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Memorial Day 2020

 

This Memorial Day…

War is a tragedy that no flag can disguise.  If there is any glory to be found in armed conflict, we must turn to those individuals whose high intentions and courageous devotion carry them onto the field to willingly put themselves in harm’s way.  For these individual soldiers, the very words “defend to the death” transform from mere rallying cry, to a deep personal, principled belief.  And for each soldier who served, fought, and gave her/his last full measure, it was a matter of choice – a choice that sprung from deep conviction.

Whatever the actual agendas of leaders who instigated the conflict, whatever the rationale proclaimed by those urging the call to arms, each soldier sets aside his own needs and answers his own call to battle for that better world he envisions.  This heroic decision, made once and carried into every day of combat, is where the glory lies.   People who step up, opt for the better world and act are those on whom we should – and must – confer our admiration.  And whether that decision is born in war or in any times of human trial, we need to celebrate and remember those who made that choice.  We need to hoist our children on our shoulders. Point them out as they pass by, and make sure that they hold in memory those best of us who were and are willing to defend us to the death.  These are the role models called for and we need them now.

Wishing you every success,

– Bart Jackson

 

Unique Birthday Wishes

This kindly bit of graffiti greeted me as I came down the driveway earlier on my natal day. Just one more example of the many fun & thoughtful kindnesses so many of you have paid me lo these several decades. I can think of no man more fortunate than I am this very day, and a great part of those blessings comes from you – my countless friends. Thanks for all your good wishes….and No, Peter. I did not have to use my glasses to read the two-foot-high letters, and no I did not depend on a walker, cane, or wife to make it to the end of the drive.
My greatest gratitude to you all. – Bart

Fight the Fear: Coronavirus Strait Talk

Forget the media panic, forget governments’ statistical forecasting, If you want to make understandable sense of this Coronavirus visit: https://worldcares.org/ and click on “Coronavirus FAQs.”

Lisa Orloff and her World Cares team have been handling disaster relief for 20 years.  Hard-headed, experienced, knowledgeable an entirely without bias, Lisa lays out the facts about the what the virus is, where it comes from, what you should be doing to protect yourself, and what avenues of fear you need not go down.

Lisa is a recipient of the 2019 Prometheus Social Enterprise Award, to learn more about her and World Cares, visit https://bartsbooks.com/ – “Prometheus Awards.”

And on a personal note, I beg you not to fall prey to the plague of grim seriousness that seems to accompany this situation.  The benefits of scowling seriousness, like old Scotch, are highly overrated, but the curative value of sharing a smile and some laughter are beyond estimation.

Jay Leno – Truly a Genius




With malice towards none – Comedy’s Masterful Maestro entertained us last night with a wealth of non-stop, original jokes and stories – never letting up with the flow of belly laughs for a full 75 memorable minutes.  “They’re telling us that cannabis can cure everything nowadays.  They are even telling me that it will cure my hemorrhoids…but frankly I think they are just blowing smoke up my butt.”  And on and on.

My dear wife Lorraine, as an early birthday gift, took me to New Brunswick’s State Theatre to watch Jay perform last night (March 12) and like the rest of us in the hall, I sat mesmerized.  As a humble scribbler of business quips, I felt like a little leaguer watching a Super Bowl quarterback. Still “the hardest working man in show business,” Jay employed clean, clever & wry wit to hold a hilarious mirror to ourselves, leaving us with many smiles and a new perspective.  Proof once again that the greatest wisdom flies in on the wings of laughter.  Thanks Jay.

Keep on grinning,

– Bart

 

Real Men Don’t Use Chainsaws

With no little undue pride, yesterday I took axe and bowsaw to felling a 2-foot diameter maple tree out back that needed to be brought down and cut up.  Sweat mingled with joy as I recalled wise words of Abraham Lincoln:  If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the six sharpening my axe.  (And this time, I wisely did stop several times to sharpen the axe.)

Looking at my handiwork now, brings to mind two more quotes:

Every man looks at his own woodpile with pride.” – H.D. Thoreau

and

I have to sharpen all the stumps around our property so my lazy husband can’t sit down.” – Lorraine Jackson.