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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 16, 2007 / 28 Nissan, 5767

Longing for clarity & harmony

By Tom Purcell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It sat in my parents' dining room for 30 years or more: an old oak stereo console with large speakers concealed by green fabric. It filled my childhood with a harmony and clarity we could use lots more of about now.


Sundays after supper, the sweet smell of coffee and pot roast and pineapple upside-down cake still in the air, my father (the Big Guy) loved to play his favorite albums on it. He liked Barbra Streisand in those days. He loved Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. And he'd go nuts when he played "The Stars and Stripes Forever!" by John Philip Sousa.


He'd turn the volume high and begin marching through our small house, lifting his legs and arms high and making exaggerated faces the way comedian Red Skelton did with his Clem Kadiddlehopper character. We'd jump from the table and follow behind him, marching and laughing until tears filled our eyes.


That old console played nonstop during the Christmas season. Our stack of records usually began with the "Holiday Sing-Along with Mitch Miller" followed by "Christmas with the Chipmunks." Then came "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" and Bing Crosby. As soon as Bing finished, we restacked the albums and played them again.


My mother used the stereo more than anyone. She loved to listen to it while working around the house. She loved to whistle, too, a habit she learned from her father (and one she passed along to me).


Hers was a high-pitched whistle — the sound of a happy robin singing on a sunny spring morning — and she could harmonize with most tunes. Sometimes she tuned in to an AM station that played Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Other times she'd play her Doris Day album. I still can hear her whistling to "Que Sera, Sera."


I've been thinking about the old stereo console lately. I've been longing for the sweet, simple music that it brought into our home — a simple harmony and clarity for which the world is in desperate need.


There is so much yapping and shouting on television and the radio. There is an obsession with Don Imus and Anna Nicole, and every yapper under the son is beating both stories into the ground.


And while the experts weigh in on the idiotic statements uttered by Imus, few criticize the words and images on so many other channels that are 20 times more vulgar and demeaning; few are critical of so many real woes we face in a culture becoming more crass and cynical by the minute.


The shouting and hooting and hollering has gotten so loud, it's getting hard to hear anymore — it's getting hard for folks to distinguish between what is worthwhile on the tube and the radio and what is garbage. This must be the case. Why else would so many crude, silly and stupid programs litter the airwaves every night?


Some weeks — a week just like this one — I just want to escape it all. My family doesn't have the old stereo console anymore, but I did buy a new turntable recently. My mother's cousin gave me dozens of old albums she no longer listens to and I've been working my way through them.


The other night I listed to an old Sinatra album. It was wonderful to transport myself from our noisy world into one of clarity and harmony and simplicity. It was wonderful to travel back to the 1950s and 1960s.


Human nature and the world were messy then, too, but the noise level was much lower. There was no cable then — no channels to allow the yappers to yap. The average citizen was certainly a lot more civil then than the average fellow is now.


Perhaps we'd all be better off if more folks started collecting old albums — if more folks tried re-creating the simple childhood memories of the old stereo consoles that once sat in their parents' dining room.


It's a start anyhow.

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