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America Culture Life The World

Prompted by Andrea Bocelli: Rather be Blind or Deaf?

The conversation arose because of an Andrea Bocelli DVD Mike and Melina bought me for Christmas. We stood in the kitchen where I had taken my computer, and together we watched and listened to this phenomenally talented man. I cried…because it was so beautiful. His voice, timing and nuance are remarkable; many say the best in the world. A handsome Italian man, as Andrea Bocelli sings, he usually has his eyes closed, and even when the camera closes in on his face and his eyes are open, it is obvious that his eyes are not focused. Andrea Bocelli is blind.

The son of Alessandro (died on April 30, 2000) and Edi Bocelli, Andrea Bocelli was born on September 22, 1958, in Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy, and grew up on the family farm. Having been born with congenital glaucoma, young Andrea had problems with his sight and became completely blind at age 12 after a soccer accident. Despite his misfortune, he showed a great talent for music and began taking piano lessons at age 6. He soon added the flute, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, guitar, harp, and drums to his list of musical abilities. Andrea also developed a love for opera at an early age and sang throughout his youth. By age 14, he had won his first song competition. He recalled, “I was one of those children who would always be asked to sing for my relatives. I don’t think one really decides to be a singer, other people decide it for you by their reactions.”

After completing his secondary education in 1980, Andrea attended the University of Pisa and later graduated as a Doctor of Law. He then worked as a court decreed lawyer for a year and used the money to pay for singing lessons with legendary tenor Franco Corelli. To make ends meet, he also performed evenings in piano bars and clubs.

Blind. And so began the talk among us: If we had to choose one, would we choose to be blind or to be deaf?

I’ve considered this question before, and talked about it more than once…and I always decide…I would rather be deaf than to be blind. I can’t imagine living in darkness, having difficulty finding my way, unable to drive a car, not able to hold a book and read, or type on my computer, then see the corresponding marks on its bright screen.

“Not I,” Michael said. “Think about it. If you were deaf, you could never hear music like this, never hear your loved ones’ voices…”

“True…” I granted. And I thought long about being denied the pleasure of beautiful music…and it was terrible to contemplate.

Awful discussion. There is no satisfactory answer, for we who are so fortunate as to possess normal hearing and sight find it difficult to imagine life if either of those important senses were to be taken from us.

And you? If you must choose, would you  lose your sight, or would it be your hearing? Which seems more important to you?

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America Photography Social Travel

A Stroll Through the Capitol City of Nevada

Before dawn on Friday morning, Jerry and I had driven to Las Vegas, boarded a plane, and 95 minutes later had landed in Reno, Nevada; first time I’ve ever flown from what is essentially one casino into another. Both cities greedily extend their gambling opportunities so there are cha-chinging slot machines extending practically from the airport entry doors all the way down the jetways. Well, they don’t really go down the jetways, but you get the idea.

On Saturday, at 5:55 pm, we did the return route, easily located our white Jeep on the 5th level of the Las Vegas airport parking structure, and traipsed the 2 1/2 hour trail to Lake Havasu, diving into our bed at a bit after 11:00. It’s Sunday morning, and our plans are to leave after church, driving our motor home and heading to California.

“Do you have wireless internet service, and do I need a password?” I had asked as we checked into our hotel in Carson City, which is about 25 minutes from Reno.

“Yes, we do, but it’s down at the moment. Should be repaired by the end of the day.” Her words proved empty, for I could not connect at all while we were there.

The occasion for us to be in Carson City was the installation as pastor of our grandson Joel. His wife, Aisha, had picked us up at the airport, and we encouraged her to take us directly to our hotel, for we knew they were extremely busy, what with the special installation services scheduled for Saturday, and besides that, a young couple had a few days before, had their first baby delivered still-born. Joel must preach his first funeral that afternoon.

Jerry and I ate lunch at Reds, napped and rested a few hours, then walked a few blocks to the Capitol building area.

I crossed the street to photograph a few places while Jerry took in a vintage car show.

DSC_0022 by you.

These outdoor eating area was attached to the St. Charles Hotel. It was such an attractive place, I wanted to move right among the people and take pictures, but not wanting to be obtrusive, I used a long lens and snapped from across a narrow side street.

Street Scene Carson Nevada by you.

Down the street was this spot that appeared to be used for coffee service at some time during the day. I was attracted by the ancient stone wall with the sprightly flowers set against it, the assorted, colorful chairs, and the bicycles casting distinct shadows against the pavers.

Bicycle shadows by you.

Shadows on Sidewalk by you.

Categories
America Courage Culture Goodness of man Honor Integrity Patriotism Social The World

Would You Take Down that Flag?

I want to ask a couple of questions.

1. Is it right that someone comes into our country, sets up a business, and then flies their country’s flag over ours?

2. Is it right when such a thing happens that a citizen removes the offending display?

3. You who are citizens of the United States: Would you move to Mexico, set up a business there, then blatantly and disrespectfully fly the US flag above the Mexican flag? You who are citizens of any other country: Would you disrespect any foreign country that was your host by flying your native flag in an unlawful and rude way?

4. Would you have taken down that flag as did Jim Brossert?

5. Should Jim Brossert be prosecuted?

6. Would Jesus take down such a flag?

A Veteran from Reno, Nev. has hit headlines after he took matters into his own hands yesterday and tore down a Mexican flag that was being illegally flown above a U.S. flag at a local business.

Local news station krnv News 4 had received calls yesterday afternoon from angry residents complaining about the Mexican flag. When the station sent a reporter to investigate the Veteran took the opportunity to make a statement in front of the cameras.

The man commented “I’m Jim Brossert and I took this flag down in honor of my country with a knife from the United States army. I’m a veteran, I am not going to see this done to my country. if they want to fight us, then they need to be men, and they need to come and fight us, but I want somebody to fight me for this flag. They’re not going to get it back.

Story by Steve Watson of Infowires.

The entire story and the video is here. The video is awesome, shows the flags flying, Jim Brossett taking care of the situation, and the reaction of the storekeeper. Please watch this, and tell me your reaction.

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My devotional blog is here.