Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals and Reagan’s Rise to Power – Now We Know!

SubversivesAfter several months, yesterday I finally finished Seth Rosenfeld’s terrific book Subversives – The FBI’s War on Student Radicals and Reagan’s Rise to Power.

usually when I ‘m reading a book like this and I then pick up other books while reading it, I most time don’t go back to the book. This book an exception the book is just so good and the story that it tells about the FBI and the student protests at the University of California so much a part of my past that I couldn’t give up! While I was at the University of Florida (1970-1974) I was involved in two campus demonstrations one concerning black enrollment and studies and the other an antiwar demonstration after the announcement of the mining of Haiphong Harbor, etc nether approached the violence that was seen at Berkeley!

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare

Missing You – Harlan Coben – Journeys into the Past are necessary and often painful!

Missing YouWhen NYPD Detective Kat Donovan sends her ex-fiancée Jeff Raynes “Their Video” on the dating site  You are just my type.com and his response is “It’s Cute”, Kat doesn’t understand his response.  Eighteen years earlier, before he dumped her and left town, their love was real and magical. Sure his dating site biography says he is a widower, but should his response be that lame? Well, he just wants to move on thinks Kat and so does Kat.  She has more important things to do too, her father’s murderer is dying and she needs to visit one more time before he dies.  When she does the hit man who killed her father, once again proclaims his innocence.

Soon the son of a woman who has gone from her Connecticut home visits Kat in hopes that she will help him find his mother. Why thinks Kat- because the man she ran away with is none other than Jeff Raynes!  So begins Kat’s quest in Harlan Coben‘s latest  Missing You!. Maybe I should say quests because Kat needs to know what happened on the night of her father’s murder, along with what happened to Dana Phelps, the missing Connecticut woman and Brandon’s mother along with the reason that Jeff ran out on her with no explanation.  None of the quests are free from potential pain to those involved!!

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare

Patrick Lee – Runner – Sam Dryden #1 – I’m ready for Book #2 – Now Patrick!

RunnerSam Dryden has retired after being an Army Ranger, a Delta, and spending five years doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team.t In Runner ,(Book 18 of 2014) the first book of the Dryden series by Patrick Lee, he has to use all his skill and cunning to keep young Rachael Grant alive.  Sam literally runs into Rachael when insomnia forces him out for a middle of the night run, and well, Rachael is on the run too only in Rachael’s case she has a passel of  military men after her using a lot of high-tech gadgetry, with one aim take her out! When Rachael runs into Sam, she hopes that he will save her  and Sam having lost his wife and child an accident five years earlier wants to do just that.

Together they set out to evade the killers and rediscover Rachael’s past, see she can only remember the last two months! Oh Rachael also has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge!

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare

August 17, 1969 – Woodstock continues with “Morning Maniac Music” from the Jefferson Airplane….

So on Sunday morning August 17, 1969 Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane took the stage at the Woodstock festival and opened Bless Its Pointend Little Head 2the day with some morning maniac music! By 1969 the Airplane had already released five studio albums and one live album. I did not pick up on the Airplane until 1968, and their release Crown of Creation by that time they had already had big hits like “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit” (their only top ten hits) but with songs like the title track, “Greasy Heart”, David Crosby’s “Triad”, along with Jorma’s guitar on “Chushingura” the album became one of my all-time favorites! Actually, after Surrealistic Pillow (3) it was their highest charting album peaking at #3 on the US charts. Their next two albums Volunteers and the live release Bless Its Pointed Little Head, with the later being another all-time favorite with the opening track “3/5 of a mile in ten seconds” possibly being my favorite Airplane song!! William Ruhlman writing at AllMusic says this about the album……

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare

Woodstock Day 2 – August 16, 1969 – with thoughts about Santana……..

August 1969: Mexican-born guitarist Carlos Santana (right) and bassist David Brown perform with the group Santana at the Woodstock Music Festival

August 1969: Mexican-born guitarist Carlos Santana (right) and bassist David Brown perform with the group Santana at the Woodstock Music Festival

 

Quill opened day two at Woodstock.Since I don’t remember or didn’t know them I went to Wikipedia to find out a little about the band……

Quill was a popular Northeast United States band that played extensively throughout New England, New York and the mid-Atlantic states in the late 1960s and that gained national attention by performing at the original Woodstock Festival in 1969. The band was originally founded by two singer/songwriters and brothers from the Boston area, Jon and Dan Cole.

 

Well, that explains it, if they came to Philly, I don’t remember hearing about them! Anyway Country Joe MacDonald played solo next, he would return later to play with Country Joe and the Fish.

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare

Finally I run…..and listen to some Bluegrass from “down under” Mustered Courage!!

So with the temperatures yesterday only in the high 70s, there was no reason not to run other than laziness! So on went the running shoes and off I went. I spent half of the run trying to decide whether  I should just turn my four-mile run into a three-mile run or at least not run up the hill at Pancoast! I did neither once I was over the hump at 2 miles and was heading down Pancoast, I was able to tell myself, 2.5 down 1.5 to go, and then 3  down 1 to go, etc and I finally made it all  the way to the end, all 4 miles of it in the record shattering time (can you read the sarcasm in the words?) of 45:25 – oh boy! The splits 1 – 10:21 2- 11:43 uphill 3 – 11:07 downhill 4 12:14 ugh!! Hey what can I say I’m old and it’s my first run since July 28!! Let’s hope that it gets better. Oh and I also have the excuse, that it’s August, a month when my hay fever allergy keeps me perpetually tired!!

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare

A Birthday for David Crosby leads to re-listening to Croz – Happy Birthday, David from a Happy Fan!

CrozMost times I can pretty much tell if I am really going to like an album, after the first few seconds of the first track. This method of assessing a record did not work with David Crosby‘s latest release Croz. The first time I listened to the album, I was not impressed by the opening track, so I really didn’t continue to listen. If today August 14th was not the 73rd anniversary of David’s Los Angeles birth, I may not have listened to the album again, and have missed out on a pretty damn good album!! I have followed David’s career since it began with the Byrds in the early 60s.  But like most of my music listening, I became a real fan in the late 60s and early 70s after he left the Byrds and teamed with Graham Nash and Steven Still to form Crosby, Stills, Nash.  I can still remember when I purchased the album Deja Vu in the Moorestown Mall,  being told by the clerk that I was the first one to purchase the album!! Crosby was born and raised in Los Angeles, California the son of Aliph Van Cortland Whitehead and Bing Crosby, Bob? no, Floyd Crosby, who appears to have no close relationship to the other Crosby’s. Although, Floyd did make a name for himself in Hollywood, as an academy award-winning cinematographer. Both his parents have genealogical roots going back to early New York. His mom is a descendent of the Van Cortland family and Floyd was a descendent of the Van Rensselear family. After an undistinguished academic career, Crosby moved to New York to make his way in the music business. Arriving in Greenwich Village in and around 1963 David joined   Les Baxter’s Balladeers  a group in which Bob Dylan was also a member. Fred Neil who was already a friend and mentor to Dylan also took Crosby under his wing. Now since I don’t know or remember as much about The Byrds as I do his later bands, here is a little info from Wikipedia….

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare

Adventures with the Ashtons from 1864 to the early 1900′s The Ashtons meet the McCloskey’s – look out Beverly!!

John S Ashton010

John S Ashton IV – My Great-Grandfather

Over the last couple of posts, I have written about the Ashton line from Thomas Ashton  1791 in Holbeach,  to the deaths of John Sherrington Ashton Sr in 1870, and John Sherrington Ashton, Jr. in 1864.  After John Sherrington Ashton’s death in 1864, Mary Parezo Ashton married William O. Lyons in March of 1869 in Philadelphia. Mary’s parents John B Parezo and mother Mary along with many of her siblings all lived in Philadelphia. In the 1870 census. her father is listed as a confectioner,  mother Mary is a housekeeper.While brother Francis, and sisters Olivia and Isabella are chair makers.

It took me the longest time to find John S Ashton III  in the 1870 census. Remember I was searching  in the days before Ancestry and on-line information! I finally found the 12-year-old John living with his mother Mary and step-father William in Newark. By 1880, the now 22-year-old John had returned to Beverly and was working in a hosiery mill. He was listed as a boarder in the household of  George Wilkinson, the mill engineer.

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare

Harold Schechter Masterfully Tells the Tale of “The Mad Sculptor” – The Maniac, The Model, and the Murder the Shook the Nation

So if you like true crime stories, especially ones that rocked the nation, then Harold Schecthers The Mad Sculptor – The Maniac, The Model and the Murder that Shook the Nation is the book for you, it was for me! The Mad Sculptor is one Robert Irwin, he is also The Maniac. The Model is VerThe Mad Sculptoronica Gedeon  and the Murder was the grisly slaying of Veronica, her mother and their English boarder on Easter Sunday morning in 1937 in a New York City apartment at  Beekman Place.

Author Schecther does not only a fine job of telling the tale of madman/artist Robert Irwin, but in also detailing the way that his crime fits into the history of Beekman Tower and Beeckman Place, where prior murders, that captured the attention had occurred.  These murders included, the shooting of Fritz Gebhardt by his long-time mistress Vera Stretz, and the murder of Nancy Titterton. Schechter  opens the book describing  these murders, their investigations and trials, setting the stage for the Gedeon murders.

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare

Explorations of the Ashton Family line, focusing on 5th Great-Grandmother Ann Sherrington!

The genealogical post that I wrote the other day, outlined a brief history of my mother’s Ashton family line. Today I’d like to add a little more to the story. In this episode though, we go back in time, rather than forward! John Sherrington Ashton, Sr.  was the first of my Ashton ancestors I found, who was not living in the United States! Many years ago, when my wife and I made our first visit to a Family History Center in Voorhees, NJ, the first microfiche that I looked at I found  a John Sherrington Ashton!! The full name was there, wow, I thought this will be easy!!  A review of the record showed that John was born in 1814 and was the son of Thomas and Mary…

JSAshton-1814 birth

Now I knew that John was the son of Thomas Ashton and Mary Unknown.  My guess was that her maiden name was Sherrington, but I did not have any confirmation of that, until a little while later, when I met Paul Ashton on-line. Paul lives in England and he confirmed that on the Ashton family tree, that hangs on his wall,  Thomas Ashton a brother to his ancestor Edward Ashton, did indeed marry Mary Sherrington in a small church in Kirkby on Bain. He also gave me the date of the marriage August 10, 1810, and told me that the church was still standing! In addition, he told me that Thomas, Paul believed, was the son of James Ashton and Ann Don, born in 1791.

read more

FacebookTwitterStumbleUponTumblrPinterestShare