Sunday, April 20, 2014

Photoessay #2904 - Goodbye to Coach Danny

Yesteray, the LadyHawks said goodbye to Coach Danny Greenberg.  Died of a heart attack at age 50.  A young man.  These days, Dennis is more involved with the organization than I am.  But when I went to any event, Coach Danny was always there.  Usually with a smile on his face, joking about something.

His niece Erin spoke.  She said "One day Uncle Danny took me to practice and next thing I knew, the next day, he was helping to run the practice, in the dugout with us.  He and Coach Wayne bonded in the parking lot or something."  That was ten years ago and he never faltered.  The girls spoke highly of him "He was always on our side even when Coach Wayne got on us."

When talking with some of the other coaches, they said "Well, it's making us other big young guys definitely nervous."

Angel and Wayne, who run the LadyHawks organization made a special effort to include Danny's family and also Danny's bowling friends.  There was sobbing, especially at the end of the video with pictures and music.  They did a great job; I sent them some pictures last night.

And the location.  I think it was ex-coach Allison's parent's house.  They had a huge outdoor entertainment area.  Who would think on a windy rainy day, you could have an event with over 100 people attending ... outside?  There were some other enclosures that went up but they had a huge covered area with complete kitchen, fireplace, tv screen, heaters, the works!  What a place.

They had everybody park in the pasture area behind the house and there was entertainment as many cars sunk in the mud.  We left reasonably early, I suggested that we go now while there were still enough people to push us.

And the lanterns at the end, seemed so fitting.

Yes, yesterday was my 62nd birthday, now eligible for social security.  We went for burritos.  Naomi made a cake.  Tonight we are going to have a joint dinner out with my daughter in law Jessica who's birthday is just a week before mine.  I think this will be the first in a series!

Picture above the fireplace in the outdoor entertainment area.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Photoessay #2903 - Sad Day for Washington LadyHawks

Today approximately 120 Washington LadyHawks players, former players, coaches and families gathered to mourn the recent passing of Coach Danny Greenberg, 10 year assistant coach for the Gold Miller Team.  Too soon, too soon.

At the end of the gathering players, coaches and families released paper lanterns in the sky, some with messages for Coach Danny in the beyond.

Many D1 and other division softball players have come through and continue to be prepared by this program.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Photoessay #2902 - Strangers

At parent group, I sat in small group with a mom who has been coming off and on for several months.  I knew her slightly from another group a long time ago.  A 21 year old son continuing to be dependent, drug using, not working, not going to school, some mental health issues.

She's not ready to make the leap to really hand his life over to him. Afraid of what might happen to him.  The continued over-care with the sub-text she gives to her son that he is unable to care for himself.  One stand that could help might be "I will embrace the idea that my adult child can live independently."

If you are unable to do this, then both you and your adult child have years of misery and co-dependance in front of you.  Not that insisting that he take care of himself would be easy or without its own heartaches and worry.

People in this situation have a million excuses but really they just don't want to take the risk, they don't want to do it.  An excuse she used was that 'her husband didn't want to work with strangers.'  Interesting as he has a close friend active in the group.  They know me (though not well).  Plus they've come for several months.

The program is run kind of like lay case management.  You do have to make a leap of faith when you form a team (a group of parents to give you guidance over time).  You have to trust your team.  Even though it's not done under any kind of social work supervision or licensed individuals.

It works great if you're ready for it.  One of the program beliefs is "Change includes hard work that is time-consuming and risky."  Not for everybody.

Sometimes a community of strangers can do great things.  The image shows a video in 2011 taken in Utah.  A motorcycle and car collided.  Bystanders realized that the motorcycle rider was trapped under the car.  After a few moments of confusion, the strangers got together and lifted the car up and one of them dragged the man to safety.  Risky?  Yes, they are lifting a car partially engulfed in flames.  One person dragged the man out by his leg.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photoessay #2901 - Class topics settling down

I think our class topics are settling down.  Right now there are 5 undergraduates (maybe a 6th) plus two access student.  Emphasis on the undergraduates.  We talked about our research topics today.  I made myself available to work with somebody else.  All 5 men in the class decided to work on their own.  The other woman (undergraduate) said she would like to work with somebody else.  So we joined forces and picked a topic with lots of available material.  The Seattle section of the National Council of Jewish Women with their Settlement House.

This will not be hard to do, there's tons of easy to access materials in Special Collection.  So I think this will work out just fine.

Picture is a 1908 picture of one of the active members from a wonderful history from 1934.  Who can beat the dress?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Photoessay #2900 - Community Seder

Last night, Dennis, Naomi and I attended a community seder at Kol Haneshemah, a local progressive congregation that welcomes LGBT families and everybody else.  Not so local, which probably keeps us from joining as it's based in West Seattle.  In rush hour traffic, it took us nearly an hour to get there.  The event itself was held in a large room at a local Unitarian church.  They expected 130 people with 47 non-members.  They might have been one of the few local congregation that braved a community seder, I think this was their second one.  They used a caterer this time but it's a huge amount of work to put on a seder like this.

We enjoyed ourselves.  Everybody was supposed to bring some wine or grape juice and bring a pesach dessert.  Naomi made a traditional apple cake with matza cake meal.  Had it's usual bland gritty taste.  The recipe on the back of the cake meal package.  I didn't really see any other of these cakes.  We did try to jazz it up with some cream cheese frosting.  But at the end of the inning, it was all gone.  I think some adults like that it was there.

All seders are different, this one used their own shortened haggadah run by the rabbi with an emphasis on contemporary slavery.  The silly songs (sung to the tune of "Take me out to the ball game")  I would have liked some more dayenu.  I was satisfied.

The meal was vegetable oriented which I appreciated.  I liked it.  Some cold salmon, a delicious acorn squash/spinach dish.  It worked for me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Photoessay #2899 - Old Wedding pictures

My class this quarter has a mission; to build digital exhibitions from the library's sizeable special collection.  A great idea, though my hands are somewhat tied as an access student.  I'm changing my focus from building my own entry to doing whatever I can to make the (5) undergraduates successful.

But all of the pictures and papers in special collections are fun!

I gotta say, those weddings way back when (this was in 1927) really knew how to do floral bouquets. 
They liked them big and trailing off.  The lace and the head piece, oh yeah.

Used without permission from the archives.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Photoessay #2898 - Seattle Pops

We're supporting this new popsicle stand!  Actually they'll be selling at five farmer markets starting very soon.  And some other events.  I've tasted them.  Delicious in fruity and creamy flavors.  Check out their facebook page

We'll be helping out!  Try them out when you go to a farmer's market in the Seattle area and see their banner!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Photoessay #2897 - Was California different?

Some months ago, I was shocked to read that, in the American 1950s and 1960s, that Conservative Jewry was the most successful affiliation for suburbanites.  My professor at the time confirmed it.  So what's the deal?  That's not what I witnessed in suburban Sacramento at all.  Could everybody else be wrong?  What I saw in Sacramento was Reform.  Was there something different in California?

I have a whole pile of books.

Maybe there WAS something different going on in California.  I found this old picture of B'nai Israel.  Maybe from a scrapbook.  We came on the scene in 1957 when the building was quite new.  But this photo evokes a late 1950s feel.  Can't quite figure out where it came from.

Maybe it was unusual because this congregation was not in the suburbs where my family lived.  It was 'across town'.  Interesting that the area where I grew up, still is residential but more upscale.  In the 1950s, a young engineer could afford such a house and raise a family.  But the "north area" as it was called is now in the southern half of the map of Sacramento.  So it wasn't nearby.  It was the only place in town as far as I knew.  Yes, there was some small shul which affiliated Conservative but it was in the city somewhere and I never knew anybody from there.  Reform B'nai Israel was south of city core, across from one edge of Land Park.  I wouldn't call it suburban.

My professor this quarter did a little piece on Jewish immigration.  Unfortunately this quarter, the other access student and myself are not allowed to speak except sometimes.  One point that he did make was that the two migration theory (The German Jews 1840-1880, then the East Europeans 1880-1920) was under criticism and review.  There are 5 undergraduates and they say thoughtful things but it's clear that they really don't have much information or know much.  The professor insists (and I can see his point) that if we really know more than the undergraduates and if we take the floor then the undergraduates won't speak and his emphasis is on them.

One thing about California, as far as I knew, there was no distinction made between German Jews and East European Jews.  Mainly because there weren't many grandparents or older member family members around.  The only reason that I knew about it at all and that was after high school was that I worked on a family history even then.  My mother talked about the High German Jews.

But nationwide, I think it did make a difference.  Now, many like me, have ancestors from both migrations.  The Germans founded Reform congregations.  The East Europeans didn't like Reform, they wanted something more traditional, even the children of the immigrants.  There were approximately 8 times more East European immigrants than German immigrants.  So the Conservative movement, invented in America, grew up to fill that need.

It's crazy to have lived during an epoch and seen things that seemed completely normal and establishment and find out later that really it wasn't like you thought.  At least in different areas.

Stay tuned on this one.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Photoessay #2896 - Seder this year?

Naomi, Dennis and I pondered what to do for seder this year.  Skipping it didn't seem to be an option.  We could have it ourselves, I'm not opposed.   But Naomi pointed out that we didn't have enough of a Jewish community to do it ourselves.  We needed more Jews and we didn't have them.

Naomi wanted to be invited to somebody else's seder.  That has  happened before; we went to Joline's one year and that was fun.  But, again, no promising candidates.

A community seder?  A communal seder usually put on by a congregation the second night.  Kol Haneshema is having one.  Dennis likes them.  In West Seattle.  More traditional than you might think.  Has a large following in LGBT community.  Yes, we can sign up for it.  West Seattle is a push but we could do it.  It's catered not cheap, you still have to bring wine and a pesach dessert.  We agree, we'll do that.

Pesach desserts are usually dreadful.  Naomi collects some recipes and we go down to U
Village QFC.  We buy a package of matza cake meal.  Decide to make the apple cake recipe on the package.  Buy some kosher for passover grape juice.

Hmmm, think I can score an invite to this seder?  At the white house?  They're flicking their fingers for the plagues, I can tell.

I have learned over the years to never attend a non Jewish based seder.  Some Christian groups like to have them but I (and my family members) have found them condescending and inappropriate.  As in, isn't this quaint?