All posts by William Sefekar

New Year, New Year GreaThings, Let’s Make It Great!!

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.

NEWS RELEASE 

Free Presentation Open to the General Public

January 21, 2018, at 10:00 AM

Temple B’nai Israel

1685 South Belcher Rd., Clearwater, FL

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.

Copyright © 2018             William Sefekar

 

Thanks and Thankful, Yes We Are!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE

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.

Moving Forward

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

 

BOOK FAIR HERE WE COME AND PLEASE HEAR THE ALARM

Hope to meet you there

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.”

Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon 5778 –

Thank you, Rabbi Daniel Treiser

 

POST 49 Part 3

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

1987

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

Post-48-Final-Post Pt.2

A Message from Bill Sefekar

For those in our trusty audience that may have been disheartened by the “Final Post” title, ah ha, I’m sneaking this one in as we are inching closer to the publication date time. I’ll be heading up to Washington, New York and New Jersey in a couple weeks see if I can open some doors, open some eyes. Looking to get some interested parties, printers, publishers certainly like to give anyone an opportunity that is interested in the story of the “American Dreamer”: A look into the Life of My Father, Joe baby; A Man on a Mission. They are welcome to contact me and would love to hear any thoughts alone these lines.

I’m in the process of making final edits and if things actually go according to plan will have a book to deliver to you this summer. Always appreciate all your interest, concerns, good wishes and I fervently believe that the messages that my Dad conferred upon me and you are worth keeping and sharing.  As usual I welcome your comments and will take everything under advisement before final decisions are made with follow-up communiques. As always; My Mother thanks you, I thank you and of course Joe baby thanks you. So, stick around; catch you next month.

It just so happens that today, marks exactly 73 years from the landing operations of D-Day on  Tuesday, 6 June 1944. Termed D-Day for the Allied Invasion  on the French beaches of Normandy in Operation Overlord. My Dad was with the 1st Army Rear Echelon, Headquarters. He wrote and chronicled whenever he could. A good part of which appears in Chapter 4: Marriage and the War. It was not just the letters, photos, observations and documentation that stand out;  Many artifacts and memorabilia have surfaced from the so many brave soldiers that served. What stands out is that after all these years these were nicely preserved, reexamined and reproduced making it easy to have this portrayal appear as an accurate, memorable and endearing reflection.

Took a little break in the action this past month and worked on and took in some activities that were very beneficial. First, was participating in a food drive at Temple B’nai Israel with my illustrious friend Dr. Hank Koren. Over $500 worth of food was collected and sent over. Dr. Koren took time from his definitely busy schedule and the publishing of his mammoth compendium; Environmental Practices that is being made available through over 60 outlets worldwide. This shows you can always take time to make a difference.

Visit a recent April 2017 Oxford article titled Earth Day: How Do We Prevent The Destruction of Our Planet In Today’s Political Environment that talks about Dr. Koren’s new release.

Dr. Koren is also a featured author on Routledge Taylor & Francis Group website.

 

Dr. Hank Koren preparing to pick-up the food for delivery to the Food-Drive

 

 

 

Dr. Koren and his wife, Donna at Services in recognition for their spearheading the Temple Food-Drive. Rabbi Daniel Triesher at the “Friday-Night Live” Service

 Aspiring Author, Bill Sefekar at the Service, flashing his Bob Ross shirt

The other diversion was the chance (by design) encounter with nationally acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author, Jeff VanderMeer and his wife Ann. Coming off of the immensely successful publishing of his “Trilogy” that sheds a new light on the new “Dystopia.” He is now embarking on another best-seller publication and possible movie adaptation  called “Borne.” I had the distinct privilege of meeting with him and his wife while purchasing a few of his best-selling offerings. So, I hope this greases the track for some of my future endeavors.

   Talk and Book Signing with Jeff VanderMeer, Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL May 28, 2017. See His Official site http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/

Mr. Jeff VanderMeer is also very committed to a number of Environmental Projects here in Florida and worldwide. It’s good to have such friends and mentors that are involved with such worthwhile efforts. There is so much TO DO and so much TO LEARN; PLEASE HELP.

 


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

As an added feature for our readers and audience, we are also posting on twitter 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

 

 

Post 47 FINAL POST

From our May 2017 Newsletter

A Message from Bill Sefekar

 

This story has everything; interesting struggles that will warm your heart, bring tears to your eyes. Stories about life, about our place in the universe, about existence.  This is about one man and how he described the tribe that he was a part of and went on to build on love, doing good things; showed how he did it and the roads he took.

 

These are the true stories that will bring a smile and laugh and make you think maybe I might try something like that, maybe this is how it's done, maybe I can do better, this is a man to remember: This is Joseph Sefekar.  Check it out, a life worth looking at, following, a life showing what’s important, a life that accomplished much:  A life that was built on love for family, and love for country, love for the human spirit.

To all my wonderful friends and listeners. It has been a marvelous year and a half. I will be taking a hiatus to concentrate on making "American Dreamer" a reality. There will probably a monthly blurb on progress, publication and availability.  In the meantime, you can always return a favor and send me your thoughts on how you found delving with me through the life of Joe "Baby" Sefekar


Pick Up Your Pre-Sale Copy Today
April, 20, 2017
Holocaust Remembrance at McDill AFB CENTCOM
Honoring Cantor William Hauben

A Trip to the Library
East Lake Community Library   Palm Harbor Florida
17th Anniversary   November, 2016
Commemorative honoring Mom and Dad
I had the opportunity to attend the 15th Anniversary of the East Lake Community Library in November, 2014 and it was a very special time. A lot of improvements have been made since it's initial Opening on October 30, 1999 as shown below.

 

Excerpts from: Chapter 13, 1998-2008 “Settling Back, It Was A Great Ride”

It was during this time in 1993 that I did something that I thoroughly enjoy; working within the confines of the education system. As a volunteer at the East Lake High School just up the road apiece from our house, I was very much at home helping at the school. It also got me involved with a project that was also very much to my liking. It would be working on a new library for our area. Being that I spent a good deal of my youth at the New York Public Library and always surrounding myself in a learning environment, the opportunity presented itself to lend a hand on getting the proper facility in place that would serve this growing community. There were a few bumps in the road; one, we were ousted from our rent free one-room storefront as a paying tenant moved in.  And although we did manage to find another storefront in the nearby shopping center it was totally inadequate for our needs. It became evident that county and state monies would be needed to obtain the right combination of location and an adequate facility to house the new library. In working with the group I offered and utilized some of my past experience in whatever assistance to get to hasten the construction and opening of the library. The articles and pictures below depict progress being made on this new addition as the East Lake Community Library. The Grand Opening of the library incurred on October 30, 1999. In the picture below of the article, “East Lake gets ‘little Jewel’ of the library,” shows the entrance to the library being completed and included a brick façade displaying individuals that help make this library possible. Naturally Thelma and I were very pleased and honored to have our names added with the other sponsors.

20161016_140902_resized1 east-lake-public-library-1995

Figures #13.2 and #13.3 Articles about the Opening of the East Lake Community Library October 30, 1999

Most people like to contribute and I definitely concur with the adage, “what goes around comes around” and throughout my life I’ve been most fortunate that I’ll come in contact with people who I think I treated them as equal or not over stepped my boundaries but I went out my way to help others and treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. A case in point happen to be in 1998. Thelma and I, her sister Renee and her family as she and her kids, husband regularly attended services. My son was also there with us and we would to go to Friday night Shabbat service. Afterwards at this particular service there was the potential new members that attended and were invited to find out more about the Congregation, prayer services, community activities and other incidentals such as religious schools and daycare, etc. There was a gentleman at the table partaking of refreshments who seemed to be a little unfamiliar with the surroundings. So I went over to introduce myself and see if I could be of any help. I remember his name being Bob Mintz and his wife was Carolyn. He seemed like a very positive person with the temperament that would make for a good congregant. I explained how our family was very much a part of Temple B’nai Israel and shared that and told him about why this congregation was special and we chatted for a while and he seemed sincerely interested and I was glad that I had the opportunity make them feel comfortable here at the Temple.

I said you never know what a small feel-good gesture could result in. While this little act making someone feel comfortable came back tenfold so to speak. As it turned out Mr. Mintz and his wife Carolyn and their family joined the Temple. But he didn’t just join the Temple but got involved in the Temple and indeed involved and involved so much so that he served two terms as president which meant that he was involved with the activities prior to that and subsequently continued in many functions after finishing his terms of office as newsletter editor and the Internet and activities that have made a difference not only in the Temple but to the entire community which is a major objective for our Temple. So this is just another example of trying to do the right thing and it usually comes back many times over.

I did manage to keep abreast of the Social Security debates and felt that Seniors would be disenfranchised if there would be wholesale stock trading by people betting, gambling or whatever they are calling it and made my voice heard. Please don’t tinker with senior’s right to a safe and secure retirement.

 

Herman Koren HSD, MPH, DLAAS, REHS

I would like again to take some time to tell you about Dr. Hank Koren and how my Dad knew Dr. Hank Koren and how valuable his efforts are.  So please look at this material and find out more about these life-threatening concerns that face us.  And, if so inclined try to get a copy of his amazing book or at least consider other relevant reference sources that are available.
Dr. Koren's paperback and hardback can be found on AMAZON.COM
This man who also qualifies as being a Great American, who also dedicated his life to making things better.  As I said, I am honored to know Hank Koren.  Dr. Koren belongs to our Temple, Temple B'nai Israel in Clearwater, Florida.  I’ve known him for over 20 years he and his lovely wife, Donna and they make a tremendous team and I know about tremendous teams. Thelma and Joe Sefekar were a tremendous team for over 67 years.

Dr. Koren has done quite a number of significant things outside the realm of his specialty: Environmental and Public Health but this is where we are focusing today. "These are the times that try men's souls," Dr. Koren painstakingly compiled with his Colleagues and experts in this very critical field, an anthology that teaches us how to deal with not only water and air pollution but the entire realm of Environmental and Public Health issues.
Visit a recent April 2017 Oxford article titled Earth Day:  How Do We Prevent The Destruction of Our Planet In Today's Political Environment that talks about Dr. Koren's new release.
Dr. Koren is also a featured author on Routledge Taylor & Francis Group website.
Please share this information with your friends and colleagues.
Thank you all for your support, it means a great deal and if you get some enjoyment and introspection this can be transcribed as a fitting testimonial for my father.

As an added feature for our readers and audience, we are also posting on twitter 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

POST #46 PRE-PUBLICATION PT. 3

April 3, 2017, 2017 by William Sefekar

POST #46   PRE-PUBLICATION PT. 3

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

 

As indicated in the last blog posting, I am reaching out to elicit, discuss similar blog postings related to topics that are covered in American Dreamer such as contribution to the United States in the areas of Military Service, the Arts, and Entertainment, heroes, dream builders, community icons.

We will be promoting the book through a number of avenues. Once the book is ready for print, I will take flight to have as many opportunities to follow-up on pursuing whatever it takes to make this a compelling seller; podcasts, videos, webinars, snippets. interviews, etc.

It has been a most exhilarating year and a half providing excerpts from the book, learning the ropes on blogging and social media climbing.  I believe this has created a stronger base for this book reaching possibly thousands of interested readers. The printing of the book will require a good outlay of capital and the purchasing of the book a good investment of one’s capital.  As indicated above, my efforts and that of my colleagues will be focused on final draft edits and manuscript preparation and with the main objective; a printed copy in a month.  That being the case, I will keep you abreast of the progress in an updated blog posting the end of this month.

This past month provided an opportunity to regroup from the prospect of getting the book in “print mode” and to set some realistic target dates on getting the manuscript to the printer.  One thing that was zeroed in on is a cover for the book.  A draft was prepared several weeks ago; follow-up revisions have since been made.  This is our most likely cover until a Publisher says otherwise.  Being an egalitarian like my father, I opened it up to colleagues and friends for suggestions. This is what we have at present. I will make an offer for any of our readers: If you should have any suggestions that we incorporate into Final Book Cover you will receive a free Paper-back copy of “American Dreamer….”

Figures # PPB3.1 Latest Version of Book cover for “American Dreamer,”…

 

Another thing that followed me over the course of the last month was meeting up with this chap while giving blood.  I find out of all things that his name is Felix Baby.  With my trusty Samsung Smartphone which has been responsible for a great many of the photos that appear in the book.  This is another out of body experience.  It rivals meeting Thelma Joseph at a Hillsborough County Library “Meet the Author,” gathering last summer with the background of my folks appearing on the monitor on the table at the booth when you come she introduced herself.

                

Figures # PPB3.2 and # PPB3.3,  Giving Blood with Felix Baby

One of the most amazing things that transpired during the course of seeing this museum built as its administrator; this iconic landmark of the Arts on the Capital Mall, the Hirshhorn was completed and opened, October 1974. The following is a thumbnail sketch of over 7,000 painting and sculptures that our house. Please enjoy a sampling and hopefully will have a chance to enjoy it firsthand on a visit Washington DC.

Figure #PPB3.4 Montage, Slide show for the Opening Hirshhorn Collection

In keeping with the attempt by my Dad to encapsulate 100 years of the 20th century, he kept excerpts from the St. Petersburg Times, which is now the Tampa Bay Times.  In September 1999 and 100 days prior to the new millennium in the year 2000, he carefully collected the daily printed “century countdown” culminating on December 31, 1999, with the year, 1999.  As presented earlier, each quarter-century has been posted on the blog.  This particular posting reflects on the third quarter from 1950’s to 1975.

       

Figure #PPB3.5 Century Countdown 1954-1957, Figure #PPB3.6 Century Countdown 1958-1961

 

      

Figure #PPB3.7 Century Countdown 1962-1964, Figure #PPB3.8 Century Countdown 1965-1968

 

     

Figure #PPB3.9 Century Countdown 1969-1971, Figure #PPB3.10 Century Countdown 1972-1975

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

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

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

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

 

Copyright © 2017             William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

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

 

POST #45 PRE-PUBLICATION PT. 2

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

I know everyone is busy doing important things in their life such as making a living, raising a family, dedicating themselves to some important life challenges. Blog postings as you can imagine take on a life of their own attracting a wide variety of interested individual’s, groups or organizations. The social media creates an even greater daily following.

What does it take to get people interested and come out of their shell, take that next step? Whether it’s a response to some political issues, fundraiser, volunteering for a cause, which is deciding what is important enough to take a pen, a computer or whatever to illicit a response.

I have certainly tried with my Dad’s help to try to make things interesting and challenging. I have put forth when I feel some amazing introspection’s that my Dad took the time to write down, save or type out what he thought would be worthwhile for our family, young people, and just about anyone that would strike a human cord or raise their consciousness.

Now I can’t ask anything less than I would’ve asked for others. So, I undertook finding at least 8 names and as many places on the “Dollar Bill” Joe Sefekar carried around with him during his military service in World War II. This “Dollar Bill” traipsed throughout Europe in the heat of battle and signifies along with his Bible that’s also exhibited in Chapter 4, entitled “Marriage and the War,” These two significant items that managed to give him faith and reassurance as the “Dollar Bill” should have emblazoned on it “In God We Trust”. However, what probably had the greatest impact on his desire to make it home alive were the letters that he received from his wife, Thelma that meant so much to him and the reciprocation of being able to write her whenever the chance allowed.

  

Figure # PPB2.9 and Figure # PPB2.10 Dollar Bill from WW II that was carried throughout the war with signatures and places.

Figure # PPB2.11 Holy Scriptures that was also carried throughout the War.

   

Figure # PPB2.12 and Figure # PPB2.13, Letter from Thelma to Joe while in England with First Army preparing for being transporting to France, October 25, 1943

 

 

Figure # PPB2.14 and Figure # PPB2.15 Employee Newsletter mentioning Joe’s sending gifts to Thelma while overseas

  

Figure # PPB2.16, Figure # PPB2.17 and Figure # PPB2.18  Letter from Joe to Thelma in preparation for the battle for Europe.

      

Figure # PPB2.19, Troop Deployment, St.Trond, Belgium, Figure # PPB2.20 Germany Campaign Figure # PPB2.21  1st Army Hdqtrs. somewhere in Germainy

 

 

  

Figure # PPB2.22 Hard fought battle for Duren Germany, Figure # PPB2.23 Receiving the Bronze Star from General Hodges. May 19, 1945

 

How many millions upon millions of men and women that have sacrificed so much for their country found solace and courage from many of these invaluable kinds of items. While on this introspection, I am reminded of just the other night while going over final edits for the last two chapters Chapter 12: “My Eighth Decade” and Chapter 13: “Settling Back, It Was a Great Ride.”  With my colleague Richard, at our spot at Culvers’ Restaurant with an internet hook-up, we began making notes on some handy napkins going through what needed to be done with the final chapters. I offhandedly remarked, could this have been how Abraham Lincoln penned his now famous Gettysburg Address, which I had had the distinct pleasure of passing through that special place in the foothills of Pennsylvania on many occasions.

So, as these things habitually occur, I can not only take the editorial liberty to bring back some of the keepsakes that Joseph Sefekar kept with him in surviving the hazards of war but even think it may also be meaningful to look at Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

November 19, 1863 At the dedication of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg President Lincoln delivers a two-minute speech. Immediately following the speech he calls it a “flat failure.” The speech is known today as the Gettysburg Address

 

The Gettysburg Address Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Figure # PPB2.19, President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1963

 

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

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

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

 

 

 

The following is the Press Release that provides details on the expected Release For the book.  It explains what we have presented our viewers over the past 12 months and hopefully will be an exciting portrayal of a man who made a difference in the lives he touched and the country he loved.

A man who is worth finding out about, who will give the reader thoughts to ponder over and words to live by.

  

Figure #PP.28  Press Release Announcing the Upcoming Release of “American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe Baby, A Man on a Mission; He Wrote It, They Did It, He Saved It.”

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

 

Copyright © 2017             William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

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

AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PRE-PUBLICATION, PT. 1

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

The Newsletter for March 2017: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined – Henry David Thoreau.

It’s hard to say whether my father Joseph Sefekar walked confidently in the direction of his dreams but he developed a sense of purpose. He developed the tools that was necessary in dealing with life’s exigencies. He knew what support was going to be needed whether it was family, education, and/or a lifetime partner – that was the mortar that put the bricks together. This mortar: Thelma, was the essence of his success and it didn’t hurt that it would be his companion for over 67 years to work with and share with and accomplish with.

So, what made Joe Sefekar confidently go in the direction that would lead to much accomplishment, much success. What are the building blocks that transcend ordinary and mundane to become a legacy.

These are the words, these are the messages: it’s important to form a solid basis of family, loved ones, friends, education, learning the ropes, faith in yourself and others. Some of the adages that have helped Joe have stood the test of time. But todays foundations are certainly quite different from when Joseph Sefekar started out a little less than 100 years ago. Today, people are not as patient, persistent, I wouldn’t say dedicated but in our today’s rush, rush pace another old standby of “stopping to smell the roses,” doesn’t apply unless your cell phone cannot only create the picture but emits the fragrance of a rose garden.

There is a lot to learn from the heroes of yesteryear, solid, stalwart, conscientious, determined, steadfast, provincial, proficient. Throw in loving, caring, self-sacrifice, buoyant, determined. Knowing is not enough as prescribed by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. So these are the words in the message of Joseph Sefekar; the book is sprinkled, exudes these kinds of examples, introspectively woven about, around a lifetime that fostered such results.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. Know your heart and follow it!

We opened with Henry David Thoreau so it would be fitting to close with one of his adaptations. “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

As mentioned previously, Joe Sefekar meticulously cut out from the paper, the individual articles from each of the Century Countdown years starting on September 23, 1999; 1901 and for the next hundred days. What I have done was make sure that they were clipped and appear three or four years on the page. The 1st quarter century was in the last post. This Blog portrays the next quarter century from 1926 – 1953. The following Blog postings will complete the rest of the 20th Century.

       

Figure # PPB1.1 Century Countdown  1928, 1929, 1930, 1931  Century Countdown   Figure #PPB1.2 1932, 1933. 1934,1935

      

Figure # PPB1.3 Century Countdown 1936, 1937, 1938    Figure #PPB1.4 1939, 1940,1941

  

Figure # PPB1.5 Century Countdown  1942 1943, 1944,1945  Figure #PPB1.6 1946, 1947, 1948,1949.

Figure # PPB1.7  Century Countdown   1950, 1951, 1952, 1953.

We live in an age where the word “transparency” is really a very good description, as we become a part of the “see-through” age.  With having your phone and your computer you can “see-through” just about anything or come back from anything.  This is what is being done in promoting “American Dreamer.”  We can go hither and yon with flashbacks and details of Joe Sefekar’s life.

 As mentioned in last month’s Newsletter, my very dear friend Dr. Hank Koren has completed his remarkable compendium dealing with our fragile environment. His 20th Book is entitled “Best Practices for Environmental Health: Environmental Pollution, Protection, Quality, and Sustainability.” It deals with the many approaches of combatting air, water, and ecological pollution. I’ve referenced his credentials for being able to write this state-of-the-art technical masterwork.

Figure # PPB1.8  Dr. Herman Koren’s New Book on Best Practices for Environmental Health

This Book Helps You Understand Each of the Major Environmental Problems and Each of the Sub Problems As well as means for resolving Them called; Best Practices, The easiest way to retrieve this is to put inHerman Koren – CRC Press Online .  I found this interesting and thought you would too:

However, I was sorry to hear about Dr. Koren not feeling well and requiring a hospital visit. He is home and on the mend and I’m glad to say returning to the arduous task of following through on his publishing pursuits. Although not as precarious and uncomfortable as his health issues but equally troublesome was my extended current bout with flu-like symptoms. Writing and authoring is not for the faint-at-heart.

I must say that it’s been over 20 years since first starting to sit down with Dad, typing the hand-written pages and notes that he crafted and wrote so lovingly, about and throughout his life. This was a very pleasant part of the endeavor. The last 1 ½ years has been somewhat more draining. I know what it’s like to expend a lot of energies into your writing routine; day in and day out. Be assured, it can take its toll on the author; asserting a great deal of effect both beneficial and not so good.

So, stay tuned for more of Joeslifelonglegacy.  We have a number surprises that will add a far-reaching look as we transcend back to yesteryear.

 

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

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

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

POST-PRODUCTION – AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT. 4

EXCERPTS FROM AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY POST-PRODUCTION PT. 4

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

POST-PRODUCTION – AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT. 4

Welcome my dear friends and colleagues and interested parties. Like to clear up a few issues: One is that as you have probably figured out is that the blog postings have not been each week since the book has been completed a few months ago. I have touched on a few items that should add to your interest about getting familiar with “American Dreamer,” A book that’s going to be published next month or two and about the life of My Father, Joe baby.”

Because of the concentrated effort taking place in getting the book printed, what we decided was that there will be two postings each month, one at the beginning and the other in the middle. It will include some of the relevant material, a capsule summary of the highlights that appear in the book. And of interest, some of the appendices that will add to just how extensive was Joseph Sefekar’s attempt to keep pertinent documents, paraphernalia, memorabilia of his life. Along those lines we will share with you what I feel encapsulates what I just said. In this blog post I will show you some of the pertinent material from Chapter 6, “Moving to the ‘Burbs and Moving Up.”

“The Syosset years were filled with fulfilling the American dream; coming into my own and seeing my family develop and flourish. My daughter Bonnie Lynn was two years old when we moved to Syosset. She was always so cute and precious and we loved her dearly. Billy on the other hand was perfecting to become his nonstop, rambunctious self, always seeming to find something to get his hands into .

Thelma was always making sure the house would be very presentable. We were able to purchase new furniture among which we still have is the Thomasville dining set with even an armoire. Hundreds and hundreds of great dinners and family gatherings preceded us from Syosset, Maryland and then to Palm Harbor, Florida.”

Figure # PP4.1 Building of our New Home in Syosset, Long Island Figure #PP4.2 Our New Home Under Construction, June-July, 1953

  

Figure # PP4.3 Ready to Move-in, August 1953 Figure # PP4.4 Settling In

Figure # PP4.5 Suburban living Joe, Billy and Bonnie Figure #PP4.6 Suburban living Thelma,

Billy and Bonnie

 

Figure # PP4.7 “The American Dreamer” with his American Dream Family

  

Figure # PP4.8 Graduation Exercises Master’s from NYU 1956   Figure #PP4.9 Master’s Diploma

Figure # PP4.10 Master’s Dissertation on Manpower and the Air Force

Figure # PP4.11 and Figure PP4.12 Always time for Family and Fun things

 

Figure # PP4.13 Billy with Pet Frog, Turtles, Black Widows    Figure #PP4.14 Trip to Ebbets Field to see the Brooklyn Dodgers with Billy, 1956

I found in Dad’s files a compilation as the old millennium was winding down and the new millennium was at our threshold. Copies of what appeared at that time in St. Petersburg Times; 100 days prior to January 1, 2000. A few of these articles have appeared in previous blog posts, capturing some of the major milestones that were part of Joe and Thelma Sefekar’s lives e.g., Dad’s Birth Year 1917 of Thelma’s Birth Year in 1920, their marriage in 1942, birth of their children, opening of the Hirshhorn Museum and Ruth Eckerd Hall, just to mention a few.

I would like to thank Tim Rozgonyi, Licensing and Research Editor of the Tampa Bay Times who has agreed to allow these excerpts, articles to appear in the Blog and as well as the forthcoming book and subsequent appendices.

Joe Sefekar meticulously cut out each of these years starting on September 23, 1999 and for the next hundred days. What I have done was make sure that they were clipped and appear three or four years on the page. I also figured in the next four blog postings to have a few of these pages in quarter-century increments. There are 15 years not included, but the rest of the century is fully accounted for. Starting with 1901 and then the appearance of 1916 when his parents Jack and Jenny and older sister Lucy arrived from Greece to the welcoming arms of Miss Liberty. They arrived at Ellis Island on October 16, 1916. Dad was born five months later, on February 20, 1917 in lower Manhattan as you might recall from previous posts.

Figure # PP4.15 1901 Century Countdown     Figure #PP4.16 1916, 1917. 1918, 1919

     

Figure # PP4.17 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923  Century Countdown   Figure #PP4.18 1924, 1925. 1926,1927

When writing the book with Dad, one of his quips were about the title. His thought, wouldn’t it be a nice eye-opener and a good title for the book,  “Conceived on the High Seas and Received in the US of A.” That my dear friends is a little sample of Joe Sefekar’s approach with his wry sense of humor was apt to always bring out a smile to your face. As you noticed that is not the title of the book, although it is may wind up to be if and when considered by the power’s to be that they should think otherwise.

So again, let me remind you all, that the blog postings will be twice a month at the beginning and in the middle of the month. We will try to provide you with updates on the publishing and other interesting tidbits. Such was the case as I thought it necessary to apprise readers and concerned parties about my dear friend Dr. Hank Koren’s, all-encompassing book about Environmental and Public Health. This compendium by experts, outlines ways to minimize pollution for technocrats and every day citizens alike and what we need to address to keep our planet in tip – top shape, thank you.

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

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

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