Radetzky March, often performed by the Andre Rieu orchestra, is a march composed by Johann Strauss Sr. in 1848. It was dedicated to the Austrian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, and became quite a popular march among soldiers.
When it was first played, in front of Austrian officers in attendance, they promptly clapped and stomped their feet when they heard the chorus. This tradition is carried over today when the march is played; it seems classical music has no boundaries.
—————————-Have you been naughty or nice?
At the Clark Retirement Community Home for old people, everyone gets into the act in a comical lip dub to Michael Buble’s big hit song… “Feeling Good.”
By Harvey Tobkes
Kids somehow know how to survive adversity much better that grown ups. Where adults see despair and misery, kids find hope and opportunity.
There was a movie I remember seeing about 15 years ago titled, Hope and Glory, about the bombing and V-2 rocket attacks on London, as seen through the eyes of a young boy named Billy. The “fireworks” provided by the Blitz every night were as exciting to him, as they were terrifying to his parents. The family’s will to survive brought them closer together. The nightly raids did not traumatize those Brit children, as the kids were having the time of their lives playing in the craters. Billy and his friends seem to see the war as a grand diversion, an extension of their child’s world of tin soldiers, and war games.
Thinking back to when I was a little boy, I have fond memories of the once a month boat races we enjoyed so much.
A New York City Dep’t of Sanitation tank trunk would drive along about 10 feet from the curb and eject a powerful spray of water to clean the street. The water would run downhill rapidly to the sewer grate below. My friends and I made boats out of paper, wooden ice cream sticks or anything that floats, and then we ran along side to see whose boat was the first to get to the grate.
There were many other diversions as well, which I am sure you too remember…Johnnie-on-the pony, Ring-a Leevio, Kick-the-can, boys played marbles and girls played Potsy. There was stoop ball, and Place a Penny in the middle and try to hit it with a rubber ball…to name just a few. We made chalk marks on the pavement and used bottle top caps and propelled them to the markers by a trigger-like motion, shooting a forefinger forward from our thumb.
The city parks were a gold-mine for active kids…basketball, ping-pong, slides, teeter-tooters, swings, ball fields, parallel bars, wading pools and on and on.
Yep! I think I might like being a kid again. Luckily in my mind, I can sometimes go back to that delightful time.
By Leonard Pitts, Jr. for the Miami Herald. Leonard Pitts Jr. won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004.
This idea that some of us are less than the rest of us, that some of us are roaches, vermin, viruses, parasites, infestations, beasts or sub humans to whom one owes no duty of human decency or commiseration, didn’t start with the Nazis. It is as old as Cain. As widespread as the common cold.
Yet we don’t learn, never learn. Dead Jews become dead Rwandans become dead Serbs become dead Darfurians; yet still some of us mouth pious hatreds with a smug certitude and offhand arrogance accessible only to the deeply, profoundly and utterly wrong.
I’m reminded of an older white lady who called me once to thank me for a column decrying some racial insult. She had a grandmother voice, a voice that sounded like cookies in the oven smell, and she wanted me to know she admired black people, supported black people. Then she added in a conspiratorial whisper, “It’s the Jewboys I can’t stand.” Because everybody is sure their own hatreds are just.
We’ve got to live together.
And meantime, somewhere far away, the trees are filled with light, the air is laced with hymns of joy.
TO SUMMARIZE WHAT THE PROFESSOR SAID:
England = Just England + Wales (Scotland not included).
Great Britain = England, Wales + now Scotland; all together 3 countries.
U.K. = England + Wales + Scotland + Northern Ireland, all together, 4 countries
By Harvey Tobkes
In case you were thinking otherwise the headline stands for My Bar Mitzvah, and that event dates back to 1941 but I still remember it all.
At my Bar Mitzvah we did not have a professional photographer, but we did have Manny Collins (nee Kolinsky), a friend of my father. It seems Manny was very susceptible to the effects of alcohol and after 2 drinks he was more plastered than the walls, so we never had a single photo as a remembrance, although I still have among my mementos, the typed copy of my Bar Mitzvah speech.
My father was very impulsive and he had a creative idea as a way to add to the evening’s entertainment.
This turned out well. Here’s the story and it all happened in the early 1940’s:
My mom and dad rented a bungalow every summer for the family vacation in Rockaway. It was wonderful times and every block was unique and neighborly. There was the ice-man with his slabs of ice for the Ice Box in the kitchen, there was Dugan the Baker hawking boxes of the world’s best chocolate covered cupcakes, there were block parties and shows put on by the residents that always featured a mock wedding with a pregnant bride, or I should say (a man dressed as a bride with a belly-pillow stuffed beneath his bridal gown.
There was also “Princess.” She was a corpulent colored lady (black people weren’t invented yet) who went from block to block singing favorite old Yiddish songs. She was soooo good, with a rich voice similar to Mahalia Jackson; people responded by dancing and contributing spare change and dollar bills.
To cut a long story short, my father signed her up (with a handshake and a promised fee of $25) to perform at my Bar Mitzvah; she was magnificent and her songs belted out in the rich Yiddish language were sensational. I particularly remember her doing “Yossel, Yossel” and as a finale, “My Yiddisher Mamma.” Naturally, the guests were all in tears and the following week Princess reverted to her role as the Street Singer of Rockaway.
Nowadays, the ceremony of passing from boyhood to manhood is celebrated by ludicrous, profligate spending to make an elaborate affair for a bunch of kids who have a great time, while the adult guests are getting headaches from the wild music and can’t wait to leave.
I have always questioned if Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton were really preachers since they have no church. When I heard Al Sharpton was guest preacher at a black Houston Church, I decided to check him out in person and see what it was all about…
I sat down and Sharpton came up to me, I don’t knowl why, maybe it was because I was the only white person in the Church. He laid his hands on my head and looked up at the ceiling as he said: “By the will of Jesus the Lord All Mighty, and the will of God, you will walk today. I told him he’s wrong, I was not paralyzed. a little while later, he came back and laid his hands on atop my head again, and repeated the same thing.
Again I told him there was nothing the matter with me, and that he was mistaken.
After the sermon I stepped outside and lo and behold, my car had been stolen! He was right, I walked.
Ivan Rebroff, [July 31, 1931 — February 27, 2008], was a German singer, allegedly of Russian ancestry, with an extraordinary vocal range of four and a half octaves, ranging from the soprano to impressive bass registers. The first time I heard him sing, I was amazed that one person could sing so beautifully in such a wide range.
Rebroff was born in Berlin and was famous for singing Russian folk songs, but also performed opera, light classics and folk songs from many other countries. He was known on stage for his gusto.
Ida Cohen, who belonged to the Sisterhood of Beth David Synagogue, a group devoted to visiting and helping the sick members of her congregation, was out making her rounds visiting home-bound patients when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a gas station was less than a block away.
She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas. The attendant told her the only gas can he owned had been loaned out but she could wait until it was returned.
Since Ida was on the way to see another patient, and was behind schedule, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car. She looked for a container in the trunk that she could fill with gas and there it was…she spotted a bedpan that she always had handy for needy patients.
Always resourceful, she carried the bedpan back to the station, filled it with gas and lugged the full bedpan, (which was decorated with decals of the Star of David), back to her out-of-gas car.
As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two men watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said:
“If it starts, I’m converting to Judaism!”
My thanks to Jerry Feldman of Hallandale, Florida for sending this gem.
The Trick: Take your salary, drop the last three zeros, and then divide by two.
Example: So if you earn $40,000, you’re left with $20 an hour.