Wednesday, February 4, 2015

~"Songs We Were NOT Allow To Listen To"~

Recently,while Dining with my Brother & Sister we talked of our childhood. The Subject Music came up...& by the time we finished we were all ROTFLOBO! First Dad was VERY strict in what his children could or could not do_so I'm gonna cover just the Music the List was I couldn't have a Date for the Jr or Sr Prom...he dropped me off & picked me up! I am NOW so Thankful for his Parenting Stone Age Rules. Oh,Mother had a say...but Dad had the Final Word-Up!

We were reminded of the Song "Stagger Lee" which is running on Stage at present in "The Wyly Theater" in Dallas,Texas. WELL...Daddy said "Stagger Lee " was a bad song...not bad (good)_but a really bad (bad)song. Heck,we just thought it was a good dancing song! The version we heard was recorded by Lloyd Price in 1959...take a listen here....

Come to find out_this song was based on something that really happened...
The historical "Stagger Lee" was Lee Shelton, an African-American pimp living in St.Louis Missouri  in the late 19th century. He was nicknamed "Stag Lee" or "Stack Lee", with a variety of explanations being given for the moniker: he was given the nickname because he 'went "stag"', meaning he was without friends. On Christmas night in 1895, Shelton and his acquaintance William "Billy" Lyons were drinking in the Bill Curtis Saloon. Lyons was also a member of St. Louis' underworld AND A Republican Organizer in the Black Community.Shelton was a Democratic Organizer in the same community....Political & Business Black Rivals! The black vote had gone to the Republicans since the end of the Civil War but times are changing. Eventually, the two men got into a dispute, during which Lyons took Shelton's Stetson hat.Subsequently,Shelton shot Lyons, recovered his hat, and left. Lyons died of his injuries, and Shelton was charged, tried and convicted of the murder in 1897. The Jury was packed with White Republicans. He was eventually pardoned in 1909, but returned to prison in 1911 for assault and robbery, and died in incarceration.  

The Listening devices of the time were HIGH TECH!!My Brother & I talked of how we'd sit on the front porch late night with his Hand-Held_"Transistor Radio"_ picking up Gallatin,Tennessee WLAC.... 
~ 1960's Transistor Radio Latest & Greatest Technology~ 
               Dee Jay John R at WLAC,Gallatin,Tennessee

John R. Top_R&B Deejay_( late 1940s to the early 1970s)_graced the airwaves after dark,when the station's powerful 50,000 watt signal could be heard via skywave across 38 States and parts of the Caribbean.The Real Deal! John R. was a one man show. Arguably, one of the most popular shows among African Americans not only in Nashville, but nearly everywhere WLAC’s signal could be heard. WOW! Did he play some Music!

On those times we were visiting my Grandmother....little did our Parents know that we would listen to Uncle Bubber's "DECCA RECORD" label records_all 78 RPM's!!!! If we could find the Record Album Book (always hidden in some corner)_that looked like this_

...each Record from Decca was in a Record Sleeve_

...and the 78 RPM Record _

Then...we'd play it on the Hi-Fi Stereo_ 

...Because,"Daddy" said these were REALLY bad records & we were NOT allowed to listen to such Trash! Being Teens that made us want to hear this Music more & more...We learned that _"YOU  HAVE TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES"_so, as a result we didn't get it until puberty /hormones set in...take a listen...
 Dinah Washington(she was Not the only one) _who sang risque songs_but you might remember this famous song which is more ,shall I say_Normal...

Another popular Singer my Brother reminded me of was Hank Ballard & the Mid-Nighters. My Brother especially remembers this one ..."The Annie Songs"! Daddy said these were BAD as well...
 But ....Later I was introduced by my Brother (he was in the US Navy by then and on leave) this character...WARNING_ "OFFENSIVE,OFFENSIVE,OFFENSIVE,OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE"......don't go there unless you can handle it.....
("Rudy Red Moore"Dolemite on You Tube).Fast forward to "Old School _BAD_Music" anything by Denise Lasalle or Millie Jackson.... AND,I have no words..Listen at your own risk! 
During this time...along came "American Bandstand" (1957) Hosted by Dick Clark. And this NEW genre of  Music (late 40's & 50's) called Rock & Roll. Its immediate origins lay in a mixing together of various black musical genres of the time, including R &B,Gospel Music,C&W and Pop. And ....Dad's NEW restrictions was none of this "GYRATING HIPS,BUTT MOVEMENTS"!! 

Amazing some of the moves were considered "BAD"....if
you consider Miley Cyrus Twerking Genre of today,Ha!

Then there were songs that my Brother just wore out ...he'd sing them over & over & over. It wasn't that they were BAD song but just "Annoying". Dad(holding back his laughter) had only to threaten my Brother's life a couple of times for him to STOP IT! Here's a couple...

And THIS one ..."I" was gonna personally kill him...he always did the Bass part...Grrrr,I can still hear him sing this song..

Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang
Ba ba ding a dong ding Blue moon moon blue moon dip di dip di dip
Moo Moo Moo Blue moon dip di dip di dip Moo Moo Moo Blue moon dip di dip di dip
Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang
Ba ba ding a dong ding 

Now,I understand "Why" my Daddy said.....NO!_well on some of this Music anyway! Those were some FUN years....we parted from the Dinner full of Love,Food & Laughter...Daddy would have loved it (RIP 03/18/88)! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

~Tying Up Loose Ends~2014 ~

There's a little something,something_I need to do before we get this 2015 going...Remember on 10/7/14_"Summer of Mind Travel Part 2 of 3?_well...Part 3 didn't happen! Why? I stand accused busy on some other projects & just never got around to it.BUT,I'm here to......

First off...Happy New Year to Y''s hoping your Holidays were Blessed with Joy! Day 9,we're off & running.I'm working on some Blogging ideas,etc that will be Fun,Learning Experiences,Travel,Food,Books and anything that gets my Fancy!

NOW, about Part 3. If Truth be told,I was overwhelmed by the deliciousness of the Mind Travel that G.K.Chesterton offered in "The Complete Father Brown Stories"...just couldn't put it into words how much I enjoyed this 787 pages of fine print,usage of words I'd never seen before in my LIFE and the fact it appeared in print around 1911.
Father Brown is a fictional character created by English novelist G.K.Chesterton who stars in 51 detective short stories (and two framing vignettes). Most of which were later compiled in five books. Chesterton based the character on Father John O'Connor (1870–1952), a parish priest who was involved in Chesterton's conversion to Catholicism in 1922. The relationship was recorded by O'Connor in his 1937 book  "Father Brown on Chesterton.

The methodology of Chesterton writing takes one mind to a level of intensity of holding on to the side rail of a Bullet Train traveling at 500 mile per hour ...Like daring oneself to jump off the Cray-Cray Merry-Go-Round spinning out of control....Like Insanity...reading story after story & expecting a SANE conclusion,etc....! 

For unlike the more famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes,Father Brown's methods tend to be "INTUITIVE" rather than "Deductive"! He explains his method in "The Secret of Father Brown": "You see, I had murdered them all myself.I had planned out each of the crimes very carefully. I had thought out exactly how a thing like that could be done, and in what style or state of mind a man could really do it. And when I was quite sure that I felt exactly like the murderer myself, of course I knew who he was." 

  "Kinds of Reasoning Intuitive,Deductive and Inductive"

I knew I was in for a RIDE when I read the first story. Having been an early student (12th Grade HS) of Philosophy_I wrote a Term paper on "The Aristotelian Method of Thought v Platonism"_ (received A+,still have that paper!)_ & later attended Thurgood Marshall School of Law_this was gonna be GOOD! Mother (88years old) & I created a Weekly Phone Call Book Club_so she was reading it at the same time.We both were saying & feeling the same thing about the stories. We wanted to finish the last page_& when we did_We wanted to START all over again.......our ~Little Grey Cells~ Hercule Poirot~ were in overdrive on "Pure Unadulterated Testosterone" Male & Female!! 

 ...put me in a "Confused YET Happy State of Mind"...trying to figure it all out.Just when I thought I knew_Who Dunnit_WRONG! And then Chesterton threw the "Paradox"device in_(concerned with perception of the extraordinary within the seemingly most ordinary),parables with moral overtones,poetry,witty and fundamental truth & other clever writing devices!! 

It is said that no other writer since has been able to match the original detective work of the little Priest Father Brown....not even Agatha Christie. Chesterton's writings on Father Brown are ....Indeed,Magical! Consider "MY"...

Sometime in the near future,I plan to read the complete stories AGAIN!!! If you'd like to catch the Essence of Father Brown_ PBS offers these DVDs_ The NEW Series:

Or ,the Old version:
I prefer the newer version_but watched both!

So ,let's get 2015 started...See Ya Next Time!!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

~My Limoncello Italian Christmas Party 2014~

With all the craziness in the was time for a break!What better way to celebrate this year's Christmas-themed Party...than getting my "GURLFRIENDS" together for a Limoncello Tasting & yummy Italian foods! 14th year of celebrating Christmas Around the World with Food,Music & Decor with my Friends!

First,here's a little story & knowledge as to why I wanted to theme this year's Christmas as "Limoncello".
A couple year's back at a Birthday Party a friend_Joy_ bought a Limoncello Cheesecake for Dessert. Jilly P. (another friend) & I went ape shitacky crazy because we'd been discussing how we'd love to taste Limoncello unbeknown to Joy. Long story short,after that we had Limoncello on our lips in most conversation...cause we were "PINING TO TASTE" this magical potion & this character was in the News several times for having "Imbibed"a little to much on his David Letterman Late Night Show chat,touting his own Brand....

So,after our Wine Tasting at my Birthday Party_"Under The Tuscan Sun"(2011)...conducted by the Regional Manager from Candoni Wines....
I figured it was time to have a "Limoncello Tasting"! So about that Limoncello...

An Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy,especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples,the Sorrentine Penninsula and the coast of Amalfi, and islands of Procida,Ischia,and Capri.Although there is debate about the exact origin of the drink, it is at least one hundred years old.
Traditionally, it is made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, also known as Sorrento lemons or Sfusato Lemons.Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, is steeped in rectified spirit until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup. Varying sugar to water ratio and temperature will affect the clarity, viscosity, and flavor. Opaque limoncellos are the result of spontaneous emulsification (otherwise known as the Ouzo Effect) of the sugar syrup and extracted lemon oils.
Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in Italy and it has recently become popular in other parts of the world.Limoncello has an ethanol content of 28-32% & considered optimal ,it is traditionally served chilled after-dinner,has many variations i.e. Pistachiocello (flavored with pistachio nuts), Meloncello (flavored with cantaloupe), and Fragoncello (flavored with strawberry).And with less alcoholic, (at around 16% vol.) creamier version also exists, known as Crema di Limoncello.

First..we did our Tradition of Toasting with
                      Candoni Prosecco my long handle Toasting Glasses...see below on coffee table_here's a photo I found of 2....

THEN after a bite to eat...Let the Tasting begin_(Tasting Tray with Shot glasses & Limoncello).

And, another friend (Bev)_offered the OTHER drink of Italy she'd pick up on her last trip to Florence,Italy... an alcoholic beverage, a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy of Italian origin that contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume (70 to 120 US proof)....of which WE ALL SAID..."JUST SAY NO"! 

                           "THE MENU"
For my "Limoncello Christmas Dinner Party" (12-7-14)....Appetizers: Lemon & Fig Tapenade w/Lemon Pepper Crackers, Prosciutto & Fig Crostata, Artichoke Dip,Cornichons,Stuffed Pepperoncini.
Salad: Fresh Mozzarella Celery Salad w/Limoncello Vinegar Dressing and Arugula w/ Warm Broiled Lemons served w/ warm Focacci Bread. 
Main: Crab Cakes w/ Lemon Tarragon Tarter Sauce,Green Bean Gremolate, Spinach Ravioli and Fettuccine w/Shrimp in Limoncello Creme Sauce. 
Desserts: Pandora Lemodora Cake w/ Limoncello Ice Cream,Baba' al liquore di limoni Cake,Cookies(Pantorrone al Lomomcello & Amaretto Limoncello). 

Beverages: Lemon Verbena Tea,Prosecco & Pinot Grigio. "Limoncello Tasting"_Limoncello Panna Liquore & Gioia Luisa Limoncello Liqueur,+Grappa.

Snacks:Limoncello Almond candy and Limoncello Dark Chocolate........It was "A LEMONY WEEKEND HERE AT AARON'S HILLTOP FARM,Texas". 

                    ~Toasting Glasses w/Red handles~


Last but not least...I want to make this clear...Gioia Luisa Sweets Limoncello Rhum "BabĂ " is NOT to be taken lightly(Italian After Dinner Dessert).It is a small yeast  cake saturated in Hard Liquor.
Limoncello in this case_usually Rum. It was part of the Gift Basket I ordered from 
Great Products,Great Customer Service...Thank-You!

My FAVORITE was the Limoncello Panna(Creme)...OMG!! So good,smooth,rich....WAIT...I need a shot right NOW!

And in the's these GURLFRIENDS pictured_that count the most_and we missed Amy in Washington State  & Shelly in Hill Country,Texas....maybe next time!

My "Partners -in-Crime"....(Bev.came late,not in photo)..
Ginger P.,KB,Val,Joy D.,Pammy P.(me) and Jilly P. Indeed, it was a "Limoncello Christmas" here at Aaron's Hilltop Farm!

                       "SEAL OF APPROVAL"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Summer of 2014 Mind Travels"Part 2 of 3

.And the Mind Travels continue.....

Early 1950's_En Route to meet the infamous 11 year old Sleuth Flavia de Luce at Buckshaw Mansion (the family's country Manor) in Bishop Lacey,England_(now known as Chudleigh National Park,England).Landed at Heathrow Airport (built c.1929)_then on to the Railway Station..

_picked up the 3 T's_Timetable,Ticket & Tea and some PIE,with intentions of  re-reading"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie"_
_while glancing at the English Countryside_rustic cottages,ages old,bordered by stone fences and spotted with English gardens along the way and pastures of rolling green ,Manors galore,etc...

..arriving at the Chudleigh Railway Station_read about it's History here: 
                            1950's Train arrival at Chudleigh Railway Station

GUESS who I spotted right away? Pigtails flying,excitement galore_why it was "Flavia" and her crusty old bike she calls "Gladys"!

We got down to business right away.Seems her Father_Colonel Haviland "Jacko" de Luce, a "Philatelist" and former amateur illusionist who spends most of his time poring over his stamp collection_is a suspect in a Murder! 
The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was issued in Britain on 1 May 1840, for official use from 6 May of that year and features a profile of the Queen Victoria.

                                                    Common Jack Snipe
Mrs. Mullet, Buckshaw's housekeeper and cook, discovers a dead Jack Snipe bird on the porch with a Penny Black Stamp pierced through its beak. Then, Flavia and Dogger overhear a heated argument between Colonel de Luce and a red-headed stranger who shortly turns up dead in the family cucumber patch...Colonel de Luce is arrested for the crime! Flavia had already began her investigation to save her Father! It's on....

No sooner than we're done with solving that WhoDunnit along comes another. I wanted a tour of Flavia's Chemist Lab in a remote part of Buckshaw Manor_inhabited only by her _no time she says,no time,later! Seems a Puppeteer has gone and got himself HANGED! _

...this is going to be a long,long,long Mind Travel Journey!!! Little did I know there was gonna be four more WhoDunnits!
I'm this one going to be a traditional English "Punch And Judy Show?

...Rupert Porson has an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. The beloved puppeteer has had his own strings sizzled, but who'd do such a thing and why?  

Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? There’s a German pilot obsessed with the BrontĂ« sisters, a reproachful spinster aunt, and even a box of poisoned chocolates. Most troubling of all is Porson’s assistant, the charming but erratic Nialla. All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can't solve—without Flavia’s help of course! I think Flavia has  finally gotten in way over her head! 

~The Wood,The Weed,the chokes the child~Sir Walter Raleigh (Quoted at beginning of book). Wood (used to make a gallows for hanging), Weed (hemp rope for hanging) and a Wag (a smart-aleck, a wit -- someone who thinks they are very clever and keeps making jests and jokes, which others might not find funny _all grow well when they are apart, but if they are brought together,it means "RUINATION". 

*** Interesting Poem to his son _since Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded at the Gallows with his head presented to his wife_of which she keep in a Velvet Bag until her dead_when his head was buried /united with his body!

Up next...we venture into a "BIG FISHY STORY"!

 Flavia reminded me of a passage written in 1592 by Thomas Lodge & Robert Greene_"A Looking Glasse, for London and Englande"....."a cup of ale without a wench,why,alas,'tis like an egg without salt or a red herring without mustard." 
As we rush pass the Colonel,Dogger and Mrs.Mullet having a spot of tea in the kitchen_Flavia shouts ...No Time,No Time for Tea! I'm like really? She hops on "Gladys" with me following on her sister's Ophelia old bicycle_headed to Bishop's Lacey .The Gypsy woman told Flavia's  fortune earlier_NOW_she had been found bludgeoned to death! Some say it was revenge from her abducting a local child many years ago......BUT then again_The Red Herrings are everywhere_this is gonna take some time sorting it all out....since all signs are misleading!Here we go.....

Done and Done!No sooner than I was enjoying a look-about in Flavia's Chemistry Lab_rather "Poison making Lab"_with all the old fixtures,books,potions,Bunsen burners,etc...where I spotted these cool bookends..
And was about to have a chat over Tea_ which she steeped in a vintage glass pot boiler_
SHE exclaims_ "I am Half-Sick of Shadows"...I sighed_it was time for another adventure_
I'd been there since the Summer_it was Christmastime! I thought we were going to whip up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick coming down the chimney_as Flavia wasn't to sure about his existence! However,there was a distraction_Buckshaw had a film crew in the living room_long before "Downton Abbey" filming at Manor Houses_the Famed actress Phyllis Wyvern was present with cast in tow & all sorts of equipment_amid a raging BLIZZARD outside...then there's a MURDER! 
~But in her web she still delights_To weave the mirror's magic sights, For often thro' the silent nights A funeral, with plumes and lights  And music, came from Camelot: Or when the moon was overhead Came two young lovers lately wed; I am half sick of shadows,' said The Lady of Shalott~....Alfred Tennyson                                                              

                             Merry Christmas! 
& Happy New Year...I'm still at Buckshaw Manor_time for another mystery!

 This is gonna be spooky.Now Flavia maybe accustomed to digging around in Crypts of 500-year old Saint's or otherwise_but not me!The English Hamlet of Bishop Lacey is preparing to open the tomb of its patron saint...there's precious jewels in there! What Flavia's dig finds will halt the proceeding in their tracks_the body of the Church Organist,Mr.Collicutt. 

 The Graveyard Poet_Thomas Parnell _wrote this little ditty in 1721 called "A Night-Piece on Death"...excerpt_

      Now from yon black and fun'ral Yew,
That bathes the Charnel House with Dew,
Methinks I hear a Voice begin;
(Ye Ravens, cease your croaking Din,
Ye tolling Clocks, no Time resound
O'er the long Lake and midnight Ground)
It sends a Peal of hollow Groans,
 Thus, "Speaking From Among the Bones" 
***The "Graveyard Poets", also termed “Churchyard Poets” or "the Boneyard Boys” were a number of pre-Romantic English poets of the 18th century characterised by their gloomy meditations on mortality, 'skulls and coffins, epitaphs and worms elicited by the presence of the graveyard. 
 I started to pack my Gladstone_it was time to part from my little friend.On that bright Spring morning of 1951, flowers peeking out,crispness in the air_when Flavia gets the NEWS! Her long lost mother "Harriet" remains will arrive at the railway station.As her family gathered_she gives me a look of sadness and whispers ..."Stay,Please". What's the harm a couple more days with a bright,aspiring Chemist,Amateur Detective, 
  precocious little Hostess with the Most-est....Right? 

As we wait for the train carrying the remains_a tall stranger whispers a cryptic message in Flavia's ear...moments later..he's DEAD!Who was this man ...what did he know? Back home at Buckshaw, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to work fast,finding reels of films stashed away in the attic...she begans to unravel the Secrets of The De Luces' Clan including a visitor in the film...none other than Winston Churchill. BUT...the creme de la creme was the side work in the Chemist Lab....a potion that MIGHT JUST raise her Mother from the DEAD! This is gonna be good..

~The Marble Tombs that rise on high,Whose Dead in vaulted Arches lye...~ Thomas Parnell   

     And in the end..Flavia solves the mystery!

I bid my friend and her family Goodbye! It was an AWESOME 
journey_I learned so much as there was always a favorite book or classical music piece referenced throughout the journey in the book....I have a list now to followup on! 

But the time has come to "Board the Train" and head deeper into the English Countryside around the 1800's! Headed to Kensington,England for a visit with G.K.  Chesterton...all 800 pages....