Bucks win District title; face Cypress Bay Thursday

Posted on 14 February 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Even though the Deerfield Beach High School girls basketball team lost three of four games during the Jerry Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas during the holiday break, Bucks coach Tamala Vaughn called the trip a victory.

Deerfield opened the Las Vegas trip with a 55-22 win over Modesta Christian (CA) before dropping four straight games to Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV), 46-36; Lynwood (Lynwood, CA), 67-50; and Desert Oasis (Las Vegas, NV), 56-26.

The Bucks won the District 11-9A title for the fourth time in five years and second year in a row. The lone year they didn’t win was in 2017 when star guard DenAsia Mitchell tore her ACL and was lost for the post season.

“This year’s team is a different team,” Vaughn said. “They are young and really inconsistent. The positive thought is that they are growing and the future is bright. They have great attitudes and I love coaching this group of girls. I don’t know what team is going to show up, the team that I think can win state or the team that gives me butterflies when they step on the court.”

Deerfield Beach (16-9) will host Cypress Bay (7-10) on Thursday night in a regional quarterfinal game. Of the Bucks’ 16 wins this season, 13 have been by 30 or more points. Of the nine losses, two have been by four points or less, one has been by eight points and the others have been in double digits.

“I know they all want to go to state,” she added. “We all have that goal in common.

They have grown since the beginning of the season and the light bulb is finally going on with some of the younger players. I don’t think they have been pushed as much. It was hard in the beginning for them to understand the system and the work ethic of the program.”

“We had kids that wanted to quit and kids that said, ‘coach, I can’t do this,’” Vaughn continued, “but now, since I pushed them beyond their limits, they are coming into their own.”

Vaughn said the trip to Las Vegas was vital to the team’s success. She said the players and coaches bonded both on and off the court.

“I have no regrets about the trip,” Vaughn said. “They were mentally weak before the trip and now they are becoming mentally tougher. I saw that in the St. Thomas Aquinas game (a 68-64 overtime loss). I was proud of the way they played and I think we are where we should be at this time of the season. They have gotten over that hump.

“The players became closer (in Las Vegas),” she added. “The players want to be the best teammates for each other. We bonded as a team. It was like a family atmosphere.”

In addition to DenAsia Mitchell, the Bucks have been getting strong play this season from freshman center Fatima Diakhate, who Vaughn says will be an All-American. Also playing well is senior forward Chakoi Mitchell (Indian River College commit); sophomore wing Aaliyah Reid; junior shooting guard Jasmin Worsley and junior combo guard Natalie Hessing, a transfer from Archbishop McCarthy.

“The girls have become more serious and they are working hard in practice to get better,” Vaughn said. “They just have to bear down, play hard and be consistent.”

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FLICKS: From Miami nice to Miami Vice, The Last Resort

Posted on 14 February 2019 by LeslieM


By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The Last Resort opens this weekend.  This documentary presents the Miami culture that I witnessed when my parents and I moved to South Florida over 45 years ago.  While Miami today looks like any theme park in Orlando or Las Vegas, The Last Resort features a bygone people and culture. 

When World War II ended, my dad was Honorably Discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corp. He and his brother Paul celebrated by taking a trip to South Florida. While attending the Tropics Nightclub featuring the Tony Pastor orchestra, my dad met my mom and the rest is history. 

The Last Resort begins its history discussing the advent of air conditioning and how it led to the real estate boom during the post World War II years. Many of the urban dwellers were European Jews who were transplanting from New York, some retirees from garment districts. There was a vivid night life which featured Big Band dances that led comedian Jackie Gleason to relocate his Saturday Night variety show from New York to Miami Beach. By the 1970s, many retirees moved into the hotels and became known as the “porch sitting generation.”

The buildings aged as the population aged. Once glamorous hotels became hovels of smelly incontinence. In 1980, the community became known for the Mariel boatlift and the McDuffie riots, which changed the character of Miami; it was no longer “Mollie Goldberg.” It was now Scarface. 

The visuals of this narrative are provided by the photography of Gary Monroe and Andy Sweet, who tragically become a symbol of the rise and fall of Miami Beach. Andy Sweet captured the glamour of The Last Resort culture, yet saw the seeds of corruption infiltrate his beloved community. On Oct. 6, 1982, Sweet was brutally murdered in an unsolved mystery.

While lacking tact in 1982, Gary Monroe and Florida historians eventually resurrected the photographs to create The Last Resort.  By waiting to tell this story, The Last Resort is a better cinematic experience and the story is more solid. This film works as a piece of nostalgia for an older generation, but an important social studies lesson for young people, who can witness how much a culture changes in a short period of time.

As the Oscar nominees quickly make their way to home video market, it has been announced that this year’s Oscar ceremony will have no host and now will present television commercials instead of the technical achievement awards like art direction and cinematography. Beyond a good story and interesting characters, it is the visual technical component that draws ticket buyers to the big cave known as Cinema. When a creative organization loses sight of its own technical details, how much longer will it be for the consumer to lose interest in a creative organization’s product?   

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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CLERGY CORNER: Love is a four letter word

Posted on 14 February 2019 by LeslieM


Have you ever heard of the term “tough love?” People will say, “I think that person needs some tough love.” There is a new saying that is true that I heard the other day, and I think it’s the opposite of that term “tough love” because “love is tough.”

Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, and it is easy to love on special occasions like this. However, there are still many days left out of the year where some days are easy to show love, and some days we have to work hard at showing love to others. How about showing someone love who does not love you back or even someone that may not treat you the way you believe you deserve to be treated. Love should be a big part of our lives. Love is something meant to be expressed, not something to be kept a secret. It seems like people even have a hard time saying “I love you” when we should say it all the time, and we should also show it all the time. It is tough sometimes, but it is not impossible. Why is it that we can say that we love our car, job, dog or even our favorite restaurant, but we cannot say it to each other. We have a hard time saying I love you to the ones that really mean the most to us.

We have to understand that we need God’s help to love others in the same way that He loves us. We always want to put conditions on love, but God does not do that to us. We speak with our actions and say I will love you if you do this for me, treat me this way or buy me this, etc. God does not work on the point system and neither should we. God tells us to love others, period. There are no conditions on that love. God does not say love someone if they do something for you or make you feel a certain way. God says love each other, and, if God tells us to love, then we must be able to do it.

Love is so many things, but it is not conditional. Let’s look at what love is.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud.

5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

NLT

Love gives us the ability to be sensitive to the needs, hurts and desires of others and also to feel with them, and experience the world from their perspective. Love gives us the ability to give with no conditions or expectations. Love builds up and encourages; it is determining what is best for someone and doing it. Pray and ask God to help you love the way He loves and He will help you. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day. I LOVE YOU!

Pastor Tony Guadagnino is the pastor at Christian Love Fellowship church, located at 801 SE 10 St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, visit www.clfministries.org.

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BUSINESS BEAT

Posted on 12 February 2019 by JLusk


A Conversation with Deerfield Beach Mayor Bill Ganz

By Karen Lustgarten

Mayor Bill Ganz has been an enthusiastic Deerfield Beach resident in the same neighborhood for 20 years. For nearly half that time, he’s served as city commissioner and now mayor for the past two years. “I know where we’ve been and how hard it was to get to where we are,” he says about the city. He elaborated during our conversation this month.   

 

Repave, repair, remodel 

End of life structures, crumbling roads, antiquated utility technology, a shuttered water supply plant, old storm drains — Deerfield Beach has aging infrastructure going back to the 1960s. The capital improvements bond that passed a few years ago allows for upgrading and modernizing facilities and utilities as they reach maturity to meet the needs of the city’s growing population. Repaving Deerfield Beach is one of the aging priorities.      

Working with FDOT, along with repaving comes aesthetics such as beautifying gateways into the city, entrance ways into neighborhoods, improving curb appeal. MLK Boulevard from 10 Street to Hillsboro Boulevard is slated for improvements next year. The stretch from Federal Highway to Dixie Highway is part of the Complete Street project. These are streets designed for mixed use — pedestrian crossings, walking paths, bike lanes, vehicles — rather than traditional streets designed for vehicles. 

“Residents want to be able to cross the street safely. They want to see improvements to roadways, safety on foot, by bike or in a vehicle,” said Mayor Ganz.  

For example, pedestrian crossings and LED lights were added along the S-curve at the beach and decorative fencing will be added around the FEC railroad track for safe crossing.

Mayor Ganz and city officials recently completed a walking audit along Dixie Highway with a planning organization, taking note of sidewalks, trees, landscaping, old crosswalk boxes, bus benches. The audit walk was to find opportunities and ideas to make some simple functional and aesthetic improvements along the route. There’s no overall beautification plan along that corridor he says. They are taking these walking audits in other areas of the city as well to feel them up close and get ideas on how aging infrastructure, antiquated technology and decades-old designs can be improved.

“As those are improved, neighborhoods start to pick up,” he said. 

Other capital improvement bond projects are The Center for Active Aging, remodeling the Johnnie Tigner Community Center and City Hall renovations.   

The Center for Active Aging provides supportive services and activities to seniors to help improve their quality of life, promote independence and encourage involvement with the community.

“Looking to the future, you have an active aging population and, if we build a more state-of-the-art facility, people will want to use it,” said Mayor Ganz. 

“The Tigner Community Center is in desperate need of remodeling, not just as a community center but for all types of programming that can be hosted there. We do not have enough community facilities to meet the needs of our growing population,” said the Mayor. “It will be a huge boost to the city and our residents to have a nice facility.” 

The capital improvements bond will make that possible. It will also give Deerfield Beach City Hall a remodeling boost with structural improvements, such as repairing the leaky roof (e.g. buckets come out when it rains to prevent indoor puddles). 

Pioneer Grove: developing downtown

Future redevelopment is in the Pioneer Grove area where City Hall resides. 

“We are trying to get more focus back to the central area of our city,” said the Mayor.  The goal with Pioneer Grove and for the improvements in the central area is to bring back downtown Deerfield Beach.”

“We want to inject energy into the central area of the city that includes the Dixie Highway corridor and create a more vibrant downtown. It’s been a long time since that’s been a focus in the city.  It’s perfect timing now to improve facilities in need with the ability to make those changes for the long term, decades ahead,” he said.

New development in the downtown zone is encouraged and nurtured but within certain guidelines that add value to the city overall. 

“There’s a great deal of undeveloped land in the central area of the city so there’s a great opportunity to have an overall vision rather than a hodge-podge of fitting in different projects that don’t come under an overall master plan or vision for what we want to see here,” said the Mayor.

The city’s award-winning Sullivan Park is an example of creative redevelopment without overdoing it.  

“We have a lot of people very interested in the downtown area and new projects coming forward,” he said. “When you work with developers with projects that don’t dissolve a neighborhood but enhance and improve it, and it becomes an anchor in the area, then you get a few anchors in the area and you build on that energy. Then people are going to start coming.”

Slow and steady growth

A recent study found that 20 percent of the privately-owned undeveloped land in Broward County is located in Deerfield.  

“That gives us some opportunity to grow but we don’t want to overbuild… we want to grow responsibly,” said Mayor Ganz.

It’s been a slow and steady growth that has picked up over the past several years.  

“We’re no longer in the position that we’re desperate for development,” he said.  “We can be selective about what we want to do in the city — what works for us and the residents as opposed to more exploitive projects offered.”

 “We have a wonderful village-type atmosphere that we love about Deerfield. With that comes its challenges that are a lot different than other cities,” he says.  “It’s difficult to maintain that atmosphere and not overdevelop and kill the surfside community with a village feeling. That’s why we’re unique in the approach we’ve taken.  No skyscrapers. We’ve been able to hold back overdevelopment and irresponsible development in the beach areas.”

Deerfield’s S-curved beach is ranked No. 13 by Fodor (travel and tourism guides) as “coolest beach in Florida with a hip vibe.”

 “Our residents deserve to have the city invest and reinvest in itself, in these improvement projects each with a dire need, as a way of showing our residents that their tax dollars are going to something they use. And when other businesses and developers see that we’re willing to invest in ourselves, then they’re willing to come and invest in us as well,” he said.

With a growing tax base, Deerfield Beach is experiencing a resurgence focused on enhancements.

“We’re looked at as a city on the rise,” says the Mayor. “New projects are improving our tax base as people are deciding there’s a great opportunity in Deerfield Beach. Other cities and investors are approaching me asking how we do this, we want to create the feel that you have. It’s been slowly building up.  I can’t tell you what is the one single thing that created the spark but we can certainly feel it.”

Karen Lustgarten is president of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video, PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She founded a newspaper in Washington, DC, was a syndicated columnist and a bestselling author.  www.multi-mediaworks.com

 

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Tigers roar into postseason

Posted on 07 February 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely girls basketball coach James Polk always believed in his team and that belief is paying dividends as the march into the postseason.

With a 58-26 district semifinal win over Ft. Lauderdale, Blanche Ely (20-7) moved into the District 14-8A championship game on Thursday at 7 p.m. against St. Thomas Aquinas. The Tigers dropped both meetings against St. Thomas this season falling 66-61 and 70-64.

“We are young,” Polk said. “I’ve got freshmen on the floor, sophomores on the floor and juniors on the floor. We try to learn and grow from our close games and our losses.”

“We expected to be fighting for the district championship,” Polk added. “Our goal this year was to represent Class 8A in Lakeland this year. We talked about being a team and goal as a team means ‘Together Everyone Achieves More.’ We are no longer a family because a family looks for favors and we are talking about being a team this year.”

Blanche Ely has gotten stellar play from Ja’Leah Williams, 5-ft., 9-in. sophomore shooting guard. Williams is averaging a team-high 21.5 points per game along with 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 3 steals per game.

Williams, 16, of Pompano Beach, said the team lost some size from last year’s squad, but that wasn’t going to stop them. She compared her team to the boys teams that have won multiple state championships.

“I asked the team, ‘don’t you want to be like the boys?’” Williams asked. “I try and motivate them. We want to go to Lakeland just like them. We have to work hard just to get there too. I want to be there with them. Having fun with family and friends.”

Williams, who averaged 18.5 points last season, said basketball is important to her even though she only started playing at age 12.

“It means a lot to me,” Williams said. “Even though some girls started playing at a young age, I ran track and I never knew I was going to be this good at basketball. I think I realized I was going to be good when I tried out for my middle school team and made it. Not only did I make it, but I started as a 6th grader. We won the championship in my 8th grade year at Pompano Beach Middle School. I am going to make a championship happen again this year. I think there is a big difference in this year’s team. We are very small, but we are running more.”

Polk said during the season that there was still room to grow and they were maturing. The team has outscored the opposition, 1,677-1,220.

“I felt that we had opportunities to do some better things,” Polk said. “We had to learn how to play more of a possession game. We also had to learn how to secure the ball and take care of the ball. That was the major thing. I think we are also very aggressive defensively.”

In addition to Williams, Polk said others who have contributed heavily include junior JaNiyah Moore, sophomore Mikhia Lumsdon and freshman Breanna Gustave.

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FLICKS: Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel

Posted on 07 February 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

In the old days when South Florida was the spring break capital of the world, spring training for major league baseball was a big part of our neighborhood. It was quite common to see major league ball players at local restaurants, supermarkets or bars. The Texas Rangers home stadium was Pompano Municipal Stadium. When New York Yankee legend Thurman Munson died in a plane crash in early August 1979, vandals paid tribute to the catcher by rewriting letters to read, “Thurman Munson Stadium.”

Now that spring training has relocated north of Broward County, South Florida lost a sense of generational identity that united families and friends of all ages. Unlike the fast pace of basketball, hockey and football (with the exception of last Sunday’s dull Superbowl), baseball is a slow-paced sport with much downtime. However, it is this “downtime” that invites conversation between bites of peanuts and Cracker Jacks.  

Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel is a reminder how important it is for a sport to unite a community. Famous Jewish Sports Legends was a fictional leaflet that was considered “light reading” for traveler Barbara Billingsley in the 1980 classic comedy Airplane. Acknowledging this stereotype, filmmakers Jeremy Newberger, Daniel A. Miller and Seth Kramer are proud to tell the tale about Team Israel entering their first ever World Baseball Classic, which, much like the World Cup of Soccer, meets every four years and is an international event.

The most prolific player is Cody Decker, who currently plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Many of the players are not All Stars and some have retired from the professional game, but the honor to serve Israel is too good to pass up, especially given this historical opportunity. 

This documentary follows Team Israel’s adventures in the major cities in Israel, South Korea and Japan.

With David and Goliath overtones, Team Israel is considered an underdog … until they start winning.  Sometimes winning becomes humorous.  When sore loser Team Cuba loses to upstart Team Israel, a Cuban reporter accuses the Israelis of being Americans in disguise.  

With the use of the “Mensch on a Bench Mascot,” there is much humor in the film. The cinematography presents beautiful landscapes of Tel Aviv, the Wishing Bridge and the Dead Sea.  Sadly, there are constant reminders that the beauty of the land is under siege from terrorist attacks.

This film opens this weekend at neighborhood theaters. Some theaters are planning special promotions for this film. Tomorrow morning, Feb. 8, Cody Decker and the Team Israel filmmakers will visit the David Posnack Jewish Day School, as well as the David Posnack Jewish Community Center and the Broward Baseball Academy/Hal’s Power Alley, at 5850 S. Pine Island Rd., in Davie. Have some fun and PLAY BALL! 

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CLERGY CORNER: Is your spiritual vision 20/20?

Posted on 07 February 2019 by LeslieM

Comedian Dennis Swanberg tells the story of his trip to the Super Bowl with his teenage son, Dusty. Their favorite team made it to the Super Bowl, so they planned a father-son road trip. They made the hotel reservations, mapped out the directions, packed the car and left; but they had a problem … They forgot to purchase tickets. Upon arriving, they found the game was sold-out. Dennis saw only one option; he had to purchase tickets from a scalper. The scalper sold Dennis two tickets for $800 and they entered the stadium. Finding their section, they climbed higher and higher… all the way to the very top! By the time they got to their seats, Dennis’ blood was boiling to think he paid $800 to sit on the top row of the stadium. Dusty, on the other hand, has A.D.D. and was already getting into the pre-game festivities and cheering loudly. Dennis’ blood pressure continued to rise, until Dusty spoke something to this effect: Dad, these are great seats! We can see everything the blimp sees!” At that very moment, Dennis realized the depth of Dusty’s statement and began to look at things in a whole new way.

A “blimp-size” vision! That’s what Christians need … the ability to see the big picture, and to gain a new perspective on life’s challenges. So, what would keep a believer from seeing life this way? Some have blurred-vision and they’ve lost focus of what is really important. Some have double vision and want to live for Christ while enjoying the pleasures of sin. Some are nearsighted and they can’t see beyond themselves. Some are farsighted missing the importance of doctrine. Some have sin cataracts blocking their spiritual vision. Some have spiritual Glaucoma and the pressure of bitterness is building inside them. Thankfully, others have experienced corrective surgery, and their spiritual eyes are fixed on Jesus! He restored their sight and they clearly see His love, forgiveness, acceptance, and grace.

During an eye exam, the optometrist measures our vision against the standard of 20/20. We measure spiritual vision against the standard of God’s Word. Since the two great commandments are to love God and to love people, it would seem that those with healthy spiritual vision should be exhibiting love for both. Other diagnostic tools might include looking for the presence of spiritual fruit as described in Gal. 5:22, examining the way a person views the church, treats his family, and shares his faith. These tools and others can help us to determine the health of one’s spiritual vision.

No doubt, that during your eye exam, the optometrist asked you, “Which is better, A or B?” The spiritual diagnostician might ask, “Are you looking backward or forward?” Looking in the rearview mirror focuses on the past mistakes and failures, instead of future possibilities. The Apostle Paul states in Phil. 3:13, “…Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” Accept God’s forgiveness and believe the cliché, “The best is yet to come!”

Finally, the size of the vision is also very important. The Bible states in Phil 2:4 that “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” If we are going to have a God-size vision, we must look beyond ourselves. One songwriter said it this way, “Let me see this world, dear Lord, as though I were looking through Your eyes.” Think about it, if Dusty Swanberg got excited about seeing what the blimp saw, Christ-followers should get even more excited abut seeing things from a heavenly perspective! Let’s try to see this world through the eyes of Christ and reach it with the love of Christ. Now that’s a God-size vision!

Dr. Gary A. Colboch is Lead Pastor at Grace Church (at 501 NE 48 St. in Pompano Beach). Contact info.: 954-421-0190 or pastor@gbcfl.org.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Love is in the air — or somewhere

Posted on 07 February 2019 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

There’s not much one can count on these days but February is still loyal, and comes around every year touting “love” — whatever that is or is about to be. I have this very scary cartoon patched to my kitchen wall. It pictures a human woman with her arms around a shrimp about her size. The caption reads, “The other day I told my A.I. (Artificial Intelligence, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock) that I love shrimp tempura and it said, ‘What’s that?’ And I repeated in a surprised voice, ‘What’s shrimp tempura?’ and it said, ‘No. What is love?’” Do you have an answer?

When I wrote my first February column those many years ago, I interviewed a bunch of people and received a variety of responses none of which had any connection with the others.

Of course, there are all kinds of love: for children, relatives, pets, friends, country, eggplant, sports cars, football teams, Paris, a new kitchen, Bradley Cooper or the beach. (I know, left out a few things). But I am talking about what is referred to as “romantic” love — the kind that is supposed to last forever but half the time doesn’t. One of the tidbits I recently read in an academic psychology magazine suggested that research showed that “romantic love” (undefined) lasts an average of 18 months. Perhaps, it was referring to lust. I never actually followed up on that because it rang very possible to me.

On another angle, I recently received the following answer, in all seriousness, to ‘What is love?’ from the male half of a 60 year plus marital union: “Love is always giving in to your partner.” Try passing that around at your next dinner party and let me know who starts the fireworks and how it turned out.

In a recent Sunday New York Times “VOWS” section, an inspirational love story about a couple who met through an Internet dating site, proceeded to find out “everything” about each other through e-mails because they were geographically distant and, after two years, finally met and — yay! — married!

Both had been widowed, she 85; he, 87. Cynic that I am, when I hear a story of such compatibility, I generally ask for a report on the relationship after about 20 years. Check mate!

I will not seriously address a recent New York Times article about people falling in love with their robots – presumably “programmed” to be the perfect mate — and the subsequent fallout of massive changes in sexual identity, suggesting the label “digisexual” — a discussion for another time.

But what I do know on a very visceral level is that between social media and the unstoppable coming of a profusion of A.I. gimmicks presumably on the market to enhance our lifestyle, human “touch” is on the wane and that is so very sad. A simple touch as an expression of love is losing its relevancy and, along with that, the intimacy of human contact.

Perhaps, Skype can fill that void for some people; but, for me, there is nothing like just plain holding hands and piercing the eyes – the tunnel into another soul. Love is so many things and its’ essence so differently defined and accepted by each of us.

I wish you bundles of whatever love is to you. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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FLICKS: Blues School: Ragtime Migration

Posted on 31 January 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Remember Blues School?

Inspired by the International House of Blues Foundation and funded by the Broward Public Library Foundation, Blues School was administrated by Tim “Hurricane” Bain and Cinema Dave. Besides deepening the collection of music and books, Blues School created two seminars, a lively academic presentation with Professor Chuck Bergeron from the University of Miami and a graduation concert held at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, hosted by Guy Davis. As an inaugural program, Blues School was a success with plans to continue the academic and entertainment program. Alas, when the economy collapsed in 2008, funding for Blues School dried up.

Kris Nicholson, our adjunct scholar – Blues School  Ragtime Migration

The spirit of Blues School did not die. Through the years, there had been variations of Blues School and this Saturday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m., the Deerfield Beach Percy White Library (1837 E. Hillsboro Blvd.) will present “Blues School: Ragtime Migration” featuring piano player Kris Nicholson.

Based in Miami with Bronx origins, Kris Nicholson describes himself as a “Boogie Woogie Honky Tonk pianist,” which is a modest assessment of his commitment to culture and entertainment. Living and breathing the musical influences of Scott Joplin, Fats Waller and Jerry Lee Lewis, Nicholson’s attention to detail is even more impressive. (He noticed a typo in one of the flyers and corrected the name of one of his influences, Jo Ann Castle from The Lawrence Welk Show. Besides tuning the Baldwin Piano in the multipurpose room, Nicholson has requested a piano polishing with some Pledge).

With a sense of irony and ridicule by serious music critics, A Briefcase Full of Blues is the biggest selling Blues album of all time. This album was recorded live and created by the Blues Brothers — Jake and Elwood Blues (played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, respectively) from the movie The Blues Brothers. Bands with the name “Blues Brothers Band” continue to perform, some with legendary musicians like Frank Sinatra and Otis Redding with geographic influences from New Orleans, Memphis and Chicago. While the Blues Brothers have been typecast as a glorified cover band, the cover of these songs created royalty checks and the movie revitalized the careers of Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Ray Charles.

Check out the Blues School display in the Youth Services area, featuring musical artifacts and books.

While the The Blues Brothers is the best known Blues movie, perhaps one of the most influential Blues movies is Crossroads, starring Ralph Macchio, and Joe Seneca as an old harmonica player who owes a debt to the devil. Inspired by the Robert Johnson’s Crossroads myth (about selling your soul to the devil for fame), the grand finale features a musical showdown between Joe Seneca (with harmonica dubbing by Sonny Terry) and Steve Vai as the devil’s guitar player.

Blues School faces its own crossroads this Saturday afternoon. Depending on the success of this free program sponsored by the Friends of the Percy White Library Inc., Blues School: Ragtime Migration may launch annual Blues School programs. Besides, Blues School is free. How cool is that?

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CLERGY CORNER: “. . . stand ye in the ways and ye shall find rest for your soul.”

Posted on 31 January 2019 by LeslieM

Our God teaches us the things we need to know in many different ways. He is the God of Creation, and gives us the wonder we see with our eyes and feel in our souls when we look out at His world. He is the God of Order, and assures us that His world evolves exactly according to His design. He is the God of History and, although things may look bleak in the short term, the long view shows that He is in charge of the final outcome. He is the God of Love, and teaches us how to find rest in our souls by teaching us about Himself. And, to make sure we don’t misunderstand His teachings, He has given us many wonderful stories that reveal Himself to us. The story of the Wedding at Cana is such a story.

We have all read the story of how the wine was about to run out before the end of the wedding festivities and how this would have been a great embarrassment to the bridegroom. So what was our Lord’s response to this situation? He merely took jugs of water and miraculously turned them into jugs of wine! We learn something wonderful about our Lord’s character in the way He reacted to the young bridegroom’s predicament. We learn that our Lord knows, and is sympathetic to, what takes place in our lives and, when our best interests will be served, He will come to our assistance.

The next thing we learn about the character of our Lord has a lot to do with where the miraculous event at Cana happened — it happened at a wedding. We see our Lord perfectly at ease at such an event. He was no killjoy! Why? Because our Lord had a missionary spirit and He loved to share in the joy and happiness of all the people He encountered. Someone a lot smarter than me once said, “More souls will be led to heaven by people who have heaven on their faces then by those who have hell in their looks.”

And then, we learn something about the character of our Lord from the place in which the miracle happened. It happened in a home, a humble honest home in a tiny village in the Galilee. It did not happen at some great state event or in the presence of a vast crowd of people, or within the walls of a royal palace. Our Lord chose to be among simple people, in an ordinary home, to show us the side of His character that honors the places we call home, the places where nothing but our best is good enough – either for our families or for the friends we invite to the places where we live. Our Lord showed us the side of His character that wants to be one with us in our bodies, in our homes, and in all our days.

The story of the Wedding at Cana is a miracle story about something our Lord did at one time in Galilee but is doing again and again to this very day. It is a story that teaches us that when our Lord comes into our lives and reveals his divine character of joy, humility, understanding and love – he brings a miraculous new quality into our lives. And what do you and I get out of this story? Saint John tells us, “If you want a new life, then become a follower of our Lord, and there will come a change in your life which will be like turning water into wine.

Rev. M. Tracy Smith, SSA, Rector is from the Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, 1416 SE 2 Terr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-695-0336. Wednesday: Holy Communion at 10 a.m., Sunday: Holy Communion at 10 a.m.

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