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EXCERPTS FROM AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY POST-PRODUCTION PT. 1
A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION
HE WROTE IT, THEY DID IT, HE SAVED IT; TRANSFORMING AMERICA!!
“JOE SEFEKAR’S INSPIRING STORY OF AN IMMIGRANT’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEALTH, WELFARE AND ARTS OF UNITED STATES.”
12-17-16 PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, BILL SEFEKAR
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2016, 7:30 PM
Well, welcome to the New Year, 2017. It should arrive on time in the next few hours.
Love, Peace, Hope, Faith; Be Kind, Be Wise, Be Brave!
I want to wish you all a most salubrious and positive encounter with the fates. 2016 has produced a number of pleasant milestones. Joe Sefekar would’ve been happy in seeing what he felt was his extremely important contribution to getting onboard for the train ride through almost 100 years that had taken us from the early years the 20th century to the first decade and a half here in the 21st century.
This book is being written because Joe Sefekar’s experience relates to so many of the millions of stories of people like the Sefekar’s and immigrants that came to this country to break free from the yoke of subjugation, misery, hopelessness, poverty and could use the building blocks of what this country afforded those that were lucky enough to make it to its shores. Together they forged a better nation, a nation that is so amplified by the timeless, refined woman who stands ready to welcome so many of the downtrodden, huddled masses and until then, ill-fated.
It is amazing that this is so perfectly exemplified in the Hirshhorn Museum’s contribution to the Bicentennial exhibitions in 1976 less than two years after it opened its doors; which Joe Sefekar as Administrator played a big part. The Exhibit just happened to be about the influence of immigrants, and particularly in the realm of art and culture. However, the bigger theme; “Contribution of Immigrants,” should be applied to the Golden Door, coming to America as we know it. It is worth revisiting.
Figure #PP.1 Part of the Hirshhorn Bicentennial Exhibit 1976
Artist -Immigrants of America. 1876-1976
So, Joe Sefekar left us a legacy but he didn’t just leave a legacy, it is a legacy vibrant and is meaningful today as it was when he started his quest to keep all of this intact. This is a wonderful country, a unique country, a blessed country and we cannot take it lightly. We need to keep the dream alive. Become “American Dreamers” like so many millions that was exemplified by this man; it is our responsibility, it is our duty to live the dream and make it better, we all must become “American Dreamers.” Please don’t take this responsibility lightly, the mindset of,” Let George do it,” does not apply here. We must do it, we must do it in our communities and in our neighborhoods, in our relationships both on local and national levels.
This country has been faced with challenges and has “persevered” as Joe baby would say. It is even more prevalent today and at this time; so follow your dream. But don’t dream alone, take others with you that are close by and share, reach out just as the “Lady” reaches out, offering her hand, her outstretched arms and bids us to become part of the American Dream.
How can one person, it cannot be fathomed, how one person aside from his daily activities of husband, war hero, father, with college degrees; successful career in management and government; building museums and performing arts centers, involved with libraries, community affairs and his Temple, Jewish war veterans and other service organizations, how could one accumulate such a massive amount of original material. What’s even more remarkable that everything was in such an organized, orderly fashion (not anymore) that one could easily put his hands on and go “Back Into The Future” as we’ve seen done on a Hollywood set.
A couple of cases in point follows: in Dad’s cache of hundreds of amazing World War II artifacts that part of is presented in Chapter 4 of the book; Marriage And The War, one comes across interestingly enough, papers that had SECRET stamped on it.
As can be seen from this three-page letter from Four-Star General Eisenhower, Commander of the Allied forces in Europe, to Five-Star General Gen. George Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army for all Army forces both in Europe and in the Pacific. What makes this so profound is that this letter was transferred approximately three weeks prior to Victory in Europe, (VE Day), May 8, 1945.
It explains in detail the different forces that were at work. One with the US forces and the other with the Russians spearheading efforts that would allow them to get to Berlin first, while the American Expeditionary Forces in conjunction with the British were battling from the western side of Germany which involved more intense combat related actions as the Germans had located more troops and tanks there.
Figure #PP.2 SECRET Letter from General Dwight Eisenhower and General George Marshall on plans for the ending World War II
The situation that Eisenhower referenced and documented was so strongly etched in his mind then but have now become faded and difficult for us to comprehend now. Upon liberating Germany there were many, many features to document this but this also allows for one to pick up what Gen. Eisenhower found so hard to believe and try to express his disbelief of what he had seen in these internment camps, and concentration camps.
It was determined that because of the length of time, “over 70 years” that this document could be used and made available. Another example of how Joseph Sefekar managed to maintain much of this material that transcended over years were photos of his army soldiers celebrating the New Year on December 31, 1944 in France. This proved to be a very critical time with the ensuing Battle of the Bulge taking place during the first weeks of 1945. It was the German’s last concerted effort to break through the allied lines with their Panzer Tank Divisions in search of fuel depots to keep their tanks from running out. We could hear tanks rumbling through the snow-covered hillside of the French Ardennes forest not knowing whether they were American or part of the German armored division. It was quite terrifying and created havoc with our troops and especially at First Army headquarters where we quickly gathered up all vital military and top-secret papers, maps that would be destroyed rather than falling in the hands of the enemy. Over 20,000 Americans were killed another 20,000 were captured and 40,000 wounded. The British sustained over 1,000 casualties and was the greatest loss of American soldiers on the Western front during the War. The turning point came on January 3, 1945 when the weather began clearing and allied air dominance crushed much of the German offensive. January 3 also marked Thelma and my third anniversary; yes, it was indeed a very good omen.
February and March showed great progress for Allied Forces. Upon reaching the Elbe River in Germany, Joe and his comrades-in-arms made an appropriate gesture, it was called relieving themselves on their way to Berlin.
Figure #PP.5 Joe with 1st Army Headquarters buddies, December 31, 1944 Prelude to the Battle of the Bulge
Figure #PP.6 Joe with US Troops crossing the Elbe into Germany, “It was a Great Relieve”
Figure #PP.6 Seeing the Light, It would be another 3 months before the War’s end and “Going Home.”
Today marks the last day of Hanukkah which in the Jewish faith this holiday known as the Festival of Freedom and/or Festival of Lights. It was the first successful organized religious uprising and managed to defeat the Greeks and restore the Temple in Jerusalem. When the high priests returned to the Temple, they found it in much disarray and there was only enough holy oil to keep the lamps lit for one day. However, the lights kept burning for eight days while the high priests prepared new oil.
It is most fitting that this is the kind of bond that has transcends our ancestry and provides us with a taste, reflecting the kind of Joe Sefekar’s inner strength; his desire to believe and live in the Light of Freedom. There is also a song that is recited during this holiday that was written by Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary fame. It is called “Light One Candle,” in the spirit of freedom and hope we share this with you. How Judah Maccabee and his five sons actively fought a war of attrition and will of attrition against the larger Greek forces and were eventually victorious to have the Temple returned to the Jewish people.
Words and Music by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary
Light one candle for the Maccabee children, With thanks that their light didn’t die, Light one candle for the pain they endured When their right to exist was denied, Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice Justice and freedom demand But light one candle for the wisdom to know When the peacemaker’s time is at hand.
Chorus: Don’t let the light go out! It’s lasted for so many years! Don’t let the light go out! Let it shine through our hope and our tears. (2)
Light one candle for the strength that we need To never become our own foe And light one candle for those who are suffering Pain we learned so long ago Light one candle for all we believe in That anger not tear us apart And light one candle to find us together With peace as the song in our hearts
What is the memory that’s valued so highly That we keep it alive in that flame? What’s the commitment to those who have died That we cry out they’ve not died in vain? We have come this far always believing That justice would somehow prevail, This is the burden, this is the promise This is why we will not fail!
Don’t let the light go out! Don’t let the light go out! DON’T LET THE LIGHT GO OUT!
We always liked to dabble in exercises for the brain. Whether they’d be in the form of doing the Jumble, playing Scrabble, working on crossword puzzles or cryptoquotes. One of the things that has proven particularly satisfying is the responses we’ve received from social media, i.e., Facebook etc. for what could be listed under categories of “Brainy Quotes,” “Cryptoquotes,” or “Words To Live By.”
We leave you with a few of these that are noticeably pertinent and worth pondering over:
“PEOPLE WILL NOT LOOK FORWARD TO POSTERITY WHO NEVER LOOKED BACKWARD TO THEIR ANCESTORS.” – EDMUND BURKE
“THE GLADDEST MOMENT IN HUMAN LIFE, METHINKS, IS A DEPARTURE INTO UNKNOWN LANDS.” – SIR RICHARD BURTON
“BE GLAD OF LIFE BECAUSE IT GIVES YOU THE CHANCE TO LOVE AND TO WORK AND TO PLAY AND TO LOOK AT THE STARS.” – HENRY VAN DYKE
“I LIKE TO SAY THERE’S CERTAIN THINGS YOU CAN’T TAKE BACK: ONE OF THEM IS “I LOVE YOU,” AND ONE OF THEM IS BULLETS.” – NATHAN FILLION
“WE MAY ENCOUNTER MANY DEFEATS BUT WE MUST NOT BE DEFEATED.” – MAYA ANGELO
“THE REAL WINNERS IN LIFE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO LOOK AT EVERY SITUATION WITH AN EXPECTATION THAT THEY CAN MAKE IT WORK OR MAKE IT BETTER.” – BARBARA FLETCHER
“PEOPLE UNDERESTIMATE THEIR CAPACITY FOR CHANGE THERE IS NEVER A RIGHT TIME TO DO A DIFFICULT THING.” – JOHN PORTER
“NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT AND PAINFUL IT MAY BE, NOTHING SOUNDS IS GOOD TO THE SOUL AS THE TRUTH.” – MARTHA BECK
“YOU KNOW THERE ARE TWO GOOD THINGS IN LIFE – FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND FREEDOM OF ACTION.” – WILLIAM SOMERSET MAUGHAM
“HE WHO THANKS BUT WITH THE LIPS, THANKS BUT IN PART; THE FULL TRUE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING COMES FROM THE HEART.” – J. A. SHEDD
The following is the Press Release that provides details on the expected Release For the book. It explains what we have presented our viewers over the past 11 months and hopefully will be an exciting portrayal of a man who made a difference in his life and the life of others.
A man who is worth finding out about, who will give the reader thoughts to ponder over and words to live by.
Figure #PP.7 Press Release Announcing the Upcoming Release of “American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe Baby, A Man on a Mission; He Wrote It, They Did It, He Saved It.”
In the upcoming Blog posts, we will provide readers the opportunity to take advantage of presale purchases of the book and offer other incentives so that you can receive especially packaged first edition copies.
Copyright © 2017 William Sefekar
** Material will appear in book.
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