October 4, 2015
Maybe I should call it a fall in the park. Thankfully, a compassionate lady and her daughter helped me get up and walk me to my car after I fell while walking in Cooper Creek Park. I spent five days at St. Francis Hospital and will go to my cardiologist for more tests to determine what caused me to black out. I’m sure age had something to do with it. Thanks to folks at St. Francis, my doctors, and family and friends for their loving support.
September 11, 2015
Doc Severinsen autographing CDs at River Center, Columbus, GA
Doc Severinsen and his big band brought the house down in the Bill Heard Theater at the River Center last night. At age 88, he can still hit the really high notes on his trumpet, and energetically lead his band and emcee the concert from start to finish. The concert featured the great big band and jazz classic songs of the swing era. It was encouraging to see a lot of young folks there, some with their grand parents and some Schwob School of Music students.
I asked one of the CSU Jazz Band students what he thought of the concert. He thought it was great and said, “I’m going to have to practice more.” Doc had taught aMaster Class for Schwob students before the concert.
The line of fans wanting to buy autographed CDs was the longest I have ever seen.
It was truly an enjoyable evening, especially for audience members who, like me, enjoyed Severensin and his band on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show on NBC for thirty years.
Thanks to the Columbus Jazz Society for sponsoring the event.
August 8, 2015
No not the gap between a London tube platform and a train’s car that signs warn riders to “mind,” but the very wide income gap between America’s wealthy and it’s shrinking middle class. That’s going to be the key issue in the upcoming presidential election. I didn’t hear it mentioned in the Republican debate Thursday night on Fox News.
One of the reporters did ask how Republican candidates are going to respond to Hillary Clinton’s claim, that, in essence, all Republicans care about are the wealthy. The main answer was that Republicans will grow the economy which will provide more jobs. Will it? The economy has bounced back since the 2008 Great Recession. The trouble is that the improvement was soaked up by those at the top. The average worker’s income remained virtually flat. Money that could have been used to raise the incomes of employees and provide jobs went to the top. CEOs are doing very well. Just ask Donald Trump.
Wedge issues like Planned Parenthood and immigration got a lot of attention during the debate, but they didn’t derail President Obama and they won’t derail the Democratic candidate this time around, either. Again, the main issue will be the economy. Growing it is not enough. Making sure that a fair share of that growth goes to America’s working class is the issue. The Democratic candidate can win the election, but will that solve the problem? Well, a Democrat has been sitting in the White House for almost 8 years now and the problem is still very much with us.
July 3, 2015
There is good reason to think that is the case. The sophisticated jazz music I’m listening to right now is a good start. Here’s the news release published by CSU University Relations yesterday.
COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University went live today with its first radio station, thanks to a local contribution. Just after midnight, 88.5 WCUG-FM Cougar Radio signed on and inaugurated a new era in student broadcasting opportunities for CSU.
Housed in CSU’s Department of Communication on the RiverPark campus and operated by students under the direction of department faculty and staff, WCUG-FM enables university faculty and students to produce and broadcast original content over the 22,000-watt station, 24 hours a day. In addition to original content, the station will offer a broadcast schedule of music and other programming to fit diverse tastes and interests.
“The CSU Department of Communication is growing in number of majors and in classroom and community opportunities for students to gain practical experience in many areas of the industry said Danna Gibson, chair of the department. “We are excited to launch the station and provide opportunities for communication students to learn all aspects of running a radio station. We are grateful for this gift that will enhance not only our communication studies, public relations and integrated media concentrations but also will open opportunities for all CSU students.”
For now, the music on 88.5 will not change much. But that will change soon. The station plans a limited schedule of programming in the first few months of operation, according to Gibson. The schedule will expand in fall with additional original programming and news, as well as music and sports. “We look to faculty and students to tell us what they want to hear on WCUG,” she said. “This is a great learning lab for our students, but it also is a new alternative in radio listening for our university and the community. I invite you to listen to us as we grow,” she adde
July 1, 2015
Anyone interested in restarting a film society group in Columbus, Georgia? I don’t know what happened to the one that existed at one time, but I think it would be fun to have one now. After all, the Screening Room at the Ritz 13 is showing a Carmike Classic every Tuesday night at 7. All seats $5. Not bad. We plan to make the next one and hope to see you there. We saw “Raging Bull” last night. Robert De Niro turned in an incredible performance as Jake LaMotta.
This Tuesday, July 7, it’s David Lean’s (yes, the fellow who directed “Lawrence of Arabia”) production of Noel Cowards “Brief Encounter.” It is indeed a classic.
May 25, 2015
“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.”
— Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in World War II
April 29, 2015
THE SERVICE STARTS AT 10;40 A.M. DIRECTIONS: GOING NORTH ON WHITESVILLE ROAD, TURN LEFT ON HEIFERHORN WAY, WHICH IS THE FIRST LEFT AFTER WILLIAMS ROAD INTERSECTION. THE U.U.’S GRACE HALL IS AT THE END OF THE STREET IN WHAT WAS THE F.O.P. BUILDING.
Cameron Bean, Executive Director,, Columbus Symphony Orchestra
April 19, 2015
Emily Inman’s Parlor in the Swan House in Atlanta’s tony Biuckhead.
…the Civil War exhibit at the Atlanta Historical Society Center. I didn’t enjoy the Swan House more because of any shortcomings of “The Turning Point: the American Civil War,” because it is a very impressive exhibit of some 1400 Civil War artifacts, but because it really brings home just how horrific that war was. 670,000 people died in that war, many of them from dysentery. And to think that if a man owned 20 or more slaves in the Georgia, South he was exempted from being drafted. Yes, it was a “rich man’s war, but a poor man’s fight,” as a a lot of the poor farm boys who were doing most of the fighting said. This idea is very effectively explored in David William’s Rich Man’s War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley. I read it about ten years ago. It really came to mind again as I walked through that exhibit at the Atlanta History Museum.
The Swan House, built in 1928 , gives us a good idea of what it was to be really rich in Atlanta in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Located in very tony Buckhead, it was built for Edward and Emily Inman whose fortune was made from investments in cotton brokerage, real estate, and banking. He didn’t get to enjoy the house but three years because he died in 1931. But, Emily lived there until 1966 when she sold it to the Atlanta Historical Society for $500 thousand. It took $5.4 million to restore it.
I saw it with a fine group of folks who are members of the Columbus Academy of Lifelong Learning. One of them, my friend Julie Bray, asked me if I would like to live in the Swan House. With no hesitation, I said “No. It would be like living in a museum.” Of course it would, because it now IS a museum.
March 18, 2015
I told Muscogeee County School District Superintendent Dr. David Lewis after today’s Rotary Club of Columbus meeting, “You did it!” He smiled and said, “We did it.”
He’s right, and I’m proud of Columbus’ once again showing it supports its children and public education by approving the latest SPLOST.
And to those who voted “no,” I know that doesn’t mean you don’t support our children and their teachers. I hope you’ll accept that the majority has spoken. Now let’s pull together to make our school district as good as it can be.