Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Decorating Easter Eggs
For ideas on how to decorate your Easter eggs and have a fun time with the kids, go to The site has several ideas. Here’s a few. For more ideas, go to the site.
Use leaves or flowers to create a unique design. Simply place your chosen leaf or flower on the outside of an egg and slip it into a pantyhose, tightly securing the hose with a knot. Lower the egg into your chosen color. Leave eggs in the dye until you’ve achieved your desired brightness and then remove from dye.
Helpful Hints
·         Cut panty hose into squares and tie a knot at the bottom.
·         When tying the open end of the panty hose, ensure that it’s tied as tightly against the egg as possible, so the leaf does not slip during egg dyeing.
·         Use scissors to cut open the nylon to easily extract the egg and leaf.
·         If leaves aren’t available, try fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley or sage.
That's A Wrap
Thinly coat a piece of bubble packaging with acrylic paint, then roll egg over the paint. Let the paint dry on the egg, then repeat with another color, if desired.
Helpful Hints
·         Paint a very thin coat of paint three to four bubbles wide to ensure clear "bubble" imprints; dab bubble wrap with a paper towel if paint looks too thick.
·         To layer color, make sure paint dries on egg between each coat.
Dainty Designs
Find beautifully patterned paper napkins and cut out the design. Apply them to the outside of the egg using decoupage glue (Modge Podge) or craft glue.
Helpful Hints
·         Colorful paper napkin patterns can be found at your local home or party store.
·         If a pattern is intricately detailed, use a cuticle scissors to cut out the design.
Have fun. Happy Easter!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Fever…Real or a Poet’s Joke on Us
Robin at the Hilton Homestead, photo by Mary Sue Weeks

In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” …Alfred, Lord Tennyson
There is some scientific evidence that, yes, Spring Fever really exists. If you consider SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder that could very well be true. It may also be true that our poets are leading us down the garden path so to speak by spreading all these love poems based on the glories of Spring and the feelings the season invokes in all of us at some level or other.
According to Fever 101 hormones may be the driving force behind Spring Fever. As the days grow longer and brighter, we rejoice, we go out into the sunshine and stretch our legs and exercise more. All of which, according to some scientists, increases our hormone levels, vis a vis sexual drive until we could say that yes we have “Spring Fever.”
Spring Poetry
As for all that spring love poetry, I’ll leave that to the real poets and to our resident poet, Kendall Merriam. This month he gives us two spring poems, “Daffodils in March” and “Spring Moon-A Fragment.” Check them out at his blog space.
Song of Songs
The greatest love poem ever written appears in both Hebrew and Christian literature in Song of Songs. The following information about Song of Songs is excerpted from Wikipedia:
The Song of Songs, also Song of Solomon or Canticles (Hebrew: שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים, Šîr HašŠîrîm, Greek: ᾎσμα ᾈσμάτων, asma asmaton, both meaning "song of songs"), is one of the megillot (scrolls) found in the last section of the Tanakh, known as the Ketuvim (or "Writings"), and a book of the Old Testament.
Unlike other books in the Hebrew or Christian Bibles, “Song of Songs” does not teach a lesson or impart any ecclesiastical wisdom. It simply celebrates sexual love. It gives "the voices of two lovers, praising each other, yearning for each other, proffering invitations to enjoy.” The two are in harmony, each desiring the other and rejoicing in sexual intimacy; the women (or "daughters") of Jerusalem form a chorus to the lovers, functioning as an audience whose participation in the lovers' erotic encounters facilitates the participation of the reader.
In modern Judaism the Song is read on the Sabbath during the Passover, which marks the beginning of the grain harvest as well as commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. Jewish tradition reads it as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel.  Christian tradition, in addition to appreciating the literal meaning of a romantic song between husband and wife, has also largely adopted an allegorical reading of the piece, taking it as relating Christ (the bridegroom) and his Church (the bride).
Here is a verse section from the poem:


Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
    for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
    your name is like perfume poured out.
    No wonder the young women love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
    Let the king bring me into his chambers.
(To read the complete poem, go to “Hedi Bak…A Friend in Time” in the January 2012 archives.)
Hollywood took advantage of this tradition in America with a series of films called “Beach Blanket Bingo.” Many more versions were to follow. Enjoy this trailer of the 1965 film. We miss you Annette.
Passover begins at midnight tomorrow, April 14 and runs through April 22 at midnight. Christians just observed Palm Sunday and will celebrate Easter this Sunday, April 19.
Enjoy your spring, Good Pesach, Happy Easter, and thanks for listening.

Monday, April 7, 2014

50 Years of
Part III – The End of the Road…Abbey Road
Continuing this final chapter of our discussion of “50 Years of Beatlemania,” I will discuss my favorite album, Abbey Road. We will also discuss the reasons leading up to the dissolution of the band and many of the controversies they were involved in during their rise to fame around the world.
Abbey Road was the band’s last recorded studio album. Although Let It Be was the last album they completed before the band’s dissolution in April 1970, most of that album was recorded before the recording of Abbey Road began.
Notice that the album cover shows Paul with no shoes on as the boys cross Abbey Road. We’ll talk about that later. Many people have gone to that spot to recreate that scene with their own friends in the picture.
Here are the songs on Side one:
“Come Together.” The song was an expansion of “Let’s Get It Together,” which Lennon originally wrote for Timothy Leary’s governor of California campaign against Ronald Reagan.
“Something.” George Harrison wrote this song after he was inspired by James Taylor’s “Something in the Way She Moves” from his album. The song was originally given to Joe Cocker, but was later recorded for Abbey Road. Cocker’s version appeared on his album, Joe Cocker.
“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” By McCartney, was performed by the Beatles during the Let It Be sessions as can be seen in the film. He wrote the song after the group’s trip to India in 1968 and wanted to record it for The White Album but it was turned down as “too complicated.” Tensions flared between Paul and John during the recording of this song resulting in John’s walking out and spending a week with Ono. She was often the reason for tension between the band members and may herself have been a big reason for the dissolution of the band.
“Oh ! Darling.” Written by McCartney in the doo-wop style that Frank Zappa had recently made popular.
“Octopus’s Garden.” Starr sang lead vocal on one track. This song was his second and last solo composition released on any album by the band. It was inspired by a trip to Sardinia aboard Peter Sellers’ yacht after Starr left the band for two weeks with his family during the sessions for The White Album.
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy.” Was written by Lennon about his relationship with Ono.
Here are the songs on Side two:
“Here Comes the Sun.” My favorite song on the album, was written by Harrison, which he wrote in Eric Clapton’s garden in Surrey, England while taking a break from band business. Harrison sang lead and acoustic guitar; McCartney voiced backup vocals and played base; and Starr played the drums. Lennon was still recuperating from a car accident and did not perform in the song.
Give it a listen on YouTube:
“Because.” Inspired by Lennon listening to Ono playing Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano. As he was listening he suddenly said, “Can you play those chords backward?” She did, and he wrote “Because” around them. The song has a three-part harmony with Lennon McCartney, and Harrison.
“Medley.” Several short songs which were blended into a suite by McCartney and Martin. Included were: “You Never Give Me Your Money,” “Sun King,” “Mean Mr. Mustard,” “Polythene Pam,” “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” written by McCartney after a fan did indeed enter his residence via his bathroom window; “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry the Weight,” and a reprise of “You Never Give Me Your Money; and with vocals from all four Beatles, “The End.” As the song goes “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” And that was the end.
“Her Majesty” One song which was spliced in at the last minute because a technician was told never to waste anything. The Beatles liked the way it was done and included it on the album.
My Demise Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
Back to Paul and his bare feet on the album cover. Much was made of the fact that he was barefoot because he was dead. Rumors were rampant after the completion of Abbey Road as each member went on to his own thing. Paul in fact decided to spend time with his new wife Linda at his Scottish retreat.
Other clues to the death rumor included the supposed message from “Revolution 9” from the White Album, which played backwards says “turn me on, dead man.” There was also a rumor he’d died in a car accident.
Of course Paul did finally appear in public again and the rest is history.
More than any other band of the day, the Beatles stirred up more controversy than any other group. It is all part of their heritage and some of the controversies may have led to their demise as a group. It is also one of the reasons why they are remembered so much and why their music is played constantly even today.
One member or the other was always getting into some kind of trouble. I remember one time when Paul was caught with marijuana at an airport somewhere.
On their fourth American tour in Memphis people gathered with the Ku Klux Klan, if you can believe it, to burn their Beatles materials because John had previously said that the band was more popular than Jesus. A firecracker was thrown onto the stage during the performance of the song “Help”. At that point the band decided to quit touring. They also became fed up with not being able to hear their music as they performed it because of constant screaming from the fans. One time on Ed Sullivan, Ed pled with the audience to scream at the end of their performance and not during it.
John and Yoko
John and Yoko, the dynamic “love” children of the day stirred up their own controversies. They met in 1966 and relationships between the four boys were never the same after that. John was often preoccupied with Yoko and the two of them often put their own projects ahead of the group. On their Two Virgins album, recorded in 1968, they both appeared naked on the album cover. The album was seized by police at Newark Airport.
And Then There Was…
Mararishi Mahesh Yogi, whose influence the Beatles fell under at one time. This was when their music started to get weird in my opinion. Maybe it was that damn sitar or all that hash or something. If it wasn’t a dispute with some of the lyrics of their songs like “Back in the USSR;” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” which really wasn’t about the hallucinatory drug, LSD; and others; or the Love-Ins; the Peace Protests; and other general mayhem, our day would have been dull as far as the Beatles were concerned.
Then there was George’s supposed snub from the Queen. He refused to accept an OBE from the Queen (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2006, because Paul had been knighted in 1997. Harrison and his band mates accepted an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order) in 1965, but Lennon later returned the award in a peace protest.

The Saddest Note

The saddest note in all this is the murder of John Lennon on December 8, 1980 as he and his wife, Yoko Ono, were walking past their home at the Dakota in New York City. John was shot four times by Mark David Chapman. John had previously autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman. There was no funeral. John was cremated and his ashes scattered in Central Park near the Dakota. The Strawberry Fields memorial was later created there. I showed you a picture of my visit to that site when I was in NYC in Part I of this series.
Chapman pled guilty to second degree murder and received a 20 year-to-life sentence. He is still in prison in 2014, having been denied parole seven times.

Lennon’s message of peace and love didn’t get through to Chapman, unfortunately.

The “Beat” of the Beatles Goes On
All these 50 years later and still the controversy continues. The music still goes on too. There will always be a certain group of music lovers who will call themselves “Beatlemaniacs.” I count myself among them. Go listen to your favorite Beatle’s song on YouTube for your own special “flash from the past” trip.
Special Note: See The Beatles Are Here! By Penelope Rowlands, Algonquin Books. She includes quotes and stories from people of every part of the music business and all genres of music and how the Beatles influenced their music and the unbelievable impact the Beatles had on music that will be felt by the generations to come. She includes stories from Bruce Springsteen, Janis Ian, Berry Gordy, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Little Richard, B.B. King, and more.
Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


(Here are some excerpts from Ted’s column for February 25, 1972)

How Serious is a Felon?

Most People Don’t Realize


What does it mean to an individual to be a convicted felon? A convicted felon is any person who has been tried and found guilty, or pleaded guilty, to a felony, the most common of which is breaking and entering crimes.

The present Knox County Superior Court session is presided over by Justice William S. Silsby. The judge has repeated over and over the seriousness of carrying the tag of convicted felon. Even those who have been fortunate to escape punishment by confinement and placed on probation will carry the label for the rest of their lives, or until such time they might be granted a full pardon.

“Liberty is one of the greatest liberties of all,” the judge told a defendant last week.

We spoke with the judge this week and asked him what some of the things were that a convicted felon would be deprived of. He said that they cannot hold public office; would not be acceptable as police officers; could not hold any federal job; with few exceptions the armed services will not accept them; and some find it very difficult to get bonded.

In addition any convicted felon can have his credibility impeached if ever called as a witness in a court case.

“Persons who are convicted felons always have it come back to haunt them,” Judge Silsby said, adding that “some don’t seem to realize it.”

In order to receive a pardon, the judge said that it had been his experience that a person would have to maintain a good record for at least eight or 10 years before they could be considered for a pardon.

In this same vein did you notice the “Dear Abby” letter in Wednesday’s edition from the person who had once been arrested and later completely cleared of any crime, but still experienced extreme difficulty in securing a meaningful job.

Here are a few 1971 statistics on the Maine State Prison supplied by the Department of Mental Health and Corrections:

Average daily population, 341; total admission during the year, 275; total released, 308; average length of stay of those released, three years; average age of inmates at admission, 26 years; average education, eighth grade; most common offense, breaking, entering and larceny.

Writings Dated Sunday

Are you one of those persons who believe that it is unlawful to pay a bill or receive payment on Sunday?

You have probably heard it said that any checks, receipts or contracts dated on Sunday are not worth the paper they are printed on. If you are one such person, take heed of the revised statutes of Maine:

“No deed, contract, receipt or other instrument in writing is void because dated on the Lord’s day without other proof than the date of its having been made and delivered on that day.”

1971 Sardine Pack

The 1971 pack of canned Maine sardines totaled 776,649 actual cases, compared with 743,831 cases in 1970, according to the Maine Sardine Council.

There were 20 plants packing in 1971 and 21 plants in 1970.

Packing was spotty in 1971 with the smaller fish scarce, however, there was a more plentiful supply of large fish, which were packed in the 15-oz. can. The pack of 15-oz. cans in 1971 reached 200,000+ cases.

(Some of the type on the copy I made of this column was iffy, but I believe I got these last facts correct. The 2000,000+ cases is an estimate as all the figures were not discernable.)