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OK, I’m still on a high I guess from participating in Heather Pierson’s Open Mic last night at our First Universalist Church of Norway, Maine. I recited/read three poems, there was a great young comedian, and the great character Wellington was there with his wife, and some of the other performers, like Nate Towne, and Harry [?], and Bob Wallace, were great too. Am I including myself under the word “great”? Ha Ha. Hardly! I think I was a bit over the top in trying to get attention for the poems I read, but I felt powerful and enjoyed getting laughs — certainly different from the old days when I was so shy and frightened up there on the Open Mic stage trying to be perfect. And to top it all off, the Rev. Richard Beal was there providing scrumptious popcorn which I couldn’t resist.

For the record, here’s the poems I read: (1) Poem XXXII from Alfred E. Housman’s Shropshire Lads (note he’s not Alfred E. Newman) with the first line. From far, from eve and morning; (2) Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens of which I read only the first stanza and part of the final, and last but not least (3) Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath. Quite a bunch! I gave my personalized interpretation of each.

Perhaps I’ll add more to this later. I’ve probably forgotten things I should mention. OH, I forgot the Rev. Tom Myorie (sp?), and Mary Uke! More later.

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Is it that mind-blowing? Depends on where you are I guess. Here in western Maine it’s a pretty normal spring. Lotsa cool rainy days with some sun, that kinda thing.

The flies (black) are out in force now. It’s hard to just stand still without a swarm building up around you. But yesterday I went for a quick walk through the woods around our property across the street and managed to avoid being bitten. That’s because I kept going.

Oh, I haven’t been doing much blogging of late, or even worse, visited anyone else’s blog. I’ve been distracted by a lot of other things. But I did change the heading picture — got rid of those porcupines and added my old Spring has Sprung header, with a new title about what Spring has Sprung means heah in Maine.

Oh, and I just added a neat colored twitter badge. But is twitter starting to loose its popularity now, just as I get interested in it?

Yesterday I found a great tutorial on the brain, the human brain. (I’m trying to find out how it works before I lose too many more neurons.) It’s a great informal lecture series in about 50 or so YouTubes by a guy by the name of Walid Aziz. And there is this wonderful psychedelic music in the background that really helps. It’s amazing in fact. I did the first 19 of them, not that I absorbed it all.

Today we’re having another Growth Group meeting over at the Bridgton library. The purpose is to plan how to increase attendance and church membership at the First Universalist Church of Norway Maine of which Cynthia and I are members. One thing we want to do is think of another name for Growth Group because it’s too easily slurred into Grope Group, and that’s NOT what it is.

Other than that I still enjoy singing in Heather Pierson’s choir at the church, enjoy the challenge of being the church treasurer, still have difficulties sleeping, still watching videos on the Science Network, but not doing as much blogging or reading other people’s blogs as much as I used to. Can’t do everything.

Maybe I’m going through a phase.

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I’m a little late in posting this but better late than never. We had a great concert last Sunday from 2 to 3pm at the First Universalist Church of Norway in Norway, Maine. It was musically arranged by Heather Pierson, the cause being the repair of the church belfry. Bernice Martin gave opening and closing words, and seeds were passed out mid-way for replenishing the earth. Heather and Mary Uke Hargreaves were featured performers along with the choir of the church. Heather was totally awesome in her playing and singing of her own music, Mary was totally delightful in singing her creations accompanying herself on the ukulele, and yes, the choir rocked! Here’s a couple pictures, taken by a friend of Heather’s named Eric, of the choir singing Earth Day songs at Heather’s Open Mic the previous evening:

Left to right, Heather Pierson (the director), Rowena Palmer, Nancy Wood, Dolores Farr, Douglas Leathem, Marden Seavey, Bernice Martin, Kevin Farr, Sallie Nealand, Cynthia Seavey

The following quote from John Lennon was included on the program: Imagine all the people living in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.

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Money, Money!

Money makes the world go around! Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey claim that’s so!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkRIbUT6u7Q[/youtube]

We have someone who wants to sing this at our First Universalist Church of Norway Maine canvass kickoff party on April 4, 2008. If she wants to do a Liza on this song here’s her chance!

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Goin’ Home

We, Heather Pierson and I, will be singing this hauntingly beautiful song set to music from Dvorak’s 9th Symphony. We’re doing it at David Bradley’s Memorial Service next Saturday afternoon in Norway, Maine, at our First Universalist Church. Dave was a totally remarkable man who died last week, January 7, at the age of 92. Even though he could hardly walk and had trouble sometimes concentrating, he continued to sing in our choir, until finally he couldn’t make it anymore just a few weeks ago. One of his favorite songs was this Goin’ Home set to the music of the Largo of the New World Symphony of Antonin Dvorak. Dave always wanted me to sing it but some parts of it are a bit high for me, so Heather will sing it with me and cover the high parts.

Below is the obituary for Dave from the Lewiston Sun Journal. And below that is the wonderful rendition of Goin’ Home sung by the great Paul Robeson. It was pitched lower for his beautiful bass voice.

David J. Bradley

Sunday, January 13, 2008

NORWAY – David J. Bradley, 92, of Norway, died Jan. 7.

Born on Feb. 22, 1915, he grew up in Madison, Wis., and attended Dartmouth College.

In 1938, he was National Ski Champion in Nordic Combined and a member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team in 1940, cancelled due to the war.

He later entered the Army and Harvard Medical School, completing a surgical residency. In 1941, he married and had six children.

He was a medical officer at atomic bomb tests in the Bikini Islands in 1946, and wrote a bestseller, “No Place to Hide,” about this experience. Other books include “Expert Skiing,” “Lion Among Roses,” and “Robert Frost: A Tribute to the Source.”

He taught at Dartmouth College.

In 1985, he was inducted into the Ski Hall of Fame.

Following a divorce, he married Sally Tucker Smart in 1998 and settled in Norway.

He is survived by his wife Sally of Norway; six children, including Kim Emmons of Norway; stepson, Kevin Smart of Norway; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, including Ben Tucker III of Norway.

Here’s Paul Robeson, live at Carnegie Hall in 1958, singing Goin’ Home. Thanks to Indigo1045 for posting the music on YouTube.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBrEQYRcizk&feature=related[/youtube]
Here’s a comment by bejazzytwo on Paul Robeson:

Indigo, I thank you for posting this music by Paul Robeson….His voice has not been stilled!!!…Our government forbade him a living because of politics and prejudice…yet the music lives on despite politics or racist motivation. The voice and music are for all people, regardless to color, status, political persuasion or any other disadvantages suffered…all who loved music and all who believed in human rights knew this man among men!!!!…Long live his legacy!!!!!


And I might add: Long live the legacy of David Bradley, another remarkable man and genius, too!

Finally, to hear Lawrence Tibbett sing Goin’ Home in the original key, the one we’re doing it in, go here.

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