October is here and where are you. What do you see and what can you do.
There is not much time to make a difference. What you do now can bring about a major inference. The furtherance of the present or a concurrence for the future.
No need to complain, no need to explain,
Your silence could lead to violence.
There is so much good ahead of us. It takes energy to expound and expand, on what makes this country so grand. So don’t let it slip by, and then wonder why.
Be part of the plan, but it takes the effort of every woman and every man as part of this great land for all that we’ve done, as a Beacon of light that shines on EVERYONE.
Please, don’t forget to vote. Please, don’t forget to vote. Please, don’t forget to vote.
It’s up to every one of You. This country needs your vote. Your vote counts to keep the red, white and blue,
Don’t neglect and let’s not detect that there’s an empty space next to your place.
When our country was founded, only a few were sounded.
Everyone votes now, sodon’tbecome a sow.
“These are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls”
THESE are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, Shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of men and women.
These words were written 232 years ago, September 23, 1776 with the start of the American Revolution. In interpreting these words Paine uses the word “try” in this context in “the crisis,” he means something like “test.” In other words, he saying that the times they were living in were the times that tested men’s souls.… Paine is saying that these times are going to test people’s mettle.
Well folks, October is turning into November and were on the downhill slide putting 2018 to bed. So much is happening in my life, in my community’s life and the life of our country. We all know that the election is a week away and I fervently pray everyone gets out to vote with minimal voter suppression. This country has been based on moral values that have stood the test of time and particularly the last 229 years. So, I will wager that if things are done fairly and squarely versus falsely and squirrelly, we’ll see changes that are long overdue, and we can start the rebuilding and healing process.
I’ve been hoping to be positive and try to present some of the things that have transpired in the past month. However, it’s been tempered by the events and actions of the past week.
A lot of social media has erupted and I cannot in good conscience let it slither away. There’s a lot of parallels to political unrest that brings about scapegoats. As strong as the economy is supposed to be, there still is a groundswell of many people not finding jobs available at salaries commensurate with their experience, training and education. There are many disgruntled people out there that are not happy and many politicians will say just about anything let’s cross that out, just about anything politicians will say ANYTHING if they think it translates into votes.
Well, now that I said my piece.
Suffice it to say I’m making progress on what it is expected to be my third book as I’ve mentioned entitled: “It Worked 4 Me” I was planning to share episode 2 with you, but I don’t think the timing is right. I have also completed 2 episodes of my podcast: The American Dreamer Show which airs Thursday afternoon on The Spreaker.com network;https://www.spreaker.com/user/billsefekar.
I’ve even included two guitar selections on each of the episodes with plans to continue in that vein.
It is obvious that people feel very strongly about their opinions and their political inclinations. It is important to speak out, to get involved of which I’ve tried to do and have seen more vocalized, radicalized and extremists that are on the other side of the political spectrum. The average citizen I found believes in this country, the democratic process and will do their basic civic duty by going to the polls and vote. But in the passage above from Thomas Paine, 243 years ago; “These are the times that try men’s Souls,” or as my Dad, Joseph Sefekar would like to say when things seem to be getting out of hand, “This is not business as usual.” We need to go that extra 1/2 mile, I’ll even settle for 1/4 mile, grin.
Our hearts and prayers go out to this community that is suffering but we have a bigger assignment that is start praying and getting out the vote for our country. I’ve been watching it on the “Fake News Channel. This my friend’s is how it all started. You have no respect, you’re not accountable and you spew lies. It may have started in Charlottesville. G-d forbid it doesn’t get any worse.
This is what we’re dealing with folks. This is not the America I’ve grown to love and cherish and do anything I can to keep it the loving and caring place where I’ve spent my life and a Beacon of Light for Humanity
This is what a real president sounds like, One Who backs up his words!!!
“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!”
This not the time to sound off or espouse my own agenda. Therefore, I will be planning to prepare a part 2 November Newsletter in the next few weeks to elaborate on blog posts and podcasts.
In the mean-time, I trust and pray that we will have more and better things to feel good about. And as always would like to get your opinion which will be one of the objectives of expanding the social media outlets. Have a good month and G-d Speed, pray for the good Lord’s continued support as well as availing your support for this great country. Wouldn’t be nice if just about everyone could all come together hold hands and start the healing process!!
I was writing the above while digesting the troubling and horrific incidents unfolding before me. It is now sinking in, what I recently penned is magnified 10 fold.
Don’t know how many more of the bad one’s I can take. Not complaining it needs to be done and content I can do it.
Flowers Lay outside of the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill Neighborhood of Pittsburgh, October 28, 2018
(Photo: Sara C. Tobias, Newark Advocate, via USA TODAY Network)
A heavily armed gunman opened fire during a baby-naming ceremony at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, killing 11 people and injuring six in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in recent American history.
Dr. Jerry Robinowitz Cecil Rosenthal
This undated photo provided by David DeFelice shows Cecil Rosenthal. Rosenthal was killed when a gunman opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27.
Rabinowitz, 66, was one of 11 people killed in the mass shooting at the synagogue when authorities say Robert Bowers opened fire during services Saturday. A married couple, two brothers and a 97-year-old woman were also among those who died.
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers Comforting Bereaved Funeral Service
Tightly knit Community venting their grief Showing Support for the community and City
At least 2,000 mourners packed the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh on Sunday, and thousands more stood outside, for a vigil for the 11 people who were killed during Sabbath services at a synagogue the previous day. (Oct. 29) AP
Thanks again for your interest and wishing you all a great month ahead with Kindest Regards, Holiday Cheer and Good Wonderous Ways
Trees and Sky blending together Pastoral Autumn Setting
Mother Natures’ Robe of Leaves Hallelujah
Kaleidoscope of Colors Find Your Own Path
Heavenly bridge to wherever Let Things Go
Baby in the Leaves, how Precious is that Imagine the Smell of the Leaves
ODE TO SEPTEMBER AND BEYOND
September was here, and Fall is in the air, but not here.
Florida it’s hotter than ever and I’m going wherever,
Maybe my refrigerator,
Thank G-d there were no hurricanes in sight here. But in the Carolina’s there was great fear for brother’s and sister’s facing real devastation by Hurricane Florence that came in torrents.
The Fall brings new things and new colors and retrospection, formation that’s resetting its course, as we are recouping our loss.
We’re less than last six weeks away from Election Day
And Pray that it will bring new hope instead of dismay
September / October we’ll need to remember the work we have to do
Our responsibility to keep our communities, and schools safe too,
and the Projects we need to see through,
that will sway the tide as we begin anew.
A better Chapter, a better View
It was the hottest September on record here in Florida. Spent a lot of time in my refrigerator where it was cooler. And there were no hurricanes inside. We’ll be all right, but our brothers and sister to the north in the Carolina’s were faced with real devastation by Hurricane Florence; wreaking havoc not just along the coastal communities but 70 – 80 miles inland as rivers swelled, crested and overflowed. Our prayers and support goes out to them.
I know it’s my procrastination peculiarity, and I have to deal with it. Like I mentioned in last month’s August Newsletter, I was kinda waiting for some inspiration, some direction and it took on the form of the great Senator from Arizona’s expected passing, Sen. John McCain. It gave me an opportunity to provide from my vantage point a fitting tribute to this man who gave so much and did so much for our country.
Well, I’ve been putting together my notes for the September/October Newsletter Joeslifelonglegacy.com and Itworked4forme.com. I’ve come up with having two or three episodes that I’m finalizing at this juncture, while preparing for September’s Newsletter. Well September is just about gone, while writing this. When low-n-behold, the possibility of being part of Tom Steyer’s Get out the VOTERally here in St. Petersburg, FL was announced.It definitely became apparent to me that I needed to be there:
A STOP THE PRESSES ITEM/EVENT. The man who is himself went out on a limb and who has acquired quite a following himself was joined by St. Petersburg Mayor, Rick Kriseman tonight, Friday night, September 28. I made it a point to attend at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg campus. It was a packed house of over 250. It became ingrained in my memory; the evening and following events that I would like very much to share with you.
Colorful attendee attire
Getting Ready, Introductions
Monumental evening With Tom Steyer and St. Petersburg, Mayor Rick Kriseman at USF Saint Pete Campus, Student Union. Need to Vote and Need to Impeach with a full crowd over 250 very enthusiastic people that will take it to the next level. So glad to be part of it, will be writing about it in my blog post Joeslifelonglegacy and It worked4me. Great evening, food, T-shirts, meeting The Man (even signing my postcard). Please, Make the opportunity; we’re all in this. Roll up your sleeves and get involved. There’s not much time and it’ll make all the difference in the world, But 1st we have to make all the difference in our country. The program was to be held at the Student Union. We were greeted warmly upon entering and were ushered to the upstairs ballroom and with presented with the material signing in expressing their interests and concerns and how the evening was supposed to proceed. I noticed in the back the room there was food and other things to be considered. I put the material in the chair and went to the back where I said there was a lot going on. Yes, it there were nice vegetables, fruit, tomatoes and stuffed empanadas with tea, lemonade and water. What really caught my attention was a table with T-shirts was also pretty. So, I went over and looked at the selection put the one that might look good on me with a good the message, haha. Got to my seat and there were preliminaries, introductions with the message from a most certainly familiar St. Petersburg’s, Mayor Rick Kriseman; also the Moderator. After the Mayor’s introductory remarks, Tom Steyer provided some background as to how he got involved with this. He then touched on the critical issues before us. A Lively Q & A followed and the gathering left the Rally infused with a new dedication and armed with packets of potential voters that will be sent “GET OUT THE VOTE” information and encouragement. Please do whatever you can there is so much at stake. With 5 weeks left, I’ll be going out canvassing and manning the phones.
Can you please help us?
St. Petersburg’s Mayor Rick Kriseman Tom Steyer
Tom Steyer and Mayor Kriseman Answering questions
Pink hats were given them from a Woman’s Rights, Support Group member
Prelude to Episode #2; Harbinger of things to come!!
I guess each “Episode” will comprise of both some of the items that fall into the bailiwick of It Worked 4 Me and a generic chronological conversation of what transpired during the major occurrences and phenomena I encountered.
Life’s really mentoring years were predicated upon my immediate family. My Dad was the mainstay trying to keep me focused, but it was my Mom’s intuitive common sense that initially carried the day. And then of course there was my teachers and peers in grade school and middle school and then on to high school. One factor that seems to come into play was that I was a preemie and a baby boomer; as well. And my parents had the choice of me going back a year or going ahead a year. Because of the great number of young children that was starting school at the same time, my mother opted for me to be put ahead which had quite an influence. Not only was I small in stature but I was younger, and I had a try to pick up for that shortfall, so to speak. Also, I had to contend with the fact that I skipped kindergarten. Yes, I was thrust right into the fray; first grade and did not have the benefit of all the creative juices of painting on walls and building blocks for throwing but I made up for my folks would definitely attest to that. They were told please refrain from Billy bringing his toys which would now amount to action characters in today’s day and age.
There were many uneventful happenings during these years, until we moved to Long Island from Queens, New York. My folks would beg to differ because I always seem to be working my way into the “Dennis the Menace” syndrome from our apartment in Woodside, Queens. The attached Hank Ketcham, Dennis the Menace Cartoon seems so speak volumes.
This would have a bearing on the how I figured out What Worked 4 Me and what didn’t, like almost crawling out the window from our fifth-floor apartment. Did however, managed to fall out of a tree, requiring some stitches.
This how I viewed my first 12 years scouring around the Planet
In Episode #2 Prelude of things to come!!
My formative years, the learning curve predominately involved sports (baseball), spiritual, education and social, not necessarily in that order. My energy level had a lot to do with where my interests lied. There were the sports of baseball in the streets, football in the park and then at the Jr High and High School levels.
The spiritual was generally orchestrated by my parents as they followed in the new formulation of mass Bar Mitzvah Factory unfolding was taking place in the Judaic Religious decorum supported by a burgeoning Jewish community atmosphere taking hold on Long Island, NY.
Exercise is a good way working out problems. Whenever I was perturbed, riding my bicycle as great speeds around Circle Drive in our development would allow me to rant and rave to myself without anyone hearing. This was later transformed to driving in my car. Although during these times before the arrival of cell-phones talking to yourself brought stares from other drivers wondering about my mental health condition.
One of the main advents of my reaching full-blown adulthood was when my folks moved to Washington while I was finishing my college education on Long Island. This would have a direct bearing not only on my entire life, but my everyday life. But let’s not jump the gun. There’s so much juicy stuff that followed me throughout this impressionable time in my life.
In 1953 we had moved from Queens, New York to Syosset on Long Island. It would prove to be a “Life-Changer” of the first magnitude, As you will soon see!!
Thanks again for your interest and wishing you all a great month ahead with warmest regards, and much progress with all your endeavors.
Make that just “warm” regards. We won’t be seeing upper 80’s here in Florida for another 2 weeks. And NO Hurricanes, Please
August | Definition of August by Merriam-Webster www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/august August comes from the Latin word augustus, meaning “consecrated” or “venerable,” which in … Middle English speakers inherited the name of the month of August, … ODE TO AUGUST THE 8TH MONTH, LATIN WORD AUGUSTUS, MEANING CONSECRATED OR VENERABLE
Well August is rapidly getting us into the changes that are upon us.
As bright and sunny as August appears, we know from the “dog days of summer,” we are in the grips of apprehension and fears.
Especially students who are starting a New Year in school’s here and there. Me too, I’m a substitute teacher and writer; it will bring new experiences to share.
As well as embarking on my new book; “It worked 4 me,” gosh darn I wish I could spell. But equally important for all of us in our mundane existence we need to focus on where we’re going, (hope not to hell)
hope we can tell. Not only in our day-to-day trials but what will happen in the next month or two or three. Decisions to be made that will steer this country back to the cause of why we are free.
Where we are and why we’re looked up to as a beacon of light. Matters of tribulations, of truthfulness and trials NOT trite, will steer us on course as well as voting our right,
As a free democratic nation that is looked upon as guiding us all through the darkening night. So, August as we hover around you, a month with no holidays, we will deal kindly with the fact that we will celebrate in our own ways,
And those of you who can vote in primaries, will do so as a responsibility of your birthright and the groundwork for upcoming election days.
Make it a mandatory decision to Vote or you may find there’s little left to say; or DO!! – Will S.
HOLD THE PRESSES HOLD THE PRESSES HOLD THE PRESSES – PLEASE!!
I’ve been wondering why I couldn’t finalize this August newsletter. There was enough good material and I did manage to get some inspirational signals sent to get it done – already. I was ready to send it out Monday afternoon evening and needed to upload some more appropriate pictures that I like to include in the newsletter. And then the Announcement came through, our most esteemed Sen. John McCain succumbed to cancer. I knew what a great American he is and was. He fought the great causes of this beloved nation. It is with great admiration and love and sadness that I’m sharing his words that appear in his final letter. And although I did not vote for him in his national campaign, I have already read it again and again through his message for hope and for this country that he dearly loved and showed us how to be a great American. In reverence for this wonderful and dedicated human being please take a few minutes and read through this. He served us well and it’s the minimal of what we can do to thank him.
Read John McCain’s final farewell letter:
My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for 60 years, and especially my fellow Arizonans, Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life of service in uniform and service in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.I’ve often observed that I’m the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I’ve loved my life, all of it. I’ve had experiences, adventures, friendships enough for 10 satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anybody else’s. I owe this satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes — liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people — brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures.
Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves. ‘Fellow Americans’ — that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history.
We have acquired great wealth and great power in the process. We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they’ve always been.
We are 325 million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do. Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.
I feel it powerfully still. Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history. Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you and God bless America.
Senator John McCain, RIP
With that being said!! (This was initially being applied to the August versus but still should appear). Need to get focused on some important things that have transpired over the past month or so. We’re in the throes of a major midterm primary that will set in motion the process for the midterm elections. This is probably the most important midterm election of our time. I voted early, and I wish I could vote often but I least I’m trying to get others equally motivated.
As I was writing my August versus, something came back to me that I would like to share with you. It is almost 2 years ago. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016 and I happened to take a teaching assignment, a substitute teaching assignment at an elementary school in North Pinellas County, Florida. It was rather an uneventful day although the children in the kindergarten class were very intriguing and interested. I was trying to make a difference as substitute teachers would normally do. It was towards the end of the day and as this happened to be Election Day, so I gathered the children around the front of the class on a circular rug that they usually sit on. It seemed appropriate to embark on a little bit of the history lesson about the election discussion and voting. Most likely that their parents would be going to vote. I gave them some background as far as the presidency, the vice president and other elected officials. What happened next really set me back. I would get a sense of what was going through the minds of these children, young kids and how they were responding to all the election jargon. I was really shocked to hear their responses. I will never forget this is; how these young people, five years old, mouthed what was becoming the rhetoric of the day. I was shocked to hear them very vocal. In the group of 15 or 20 kids, may be six or seven shouted out: “Lock her up; She’s a crook, Trump is going to win.”As I said I was really surprised as you might expect from these kids echoing what evidently their parents, family had instilled in them.
Little did I know that when I returned to my house and turned on the television as most Americans; a majority of Americans were shocked to find out that, that repetitive staccato chant echoed through many precincts, election districts and States. Fast forward to this past February and my 2018 February Newsletter, when the White House started comparing the immigrants coming in from Haiti and Africa as sh-tholes and I’m very careful in choosing my words. I responded to reverting back to my immigrant ancestry from Greece and Russia.
But now the thing that comes to mind is the biblical story of Jephthah, an important judge of Israel in biblical times. Jephthah led the Israelites in battle against Ammon and, in exchange for defeating the Ammonites, made a Vow to sacrifice whatever would come out of the door of his house first. When his daughter was the first to come out of the house, he immediately regretted the vow.
The other more biblically known story of saying something that comes back to haunt you was determining the 10th plague that rained down as part of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. After the nine plagues and pharaoh’s intent on keeping the Jews as slaves and changing his mind on a number of occasions, Moses confronts Pharaoh after this latest reneging. Pharaoh in his arrogance, issued his harsh pronouncement, “that the first-born male of the Israelites would be killed.” This was a revisiting of a similar edict 80 years earlier and was part of the beginning of how Moses would survive this sentence being carried out. Upon Pharaoh’s indictment, Moses purportedly issued his forceful vendetta that pharaoh’s utterance would be the 10th plague that will be carried out about the killing of the firstborn male Egyptians.
Not to dwell on this too much but I find it rather telling that demonstrative gestures that was initially part of Trump’s campaign rhetoric and his diatribe mantra for the Trump administration might very well come back and bite him.That utterance that came out of his mouth could determine his fate. Maybe, just maybe, we are seeing this as we witness what’s unfolding in our country. It looks like what senior Trump said may very well be pointing to the one being locked up. And as we watch at what has transpired in the White House; it is in a shambles of what was a prestigious argumentatively a pillar of Democracy. What he uttered out of his mouth about these other countries and their people, ironically, could find its mark from whence it came. The White House is becoming with all the philandering and greed and lying which to me epitomizes what he’s spewed out of his mouth and come back to haunt him and G-d forbid, us.
Especially when it was revealed that the mastermind behind his immigration policy owed his roots to his family being given a safe-haven to enter the U.S as how Stephen Miller’s story became public.
The White House adviser Stephen Miller, the architect of some of President Trump’s most controversial anti-immigration policies, has been assailed by critics who are quick to point out that Miller himself is a grandchild of refugees. Now Miller’s own uncle is joining the outcry.In an essay published by Politico on Monday, David Glosser, a retired neuropsychologist and brother of Miller’s mother, Miriam, calls his nephew an “immigration hypocrite.”“I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, who is an educated man and well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country,” Glosser writes.He relays the story of how Wolf-Leib Glosser, his own great grandfather and Miller’s great-great grandfather on his mother’s side, fled anti-Jewish violence in what is now Belarus, and arrived in the United States in 1903 “with $8 to his name.”Wolf-Leib was “fluent in Polish, Russian and Yiddish,” Glosser writes.” but “understood no English” when he landed on Ellis Island.Miller has said the administration favors immigrants who speak English. And Miller’s great grandfather on his father’s side, Nison Miller, failed his naturalization test in 1932 due to “Ignorance,” according to court documents that surfaced last year in the wake Trump’s brazen immigration actions. (Eventually he retook the test and became a citizen.)
As we get ready for the primaries and other amazing developments that in my wildest experiences growing up in New York, living in Washington, D.C. would never have expected this unfolding our eyes; so hard to conceive. We pray for guidance and patience and as we weathered many storms and crises that would have shaken our Republic: we came out of it hopefully stronger. I pray for just such an outcome, results. These are the times that try men’s souls.
We must look very deep in our souls and hopefully come up with answers.
It’s been quite a summer which takes me to my song of the month Jimmy Buffett’s Come Monday, “Yes it’s been quite a summer Rent-A-Car and west-bound trains.” Not so much Rent-A-Car’s but Rent-A-Bus and east-bound planes; my trip to Israel and Spain were amazing. And then the second refrain instead of heading up to San Francisco, “I’ll be heading up to Orlando coincidently for the Labor Day weekend show; I got my Hush Puppies, guess I never was meant for glitter rock ‘n’ roll.” We’ll leave it at that.
Headin` up to San Francisco
For the Labor Day week-end show
I`ve got my hush-puppies on
I guess I never was meant for glitter rock and roll
And Honey I didn`t know
That I`d be missin` you so
Come Monday, it`ll be all right
Come Monday, I`ll be holdin` you tight
I spent four lonely days in a brown L. A. haze
And I just want you back by my side
Yes, it`s been quite a summer
Rent-a-cars and west-bound trains
And now you`re off on vacation
Something you tried to explain
And Darlin` it`s I love you so
That`s the reason I just let you go
Come Monday, it`ll be all right
Come Monday, I`ll be holdin` you tight
I spent four lonely days in a brown L. A. haze
And I just want you back by my side
I can`t help it honey You`re that much a part of me now
Remember that night in Montana
When we said there`d be no room for doubt
I hope you`re enjoyin` the scen`ry
I know that it`s pretty up there
We can go hikin` on Tuesday
With you I`d walk anywhere.
California has worn me quite thin
I just can`t wait to see you again
Come Monday, it`ll be all right
Come Monday, I`ll be holdin` you tight
I spent four lonely days in a brown L. A. haze
And I just want you back by my side
I spent four lonely days in a brown L. A. haze
And I just want you back by my side.
It just so happened my cousin Pam daughter, Jessica was having her Bat (Bar) Mitzvah (when a young Jewish girl (Boy) turns 13 and takes on adult responsibilities in the Jewish faith). It was to take place in Spain on the weekend of June 28. It was amazing that I was able to work out arrangements with Gate 1 Travel which were the Tour people from 14-day tour of Israel; a life-changer, very memorable. And I was even able to take to 2 ½ day hiatus. When I arrived in Madrid to go to Majorca, a resort in southern Spain where my tennis hero Rafael Nadal, one of the best tennis players of all times resided. However, the best part was my visit with Pam and her family. Her wonderful husband, Ramon, a very dear man. Pam and Ramon were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. Their marriage produced among other things, three (3) beautiful children. Their oldest, Rebecca, 19 years it is attending, University of Florida. Their son, Jake (15) who I took and his buddy Max to a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game about three years ago and they still remembered it. Their youngest as mentioned, Jessica the Bat Mitzvah girl.
I have marvelous pictures and memories. I’ll just share a little bit.One of the memorable highlights is that my cousin Pam is a journalist and writer in her own right. A graduate of University of Florida and Brandeis, she is the Washington Post’s correspondent for Spain and any of the newsworthy items Pam is sure to be writing about it and having it appear in the Washington Post. It just so happened on July 3. I was taking advantage of my down time before flying back to the States the next day and writing my June/July Newsletter. Pam was interested in my writings and my poem that I have fun with each month which appears on something relevant to the month and the time. She was very attentive and interested in assisting in changes to the poem about July 4. I want to share this with my readers and I’m sure she will be available in future endeavors. But it was very, very special for her to make her necessary input. I also want to alert you to the 10 postings of my trip to Israel that appear on my Facebook site William.Sefekar.com
Sea of Galilee
Putting a message of Hope in Western Wall
Spectacular Light and Sound Show
ICON LOVE SYMBOLS FROM THE HIRSHHORN THE MUSEUM OF ISRAEL, MUSEUM IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND JERUSALEM
Dead Sea Scrolls
KING DAVID’S TOMB
UN Peace-keeping force Golan Heights
UN Peace-keeping Mile Post
Floating in the Dead Sea
Tramway up to Masada
Excavations in Jerusalem
Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
Cousin Pam and family: Jake, Jessica, Ramon, Rebecca, Pam
I might add that I espouse a lot of the liberal causes and work to keep the forces of good intact as opposed to the forces of evil. I’m active with the antipollution and Earth Day measures and attended the March for Our Lives in Washington addressing these matters on my blog post “Joe’s Lifelong Legacy” as well as my new venture most likely to become my third book work; “It worked 4 me.” I’m trying to practice what I preach, knowing that it’s not business as usual we will need to commandeer the beachheads in the next few months and few years.
Excerpts from February 2018 Newsletter. Back in February, I ran some of his current statements of former CIA director John Brennan. It certainly has gotten worse and maybe my security clearance could be reneged also. I believe what he saying is a lot more truthful than what’s coming out of Trump’s mouth.
This is a statement that was in the news by former FBI official John BrennanEx-CIA chief John Brennan to Trump: ‘America will triumph over you’Sean Rossman, USA TODAY Published 1:11 p.m. ET March 17, 2018 | Updated 3:36 p.m. ET March 17, 2018 Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe reportedly kept memos regarding President Donald Trump. USA TODAY The former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in a venomous tweet Saturday, accused President Trump of political corruption and warned, “America will triumph over you.” John Brennan’s biting two-sentence statement came in response to a Friday evening tweet in which the president celebrated the ouster of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.Former CIA director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in 2016. Brennan, in a Saturday tweet,accused President Trump of political corruption. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)
“You show an amazing albeit unsurprising ignorance of how technology, automation, and the attendant evolution of economics and societies have transformed the world,” he said in response to a Trump tweet on March 7. “Your simple minded policies — imposition of tariffs — have the potential to seriously damage our future prosperity.”
Getting back to: “It worked 4 me.” I will have some pictures of how my car would appear in the parking lot in the mall or whatever and it’s readily picked up as I said, this is something I’ve done for many, many, many years; at least 15 to 20 years. My car bears the American flag, not the Tampa Bay Rays or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although, I imagine it would certainly have the same effect. I will also share with you as long as we’re talking about the motor vehicle, that I found this has been a very important way of minimizing back problems and in my case, luckily has been usually nonexistent, thank G-d. But having a cushion to sit on literally and figuratively and a back, lumbar support also helps. Not all cars are equipped with lumbar adjustment. These minimal additions worked exceptionally well but equally important is a lifetime of a continuous exercise regiment; doing push-ups and sit-ups, running and tennis, etc., has been a major factor, contributing to averting major health infirmities. I’ll being share some of this with you in later episodes.
Driver’s seat cushion and Lumbar support, save the back
============================================================== Thanks again for your interest and wishing you all a special autumnal season with colorful, vibrant and tranquil time of the year, especially those dealing with possible weather related turbulence.
This is what it’s all about!! This is what we’re all about.
When was the last time you read it out loud and all the way through,
Shame on me, shame on you.
It should be written on our heart,
Demonstrating what a crucial part,
A signed piece of paper can play,
On the Fourth of July — or any other day.
When people stand up for human rights
And raise the bar to lofty heights
To change the course of history
And create a country based on liberty
Our Declaration of Independence speaks with a tone that is reverent.
Of inalienable rights it calls self-evident.
That among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
But we can’t let it slip away.
We have to work at it every day.
It won’t last forever.
It’s on our shoulders to make it better.
The United States of America is a special place.
And we ALL must join together with every race,
To keep it in a State of Grace.
As I am still overseas, the 2018 July Newsletter will start out in an abbreviated format. Suffice to say that the past month has been a major milestone in my life. Traveling to the Holy Land and Israel is a real game-changer. I have grown considerably in my spiritual and temporal spheres. However, being away from the confines of my comfort zone and computer I am a little limited in what I am able to put together. I have been writing my blog posts with Hebrew and Spanish based computers. I am now tri-lingual, ha.
Received this from one of my Face Book colleagues. She is definitely on the Mark.
This was from a post entitled, The Jew In You
Two particular replies stands out during the past week. One just happen to deal with my recent visit last week to the Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. This was my reply to the Face Book post Those words jumps out at you. This is what’s happening. We better take those words very seriously the next four months to determine whether our freedoms remain intact and our democracy survives. 4 more months not 4 more years.
On a recent Facebook post my dear colleague stated, “Have to feel you and I have always taken for granted the freedoms we have had as a country. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever dream we would be in such a place to lose them all. Never ever will I ever take them for granted again.”
My response to my dear colleague was:
I found this is part of G-d’s Plan cause we take everything for granted even the little necessities and the Miracles and Wonders and it takes something like an illness, an accident or some misfortune that makes you realize how blessed we are and the freedoms we have here in the United State, it’s like the air we breathe. And this is why it takes something like Donald Trump and his greed mongers to make us realize that freedom is not free. We need to work at it. July 4th would be a nice time to dedicate and rededicate ourselves.
To which she responded, “yes sir, I agree with you wholeheartedly
I encourage each of you to use this Independence Day to reflect on how YOU can add to our beautiful country: “America, the Beautiful!”
Spring is upon us and life begins a new, what a wonderful world in view
This is our time to shine, new beginnings, new adventures, new memories are a part of this rejuvenation that is our birthright and legacy: So go forth, be part of something worthy, something you will be proud of! Will S.
TIME TO SHINE, LIVE, AND
I need to temper his warm greetings with the fact that their 70 million Americans under a winter storm warning. I will be joining you on Friday in Washington DC as we prepare for our “March for the Living” Hopefully the March will melt the snow and un-hardened hearts of our legislative leaders, government officials and those entrusted with our national well-being emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. it will take a lot of joining the ranks of young students and educators everywhere!!
The following March Newsletter gives me some good fodder to start thinking about this most important newsletter. I was ready to leave that it released on March 15. The “Ides of March” can be very telling so I’ll held off on that, fearful with all that is happening could even bring about a number of things to come that I wouldn’t want to think about opening up Pandora’s Box, even though I ruefully believe it is being opened with the help of “Mad Hatter”
Well, I’m going to be heading up to Washington DC to be part of this March on Washington called March for Our Lives. It is being promoted, and the impetus for this was students, teenagers that want to be safe. Where more children, students die in schools than soldiers in Afghanistan.
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.
March with us in Washington DC or march in your own community. On March 24, the collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard.
Gun violence in schools has long been a pervasive issue. However, recent events have once again propelled the controversy to the front of our collective minds. The school shooting in Parkland, Florida seems to have been the final straw. The Parkland shooting survivors and students across the nation are now saying enough is enough. And one part of their rapidly expanding movement is March For Our Lives, a march on Washington to demand legislative action on gun control.
Organized by students, staff, and members of the Parkland community, the March For Our Lives is scheduled for Saturday, March 24th in Washington, D.C. The event will begin at 10 a.m. EST. Sister marches will simultaneously take place in other cities, too.
According to the March For Our Lives website, organizers behind the event maintain that gun control reform is not a political issue, but a matter of safety:
So far, March For Our Lives has caught the attention of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and George and Amal Clooney, who have each donated $500,000 to the cause. You don’t have to be rich to make a difference, though.
If you aren’t able to make it to Washington, D.C., check this Facebook page for sister marches taking place near you. If you’re community hasn’t joined the fight yet, make your own event page and start reaching out!
Organizations need cash to get things done, so join the cause by donating to the March for Our Lives GoFundMe campaign. They’re less than $300,000 away from their goal, and every little bit helps!
Show your support with March For Our Lives March. T-shirts and sweatshirts are available now, with hats, bumper stickers, and yard signs coming soon. Proceeds go right back into the event.
One big way to make an impact on gun control reform is by registering to vote and supporting political candidates who align with your beliefs. News Source
The March for Our Lives will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018
The March for Our Lives will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018. This of course has been organized by the students of the latest school massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
For decades I have watched people speak of the 1960’s with longing. Perhaps because they miss it, what they accomplished, or because they wished that they had been alive during this formative decade, when a generation burned draft cards in protest and said no more war to the government.
If you are one of these people then here’s your chance. If you never thought about protesting and just are tired of our political system taking money from lobbyist and putting their interest above peoples, then here’s your chance. If you did not make the Women’s March of 2017 in D.C. I hope that you will consider making this one. These “young adults and children” without inhibitions are starting out to change the country. They have been a beautiful shining light of hope in the darkest of days. I am so proud of them!!
I will be attending this March with my mother and my daughter. Three generations of women, showing up to lend support, to be heard, to help change a broken system. Out of a sensitivity for my mother and a little fear, I will simply say that 159 years between all three of us will be there.
This tragedy has brought another huge influx of Russian Military bots. There was another purge last week by Twitter while Facebook, Google and YouTube have issued statements that they will be deleting the conspiracies that they are pushing. For those of you that aren’t aware of them, maybe that’s a blessing. For those that have, I hope that you reported the posts.
As you can see they are playing both “sides” of this. The goal being of course is divide an already divided nation. Today I watched the NRA President, Wayne LaPierre use some of the same talking points that the bots are spewing while attacking the Media, the FBI and Universities. I was personally mortified. Then again I had just seen the NRA’s “commercial” on NRATV which should have raised alarms all over the world.
I don’t think this is going to get any easier and there are dark, dark days ahead of us still. I think that it is important to take the time to be proactive in our political system, to shed the bonds of helplessness and get out there and MARCH! To remember that we are NOT the minority but the majority. That we will not be hijacked by gun lobbyist, manufacturers, and the NRA. To be with our children, our grandchildren, our parents. Show the world that we are a nation of problem solving. Do something positive for yourself, this country and be involved. The United States needs us, the children need us.
important information about how you can support our teens in this Social Justice effort
“Do not stand idly by while, your neighbor’s blood is shed”
We will get there where we’re going to be led by the young people because they are the future and we have to leave them a world they’re able to compete, to defend and improve our living conditions and tenuous environment. I want to inject one of my favorite songs that I like to play on the guitar. It’s on my 2nd CD, called “Rhymes and Reasons”
This is where I get my inner strength from some of these wonderfully composed songs and words of some of the great artists/writers/composers of our time.
I have been so blessed with following and learning the songs of Bob Dylan, “Blowing In The Wind”; Simon and Garfunkel, “Sounds Of Silence”, “America”; Kenny Loggins, “Leap Of Faith”; Neil diamond, “Coming to America”, “Holly Holy”. There is even room for Jimmy Buffett, “Changes In Latitude” haha, to name a few.
This is one of John Denver’s earlier songs, “Rhymes and Reasons”– The children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers their laughter and their loveliness would clear a cloudy day and the song that I am singing is a prayer to non-believers, come and stand beside us we can find a better way.
The theme of March for Our Lives resonates from the following verse:
“It is written from the desert to the mountains they shall lead us, by the hand and by the heart, they will comfort you and me, in their innocence and trusting; They will teach us to be free.”
Lyrics for Rhymes and Reasons
This is a beautiful rendition of John Denver’s Poems Prayers and Promises with background simulated pictures and messages.
Lyrics for Rhymes and Reasons
So you speak to me of sadness And the coming of the winter
Fear that is within you now It seems to never end
And the dreams that have escaped you And the hope that you’ve forgotten
You tell me that you need me now You want to be my friend
And you wonder where we’re going And it’s you cannot accept
It is here we must begin To seek the wisdom of the children
And the graceful way of flowers in the wind For the children and the flowers
Are my sisters and my brothers Their laughter and their loveliness
Could clear a cloudy day Like the music of the mountains
And the colours of the rainbow They’re a promise of the future
And a blessing for today Though the cities start to crumble
And the towers fall around us The sun is slowly fading
And it’s colder than the sea It is written from the desert
To the mountains they shall lead us By the hand and by the heart
They will comfort you and me In their innocence and trusting
They will teach us to be free For the children and the flowers
Are my sisters and my brothers Their laughter and their loveliness
Could clear a cloudy day And the song that I am singing
Is a prayer to non believers Come and stand beside us
We can find a better way
This link is from my Second CD Entitled: LET YOUR HEART SING OF LOVING & LIVING LIFE EVERY DAY
It probably doesn’t do it justice but it is truly from the heart.
This is what we need to fall back on because I pray and I hope that this country comes together for good and justice, and mercy. Keeping our basic tenants intact, not like somebody taking a sledgehammer and chisel and eroding the foundation of what has made us strong and is built on. Which is denigrated when somebody like the President calls one of the most reputable, highly regarded moderator’s on a national network; like Meet the Press, “a son of a bitch” on television at a rally. I think we’ve lost all decency when you’re dealing with these kinds of situations. We deserve better leadership.
And as I said, I’m going to March for Our Lives on the Washington Monument Mall with my sister and others that will join forces for decency to build a better America; Not Make America Great with simplistic platitudes. Not with the kind of rhetoric based on lies and derogatory demagogues and if anybody has something that they think that would be a good poster along these lines, please send it to me on my twitter account to be counted in the response. There are going to be plenty of posters with the right messages, presented by the “student body” and forming a larger crowd than was at the inauguration; that’s for sure.
So if you have suggestions. I’d like to hear from you. People and Posters will carry the day. Will send you pictures.
I listened to hear about Prof. Stephen Hawkins passing at 76 years of age in spite of all his suffering and limited mobility in being able to accomplish so much beyond the wildest imaginations literally and figuratively. That 25 of his posts and share them with you and is nice to have it acknowledged by the great Seth of the thinkers on CBS television from the big tank theory TV show they appreciated this is brilliant minds.
2 hours ago – Stephen W. Hawking, the Cambridge University physicist and best-selling author who roamed the cosmos from a wheelchair, pondering the nature of gravity and the origin of the universe and becoming an emblem of human determination and curiosity, died early Wednesday at his home in Cambridge, ..
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.
The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.
I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.
We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.
My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.
I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers.
People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.
We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,
Not only does God play dice, but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen This shows you how like minds think alike.
Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying. G-d doesn’t play craps with the Universe. Very interesting introspection or as I found out a synonym is navel-gazing. Sounded like it would fit in somewhat akin to star-gazing, ha
Stephen Hawking, appearing with cast of the Big Bang Theory
1st Pic:Full Cast and Production Crew of The Big Bang Theory 2nd Pic: Sheldon with Stephen Hawking from one of his Episodes
Like so many lives touched by Stephen Hawking’s brilliance, the cast of “The Big Bang Theory” is spent a Wednesday morning in morning. Stars made him violate, Kaylee cuckoo, Jim Parsons and John Lackey and co-create a bill ready also to social media to express their admiration for the lake, great physicist, who died Wednesday morning after decades – long battle with ALS. 76.
“In loving memory of Stephen Hawking,” the CBS sitcom wrote on its official Twitter account, alongside a photo of the stars the talking. “It was an honor to have him on the The Big Bang Theory. Thank you for inspiring us and the world. He appeared on the series is himself seven times, beginning with his season five cameo in “the Hawking excitation” and most recently with the current season premiere last September.
“As we near Pi Day of our time,” Lilac tweeted, along with the same snapshot. “#Stephen Hawking is free from the physical constraints of this earthly condition we all exist in and he is soaring above us now marveling at it all.”
“Life would be tragic weren’t funny.” – Stephen Hawking
Wait, on another thought-provoking note, I would like to share with you some of the outreaching Works of Dr. Koren. This was particularly noted from his Lecture given on January 21, 2018. With all the effort in getting the video edited and the final product which I shared with you last few months. A 20 minute version for the layman and the public will be available next month but the 58 minute version is being sent to over 1500 universities and colleges. Enunciating the steps you need to take to maintain a balance and quality of life: purer air, cleaner water and winning the battle against the degradation of our immune systems.
I am so fortunate that I have a special mentor which I could work with. He has exhibited within his powerful, intellectual grasp the opportunity to have an impact on the earth and its environs equally important as reaching out to the heavens.
Blog posts and Newsletters over the past months have featured Dr. Herman Koren one of the foremost experts on environmental health pollution and immune system degradation. A 58 minute lecture has been available since it was recorded on Sunday, January 21, 2018. Follow-up efforts have resulted in distribution channels that have carried its way to some of the most venerable and prestigious Environmental Health and Public Health Associations and Organizations. I am proud to provide you with some of the follow-up discussions and efforts that have led to this higher-level information availability.
Mar 13 (8 days ago)
to me, lgatcovecay, carolina.antun.
Dear Bill, Linda, and CarolinA
This has just been published by the Environmental Health Section of the American Public Health Association and Will Reach about 1500 Top Professionals in the United States and Canada Immediately.
Keep up the Good Work. We Need to Reach the Public That We Can Move Ahead and Protect Our Environment and Our Health.
Has called Trump’s behavior in wake of the controversy insane and is questioning the state of the nation under his leadership.
In an interview with the Washington Post, McCaffrey stated, “We’re cruising toward a war with North Korea, and for eight days we’ve watched insane behavior by the president, Congresswoman Wilson and the chattering class in Washington.”
He said Trump has no empathy and that his conversation with the widow was likely a disaster.
McCaffrey isn’t the first to go after Trump following his alleged comments to Johnson. Gold Star mom Karen Meredith spoke her mind as well and told Trump to stop making everything about himself.
McCaffrey wondered what’s going on in the larger picture concerning Trump’s continues and numerous controversies which manage to consume news cycles for full weeks. He jumped from his NFL comments (which he continues to Tweet about) to this maddening disrespect of a widow of a killed serviceman; what’s next?
He just keeps lying, both in his words and from the Twitter that many have argued serve as a platform for presidential proclamations.
First, he claimed his predecessors never called the families of fallen service members, which is demonstrably false. Then, he attacked Representative Wilson for standing up for a widow he had disrespected. And now, when that widow speaks out, he’s shutting her down too, all from his cowardly place behind a computer screen.
Grow up, Trump.
A retired four-star Army general said that he believes that President Trump is a “serious threat to US national security.”
Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey tweeted Friday that he reached the conclusion about Trump because the president “is refusing to protect vital US interests from active Russian attacks.”
“It is apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” he added.
McCaffrey has also worked as an adjunct professor at the U.S. Military Academy and led the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for five years during the Clinton administration.
Trump has come under fire for his response to Russian interference in the U.S. election. The president has repeatedly hit the probe into Russia’s election meddling as a “witch hunt.”
His administration unveiled new sanctions against Russian cyber groups involved in election meddling on Thursday, including individuals and groups charged with election interference by special counsel Robert Mueller.
However, Trump had been criticized for not implementing sanctions against Russia earlier, after Congress passed a bipartisan bill last year giving him the power to do so.
U.S. Cyber Command chief and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers testified before the Senate last month that he hadn’t received instructions from Trump to take additional steps to deter Russian cyberattacks aimed at U.S. elections.
Former CIA director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in 2016. Brennan, in a Saturday tweet,
accused President Trump of political corruption. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)
“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history,” he wrote. “You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but will not destroy America… America will triumph over you.”
Brennan served under former president Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017. Since he left his post, he’s been critical of the president on his response to the hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico and on his recent decision to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel, among other decisions.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who often is at odds with Trump, fired McCabe amid a review of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state.
Trump called McCabe’s firing a “great day for the hardworking men and women of the FBI.” McCabe, the president claimed, “knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!”
Brennan tweets sparingly and usually only to make a statement about current affairs. After Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Brennan issued another abrasive tweet.
“You show an amazing albeit unsurprising ignorance of how technology, automation, and the attendant evolution of economics and societies have transformed the world,” he said in response to a Trump tweet on March 7. “Your simple minded policies — imposition of tariffs — have the potential to seriously damage our future prosperity.”
All you lovers of life,
As well as you lovers of the Earth
You caregivers of caring-
Give of your bounty and your bounty will always be filled to the brim.
Make sure to give Cupid a big wide angle shot to land His mark.
You never can tell, what the results will be
It will only feel like a little pinch and gives you the warm fuzzies forever.
Dear Mr. Pres. I use that word loosely, you’re not my president and more than half of the United States citizens that voted, didn’t get your vote. Over the years there have been times that my preferred candidate wasn’t elected yet I accepted it with equanimity and endured the outcome. What you have done: You’ve made shambles of the moral fiber in this country. You condone extramarital affairs at a level that is so far below our consciousness what used to be right is not right, and what use to be wrong is not wrong. Now we delved few levels lower on the Internet today, are we condoning Domestic Violence (DV) and Sexual Abuse (SA)? Are these allegations prerequisites for WH positions of power these days? I can’t stand by and millions of men and women and young adults are not going to accept this. We can rise up and vote you out of office and all your cronies that sold us out.
All the millions and millions of hard working Americans are now subservient to the billionaires; the 1% that we were told this is what you were going to do. This is like mind-boggling; Hitler said what he was going to do. It shatters speed records of the my consciousness and what you are doing is: Dismantling the Republic, our democracy. We’re going to tell you and your cronies in November what we think of this degradation of our environment, government and our moral fiber and hopefully will set the bar a lot higher than what you have done- which is sell us out, the little guy the man in the streets. However, we can thank the women, women in the streets who have come out to show what we mean when we say enough is enough.
Join me, in whatever organizations. I will be joining also to get this word out to show that we mean business. This is a government: by the people, for the people and God willing, will never perish from the earth. We’ve invested too much of our time and our parents time, and our grandparents time and all the immigrants that came before us that you wouldn’t have allowed in or are sending back. Now your guidelines are strict guidelines of making what is moral, that makes you determine who is righteous and who is not. This is no way, you are wrong, you are wrong, you are wrong and we will show you how wrong you are because not only is the pen mightier than the sword, but we will show you that the ballot box is what got this country this far and the ballot box will determine and not dictate, as we don’t want to use that word because that’s what you’ve thrown at us, a dictatorship that is how you’ve gotten your way. You are dismantling our justice system and slandered trying to protect yourself by false accusations, shrouded in law enforcement agencies, and the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), who can’t even remember what he did 3 months ago. You destroyed eight years of building blocks to make this country fair and one that reached out to all peoples. Is this your only way: no compromise, no negotiations? This is how you deal in your world! We learned this lesson the hard way.
This country is definitely in peril, you want to “make America great.” We just want to keep America the way it was; loving, caring; a United people that that’s how we got our name the United States of America. The people sticking together to help one another in spite of adversity; resulting in the building of great a country. It was forged out of a beautiful land that God gave us, America the beautiful; unbelievable words, believable how people put their personal interests and greed above what made this country great. Patriotism is not just something that you say or put a flag out, that helps; you work at it, you work at it and you work at it, it’s going to take a lot of work just get us back to the middle of the road where we were a few years ago.
Want to share with you something that really means a lot to me and I’m hoping to populate this in not only “What America Means to Me,” Whatamericameanstome.com but certainly it is appropriate in the other domain name website “Immigrants Are USA,” www.immigrantrusa.com. The hullabaloo recently about the president off-the-cuff remarks about people from Haiti, San Salvador, and Africa. The expression s**t hole became the word of the week, month, year.
I cannot imagine how someone, especially in this high office would make these remarks and talk about our roots like this. These are ALL our roots, unless your ancestors came from living in these pre-Colonial times. The first settlers were “American Indians” as we know. Ancestry on my mother’s side came from Eastern Europe and Russia and I recently was watching a movie Fiddler on the Roof; where their lives were as precarious as the perch of a fiddler on a roof. It showed what happened; how the Jews felt the wrath of the Russian dictator, the Czar. Cossacks and their cut-throats bands would periodically initiate pogroms and massacres of innocent people, mostly Jews. Toward the end of the movie this Jewish town called Anatevka, for the Jews had to sell their property, and livestock in three days and were forced to flee. And many of them would come to the New World and as they sloshed through the night in the cold carrying all their earthly possessions in carts that they had to pull their carts in this quagmire of mud and for a life that would be much better. And I think this would certainly qualify as a s..t hole. I have the tape and will provide you with pictures of how these immigrants lived on their way to the New World to America in the early 1900’s . As I said ,they left to find a better world here. We were so blessed, thank you America,
I’m putting some of these pictures from Fiddler on the Roof that just happened to be aired on Turner Classic Movie (TCM) a few weeks ago. It belies what my ancestors on my mother side had to deal with when they left Russia and arrived in the USA. My grandfather, William Charles Lakoff, is who I am named after. In the European Jewish communities, you named children after deceased relatives to keep their memory alive. My grandfather William, in order to save a few cents; he was a laborer and a few cents meant a lot back in the 1920’s. So, he decided instead of taking the bus to get home from his job, he carried his toolbox for about a mile and ½ in the cold and snow in Brooklyn, New York. He suffered a heart attack and died. He left four daughters and a son and a loving wife to raise the kids. He had scrimped and saved up enough money send for his wife Bessie, (my grandmother) and three of his children; Lena, Yetta, and Hymie to come from Russia. Two of them were born here in the United States, Renee and the youngest of the five children was my mother, Thelma was born in 1920; who was six at the time. And as the story rings true, immigrant families stay together and nurture one another and build a better life from what you saw as millions of families like on my sides of the family. They left their s..t holes came to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc. and many of them stayed in Europe, like Craków, Poland and faced a far worse ordeal, a far worse fate 25-30 years later.
VIDEO SNIP-IT FROM FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, ABOUT RUSSIAN IMMIGRANTS COMING TO AMERICA EARLY 1900’S
Pictures taken from the Movie, “Fiddler on the Roof” about Jewish Immigrants from Russia.
My father’s side of the family didn’t fare that much better. They were caught in the crossfire of the Balkan Wars just prior to and during World War I that began in 1914. The Ottoman Empire, under Turkish rule, controlled the islands of Greece. Salonika is the second-largest city in Greece, next Athens. My grandfather Jack, my Dad’s father, was picked up and incarcerated for violating curfew during this war-torn era. His crime was trying to get milk for his two-year-old daughter, Lucia (Lucy) my Dad’s oldest sister. And after paying whatever fines necessary to be released, they realized they needed to get the heck out of there from their s..t hold and with all the money that they could scrape together and borrow, they took passage on the SS Angelina that left Naples, Italy on September 9, 1916 and after a shortstop over in Havana, Cuba set sail on the SS Mexico for America on October 25 arriving at Ellis Island. (See accompanying manifests).
Manifests from Jack and Jenny’s sojourn to the New World, from Salonica, Greece, 1916
Something happened Saturday, February 10 as I was working on the newsletter, blog post. I regularly take a gander at the movie selections on TCM as was noted above by my interest in seeing again and taping part of “Fiddler on the Roof.” I noticed that this night, the movie was “America, America” about Greek refugees at the turn-of-the-20th century and what they all had to do, fighting their way through to the New World, then saving the money to bring their family here the United States. This was how things went down for all nationalities and immigrants whose main objective was bringing “the family” over to America. These are some of the pictures from the 1963 movie, America, America produced by the noted Hollywood legend, Elia Kazan. The following pictures and YouTube video depicts what it was like as depicted in the 1963 movie, America, America.
VIDEO SNIP-IT FROM ELIA KAZAN’S, AMERICA, AMERICA, ABOUT GREEK IMMIGRANTS COMING TO AMERICA EARLY 1900’S
Turkish soldiers riding through Greek towns to control peasants
Immigrants in 3rd class steerage await initial visit by Immigration Officials to determine if any on-board are carrying any diseases like Tuberculosis or Cholera
Launch with Immigration Officials to check for unhealthy people aboard ships coming into the US
Once this web-site, blog is activated, I will welcome any and all stories that I will share with readers wherever I can. And I will treat them like they were from my own family. We need to show, we need to show, how much we appreciate all that this country does for all its citizens and would be citizens. These are serious times and I hope they can be met with serious resolve.
BOB WOODWARD’S PRESENTATION, ST. PETERSBURG, FL JANUARY 24, 2018
I’d like to share with you an incident that was a last-minute thing, but it meant a lot. On January 24 I read there was a program at the Mahaffey theater here in St. Petersburg, Florida and the illustrious Mr. Bob Woodward; Author of “All the Presidents Men,” fame with Carl Bernstein they put together the book. Interesting to note that the Bob Woodward was played by Robert Redford in the movie and Bernstein was played by Dustin Hoffman it was a very memorable evening and I just happened to spend a few extra dollars to be a relatively good position, little did I know that it was five rows back from where the microphone was on both sides of the audience and I got up and made my presentation. My question which just happened to be the last question, I proceeded to thank Mr. Woodward as I said, this country and I alluded to the fact there are not only 500 people there that thought enough of him and what he’s done to be in be present in the audience, I said, “This country owes you a great deal of gratitude,” and it was very warmly received. The other thing was I had a copy of my book American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe Baby. In it I showed a picture of my Dad and Mom with Sergeant Shriver, who was the vice-presidential candidate during these turbulent times and I traveled with Sergeant Shriver with the Democratic National Committee on his Campaign.
It also just so happened that working in the Radio Department at the DNC which Mr. Woodward explained to the audience was the Democratic National Committee where the break-in occurred at the infamous Watergate. I mentioned that it was a little disconcerting going to work that Monday after the break-in. Which just so happened was the office that Pres. Nixon’s henchmen went through; part of the Radio Department.
But my concern to Mr. Woodward: “I am very disturbed, worried and sickened by what is been transpiring these past months in Washington and being a product of the Watergate era that I am really in one of my worst frame of mind ever.” I said to Mr. Woodward, “I believe that what is unfolding is 10 times worse than what took place during the Watergate time?”
Mr. Woodward, being tactful as possible agreed that there are serious implications. As a matter record, he is working on such a book which is not surprising and putting together all this information and details that he so apt to do as was stated in the program. After his response, the program concluded, and I made way to the lobby. I wrote a very fateful inscription and again thanking him, saying that all the American people owe him a great debt which like the United States debt, gets bigger and bigger. I haven’t received any acknowledgment, but I trust it’s in good hands and I know Mr. Woodward under the cloak of American intuitiveness is busy sorting things out on how to get our Republic righted, pardon my expression.
Bob Woodward Presentation, Program from Wednesday, January 24th, 2018, St. Petersburg, FL
The Good Lord has invested a lot in this country and the people over the years, millions and millions of individuals who have set foot on its shores and built this great nation of humanity upon love and understanding and mercy.
As much as I am scared as never before about the welfare of our great nation, I believe we must work harder work. The irony of ironies is that the problem isn’t so much from without as it is within. This country has been based on not letting George do it, but you do it. I’m re-dedicating myself to try to help not just in my writings but trying to make a difference. I substitute teach and last week I was filling in for the social studies teacher in a middle school; seventh grade. Appropriately enough it was about the Constitution and the “Separation of Powers; boy was that ever prophetic.
ADDING TO FATHER-SON BONDING, DALLAS, TEXAS STYLE
I remember hearing last month that a private school in Dallas, Texas was preparing for a parent-teacher gathering and the ministers were worried that there were not going to be a sufficient enough numbers of father’s with-sons, so they put an ad in local papers and radio to encourage volunteers to come in and be part of this program. The response was overwhelming; instead of expecting maybe 50-60 over 400-500 showed up.
One of the heart-rendering stories that would emerge was a “surrogate father,” working with a young student and mentoring time with him, thought it would be good to show him how to tie a knot. This went back to my impressionable years and how fortunate I was as my Dad thought enough to teach me early on how to tie a knot as I watched him get ready for work. I learned how to make a single and double Windsor which put me in good stead in the business world, my whole entire life. And as I mentioned in the “American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe Baby,” I repaid a small part of the debt later on in Dad’s twilight years when we would get ready to go out to dinner, services or were at some special event.
School administrators and the event organizer, the Rev. Donald Parish Jr. of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church, were working to have mentors for students who might not have a father at the gathering.
“When a young person sees someone other than their teacher take interest in them, it inspires them. That’s what we want to see happen,” Parish said. “These kids need all the support they can get to be successful.”
Words cannot describe the impact mentoring youth can have on both you and your mentee. Powerful to see a community of fellow men and fathers come together to wrap their arms around or young men. Thank you for having me out.
Jason Rodriquez, Assistant Chief of Police, ISD Dallas Police Department, Mentoring and working with Students, Dade Middle School Breakfast, Dallas Texas, December 14, 2017
DR. HERMAN KOREN’S PRESENTATION ON SILENCING SCIENCE, JANUARY 21, 2018, CLEARWATER FLORIDA
It was my great pleasure to work with Dr. Herman Koren’s on his talk, Sunday, January 21th, 2018; was a great success. Over 70 people were in attendance and Dr. Koren talked for over an hour and proceeded to make his Presentation on our “Changing Environment, Global Warming, Immune System Degradation with over 14 pages of prepared text. The video of this presentation will be available to the offices of USF and their pertinent departments. I will keep you apprised of these developments.
PROGRAM FROM DR. HERMAN KOREN’S TALK ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND ANTI-POLLUTION MEASURES, JANUARY 21ST, 2018, CLEARWATER, FLORIDA
FLYER FOR DR. KOREN’S RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOK: BEST PRACTICES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH.
Please try this Link for Dr. Koren’s Presentation:
“Environmental Pollutants Danger-Global Warming-Silencing Science-Prof. Koren Lecture Prevent Early Death”
Clique arrow to start Video/Lecture
Thanks again for your interest and wishing you all warmest regards especially those dealing temps below 40 degrees.
The New Year is here and where R U? That means No U-turns, put your best foot forward and let’s face this year together.
Good day everyone, and a good year everyone. We are cruising into 2018 and it is going to be a most prophetic year.
2017 offered a lot of challenges and gave us opportunities from my perspective; opportunities to grow and make our own individual marks. 2018 as I see it, is going to be an even greater debarkation in that we’ll be embarking on a chance to do things that may require us to break away from the confines of our comfort zones and reach out, maybe not so much to touch someone as the old commercial was for Ma Bell. But to strike new paths. Plus, with what’s going on as part of rewriting our mores and morays of today, it is not recommended to reach out and touch someone, unless you have written permission, lol.
And maybe I’m using my guidelines, my anticipation in formulating this when I know that this is how I’m going to be viewing the New Year’s turn the page, new pages in our book and new books, ha. I have some new writing projects that I want to share with you as “American Dreamer” gets a larger reading audience, yeah. One such reader and now considered dear friend, sent a very generous contribution for the “American Dreamer Fund.” Would like to share at a later time.
Hoping to get more interviews on television, podcasts and radio networks. But, I’m also looking to start new writing projects that I have been nurturing over the years and I have the domain names to prove it:
itworked4me.com This website will contain dozens and dozens of things that I have found beneficial in keeping me healthy, not yet wealthy and almost wise, ha.I’m formulating how to best present this to my readers and audience and look forward to reveal the things that have made a difference in my life and others around me.
Another example of my future projects is “What America Means to Me” which is influenced by a handwritten page (page 404) in the book American Dreamer: A Look Into the Life of My Father, Joe Baby and embellish on what my Dad started.
Do you ever get a feeling that you are guided by certain forces beyond your control? The selection of the title of Dad’s book, “American Dreamer:” is that this is more than just a coincidence in the link with today’s “Dreamers,” DACA; and at this time, possibly a deeper meaning. I also want to address the current debate about the immigration snafu that’s been created in Washington so I have secured immigrantsrusa.com, for that purpose.
So, with that in mind, I want to wish all of you a healthy, successful and yes, even prosperous New Year. I hope you find new things to keep you interested along with your journey, meet new people to share new wonderful adventures with, and to open up exciting and new perspectives in your lives. In 2018, I am redoubling my effort to work this equation which as I said, means hard work so if you want to be healthy and stay healthy you gotta do it; Just Do It!! Apply yourself and remember; no pain, no gain. Whatever it is you do, keep your body parts moving, HaHa. That’s a little sneak preview of what to expect moving forward into 2018.
One of the more popular outreach efforts I have been working on besides the blog posting and book publishing is the twitter material and Face Book quotes. They have been received with a most savoring affect. Some of these I obtain from the “Soundscape” music channel which plays new age music and posts famous, noteworthy sayings during the tracks they play. As a small tidbit along these lines, I have also been doing the “crypto quotes” religiously from the newspaper all my life. This is included in my tweets and posts from various sources which I will share and draw upon a little deeper another time. These posts and tweets receive quite a bit of feedback and comments from our faithful “followers” on our social media platforms.
There are undoubtedly many wise and well-versed people that have come across the face of this earth. In yesterday’s quote by Eleanor Farjeon, “Love has no uttermost, as the stars have no number and the sea no rest.” Very profound and as accustomed as I am when coming across a wonderful message I google the author to find some of their other interesting, noted adages. A practice well worth doing. It just so happens that Ms. Farjeon, an English writer, and Philosopher, among her other accomplishments, is the Author that penned “Morning Has Broken.” It was a very popular and famous song recorded by Cat Stevens before he changed his name. I know many of you are familiar with this special song and its verses which I would like to leave with you.
“Morning Has Broken”
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the word
Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s re-creation of the new day
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the word
Happy and Wondrous New Year
Cryptoquote from Friday, December 29, 2017
HOLD THE PRESSES!!
My very dear friends Dr. David and Hyon Kalin invited me to attend a special performance with their son Aviel Kalin and the great violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman. “Uncle Bill” was thrilled, so on Saturday, December 30th we traveled to Sarasota Florida from Tampa. The Perlman’s (Itzhak and Toby) have conducted this Program with talented young musicians for over 15 years. I am sharing the pictures from this wonderful event. Also noteworthy is that I managed to provide the Maestro with specially inscribed copies of both my books. I hope he enjoys them. 🙂
Itzhak Perlman and Aviel Kalin after performance
Program with Maestro Perlman’s signature
Youth Orchestra Conducted by Maestro Itzhak Perlman
Bill Sefekar with Worldly Acclaimed Violin Virtuoso Itzhak Perlman
My very dear mentor and friend, who I extremely admire, Dr. Henry Koren will be presenting a critical talk not just about Global Warming but about our overall environment. This is something you don’t want to miss. We need to do important things to protect ourselves and our immune systems. The program is scheduled for Sunday, January 21st in Clearwater, Florida from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will address some of these urgent issues. I am attaching some of the pertinent material and will be providing an update on this over the next two weeks prior to the event.
Contact: Bill Sefekar: 727-492-5444 for additional information
Imminent Danger – Potential Environmental and Health Catastrophe Professor Emeritus Herman Koren, of Indiana State University, author of 20 books and one of the foremost authorities on Environmental Health and Preventive Pollution Measures, will be giving his first presentation in ten years on the imminent dangers of failing to protect and prevent our environment from deteriorating.
“Silencing Science-Global Warming: Similar to Sudden Bridge Collapse – A Real Story about How Environmental Pollutants Affect Your Health and Shorten Your Life.” Dr. Koren utters this dire warning because he’s looking at the current use of a medieval battle ax to dismember environmental regulations, to dismember the Environmental Protection Agency, to diminish the Department of Energy, to block global warming knowledge and applications, to reduce budgets severely for environmental health, public health, health science programs and research, and to limit government scientists and their participation in appropriate scientific interactions with other scientists.
Koren says, “All of this nonsensical extreme damage will cause far more disease and injury and lead to premature death of American citizens especially those most vulnerable, children, elderly, those with chronic diseases, poor and homeless. It will also have a profound effect on our economy in a very negative manner.”
Professor Koren’s experience and knowledge is so vast and so current that he truly is considered one of the world’s renowned Applied Environmental Scientists. He has witnessed severe air pollution, water pollution, hurricanes, floods, sewage problems, food contamination, land pollution, solid and hazardous waste problems, innumerable outbreaks of foodborne disease, waterborne disease, and mosquito-borne disease, outbreaks of healthcare infections, rat infestations, and insufferable housing conditions.
For the past 60+ years, Professor Koren has participated in and observed the vast improvement in the public’s health by the appropriate use of regulations and best practices by thousands of environmental health and public health professionals who prevented, mitigated and controlled disease, injury, and environmental factors. His extensive field practice includes his experience as the District Supervisor of Environmental Health Programs for 250,000+ people, the Environmental Health Administrator at a 2,000-bed hospital; and as the Field Coordinator of 1,100 interns for 25 years in 28 states and 70 different health jurisdictions including Pinellas County.
This event is sponsored by B’nai B’rith Lodge 263, Tampa Bay and in conjunction with Temple B’nai Israel of Clearwater, and SAGES (Senior Actors Guild Educational Service)
Thanks again for your interest and wishing you all a special New Year with warmest regards especially those dealing with temps below 40 degrees.
Remember, It is not Happy people who are Thankful, It’s Thankful people who are Happy.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
A lot has happened my dear friends, colleagues, family, and supporters since the last newsletter release. I’ve gone from writer’s cramp and printing presses to post-publication with press releases and now, pseudo-marketing efforts.
The Tampa Jewish Book Fair was a very good, immersion experience; I spoke with people interested in exploring new books and authors.
This past Sunday, November 19th was B’nai B’rith’s, Mini-Book Fair which gave me the opportunity to polish my presentation and give insight into the book and why it is worthy of people’s interest and consideration.
With this newsletter, we embark on new and uncharted waters. So far I’ve been involved with two book fairs here in the Tampa Bay area and they have been both very provocative and informative. I’m looking to expand this to other locations and plan to visit Washington and then New York City and some other major metropolitan areas on the East Coast in the near future.
Presentation from B’nai B’rith Mini-Book Fair Presentation, November 19, 2017
We have devised three versions of the book available for purchase. There is the $36 full-blown color addition with over 130 color photos of pictures, letters, charts, maps, documents, etc. The second choice is the $24 version, a modified color edition which includes 40 color pages. Then there is the Black and White version, which is selling for $18 and is available on Amazon.com.
All copies purchased with the exception of the $18 Black & White version will be autographed by the author himself.
$ 36.00 Color version (130 color pages)
$ 24.00 Partial Color version (40 color pages)
$ 18.00 Black and White version (Available on Amazon.com)
The beginning of next month, I’ll be heading up to New York for the Jewish Writer’s Seminar on Sunday, December 3 for a chance to meet with fellow authors, publishers, and editors. It will provide the whole gamut of getting the best bang for the buck so to speak for reaching out to new audiences.
I will be undertaking writing projects including possible additional books and new blog postings. A following is a sampling of the topics.
What America means to me: www.Whatamericameanstome.org
What Immigrants means to America: www.Immigrantsrusa.com
Messages and guideposts to dwell upon: www.Joebabylifelessons.com
Good feelings from good actions: www.Feelthegoodness.com
The one that I am most excited about is: www.Itsworked4me.com
Thank you for your support and I wish you all a great holiday season and as always we welcome any of your thoughts and comments.
FROM RECENT BOOK FAIR PRESENTATIONS
This is just one of dozens upon dozens of letters reflecting the outpourings of love that these two-people shared for 67 years.
It’s so much more than just letters, it’s insight into what it takes to make a life more meaningful. It also teaches us how to be a person that can deal with the urgencies of life with all its exceptional moments. Whether Joe Baby was helping build a museum; hire staff; prepare budgets for Congress; or plan the day to day operations, he certainly did it with a deep seeded passion.
Joe Baby’s passion and commitment to “doing what it takes to get the job done” is clearly reflected in his actions. For example, for two years Joe Baby commuted from New York to D.C. to support the creation of the Hirshorn Museum. He would leave on a Monday and catch a shuttle from D.C. to New York and fly back from New York on Thursday night where he was able then to assess the progress of the Hirshorn Museum. Talk about commitment.
Joe Baby continued to save pictures, documents, and even budgets. He was of course involved with pertinent discussions with Mr. Joseph Hirshhorn and the Curator, Abram Lerner. He even drew a reaction from non-other than Pablo Picasso during some sensitive negotiations.
This is how Joe Baby worked for 38 amazing years with his all his jobs in the Federal government and at the same time being equally successful creating a life of his own, a family, and keeping a marriage intact.
As I have said before, he wrote, collected and documented everything and it’s now available for all to see firsthand. What it took to work with this lifetime partner reaching so many milestones and all the special times together were truly astonishing.
After retiring from the Washington Museum accomplishment, he took part as Finance Officer/Administrator in the establishment of Ruth Eckerd Hall (REH) in Clearwater, FL and here again, you can see the letters and all the background information. In addition, you can learn what it was like working with Arnold Bremen, the Executive Director who had a penchant for bringing all this together. Arnold was the foundation of this Great Hall; the wonderful shows, and Dad certainly documented this as well.
Upon the completion of Joe Baby’s work at Ruth Eckerd Hall he was back in full retirement mode. Now is the time for creating new milestones. For example, A 50-year anniversary with Thelma returning to Europe 50 years later and retracing his WWII experience. Much-to-do about introspection on reaching the magic age; dealing with what you can do. Joe Baby acknowledged “What America meant to him” like the 50th Anniversary Article about the GI Bill that has allowed millions of returning soldiers the opportunity to start and/or complete their education. Or the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of all the horrors of the Concentration Camps where millions perished including at least 15 of his family.
Joe Baby always went the extra mile to acquire the necessary skills to “get the job done”. This is what the book is about. How you can reach the next level, and how people can glean from the work they choose to do.
I’m one of the fortunate ones who has been the purveyor of the “guide” of the saving this for posterity. Whether it’s advice on writing better, joining the toastmasters, building a better vocabulary, analytically challenging yourself, you can find it in American Dreamer: ~Bill Sefekar
What Dad shares with us is the introspection and accumulation of these meaningful things that Joseph Sefekar had acquired. He backed it up by writing about it and sharing it with us. He talks to us about these meaningful things’ like long-lasting friendships.
“To realize early on how important it is to keep an inner circle of friends you could rely on and trust. I was so fortunate that these friends would be enduring and follow me through most of my life.”
One such friend, Martin Sobel, wrote a letter of recommendation. The letter of recommendation stated that ‘Mr. Sobel could unquestionably stand by his endorsement of my character for over 16 years.’ “Considering I was only 24 at the time, then this meant I must’ve had something going for me, even when I was only eight years old. It was good to carry this around, and hopefully, the personnel reviewing my credentials didn’t check the math.”
In the picture above you can see Mr. Sobel’s letter is dated June 26, 1941.
(see pg. 24 in the book)
All through his career whenever he left a position he was always celebrated. Like when he departed the Veterans Administration in 1952.(pg89) Or the Letter of Recommendation from the Continental Air Command in 1959 and again when leaving The Civil Service and Small Business Administration in 1969. Also, after seven years of serving as the Administrator for the Hirshhorn Museum. One letter he received after his retirement was from one of his staff members. She wrote in glowing terms….
Dear Mr. Sefekar,
“You are as much a part of, 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 calm, kind, leadership.”
American Dreamer lends itself to so many wonderful messages, literally hundreds, so many things that can be garnered from this to shape students, young people and seniors alike who perhaps face life’s challenges can find help in American Dreamer.
Whether it’s the student studying approaches to become a complete individual or the average person yearning to look at the brighter side, American Dreamer offers this and describes what it takes with a little bit of extra effort to achieve your goals. Every chapter inspires us to say “yes, I can do that, or I can to make a difference, maybe I should go for it. Joseph Sefekar did not do this for the affirmation, the acknowledgment, he did it because he was a caring person. Whether it was his family, loved ones, friends, people that he worked with or just strangers he was there and he was available. He was always enamored with education and learning so he said, “Let’s build a library.” Yes! In his 80’s, he helped do this too. The East Lake Community Library in Florida is another testament to Joe Baby’s “Just Do It” attitude.
Why did Joe Baby save and preserve all these documents and memories?
Simply because he knew the importance of life lessons he took the time and the effort to save and preserve so many documents and memories and to make them available for all our future generations. TO LEARN FROM THE PAST.
Another example of this finding in one of Dad’s folders of the “Century Countdown” which was a series of the last hundred years. This series appeared in the St. Petersburg Times every day starting on September 23, 1999, and up to the fateful December 31, 1999, the millennium in the year 2000. Dad had meticulously cut out each year and each day, starting with 1900 and then collected them in this folder for me to find. I cleaned it up and scanned them into the computer and this was a part of the blog post for Joe’s lifelong legacy “some of the major years in our family’s life and then quarter century groupings.”
Although it wasn’t cost-effective to put this in the book, it will be available to people who have the book through sporadic updates on material that we deem to be relevant. This will be one of these extra added attractions that we will provide to our readers that will appear in the upcoming months and year.
I hope I can reach as many people as possible so you all have an opportunity to pick up a copy of this to carry around with you: Words to live by Joe Sefekar; “Joe baby life lessons.”
Again, have a great Thanksgiving and holiday season, wishing you all the best, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put a copy of the book under the Christmas tree, under your Hanukkah bush or even under your pillow. ~ Bill Sefekar
I cannot thank enough all the people that have worked so diligently over the past few years to help make this book possible. As with the first book, Light: Courage and Hope, written with Cantor William Hauben it appears in the forward one of the title “Somebody up is there directing traffic” well there have been so many things that have happened regarding American Dreamer:.. that bears out the same premise.
I’ve included herewith, some of the material from the newspaper that appeared in the Jewish Press, October 6 -19 edition for Tampa and Pinellas County. Being one of the two local authors, I really feel privileged and am looking to give this opportunity my best shot. I will be most anxious to put this in the best possible light regardless of how things turn out, LOL.
I am certainly very lucky and fortunate to have this opportunity being one of the featured speakers at the Tampa Bay Jewish Book Fair that starts this upcoming week. I’m scheduled for Sunday, October 29th at 4:30 PM at the Brian Glaser Family JCC. The Center is located at 522 N. Howard Avenue. This used to be the old armory and is just south of Kennedy
Blvd. I hope to see everyone there.
The book with all the last-minute edits will be available but first and foremost this will be an opportunity to meet with you and share Dad’s special story on how, “He Wrote It”.. “How They Did It”…and “How He Saved It.”
Who’s The Boss
Just three weeks ago while in my garage I came across an envelope, the 4 ½ x 5 ½ inch variety. There it was on the shelf near the entrance to the door to my house looking a little weathered. It said “Father’s Day 2000” with a handwritten Joe; I opened it up and I’d like to share it with you.
There was a drawing of a woman with red hair which would definitely pass for my mother and it says,
On the back of the card was the standard Greetings Workshop,
With the explanation; “not knowing where this card came from, as it was just sitting there in my garage I then realized it was sent by my mother of course because she wanted everyone to know who’s the boss.”
I was overcome by this and went ahead and scanned it, put it in the manuscript and it appears right in the front next to the Dedication.
Everybody Needs a Spiritual Advisor
Everybody needs spiritual advisor whether it’s someone that you can listen to, speak with or even read about. They can be your Clergy, Pastor, Reverend, Rabbi, Cleric, etc. They are people that you admire, respect and look for guidance. In my religion, the rabbis and cantors provide this necessary link to ponder and follow the precepts that we feel are so important in living our lives to the fullest with regard to our kindred spirit. It also makes our journey here on earth more palatable and reconciling why the heck we are here.
I’d like to share with you a very emotional and inspiring talk by one of My spiritual advisers, Rabbi Daniel Treiser, of congregation Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater, Florida. I’ve used some of his messages, sermons in the past and most recently in connection with the events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia in September. However, what transpired during our high holiday services the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah was a gut-wrenching pouring out of what happens when we are tested; really tested. This is what happens when life-threatening situations occur that leads to the most innermost soul-searching.
The story goes like this…
“Hearing the Alarm”
Daniel Treiser – Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon September 21, 2017 – 1 Tishri 5778 (Date in the Hebrew Calendar) Rabbi
For that answer, we turn to a later teaching in our Jewish tradition. In the Middle Ages, Maimonides was one of the greatest scholars, teachers, and minds, and remains our finest teachers. When he wrote his great legal commentary the Mishneh, Torah, he taught his meaning and purpose for the shofar’s blasts. He taught that the shofar calls to us, saying “Awake, you sleepers from your sleep. Arouse you slumberers from your slumber and ponder your deeds; remember your Creator and return to God in repentance. Do not be like those who miss the truth in pursuit of shadows and waste their years seeking vanity. Look well to your souls and consider your deeds; turn away from your wrong ways and improper thoughts.”
For Maimonides the shofar is an alarm clock, waking us from our daily routine, to pay attention and perform acts of teshuvah, repentance, at the start of this New Year. The question we must ask ourselves then, is do we hear that alarm clock, or do we hit the snooze button?
Reflecting on repentance, my colleague Rabbi Richard Levy once wrote,
“The day has come to take an accounting of my life.
Have I dreamed of late of the person I want to be,
Of the changes I would make in my daily habits.
In the way I am with others,
In the friendship, I show companions,
In the assistance, I offer my neighbors?
I have remained enchained too often to less than what I am.
But the day has come to take an accounting of my life.”
We hear alarms and warnings all the time and, all too often, we ignore them. We hear a car alarm going off, and unless it sounds like ours, we dismiss it. If a home alarm goes off on our street, MAYBE we check to see if something is wrong, but otherwise, we pay no attention. This past July, three different friends unknowingly sent me the same article. It was in the Washington Post, and it was titled “Tampa Bay’s Coming Storm.” In the article, the author speaks to climatologists, experts, building developers, local government leaders, and residents of communities throughout Tampa Bay, including many in which I know you live. And the conclusion they all came to is that Tampa Bay is woefully unprepared for a major storm. I received that article in July. I dismissed it. So when the forecasts first came, we prepared a little bit. Bought some water, bought some tuna. Nutella, oddly enough. As the track shifted, we dug out the gas cans, bought batteries, pulled out the synagogue’s hurricane plan. As the cone moved west, I found myself thinking of Rabbi Levy’s poem again. What papers need to be protected? What comes with me? What items do we as a family want to preserve just in case? Is it time for us to leave or should we wait it out? “The day has come to take an accounting of my life,” indeed.
We sit here today less than two weeks since Irma struck, less than a week since some folks here had power restored, a day after we watch another powerful storm decimate an island paradise. And we breathe a sigh of relief because we “dodged a bullet.” And yes, we did. We’re the lucky ones. I can tell you that right now the members of Temple Beth El in Fort Myers are celebrating their New Year at Cypress Lake United Methodist Church because their building is unusable. Temple Emanuel in Lakeland is also worshipping in a church because of damage. I cannot tell you where Rabbi Michael Feshbach is leading services today. He is the rabbi of the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, heavily damaged in Irma, and we have yet to hear about Maria’s impact. We pray for their safety as we give thanks for ours.
So what do we do? Do we heed the call, look around us and see that our world is changing? Do we acknowledge that sea levels rise and storms become more powerful because of our impact on the earth or do we hit the snooze button? Will we learn the lessons of the last two weeks to make ourselves safer and be better prepared, but at the same can we do our part to help prevent further damage to our fragile world? “The day has come to take an accounting of my life.”
Alarm clocks have evolved over the years, from the town crier of old and the rooster on the farm into technology. If I ask you to think of an alarm clock, you probably envision the wind up analog clock with two bells on top. That’s the most common icon. But we evolved to digital ones, too. They’re ubiquitous and everywhere. The funny thing is, I don’t have an alarm clock on my nightstand. Like many of you I imagine, I just use my cell phone. Open up the alarm feature on my phone and you’ll find at least 15 different preset times I may use as an alarm. Some are set to repeat, some don’t. But never did I imagine that my phone would be the alarm clock I heard on May 22nd. How could I think that a simple phone call would alter the path of my life forever because something didn’t look right?
I might not have expected it for myself, but I know what those calls are like. I know many of you have received the calls like I did. I’ve been through them with some of you. The call from the doctor’s office, the hospital, the emergency room – the alarm we dread. It comes filled with questions, so many fraught with fear. What does this mean? Will I be cured? How long do I have? There’s questions upon questions upon questions. Treatments, healing, recovery, positive attitude, alternative therapies, all of them are important questions to consider and trust me, they’ve been on my mind non-stop.
But this alarm raises other questions, too, questions that have been on my mind just as much as the ones about my treatment, questions that are equally important for each and every one of us. What have I done with my life? How do I use my days? How do I treat others around me? Do I give thanks for the myriad blessings I encounter every day or do I forget to acknowledge them? Did I offer the caring hand, the supportive shoulder, the gentle chuckle to ease the hurt? Did I say I love you enough? We often live our lives as if we have all the time in the world to get around to changing, even though we know our time is short.
Why do we wait for that alarm to ask these questions? Why do we need the cancer diagnosis, the tragedy, the loss of a friend or loved one to make us wake up?
“The day has come to take an accounting of my life.”
“I need to come in touch with my own power,” the poem continues, “ …To be a comfort, a source of honor, So strong that I can risk the love of someone else So sure that I can risk to change the world…
So long as I have breath, I know I have the strength
To transform what I am to what I can be.
The day has come to take an accounting of my life.”
The shofar does more than simply call upon us to wake up and take stock of our lives. It calls upon us to act as well. To act as individuals for the betterment of our world. “The Talmud teaches, ‘If you see wrongdoing by a member of your household and you do not protest you are held accountable. And so it is in relation to the members of your city. And so it is in relation to the world.’ As Jews, we are held accountable in ever-widening circles of responsibility to rebuke transgressors within our homes, in our country, in our world. One chutzpadik, medieval commentator teaches we must voice hard truths even to those with great power, for ‘the whole people are punished for the sins of the king if they do not protest the king’s actions to him.’ I’m often asked if every rabbi just goes to some website to download their sermons so that everyone is saying the same thing. The answer, obviously I hope, is no. But today I do want to share words with you written by others. Today I am one of several hundred Reform rabbis around our country, sharing this call in one form or another. “Today I speak words in fulfillment of our sacred obligation. We will not be silent. We will, without hesitation, decry the moral abdication in our nation that sees us becoming more divided and fueled by hatred. This is not a political statement. We, like the prophets of old and generations of rabbis before us, draw from the deepest wisdom of our tradition to deliver a stern warning against complacency and an impassioned call for action. We call on you to rise up and say in thousands of ways, every day, as proud Jews and proud Americans: ‘You cannot dehumanize, degrade and stigmatize whole categories of people in this nation. Every Jew, every Muslim, every gay, transgender, disabled, black, brown, white, woman, man, and child is beloved of God and precious in the Holy One’s sight. We the people, all the people, are created b’tzelem elohim, in the image of the Divine. All the people are worthy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ On this Day of sounding the Shofar, may her four distinct notes compel us to respond with a resounding call for justice. The single Tekiah, The Sound of Certainty: As rabbis, we are speaking to our congregations in every accent of America to declare in unison: acts of hatred, intimidation, and divisiveness will not be tolerated in these United States. We stand upon the shoulders of the sages, poets, and rabbis in every generation who fought for freedom. We speak in memory of every Jew and in memory of all people who tragically and senselessly lost their lives at the hands of evil oppressors. We call on all our political leaders; progressives and conservatives alike, to rigorously uphold the values articulated in the founding documents of our country, the “immortal declaration” that all [men] people are created equal. We call on every elected leader to responsibly represent our country’s history and advance its noble visions of tolerance. On this first day of the New Year, we are ‘Proclaiming liberty throughout all the land’ [Lev 25:10].
The second note, the three blasts Shvarim, The Sound of Brokenness: Something crumbled inside us when we watched the televised images of Charlottesville’s beautiful streets filled with hate-spewing marchers. It reopened the wound we felt here when thugs marked our sidewalks with Nazi graffiti when criminals desecrated the mosque in New Tampa. How much more vandalism, how many clashes, which other cities? We must not accept or become inured to some warped version of ‘normal,’ of racist and anti-Semitic acts or rallies popping in and out of breaking news cycles. Let us never grow numb to the brokenness, but let our pain fuel our vows to respond – with peaceful protests, and with public calls for healing, by building alliances and by speaking in unison with other minorities and faith communities. Neither silence, nor complacency, nor waiting anxiously and fearfully for the next wounding event are options. Not for us. The words of Elie Wiesel, of blessed memory, sound a warning to us today, ‘We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.’ May we never be neutral, never silent in the face of threats or of discrimination toward any. Let us interfere as healers of the broken[hearted], and binders of their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
The third shofar blast: Truah – 9 short notes- The Sound of Urgency: The events of these simmering weeks are a wake-up call to our Jewish community. Racism is wrong whether it seeps into explicit anti-Semitism or not. The Talmud teaches that God created us all from the first Adam so that no human being could ever say, ‘my lineage is greater than yours.’ But just in case we thought the white supremacists were after someone else, or that the Confederate flag has nothing to do with modern-day Nazi sympathizers, or that we were somehow safe in the fact that most – but certainly not all – Jews in America are white, those fiery torches illuminated another truth, one we learn and forget only to learn again this day: if one minority group’s rights are threatened, we are all threatened. As Martin Luther King taught us, ‘We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny,’ whether we are the least powerful or the most powerful person in our world.
The final shofar blast: The Tekiah G’dolah The Endless Pursuit of Justice: Torah admonishes: ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue, so that you may live and inherit the land which I, God, give to you.’ Our sacred text reminds us that for a community truly to inherit its place in the world, thoughtful leaders at every level must be dedicated to equality and to unity. Every community relies on passionate and engaged citizens; it relies on you to be insistent advocates for tolerance and enduring kindness between the diverse peoples of our nation. To pursue justice is to create a society that protects and enlivens every citizen. Let us be relentless, tireless builders of that society in our county and in our country – in this New Year.” 5778
My friends, in so many ways, it has been an interesting year since we last gathered to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. There have been reasons to celebrate, reasons to cry, and reasons to express great concern. If there is one thing I have found in this year, it is that I need to listen to the shofar’s call more than ever. I cannot simply sit back, hit the snooze button, and let life go on without me making a difference. A difference in how I view myself, how I view others, how I view the world.
In this New Year, let us all hear the shofar’s call. Let us hear the alarms others have heard and wake up to be our best selves. Let us plan and prepare to make our world better.
Let us hear the call to action to defend the rights and needs of others. Let the hundred notes we are about to hear from our shofar remind us of the command to offer thanks 100 times each day for the many, many, blessings in our lives.
Let’s not wait for another alarm, because “TODAY has come to take an accounting of all our lives.”
Today is Tuesday, July 4, 2017. A good day for posting a blog; a good day for giving thanks. A good day for remembering. I always thought that the quintessence of July 4 was to be part of the parade, walking down Main Street of town with lots of fanfare, bands playing, motor cars, a motorcade. I guess it doesn’t happen as much and most people are reminiscing from past scenes of special events such as the Bicentennial, attending fireworks, cookouts that’s all part of the part of Americana. All part of remembering our Independence Day but there’s unquestionably a lot more to it and as we embark on our 241st years, it is certainly important to reflect on what we have and where we might want to be. I commend those citizens that have taken it upon themselves to voice their opinion on matters that concern us all, on issues that are going to affect us and have taken the time to participate in a rally or attend an upper-level government or even local commission meetings. This really shows people’s commitment. It is very important to hear from the electorate and the citizenry, whatever political party, affiliation or political position you are promoting.
I look back and know that my Dad got involved, he supported his political party but larger than that, he purported the ideals for which this country stands for: fairness, concern for others and looking out for the little guy. He did attend his share of meetings but what his strongest contribution reflected on the adage that; “The pen is mightier than the sword” (though he did take up the sword when circumstances dictated otherwise). He wrote letters and followed it up; this is how he made a difference. I like to think back on the many, many letters he sent. This particular one was to the then First Lady, Hillary Clinton in 1993; pressing her to continue work on a National Health Plan. We know how difficult it was then, we know how difficult it was 10 years ago and even more difficult now. However, he followed up that letter 15 years later in 2008, when she was then the US Sen. from New York and beseeched her to continue efforts to come up with a fair universal health plan for all the citizens of this nation and even included the previous submission.
Initial letter 1993, to then 1st Lady Hillary Clinton on approaches to Universal Health Care.
Follow-up letter 15 years (2008) later to then US Senator from New York
Chapter 12 vignette 1
Patriotism is assured when there are patriots who we can count on. We do not need men who seek refuge as a plan to subjugate the people whom they call liberals in Sofia’s own parlance. It means that if you’re an average individual, who is Patriotic and your liberal (whatever that means), and you don’t want to be called unpatriotic, so you must say you’re not a liberal, which in turn makes you a patriot without being labeled a liberal.
This is the time that tries men’s souls. Are You a Sunshine patriot and/or a winter soldier? I’m a convert many times over – New York, Washington, D.C., and Palm Harbor, FL. I loved them all, and I feel like a citizen of the world. I’m a real New Yorker-born with an inborn Liberalism – with the basic work ethic, the regular family values. (After 75 years, I know I have them- and I never knew it even with my education fetish).
Gentlemen of the Legislature – you’re not playing politics, you’re talking budget.
What you’re doing is hamstringing the Florida education system and destroying the faith of our children in our governing representatives.
I looked at my teachers with awe. They taught me the daily niceties of being tolerant of those around me. At age 10, when I came home from school, I realized, realized that my demeanor to my siblings had changed. – I said to myself why can’t I speak quietly to my family the way my teachers conducted themselves. I received my early training at P.S. 115 in Brooklyn, New York. (P.S. standing for Public School).
I’m a volunteer at East Lake High School in Palm Harbor, FL. and there’s going to be a library in this area in part due to my efforts. I am there and doing that because of the warm feeling I have for the American Education System. I wasn’t an outstanding student but I had stick-to-itiveness. I attended summer school to add to my college credits. I received two degrees attending L.I. University and N.Y. University with a lot of help from my homemaker wife, who built up our family unit. I used the GI Bill and owe no debts to the government. But I owe a debt of gratitude to Uncle Sam. Mr. Chiles – use Education as your keystone. No one can blame you for fighting for Education – win or lose – you are right. Your opponents used Education to cut the budget to the bone. You can use the Education budget to rescue the children – no one can fault you for being the true Education Governor.
Another overview from the Pen of Joseph Sefekar espousing his belief in our system and our way of life.
So, we need to keep on keeping on, and I’ll take a page from this example and in our own way do something positive, something constructive to make this country better and stronger even if we’re not on the front lines, literally or figuratively – Enjoy the fireworks!!
It’s nice to report that we made some progress in the wonderful wacky world of publishing. I had 18 Bound Galley copies of the book prepared. A Bound Galley is the pre-publication version of an upcoming published book that is a printed, perfect bound book.
Recently received 18 Bound Galley Copies of American Dreamer
They are being presented to the number of outlets that could help in coming up with their support for publishing the book. Equally important is getting feedback and reviews. On my recent trip to Washington and New York, I presented the book to the Assistant to the Director of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC and a copy, actually two copies as required to have the book reviewed by the Jewish Book Council. This included the press release and other pertinent material. Am anxiously awaiting to receive their evaluation and impressions of “American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father Joe baby.” I also received positive responses from local media sources and possible other publishing houses; Will keep you appraised.
An interesting sidelight was when at the Offices of the Jewish Book Council they were promoting a “Project for the People” to share their story from 1917 to 2017 and the how this project is being received. It coincides perfectly with Joe Sefekar’s’ story as he was born in 1917 and transcended almost 100 years to the 2017 Mark. So, it’s a ready-made story of “our people” (all “our” people) looking back at contributions from Immigrants everywhere, who helped keep this country strong, serving us in war and in peace. I guess you might say that Dad would be the “Poster Boy” for just such an outpouring of what transpired during these hundred years.
Promotional Announcement of “Share your Story” for the past 100 years.
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.
Please share all this information with your friends and colleagues.
As an added feature for our readers and audience, we are also posting on twitter as @JoesLegacy and Instagram on 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 ALL PRE-SALE ORDERS WILL BE AUTOGRAPHED BY THE AUTHOR