Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Smallest Baby Ever!

This 7-month-old baby has a rare form of dwarfism that makes him the size of a newborn.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Santa Within Me

by Jay Frankston
There’s nothing so beautiful as a child’s dream of Santa Claus. I know; I often had that dream. But, I am Jewish and my parents didn’t celebrate Christmas. It was everyone else’s holiday – a big party I wasn’t invited to – and I felt left out. It wasn’t toys I yearned for; it was Santa Claus and a Christmas tree. So when I got married and had kids, I decided to make up for what I’d missed.
I started with a seven-foot tree, all decked out with lights and tinsel. The year was 1956, and we were living in New York City. My daughter Claire was only two, but her eyes sparkled as she smiled at the tree. It gave off warmth that filled every corner of our home. I Put a Star of David on top to soothe those whose Jewish feelings were disturbed by the display. And, it warmed my heart to see the glitter, because now the party was at my house EVERYONE was invited.
But, something was missing, something big and round and jolly, with jingle bells, and Ho! Ho! Ho! So I bought a bright, red cloth and my wife made me a costume. Inflatable pillows filled out my skinny frame. A Santa mask, complete with whiskers and flowing white hair, made me look genuine enough to live up to a child’s dream of old St. Nick.
When I tried on the costume and looked in the mirror, there he was, big as life, the Santa of my childhood. I felt myself becoming Santa. I leaned back and pushed out my pillow stomach. My voice got deeper and richer. “Merry Christmas, everyone.”
Claire was almost four and Danny not yet one when Santa first came to our house. They stood in awe and I saw in their eyes the fantasy and magic of what I had become. Santa was special. He was the personification of kindness and gentleness. He was a little scary, too.
For two years I played Santa for my children, to their fright and delight, and to my total enjoyment. And, when the third year rolled around, the Santa in me had grown into a personality of his own and he needed more room So, I sought to accommodate him by letting him do his thing for other children.
One day, late in November, I saw this pretty little girl trying to reach a mailbox slot, and saying, “Mommy, are you sure Santa will get my letter?” My mind began to whirl. All those children who wrote to Santa Claus, whatever becomes of their letters? A phone call to the postal service answered my question. The dead-letter office stored the thousands of letter in huge sacks.
The Santa in me went Ho! Ho! Ho! and we headed to the post office. As I began rummaging through the letters, I became a little flustered at the demands and greed of so many spoiled children. Most of the letters were gimme, gimme, gimme letters. But, the Santa in me heard a voice from inside the mail sack, and I continued searching until I came upon one letter that jarred me.
Dear Santa, I am an 11-year-old girl, and I have two little brothers and a baby sister. My father died last year, and my mother is sick. I know there are many who are poorer than we are and I want nothing for myself, but could you send us a blanket ’cause Mommy’s cold at night. It was signed Suzy.
A chill went up my spine and the Santa in me cried, “I hear you Suzy.
I dug deeper into those sacks and came up with another eight such letters, all calling out from the depths of poverty. I took them with me and went straight to the Western Union office and sent each child a telegram: Got your letter. Will be at your house. Wait for me. Santa.
I knew I could not possibly fill all the needs of these children, but if I could bring them hope, if I could make them feel that their cries did not go unheard… I budgeted $150 and went out and bought presents. On Christmas day, my wife drove me around. It had snowed graciously the night before, and the streets were thick with fresh powder.
My first call took me to the outskirts of the city. The letter from Peter Barski had read:
Dear Santa, I am ten years old and I am an only child. I’m not sad because I’m poor, but because I’m lonely. I know you have many people to see and you probably have no time for me. So, I don’t ask you to come to my house or bring anything. But, could you send me a letter so I know know you exist?
Dear Peter, my telegram began, not only do I exist, but I’ll be there on Christmas Day. Wait for me.
Peter’s house was wedged between two tall buildings. Its roof was of corrugated metal and it was more of a shack than a house. With a bag of toys slung over my shoulder, I walked up the steps and knocked. A heavyset man opened the door.
He said a word in Polish and his hand went to his face. “Please,” he stuttered. “The boy… at Mass. I go get him. Please wait.” He threw on a coat and, assured that I would wait, ran down the street.
I stood there in front of the house, feeling good. Then, across the street, I noticed another shack; through the window I could see little back faces peering at me, and tiny hands waving. The door opened shyly and some voices called out, “Hi ya, Santa.”
I Ho! Ho! Hoed! my way over there, and a woman asked if I’d come in, and I did. Inside were five kids from one to seven years old. I spoke to them of Santa and the spirit of love, which is the spirit of Christmas. The, seeing the torn Christmas wrappings, I asked if they liked what Santa had brought them. Each thanked me – for the woolen socks, the sweater, and the warm underwear.
“Didn’t I bring you any toys?” They shook their heads sadly. “Ho! Ho! Ho! I slipped up.” said I, “We’ll have to fix that.”
Knowing that we had extra toys in the car, I gave each child a toy. There was joy and laughter, but when Santa got ready to leave, I noticed one girl crying. I bent down and asked her, “What’s the matter?”
“Oh, Santa,” she sobbed, “I’m so happy.” And the tears rolled from my eyes under the rubber mask.
As I stepped out on the street, “Panie, Panie, Prosze…? Sir, sir, please,” I heard Mr. Barski say across the way.
Peter just stood there and looked as Santa walked into the house. “You came,” he said. “I wrote and… and you came.”
When he recovered, I spoke with him about loneliness and friendship, and gave him a chemistry set and a basketball. He thanked me profusely, and his mother asked something of her husband in Polish. My parents were Polish, so I speak a little and understand a lot. “From the North Pole,” I said in Polish.
She looked at me with astonishment. “You speak Polish?”
“Of course,” I said. “Santa speaks all languages.” And I left them in joy and wonder.
The following year, when the momentum of Christmas began to build, I felt a stirring and I knew that the Santa within me was back. So I returned to the post office and to those heartbreaking letters. I enjoyed playing Santa so much that I did it the next year and the next. Then, at age ten, Claire handed me a poem that began:
I know that Santa’s make-believe
But I still love him so
‘Cause he’m my daddy
Ho! Ho! Ho!
So, now she knew. I took her to the basement where the toys were and let her rummage through Santa’s shop, ogling at the the imposing array. She read the letters and cried with me and became a true Santa’s helper, sorting and wrapping the toys in preparation for my rounds.
I made them for 12 years, listening for the cries of children muffled in unopened envelopes, answering the call of as many as I could – frustrated at not being able to answer them all.
As time went on, word got out about Santa Claus and me, and manufacturers sent me cartons of toys. Having started with 20 children, I had wound up with 120, door to door, from one end of New York City to the other, from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.
On my last call a few years ago, I knew there were four children in the family and I came prepared. The house was small and sparsely furnished. The kids had been waiting all day, staring at the telegram and repeating to their skeptical mother, “He’ll come, Mommy, he’ll come.”
As I rang the bell, the door swung open and they all reach for my hands and hold on. “Hi ya, Santa. We just knew you’s come.” And these poor kids were beaming with happiness and laughter.
I took each of them on my lap and told stories of joy, hope and waiting, and gave them each a toy. All the while there’s this fifth child standing the the corner, a cute girl with blond hair and blue eyes.
I turned to her and said, “You’re not part of this family, are you?’
She shook her head sadly and whispered, “No.”
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Lisa.”
“How old are you?”
“Seven.”
“Come, sit on my lap.” She hesitated, but them came over. “Did you get any toys for Christmas? I asked.
“No.” she said.
I took out a big, beautiful doll. “Do you want this doll?”
“No,” she said, and leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I’m Jewish.”
I nudged her and whispered back, “I’m Jewish, too.” Lisa grinned from ear to ear. She took the doll I had handed her, hugged it, and ran out of the room.
I don’t know which of us was happier – Lisa or the Santa in me.
Merry Christmas, my friends…

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Normal People at Walmart! - Hilarious Video Post From Michael Rowe

Mike Rowe's ~ Mondays with Mom? "Old Blue"

This is so funny!!




Michael Gregory Rowe (born March 18, 1962) is an American television host and narrator, actor and former opera singer, best known for his work on the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs and as the main presenter of Somebody's Gotta Do It on CNN. He can also be heard as narrator on a variety of series such as Deadliest Catch, and has appeared on commercials for Ford Motor Company.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sometimes You Are The Blind Horse and Sometimes The Guide . . .

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.
But if you get a closer look you will notice something quite interesting...
One of the horses is blind.
His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made him a safe and comfortable barn to live in.
This alone is pretty amazing.
But if you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. It is coming from a smaller horse in the field.
Attached to the horse's halter is a small, copper-colored bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.
As you stand and watch these two friends you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting he will not be led astray.
When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, he will stop occasionally to look back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.
Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect. Or because we have problems or challenges.
He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.
Sometimes we are the blind horse, being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.
And at other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.
- Anonymous

Rarely Seen Moments of US History

There are some shocking and some nostalgic pictures of our illustrious past. 

La Plaza, as seen from the Pico House. Pueblo Los Angeles, c. 1869 






Slave auction place, c. 1870






Burnt District Coffee House in Chicago after the Fire, 1871. Chicago entrepreneurs quickly reacted to establish or reestablish businesses in the fire district.






























Telephone wires in New York, 1887
























Hanging of a stagecoach robber in Texas, c. 1890-1900







Wood-plank prison in Wyoming, 1893

























Chinatown Squad of the San Francisco Police Department posing with sledge hammers and axes in front of August Pistolesi’s grocery store at 752 Washington Street, 1895. They were specialized in opium dens and gambling rooms and their method was simple.




Opium den in San Francisco, 1900




Alice Huyler Ramsey (November 11, 1886 – September 10, 1983), the first woman to drive across the United States from coast to coast, 1909. Only 152 miles out of the total 3600-mile trip were made on paved road.






North American native Chilocco Indian Agricultural School basketball team in 1909. Originally, the swastika is a sign of good fortune.





A horse-drawn fire engine of Engine No. 39 leaving Fire Headquarters at 157 East 67th Street for the last time after being replaced with a motorized fire engine, New York City, February 19, 1912.




Lawn mowers of the White House grounds, 1918



Motorcycle chariots, 1920s



Log motor home by Wade, 1922



Log motor home by Wade, interior




Neighbors of Japanese origin were already unwanted in some neighborhoods in 1923



Three friends take a joyride on their ‘new’ vehicle, Ohio, c. 1924



North American native switchboard operator, 1925



Workers lay bricks to pave 28th Street in Manhattan, 1930



Drive-In restaurant on West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles,1932



Coney Island, NY, 1940





A life guard and a doctor attempt to save a swimmers life on Coney Island Beach, 1940. The woman in the center chose the worst moment for a smile.





Victure Mature (my favorite "B" actor ever), Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth (both 30 at the time) meet at a movie premier in London. October 1956



Elvis Presley joins the Army, 1958





Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev eating a hot dog in Des Moines, Iowa, on which he commented “It’s excellent… we make good sausages but yours are better”, 1959



Couple and friend being abused in a restaurant for the latter being black, USA, 1963



Minoru Yamasaki (right) posing with a model of the World Trade Center he designed, 1964



Portrait of hockey goalie Terry Sawchuk before face masks became standard in 1966





In 1967, challenging the all-male tradition of the Boston Marathon, Kathrine Switzer, at the time a headstrong 20-year-old junior at Syracuse University, entered the race. Two miles in, a race official tried to physically remove her from the competition.












Arnold Schwarzenegger on his first time in New York, 1968



New York City sidewalks filled with trash during the 1968 strike of sanitation workers.





US President Richard Nixon jumps down from the trunk of a limousine which carried him and Pakistani President Yahya Khan (left, background) in a motorcade to Government House after Nixon’s arrival in Lahore on August 1, 1969






Children play a game on the Xerox Alto, one of the first personal computers with a graphic user interface, 1973.Its monitor was switchable between portrait and landscape mode.



Statue of Liberty as seen from Jersey City, 1963





Barack Obama posing with a group of friends that called themselves the Choom Gang, Hawaii, c. 1979. Choom was slang for smoking marijuana





President Carter with engineers and solar panels newly installed on the White House, 1979. President Reagan had them removed in 1986, to be reinstalled by President Obama in 2010





Robin Williams joins the stunning women of the Denver Broncos’ Pony Express as pro football’s first male cheerleader and prances before 70,000 cheering fans in Denver’s Mile High Stadium.



Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan posing with clay soldiers at the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, 1984





John Travolta takes Princess Diana for a dance in the White House, 1985