Friday, June 14, 2013

Dads Are the Original Hipsters Indeed

Thank goodness I have a daughter who sometimes tosses me a nugget of coolness. She recently wowed me with a hilarious book which she found at, of course, Urban Outfitters: "Dads Are the Original Hipsters"  by Brad Getty. Hipsters are quite popular these days, and after viewing the classy pics in this book, it dawned on me that yes, Dads are the original hipsters and thanks to my sister, I'm able to share a hipster photo of my dad..... Not sure what year this would've been, but Clint Eastwood is on the tube & looks like he has a lot of dark hair...

Happy Father's Day to my Daddy-O ... and thank you for all you do for us!!!!!! xoxoxoxo

...I'll be talkin' 'bout a Revolution
this Monday night (June 17) at McCullough
Library in Evansville at 6:30 pm.
You must register to attend
(limited seating)...and can do so by going
to this site:
Since my blog audience has increased exponentially this year, I'd like to share my post from Father's Day 2012..find it at this link:
Peace, Love & Rock & Roll,
Lanea Stagg
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John's Blurb - with Jude Southerland Kessler
If you’re a Christian, you’re familiar with the concept that the most important among you are those who humble themselves and serve others. They put their own needs second to the needs of those around them. That, in a nutshell, is what Jesus did when he said, “I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:27)
And in that light, consider the case of Fred Lennon. He was John Lennon’s father.
John was born in 1940, while Fred was away, working on a World War II transport ship – shuttling soldiers from New York City to the war front in Europe. So Fred never had the opportunity to bond with the infant, to watch him take his first step, to hear him say his first word. He missed all of that…those early tugs on the heartstrings that imprint a baby on your heart.
When Fred did return home at the end of the war, he found a four-year-old whom he had never known (a precocious, uncontrollable, go-go-go little boy with his eyes and his wit…a bright young stranger) named John living NOT with Fred’s wife, Julia (who relinquished the boy for days at a time to her sister, Mimi, and to Mimi’s sweet husband, George Smith) but living with the boy’s aunt and uncle. And so, Fred took the boy away from that situation. Asking no one’s permission, he packed the boy’s things and took the child to live with him on the shore in Blackpool where Fred began to work, raising money to spirit John away forever.
Fred had pled with his wife, Julia, to return to him and to make a home for the child. But during the war years, Julia had fallen in love with someone else, the man of her dreams, John Dykins. Returning to Fred was not an option.
So, by himself, Fred tried to rear a little boy. He found daytime babysitters (an elderly couple, the Halls) to watch the boy while he worked. He saved his money to buy two tickets to New Zealand for John and himself. Without a wife to help him, and without a lifelong connection to inspire him, Fred Lennon gladly took on the responsibility of rearing his son all alone. You see, Fred wanted the boy more than he wanted his freedom or an easy, uncomplicated life. He wanted his son more than he wanted his “own way.”
But you know the story. Julia discovered their hiding place. She appeared in Blackpool, demanding her son. Fred made one more effort to convince her to come back to him, but when she refused, they made John choose. They put the little boy in between them and made him decide. “Which one of us do you want, John? Your Mommie or your Daddy? You decide.”
Let the record show that JOHN chose.
He first picked his dad…the man with whom he had been digging in the sand with him on the shore, riding the Ferris Wheel, wading in the surf, and watching the painted Day Trippers strutting along the boardwalk. The man who had been reading aloud to him. The father who had just begun to teach John to whistle. 
But when John heard his mother walking away in tears, he ran after her screaming, “Mummy, mummy…don’t goooooooo!”
And Julia took him back to Liverpool where she deposited him that very afternoon at 251 Menlove Avenue, the home of Mimi and George Smith. And Julia drove away in a taxi.
Fred had tried. He had tried to be a father to his son. He had tried to “complicate” his life by taking on a little boy to love, to nurture, to protect, and to rear.
And even after he was rejected, Fred continued to write letters to his son, letters that Auntie Mimi tore up and tossed in the trash – letters (she thought) that would only complicate the boy’s life with something he couldn’t have. So Fred thought that the boy had decided on his own not to write back to him. And he endured. And he suffered.
That is a man who subjugates his own needs to the needs of the one whom he serves. It is the action of a man whose love is greater than his own selfishness.
Now…lest you think Fred Lennon was an angel, he was not. He drank. He was raising the funds to take John to New Zealand by getting involved in the black market stockings trade. He was arrested for jumping ship at one point during his life. He was involved in many barroom brawls. The man was not blameless. And who knows if John’s life would have been better with him? It might have been much worse. One thing is certain: John would not have turned out as he did. The outcome would have been far, far different.
But Fred Lennon was a father, in every sense of the word.
John never really forgave his father for “abandoning him.” Years later, they made several attempts at reconciliation, and they never truly grafted. John always considered Fred a bum.
And in truth, Fred wasn’t perfect. And maybe your father wasn’t either.
But maybe, just maybe, your father’s story is NOT the story you think it is. Maybe he, too, had motives you don’t understand or complications you were never told. Maybe your father lived in a nameless pain to which you were never privy. Maybe.
On Father’s Day, consider the possibilities. For John and Fred, it’s too late. But not for you. You can still change your mind. You can hear the story. You can take the journey. You can still learn to whistle.
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Ask The Intern 
I'm very honored to introduce Claire Edwards to you. She is joining me this summer as an intern in my various writing projects. I first met Claire when she was in 1st grade & I would help her open her milk each day at lunch. She's grown up & is heading to college (as all these young lions do) and I couldn't be more proud of her. Claire is going to join the blog once a week & try to answer your burning questions about music.
PLEASE submit your questions to "Ask The Intern" at:
Read all about her:

What’s 18 years old, on the left side of this picture, and is terrible at writing introductions? That would be me, Claire Edwards. Although I was raised in Evansville I will be moving to Indianapolis this fall in order to attend IUPUI (Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis). I will be pursuing a career as a music journalist because the complexities and capabilities that music has never ceases to amaze me and my goal is to learn how to share this adoration with others.

Claire's first question has been submitted by Ludwig  von Buble':

Claire, what is Music Journalism and why is today's music so crappy? 

Mr. Buble’,
Music journalism is the study and analysis of the many aspects of music and the culture that surrounds it. It is the spread of ideas and opinions associated with music and a way to expose others to new elements of the music scene.
Secondly, the short answer: it isn’t. However, many people still hold the same expectations of music as they did forty years ago. Just like our means for transportation and communication, the way people express themselves musically has evolved rapidly. Technology has become a huge part of modern music and many people argue that this drastically decreases the music’s value. It is common to hear someone complain about how music isn’t like it was in the past and therefore isn’t as good, but what is not taken into account is that there are still many musicians who continue to produce music with an older sound but the majority of them are labeled as copy cats and written off. Because why listen to a band that sounds just like Nirvana when you can listen to Nirvana? So the real challenge for modern musicians is to develop a sound that is unique without being so bizarre that it no longer has any value to most listeners. On many occasions modern music ends up repeating something that’s been done a million times or trying so hard to be different that the finished products sounds like aluminum being microwaved. However, there are musical artists who manage to find the happy medium between these two extremes but due to modern technology most listeners are constantly bombarded with the worst of this generation’s musical output and the worthwhile musicians are often difficult to weed out.
Mr. Buble' have no fear....I think you would enjoy listening to "Hold On" by the Alabama Shakes, because of the way this group (who released their first album in 2012) blends older & newer musical styles to create a unique sound.

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