Pompano Eagles look to soar in AYFL

Posted on 15 August 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach Eagles are looking to make a big splash in their first year in the American Youth Football League (AYFL).

Dean Grant, head coach of the 11-Under Pompano Eagles team, is in his first season with the program after moving cross town from the Tamarac Cougars AYFL program.

This season is a special season because we have the right players, and the right coaches,” Grant said. “They are fired up and I think they can make it to the big game – the Super Bowl.”

I understand the type of talent in the AYFL,” Grant said. “We plan to not just take part in it, but take over it.”

Players can be a year older than the age group they are playing in as long as their birthday comes after May 1 of the season.

Pompano Beach’s Gabby Almonord, 12, scored on a 63-yard scoring run against the host Delray Rocks in an 11-Under scrimmage game at Hilltopper Stadium in Delray Beach. The teams played to a 6-6 tie.

It is a lot of fun,” said Almonord, a Deerfield Middle seventh-grader. “I like to play with Devin (Voltaire) and everybody else on the team. I like the coaches and I played with a lot of people before. The coaches help me a lot.”

Voltaire, 12, also of Pompano Beach, is a Margate Middle sixth grader.

This is really big for me,” Voltaire said. “I like the coaches and the kids. They listen to me because I am a leader. We got to keep our heads up so other players can follow us. If we keep our heads up we can win a lot of games.”

Grant said he doesn’t believe there is any pressure on his team, quite the contrary.

Pressure makes diamonds,” Grant said.

We started off real, real slow,” Grant said. “We barely had enough kids to make our roster, but we had a good coaching staff that showed up every day to practice on time, waiting on kids. We got with the parents and we were able to put it together. The parents had to buy into what we were doing and they are buying in, so the sky is the limit. With a little tuning and touching up here and there between the coaches and the players, we will make the big game.”

Grant sees similarities with the National Football League’s version of the Eagles. Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in February.

It is the year of the Eagles,” Grant proclaimed. “I believe it with everything I love. I just hope that what we started off here will humble these kids to push themselves even harder at practice and we come out in the first game of the season and put a beating on Cooper City (Colts).”

The Pompano Eagles have a storied history in the city of Pompano Beach having produced All Pro NFL stars like Corey Simon (Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans), Jabari Price (Minnesota Vikings), Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals) and also have helped groom many other successful players.

The Pompano Eagles produced the Super Bowl Champions Junior Mighty Mites and Senior Mighty Mites Teams in 2017 in the Pop Warner League and plan on sending more teams to the AYFL Super Bowl in 2018.

Other teams in the Broward County-based league include the Colts (Cooper City/Davie), Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Hollywood PAL, Lauderhill, Miramar, Plantation, Pompano, Pembroke Pines Optimist, Sunrise, Tamarac, and West Pines.

The Eagles begin play on Aug. 11 when they travel to Cooper City and will play a 10-game season followed by playoffs. The Top-8 teams in each division will advance to the playoffs, which will begin on Oct. 27. The second round will be played on Nov. 3 and the Super Bowl will be played on Nov. 10.

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FLICKS: MCU Anniversary at MODS

Posted on 15 August 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

cinemadave.livejournal.com

At the end of 2017, I wrote about “Flicks” going through an evolution. As I completed my 19th year of writing “Flicks,” it was my revelation that the world has changed more than I have. In 1999, one would drive down Federal Highway and see Walden’s, Borders and Blockbuster Video stores, only to be replaced by T-Mobile, Wells Fargos and Aldis .

Bowfinger was the first movie that I had reviewed, which was a positive critique. This Steve Martin/Eddie Murphy movie still holds up. However, it is fascinating to see Robert Downey Jr. in a cameo as a studio executive. In 1999, Downey was attempting to make a comeback from his struggle in rehab. A well-respected (and Oscar-nominated) character actor, Downey cleaned up his act and nine years later became a leading man, which kicked off the Marvel Comic Universe (MCU).

Released in 2008, Iron Man received less hype than the return of the fourth Indiana Jones movie. Yet, core Marvel comic ticket buyers propelled Iron Man over Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Wall-E and the sparkly vampires of Twilight. While not as well known as Batman or Spider-Man, Iron Man provided a fine introduction to the character through a fast paced, entertaining and stand-alone movie, or so it seemed.

Being “Cinema Dave,” I’ve always stuck around past the closing credits of every movie that I have seen. In the previous year, I was rewarded for this behavior when Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End provided a post credit scene which wrapped up the entire trilogy. The MCU was launched during the post credits sequence when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) showed up in Iron Man’s house and mentioned “the Avenger’s Initiative.”

Nineteen films later and a change of studios (from Paramount to Disney), the MCU has become a box office juggernaut with no signs of stopping. The first phase of Marvel movies provided original stories of Captain America and Thor, which led to the ultimate superhero team up movie, Marvel’s The Avengers.

Again the post credits sequence introduced audiences to Thanos, a creepy character who can (or cannot) destroy the MCU with the snap of his fingers.

While each of these 20 films is interconnected, the genius of the MCU is that each film tells a stand-alone story. Characters from other movies may appear, but if the movie is an Ant-Man or Spider-Man movie, then the title character remains the central protagonist. (If one studies Indian, Greek, Roman, Norse or the Arthurian Legends, the most remembered mythologies follow this pattern of stand-alone stories within the universe of their own culture).

To celebrate the first decade of the MCU, the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) will be screening all 20 movies starting Thursday, Aug. 30 until Thursday, Sept. 6, which includes Labor Day weekend screenings. One can see these movies individually or through special VIP Packages. For more information, visit this website; www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/1119868.

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CLERGY CORNER: Bringing back the harvest

Posted on 15 August 2018 by LeslieM

You shall observe the festival of harvest, of the first fruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall observe the festival of ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. Exodus 23:16 NRSV

The transition from summer to autumn is something we all experience. Even if we live far from the closest farm or in a place where the trees remain green and the weather remains hot, we know it is autumn because school is back in session and football is back on TV. There is an energy that comes with this change of season and we see attendance pick up in church as well.

The word autumn and fall are used interchangeably everywhere, even in places where leaves do not fall from the trees. In rural America, another word can be used in lieu of autumn or fall — harvest.

Harvest brings back memories of my youth in rural Minnesota. My town’s entire economy revolved around the single time when farmers gathered their crops. In the rural Midwest, we put the word “culture” in agriculture because our culture was so dependent on the farms that surrounded us.

During the summer, we followed the crops. I remember my grandma and grandpa, retired farmers, would hop in their car and drive out to the fields just to see how the crops were doing. In the café, you would hear people talk about crops the way some people talked about their favorite sports team.

Looks like a rough year for beans.”

How ‘bout that corn?”

Tough year for sugar beets but I have high hopes for next year.”

Even town people earned money doing work for farmers.

Harvest was a happy time. Even during difficult years, God always found a way to provide and we were grateful. We celebrated in church with worship and potluck dinners. Even though our liturgical calendar did not specify a day of celebration, we artificially inserted the harvest and, truth be told, it was right up there with Christmas and Easter. Well, not quite, but pretty close.

My kids are native Floridians. Even though Florida is every bit as agricultural as any state in the midwest, my kids grew up close to the beach and far from any fields.

My wife and I would joke: “I think they think fruits and vegetable grow in boxes in the produce section of the grocery store.” (If we didn’t make an effort to show them the contrary, they probably would have believed that).

I love the autumn with the change of routine and the slight change of weather. I love the excitement that goes with the beginning of school. Even as an adult, I love the smell of a brand new notebook or a box of crayons. I enjoy a good game of football, as much as the next guy. But I do miss the harvest. I miss the spiritual component of autumn that reminds us all that God’s providence is abundant. And I do believe that it is time to bring it back.

For our friends in the Jewish faith, the High Holidays definitely have roots in the agricultural cycle of God’s people. There is a connection between the New Year and the harvest that is scriptural. God commands his people to celebrate!

When I look at our liturgical calendar, the calendar that sets the seasons of our liturgical year, we are in “ordinary time” until Advent. Ordinary time? Give me a break. Yes, Thanksgiving is generally connected with harvest, of sorts, but it is not officially recognized as a liturgical holiday, at least not for Lutherans.

If we bring back the harvest, we bring a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving back to our culture. We recognize the link between our Creator and the food that we have on the table. We stand to gain and lose nothing in the process. The need to bring back the harvest is so self-evident to me, that I cannot believe that we didn’t do this sooner. God is the Lord of the harvest, let us celebrate as God commands us to do.

It is time to bring back the harvest!

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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BUSINESS BEAT: Revitalizing Pompano Beach

Posted on 09 August 2018 by LeslieM

By Karen Lustgarten

Horacio Danovich sits in a conference room at the Pompano Beach City Hall surrounded by maps, master plans and diagrams pinned to the walls. The illustrations reveal the farsighted future of Pompano Beach. As manager of the city’s capital improvement programs, he holds the revitalization development vision of the city/CRA partnership putting Pompano Beach on the desirable destination map with innovations from “Smart City” concepts. In fact, revitalization of the 260-acre downtown area will feature one 70-acre section called the Innovation District. Here, most of the city/CRA-owned land parcels are ripe and poised for development right now.

Think designed navigable waterway systems and drainage between I-95 and Dixie Highway and MLK Jr. and W. Atlantic Boulevards. Inspired by Amsterdam’s canals, residents and visitors will be able to kayak, canoe and paddleboard along the waterways. These will be bordered by landscaped biking lanes and pedestrian walkways inspired by San Antonio’s The Riverwalk.

Picture a surrounding hub of mixed-use commercial office/retail buildings, restaurants, residential dwellings and cultural attractions. The goal of this urban design vision is to develop an enjoyable, livable urban area that’s functional and attractive to businesses and residents, and promote connections between people and places with surrounding communities.

This is a unique type of urban design that does not exist in the State of Florida today,” said Danovich. “As a result, agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will have a difficult time evaluating and permitting it for its intended mixed-use.”

He estimates two years for the design and permitting process before construction can begin in the Innovation District, then another two years to build it for a grand total of approximately $750 million (for the entire Innovation District.)

Thus we caught Danovich up to his elbows in federal grant applications to the U.S. Economic Development Administration: $2.5 million toward the first $5 million for the designs of the waterway systems, roadways, bridges, sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, underground utilities and permitting.

If he builds it, will they come? Indeed, the Innovation District Project could generate an estimated 4,000 jobs, he estimates.

The city is moving very fast in the right direction, ripe for redevelopment,” says Mr. Danovich.

Among the construction companies revitalizing the pier and the Atlantic Boulevard bridge are Burkhardt, West, Murray Logan and Whiting-Turner. Brandon Rhodes, Burkhardt Construction’s project manager, described the scope of work for the bridge and some challenges with the project. The bridge renovation will feature cantilever walkways underneath, a renovated tender house, decorative fish murals, decorative Wyoming rails, new lighting fixtures and the stunning showpiece — four 50-ft. high tensile sails at each corner of the bridge.

An initial challenge is creating the tensile structure sails on large posts and the construction of a foundation for each post,” he said.

The construction requires potholing existing utilities — hand digging along with machinery down to existing utilities in-ground, then evaluating if the existing utilities are in conflict with location changes needed.

West Construction has begun a yearlong project demolishing and rebuilding the outdated Fire Station 24 that borders Pompano Beach Airpark on NE 10th street. The new two-story fire station will service both the airport and surrounding community with updated equipment and alert systems.

This project has its site challenges, such as working in a fairly tight space with FAA regulations imposing height restrictions for cranes. Nonetheless, notes Michael Lilly, project manager, “It is in a key location that will help toward the revitalization of Pompano Beach. The community really needs it.”

Pompano Beach is positioned like Ft. Lauderdale and Delray Beach were 20 to 30 years ago,” says Danovich, “except we learned from their mistakes.”

For more information about the Pompano Beach revitalization projects visit www.pompanobeachfl.gov/pages/files.

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 won awards for writing/producing videos and for website content. Karen founded a newspaper in Washington, DC and was a syndicated columnist and best-selling author. www.multi-mediaworks.com.

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FLICKS: Fifty Shades Freed on DVD & The Meg, Popcorn Frights Film Festival open

Posted on 09 August 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

cinemadave.livejournal.com

The fluidity and rapidity of mass media production is increasing at a geometric rate. In less than three months, the No. 2 box office champion of the year (Avengers: Infinity War), is now available to download digitally. While there was much buzz on Facebook about tears being shed during Disney’s Christopher Robin, the box office champion remained Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

Despite being obliterated by Black Panther a week after its release, Fifty Shades Freed enjoyed a solid box office opening and steady home video use. The concluding chapter of the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy, this romantic S & M flick is a popular franchise that no one in public admits to liking. Of the three Fifty Shades films, Fifty Shades Freed is the second best of the trilogy.

For the first half of the movie, we witness the same naked aerobics between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan that we have seen in the previous two movies. During these scenes of passion, the musical soundtrack loudly explains Anastasia (Johnson) and Christian’s (Dornan) interior thoughts and motives. There is less S & M in this film, but there is a homage to Kim Basinger/Mickey Rourke music videos that were used to promote Andrian Lyne’s movie from 1986, 9 1/2 Weeks.

The second half of Fifty Shades Freed ties in all of the loose plot threads (A true cynic would ask, ‘There was a plot?’) of the previous movies. Anastasia and Christian have stalker issues, while there is corporate intrigue involving computer hacking. As if it were not cliched enough, Anastasia and Christian have a spat about making babies.

With a sense of guilty pleasure, Fifty Shades Freed does hold one’s attention. Unlike the lumbering second movie, the film does present growth, personal responsibility and maturity.

From the first movie to the last, we witness the virginal and over-dressed Anastasia transform into a married woman who eagerly subscribes to topless sunbathing in the French Rivera.

Of course, the high profile media magnate Christian Grey is not happy with his newlywed’s exhibitionism and he schedules a session in his little red room. Fifty Shades Freed provided closure to the Fifty Shades trilogy.

The Meg opens this weekend at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science. Since the dawn of the Internet, The Meg has been in Hollywood development Hell …for 20 years. Based on a series of novels by Steve Alten about prehistoric giant megalodon shark, Jason Statham stars as the title character’s main foil. To appreciate the size of The Meg, check out the permanent Meg exhibit found in the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science.

Of course, a few blocks down the road, Savor Cinema hosts the Popcorn Frights Film Festival, concluding a summer series, but opening the door for Halloween season!

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CLERGY CORNER: Equipping God’s People

Posted on 09 August 2018 by LeslieM

They always say that time goes faster and faster as you get older. They always say that we should enjoy our children while they are small because the time goes by very fast and it is gone before you know it. I never really understood those statements until I had my own children, and I started getting older.

My wife and I did not start our family until we were in our 30s. And now (just a few years later —haha) our son is 19 and our daughter is 17. Our son is entering his sophomore year at Bradley University in Illinois and our daughter is in basic training at Fort Jackson for the Army. Both of our children are out of high school now and following their dreams, and I just think – WOW! As a parent, I want the best for my children. I want them to do well and be successful. I want them to be safe from all the bad and evil things that are in the world today. But, I do not want to be their God and make all of their life’s decisions for them. I want them to learn and grow and be able to take care of themselves so when mom and dad are not around they will know how to make wise decisions and do the right thing.

Matthew 7:9-11

9 You parents — if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?

10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!

11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.

NLT

As my wife and I began to raise our children, it was then that I began to realize how much God truly loves us. The very same way that we love our own children is the same way that God loves His children. God wants the very best for us. God wants us to do well, and learn as we go through life and get educated so we will make the right decisions. God wants to protect us from the bad and evil things in this world. The Bible teaches us that safety is not in the absence of danger but in the presence of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18

17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.

18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.

NLT

The same way we pray and hope that our children listen to us and make the right decisions when opportunities come is the same way that God feels about us. God wants us to listen to Him and make the right decisions when the opportunities come. The best ways I have found to learn from God is by reading your Bible, praying and going to church. There are also benefits for our children to obey their parents and do what they are told to do. We have benefits of obeying God and by doing what He has asked us to do. As we pray for our children to be happy, healthy and holy, let’s also pray for ourselves as well.

Tony Guadagnino is the pastor at Christian Love Fellowship Church, located at 801 SE 10 St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-428-8980 or visit www.clfministries.org.

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Deerfield Juniors finish state runner-up

Posted on 01 August 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Deerfield Little League Junior Division Mets squad finished runner-up in the state tournament in Tallahassee.

The local squad opened with a 7-0 loss against the South Beaches and needed to win both games of a doubleheader to reach the title game.

My pre-game pep talk was focused, not on the failures of our last game, but on reminding the team how we got here, how well we played all season, how we crushed most of our opponents, and how much fun we had along the way,” said Deerfield Beach manager Jason Siracusa, who is also the president of the Deerfield Beach Little League. “Once I started seeing the smiles slowly appearing on their faces, I knew we were going to have a good day.”

Deerfield Beach responded following a five-hour rain delay with a 2-0 win over the defending state champion South Fort Myers team behind RBIs from Sanders Chartier and Keanu Siracusa and a 12-8 victory over South Lakes to advance to the title game.

We opened up a lead against South Lakes and although our pitchers began to struggle and gave up the lead we didn’t panic because we knew we had the momentum,” Siracusa said. “We were hitting really well so my confidence in our team was high. We took the lead back for good and after 13 hours of warm up, play, rain delays and more play this group of kids left the field tired, wet and muddy with a pair of wins and a trip to the championship game.”

Chartier had 2 hits and 3 RBIs, and Thomas had 2 hits and 2 RBIs, while Brock Buerosse had 2 RBIs. Lorenzo Feliciano, Keanu Siracusa, Dawson Lallance, Maxwell Thomson and Janelle Calvet each had an RBI as well. Gio Caffro, Lallance, Thomson, Calvet, and Kyle Adams each were outstanding on the mound for the Mets during the tournament.

Deerfield Beach then ran into juggernaut Inverness, who took apart the local team in an 18-0 win. It was the fourth straight double-digit win by Inverness in the tournament. In fact, Inverness won all three games in their pool and the championship without giving up a single run.

The lone bright spot for the Mets in the title game was a single by Thomas in the second inning.

Unfortunately, it seems that, for the championship game, these kids were simply worn out,” Siracusa added. “We struggled in the field and at the plate and just couldn’t catch up to Inverness who had a very impressive team.”

Siracusa also cited the performance of Feliciano, who was taken to the emergency room Friday morning due to complications from his diabetes and placed in intensive care before being released Saturday.

Although we could see he was struggling, he played both games of the doubleheader, had a great night at the plate and in the outfield and even pitched in the championship game Sunday,” Siracusa said. “All heart, he looked tired and worn out, but there was no way he was sitting this out. He’s a warrior.”

Former Ely great— Moss passes away

The Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that former star Blanche Ely running back Tyrone Moss died from heart failure last week.

Moss, who also starred at the University of Miami, died at the age of 33. The report from the medical examiner said Moss had hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, and was admitted July 23 to Memorial Hospital West for a procedure for his heart.

Moss also had congestive heart failure and while he was at the Pembroke Pines Hospital, a cardiac catheter was inserted on July 25. He was given a LifeVest, an external defibrillator that can detect irregular heartbeats and provide a shock to the patient.

The report said as Moss was leaving the hospital and waiting for his ride the night of July 26, he passed out. He was brought into the emergency room where he had a “cardiac event” and hospital staff was unable to revive him.

The 2003 Blanche Ely graduate rushed for a Broward County record 7,105 yards during his high school career and led the Tigers to a state title in his junior year.

Moss went on to star for the Hurricanes in college from 2003-2006, where he had seven 100-yard games, putting him 10th on the team’s all-time list.

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FLICKS: The King inspires nostalgia, sadness and profound thinking

Posted on 01 August 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

As a teen, the summer of 1977 was a transitional time for this reporter. Memorial Day weekend opened the first ever Star Wars movie, and Smokey and the Bandit featured a driving duel between Jackie Gleason and Burt Reynolds with Country music blaring through auditorium Dolby speakers. As the Miami Dolphins began preseason, Quarterback Bob Griese revealed that he was near-sighted and that he would be wearing big framed eye glasses during game time. Those eye glasses are in the NFL Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

We visited family in July that summer. As we departed New York, the big Blackout occurred on July 13. A few weeks later, Mark Lindell and I tried to observe a meteor shower in the middle of the night and we talked about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, learning that earlier in the day that serial killer David Berkowitz (alias the Son of Sam) had been caught. The death watch for comedian Groucho Marx was the entertainment focus for most of the summer, but this potential news story was overshadowed by the sudden death of a 43-year-old king, Elvis Presley.

Being released this weekend, The King is a unique documentary that examines the cultural heritage of Elvis Presley. Taking the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce, director Eugene Jarecki visits the places that Elvis lived: Tupelo, MS; Memphis, TN; New York; Hollywood, CA and Las Vegas, NV. While many celebrities and Elvis acquaintances are interviewed, Jarekci makes a point of interviewing people on the environment.

We learn that the street where Elvis is born is still impoverished; he was born in a shack in Tulepo, MS. The glitz and glamour of Las Vegas is revealed to be a film noir nightmare. With television central being headquartered in New York, we see Elvis’s television triumphs that introduced The King to millions of homes witnessing the birth of Rock ‘n Roll. It is in Hollywood that Elvis accepts the soft life and which clouded his future judgments.

There is a strain of pessimism that permeates The King. The poverty of Tupelo compliments the decadence of Las Vegas.

If the American dream is about rising above one’s station in life, could The King represent the American nightmare where one is overwhelmed by choosing success?

When in New York riding in the back seat of the Rolls Royce, social commentator Alec Baldwin (known now, in part, for his Trump impersonations on Saturday Night Live) finds fault with the Reagan Administration for today’s social ills. In Blues music, meeting the devil at the crossroads is part of the mythology of success. Ethan Hawke (who also produced) makes the case that Elvis traded his musical passion for a bigger paycheck.

The King is a good, thought-provoking documentary that raises questions. My question is “Why does the media celebrate Elvis on the anniversary of his death?” For the past four decades, Oldies Radio plays “Jailhouse Rock” and a few cable channels will screen Elvis movies. As I’ve gotten older, I have become more impressed with his versatile vocal talents, a variety of Rock, Gospel and opera. When you view these movies, you see a brown-eyed handsome man in his late 20s and early 30s, unlike the bloated grease-painted caricature in his final years.

Another documentary, Generation Wealth is scheduled to open this weekend. From the makers of The Queen of Versailles, the trailer examines America’s obsession with money. With clips of President Trump in both The King and Generation Wealth, one can expect similar arguments about the demise of the American dream. Yet, the American dream is more than just raising capital. It is taking the capital and doing something that raises the quality of life. Both documentaries reminded me of the words of my mentor, Mary Helen Fontaine-Rassi, given on April 15, 1980: “It is important to be successful, but it is more important to know your own success.”

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CLERGY CORNER: The Greatest Sermon

Posted on 01 August 2018 by LeslieM

There was once a new rabbi who came to his first pulpit. And, on the first Shabbat that he was there, he delivered a good sermon. Afterwards, everyone congratulated him. They all loved the sermon.

The next Shabbat, everyone came to shul, ready to hear the rabbi’s words. But he gave the same sermon. I don’t just mean a similar sermon, I mean the same exact sermon, word for word. No one knew what to say, so they went home quietly.

The third week, the rabbi got up to speak, the congregation was perfectly still, and lo and behold, again the same sermon, word for word.

This time they had to do something, so the president and the search committee were designated to go and speak with the rabbi. They made an appointment and came into his office.

Rabbi, it is so wonderful to have you here and we want you to feel very comfortable, but there is just one thing that is causing some concern. The first week you were here, you gave a very good sermon, and the second week, you gave the same sermon, and this week again the same exact sermon?!”

The rabbi was unperturbed.

Well, of course, I gave the same sermon; you’re still acting in the same way!”

The first thing that our Patriarchs and Matriarchs understood about communication and education was how wrong this rabbi was, how detached he was from his audience. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebeccah, Jacob and Rachel, and Leah, knew that sermons, speeches and lectures will never do the trick. It’s all about the HEART.

Years ago, I came across a one-liner that had a profound impact on me personally: “Every rabbi has only one sermon — the way he lives his life.” It’s all too true. We can preach from today until tomorrow, but if we don’t “walk the talk” and live the game we purport to play, we will leave our audiences unmoved, cold and apathetic. The most eloquent orators will fail to make an impression if their listeners know that their message is hollow and isn’t backed up by genuine personal commitment.

As parents, we face the same challenge, we can have the best speeches in our minds, but, if we don’t walk the walk, than our most important audience will not grow. Our most important audience is our children and they demand HEART! When children see the way we parents behave, that inspires them to follow us.

So enough of the advice giving and the preaching; now, let us begin by watching our behavior and leading by example. Now, go inspire a generation.

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches, located in the Venetian Isle Shopping Center at 2025 E. Sample Rd. in Lighthouse Point. For all upcoming events, please visit www.JewishLHP.com.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Widowhood

Posted on 01 August 2018 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

My late husband trained me to be a widow. Well, of course, that was not his intention. Dead at age 87 for almost five years now, after our 59-year marriage, I thank him every day for my ability to meet the challenge of a new and different life after his life ended. I mourn the loss and think of him daily as I step into a world without him.

A product of marriage in the early 50s when men were breadwinners and the “little woman” stayed at home, he took his role to its maximum literal implication. At the end of each work day, his “job” was completed. Anything that had to do with “home” was included in my “job description.” And guess what, I did not know it could be otherwise. My dad had done the same.

I was “in charge” of mostly anything that kept our household together, including assignations with plumbers, electricians, general contractors and the kids. Well, that’s not entirely fair. It was pretty much 80-20 regarding most of the above. But, for sure, he was always there when we were choosing furniture — and ash trays (He was a cigar smoker!)

He never went to a bank. His secretary did that, then I did. And, in his later days, he had no interest in assembling or becoming informed about his tax information, which I did, obtaining his permanent signature. All this when he was in perfectly good health, mentally and physically.

Eventually, I trained him to remove dirty dishes from the table, and he actually graduated to removing dishes other than his own, placing them in the sink … dishwashers and washing machines — not his “thing.” He did learn how to “make” tea and turn on the toaster. I know, I know — but we’re not discussing co-dependency here. It worked for both of us.

Frequently, we traveled together to foreign destinations, and, at first, somewhat grudgingly, but eventually acceptingly, I traveled without him to wilderness locations in which he had no interest. We gave each other space to go places and do things that had no appeal to the other of us.

So now, I am alone with a very independent life – rich in its diverse nature. I am never lonely or bored, and I pursue activities that fulfill my need to be productive — often engaging in nostalgia, which translates into memories of pleasurable times. I hang on to my valued old friends but also have new much younger people in my life. It may be “a couples world,” but I have never felt uncomfortable navigating it. I savor my freedom to be my authentic self, to come and go and change my mind about both or either. And there is no household chore, or major choice that I am incapable of doing, “getting done” or making.

My children are loving and supportive and are probably waiting “for the other shoe to drop,” but, meanwhile, have no responsibilities — or even, decisions to make — regarding my life.

Sometimes I wonder if such independence makes me a social aberrant or might affect my ability to establish close relationships. I may never know the answer to that one, but it is just one more thing in life about which answers will never be forthcoming. I accepted that long ago.

Although I may not be the original “Merry Widow,” I discovered a new and exciting phase of life to which I have easily adapted — much thanks to my late husband.

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