Thursday, May 25, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 05/24/17: Keeping Current About Mom, Touring the Teamsters' HQ, Kale and Podcasts

1. Christy, Carol, and I are working together to help Mom by writing to each other almost daily.  Our communications over the last twenty-four hours have been especially good, filled with goodwill, solid information, and constant care for Mom and each other.  Both Christy and Carol report that the rehab/physical therapy work Mom does is tiring her out and also helping her get a little stronger -- and it's also helping keep her edema settled down.

2. Today I shook hands with James P. Hoffa (Jimmy Hoffa's son), the General President of the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters.  Earlier in the week, I signed up for a tour of the Teamsters' national headquarters at Louisiana and D NW near Union Station.

While our group gathered in the lobby, our tour guide said, "Well, I'll be. There's Mr. Hoffa!" She invited him over and he welcomed us and talked briefly about the building and the frieze overlooking the lobby depicting scenes from the history of the Teamsters.  He was very proud that the frieze was done by the same artist who created the figures at the WWII Memorial on the National Mall. He shook each tour member's hand and darted off. The tour itself was informative and added to my ever increasing store of knowledge about the history of labor in the USA.  This was the third activity I attended during the month-long LaborFest DC. Next year, when LaborFest comes around again in May, I hope to see more of the LaborFest movies and participate in more activities.

3. Today, I remembered back to the very early 1980s when Dan and Betsy had moved into a new house and grew kale in their back yard. I had kale for the first time with Dan and Betsy and liked it a lot.  So, when I fix kale now, these nearly forty years later, I think of Dan and Betsy, and I thought of them late this afternoon as I cut ribbons of kale and prepared a lemon and oil vinaigrette to pour over them and then made a salad by adding cooked barley, chopped avocado, sunflower seeds, chopped red onion, garbanzo beans, and crumbled feta cheese to the kale. Sound good? Check out the recipe, here.

Let me add something else. The Deke and I relaxed this evening listening to podcasts, first from Inside Appalachia and then from Gravy. I had listened before to the Gravy episodes on the history of maize/corn, here,  and on the lasting influence of Ernest Mickler Matthew's book White Trash Cooking, here.

I hadn't, however, listened to the episode from Inside Appalachia looking at the historical roots between Pentecostal gospel music and rock n' roll through the fascinating story of gospel singer and electric guitar virtuoso Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  The episode also included segments exploring the history of the song "Amazing Grace" and featuring photographer Roger May and his work making pictures of tent revival meetings. The episode ended with a segment on the struggles of one man to stay put in his Appalachian home town. This episode is a compelling hour of interviews and music and you can find it here.

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