A note to preschoolers’ moms

Dear Moms of Preschoolers…

Here  is a report that goes into waaaay too much detail to make my point, but it does make my point :)

And my point is:
Preschoolers are more interested in the “process” than the “performance”.  As we enter the recital season, you may be tempted to admonish your young dancer with a little pressure to get their performance “right”.

The fact that they are on the stage is the success story here.  They are there for the experience, and may not respond well to our grown-up standards of performance.  They will be extremely cute, and they will try, and they will steal the show.

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The Virtual Wall – Vietnam Memorial

The Virtual Wall – Vietnam Memorial

Vietnam Memorial Wall photographed by Mary Ann Sullivan

The Vietnam Veterans’ War Memorial resides in Washington, D.C.  I haven’t seen the actual memorial, but know that standing in front of it,– it touches you,– and you feel compelled to touch it.*

A few years ago, a traveling memorial came through town and my husband, myself and my three young sons went to see it.  One of the features of this traveling memorial is that you can locate the name of someone you know and see it carved there in the black marble.

I had attended high school and gone through church youth group with a young man who was killed in Vietnam.

I choked up and could not speak…

I thought I would look for his name.  The names are arranged chronologically by date of death.  It is overwhelming to search for a name, so one must ask a docent for help.  I approached the table and was totally unprepared for my response.

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Political Angst

I was part of a “political” discussion on one of my high school Facebook groups, and I seem to be the only corporate memory of what took place…

Here it is as best as I can recall:

It seems a fellow student was running for student government in the late 60s when we were all juniors in high school. He took the odd detour from his prepared speech, and said in-effect (after some hemming and hawing), “It doesn’t matter who you elect for student offices — The administration has full control of this school and nothing will ever change.” Continue reading


So Brave, Young and Handsome; upholstry, and Fred Offenhauser

My dad has had a lifelong fascination with auto racing and I never understood exactly why, — except that he was a mechanic (airplane) during WWII. However, today I got a different angle.

We were talking, and I discovered that his best boyhood friend, Chuck Tinley (sp?), was the nephew of Fred Offenhauser, creator of the Offenhauser engine that dominated the Indy 500 for at least two decades. My dad and his buddy Chuck would go to the races in L.A. and sit in the Offenhauser box. They were so close to the action that they had to hold their programs up to their faces so that they could quickly duck behind the (protection of the) paper when the car tires threw mud into the crowd. My dad mimics himself at that age, an imaginary program paper held between his two hands just below his eyes. Then he quickly raises both hands as he hides behind the program saving his face (but probably not his clothes) from the splattered mud. All this accompanied by the appropriate car and track sound imitation. Continue reading


What was I thinking?

Kite Flyers
Dad and his brother

The day after I created a blog, I had a moment of panic when I thought I should very quickly delete it! I already had a following (even though it doesn’t show here). What was I thinking?

Eventually, I let my mind wander to the object of all this. Look at the photo. My dad and my uncle are both life long musicians, family men, veterans of WWII, part of the great generation. So the blog stays for now.

My dad loves kites. Any dime-store variety will do. In fact, I remember him building his own box kite and teaching me to build the more average (diamond) shaped kites out of the Sunday funnies. We built a mini-model once from colored tissue paper and he flew it from a spool of thread. The great thing about this kite was that, once aloft, it appeared to be miles away (because of the perspective of such a small kite against the sky). People would comment on that in passing, and then he would show them that he was flying it from a spool of thread. “Incredible!” their eyes would say. We loved that reaction. Continue reading