Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We remember Don Knotts (1924-2006)

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We remember Don Knotts who passed away in 2006 at age 81.

Over the years, I've had my share of laughs over Barney in Mayberry and the funny landlord in "Three's company".   As I remember, he was a pretty funny character in Disney movies, too.

Overall, a very good acting career. We will miss Don Knotts!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

1969: Apollo 11 and the moon landing

On this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong steered Apollo 11 to a moon landing. A few hours later, he walked on the moon. I remember watching everything on TV, along with my family.

Kids today do not seem to care that much space travel.  My generation grew up watching science fiction movies about Martians and aliens. We loved TV shows like "Lost in Space" and "My favorite Martian".

So the moon landing was a big deal back then.

Was it worth it?

Yes.   I was so lucky to be alive and enjoy that whole thing on TV!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tom Grieve: 2010 Rangers' Hall of Fame

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The Rangers inducted Tom Grieve into the team's Hall of Fame in July 2010.  

Grieve is one of the nice guys in baseball, a good player, team executive and now the TV analyst.

He is also a good man, husband, father and now grandfather.

Congratulations to Tom Grieve!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Yes, Ringo has a birthday today

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We call Richard Starkey (a.k.a. Ringo Starr) of Liverpool one of the luckiest men of the 20th century.

In mid-1962, John, Paul & George were ready for their first recording.  They had a drummer named Peter Best, a good friend who was simply not up to to the task of playing drums for a band about to release their first song.

Brian Epstein, their new manager, told Pete that he was no longer a part of the group.  It was one of those "bloody business decisions" that happen in life.  

It also opened the door for a fellow named Ringo who had been making a name for himself as a Liverpool drummer.

Ringo was in and Pete was out.  It must have been an awful moment for John, George & Paul because Pete had been with them for years. 

That is how Ringo became "a Beatle" and you know the rest of the story.

Ringo's contribution was primarily as a drummer.  He sang in a few songs and enjoyed a brief solo career after The Beatles.  

Click for "Act Naturally", the B-side of 'Yesterday".

Tags: Yes, Ringo is 72 today!  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

July 2,1964: We call it 'our freedom day'

Don't ask me to explain where the time went but it flew by.

It was 50 years ago today, that my dad, mom and the 3 of us woke up in Cuba knowing that things would never be the same.   My mom had talked to us the night before and told us to be strong and stick together as one family.

Nobody said a lot that morning.  My parents had decided to leave after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the "communist radicalization" of Cuba.   They did not want us to attend government schools where kids were taught communist ideas and history was rewritten to justify "la revolucion".

My parents knew that this day would come but it was still a bit hard for them to take.   

My parents were part of the large middle class that Cuba developed in the 20th century.    They were betrayed by promises of "change" and elections that never came. 

Leaving Cuba and starting over somewhere else was never something they planned to do.   Leaving behind the island that they loved so much was very painful and we could see it in their faces.

We got to the airport knowing that we'd be harassed by Castro's thugs.  It was customary for these government workers to harass "los gusanos" (or worms as we were called).  The idea was to pick a fight and then delay your departure.

We sat at the airport fearing the personal searches.   This is where the men and women were separated and "searched" to make sure that you weren't taking jewelry or anything of value beyond clothes.  My parents had left their wedding rings with my aunt so they wore plain rings just in case some government thug decided to take it.

The plane finally took off and we landed in Mexico City a few hours later.   We went to Mexico because there were no flights to Miami after the Missile Crisis.  The Miami flights were started in 1966 or what became known as the "freedom flights".   Thousands of Cuba came to the US in those flights.  

A week later, we flew to Jamaica where we waited for the US government to grant us entry.  We spent 2 months there and were supported by our two uncles in the US who sent weekly money drafts.  We lived in a small room and spent our day throwing around a baseball that my mom had put together for us.

Eventually, we got our "papers" and arrived in the US.  And then we found our way to Wisconsin thanks to the generosity of a church.  

I will spend today with my parents, brother and sister.  It just does not seem possible that it happened so long ago.   We definitely learned about liberty and how a powerful and ruthless central government can crush the individual.   

I always make sure that our boys understand that.

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

Tags: Leaving Cuba 50 years ago  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!




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