No Man Was More Hated Than Lincoln

During the Civil War, no man was more hated than Lincoln. He was called a gorilla, a beast, a blood-thirsty tyrant. In the South they sang derisive songs about him. “Jeff Davis rides a snow white horse; Abe Lincoln rides a mule. Jeff Davis is a gentleman; Abe Lincoln is a fool.” And that was one of the milder ones.

Lincoln did not return the feelings in kind. Hours before his assassination, Lincoln met with his cabinet to discuss what should be done to Confederate leaders. Should they be tried as traitors and hanged? Lincoln replied: “I hope there will be no persecution, no bloody work after the war is over. None need expect me to take part in hanging or killing them. Enough lives have been sacrificed. We must extinguish our resentment if we expect harmony and union.”

From Chapter six

Lincoln On Communication

I determined to be so clear that no honest man could misunderstand me and no dishonest man could successfully misrepresent me. - Abraham Lincoln (posted on his birthday)

Lincoln was a master communicator. He was effective with small and large groups, either one-on-one or from the platform. His strength lay in explaining complex ideas accurately and clearly. “Don’t shoot too high – aim lower and the common people will understand you,” he advised William Herndon. “They are the ones you want to reach – at least they are the ones you ought to reach. The educated and refined people will understand you any way. If you aim too high your ideas will go over the head of the masses, and only hit those who need no hitting.”

Examples and little stories became the hallmark of Lincoln’s communication style… It was a deliberately planned strategy. “Common people … are more easily influenced and informed through the medium of a broad illustration than in any other way,” he once commented. “As to what the hypercritical few may think, I don’t care.”

From Chapter 18

I saw a puffy pillow-cloud glide in over head. The weight inside too much, pin holes burst open along its bottom. Some flakes of snow slid out & floated down, then more, widening the gaps. Soon an avalanche turned the air bright & settled as a silent white blanket over it all. ❄

Monthly book sale at library today: hardbacks $1, paperbacks (which I rarely buy) 50 cents. So essentially free. Rare Lincoln stuff cost more, but worth every penny, as mostly unavailable any where else. My favorite is this marvelous book on Buddhism, with over 500 color images.

We got word yesterday that Izzy Young, the best friend folk music people ever had, passed away on Monday “surrounded by close friends and family and music” at the age of 90. He was one of the most honored guests when Dylan was awarded his Nobel Prize.

Howard Baker, was known as the “Great Conciliator.” He was one of the most successful senators in terms of maintaining civility and was the hero of the Watergate investigation, a statesman. Watch him talk about the defining moment.

“I have found that when one is embarrassed, usually the shortest way to get through with it is to quit talking about it or thinking about it, and go at something else.” Abraham Lincoln - Chapter 14

My wife has been taking English classes given by the local community college. Now they’ve added a Sat morning class at the high school I went to, a bit over 50 yrs ago. I’m so glad we returned to my hometown. My current life is now integrated with my early life. Very exciting!

Could I Use This Cartoon On My Blog?

I stole an image from Dave Winer’s website a few days ago. He didn’t give the source of the image, so I thought maybe I could use it without having to worry.

Drats, I DID worry. Okay, maybe I can find the source of the cartoon. I went back to Dave’s site, did a right click on the cartoon and selected “Search Google for image.” The result was a LOT of possibilities, but three of them near the top of the results were the cartoon we’re looking for! So I looked at those three, which belonged to a travel blogger, a potter and his pots, and Blog Writing Guidelines. Like Dave, the first two made no mention of the source of the cartoon. But in the third instance, along the right side of the image, standing vertically, it clearly says ©

So off to that site I went, which is a website for a Culture Design Group. When I looked at examples of their work, it became obvious I had come to the right place. I soon found some examples with characters much like the ones in the cartoon we’re looking for. See this one. and this one.

All I have to do is look through their examples and I’ll find it. YIKES there are 640 pages, with a dozen examples on each page! But then I remembered our heroes, Google. Maybe I could do a search. I noticed there was a search box at the top of each page of results. I typed in “blog about it” and hit the blue search button. Bingo! There it was, the fifth example on the first page of results. It was the featured image on their blog posting of December 28, 2011, which said the cartoon was actually first published circa 2005. We got it!! And it has some interesting writing. Maybe even better than the Blog Writing Guidelines.

Did you notice that I never did use the image that I stole from Dave Winer? But if you’ve been following along, you’ve seen the image many times. Clever, huh? And legal!

If I wanted to pay some money to make one of my websites more well known, I would head to this gapingvoid place. It’s full of very creative work. It’s a famous website, as I’ve looked through it before. But could I afford it? Probably not, but it might still be cheaper than running a Superbowl ad.

A brilliant quote for the @JohnPhilpin quote page, by Simon, about the New Post page:

as somebody outside of the Apple bubble it’s nice to be reminded that itself recognises the wide world beyond the in-crowd culture prevalant amongst old-school Apple users.

"Delacroix" from a Great Song

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the ax just fell
So I drifted down to New Orleans
Where I happened to be employed
Workin’ for a while on a fishin’ boat
Right outside of Delacroix
But all the while I was alone
The past was close behind
I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind, and I just grew
Tangled up in blue

Bob Dylan, 1974, from Tangled Up in Blue

If you figure you know all about life in America, I encourage you to watch this new documentary. I think you’re gonna learn a lot. I know I did! About nutria, the Cajun culture, heard them talk, dance & make the environment better with their guns. Let me know, if I’m right.

I never use the Google Assistant that came with my Android phone. Today it linked to a phishing email that I’ve gotten dozens of times. It claims to be from my radio club prez, who asks me to wire big $$$ right away. I’ve reported it to Google many times as spam & phishing!

After no snow since 15 Nov, we finally got 6” last night, drifts to 12” and still snowing. It’s comfy warm at 31 & the snow is very wet, perfect for snowballs/men/forts. What’s wrong with kids these days? I don’t see any out playing. They could even get good IG pics.

My 1st & 2nd grade teachers wrote in my report cards to my parents that I really liked books, liked to read them aloud & always spoke the words in a way that showed that I understood them. I was surprised to read this, as it was my brother & father who were the book worms!

Books No.1

Okay, I guess that was actually a reply to Manton. So here’s another fresh message written and posted using speech to text on my Android phone. I hope you’re all impressed now!!! 😃🐯🎉

My High School Graduation

Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

In the public domain

My Story

I used the last lines of this poem in my high school graduation speech as Class Salutatorian. All three speakers that day were required to use Robert Frost poems in their speeches, as Frost had died a few months before, after a career in which he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature 31 times.

Ganzel Bennett, the guidance counselor who supervised the speeches, got me to change my speech to have the last lines refer to the fact that some of us in the class were going off to college and that was gonna make a big difference in our lives for the better. Years later I found my speech in a box and was horrified to read that I was basically putting down our classmates who were not able to go to college, or chose not to go. Because I was young and had not developed a backbone, I had not told Bennett to shove it, that they were my clasmates too and my friends and I certainly wasn’t gonna put them down or speak at that turning point in our lives about what might be the best choice for any of us.

Fifty plus years later I flew back home to our high school reunion, the main reason being that I wanted to apologize to my classmates. Before the Saturday banquet, I told the MC I wanted to give a short speech. Wellllll they had planned a pretty extensive program. so he wasn’t sure there’d be time for that… . I decided I would be giving my speech regardless of that. When the time came, he yielded the floor to me and I told the story about my speech. Probably no one had any recollection of my speech at all and no one was carrying a grudge or hard feelings about my having insulted them.

But when I got to the part about my missing backbone and the fact that I considered them all my friends, and still do, it was verrrrry well received. I got a big round of applause and some cheers. At the end, the MC took me aside and told me he was really glad I had spoken. I felt MUCH better about what I had considered was very rude on that graduation day.

Bennett is long gone and forgotten at the school. And so was I, except by some of my classmates. Today the Frost poem went into the public domain, so I was able to print it here in full. Of course it was my favorite poet, not Frost, who was actually awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature recently. I’m sure Bennett would have been horrified if I had made any mention of that poet, but I didn’t even know Bob Dylan existed in May 1963.

What Was Even More Memorable

I think what many more people remembered from that graduation was that our Concert Band performed the 1812 Overture as a prelude to the graduation ceremony. I had campaigned and won the position of President of the Concert Band my senior year and I had convinced Kruzan to let us perform the 1812 Overture as the prelude to our big day. I was far more excited about that than I was about walking up on the stage to read Bennett’s speech. Larry Doolin pounded out the cannon fire on his big bass drum. It was glorious.

And to this day, I sometimes find my tongue in my cheek and remind my wife that I am The President of the Concert Band!

Robert Frost:

An End & A Start, 2018-2019
The last 24 hours has seen a lovely explosion of blogging here. With the holidays, people seem to have more time to write about their lives, both about this year & their hopes & plans for the next. Here are my thoughts. Image: snow in a forest.

Maria Callas and Patti Smith

On 8 Nov 1998 I met Patti Smith & bought her new lyrics book, Patti Smith Complete. I was just getting to know her. She already felt like a close friend, a sister to me. When I got home I opened the book and was surprised to find her writing about Maria Callas in her introduction.

I was especially moved by Maria Callas. Her emotional intensity. How she seemed to draw from every fiber to create a whisper. Her arias soared from the turntable…

The image of an elegant Callas sitting at her piano at home was on the next page in the book. Oddly, this told me that I had a lot to learn about Patti Smith! Callas was born in 1923, more than twenty years before Patti or myself and she had been gone for more than two decades when I got the book. Of course, I knew who Callas was, but I had no recollection of having ever seen her perform. But I made a mental note to be open to exploring her work when the right time came.

It came today, when I saw a video of her singing Tosca. It was obvious why Callas had been a big influence in Patti’s early life. She performed exactly the way Patti had described her.

My thanks to the one who provided me with that link.

I Have a Dream

That one day you’ll no longer have to explain why there are no Likes on

Because they’ll already know why that’s better!