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I salute Sol Spierer and Alan Spierer on the release of their new book

I Beat Stalin, I Beat Hitler, My Story“.  Sol’s powerful memoir about how he survived the WWII German and Russian prison camps in Siberia.  At the October 8th launch party, Alan graciously thanked Bart and his staff, Christian Kirkpatrick, editor and Dorothy Amsden, art & design, for their help in publishing, and as Shloime Spierer so poignantly put it, “I survived a Siberian work camp; I have two children of whom I love and of whom I am so proud.  It has been a grand life.”  (Available on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/Beat-Stalin-Hitler-My-Story/dp/1732701202/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539097260&sr=8-1&keywords=i+beat+stalin+i+beat+hitler)

Life’s Lunacies

Thought I’d share with you all three all-too-real follies I’ve witnessed lately displaying the length we humans will go to impress one another:

– The sedentary administrator who gives her Fit Bit to her son working on the floor of a large warehouse, so she can impress her coworkers with her 25,000 steps a day, after he returns it to her.

– The young brokerage firm trader who brings his family finances to work and labors on them after hours in his office so he can appear to be always staying and working late.

– The CPA who photoshopped her face over that of a skier who was plunging down Winter Park’s toughest black diamond slope.  She then hung this action shot casually in her office – ironically, beneath her framed diploma.

Ah, vanity.

– Bart

Fugal Leadership

Maestro Nicholas McGegan is short in stature, unprepossessing of character, and was able to draw the absolute best out of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra last night when they played Handel’s Water Music, Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto and Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony.  Does it help that he is 32-year director of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and has been awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for music services?  Not really.

At some point earlier in the week, guest conductor Nicholas had to stand up before a group of total strangers, each an expert in playing these pieces.  With a mere eight rehearsal hours, he had to weld them into a unit that would perform this music his way. And from the moment he raised his hands at the podium, his mastery methods became evident.  Nicholas McGeghan completely enjoyed this music and these musicians.  It was obvious to everyone in the hall that there was no other place on this planet Maestro McGeghan wanted to be.   His gestures were unconventional.  He used no baton. But his sheer joy contagiously radiated throughout the hall.  Of course the NJSO musicians followed suit.   Nicholas’ enthusiasm was irresistible….Leadership lesson #1, I noted.

After the performance I chatted briefly with a couple of the musicians concerning their guest conductor.  Both agreed that this Cambridge and Oxford educated professor held an exceptional gift for articulating exactly what he wanted, in a way that they all understood.  I have been able to experience this Leadership lesson #2 at work under the direction of Mr. Noel Werner, music director of the Nassau Presbyterian church choir.  Noel employs a humorous verbal precision to steer our vocality away from “the Carol Channing flat aya” and “the sonorous Kentucky hills RRR,” onto the exact tones he requires.  The more precisely and comprehensibly you can articulate what you want, the more likely you are to get it.

Ten cents of my own money says that lessons #1 and #2 just might apply to the leadership of my own ventures.

Wishing you Every Success,

– Bart Jackson

This Glorious Easter Morn

I have risen with the sun and lifted my arms high in appreciative salute to Helios as he pushes through the clouds and over the trees.  Soon my bride and I will head off for Nassau Presbyterian Church, don our choir robes and I, with more gusto than talent, will bellow forth my favorite hymns, with such treasured lyrics as: “…bid the grim demonic chorus Christ is risen, Get you gone….”  Oh yeah.  Today the good guys are winning.

Sweet Spring has drawn our weary heads out of the winter of our discontent and her first teasing perfumes resurrect new hopes in all of us.  ‘Tis the season that has prodded poets’ pens throughout the ages.  (You will not be subjected to my Persephone’s Return poem conjured for my bride this morning.) But allow me, if you will, to pass on to you one fervent seasonal wish:  May you resurrect Hope within your own life.

There are indeed more people who want to help you than hurt you.  Our own culture bulges with public servants and private donors and good-hearted souls who are contributing to their planet and fellows.

Why not find and celebrate them?  Whether you join them or not remains, of course, your choice.  Yet, may you be aware of all the good that the fellows of your species are doing.  As always, there is great money and great sources of power to be had by stirring up our fears.  Those who lay out an array of threats are legion.  But in the end, despair is simply an inaccurate vision.  Hope has the majority on its side.

So as the season comes into full flower, may we all bid the grim, demonic chorus Hope is risen, get you gone.

Oh, and to my atheistic buddies who will doubtless greet me on this particular Easter with, “Christ is risen – April Fools!” I get the joke.

Wishing you every success,

 Bart Jackson

 

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