Archive for the ‘In Memorium’ Category

9/11 anniversary

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007, marks the sixth anniversary of our country’s worst tradgedy. To honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and for those who today are serving in the military at home and abroad, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Make it your duty to display an American flag on this sixth anniversary of our country’s worst tragedy.

Decoration Day

Decoration Day the original day for Memorial day is this Monday, May 28. It allows us to take a moment and give a thought and perhaps a prayer for all those men and women who have given their life in the military service of our country.

Originally it was started when Southern women, during the civil war, went and put flowers and flags on the graves of the fallen soldiers. The idea caught on.

No matter the politics, these men and women answered a call to serve and believed that by doing so they were helping to improve the world. It does not get more idealistic nor courageous. We should all have the courage of our convictions with such fervor.

I ask you to take a moment between the hot dogs and beer, betwen the picnics, between the gift of a relaxing paid holiday and take a moment. Take a moment to say a prayer to whatever god you pray that we find better ways for the best and brighest to serve and thank those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Dirge for Two Veterens

By Walt Whitman

THE last sunbeam
Lightly falls from the finish’d Sabbath,
On the pavement here, and there beyond it is looking,
Down a new-made double grave.

Lo, the moon ascending,
Up from the east the silvery round moon,
Beautiful over the house-tops, ghastly, phantom moon,
Immense and silent moon.

I see a sad procession,
And I hear the sound of coming full-key’d bugles,
All the channels of the city streets they’re flooding,
As with voices and with tears.

I hear the great drums pounding,
And the small drums steady whirring,
And every blow of the great convulsive drums,
Strikes me through and through.

For the son is brought with the father,
(In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell,
Two veterans son and father dropt together,
And the double grave awaits them.)

Now nearer blow the bugles,
And the drums strike more convulsive,
And the daylight o’er the pavement quite has faded,
And the strong dead-march enwraps me.

In the eastern sky up-buoying,
The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin’d,
(‘Tis some mother’s large transparent face,
In heaven brighter growing.)

O strong dead-march you please me!
O moon immense with your silvery face you soothe me!
O my soldiers twain! O my veterans passing to burial!
What I have I also give you.

The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love.

Philly Tribute to James Brown

For those of you out there who are still mourning the recent death of the Godfather of Soul, you pay tribute to his life this Friday, January 5th from 10 pm until 2 am. The event is free and open to all ages and is co-sponsored by the Philly ABC and Grassroots Artists Movement as part of THE MOTHERSHIP, a community hip hop gathering that is held the first Friday of the month. It will take place at the LAVA Community Center (4134 Lancaster Ave.).

The tribute will feature DJs Nex Millen, Luke Raws, and Akshun spinning classic hip hop and funk.

Goodbye Nate Wiley

Bob and Barbara’s will never again be the same, because Nate Wiley has died. Nate was the front man for the house band, Nate Wiley and the Crowd Pleasers, and he could be found playing his particular brand of “liquor-drinking music” several nights a week down at that South Street bar.

I remember the first time I heard him play. A friend had just started dating someone new, and he was a semi-regular down at Bob and Barbara’s. She planned a night where he’d be there with some of his friends and we’d come down as well, an attempt to blend social circles. Someone fought the crowd up to the bar and came back with an armful of PBRs. They distributed the cans and we sat back, talking and listening to the music. It was near Christmas time, and every so often, a holiday themed song would work itself into the rotation of blues-inflected-jazz that the band churned out. The relationship that brought me to Bob and Barbara’s didn’t last, but my appreciation for the bar and the house band has continued to go strong.

I am sad that Nate Wiley isn’t in our world anymore, but I also smile with appreciation, thinking back on the all the good times that his music was a part of.

For more about Nate’s death, check out Blinq’s post about him.

Memories of Abilene

Scanning Dan Gross in the Daily News yesterday, the last item caught my eye. It was a short paragraph, noting that South Street’s Abilene had closed it’s doors.

I’ve lived in Philadelphia twice in my life. My current stint started about four and a half years ago and is still going strong. But the first time I was here, it was for a short five months, during the second semester of my junior year of college. It was spring of 2000, Philadelphia wasn’t nearly as cool, and it was possible to get into Abilene with a bad fake id. It was one of the favorites for the students from my program, and we ended up there frequently, getting as drunk as we could on limited amounts of cash and frequently seeing some good music. My cousin used to be in The Dukes of Destiny, and I saw them play there once as well.

I haven’t been inside Abilene since those days nearly six years ago, but I still mourn their passing.

A Christmas Rumor

I heard a rumor that Strawbridges was bought out by Macy

Saying Good-bye to Papa Bear


When I was young, I loved to be read to (which is strange, because I hate it now). Every night I would beg my parents to read just one more book, in addition to the three they had already performed, and often that one more was a Berenstain Bears book. My mom would finish the story and then tell me that when she was a little girl she lived down the street from Stan and Jan Berenstain, which always elevated her cool quotient in my four year old eyes. I loved the Berenstain Bears books, and there are some images from the those books that are burnt into my memory to this day (the most vivd is Mama Bear giving Sister Bear a lesson on how you can’t judge people by their outside, by cutting open two apples. The one that looks beautiful on the outside is all wormy, while the misshapen apple is perfect on the inside).

On Saturday, November 26th, Stan Berenstain, or Papa Bear, died of cancer at Doylestown Hospital. Stan, you will live forever through your books. I hope Bear Country treats you well.

Read the Inquirer article here.

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