For Thou Art With Me

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Early one morning I was awake in bed when the housekeeping attendant entered the room & announced she was there in her lovely caribbean accent. I waved at her; I no longer have the ability to speak. She looked at me & asked if I would like to pray. I nodded yes. She came over & placed her warm hands in mine; asked the Lord to help me, comfort me. Then she squeezed my hands & went on with her work. The human contact was priceless, the decency much welcome.

I watched the recent election results from my bed & with a viewpoint much prejudiced from my current situation. Friends, Romans, Countrymen … for God’s sake stop the bitterness & bad feelings from all sides. This accomplishes absolutely nothing but bitterness & bad feelings. As much as you may dislike someone or what they represent, wishing them harm or worse death brings you below their level. Because You Know Better. I may or may not be around for 2020. I may have no say or effort in trying to rebuild our country back to decency at that point but I still have a say now. Please, embrace the Good Samaritan over the Revengeful.

Doing good is harder than lashing out but in the end light defeats dark.

The world we build for our descendants begins & ends with us: no excuses.

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Catch. Phrase.

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

It’s August. Hot, sultry, sunflower bedecked. And getting darn near close to the election season.

Through the centuries American politics has had a gracious plenty of really bad Party slogans & some really clever, memorable gems. Tippecanoe & Tyler Too! is a classic touchstone. My own personal favorite is from 1844: Hurrah! Hurrah! The country’s risin’ for Henry Clay & Frelinghuysen! 

Other memorables:

  • Rum, Romanism & Rebellion
  • Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?
  • No cross of gold, no crown of thorns
  • America First
  • Happy days are here again
  • Dewey or don’t we
  • I like Ike
  • All the way with LBJ
  • In your heart, you know he’s right
  • In your heart, you know he’s nuts
  • Nixon’s the One
  • Why not the best?
  • It’s morning in America
  • Yes We Can
  • Make America Great Again

The Republicans of 2018 & 2020 will corner the market on flag-waving-down-your-throat-up-your-kabooty patriotism so let’s help the Democrats come up with something catchy, clever, memorable that fits their agenda. Sorry, but A Better Deal & For the People don’t cut it. (I certainly hope they’re always for the people. Or … is To Serve Man ….. a cookbook …. ? Uhhhhh! Help. ) Come on, wise minds, you can do better. Much better.

Get to it! Bumper sticker & button makers are counting on us.


Vote as you shot (1868 slogan of US Grant. Top that, NRA.)

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A Break In The Weather

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Boom boom boom boom …. the thunder echoed through the valley, between the hills that surrounded my hometown. The air was thick, heavy, electric. Something was going to break.

It was early evening on August 8, 1974. My mother, a loyal Republican who worked tirelessly every election day from 6am to past 9pm at the polls for her district in the local voting place, was antsy, uneasy, tears in her eyes. “Let’s go to the library,” she said to me. I readily agreed; the walk would be good to escape a stuffy house, especially one in which my brother & sister were cheering, hooting: the President was about to announce his resignation. I sensed the generational divide & the depth at which my mother’s foundation was shaken. Thank goodness we lived in a community where the David A. Howe Public Library (pictured) was open evenings. A haven of cool peace. Escape.

The day before, August 7, Senator Barry Goldwater, House Republican Leader John Jacob Rhodes & Senate Republican Leader Hugh Scott had visited with President Nixon to make plain the fact that he could no longer avoid the reality of impeachment in the House & conviction in the Senate. He had maybe 16-18 supporters left in the Senate; the House wasn’t much better.

From Fred Emery’s book Watergate

What clinched it, though, was the certainty that not only had he lost the congressional support of his own party and his natural allies among conservative Democrats, also that they would actually convict him at trial and remove him from office.

Forty + years later an interesting remembrance, considering the times.


A Poem from Robert Burns

To A Mouse

But little mouse, you are not alone,

In proving foresight may be vain;

The best laid schemes of mice and men

Go often askew,

And leave us nothing but grief and pain,

For promised joy!

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The Awful Grace of God

[On this date 50 years ago RFK died of gunshot wounds sustained the previous evening.]

For as a people, we as a people, are strong enough, we are brave enough to be told the truth of where we stand. This country needs honesty and candor in its political life and from the President of the United States. But I don’t want to run for the Presidency  – I don’t want America to make the critical choice of direction and leadership this year without confronting the truth. I don’t want to win support of votes by hiding the American condition in false hopes or illusions. I want us to find out the promise of the future, what we can accomplish here in the United States, what this country does stand for and what is expected of us in the years ahead. And I also want us to know and examine where we’ve gone wrong. And I want all of us, young and old, to have a chance to build a better country and change the direction of the United States of America.

– Robert F. Kennedy, University of Kansas (March 18,1968)


What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom, and compassion towards one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

– Robert F. Kennedy, Indianapolis, Indiana (April 4, 1968)

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