Tag Archives: Ron Crawford
On that date, America was just past the halfway point in the Civil War. The great Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in July of ‘83 had raised hopes in the North that the Southern rebellion was doomed – but two months later, the Confederate victory at Chickamauga proved that the war was far from over.
The Battle of Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, 1863, were the two bloodiest days in American history. Chickamauga claimed the lives of 1,657 Federal troops — with 9,756 soldiers wounded and 4,757 missing for a total of 16,170 casualties out of 58,000 troops.
Confederate losses were just as steep: 2,312 dead, 14,674 wounded and 1,468 missing for a total of 18,545 out of 66,000 troops.
It was only the courageous rear-guard stand of Union General George “Pap” Thomas – the legendary “Rock of Chickamauga” – that kept the Federal army from suffering a total rout in northern Georgia — and set the table for a Union victory at the Battle of Missionary Ridge two months later on November 25, 1863.
Today, though the Occupy Wall Street movement is provoking a healthy dialogue about the plight of the 99% versus the insane, unbalanced power, influence and affluence of the 1% — America is not embroiled in a civil war on the scale of the 19th Century War Between the States.
But, with pepper spray, police “batons”, riot gear, and other forms of authoritarian violence being directed against ordinary Americans seeking freedom and social and economic justice — it’s not entirely beyond the pale to suggest that this year’s Thanksgiving celebration falls on a date fraught with historic significance.
So today, November 24, 2011, let’s remember why Abe Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in a much more desperate and pivotal moment in our national history. And let the Occupy Wall Street movement dine on turkey today — and draw strength for the battles ahead.
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.
Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!
And god bless the Occupy Wall Street Movement!
Our great friend, the outrageously talented artist, Ron Crawford, has been spending a lot of time at Occupy Wall Street in lower Manhattan. Here’s another gallery of images that Ron has captured with his keen eye and splendid pen.
“The fire department took their bio-diesel generator away so they’re recharging cell phones and computers with bicycle generators. The rigs were brought in by Times Up. Note their logo on the computer guy’s cap.”
Words by Thomas Paine — Drawings by Ron Crawford..
My good friend, the great artist Ron Crawford, went to Zuccotti Park on Friday October 21st and did what he does best: capture a scene in a few dynamic sweeps of his gifted pen.
Click on the drawing and blow it up.
I always love to see which details Ron chooses to focus on in his inspired sketches — like the word “Empathy” and the concerned fellow with a briefcase in the foreground.
Thanks, Ron – for giving those of us who can’t be there an eyewitness view of Occupy Wall Street that is, in many ways, more personal and revealing than a photo. (More drawings after the video.)
If nothing else worth celebrating happened today, June 30th would still mark the mid-point of 2011 — reason alone to pop a cork. But there are some very good reasons to mark this day with fanfare and hoopla.
The first reason to party today is personal. On June 30th, 1990, I was wise enough to wed the lovely, brilliant and talented Victoria Zielinski. Today is our 21st wedding anniversary. Whatever else I have done in my life to this point, marrying Victoria has been my shining accomplishment. Ultimately, my marriage to Vic will stand as the pinnacle of my achievement.
Now, from the sublime to the ridiculous…
The other reason to celebrate today is something we all can share with equal joy. Tonight, Glenn Beck will make his last appearance on Faux News before going off the air. Beck was banished by progressive activism that pushed more than 400 advertisers to pull their commercials from his show. Of course, Beck will not be going away entirely. He’s setting up his own Internet network so that he can live-stream his ravings for two hours a day starting in September – for just $9.95 a month! (Can you think of a bigger waste of an Alexander Hamilton?)
Today also marks the end of the first year and a half of this blog. And, thanks to all of you, 2011 has been going gangbusters for Paul’s Voyage of Discovery & Etc. Consider that this blog attracted 22,389 total views in 2010 – and the fact that there have been 23,845 views in the first half of 2011 alone. We’ve more than doubled our site visits from 60 daily views in 2010 to 133 per day this year. That says a lot for the growing community of friends and readers, including 70 stalwart subscribers, that make this blog worth blogging.
So, what are all these readers reading on this blog? Of the 177 posts I’ve put up since I began this personal experiment in new media back on January 1, 2010 – the following are the Top Ten Posts. (You can access the original post by clicking on the title.)
Though it’s a relatively recent post, this primer on one of America’s most misunderstood founding documents has gotten just over 6,000 views. Clearly, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Glen Beck were not among those 6,000 readers.
The most recent post on the all-time Top Ten, this celebration of my favorite geniuses has attracted more than 2,000 views. (Which shows just how strong popular interest in the Bill of Rights is. And that’s somewhat comforting.) Were Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain and John Lennon aliens sent from another world to show humanity the light? Or just really, really, really cool…
(Posted 7/20/10. #5 post in 2010.)
1,623 viewers have perused my account of battlefield tramping through the Second Day’s fight at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 and the heroism of Joshua Lawrence and the 20th Maine’s desperate defense of Little Round Top. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of The Civil War (Fort Sumter in 1861), which may be part of why this post has gained in popularity.
(Posted 4/6/10. #4 post in 2010.)
This article was the 4th most viewed post in 2010 – and it still holds that spot today. That’s because Baseball is eternal. (Though some games may seem interminable.)
(#3 post in 2010)
If you don’t know anything about The Practical Theatre Company, here’s a good place to start your education. (Many of you have already lived this history – in which case, you may not learn anything new, but you’ll enjoy the photos.)
(#2 post in 2010)
If you don’t know anything about Riffmaster & The Rockme Foundation, here’s a good place to start your education. (Many of you have already lived this history – in which case, you may not learn anything new, but you’ll enjoy the photos.) Wait! Did I already say that somewhere?
(Posted 2/8/10. #1 post in 2010.)
The second sports post on the Top Ten: an ode to my daddy’s New Orleans Saints and their Cinderella victory in the 2010 Super Bowl.
One of the first posts on this blog makes its first appearance in the Top Ten. Than can only mean one thing: it’s Jay Lynchmania!
(Posted 1/20/10. #7 post in 2010.)
This post is one of my personal favorites. Please forward it to all of your local Democratic politicians well in advance of the 2012 elections.
(Posted 1/26/10. #8 post in 2010.)
Anchoring this list and first in our hearts, the fabulous Crawfords round out our Top Ten. If you haven’t already checked this post out, do it now. You will be introduced to the coolest and most talented family I know. They invented the word “groovy” to describe The Crawfords.
So, there you have it. A snapshot of Paul’s Voyage of Discovery & Etc at mid-year, 2011.
Thanks again to all of you for making this so much fun. And thanks for your 751 comments over the past 18 months. This blog is so much better when it’s a two-way street.
And, if you aren’t a subscriber yet – click on the image of the saluting Matey (at right, where it says “Hop Aboard) — and get on the bus. Or the blog. Or both.
Our resident (and favorite) artist, Ron Crawford, sent us his rendering of today’s demonstration in New York by Screen Actors Guild members in solidarity with their fellow unionists in Madison, Wisconsin. (That’s Ron himself depicted in the upper right corner of his drawing, holding the sign with a clenched fist.) How Ron manages to be in the moment and yet capture the overall moment is just one aspect of his singular talent.
Meanwhile, the momentum from the Madison uprising is being felt in Statehouses across the Midwest. And today, a national poll shows that, by a 2-1 margin, Americans oppose taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees. According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 61% percent said they oppose legislation stripping public employees’ collective bargaining rights in their states, as compared to only 33% who favor such union-busting laws. The majority speaks!
This snapshot by Rob Mendel (above) appears to have been taken at The John Lennon Auditorium at 703 Howard Street in Evanston, Illinois on what looks to be New Year’s Day 1982. (Note my Beggars’ Holiday hair and beard.) My 18-month old daughter Maura appears to be grasping a champagne bottle in her right hand, the stage looks as though it’s set up for a Rockme gig, and the numerous empty beverage containers and crumpled gift-wrapping all suggest a big holiday party the night before. (Maura certainly didn’t close the party, so this must be the day after.) Of course, I’m on clean-up duty. (I trust the amazing Rush Pearson will let us know if my photo analysis is correct.)
30 years after this picture was taken — and just one year ago — I started this blog.
As of this writing, Paul’s Voyage of Discovery & Etc. has attracted over 22,250 views. I’ve made 73 posts and readers have contributed 565 comments. That’s a pretty healthy start — and I’m grateful for everyone’s interest, enthusiasm, and participation in this admittedly idiosyncratic forum.
I’m especially gratified by the 63 subscribers who have signed on to have my posts automatically delivered to them via e-mail. (And when Mark Lancaster gets his e-mail address straightened out, we’ll be back to 64.) Are you a subscriber? If not — just look to your right at the photo of the saluting Matey, then look below the photo and follow the simple instructions to “Hop Aboard!” I know most of us just can’t get enough e-mails stuffed into our inboxes, but I promise my posts will be at least marginally more entertaining than the daily onslaught of Viagra ads, MoveOn broadsides, replica watch ads, and assorted unrelenting spam you’re already inundated with.
My posts on this blog largely stuck to the main topics I established at the outset: history, adventure, politics and rock & roll — including a four-part history of The Practical Theatre Company. And to what type of posts were readers of this blog most attracted? What follows is a list of The Top 12 Posts of 2010, listed in order of the most views. Taken as a whole, they represent a sort of oddball Year-in-Review.
THE TOP TEN POSTS OF 2010
Note: Just click on each the title of each post to access the original article.
The New Orleans Saints got 2010 off to a great start by winning the Super Bowl. So, why does a man who was born in Cleveland, went to college and met his wife in Chicago, and moved to Los Angeles twenty years ago care if the New Orleans Saints finally won a Super Bowl after decades of epic gridiron failure? Simple: my daddy was New Orleans born and raised. Who dat say what about dem Saints?
It’s not possible to write everything about Riffmaster & The Rockme Foundation in one article, but I tried my best in this post to tell the basics of the band’s ongoing legend. A spring reunion gig at SPACE in Evanston was the catalyst for telling the story. The band is making plans to play SPACE again this year. Rockme-mania lives.
One of my goals this past year was to tell the story of The Practical Theatre from start to finish. (Is it ever really finished?) This first chapter covered the period from the company’s founding and the establishment of The John Lennon Auditorium — to just before our 1982 comedy revue, The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee, brought the PTC to SNL.
Readers loved those Mud Hens. What was written as a tribute to The Practical Theatre Company’s contribution to the Chicago Theatre 16-inch Softball League became a post that hundreds of Toledo Mud Hens fans found online, attracted to the info and photos of Toledo Mud Hens history — especially that picture of Jamie Farr. Go figure. Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!
20 years ago, my wife Victoria and I went to Gettysburg and other Civil War battlefields on our honeymoon! It’s true. I needed no other assurance that I had married the perfect woman. On our 20th anniversary we returned to Gettysburg. Now both students of the battle, we walked the battlefield on July 1, 2 and 3, 2010 on the 147th anniversary of that critical conflict. My four-part account of our battlefield tramping became one of the most popular items on the blog.
After more than two decades off the stage, Victoria and I once again wrote and performed in an original musical comedy review, The Vic & Paul Show, in June at PUSH Lounge in Woodland Hills. It was the most fun we’ve had in years. We hope to bring the show to Chicago sometime in 2011. If you’re curious about what the show looked like — there are a series of clips on my YouTube channel. Click here to get there.
History and politics are two of my greatest passions — and this article combined the two. I’m gratified that so many people have continued to find it and read it since it was first posted on January 20, 2010 at the time of President Obama’s first State of the Union Address.
I wrote this tribute to the incredible Crawford family early in the year — and I feel as though I must already write another. Ron and Sydney Crawford and their fabulous children are a gift that keeps on giving. I cannot imagine what this blog would have looked like in 2010 without all those wonderful Ron Crawford drawings lifting each post into the realm of true art. We love Ron & Syd. And we can’t say it enough.
In an otherwise bleak mid-term election for progressives, California turned back the conservative tide by rejecting the self-funding, millionaire ex-CEO candidates, Meg Whitman for Governor and Carly Fiorina for Senator. Instead, liberal Democrat Barbara Boxer was returned to the U.S. Senate — and former “Governor Moonbeam” Jerry Brown was sent back to the California governor’s mansion (where he refused to live back in the 70’s). Maybe Jerry will pass on the mansion again. But thank goodness California passed on Meg and Carly.
This installment of my Practical Theatre history covered the insanely creative and productive period from the aftermath of the PTC’s headline-making success in 1982-83 to the closing of The John Lennon Auditorium in 1985. Looking back, it’s hard to believe a bunch of inexperienced, counterculturally-inclined twenty-somethings accomplished so much in so little time. That Practical spirit lives on today — and I hope this blog has helped in some small way to keep it alive.
This blog has a nautical theme for one reason: Captain George Moll, who invited me to sail with him some years back, and instilled in me a love of the sea that had first been aroused by my reading of the entire Patrick O’Brian canon. I am grateful to Captain George for allowing me to serve as a crewman aboard his fleet of racing sailboats — and my accounts of several of our races proved to me among the most popular series of posts on the blog this year. And did I mention we won this year’s TGIS Series Championship? Hats off to Captain George!
Great football teams bookend this list. When my beloved Cleveland Browns upset the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints in the early part of the 2010 NFL season, I was moved to write this remembrance of the Browns’ glorious past. Otto Graham, Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly, Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar are just a handful of the memorable stars that made history with the Cleveland Browns. Now, it’s up to Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis to write the next glorious chapter.
So, that’s the best of 2010. Stay tuned. Subscribe. Post those replies!
Here’s to another fine voyage in 2011!
I’ve finally wrapped up my four-part personal history of The Practical Theatre Co. To read the final chapter of the Practical Theatre story click here — or click on the graphic above. You can also find a link to all four chapters under “Landmarks” on the right hand side of the home page.
It only took me two decades to finish this project — so please enjoy!
Our favorite artist, the brilliant Ron Crawford, went to the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” in Washington DC this past Saturday, November 30th and captured his impression of the crowd of over over two hundred thousand folks. (Which dwarfed the crowd at Glenn Beck’s rally.)
If you look closely, I think Ron has actually drawn every one of the quarter of a million progressive sanity enthusiasts at the rally, hosted by The Daily Show host John Stewart and Stephen Colbert (yet another funny Northwestern University alumnus.)
Click on Ron’s drawing to enlarge it. You don’t want to miss all those Rondraw details!
And because Ron couldn’t draw ALL the inspired signs, placards and banners he saw, Gardner Loulan sent me this link to the 100 Best Rally for Sanity Signs.