Re-blog Dan Wescott . . . . . Another Battlefield

A heartwarming story of one of our  WWII heroes and a young woman, M B Henry,  who wouldn’t let his story die!

Posted in American history, blog, blogging, Eric Labourdette, France, Musee Airborne, paratooper, St-Mere-Eglise, Travel, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, USA, welcome, WWII | 6 Comments

Mary Queen of Scots. . . . . The Film

mary queen of scots poster

All through the film the wild and wonderful Scottish landscapes fills the screen, demanding  the viewer’s attention and compliment to  the queen’s fiery temperament.Though she spent much of her life in France as a child and as a bride and then widow Mary returned to Scotland to become Queen.  All this before she returned to Scotland where she  was “home.”

Mary’s reign was 1542-1567 and the film opens with her beheading. The film tells her story and that of her first cousin, Elizabeth of England through connecting flashbacks.The stage is set with family jealously and intrigue, royalty, politics and faith and religion which always interests me. Mary was Roman Catholic which made it impossible for her to be the Queen of England. The English both royalty and common people were determined never to be Catholic after the religious drama of Henry VIII. Scotland became a  leader  of strong Reformation under the  guidance of John Knox who appears in the film.

I am interested in the history of religion and have worshiped in many Presbyterian Churches which began  in Scotland .  John Knox, in the film,  seemed a strange and often frightening man complete with long wild hair and foreboding voice and expression. His words seemed angry and intolerant often narrow minded. There was no generosity of spirit but an air of loving to hate. In a little research I found  that John Knox was in life, all those adjectives.  He was very intelligent though a man of the common people which  helped him communicate with ordinary people. His faith was strong and unwavering but with no emphasis on “loving his neighbor!! (Christianity Today)

I enjoy seeing history in film and even being challenged to do some further research .  I did find some criticism of a  major event in the film not being accurate and that Mary and Elizabeth  never met.   That doesn’t bother me as I feel that story telling is an important aspect of film.  It is not history , it is entertainment.


Posted in blog, blogging, books, cinema, England, film, France, politics, Religions of the World, Scotland, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Merry Christmas

Grave of my brother, who gave his life on  D-Day +2,  fighting to liberate France from the Fascism of Germany                                            American Cemetery Cambridge UK



                                                                                                                        TO GIVE US  

                                                                                                                                  OUR TODAY.


Blessed Christmas To All. . . . . .

Posted in American history, blog, blogging, England, family, history, paratrooper, Religions of the World, Uncategorized, USA, welcome, WWII | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The Christmas Spirit

German and British troops celebrating Christmas together during a temporary cessation of WWI hostilities known as the Christmas Truce.

British and German soldiers lay down their guns to sing Christmas carols on December 25, 1914.

How could this happen?  Pope Benedict XV encouraged a Christmas truce but the idea was rejected.  But the Christmas miracle began on Christmas Eve as men on both sides began to sing carols in their native language.  Below is a first hand account:

“First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing ­– two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”

The next morning, men from both sides emerged from the trenches shouting “Merry Christmas” and joining each other on the stretch of land between the enemies called “No man’s land.” These soldiers who were shooting at each other just a day or two ago, now were exchanging gifts of cigarettes and chocolate.  This moment was not peace but only a truce was also  a moment for both sides to bury its dead. The shooting began again on December 26.

But for a few moments enemies lay down their guns and hatred.  The soldiers accomplished something the Pope and their generals could not do.

Even “The War to End All Wars”  was not powerful enough to “Kill the Christmas Spirit!”


Posted in blog, blogging, Britain, England, France, Religions of the World, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Handel’s Messiah

The New Music Hall on Fishamble Street, Dublin where The Messiah was first performed 1742.

Portrait of Georg Friedrich Händel by John Faber (c. 1695-1756) after Thomas Hudson (1709-1779)

George Frederic Handel

For many people attending a performance of The Messiah is the beginning of the Christmas Season.  The ancient scriptures set to the elegant Baroque music, with a full choir, and  substantial orchestra has become one of the best known and most popular choral works of the Western World.

The story is that of Jesus Christ in three parts.  The first is the coming and birth of Christ. The second is His death on the cross  and the  Ascension into heaven, finally  is the Resurrection and glorification in heaven. In 1741 London,  this scripture text  received modest reception.  Handle was known for his Italian operatic  style  which was  out of favor at the time. With his  popularity at a low point, he accepted an invitation to Dublin and began preparing for the  premiere  performance. Handel not only conducted, but he also played the organ. It was met with much acclaim.  Musicians of Dublin still regard this performance a high point of their cultural musical history.

A tradition of the audience standing at the Hallelujah  Chorus was rumored to have been started by King James.  It has no historical proof  but  the  tradition of standing at the first notes of that rousing piece continues 300 years hence.

Treat yourself to the quieting and inspiring  oratorio either in person or on the internet. It will put in focus “The Reason for the Season!”






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A STAR IS BORN. . . . 2018 film

One of my friends reminded me that I had not  blogged a film review recently. She said she enjoyed  the filter through my eyes of the fall release of grown-up films  She was right so here go  my thoughts of a story told  four times in film history  starting in 1937 and continuing in 1954, 1976 and 2018. A Star is Born. . . . .

Many big themes  fill the screen for 135 minutes with love being the all encompassing,  love and music,love and  ambition, love and honesty, love and vulnerability.

With birth comes pain and the film doesn’t shy away from that . . . the pain that comes with life and self- destruction and addiction.

The music is theater filling.  Bradley Cooper spent 18 months learning to play the guitar and reaching the proper tone in his voice.  He is very convincing and there is Lady Gaga. . . .  . her voice , her music, her acting. . . A Star Is Born. . . . .

I remember the Streisand/Kristofferson  film from 1976 and  will watch it again with new eyes.

Cooper is also  the director and a fine job he did.  Very interesting that in the credits Lady Gaga was given star billing over Bradley Cooper and it is her first film.

It is now 24 hours since I saw the 2018  moving remake and the music and different details are fresh in my mind.  I feel vulnerable from experiencing the vulnerability of this film. Enough said. .  . . .

Posted in film, music, piano, Rock'n'Roll, Uncategorized, USA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watkins Glen New York

Image result for images of Watkins Glen NY

Watkins Glen will forever have a place in racing history.  On October 2, 1948, it became  the first post World War II race in America  hosted in the quiet village streets. Today, visitors can drive the original 6.6 mile Grand Prix course anytime on public roads after visiting   the Visitor Center, signing in, and picking up a map.

Today Watkins Glen International is  one of  the premier road racing facilities in  the world and located just 4 miles from  downtown Watkins Glen.  It is know worldwide as “The Glen.”

For me, a fall visit to this amazing gorge with water, falls, spray, steps and the view of 19 falls along the Gorge Walk is my reason for visiting  The Glen.  In the spring and summer, it is almost always crowded so a fall visit before it closes November 1 is preferable.  The drive down the western side of Seneca Lake  seeing the beautiful farms,  and vineyards  is a vivid reminder that there is more to New York State than the amazing “City” downstate.  Consider a visit to Central New York, but not in the  many and  snow-filled  months of winter!



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