Monthly Archives: August 2020

When the Moon Meets the Sun

This past Saturday marked 25 weeks since I have self-quarantined with my husband.

Day in and day out, all I have is Zoom, my husband, my cooking, my blog, my dollhouse projects, and the television.

Watching the protests from the safety of my home has hit me in a way I have never felt before.

At 67 years old, I’ve finally figured out that the legacy of slavery continues to devastate black lives.

It took a coronavirus pandemic for me to realize that there was already a pandemic in America. A plague way worse than the coronavirus.

How naïve I’ve been to think that we were all in this together.

Together? No. Not so.

I watch the news, and I see the hateful Facebook posts from people that I thought I knew, and I wonder if blacks will ever achieve racial equality in this country.

My husband discovered the Americana girl band Our Native Daughters while listening to an Israeli radio station on his nightly walk through our local park.

Their song Moon Meets the Sun inspired him so much that when he got home, he excitedly searched YouTube for me to hear it.

The lyrics were haunting, and they made me so mad.

They made me want to help somehow, but I’m stuck in my house, and I’m afraid to venture out.

The longer I stay in, the harder it is to make a move.

I want so badly to fix something.

Anything.

But I can’t even leave my house, so how the hell can I fix racism?

When the day is done, the moon meets the sun, we’ll be dancing. You put the shackles on our feet. But we’re dancing. You steal our very tongue. But we’re dancing. You steal our children. But we’re dancing. You make us hate our very skin. But we’re dancing.

Please listen to the song.

The sun and the moon align every 18 years.

My lucky number is 18.

The Hebrew word for “life” is (chai), which has a numerical value of 18.

And over and over again, the number 18 and multiples of 18 have had an eerie significance in my life.

I thought about the number 18 as it relates to what’s happening to our country and how 18 might fix it.

And then I thought about all those 18-year old kids that need to vote.

They need to fix us.

I pray the kids will make the change.

When you’ve finished listening to Moon Meets the Sun, there is another YouTube video by Our Native Daughters titled Barbados that you must watch. The link to it is at the bottom of this blog post.

Barbados left me remorseful and covered with goosebumps. It’s more of a poem than a song.

And it got stuck in my head.

So much so, that I needed to share it with someone, somewhere out there.

Barbados

I own I am shocked at the purchase of slaves
And fear those who buy them and sell them are knaves
What I hear of their hardships, their tortures, and groans
It’s almost enough to draw pity from stones

I pity them greatly, but I must be mum
For how could we do without sugar and rum?
Especially sugar, so needful we see?
What? Give up our desserts, our coffee, and tea?!

Besides, if we do, the French, Dutch, and Danes
Will heartily thank us, no doubt, for our pains
If we do not buy the poor creatures, they will
And tortures and groans will be multiplied still

I own I am shocked at prisoners in the mines
And kids sewing clothes for our most famous lines
What I hear of their wages seems slavery indeed
It’s enough that I fear it’s all rooted in greed

I pity them…

I pity them greatly, but I must be mum
For what about nickel, cobalt, lithium?
The garments we wear, the electronics we own?
What? Give up our tablets, our laptops, and phones?!

Besides, if we do, the prices will soar
And who could afford to pay one dollar more?
Sitting here typing it seems well worth the price
And you there, listening on your favorite device
This bargain we’re in, well, it’s not quite illicit
So relax, my friend, we’re not all complicit

Please watch Barbados

 

Disillusioned Trumpite Blues

Woody Logan, who wrote this poem/song, reached out to me last Saturday.

I’m not bragging when I say that I get a ton of emails, story ideas, songs, poems—a whole gamut of emotional material.

But I have to say that when I read Woody’s lyrics, they got to me on so many levels.

And the guy is so humble and wants you to know that “Admittedly I sing horribly. Perhaps somebody can do it better.”

His singing ability was of no relevance to me.

His words, his plight, his poetic verse showed me a side of the “other side” I have never understood, or dare I say, embraced before.

Woody has laid his poem down as a blues song in two versions. The Short Sampler (3 minutes) and the Full Epic (21 minutes), both of which I have included at the end of this blog post.

I’ll let Woody’s poem/song speak for itself, except I can’t help but highlight the lyrics that hit me the hardest.

Like:

“Throughout the ages, when the gap between haves and have-nots. Gets intolerable, and the blue collars don’t have a lot. There is a revolution, that puts the privileged on the trot.”

Or:

“I’ve also realized, I was becoming a person of hate. But hate’s not a human condition, it springs from a fearful state. So facing our challenges with courage, can make our Nation great.”

And:

“Our man promised he would even out the quid, yes we knew he’s evil, but that’s how desperate we had slid.”

And this:

“T’was on a Fox news program, that I saw something on his wall. It was a gilded frame, there to see for all. “Kill The Messenger” in big letters, for me it was a wake-up call.”

I ask you to please take the time to read the poem in its entirety by the talented Woody Logan.

Disillusioned Trumpite Blues

When it comes to voting, I really don’t have a plan.
There’s nothing to consider, just go vote Republican.
That’s my obligation, and so I just do what I can.

But now I’m having trouble, thinkin’ ‘bout who I did choose.
I was all for him, didn’t want the man to lose.
What have I done, got the disillusioned Trumpite blues.

First it was funny, not one journalist figured it out.
Why he was elected, what was it all about.
If they had studied history, there was no need for them to pout.

Throughout the ages, when the gap between haves and have-nots.
Gets intolerable, and the blue collars don’t have a lot.
There is a revolution, that puts the privileged on the trot.

This is the main reason, we voted just like we did.
Because our man promised, that he would even out the quid.
Yes we knew he’s evil, but that’s how desperate we had slid.

Like a good Republican, he was the master of the FUD factor.
Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt, he deployed like a skilled transactor.
Journalists and politicians, spent every day trying to decipher.

Even though psychiatrists, predicted it in a big book.
That his narcissism without empathy, was very much like a crook.
He kept them running in circles, just by spouting gobbledygook.

While government in America, was like a three-legged stool.
Executive, Congressional, Judicial, that’s how we did rule.
He made it one leg, two-braces, that’s how he did retool.

He’d disagree with what you said, and your right to say it.
Refitting facts to his words, was something he did quite a bit.
This pleased the Trumpites, who said he had a lot of grit.

Manipulating the media, was keeping his base entertained.
Even though his credibility, was getting very stained.
That’s why we loved him, and why our loyalty remained.

Slowly but surely, the wool has been pulled from my eyes.
I started to see a glimmer, that Trump was not all blue skies.
His promises aren’t being delivered, no matter how hard he tries.

T’was on a Fox news program, that I saw something on his wall.
It was a gilded frame, there to see for all.
“Kill The Messenger” in big letters, for me it was a wake-up call.

As a born-again Christian, conflict crept into my mind.
“What would Jesus do?” was absent, I started to see, where once I was blind.
We Trumpites are good hearted, but our leader he is unkind.

I started paying attention, to what the “others” did say.
Things like the following, filled me with great dismay.
I started to question, had I been led astray?

We Trumpites need to ask ourselves these questions, as time is running out:
+ Is he a national health crisis? Psychotherapy is up 400%.
+ Is he smarter than any general?
+ Did he never mature beyond 14?
+ Does he use circular logic or irrational logic?
+ Will it take decades for America to recover?
+ Are decades of social and civil advances being reversed?
+ Have hate crimes quadrupled since he took office?
+ How is he doing on promised deliverables?
+ Did Mexico pay for a wall?
+ Is the way to defeat the virus to stop testing for it, as he said?
+ How many of his efforts have been reversed, cancelled, or overturned?
+ Is he all talk and no action?
+ Does he belittle everybody who has a different opinion?
+ Why does he claim no responsibility for anything that happens?
+ Is he showing symptoms of mental deterioration?
+ Are we being led by a lunatic?
+ Are all of his problems self-induced?
+ Why do his enablers do it?
+ Does he believe exercise is bad for you?
+ Are we Trumpites just jingoistic flag-waving sheep?
+ Does America really not have room for refugees?
+ Is restricting voter rights a good Republican strategy? Must we cheat to win?
+ Has he earned the right to another four years?
+ Can America move forward while looking backward?
+ Did he make America great?

Then I heard the report, from his wives all three.
Their marriages were never consummated, on wedding nights you see.
He’d just sit on the edge of the bed, and tell them how good it would be.

“He’s a blithering idiot”, said my friend who is no chump.
What does that mean I thought, I really was in a stump.
When I looked it up in a dictionary, all it said was “See Trump”.

Then did I finally notice, reoccurring before our eyes.
With each and every issue, regarding Trump that did arise.
A 3D plan of action: Deny then Distract then Decriminalize.

What’s wrong with me I wondered, with conflict in my mind.
Look up “Cognitive Dissonance”, said a caring friend of mine.
And that human condition, pretty much explains it fine.

It’s said he never reads a book, nor listens to anybody around.
So when he marched to a church, and held the bible upside down.
I had to wonder, is he the biggest hypocrite in town.

We Republicans for years, have claimed the moral high ground.
But Trump preaches intolerance, not the love we consider sound.
What are the consequences, are we no longer heaven bound?

I’ve also realized, I was becoming a person of hate.
But hate’s not a human condition, it springs from a fearful state.
So facing our challenges with courage, can make our Nation great.

I’m not saying that I’m well now. Mixed emotions carry on.
But I’ve switched to Independent, and to you I call upon.
Be a free thinking person. Be smarter from now on.

Stop being narrow minded. Pull your head out from the sand.
Deploy your Christian values. History helps you understand.
Apply the golden rule, like Jesus did command.

If you are having trouble, thinkin’ ‘bout who you did choose.
We’re all in this together, what more can we really lose?
We can rise above the fray and stop those disillusioned Trumpite blues.

Short Sampler (3 mins) …… https://youtu.be/7g78vibyEe8

Full Epic (21 mins) …………… https://youtu.be/knYBFEENG4c

2020 Cedarhurst Sidewalk Sale: I Was Fired for Seeking the Truth

Yes, this blog post headline is sadly real.

I was fired on Tuesday, July 21, for seeking the truth about whether or not holding this year’s Cedarhurst New York sidewalk sale would be legal.

At least I think I was fired. I never received a termination letter or anything in writing.

Nevertheless, I’m definitely out of a job.

For over ten years, I was the Executive Director of The Cedarhurst Business Improvement District, and the centerpiece of my position was the annual Cedarhurst summer sidewalk sale.

Last year, close to 85 merchants participated in the four-day event, every parking lot in the village was packed, and thousands of shoppers participated.

Year after year, it was an event I had always been proud of organizing, promoting, and running.

But to bring thousands of people to Cedarhurst this summer, smack in the middle of an epidemic and an array of emergency laws and executive orders established as a result?

Not so much.

And unless the event was legal and permitted, I wanted no part of it.

Do I need to explain why?

One of my favorite quotes (by F. Scott Fitzgerald):

“You don’t write because you want to say something. You write because you have something to say.”

Yeah, I have something to say.

To be fired for doing my job?  Well, that’s just flat out WRONG.

To be fired for seeking the truth? WRONG.

To be fired for wanting to ensure that the Cedarhurst Business Improvement District and the Village of Cedarhurst didn’t sponsor an illegal public gathering? WRONG.

And get this one:

I get fired, and the Cedarhurst Business Improvement District now decides NOT to move ahead with the possibly illegal August Sidewalk Sale?

So WRONG.

We are in the midst of a pandemic.

I mean seriously, do I need to remind anybody of that?

Health officials have warned against large gatherings. The larger the crowd, the greater the chance that someone in it will have the virus. As the size of the crowd increases, so do the chances of COVID-19 exposure.

Duh.

When I was instructed to start work on the annual sidewalk sale in early July, I didn’t know whether the event was legal or not.

Under the present circumstances, it sure didn’t seem like inviting thousands of people to descend upon a quarter-mile shopping area was the safest idea.

So, I got permission from my boss to make some calls to New York State and Nassau County to get a written statement as to the legality of the sidewalk sale.

Seemed like a no brainer, right?

Call your state and local government during a PANDEMIC and get the go-ahead. Or not.

Well, so much for a no brainer.

Over two weeks, I made at least twenty attempts to get someone in the State or County government to put something in writing.

No one wanted to put anything in written form.

Heck, no one wanted to give me their last names.

I had plenty of people willing to tell me verbally that the event was not allowed, would be reported, and a fine would be issued.

But not one of those government officials would put it in writing.

Why not? I didn’t get it. Were they afraid of something?

It seemed that the only one who had the guts to put anything in writing was me.

And once I sent a written report about my findings, things got u-g-l-y.

Heartbreakingly ugly.

I heard a lot of nasty stuff about me. My mental health, my unwillingness to do my job, finger-pointing as to my allegedly redacting and tampering with my workplace databases.

As if that weren’t enough, there were false claims about me being fired from my Executive Director position years earlier, as well as accusations that I lied about what state and county representatives recently told me.

Seriously?

BTW: ALL UNTRUE. And all of which I can prove to be untrue.

And as incredible as it may sound, there were also accusations about my daughter (yes, my daughter) concerning what I will refer to as Zoomgate.

There’s even supposed to be a taped conversation proving that despicable and untrue things were indeed said about me.

Unseemly, right?

I didn’t see anywhere in my Executive Director job description that said it was okay to kill people.

Okay, maybe that’s a stretch. Or maybe it’s not.

Because it’s no stretch that increases in new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in 43 states this past week. And hospitalizations from the disease also increased. And COVID-19 deaths rose for the second straight week.

So why wouldn’t I question whether throwing a sidewalk sale party was legal or not?

Apparently, questioning the legality of the event was not allowed.

And refusing to work on the sale event unless I knew it was legal, was also impermissible.

And that’s why I lost my job.

Honestly, I really didn’t want to write this blog post.

But I felt compelled because I have something to say.

The character assassination by the Village of Cedarhurst Deputy Mayor Ari Brown against me was devastatingly vicious and wholly untrue.

To be clear, I would have been willing to let the false accusations go if Ari Brown would have apologized.

Anyway, too late for apologies.

Because Ari Brown was the one who engineered my removal as Executive Director, so now the stakes are a whole lot higher, don’t you think?

For certain men, their actions aren’t a matter of principle. Their actions are a matter of power, and of winning—at any cost.

Even if it means trying to ruin someone’s reputation; in this case—mine.

My grandmother would always say that the only thing you have is your reputation and your good name, and to never let anyone take that away from you.

That, my dear deceased grandmother, is easier said than done.

But I’m working on it.

All I can do at this point is to feel pride at having done my due diligence.

And I can tell my grandkids that during the pandemic, I sought the truth in order to protect a village, the merchants, the shoppers, and the community at large.

And for that, I was fired.

I’ll take it.

I’ll proudly wear that badge of honor.

Why Bullies Trigger Me

I am continually asking myself:

Why do I allow bullies to trigger me?

Long ago, I should have learned that bullies have no power over me. And most importantly, that bullies have no power at all.

But trigger me, they do.

I was bullied for way too many of my younger years.

Bullied because I didn’t have a father.

Bullied because my mother was a child.

Bullied because I came from a broken home.

Bullied because my mother was excommunicated.

Bullied because my grandmother was excommunicated.

Bullied because I wore boy’s shoes.

Bullied because I was too tall, too skinny, awkward, scrawny, and homely.

Bullied because there was nothing special about me.

There I said it. So what?

There are millions of bullied kids out there with far worse problems.

And okay; so what if I wore boy’s shoes?

I had big feet.

And anyway, that was what was left in a bag on our Huron Street doorstep fresh from Goodwill.

Be thankful, was what my grandmother said.

So yeah, when I’m bullied, I lash out.

And I often go from zero to 100—just like that.

I have no tolerance for bully behavior.

And between us? I often feel regret for my aggressive response.

But then, I don’t.

I feel vindicated.

I feel like I’m making up for all those years that I was torturously bullied.

I decided a long time ago that I could be the heroine in my story.

Sometimes the story works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.