Confess, Confess

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

I did it. I supported John Edwards for President.

Every time I think of this I shake my head. How badly things turned out. But before we knew how repugnant his personal behavior was his public persona reflected what I wanted in a President.

In 2004 he held a rally at the Polish Cadets Hall in Buffalo. It was rocking – populism 101. The man had a following with the everyday working grub.

Any person you supported who turned out to be a head shaker? How could I have supported this person?

Time to confess, wipe the slate clean, live & learn. After all, 2020 is fast approaching for a new crop of losers to embrace.

More Posts by SJWNY

Death Is Forever

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

The following was written by Sherman Edwards for the musical 1776. I offer it in honor of all soldiers & for the timelessness of loss & pain for those left behind.

Mama, hey mama
Come lookin’ for me
I’m here in the meadow 
By the red maple tree
Mama, hey mama,
Look  sharp here I be

Hey, Hey
Mama, look sharp.
Them soldiers, they fired
Oh, ma, did we run
But then we turned round
And the battle begun
Then I went under
Oh ma, am I done
Hey, hey
Mama, look sharp.
My eyes are wide open
My face to the sky
Is that you I’m hearing
In the tall grass nearby
Mama, come find me before I do die
Hey, hey
Mama, look sharp.

I’ll close your eyes, my Billy
Those eyes that cannot see
And I’ll bury you, my Billy
Beneath the maple tree
And never again
Will you whisper to me
Hey, hey
Oh mama ….. look sharp.

More Posts by SJWNY

Breath of Life: Celebrating Art, Artists & Artistry

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Art is personal. What speaks to one person is silent to another. There are two artists whose vision speaks to me: Mark Rothko (1903-1970) & Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543.) Rothko’s paintings speak with color, Holbein’s drawings with black on white.

Rothko is most famous for multiforms, blocks of colors on one canvas. He wrote of their “breath of life” & they do pulsate from within. I was struck quite young at the fact these paintings live. They evoke emotion, thought. Rothko was a troubled man who eventually committed suicide but he poured life into these artworks which project the complexity of life.

Hans Holbein the Younger is best known as the Court Painter to Henry VIII of England. Remember the oversize King, hand on hip, feet apart firmly planted? That’s a Holbein. His paintings are masterful but his “breath of life” exists in his drawings. They are spookily alive; the sitter’s stare directly gazing out through the centuries in unseeing eyes that saw all. Holbein’s drawings captured the person alive.

In recent years art has come to be seen as frivolous to some taxpayers. What they fail to see is the breath of life art inspires in minds & creativity, curiosity, skepticism to the “known” truths; perhaps these very reasons explain their mindset. An expanded mind questions & acts; a closed mind accepts what it is told.

Please support your local artists, galleries & especially teachers who give of themselves to open minds. All are needed, all are important to democracy & progress. Inquire as to whether candidates support art. Their answers will be quite illuminating.

More Posts by SYWNY

The New Normal

If ponies rode men & grass ate cows,
And cats were chased into holes by the mouse …
If summer were spring & the other way round
Then all the world would be upside down.

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

If you had a pulse during history class, you would recognize that passage from the Revolutionary War era, specifically the Battle of Yorktown. It was a popular drinking song & was played as the Americans defeated the British, which was one of those “who’d a thunk it” moments. Whichever musician thought about playing that song & the time, the place, the situation, I salute him.

The rise of Donald Trump in 2016 & his subsequent election brought that song back to me. Who’d a thunk it, seriously. Wasn’t Hillary Rodham Clinton’s election a DONE DEAL? I also think of it now, with all the talking heads & hyperventilating social media/blogosphere folks climaxing over the Mueller investigations. Uh, excuse me, please … we’re talking about President Donald J. Trump, who lives, thrives, expands, glows on negativity. There is a chance (speaking softly here) he may slither out of this, freedom intact. 

This is a man elected to the highest office after the Access Hollywood tapes. Why this still astounds me is silly, but it does. The Russians can be blamed for a lot but ultimately Mr & Ms American cast his/her ballot on election day. The Republicans are masterful at enabling whatever/whomever propels the means to the ends of their agenda production.

There is no moral compass in the GOP. They are proactive while the Democrats are reactive. Grab the oars of the boat first & you can steer it anywhere you please. If it is leaky, find some sucker to keep bailing.

I do hope President Trump pays the price for what he has done to our government, our country. But will he? He has a habit of not paying any price. Others do, not him. I will not be surprised if this is one more situation where he doesn’t. Nothing surprises me about this man or the Republicans.

Commonsense plays no part in modern day politics. Looking at it from a logical view point is unnatural, does not compute. This is the new normal.

Cue the pipes & drums, please.

More Posts by SJWNY

We Are All Americans

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865.

Lee had one bit of additional business he wanted to conclude with Grant. Explaining first that he had more than a thousand Federal prisoners whom he could not feed, he added glumly, “Indeed, I have nothing for my own men.” Without hesitation, Grant proposed sending rations for the 25,000 men across the lines. Was that enough? he asked. “Plenty,” Lee said. “An abundance, I assure you.”

 After the two men had signed preliminary papers, Grant proceeded to introduce Lee to his staff. As he shook hands with Grant’s military secretary, Ely Parker, a Seneca Indian, Lee stared for a moment at Parker’s dark features and finally said, “I am glad to see one real American here.” If this account is true, Parker responded to the general, “We are all Americans.”

…… By now, a crowd of anxious sightseers was clustered around the front porch to catch a glimpse of the Confederate general. His face flushed a deep crimson, Lee emerged onto the porch, carrying his hat and gloves. Here he paused, put on his hat, and slowly drew on his gloves, absentmindedly gazing out into the field beyond. Once, then twice, then a third time, he unconsciously balled his left hand and pumped the fist into the palm of his right. Still seemingly oblivious to his surroundings, he automatically returned the salute given to him by the Union officers crowding around the porch, then descended the stairs. Now, as if drawing himself back from a daze, he glanced deliberately in one direction and then the next. Not seeing his horse, he called out in a half-choked and more than half-tired voice, “Orderly! Orderly.” The horse was brought around. The general smoothed Traveller’s forelocks as the orderly fit the bridle, then with a slow, exhausted tug, pulled himself on the horse, letting out a long, deep sigh, almost a groan. By then, Grant had walked out on the porch, too, and as Lee rode past him, their eyes met. Each silently lifted his hat to the other. On the porch and in the yard, countless other Federals also returned the gesture.

 In no small measure, this one poignant moment captured the spirit of Appomattox more than words ever written about that day. But this didn’t stop participants from trying to give voice to the event, including Grant himself. “I felt sad and depressed,” Grant later explained of this moment, “at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought.”

Two of Grant’s aides put it thus: “This will live in history,” one wrote. Another commented, “Such a scene only happens once in centuries …”

From April 1865, The Month That Saved America by Jay Winik, pages 189-191, Harper Collins 2001


Once in a while reality meets up with reason, providing a defining moment in history featuring a perfect cast of people born to court destiny.

More Posts by SJWNY