Category Archives: Pt. 3

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 #46 PRE-PUBLICATION PT. 3

April 3, 2017, 2017 by William Sefekar

POST #46   PRE-PUBLICATION PT. 3

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

                

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

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

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

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

       

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

 

      

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

 

     

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

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

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

Pre-Sale for the Book is Now Available!

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

 

Copyright © 2017             William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

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

 

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

February 3, 2017 by William Sefekar

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

REFLECTIONS

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

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD

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

AMERICAN DREAMER

February 2017 ISSUE

In this issue:

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Bill,                        Bill Sefekar                                                                  February 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your friend and colleague,
Hank

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

This man who also qualifies as being a Great American, who also dedicated his life to making things better. As I said, I am honored to know Hank Koren. Dr. Koren belongs to our Temple, Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater, Florida. I’ve known him for over 20 years he and his lovely wife, Donna and they make a tremendous team and I know about tremendous teams. Thelma and Joe Sefekar were a tremendous team for over 67 years. Dr. Koren has done quite a number of significant things (see attached) outside the realm of his specialty: Environmental and Public Health but this is where we are focusing today. “These are the times that try men’s souls,” Dr. Koren painstakingly compiled with his Colleagues and experts in this very critical field, an anthology that teaches us how to deal with not only water and air pollution but the entire realm of Environmental and Public Health issues. I would like to take time in my newsletter about Joeslifelonglegacy to share this with you. My Dad knew Dr. Hank Koren and he knew how valuable his efforts are. So please look at this material and find out more about these life-threatening concerns that face us. And, if so inclined try to get a copy of this amazing book or at least consider other relevant reference sources that are available. Thank you again from Joeslifelonglegacy and his son, Bill.

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

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

Thank you, Dr. Hank Koren

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

Thank you, Bill Sefekar

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

 

A WONDERFUL REQUEST

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

The following is the Press Release that provides details on the expected Release For the book.  It explains what we have presented our viewers over the past 11 months and hopefully will be an exciting portrayal of a man who made a difference in his life and the life of others.

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

  

Figure #PP.32  Press Release Announcing the Upcoming Release of “American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe Baby, A Man on a Mission; He Wrote It, They Did It, He Saved It.”

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

 

Copyright © 2017             William Sefekar

** Material will appear in book.

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

 

REFLECTIONS – AN AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY, PT.3 PRE-SALE NOW AVAILABLE!

December 23, 2016 by William Sefekar

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

REFLECTIONS

 

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. 3

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

 

Figure #R.24  Video produced from small segment of Podcast Interview 12-17-16

 

It has been a very satisfying experience that has come out of preparing these blog postings. The opportunity has been presented to us to portray small bits from everyday life encounters that over the course of a lifetime becomes building blocks so that one can derive worthwhile lessons in dealing with life’s challenges.

The past few years have created an amazing amount of challenges in itself. The last couple of months were particularly a tussle, slugging through and testing endurance limits. But there have been given quite a number of signals that lead me to believe it is a path being well-taken; which I will share now and in the near future.

My path has crossed very talented and well-intentioned people who helped pull the loose ends together. Starting with the tech savvy individual, Ricky Ricardo who has committed over 15 months of being available to extend his knowledge into all aspects of this undertaking. He was even responsible for leading me to the wonderful experience “in the world of creating and posting blogs,” Tonya has been instrumental in bringing Dad’s story to life. That has been going on at such a tremendous pace with active twitter accounts, instagrams and continuous daily updates of pictures and intriguing tidbits for our readers.

She even brought two of her colleagues on-board that have become an integral part of the team. Mary and Tyler have been diligent in working on the manuscript, detailing the material, pictures, documents. They’ve been very conscientious in editing the manuscript.

One of the more recent members of the team spending over four months involving all aspects that are also an interconnected part of preparing the book for publication, marketing, he is also fully adept with social media outreach, complementing the blog activities. Dan, is a writer and published in his own right while combining many of these critical talents so we will be ready for publication in the next few months. A good friend of mine, Terry has been constructing a “Tasks Oriented Management Tool.” This functional work sheet, will allow all the dozens of the detail assignments and projects necessary to be tracked and prepared in the right sequence so as “to get me to the printer on time.”

There have been as indicated, so many instances of things just seem to fall out of the sky, but the sky wasn’t falling, it would seem to be of a more positive calling. Another dear friend John Casimiro, from my Public Access TV Production days has sort of been monitoring progress of the book, the blog and other incidentals. He had even suggested the possibility of doing a podcast at the Tampa Bay Community Network (TBCN). So, last weekend, Dan and myself prepared some questions for the taping and the following is a result of this session. The transcript of the interview appears below and with Dan’s creative approach bringing some of the snippets to life in this short first run video that should be one of many similar outpourings amplifying the kinds of contributions in all aspects of “a Life Worth Living; Man on a Mission.”

 

EXCERPTS PODCAST INTERVIEW, DECEMBER 17, 2016:  TAMPA BAY COMMUNITY NETWORK STUDIOS, TAMPA, FL

Why was it so important for you to publish this autobiography about your Dad’s legacy:

One of the reasons for undertaking this book is to give people an opportunity to see just what a well-lived can mean. Joe Sefekar was well-intentioned, straightforward and made a difference. That was his style., That was his resolve that you will come to find out.

 

What are some of the key elements we can take from your father’s example and apply to today’s world:

From humble beginnings of immigrant parents the story line runs true. Joseph Sefekar became a model and inspiration of what America offered to the outstretched hands of the poor and downtrodden from the European and Mediterranean countries at the turn of the 20th century. His family from the Greek Island of Salonika were Sephardic Jews that still spoke the same Ladino Spanish that was the language of Queen Isabella at the time of the Inquisition in 1492 when his ancestors were forced to leave Spain.

Joseph Sefekar grew up in the teeming city of New York and was raised in the tenements of lower Manhattan, when they moved to Brooklyn with his parents and five siblings he grew to manhood working at odd jobs including the Fulton Fish market, and working as an accountant for Joseph Hirshhorn would later change his life when he became administrator for the beginning of the Hirshhorn Museum and sculpture Garden on the capital Mall in Washington DC in 1969 he may not have been a George Gershwin or an Irving Berlin growing up in teeming New York, but he made his contributions to the American scene as well.

 

What was the relationship like between your mom and dad? What did they like to do together? When and where did they tie the knot?

The relationship which I would say was just about perfect. They never argued, they cooperated, my Dad had a very famous line about the best way to be relatively successful with women; three little words, “Compromise and give in.” He took great pride in being married 67 years to the same woman.. I’d never seen them argue, they were always together, lovingly together. It was a beautiful example of how to build on a life together and how you treat those you love and everyone else in the right manner with courtesy and respect that’s what my Dad would always fall back on how his wife exhibited her persona. As I said they enjoyed doing things together whether at home or with friends. In the book you can see the playbills that involved from the shows that they were able to see in New York and on Broadway before they moved to Washington DC in 1965. Things that were most important in their lives was their family. Family togetherness was number one. Between my Mom and her sisters and brother and my Dad’s sisters and brother they were very close and their parents were number one and made sure they took care of them.

They met in Brooklyn in 1940 and are were engaged in 41. With the outbreak of the World War II they decided to tie the knot in New York on January 3, 1942 and honeymooned in Miami Beach shortly thereafter. Because my Dad would enlist in the Army, he was he was inducted in June 1942 and given his orders to be shipped overseas to England 1943 and fighting the Germans in Europe in 1944 and 45. That wasn’t much of a marriage up until that point.

 

What was your Dad’s biggest influence?

No doubt about it is, HIS biggest influence was meeting Thelma Lakoff and his marriage to her in January 1942. This defined the course his life will take in the years to come and throughout his life. She was his guiding light, a pillar of strength, she exhibited love with her endearing actions that helped them, help them raise two children, steered him through the shoals and turbulence of life. When he had to make important and critical decisions he knew he could count on her to offer just the right words of advice and comfort. Through the good times and bad, the fruits of their labor came out like a shining light.

He became an expert writer of thoughts and happenings. He acquired this special talent from reading the nickel novels of his time. Almost 20 years prior to the present day I had good fortune and desire to work with my Dad and his handwritten page after page after page of what he thought was a wonderful expression of how he came to be the man, and the force behind what would become an extraordinary life and his legacy and the legacy he left.

 

Why should people read this book?

Nothing compares with the story of this man, who dedicated and devoted his life to be an example of goodness., of determination, love and encompassing what is the best this country can produce. He wrote about his experiences, he shared his experiences, he documented his experiences and people responded. Growing up in teeming New York City on the lower East Side of immigrant parents, the stories have been told before but he exemplified, shared his proficiencies and pulling himself up by the bootstraps and being a commendable human being. Husband and war hero he wrote about it and he wrote about what it was like coming back from the war and he shared his letters and wrote letters to newspapers, too friends and they responded. Whenever he left a job it would be for a promotion. They did going away parties and they put together things and his wife, Thelma shared in his success and was a large part of his success. She was so invaluable and made sure they had a family, a loving family and her family and his merged and showed much for the union. Two wonderful children; they accumulated much, but not necessarily wealth. A lifetime of togetherness as depicted by their 40 albums of pictures, 100 Kodak slide carousels, videos, etc. There are files and boxes with letters, folders carefully collected and labeled. Everywhere that he organized and documented, he built one Museum and a Performing Arts Center. information that would eventually go to the archives for the Smithsonian Museum and too Ruth Eckerd Hall on the West Coast of Florida.

 

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

prrelease-pg-1    prrelease-pg-2

Figure #R.25 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 © 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. 3

EXCERPTS FROM AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY POSTSCRIPT  PT. 3

A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION

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

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

 

Blog posting Postscript 3, Pt. 3 also turns the corner in that it includes video excerpts of the TCM Disney Cruise and includes trips to a Butterfly Farm in San Maarten and the Carabali Rainforest Park, in Luquillo, Puerto Rico.

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Figure #PS.21 Butterfly Farm, San Maarten

Figure #PS.22 Butterfly Farm Video of Farm in San Maarten

Figure #PS.23 Rain Forest on horseback riding in the Carabali Rainforest Park, Luquillo, Puerto Rico

Figure #PS.23A

 

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Figure #PS.24 Some of the life-sized murals that appear on the outside decks of the ship.

On board the Cruise was equally fascinating with continuous activities. Even while walking on the deck there was a lot going on. One time I noticed this artist doing charcoal drawings and had amassed hundreds of beautiful drawn pictures of well-known personalities and stars. Coincidentally, I was returning the same way and there was one of the TCM Host’s Illeana Douglas who appears on many of  the interviews. It just so happened that the artist had a drawing in his collection and showed Ms. Douglas who was enthralled with the likeness and even more appreciative when he signed the copy and presented it to her.

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Figure #PS.25  and Figure #PS.26 Illeana Douglas receiving her Charcoal drawing from one of the masters who has created and catalogued hundreds of personalities and stars.

I really didn’t have too much time or money to indulge into the excursions available as part of the Cruise but was satisfied with the choices that were made. Please understand that I didn’t have the luxury of doing too much editing of any of the videos. It was a fun compiling assortment of the still pictures using YouTube and getting it into a video montage in movie maker and with public domain music for the background.

Also it’s worth mentioning that the Disney part of the cruise provided so much entertainment and enjoyment. The stick figure here was created in the dining area as we were getting ready for dinner. It was then ingeniously intertwined with the other guests similar artistic designs to come up with a really enchanting version to have our creations parading on the screen, while we were finishing our meal.

 

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Figure #PS.27 Initial drawing which would be incorporated into the animated videos below.

 

Figure #PS 28 Video Motion picture cartoon composed of contributions from guests while having dinner

Figure #PS 29 Video Motion picture cartoon composed of contributions from guests on Cruise.

Bill’s artistic endeavor is on the far right in blue.

 

 

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Figure #PS.30 Photos substantiating I was actually on the Cruise. The distinguished gentleman with me is the Captain of the Fantasy. Captain Fabian hails from Argentina.

 

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Figure #PS.31 One of the latest pictures taken with Joe and brother Al Sefekar.

Figure #PS.32 Famous Fighting Sefekar’s that appeared in the New York Newspapers on Joe’s return from service in Europe at the end of World War II.

More important is that it reflects on the ties that binds the Sefekar’s, Joe Sefekar and brother, Al. The Fighting Sefekar’s were close and continued a lifelong camaraderie and beautiful story that helped shape their family; their mother, father, four sisters and the extended Sefekar family. It also lends itself to include Joe’s in-laws which made up a large contingent on Thelma’s side with her mother, five siblings; four sisters and brother.

There are many things that transcend life here on earth and what better way of showing the enormity of it,  as in these special yearly summaries that were part of anticipating the millennium going from the 20th century to the 21st century. Aside from some of the years that were milestones in the lives of Thelma and Joe Sefekar and their family, we hope to be able to present the entire century of highlights. Last week our viewers will recall an also abbreviated version of this montage that was posted. Let’s have another look back at some of the amazing events as they unfolded 25, 50, 75 and even 100 years ago in the years that played a major part in our lives.

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Figure #PS.33 Century Countdown, 1946 and 1951; Birth years for son and daughter Billy and Bonnie Sefekar

Figure #PS.34 Century Countdown, 1953 and 1965 Moving to Long Island, NY and Washington, D.C.

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Figure #PS.35 Century Countdown, 1974 Opening of the Hirshhorn Museum; our daughter Bonnie Sefekar marries Lee Landau; still going strong after 42 years.

Figure #PS.36 Century Countdown, 1977 Retire from the Hirshhorn Museum and Federal Government; move to Florida.

Figure #PS.37 Century Countdown, 1984; 10 years after the opening of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., Grand Opening of Ruth Eckerd Hall Performing Arts Center in Clearwater, FL. Played a part in both of these major events.

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Figure #PS.38 Century Countdown, 1994, 50th Anniversary of the ending of WWII, Thelma and Joe returned to the Europe to retrace the route of the 1st Army Headquarters and his war experience.

 

As was mentioned we’re embarking on a new approach that would bring about a heightened awareness to the forthcoming publication and more video excerpts and possibly the beginning of a podcast that would go into further detail recounting the Life of Joseph Sefekar and his impact on the lives and places he touched.

It is particularly nice to share this with our viewers and how far we’ve come, along way since the last century when Joe Sefekar started out. There is another likeness, being here on the Cruise, corresponding with the early days of Walt Disney. Coinciding with the great technological advances, we’re able to take advantage of so much to be thankful for; indeed fortunate; it is a great part of “The American Dreamer,” and especially meaningful for those who dream about making dreams a reality.

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Figure #PS.39 Farewell party with some of the special guests.

 

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Figure #PS.40 As we “Cast Our Fate to the Wind.”

 

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. 3

EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER 13, 1998– 2008 SETTLING BACK, IT WAS A GREAT RIDE, Part 3

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

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

MY LEGACY

To my mother and father who left me no legacy except for longevity, an even disposition, the energy and the stamina to meet all life’s problems honestly, forthrightly. I wrote these words down on an envelope as I was finishing up my “tour of duty.”

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Figure #13.40 “No Legacy” left by my Mother and Father   Figure #13.41 Jotted down on an envelope.

Yes, my folks didn’t leave me a Legacy, they left me so much more.  What they left me with was the basic building blocks which were more much vital to being successful “in-life,” contributing to the health, welfare and the arts and paying back in some small way what it meant to be a citizen of this great country.

One of the themes that was running rampant in the early part of this chapter was a preoccupation with related health issues.  I kept the articles in folders hoping they would be of some value in bettering our understanding.  This would come in handy in the future as we dealt with all the medical twists and turns.  Case in point, Thelma had developed an acute case of insomnia.  Don’t know if it was a result of all these years of her having to deal with my snoring.  I guess it sounded like a truck going to our bedroom at night.  But whatever the case, we had to confront with the other possibility of sleep apnea and on three occasions she went to the Mease Hospital in nearby Dunedin, Florida for this condition.  She stayed overnight and they monitored her sleep patterns with both neurological, physiological as well as video equipment.  We read up on all the different approaches but nothing really worked.  In the following article written by Rick Weiss, “When Sleep Won’t Come,” many of these sleep problems were discussed such as more than half of people 65 or older complain of chronic sleep problems, such as trouble falling asleep or difficulty with excessive sleepiness during the day, according to the National Institute on Aging.  About one-third if seniors have chronic insomnia.  Happily, most problems are treatable often and very simple ways with such as a nighttime breathing device.  This wasn’t the case with Thelma and as I mentioned sleep apnea which can be recognized by snoring loudly at night and sometimes associated with stop breathing and causing her to awaken with a start.

The end of the article finally acknowledged that “there is often an overlooked perfectly sensible option for some older people to find themselves slaves to their advancing internal clock: Go with the biological flow.  Get to sleep as early as possible, wake up naturally at three or four in the morning, and take advantage of the quiet, predawn hours to get some things done.”  Which is what I am doing exactly now; predawn inspiration.

Here are some of the suggestions; we couldn’t follow all of them but some that made very good sense were:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule.
  • Bedroom for sleeping; don’t read, watch TV or eat in bed.
  • Limit daytime naps. Take a 20 to 30-minute warm bath before bed, drink a glass of milk just before bed (warm or cold); milk contains tryptophan, a naturally sleep–inducing amino acid.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and chocolate (which contains caffeine) in the afternoon or evening.
  • Don’t drink alcohol before bed; it can cause rebound wakefulness in the night and exacerbates snoring and apnea.
  • Exercise during the day may promote better sleep at night, but don’t exercise in the three of four hours before going to bed. From “All I want is a good night sleep” by Sonia Ancoli – Israel (Mosby 1996).

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Figure #13.42 Article by Rick Weiss “When Sleep Won’t Come.”

Next two articles deal with “Stroke Symptoms” and “Help with nursing home issues.”  The first article appeared in a local publication which I’m not able to find the exact citation as well as the author.  It was found under the heading “REACHING YOUR BEST.”  It describes certain risk factors which increase with age and sometimes might not be easily picked up when the symptoms occur whether it’s a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA is a temporary interruption of the blood’s life to an area of the brain.  TIAs can appear hours, days, weeks, or months before full stroke).  The article discusses seven “Uncontrollable Stroke–Risk Factors:” as you can imagine high blood pressure; high cholesterol; atrial fibrillation and other heart diseases; personal history of stroke or TIA; smoking; alcohol consumption and excess weight.  I was one of the fortunate ones that my risk factors did not reach the critical levels and subsequently the minor stroke that I experienced could be treated and I could resume a normal life.

Another common health issue more prevalent among seniors and attributable only to men is prostate cancer. And yes, I have articles about the different approaches and treatment.  But I will spare my viewers this touchy subject and refrain from posting any articles; except on demand.  It is a very serious subject and it is important from my perspective that routine tests are part of your annual health exam.  My brother Al, was diagnosed in the early stages of a possible malignancy and it was successfully treated.  So I know firsthand why men should have regular visits to the doctor to make sure they are not affected.

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Figure #13.43 Symptoms of a Stroke Figure    #13.44 Suzanne Palmer, Article about “Help with nursing home issues.”

It is one thing to plan and is another thing to have plans work out. We did manage to have excellent care with excellent caregivers during this timeframe and Thelma was doing very well with CNA’s that would be scheduled for twice a week, a few hours each.  The “Nursing Home Issue” as discussed in the article by Suzanne Palmer was not required at this time.  And Billy was close by, within earshot range for the most part.

I guess while we are dealing with life-threatening issues, might as well throw in another zinger. “Life-ending” issues that we needed to address.  I made the necessary arrangements for a place for Thelma and I to spend the here-after.  It was a plot that would be close-by where we live; for family to visit.  But not dwelling on this too much we did take into account other even more important impending issues.  This related to our estate and an equal distribution of whatever earthly wealth that we accumulated.  As usual I found an article that appeared in USA Today in their Managing Your Money Section written by Sandra Block, “No Will?  There’s a way online.”  It looked into the new fledgling advantages of the Internet.  Included were some of the websites that were available at this time.  Provided as well were tips about downloading free technical and legal advice; at least it gave us an idea of the guidelines and parameters from which we would base our final decisions.  Realizing that this was something that appeared at the time, it is certainly recommended to do your own “homework”.  We know so much has since evolved and is now current.

We did have a lawyer friend of the family, Greg Fox who Bill was very close with for over 20 years and we knew his family.  So, we sat down and came up with a “Living Will” and “Trust”, all families and individuals need to come to grips with this.

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Figure #13.45 Sandra Block Article, “No Will? There’s a way online,” USA Today

 

In taking editorial liberties, I will digress and revert back to another place and time; my beginnings, “My Eyes Were Young And Gay” as part of my earliest recollections.  These notes and letters would become the hallmark for putting together my memoirs and artifacts almost like the Big Bang theory that exploded and started the wheels churning.  The other letter about this time was sent to my granddaughter Beth Landau in response to her question, “Where were you born?,” It jogged my memory which a few years later in 1997, I would undertake with the help of my son to type these remembrances and occurrences from handwritten notes and letters that numbered in the hundreds.

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Figure #13.46  “My Eyes Were Young And Gay.”1             Figure #13.47 Letter to my granddaughter Beth Landau

1 Author’s note, at the time that I wrote this, the word gay was taken in the context of almost 100 years ago as in the “Gay Nineties.” A time when gaiety was identified with jolly cheerfulness.

 

As was mentioned in the last chapter, it was a most memorable evening listening to Prof. Elie Wiesel the Nobel Peace Laureate.  I even had the distinct honor to have Mr. Elie Wiesel sign the program.  What makes this even more of an amazing encounter is that a few years later at the opening of the Florida Holocaust Museum and Education Center in St. Petersburg Florida, Elie Wiesel was the main speaker at this major event for the city.  It just so happened that Bill as part of his duties as producer of the Public Access TV Show. “B’nai B’rith Presents; Jewish life in Tampa Bay,” was there to film this.  Also on the program was a Cantor William Hauben who at that time was Cantor at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Tampa.  Cantor Hauben also a friend of Prof Wiesel performed the Priestly benediction to open up the program.  As fate, would have it, 10 years later in 2008 my son would begin a three-year writing project that resulted in co-authoring a book with Cantor Hauben; himself a Holocaust survivor entitled, “Light: Courage and Hope.”  I took these pictures from that historic night.  Little did I know that in 2010 when the book was published I’d be at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. for a reception with the Ambassadors from these 10 righteous nations that helped save Jews and others during the Holocaust.

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Figure #13.48 Professor Elie Wiesel Main Speaker at the Opening of the Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, FL, February 1998

Figure #13.49 On Stage standing next to the Podium, Cantor William Hauben who would author his second book “Light: Courage and Hope,” with Bill Sefekar.

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Figure #13.50 Opening Dedication Ceremony of Florida Holocaust Museum, Cantor William Hauben is sitting at the right.

Elie Wiesel, the Nazi death camp survivor who won the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, spoke to a standing room only crowd at Eckerd College warning of the dangers of religious nationalism and fanaticism.  The article below appeared a few years before in the Jewish Press of Pinellas County November 1991.  He said “I’m afraid the trend towards extremist movements – political, religious, and social bear close scrutiny.  Increasingly, he said more people are clamoring for answers, and fanatics of all types are eager to fill the void.”

“I’m afraid of this. It’s easy, it’s so tempting to be a fanatic.  The fanatic has no problem.  He knows it all, wants it all, has it all, the fanatic never doubts.  He believes only he knows what G-d wants. Ultimately, in the end, he thinks G-d is guilty and he replaces G-d, puts Him in a prison.  It is when the fanatic feels he moves within the framework of history that we are all in trouble.  We must fight against fanaticism by learning the lessons of history and become more sensitive to other peoples’ plights.  The student of history and ‘messenger to mankind’ called upon his audience to help promote understanding and tolerance of others.  You have a sense of responsibility – the only human response – to defeat the fanatics of the world who put us all in danger.  Remember, not a single human being is identical.  That means plurals pluralism, variety, differences and tolerance.  I must say I respect your belief of faith, and I’d like you to respect mine.  It is not easy.  We come from all different backgrounds and with all kinds of baggage.  But we must learn, we must start again.  If we use our beliefs as a weapon instead of as in friendship, we poison our world.  We people live in fear, we are afraid of strangers.  Well, society can be measured by the humanity it demonstrates towards stranger.”  I would like to thank the Jewish Press of Pinellas County for their following and reporting on human interaction and tolerance for over 35 years in the Tampa Bay area.

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Figures #13.51 and #13.52 Elie Wiesel: ‘We must fight against fanaticism.’

 

Continuing to always wanting to “leave them with a smile,” the other side of the local newspaper article above that discusses “symptoms of strokes,” deals with a little more levity as was located in its “BIT OF HUMOR,” section.  I don’t know if I would’ve known about these classes when I first started out whether it would’ve helped me along the way.  But I did manage to come up with the right things to say and do, most of the time.  In that passage in Chapter 12 about making it to the magic age, one of the things that was mentioned in being successful and accommodating with women; the three special words: “Compromise and give in.”  But in this day and age it seems people take liberties above and beyond what was considered in my time as “rules of engagement.”

“So here is a two-year degree: being offered at universities many of you should be interested: ‘Become A Real Man/Husband.’ That’s right, in just six trimesters, you, too, can be a real man – as well as earn an AA degree (AA Real Men).  Please take a moment to look over the program outline.” Be prepared to smile!

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Figure #13.53  Bit of Humor

 

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Figure #13.54 Perpetual Calendar,

 

One of my nephews happened to loan me copy of an old memorable songbook and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I kept it for quite a few months musing over all the songs that were so much a part of me as well as my wife’s world.  One of the songs that I remembered fondly was this song that seemed to capture my starting out with Thelma, when I was wet behind the ears.  “Making Whoopee,” was just that kind of song.

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Figure #13.55  Lyrics from one of my favorite songs, “Makin” Whoopee

 

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

MY EIGHTH DECADE Pt. 3 1987-1997

EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER 12, 1987– 1997 MY EIGHTH DECADE, Part 3

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

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

January 3, 1997

This storied decade began auspiciously with the celebration of our 55th Wedding Anniversary.  All of the attendees at our 50th, made their re-appearance in Florida.  We combined the wedding party with my eightieth birthday and we celebrated on Sunday, February 15 at the DoubleTree Hotel on Clearwater, Beach, Florida. We had had our 40th Anniversary at the Holiday Inn in 1982, before the change in name to the DoubleTree. My daughter Bonnie, Lee her husband, and daughters attended as did my son Bill, and his wife. It was a special event in that I was recuperating from my stroke in October 1996, I had some visages of weakness in my right leg and arm. Luckily, with extensive physical therapy, I had recovered normal usage of my arm and leg and I have continued my daily exercise regimen.

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Figures #12.36 and Figure #12.37 Celebrating and Feel Like Dancin’

On June 6, Thelma and I made a short visit to Maryland to attend graduation ceremonies of Diana was graduating from Sherwood high school in Olney, Maryland; a suburb of Washington, D.C. The celebration party was lots of fun, with members of the family attending from New Jersey, Florida and New York. The highlight of the activities was a graduation ceremony at Constitution Hall, the class of all the elegant buildings in Washington, DC. The only occurrence that marred the day was a near-calamity that we barely avoided. As we waited outside the parking garage, I was sort of surrounded by three men, one of the them, very well-dressed, in a wheelchair. One of the men dropped a key, and I, like a good Samaritan bent over to help I saw him retrieve the key, but the other men continue to look for the key. I saw there were no keys on the floor and I grew suspicious. I had heard of such instances, with the attention of the victim, was diverted by noises in conversation. I put my hand to my back wallet pocket, and I felt the hand of the man in the wheelchair, then quickly withdrawn. Luckily, he had only unbuttoned the back pocket but he hadn’t gotten my wallet. The three men disappeared quickly, and we did not impede their departure, happily that no one was hurt. It all took only about three minutes; my wife saw all this happening was nearby. She had heard the men saying, “lift up your foot”. She thought I was having trouble because of my stroke. This was a close encounter, both figuratively and literally. It was an interesting enough story that I sent it to one of the popular columnists at the Washington Post, Bob Levey. He even acknowledged my letter and sent a response note; included below

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Figure #12.38 Letter to Bob Levy, Washington Post   Figure #12.39 Congratulatory note

There were many miracles of this century – the supersonic airplanes, radio, HD television, man on the moon, etc. on Saturday, July 5, NASA announced and on Sunday, July 6, the headlines in the St. Petersburg Times read that “scientists marvel at photos from Mars”. Although people were aware that NASA had launched a Mars project, the amazement of the landing was exceeded only by the amazing photos and information being received from the Memorial station by remote control.

The Pathfinder, the Mars lander, and the vehicle (Rover) leaving the lander (by remote control from Earth) is named “Sojourner”. The sojourner is a roving vehicle, weighing 23 pounds. In the few short hours of operation it has returned clear color photographs to words, as well as accessing the chemical composition of anything it finds. It was noted that the Mars Pathfinder project was being renamed the Carl Sagan Memorial station in honor of the famed astronomer who died in December 1996.

Investing was one of the intriguing activities that I dabbled in. These are serious games and the consequences are life-threatening. The highs and lows are not manageable, Bernard Baruch, the most respected financier and presidential advisor of the 1940s said you can outwit the market with a quote from the book. The low-income people don’t have the money to “play the market”. They will think that the rest of the upper income people are “raking” in the money – in 1987 and 92, the middle-income people lost fortunes in the stock market. I kept some of his guidelines handy. Here were a few:

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Figure #12.40 “Some words to invest by”

1. Only buy stocks you have researched.
2. When the technical pattern conforms with fundamental judgment.
3. Sell quickly if the stock does not act as anticipated.
4. Try not to be overly bullish or bearish.
5. Do not over trade.
Baruch’s main approach that I kept as a constant: Remember long-term (connotations “savings”)

 

Our Social Security should not be subject to the vagaries of the stock market. What happened to the 401(k)s held by the officers and employees of Enron world company, other corporations – airlines, etc.

The last three excerpts from the blog before the “book” is printed will reference discussions about topics that’s near and dear to my heart; living among ourselves; fighting against prejudice and fanaticism. And one in particular laying bare the roots of Nazi horror and Genocide in general. This is just a few small portion of the dozens and dozens of documents and papers I have amassed dealing with the Holocaust in which my son picked up the gauntlet and carried the torch, In the book: “Light: Courage and Hope.”

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Figure #12.41 Elie Wiesel Speaking and program Eckerd College, St. Petersburg

On Thursday, November 21, 1991 we had the privilege of hearing Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel speak at Eckerd College as part of their Distinguished Speaker Series.

“How is it that one Jew was caught and another not? How is it that Jackie and I survived, while others of our age were sent to their deaths? Were they not as good, or as worthy, as me; They certainly were. Then what is the answer? As a rule, the why’s and wherefores of what had befallen us remains open questions.  One may not venture answers to such difficult questions. One may only relate…”

Jackito Handeli 115003 meet Haim Matalon 9102324. Numbers tattooed on victim’s arm for identification at the Concentration Camps.

Talking about fate- how did I, a cousin to 4 other first cousins of the Holocaust, emerge from this maelstrom of war? By a stroke of fate, my parents migrated from Salonica in 1916. They arrived in New York Harbor on September 16th, 1916, the Ships manifest is found in Chapter 1.

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Figure #12.42  50 Years Ago; the Holocaust Remembered

A 50 years Holocaust Chronology of the end of the camps, January – February 1945

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Figure #12.43  Story about the Anne Frank Legacy.

How her diary became a rallying cry for the triumph-of-the-spirit. As was quoted in the article the comment by Franz Kafka often cited, “We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we love more than ourselves.” If ever there was such a book, it is Anne Frank’s Diary.

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Figure #12.44 Tremendous Power of Hate Figure #12.45 Heart of Nazi Terror

As indicated above, from 1933 to 1945, Jews from every part of Europe and representatives of over two millennia of tradition, culture and humanity was sent to Nazi death camps and forced labor camps in the end, more than 6 million Jewish men, women and children perished (of which 1 1/4 million were children).

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Figures #12.46 Copy of the Book: “Greek Jew from Salonika Remembers” Figures #12.46 and #12.47 Letter to Publisher for a copy of the book.

What also peaked my interest was a visit by my cousin Haim, who lived in northern Israel; Haifa. In 1991 during the 1st Gulf War he and his wife Yona stayed with us for over two months. We managed to talk about his experience as a Holocaust survivor at Auschwitz and his migration to Israel after War II. I will just provide you with a sampling of the 15 page document. (**More to appear in the book).

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Figures #12.48 “Haim’s Story”

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Figure #12.49  Letter to Charlie Reese

I would read Charlie Reese’s article’s on a regular basis and found them mostly timely and topical. Yet at this juncture the subject matter was more troubling on the topic that was most sensitive to me and the experiences that I had encountered during my lifetime. It was duly noted and in closing, reiterated my position: Mr. Reese, your column is your life, this letter is my life. I did follow this up with my closing sentence, “May you continue writing your column in good health.”

 

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Figure #12.50 Apr. 29, 1993 Letter to First Lady, Hillary Clinton and Figure #12.51 Accompanying Article on Steps to Universal Health Care

My concerns with healthcare began beating incessantly like a drum especially since we were requiring more regularly scheduled visits particularly with Thelma’s health issues. I fired off a letter to First Lady Hillary Clinton explaining senior citizen’s concerns with Medicare and with what the legislative action might be and attached an article that I thought handled the concerns well. Guess things really hadn’t changed because of the complexity of this problem as we are reeling in the muck and mire of universal healthcare today as well. Although there was a bit of hope that I felt 15 years later when I updated my request again to Mrs. Clinton who was then US Sen. Hillary Clinton from New York. Attached is the letter that was sent on April 10, 2008.

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Figure #12.52 Letter sent to Sen. Hillary Clinton on Health Care Issues

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, 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.

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Figure #12.53 “I’m Eighty”          Figure #12.54 Closing remarks from my retirement talk at                                                      the Hirshhorn Museum

I asked for grace enough to listen to the tales of others pains.  Help me to endure them with patience. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains that are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them has become sweeter as the years go by.

 

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Figure #12.55 Henny Youngman, 70 years of Laughing

The man who made famous the line, “Take my wife, Please!” I could never understand why a man would say this. I could never utter it, I would be afraid because knowing what I have, no sooner that the words came out of my mouth there would be someone there to take my precious gift.

 

 

A philosophical discourse

1997

I always admired the great people of my times, the creative genius, artistic creators of books, music, the arts and movies. I kept track of each year some of the great people as they left this world 1997. There will be no exceptions. This year took Robert Mitchum, Lloyd Bridges, James Stewart Richard Oakley Willie J Jane, Jacques Cousteau, Stubby Kay, Burgess Meredith, Brian Keith, Red Skelton and Chris Farley just to name a few. I never spent too much time delving into the Obits but just made some mental notes and jotted them down to remember how much we owed them.

 

Copyright © 2016               William Sefekar

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