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Elizabeth Warren and Pocahontas!

Friday, February 8th, 2019

by: Marceline Donaldson

It has been a busy day! The writing from a Bettina Network Lifestyle Community Member on Elizabeth Warren has caused a bit of a blowup. So you know I have to chime in. Who would guess that among hard working people; thoughtful people; intellectual people there would be this bit of racism.

Is it racist to dump on Elizabeth Warren for talking about her Native American ancestors and as some are doing, claim that is reason for the Democratic Party to rethink her candidacy for president? “Drop her” is what I have heard from some and looking for justification to back their negativity towards Senator Warren is what I have heard from others.

What is the racial mythology fueling this? The claim that Blacks, African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and all those other minorities out there really want to be White. What negates this is a White American acknowledging her Native American ancestors and at a very young age. -That is clear in the past reporting on Michael Jackson. It came out periodically. The claim that Michael Jackson wanted to be ‘white’. He used ‘white’ make-up on his face to cover his blackness, etc. etc. The reality of his life was never acknowledged.

The fact that Michael Jackson had a disease that turns your skin from dark to stark white was never injected into those conversations. Neither was the fact that makeup on the white portions of your face where the pigment has gone away does not take very well so your choice is limited and it must be the white makeup. That was constantly reported, but the facts were skewered to accommodate the mythology of White Supremacy. No matter how great Michael Jackson was – and he was pretty outstanding in his day – what he really wanted was to be white. That is the other side to the rejection of and demand for an apology from Elizabeth Warren for acknowledging her Native American ancestors.

How do I know about this disease? My grandfather had the same disease. His hands were spotted as the darker pigment was moving away and his hands and face and neck were turning white as the disease progressed. Some people live to see themselves turn completely white, some die before that happens. I don’t think it is the disease which causes their death, it doesn’t seem to have any other affect on the body.

That is only one reporting which brought out and emphasized how blacks wanted to be white. There have been more. What does that do? It shores up White Supremacy. Those who are not white want to be. The opposite – those who are seen and accepted as white hide any minorities they may have in their background. “Passing” has always been looked down on, but once you have “passed for white”, married and have children that look white you are sort of safe, just stay put and don’t bring up those minority ancestors.

What Elizabeth Warren has done is turn all of that on its head. She had a life as white – until she started talking about her Native American ancestry. What is that? It is a violation of the contract whites have with each other. If every ‘white’ persons’ minority ancestry was outed we would have chaos in this country there are so many. Slavery wasn’t mostly on plantations, most of slavery happened in one house with one white family living “cheek by jowl” with one black slave family. The result of this produced many white plus children. White Supremacy would be in total confusion and destroyed if history were more accurate. The hold that the need to be better than has on all of us becomes clearer by the decade. The hypocrisy of racism and its ridiculousness is lost on most of us.

One great example of the ridiculousness comes from the life of Senator Strom Thurmond. A son of the south and one who viciously articulated hatred of blacks who should always know and stay in their place. His political career was founded on his racism. Senator Thurmond had a black daughter who he knew, educated, with whom he had a relationship, but everyone conspiratorially around him kept his secret. Thurmond was in the forefront of those Democrats who left the Democratic Party because they saw the possibility of taking control of and changing the Republican Party into a replica of the KKK and other such groups. And as we have seen from this current man who calls himself President of these United States, he was successful.

Our hypocrisy on race is the stuff of legend. So how does White Supremacy and racism remain? It stays put because of the inferiority and arrogance of whites – conservative and liberal – who need to have that feeling of being better than to feel normal.

How does that relate to Senator Warren, her Native American heritage and the societal reaction?

If we are going to maintain White Supremacy we must abide by the rules. A cardinal rule is that one follows the mythology – in this case that blacks and other minorities want to be white. To break that happens when a white person – one who is totally accepted as white – comes out talking about her Native American ancestors – that is the stuff which gets one stoned.

Senator Warren – you are white. Defined as being better than and as a young person just getting started in your career you came out putting “Indian American” on forms that need to be filled out with race on the form. Just look at what you are doing to this society. You have upended and disregarded and violated one of the basic rules that maintains White Supremacy. The mythology which is one of the pillars holding up White Supremacy is that Blacks and other minorities want to be white and here you are coming out to say I am White but I acknowledge and respect my Native American ancestors. Look around Senator Warren, even the Native American leaders can’t handle that. Why not? If basic change happens. If everyone starts coming out and acknowledging and respecting all parts of their heritage just look at what that will mean. Those leaders of minority groups, among others, will be out of work.

Hey, you put out your heritage let me put out mine, which includes Native Americans. But wait – that doesn’t do anything. For one minority to lay claim to their ancestors in another minority group – no sweat. That changes nothing and is barely noticed. Many of my African American friends acknowledge their Native American ancestors and no one notices. The problem comes when you – white female – comes out to dare to acknowledge and respect your Native American heritage, and lordy, to even talk about it in the highest places.

And to all of those claiming you do not belong to any Native American tribe and therefore can’t be Native American, that is mind blowing. Why? Because that is the way Native Americans are annihilated – eliminated – become obsolete . That is something we have been trying to do almost since the Pilgrims landed.

If you are mixed and live as white and the generations pass, your Native American heritage is lost and it is also lost to all of those Native American Tribes. Gradually Native Americans will become extinct as we become a more mixed society. Just think of what that means if only those who are members of a Native American Tribe can call themselves Native Americans. That is a form of genocide.

My great grandfather was Black Feet Indian. He worked for and received a Doctorate of Divinity from Philips University. He was an ordained Episcopal Priest who wound up in New Orleans where he was rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church; head of a school; and did a lot more. His story counts – his life was important – his ancestors deserve a place in history as who they were. He lived in an African American community and was considered African American. He was not a member of a Native American Tribe. If he and his life and his true identity are lost to history and he becomes submerged in other groups histories, Native Americans suffer as their history is degraded. That does not happen to the Irish, the French, the English or to any other group considered white. They accomplish and their progeny do not deny their ancestors because they were not citizens of Ireland or France or etc. It is tragic that we do not live in a time or in a country where your Native American heritage is not denied but celebrated.

We are watching, under Donald Trump, history repeating itself in another century with some changes, but basically the same annihilation of a group of people considered ‘minority’. The brown peoples attempting to come into the United States. Their children are being taken away from them at the gate. Native American children were taken from their parents and who knows what happened to most of them. A generation lost. That part of Native American history can only be reclaimed by those families which integrated and included Native Americans who were ripped from their families and thrown to the wind. That history will be an expansion of Native American history. For a more accurate history we need the stories from those mixed people who talk about their Native American ancestry and who tell the stories from their youth which have been passed down through the family. The Native American stories passed down through minority communities sort of remain. The Native American stories are totally discouraged from being passed down through white communities.

Your history and the history of your Native American ancestors is also a part of Native American history and should be talked about, included and accepted, especially by those Native American Tribes who are what -growing or shrinking?

Our society used to believe – if you had just 1% of minority “blood” you were a minority. That means, if you were mixed with any of the groups of the world that we call “races” and those ‘races’ were white you were considered “white” unless in the mix even as little as 1% was one of the minority ‘races”. Then you were considered a minority and then you, your history, your legacy, your life were thrown on the dump heap.

Some of us have begun to see otherwise. As blacks, latina’s, native americans, philippine’s and more begin to achieve greatness the conversation has turned. The conversation around the “black” golfer , who was number one and couldn’t be unseated, that public conversation went – he is not really black, he has these other ancestors and should not be called black. Isn’t his mother something else? How can he neglect and push aside her contribution to who he is. And she was not white, but enough to help turn the conversation. That gave us enough of a view to the future that we realized racism will continue, but it will be in us in other ways – which are beginning to be newly defined.

Minorities can be raised up into this group which espouses White Supremacy either overtly or covertly if their achievements are so great they question the negative stereotype by which we are raised. But, “whites” must give up, hide and not claim their minority ancestors. That is necessary because if it went in the other direction we would lose this great bonus of White Supremacy and many would have to live out their lives being equal to. What a death sentence to their ego.

So, Senator Warren, do you have the guts to continue respecting, honoring and raising up your Native American ancestors or are you going to be one who apologizes because you slipped and acknowledged the family history with which you were raised. Those Native American Tribesmen get it – or they should. They clearly understand that there are those outside registered tribe members who have Native American ancestors and can freely talk about them. Or do you need to be in lock step with the White Supremacist who are trying desperately to keep their ‘better than’ position by any means necessary?

And all of you Native American Tribes – you demonstrate for other things are you going along with what is happening to Elizabeth Warren? Are you going to stand up for those who acknowledge their Native American ancestors and heritage even if they are not a member of a particular tribe. Is that such a threat to you that you will jump on that White Supremacist band wagon and go along with the program? If you do, it will be to your extreme loss and to the loss of your progeny and to those who went before.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

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The F. A. Kennedy Steam Bakery & the Fig Newton

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Copyright The Kennedy Family 2008

Editors Note: As we share our homes with you, so we share our histories.
“In 1840 my great, great grandfather, Artemus Kennedy established a cracker baking company in Cambridgeport, MA.
The first oven was set up in a small building on what is now Massachusetts Avenue. There employees rolled each cracker by hand and pitched them into the oven one by one.
They used four barrels of flour per day to make the crackers.
Artemus Kennedy had only one child, a son, Frank Artemus Kennedy, born in 1841 in Cambridge, MA. When Frank was only 20 years old, his father died unexpectedly. This obliged him to take over his family’s business rather than attend college as he had hoped to do. Despite his young age, he proceeded to manage the company with imagination, vigor and far-sightedness.
At the time, there were only three types of crackers being produced in the Kennedy company: a soda, a butter and a sugar one.
Within a few years, F. A. Kennedy had made numerous innovations. The most important one was the introduction of a so-called reel oven. Traditionally, baking had always been done in stationary ovens, one batch at a time. The reel oven he introduced, ran like what we know today as a Ferris wheel (The first Ferris wheel was introduced at the World Columbian Exposition in 1893, so it had not yet been invented.)
This new way of baking dramatically increased production and within a few years it was necessary to construct a larger factory on Green Street to handle national demand of all the wonderful cookies and such. Today, over 120 years later, this brick building still stands. One can read the faded white writing on the top of the building: ‘KENNEDY BISCUIT COMPANY.’
The factory, at one point late in the last century, was scheduled for demolition. Fortunately, it was decided instead to save and renovate the historic old building. It was turned into what was appropriately named ‘THE KENNEDY BISCUIT LOFTS’ at University Park at M.I.T. The Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and received a 1990 Preservation Award from the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Today it has 142 apartments, artist lofts and a day care center. It has retained exposed masonry and framing, oversized windows, brick vaults and arches and skylights. Some of the original brick baking ovens were kept and incorporated as alcoves into some of the apartments and corridors. A reel oven was rescued and can now be viewed in the lobby. Recently, I brought my youngest grandchild to visit where his great, great, great grandfather had baked Fig Newton cookies, it was a great moment for both of us.
I’m proud that my great grandfather, F. A. Kennedy, was the first to introduce a New England favorite – sealed tins of Boston Baked Beans – shipped around the world, and especially the most famous remainders of his original factory FIG NEWTONS and SOCIAL TEA BISCUITS.
The Fig Newton cookie was created in 1891 by Joshua Josephson of the Kennedy Biscuit Company. The company named many of its products after surrounding communities. This one was named after the town of Newton.
Indeed, I am fortunate to own the original hand-written recipe booklet for these cookies, a very wonderful artifact of family history!
In May of 1890, the F. A. Kennedy Company sold out to the New York Biscuit Company (and became the National Biscuit Company – NABISCO.)
When the merger was complete, the Kennedy plant had a capacity of two hundred and fifty barrels of flour, six hundred eggs, fourteen hundred pounds of butter per day! A huge leap from the mere four barrels of flour a day when the company was first established!
Written November 21, 2008 – on the occasion of my grandson’s 10th birthday.”
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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

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37,456 PEOPLE

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

The Number of People

who read Bettina Network’s Blog

in November, 2016

was 37,456.

Starting this month you are able to sign up to have Bettina Network’s Blog delivered to your email box whenever a new Blog is posted.

Up until now. you had to go to the Blog to read the newest one and you didn’t always know when a new blog was posted.

Just sign up using the green form which comes up on the page about 9 seconds after you start reading.  When the page becomes green, that is your sign to join a truly great group of people who are reading what Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community has to say.

If you are a member of that community you are able to have your blogs posted.  Just send what you want to say to bettinanetwork@comcast.net and we will post your blog – maybe editing a bit, if that is necessary – and maybe having a bit of conversation with you before posting. if that is necessary.  You can send pictures, drawings, whatever, to include with your blog.

The topic is up to you.  ACADEMIC PAPERS – because we have a very large academic readership; FUN QUOTES; with the advent of Donald Trump the interest in politics has zoomed up so feel free to send us POLITICAL ARTICLES, COMMENTS< and you can even tell us how to vote – not that we will take your advice, but its worth a try.

While we are using the blog structure, this is really becoming a newsletter and on its way to becoming a newspaper – written by people in the community who want what they have to say circulated to others.  If you have a response to anything, please feel free to send that via email.  We do not have the comments section of the blog open to anyone who want to comment so you will have to email your response as an article.  This is a CURATED BLOG.

COMMENTARY on whatever; RECIPE’s for your favorite foods; “MEMU’s you have experienced which sent you to heaven; CONSPIRACY THEORIES; ART – CRAFTS – MUSIC Videos that you have created; In other words – no end to the possibilities.

And we hope the end result is of interest to all of our readers.

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Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

TO CELEBRATE JULY 4th AND TO REMEMBER

Monday, July 4th, 2016

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

(Ed. Note:  25 to 35 Million Africans were robbed of their freedom; taken from their country and put into slavery for 400 plus years – first by the Arabs and then by Europeans and Americans – Southern Americans, but the people in America who most benefitted from the slave trade were New Englanders.)

by Frederick Douglass

A speech given at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852

Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:

He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country school houses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.

The papers and placards say that I am to deliver a Fourth of July Oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for me. It is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence. But neither their familiar faces, nor the perfect gage I think I have of Corinthian Hall seems to free me from embarrassment.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable-and the difficulties to he overcome in getting from the latter to the former are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence I will proceed to lay them before you.

This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the Fourth of July. It is the birth day of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, as what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. l am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young. Seventy-six years, though a good old age for a man, is but a mere speck in the life of a nation. Three score years and ten is the allotted time for individual men; but nations number their years by thousands. According to this fact, you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood. I repeat, I am glad this is so. There is hope in the thought, and hope is much needed, under the dark clouds which lower above the horizon. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier. Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow. There is consolation in the thought that America is young.-Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

Fellow-citizens, I shall not presume to dwell at length on the associations that cluster about this day. The simple story of it is, that, 76 years ago, the people of this country were British subjects. The style and title of your “sovereign people” (in which you now glory) was not then born. You were under the British Crown. Your fathers esteemed the English Government as the home government; and England as the fatherland. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.

But your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to. I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers. Such a declaration of agreement on my part would not be worth much to anybody. It would certainly prove nothing as to what part I might have taken had I lived during the great controversy of 1776. To say now that America was right, and England wrong, is exceedingly easy. Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies. It is fashionable to do so; but there was a time when, to pronounce against England, and in favor of the cause of the colonies, tried men’s souls. They who did so were accounted in their day plotters of mischief, agitators and rebels, dangerous men. To side with the right against the wrong, with the weak against the strong, and with the oppressed against the oppressor! here lies the merit, and the one which, of all others, seems unfashionable in our day. The cause of liberty may be stabbed by the men who glory in the deeds of your fathers. But, to proceed.

Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated, by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress. They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner. Their conduct was wholly unexceptionable. This, however, did not answer the purpose. They saw themselves treated with sovereign indifference, coldness and scorn. Yet they persevered. They were not the men to look back.

As the sheet anchor takes a firmer hold, when the ship is tossed by the storm, so did the cause of your fathers grow stronger as it breasted the chilling blasts of kingly displeasure. The greatest and best of British statesmen admitted its justice, and the loftiest eloquence of the British Senate came to its support. But, with that blindness which seems to be the unvarying characteristic of tyrants, since Pharaoh and his hosts were drowned in the Red Sea, the British Government persisted in the exactions complained of.

The madness of this course, we believe, is admitted now, even by England; but we fear the lesson is wholly lost on our present rulers.

Oppression makes a wise man mad. Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became restive under this treatment. They felt themselves the victims of grievous wrongs, wholly incurable in their colonial capacity. With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression. Just here, the idea of a total separation of the colonies from the crown was born! It was a startling idea, much more so than we, at this distance of time, regard it. The timid and the prudent (as has been intimated) of that day were, of course, shocked and alarmed by it.

Such people lived then, had lived before, and will, probably, ever have a place on this planet; and their course, in respect to any great change (no matter how great the good to be attained, or the wrong to be redressed by it), may be calculated with as much precision as can be the course of the stars. They hate all changes, but silver, gold and copper change! Of this sort of change they are always strongly in favor.

These people were called Tories in the days of your fathers; and the appellation, probably, conveyed the same idea that is meant by a more modern, though a somewhat less euphonious term, which we often find in our papers, applied to some of our old politicians.

Their opposition to the then dangerous thought was earnest and powerful; but, amid all their terror and affrighted vociferations against it, the alarming and revolutionary idea moved on, and the country with it.

On the 2nd of July, 1776, the old Continental Congress, to the dismay of the lovers of ease, and the worshipers of property, clothed that dreadful idea with all the authority of national sanction. They did so in the form of a resolution; and as we seldom hit upon resolutions, drawn up in our day, whose transparency is at all equal to this, it may refresh your minds and help my story if I read it.

“Resolved, That these united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, dissolved.”
Citizens, your fathers made good that resolution. They succeeded; and to-day you reap the fruits of their success. The freedom gained is yours; and you, there fore, may properly celebrate this anniversary. The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history-the very ringbolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny.

Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ringbolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.

From the round top of your ship of state, dark and threatening clouds may be seen. Heavy billows, like mountains in the distance, disclose to the leeward huge forms of flinty rocks! That bolt drawn, that chain broken, and all is lost. Cling to this day-cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.

The coming into being of a nation, in any circumstances, is an interesting event. But, besides general considerations, there were peculiar circumstances which make the advent of this republic an event of special attractiveness. The whole scene, as I look back to it, was simple, dignified and sublime. The population of the country, at the time, stood at the insignificant number of three millions. The country was poor in the munitions of war. The population was weak and scattered, and the country a wilderness unsubdued. There were then no means of concert and combination, such as exist now. Neither steam nor lightning had then been reduced to order and discipline. From the Potomac to the Delaware was a journey of many days. Under these, and innumerable other disadvantages, your fathers declared for liberty and independence and triumphed.

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too-great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory.

They loved their country better than their own private interests; and, though this is not the highest form of human excellence, all will concede that it is a rare virtue, and that when it is exhibited it ought to command respect. He who will, intelligently, lay down his life for his country is a man whom it is not in human nature to despise. Your fathers staked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, on the cause of their country. In their admiration of liberty, they lost sight of all other interests.

They were peace men; but they preferred revolution to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men; but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forbearance; but that they knew its limits. They believed in order; but not in the order of tyranny. With them, nothing was “settIed” that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final”; not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation. Their solid manhood stands out the more as we contrast it with these degenerate times.

How circumspect, exact and proportionate were all their movements! How unlike the politicians of an hour! Their statesmanship looked beyond the passing moment, and stretched away in strength into the distant future. They seized upon eternal principles, and set a glorious example in their defence. Mark them! Fully appreciating the hardships to be encountered, firmly believing in the right of their cause, honorably inviting the scrutiny of an on-looking world, reverently appealing to heaven to attest their sincerity, soundly comprehending the solemn responsibility they were about to assume, wisely measuring the terrible odds against them, your fathers, the fathers of this republic, did, most deliberately, under the inspiration of a glorious patriotism, and with a sublime faith in the great principles of justice and freedom, lay deep, the corner-stone of the national super-structure, which has risen and still rises in grandeur around you.

Of this fundamental work, this day is the anniversary. Our eyes are met with demonstrations of joyous enthusiasm. Banners and pennants wave exultingly on the breeze. The din of business, too, is hushed. Even mammon seems to have quitted his grasp on this day. The ear-piercing fife and the stirring drum unite their accents with the ascending peal of a thousand church bells. Prayers are made, hymns are sung, and sermons are preached in honor of this day; while the quick martial tramp of a great and multitudinous nation, echoed back by all the hills, valleys and mountains of a vast continent, bespeak the occasion one of thrilling and universal interest-nation’s jubilee.

Friends and citizens, I need not enter further into the causes which led to this anniversary. Many of you understand them better than I do. You could instruct me in regard to them. That is a branch of knowledge in which you feel, perhaps, a much deeper interest than your speaker. The causes which led to the separation of the colonies from the British crown have never lacked for a tongue. They have all been taught in your common schools, narrated at your firesides, un folded from your pulpits, and thundered from your legislative halls, and are as familiar to you as household words. They form the staple of your national po etry and eloquence.

I remember, also, that, as a people, Americans are remarkably familiar with all facts which make in their own favor. This is esteemed by some as a national trait-perhaps a national weakness. It is a fact, that whatever makes for the wealth or for the reputation of Americans and can be had cheap! will be found by Americans. I shall not be charged with slandering Americans if I say I think the American side of any question may be safely left in American hands.

I leave, therefore, the great deeds of your fathers to other gentlemen whose claim to have been regularly descended will be less likely to be disputed than mine!

My business, if I have any here to-day, is with the present. The accepted time with God and His cause is the ever-living now.
Trust no future, however pleasant,
Let the dead past bury its dead;
Act, act in the living present,
Heart within, and God overhead.
We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and to the future. To all inspiring motives, to noble deeds which can be gained from the past, we are welcome. But now is the time, the important time. Your fathers have lived, died, and have done their work, and have done much of it well. You live and must die, and you must do your work. You have no right to enjoy a child’s share in the labor of your fathers, unless your children are to be blest by your labors. You have no right to wear out and waste the hard-earned fame of your fathers to cover your indolence. Sydney Smith tells us that men seldom eulogize the wisdom and virtues of their fathers, but to excuse some folly or wickedness of their own. This truth is not a doubtful one. There are illustrations of it near and remote, ancient and modern. It was fashionable, hundreds of years ago, for the children of Jacob to boast, we have “Abraham to our father,” when they had long lost Abraham’s faith and spirit. That people contented themselves under the shadow of Abraham’s great name, while they repudiated the deeds which made his name great. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Need I tell you that the Jews are not the only people who built the tombs of the prophets, and garnished the sepulchers of the righteous? Washington could not die till he had broken the chains of his slaves. Yet his monument is built up by the price of human blood, and the traders in the bodies and souls of men shout-“We have Washington to our father.”-Alas! that it should be so; yet it is.
The evil, that men do, lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones.
Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation’s sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation’s jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the “lame man leap as an hart.”

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common.-The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fa thers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”

Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery-the great sin and shame of America! “I will not equivocate; I will not excuse”; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, “It is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, and denounce less; would you persuade more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed.” But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They ac knowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may con sent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian’s God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding.-There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is passed.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

Take the American slave-trade, which we are told by the papers, is especially prosperous just now. Ex-Senator Benton tells us that the price of men was never higher than now. He mentions the fact to show that slavery is in no danger. This trade is one of the peculiarities of American institutions. It is carried on in all the large towns and cities in one-half of this confederacy; and millions are pocketed every year by dealers in this horrid traffic. In several states this trade is a chief source of wealth. It is called (in contradistinction to the foreign slave-trade) “the internal slave-trade.” It is, probably, called so, too, in order to divert from it the horror with which the foreign slave-trade is contemplated. That trade has long since been denounced by this government as piracy. It has been denounced with burning words from the high places of the nation as an execrable traffic. To arrest it, to put an end to it, this nation keeps a squadron, at immense cost, on the coast of Africa. Everywhere, in this country, it is safe to speak of this foreign slave-trade as a most inhuman traffic, opposed alike to the Jaws of God and of man. The duty to extirpate and destroy it, is admitted even by our doctors of divinity. In order to put an end to it, some of these last have consented that their colored brethren (nominally free) should leave this country, and establish them selves on the western coast of Africa! It is, however, a notable fact that, while so much execration is poured out by Americans upon all those engaged in the foreign slave-trade, the men engaged in the slave-trade between the states pass with out condemnation, and their business is deemed honorable.

Behold the practical operation of this internal slave-trade, the American slave-trade, sustained by American politics and American religion. Here you will see men and women reared like swine for the market. You know what is a swine-drover? I will show you a man-drover. They inhabit all our Southern States. They perambulate the country, and crowd the highways of the nation, with droves of human stock. You will see one of these human flesh jobbers, armed with pistol, whip, and bowie-knife, driving a company of a hundred men, women, and children, from the Potomac to the slave market at New Orleans. These wretched people are to be sold singly, or in lots, to suit purchasers. They are food for the cotton-field and the deadly sugar-mill. Mark the sad procession, as it moves wearily along, and the inhuman wretch who drives them. Hear his savage yells and his blood-curdling oaths, as he hurries on his affrighted captives! There, see the old man with locks thinned and gray. Cast one glance, if you please, upon that young mother, whose shoulders are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen, weeping, yes! weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she has been torn! The drove moves tardily. Heat and sorrow have nearly consumed their strength; suddenly you hear a quick snap, like the discharge of a rifle; the fetters clank, and the chain rattles simultaneously; your ears are saluted with a scream, that seems to have torn its way to the centre of your soul The crack you heard was the sound of the slave-whip; the scream you heard was from the woman you saw with the babe. Her speed had faltered under the weight of her child and her chains! that gash on her shoulder tells her to move on. Follow this drove to New Orleans. Attend the auction; see men examined like horses; see the forms of women rudely and brutally exposed to the shock ing gaze of American slave-buyers. See this drove sold and separated forever; and never forget the deep, sad sobs that arose from that scattered multitude. Tell me, citizens, where, under the sun, you can witness a spectacle more fiendish and shocking. Yet this is but a glance at the American slave-trade, as it exists, at this moment, in the ruling part of the United States.

I was born amid such sights and scenes. To me the American slave-trade is a terrible reality. When a child, my soul was often pierced with a sense of its horrors. I lived on Philpot Street, Fell’s Point, Baltimore, and have watched from the wharves the slave ships in the Basin, anchored from the shore, with their cargoes of human flesh, waiting for favorable winds to waft them down the Chesapeake. There was, at that time, a grand slave mart kept at the head of Pratt Street, by Austin Woldfolk. His agents were sent into every town and county in Maryland, announcing their arrival, through the papers, and on flaming “hand-bills,” headed cash for Negroes. These men were generally well dressed men, and very captivating in their manners; ever ready to drink, to treat, and to gamble. The fate of many a slave has depended upon the turn of a single card; and many a child has been snatched from the arms of its mother by bargains arranged in a state of brutal drunkenness.

The flesh-mongers gather up their victims by dozens, and drive them, chained, to the general depot at Baltimore. When a sufficient number has been collected here, a ship is chartered for the purpose of conveying the forlorn crew to Mobile, or to New Orleans. From the slave prison to the ship, they are usually driven in the darkness of night; for since the antislavery agitation, a certain caution is observed.

In the deep, still darkness of midnight, I have been often aroused by the dead, heavy footsteps, and the piteous cries of the chained gangs that passed our door. The anguish of my boyish heart was intense; and I was often consoled, when speaking to my mistress in the morning, to hear her say that the custom was very wicked; that she hated to hear the rattle of the chains and the heart-rending cries. I was glad to find one who sympathized with me in my horror.

Fellow-citizens, this murderous traffic is, to-day, in active operation in this boasted republic. In the solitude of my spirit I see clouds of dust raised on the highways of the South; I see the bleeding footsteps; I hear the doleful wail of fettered humanity on the way to the slave-markets, where the victims are to be sold like horses, sheep, and swine, knocked off to the highest bidder. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust, caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men. My soul sickens at the sight.
Is this the land your Fathers loved,
The freedom which they toiled to win?
Is this the earth whereon they moved?
Are these the graves they slumber in?
But a still more inhuman, disgraceful, and scandalous state of things remains to be presented. By an act of the American Congress, not yet two years old, slavery has been nationalized in its most horrible and revolting form. By that act, Mason and Dixon’s line has been obliterated; New York has become as Virginia; and the power to hold, hunt, and sell men, women and children, as slaves, remains no longer a mere state institution, but is now an institution of the whole United States. The power is co-extensive with the star-spangled banner, and American Christianity. Where these go, may also go the merciless slave-hunter. Where these are, man is not sacred. He is a bird for the sportsman’s gun. By that most foul and fiendish of all human decrees, the liberty and person of every man are put in peril. Your broad republican domain is hunting ground for men. Not for thieves and robbers, enemies of society, merely, but for men guilty of no crime. Your law-makers have commanded all good citizens to engage in this hellish sport. Your President, your Secretary of State, your lords, nobles, and ecclesiastics enforce, as a duty you owe to your free and glorious country, and to your God, that you do this accursed thing. Not fewer than forty Americans have, within the past two years, been hunted down and, without a moment’s warning, hurried away in chains, and consigned to slavery and excruciating torture. Some of these have had wives and children, dependent on them for bread; but of this, no account was made. The right of the hunter to his prey stands superior to the right of marriage, and to all rights in this republic, the rights of God included! For black men there is neither law nor justice, humanity nor religion. The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them. An American judge gets ten dollars for every victim he consigns to slavery, and five, when he fails to do so. The oath of any two villains is sufficient, under this hell-black enactment, to send the most pious and exemplary black man into the remorseless jaws of slavery! His own testimony is nothing. He can bring no witnesses for himself. The minister of American justice is bound by the law to hear but one side; and that side is the side of the oppressor. Let this damning fact be perpetually told. Let it be thundered around the world that in tyrant-killing, king-hating, people-loving, democratic, Christian America the seats of justice are filled with judges who hold their offices under an open and palpable bribe, and are bound, in deciding the case of a man’s liberty, to hear only his accusers!

In glaring violation of justice, in shameless disregard of the forms of administering law, in cunning arrangement to entrap the defenceless, and in diabolical intent this Fugitive Slave Law stands alone in the annals of tyrannical legislation. I doubt if there be another nation on the globe having the brass and the baseness to put such a law on the statute-book. If any man in this assembly thinks differently from me in this matter, and feels able to disprove my statements, I will gladly confront him at any suitable time and place he may select.

I take this law to be one of the grossest infringements of Christian Liberty, and, if the churches and ministers of our country were nor stupidly blind, or most wickedly indifferent, they, too, would so regard it.

At the very moment that they are thanking God for the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and for the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, they are utterly silent in respect to a law which robs religion of its chief significance and makes it utterly worthless to a world lying in wickedness. Did this law concern the “mint, anise, and cummin”-abridge the right to sing psalms, to partake of the sacrament, or to engage in any of the ceremonies of religion, it would be smitten by the thunder of a thousand pulpits. A general shout would go up from the church demanding repeal, repeal, instant repeal!-And it would go hard with that politician who presumed to so licit the votes of the people without inscribing this motto on his banner. Further, if this demand were not complied with, another Scotland would be added to the history of religious liberty, and the stern old covenanters would be thrown into the shade. A John Knox would be seen at every church door and heard from every pulpit, and Fillmore would have no more quarter than was shown by Knox to the beautiful, but treacherous, Queen Mary of Scotland. The fact that the church of our country (with fractional exceptions) does not esteem “the Fugitive Slave Law” as a declaration of war against religious liberty, im plies that that church regards religion simply as a form of worship, an empty ceremony, and not a vital principle, requiring active benevolence, justice, love, and good will towards man. It esteems sacrifice above mercy; psalm-singing above right doing; solemn meetings above practical righteousness. A worship that can be conducted by persons who refuse to give shelter to the houseless, to give bread to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and who enjoin obedience to a law forbidding these acts of mercy is a curse, not a blessing to mankind. The Bible addresses all such persons as “scribes, pharisees, hypocrites, who pay tithe ofÝ mint, anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith.”

But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines, who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.

For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! welcome atheism! welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by those Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke put together have done! These ministers make religion a cold and flinty-hearted thing, having neither principles of right action nor bowels of compassion. They strip the love of God of its beauty and leave the throne of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form. It is a religion for oppressors, tyrants, man-stealers, and thugs. It is not that “pure and undefiled religion” which is from above, and which is “first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and with out hypocrisy.” But a religion which favors the rich against the poor; which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two classes, tyrants and slaves; which says to the man in chains, stay there; and to the oppressor, oppress on; it is a religion which may be professed and enjoyed by all the robbers and enslavers of mankind; it makes God a respecter of persons, denies his fatherhood of the race, and tramples in the dust the great truth of the brotherhood of man. All this we affirm to be true of the popular church, and the popular worship of our land and nation-a religion, a church, and a worship which, on the authority of inspired wisdom, we pronounce to be an abomination in the sight of God. In the language of Isaiah, the American church might be well addressed, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me: the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons, and your appointed feasts my soul hateth. They are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them; and when ye spread forth your hands I will hide mine eyes from you. Yea’ when ye make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment; relieve the oppressed; judge for the fatherless; plead for the widow.”

The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold slavery; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in its connection with its ability to abolish slavery.

The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well as of commission. Albert Barnes but uttered what the common sense of every man at all observant of the actual state of the case will receive as truth, when he declared that “There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it.”

Let the religious press, the pulpit, the Sunday School, the conference meeting, the great ecclesiastical, missionary, Bible and tract associations of the land array their immense powers against slavery, and slave-holding; and the whole system of crime and blood would be scattered to the winds, and that they do not do this involves them in the most awful responsibility of which the mind can conceive.

In prosecuting the anti-slavery enterprise, we have been asked to spare the church, to spare the ministry; but how, we ask, could such a thing be done? We are met on the threshold of our efforts for the redemption of the slave, by the church and ministry of the country, in battle arrayed against us; and we are compelled to fight or flee. From what quarter, I beg to know, has proceeded a fire so deadly upon our ranks, during the last two years, as from the Northern pulpit? As the champions of oppressors, the chosen men of American theology have appeared-men honored for their so-called piety, and their real learning. The Lords of Buffalo, the Springs of New York, the Lathrops of Auburn, the Coxes and Spencers of Brooklyn, the Gannets and Sharps of Boston, the Deweys of Washington, and other great religious lights of the land have, in utter denial of the authority of Him by whom they professed to be called to the ministry, deliberately taught us, against the example of the Hebrews, and against the remonstrance of the Apostles, that we ought to obey man’s law before the law of God.2

My spirit wearies of such blasphemy; and how such men can be supported, as the “standing types and representatives of Jesus Christ,” is a mystery which I leave others to penetrate. In speaking of the American church, however, let it be distinctly understood that I mean the great mass of the religious organizations of our land. There are exceptions, and I thank God that there are. Noble men may be found, scattered all over these Northern States, of whom Henry Ward Beecher, of Brooklyn; Samuel J. May, of Syracuse; and my esteemed friend (Rev. R. R. Raymond) on the platform, are shining examples; and let me say further, that, upon these men lies the duty to inspire our ranks with high religious faith and zeal, and to cheer us on in the great mission of the slave’s redemption from his chains.

One is struck with the difference between the attitude of the American church towards the anti-slavery movement, and that occupied by the churches in Eng land towards a similar movement in that country. There, the church, true to its mission of ameliorating, elevating and improving the condition of mankind, came forward promptly, bound up the wounds of the West Indian slave, and re stored him to his liberty. There, the question of emancipation was a high religious question. It was demanded in the name of humanity, and according to the law of the living God. The Sharps, the Clarksons, the Wilberforces, the Buxtons, the Burchells, and the Knibbs were alike famous for their piety and for their philanthropy. The anti-slavery movement there was not an anti-church movement, for the reason that the church took its full share in prosecuting that movement: and the anti-slavery movement in this country will cease to be an anti-church movement, when the church of this country shall assume a favorable instead of a hostile position towards that movement.

Americans! your republican politics, not less than your republican religion, are flagrantly inconsistent. You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation (as embodied in the two great political parties) is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen. You hurl your anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and body-guards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina. You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from oppression in your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot, and kill. You glory in your refinement and your universal education; yet you maintain a system as barbarous and dreadful as ever stained the character of a nation-a system begun in avarice, supported in pride, and perpetuated in cruelty. You shed tears over fallen Hungary, and make the sad story of her wrongs the theme of your poets, statesmen, and orators, till your gallant sons are ready to fly to arms to vindicate her cause against the oppressor; but, in regard to the ten thousand wrongs of the American slave, you would enforce the strictest silence, and would hail him as an enemy of the nation who dares to make those wrongs the subject of public discourse! You are all on fire at the mention of liberty for France or for Ireland; but are as cold as an iceberg at the thought of liberty for the enslaved of America. You discourse eloquently on the dignity of labor; yet, you sustain a system which, in its very essence, casts a stigma upon labor. You can bare your bosom to the storm of British artillery to throw off a three-penny tax on tea; and yet wring the last hard earned farthing from the grasp of the black laborers of your country. You profess to believe “that, of one blood, God made all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth,” and hath commanded all men, everywhere, to love one another; yet you notoriously hate (and glory in your hatred) all men whose skins are not colored like your own. You declare before the world, and are understood by the world to declare that you “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; and are endowed by their Creator with certain in alienable rights; and that among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and yet, you hold securely, in a bondage which, according to your own Thomas Jefferson, “is worse than ages of that which your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose,” a seventh part of the inhabitants of your country.

Fellow-citizens, I will not enlarge further on your national inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands your republicanism as a sham, your humanity as a base pretense, and your Christianity as a lie. It destroys your moral power abroad: it corrupts your politicians at home. It saps the foundation of religion; it makes your name a hissing and a bye-word to a mocking earth. It is the antagonistic force in your government, the only thing that seriously disturbs and endangers your Union. it fetters your progress; it is the enemy of improvement; the deadly foe of education; it fosters pride; it breeds insolence; it promotes vice; it shelters crime; it is a curse to the earth that supports it; and yet you cling to it as if it were the sheet anchor of all your hopes. Oh! be warned! be warned! a horrible reptile is coiled up in your nation’s bosom; the venomous creature is nursing at the tender breast of your youthful republic; for the love of God, tear away, and fling from you the hideous monster, and let the weight of twenty millions crush and destroy it forever!

But it is answered in reply to all this, that precisely what I have now denounced is, in fact, guaranteed and sanctioned by the Constitution of the United States; that, the right to hold, and to hunt slaves is a part of that Constitution framed by the illustrious Fathers of this Republic.

Then, I dare to affirm, notwithstanding all I have said before, your fathers stooped, basely stooped
To palter with us in a double sense:
And keep the word of promise to the ear,
But break it to the heart.
And instead of being the honest men I have before declared them to be, they were the veriest impostors that ever practised on mankind. This is the inevitable conclusion, and from it there is no escape; but I differ from those who charge this baseness on the framers of the Constitution of the United States. It is a slander upon their memory, at least, so I believe. There is not time now to argue the constitutional question at length; nor have I the ability to discuss it as it ought to be discussed. The subject has been handled with masterly power by Lysander Spooner, Esq. by William Goodell, by Samuel E. Sewall, Esq., and last, though not least, by Gerrit Smith, Esq. These gentlemen have, as I think, fully and clearly vindicated the Constitution from any design to support slavery for an hour.

Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but interpreted, as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a glorious liberty document. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gate way? or is it in the temple? it is neither. While I do not intend to argue this question on the present occasion, let me ask, if it be not somewhat singular that, if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slaveholding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can any where be found in it. What would be thought of an instrument, drawn up, legally drawn up, for the purpose of entitling the city of Rochester to a tract of land, in which no mention of land was made? Now, there are certain rules of interpretation for the proper understanding of all legal instruments. These rules are well established. They are plain, commonsense rules, such as you and I, and all of us, can understand and apply, without having passed years in the study of law. I scout the idea that the question of the constitutionality, or unconstitutionality of slavery, is not a question for the people. I hold that every American citizen has a right to form an opinion of the constitution, and to propagate that opinion, and to use all honorable means to make his opinion the prevailing one. Without this right, the liberty of an American citizen would be as insecure as that of a Frenchman. Ex-Vice-President Dallas tells us that the constitution is an object to which no American mind can be too attentive, and no American heart too devoted. He further says, the Constitution, in its words, is plain and intelligible, and is meant for the home-bred, unsophisticated understandings of our fellow-citizens. Senator Berrien tells us that the Constitution is the fundamental law, that which controls all others. The charter of our liberties, which every citizen has a personal interest in understanding thoroughly. The testimony of Senator Breese, Lewis Cass, and many others that might be named, who are everywhere esteemed as sound lawyers, so regard the constitution. I take it, therefore, that it is not presumption in a private citizen to form an opinion of that instrument.

Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand, it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.

I have detained my audience entirely too long already. At some future period I will gladly avail myself of an opportunity to give this subject a full and fair discussion.

Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery.

“The arm of the Lord is not shortened,” and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from “the Declaration of Independence,” the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated.-Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other.

The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, “Let there be Light,” has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. “Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand unto God.” In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o’er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee,

And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom’s reign.
To man his plundered rights again
Restore.

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;

That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

The Rev. Nicholas Hood

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

by: Marceline Donaldson, April 11, 2016

Rev. Nicholas Hood

Rev. Nicholas Hood

Andrew Young, Nicholas Hood

Andrew Young, Nicholas Hood

Some remembrances write themselves.  This one is being written through heavy grief because it is not only a memory of Nicholas Hood, but  long overdue grieving of my youth and someone who contributed majorly to who I am as a Christian today.

Nicholas Hood is in my heart and soul.

The example he set for so many will last a very long time as will the witnessing to his life, his life’s work and his God.  He was one of those who witnessed for his God in a mighty way.  When God calls one to the ordained ministry, God calls the pastor and the prophet.  When it is a genuine call to the ordained ministry the life of that person is never the same and their life forever after reflects that call.  Clearly, Nicholas Hood was called by God to the ordained ministry and he never left the path he walked following that call.

“Suffer the little children to come unto me …………….” was one part of Nicholas Hood’s ministry.  With a group of us in New Orleans, life would never be the same.  We integrated the Congregational Church’s summer camp in the Panhandle.  It was an incredible, life changing experience.  There were times around a camp fire when we heard, as young Black children, what young White children thought of those like us.  Stories of how the White children – teen agers – had been taught that integrated marriages produced spotted children.  Comments I have never forgotten.  That one stood out more than the rest because my grandfather had the genetic disease which causes one’s skin to turn from brown to milky white and I could see it spreading across his hands and in later years his face.  His father was Blackfoot Indian.  His mother was French.  I knew better than to believe the stories I heard around that camp fire, but that one got inside and it took some time before I was able to dig it out.    Nick Hood was there talking to all of us and going into detail on racism and how it works and spreads from one generation to the next.  Those were stories told to their children by parents who were full of fear and afraid their children might bring home a Black boy or girl friend and they were doing everything they could to prevent that and keep the color line unbroken.  What Nicholas Hood did for us, after that night around the camp fire, was to witness using the Gospel to put all of what we heard into a context which was powerful I can still hear parts of it.

Nicholas Hood was there at the end of that camping experience when we were on the way home and we all went into a diner to eat.  We had been so caught up in the experience of being together – White and Black – that the reality outside the camp had not been restored and we sat in the diner causing a bit of an uproar because Blacks were sitting at the counter waiting to be fed.  We were unaware of the sit-ins beginning to happen across the country.  We just wanted lunch.

Nicholas Hood brought a group of us – very young people – with Andrew Young and Martin King – across the backroads of Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama as a Jr. High Choir to sing in White Churches in which Martin preached.  We spent the night in the homes of the White Jr. High Choir members before and after the service and after that when we were all quickly hustled out of the homes where we were staying back into the cars to be driven down the road at high speed watching in front of us seeing Nicholas Hood, Andy and Martin hung in effigy from the trees down the road and behind us a group of very angry whites with rifles coming to run out of town the oversexed Blacks who couldn’t be about anything except a sex orgy sleeping with the young White teenagers whose families offered us hospitality.  That was my first experience being seen, not as a human being but as an oversexed machine to whom friendship wasn’t possible – but was interpreted as some kind of sex thing.  Nicholas Hood was there to put all of that into the perspective of the Gospel.

I didn’t realize how much children absorb of Sunday sermons until I looked back and remembered some of Nicholas Hood’s sermons, which got into my soul.  I couldn’t have been more than 13-14 years old.

I’ve made lots of missteps in my life, but somehow I have always been able to self-correct.  Some compass inside always brought me back to the faith of my childhood and the example of those around me at the time.  To be able to see beyond today and to talk to those who are no longer here is a New Orleans thing and not an easy thing to handle,  but Nicholas Hood kept my deepest secrets which were never shared.  That is a gift and I am so very grateful to the giver.

Rev. Hood came to Minneapolis years ago and we spent an incredible evening going over life and where it had taken us.  An evening I have always cherished.  I’ve watched his life and how he lived it and one thing stands out above all else – his faith in God and his steps, which were ordered by God. He lived to the benefit of so many – me included.  Life happens, but it does not always happen full of love while we are doing God’s work.  We can get so confused as to what God is calling us to do.  What is the work we need to be doing for ourselves and for others?  Nick Hood’s life shows an example of someone who was very clear about the work God called him to do.

By your fruits you shall be known.  By what Nicholas Hood was about all those 92 years speaks louder than anything anyone could say, explain, add to his life’s story. By the fruit of his life – “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17″So every good tree bears good fruit,” …………  You have left clear evidence by your fruit that you are one of God’s own forever, Nicholas Hood.  May God bless and keep you close for eternity.

See also:

Tonight, I Watched My Father Die

http://www.wxyz.com/news/civil-rights-activist-former-detroit-city-council-member-nicholas-hood-sr-dies-at-91

Rev. Hood Sr.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

The Rev. Dr. Lillian D. Anthony, my friend

Monday, December 1st, 2014

by: Marceline Donaldson, president

Bettina Network Foundation, inc.

 

There are some people one expects to go on forever, but none of us lives forever.

Lillian was a force of nature. Her strength came from the clear, truthful, fearless and love filled way she lived her life.

I have always called Lillian ‘my friend’, but as I look back over our lives I realize she was also one of my mentors from whom I learned a lot.

I met Lillian back in the l960’s in Minneapolis. She was challenging the City of Minneapolis about its lack of civil rights and was in the process of becoming the first head of one of the first city civil rights departments in the United States.

It was amazing for me – a young, southern, quiet, full of my early training.  A person who wore gloves everyplace and usually with an umbrella at hand, who had been trained to always remember who she was and act accordingly – to meet this woman who always knew who she was and she was neither quiet nor southern.

I was just coming out of a not so great marriage and trying to stand on my own two feet for the first time in life. I’d found a beautiful house I loved and tried to buy, but the owner declared he would not sell to an African American. I was furious; was not going to take such; and wasn’t sure where to go or what to do when someone suggested I call Lillian Anthony – which I did.

Lillian responded immediately. She was head of the newly established Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights starting in l968 and had some power to address what happened to me.

We met and talked and hit it off right away. Lillian went off to address the problem and in a couple days called and we met again. She told me the problem was solved, the owner had no problem selling the house to an African American woman and she knew that for sure because she’d just bought it.

We started to laugh, almost uncontrollably. It was a joke that was funny far beneath what was on the surface and so off we went on a lifetime of what can only be described as a hilarious friendship full of one-upmanship’s. When we met at social, civic, or other events we would point and laugh uproariously because we knew we were the sharpest looking people in the room. I knew I looked better than Lillian and she knew she looked better than me.

We often went shopping together – to estate sales, of course – but we had to fight to buy what we wanted because we always saw the same item at the same time and it was a free-for-all as to who got to it first.

I was invited to a meeting in Chicago in the early 1970’s of 100 Black Women and so was Lillian, who was one of the coordinators of that event. Once there I met Elma Lewis – who had not yet become Miss. Lewis. There was a skit in the room with all of us gathered and a woman dressed as a waitress came in with her clothes askew looking very stressed and disheveled, crying out – ‘help me, they shot him’.

No one in the room moved, except me, who jumped up to run to this woman to help her in her obvious distress, while telling everyone else in the room how they should be helping also. Elma wanted to know “who is that woman”. Lillian, who was sitting next to Elma said – that’s just Marceline. She is always in the middle of everything saving the world . Elma called me over to sit next to her and she and Lillian laughed and carried on – at my expense.

Turns out, the waitress was a part of the skit to see who would respond and to then start a discussion on being involved. However, that didn’t work because Lillian, Elma and I couldn’t stop laughing and just having a great time out of all of this.

That was the start of a great trio of friends. We weren’t together a lot, but when we did get together it was always a good time.

Lillian designed the Afro-American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, becoming its first chairperson. She did an amazing job of helping to found the Department and headed it in a way which helped develop the entire field. No, Skip Gates was not the first and neither was Harvard.

Lillian ran into trouble at the University as Black men challenged her position which they thought should belong to an African American man who they claimed should have better credentials than Lillians’. So Lillian resigned and went off to the University of Massachusetts to obtain a Doctorate in Education. In addition she also served on the faculties of the University of Nebraska, George Mason University and Towson University in Maryland.

Even before all of this, Lillian went to seminary at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and received her Master of Religious Education in 1953 long before women were even beginning to see the possibility of a seminary education. Before that, Lillian received her undergraduate degree from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO.

After leaving seminary Lillian worked at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church as the director of religious education. A job most women found if they were lucky enough to finish their seminary education and find a job. The Church was way behind the society- still is today – in addressing the equality of men and women and Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.

Lillian also taught in Assuit, Egypt and was the North Central Area representative for the Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Ordination was not possible then, even though God’s call to Lillian to the ordained ministry was strong,  so she went instead into Religious Education. Lillian did not ignore this call to ordination into the Presbyterian ministry, which wasn’t realized until decades after she turned to listen to what God was calling her to do. What was clear in Lillian’s life was that God calls and man decides to ignore God’s way and pursue his own, blocking the path of women and minorities. It was clear looking at Lillian’s life, that it is dangerous for men to block God’s call, but they never seem to get that message because they are still today blocking as best they can – only today being joined by a few others who are not White European males!

Before I met Lillian, she had served the Federal Government from 1965-1968 as the district director for the Department of Labor establishing anti-poverty programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

When I moved to Massachusetts, Lillian was already there at the University of Massachsuetts working on a doctorate in Education. She insisted I join her because she felt I would need something to fall back on and with a doctorate I could teach in Academia someplace.  I was not an academician, nor anything close and I decided that was not my path. She, Elma and I got together several times while Lillian was studying and both tried to push me into this doctorate business, but I resisted and took another path.

Several years after I moved to Massachusetts, Elma Lewis called to say she had heard from Lillian who was concerned about me because we hadn’t been in touch for quite some time and wanted Elma to make sure I was alright. They both knew my penchant for jumping into the fire and they both have had to pull me out several times.  According to Elma, there were rumors and they were worried about me.

Elma called me to say John Ross was picking me up to bring me to her house for lunch, but before he did he was going to take me on a tour of Boston. I told Elma I already knew Boston, had been living here for a few years and that was great, but I preferred lunch times to tour times. Elma said nothing and John Ross picked me up and took me on a tour of Boston. Elma was now Miss Lewis and you did her bidding.  John Ross asked all kinds of questions – how are you, what are you doing, are you alright financially, can we do anything for you, and on and on he went. I finally stopped him to ask why he was trying to get into my business. John Ross said he wasn’t he was just instructed by Elma to ask all of these questions because they needed to make sure I was alright and didn’t want me to say everything was fine – when we talked over lunch – and everything was not fine.

John Ross took me to Elma’s, where she was on the phone with Lillian and they both demanded I not stay out of touch for so long and whenever I had a problem of any kind they were just a phone call away.

That was a very emotional moment for me, but I knew that was how they both were and I must have had some kind of publicity or gossip which made them think they needed to circle the wagons.

Having had that kind of mentoring, I have tried to live up to their example and be there for others – although I have not been perfect following my mentors. I do fall away and still get busy with my own business and have missed many such opportunities presented to me by the universe.

One passion in Lillian’s life was ‘collecting’. It is a passion we both shared, but mine was about 18th century French furnishings, art objects, etc. Lillian’s was about collecting negative Black images throughout history. She had an amazing collection and her house – wherever it was – reflected this passion.

At one point in Louisville and again in St. Louis her home was a place classes of school children visited with their teachers to take the tour of Ms. Lillian’s home.

Oddly enough – or should I say expectedly enough – our two passions ran parallel because as Lillian became more knowledgeable about her area of collecting she ran across many objects which were from 18th century and beyond  in the time frame of my collecting and items made by some of the same people and companies I loved. Lillian knew about and owned items made by the Dresden, Meissen and other factories of negative Black images and while artistically exquisite the subject matter made you wonder about this use of the artists talent. I remember when Lillian bought a beautiful piece of Dresden china which depicted a Black child being born out of an alligators egg and others pieces that went downhill from there.

My thoughts about negative Black images had to do with the Aunt Jemima dolls and the Uncle Tom depictions, but they went far beyond those simple objects into incredible works of art meant to support the racism against African Americans in as many and as subtle and not so subtle ways as possible.

Lillian brought a part of her collection to Boston for an exhibit along with a program speaking to this form of maintaining the structure of racism. It was well attended and the curiosity and amazement from those who had my early thoughts about this area was astounding.

Lillian was head of the Afro American studies department in Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Maryland to become a professor in the same area at Towson University.

Her life and career extended across the country and in several institutions. She left each one better for having served there.

Lillian’s last job before retiring was as the associate for equal employment opportunity/affirmative action in the human resources department in the Prebbyterian Church’s national office in Louisville, Kentucky.

Lillian was also able to function as an ordained minister before her death and her sermons were memorable, moving and caused you to rethink who you are and how you were responding to God’s call in your life.

Lillian was clearly one of God’s chosen and never forgot that she was called by God to spend her life ministering to God’s people and she did that with love, compassion, fearlessness, dignity and grace.

She received many awards and honorary recognitions like the Mary McLeod Bethune Award, presented by the Louisville National Council of Negro Women. She was also appointed to the President’s Disability Task Force.

What many people did not know was that Lillian lived with Lupus most of her adult life. How she did all of what she did and dealt with a very debilitating disease we will never know. Lillian was never a victim and nothing that happened to her turned her into a victim. She was always a child of God who she believed was the active force in her life and to whom she owed everything.  She lived that life to the fullest – always.

Unfortunately for me, I did not stay as close to Lillian as a friend should and so my grief is not over the loss of a friend – who I know is celebrating with all of her friends right now having a joyous time – but over the loss of my opportunity and responsibility not to lose track of someone who I was close to and loved like a sister.

Through all of this I have learned that life and our society separates friends and families and thereby increases the burden on those we love and don’t keep up with because of our busyness trying to keep body and soul together.

Each time this happens I resolve to not let it happen ever again and then I hear of a close friend who has died and my guilt, regret and sense of great loss starts all over again.

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Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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Balm in Gilead

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

copyright Bettina Networi, inc. 2014

Who would have expected different guests, not previously known to one another,  pick up and read Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot’s book “Balm In Gilead” during their stay in a Bettina Home.

All of our homes have large quantities of books.  Host families generally buy them at Estate Sales for very little money so they are able to offer great reading materials to and  encourage guests to take a book home with them if they are in the process of reading it and would like to finish the book.

We have such responsible guests that they do take books home and when they return, they bring new books they have purchased the same way, giving them to the host family for other guests to discover.  What a lovely interlude!

Lightfoot’s book brought some wonderful reminiscences by the guests.  The first days conversation, one woman shared the book with the other guests and on the second day, all contributed because they found the book in their rooms and read it.  It was an unexpected gift for me because I knew the family and the southern United States that was under discussion.

Mostly, the book caused the women (no men present) to go over their history rather than critique the book.

One critique, however, was what one woman felt as the author’s anti-southern bias, which she said permeated the book.  It talked of relatives going South as a ‘missionary field’ to raise the educational standards of the poor Blacks in the South.  That caused a discussion of great emotion since racially the women at breakfast were a mixed group and all but one from the north.  That left the poor lone Southerner with only me as back-up and sometimes I can’t be trusted to be loyal.

The truth of life among Blacks in the South is very seldom portrayed accurately.  Just like those who most profited from slavery is often skewered with slavery’s  Northern interests very seldom revealed.

The Northern women – both Black and White – understood the books bias and didn’t see it as a bias, but as fact.  One small part of “Balm in Gilead” describes Margaret and Charles Lawrence, with their very substantial education at top schools not able to find a job in the north and so consequently going south to Fisk and Meharry.  The author (their daughter) didn’t seem to know why or rather described the Lawrences as not knowing why.  What most Southern Blacks would understand is that -in the day – when you had that top rated education you went South for a job because you were not hired in the North.  Black millionaires and other very financially substantial African Americans were Black Southerners or Black Northerners transplanted to the South because they had no place else to thrive.

A veery famous Black New England family moved to Alabama from Boston and worked there in substantial jobs until retirement when they returned to New England and took up their Yankee existence without missing a beat.  They moved to Alabama because even with a Harvard Doctorate there were no jobs for them in the North.

There was much talk about “Victory over trauma” – which was portrayed as one way African Americans can survive this society almost intact.  “Trauma and strength.”

One particular quote, read to us by one of the women was very poignant.  “In order to survive one must confront the deep wound, experience the knifelike pain, move through the zombielike period of ‘depersonalization’ speak about the event, act it out, cry over it, stomp on it and finally emerge from it – usually with a scar.”

“One must transcend.  Pain must not be the victor.”

In part of the conversation about Black Anger – “Anger nurtures until you can find more suitable vehicles out of which to act and to love.”

Black male sexism – “He did not denigrate my path, but he blocked it.”

“My mother gave me away to my grandmother.”  Since I was raised by my grandmother, when they gave that quote from the book as a way of describing the phenomena of grandparents raising their grandchildren tears flowed from a couple of us.

There was so much more.  To get the entire story you must read the book.  We recommend it heartily.

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

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A Thanksgiving Gift

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2013

We thought carefully over all the breakfast conversations lately and the one that seemed to be ideal for Thanksgiving was the one about how important it was to sterilize your forks, knives, etc. – especially since we all cook and eat with great gusto on this Thursday –

That has been a growing conversation and it is becoming louder when we all assume the utensils which we use to eat -most, -if not all of our meals, must be sterilized if we are not to come down with diseases from the germs, bacteria, viruses they carry from one person to another.

This particular breakfast conversation had a different twist.  Lacking interest at several breakfasts about the great issues of the day and our opinions of them we asked why is the din growing so loud about sterilizing eating utensils?  Could it have something to do with the metal, alloys, other materials, being used to make these utensils?  Is something being covered up which is important for us to know?  After all, our ancestors used utensils for eating and cooking for generations without sterilizing them so why the fuss now?

What was pointed out to all of us was the anti-bacterial properties of some utensils and the lack of such with others;  the mythology of the marketing and advertising being pushed out to us with its half-truths, hidden information, unpublished research which could damage what is being advertised, etc.;  and the changes that have taken place and foisted on a very ignorant public for the benefit of the manufacturers, inventors, retailers and more.

For many generations silver was used for pots for cooking and for knives, forks, spoons, etc. There was no need to sterilize because silver has anti-bacterial properties.

Today, we use stainless steel, aluminum and other metal, other alloys and plastics for eating utensils and for cooking.  That has totally changed how we have to clean and store these utensils after use.

Since we were not paying attention to our grandparents wisdom, most of that good and simple home keeping information has been lost.  Add to that  this past generation which has been so busy with other things they succumbed to the marketing and advertising mythology being spread around for the benefit of the processors and inventors of these new and different things  Those simpler tried and true methods of the past  are being lost at a fiercely aggressive rate.

This little bit of wisdom is given to you this Thanksgiving in the hope that you will cherish it, use it and pass it down to your children.  Please move away from the technology for a minute.  Please step away from all the ads and marketing thrown at you for your use to incorporate in your and your family’s lifestyle and please, please pay attention!!!!!  Just a few seconds of your time!!!!!

After all, isn’t that how Martha Stewart became so famous so quickly? She was passing on to us things we were never taught.  She was passing along the basics of living in a reasonably cultured society and we were all eyes and ears.  Our parents were too busy trying to cope with a very fast changing society.  They raised their children as best they could in places where historical role models were taken down and new ones put up to benefit the manufacturers of really questionable items.  Our eating utensils are just one group that has suffered from this newness of information.  Information – sometimes really questionable in what it says and purposely leaves out – with ads created in song, dance and sex –  to get you to buy.  Reject that and look for  information which passes along truthful nuggets of how to best live a long and healthy life making choices to promote that lifestyle.  How do you develop an antenna to tell the difference?  Cultivate discernment – a powerful ally throughout your life as it changes and you grow in knowledge with expanding wisdom.

Check out your kitchen.  Are the knives, forks and spoons therein silver or some other strange material, previously unknown and which should be banned for eating utensils because they can be dangerous to your health?  If so, replace them immediately with silver plate or sterling silver place settings – serving utensils – and more.

Are your pots aluminum? Or perhaps an unknown and untested alloy – and we mean untested over generations of family use?  If they are, step away from the stove and seriously consider replacing them.  Aluminum became popular as quickly as it did because we were accustomed to silver pots and aluminum looked like silver, but cost much less.  Now there are rumors it may play a part in the Alzheimers epidemic and we discover it is used in everything from pots to deodorant and no one really knows its longterm affect on your body.  You put aside money for other things – think of your health and start putting aside money for silver pots, forks, knives, spoons, and more.

Estate sales have wonderful forks, knives, spoons and other service pieces at prices much less than the prices for new stainless and other fancy looking eating utensils – at very reasonable prices.  Sometimes you can even get a set of sterling in a silver box or in a piece of furniture designed to hold such lined with silver felt to keep them tarnish free for a very long time.  They are worth the investment.

You don’t have to sterilize silver because it has anti-bacterial properties which are much better at killing the germs and bacteria and other such things which get on our utensils. Other materials might still have problems even after sterilization.

Go the way which has been tried and true for our ancestors, we feel you won’t regret the extra effort.  In fact, your health will improve and you will certainly then send blessings our way.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and keep tuned in to breakfast at Bettina Homes to continue the conversation.

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

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Remembering Niko

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2013

…”There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”…  

—————————————Maya Angelou

 

photography by Dorothea Guild

photography by Dorothea Guild

A quote passed on to us by Dorothea Guild as she introduced the exhibit of Nicholas Michael Marinos’s art.   Marinos was Dorothea’s family priest, long-term friend and soul-mate from years past.  He was jazz artist, Greek Orthodox priest, one of the directors at Maliotis Center of Hellenic College in Brookline and at the end – visual artist working in oil, watercolors and more.

His art is on exhibit at the The Gallery of the Piano Craft Building at 791 Tremont Street, Boston, MA. 02118 through November 3, 2013.

The opening reception for the exhibit took place this past Saturday, October 19th.  It was a beautiful success with good food, exceptional music and the introduction by Dorothea Gerros Guild of the art works of one of the two soulmates – one of the two people she cherishes in her life.  The reception -intentionally or not – was about all the things needed to serve as an example for life, love, work, passion to all of us.

The first connection I found astounding was Jackie Cox-Crite’s presence as the guest curator.  Jackie is the widow of Alan Rohan Crite.

The similarity of what Niko did to what Alan Crite did strikes you as you look at the art works.  Crite worked from an African-American cultural aesthetic; Niko worked from a Greek Orthodox cultural aesthetic and you can see it in Niko’s works as strongly as you can see the Afro connection in Crite’s.

Jackie was not only the guest curator, but she was the caterer, promoter and all-around-into-every-part of this exhibit and its opening.

I remember Jackie as a very young person who was Alan Crite’s companion and caretaker.  At the time, she was an artist in her own right.  Her medium was soft sculpture.  Her images and her work showed her innocence and intensity as she took a “woman’s medium” – a kind of quilting and used the medium to turn out beautiful works of art.  She is not the first person to have done that, but at the time, I was particularly struck by the combination of her background, her images, her relationship with Alan Crite and how all of that showed in her art.

Mitch Weiss, photographer

Mitch Weiss, photographer

 

The music at the reception was provided by Arni Cheatham, saxophonist, tenor, flutist, vocalist and very well known in the Boston jazz scene – who is also the soul-mate of Dorothea Guild.  Arni  is helping her in her quest for recognition for the works of Nicholas Marinos.  That is most unusual in this society.  Normally, we lock iron doors and gates against past close personal relationships when a new relationship starts and we  strive to pretend that first, past relationship was somehow defective, not great and here is a list of all his/her faults.

Arni Cheatham provided a reason to attend for those who knew his music, but didn’t know Niko nor his art – and he and his group did not disappoint.  Honored in Boston as a “Jazz Hero” by the Jazz Journalists Association and JazzBoston at – where else – but the South End jazz mecca Wally’s, Cheatham has a long line of acolades, performances, recordings and more.  He currently can be heard at “Top of the Hub” with the Brian McCree Band during November, 2013.

 

…….and on to the artist.

Niko was born in 1928 and was a priest in the Greek Orthodox Church most of his adult life.  He called himself an “Urban/Ethnic Neighborhood artist.”  Born in Tarpon Springs, Florida, Marinos went through tragic losses as a child – starting with the loss of his father in a divers’ accident.  He moved with his family to the Bronx; to the Greek Orthodox Seminary in Connecticut and on to serve a parish in Haverhill, MA. where he met Dorothea and her family and then on to Boston.

What went before in his life as jazz performer, priest, college professor, social activist and more all show up in his body of art works.

According to his own words, written in June, 1988, which reach us from 25 plus years ago——–

“Urban and ethnic neighborhoods hold a very special excitement for me.  This ongoing fascination began when, as a child of the Depression of the 1930’s living in the tenements and growing up on the streets of the Bronx, Queens and mid-town Manhattan, I assimilated the cultural, racial and ethnic diversity of my environment.  These became an indelible part of the fabric of my perception as a painter.

I was then, and am now,   fascinated by the constantly evolving images which spread out before me as I chronicle, through color, the urban environment and its inhabitants in the various ethnic neighborhoods of this city, Boston.  There is an ongoing dialogue between the indigenous environment and the changing demographics of the urban dwellers.  It is this dialogue which always reaffirms the existence of the other that I attempt to record in a variety of perspectives through my art.

I am attempting to capture a moment in time and make it timeless.  And if my art can convey to the viewer that which is familiar, very private, very personal, and, for each, a special remembrance of that place in another time, then I will have succeeded.

Thus far I have works of the North End, South End, Chinatown, Roxbury, Dorchester and downtown Boston including parts of the Back Bay.  These paintings are, for me, a quiet celebration of life found in the urban and ethnic neighborhoods of Boston.”

The evening was an amalgam of Greek Orthodoxy – African American music – and a coming together of the two groups as if they were one because of the art of Nicholas Martinos and the spirits of Dorothea Guild and Arni Cheatham.

Dorothea was stunning in a black embroidered Greek silk blouse, skirt and shoes, all of which were her mothers.  Clothes with a beauty almost unknown today. The image and the symbolism she portrayed in her look was that of a Greek Orthodox priest – it was difficult not to stare because of the richness of her appearance against the backdrop of the Greek Orthodoxy which comes through strongly in Niko’s art.

The community which Dorothea and Arni have gathered around them and who were there to see this exhibit and support their friend was a rare coming together on a very basic level of two communities which normally don’t seem to have many commonalities nor many comings together for any reason.

Maybe in all of this is hope for the rest of us. If we can imitate what is in their lives and values and incorporate a little of the processes which they used to cross many lines without  providing the bridge. (That bridge which is usually a construct used for continued separation of the races.)  Maybe we can all come together and begin to break down those barriers we have built to maintain unreal, unnatural and stilted separations even while we acknowledge and celebrate our original cultural identities.

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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The March on Washington

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

copyright 2013 Bettina Network, inc.

This coming week we will remember one of the highlights of the Civil Rights Movement which changed so much in this country.  It is such an emotional time that I have barely started to write this and the grief, tears and overwhelming feelings take over.

I was very young during the Civil Rights Movement – it took my life from the early 1950’s until today.

As I go back to remember all of those years – from my teenaged years on – several of Dr. King’s words come flooding back.  The strongest in my memory is the quote “You will be judged not by the color of your skin but by the content of your character.”  During my darkest days that will pop up in my mind as I experience the racism, sexism and now ageism of even my closest friends and sometimes, my family.

On Wednesday, August 28 at 3pm, the time and date of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, houses of worship across the country will ring their bells in honor of the anniversary and will play hymns and spirituals.  It should be an awesome moment!  I want to be standing outside where I can hear all of them!

To contrast that to what was happening in the 1950’s and 1960’s is a stretch very few of us can make.  People were being beaten, killed, maimed and the young were being denied freedom and equality.  What young people had equal access to were the dogs, the hoses, the hostile and vicious law enforcement people who then worked hand and glove with the Ku Klux Klan.

Opportunities which these United States gave in its written documents were taken away at birth in the actual living out of life if you were the wrong race and sex.  There has been no giving back.  In fact, we still practice and allow others to practice the denial of the experiences of racism and sexism and we still strongly support the right of those engaging in such denial to be able to continue it.  The denial that was so prevalent at the time is still hanging on with much tenacity and with no sign of the structure which accepts and promotes that denial being taken down.  It is one thing to suffer the indignities and pain of racism and sexism; it is quite another to suffer those indignities and have those perpetrating them stand in front of you and deny their actions.  —it has to do with the content of their character.

So many groups will be leading marches in Washington, D. C. from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Memorial.  Around the country other groups will be leading marches to other places in their cities, towns, villages which have meaning in the context of this Movement.

Where will you be?  What will you be doing?  How will you contribute to the possibility that on August 29th you have helped to bring about some change which will make this a country more receptive to seeing everyone as equal?

The Bettina Network, inc. does its part – as a corporation – small though we may be – to help bring about moving us from a world of individuals, maybe even families, tribes, neighborhoods who see ourselves as better than those others out there – to a group of people who have an ethical commitment to  dismantling the racism even further; to eliminating the sexism; to addressing the ageism and to reducing our thoughts about the culture within which we were raised away from a culture that is greater than, better than, more important than, to a culture which is different from but equal to all others.  From that stance we are about giving, sharing, taking care of others as well as ourselves, and treating even the lowest and most tread upon of our brothers and sisters as equals and with respect.

The other quote from Dr. King which I hear often is “We must all learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) or we will all perish together as fools.”

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

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2013 The Jubilee Year

Friday, February 8th, 2013

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2013 for Marceline Donaldson

We declare the year 2013 to be the Year of the Jubilee and a holy, joyous, history making, sin forgiving year!

By whose authority? – by our own.  Isn’t that how such things happen!!!!

Generations from now, the historical cry will be reported and everyone will forget it was declared by one little person in a tiny corner of Massachusetts in danger of being crushed by Harvard University.

Why 2013? —————– Why not 2013!

The year Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected president of these United States. A man of African and Colonial American origins.  He not only models what African Americans can accomplish, he also models that ‘half-breeds’ can be brilliant, successful, achieve beyond everyone’s expectations and really – how can you tell his racial background from just meeting him?  Doesn’t his smile wipe all of your doubts away?

His election – his person – does not go through years of ancestors stolen from Africa and forcibly put into slavery.   He comes from the combination of the Africans who escaped being brought over as slaves and the very middle-class White Americans who brought some of his family/tribe/countrymen over to do their work for them – for free.  And, in spite of that ancestry he is just as nice and kind and smart and thoughtful and….as he can be.  The progeny of the original enemies in these United States – the original American oppressed and oppressors – those who stole the freedom of generations of human beings so they wouldn’t have to do their own menial work and those who were stolen and lived for generations outside their own country, culture, language, until they no longer could recognize from whence they had come.

This Jubilee Year, which we are declaring, also comes 50 year after Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement which broke out in this country and partially freed some of us from sitting behind signs on buses; drinking from water fountains which were never clean; going to the back door of restaurants and paying the same price for contaminated food handed to us out the back door which we then had to find a place to eat;  travelling and wondering just where we were going to sleep the night because hotels, motels, inns, were not welcoming and did not allow Blacks to register; going to inferior segregated schools; not being allowed into institutions of higher learning except for those established ‘for colored patrons only’ and on and on and on.

We are a step beyond slavery, but still not free!  A more qualified African American woman was passed over for Secretary of State in favor of a qualified, but less qualified White Male from a very Patrician American family – complete with trust fund, hundreds of millions of dollars and a phalanx of supporters in his chosen profession protecting him and making sure anyone threatening his path to his chosen goal was dutifully destroyed – or at the least – with reputation mangled.

With BHO’s election to the presidency we should proclaim this a great year of celebration. No, he is not perfect.  No, I don’t agree with all of his stands on things.  No, I suspect he has more than a little bit of sexism in his soul and it has popped out and will probably continue to do so.  No to a lot about BHO, but YES, I will shout and loudly proclaim this celebration and the debt we owe him for stepping out and moving all of us out of a less equal time.  If I knew about ram’s horns I would probably continuously bother all of my neighbors by playing several, all year.

This Jubilee Year, which we are proclaiming, is a year of unmitigated joy, but also a year of universal pardon for all of the sins of the past.  It is time to put slavery, its manifestations in today’s society, its ruination of the lives of some of my and your ancestors (be they White, Black, Green, Pink, Brown or Purple) in the past and look to the future which this year proclaims possible.  A future that is about all of us – that sees us working together to bring about a world free of the horribleness of the past.

In this Jubilee Year:

We need to call on our brothers and sisters to stop manufacturing foods and other processed goods which are harmful to us!

We need to call on our brothers and sisters to take global warming seriously and stop polluting the planet and to stop doing all the other things which are turning our living rooms into our toilets and our bodies into garbage disposals and composters at the expense of our health!

We need to call on our brothers and sisters to learn to settle their grievances without resorting to killing another human being – raping women and children – blowing up buildings out of their self-righteous hatred – playing games which hurt others, but relieves their own anxieties and covers from them the fact that they are mortal and one day will die.

We need to call on our brothers and sisters to take responsibility for each other.  No one should sleep on the street or in other than a bed, have warm clothing, enough food to eat and be able to live without the fear of another human being.  We are, afterall, more alike than different.  We are our brothers and sisters keepers.  We have heard those messages from childhood as have our parents, grandparents, great grandparents and much further back into history, heard them also, but we still have not put them into practice in our lives.

We need to call on our brothers and sisters to do at least one good deed each day for someone in need.

We need to dismantle our class structure which raises us up to believe some of us are better – as a part of a group – than others of us.

We need to dismantle what is left of racism.

We need to dismantle what is left of sexism.

We need to totally dismantle ageism.

And we need to do all of that and more before December 2013 so we can all end the year feeling great about ourselves and each other.  So that no matter where we are in the world it is a safe place and if we need anything the people in that place will move to supply whatever ‘it’ is.

According to Leviticus 25:10 “Thou shalt sanctify the fiftieth year and shalt proclaim remission to all the inhabitants of thy land; for it is the year of the Jubilee.”

This needs to be a year of great goodness – great deeds – great acknowledgement of our common and shared humanity each one equal to the next, no one greater than another.  We should work hard to keep this Jubilee Year and at the end, maybe we will have created habits which carry over into 2014.

50 years ago – at the beginning of this cycle of this Jubilee year

  • John F. Kennedy and Medgar Evers were assassinated and W. E. B. DuBois dies!
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. writes his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ and later in the year gives his famous “I have a Dream Speech”, during the March on Washington.
  • Hoses and Police dogs turned on protestors and are nationally televised for the first time
  • Children’s crusade brings about a form of settlement – Birmingham juvenile court inundated with African-American children and teenagers arrested while protesting
  • 16th Street Baptist Church bombed killing four young girls – out of which came Condoleeza Rice
and out of all of this and much more in the celebration year, the sabbatical year, has come Barack Husein Obama.
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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S

Dr. Alice Amsden’s Commemoration at MIT

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Dr. Alice Amsden, Barton L. Weller Professor of Economic Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Over the weekend of October 20, 2012 MIT held a commemoration/memorial for Dr. Amsden and it was recorded and published.  One of  the Bettina Network Community members called to ask that we post the email on Bettina Network’s Blog that we sent to those who purchased at Dr. Amsden’s Scattering Sale.  She had forwarded the link to a couple friends and they said the content of the weekend should have a wider ciculation and encouraged her to have the commemoration put on the blog.

In that spirit, the link follows and we invite you to take a look.  It was a tremendous couple of days and an opportunity to both pay tribute to Dr. Amsden and to learn about her ideas, work and family.  We came away with a much greater understanding of what she was about and a different set of ideas about how the world could work.

We sent the following message to those who purchased items at this sale and decided to share it with the Bettina Network’s world.

http://amsden.mit.edu/program/

http://ttv.mit.edu/videos/21431-alice-amsden-commemoration-part-1

“A couple months ago you purchased items at a Bettina Network Scattering Sale which were from the estate of Alice Amsden.

There was a memorial service for Ms. Amsden at MIT recently, which is now on-line.  We have included, at the top of this email, the link for you to use to see this service.  It is a fantastic tribute to Dr. Amsden and it gives you an idea as to who she was, her work, ideas, colleagues and more.

Some of us keep as much of a provenance of the items we buy as possible.  We assume you are one of us and would like to have this information that you can peruse as you wish.  There are six parts to the video and it is excellent.

Thank you for being a part of the Bettina Network Community and for the purchases you made at the Alice Amsden Sale.  We hope this video becomes a part of your collection and you keep it with the items you purchased from Dr. Amsdens estate.

At Bettina Network we are working on building a research library which would include such information on all the items we sell so the next generation will be able to search for and find the art, furnishings, everyday items and more of those who meant a lot to them.  I still wonder what happened to some particular items from my grandmother’s estate.  I would very much have appreciated being able to search for those items, so we are working to give others that opportunity.

We also hope the research library will be used by researchers, appraisers, historians and others to gain an idea into who owned what, why, its value when it was sold and its history before it was acquired by that particular person.

We hope this video is as meaningful to you as it was to us.  Besides the ideas and discussion in this Commemoration, the video about Alice Amsden from baby to the end of life was beautifully done as was the tribute to Dr. Amsden by her family.

We commend it to you with our best wishes and thanks!”
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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

In Memory of Roger Fisher

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

by:  Marceline Donaldson

Sprinkled through Bettina Network’s Blog you will find memories of people we knew and with whom we have interacted over the years.  This time, it is someone who was one of those – along with Larry Susskind of MIT – who were majorly responsible for the growth and survival of Bettina Network, inc.

Roger Fisher was on my mind over the past week – because I wanted to thank him for helping us begin and move forward with the bed & breakfast part of this business.  I didn’t know where to find him and didn’t push to discover his whereabouts so the newspaper informed me this morning of Roger Fisher’s death.

A long time ago, in 1984, Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind turned up at our front door to talk about the possibility of using Bettina’s for their guests coming from around the world.  I remember Roger Fisher sitting in our living room when one of those working with him took me aside to ask if I knew we were entertaining “God”.  That was my introduction to Roger Fisher.  My response was – then “God” has come to the right place because we are building heaven’s annex.  Clearly, we understood there were at least two major ego’s in that room that day!

We were just starting this business and unlike those who claim to have started on a shoe string of maybe $10,000 in debt, we started this business with some $1,000,000 in debt.  I had no idea what I was doing – I knew why – I thought I really knew all there was to know about business – we had some experience with bed & breakfast in another house, but not much – so here we were not sure where we would land, how we would pull this off or where to turn and “God” walked into our living room.

Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind sent us lots of guests and set the tone for what we would become.  Larry and Leslie would come to stay when the weather was bad and they couldn’t make it to Southborough.  Unfortunately for us, they now live in Cambridge.

Over that time period, there were White and Black South Africans in the house at the same time just across the hall from one another before Nelson Mandela and the dismantling of apartheid.  They had never been together before and it was exhilarating for them and for us as they giggled together; went to dinner together; worked together and with Roger and Larry tried to bring about something that hadn’t been seen in South Africa for generations.  We became a bit worried when the last two days of their stay the house became as quiet as a tomb.  The White South Africans and the Black South Africans had separated; went to dinner in their separate groups; stopped going back and forth from one room to another and generally pulled apart, leaving for the airport in two vans – one with the White South Africans, one with the Black South Africans. We called Larry because we were concerned something had happened and learned about “re-entry”.  Something the soul does for you when you are going back into the separatist situation from which you’ve come.

We had Hindu’s in the house the day Gandhi was shot and we were expecting another couple the next day who were Sikh’s.  We had Greek Cypriots and Turks’ sharing the house at the same time during some difficult days for them and before all of them we had Russians before Perestroika.

At one point with the Russians we knew we were going to be picked up by the CIA and hauled off to federal prison because we knew nothing about what was coming, we only knew the Russians were the enemy and here they were exchanging research across our breakfast table with their American counterparts and who were their hosts? – Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind.

Our breakfasts were nothing short of sensational and we were heady being able to talk and listen and understand what was happening in the world outside of the very narrow vision of what was normal for Boston and Cambridge.  We were spared guests who talked about the weather, their aches and pains and their miscreant children.

We thought this was what bed & breakfast was all about and we shaped a business following the path laid out for us by Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind.  Without them we would have taken a different turn and probably would be sitting on the street corner wrapped in a sleeping bag – although a very elegant one!

You go through life and never really know what or how you have touched someone else’s life.  My procrastination in reaching out to Roger Fisher to say thank you is kind of typical of the way most of us live with the assumption that life is forever.  It is not and those words of gratitude and appreciation need to be said long before the end comes.

This is very late Roger Fisher, but thank you!!  Thank you for helping us understand how we could carry that $1 million in debt, survive and grow a business which contributes goodness to life.  We don’t pretend to know much about Negotiation the way you and Larry Susskind developed it, but we do know how human and equal we all become around a table sharing food and good conversation – that alone gives hope that one day we will stop the intense violence, pretending that it will solve our conflicts and bring about peace.

Those first few years when we entertained bed & breakfast guests from the Negotiation Project sent to us by Roger Fisher and Larry Susskind were days we shall never forget and days we always keep uppermost in our minds as a paradigm for this Bettina Network business.

We reached the point, in those days, of not wanting to have guests if they did not have great wisdom to contribute over the breakfast table.  Today, we have some remembrances of that and we strive to bring everyone who visits our homes and our host families into an understanding of what that was like and how fantastic a business this is when we keep those standards, that conversation, those dreams of a world full of diversity where we can come together, disagree, work through those disagreements and walk into a very bright light after breakfast.

Roger, may you walk into a great light and enjoy the fruits of your life’s work as you enter another sphere of growing in wisdom, knowledge and understanding in a way we will not understand until we reach that end point where we join you in your endeavors.

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

A Bettina Network, inc. Scattering Sale

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

  A  BETTINA NETWORK, INC SCATTERING SALE

Available “on location’

In Two Parts:  (See Press Release at bettina-network.com/blog/ to understand how Bettina Scattering Sales work.)

First Part – On-Line. from July 31, 20112 through August 4, 2012

Available thru On-Line Auction

 

 

 

Second Part – On Location. From August 3, 2012 2pm thru 7pm Thru  August 4, 2012 10am thru 5pm

Front View of Desk

 

The location is:  36 Irving Street, Cambridge, MA. 02138 Harvard Square off Kirkland Street (Irving is a one way street)

When you place a bid in this Silent Auction, your name is entered into the “Gift” pot along with others who bid at this sale.  The Gift given to the person whose name is chosen is a one night stay in a bed & breakfast in Concord, MA.

We know you will be respectful of the neighbors, especially since parking can be a problem in this neighborhood.

The worldly goods of Dr. Alice Amsden,  Professor of Political Economics at MIT in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Researcher at MIT Center for International Studies are being offered to you.  The things with which she surrounded herself to make her life more comfortable.   Dr. Amsden’s collection includes Japanese, Korean, Chinese and English furniture which she inherited from her family. Other items in this sale include: books, posters, cut glass, porcelain, jewelry, wall hangings, Korean platform bed, American futon bed beautiful wood, REF INF1200 – boxes unopened, Jevity 1.5 cal cans – six unopened boxes, dozens of VHS tapes from Japan and U.S. – still in the shrink wrap, dozens of VHS tapes custom taped of sports events-historical events-unusual stories dating from 1986, interesting objet d’art, stainless steel pots, iron pots, lots of porcelain bowls-plates-other forms, leather jackets, suede jackets, Japanese smoking jacket, new tennis shoes, other clothes, books, CD’s, paintings, lots of Japanese Lustreware and more.

English Regency-style Drop Leaf Table

On-line at www.bettina-network.com, you will find a silent auction part to this sale which ends August 4th at 5pm.  The items offered in the silent auction are different from the items for sale on location.  They are all in the same location and can be viewed online now or starting August 3rd at the Amsden Scattering Sale location. Both sales end at the same time.

The items in the silent auction will be sold to the highest bidder.  All bids for the silent auction must be made on line.

Exquisite Rug

For more information see Bettina Sales on our web site at bettina-network.com

The second part of the sale is on-location at 36 Irving Street, Cambridge, MA. 02138.  That sale starts August 3rd from 2pm – 7pm and August 4th 10am through 5pm.

The on-line and on-location items are both located at the same place in Dr. Amsden’s Cambridge – Harvard Square home.

English, Spanish and French spoken to help you get as much information as possible in a language you know best.

Purchase an item at this sale and you are invited back to the house for a small Sunday afternoon musical.  Bring your receipt – which is your invitation – look around the house and take with you whatever you would like which has not been sold as a gift to you at no charge and help us leave the house in a ‘broom clean’ condition.  At the same time, enjoy a bit of wine – tea – coffee – pastries and the flute music of Orlando Cela, well known, accomplished, classical flutist.  

=======================================================================================================

Bettina Network, inc. is looking for people interested in working with us on estate sales.  You must speak at least two languages – one English – and have a love and understanding of elegant, different and unusual lifestyles.  A knowledge of art, antiques and history is a definite plus.  The work includes cleaning, researching, styling, greeting people at the sale and selling. You must have a strong need to grow and learn and can add to our vision of a Bettina Network Community.  The pay is low, the opportunities high and possibility for advancement has no cap. ===================================================================================

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

A Reflection at Life’s End!

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

copyright 2012 Bettina Network

You have chosen to sing
someone else’s song.

You have chosen to dream
someone else’s dream

You have chosen to live
someone else’s life
–   and   –

so you have chosen to die alone,
grieved intensely,
by those who watched your pain grow and consume your life.

While your life lies fallow – your dreams die before they were born!

Your art and music find no fulfillment, for they have no support!

Your ancestors died of broken hearts

Their stories go untold or distorted

Their sacrifices fall like dead seed on frozen ground!

Their dreams for you now float with your dreams,
unattached in the Universe.

Your ancestors grieve for you
as you grow old
and alone
and grieve for them!!!!!!

You understand – in that old age – their pain and suffering
You break the Veil calling to them your sorrow and regret!

They can hear you,
but you can neither hear nor see them!

As light dims, you feel the pull and confusion of departing

Love given and not returned
Promises broken – talents undeveloped – understanding sharpening – wisdom overgrown

Are they waiting?
Do they hear?
Do they still care?
Will they be there at the end?

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

A Wonderful Concord Christmas Story

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

copyright Bettina Network, inc. for Barbara Marden 2011

A few days before Christmas I was giving a friend’s out of town visitor a tour of the house.  My friends six year old son David was with us and did he get excited when I showed him  a secret place to store treasures.  It was in our main bed and breakfast bedroom above the fireplace mantelpiece. Our “restoration” carpenter from New Hampshire created that little cavern when he tore down the wall above the mantelpiece and put shelves in the recess. David was less impressed by my description of what we found when the wall was torn. The major items were a ladies button boot, a breast pump, and some letters, each offering consolation for the death of a child.  Losing a child was apparently a common event for families from the time our house was built in the early 1700s through even later times.

 

One of the letters, three pages long, and now in the Concord library, showed beautiful handwriting similar to our forefathers’ writing of our Constitution. It was a letter from Cyrus Barrett to his sister Sally, who had married into the Wood family living in our house. The Barrett family house is now being restored as part of Concord’s historical park.  The Minutemen had ammunition hidden in the Barrett’s cornfield the day of the shot heard round the world. Written in New Orleans in 1819, Cyrus first offered condolences over a son’s death  and continued by describing a familiar theme, an economic downturn. I have not corrected the spelling in the following quotes:

 

“I was much affected by the maloncholly intelligence contained in your letter of the sudden death of your affectionate and much loved little John.  I recollect him perfectly and have often been amused by his innocent playfulness.  I am not surprised that his death should occasion the deepest sorrow in you, yet at the same time you are left with the comfortable assurance that he is happier than your fondest wishes and care could have made him.”

 

“New Orleans has for some time past been suffering under a heavy weight of commercial embarrasement.  Many of her most enterprising Merchants have failed and those who continue in business are constantly complaining of heavy taxes.  The Produce of the country is extremely low. Cotton which formerly sold for 30 cents now sells for 16 cts and other articles have suffered the same depression in values, but notwithstanding the times look so gloomy we are looking forward for a change.”

 

Thinking about the letters makes me glad to be alive today.  In spite of all the economic and political problems, we are saved the grief of losing so many children.

And of course so many of our tasks are much easier, for instance baking these Russian tea cakes I gave my friend to take home.  They make excellent cookies for any occasion.

 

INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS FOR BAKING RUSSIAN TEACAKES:

 

1 cup butter                           1 teaspoon vanilla (or brandy)

½ cup confectioners sugar        ¾ cup chopped pecans

2and ¼ cup sifted flour             1 cup confectioners sugar

 

Cream shortening and sugar. Stir in vanilla.  Add flour and then nuts.  Form 1” balls and bake 14 to 17 minutes in 325 oven. While still hot roll carefully in confectioners sugar.

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Alabama’s first licensed black female pilot dies at 90

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 12:16 PM Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 12:35 PM

The Associated Press By The Associated Press 
mildred.JPG
Mildred Carter, pictured here in 2003, shows her pilot’s
license from 1941. (The Birmingham News/ file photo)

TUSKEGEE, Alabama — Mildred Carter, who was Alabama’s first licensed black female pilot, has died. She was 90.

Funeral services for Carter will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Tuskegee’s St. Andrews Episcopal Church with The Rev. Liston Garfield officiating. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery.

Her husband Herbert was a Tuskegee Airman.

In an interview with The Montgomery Advertiser he recalled how they had flown in a two-plane formation high over Alabama. He remembers how they laughed and exchanged silent “I love you” signals over their engine noise 3,000 feet above Lake Martin.

“We didn’t have radio contact, so we made up for it with hand signals and blew kisses at each other,” the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel said Tuesday. “It was a lot of fun.”

Herbert Carter, who compiled a distinguished flying record during World War II and, later, in peacetime, recalled those unauthorized rendezvous flights over the lake.

“I was a maintenance officer as well as a combat pilot and one of my jobs was to take planes up for a test flight after we worked on them,” he said. “That’s when we came up with the idea of flying over the lake. Nobody ever said anything to me about what we did.”

Both had to overcome racial prejudices and discriminatory practices when they learned to fly, but they persevered. As the years passed, they became the “first family” of the Tuskegee Airmen organization and represented the group at functions around the world.

She is survived by her husband, three children, a sister, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

© 2011 al.com. All rights reserved.

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Another Secret Exposed!

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2011

The request for my Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is a difficult one to fill.  It is really my grandmother’s and to sit down and even just think about it brings tears to my eyes and many memories of my early youth.

Thanksgiving was a fun day at our house.  My grandmother didn’t invite anyone to dinner – but somehow lots of people came.  I think of where I live now and it would be sacrilege to just show up at someone’s door on any holiday without being invited and expect to be well treated and invited to stay for dinner without a lot of tension in the air and in the person’s voice who opened the door.  How sad for them!

Our Thanksgiving turkey was raised in our back yard – as was our Christmas goose.  My grandmother didn’t like eating meat she didn’t know what it had been fed or who raised it – so we raised our own – in the middle of New Orleans, LA.  It was almost as much fun as watching my grandmother prepare the turtle she used as the center of her courtbouillion – which we pronounced  (euphemistically written) ‘coo bi yon’.

We always had corn bread with breakfast on Thanksgiving morning because we needed the corn bread later for the stuffing.  So make enough corn bread to serve for breakfast with enough left over to stuff the turkey.  PLEASE DO NOT put sugar, maple syrup or any kind of sweetener in your corn bread, it will ruin the dressing.

The turkey dressing recipe follows:

Chop – one onion, one green pepper, two or three stalks celery.  If you want a stronger taste in the stuffing from your vegetables you can use however many onions, etc. that are more to your liking.

Sauté them in a large deep skillet in which you put half olive oil and half butter.

Add seasonings – the same seasonings you are putting on your turkey – thyme, oregano, sage, salt and cayenne pepper.

Stir the vegetables until they are well mixed and the onions begin to soften and you are satisfied that the pot of ingredients are now lightly cooked.

Add about 1/2 pound ground beef (or sometimes sausage), one pound shrimp – cut into small pieces, oysters to taste with their liquor, the insides from the turkey – the liver, gizzard, etc., and mix with the vegetables in the cooking pot until the shrimp turn pink.

Once you feel your dressing is nice and lightly cooked add four to six organic eggs – which have been whipped as though you were going to scramble them, about 1/2 to one cup whole milk or even heavy cream, and mix all of this together.

Turn your corn bread into crumbs along with using your whole wheat bread that you normally use for meals, etc. into crumbs and add these to the stuffing – about half and half, but if you have more of one than the other – no problem.  Add enough to absorb any liquid from the dressing.  You want a nice, almost, but not quite dry stuffing to put in the turkey.  Take into consideration that the juices from the turkey will run through the stuffing as the turkey cooks.

No, Virginia, we don’t cook the dressing outside the turkey.  Never have for several generations and every one is alive, well and lived into their nineties or at least well past their middle eighties.  And no one died nor got sick from my grandmother’s turkey stuffing.

Wait until the turkey cooks and make sure you get a small plate of dressing to taste before you serve the turkey.  You want to act nice and proper and not shock your guests with just how much turkey stuffing you eat over Thanksgiving.  Once you eat your fill in the kitchen, you can eat a small amount at the table and all will be fine.

Hope that is what you wanted!  From your note I can tell you changed my grandmother’s turkey dressing.  How could you?  What have you done to it and is it still memorable?

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Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

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Olive Oil and Shoes!

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2011

What in the world would Olive Oil have in common with SHOES????  The two together sounds like the beginning of the end of the shoes and a grand mess to clean.

 

We had an interesting breakfast with a bed & breakfast guest sitting on the side sofa in the dining room, joining the conversation and cleaning his shoes!!!

 

Using normal kinds of shoe cleaning materials that could have been a smelly mess and interfere with breakfast, causing smells that would make most of us stop eating and leave the table.  This guest, however, came down for breakfast and asked if we had a bit of Olive Oil that he could have in a small saucer or cup or any kind of container.

 

We thought he was going to use the Olive Oil on his eggs or maybe he didn’t want butter on his toast and was going to use the Olive Oil on his toast so we gave him a saucer and put the bottle of Olive Oil on the table in case any other guest wanted to do the same.

 

This guest had a small rag with him which he dipped into the Olive Oil which he had poured into his saucer and sat on the side sofa and began to wipe his shoes all over with the rag full of Olive Oil.  Imagine the surprise around the table!  He very nonchalantly joined the conversation, which came to a halt when folks saw what he was doing.  He spent a little bit of time carefully wiping his shoes all over with the rag and at the end took his shoes into the bathroom and rinsed off the soles of his shoes.  Wow!  The only thing the rest of us had ever done was to take off our shoes and, if we weren’t too tired, put them in the closet.

 

His shoes looked spectacular.  He took them to his room and came back to join the group for breakfast.  The questions were all waiting for him.  Was he going to wear them that morning?  Wasn’t he afraid the Olive Oil would ruin the leather?  Why did he do this to his shoes?  Didn’t he use regular shoe polish to take care of what looked like very expensive shoes.

 

He said his mother made him do this when he was a kid growing up.  Every night before going to bed he had to clean and polish the shoes he had worn that day.  He rubbed them all over with Olive Oil – taking off any dust, etc. which might have collected during the day and would carefully rinse off the soles of his shoes so he didn’t keep in the house any debris tracked in from outside.  He didn’t want that kind of ‘dirt’ in his closet.  He then put his shoes in his closet overnight and let the Olive Oil soak in.  He didn’t wear his shoes out immediately when he cleaned them with Olive Oil, he wanted them to dry first, but he didn’t have Olive Oil with him and since he arrived late at night, didn’t want to bother anyone so he waited until morning to clean his shoes.  The airlines wouldn’t let him keep his little bottle of Olive Oil, so he had to give it up before boarding the plane.

 

Well, you can imagine what followed.  All but one of us poured Olive Oil into our coffee cups’ saucer and tried rubbing it on our shoes.  The results were great!  It was a hilarious time and I was converted. I have continued to use Olive Oil on my shoes and I have not been someone who cleans their shoes after each use -not even during a long shoe-lifetime of wearing.  When the shoes get too dirty – out they go into the trash.  Now, I will probably have shoes lasting close to forever from what I’ve experienced as a result of cleaning my shoes daily with Olive Oil.  The first time I tried this I put the shoes in the closet and took them out the next day to see the results.  I didn’t clean any ‘good’ shoes because I was a skeptic.  Wow! Those everyday shoes now look really great – as though I had them professionally shined and all I did was to rub them all over with a little bit of Olive Oil.

His mother trained him well.

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

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Beautiful and Elegant Skin!!

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

copyright The Bettina Network, inc. 2011

well, we have once again stumbled upon one of the fountains of elegance!  Can’t say youth because that is a fallacy!  Everything that looks good is called “young”.  That is a bad habit we should break – soon!  Try this and when you look in the mirror you will see reflected back, a more beautiful you.

The youth of today are already out of control with an abominable arrogance. How did they get it?  All the marketing of “youth” would make the strongest young person arrogant.  We use ‘young’  and ‘restore your youth’ to market and advertise products almost as much as we use ‘sex’.  The most common tag line in advertising is to try this and that – it will make you look and feel ‘young’.  That makes the strongest young person arrogant.  And we wonder what’s wrong with our ‘youth’ today!!!

This beauty secret is something we’ve known about for generations.  Many of us had a tough brush with this growing up.  COD LIVER OIL!

What does that have to do with beauty and elegance?  Try it on your skin and see what happens!

Another breakfast discovery at one of the Bettina Network bed & breakfast homes!

Take a capsule of cod liver oil – one with oil on the inside, not a solid capsule – clip off the end and squeeze out the oil into your cupped hand.  Very gently rub this oil all over your face as you would any face cream.  Let it stay on your face at least 20 minutes, preferably longer,  and voila! a change for the better that can be seen.  Only make sure you aren’t going out soon after because folks will begin to move a little away from you when you enter a room and sit down.  You will smell like cod liver oil.

We tried it for several weeks and people we met were commenting on how great we look!  We put it on at night before going to bed so by morning when we splash cold water on our face to get a little blood flow going in the cheeks, the smell of cod liver oil is gone.

Sorry, the royal wedding is having an affect on my language – the royal ‘we’ will probably be around in everything I write until all this hoopla has died down!  My children try to say that royal ‘we’ has been around a lot longer, but I just ignore them.

This beauty treatment did bring back some controversial memories, which I suspect many of us share.  I remember my grandmother giving me cod liver oil on half an orange and telling me it was just an orange and good for me so eat it.  She claimed it would keep me beautiful.  One look at that very oily orange and you knew you were being conned.  One taste of that orange and you just about gagged on everything you had recently eaten.   What she should have told me was to take that half-orange soaked in cod liver oil, rub it on my face, let it stay for a goodly amount of time, and I would always be beautiful!

What struck us as we tried this cod liver oil on the face was the fact that unlike other oils which tended to bother our eyes if we weren’t careful and put oil too close to our eyes, cod liver oil didn’t do that.  We could put cod liver oil under our eyes and on our eyelids and there was no stinging, burning or other negative side affects.  We don’t know why, we are just reporting on the results of our experiments.  You might find that to be true or you might find some other affect.

What also struck us was the fact that the cod liver oil was absorbed into our skin fairly quickly.  There was no oily residue even when we put on lots of cod liver oil.

We decided this would be one of our beauty regimens.  Dry milk, vitamins A and E one day, coconut oil a second day, aloe vera gel a third day, royal jelly a fourth day and cod liver oil capsules on the skin on the fifth day.  If that doesn’t create an amazingly beautiful person – on the outside – we don’t know what will.  Try it, you’ll like who you see reflected in the mirror in about three to four weeks.  Remembering that natural remedies don’t work immediately, although if 1) your skin is dry and has been neglected for some time, or 2) you have been spending lots of money and time on cosmetics which at worst dry out your skin and at best do nothing for you, you are likely to see some immediate results – both in the money left in your pocket book for you to spend and when you look at your face.

We haven’t tried it, but I suspect this would make a great all-over massage treatment.  In which case you really want to stay away from other people until you have given yourself a great cod-liver oil massage; let it stay for an hour or so; and have rinsed yourself off in the shower with luke warm moving to cold water.  This might even be good for your health!

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

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