Category Archives: POST-PRODUCTION

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!

POST-PRODUCTION – AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT. 3

February 3, 2017 by William Sefekar

POST-PRODUCTION – AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT.3

REFLECTIONS

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

FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD

 Figure #R.29 Joe Sefekar ready to take on the World, 1940

AMERICAN DREAMER

February 2017 ISSUE

In this issue:

1.  Happy Birthday Dad
2.  Message from Bill Sefekar
3.  Dr. Hank Koren
4.  A Wonderful Request
5.  Pre-Sale Orders

Welcome my interested reader’s and loyal listeners.  This is the February Newsletter and I can assure you that it is amazing how every month topics and material just arrive at the right time to formulate and become part of each month’s newsletter. This has been the trend after almost a year of updates and newsletters.

This month is certainly no different. There were several topics that I had thought about with my associates but what I am sending you today is an equally important message. Joe Sefekar would have been 100 years old this month on February 20. The year is 1917 in the United States on the lower East side of Manhattan. He spent his whole life not shying away from responsibilities and challenges and this book represents a lifetime of how he tackled these important decisions bearing upon is character, understanding, and sense of purpose. He referred to himself as a hyphenated American: a Greek-American; an American-Jew. What I’m sharing with you in this newsletter, is another man, I have also been privileged to know.

Dr. Hank Koren gave me a rare opportunity when he shared his material on the eagerly anticipated forthcoming released compendium.

“Best Practices for Environmental Health: Environmental Pollution, Protection, Quality, and Sustainability”

Dear Bill,                        Bill Sefekar                                                                  February 1, 2017

Only informed professionals, students and citizens can make proper decisions about our environment and our health and help guide the proper approach to improving the environment and protecting the health and safety of the citizens. “Best Practices for Environmental Health: Environmental Pollution, Protection, Quality and Sustainability” provides the necessary factual information (evidence-based practices) as determined by thousands of environmental health and environmental protection professionals in all areas of the environment from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and the rest of the world.

 This Rich Source of Information Is Covered Extensively for All Environmental Media in My 20th Book entitled “Best Practices for Environmental Health: Environmental Pollution, Protection, Quality and Sustainability” to Be Published April 20, 2017 by a Globally Recognized Scientific House, Routledge Taylor and Francis. This Book Helps You Implement Programs in a Cost-Effective Manner. To See My Credentials See the Attached File.

This first of its kind book in the world entitled “Best Practices for Environmental Health: Environmental Pollution, Protection, Quality and Sustainability” contains a Preface which explains much of my thinking for the future and 14 Chapters with the first one identifying the necessity for effective programming techniques followed by chapters on: Air Quality-Outdoor and Indoor; Built Environment-Healthy Homes and Healthy Communities; Children’s Environmental Health Issues; Environmental Health Emergencies, Disasters and Terrorism; Environmental and Occupational Injury Control; Food Security and Protection; Healthcare Environment and Infection Control; Insect Control, Rodent Control, and Pesticides; Recreational Environment and Swimming Areas; Sewage Disposal Systems-Public and Private; Solid Wastes, Hazardous Materials, and Hazardous Waste Management; Water Systems (Drinking Water Quality)-Public and Private; Water Quality and Water Pollution. Each chapter 2-14 presents a statement of the problem, sub problems with Best Practices, laws, rules and regulations, special resources, successful programs, endnotes and bibliography. This book is easy to read and use as a handbook as well as study guide and many of the endnotes  provide the science and technology to back up the Best Practices. This book is also an excellent review for the practitioner and student of the comprehensive field of the environment and the interaction of various environmental media. The Preface explains my concept of two sides of the same coin, where environmental health people prevent disease but also protect the environment and where environmental protection people protect the environment while also protecting the health of people.

BARNES & NOBLE is now pre-selling this book. You can find it by clicking here.  One of the books they’ll mention will be the Best Practices. They have a short statement there. The cover is not yet available. My Handbooks of Environmental Health Volume I and Volume II recommended by the National Environmental Health Association as a study reference for the national REHS/RS examinations my Illustrated Dictionary of Environmental and Occupational Health, and other of my books are there also. The paperback and hardback may also be found on Amazon.com.

This book makes an excellent textbook as well as a professional handbook for people in all areas of environmental and public health.

Also, because of the extreme nature of the impending problems of the environment and health I would appreciate it if this letter could be shared with your professional colleagues and citizens groups electronically throughout your state, the country and internationally in all areas of environmental activities including environmental health.
Could you please advise me if this is possible.

To facilitate the distribution of this highly critical material the publisher has produced a paper book copy for only $68.

Your friend and colleague,
Hank

Herman Koren HSD, MPH, DLAAS, REHS Professor Emeritus Health and Safety Indiana State University

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 (see attached) 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. I would like to take time in my newsletter about Joeslifelonglegacy to share this with you. My Dad knew Dr. Hank Koren and he knew 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 this amazing book or at least consider other relevant reference sources that are available. Thank you again from Joeslifelonglegacy and his son, Bill.

When Dr. Koren spoke about this compendium being completed, there were no political referendums at stake or scientific initiatives being challenged. We are now going to have to deal with our fragile ecosystem on just such a level.  The times tells us, things are a changing and we are contending with a new playing field. Actually, this one maybe being leveled so to speak which makes sorting out these recommendations and support systems even more mandatory.

As I mentioned before, Joseph Sefekar never shied away from taking on important challenges, taking on what he felt was right in the many, many letters sent. Observations that are provided in the American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe baby; A Memorable Story about a Man on Mission. It’s nice to know that he and I can go toe to toe with the likes of a man having such an indomitable spirit as Dr. Hank Koren. We Salute the unshakable dedication in conjunction with his Associates; the cadre of trained scientists and experts he has amassed to deal with these sensitive and complicated issues of the Environment and Public Health,

Thank you, Dr. Hank Koren

These are the issues that transcends countries, nationalities, religion but will also precipitate a lot of dissension and discussion and possibly international fervor or national animosity. Clean water and clean air will become as part of our “unalienable right” which the Declaration says have been given to all human beings by their Creator, and which governments are created to protect as well as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Although Joe Sefekar did not get into all the technicalities some of these environmental issues required, when he felt that our national well-being was at stake, e.g. Offshore drilling off the coast of Florida, Social Security, etc., he took the time to write local, state and national officials to share his views which he felt was his overall, ethical and patriotic responsibilities. This is part of Joeslifelonglegacy and I will pick up the torch and I promise you I will write a letter to my Senators, Congressmen, and officials about these issues that affect us all,

Thank you, Bill Sefekar

Figure #R.30 Thelma and Joe’s Wedding Montage

 

A WONDERFUL REQUEST

A lovely lady named Maria who is the caregiver (daughter) for Cantor William Hauben for many years asked me to present (pictured above) to her amazing daughter Faith and wonderful fiance Sergio on their special day February 5, 2017.

I was very touched by this gesture as Maria, of course, knows all about the 67 plus years of love my parents Thelma & Joe Baby displayed throughout my entire life. So here she asks me to present this message of love indirectly through the love I witnessed firsthand between my parents Thelma & Joe.

It is such a privilege and pleasure to have been asked to present this message, a message of love, commitment honor and respect.

Again, what a true honor to pay tribute to everlasting love.
I wish Faith & Sergio a lifetime of joy and happiness.
 
Figure #R.31 Faith and Sergio’s Wedding Invitation

 

 

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 11 months and hopefully will be an exciting portrayal of a man who made a difference in his life and the life of others.

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

  

Figure #PP.32  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.

 

POST-PRODUCTION – AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT. 2

January 16, 2017 by William Sefekar
 January 16, 2017 by William Sefekar

POST-PRODUCTION – AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT.2

REFLECTIONS

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

 

My Dearest Mom,

Today would be your 97th birthday, so many memories abound, wonderful memories, caring memories, loving memories.  You have to admit I was a handful and you did your best.  I hope you know your best was more than good enough.  I thought so anyway.  🙂  Planning to stop by and see you today on this special day.  It would be nice to share these thoughts with you.

Today people express so many different recollections and messages about what their mother’s meant to them.  It’s special that people can share their thoughts on the Internet and social media. So, I too will express my thoughts, and while doing so, I truly thank you for all the patience, love, and understanding you provided to me right from the beginning.  

I never thought that these stories would make it too see the light of day, but what the heck.  It just shows how a mother’s love can be taxed to the max.

When I was growing up in Syosset, NY and evidently as they said “I was a handful.” I remember never getting over the idea of just putting my things away.  You would see my clothes, toys and my sporting equipment all over the floor, all the time.  

I do recall when you finally reached your limit, your boiling point, the final straw when you told me you would toss my stuff out the window if I continued to leave my room a mess.  Well, you certainly stood by your word.  Right out the second story window went my “valued possessions” which now cluttered our lawn on the side of our house.    

It certainly was a message and as you would’ve hoped; bring a change, but as you so lovingly said, “a wolf can change his coat but not its colors.”  That sort of thing has permeated throughout my life and another loving term of endearment that you would mutter -‘If I had half a brain, it would be lonesome.”  

Well, when I think that even in the levity of such a saying there was something that I needed to ponder over.  So I tried to make my brain become more productive, more relevant, and live up to what would be considered a better person, instead of a “brain-breaker.”   Another one of our families colorful expressions for me.  🙂  

I know how much you loved songs and music and also valued how you were the consummate homemaker; cooker and cleaner of the household.  Rest assured that your talent in creating all those wonderful meals you so skillfully prepared for us was at least transferred to the next generation, maybe not to me, but to your daughter Bonnie.

And so on what would’ve been your 97th birthday; we send our love and appreciation and know how much you gave, could never be repaid.

So many, many, many memories come to light, the thousands of dinners that created a wonderful atmosphere for our family gatherings.  The Thomasville dining room set that you loved to entertain on, with the armoire where you put many of your special dishes, dessert, and teacup sets. They would all stand out so elegantly in the lighted armoire. You would be happy to know now that this dining room set is the place where Dad and your legacy resulted in the 450 pages of the book so far.

It gave me great pleasure to be able to share these special little things like helping you grow your roses when Dad retired to Florida.  I remember that you loved to sing and unfortunately in your 50’s developed a thyroid condition that affected your voice and required treatment and surgery.  It made us all sad.  

As fate would have it, when I went to college, you remember, I decided to take up the guitar and I too loved to sing.  So Bonnie got your cooking talents and I got your singing talents.  I thank you and on occasion have singalongs, in some way I’m bringing back some of the songs that you enjoyed and that was part of your life.  One particular favorite was “You Belong to Me,” by Jo Safford, “Come On-a My House,” a Rosemary Clooney standard and the one that you were particularly fond of and one that I would love to play was, “Annie’s Song,” by John Denver which really captures your essence.  It starts off with you “You fill my senses like a night in the forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain….”

In my later years, I tried to return the thoughtfulness but it would never be enough to repay for a lifetime of giving and caring and worrying, sharing and the irony of the biblical story when Adam “gave his rib,” creating Eve.  How ironical in that women and mothers give “their rib” and more for their children.  So, I’m very fortunate to have a window to share this with others and the people who had a special opportunity when you passed through and crossed their lives.  Like you have become intertwined with them and for them to feel a little of what I have been so privileged; that you were such a big part of and also that we have living proof of these things.  Thanks mom.

Love your son,

Bill

 

Figure # PP.8 Picture of Thelma Lakoff Sefekar at 4 years of age

 

 

Figure # PP.9 Montage of pictures when Mom and Dad first met.

Figure # PP.10 Wedding pictures, January 3, 1943.

    

Figure # PP.11 Pictures from 1944.

Figure # PP.12 Mother and me.

 

  

Figure # PP.13 LIU College Graduation

Figure # PP. 14 A few of the Hit Parades and Song Hits to sing-along to

           

Figure # PP.15 dining out in the back yard, Syosset, L.I., N.Y. circa 1955

Figure # PP.16 Getting ready for a nice evening, circa 1957.

  

Figure # PP.17  Hirshhorn Museum Retirement Party, 1977.

Figure # PP.18 Ruth Eckerd Hall Construction, 1983.

 

Figure # PP.19 Playing with Granddaughter Diana Jill, 1982.

Figure # PP.20 Florida visit from Daughter Bonnie and Son-in-Law Lee with Diana,1982.

Figure # PP.21 Rose bushes 1980’s.

Figure # PP.22 Birthday Visit and Roses for Mom.

Hope you enjoyed the visit, I did. Brought a cupcake for Dad and the roses for you. As it turned out it was an assortment and reminded me of the different varieties that you grew and I was able to help when I moved down to Florida from Maryland. There was the red Christian Dior; the ever fragrant orange, Tropicana; the Double Delight; the pink Elizabeth; Aspirin Rose, Angel Face and Peace

 

 

Figure # PP.22 The Family Dining Room Table; just a few of the hundred and hundreds of dinners and gatherings took place for 50 years.

Figure # PP.23 The Family Dining Room Table; Where “American Dreamer” was created.

 

   

Figure # PP.24 Celebrating with a dance.

Figure # PP.25 40th Anniversary Party and Toast, January 3, 1982.

Figure # PP.26 Thanks for the Memories, Thelma and Joe

 

One of the things I’m most proud of was finishing and printing my first book with Holocaust Survivor, Cantor William Hauben. Over the past 5 years this has offered me an opportunity to be an “Ambassador” of sorts.  Coincidentally enough, the book was created around 10 righteous nations and the ambassadors that represented these countries at this time.  I enjoyed writing special inscriptions for close friends, relatives, and new friends that obtained copies of the book, “Light: Courage and Hope.” Recently, on one particular instance. a “new friend” happened to find the book in the Hillsborough County Library in Tampa, Florida and sent me a copy of the inscription that was presented to the Library.  I would like to share this with you now.

Figure # PP.27 Picture of Inscription from copy of the book: “Light: Courage and Hope,” presented to Hillsborough County Library, Tampa, Florida.

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 11 months and hopefully will be an exciting portrayal of a man who made a difference in his life and the life of others.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POST-PRODUCTION – AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT.1 PRE-SALE NOW AVAILABLE!

 January 2, 2017 by William Sefekar

 

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

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

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

12-17-16 PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, BILL SEFEKAR 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2016, 7:30 PM

Well, welcome to the New Year, 2017.  It should arrive on time in the next few hours.

Love, Peace, Hope, Faith; Be Kind, Be Wise, Be Brave!

I want to wish you all a most salubrious and positive encounter with the fates.  2016 has produced a number of pleasant milestones.  Joe Sefekar would’ve been happy in seeing what he felt was his extremely important contribution to getting onboard for the train ride through almost 100 years that had taken us from the early years the 20th century to the first decade and a half here in the 21st century.

This book is being written because Joe Sefekar’s experience relates to so many of the millions of stories of people like the Sefekar’s and immigrants that came to this country to break free from the yoke of subjugation, misery, hopelessness, poverty and could use the building blocks of what this country afforded those that were lucky enough to make it to its shores.  Together they forged a better nation, a nation that is so amplified by the timeless, refined woman who stands ready to welcome so many of the downtrodden, huddled masses and until then, ill-fated.  

It is amazing that this is so perfectly exemplified in the Hirshhorn Museum’s contribution to the Bicentennial exhibitions in 1976 less than two years after it opened its doors; which Joe Sefekar as Administrator played a big part.  The Exhibit just happened to be about the influence of immigrants, and particularly in the realm of art and culture.  However, the bigger theme; “Contribution of Immigrants,” should be applied to the Golden Door, coming to America as we know it.  It is worth revisiting.

Figure #PP.1  Part of the Hirshhorn Bicentennial Exhibit 1976

Artist -Immigrants of America. 1876-1976

So, Joe Sefekar left us a legacy but he didn’t just leave a legacy, it is a legacy vibrant and is meaningful today as it was when he started his quest to keep all of this intact.  This is a wonderful country, a unique country, a blessed country and we cannot take it lightly.  We need to keep the dream alive.  Become “American Dreamers” like so many millions that was exemplified by this man; it is our responsibility, it is our duty to live the dream and make it better, we all must become “American Dreamers.”  Please don’t take this responsibility lightly, the mindset of,” Let George do it,” does not apply here.  We must do it, we must do it in our communities and in our neighborhoods, in our relationships both on local and national levels.  

This country has been faced with challenges and has “persevered” as Joe baby would say.  It is even more prevalent today and at this time; so follow your dream.  But don’t dream alone, take others with you that are close by and share, reach out just as the “Lady” reaches out, offering her hand, her outstretched arms and bids us to become part of the American Dream.

How can one person, it cannot be fathomed, how one person aside from his daily activities of husband, war hero, father, with college degrees; successful career in management and government; building museums and performing arts centers, involved with libraries, community affairs and his Temple, Jewish war veterans and other service organizations, how could one accumulate such a massive amount of original material.  What’s even more remarkable that everything was in such an organized, orderly fashion (not anymore) that one could easily put his hands on and go “Back Into The Future” as we’ve seen done on a Hollywood set.  

A couple of cases in point follows: in Dad’s cache of hundreds of amazing World War II artifacts that part of is presented in Chapter 4 of the book; Marriage And The War, one comes across interestingly enough, papers that had SECRET stamped on it.

As can be seen from this three-page letter from Four-Star General Eisenhower, Commander of the Allied forces in Europe, to Five-Star General Gen. George Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army for all Army forces both in Europe and in the Pacific.  What makes this so profound is that this letter was transferred approximately three weeks prior to Victory in Europe, (VE Day), May 8, 1945.  

It explains in detail the different forces that were at work.  One with the US forces and the other with the Russians spearheading efforts that would allow them to get to Berlin first, while the American Expeditionary Forces in conjunction with the British were battling from the western side of Germany which involved more intense combat related actions as the Germans had located more troops and tanks there.

Figure #PP.2 SECRET Letter from General Dwight Eisenhower and General George Marshall on plans for the ending World War II

The situation that Eisenhower referenced and documented was so strongly etched in his mind then but have now become faded and difficult for us to comprehend now.  Upon liberating Germany there were many, many features to document this but this also allows for one to pick up what Gen. Eisenhower found so hard to believe and try to express his disbelief of what he had seen in these internment camps, and concentration camps.

It was determined that because of the length of time, “over 70 years” that this document could be used and made available. Another example of how Joseph Sefekar managed to maintain much of this material that transcended over years were photos of his army soldiers celebrating the New Year on December 31, 1944 in France.  This proved to be a very critical time with the ensuing Battle of the Bulge taking place during the first weeks of 1945.  It was the German’s last concerted effort to break through the allied lines with their Panzer Tank Divisions in search of fuel depots to keep their tanks from running out.  We could hear tanks rumbling through the snow-covered hillside of the French Ardennes forest not knowing whether they were American or part of the German armored division. It was quite terrifying and created havoc with our troops and especially at First Army headquarters where we quickly gathered up all vital military and top-secret papers, maps that would be destroyed rather than falling in the hands of the enemy. Over 20,000 Americans were killed another 20,000 were captured and 40,000 wounded. The British sustained over 1,000 casualties and was the greatest loss of American soldiers on the Western front during the War. The turning point came on January 3, 1945 when the weather began clearing and allied air dominance crushed much of the German offensive. January 3 also marked Thelma and my third anniversary; yes, it was indeed a very good omen.

February and March showed great progress for Allied Forces. Upon reaching the Elbe River in Germany, Joe and his comrades-in-arms made an appropriate gesture, it was called relieving themselves on their way to Berlin.

  

Figure #PP.5  Joe with 1st Army Headquarters buddies, December 31, 1944 Prelude to the Battle of the Bulge

Figure #PP.6  Joe with US Troops crossing the Elbe into Germany, “It was a Great Relieve”

Figure #PP.6  Seeing the Light, It would be another 3 months before the War’s end and “Going Home.”

 

Today marks the last day of Hanukkah which in the Jewish faith this holiday known as the Festival of Freedom and/or Festival of Lights.  It was the first successful organized religious uprising and managed to defeat the Greeks and restore the Temple in Jerusalem. When the high priests returned to the Temple, they found it in much disarray and there was only enough holy oil to keep the lamps lit for one day.  However, the lights kept burning for eight days while the high priests prepared new oil.

It is most fitting that this is the kind of bond that has transcends our ancestry and provides us with a taste, reflecting the kind of Joe Sefekar’s inner strength; his desire to believe and live in the Light of Freedom.  There is also a song that is recited during this holiday that was written by Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary fame.  It is called “Light One Candle,” in the spirit of freedom and hope we share this with you.  How Judah Maccabee and his five sons actively fought a war of attrition and will of attrition against the larger Greek forces and were eventually victorious to have the Temple returned to the Jewish people.

Words and Music by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary

Light one candle for the Maccabee children, With thanks that their light didn’t die, Light one candle for the pain they endured When their right to exist was denied, Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice Justice and freedom demand But light one candle for the wisdom to know When the peacemaker’s time is at hand.

Chorus: Don’t let the light go out! It’s lasted for so many years! Don’t let the light go out!  Let it shine through our hope and our tears. (2)

Light one candle for the strength that we need To never become our own foe And light one candle for those who are suffering Pain we learned so long ago Light one candle for all we believe in That anger not tear us apart And light one candle to find us together With peace as the song in our hearts

(Chorus)

What is the memory that’s valued so highly That we keep it alive in that flame? What’s the commitment to those who have died That we cry out they’ve not died in vain? We have come this far always believing That justice would somehow prevail, This is the burden, this is the promise This is why we will not fail!

(Chorus)

Don’t let the light go out! Don’t let the light go out! DON’T LET THE LIGHT GO OUT!

Read more: Peter, Paul & Mary – Light One Candle Lyrics | MetroLyrics

We always liked to dabble in exercises for the brain.  Whether they’d be in the form of doing the Jumble, playing Scrabble, working on crossword puzzles or cryptoquotes.  One of the things that has proven particularly satisfying is the responses we’ve received from social media, i.e., Facebook etc. for what could be listed under categories of “Brainy Quotes,” “Cryptoquotes,” or “Words To Live By.”

We leave you with a few of these that are noticeably pertinent and worth pondering over:

“PEOPLE WILL NOT LOOK FORWARD TO POSTERITY WHO NEVER LOOKED BACKWARD TO THEIR ANCESTORS.” – EDMUND BURKE

“THE GLADDEST MOMENT IN HUMAN LIFE, METHINKS, IS A DEPARTURE INTO UNKNOWN LANDS.” – SIR RICHARD BURTON

“BE GLAD OF LIFE BECAUSE IT GIVES YOU THE CHANCE TO LOVE AND TO WORK AND TO PLAY AND TO LOOK AT THE STARS.” – HENRY VAN DYKE

“I LIKE TO SAY THERE’S CERTAIN THINGS YOU CAN’T TAKE BACK: ONE OF THEM IS “I LOVE YOU,” AND ONE OF THEM IS BULLETS.” – NATHAN FILLION

“WE MAY ENCOUNTER MANY DEFEATS BUT WE MUST NOT BE DEFEATED.” – MAYA ANGELO

“THE REAL WINNERS IN LIFE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO LOOK AT EVERY SITUATION WITH AN EXPECTATION THAT THEY CAN MAKE IT WORK OR MAKE IT BETTER.” – BARBARA FLETCHER

“PEOPLE UNDERESTIMATE THEIR CAPACITY FOR CHANGE THERE IS NEVER A RIGHT TIME TO DO A DIFFICULT THING.” – JOHN PORTER

“NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT AND PAINFUL IT MAY BE, NOTHING SOUNDS IS GOOD TO THE SOUL AS THE TRUTH.” – MARTHA BECK

“YOU KNOW THERE ARE TWO GOOD THINGS IN LIFE – FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND FREEDOM OF ACTION.” – WILLIAM SOMERSET MAUGHAM

“HE WHO THANKS BUT WITH THE LIPS, THANKS BUT IN PART; THE FULL TRUE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING COMES FROM THE HEART.” – J. A. SHEDD

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 11 months and hopefully will be an exciting portrayal of a man who made a difference in his life and the life of others.  

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

  

Figure #PP.7  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.

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