Category Archives: Pt. 2

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

 

POST 51: WHAT IMMIGRANTS MEAN TO AMERICA

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

Excerpts from American Dreamer pg 186

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

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

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


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

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

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

   

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

 

POST #50   PRE-PRINTING PT. 1

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

HOW BEAUTIFUL THE YEARS HAVE BEEN

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

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

 

Copyright © 2017             William Sefekar

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

 

 

 

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 #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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

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

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

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

 

Creating a Legacy?

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

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

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

    

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

   

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

 

        

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

    

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

 

     

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

 

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

Just two of these items are presented here:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

St. Petersburg Times, 1997

 

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

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

 

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

 

  Copyright © 2016      William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

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

 

 

POSTSCRIPT: AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT. 2

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

 Well it was a great week, but it took me more time getting my land legs back than it was getting situated on-board. Then there was the return travel time and throw in a little bugaboo to deal with, so things are starting out little slow here.

 I wish everyone could enjoy a good film, movie while on the high seas. It was a great opportunity to leave on a cruise sponsored by TCM and Disney, two of the foremost icons of keeping and preserving, creating movies and entertainment that touch the heart and the soul and spirit of humanity.

 It was 8 days of being truly transformed; the closest thing next to being in Hollywood. The crew and the staff and TCM were just so hospitable from Ben Mankiewicz, all the guests; Jerry Lewis, Leslie Caron, Kim Novak with her paintings not just her acting career, Michael York, Lucie Arnaz, Dick Cavett and Alex Trebek. Some of the other people who I met included Scott Eyman, noted best-selling author and bibliographer, Bruce Goldstein, film restoration expert, and the wonderful staff that helped me during my stay on the ship.

                                                         

I will never forget them; to be able to post the blog; “Postscript,” that appeared last week and what I’m conjuring up the next few weeks. So, I hope you can feel being part of this also. Setting the stage for providing a wonderful commentary for my Dad’s, “American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe Baby, A memorable story of man on a mission.”

Let me take you back to the cruise for a couple of memorable situations as I mentioned to you last week.  Alec Trebek, the mastermind of Jeopardy all these years was part of the festivities. Not seeing him in person before I was not sure about if I would recognize him but I was looking for Scott Eyman who I had met on Sunday, the night before when he introduced the program for the movie directed by John Ford, “My Darling Clementine,” a western about Wyatt Earp with Henry Fonda and Victor Mature. The movies were presented by the special guests and Scott Eyman was very well-renowned for being a best-selling author and particularly of noted biographies such as John Wayne and John Ford and Robert Wagner; I was hoping to catch-up with him again. So, I meandered to one of the theaters where he maybe found for one of his one assignments about John Ford.

I noticed what looked like Alex Trebek in the entrance way which seats about 100 people. The film was playing, it was being narrated and noticed that it seemed almost at the end. I hear these words and was just riveted at what I was hearing. The movie showed what looked like an old mining town and it happened to be in England. “Men like my father cannot die.”

I wasn’t sure of what movie it was and I was at the exit way and the narrator in the movie, Huw Morgan (the son played by Roddy McDowell) says “Men like my father cannot die. They are with me still, real in memory as they were in the flesh, loving and beloved forever. how green was my valley.” As I said, I wasn’t familiar with the movie and I went up to this gentleman who I realized was Alec Trebek. I was overwhelmed at this sound track as it came from the film. I said I’m writing a book about my Dad and this is exactly what has been resurfacing, that my Dad will live forever; it’s just was too much. I said what movie is that from and Alec Trebek’s explained that it was from  “How Green was My Valley.” 

Well after the movie was over and Mr. Alex Trebek was off on the side working on his upcoming presentation, I went over to him and reintroduced myself as the man who asked him about the movie that I’m writing about my Dad. He was gracious enough when I asked him about writing something for my sister and brother-in-law who watch his show religiously. Matter of fact, they were at a taping of Jeopardy in Washington. He signed the back of the card from one of the postcards from the upcoming book release… And here is the autograph, my sister with her cute comment  when I sent her the copy, “how come he didn’t ask it in the question when he wrote it,” which was an interesting after thought.

My sister just happened the night before on Sunday asked if I could get Alec Trebek’s autograph, which seemed far-fetched at the time but here he was; a true gentleman as you would imagine from how he is perceived watching him on television all these years. He signed it: For Bonnie and Lee, All the best !, I reiterated about Dad’s book and presented him with an American Dreamer postcard.

 

 alek-trebek-signature       new-postcard-book-release 

 Figure #PS.5 Alec Trebek’s note to my Sister        Figure #PS.6 New Postcard: Pre-Sale and Book Release

    and Brother-in-law 

Well naturally I went back, Googled the movie and found quotations that came from the movie, is a novel written by Richard Llewellyn: How Green Was My Valley. Very profound, not just about the reference to My Dad. Here are some other noteworthy passages that are strikingly worth getting imbedded in your consciousness.

“Men lose their birthrights for a mess of pottage only if they stop using the gifts given them by God for their betterment. By prayer. That is the first and greatest gift. Use the gift of prayer. Ask for strength of mind, and a clear vision. Then sense. Use your sense. … Think long and well. By prayer and good thought, you will conquer all enemies.” ― Richard Llewellyn; Author; How Green Was My Valley

Huw Morgan:  [Narrating] “Memory…Strange that the mind will forget so much of what only this moment has passed, and yet hold clear and bright the memory of what happened years ago; of men and women long since dead.”

Mr. Gruffydd: You’ve been lucky, Huw. Lucky to suffer and lucky to spend these weary months in bed. For so God, has given you a chance to make the spirit within yourself. And as your father cleans his lamp to have good light, so keep clean your spirit… By prayer, Huw. And by prayer, I don’t mean shouting, mumbling, and wallowing like a hog in religious sentiment. Prayer is only another name for good, clean, direct thinking. When you pray, think. Think well what you’re saying. Make your thoughts into things that are solid. In that way, your prayer will have strength, and that strength will become a part of you, body, mind, and spirit.

 

tcm-cruise-guide-cover-2                     tcm-cruise-guide

  Figure #PS.7 TCM Programming Guide             Figure #PS.8 TCM Programming Guide Table of Contents

 

jerry-lewis                        up-close-and-personal-with-jerry-lewis-2

Figure #PS.9 Jerry Lewis SPECIAL GUEST                          Figure #PS.10 Interview with Jerry Lewis

 

It sort of set in motion several things that unfolded on this cruise that locked me in to trying to give copies of my first book, with inscriptions included. As it turned out copies of the Postscript blog that is featured this week and previously the Epilogue, were included courtesy of the Guest Services Staff. It became a startling adventurous scenario that fueled possibilities of something happening in publishing the book.

bill-and-ben-mankiewicz                      ben-lookinh-the-part

Figure #PS.11 Author with Ben Mankiewicz       Figure #PS.12 Ben Mankiewicz TCM HOST

 

bill-with-scott-eyman         scott-eyman-bio-2

Figure #PS.13 Bill with Author Scott Eyman

It turned out to be a work/vacation. I could provide Jerry Lewis, Ben Mankiewicz and Scott Eyman copies of my first book with pertinent inscriptions.  It explained that my second book about my Dad’s life is worth they’re looking into and provided them with copies of the last two blog postings; the Press Release announcing the upcoming “New Book” to give them a sampling. The Press post card was also in the Packet, explaining what’s happening as part of the plan as we are preparing for pre-sale, allowing people to show an interest. If you have been following the excerpts in the book, we realize more than ever your comments are very valid; would love to hear from you.

1st-book1a

Figure #PS.14 Light: Courage and Hope, Author’s 1st Book

Thank you again and thanks to TCM and Disney Cruises, anyone that were a part of this and I would recommend it for everyone to be a part of this anytime.

Now back to the book, one of the things that was a major objective was presenting memorabilia about the life and times of Joe Sefekar’s for almost 100 years; that was his job and he did it admirably.. It seemed fitting that when the St. Petersburg Times back at the turn-of-the-century; the 21st century that is; the paper is now the Tampa Bay Times, a big hullabaloo about Y2K for those of us who remember how it was affectionately referred and to the new millenniums. As the days got closer to December 31, 1999 there were major concerns and plenty of information and resources to deal with the unexpected. We are offering a capsule summary that was collected every day as part of Joe Sefekar’s century countdown starting on Friday, September 24, 1999 from the year 1901. He continued for 99 days saving the Newspaper clippings as he so tactful did for a life-time. It culminated of course on Friday, December 31, 1999 with beginning of the new millennium. The following is just a few of the over 75 years that we have during this period. We will be presenting this Century montage (with the complete set) for your interest and capsule summary that spans the decades that were a good part of Joseph and Thelma Sefekar’s life.

 

A few of the highlights we share with you now, were the birth years 1917 and 1920; 1942 and 1992 the marriage year and the 50th Anniversary. Also selected was the first and last year of the 20th century.

               century-countdown-1901-1999                   century-countdown-1917-1920       

  Figure #PS.15 “Century Countdown 1901 – 1999”         Figure #PS.16 “Century Countdown 1917 – 1920”

century-countdown-1942-1992

 Figure #PS.17 “Century Countdown 1942”            Figure #PS.18 “Century Countdown 1992”

 

Needed to get this blog posted today (Tuesday) so I decided to provide viewers with additional book material on the next update; sprinkled with photos and even some videos from this wonderful cruise. Included are stops at a Butterfly Farm in San Maarten and a Rainforest on horseback outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Enjoy!!

 sunset-from-the-cabin      moonlight-on-the-cruise-1a

   Figure #PS.19 Sunset on the Caribbean                                     Figure #PS.20 Midnight on the Caribbean

 

 

Copyright © 2016      William Sefekar

 ** Material will appear in book.

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

 

 

SETTLING BACK – IT WAS A GREAT RIDE PT. 2

EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER 13, 1998– 2008 SETTLING BACK, IT WAS A GREAT RIDE, Part 2

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

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

I NEVER THOUGHT

I never thought that when I’d be getting to the end of the trail that I would still have to be making the hard decisions. In retrospect things weren’t that tough. In the here and now, things are tougher when I start philosophizing to my wife. Somewhat complaining, she retorts, “Why don’t you be happy thinking about everything you have.” But the things that bother you aren’t the good things – it’s the bad things that you mull over in your brain that you wouldn’t want to discuss. Sometimes you have a tendency to think negative things even if you’re mostly a positive kind of person but it is human nature to let your mind drift to things that you worry about such as impending health issues, loss of income, loss of loved ones when you get to this point there’s a lot of loss, the objective as what my wife said, think about the have’s, all the blessings that you have received; that is also part of the have’s.

So I guess I fell back on one of my pillars, to be persistent. Being persistent about not worrying and that’s how I applied my basic mantra to my present mind-set.

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

So I channeled my energies in getting into a more favorable frame of mind. And as usual I sent out more letters, this time to President Clinton announcing that my wife’s birthday was upon us and maybe he would do a Presidential kind of Announcement as he did for my wife’s 76th, our 50th Anniversary and hopefully he won’t forget her eightieth birthday on January 16, 2000.

 

In the early part of this chapter I fired off a letter to my Congressman Mike Bilirakis on the potential Social Security reform. Things started to get even more intense as President Bush kept his proposal to reform Social Security with private investment accounts in the forefront. So, I set my sights higher and fired off another salvo this time to Florida, Senator Bill Nelson. He seemed to be in complete agreement, not to tamper with having retirees taking money out of Social Security to pay for a private account, in order to play the stock market. A copy of his response is cited below.

letter-from-senator-nelson

Figure #13.20 Response from U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Florida

Naturally I kept my pen well-armed in fighting the wars on the home front for keeping Social Security intact, Health Care Reform and casino gambling from becoming the likes of another Atlantic City. It would eventually become a household word as part of the Hard-Rock Casinos establishments. But I did manage to keep the home fires burning with salutary  letters coming in from the Head-honcho himself. This was always a pleasant surprise receiving Birthday or Anniversary wishes from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And “greasing the track,” doesn’t hurt to get the desired response.

dear-mr-presidentltr-pres-clinton-1996

Figure #13.21  and Figure #13.22 An encapsulated account of correspondence between President Bill Clinton and First Lady on Thelma and my Special Dates.

 

My darling Thelma has some health issues that kept rearing its ugly head. When you’re first put in this precarious situation you are at the mercy of health care experts. Our family physician was someone we knew and trusted. However, once you get out of the realm of their expertise; you’re like a babe lost in the woods so to speak. You go from one specialist to another; one prescription to another.  Boy, were we loaded, with medicines that is. As it is a dutiful husbandry’s duty I managed to try keep track of all the “meds”.

This was just a sampling of the level of monitoring and administering, a whole company of these required pills at regular intervals. We developed a system whereby  we kept track of the times the medicine was given; the blood pressure systolic and diastolic; pulse and reaction such as nausea; time of the meal and other incidentals like TV before bedtime. I guess this is part of growing old and can be part of the vicious health care conundrum. Complaining doesn’t help and we have been blessed with wonderfully good health throughout most of our entire lives.  The way I rationalized it was that between the both of us if you divided all the pills and the meds. It came out manageable, only she had most of them and I had only some blood pressure and one relatively mild heart pill. As you can see it was a full-time job but as usual working together for a life-time means like I said before, ” You don’t give in and You don’t give up.”

taking-care-of-my-gal-pg-1    taking-care-of-my-gal-pg-2

taking-care-of-my-gal-pg-3

Figure #13.23, Figure #13.24 and Figure #13.25 A sampling of the regimen for Thelma’s medicine

Even as this process worked, we didn’t want to be a burden on our children. But inevitably we would have to come up with a plan that all families must face. Thelma needed some extra care in addition to what I could provide. We also had the blessing of Billy and his job with Hillsborough County government having a provision in place that is available in all public and private sector employment. It allows immediate family members to sign up for and upon approval be available for assisting in medical care and appointments. But it was the supplementing this with home care visits by a reputable CNA’s (Certified Nurses Assistant) that became essential. It seemed to fill the bill and life went on relatively smoothly for the time being.

This is why I’d like to share with you this article by Ms. Lynn Brenner, “A Conversation You Can’t Put Off.” It was very timely in dealing with possible medical crises and being organized and addressing financial and legal issues. And to do it while everyone is in a clear state of mind. Each family situation is different so you need to act accordingly to handle changes in individual health, level of healthcare and possible long-term arrangements.

conversation-you-cant-put-off   dealing-with-health-care-issues

Figure #13.26 Dealing with Family Health Issues

As the years dwindled on, issues that I wouldn’t have given a second thought before are cropping up and naturally as I was predisposed to, I kept track of with “A Dossier” on and file them away to look them over when it was pertinent to bring them back out. Topics such as eating healthier, worrying about losing your memory and keeping your immune system in check. You cannot lose any ground when all this was creeping up beside you.

In an article written by John Mitchell; “Food substitutions mean healthier hearts,” There were some good things being suggested and we decided to include foods in our diets that would be translated into a healthier lifestyle. Reducing the chances of medical problems; this is what we hoped. Included in the article were recommendations and substitution hints on the American Heart Association and local chefs:

Although we know how important these recommendations sound, it is another thing to follow them. We did cut down on red meats which I was having a tough time digesting anyway and eating more fish and poultry. Sonny boy would go out shopping and we would get the low-fat processed, low-sodium sandwich meats. Dairy was a big concern and we used the more healthful butter substitutes that are available, yogurt and non-fat milk. We skimped on the salad dressing, croutons, cheese and meat.

We ate more fresh herbs and followed the advice of throwing away the salt shaker, specially watching out for the salt content in canned goods. The tough part was the desserts, we did try the fruits, sorbet and sherbets but ice cream containers seem to flow freely in and out of the freezer.

food-substiutions-means-healthier-hearts

Figure #13.27 Changing health habits for healthier living article by Mr. John Mitchell

The other thing that constantly kept creeping into our psyche was how to maintain our memory, concentration and for all intents and purposes how to think clearly. As I mentioned earlier in this chapter trying to keep your mental acumen in gear through daily activities is not enough. Conversation, constant interaction with friends, neighbors and of course family all help to maintain a sharp mind as we get older. I was fortunate enough in keeping my writing skills intact and continued doing my crossword puzzles with Thelma standing by to offer assistance. The title of the following article by Dr. Ronald M. Lawrence, “Are You Worried About Losing Your Memory As You Age?” (** full article to appear in Book), is certainly a resounding yes, of course!!  We all know there is no easy panacea for basically bringing up particular items of concern that must be addressed. I found that mental and physical health usually goes hand in. And as the old adage recounts, love and marriage, “you cannot have one without the other.” Which also falls back to the concept that the brain is a muscle and you need to exercise it. As most of these articles profess, these are problems we all face.  They provide red flags that can spur us on to avoiding more severe pitfalls if we take the proper measures. We worried about our memory and how to maintain it.

causes-of-memory-loss-pg-1jpg caus

Figure #13.28  Dr. Ronald M. Lawrence’s, “Article on Worrying About Losing Your Memory As You Age.”

As is always the case, our ability to fight off colds, flu bugs and an assortment of other physical ailments tends to leave us very vulnerable with so many communicable diseases running rampant today. We started to take this immune system seriously. There’s not much can do about your genetic makeup so we followed a little bit of the advice spelled out in the article by Lawrence Roy Stains and worked on changing our lifestyle.(**The condensed version will appear in the book) .A healthier diet of more fish, fruits and vegetables, we took vitamin supplements such as Vitamin C and B12. Some of the advice that was part of the article such as “Eight Ways To Turn Back The Clock,” was considered. This isn’t expected to perform miracles immediately though we felt every bit helps and we even tried to get the best results out of joining a wellness center for seniors.

super-immunity-pg1 super-immunity-pg2 super-immunity-pg3 super-immunity-pg4

Figure #13.29 Laurence Roy Stains Article, “Super Immunity.”

So in keeping with these options from the article above at hand and in addition to dealing with the “issues of our times,” I still managed to keep my letter writing level to at least two letters coming and going each week during this period.

ltr-from-bonnie-5-12-1998adear-emily

Figure #13.30 Letter from Daughter Bonnie

Figure #13.31 Letter to our next door neighbor Emily Levine in Syosset

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Figure #13.32 Letter to Actor, Movie Star, Mickey Rooney  Figure #13.33  Letter to our “New friend,” John

 

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Figure #13.34 “We are Survivors,” by Irv Greenfield Figure #13.35 Color Commentary

 

January 3, 2007 marked Thelma’s and my 65th Wedding Anniversary. People came from far and wide and near to be with us, celebrate with us, and share with us; a lifetime of memories. The Grand Affair was held at the Countryside Country Club in Clearwater, Florida. Over 100 people attended and Thelma mustered up all her energies and we commandeered her from the rehab stint where she was receiving some heart treatment. Thelma played the role to the hilt; The Lady of Honor. She looked lovely and it was the best medicine for her to be there with all the many people who loved her. We have a DVD to prove, it if anyone is interested. Speeches, a guitar rendition of Thelma’s favorite, Annie’s Song, by John Denver, good Luck Wishes from family and friends, children and grandchildren. We even were serenaded by our very dear friend’s 3 1/2 year old son, playing a song on his violin. My “War bride” did so well that we had a return engagement the following morning at a brunch in our honor. Bonnie took the lead, preparing memory boards complete with pictures, mementos, even a jeopardy skit that challenged family and friends to revisit highlights of our lives. Billy presented us with a framed rendering of our life together. We can’t forget the CD that was digitally mastered by Lee Landau, our Son-in-law. It included many of our special songs that preceded us throughout the years; starting with Tony Bennett, “Because of You,” from our Wedding Day.

thel-and-joes-65-wedding-anniversary  mom-and-dads-65th-anniversary-songs-1a

Figure #13.36 Our 65th Wedding Anniversary Album    Figure #13.37 A Record CD Prepared by Bonnie & Lee

 

We sang, we danced, we laughed and cried that was our strength; our family bond. It included many dear and loyal friends who joined us in our “Simchas,” Yiddish for Happiness and Joy.

It was so special and I can only wish that all people everywhere can taste at least a sampling of what Thelma and I have had. As one of the beloved humorist and humanists of our times, Bob Hope would always leave us with, “Thanks for the Memories.” And that’s how I would like to leave one and all, Thanks!!

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Fig. #13.38 “A Love Story: Thelma and Joe’s Story of Love

 

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Figure #13.39  A picture worth at least 80,000 words;Thel and Joe you can feel the glow

 

 

Copyright © 2016      William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

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