll see lots of patriotic shirts on social media, and maybe check out the parade in your town. It’s always sweet to have a reason to celebrate, but it’s also so important to remember exactly why we’re waving our flags. These Memorial Day quotes will set the perfect tone for your celebrations, and remind you to pause and reflect during your day off.

In between all of the burgers and beach days, take time to come together with your friends and family and honor what this day is all about. Sure, it’s nice to have some time away from work to relax, but this holiday is meant to commemorate all of those men and women who have served our country. We can’t thank them enough; they were incredibly brave in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness for all.

We may not have know them personally, but proudly putting our flags up this weekend is a great way to show our appreciation, and pay tribute to those who have died fighting for our country. These 21 quotes will help you celebrate the stars and stripes this Memorial Day.

  1. “Home of the free, because of the brave.” — Unknown
  2. “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” — Peter Marshall
  3. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John F. Kennedy
  4. “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.” — William J. Clinton
  5. “Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.” — Mary Roach
  6. “To those in uniform serving today and to those who have served in the past, we honor you today and every day.” — Unknown
  7. “Their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.” — Daniel Webster
  8. “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight — it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
  9. “We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.” — Unknown
  10. “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” — John F. Kennedy
  11. “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” — Theodore Roosevelt
  12. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” — Maya Angelou
  13. “We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.” — Barack Obama
  14. “Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay.” — Barack Obama
  15. “What we need are critical lovers of America — patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it.” — Hubert H. Humphrey
  16. “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” — Benjamin Franklin
  17. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” — Joseph Campbell
  18. “Memorial Day: celebrate, honor, remember.” — Unknown
  19. “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” — John F. Kennedy
  20. “Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.” — Calvin Coolidge
  21. “Honoring the heroes who served to hold our flag high.” — Unknown

Hopefully, you found a few quotes that reminded you of the beauty and strength of the land of the free and the home of the brave. This Memorial Day, Just be sure to raise your flags, and send your love out to those who fought for the red, white, and blue.

We may not have know them personally, but proudly putting our flags up this weekend is a great way to show our appreciation, and pay tribute to those who have died fighting for our country. These 21 quotes will help you celebrate the stars and stripes this Memorial Day.

Hopefully, you found a few quotes that reminded you of the beauty and strength of the land of the free and the home of the brave. This Memorial Day, Just be sure to raise your flags, and send your love out to those who fought for the red, white, and blue.

     

 

IT WORKED 4 ME!!

 

I think this is going to blow PEOPLE’S Mind, the fact that I’m even here to tell the story.

This is my initial attempt to reach out and relate this with others paranormal incidents in my life, only kidding.  Paranormal would be an oxymoron for me, but it has still been a most remarkable journey.  It hasn’t been easy, but it also hasn’t been disastrous. There have been too many guardian angels looking out for me and working overtime; time and a half and double time.

 Well, now we are ready to begin I’ve been waiting for this opportunity. In embarking on the initial post of “It worked 4 me,” I have conceptualized a few areas of interest to focus on. Even the few themes, were expanded upon.

Topics of Interest

Health Issues,

Daily Routine

Activities and Exercising Issues

Spiritual Concerns

Musical Hankerings

Making a difference

Relationships personal & interpersonal

Intergenerational connections

 As I explore and expound upon these topics there will be some antidotes to possibly add to your arsenal of fighting off evil spirits or enhancing your tactics for dealing with life’s trials and tribulations.

 Although the title is “It Worked 4 Me” there are so many implications revolving around this title. I will be revealing not only “what worked for me but in the reverse universe; what didn’t seem to work, will sort it out later:

So where do I begin, guess it wouldn’t hurt from the beginning.

It all started by having two very loving and caring parents. Don’t know if you can be loving and not caring, it was a packaged deal. Tying it in with hard-working and managing to survive the ups and downs to fall with-in the confines of the middle class. Their conscientious efforts would bear fruit.

 Survived being a 6-week-old early preemie. Had every childhood illness imaginable by the time I was 5: mumps, whooping-cough, measles, etc.  Did wind up with pneumonia from that water/ flooding episode. Mom and Dad had to take me to the hospital at 2 am from convulsions and things.  What saved me was getting my tonsils out then and that seemed “To work 4 me.” As most of you know about this “saving grace” and I will be using this term a great deal, was waking up to the fact that I could have whatever flavors of ice-cream I wanted.  This has stayed with me a life-time. There are at least 7 or 8 assorted varieties in my freezer, from your Bluebell and Breyers to Klondike bars and ice cream sandwiches. It’s 10:30 pm, think I’m going to get some now. Edy’s, French Silk and Blue Bell, Cherry Vanilla with a dollop of Cool Whip. OK now I’m ready.

Did have a sibling; a younger sister who balanced the scales so that there my folks, Thelma and Joe felt that they were entitled to a breather after 5 years of a hellion on wheels. Didn’t have to be on LAND necessarily, could be AIR; falling out of trees (or almost from a 5-story apartment window), SEA; locking myself in the bathroom with a 4-year old buddy and turning on the faucets until the super could get the door unlocked; with only a couple of inches of water. Just another example of how challenging I was even at an early age.

To corroborate this, my lovely sister, Bonnie Lynn had taken a very important step. She thought enough of my earlier my meanderings, collected a few of them and on my 29th year-old birthday proceeded to delivery, Billy Stories, first edition. I will only wiki-leak one of the 10 as a sampling to whet your appetite for the time being.

I have been blessed with very good jeans and DNA. My parents and family have lived healthy lives for the most part. My experiences with being fit and avoiding life’s pitfalls has been nothing less than extraordinary of which I hope this doesn’t change the previous course of action.

So here are other samplings.

Exercise regimen: From the outset I was always fast. Hyper active so to speak. If they knew about all the things that they tell parents not to have their children do or eat I would be the prime candidate of what not to do. Trouble added to this; my middle name. I was even fast for New York. My folks would say that our neighbors would tell them they recognize Bill from the back as he was always running through their back yards and bushes. This is one of the first entries in my sister’s BILLY STORIES, VOL. 1

Bill’s editor’s note: Never did own a Jaguar. Was hoping book sales would help grease the track; not happening.

 

This put me in good stead (running through back yards) because it got me started in a landscaping business which began when I was 12 and continued until I was 20 years old; nine years. I developed my inward and outward growth. Taking care of lawns, mowing and doing the gardening. This was in Syosset, on Long Island, New York. From March until October each year with 10-11 lawns a week to take care of; me, myself and I. It was good exercise and I supplemented this with my conditioning workout of push-ups and sit-ups that I started in my teenage years and have continued throughout my life. The money wasn’t bad either for going through these impressionable years (this creates another Billy story which will appear later on).  When it was decided that I would be going to the local community College; Nassau College the money saved from my lawn service helped pay for my transportation for the 30-45-minute commute. I was able to purchase a nice spiffy red Buick, LaSabre convertible. The folks were able to help out a little, but I felt pretty good about working all those years and having something nice to show for it.

As I said I was a preemie and an incubator baby, 6 weeks ahead of schedule. It was and is the only time I’ve been early. And I was always fast which made a conundrum to the expression “hurry up and wait.“ I wasn’t waiting; that’s been part of my problems. My hair guy says I will even be late to my own funeral. As long as I can there. Anyway, the John Denver’s song “Around and Around” belies that sentiment, I want to be there when I die. The refrain goes like this:

And I love to see the morning as it steals across the sky

I love to remember, and I love to wonder why

And I hope that I’m around, so I can be there when I die

And when I’m gone.

It really is a fun song and I hope to fill in some of the other versus along the way. For those interested here is the link for John Denver’s Around and  Around.

As you can gather, music has been a very big part of my life. This was instilled in me early on from my parents. They enjoyed music and had a nice collection of record albums, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Henry Mancini and Mitch Miller plus a lot of the Broadway show tunes. Growing up so close to the great White Way, “45 Minutes from Broadway” you would say it was a close encounter of the second kind. They of course loved to croon with the big band sounds of the 40’s and their growing up years.

I picked-up on this with the music of rock n’ roll, the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I play many of them on my guitar. It may be something to impart to my readers; who will then become listeners, lol 

I am so happy to be able to do this I am hoping to share with you some wonderful things as you know I’m a Pollyanna and a cosmic optimist. So, I want to reveal some of the little things, sometimes the little things mean a lot.  I’ll be going to the Holy Land next month, leaving June 12; now I realize this is not a little thing. I am so excited I’ve never been there.

After Dad’s book was finished I promised myself I would go, was hoping book sales would help pay for the getaway.  Not the case will be taking some of my life savings and going.  It just so happens there is a very nice family gathering of my cousin Pam, whose daughter, Jessica is getting Bat Mitzvah; which means she will be turning 13 years old in Madrid Spain. Pam lives with her dear husband Ramon, and her other older children Rebecca and Jake. So, for the nominal charge of $40, Gate1 Travel arranged for the flight home to be split, I will fly from Tel Aviv to Madrid after the 14-day Tour and spend 10 days before flying back to Miami, and then home to Tampa.

Back to the little things, ha I just received my passport which had to be updated and it’s a beautiful little document and they’re equally beautiful sayings if you have one of the later ones; it’s been 10 years. They must have regular updates, so as I was leafing through it, came across two particularly pertinent quotes.

“The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or sect, a party or a class – it is the cause of human kind, the very birthright of humanity.” Anna Julia Cooper. 

And then on the last page a nice picture of the moon and the earth with the orbiting lunar command module. The quote that appears on the top, “Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds… To look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.” Ellison S. Onizuka.

 

So, I’ll be hoping to have my June Newsletter tied together with both posts: “It worked 4 Me” and “American Dreamer. “It should be most interesting to have the Newsletter sent from the Holy Land, I’m praying that it can be done as it worked when I went on my November 2017 newsletter while on the Disney and TCM (Turner Classic Movies) Cruise and could utilize the ships Wi-Fi.

 OK for now. Will be putting together of a whole litany of projects this summer. I plan on utilizing material from my first two books plus a life-time of material that I am carrying around inside with me that can put to good use. Looking to do more motivational tours, speaking engagements starting in the fall. A lot is going to be happening between now and then so stay tuned.

 

ALSO WORTH NOTING:

Dr. Herman’s Lecture featured in the 2018 APRIL NEWSLETTER PT. 1 is going viral

We’ve had considerable success with our Earth Day outreach efforts that was Part 1 of the 2018 April Newsletter. Dr. Herman Koren’s Lecture about Silencing Science and our Environmental nightmare is meeting with astonishing success.

There have been:

4,000 transmittals to the American Public Health Association.

 3,000 Environmental Health Section another 2,000 Policy and Planning

The Chief Executive of American Public Health Associations is being asked to send it out to all 60,000 of its members

Thanks again for your interest and wishing you all a great month ahead with warmest regards and much progress with all your endeavors

Copyright © 2018             William Sefekar

 

POST 51: WHAT IMMIGRANTS MEAN TO AMERICA

WHAT IMMIGRANTS MEAN TO AMERICA
I am bewildered and dumbfounded that our worst fears are coming to be realized.  Over the years we always tried to wonder how could it have been possible that the most civilized, the most educated nation on earth at the time – Germany could have succumbed to the horrors of the Nazis and currently the neo-Nazis under a banner of one man.
These things are unfathomable now.
Well, we are coming to realize that it’s happening, this is happening. The truth cannot be denied what was considered “right” is being twisted to the whims of charlatans under the banner of freedom and the right to speak. My Dad’s book has given me an opportunity that I never thought it would be. It puts me in a position to speak out. I’m writing a story, a memoir, people are telling me; oh you know, it’s just your Dad’s story and be satisfied with this and leave it at that. Well it seems to have taken on a life of its own and I’ll share with you a couple of passages that I’ve re-visited a few times on previous blog posts and his writings and what he shared with us, it jumps out at you and comes alive. Here are a few of the excerpts. The initial one refers to the “New Museum” that opened on the Capitol Mall in 1974. Two years later, this Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden prepared a major Exhibit for the Bicentennial. The theme was Immigrant’s Contribution to the United States 1876 – 1976. It also dealt with Artists – Immigrants of America. Initial references from the book included the building and opening of the Air and Space Museum adjacent to the Hirshhorn and its new curator Michael Collins who happened to be the Lunar Module Commander for Apollo 11. This was also mentioned in the previous chapter, Chapter 8, from “American Dreamer,” pages 185-189.

Excerpts from American Dreamer pg 186

I relished this opportunity and to impart some of my knowledge and experience knowing what it was like to be a fledgling; new kid on the block. It was an exceptional event, Thelma and I were glad to be part of it.
But this did not keep us from getting our first major, eye-opening exhibit ready to make our own contribution to the American Bicentennial. The plan was put into place an exhibit to acknowledge the contribution of the “Immigrants’” over the last 100 years that have come to our shores with the rich emphasis on Immigrant’s Art Influence.
With all the hoopla today centering around immigrants and immigration we shouldn’t lose sight of how much we owe to the millions, upon millions, upon millions who would even be considered refugees that came to this country as a last resort; and not just “ARTISTS – IMMIGRANTS OF AMERICA.” One of the things that I was most proud of was the Golden Door publication dealing with ARTIST- IMMIGRANTS OF AMERICA, 1876 – 1976. Part of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden exhibit and publication; May 20 through October 20, 1976. One of the numerous articles as early as the turn-of-the-century appeared in the New York Times and deals with the heading “Immigration Record Will Be Broken This Year; 1906.”
What makes this so prophetic is that part of this newsletter about the Golden Door is the reflection on what figures to be its personification of “Liberty.” At the base of the statue at the entrance to New York Harbor symbolizes the immigrants’ expectations. On Liberty’s base was inscribed the words by Emma Lazarus’ closing verses: Patriotic sentiments:

Give me you’re tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore; send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the Golden door!

 
(Figure 9.23 Golden Door Artists- Immigrants 1876-1976); Figure PP5.1  (Figure 9.24 Bicentennial Exhibit, MEMO; Figure PP5.2


Figure 9.25 Bicentennial Exhibit Article, “Melting Pot” Figure PP5.3

Their acceptance was a cyclical thing, the immigrant’s lot would go through periods of increases and decreases. In the article, the last paragraph states “the outbreak of World War I led to intensified efforts to assure the immigrants’ patriotism and loyalty.”  By the 1920s, however, a virulent restrictionism began to dominate the American attitude towards immigration.  Passage “Through the Golden Door” became possible for fewer and fewer immigrants.” How ironic that things haven’t changed much during the passage of all these years.

The second passage that I’ve included, is from a letter that my Dad sent to Mike Wallace of media broadcasting and of the “60 Minutes” fame 40 years ago.  But first, let me digress to the serious events and issues of today.
I am pleased to share with you a message written by my good friend, Rabbi Daniel Treiser of the Temple B’nai Israel, Clearwater Florida.  It addresses recent events that culminated with the terror attacks against protesters and the death of Heather Heyer and the injury of 19 others as well as the tragic loss of Lt. H Jay and Trooper Burke M.M. Bates when their helicopter crashed in Virgina a week ago.

   

Rabbi Daniel Treiser Message on the today’s current events and issues, Figure PP5.4

This message should be read vigilantly and taken to heart. Rabbi Treiser tried to carefully purport all the views dealing with the circumstances that took place.
Quoting a friend and colleague Rabbi Dan Levin who wrote, “Neo-Nazis and white supremacist know nothing of those whom they hate. They seek to find power and preserve privilege in society, not by virtue of their own personal merit and achievement, but because they worship the superficial and have found scapegoats to blame for their frustrations and resentments.” And follows with words of the great Ellie Wiesel, Prof. and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” And Rabbi Treiser continued, “we cannot remain silent. The overwhelming voice of good, tolerance and love in our nation MUST be stronger than the shouts of hate. Vigils and rallies against intolerance continue to occur throughout our communities. Be a part of them.”
As I said, there are strange things happening.  Is it just coincidental that the crypto quote on August 16, was a saying from Rosa Park, the very brave woman who refused to leave her seat at the front of a Birmingham Alabama bus and started the Civil Rights Movement in earnest?  Here is one of her formidable responses. It Is certainly applicable today and for the future: “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
What is going to be occurring in the next months and years is incumbent upon all of us not to stand by and let others go forth and express views that we are sympathetic with. It sounds and looks like it is going to be necessary to pick up the torch, that’s the irony of ironies because those people who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia under banner of white supremacists promoting bigotry, racism, hatred carried with torches. It was those inexpensive tiki-torches which they purchased to spew their message of hate and intimidation which if it gets out of hand could burn down the democracy that this country was built on. I am writing this at about 1:30 am, Thursday morning, August 17 with the help of my voice recorder which has been instrumental in preparing and capturing what evolved into the American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe baby; He Wrote It… They Did It… He Saved It… If I didn’t have all these little nuances, advances for preparing this material it would a disadvantage. Yet, this is what my Dad had to deal with when he first sat down and hand wrote everything and then saved it. It would be a long time coming before it all came together for us to perceive.
So, what you can see is, we need to be vigil and as the saying that has been handed down to us, “Freedom is Not Free” and “Silence is Not Golden”.  It’s a means of perpetuating our inheritance and our heritage.
Thank you for this opportunity to be able to speak out. I admire all those people who went to the rallies and organized to show their support for the freedoms that we hold dear and evidently there is a wide range of support that is going to be needed.  We fought for it, we defended it, we need to keep defending it.
My Dad wrote about it and we all need to speak out in gatherings and our places of worship, city halls, in parks and show the spirit of this great country and what it was based on.  Maybe we’ve had it too easy and the time is necessary to show our cherished values and our moral courage.  God help America as well as we need to pitch in to help the cause.
This country is based on the hard work, and blood of immigrants, that tilled the fields, fueled the factories, secured the battlefields and don’t let anybody say otherwise.  This is what is real, not fake news, it’s not something that we normally shout about that when people like my Dad took the time to keep this close to his heart and wanted us to know what it meant. He didn’t shine by going about wanting to make people see it, carry torches, yet he thought about every day, whether working hard, as a soldier, father, helping in the building of Museums, Performing Arts Centers and Libraries; he showed by example.
This is the reason I have acquired the Domain Name: ImmigrantsRUSA.com and once the book is published I plan to have time, I would like to hear your stories, about your family; your parents, grandparents, and of course you.
I listen to some of the twisted justifications that these white supremacy neo-Nazis spew that they think they were just dropped in this country, that they are the purveyors of what’s right.  They must be blind to the fact that every one of us are immigrants, unless we came from an old Indian nation.  We worked hard, we built this country. What have they done that they could justify to purge everyone that doesn’t fall into their view of the Aryan image and mentality?  It’s almost always the same, whether it’s religious fanaticism or extremism.  You really have a tough time trying to reason with this ideology.
Joe Sefekar, almost 40 years ago felt it was necessary to speak out in his terms so he wrote it out.  He tried to separate free speech and our First Amendment with calling for riotous actions and atrocities from the heinous outpourings of Nazi sympathizers in Skokie, Illinois.
This was in comparison to the listener of the Mike Wallace radio talk show when comedian George Carlin used a few colorful words that the listener felt offensive because his young son happened to be in the car listening in comparison to Nazi sympathizers discharging death and other atrocities.

 


(Figure 10.18 Letter to Mike Wallace of 60 minutes); Figure PP5.5

I even had time (Joe speaking) to contact Mike Wallace formidable TV host of “60 Minutes,” about a news report hearing with George Carlin, the comedian from one of the listeners who heard these dirty words while he was driving with his son and was offended. The new story followed an item on the Skokie demonstration – how can Mr. Douglas talk about an insult on the senses and not say anything about life-and-death assault by the Nazis in Skokie, Illinois? Is only assault on the senses could be condoned under the First Amendment, but an assault on death should not be allowed to surface as free speech when what it spews forth its death.

I went on to furnish some facts if they could use the follow-up scenario: That being a native-born American, with some normal religious interest – meaning like attending Friday night services, just as Catholics attend Sunday church services. By the grace of God, my parents migrated from Salonica, Greece to America. My mother left three sisters behind, they, their husbands and children were slain by the Germans, 15 in all. Four cousins survived the concentration camps – one is in Canada, one is in New York and two are in Israel. My exposure to the Holocaust was during my tour of duty in Europe with Hdqtrs. First U.S. Army. Our units liberated Buchenwald and I observed what remained before it was cleaned up. What will stay with me forever was the abattoir with hooks along the walls below the ceiling. Two survivors explained that the prisoners were impaled by their chin on the hooks. Maybe it is a sense of stoicness and the ability to bend instead of breaking that has enabled the Jew to survive throughout the generations. My cousin Haim became a bank guard in Tel Aviv; Eli owns a carpet store in Canada; Pepo is a grocer-owner in Brooklyn.

So, as indicated earlier, I’m planning to launch this website www.ImmigrantsRUSA.com and will open up the door, open up the gates to hear stories that people would like to share and I’d like to hear from these white supremacists to have the guts to see what their contributions have been; positive contributions have been to help build this country, make it better, instead of spewing hatred and belligerency.

 

POST #50   PRE-PRINTING PT. 1

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

HE WROTE IT, THEY DID IT, HE SAVED IT; TRANSFORMING AMERICA!!

“JOE SEFEKAR’S INSPIRING STORY OF AN IMMIGRANT’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEALTH, WELFARE, AND ARTS OF UNITED STATES.”

HOLD THE PRESSES EVERYONE, JUST RECEIVED NEWS THAT “OUR COMMANDER IN GRIEF” HAS ISSUED HIS PONTIFICATION ON IMMIGRATION GUIDELINES.

Good thing it wasn’t issued 100 years ago. I’d be writing this posting from Salonika, Greece and it would be all Greek to you.  Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on this right now and detract from the message appearing below. And I want to carefully craft my response before it goes viral.  You know what they say when hitting the send button it cannot be retracted.  So, expect to hear something in the next day or so.

OK, ANOTHER STOP THE PRESSES, This time for a major accomplishment.  My sister Bonnie Sefekar Landau and her husband Lee Elliot Landau celebrated today on Thursday, August 3, 2017; 43 years of happily marital bliss.  Wonderful years together, I can attest; Soul mates from the get-go.  No, this is not a Geico commercial.  He even loaned her one of his kidneys three (3) years ago.  And they’re living happily after laughter.

Figures PP.1  Bonnie and Lee’s Wedding,  My Sister, Bonnie and Lee Landau Celebrating 43 years of marital bliss today, Thursday, August 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

HOW BEAUTIFUL THE YEARS HAVE BEEN

Welcome my good and dear readers, friends, and country folks.  Well, we’re here in August. July, offered a lot of good happenings.  Met some new people and contacts, opened some new doors that will help with getting the book ready for distribution.

 A few of the major developments is that the Book Council in New York saw fittingly enough of the book it was presented, they will want me to speak at a number of book fairs and literary gatherings.  First on the agenda is the 2017-2018 Festival of Jewish Books & Conversations.  This Tampa Bay event is being held in October where yours truly the Opening night Author.   Also in dropping off copies of the books to the Hirshhorn Museum and Ruth Eckert Hall here in Clearwater, there’s been a very good response and I’ll share this with you.

 

 

Figure PP.2  Ruth Eckerd Hall acknowledging Tampa copy of book presented to them.

Figure PP.1  Invitation to be part of  Jewish Book Fair in October.

 

So, we are in the final throes of getting the book to you and once the details are available we will arrange for the actual delivery date.   I will be looking to travel in the next few months to broaden the horizons and meet many of you that have been following us.  So, I will be happy to provide a schedule of where these events will be held and possibly at a Barnes & Noble’s bookstore near you.  Thanks again for all your interest and support and we’ll talk soon.

We will be zeroing on a date forth coming for obtaining copies of the book.  We are also planning to allow readers to access the website or blog postings and have available pertinent documents and materials and pictures not able to be included in the book.  It would make the cost prohibitive; as providing a nice twist to it so it kinds of doubles the pleasure as well is a good bang for the buck, ha.

I’ve been providing examples throughout of all my Father dutifully collected letters, documents, memorabilia.  This one is for the hundred days (100) prior to the 2000 Millennium.  Daily articles appeared in the St. Petersburg Times.  Starting with September 23rd, 1999 and leading up to December 31, 2000, the Times had a Capsule summary with pictures for each year.  I found them all in a folder and managed to crop and scan the pictures of some of “their” (Mom and Dad’s) highlighted years and then reverted to quarter-century presentations in preceding blog postings.  Interestingly enough the last twenty-five years appear in the August Newsletter for your reading enjoyment.  As you can imagine these 11 by 18 pages would not bode-well for inclusion in the printed book.  This was confirmed by the copy editor of the printing company printing the first 18 Bound Galley copies of the book; showing her the complete rendition of the over 25 pages encapsulating a hundred years.  It was very entertaining as she leafed through it, picking out all the major highlights of her birth, marriage, children being born etc.  A major advantage worth mentioning about this format is allowing once clicked on you can increase the magnification to see it more clearly and with better resolution, a real-win-win. So, it’s a bonus for the book to include links to Appendices, large files and blog postings that are pertinent but could not be added due to the number of pages, color content and allows an outlet for new additional material that comes to light…

 

 

 

 

 

Figure PP.4 Century Countdown 1972-1975,   Figure PP.5  Century Countdown 1976-1978

 

 

 

 

Figure PP.6  Century Countdown 1979-1981,  Figure PP.7  Century Countdown 1982-1985

 

 

 

 

Figure PP.8  Century Countdown 1986-1988,  Figure PP.9  Century Countdown 1989-1992

 

 

 

 

 

Figure PP.10  Century Countdown 1993-1995,   Figure PP.11  Century Countdown 1996-1999

Thank you all for your support, it means a great deal and if you get some enjoyment and introspection this can be transcribed as a fitting testimonial for my father.

As an added feature for our readers and audience, we are also posting on twitter, @JoesLegacy and on Instagram, items that appear in the book and related matters.  We are still eliciting your comments and suggestions.  I hope to develop a running dialogue with you all, as many of you have provided us with comments that appear in the social media and we value that.  I try to get to them as much as I can with the help of my associates and do appreciate my valued followers.

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

Pre-Order your Autographed Hard-Copy by Clicking the Button Below!

 

Copyright © 2017             William Sefekar

We are always interested in hearing comments and suggestions about how the blog could be better. Sound off below with your ideas.

 

 

 

REFLECTIONS – AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT.2 PRE-SALE NOW AVAILABLE!

 

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

Pre-Order your Autographed Hard-Copy by Clicking the Button Below!

EXCERPTS FROM AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY REFLECTIONS PT. 2

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

HE WROTE IT, THEY DID IT, HE SAVED IT; TRANSFORMING AMERICA!!

“JOE SEFEKAR’S INSPIRING STORY OF AN IMMIGRANT’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEALTH, WELFARE AND ARTS OF UNITED STATES.”

 

Creating a Legacy?

How does a legacy start? It starts with keeping track of what might be considered mundane even insignificant things, letters to the editor, letters from friends, even at an early age job recommendations, pictures, documents. I guess Dad just had a penchant for keeping things organized and even though it skipped a generation, I still have kept it together which is remarkable in itself.

So once you’ve accumulated it, how do you keep it intact, that’s an amazing transformation literally and figuratively. From the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Canarsie, Brooklyn; the War years; Rose St.; Thames St., Brooklyn; Woodside, Queens; to Syosset, Long Island; Washington DC, Silver Spring, Maryland, and the final resting place or next to the final resting place 750 Helmsman Way, Palm Harbor Florida and then to my confines.

But the really Galactic Compilation that evolved into this book actually consists in two small portable cabinets that my Dad started 30 years ago. One was from “1917 to 1967” and the other little portable cabinet was from “1967 to the Present.” They had folders in them and we marked it up accordingly to reflect a little more subcategories years and chapters. I like to refer to this as the “Big Bang Theory” as each of these two small portables proliferated into what will be the American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe baby, A Memorable story of a man on a mission; He Wrote It, They Did It. This is not to say that there weren’t hundreds of other folders and bigger cabinets and 40 photo albums to show you and eventually find its way into the “chapter cabinets” that would be used in writing the manuscript as well as putting meat on the bones as the expression applies.

    

Figure #R.9 & #R.10 Original portable cabinet 1917- 1966  and some of the original files.

 

Figure #R.11 & #R.12 Original portable cabinet 1967- 2006  and some of the original files

 

 

Figure #R.13 One of the Letters to the Newspaper published, July 8, 1935  #R.14 Recommendation Letter from friend, Martin Sobel, June 24, 1941

The collection of 40 photo albums and documents were located in a special place in their home.

   

Figure #R.15 Honeymoon Album January, 1942     Figure #R.16 World War II Album 1943 -1945

 

        

Figure #R.16 Photo Albums 1937-1983   #R.17 Photo Albums 1984 -2004

    

Figure #R.19 & #R.20 Portable Manuscript Attachments Cabinet 1917 -1966.

 

     

Figure #R.21 & #R.22 Portable Manuscript Attachments Cabinet 1967 – Present

 

As was mentioned earlier during the period from 1997 to 2007 Joe baby and I transcribed the bulk of the notes and notepad’s that he had written and turned to be over 120 typed pages. Some of which have been included in the excerpts and some of which would then be transformed into a living document with the pictures and other artifacts and memorabilia. We will be happy to share the original written text. What makes this book so special is not only the writings that look into what it takes to make a satisfying life experience but Joe ALSO shares with the reader guideposts along the way that are worth taking under advisement.

Just two of these items are presented here:

In addition to the letters and letters sent to the editor on issues as a testament and monument to one man’s concerns and philosophy on life, i.e., perseverance. One such example of the hundreds of clippings, writings and shared experiences is a faded old piece of paper 2 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches that I carried with me in my wallet for a lifetime. Although frayed around the edges. It’s labeled, Reader Woodward’s pocket piece:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press on,’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge. –Ed.

It was my Mantra that I carried with me throughout life and enduring its trials and tribulations.

Figure #R.23 News clipping carried around by Joe Sefekar as a guidepost about Perseverance.

 

The second item appears later on when Joe Baby began his introspection on how can you capture in a life-time what is your purpose?  How do you create a lasting testament that shows your life had meaning and was useful and would be remembered not just for making the world better but also influencing the many lives you touched. One of the myriad of collectables is an 1997 article by John A. Cutter that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times about “Consider writing about your life’s legacy.”  By this time the pieces were already in place for Joe Sefekar to have accumulated much material and writings that are part of his legacy and has formed the basis for his story.

Figure #R.24 Article by John A. Cutter, “Consider writing about your life’s legacy.”

St. Petersburg Times, 1997

 

Good Day our trusty readers, as you can see from the posting, the opportunity is now available for pre-sale orders of the American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe baby, A Memorable story of a man on a mission; He Wrote It, They Did It, He Saved It. Believing that this is a one-of-a-kind, or maybe a two-of-a-kind story, we are willing to offer the special pre-sale price of $36. At this point there are over 400 color pages, chock full of beautiful stories, words to live by, loving stories, war stories, peace stories. I wouldn’t say it’s things that you can take to the bank but maybe to the bank of life.  As I said, even though we don’t know exactly what the final price will be, once the book is printed IT MAY conceivably command a lot more than the $36 we ARE ENTERTAINING at this time. When considering color printing and other factors that go into the publishing price; this is a limited time offer. We will take orders of $36 for the hardcover copy that is autographed by the authors.

Some of which have been included in the excerpts and some of which would then it be transformed into a living document with the pictures and other artifacts and memorabilia. We will be happy to share the original written text.

 

In the upcoming Blog posts we will continue to provide readers the opportunity to take advantage of pre-sale purchases of the book and offer other incentives so that you can receive especially packaged first edition copies.

 

  Copyright © 2016      William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

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RETIREMENT, MOVING SOUTH TO FLORIDA, PT. 3 * 1977-1980

EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER 10, 1977 – 1980 RETIREMENT, MOVING SOUTH TO FLORIDA, PT. 3

HE WROTE IT, THEY DID IT, HE SAVED IT; TRANSFORMING AMERICA!!

“JOE SEFEKAR’S INSPIRING STORY OF AN IMMIGRANT’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEALTH, WELFARE AND ARTS OF UNITED STATES.”

This is the beginning of an ephemeral work experience with the City of Tarpon Springs. I was hired as Assistant City Manager for Tarpon Springs, Florida, the next town over from Palm Harbor where we lived. A long time employee of Tarpon Springs City Hall became the new city manager. He ran the office like a GD Colonel (which he was).  And I’m really being careful in choosing these words because in almost 40 years of previous relations with people in management and government positions, I tried to deal with individuals fairly and openly whatever their rank or position. A good deal of my work experience was in military or quasi-military assignments, so this was a bitter pill to swallow to try to work out a troublesome situation.  He threatened to cut any person’s throat who spoke to the local newspapers without his permission.  There was a lot of salt water under the dock, so to speak, before it came to ahead later on in this chapter.

In October of 1978, I wrote to Mike Goyer indicating my interest in obtaining a position with him, and listing my experience as budget officer (thus putting into operation my previous plans of retiring and finding a suitable job). I was called for an interview, and we hit it off pretty well. He had no regular personnel vacancy but he said he could put me on the rolls under the CETA (Civilian Employee Training Act) Program, which was a joint program where the City and the Federal Government shared the salary cost of $ 10,000 per annum. It was exciting – I worked on the FY 1978-79 City of Tarpon Springs budget, supervised by the Finance Director, and had direct contact with the City Manager. My duties included coordinating meetings with the various city directors (i.e. Personnel, Supply, and General Services) and attending weekly Commission meetings. My relations with all the personnel and the Commissioners were pleasant and congenial, ­until the serpent reared its ugly head.

Working closely with Mike and the Finance Director, we completed the budget. Charley Barnes, the perennial old-timer, who had been with the City for over 20 years supervising construction of streets and sewers in the City, worked on the finances with us. His knowledge of all the nooks and crannies was invaluable in preparing the budget.

Then the lid blew off — the Commissioners were unhappy with Mike (something about his not keeping them, abreast of every detail of his activities), which led to his dismissal. Then the Finance Officer resigned for a better job, but probably in support of the City Manager. I found myself in charge of the City Budget and I was appointed Acting General Services Director, at $ 15,000 a year. I worked with Charley Barnes’, who was now appointed Acting City Manager. I supervised the Personnel Division; the Supply Department and the Streets and Sewers Division. About that time, a sunny day in March 1979, I was standing near an open window about 11 a.m., looking out at a bright spring day, a soft breeze blowing, and I said to myself, “What am I doing here, when I should be out there”? But this feeling of remorse didn’t last long. The sense of challenge and accomplishment replaced any misgivings I may have had, about going back to work.

There were also a number of bonuses, though not in the financial sense. Tarpon Springs is a beautiful city on the Gulf of Mexico and world-renowned because of its famous Greek sponge industry that dates back to the late 18 and early 1900’s. Every once in a while, I would occasionally do a flashback thinking about my father, Jack, growing up on the Island of Salonika, Greece. One of his early trades was also as a fisherman before they left the Greek Isle to settle in the “New World.” But back too real-time, Thelma would meet me regularly for lunch or maybe a dinner at the sponge docks – beautiful atmosphere, delicious foods and a nice way to soak up the sights and sounds of this “Greek fishing village. (Her last birthday would be spent having lunch there.)

They were also noted for their art festivals on the Bayou that attracted thousands of art fanciers and tourists yearly; Thelma would love to drag me along.

Tarpon Springs Bayou (1) Welcome 2 the Bayou

 Figures  #10.42 and #10.43 Tarpon Springs, Down on the Bayou

 Sponge Dock Restaurants Tarpon Springs

Figures #10.44 and Figure #10.45 The Tarpon Springs Sponge Dock where we would have lunch.

So I was budget officer for the Tarpon Springs Government; which was exciting, even though it was only for short time. The city manager I mentioned was ousted by the city board. The finance officer assigned to assist the newly appointed acting city manager was made; hold the phone. The new city manager was a young man, who had a similar job in Arizona, and just made the switch. His name was Mike Goyer. The City Manager became the target of the high and mighty Commissioners – usually there were 5 Commissioners, and the climate was very politically charged. Pinellas County was the most densely populated Congressional District in Florida. The Commissioners vented their spleens on the City Managers. It took only 3 Commissioners to displace any Manager they didn’t like. In October 1978, there appeared to be a personal vendetta by the Commissioners of the various small towns in my County against the hapless City Managers. The Manager of the City of Dunedin (Gehringer) was such a victim. The Manager of the City of Clearwater was also replaced. The Manager of Tarpon Springs could not escape this spate of firings – it was open season.

The City of Tarpon Springs announced that the position of General Services Director at $18,000 was being opened to applicants. The Mayor, Bill Lane, suggested I apply for it. Charley Barnes and I had been running the City with his know-how of the daily operations and my knowledge of the financial activities. I must admit that I enjoyed the relationship because things worked so smoothly. One of the Commissioners said, “I don’t think we should put Joe in the position of General Services Director until a new city manager is appointed. The Manager should have a say in selecting the General Services Director”. Not being interested in having any more responsibility, I didn’t push for immediate action, but agreed to await the arrival of the new city manager, ­right? No, wrong!! The new city manager, a veteran Colonel of the Vietnam War, took hold with vim and vigor.

The new City Manager took hold of his responsibilities. Assuming he would take some time to familiarize himself with the way of the Government operations, they were all laid-back with anticipation, and waited for him to reveal whether he was going to be a benign force or martinet.

 

We didn’t have long to wait for the answer, which had an unexpected effect on my future. One of the staff (whose identity was never divulged) innocently gave some information to a reporter of a local town paper. The story was unimportant but the city manager took it as a breach of confidence. He called staff together, which was our first meeting, and he warned us, “If I hear of anyone talking to the newspapers, I’ll cut your head off at the neck!” I realized it was all innocent rhetoric, from a soldier just back from the Vietnam battlefront, but the newspapers never got an inside story again. But it did give us an idea of what kind of supervisor we had. I became a victim of this bombastic individual. Our relationship was strictly business – we worked on a budget together. We followed the usual practice of adding and subtracting from budgetary requests submitted by the different division managers.

 

There were several changes which required retyping of the budget. Our first disagreement was my objection to redoing the whole budget over a minimal variation of some of the figures. He asked, “What authority do you have over this budget?” I said “I’m the budget officer.” He replied, “You’re not the budget officer – I am.” On that shaky basis, I continued my review of the budget under his supervision. At the next Commission meeting, we presented the budget to the City Commissioners. In replying to a question by one of the commissioners, I gave my justification for some of the figures. The City Manager claimed that he was not aware of the data that was submitted and I declared, “I told you about it.” All hell broke loose, and the city manager threatened to quit. The Commissioners would not “look good” if a man they had just hired for the top administrative spot, resigned.

 

This is the kind of situations I referred to when I listed the advantages of being in “retirement” position. Despite the fact that I knew that there was nothing to be done in the face of a “Little Caesar” temperament, I immediately sat down and wrote a letter of explanation to each of the Commissioners and Mayor, Bill Lane. The only result of the letter was to assuage my “hurt” feelings, but I left on good terms with the staff and the Commissioners. My record of countless career entries for service recognition remained intact. The City manager threatened to “quit” several times after that incident. It was less than a year later that he tried it for the last time; that maneuver again. Like the boy who “cried wolf”, he tried it once too often. The city commissioners said goodbye to the “Lt. Col. who would be City Manager.”

 

Activities with The Temple, adapting to Being a Floridian:

One day in the latter part of 1978, I got a call from a temple member friend, and he told me of a volunteer group that was working on an idea of performing arts Center in New Port Richey, a town adjoining Palm Harbor. This group had received a bequest of 50 acres on a piece of land in Pasco County. The chairman of the working committee, had organized a group of interested citizens and put their organizational talents together. They were successful in obtaining a planning document from the Frank Lloyd Corporation, which laid out the pertinent facts and figures involving construction of a Performing Arts Center. In view of my experience with the Hirshhorn Museum, it seemed to be a good prospect for me. The building committee’s mission was to raise the funds for initial operations. Inasmuch as they didn’t want to rely on government funding, it looked like a long haul. We set up some of our basic needs. Office space was set up in the Barnett Bank building, which required no layout of funds by PHPAC (Palm Harbor Performing Arts Center), except for office supplies. We were making some progress, but we were concerned with the proviso accompanying the request, “commence building in two years.” We had a small staff: director and the clerk, and myself as finance officer. Being unpaid jobs, it was no surprise when the director resigned. To get a replacement, the committee had to consider putting a paid employee in the slot. Unfortunately, the person they hired wasn’t sufficiently qualified, and was fired. Despite my efforts, we could not get a viable organization going. The failure to accept local government assistance, would be detrimental to the success of this venture. I would learn from this undertaking as the project would never acquire the public support necessary and was destined to fail from the beginning. The expansion of the plans from a performing arts center to a huge complex, including the resort hotel and residential housing, was quite a tall bill to pay. C’est la vie.

 

As a footnote, this preliminary experience in the world of “Performing Arts Centers” was invaluable in the next phase of my life that begun shortly thereafter.

Luckily, I could always fall back on my retirement activities: golf, swimming, gardening, and social functions. On days that I didn’t golf, I would ride my bicycle to our community pool, swim a few laps and then home for lunch. Thelma and I had routines and we kept ourselves busy on a regular basis I would help her with her rose bushes which she took on in a determined demeanor with awards from the Rose Society to show for it. Here she is at one of her rose shows and here we are tip toeing through the roses.

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Figures #10.46 and #10.47 Tiptoeing through the roses   Figure #10.48 Now this is a rose garden

My children were very conscientious in keeping open the lines of communication with dozens of letters filling up my cabinets and of course it was very satisfying responding in-kind also. And almost as satisfying were the updates on how the Hirshhorn Museum was progressing. I was always receiving publications, my regular monthly subscription to the “Torch” through August 1983, when Billy decided to move down here and join us. It would now be up to Bonnie and Lee to keep the lifeline open.

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   Figures #10.49 and #10.50 A little togetherness never hurts.

 

More Togetherness!!

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Figure # 10.51 Bonnie, Diana and Lee Chillin’ in Florida Figure # 10.52 Proud Grandparents with Diana Jill, Figure # 10.53 “Joe Baby” and Baby Diana Jill

We managed to keep in close contact whenever possible, especially at family gatherings which has been a trademark for both Thelma and my families. Getting them to come down to sunny Florida during the winter and cooler months up north was not a problem.

So concludes the third and final excerpt from Chapter 10 Retirement, Moving South to Florida 1977 1980.

The Chapter 11 embarks on another of my major challenges and achievements, Ruth Eckerd Hall; the wonderful world of the performing arts; and lots and lots of family togetherness.

Copyright © 2016               William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

We are always interested in hearing comments and suggestions about how the blog could be better. Sound off below with your ideas.

RETIREMENT, MOVING SOUTH TO FLORIDA, PT. 2 * 1977 – 1980

EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER 10, 1977 – 1980 RETIREMENT, MOVING SOUTH TO FLORIDA, PT. 2

 

HE WROTE IT, THEY DID IT, HE SAVED IT; TRANSFORMING AMERICA!!

“JOE SEFEKAR’S INSPIRING STORY OF AN IMMIGRANT’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEALTH, WELFARE AND ARTS OF UNITED STATES.”

Before getting into some of the major ventures as my post retirement career challenges began to take shape, I settled into a routine of getting acclimated with my surroundings. Lots of warm weather, lots of green and greens with some golf and something to reacquaint myself with; my writings. There were many people, friends, family and Associates that would garner my attention. I was particularly eager to continue my association with my former boss Al Lerner at the Hirshhorn (and his wife Pauline). I did the same with Joe Hirshhorn and his wife, Olga and Sen Daniel Moynihan, Chairman of the HMSG Board

 

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                      Figure #10.16 Letter Al and Pauline Lerner   Figure #10.17 Letter Joe and Olga Hirshhorn

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            Figure #10.18 Letter to Mike Wallace of 60 minutes   Figure #10.19 Letter to Senator Moynihan

I even had time to contact Mike Wallace formidable TV host of “60 Minutes,” about a news report hearing with George Carlin, the comedian from one of the listeners who heard these dirty words while he was driving with his son and was offended. The new story followed an item on the Skokie demonstration – how can Mr. Douglas talk about an insult on the senses and not say anything about a life-and-death assault by the Nazis in Skokie, Illinois? If it is only an assault on the senses could be condoned under the First Amendment, but an assault on death should not be allowed to surfaces as free speech, when what it spews forth is death.

I went on to furnish some facts if they could use the follow-up scenario: That being a native born American, with some normal religious interest – meaning like attending Friday night services, just as Catholics attend Sunday church services. By the grace of God, my parents migrated from Salonika, Greece to America in 1916. My mother left three sisters behind, they, their husbands and children were slain by the Germans; 15 in all. Four cousins survived the concentration camps – one is in Canada, one is in New York and two are in Israel. My exposure to the Holocaust was during my tour of duty in Europe with Hq. First U.S. Army. Our units liberated Buchenwald and I observed what remained before it was cleaned up. What will stay with me forever was the abattoir with hooks along the walls below the ceiling. Two survivors explained that the prisoners were impaled by their chin on the hooks. Maybe it is a sense of stoicness and the ability to bend instead of breaking that has enabled the Jew to survive throughout the generations. My cousin Haim became a bank guard in Tel Aviv; Eli owns a carpet store in Canada; Pepo is a grocer-owner in Brooklyn.

I kept writing letters, a steady flow of letters to newspapers; TV commentaries; to my family especially my children. And it was reciprocated, here’s a photo of Bonnie dutifully sending a letter to Thelma and me and Billy keeping in touch from his new position as Energy Director in Western Maryland.

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           Figure #10.20 My daughter Bonnie writing us  Figure #10.21 Son Bill as Energy Director

 

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Figure #10.22 A few of Thelma’s prize roses awards

We had a delicate life during these years. Thelma immersing herself in growing roses and community activities of the Jewish civic organization Hadassah and ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation and Training). We also were active in our retirement community, treasurer of the stock club, etc. We had on Thelma’s side of the family her sister Renee and husband Harry that lived five houses from us. Through their help was how we found this really nice home that we moved in, upon our arrival here in Palm Harbor.

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Figure #10.23 and Figure #10.24 Part of the “famous” Thelma’s rose garden

Thelma took great pride getting the roses planted and taking care of with a lot of TLC. It involved spraying, fertilizing, pruning and show presentation

 

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             Figure #10.25 Painting of daughter Bonnie in her   Figure #10.26 Rembrandt’s self-portrait

              wedding dress

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Figure #10.27 Original Wedding Photo

As you can see from the likeness of the painting of my daughter in her wedding dress, my wife had extraordinary talent in creating exact likeness of subjects whether alive or inanimate objects. The results are striking as you can see even from just photos.

 

 

 

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            Figure #10.28 scenic view of La Seine in Paris                  Figure #10.29 Morning in the Tropics

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                         Figure #10.31 Winter Harmony

Figure #10.30 Old wooden bridge, Sturbridge, Ma

Figure #10.32 Spanish Senorita 17           18

                                                                                                                              Figure #10.33 Girl with a broom

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                         Figure #10.34 Hawaiian Coastline                        Figure #10.35 Diana Jill at the beach

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                                           Figure #10.36 Flowers in a vase       Figure #10.37 Floral arrangement                                                                                                            in fancy vase

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     Figure #10.38 Fresh Cut Flowers                             Figure #10.39 Poor Artist’s Cupboard

We certainly can’t ignore the continued lifeline going with Bonnie and Billy up in Maryland. Our first grandchild would arrive on July 14, 1978 and was named Diana Jill Landau. Thelma and I would spend time up there assisting them in preparation for this blessed event. We helped fix up their house, getting things ready and helping Bonnie while working with Lee’s parents Cynthia and Irv. It was definitely a most joyous occasion.

Certain unforeseen changes took place during this time period and chapter. An important career development would occur putting a different spin on my best laid retirement plans. This would add another feature to Chapter 10 Retirement, Moving South to Florida. Post #22 Chapter 10 Part 3; excerpts to follow.

Copyright © 2016      William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

 

We are always interested in hearing comments and suggestions about how the blog could be better. Sound off below with your ideas

 

 

RETIREMENT, MOVING SOUTH TO FLORIDA, PT. 1 * 1977 – 1980

EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER 10, 1977 – 1980 RETIREMENT, MOVING SOUTH TO FLORIDA, PT. 1

HE WROTE IT, THEY DID IT, HE SAVED IT; TRANSFORMING AMERICA!!
1977 began my sixth decade. My eyes were really lit up. I had decided to take early retirement despite the fact that my job as Administrator of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, one of the Jewels of the Washington D.C. Smithsonian Institution, was a dream job. My philosophy of my previous jobs was “Take your leave, while the leaving was easy.” By making my own decision to leave, I left on good terms with everyone.
This is quite evident by a most fantastic retirement party by anybody’s standards. All the Associates of the Smithsonian Hirshhorn family and friends were in attendance. Glowing adulation flowed, there were gifts, paintings and other going away mementos. This outpouring of good cheer would send Thelma and I off with fond memories and a tinge of tears in our eyes. The following montage depicts the wonderful sendoff we received.

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Figure  # 10.1 A going away painting from the Hirshhorn.

A Retirement painting with me sitting on the Thomas Moore’s sculpture, “King and Queen” was one of the going away gifts from the Hirshhorn. Other various gifts included: Life-time subscriptions (see below), a Montblanc fountain pen and of course a tie.

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Figure #10.2 Life-time Subscription                  Figure #10.3 Mont Blanc Pen gift

 

 

Now the time had come to make my “Swan Song,” I took out my little notes and began what seemed like an eternity. Trying to remember the basic points from the Toastmaster’s speaking seminars

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Figure #10.04 Hand written notes for going away party

FAREWELL TO HIRSHHORN

Like the old cliché, this is both a sad and joyous occasion. There is no question that it is a sad time, leaving the Hirshhorn Museum, the Smithsonian, and all my friends. But, on the other hand seeing you all here is a very happy occasion, and I thank you all for sharing this fond farewell. In my 37 years with civil service, I have been with eight different agencies. Happily, my longest tour was with the Hirshhorn Museum. My seven years with HMSG were exciting, challenging and fruitful. I was fortunate to have the guiding hand of Al Lerner, whom I have found to be a tremendous human being. And of course, all of this would not be possible without the great generosity of Mr. Hirshhorn. Since my retirement coincides with my 60th birthday, I would like to read from a clipping I have called “Thoughts On Growing Older.” **

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               Figures #10.5 and #10.6, Going away Speech

There was plenty of refreshments and good cheer, even the high octane kind.

9 10 11 Figures#10.7    Party spread  Figure # 10.8 Retirement Cake- “Four” Figure #10.9 Pick your poison -Potent and Plain

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Figures #10.10 and Figure #10.11, Receiving a beautiful Hirshhorn Picture signed by Staff

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Figure #10.12 Family picture with Thelma, our son-in-law Lee, daughter, Bonnie,                                                                          Mr. Joe Hirshhorn, Joe Sefekar, Mrs. Olga Hirshhorn and son, Bill                              Figure #10.13 Cutting the Retirement cake.

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My personal friends were unhappy because they would miss their guaranteed invitations to all the opening art exhibitions hosted by the Museum. This always meant hot hor’douvres and most of the time came with an “open” bar. Of course, my wife decried the loss of invitations to the Smithsonian soirees. They covered the total intellectual orbit – the Jeffersonian awards, which honored outstanding individuals that not only contributed to the arts, but were outstanding in other fields. There was Sir Hillary, noted mountain climber who bested Mt. McKinley. We met Alex Haley who authored the outstanding book “Roots” which was converted into a mega four-part series. We can’t forget Isaac Asimov, noted scholar who was in the vanguard of the nation’s science fiction writers, a Nobel Prize winner, and the originator of the Law of Robots. At his reception, we discovered that he had lived on Herzel Street, Brooklyn. N.Y. where my wife had spent her younger years and coincidentally shared the same birthday.

Our friends at Parkside Plaza took it very hard. We developed a close association akin to the above referenced Herzel Street where everyone was close and lived one on top of each other, so to speak. We were on the fifth floor and had lovely neighbors throughout the building. We had a memorable going away bash just a tad different than the one in the confines of the Hirshhorn Museum. Gifts flowed, tears also flowed. We would keep in contact with many of these friends who would later head down the I-95 corridor, making the same trek down to Florida. Though most of them headed to the East Coast, Thelma and I’s plans were to locate on the West Coast in Clearwater, St. Petersburg near where her sister Renee and family resided.

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Figure #10.14 Going away bash with friends at Parkside Plaza

One would ask why one would leave such a challenging, interesting and self-satisfying position, at the peak of accomplishment, in exchange for a sedentary environment in warm and sunny Florida. Well, the one who would ask was our family doctor, who I went to see for an inventory-type physical exam, prior to our sojourn to the South. He asked, “Why are you leaving your job where you are enjoying your work, you’re comparatively young (60), and apparently in good health?” I replied, “I like the idea of moving to Florida, and I think I am still young enough to get a suitable job there.” After 38 years in the Federal service, my pension would be equivalent to my current salary and I could work at any position without worrying about supervisory conflict, meeting work-schedules, and other work-related hang-ups. What made it tougher was leaving behind so many dear friends, people that we came to know and love. It was very heartwarming that equal expressions of loss flowed forth. One such reminder came from Betsy Hammer, a close assistant.

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Figure #10.15 Postcard from Betsy Hammer on my retirement

Dear Mr. Sefekar – You’re as much a part, to everyone, of the Hirshhorn as the beautiful works of art, and I know everyone will miss you. It’s you who’ve kept us smiling with your kind calm leadership. I’m the one who appreciates.

Cordially, Betsy Hammer

How can you express a feeling of leaving behind such wonderful, dedicated, and caring people that Thelma and I met and were so very fond of?

And so on Thursday, the 4th of August 1977 – we loaded up our two cars. My wife always spelled me when we went on trips, but this time she drove one car and I the other. We were using the auto train, which cut out about 15 hours travelling time. Leaving Washington, D.C., we traveled approximately 2 hours to the departure point at Quantico, Virginia. The cars were then loaded on the special train, and we were seated in coach.

After alighting in Sanford, Florida population 21,500. We claimed our cars and pointed to Palm Harbor, on the West Coast of Florida. The roads were new to us and the trip was dramatic to my wife, who drove the second car. We were introduced to the weather in Florida, where every day at 4 PM everyone is drenched in a deluge of torrential rains of H2O, then the sun appears and the skies are blue. Palm Harbor is on the West Coast of Florida, near Tampa, and St. Petersburg in the County of Pinellas. Population of Pinellas County was almost 700,000 now, almost a million. The population of Palm Harbor, the unincorporated area was maybe 10,000, now almost 60,000. We definitely picked a rural, soon to be a sprawling area. This was much like our migration to Syosset, Long Island in the 50’s which saw a tremendous growth occurring. It wasn’t as bad and certainly no comparison with our family and friends that migrated to the other “East coast” of Florida near Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach.

Our address was 750 Helmsman Way, Palm Harbor, Florida. It was an area more rural than suburban, there were horse farms and pastures, a retirement community situated on the outskirts of Clearwater.

Our initial days in Florida were fun as we became acclimated to the area and our home. Adjustment was easy because my wife’s sister and her husband Harry lived six houses down the street ­the sisters got along great, and we managed to keep the in-law situation controllable. As the saying goes, “you need a brother-in-law like a bear needs golf clubs at the North Pole.”

We lived in an adult community – no children under 21, – and we enjoyed the facilities available – golf course, community pool, clubhouse with social activities, and the 242 families were all friendly. We had regular monthly dues, and each one could do whatever they wanted to do, in this best of all possible worlds. The strangest thing was seeing all the housewives put aside their domestic tasks and taking up the game of golf – and they did well. Thelma, who had never ridden a two-wheel bicycle in her life, tried her hand at it. She learned the rudiments of golf and became the treasurer of the women’s golf association. She also joined the Pinellas Rose Society, and entered many rose shows, garnering First Prizes and several Seconds and Thirds. She returned to oil painting and added watercolor, oriental and charcoal drawings to her repertoire. She also won several prizes for her paintings; which will be “on exhibit,” later on. I wasn’t as competent as Thelma in seeking additional avocations, but I pursued my golfing interests, which I had taken up in Maryland and previously on Long Island, New York.

I had time to look for that pie-in-the sky position. I registered with the U.S. Unemployment Office, to see what kind of jobs were available. I felt a budget job would be easily available. I would read the local papers to see what news items could be parleyed into a respectable vocation. In Florida you have the State Government as the top echelon; then you have the counties (many); then the cities (myriad) and then unmanageable numbers of school districts, agencies, police and fire departments.

I filed for substitute teacher, and was qualified in business administration. As a substitute teacher you called up the night before, or you could be called at 6 a.m. when the regular teacher had an emergency situation. You never knew where the school would be. My first call one morning was at a nearby High School. I was assigned as a substitute to a typing class. The pupils were rambunctious and they thrived on substitute teachers. I gave them a test but I don’t remember too much of what went on; finally, the dismissal bell sounded. I was fortunate to survive this initial encounter. I guess my son Bill has a stronger constitution than I, because upon his retirement he took on life as a substitute teacher like a heavyweight going the distance; he’s in his eighth year and surviving in the “blackboard jungle,” right here in the same Pinellas area. Luckily, I never found out how my life as a substitute teacher would be because in early 1978, the job-seeking climate sort of cleared. Reading the local paper, I read about the new Manager the City of Tarpon Springs had just hired.

The next posting, part two (2) of Chapter 10, Retirement; Moving South to Florida, deals with the trials and tribulations of adjusting in the “Asphalt Jungle,” hardly a serious comparison but still open to many of the intrigues that small-time government harbors. From working with the Tarpon Springs Government, to the birth of our 1st grandchild and the beginning rumblings of a possible life-changing opportunity in the Performing Arts World.

 

Copyright © 2016      William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

 

We are always interested in hearing comments and suggestions about how the blog could be better. Sound off below with your ideas.

THE HIRSHHORN MUSEUM ACCOMPLISHMENT, PT. 4 * 1970 – 1976

EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER 9, 1970 – 1976 THE HIRSHHORN MUSEUM ACCOMPLISHMENT, PT. 4

 

HE WROTE IT, THEY DID IT, HE SAVED IT; TRANSFORMING AMERICA!!

“JOE SEFEKAR’S INSPIRING STORY OF AN IMMIGRANT’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEALTH, WELFARE AND ARTS OF UNITED STATES.”

Once the dust settled down and we got into a steady day-to-day operational flow I was able to take advantage of the fact that the machinery is well oiled and in place. This was apparent from the wide range of daily announcements, editorials that came from all areas in the Washington bureaucracy; the Art World and the Media.

In this final segment the Hirshhorn accomplishment, I’m not going to leave you with a smattering of the writings describing this period but provide you with many of the wonderful letters, documents and expressions of appreciation that took place once the Museum became operational after it opened on October 1, 1974 and became firmly entrenched in the Washington scene beginning in 1975 and continuing through 1976.

The Congressional Record entry dated November 19, 1974; the Senate, from Sen. Charles Percy, (Illinois) summed up his thoughts about the opening of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the Mall in Washington. With a flourish of comments filled with criticism that had been leveled in Washington and in art circles around the country as well as reading reviews, he toured and greatly enjoyed the Museum and Sculpture Garden and believes the initial judgment on the Hirshhorn collection can be summarized in the words of Hilton Kramer of the New York Times, Mr. Hirshhorn’s gift to the nation is “magnificent” and “unlikely to be equal in our lifetime.” In my view, the greatest strength of the Hirshhorn collection is its tremendous diversity. The collector provided us with a true cross-section of great 19th and 20th century art works. With the exquisite creations of recognized Masters displayed alongside unfamiliar works of little-known artists.

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Figure #9-20 Congressional Record entry     Figure #9-21 Congratulations from SI Assistant Treasurer

The above letter from SI Assistant Treas. John F Jamison was most kind and heartfelt giving me more credit that I would not normally receive but seeing it in writing makes all the difference.

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Figure #9-22 Smithsonian Newsletter for October 1974’s Announcing the Opening of the Hirshhorn Museum

The Calendar of the Smithsonian Institution gave us an air of legitimacy. We did have our share of new activities, exhibits and we were getting into the mainstream of this wonderful way of allowing Americans and world visitors to enjoy and enhance their knowledge of so many facets of our life and history. The staff was up to the challenge of keeping current with the myriad of art related functions that we were planning over the course of the next few years.

The next target was the Bicentennial for the United States that was looming less than two years away. One of the things that I would take an interest in was the building and construction of another eagerly anticipated new Museum that was bound to attract a lot of attention. The Air and Space Museum was scheduled to kick off during the Bicentennial activities over July 4th holiday. I did have a number of assignments that would keep me apprised of how things were taking shape across the street.  The proximity to the Hirshhorn Museum made it a no-brainer that we needed to be involved and actually share what we had learned from our “meteoric rise” and getting the Hirshhorn started, worked on and completed. It also afforded me the opportunity to come in contact with their newly rising stars that would play an important part in seeing this sparkler also become a fixture on Capitol Mall. The newly appointed Curator for the Museum was none other than Mr. Michael Collins, of Apollo 11 fame (Commander, Lunar Module) of which I kept Memorabilia that appears in the previous chapter. I relished this opportunity to impart some of my knowledge and experience knowing what it was like to be a fledgling, new kid on the block. It was an exceptional event and Thelma and I were glad to be part of it.

 

But this did not keep us from getting our first major, eye-opening exhibit ready to make our own contribution to the American Bicentennial. The plan was put into place to acknowledge the contribution of the “Immigrants’” over the last 100 years that have come to our shores with the emphasis on Immigrants’ Art Influence.

 

With all the hoopla today centering around immigrants and immigration we shouldn’t lose sight of how much we owe to the millions, upon millions, upon millions who would be considered refugees that came to this country as a last resort; and not just “ARTISTS – IMMIGRANTS OF AMERICA.” One of the things that I was most proud of was the Golden Door publication dealing with ARTIST- IMMIGRANTS OF AMERICA, 1876 – 1976. Part of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden exhibit and publication; May 20 through October 20, 1976. One of the numerous articles as early as the turn-of-the-century appeared in the New York Times and deals with the heading “Immigration Record Will Be Broken This Year; 1906.”

What makes this so prophetic is that part of this newsletter about the Golden Door is the reflection on what figures to be its personification of “Liberty.” At the base of the statue at the entrance to New York Harbor symbolizes the immigrants’ expectations. On Lady Liberty’s base was inscribed the words by Emma Lazarus’ closing verses: Patriotic sentiments:

…Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore; send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me: I lift my lamp beside the Golden door!

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Figure #9-23 Golden Door Artists–Immigrants 1876-1976  Figure #9-24 Exhibit Fact Sheet

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Figure #9-25 Bicentennial Exhibit, MEMO      Figure #9-26 Bicentennial Exhibit Article, “Melting Pot”

Their acceptance was a cyclical thing; the immigrants’ lot would go through periods of increases and decreases. In the article, the last paragraph states “the outbreak of World War I led to intensified efforts to assure the immigrants’ patriotism and loyalty. By the 1920s, however, a virulent restrictionism began to dominate the American attitude towards immigration. Passage to the Golden Door became possible for fewer and fewer immigrants.” How ironic that things haven’t changed much during the passage of all these years.

 

The Bicentennial exhibit proved to be a huge access. There were many parties to attend, over 20 celebrations; I would be there. Staff was warranted their own acclamation. I was constantly working on good employee relations: Jim and superintendent Frank; Lee getting the OK to work at home.

The list of current staff members evoked a tumultuous roar of pleasant memories. June 10, 1970 my starting date was safely ensconced between hiring the first staff members Frank and Francie in 1970. Ms. Sewall and Assistant Curator Stephen Weil, “who likes to rock boats.” The great cataloguing by Anne in the library; my final interview with JHH in 1970 before officially starting. I had developed a pretty good bond with Al Lerner over the years and as I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, there were some things that Thelma and I wanted to impart to Al and Pauline Lerner to show them how much all their good tidings over the years meant. So we came up with something that reflected our utmost appreciation.

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October 26, 1976

Dear Thelma and Joe,

I must tell you first that your generosity is unusual and touching and it makes it all the more difficult to write this letter. You have shown great concern and warm sympathy all along and that is itself a sufficient gift since it is really the rarest and most treasured of commodities.

A token gift would have been reasonable although not necessary.

But I really can’t, with any clear conscience accept such an extravagant gift. And there is no reason why you should do this as a measure of your affection. The warmth and spontaneity of your act means a great deal to Pauline and me. I am very serious about this and have considered it carefully, my chief concern being not to offend you in any way. But think you will understand that I will remember the generosity will remember the generosity of your intention, which is really the most precious gift of all. With warmest thanks

Yours, Al

Figure #9-27 Letter of Thanks from Al Lerner

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Figure #9-28 Thelma and I at one of the Bicentennial Exhibits

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Figure #9-29 and Figure #9-30 The Bicentennial celebration afforded Thelma and me and to revisit some of the galleries and exhibits.

 

 

13Figure #9-31 Membership in the National Society of Literature and the Arts

I kept current with activities for the Arts while preparing my leave-taking. Particularly, involvement with the National Endowments For The Arts (NEA). It would set in motion a ripple effect that would serve me well even after retiring from the Hirshhorn. This link would provide the next Jewel in the “Triple Crown.”

Two amazing milestones that took place during this period were my entry in America’s Who’sWho in Government and being recommended for the prestigious Rockefeller Administrative  Award.

WHO’SWHO IN GOVERNMENT 1976.

In July 1976, I was happily surprised to see that my submission of a biographical sketch was accepted by the publishers of Marquis Who’s Who in Government and included in the 2nd edition, 1975-76 in the publication of the same name.  I record the entry below because of its simplicity and brevity, and the concise manner in which it reflects the highlights of my family history, schooling record, my occupation, my army career and service with the Hirshhorn Museum.

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Figure 9-32 Galley Proof for Who’sWho in Government   Figure 9-33 Actual citation in Who’sWho Publication

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Figure #9-34 Nomination for Rockefeller Public Service Award

On April 9, 1976, Abram Lerner, Director, HMSG put my name in for Nomination for the Rockefeller public service award. He based this on my length of public service, dedicated career to the Federal government and to recognize distinguished service and contribution to the growth and prestige of the Smithsonian Institution. The above application states why he felt this was justified.

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Figure #9–35 Recognition, 35 years of Service Figure  #9–36 Rockefeller Award Winner

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Figure #9-37 Draft of final budget submission for FY 77

One of my last the last Budget Submissions for FY 77; it would become effective the following year.

In order to complete an accurate picture of the many facets that go into preparing, designing, constructing, opening, operating and ensuring the successful life of such an edifice as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: it required an integrated, dedicated staff and certainly the appropriate amount of resources, financial and otherwise to bring this to fruition. I was certainly blessed by being surrounded by overqualified, over-achievers – Staff both above me, besides me and under me.

Coupled with the fact that Thelma was really my right hand and very supportive, as well as developing into a most “talented artist” in her own right, there was no way that I could have failed to accomplish what I was required to do.

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Figure #9-38 Thelma and I Meeting with Smithsonian Officials and Art Experts

The next posting will address my leaving the confines of the Hirshhorn Museum, the Marvelous going away party, as well as leaving behind many of the wonderful friends we cherished at work and the ones that we made along the way, over the past 12 years. The road ahead would bring new challenges, fond memories and even equally great accomplishments.

**Appendices and artifacts will include: Detailed budget transactions, congressional submittals, Hirshhorn publications, letters of accommodation from both government level recommendation, letters of appreciation from staff. Pictures of the building of the Hirshhorn Museum, opening night festivities, Program, brochures, testimonials, retirement party and farewell address.

Copyright © 2016      William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

 

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Continue reading THE HIRSHHORN MUSEUM ACCOMPLISHMENT, PT. 4 * 1970 – 1976