Posted in Finding Frost's Road: Encounters with the Culture

Report #3 from The Washington Auto Show: The Past Is Beautiful

(The following is a reprint of an article I posted in 2008 which features photos and commentary from a visit to the Washington Auto Show. I will repost these reports over the next successive Saturdays as a KMLS PhotoShop feature).

Previous Reports:

Report #1

Report #2

Report #3

The theme of this year’s auto show is “Engineered for the Future.” Visitors are invited to see a piece of the future of automobiles. My first report took a look at this theme with an emphasis on new 2008 models and vehicles featuring green technology. But no auto show is complete without those beauties from the past. In this report I will feature “oldies, but goodies,” cars from history that still have the power to turn heads.

Since we’re talking about history, here’s some tidbits about the show: As far as I can tell this is the 66th year of the Auto Show. For 62 of those years it was held around Christmas and New Years to take advantage of visitors. But to make it a more world class show for everyone, especially residents of this fair city, Washington Convention and Tourism Corp (WCTC) and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA), the primary sponsors of the show, decided to shift it to a later date.

Now for some shots of history:

Corvette by KMLS
Oldies by KMLS
Nissan Racer by KMLS

Below is the lowly, reliable Fiat, movie star of the ages and workhorse for eons, framed by a muscle car.

Fiat Juxtaposition by KMLS

And we’ll end with those sports cars that have had us salivating for years-Ferrari and Porsche.

Ferrari by KMLS
Porsche by KMLS

My next report will feature art on wheels. Stay tuned!

Posted in Musings, Research, Resources

July 4th in Peace and Justice History

The following are a few of the peace and justice related historical events that have occurred on July 4:

1804 – Birth of Author Nathaniel Hawthorne who wrote “Chiefly About War-Matters” detailing his opposition to the Civil War


1827 – Slavery is abolished in NY

1845 – Pacifist Henry David Thoreau moves into his shack on Walden Pond where he will live for two years


1845 – Philanthropist and Humanitarian Thomas John Barnardo, who helped create homes for 100,000 poor children, is born in Dublin

1852 – African-American Abolitionist Frederick Douglas gives his famous speech “The Meaning of July 4th to the Negro” (speech given on July 5)


1881 – African-American educational pioneer Booker T. Washington establishes Tuskegee Institute (Alabama)

Booker t Washington

1941 – Howard Florey & Norman Heatley meet for 1st time, 11 days later they successfully recreate penicillin

1941 – Vietnam Veteran and Peace Activist Brian Wilson is born

1946 – Birth of Ronald Lawrence Kovic, an American anti-war activist, veteran and writer who was paralyzed in the Vietnam War. He is best known as the author of the memoir Born on the Fourth of July.

born on july 4

1951 – The “Capital Times” in Madison, Wisconsin, reported that one of its reporters was turned down by 99 out of 100 people he asked to sign a petition made up of quotations from the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Many said the petition was subversive.

1966 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act, which makes government information more publicly available.

1969 – “Give Peace a Chance” by Plastic Ono Band is released in UK


1972 – Lee Hu-rak, South Korean President Park Chung-hee’s top intelligence officer, helped broker a joint statement, the first major accord since 1953, in which the two Koreas agreed to work toward peacefully reunifying their divided peninsula.

1987 – Bill Graham took Santana, the Doobie Brothers and Bonny Rait to Moscow for an American-Soviet peace concert.

1993 – South African leaders F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela received the Liberty Medal in a ceremony outside Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

de klerk mandela

1997 – In Guatemala Pres. Alvaro Arzu fired 2 top military officials, after they had helped negotiate a peace treaty. They were known as moderates and the hard-liner Gen’l. Hector Barrios took over as the new defense chief.

1999 – A 2,000 pound tombstone for “Unknown Civilians Killed in Wars” departed from Sherborn, Mass., on a 450-mile trek to Arlington National Cemetery. It was impounded by police on August 6 for safekeeping pending approval by Congress. In the 20th century 62 million civilians died in wars as compared to 43 million military people.


1999 – In Puerto Rico anti US Navy protests drew some 50,000 people.

2005 – In Austria, representatives from more than 100 countries gathered at the UN nuclear (IAEA) agency’s Vienna headquarters to consider strengthening international laws meant to safeguard nuclear materials from theft and prevent terrorist attacks on atomic power plants.

2012 – A Swedish ad team from Studio Total dropped hundreds of teddy bears carrying messages promoting human rights onto Belarus. teddy bears SOURCES:, Wikipedia, others

Posted in Musings

From Facebook to Amazon, these are the default privacy settings you should change – The Washington Post

Hi folks,

This is a pretty important (and kind of scary) article on protecting your privacy, and what information/activity is automatically being recorded mostly without our knowledge.

I spent today following the recommendations. I suggest you do the same.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

the days before

waiting in old woodies
reconstituted for the young
speakers blaring pop
shop til you drop

i had to stop
now i’m hanging out by the security cop

unfortunately there’s no protecting us from all of this
maybe somebody will take me by the wrist
shoplift me back into alternate histories
return to the time when this was still woodies

but some of us would never have gotten through the front door
it’s a reminder that things weren’t always so wonderful in the days before

Posted in The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

Prayer of the Seeker

Sometimes, when the feeling comes upon me, I look up from this world of myself and realize anew, that in the place I stand in, many others stood and slept and worked, dreamed and died. The mist of memories, of strange lands and times unravels before my eyes, and the longing to know comes. How vast the knowledge and history of humanity . . . and my ignorance. My world, though important in and of itself, pales in the light of the incredible bigness of the world without. Why begin? Within we are depthless and without it is much more so. One life is not enough to learn all, no not even a thousand lives. And so I remain, unmoving, not content, yet seeing the end as a hopeless task and like a rock to stay thus.

Yet I will go on. For I am thirsty and I wish to somehow taste of the river of these worlds, its peoples, its past. I am afraid. To say that I am not is to be dishonest for what will I gain but a greater realization of my ignorance? Yet I must go. For to remain is to stagnate. I must search the rocky, windswept crags of myself and life and persons. And someday I will know why I roamed those lonely places.

Though wherever I go, no matter how rugged or removed, whatever secret trail or path I trod, I know that You have walked every place before and You wish to walk with and guide me. Any place You have seen. Every emotion You have felt. Any sea no matter how deep You have swam to its end. Since the beginning of time, You have walked these places. You created them and with your own hand you have searched them out.

And You wish to probe me, mind, body, heart and spirit, gently of course. When I yield trembling, You touch me awhile and when your fingers go, streaks of gold remain, like the streams curling down my cheeks, glistening in the pale glow of the dawn.

August 4, 1989

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Woman on the Wall

brown woman paints herself on the wall
turns blond hair to black
white face to brown
thin lips to full
curved around

and the hand that holds the hand of a brown man is colored brown as well

woman paints a woman on the wall
runs from dark eyes once blue
onto cheeks of another tone
pigments of the other history is shown

and the hand that holds the hand of a brown man is colored brown as well

every woman has a story
this one has two to tell


Posted in Cold War Kid

The Cold War Kid Series

I know I am dating myself but I grew up during the Cold War, that notorious era when the threat of immediate and total annihilation of the human species hung over our collective heads like a mushroom cloud. Such a threatened existence had a profound effect on me. While in high school I began to explore this and other issues through several writings which I offer to you, the reader, here as part of what I call the Cold War Kid collection.

We were made a little lower than the angels, but for most of our history we have acted as if we were a little lower than the animals. Someday the human species will evolve into its final stage when we come to the conclusion that we can no longer kill our own kind. Until that time comes we can only hope, pray, teach, love and live differently. Our very existence as a species is at stake.

If we do not evolve we will perish.

August 2010

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

When Alexandria Burns


fire burns
knowledge to ash
turning words into
death sentences

squire spurns
tallage for the cache
yearnings unheard by
deaf apprentices

dire returns
acknowledge the crash
learnings spurred by the
breath of repentance

Posted in Longreads & Essays

5 Myths about Dropping the Bomb [List]

wpid-wp-1438519046343.jpegAs we approach the 70th anniversary of the US dropping the atomic bomb on Japan, the following information, as gleaned from a recent article in the Washington Post, is an attempt to correct some commonly held myths.

1) The bomb ended the war

Actually Japan was more afraid of an attack by the Soviet Union which dissolved its nonaggression pact with Japan and entered the war against it on August 8.


2) The bomb saved 500,000 lives.

The US Joint War Plan Committee in June 1945 estimated that an invasion would cause 193,000 US casualties, including 40,000 deaths. A high number, yes, but not even close to the number often quoted.


3) The bomb was the only alternative to an invasion.

Not so. Other alternatives included a demonstration of the bomb to Japanese observers at a test site or accepting a conditional surrender by Japan which would not shame the Emperor.


4) The bomb was dropped only after the Japanese were warned ahead of time.

The US did not forewarn the Japanese which cities were to be bombed for the simple reason that they did not want the planes carrying the bombs to be shot down.


5) The bomb gave the US a diplomatic advantage over the Russians.

The timing of the bombing was because the bombs were ready, not to prevent Russia from further engagement in the war. The bombings gave the US no advantage over a stubborn Russia in post-war negotiations.

I found the above information helpful in clearing up some misconceptions I had around these incidents. I hope you will find them helpful as well.

Regardless, let us use this time to prayerfully remember.

Let us also redouble our efforts to obliterate the bomb and all of its current kin from the face of this dear and precious earth.