New Isn’t Always Better

I am a sentimental person I will admit, but I can let go of certain things.  There are some things that make my heart smile , and I will always keep them. My husband does not understand this sentiment.  He believes new is better.

Take for instance this quilt that goes at the foot of our bed each day, and when the weather gets a little chilly it warms better than anything electric.

This quilt has been with me since moving to Fort Worth some 44 years ago, and was probably not new when I received it.  As I packed my car to come to Fort Worth, my neighbor Miss Callie came across the street with this beautiful quilt to keep me warm when I needed it.  It was not only meant to keep me warm during cold nights, it was meant to keep me warm from cold people, cold circumstances–it was meant to ward off the coldness of the world.  This quilt was meant to wrap the love of Della Lane around me. It has done all of this and more.

Over the years it has warmed my daughters and now my grandson.  This quilt has warded off all evil spirits. Everyone reaches for this one quilt.  It seems to warm you from the inside to the outside.  Miss Callie’s quilt warms your heart.

Maybe it’s the love that it was made from. Someone made it with love for Miss Callie, and she lovingly gave it to me. 

As the years have come and gone, we’ve had to mend “our” quilt.  My husband once, and only once told me that we should buy a new one.  But now even he knows that the coldness of life can only be warmed by a quilt made with love.  Each time I spread it, or wash it I think of my street on Della Lane, and it warms my heart.

Do you have a keepsake that warms your heart–if so share with us? Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. When you warm your heart it shows.

They Gave So Much For Me To Vote–I Have An Obligation To Let My Light Shine

Women were not always able to vote, and even when they were given the right to vote it was only for white women.  Native American women were the next group of women given the right to vote.  Some 32 years after women were given the right to vote Asian women were allowed to cast their ballot.  It took 44 years for African American women to be given the opportunity to do the same.

As an African American woman of a certain age, I owe all of these women for giving me the right to vote.  There are many men who I also must remember, but on this day I remember Fannie Lou Hamer who was “sick and tired of being sick and tired”.  She made it possible for my grandmothers, mother, and aunts to have the opportunity to cast their ballot, and they did.  I owe it to all of the women who fought, lost homes, husbands, children and even their lives for me to cast my ballot every time there is an election.

Take a moment to listen to Fannie Lou Hamer as she speaks before the Democratic National Convention in 1964.  The full written transcript is below. I owe so much to Mrs. Hamer and her peers.  She was put out of her home and beaten all for trying to register to vote. Through all of this, she continued to always sing her favorite song “This Little Light of Mine”. The debt can never be repayed.

Mr. Chairman, and to the Credentials Committee, my name is Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, and I live at 626 East Lafayette Street, Ruleville, Mississippi, Sunflower County, the home of Senator James O. Eastland, and Senator Stennis.

It was the 31st of August in 1962 that eighteen of us traveled twenty-six miles to the county courthouse in Indianola to try to register to become first-class citizens. We was met in Indianola by policemen, Highway Patrolmen, and they only allowed two of us in to take the literacy test at the time. After we had taken this test and started back to Ruleville, we was held up by the City Police and the State Highway Patrolmen and carried back to Indianola where the bus driver was charged that day with driving a bus the wrong color.

After we paid the fine among us, we continued on to Ruleville, and Reverend Jeff Sunny carried me four miles in the rural area where I had worked as a timekeeper and sharecropper for eighteen years. I was met there by my children, who told me the plantation owner was angry because I had gone down — tried to register.

After they told me, my husband came, and said the plantation owner was raising Cain because I had tried to register. And before he quit talking the plantation owner came and said, “Fannie Lou, do you know — did Pap tell you what I said?”

And I said, “Yes, sir.”

He said, “Well I mean that.”

Said, “If you don’t go down and withdraw your registration, you will have to leave.”

Said, “Then if you go down and withdraw.”

Said, “You still might have to go because we’re not ready for that in Mississippi.”

And I addressed him and told him and said, “I didn’t try to register for you. I tried to register for myself.”

I had to leave that same night.

On the 10th of September 1962, sixteen bullets was fired into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tucker for me. That same night two girls were shot in Ruleville, Mississippi. Also, Mr. Joe McDonald’s house was shot in.

And June the 9th, 1963, I had attended a voter registration workshop; was returning back to Mississippi. Ten of us was traveling by the Continental Trailway bus. When we got to Winona, Mississippi, which is Montgomery County, four of the people got off to use the washroom, and two of the people — to use the restaurant — two of the people wanted to use the washroom.

The four people that had gone in to use the restaurant was ordered out. During this time I was on the bus. But when I looked through the window and saw they had rushed out I got off of the bus to see what had happened. And one of the ladies said, “It was a State Highway Patrolman and a Chief of Police ordered us out.”

I got back on the bus and one of the persons had used the washroom got back on the bus, too.

As soon as I was seated on the bus, I saw when they began to get the five people in a highway patrolman’s car. I stepped off of the bus to see what was happening and somebody screamed from the car that the five workers was in and said, “Get that one there.” And when I went to get in the car, when the man told me I was under arrest, he kicked me.

I was carried to the county jail and put in the booking room. They left some of the people in the booking room and began to place us in cells. I was placed in a cell with a young woman called Miss Ivesta Simpson. After I was placed in the cell I began to hear sounds of licks and screams. I could hear the sounds of licks and horrible screams. And I could hear somebody say, “Can you say, ‘yes, sir,’ nigger? Can you say ‘yes, sir’?”

And they would say other horrible names.

She would say, “Yes, I can say ‘yes, sir.'”

“So, well, say it.”

She said, “I don’t know you well enough.”

They beat her, I don’t know how long. And after a while she began to pray, and asked God to have mercy on those people.

And it wasn’t too long before three white men came to my cell. One of these men was a State Highway Patrolman and he asked me where I was from. And I told him Ruleville. He said, “We are going to check this.” And they left my cell and it wasn’t too long before they came back. He said, “You are from Ruleville all right,” and he used a curse word. And he said, “We’re going to make you wish you was dead.”

I was carried out of that cell into another cell where they had two Negro prisoners. The State Highway Patrolmen ordered the first Negro to take the blackjack. The first Negro prisoner ordered me, by orders from the State Highway Patrolman, for me to lay down on a bunk bed on my face. And I laid on my face, the first Negro began to beat me.

And I was beat by the first Negro until he was exhausted. I was holding my hands behind me at that time on my left side, because I suffered from polio when I was six years old.

After the first Negro had beat until he was exhausted, the State Highway Patrolman ordered the second Negro to take the blackjack.

The second Negro began to beat and I began to work my feet, and the State Highway Patrolman ordered the first Negro who had beat to sit on my feet — to keep me from working my feet. I began to scream and one white man got up and began to beat me in my head and tell me to hush.

One white man — my dress had worked up high — he walked over and pulled my dress — I pulled my dress down and he pulled my dress back up.

I was in jail when Medgar Evers was murdered.

All of this is on account of we want to register, to become first-class citizens. And if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off of the hooks because our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?

Thank you.

There are so many others to thank, to them I can say

I voted 1

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”  you have a privilege that many before you didn’t. Honor them by casting your ballot, and letting your light shine.

Academy of Country Music Awards Comes To Texas

                                                

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NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL ACM AWARDS 50 YEARS  

FINAL TRACK LISTING REVEALED

FANS CAN ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO ATTEND

THE 50TH ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS ON APRIL 19

The collection of recordings will celebrate the ACM Awards’ 50-year history and will feature 2 discs as well as a digital collection of ACM award-winning songs. The first disc will feature recent contemporary hits while the second will include timeless classics.

The complete track listing for NOW That’s What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years includes those listed below and much more:

DISC ONE (1990-2015)

  1. Jason Aldean (with Luke Bryan & Eric Church) The Only Way I Know 2012
  2. Lee Brice I Drive Your Truck 2012
  3. Luke Bryan Country Girl (Shake It For Me) 2011

DISC TWO (1965-1989)

  1. Clint Black Better Man 1989
  2. Hank Williams Jr. There’s a Tear in My Beer 1989
  3. Randy Travis Forever and Ever Amen 1987

Digital pre-order for the album is available at: http://smarturl.it/NOWACM50?IQid=PR. Additionally, from now until March 30, 2015, fans can enter for a chance to attend the 2015 ACM Awards in Arlington, TX. One lucky grand prize winner will receive roundtrip airfare for two, three nights deluxe hotel accommodations as well as two tickets to the 50th ACM Awards, ACM Party for a Cause Festival and ACM Presents: Superstar Duets! taping. To enter and review complete sweepstakes rules visit: http://smarturl.it/NOWACMFlyaway. *ACM Presents: Superstar Duets! taping will be held at ACM Party for a Cause Festival on Friday, April 17th and Saturday, April 18th.

Women’s History Month–Inspiring Us

womens-history-month

Two women that continue to inspire me are Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to be nominated to be vice president of the United States, and Shirley shirleychisholmChisholm the first African-American to be a major party candidate for president of the United States.  Neither of these women won their political races, but I can just image what they had to go through not only from men, but from women who believed they should stay in a “woman’s place”.  They paved the way.

We all have women who have inspired us in some form or fashion, tell us about them.   

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”!  Let’s not only celebrate, let’s honor women all year.

Because of those that paved the way, we are able to do whatever we desire.

      Don’t forget to tell us about the women who have inspired you.

 

Celebrating the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a woman of a certain age, I remember the impact that Dr. King had on the nation. To celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the  Dallas Institute of Humanities & Culture is sponsoring the 2015 MLK Symposium.  This years symposium is their 10th one and it will feature the original commissioned stage play based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s influential “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.  Birmingham jail2The play is entitled “The 67th Book of the Bible”.  The world premier will be on Monday, January 19 at 7 pm at the Dallas City Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District at 8520 Flora St., Dallas, TX 75201.

The play was written by Dallas native Jonathan Norton.  Mr. Norton is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School and a Southern Methodist University alumnus.  The play will be produced by award-winning playwright Will Power and Derrick Sanders will serve as director. Birmingham 3 Immediately after the play, there will be a discussion that will also feature Willie Pearl Mackey, the transcriber of King’s letter in 1963.  Also featured in the discussion will be professor Jonathan Rieder of Barnard College.  He is an author and expert on MLK and the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.

Tickets for the event are: General Admission $20, Teachers $10, Students (with valid student ID) free.  To register and learn more about this event please go to: http://dallasinstitute.org/events/mlk-jr-symposium-2/.

The information below about the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture was taken directly from their website: 

For over thirty years, the Dallas Institute has conducted original programs that enrich and strengthen the cultural heart of our great city. Our house on Routh Street is home for those who enjoy reading, thinking, exploring, and discussing timeless ideas that make us most fully human. The Institute has been described by our members as a “sanctuary,” as an “oasis,” as a “place for reflection,” as “food for the soul.”

Our members are the lifeblood of the Institute. It is for them that we create classes, groups, programs, and events that bring the wisdom and imagination of the humanities into their lives. If you are already a member, we thank you. If you aren’t, please think about becoming a member, and join us on a common journey toward the discovery of truth, beauty, and all else that is good and noble.

This event is one that will bring history to life. It is important to “know your history”. 

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and people like Dr. King and other’s help to make it possible.

(Free) Day In The Cultural District

Fort WorthNine of Fort Worth’s museums will have free admission on Saturday, September 27 from 10 AM to 5 PM.  Take a look at the link below to find out which museums are participating.  If you live in or around Fort Worth or if you are planning to visit on the 27th of September, just bring your walking shoes and enjoy the wonderful, world-class museums Fort Worth has to offer.

http://fwdayinthedistrict.org/

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Enjoy your free day at the museums of Fort Worth, Texas.  Go with your friends, children, grandchildren or even by yourself.  Have fun!