Thursday, December 25, 1980

We remember Rod Sterling (1924-1975)


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We remember Rod Sterling who was born in Syracuse, NY, on this day in 1924.  He died in 1975.

Most of us grew up watching "The Twilight Zone", one of my all-time favorite TV shows.

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Wednesday, December 24, 1980

December 24, 1923: President Coolidge and the first national Christmas tree

The National Tree tradition started on this day in 1923:
"On this day in 1923, President Calvin Coolidge touches a button and lights up the first national Christmas tree to grace the White House grounds.Not only was this the first White House "community" Christmas tree, but it was the first to be decorated with electric lights--a strand of 2,500 red, white and green bulbs. The balsam fir came from Coolidge's home state of Vermont and stood 48 feet tall. Several musical groups performed at the tree-lighting ceremony, including the Epiphany Church choir and the U.S. Marine Band. Later that evening, President Coolidge and first lady Grace were treated to carols sung by members of Washington D.C.'s First Congregational Church.According to the White House Historical Association, President Benjamin Harrison was the first president to set up an indoor Christmas tree for his family and visitors to enjoy in 1889. It was decorated with ornaments and candles. In 1929, first lady Lou Henry Hoover oversaw what would become an annual tradition of decorating the indoor White House tree. Since then, each first lady's duties have included the trimming of the official White House tree.Coolidge's "inauguration" of the first outdoor national Christmas tree initiated a tradition that has been repeated with every administration. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan began another custom by authorizing the first official White House ornament, copies of which were made available for purchase."
Great tradition started by one of our favorite presidents.

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Tuesday, December 23, 1980

We remember Tim Hardin (1941-80)




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We remember Tim Hardin, who was born in Eugene, Oregon, on this day in 1941 and died in 1980.     His life was cut short by some personal problems, specially an addiction to heroin.

His songs include "Reason to believe", recorded by Rod Stewart and The Carpenters,  and "If I were a carpenter", a big hit for Bobby Darin and recorded by many others.

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Sunday, December 21, 1980

Your Spanish lesson: A Christmas song by Luis Aguile



Here is a Spanish lesson for all of friends.....a Christmas song in Spanish......the singer is Luis Aguile of Chile and it translates to "come to my home from Christmas".....it is about the people who won't be with you this season.......by the way, it was Aguile who wrote that song "Cuando sali de Cuba".........

you can get the song by clicking HERE.

Click for the song:


"Tú que estás lejos de tus amigos, De tu tierra y de tu hogar, 
Y tienes pena, pena en el alma, Porque no dejas de pensar. 
Tú que esta noche no puedes Dejar de recordar, 

Quiero que sepas, que aquí en mi mesa, Para ti tengo un lugar.

Por eso y muchas cosas más, Ven a mi casa esta Navidad. 

Por eso y muchas cosas más, Ven a mi casa esta Navidad. 

Tú que recuerdas quizá a tu madre O a un hijo que no está, 

Quiero que sepas, que en esta noche, Él te acompañará. 

No vayas solo por esas calles, Queriéndote aturdir, 

Ven con nosotros y a nuestro lado Intenta sonreir. 

Por eso y muchas cosas más, Ven a mi casa esta Navidad.
Tú que has vivido, siempre de espaldas, Sin perdonar ningún error, 
Ahora es momento de reencontrarnos, Ven a mi casa, por favor.
Ahora ya es tiempo, de que charlemos, Pues nada se perdió, 
En estos días, todo se olvida, Y nada sucedió. 
Por eso y muchas cosas más, Ven a mi casa esta Navidad. 
Por eso y muchas cosas más, Ven a mi casa esta Navidad. 
Por eso y muchas cosas más, Ven a mi casa esta Navidad...."

A pre-Castro Cuban Navidad


Getting ready for 'Navidad" is one of my favorite Cuban traditions, in part because my mother's kitchen had a wonderful smell all month!

For a little pre-Castro nostalgia, see Postal de Navidad - Christmas Card!

Again, have a good Noche Buena!  Feliz Navidad to all of you!

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1864: Christmas and President Lincoln


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In 2004, we started a tradition of posting something historic on holidays.  

Today, we remember President Lincoln and Christmas 1864:  
One hundred fifty years ago, the United States experienced its last holiday season of the Civil War. For the past three Decembers, President Abraham Lincoln had been frustrated by defeats on the battlefield and the continuation of a seemingly endless war. This Christmas of 1864 however, President Lincoln had much to celebrate. He was glad First Lady Mary Lincoln had returned safely from a shopping trip to Philadelphia; on December 21 he had telegraphed her: “Do not come on the night train. It is too cold. Come in the morning.”1
In addition to being elected to a second term in November, President Lincoln had good news from the front indicating the Confederate war effort might be coming to an end. General Philip Sheridan drove the Confederates out of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and a Confederate effort to capture Nashville, Tennessee resulted in the defeat and near collapse of Confederate forces in the Western Theater. Perhaps the largest victory of all, however, came as an early Christmas gift to Lincoln in the form of a telegram from General William Tecumseh Sherman. The telegram read, “I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.”2
With Savannah in Northern hands, victory seemed that much closer to President Lincoln. Washington celebrated the news of the fall of Savannah with a 300-gun salute. The same day Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles attended the Lincolns’ Christmas reception for the cabinet at the White House, where he bragged “of the achievements of the South Atlantic Blockading squadron in capturing Savannah, while also being kind enough to acknowledge that the forces under General Sherman had rendered the navy some not inconsiderable help!” After the navy secretary left the room Lincoln and several other military officers observed ruefully that Welles seemed to think the capture of Savannah was a naval victory.3
On Christmas Day 1864, Tad Lincoln, the President’s young son, embraced the spirit of the holidays, inviting several cold and hungry newsboys he had met into the White House for Christmas dinner. Although the unexpected guests were a surprise to the White House cook, the president welcomed them and allowed them to stay for dinner. Thomas Pendel, a bodyguard and doorkeeper appointed during the Lincoln administration, recalled in an interview: “’We didn’t have many doings in those days’ says Mr. Pendel, ‘there were too many grave things to think about. . . Mrs. Lincoln used to buy a great many presents for Tad, but he could amuse himself with the ‘bucktails’ better than with playthings.’”4
As Lincoln celebrated his last Christmas both in the White House and during his life, he probably reflected upon previous loss and a hopeful future. During Lincoln’s last peacetime Christmas in 1860, the Lincoln family was in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln had been elected president. Although war had not broken out, war clouds loomed over the nation. That Christmas Eve, Lincoln’s close friend Senator Edward Baker visited Lincoln. One year later, Baker was dead, having been killed at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in October 1861. In February 1862, the President experienced another personal loss when his son Willie suddenly fell ill and died in the White House. The holiday season of 1862 was marred by the Union defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg only a few weeks before Christmas. On January 1, 1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation redefining the purpose of the war and, by the end of 1863, victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg had bolstered the Union cause.
Members of Company K of the 150th Pennsylvania Infantry celebrated Christmas in winter quarters on the grounds of the White House in 1863 and 1864. While several years previously they had enjoyed the holiday season with their families in Pennsylvania, they were now celebrating with their fellow comrades protecting the president and his family. The White House functioned as Lincoln’s command hub. Within the War Department, a short walk from the executive residence, Lincoln stayed in constant communication with his generals by telegraph.
The Lincoln White House celebrated the Christmas of 1864 on a more positive note as the end of the war was in sight. While challenges remained, Union victory seemed inevitable that Christmas season. Although Lincoln would not see another Christmas, the decisions he made during his time at the White House to prevent the dissolution of the Union ensured the nation would endure, and through Lincoln’s presidency the White House came to symbolize for all time the trials of the office.
Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad.

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Friday, December 19, 1980

2013 show: Cuban food for the holidays with Marta Darby & Sonia Martinez


Image result for mother cooking images

Guests:  

Marta Verdes Darby, (My big fat Cuban family)

and Sonia Martinez, author of "Tropical taste".

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2016 show: The Cuban Christmas kitchen with Sonia & Marta


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click send drop a dime here.

Christmas 1971: John Lennon and "Happy Christmas"

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By Christmas 1971, all four Beatles had active solo careers.   John had just released his "Imagine" LP and the title song had been a best seller around the world.    

He followed that with a happy Christmas song with a very strong anti-war message.   

It was called Happy Xmas (War Is Over)................

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HELLO FROM TEXAS: George Strait - Jingle bell rock


GEORGE STRAIT
JINGLE BELL ROCK

"Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock
Jingle bell swing and jingle bells ring
Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square In the frosty air
What a bright time, it's the right time To rock the night away 
Jingle bell time is a swell time To go gliding in a one-horse sleigh
Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet 
Jingle around the clock
Mix and a-mingle in the jingling feet
That's the jingle bell, That's the jingle bell,
That's the jingle bell rock....."

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From "Los Reyes Magos" to Santa Claus: Cuban Americans and Christmas


Image result for los reyes magos images
A Cuban American roundtable....
Jorge Ponce, columnist, Fernando Hernandez, author, Amarilys Rassler, author, and Tersi Bidenburg, storyteller...............We will discuss our first Christmas in the US......and any memories of our last Christmas in Cuba............my guests and I share a Cuban American experience going back to the 1960s when we left the island for political reasons........we grew up in the US in a Cuban American culture that combined Santa Claus & Los Reyes Magos..............plus talk about our projects of 2015 and plans for 2016...
Click to listen:

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Thursday, December 18, 1980

Christmas 1957: "Jingle bell rock" by Bobby Helms



Normally, I am very traditional about Christmas music.   However, there are exceptions, such as Bobby Helms' "Jingle bell rock", a classic from 1957 that we hear every year.   Helms was a 1950's rocker who recorded other hits like "My special angel". 

 This is "Jingle Bell Rock":

"Jingle-bell, Jingle-bell,Jingle-bell rock,
Jingle-bells swing andJingle-bells ring.
Snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun,
Now the Jingle hop has begun.
Jingle-bell, Jingle-bell, Jingle-bell rock,
Jingle-bells chime in Jingle-bell time.
Dancin' and prancin' in Jingle Bell Square In the frosty air.
What a bright time; it's the right time
To rock the night away.
Jingle bell time is a swell time
To go glidin' in a one-horse sleigh.
Giddy up Jingle horse; pick up your feet;
Jingle around the clock.
Mix and mingle in a jinglin' beat;
That's the Jingle-bell rock.
Jingle-bell, Jingle-bell, Jingle-bell rock,
Jingle-bells swing andJingle-bells ring.
Snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun,
Now the Jingle hop has begun.
Jingle-bell, Jingle-bell, Jingle-bell rock, Jingle-bells chime in Jingle-bell time.
Dancin' and prancin' in Jingle Bell Square
In the frosty air.
What a bright time; it's the right time
To rock the night away.
Jingle bell time is a swell time
To go glidin' in a one-horse sleigh.
Giddy up Jingle horse; pick up your feet;
Jingle around the clock.
Mix and mingle in a jinglin' beat;
That's the Jingle-bell
That's the Jingle-bell
That's the Jingle-bell rock."

George Strait and Merry Christmas from Texas!



George Strait has sold over 50 million records since he hit the national charts in the early 1980's.

He also recorded "When it's Christmas time in Texas", one of the best Christmas pop-country tunes.

Merry Christmas from Texas......

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"When it's Christmas time in Texas

It's a very special time for me

In Texas we'll be swingin'

Around the Christmas tree

Dancin' to a Christmas melody

When it's Christmas time in Texas

It might look just like a summer day

There may not be snow in San Antonio
But it's a Texas Christmas to me
When Santa Claus crosses over the border
It'll sound a little different when he sings
Cause he'll hear those twin fiddle's playin'
A Christmas song with a touch of western swing
There may not be snow in San Antonio
But it's a Texas Christmas to me
When it's Christmas time in Texas
I love to hear those Christmas carolers sing
People on the go
Children's faces all aglow
Wonderin' what Santa's gonna bring
Grandpa's been chasin' grandma around
Tryin' to catch her neath the misteltoe
Everything is right
The lone star shinin' bright
But it's a Texas Christmas to me
When Santa Claus crosses over the border
It'll sound a little different when he sings
Cause he'll hear those twin fiddle's playin'
A Christmas song with a touch of western swing
There may not be snow in San Antonio
But it's a Texas Christmas to me
And here's wishin' you all a merry Christmas
Merry Christmas from Texas and me"

MERRY CHRISTMAS: The Beach Boys and "Little Saint Nick"



THE BEACH BOYS
LITTLE SAINT NICK

"Oooooooo Merry Christmas santa 
Christmas comes this time each year

Oooooooo oooooooo

Well, way up North where the air gets cold

There's a tale about Christmas that you've all been told

And a real famous cat all dressed up in red

And he spends the whole year workin' out on his sled.

It's the little Saint Nick little Saint Nick
It's the little Saint Nick little Saint Nick
Just a little bobsled, we call it ol' Saint Nick
But she'll walk a tobogan with a four speed stick
She's ol' candy apple red with a ski for a wheel
And when Santa hits the gas, man, just watch her peel.
It's the little Saint Nick little Saint Nick
It's the little Saint Nick little Saint Nick
run run reindeer run run reindeer ahhhhhhhh
run run reindeer run run reindeer
we don't miss no one
He's hauling through the snow at a frightenin' speed,
With a half a dozen deer with a-Rudy to lead,
He's gotta wear his goggles 'cause the snow really flies
And he's cruisin' every pad with a little surprise.
It's the little Saint Nick little Saint Nick
It's the little Saint Nick little Saint Nick
ahh Ooooooo Merry Christmas santa
Christmas comes this time each year
ahh Ooooooo Merry Christmas santa
christmas comes this time each year!"

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"Joy to the World" by Father Gerald E Murray



This is a message for all of you from Father Gerald E. Murray the pastor at Holy Family Church.   Father Murray was with St. Vincent de Paul in New York when he wrote this message for The National Review.    I guess that some things get better with time.   I think that you will agree:

"A monsignor friend of mine is known to walk up the stairs of his rectory saying out loud, “Filled with joy, filled with joy.”

His reminder to himself and anyone in earshot is that joy is the central reality of Christian life.

Amidst the many problems and difficulties of everyday life in this world, faith teaches us to rejoice in God’s goodness.

At Christmas, God makes it easy to rejoice once again. Past and present seem to be one: the Virgin and Child at Bethlehem, the Christmas tree and crèche scene in our home growing up, our present-day preparations to celebrate another Christmas.

Christmas morning is certainly a time of great joy for children. Think back to those happy days.

The anticipation of finding under the tree exactly what we asked for was almost always fulfilled, unless Santa decided otherwise in his wisdom, as our parents were quick to tell us as we opened a box containing a shirt or a sweater.

Be grateful for what you have, they said, which is surely good advice.

Anyway, we will have soon have a chance to thank the Baby Jesus at Mass, so get dressed now!

Gratitude indeed is the root of our joy:

We recognize God’s goodness, experienced in a small but very important way through giving and receiving Christmas gifts, and we rejoice.

Joy in the soul is a foretaste of Heavenly beatitude.

Joy at Christmas is the fruit of knowing deep down that the birth of the Child Jesus changes everything for all time.

The cold and darkness of the long night of waiting has passed as the Sun of Justice shines upon creation.

Pope Benedict XVI recently called for prayers in these words:

“But let us also think of those, especially young people, who have lost the sense of authentic joy, and who seek it in vain where it is impossible to find: in the exasperated race for self-affirmation and success, in false amusements, in consumerism, in moments of drunkenness, in the artificial paradise of drugs and of other forms of alienation.”

This reads as though the pope has been spending time going through Page Six of the New York Post.

But in fact he does not need to be reminded of the inanities and self-destructive acts of mankind, as typified (but not exclusively, to be sure) in the lives of celebrities.

We are all to some extent, in one way or another, at some point (or points) in our lives, on the wrong track going downhill.
What can get us out of this spiral of despair?

Joy. To know joy exists, and that it is within our reach, can be sufficient motivation to exit the fast lane and find that path that the Wise Men took to reach Bethlehem, and the Child.

May joy draw us out of ourselves and lead us to kneel in awe before the tiny Child who makes all things new....."

What more can I say?   Father Murray said it all.   

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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2014: A 'Merry Christmas' message with Frank Burke and Amarilys Rassler




CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN:

A 'Merry Christmas' message 12/24 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts:

Guests: Frank Burke, businessman, and Amarilys Rassler, author. 

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Wednesday, December 17, 1980

Cuban food, Christmas & the wonderful Marta Darby


What a fun show.  We had a chance to speak with Marta Darby, the one and only Cuban food expert and editor of My Big Fat Cuban Family blog.

We focused on Christmas dishes and the Cuban table.  As always, Marta presented her recipes with love and enthusiasm.


Please check out her blog and recipes.  You will become a fan of Cuban food

Click here to listen to our show with Marta.

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1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright


It must have been a very exciting 12 seconds for the Wright brothers.   Orville piloted the craft and the brothers flew 120 feet.
And we've been flying ever since!
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Tuesday, December 09, 1980

#9 Dream: John Lennon and the number 9

Image result for john lennon #9 dream images
We remember another anniversary of John Lennon's tragic death in 1980.   As I wrote before, most of the country learned the news watching The Monday Night Football game.   In my case, I heard it when the clock radio woke me up at 6 am.

After the breakup of The Beatles, John spent the early 1970's recording a lot of songs.   Some were good and others were not for me.   Like George and Ringo, John spent the 1970's watching Paul recording one hit after another.  

As I remember, it was really rare to hear anything by John, George or Ringo on the radio in the 1970's.  

"# 9 dream" was one of my favorites.    It turns out that John Lennon had a fascination with the number 9.   

According to songfacts, there were many references to # 9 in John's life:  
John Lennon was fascinated with the recurrence of the number nine throughout his life, which included:
Lennon was born on October 9. 
His first home was 9 Newcastle Road, Wavertree, Liverpool - three names which each contain nine letters. 
The Beatles' first gig at The Cavern Club took place on February 9, 1961.
Brian Epstein, The Beatles' manager, first saw them perform on November 9 that same year.
The Beatles' contract with EMI was confirmed on May 9,1962.
The Beatles' debut single, "Love Me Do," was on Parlophone R4949. 
Lennon's son Sean shared his father's birthday. 
As well as this song, which peaked at #9 on the Hot 100, Lennon wrote two others with the same number in the title: "Revolution 9" and "One After 909."
He was killed December 8th but it was December 9th in his native UK.

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Monday, December 08, 1980

We remember John Lennon (1940-80)


It's hard to believe but John Lennon was killed on this day in 1980.   Where did the time go?  

Yes, it was a shocking act, as Howard Cosell said on TV, when he broke the story during the football game.

Most of the country heard the story during the aforementioned game.  I fell asleep during the game and heard the news the morning after.

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