Friday, March 27, 2015

" Music Saved Our Lives "

Saul Dreier and Ruben Sosnowicz

 Another testament to survival, of how one's love, and passion for creativity, in particular music, can give you the will to live is seen in Saul Dreier and Ruby Sosnowicz, who started the Holocaust Survivor's Band, as a tribute to late fellow musician and survivor, Alice Herz-Somer. Such a beautiful soul.

I love these two guys Saul and Ruby. Saul, he reminds me so much of my father, who's family came from Poland with his Jewish Germanic name.

You can see more videos and listen to the interview with Saul and Ruby here on CBC Radio Q.

The Turnip Princess

Listening to late night radio, I hear and learn about so many things from all over the world. Many are tragic, some funny, entertaining, and some can spark my interest enough to blog about them, particularly when they involve stories about life related to anything creative.

My art work involves fairy tales and story, so I was especially excited, and very curious to learn about a volume of 500 new fairy tales that had been recently found in Germany. These fairy tales were collected by local historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth (1810-1886) in Bavaria from country folk all over, around the same time as the Brothers Grimm, however faded into obscurity as these tales never gained popularity, and  were stored away for over 150 years, until now.

This Guardian article explains that Oberpfalz cultural curator Erika Eichenseer found them.
I loved what she says about fairy tales. She calls them a " valuable treasure known to man: ancient knowledge and wisdom to do with human development, testing our limits and salvation. "

Here is an example of one of these fairy tales.

The Turnip Princess

A young prince lost his way in the forest and came to a cave. He passed the night there, and when he awoke there stood next to him an old woman with a bear and a dog. The old witch seemed very beautiful and wished that the prince would stay with her and marry her. He could not endure her, yet could not leave that place.

One day, the bear was alone with him and spoke to the prince: "Pull the rusty nail from the wall, so that I shall be delivered, and place it beneath a turnip in the field, and in this way you shall have a beautiful wife." The prince seized the nail so strongly that the cave shook and the nail cracked loudly like a clap of thunder. Behind him a bear stood up from the ground like a man, bearded and with a crown on his head.

"Now I shall find a beautiful maiden," cried the prince and went forth nimbly. He came to a field of turnips and was about to place the nail beneath one of them when there appeared above him a monster, so that he dropped the nail, pricked his finger on a hedge and bled until he fell down senseless. When he awoke he saw that he was elsewhere and that he had long slumbered, for his smooth chin was now frizzy with a blond beard.

He arose and set off across field and forest and searched through every turnip field but nowhere found what he was looking for. Day passed and night, too, and one evening, he sat down on a ridge beneath a bush, a flowering blackthorn with red blossoms on one branch. He broke off the branch, and because there was before him, amongst the other things on the ground, a large, white turnip, he stuck the blackthorn branch into the turnip and fell asleep.

When he awoke on the morrow, the turnip beside him looked like a large, open shell in which lay the nail, and the wall of the turnip resembled a nut-shell, whose kernel seemed to shape his picture. He saw there the little foot, the thin hand, the whole body, even the fine hair so delicately imprinted, just as the most beautiful girl would have.

The prince stood up and began his search, and came at last to the old cave in the forest, but no one was there. He took out the nail and struck it into the wall of the cave, and at once the old woman and the bear were also there. "Tell me, for you know for certain," snarled the prince fiercely at the old woman, "where have you put the beautiful girl from the parlour?" The old woman giggled to hear this: "You have me, so why do you scorn me?"

The bear nodded, too, and looked for the nail in the wall. "You are honest, to be sure," said the prince, "but I shall not be the old woman's fool again." "Just pull out the nail," growled the bear. The prince reached for it and pulled it half out, looked about him and saw the bear as already half man, and the odious old woman almost as a beautiful and kind girl. Thereupon he drew out the nail entirely and flew into her arms for she had been delivered from the spell laid upon her and the nail burnt up like fire, and the young bridal pair travelled with his father, the king, to his kingdom.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Making Viva Frida

I have been a fan of Frida Kahlo's for a long time now. I think I can say she actually is my favourite artist. Not only because of her art, but because of her spirit, her love, and passion for life.

I met a lovely young woman online from Spain the past week, and asked her today if she liked Frida Kahlo. She told me yes she did, very much. Then just today, I found out about a new children's book that has been published, called Viva Frida, by the award-winning author/illustrator Yuyi Morales who has produced it. Here is a video that shows the painstaking and loving process that the artist went through to create the machetes, that were photographed for this beautiful and enchantingly illustrated book.
You can vote for Yuyi Morales for best Children's Illustrator in the CBC book awards competition here:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hooked On Hamilton - The Mystic Highway

I grew up in the east end of Toronto during the 50s, in a working class neighbourhood. At the age of ten my family moved to Southern Ontario in 1963, and then we lived in Guelph until I was 15. As a teenager, I was very aware of Hamilton and Kitchener. The cities were often thought of as being synonymous. One got the impression that Guelph thought of itself as a little more sophisticated, after all of the industrial factories were outside of the city, sight unseen. But there was an underside, of the pristine civilized city surface, as I found out first hand, in my pubescent youth, enchanted with the 60s counter culture.

My brother who was very much the 'greaser,' born in 1943 and ten years older then me, was getting into his own messes. He informed me that he'd spent his only night in the local jail, sharing a cell with a mafia guy. Seems the mafia had infiltrated Guelph. I certainly knew the biker scene was active, as was the drug culture.

Hamilton and Kitchener's reputation preceded itself, in that it was well known for having a lot of bikers, working class partying rough necks, and drugs. I'd never had the opportunity to spend any time in Hamilton, nor did I ever want to go, cause I was a little afraid, but when I hit my teens, I became acutely aware of the level of talent that was coming out of this area like Crowbar, and King Biscuit Boy, under the influence of Ronnie Hawkins. My brother worshiped The Hawk, and I began to learn through osmosis from my brother's love and knowledge of music, and about the bands that The Hawk was involved with, or them helped get their start. I was completely hooked on Hamilton and didn't know it.

One of the biggest reasons my brother loved Ronnie Hawkins was his salt of the earth personality, his great sense of humour, and his wild side. When musicians are loved, it's not just because of their raw talent, it's because of the kind of personalities they have. The more down to earth they are, the average working class person relates to them.

I love these interviews with Tom Wilson who talks about the rich musical history of Hamilton. Tom is about as down to earth, and working class as you can get, as are his associate members in the band Blackie and The Rodeo Kings. I think these factors all play a big part in why they have become so successful, loved, individually and collectively.

As a member of Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Tom Wilson, Stephen Fearing, and Colin Linden are very cognizent of the importance of musical history, and keeping this tradition alive, and I think unites them as a musical force of nature for a greater good. The name of their band, being a tribute to the late great Willie P. Bennett, who was the song writer's writer.

Here is what I think is the best video interview done with Tom Wilson, that embodies the musical history of Hamilton. It gives insight into the kind of person Tom Wilson is, as a musician and a Hamiltonian.

Monday, March 23, 2015


I wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of my supporters through out this big global online world who have and continue support me. Your, heart felt comments, loyal visits, and ad support sure make it all so rewarding and worthwhile. You ROCK and I love you all!

A special shout out to my special Canadian peeps

This past week I hit another milestone and got another achievement notification from The Google! LOL Here it is!

AdSense achievement

Lifetime ad impressions: 100,000 Congratulations! On March 15, 2015 you reached a lifetime ad impressions achievement.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Eileen Kramer - 100th Year of Creativity

Marie Forleo posted this beautiful video about a dancer, and choreographer I'd never heard tell of, and I just had to share it.

Eileen Kramer is not only a pioneer and a legend, but she is a 100 years young, still dancing, and very involved with choreography. What an creative inspiration she is. 

In the Huffington Post site are a series of videos that I'm sure will not only inspire and amaze you. I am certain you will be touched, if not enchanted by her grace and ageless, creative, and beautiful soul.
Her statement convinces me that creativity is the secret to staying young.

  "Try to do creative work, because if you're dealing with creative work you're doing something new all the time."