Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bless you Uncle Harry!

Harry Lee Flack Obituary

In loving memory of Uncle Harry:

RantWoman deeply appreciates the option of having the obituary read to her and the option of enlarging the print. RantWoman also really likes the memorial even though it leaves RantWoman confused as to exactly which dams Uncle Harry worked on during his long career as a concrete engineer for the bureau of Reclamation. RantWoman offers a list based on memory of holiday slide shows. But that was a long time ago; RantWoman HOPES she remembers correctly.

Technically it's Great Uncle Harry, RantMom's mother's older brother. uncle Harry passed away March 21 at the age of 98. RantMom still has some aunts and uncles alive, but Uncle Harry and his wife Davidena were the ones the RantFamily knew best. They lived an easy holiday morning drive from the RantFamily home in CO and our families spent many holidays together. RantWoman had no patience for dishwashing and "chick chatter" in the kitchen but was always interested, as a celebration subsided, when RantDad would encourage Uncle Harry to get out slides of all his dam projects.

Computational aside: Uncle Harry was into...the slide rule! RantWoman thinks there may have been big mainframe computers and some adding machines by the end of his career, but uncle Harry was a slide rule guy!

Grand Coulee dam
Probably one of Uncle Harry's projects if RantWoman's memory serves correctly.

And this wonderful history site about the Works Project Administration. RantWoman think s it's sort of unlikely that Uncle Harry would have had much good to say about activism and unrest so it's a funny blessing to land on this site while memorializing Uncle Harry.

Hoover Dam

Morrow Point Dam

Glen Canyon Dam

Blue Mesa Dam
This one is sort of conceptual. RantWoman found a picture she liked of the reservoir and did not really pay attention to whether the dam is in the picture or not. Please bear with RantWoman's oversight. This is also the dam the Rant Family saw the most of between driving back and forth to see Aunt Davidena and Uncle Harry and numerous school field trips, RantWoman can still smell the mx of sandy dust and water spray hovering on the walkway over the dam.

And while RantWoman is at it, an obituary also for Aunt Davidena.
RantWoman did not realize the family had a second son who died in infancy. Aunt Davidena died of Alzheimer's. There is only a faint hint of that in the obituary. RantWoman lately has taken to saying that passing away or as a beloved Friend from RantWoman's Meeting  GrandMa FF says "dropping body," is not easy and RantWoman does not blame anyone who needs to make some noise on the way out. Alas, RantWoman also has room in her heart for the fact that Alzheimer's can be beastly undignified and Aunt Davidena would not have enjoyed that. Blessings upon both Uncle Harry and Aunt Davidena.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friends Journal 2009 article: Sex offenders are people too.

RantWoman stashes this as another item about Meetings' experience with sex offenders. Lots of terminology and reference to studies. RantWoman would probably have edited differently.

Slate article: Historical research. Indiana Women's Prison.

Really amazing and STUNNING historical research by women from and about the history of the Indiana Women's prison, including bursting the bubble myth of the benign Quaker founders.

Friday, March 27, 2015

High School Peace Awards: Spread the thought

RantWoman's email abounds with ideas that people hope will catch fire. In the realm of evoking engagement about peace among youth, RantWoman QUITE likes this item from a former member of her Meeting:

From one Margaret, who mentions another.
I am giving you the link to an on-line article about our Student Peace Awards.  This same article also appeared in print.  We received an enormous amount of publicity this year.  This is not the best picture nor the best written article, but it gives a good idea of the various activities of the recipients. 

A couple of the schools are alternative public schools.  They are small and the students have a variety of problems, so just being alive and in school is a major achievement.

We invite 32 high schools (29 public and 3 private) to send us the name of their selection, and 23 responded.  We take it from there.  We

- Send them a congratulatory letter

- Write a booklet, containing a 250-350 word bio for each recipient

- Arrange a public reception in their honor, with about 250 attending

- Send out publicity to local and high school news sources

- Give each recipient $150 for themselves and $100 to give to a charity of their choice

- Present each student with a framed certificate in his or her school, with as much hoopla as possible, generally at an annual honors assembly in June

Many of the public schools graduate approximately 1000 students a year, so this is a very large deal.

Our current sponsoring organizations include many religious organizations, a couple of Rotary clubs, the Stewart R. Mott foundation, and the Conflict Resolution Department of George Mason University. 

My friend, (also a Margaret), and I started all this 13 years ago with one sponsoring group (the Herndon Friends Meeting) and one school.  While each of us engages other volunteers to assist, we split the jobs pretty equally.  I make sure the bios get written and published and I arrange with the schools to get the certificates presented.  I also send the publicity to the schools.  Margaret F arranges the reception and keeps the financial books.  She has also written (and I edited) a book on gardening in Northern Virginia which we sell at garden shows and through Amazon.  All proceeds go to the Peace Awards.  We make a very good team.

We have another volunteer who keeps track of the sponsoring organizations, and another who deals with publicity outside of the schools.

We have expanded as much as we want to expand and now we are working on getting other groups to begin similar things in their neck of the woods.  We know about five peace awards which have now sprung up.

Peace and Cheer

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Popcorn Kernel: single standard of linguistic presence

The following may or may not represent interaction with actual RantWoman email; RantWoman has had other analogous conversations many times. Hold RantWoman and all conversational counterparts in the Light.

RantWoman is having the same sort of "client education" conversations she sometimes has with language services clients. Only she is having them with beloved Friends in our Meeting. All conversations also subject to arbitrary RantWoman message manglement. Please hold ... in the light.

"...We are not the UN..."

What? You think God needs less linguistic faithfulness than the UN?

Look, God IS versatile. God--and the UN--and lots of day-to-day interactions where linguistic presence is at least as critical as at the UN happen under considerably less than ideal linguistic conditions, but would you please COPE if RantWoman sometimes needs to fly off the handle over something that seems utterly inconsequential to you?

Popcorn kernel in the realm of Miracle Cure

RantWoman is afflicted by conversational exploding popcorn kernels. Probably it is just as well the popcorn kernels sometimes explode at some remove from actual conversations.

One of today's popcorn kernels

Jesus and his Magic Mud Friend "....pretty neat that Jesus would be able to spitting in dirt and rubbing mud in someone's eyes...?"

RantWoman:  "...Duuuude! Way more people go blind every year from infections than are affected by the very rare condition RantWoman does not remember the name of where the spitting in the mud thing MIGHT actually work...."

PS RantWoman might SOMEDAY feel able to go systematically through some Biblical references to blindness, but NOT RIGHT NOW. Hold that in the Light!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lucille Walls, July 24, 1960 - March 19, 2015

Really, God? Are you JOKING?

Hezekiah Walker singing Every Praise on Lucille Walls' Facebook wall??

WTF kind of theological and cosmic memorial joke IS that?

Lu's husband Andrew called me Friday morning to tell me heartbreaking news. He caught me on a bus. I did not even get it at first. Lu died Thursday of severe pneumonia. Andrew was devastated. I was deeply touched that he called me but the call also came with trust that I would help with notifications. So I have been notifying some lists.  And reading the floods of worth on Lu's Facebook wall. I mean to compile more of a bio on my other blog.

And I keep checking back on Facebookfor all the new stuff from a large extended family and many admirers.. 

And in the meantime, hold the families in the Light and  groove again on Hezekiah Walker!

PS and this video is dedicated to her husband Andrew basil Arana!