Oz Newsflash: Last Surviving Munchkin Dies at age 98, Jme 2018
– Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz
from Season II in 2014
Stand Inside Belief
by Kendall F. Person
When Dorothy was swept into the land of Oz, she became a folk hero, by defeating the wicked witch of the west, saving all of her new friends from certain death in the process. While Oz was in celebration, Dorothy was blue. She had no desire to be the kingdom’s new ruler, all she wanted, all she ever wanted was to go home. As it turned out, after all that she had been through, Dorothy held the power to go home all along. All she had to do was believe.
There exists a reality that we cannot control. In the game of life, chance plays a spoiler role. But living our lives under the constraints of a possibility, no matter how remote, that something will happen, that will change our lives for the better or worse, is unproductive at best. We believe our prayers will find answers, but do not trust the answer when it appears. We believe if we say it often enough, but never take steps to do it, our talk of turning pro will be true, Afraid to look inside, for the fear of failing outweighs the thrill of trying. We stand on high ground (still underneath the sky) believing society has fallen into decay, yet refusing to include ourselves as a part of the process, in the downfall or solution.
I believe, however, those are the exceptions, and this is the rule; most believe that anything is possible: decreasing violent crime, eliminating famine, establishing peaceful relations among enemies, finding a cure for cancer or h.i.v., but have not stood inside ourselves long enough, to comprehend, that one person, can make a difference.
In 1973, a working mother named Crystal Lee Sutton, immortalized as ‘Norma Rae’ by Academy Award winning actress Sally Field, would be fired by her giant textile mill employer. Crystal Lee had sought to organize the 3000 southern textile workers into a union, to combat low wages, discuss the poor working conditions, and to address the needs of women, who were now entering the workforce in large numbers, of which many were mothers. But her powerful and well-connected employer, was entrenched socially and politically, and would play a ruthless game, to protect the profits of its elite and board members. So they decided to make a spectacle of the firing, to humiliate her was not enough. They needed to crush the hopes of the masses and put an end to all that union talk. But Crystal Lee believed in what she stood for, taking a moment to look inside herself. Then she stared down the police officers summoned to oust her, and fought back using the tools at her disposal. In one of Labor Movements defining moments, Crystal Lee Sutton wrote UNION on a piece of cardboard, jumped atop a table, holding the sign high enough for all to see. Her belief spilled outward, as moments later, the workers would shut down all the machines, forcing her employer, to take a seat at the bargaining table.
She was born the daughter of a storekeeper, and an accomplished violinist. She grew up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and by all accounts she was an average woman, living a normal life. In 1984, following the death of her husband Ray, Joan Kroc, as the sole heir to the McDonald’s empire, would become of the richest women on earth. She, no doubt, lived an extraordinary life, for the magnitude of her wealth, offered comforts that exist, on a plain very few will ever know or understand. But Joan Kroc also had a strong belief. Not in, if she could make a difference, but in how big of one it could be.
She would devise a plan, as how to best serve the people, and in 1990, her belief in philanthropy, would define her as a human being. She gave $15 million to the Grand Forks region to rebuild after a catastrophic flood. $18.5 million to San Diego Hospice to improve their ability to treat. $87 million to the Salvation Army of San Diego, $225 million to National Public Radio (NPR), and for an encore (of which, she would never accept, as most donations were made anonymously), she would make the largest single donation ever, granting $1.6 billion to establish Salvation Army Centers across the nation. But what The Neighborhood holds dear is her belief, that peace is ours for the taking. The Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, was established and endowed by Joan Kroc, herself.
Stand inside belief and see how it makes you feel. It is empowering, allowing us to reach for the stars, and win or lose, we have touched the sky in our trials. Stand inside a little longer, and feel the solace of self-belief. There is a comfort that exists only there, since it is the one place, that we are always okay. Belief leads to stronger communication, for we are better able to support our opinions and ideals, and comfortable in listening too. If we believe it, we can attempt to achieve it, by simply following Dorothy’s lead. Clicking our heels together may not make dreams come true, but knowing that a light exist inside of us, and has been there all along, means that fairytales can come true.
this is… The Neighborhood
“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” – Patches O’Houlihan, Dodgeball
courtesy of David Sanya Beats
by Kendall F. Person
Everytime I hear a newscaster or a politician say these three words “This is unprecedented.” I say to myself (No it isn’t.) but now is the time for me to start saying it outloud. No it isn’t. It is certainly a time unexperienced by anyone currently living in the United States, in its entirety anyway, but it is far from the peak of divisional excess. We forget about a little something called the Civil War, that cost Americans in its own blood, over 600,000 lives.
“Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.” – 16th US President Abraham Lincoln, (The Confederacy of The Last Slave)
And even as ill-begotten as the Kavanaugh Confirmation hearings have become, it rings the same bell as the Clarence Thomas Confirmation hearings, and only Republican Senator James Blake (and at least one other) knows if the story will end the exact same way. And while the issue of race is never far from the center of any debate, just like in 1991, it is no longer about the Women’s Movement. It is more aligned with the Civil War, I say, as there is a clear difference between right and wrong, and the only qualifying fact, is if we throw it up to blue or red.
But where the difference is stark – between now and then – it is less a clear battle between specific demographics, but more of a society difference, and choosing sides is not preordained (for some reason) but is being played out, in strategic anger and ferocity as if the victors will be rewarded with Dodgeball Nation.
In 1978, the large corporations and politicians needed to shut down all that union talk before the laborers, especially working women, who were not fighting for necessarily higher pay, but simple decency and some dignity inside the workplace. So her seething bosses sent in the police, not just to drag out the rabble rouser, but to assure her humiliation would continue to suppress all those women from getting a bright idea. But the imagination of the White men in power was limited, so they were not ready for a woman named Crystal Lee Sutton, who actually believed in what she was fighting for, As the police approached, she stood inside belief, delivering a defining moment. – Stand Inside Belief
Unlike Dodgeball the 2004 motion picture starring a hilarious Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, where teams played professionally and the rag tag Average Joe’s Gym was always going to win versus the lying, cheating Globo-Gym in the end. Most everyone identified with the good guys striking it rich in fair play. But not in Dodgeball Nation, where political warfare is on par with gangs of the late 1980s, that nearly pulverized many American communities. Heck, even the colors are the same. But the sides are not picked in vast groups, but one by one as even the roles of class and race have been muddled. (But not education; another post on another day)
√Kanye West goes to the Red Team.
√Blue picks up Arnold Schwarzenegger
√Joy Behar is nearly hysterical in blue passion (not meant as a compliment)
√White Women Republican voters stood hardcore for alleged pedophile Roy Moore in Alabama, even though his 9 accusers where White Women Republican voters in Alabama.
√Dreamers & Puerto Ricans have been forced blue
√Cubans go red; and as horribly as they have been treated, immigrants from Latin America still come under the same administration that took their kids.
and so on…
And while I have voted democrat since I was 18, since the George Bush administration, it is not the party that I take sides with, but rather the resistance to what I see as a government, building itself with isolationism on the world stage and insulating itself with an unsustainable rage.
In 1831, only 30 years prior to the onslaught of Civil War, a man named Nat Turner would send shockwaves through the slave owners’ families (white men were in power) when Mr. Turner – a slave – choreographed a slave rebellion, so successfully, it would survive in history and legend. Finding himself in a different mental state than his father, who when he escaped only freed himself. He listened closer to the words when he preached the gospel.
With an absolute belief in God and that he was ordained, to give his and to take life as he had no other means to fight the inhumanity of slavery. It took two days, for the men in power to defeat an army of 30 freed and present slaves, But if Lindsay Graham brought back the rallying cry for the angry white man, over a flawed justice, that will be bestowed with ultimate power over the law of the land, imagine (if you must) how incensed the white slave owners were on the day Nat Turner took over.
In retaliation, 120 slaves were killed. But in order to double the number of 60, that the Nat Turner Rebellion took from them. they killed innocent slaves, that refused to rebel and in fact, obeyed their master. And when Crystal Lee Sutton (I call her Norma Rae) bested the men in power, for the little they gave up, women became their objects of sexual harassment, as their welcome to a less aggressive work environment, turned mental with unwanted advances And all these years later, in the same lineage in some cases I suppose, the white men are still in power and will elevate the wrong man to the Supreme Court to hold on to it a little longer.
There was no way to compete, by going higher as Michelle Obama preached what she wanted her party to put into practice. But as history repeats – because we learn only enough from it to walk a different way for the moment – so fire is now fighting fire.and even those who escape the blaze, will still be burned because the bigger picture is what we see: a united America is a stronger America, not just for MAGA. How do I know the solution exists? Because two of the most trusted friends, are Trumpians. and White. Go figure.
We live in the United States, and Dodgeball is not for real So when we judge the velocity of our next throw, bare in mind, they are an opponent, but not the enemy… and dodgeball is a game of elimination.
this is… The Neighborhood
related ref. The Charlottesville Confirmation
With less than 3 months until the Season 6 season-ender, one question remains, will The Neighborhood be allowed it to deliver its big finish? Make a Donation. If you have enjoyed yourself, or understand that support is necessary to advance not just politics. Or to be fare. (big smile)
Huge smile to the donors of the past 6 years. It says Kendall F. Person, but you know it The Neighborhood and if you don’t… just ask.
this is… The Neighborhood. A place to take a stand, or fly away into the imagination.
Over there —-> is Kendall F. Person .com at your service and to help keep over here alive (big smile).
“I don’t know what it is about the open road that makes it so appealing. Maybe its because when you’re headed somewhere, you don’t have to be where you’ve already been.” ~ Steve Hofstetter
November 9, 2016 The winds finally died down in the wee hours of the morning, and the collective sigh of relief, could be heard across the land, as the cyclone of an election finally had come to an end. The citizens and immigrants and visitors caught in the crossfire, wandered outside to survey the damage and hoped that the new President and the defeated opponent, had shaken hands and began the clean up. But to their dismay and not a bit of a surprise, a new political storm was already bearing down.
But the 1st Wednesday of this November will be different
by David Luntz
The Drive Before The 1st Tuesday of November
by Kendall F. Person
Heading south from British Columbia Canada, Blaine Washington, located right on the border serves as the welcoming committee to the United States. The Pacific Northwest may endure a nine-month stretch of cloudy or rainy days, but the color green of all those evergreens is breathtaking in its richness and is more than a fair trade. Interstate 5 runs north to south, and Seattle – the emerald city sparkles like a diamond, about 2 1/2 hours into the drive. Immediately crossing the Columbia river, places us in the heart of Oregon’s largest city: the underplayed Portland or the City of Roses. Halfway down, passed Eugene the air dries out and the greenery fades, but before we hit the Golden State we skirt the parameters of a village named Ashland, home to the nationally acclaimed Shakespeare Festival. On and on, north to south continue driving and California is where we are now.
Change directions, look toward the east and soon the road opens to the desert southwest of The Grand Canyon State and the Land of Enchantment before entering the Lone Star State. The United States of America is the 3rd largest country by area as well as population. And the southern accents of the deep south, appear foreign in comparison to the Nordic dialect of Minnesota and the Dakotas. But American, each and everyone, and in all shades as well.
I have driven across our nation 8 times, taking a different route and managing to spend time in 42 of the lower 48. Clean and different and beautiful with modern freeways and spectacular bridges, like the Seven Mile Bridge, that connects the Florida keys, in the middle of the sea. Amish in Western Pennsylvania, Geechee on the Outer Banks of South Carolina, Native in Oklahoma, Mormon in Utah and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles with generations that pre-date the United States. America is a nation so large and complex, that its diversity blossoms simply from generations of us.
The Eastern Corridor – the population mother lode of the Red, White & Blue – runs from Baltimore Maryland and Washington D.C. through Wilmington Delaware, Philadelphia and straight to the Big Apple, Within mere miles of the Statue of Liberty, we reach the gateway to the New England States – original colonies, you see (Do Englanders visit Boston?)
“The open road is the school of doubt in which man learns faith in man.” ~ Pico Iyer
But so much anger, division, threats and violence: if we paid attention to ourselves, we would know that this is nuts. Respected around the world, home of the best Universities academia has set forward. Homeless we do have, but nary an American, or immigrant or guests ends the day on an empty stomach; and if they do it is by choice or cruelty, for food we have in abundance. Entertainment everywhere, shopping malls resemble palaces, and by the rule of law, we are free to move around – day or night, man or woman, while singing whatever song we like. But more dammit! we must have it and we do not want to relocate or change careers or re educate or take a pay cut or pitch in so that everyone has health insurance. Or search within, God forbid we accept that our own choices are the root cause of our mistakes. Or accept them, and pretend that we are good; or we have been driving wreckless for so long long, that we are running out of exit ramps.
But never that. Life is good. The bumps are bad and fair was never at the table.
But all is not lost, not even close. If we the people, and I myself take a deep breathe, and make a stand and understand that the open road, which regenerates the mind, lightens the soul, can be a daily walk around a different block. or a hop on a city bus or a long drive to a place that we have never been before. We must find a way to stop the internal spinning, to be beneficial in electing a government non-corrupt, that veers off of the collision course, less the morning after, we allow the political placeholders to spin us off – not over a literal cliff – but into eternal divisions, between… we really do not know who, just others that someone told us was the root cause of our problems. A real wall we do not need, because the imaginary one that we construct around ourselves or that our leaders announce is surrounding our borders, will be high enough. And although we will find someone to blame, when we cannot breathe, world history will note, that the people of the most prosperous and strong and beautiful nation on God’s Green Earth (if in fact, we still believe) failed ourselves; and sunk in the blood of the generations, will be us they read about.
But we can right our ship or fix the leaks and make a contribution to change the system on a national scale. We have until the 1st Monday of November to take and return from the drive.
this is… The Neighborhood
Photographs courtesy of Places at Pixabay
Introduction: Your first time in The Neighborhood? Welcome. So glad you made it. Perceived as a post, each individual entry is in fact a performance, and while in its entirety, it is known as a blog, we call it The Show. Nothing is random, and by absorbing each video, every song, the images, the words and spinning with your imagination, you will discover, the story within the story. – Kendall F. Person
“Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made for the eye of one who sees.” – Rumi
The Definition of Beautiful
What is beautiful? Is the definition found in a smile, that so illuminates, it acts like a contagion, quickly spreading, but unlike wildfire is easily doused out? Does beauty come from deep within; from the soul or the heart or some other intangible place, that springs forward through aura? Can beautiful turn ugly? Can it be used against others in a way that karma takes note of? Does beautiful do as beautiful does? Is it an abstract or does it follow a single definition, living inside of or impossible to box? Or is the very definition of beauty itself, defined by a physical presence, that runs no deeper than the skin? Is beautiful a timid little flower, linked to a fragile self-esteem? Locked inside a castle like Rapunzel, awaiting for someone to call her beautiful? Or is beautiful its own power, a complex tug of war between immortality and dead, that no one has ever truly achieved it?
But no matter how we see or define or recognize beauty, is not as nearly important as how beautiful is portrayed.
from Vancouver, British Columbia
Beautiful by Iseda
5th Annual The Underground’s Most Beautiful People
produced in The Neighborhood
created by Kendall F. Person
Age like time can be friend or foe. The battle scars of life and even the joyous occasions often manifest in our faces. But for 66 years old Phyllis Burden of Sacramento, time has applied age with grace, giving no reason to ponder her inclusion on the 2018 Most Beautiful People list.
Shrestha Bibash of Kathmandu Nepal is most remembered from his very real presence in 2015’s powerful Young Black Men. Young Bibash’s initial 2014 arrival was a year before his time, but he took rejection like a champ. As it turned out, English was not his native language, and in fact, had failed the class. But he was determined, to not just learn it, but master the craft of writing. And the young man, a junior in high school then, would become my first mentee within The Neighborhood. It is his drive, dedication and respect in which his name and face were added to the 2018 Most Beautiful People list.
If measured only by a single photograph, no backstory known, no follow up questions asked or answered, Jameelah Zayla Lawson speaks for beautiful itself.
California’s throwback Top 2 Primary system allows for Kevin de Leon’s entry, without making it political, as his opponent for the US Senate is also a democrat – Senator Dianne Feinstein. As noted by the lead judge, however “He deserved to make the 2018 Most Beautiful People list, either way.”
It is not just that she is beautiful, because she is, but something about her presence, something emitting from her smile, that makes everyone’s smile around her, just a little brighter too. In a sign o’times of ugly, Carla Matthews’ exclusion from the 2018 Most Beautiful People list, would have been ugly too.
An agent in the entertainment industry and a purveyor of the good time, Damondraos Owens – as quiet as its kept – may have the pedigree of a local kingmaker. But power mixed with a GQ style, can often leave one hollow, but from what we learned about Mr. Owens, he is a pretty nice guy. And just for good measure, he adds a Hollywood style element, to the 2018 Most Beautiful People list.
Laura Clemente, a media broadcaster on Radio Ona has such a radiant presence, we imagine that even when delivering bad or tragic news. she has a way of softening the blow, in a professional manner. One of three from the international community to make the 2018 Most Beautiful People’s list, she is numero uno from Barcelona to appear on The Neighborhood stage.
Some people were purposely selected, some were submitted and survived the judges panel. Marie Chidi Okerie of Lagos Nigeria, the only person to ever make more than one list, was cut in the final round, preventing an unprecedented third appearance. But I am certain she is still all smiles in noting, her countryman Babalola Boluwatife, has continued the tradition. But Young Boluwatife has a ways to go to leave his mark, as Charles Okpere (Lagos) has set an unbalanced bar – wavering between exceptional talent, marred by expulsions – oh so high.
A well known Democratic activist on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, there are few who work as hard, and donate so much of themselves to a cause they truly believe in. A tiring, at times ungrateful endeavor, but win or lose, Ms. Phinney never gives up the fight. Her appearance on the 2018 Most Beautiful People’s list, adds gravitas to the strength of beautiful.
There is something about a mother’s love, that we can take witness to, via the eyes of their child, as amplified in the photograph of Mrs. Calhoun and her daughter. It is that kind of love – the unconditional kind – that defines beauty’s essence as something more. It is also of value to note, for only the second time, a mother/daughter duet has made The Underground’s Most Beautiful People’s list.
We hope you have enjoyed the show, and that beautiful has been defined in the same way as you. But before the curtain falls, we must admit to a stunning faux paus. The photograph below, was submitted anonymously without being noticed. The young man – now referred to as the smiling unknown, flew through the judging panel and approved by lead judge. After our discovery, that we had no idea who he is or how to reach him, although we scoured the internet, it was never considered to rescind his name, for the Smiling Unknown had made the 2018 Most Beautiful People’s list, fair and square.
Perhaps, the photograph represents, the beautiful in us all.
this is…. The Neighborhood
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