Monthly Archives: September 2008


The trial of Timothy Wayne Shepherd, who murdered, dismembered and burned the body of Ms. Tynesha Stewart, began Monday, September 29, 2008.
Because of lack of evidence (the police were never able to find Ms. Stewart’s remains), convicting Shepherd will be difficult for the Harris County prosecutor. In addition to murdering and defiling Ms. Stewart, Shepherd also committed kidnapping, which combined with her murder, would have given him the death penalty.
Since this has not been deemed a capital murder case, if convicted, the most Shepherd will face is life in prison.
But, we will have to see what verdict the seated jury renders.
Here are the latest updates on Ms. Tynesha Stewart.
05:55 PM CDT on Monday, September 29, 2008
By Rucks Russell / 11 News
Once those jurors are selected, the details they will learn may haunt them forever.
Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.
It would also help that the media ceases its describing Ms. Stewart’s death as a “grilling”.
This young woman was a human being who had a full life of promise before her. She is not, and was not, some piece of meat. She deserves to be treated with respect, not callous disregard.
“Once those jurors are selected, the details they will learn may haunt them forever.”
Very true.
To have to hear and see the evidence of Ms. Stewart’s horrific death will certainly mark them for life.
05:39 PM CDT on Friday, Octobr 3, 2008

By Rucks Russell / 11 News

But Shepherd’s attorneys said it was hardly a one-sided relationship.
“Tynesha was very much in love with Tim. She pursued the relationship, and he reciprocated,” Lewis said Wednesday.
Because a body was never found, the defense is hoping for an acquittal.
Still, even though Stewart’s remains were not recovered, investigators found her teeth in the garbage disposal at Shepherd’s apartment.
“Tim never showed any remorse for Tynesha,” Quanell said.
Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.


06:41 PM CDT on Monday, October 6, 2008 staff report

HOUSTON — A crime scene deputy took the stand Monday morning in the murder trial of Timothy Shepherd.

Shepherd is accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend, Tynesha Stewart, dismembering her body, burning her remains on his patio grills and throwing them in a dumpster last spring.

Last week, Quanell X told the jury Shepherd admitted to the slaying.

Still, Stewart’s body was never found.  Since there was no body, the defense is hoping for an acquittal.

But prosecutors will likely use the deputy’s testimony to dispute that.  Investigators reportedly found Stewart’s teeth in Shepherd’s garbage disposal, among other grisly evidence.

Prosecutors reportedly have three or four more witnesses to go before turning things over to the defense.

Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.




09:23 AM CDT on Wednesday, October 8, 2008

By Rucks Russell / 11 News

Quanell said Shepherd showed no remorse for Stewart’s death.

But defense attorneys said the activist’s testimony actually helped their case.

“It clearly illustrated law enforcement’s repeated refusal to honor Mr. Shepherd’s request for a lawyer to be present,” defense attorney Chip Lewis said.

According to Lewis, that makes whatever Shepherd said to Quanell X almost irrelevant.

Closing arguments were set to begin Wednesday morning.

Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.




06:23 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 8, 2008

By Rucks Russell / 11 News

He said Shepherd told him Stewart was dead, and he had thrown her remains in a dumpster.

“Tim never showed any remorse for Tynesha,” the activist said.

But defense attorneys said Quanell X’s testimony actually helped their case.

“It clearly illustrated law enforcement’s repeated refusal to honor Mr. Shepherd’s request for a lawyer to be present,” Lewis said.

According to Lewis, that made whatever Shepherd said to Quanell X almost irrelevant.

Other evidence presented to the jury included Stewart’s teeth and possible bone fragments in Shepherd’s garbage disposal.

Lewis told the jury the evidence simply does not add up, and the only just verdict is not guilty.

Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.




11:04 PM CDT on Thursday, October 9, 2008

By Wendell Edwards / 11 News

HOUSTON—Tim Shepherd is a convicted murderer found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend, dismembering her body and burning it on his patio grills.

But despite his conviction, despite what he did, Shepherd cannot die for taking the life of 19-year-old Tynesha Stewart.

“As sad and as tragic as it is, most of the offensive things, outside of the actual murder itself, happened to the body after the fact,” 11 News legal expert Gerald Treece said.

Shepherd is not eligible for the death penalty because state law doesn’t take into account how heinous or gruesome a crime was.

“In Texas, the death penalty is given if you take the life of a child 5 or under, or if you commit another crime when you do the murder, like armed robbery or rape,” Treece said.

It’s hard to understand, especially when you compare Timothy Shepherd to Jeffrey Lee Wood.

Wood was sitting in a truck when his accomplice shot and killed a gas station cashier.  Unlike Shepherd, Wood never took a life.  But Wood is now a Texas death row inmate.

“In the Wood case, you have the enhanced crime. You have murder plus armed robbery, and the law of parties picks up Mr. Wood,” Treece said.

So as the jury deliberates Shepherd’s punishment Friday, Tynesha Stewart’s family can only pray for a sentence as close to death as they can get.

“Life, because a person like that, I don’t think they should be let back out on the streets,” Stewart’s sister, Gayla, said. Community activist Quanell X also took the stand for the prosecution, detailing an alleged confession Shepherd made about the crime.




05:47 PM CDT on Thursday, October 9, 2008

By Rucks Rusell 11 News

HOUSTON—A Harris County jury on Thursday found Tim Shepherd guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Tynesha Stewart, last spring.

Shepherd was convicted of strangling Stewart at his apartment, dismembering her body, burning her remains on his patio grills and throwing them in a dumpster.

Stewart’s body was never found.

The jury deliberated for about four hours before returning with the unanimous verdict. Shepherd showed no emotion when it was read, but Stewart’s family burst into tears.

“I’ve known he was guilty, always,” Stewart’s mother, Gayle Shields, said. “You can run but you can’t hide. We had God on our side.”

Throughout the trial, which garnered international attention, prosecutors portrayed Shepherd as a classic batterer who killed the 19-year-old coed in a fit of jealous rage.

“He put her in the bathtub, he dismembered her there.  He washed away her bodily fluids down that bathtub. He barbecued her,” prosecutor Marie Primm said.

Stewart, a student at Texas A&M, was home for spring break when she was killed.

Her friends and classmates testified that Shepherd was a jealous, controlling man who threatened to kill her when she started dating someone else.

Shepherd’s attorneys insisted the relationship was not one-sided.

“Tynesha was very much in love with Tim. She pursued the relationship, and he reciprocated,” defense attorney Chip Lewis said.

Stewart’s mother had taken the stand earlier in the week, breaking down as she described the last time she saw her daughter.

She said she knew something was wrong when she confronted Shepherd about Tynesha’s disappearance.

Shields said Shepherd refused to look her in the face, and said her daughter had gone out for a walk and never come back.

Community activist Quanell X also took the stand for the prosecution, detailing a confession Shepherd made about the crime.

He said Shepherd told him Stewart was dead, and he had thrown her remains in a dumpster.

“Tim never showed any remorse for Tynesha,” the activist said.

Defense attorneys claimed Quanell’s testimony actually helped their case.

“It clearly illustrated law enforcement’s repeated refusal to honor Mr. Shepherd’s request for a lawyer to be present,” Lewis said.

The evidence presented in the trial was nothing short of gruesome.

Shepherd’s neighbors became suspicious when they noticed the continual grilling going on at the apartment and smelled a foul odor coming from the grills.

Upon searching the apartment, investigators found Stewart’s teeth and what appeared to be bone fragments in the garbage disposal.

“It’s not every day you pull a bone from a drain or a tooth, so this is a case that will stay with us for a long time,” one detective said.

But because her body was never recovered, the defense claimed the evidence in the trial did not add up.  Lewis told the jury the only just verdict was not guilty.

In the end, the jury disagreed.

Stewart’s family said they hope the loss of Tynesha will save other lives.

“She will awaken people in abusive relationships to get out,” sister Gayla Shields said.

The punishment phase of the trial lasted for the rest of the day Thursday. It will resume Friday.

Shepherd could face up to life in prison for the crime.




07:34 PM CDT on Friday, October 10, 2008

By Leticia Juarez / 11 News

HOUSTON—The mother of the Texas A&M student murdered by her ex-boyfriend broke down during the punishment phase of Timothy Shepherd’s trial.

She told jurors she couldn’t accept that all of her daughter was gone.

On Thursday the jury found Shepherd guilty in the murder of his former girlfriend, Tyneesha Stewart.

But during Friday’s punishment phase, juror’s painted a much different picture of the convicted killer.

The defense paraded family and friends to the stand.

Many spoke about what a good father Shepherd is to his daughter, as well as a good friend.

Stewart’s mother sat through all the testimony.

She talked about the first time she met her daughter’s killer.

Shepherd’s Sunday school teacher described him as fun-loving and a good father.

His stepfather, Kenneth Washington, said Shepherd was rebellious as a teen. He also described Tyneesha Stewart  as a “nice young lady” and “very smart girl.”

In all, 19 witnesses took the stand today.

The punishment phase will resume on Monday.

Shepherd faces up to life in prison.




05:28 PM CDT on Monday, October 13, 2008

By Rucks Russell / 11 News

HOUSTON—The man convicted of killing, dismembering and grilling his ex-girlfriend took the stand in the punishment phase of his trial Monday.

A Harris County jury on Thursday convicted Tim Shepherd in the murder of Texas A&M freshman Tynesha Stewart.

Stewart was home for spring break last year when she was killed.

Shepherd’s testimony Monday was deliberate, calm and at times chilling.

He admitted to being angry with Stewart last year because she was dating someone new.

He said they argued about it at his apartment, and Stewart took a swing at him with a knife.

Shepherd said that’s when he snapped and strangled the life out of her.  He described it as an out-of-body experience.

He said it was panic that led him to dismember her body and cook it on his patio grills, because he didn’t think anyone would believe him.

Investigators never recovered Stewart’s body, but they did find her teeth and what appeared to be bone fragments in Shepherd’s garbage disposal.

Stewart’s family attempted to remain in the courtroom for Shepherd’s testimony, but the judge eventually ordered them out.

Shepherd’s attorneys argued their client is sick and should get supervised probation and mental help.

Prosecutors demanded the maximum sentence allowed: life behind bars.



Here is the latest update on Ms. Tynesha Stewart’s murderer:


Timothy Shepherd was sentenced late Tuesday to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, the maximum punishment for the murder of former girlfriend, Tynesha Stewart, whom he strangled and dismembered before burning her remains on two barbecue grills in March 2007.

 This verdict hopefully will give peace to the family of Ms. Stewart.

May she rest in peace.


Gale Shields, mother of murder victim Tynesha Stewart, weeps after the jury sentenced Timothy Shepherd on Tuesday. Stewart’s mother and sister testified during victim impact statements.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Published: September 27, 2008
Paul Newman, one of the last of the great 20th-century movie stars, died Friday at his home in Westport, Conn. He was 83.
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Paul Newman in 2006. More Photos »





September 28, 2008    

Warner Brothers/Seven Arts

In the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke,” a pivotal scene captured Paul Newman’s charm. More Photos >





The cause was cancer, said Jeff Sanderson of Chasen & Company, Mr. Newman’s publicists.
If Marlon Brando and James Dean defined the defiant American male as a sullen rebel, Paul Newman recreated him as a likable renegade, a strikingly handsome figure of animal high spirits and blue-eyed candor whose magnetism was almost impossible to resist, whether the character was Hud, Cool Hand Luke or Butch Cassidy.
He acted in more than 65 movies over more than 50 years, drawing on a physical grace, unassuming intelligence and good humor that made it all seem effortless.
Yet he was also an ambitious, intellectual actor and a passionate student of his craft, and he achieved what most of his peers find impossible: remaining a major star into a craggy, charismatic old age even as he redefined himself as more than Hollywood star. He raced cars, opened summer camps for ailing children and became a nonprofit entrepreneur with a line of foods that put his picture on supermarket shelves around the world.
Mr. Newman made his Hollywood debut in the 1954 costume film “The Silver Chalice.”
Stardom arrived a year and a half later, when he inherited from James Dean the role of the boxer Rocky Graziano in “Somebody Up There Likes Me.” Mr. Dean had been killed in a car crash before the screenplay was finished.
It was a rapid rise for Mr. Newman, but being taken seriously as an actor took longer. He was almost undone by his star power, his classic good looks and, most of all, his brilliant blue eyes. “I picture my epitaph,” he once said. “Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown.”
Mr. Newman’s filmography was a cavalcade of flawed heroes and winning antiheroes stretching over decades. In 1958 he was a drifting confidence man determined to marry a Southern belle in an adaptation of “The Long, Hot Summer.” In 1982, in “The Verdict,” he was a washed-up alcoholic lawyer who finds a chance to redeem himself in a medical malpractice case.
And in 2002, at 77, having lost none of his charm, he was affably deadly as Tom Hanks’s gangster boss in “Road to Perdition.” It was his last onscreen role in a major theatrical release. (He supplied the voice of the veteran race car Doc in the Pixar animated film “Cars” in 2006.)
Few major American stars have chosen to play so many imperfect men.
As Hud Bannon in “Hud” (1963) Mr. Newman was a heel on the Texas range who wanted the good life and was willing to sell diseased cattle to get it. The character was intended to make the audience feel “loathing and disgust,” Mr. Newman told a reporter. Instead, he said, “we created a folk hero.”
As the self-destructive convict in “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) Mr. Newman was too rebellious to be broken by a brutal prison system. As Butch Cassidy in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) he was the most amiable and antic of bank robbers, memorably paired with Robert Redford. And in “The Hustler” (1961) he was the small-time pool shark Fast Eddie, a role he recreated 25 years later, now as a well-heeled middle-aged liquor salesman, in “The Color of Money” (1986).
That performance, alongside Tom Cruise, brought Mr. Newman his sole Academy Award, for best actor, after he had been nominated for that prize six times. In all he received eight Oscar nominations for best actor and one for best supporting actor, in “Road to Perdition.” “Rachel, Rachel,” which he directed, was nominated for best picture.
“When a role is right for him, he’s peerless,” the film critic Pauline Kael wrote in 1977.
“Newman is most comfortable in a role when it isn’t scaled heroically; even when he plays a bastard, he’s not a big bastard — only a callow, selfish one, like Hud. He can play what he’s not — a dumb lout. But you don’t believe it when he plays someone perverse or vicious, and the older he gets and the better you know him, the less you believe it. His likableness is infectious; nobody should ever be asked not to like Paul Newman.”
But the movies and the occasional stage role were never enough for him. He became a successful racecar driver, winning several Sports Car Club of America national driving titles. He even competed at Daytona in 1995 as a 70th birthday present to himself. In 1982, as a lark, he decided to sell a salad dressing he had created and bottled for friends at Christmas. Thus was born the Newman’s Own brand, an enterprise he started with his friend A. E. Hotchner, the writer. More than 25 years later the brand has expanded to include, among other foods, lemonade, popcorn, spaghetti sauce, pretzels, organic Fig Newmans and wine. (His daughter Nell Newman runs the company’s organic arm.) All its profits, of more than $200 million, have been donated to charity, the company says.
Much of the money was used to create a string of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, named for the outlaw gang in “Butch Cassidy.” The camps provide free summer recreation for children with cancer and other serious illnesses. Mr. Newman was actively involved in the project, even choosing cowboy hats as gear so that children who had lost their hair because of chemotherapy could disguise their baldness.
Several years before the establishment of Newman’s Own, on Nov. 28, 1978, Scott Newman, the oldest of Mr. Newman’s six children and his only son, died at 28 of an overdose of alcohol and pills. His father’s monument to him was the Scott Newman Center, created to publicize the dangers of drugs and alcohol. It is headed by Susan Newman, the oldest of his five daughters.
Mr. Newman’s three younger daughters are the children of his 50-year second marriage, to the actress Joanne Woodward. Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward both were cast — she as an understudy — in the Broadway play “Picnic” in 1953. Starting with “The Long, Hot Summer” in 1958, they co-starred in 10 movies, including “From the Terrace” (1960), based on a John O’Hara novel about a driven executive and his unfaithful wife; “Harry & Son” (1984), which Mr. Newman also directed, produced and helped write; and “Mr. & Mrs. Bridge” (1990), James Ivory’s version of a pair of Evan S. Connell novels, in which Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward played a conservative Midwestern couple coping with life’s changes.
When good roles for Ms. Woodward dwindled, Mr. Newman produced and directed “Rachel, Rachel” for her in 1968. Nominated for the best-picture Oscar, the film, a delicate story of a spinster schoolteacher tentatively hoping for love, brought Ms. Woodward her second of four best-actress Oscar nominations. (She won the award on her first nomination, for the 1957 film “The Three Faces of Eve,” and was nominated again for her roles in “Mr. & Mrs. Bridge” and the 1973 movie “Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams.”)
Mr. Newman also directed his wife in “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” (1972), “The Glass Menagerie” (1987) and the television movie “The Shadow Box” (1980). As a director his most ambitious film was “Sometimes a Great Notion” (1971), based on the Ken Kesey novel.
In an industry in which long marriages might be defined as those that last beyond the first year and the first infidelity, Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward’s was striking for its endurance. But they admitted that it was often turbulent. She loved opera and ballet. He liked playing practical jokes and racing cars. But as Mr. Newman told Playboy magazine, in an often-repeated quotation about marital fidelity, “I have steak at home; why go out for hamburger?”
Beginnings in Cleveland
Paul Leonard Newman was born on Jan. 26, 1925, in Cleveland. His mother, the former Teresa Fetzer, was a Roman Catholic who turned to Christian Science. His father, Arthur, who was Jewish, owned a thriving sporting goods store that enabled the family to settle in affluent Shaker Heights, Ohio, where Paul and his older brother, Arthur, grew up.
September 27, 2008    
A Magnetic Titan of Hollywood

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Paul Newman with his wife, Joanne Woodward, in 2002 outside the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Conn. More Photos >


Teresa Newman, an avid theatergoer, steered her son toward acting as a child. In high school, besides playing football, he acted in school plays, graduating in 1943. After less than a year at Ohio University at Athens, he joined the Navy Air Corps to be a pilot. When a test showed he was colorblind, he was made an aircraft radio operator.
After the war Mr. Newman entered Kenyon College in Ohio on an athletic scholarship. He played football and acted in a dozen plays before graduating in 1949.
Arthur Newman, a strict and distant man, thought acting an impractical occupation, but, perhaps persuaded by his wife, he agreed to support his son for a year while Paul acted in small theater companies.
In May 1950 his father died, and Mr. Newman returned to Cleveland to run the sporting goods store. He brought with him a wife, Jacqueline Witte, an actress he had met in summer stock. But after 18 months Paul asked his brother to take over the business while he, his wife and their year-old son, Scott, headed for Yale University, where Mr. Newman intended to concentrate on directing.
He left Yale in the summer of 1952, perhaps because the money had run out and his wife was pregnant again. But almost immediately, the director Josh Logan and the playwright William Inge gave him a small role in “Picnic,” a play that was to run 14 months on Broadway. Soon he was playing the second male lead and understudying Ralph Meeker as the sexy drifter who roils the women in a Kansas town.
Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward were attracted to each other in rehearsals of “Picnic.” But he was a married man, and Ms. Woodward has insisted that they spent the next several years running away from each other.
In the early 1950s roles in live television came easily to both of them. Mr. Newman starred in segments of “You Are There,” “Goodyear Television Playhouse” and other shows.
He was also accepted as a student at the Actors Studio in New York, where he took lessons alongside James Dean, Geraldine Page, Marlon Brando and, eventually, Ms. Woodward.
Then Hollywood knocked. In 1954 Warner Brothers offered Mr. Newman $1,000 a week to star in “The Silver Chalice” as the Greek slave who creates the silver cup used at the Last Supper. Mr. Newman, who rarely watched his own films, once gave out pots, wooden spoons and whistles to a roomful of guests and forced them to sit through “The Silver Chalice,” which he called the worst movie ever made.
His antidote for that early Hollywood experience was to hurry back to Broadway. In Joseph Hayes’s play “The Desperate Hours,” he starred as an escaped convict who holds a family hostage. The play was a hit, and during its run, Jacqueline Newman gave birth to their third child.
On his nights off Mr. Newman acted on live television. In one production he had the title role in “The Death of Billy the Kid,” a psychological study of the outlaw written by Gore Vidal and directed by Arthur Penn for “Philco Playhouse”; in another, an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s short story “The Battler,” he took over the lead role after James Dean, who had been scheduled to star, was killed on Sept. 30, 1955.
Mr. Penn, who directed “The Battler,” was later sure that Mr. Newman’s performance in that drama, as a disfigured prizefighter, won him the lead role in “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” again replacing Dean. When Mr. Penn adapted the Billy the Kid teleplay for his first Hollywood film, “The Left Handed Gun,” in 1958, he again cast Mr. Newman in the lead.
Even so, Mr. Newman was saddled for years with an image of being a “pretty boy” lightweight.
“Paul suffered a little bit from being so handsome — people doubted just how well he could act,” Mr. Penn told the authors of the 1988 book “Paul and Joanne.”
By 1957 Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward were discreetly living together in Hollywood; his wife had initially refused to give him a divorce. He later admitted that his drinking was out of control during this period.
With his divorce granted, Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward were married on Jan. 29, 1958, and went on to rear their three daughters far from Hollywood, in a farmhouse on 15 acres in Westport, Conn.
That same year Mr. Newman played Brick, the reluctant husband of Maggie the Cat, in the film version of Tennessee Williams’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” earning his first Academy Award nomination, for best actor. In 1961, with “The Hustler,” he earned his second best-actor Oscar nomination. He had become more than a matinee idol.
Directed by Martin Ritt
Many of his meaty performances during the early ’60s came in movies directed by Martin Ritt, who had been a teaching assistant to Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio when Mr. Newman was a student. After directing “The Long, Hot Summer,” Mr. Ritt directed Mr. Newman in “Paris Blues” (1961), a story of expatriate musicians; “Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man” (1962); “Hud” (1963), which brought Mr. Newman a third Oscar nomination; “The Outrage” (1964), with Mr. Newman as the bandit in a western based on Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”; and “Hombre” (1967), in which Mr. Newman played a white man, reared by Indians, struggling to live in a white world.
Among his other important films were Otto Preminger’s “Exodus” (1960), Alfred Hitchcock’s “Torn Curtain” (1966) and Jack Smight’s “Harper” (1966), in which he played Ross Macdonald’s private detective Lew Archer.
In 1968 — after he was cast as an ice-cold racecar driver in “Winning,” with Ms. Woodward playing his frustrated wife — Mr. Newman was sent to a racing school. In midlife racing became his obsession. A Web site — — details his racing career, including his first race in 1972; his first professional victory, in 1982; and his co-ownership of the Newman/Haas Indy racing team, which won eight series championships.
A politically active liberal Democrat, Mr. Newman was a Eugene McCarthy delegate to the 1968 Democratic convention and appointed by President Jimmy Carter to a United Nations General Assembly session on disarmament. He expressed pride at being on President Richard M. Nixon’s enemies list.
When Mr. Newman turned 50, he settled into a new career as a character actor, playing the title role — “with just the right blend of craftiness and stupidity,” Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times — of Robert Altman’s “Buffalo Bill and the Indians” (1976); an unscrupulous hockey coach in George Roy Hill’s “Slap Shot” (1977); and the disintegrating lawyer in Sidney Lumet’s “Verdict.”
Most of Mr. Newman’s films were commercial hits, probably none more so than “The Sting” (1973), in which he teamed with Mr. Redford again to play a couple of con men, and “The Towering Inferno” (1974), in which he played an architect in an all-star cast that included Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.
After his fifth best-actor Oscar nomination, for his portrait of an innocent man discredited by the press in Sydney Pollack’s “Absence of Malice” (1981), and his sixth a year later, for “The Verdict,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1986 gave Mr. Newman the consolation prize of an honorary award. In a videotaped acceptance speech he said, “I am especially grateful that this did not come wrapped in a gift certificate to Forest Lawn.”
His best-actor Oscar, for “The Color of Money,” came the next year, and at the 1994 Oscars ceremony he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The year after that he earned his eighth nomination as best actor, for his curmudgeonly construction worker trying to come to terms with his failures in “Nobody’s Fool” (1994). In 2003 he was nominated as best supporting actor for his work in “Road to Perdition.” And in 2006 he took home both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for playing another rough-hewn old-timer, this one in the HBO mini-series “Empire Falls.”
Besides Ms. Woodward and his daughters Susan and Nell, he is survived by three other daughters, Stephanie, Melissa and Clea; two grandchildren; and his brother.
Mr. Newman returned to Broadway for the last time in 2002, as the Stage Manager in a lucrative revival of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” The performance was nominated for a Tony Award, though critics tended to find it modest. When the play was broadcast on PBS in 2003, he won an Emmy.
This year he had planned to direct “Of Mice and Men,” based on the John Steinbeck novel, in October at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut. But in May he announced that he was stepping aside, citing his health.
Mr. Newman’s last screen credit was as the narrator of Bill Haney’s documentary “The Price of Sugar,” released this year. By then he had all but announced that he was through with acting.
“I’m not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to,” Mr. Newman said last year on the ABC program “Good Morning America.” “You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that’s pretty much a closed book for me.”
But he remained fulfilled by his charitable work, saying it was his greatest legacy, particularly in giving ailing children a camp at which to play.
“We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Mr. Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
SOURCE: The New York Times:

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) – Paul Newman, the Oscar-winning superstar who personified cool as the anti-hero of such films as “Hud,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Color of Money” — followed by a second act as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario — has died. He was 83.

Newman died Friday at his farmhouse near Westport following a long battle with cancer, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.

In May, Newman dropped plans to direct a fall production of “Of Mice and Men” at Connecticut’s Westport Country Playhouse, citing unspecified health issues. The following month, a friend disclosed that he was being treated for cancer and Martha Stewart, also a friend, posted photos on her Web site of Newman looking gaunt at a charity luncheon.

But true to his fiercely private nature, Newman remained cagey about his condition, reacting to reports that he had lung cancer with a statement saying only that he was “doing nicely.”

As an actor, Newman got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become one of the world’s most enduring and popular film stars, a legend held in awe by his peers. He was nominated for Academy Awards 10 times, winning one Oscar and two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including “Exodus,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Verdict,” “The Sting” and “Absence of Malice.”

Newman worked with some of the greatest directors of the past half century, from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. His co-stars included Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and, most famously, Robert Redford, his sidekick in “Butch Cassidy” and “The Sting.”

“There is a point where feelings go beyond words,” Redford said Saturday. “I have lost a real friend. My life — and this country — is better for his being in it.”

Newman sometimes teamed with his wife and fellow Oscar winner, Joanne Woodward, with whom he had one of Hollywood’s rare long-term marriages. “I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?” Newman told Playboy magazine when asked if he was tempted to stray.

They wed in 1958, around the same time they both appeared in “The Long Hot Summer.” Newman also directed her in several films, including “Rachel, Rachel” and “The Glass Menagerie.”

With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was a heartthrob just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers. New York Times critic Caryn James wrote after his turn as the town curmudgeon in 1995’s “Nobody’s Fool” that “you never stop to wonder how a guy as good-looking as Paul Newman ended up this way.”

“Sometimes God makes perfect people,” fellow “Absence of Malice” star Sally Field said, “and Paul Newman was one of them.”

Newman had a soft spot for underdogs in real life, giving tens of millions to charities through his food company and setting up camps for severely ill children. Passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, and in favor of civil rights, he was so famously liberal that he ended up on President Nixon’s “enemies list,” one of the actor’s proudest achievements, he liked to say.

A screen legend by his mid-40s, he waited a long time for his first competitive Oscar, winning in 1987 for “The Color of Money,” a reprise of the role of pool shark “Fast Eddie” Felson, whom Newman portrayed in the 1961 film “The Hustler.”

In the earlier film, Newman delivered a magnetic performance as the smooth-talking, whiskey-chugging pool shark who takes on Minnesota Fats — played by Jackie Gleason — and becomes entangled with a gambler played by George C. Scott. In the sequel — directed by Scorsese — “Fast Eddie” is no longer the high-stakes hustler he once was, but an aging liquor salesman who takes a young pool player (Cruise) under his wing before making a comeback.

He won an honorary Oscar in 1986 “in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft.” In 1994, he won a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.

His most recent academy nod was a supporting actor nomination for the 2002 film “Road to Perdition.” One of Newman’s nominations was as a producer; the other nine were in acting categories. (Jack Nicholson holds the record among actors for Oscar nominations, with 12; actress Meryl Streep has had 14.)

As he passed his 80th birthday, he remained in demand, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the 2005 HBO drama “Empire Falls” and providing the voice of a crusty 1951 car in the 2006 Disney-Pixar hit, “Cars.”

But in May 2007, he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he had given up acting, though he intended to remain active in charity projects. “I’m not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to,” he said. “You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that’s pretty much a closed book for me.”

Newman also turned to producing and directing. In 1968, he directed “Rachel, Rachel,” a film about a lonely spinster’s rebirth. The movie received four Oscar nominations, including Newman, for producer of a best motion picture; and Woodward, for best actress. The film earned Newman the best director award from the New York Film Critics Circle.

In the 1970s, Newman, admittedly bored with acting, became fascinated with auto racing, a sport he studied when he starred in the 1969 film, “Winning.” After turning professional in 1977, Newman and his driving team made strong showings in several major races, including fifth place in Daytona in 1977 and second place in the Le Mans in 1979.

“Racing is the best way I know to get away from all the rubbish of Hollywood,” he told People magazine in 1979.

Newman later became a car owner and formed a partnership with Carl Haas, starting Newman/Haas Racing in 1983 and joining the CART series. Hiring Mario Andretti as its first driver, the team was an instant success, and throughout the last 26 years, the team — now known as Newman/Haas/Lanigan and part of the IndyCar Series — has won 107 races and eight series championships.

“Paul and I have been partners for 26 years and I have come to know his passion, humor and, above all, his generosity,” Haas said. “His support of the team’s drivers, crew and the racing industry is legendary. His pure joy at winning a pole position or winning a race exemplified the spirit he brought to his life and to all those that knew him.”

Despite his love of race cars, Newman continued to make movies and continued to pile up Oscar nominations, his looks remarkably intact and his acting becoming more subtle — nothing like the mannered method performances of his early years, when he was sometimes dismissed as a Brando imitator.

Newman, who shunned Hollywood life, was reluctant to give interviews and usually refused to sign autographs because he found the majesty of the act offensive. He also claimed that he never read reviews of his movies.

“If they’re good you get a fat head and if they’re bad you’re depressed for three weeks,” he said.

In 1982, Newman and his Westport neighbor, writer A.E. Hotchner, started a company to market Newman’s original oil-and-vinegar dressing. Newman’s Own, which began as a joke, grew into a multimillion-dollar business selling popcorn, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce and other foods. All of the company’s profits are donated to charities. By 2007, the company had donated more than $175 million, according to its Web site.

“We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person,” Robert Forrester, vice chairman of Newman’s Own Foundation, said in a statement.

In 1988, Newman founded a camp in northeastern Connecticut for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He went on to establish similar camps in several other states and in Europe.

He and Woodward bought an 18th-century farmhouse in Westport, where they raised their three daughters, Elinor “Nell,” Melissa and Clea.

Newman had two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, and a son, Scott, from a previous marriage to Jacqueline Witte. Scott died in 1978 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. After his only son’s death, Newman established the Scott Newman Foundation to finance the production of anti-drug films for children.

“Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special,” his daughters said in a written statement. “Intensely private, he quietly succeeded beyond measure in impacting the lives of so many with his generosity.”

Newman was born in Cleveland, the second of two boys of Arthur S. Newman, a partner in a sporting goods store, and Theresa Fetzer Newman. He was raised in the affluent suburb of Shaker Heights, where he was encouraged him to pursue his interest in the arts by his mother and his uncle Joseph Newman, a well-known Ohio poet and journalist.

Following World War II service in the Navy, he enrolled at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he got a degree in English and was active in student productions.

He later studied at Yale University’s School of Drama, then headed to work in theater and television in New York, where his classmates at the famed Actor’s Studio included Brando, James Dean and Karl Malden.

Newman’s breakthrough was enabled by tragedy: Dean, scheduled to star as the disfigured boxer in a television adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Battler,” died in a car crash in 1955. His role was taken by Newman, then a little-known performer.

Newman started in movies the year before, in “The Silver Chalice,” a costume film he so despised that he took out an ad in Variety to apologize. By 1958, he had won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for the shiftless Ben Quick in “The Long Hot Summer.”

In December 1994, about a month before his 70th birthday, he told Newsweek magazine he had changed little with age.

“I’m not mellower, I’m not less angry, I’m not less self-critical, I’m not less tenacious,” he said. “Maybe the best part is that your liver can’t handle those beers at noon anymore,” he said.

Newman is survived by his wife, five children, two grandsons and his older brother Arthur.

Films of Paul Newman
“The Silver Chalice,” 1955.
“Somebody Up There Likes Me,” 1956.
“The Rack,” 1956.
“The Helen Morgan Story,” 1957.
“Until They Sail,” 1957.
“The Long Hot Summer,” 1958.
“The Left-Handed Gun,” 1958.
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” 1958.
“Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!” 1958.
“The Young Philadelphians,” 1959.
“From the Terrace,” 1960.
“Exodus,” 1960.
“The Hustler,” 1961.
“Paris Blues,” 1961.
“Sweet Bird of Youth,” 1962.
“Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man,” 1962.
“Hud,” 1963.
“A New Kind of Love,” 1963.
“The Prize,” 1963.
“What a Way to Go,” 1964.
“The Outrage,” 1964.
“Lady L,” 1965.
“Harper,” 1966.
“Torn Curtain,” 1966.
“Hombre,” 1967.
“Cool Hand Luke,” 1967.
“The Secret War of Harry Frigg,” 1968.
“Rachel Rachel,” (director) 1968.
“Winning,” 1969.
“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” 1969.
“WUSA,” 1970.
“Sometimes a Great Notion,” 1971.
“Pocket Money,” 1972.
“The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” (director), 1972.
“The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean,” 1972.
“The Mackintosh Man,” 1973.
“The Sting,” 1973.
“The Towering Inferno,” 1974.
“The Drowning Pool,” 1975.
“Silent Movie,” (cameo), 1976.
“Buffalo Bill and the Indians … or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson,” 1976.
“Slap Shot,” 1977.
“Quintet,” 1979.
“When Time Ran Out,” 1980.
“Fort Apache The Bronx,” 1981.
“Absence of Malice,” 1981.
“The Verdict,” 1982.
“Harry and Son,” 1984.
“The Color of Money,” 1986.
“Fat Man and Little Boy,” 1989.
“Mr. & Mrs. Bridge,” 1990.
“The Hudsucker Proxy,” 1994.
“Nobody’s Fool,” 1994.
“Twilight,” 1998.
“Message in a Bottle,” 1999.
“Where the Money Is,” 2000.
“Road to Perdition,” 2002.
“Our Town,” 2003.
“Empire Falls,” 2005.
“Cars,” (voice) 2006.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

Share memories

Click here to View and Sign Guest Book View/Sign Guest Book
One of a kind. Last of a long-line of greats. Mr. Newman, you now join the pantheon of Hollywood stars who had grace, elan, verve and substance—–over style.
There should be a place in the heavens for you and the many like you who have passed from us. There should be constellations for those such as yourself, constellations that are born in your passing so that we may always be able to look heavenward for your continued presence, among the Stars.
Requiem en pacem, Mr. Newman.
Requiem in pacem.
“Hud”: An Unprincipled Man:

DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. – A medical helicopter carrying victims of a traffic accident crashed early Sunday after reporting bad weather, killing four of the five people aboard, authorities said.

It was the deadliest medevac helicopter accident in Maryland since the State Police began flying those missions nearly 40 years ago.

A veteran pilot, a flight paramedic, a county emergency medical technician and one of the traffic accident victims died in the crash, authorities said.

An 18-year-old woman also injured in the traffic accident survived. She was in critical condition at a hospital.

“This is a devastating tragedy for the families of all the victims,” State Police Superintendent Terrence Sheridan said.

Killed in the crash were pilot Stephen Bunker, 59; flight paramedic Mickey Lippi, 34; emergency medical technician Tanya Mallard, 39; and 18-year-old Ashley Youngler.

Youngler and Jordan Wells, both of Charles County, were involved in the traffic accident.

It was foggy and rainy in the area about the time of the crash. The helicopter was headed on a roughly 25-mile trip from the traffic accident north to the hospital when the crew radioed just before midnight Saturday that they wanted to land at their hangar at Andrews Air Force Base because of bad weather. Ambulances were sent to the base, which is about halfway between the accident site and Prince George’s county hospital, but the helicopter never arrived.

The medevac disappeared from radar and officials lost radio contact. Two hours later, a police officer found the wreckage on a trail in a wooded area of Walker Mill Regional Park, about seven miles north of the base.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating.

A recent state legislative audit faulted the police agency for failing to document maintenance needs and costs for its fleet of 12 twin-engine helicopters. Nine of them are more than 18 years old, including the second-oldest Trooper 2 that crashed Sunday. The helicopter, purchased in 1989, had an inspection Wednesday, Sheridan said.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press

Share memories

Click here to View and Sign Guest Book View/Sign Guest Book
September 28, 2008
Eric Kayne Chronicle
George Helmond, 72, died Sept. 12 while trying to escape the storm in his pickup.
At least 29 residents of the Houston-Galveston area died as a direct or indirect result of Hurricane Ike. The Houston Chronicle is telling their stories in an occasional series.
George Helmond
No one knows for certain why George Helmond decided to brave rising water and flee his home on Galveston Island as Hurricane Ike lashed his neighborhood with furious winds and pounding rain.
Friends and relatives agree that Helmond, 72, would still be alive if he had remained in his house on Sydnor Lane. Instead, he drove his pickup into rapidly rising water Sept. 12 as Ike roared ashore.
Neighbors discovered Helmond’s body in his pickup the next day a few hundred yards from his house. His body lay between the driver and passenger seats. The front windshield was shattered on the driver’s side.
The coroner ruled his death a drowning.
His friends have their theories about why Helmond drove his pickup into the maw of the storm, but no one really understands how such a rash decision could be made by a master electrician who rose to positions of prominence in the local Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, El Mina Shrine Temple and Elks Lodge.
Leslie Nolan, a friend of Helmond’s since high school, and his wife had already decided to weather the storm in their home. Like Helmond, Nolan calls himself a BOI, an acronym used by islanders that means Born on the Island.
Both had always refused to evacuate during hurricanes.
The two attended Ball High School and graduated together from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers apprentice school in 1957.
Don Hanson, a friend of 37 years who evacuated to the Dallas area ahead of Ike, spoke with Helmond several times by cell phone Friday morning as the storm waters gradually rose throughout the day.
Helmond was an avid hunter and fisherman and he and Hanson had often fished behind their homes in Sydnor Bayou, which on this day was swelling with storm tide.
When Hanson suggested that Helmond wade over to Hanson’s house three doors down and get a life vest, Helmond replied, “I was born on the island and I’ll die on the island.”
Warren Finlay
There were no strangers in Warren Finlay’s life.
The 61-year-old accountant was a regular helper to his Willis neighbors, whether it was mowing lawns or mending fences, said his wife, Louise Finlay. And he was committed to his church, St. Joseph Catholic Church in New Waverly, where he worked on the finance committee and refurbished the rectory.
“Although he was born and raised in Canada,” Louise Finlay said, “he had a heart the size of Texas — always thinking of everyone else before himself. … There were no strangers in this life.”
Finlay, who loved gardening and redecorating, was injured Sept. 14 when he fell off a 20-foot ladder while clearing tree branches from his roof. He died a day later in Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.
“He was big on family values,” said his son, Ian. “And he was very much the provider. And very supportive of our education, as well as his own.”
Finlay had retired after 38 years with Toronto Dominion Bank, but was working as the plant accountant at Trinity Industries in Navasota, Louise Finlay said.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Finlay moved to the United States in 1982 to live in Atlanta, and then to the Houston area in 1987. The family moved to Willis six years ago.
“We moved here from the Houston area because he loved fishing,” his widow said. “You quite often would find him up at 4:30 in the morning, getting ready to see if we could put some fish on the table for dinner.”
Gary Schweinle
When Hurricane Ike started to make its presence felt in Chambers County, Gary Schweinle of Anahuac climbed onto his metal roof to secure it from the whipping winds.
His electric drill put in a screw that nicked a utility line. That electrified the roof and electrocuted Schweinle when he grabbed an antenna to steady himself in a gust of wind, family members said.
His bride of two months, Tracy, a registered nurse, was unable to revive him. He died at the age of 52 on Sept. 12, the day before Ike’s landfall.
“He had a heart of gold,” said sister-in-law Nancy Schweinle, of Baytown. “He was a welder, the kind of go-to guy who can fix anything. That’s why this surprised us.”
His first wife, Lynn, died in a freak accident in 2001 from a “runaway barbecue pit,” the sister-in-law said, explaining that a trailer hitch came loose and the barbecue broadsided her vehicle.
Schweinle met his second wife at a dance class, SSQQ, where they practiced ballroom and western dance steps.
“They loved dancing together,” his sister-in-law said. “And sitting on the porch swing drinking coffee on his 14-acre horse ranch in Anahuac.”
Schweinle also is survived by daughters Heather Hagan of Houston, Valarie Schweinle of Winnie, Kimberly Schweinle of Sugar Land, Amanda Schweinle and Kayla Kirkland, both of Anahuac; son, James Allan Kirkland IV of North Carolina; his mother, Joy Runnels and her husband, Pete, of Brazoria; sister, Mona Nesbitt of Lubbock; brother, Leonard Schweinle of Crosby; and one granddaughter.
German Garcia Rojas and Francisco Javier Garcia
The two friends had a lot in common. They worked for the same Houston house contractor, they were both single and roomed together, and were from the same city in Mexico.
And shortly after Hurricane Ike swept over Houston, the two young immigrants ended up dying together. Both were overcome by fumes from a portable generator they brought inside the mobile home they shared because they were afraid it might be stolen.
German Garcia Rojas, 32, who lived in a trailer at 14100 Del Papa in southeast Houston, was worried someone might break in and steal all his belongings. So he convinced his roommate, Francisco Javier Garcia, 20, to leave a hotel a neighbor had rented and return to the trailer after the storm passed.
“It was a sad, sad deal,” said Greg Compean, owner of Compean Funeral Home, who handled arrangements to have the roommates’ bodies shipped back to Mexico last week. “They were afraid of their generator being stolen, so they put it inside the trailer house with the windows boarded up. Needless to say, they didn’t wake up in the morning and were not found until a couple of days later.”
Rojas was found on Sept. 15th in the bathroom of his mobile home in north Houston. A neighbor said he had a cell phone in one hand. Garcia, was found dead in the kitchen.
A neighbor, Arcelia Favela, 36, rented a hotel room for the two men to stay with some of her teenage children who stayed in Houston during the storm.
“German was a very good friend of ours,” said Favela, adding she knew him for three years. “We used to go have dinner with him, or go to church every Sunday. Most days he’d come to my house to talk. He talked about his family back in Mexico, his job.”
Sheila C. Wood
Sheila C. Wood, 76, of Huntsville died in a house fire on the morning of Sept. 13, as Ike passed through Walker County.
Her husband, Robert B. Wood, told firefighters he was outside with their son when he noticed the house burning, and tried in vain to save Sheila, a mother of five, grandmother of six, and great-grandmother of seven.
Jacynthia Wood, 55, described her mother as compassionate and generous, with a “tremendous sense of humor” and an abiding “love for the Lord.”
She said her mother was an exceptional cook who wrote up her own family cookbook, including knock-out recipes for German chocolate cake and special homemade chili (the secret ingredient was Coca Cola), Jacynthia said.
No one else could replicate them, she added.
“She’s had several friends who’ve tried to make her recipes, but they never can get it to just come out right,” Jacynthia said. “You gotta put the spices and the seasonings just right and put in the extra T.L.C.”
Wood also is survived by sons Robert and Marc Wood and daughters Frances Mayfield and Janice Jordan.
James B. Devine
James B. Devine drowned Sept. 13, after refusing to leave his family’s home in the coastal town of San Leon as the hurricane approached Galveston Bay.
The Houston native was 76. His daughter, Anne Devine Massicott, said she and her sister, Stephanie, urged him to leave before the storm, but he would not budge.
“He was a very hard-headed man,” Devine-Massicott said, but also very much loved, particularly by his nine grandchildren.
“He will be missed,” she said.
Devine graduated from Lamar High School, then joined the Marines and served in the Korean War. After returning from Korea, Devine earned a law degree from the University of Texas and became a respected oil and gas attorney and landman, family members said.
He also is survived by daughters Theresa Kroll and Camella Devine and son Pat Devine.
Saundra Lee Tykol
Saundra “Sassy” Lee Tykol, a master gardener in Huntsville, died Sept. 13 when a tree crashed through the roof of her family’s home during the hurricane.
In her obituary, her family members wrote that Tykol, 66, left to “tend the gardens in heaven.”
Her daughter, Hettie Stein, said her father came up with the nickname “Sassy,” and the family found it a perfect fit.
“She was really tiny, like 4-foot-9,” she said. “That’s why we always called her Sassy. She was a ball of energy.”
A San Mateo, Calif., native, Tykol was married to her husband, George for more than 47 years. She was a homemaker for much of her life, but also an avid gardener, and member and past-president of the Walker County Master Gardener’s Association, Stein said.
She had four grandchildren whom she loved very much, Stein said, and was a wonderful mother to her and her brother, Matthew Tykol.
“She was my best friend,” Stein said.
The family plans to donate Tykol’s greenhouse full of orchids, her pride and joy, to the Master Gardener’s Association, which has set up a scholarship fund in her name.
Lisa Anne Weaver
Lisa Anne Weaver had made up her mind to put her education degree to use after a career in the oil and gas accounting business.
After losing her job a few years ago and spending some time as a substitute teacher, Weaver, 58, was set to start her new career.
When power went out on her cherished Tomball home, which she had built, Weaver lit some candles and, apparently, fell asleep.
The house caught fire and Weaver died of smoke inhalation, along with her pets — two Yorkies and a cat, said her brother, David Weaver of Pinehurst.
“She wanted to teach elementary,” he said. “She had been teaching middle school math” while substitute teaching.
After getting a degree in music with a minor in education from Houston Baptist University, Lisa Weaver learned a complex computer program which allowed her to work in the oil and gas business, her brother said.
“She was incredibly smart,” he said.
Weaver loved music, especially the voice of Josh Groban. David Weaver said he plans to incorporate Groban’s music at his sister’s funeral.
Services tentatively are scheduled for Oct. 6 at Klein Funeral Home. Weaver will be buried at Klein Cemetery next to her mother, Mary K. Jones.
Dung Duc Nguyen
Dung Duc Nguyen died of a heart attack on Sept. 15, after cleaning up storm debris at his home on several acres at the end of a dead-end street in eastern Pearland.
The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office reported that Nguyen, 40, died of ischemic heart disease, a pre-existing health condition, but included his death in a list of Ike-related deaths.
Police reported that he complained of shortness of breath and chest pain after working to clear his property.
He left his native Vietnam with his parents and six siblings in 1975.
The family lived for a while in Florida before moving to the Pasadena and the Houston area. He graduated from Dobie High School and attended San Jacinto College.
He worked for an air conditioning company and helped his mother operate a small electronics firm his father started.
He was married and had no children.
He and his wife lived with his mother on property his parents bought as a retirement home.
Joel Smith
Ten-year-old Joel Smith was an energetic boy who loved doing simple things, including camping and hunting with his father and brother and learning Bible scripture with his mother.
”He had a split family but he enjoyed the best of both worlds,” said his older half-sister, Jamie Bordelon.
Joel was the first victim of Hurricane Ike. The fourth-grader at Decker Prairie Elementary in Magnolia died Sept. 12, the day before the storm hit. His father, Nathan Smith, was cutting down a tree in the back of their west Montgomery County home in preparation for the storm. Joel ran in the path of the falling tree and it struck his head.
Nathan Smith, a professional tree cutter and sculptor, said his son liked to make others happy.
”He played with kids of all ages,” Smith said. “He liked to have fun, laughing around and telling jokes. We called him little Jim Carrey.”
The red-headed youngster also enjoyed his father’s craft of wood sculpting and was working on some of his own projects, including a double-neck Gibson guitar he designed, Smith said.
”It was turning out real good,” he said. “I cut it out and he was sanding it out.”
He played the harmonica and was learning to play the guitar. He also liked to sing.
Bordelon said Joel was always thoughtful and willing to help others. He often doted on Bordelon’s 12-year-old autistic son and 3-year-old daughter, showing them how to do new things and playing with them, she said.
”He just had that personality,” Bordelon said. “He wanted to make sure they were taken care of and weren’t left out.”
Robert Frederick Dort
Robert Frederick Dort, 75, fell in love with Galveston when he moved to the island three years ago.
“He was a self-made man that followed his own rules,” said his wife Joan Quinn. The couple lived in Atlanta before coming to Galveston.
Dort was found dead in his home on Sept. 20, a week after Hurricane Ike struck the island. The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office said he died from complications from heart disease.
His stepdaughter, Gail Peterson of Galveston, said Dort wanted to stay on the island to experience a hurricane.
“He said these three years in Galveston were the happiest times in his life,” Peterson said. “He loved it. He walked and walked and walked and walked.”
Peterson said Dort served two years in the Army and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War.
She said he worked for various electronic companies, including Motorola and Intel.
Dort has three children from a previous marriage to Marian Dort of Phoenix. They are Barbara Dort of St. George, Utah; Tom Dort of North Carolina; and Robert Lee Dort of California.
Charles Skiles Lively
Charles Skiles Lively left Bowling Green, Ky., in 1951 to pursue an education and career in music.
His musical journey eventually brought him to Houston, where he served as organist for South Main Baptist Church for 46 years.
“He was fantastic,” said his niece, Jeannine Kennedy Thames of Bowling Green. “He was extremely gifted.”
Lively, 79, moved to Galveston in 1998 after he retired from the church, family members said. He died Sept. 15, in League City, where he was taken to flee from Hurricane Ike. The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office said he died from complications from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
The son of the late Fred H. Lively and Delia Skiles Lively, he was born Feb. 24, 1929, in Bowling Green. He graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1946 and served in the Army from 1954 to 1956.
Lively graduated from Western Kentucky University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his masters in music. He studied music and organ in Syracuse, N.Y.
“He was a very beloved brother,” said his sister, Helen Lively Stone of Bowling Green.
Thomas Coker, South Main’s minister of music, said the church will have a memorial service for Lively at a later date. Coker said Lively regularly played for two Sunday services as well as other church functions.
“He was a real organist in many Baptist circles,” Coker said. “He was a consummate gentleman. He was a gentle soul.”
Manuel Moreno Jr.
The family of a Houston toddler sought refuge in Dallas from Hurricane Ike, but they found tragedy there instead.
The toddler, Manuel Moreno Jr., 17 months old, was with his parents and other relatives Sept. 14 outside an east Dallas restaurant. Police said he ran from his mother and into a nearby gas station parking lot in the 7000 block of Military Parkway. He was then struck and killed by an SUV.
His parents, Manuel Moreno Sr., and Ysenia Perez, were inconsolable, the boy’s aunt, Marilou Moreno said. His mother wailed and his father didn’t wish to speak with anyone, she added.
He was a very good, playful baby, Moreno said.
Charges were not filed against the driver after the incident was ruled an accident.
The family has lived in Houston for about four years after moving here from their native Mexico. The couple has another son who is 4 months old, Moreno said.
Joshua Jacob Aguirre
Joshua Jacob Aguirre died Sept. 13 at his northeast Houston home of carbon monoxide toxicity.
He was 4.
Aguirre was found in a bedroom with three siblings at his home in the 1100 block of Cresline in northeast Houston. A gas generator was found inside the house near the back door, police said.
Roman Aguirre, the boy’s father, who was at work and unable to contact his family, asked his brother to check on them. Joshua, his stepmother, and three other children were found suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The four survivors were treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Joshua was pronounced dead at his home.
Kaven David “Red” Randle, Rekesha Hopkins and Rogers Smith III
A man, his girlfriend and her half-brother died of carbon monoxide poisoning in southwest Houston in Fort Bend County on Sept. 18.
The deaths happened at the home of Kaven David “Red” Randle, 43, and Rekesha DeUnshay Hopkins, 35, in the 4900 block of Ridgecreek.
Rogers Smith III, 29, of Beaumont, died while visiting the couple.
Randle worked for 11 years detailing chrome and other parts of commercial trucks. He learned the skill from his mother, Georgia Mae Randle of Beaumont.
“He loved his job,” she said. “He wouldn’t have traded it for a million dollars.”
Randle and Hopkins bred pit bulls and sold them from the home, his mother said. Two dogs died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Randle was raised in Beaumont and graduated from Westbrook High School and Stephen F. Austin State University, where he played football, his mother said.
“He was a very peaceful, very respectful, very jolly young man,” she said.
He was separated from his wife, Schronda Randle, his mother said. He leaves a son, Jeremie, and a daughter, Kendra.
Hopkins worked at as a phlebotomist at a Baytown medical facility, Randle’s mother said.
“She was a very smart girl,” Georgia Mae Randle said. “As long as she had something to read in her hands, she was happy. A lot of times, she was reading medical journals.”
Rogers Smith III is survived by his parents, Rogers Smith Jr. and Winona.
Jose Luis Rosas-Davalos
Jose Leon was awakened by the persistent barking of the family dog, and thought at first someone was trying to break into the family’s apartment.
Inside the darkened residence at 6161 Reims, Leon quickly realized a portable generator he had left running inside had filled the air with poisonous fumes. His son, Jose Luis Rosas-Davalos, 18, appeared to be sleeping but he could not wake him.
”My husband called 911, and they came and gave him emergency treatments,” said the victim’s mother, Elizabeth Davalos, who was vacationing in North Carolina when Hurricane Ike hit Houston. ”He died at the hospital.”
She said her husband was unaware of the danger of carbon monoxide fumes, as were many in the Houston area who became ill due to the exhaust from portable generators used after the hurricane.
“Unfortunately, they put the generator in the apartment,” Davalos said. “What happened is before the storm, people didn’t know how much danger there was. Now, there has been a lot of discussion. And also, people didn’t read the labels.”
Davalos said her son was working as a carpenter in Houston for about a year, trying to save money to begin his college education in Mexico and become a computer engineer.
“What can you expect a mother to say — he was a special child,” Davalos said. “He was happy, he was thinking about his future, and he worked hard. He never had any problems with the police. He wanted to save his money, and go back to Mexico. “
Paulo Mares
Paulo Mares, 54, woke up early the morning Hurricane Ike blew into Houston. He went out to his garage, and started up an emergency generator.
His family later found him unconscious in the enclosed garage.
“They say the generator was inside the garage, and the doors were closed,” said a relative of Mares, who asked not to be identified. “When he got up at dawn, he went out there in the garage and he turned it on.
“And since the garage was all closed up, he just stayed there asleep.”
Mares, who lived in the 40200 block of Kitty Dale in Houston, worked as a gardener at a local golf course and had lived in Houston for more than 10 years, his relative said.
He was originally from the Mexican state of Guanajuato, but was a legal resident who came to Houston more than a decade ago. He and his wife have grown children who reside in Mexico, the relative said.
Yong Seng Teo
Yong Seng Teo, manager of the Sandpiper Motel, was found Sept. 14 inside the motel on Galveston’s seawall.
He was 49.
Teo, who had to be identified through fingerprints, died of natural causes that went untreated because of the hurricane, the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office concluded.
His body remains at the medical examiner’s office because authorities have been unable to contact his relatives. John Florence, the office’s chief investigator, contacted consulate officials in Taiwan to locate his family members there.
John A. Manley
John A. Manley died Sept. 15 of chronic renal failure when the storm kept him from dialysis treatment.
He was 66.
The League City man was remembered during a service Friday at Veterans Funeral Services, across from the Houston Veterans Affairs National Cemetery.
Carolyn Williams
Carolyn Williams, a retired health-care worker, died Sept. 15 of renal failure when the storm kept her from dialysis treatment.
She was 64.
Williams was born in Matagorda County on March 8, 1944.
The League City woman was known for her love of her grandchildren and dedication to family functions, according to an obituary in the Galveston County Daily News.
Her survivors include: sons Seautry “JR” Harkless and John Williams; daughters Savannah Taylor, Bonita Harkless, Rotonda Harkless, Brenda Jackson, Leslie Amos and Miracle Smith.
She was buried Tuesday at Bethlehem Cemetery in Cedar Lake.
Reported by Rosanna Ruiz, Harvey Rice, Ruth Rendon, Bill Murphy, David Ellison, Susan Carroll, Renée C. Lee, James Pinkerton, Richard Stewart and Cindy Horswell.
SOURCE:  The Houston Chronicle:
Published: September 22, 2008
Correction Appended
Nancy Hicks Maynard, who was the first black woman to be a reporter at The New York Times and with her husband bought and published The Oakland Tribune, still the only major metropolitan daily to have been owned by African-Americans, died Sunday in Los Angeles. She was 61 and lived in Santa Monica, Calif.
Olga Shalygin/Associated Press

Nancy Hicks Maynard, 1992.




The cause was multiple organ failure, her daughter, Dori J. Maynard, said.
Ms. Hicks Maynard, who was also a co-founder of an institute that has trained hundreds of minority journalists, was a 21-year-old former copy girl and reporter for The New York Post when she was hired by The Times in September 1968. Almost immediately, she was sent to Brooklyn to help cover the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school decentralization controversy, which led to a citywide teachers’ strike, accusations of racism and anti-Semitism, and eventually the creation of local school districts throughout the city.
By less than a year, Ms. Hicks Maynard preceded Charlayne Hunter-Gault as the first black woman to become a reporter at The Times.
In 1974, at a black journalists’ convention, Ms. Hicks met Robert C. Maynard, a columnist for The Washington Post. Within a year they were married; they quit their jobs and in 1977, with seven other journalists, founded the Institute for Journalism Education. It was renamed the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education after Mr. Maynard died in 1993.
Now based in Oakland, Calif., the institute has trained hundreds of minority journalists in the last 31 years. Ms. Hicks Maynard was the institute’s first president and a member of its board until 2002. As other organizations began similar programs for minority reporters, the Maynard Institute began shifting its focus to training editors and newsroom managers.
In 1983, the Maynards bought the financially ailing Oakland Tribune from the Gannett Company. For nearly a decade, they were co-publishers, bringing a high degree of diversity to the newsroom. Mr. Maynard died a year after declining revenues impelled the Maynards to sell the paper to the Alameda Newspaper Group.
Ms. Hunter-Gault, who became a correspondent for the Public Broadcasting Service, said Monday that Ms. Hicks Maynard was “a groundbreaker” at The Times at a time when “we were trying to effect change in the portrayal of black people.”
“Nancy helped us survive even the inadvertent racism,” Ms. Hunter-Gault said. “And the thing about Nancy was that when so many of us were preoccupied with doing stories about black people, she paved the way in a new direction.”
In her first few years at The Times, Ms. Hicks Maynard covered race riots, black student takeovers at Columbia and Cornell and a memorial for Robert F. Kennedy. She later wrote for the paper’s education and science news departments, specializing in health-care coverage. Her subjects included the complexities of Medicare, an explanation of the arrangement of whiskers on a lion’s face and coverage of the Apollo space missions. In 1973, she spent a month in China, analyzing its medical system.
“One of her stories was on the use of acupuncture for surgical operations while the patients were wide awake and feeling no pain,” Ms. Hunter-Gault said of her China coverage. “This kind of reporting went off in a whole other direction for black reporters.”
Nancy Alene Hall was born in Harlem on Nov. 1, 1946. Her father, Alfred Hall, known as Al, was a noted jazz bassist and her mother, the former Eve Keller, was a nurse.
Ms. Hicks Maynard’s first husband, Daniel Hicks, died in the early 1970s. Besides her mother and her daughter, she is survived by her partner, Jay T. Harris; two sons, David and Alex Maynard; a sister, Barbara Guest; and a brother, Al Hall.
Ms. Hicks Maynard received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Long Island University in 1966. She first became interested in journalism as a teenager. When a fire destroyed her former elementary school in Harlem, she became outraged at the way her community was described by the news media. She decided she could make a difference.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: September 25, 2008
An obituary on Tuesday about Nancy Hicks Maynard, a newspaper publisher and journalism educator, included a number of errors.
Ms. Hicks Maynard was 21, not 23, when she became the first black woman reporter for The New York Times , in 1968.
One of the events she covered early in her career with The Times was a tribute dinner for Robert F. Kennedy after his death; she did not cover his funeral.
Ms. Hicks Maynard and Robert C. Maynard, her husband, were joined by seven other journalists in 1977 in starting a journalism institute for minorities; the Maynards did not found it alone.
The organization’s original name was the Institute for Journalism Education — not the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, as it was renamed after her husband died in 1993.
And The Oakland Tribune, which Ms. Hicks Maynard published with her husband, was sold to the Alameda Newspaper Group in October 1992, while her husband was still living — not after his death.
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Houstonian Jesse Gloster was a pioneer in promoting Black American businesses
by Lynn Abram
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Setember 27, 2008
FAMILY PHOTO Obit. Family Photo
Jesse Gloster “believed in living life as fully as possible,” said daughter Janice Gloster.
Jesse Gloster, who for more than 30 years taught economics at Texas Southern University and was a leader in promoting African-American businesses, has died. He was 93.
Gloster was a founder of Riverside National Bank, the first bank in Houston owned by African-Americans. He also co-founded TSU Finance Corp., which fostered business development, primarily in Houston’s black community.
He devoured books, not only best-sellers and economics texts, but also such magazines as Newsweek, The Economist and National Geographic, said his daughter Janice Gloster, of Houston.
“My father had great vitality, boundless energy and believed in living life as fully as possible,” his daughter said. “He had a great love of people and encouraged them to make sensible decisions, not just economically but in terms of spirituality.”
Gloster was an avid sports fan who attended games of local teams, especially those at TSU, his daughter said.
Jesse Edward Gloster was born on April 15, 1915, in Ocala, Fla., the son of Loren Gloster, a farmer and Baptist minister, and Mattie Mosely Gloster, a teacher.
He attended public schools in Pittsburgh, Pa., and in 1941 earned a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He also lettered in basketball at Lincoln.
During World War II, Gloster served in the Army as a first lieutenant. He fought in the European theater and was wounded in combat, earning the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
After the war, Gloster earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in economics from the University of Pittsburgh.
He joined TSU in 1949, specializing in unemployment, insurance, minority banking and the economics of poverty. Gloster retired in 1982. His wife of 54 years, Norma Robinson Gloster, died in 2000.
Jesse Gloster died Sept. 18 in a Houston care center.
Survivors include three other daughters, Carol Léos of Reston, Va., Ingrid Regina Andrews of Houston, and Millie Mitchell of Sugar Land.
Services were held Thursday at St. Luke the Evangelist Episcopal Church, 3530 Wheeler. Burial was in Houston National Cemetery.
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle:

© 2008 The Associated Press

Sept. 29, 2008, 7:39AM

HOUSTON — Houston television news pioneer Ray Miller has died at the age of 89.
KPRC-TV in Houston reports its longtime news director and originator of “The Eyes of Texas” television program died Saturday after a lengthy battle with ill health. Miller was a member of the KPRC Radio staff when its owners, the Hobby family, bought KLEE-TV and changed its call letters to KPRC-TV. He served as the station’s news director during the 1960s and ’70s before retiring in 1979.
His reporters, including future Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, remember Miller as a demanding taskmaster with high standards.
Funeral is tentatively scheduled for Friday at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Houston.
His lone survivor is a son, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller of Houston.
Ray Miller
RAY MILLER begrudgingly accepted an appointment as Texas Historian with the Celestial Broadcasting System on the 27th of September 2008. A mere listing of his accomplishments and awards would obscure his core contribution: he was an oral historian for our age. Coming to television in its infancy, he selected the news as his medium, and became a local, statewide and national presence as News Director of KPRC Radio and KPRC TV for forty-two years. Few will remember that he began his radio broadcasting career in 1938 in his native Ft. Worth. His news was informed, not sensational, respectful of the past, anchored in scholarship and truth. At the mention of his name, many will remember his wiry intensity, his black horn rim glasses, and his elegant speaking voice – narrating our history and the culture of our times. No yarn-spinner, Ray Miller was a different kind of story teller. He knew the inside story. He took the time to learn and to listen. Not known for his tolerance, he nevertheless mentored many professionals who credit his guidance and leadership as pivotal to the growth of American broadcast journalism. Ray hired Houston’s first female television journalist, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. She remembered that Ray “impacted me in many ways: to strive for excellence, to be the very best, never take no for an answer.” Dan Rather said Ray was so competitive that “he would not let you see the face on the dime he used to call in a story” but was so honest “you could shoot dice with him over the phone.” Former Channel 2 and Channel 11 anchor Steve Smith called him “by far the best teacher I ever had in this business” and says he is “still trying to satisfy Ray Miller.” Though formal and keeping a newsman’s distance, he also found the relevance in small moments and places, best seen in his famous “Eyes of Texas” television series. He was loved and respected by thousands who took his Harris County bus tours. Shy and reserved, he was lucky to select a most elegant and socially graceful wife in Veronica. An exacting if distant father, he was very proud of his two sons, Geoff and Gray, who shared his love of history. After over fifty years in broadcast journalism, Ray retired and joined the staff of his friend Steve Radack, Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner, where he worked until his retirement in 2007. History caught up with Ray, but not before his contributions were honored with several significant awards. He was recognized with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Houston. The Texas Association of Broadcasters hailed Miller as a “Pioneer Broadcaster.” While at KPRC, he won a Peabody Award, the broadcast equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize. He was a Knight of San Jacinto. And at a delightful public celebration Commissioner Radack dedicated Ray Miller Park in West Houston. The Texas Legislature recently honored him as a “Texas Legend.” Ray can still be heard orienting jury panels for Harris County courts. His ten books can be read by those interested in exploring Texas. We honor his new calling, his new desk, his new assignment on the cusp of history and the news. Ray was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, the late Veronica Gray Miller, his parents, sisters Bette Miller and Pat Miller Hoera, brother Gene Miller, and son Geoffrey Miller. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Judge Gray Hampton Miller and Joanne Smaistrla Miller, their family: Shannon Miller Prendki and her husband, Joe Prendki; Christian Barrett Miller and his wife, Anne Walker Miller; great-granddaughters Elizabeth James Miller and Emmelene Gray Prendki, and a new great grandchild born today. The family is grateful to Ruby Jones for her support and assistance. A memorial service will be conducted at ten o’clock in the morning on Friday, the 3rd of October, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road in Houston. The family will gather for a private burial at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. It was his wish that there be no sad songs and that any remembrances be in the form of contributions to Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, Geoffrey Miller Scholarship Fund, 8900 Bellaire Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77036. Those desiring to electronically share tributes or remembrances with the family may do so via the internet website of (making everlasting memories).

Share memories

Click here to View and Sign Guest Book View/Sign Guest Book
Published: September 25, 2008
Connie Haines, a peppy, petite, big-voiced singer with a zippy, rhythmic style who most famously teamed up with Frank Sinatra as lead vocalists with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, then went on to a prolific career of her own, died on Monday in Clearwater Beach, Fla. She was 87.

Connie Haines in the 1940s.

The cause was myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease, said Roseanne Young, a friend.
Miss Haines made 200 recordings, including 24 records that sold more than 50,000 copies; regularly filled up prestigious nightclubs like the Latin Quarter in New York; and performed five times at the White House. Polls in music magazines in the 1940s rated her as one of the top female band singers.
While Sinatra specialized at the time in ballads and slow foxtrots, Miss Haines threw herself into rhythmic up-tempo tunes.
“Where did you learn to swing like that?” Dorsey asked when he first heard her at a club in New Jersey. “And when can you join my band?”
Her recordings including gospel, pop and soul, as well as big-band barnburners. The best-selling ones included “You Might Have Belonged to Another”; “Oh! Look at Me Now”; “What Is This Thing Called Love?”; and “Will You Still Be Mine?” A crowd favorite was “Snootie Little Cutie,” which often elicited ad libs from Sinatra.
She made the most of her sultry Southern accent, sometimes to Sinatra’s amusement. In her personalized rendition of “Let’s Get Away From It All,” she improvised, “We’ll spend a weekend in Dixie. I’ll get a real Southern drawl.”
Sinatra piped in, “Another one?”
Miss Haines appeared on the radio with Abbott & Costello, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Jack Benny, among others. On television she appeared with Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan, Eddie Cantor and Perry Como. Her work on Frankie Laine’s variety show drew particular note.
Her movies included her favorite, “Duchess of Idaho” (1950), with Esther Williams and Van Johnson.
Yvonne Marie Antoinette JaMais was born on Jan. 20, 1921, in Savannah, Ga., but grew up in Florida. Her mother, who taught voice and dance, pushed her talented daughter to excel.
At 4, Yvonne appeared at the Bijou Theater in Savannah in a “Saucy Baby” show. At 5, Baby Yvonne Marie won state contests in the Charleston dance in Georgia and Florida.
At 9 she won a talent contest sponsored by Uncle Ralph Feathers, who in the South ran the sort of amateur contests for which Major Bowes was famous. Before she turned 10, she parlayed that into a regular radio show on the NBC affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla., billed as Baby Yvonne Marie, the Little Princess of the Air. At 10 she appeared with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, and things accelerated even faster.
She won the actual Major Bowes contest in New York, and appeared on Fred Allen’s radio show. At 16 she was auditioning for a job in the Brill Building, headquarters of Tin Pan Alley. Harry James, the orchestra leader, happened to hear her and immediately hired her.
 But he asked her to change her name, saying she looked like a Connie. More pointedly, he said that if she used her full name, there would be no room for him on the marquee. At first she thought he had named her Ames, not Haines, and for a few days signed autographs that way.
After James ran into financial trouble, both singers ended up with Dorsey when he was adding a robustness and kick to his style, taking on an innovative new arranger, Sy Oliver, and six new vocalists. The others were Jo Stafford, who died on July 16, and the three-man vocal group the Pied Pipers. Miss Haines said that Dorsey taught her phrasing, how to take one big breath and let the words flow, she told The Tampa Tribune in 1998. He told her to always think of telling a story, of “acting to music.”
At one point when she was performing with Dorsey, she remembered, Sinatra saved her life. She was about to go on stage in Madison Square Garden when a smoker in a balcony tossed a match and set her ruffled tulle dress on fire. Sinatra threw his coat over her and fell on her, smothering the flames, she said.
Miss Haines’s marriage to Robert DeHaven, a World War II fighter ace who died in July, ended in divorce. She is survived by her sister, Barbara JaMais of Hemet, Calif.; her daughter, Kimberly Harlan of Prineville, Ore.; her son, Robert DeHaven Jr. of San Francisco; and her mother, Mildred JaMais of Clearwater, Fla., who is 109.
On Wednesday Miss Haines’s voice — still strong and swinging — could be heard on her answering machine. “I’ve got the world on a string,” she sang.
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: September 25, 2008
Nappy Brown, a blues and R&B singer whose playful songs of the mid-1950s — filled with nonsense syllables, eccentric pronunciation and a heavy beat — had touches of early rock ’n’ roll style, died on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., where he lived. He was 78.
Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos

Nappy Brown in 2004.




The cause was respiratory failure, said Scott Cable, his friend and producer. Mr. Cable said that Mr. Brown, who had returned to recording and touring in recent years, suffered from various ailments since he collapsed in June at a festival in New Jersey.
Born Napoleon Culp, he borrowed his father’s surname, Brown. He had a deep, raw voice and a powerful delivery derived from gospel. In songs like “Don’t Be Angry” and “Piddily Patter Patter” (also known as “Pitter Patter”) he developed a driving but still light approach with a basic blues band and lots of wordplay.
In “Well Well Well Baby-La,” from 1955, his vocalizations seemed almost a kind of obscure pig Latin, as he added syllables in strategic spots to goose the rhythm: “Well-a well-a well-a baby-la.” He once said that he got the idea by listening to foreign-language radio stations.
While Mr. Brown’s songs enjoyed some success on the R&B charts, other, less idiosyncratic singers turned many of them into much bigger hits. Mr. Brown’s version of “Don’t Be Angry” got only as far as No. 25 on the pop charts, while a version by the Crew Cuts, a well-scrubbed Canadian quartet, reached No. 14. Patti Page also recorded “Piddily Patter Patter.”
One of Mr. Brown’s best-known songs, “(Night Time Is) The Right Time,” did not crack the R&B Top 40 when he sang it in 1957, but Ray Charles took it to No. 5 two years later.
In the mid-’50s Mr. Brown performed with Chuck Berry and others, but his style soon became eclipsed by rock, and in the 1960s he returned to gospel. He continued to sing while holding other jobs, like custodian or circus elephant handler, Mr. Cable said, and in the 1980s he began a career revival that continued sporadically for the rest of his life.
Last year Mr. Brown sang on “A Prairie Home Companion” and recorded an album with Mr. Cable, “Long Time Coming,” released by Blind Pig Records. That album was nominated for two Blues Music Awards, including best traditional blues album.
His survivors include two sons, Gerard and Joseph Culp; two daughters, Maggie and Katie Culp; and seven grandchildren.
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: September 23, 2008
Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders, who early saw the political utility of not using his first name and went on to play significant roles in matters from the Kennedy assassination to the desegregation of Dallas schools, died Sunday in Dallas. He was 83.
Irwin Thompson/Dallas Morning News via Associated Press

Barefoot Sanders in 2005.



His death was announced by Chief Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
As a child, Judge Sanders bridled at his colorful moniker, actually the maiden name of his grandmother Dennie Barefoot. He preferred H. B., and, as such, was crowned Freckle King at the Texas State Centennial Celebration at age 11 in 1936. Only after graduating from high school did he decide Barefoot, however odd, was a name few would forget, and he made the most of it for the rest of his life, even if it meant new acquaintances seemed always to be gazing at his feet.
Barefoot Sanders went on to become a three-term state legislator, United States attorney for the Northern District, a high official in the Justice Department and the White House during the Johnson administration who helped push the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through Congress, and a federal judge for 28 years who steered Dallas schools through the long process of desegregation.
His résumé does not convey his whole story, in part because it does not tell how close he came to achieving other things. He lost a hotly contested campaign for Congress in 1958, and another for the United States Senate in 1972. President Lyndon B. Johnson twice nominated him for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but he was knocked out the first time by a legislative technicality, and the second time when the newly elected president, Richard M. Nixon, substituted his own candidate.
Judge Sanders walked among the legends who once bestrode Texas politics, men like Johnson, Sam Rayburn, Ralph Yarborough and John B. Connally. Later, he lost elections to Republicans, as the once Democratic state moved rightward.
Mr. Sanders managed Dallas County for the Democratic ticket of Senator John F. Kennedy and Mr. Johnson in 1960. In 1963, Mr. Sanders urged President Kennedy to cancel his campaign visit to Dallas because the atmosphere was “very hostile,” The Dallas Morning News reported in 2006.
He was a few cars behind the president’s car in the fatal motorcade. After the assassination, he personally found and delivered a federal judge, Sarah T. Hughes, to swear in Johnson as president on Air Force One.
Harold Barefoot Sanders Jr. was born on Feb. 5, 1925, in a Dallas young enough for little H. B. to raise chickens in the backyard. He had plenty of freckles, but spent days in the sun to cultivate a new crop for the state-fair contest. He first used the Barefoot name to political advantage when he ran for cheerleader at the University of Texas.
He returned to the university after serving in the Navy in World War II. He was elected head cheerleader and student body president, advertising his campaigns with white stenciled drawings of feet. He graduated from the University of Texas and its law school and joined his father’s law firm in 1950.
He served three terms in the Texas House in the 1950s, then ran for the United States House of Representatives in 1958. Even though his mother made thousands of foot-shaped sugar cookies to hand out, he lost to the incumbent Republican.
After Mr. Sanders helped Kennedy win Texas, the new president appointed him federal attorney in Dallas. In 1965, Mr. Sanders joined the Justice Department in Washington, where he was in charge of all United States attorneys and marshals. He moved to the White House as legislative counsel in 1967.
He returned to private practice after Johnson’s attempt to appoint him to the Washington appeals court failed. In 1972, he challenged Senator John G. Tower, a Republican — this time throwing 200,000 of his mother’s distinctive cookies into the fray — but was buried in the Nixon landslide.
He was appointed to the federal bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. As a federal judge for more than a quarter-century, including being chief judge of his court from 1989 to 1995, Judge Sanders wore a gold footprint pin on his judicial robes. His cases included overseeing the Dallas school desegregation case. He made most busing voluntary, ordering the building of attractive, effective magnet schools to lure students across neighborhood boundaries.
Judge Sanders is survived by his wife, the former Jan Scurlock; a sister; a brother; 4 children; and 10 grandchildren.
The sad day of the Kennedy assassination had what was almost a bit of Keystone Kops comedy, at least in retrospect. No one could find a copy of the president’s oath of office.
“I was looking for it — I think half the federal attorneys in the country were looking for it,” Judge Sanders said in the 2006 interview with The Dallas Morning News. “We were looking in the statute books, and all the time, there it was in the Constitution, pure and simple.”
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: September 25, 2008
Joseph Shenker, who as the first president of La Guardia Community College in New York was a leader in having students combine on-the-job experience with their studies, died on Saturday in Manhattan. He was 68. For the last 13 years he was provost of the C. W. Post campus of Long Island University and lived near the campus in Brookville, N.Y.
Ruby Washington/The New York Times

Joseph Shenker in 1989.



The cause was complications of pulmonary fibrosis, said his wife, Susan Smyth Shenker.
At the age of 29, Dr. Shenker became the youngest president of a college in the City University of New York system, and one of the youngest in the nation, when he was appointed interim president of Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn in 1969.
The next year, The New York Times described how he had tried to enter a building at Kingsborough where students were registering for a new term but was stopped by a security guard who thought he was a student trying to cut in line. It took a few phone calls to verify that the young man with sideburns was, in fact, the college’s acting president.
Within a year, Dr. Shenker was named president of La Guardia, a newly created two-year college in an old factory in Long Island City, Queens. Under his guidance, La Guardia became the only college in the city to require its full-time students to hold jobs that blended with courses in their fields of interest. The policy, which gave students college credit for the jobs, is still in effect.
In his 18 years at La Guardia, Dr. Shenker saw the school’s enrollment grow to 16,000 full- and part-time students from 500; started a program for deaf adults; and opened an on-campus high school for students identified as potential dropouts.
From 1988 until 1995, Dr. Shenker was president of the Bank Street College of Education in New York. In 1995, he became provost of C. W. Post. In his 13 years there, undergraduate enrollment rose to 5,400 from 4,450, spurred in part by an infusion of foreign students. Dr. Shenker oversaw more than $84 million in construction on campus.
Born in Manhattan on Oct. 7, 1939, Joseph Shenker was the only child of George and Isabel Schwartz Shenker. His father, an immigrant from Russia, owned a shoulder-pad factory; his mother was a bookkeeper.
After graduating from Hunter College in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Dr. Shenker received his master’s degree in economics there in 1963. He received his doctorate in higher education administration from Columbia in 1969. By then he was an assistant to Albert H. Bowker, the chancellor of the City University at the time.
Besides his wife, Dr. Shenker is survived by four children, Deborah Singer, Karyn, Sarah and Jordan; and three grandchildren. His first marriage, to Adrienne Greene, ended in divorce.
Last month, La Guardia renamed its main campus building Joseph Shenker Hall.
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: September 26, 2008
Marpessa Dawn, who played the beautiful, melancholic and doomed Eurydice in the classic 1959 Brazilian movie “Black Orpheus,” died on Aug. 25 at her home in Paris. She was 74.
Lopert Films

Marpessa Dawn in the 1959 Oscar winner “Black Orpheus.”




The cause was a heart attack, her daughter Dhyana Kluth said.
Ms. Dawn’s death followed by 41 days that of her “Black Orpheus” co-star, Bruno Melo, who played the title role. The family did not publicly announce the death until this week.
Directed by Marcel Camus and based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, “Orfeu Negro,” as it is called in Portuguese, brings together an innocent country girl, played by Ms. Dawn, and a trolley car motorman and gifted guitarist, portrayed by Mr. Melo. They meet amid the frenzy of Rio’s carnival and are soon swaying to a provocative samba among the crowds. But Eurydice is stalked by a man in a skeleton costume. Eventually, Orpheus finds her in the morgue. In the end, bearing her body in his arms, he falls to his death from a cliff.
Reviewing the film for The New York Times in 1959, Bosley Crowther wrote that Ms. Dawn conveys “forthright emotion.”
“A pretty, frank face and a gentle manner that suggest absolute innocence,” the review continued, “gather an aura of wistfulness about her that filters down into a melancholy mood.”
“Black Orpheus” became renowned for its soundtrack by the bossa nova legends Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá, with songs like “Manhã de Carnaval” and “A Felicidade.” It won the Palme d’Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for best foreign film in 1960.
Gypsy Marpessa Dawn Menor was born near Pittsburgh on Jan. 3, 1934. As a teenager, she moved to England, where she had bit parts on television, and later to France, where she worked as a governess and danced and sang in nightclubs.
After her role in “Black Orpheus,” Ms. Dawn appeared in several less successful movies and on French television. She also starred in several plays, including “Chérie Noire,” a comedy that toured France, Belgium, Switzerland, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
Ms. Dawn was married twice. Besides her daughter Ms. Kluth, she is survived by four other children and four grandchildren.
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Breno Mello passed away. Now, Ms. Dawn leaves us too. I was just a child when I saw their immortal film, “Orfeu Negro”, on televison.
In honor of them both, I think it is time to re-visit, “Black Orpheus”, and remember why I loved the film, and those two beautiful stars.
Requiem en pacem, Marpessa and Bruno.
Requiem en pacem.
“Orfeu Negro”: Rehearsing For Carnaval:


Filed under Uncategorized




Paul P. Quinn /The Daily Mississippian


Published: Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Updated: Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The general reaction of most University of Mississippi students concerning the possibility of the Ku Klux Klan arriving on the campus during the festivities surrounding the 2008 presidential debate seems laced with cynicism.
But considering student cynicism, the Southern Poverty Law Center – an organization that follows the activities of hate groups – estimated there are approximately three to 12 people per every one of the nine chapters of the Mississippi White Knights.
The law center’s chief investigator Joe Roy said when the Knights release their numbers, they are usually very inflated.
Roy admitted it was hard to estimate exactly how many Knights there are in the country because the organizations are typically secretive about their numbers.
“Our best guess is 45,000 card-carrying KKK members nationwide,” Roy said, a statistic amounting to approximately 0.013 percent of the U.S. population. 
Most of the white supremacy groups are in the Midwest and North, Roy said, adding that many white supremacy groups are involved in hate crimes but are not charged as such because hate crimes are often reported as regular assault.
Black Student Union president Brittany Smith does not think the appearance of the Klan will make a significant impact on the university the day of the debate.
“They’re not going to change people’s minds,” Smith said. “I don’t think it matters.”
If anything, the Knights are trying to get media attention from the debate, Roy said.
Smith also said she was not concerned at all about their arrival and stressed that the university has come a long way since 1962 when James Meredith led the movement of integration at Ole Miss. 
University social integration programs like One Mississippi and the BSU have helped the campus move forward from our past, Smith said.
“I think both white and black students are against (the KKK) coming,” Smith said. “I’m not afraid of anything. They have the freedom to come here.”
After The Daily Mississippian released a statement from the emperor of the Mississippi White Knights confirming the presence of the Klan at the debate, the emperor agreed to an interview.
White Knights will have officers and Klansmen on hand for the presidential debate on Sept. 26, 2008,” the emperor’s statement said.
“Our people will be in Oxford and on the campus ‘invisible.
“That means our people won’t be in regalia or demonstrating. So, I guess you’ll just have to guess which of the people present are Klansmen,” The Daily Mississipian reported on Friday, Sept. 15.
Dean of Students Sparky Reardon declined to comment about the Klan’s possible arrival because of the cryptic nature of the message.
The emperor only spoke with the agreement that his name would not appear in The Daily Mississippian.
He said his group is a pro-white organization that operates in secrecy, but they would not be violent when they come to Oxford. Also, the group is going to be “invisible” because they want people in Oxford during the debate to wonder if they are talking to someone in the KKK, he added.
The emperor was vocal concerning the possibility of 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama being elected.
“His election would bring disaster to America,” the emporer said, adding he would never vote for a black man for president.
Regardless of political party affiliation, he said he would vote for himself before voting for a black man, simply based on his “pro-white” stance.
The U.S. Secret Service will operate a protest area on the band practice field on the day of the debate.
Groups such as Save Darfur and those supporting AIDS awareness will be at the university to voice their opinions, which are motivated by the exposure of 3,000 journalists who will be on campus.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


@ Bohemian Caverns, Republic & Downtown Silver Spring


Give it a try! DC@FUSICOLOGY.COM

D.C.’s Can A Sista Rock A Mic? Festival returns for a fourth year featuring
powerful, independent female artists in soul, hip-hop and beyond!  This year the festival brings to you a film and panel discussion, a theater production and a free grand finale in beautiful downtown Silver Spring with vendors, visual art and more!

Bohemian Caverns
2001 11th St. NW
tix: $15 http://ndambibc.eventbrite. com/  21+

CASRAM 08 opens with an acoustic show from one of the pioneers of the new soul movement, N’Dambi! 2 shows: 8pm and 10pm –  8pm opening is D.C.’s own Tamara Wellons who is slated to release her newest album this month.  10 pm opening is HU graduate from New York, April Hill!

THURSDAY OCT 9, 7:00pm
Bohemian Caverns
2001 11th St. NW
tix: $15 21+

A collage of hip-hop inspired performances from newcomers Bless Roswell & Ra the MC, electric funk band OP Swamp 81, funky hip-hop’s Eagle Nebula, and electro-soulful Ms. TK Wonder (with Taylor McFerrin). This is a memorable show of unique performances that will leave you in a zone!

FRIDAY OCT 10, 7:30pm
DC Arts Center
2438 18th St. NW (Adams Morgan)
tix: $10 http://www.thesaartjieproject. org   Ages 17+(some nudity)

The Saartjie Project: The life and legacy of Saartjie Baartman who is also known as the Hottentot Venus. Using drama, song, dance and spoken word we explore the continued fascination of the black female form.

FRIDAY OCT 10, 7:30pm
The Republic
1355 U St. NW
tix: $15  21+

CASRAM’s flyest take the stage for a live evening of rhythmic basslines and beautiful people as Canada’s Ayah makes her D.C. debut, along with Portland, Oregon’s Liv Warfield, DC’s rising star Alison Carney, pioneer Jean Baylor of Zhane’ fame, and hometown heroine Yahzarah.

SATURDAY OCT 11, 2:00pm
Historical Society of Washington D.C.
801 K St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001


No! The Rape Documentary & Panel Discussion with Konyka Dunson: In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, NO! The Rape Documentary is a groundbreaking feature length documentaryunveiling the reality of abuse and healing in the black communities, and is being used around the world by grassroots movements around the world to end violence against women.   After the film, there will be an audience discussion moderated by Konyka Dunson of WPFW & DCTV.

SATURDAY OCT 11, 4:00pm
Downtown Silver Spring
Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910
FREE – All Ages

CASRAM closes in grand fashion every year. This year, with a family friendly environment complete with vendors and visual art in beautiful downtown Silver Spring, we feature stellar, diverse performances by the truly soulful, energetic Angela Johnson, R&B singer Emily King, young hip-hop prodigy Ms. Emoni Fela, Singer & MC Josephine Silla, reggae spiced hip-hop gems Nola Darling, spoken word matriarch Dehejia Maat, the airy, electronic Yoko K. / aphrodizia, jazzy grooving Deborah Bond, up-and-coming DC soul singers Ne’a Posey and Teisha Marie!

In support of Raising Expectations!

Sponsored by Toyota SCION, Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Downtown Silver Spring, Washington CityPaper, Zipcar, Whole Foods Silver Spring, Fusicology, Daisy Rock, Honest Tea, Red Bull and YOU!






Happily Natural Day | 2008 Rosewood Avenue Suite C | Richmond VA 23220

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Galvestonians were allowed back into their neighborhoods today to assess the damage that affected their homes. Due to there being no municipal support services to sustain them, services such as water, trash pickup, gas, electricity or sewer systems, they would have  to come only if they have had a recent tetanus shot, be able to sustain themselves for the next few weeks, and not have any health problems that would require the use of an already strained medical system. The West End of Galveston is still under a “look-and-leave” policy.

Many Galvestonians returned to homes severely damaged, some returned to homes that were no longer there.

As the proud and brave citizens come together to pick up their lives, let us all continue to pray for them. Galveston is a beautiful city with beautiful people who have braved many a hurricane. They are survivors. They will prevail.

As we remember Galveston, let us also remember Bolivar Peninsula, Surfside, Port Arthur, Bridge City, Orange, the residents of Louisiana, and many other towns that are also on the road to recovery from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

Here some stories of how Galveston is faring in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

Following the article are links for those of you who wish to offer assistance to Galvestonians and others affected by Ike and Gustav, in their time of need.

And another article speaks of former Presidents Clinton and George Bush coming together to fundraise money for the survivors of Ike and Gustav.





Interstate 45 South was literally a road to recovery this morning. Thousands of Galveston residents are making their way back to the island, and some are returning home for good.


It will be quite some time before Galveston is itself again, but the homecoming for residents who live behind the Seawall is a major step towards that goal.
Some residents who returned found nothing left of their homes. Many others found their homes still standing, but what they found inside was devastating.

“I was in shock,” said Galveston Resident Lorie Knotts. “Things were moved around.”
It’s the kind of reaction we’re hearing over and over as people get a close look at their homes on Galveston Island for the first time since Hurricane Ike.
“I thought I was going to come back to something, but I’ve got nothing,” said Galveston resident Darrel Warner.
Warner took us into what was once his bedroom. Now, its’ a scrambled, mold-ridden mess with a visible water line on the wall of four to five feet.
“When I came back home, it really hit because everything was out of order,” he said. “My TV was gone. My dresser, everything was completely gone.”
Not only is the inside of the house a mess, the outside didn’t fare any better. In the front yard, there’s a truck that doesn’t even belong to the Warner family.
“I’m pretty sure we’re not going to stay here because, as you can see, this isn’t a nice little home anymore,” said Warner.
Like Warner, Knotts is in shock. She thought her family would camp out in the front yard. But now, it’s not likely they’ll stay.
“I didn’t imagine it would be this bad,” she said. “I didn’t.”
And with so much devastation all over the island, it’s no wonder some people won’t stay.
A ‘look and leave’ policy is still in effect for Galveston’s west end. Residents can go take a look at their property, but must be off the island by 6pm.
A ‘look and leave’ policy for the Bolivar Peninsula could take effect as early as Friday.
Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough says it all depends on how quickly road crews make temporary repairs to the heavily damaged bridge at Rollover Pass. Without that bridge, the only way to reach Port Bolivar is by boat or helicopter.
Current Conditions in Galveston
No medical facilities are available Limited water, sewer, electricity, or natural gas service A boil water notice remains in effect until further notice Mandated water conservation program in effect island-wide Limited retail services available including fuel, food, water, auto, pharmacies, etc. Curfew strictly enforced: 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Violators subject to $2,000 fine. Limited cell phone coverage The south side of the Seawall, all beaches, and the water of the Gulf of Mexico remain closed until further notice

Supplies You Will Need to Bring Bottled Water Flashlights and Batteries First Aid Kit Hand Tools Hand Sanitizer Heavy Duty Garbage Bags Camera Notepad & Pens Bug Repellant Personal Hygiene Items Gloves Face Masks Boots Sunscreen Vehicle Fuel Additives Tire Repair — Tools, Fix-A-Flat, Spare Tire, Jack

Safety Requirements
Traffic Safety:

Watch for Debris Drive Cautiously — Obey All Speed Limits Be Conscientious of Other Vehicles, Bicyclists, and Pedestrians Treat All Intersections as a Four-Way Stop Street Signs May or May Not Be Present so Remain Alert When Driving

Personal Safety:

Do Not Put Yourself in a Hazardous Situation Do Not Enter Unsafe Buildings Exercise Common Sense and Caution When Entering Structures

Keep your family safe this hurricane season. Check our complete tropical weather preparation guide
(Copyright ©2008 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
Hurricane Ike made landfall earlier this month, with 110 mph winds that obliterated thousands of homes, causing severe damage to the Gulf Coast. ABC News’ Charles Gibson sat down for an exclusive joint interview with former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The two, who have partnered on humanitarian efforts in the past, are collaborating on a new disaster relief program to help those affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
The Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund is a humanitarian relief organization, led by former Bush and Clinton, to rebuild infrastructure and communities along the Gulf Coast. Local governments and community organizations in Texas and Louisiana can apply for grants to rebuild.
Houston Mayor Bill White launched the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund to provide immediate relief — including shelter, interim housing, food and supplies — to hurricane victims. To donate and help meet unmet needs, visit their Web site.
For information on how to give to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund, check out their Frequently Asked Questions.
United Way 2008 Hurricane Recovery Fund will support services that provide mental health care, child care, offer case management and job training among other services for victims. To donate, visit their Web site’s “Give Now” section.
Other organizations that are offering relief to hurricane victims, include the American Red Cross, Direct Relief International, and AmeriCares, among many others.
ABC NEWS: EXCLUSIVE – Former Presidents on Hurricane Relief.. .

‘Major Damage’ From Recent Hurricanes

September 25, 2008
The duo made a surprise joint appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting today in New York to announce the fundraising effort. The initiative, called the Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund, will target long-term relief and collaborate with officials from hard-hit areas to rebuild infrastructure.
Hurricane Ike, which made landfall earlier this month, caused severe damage, particularly in Galveston and Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States. Ike’s 110 mph winds obliterated thousands of homes and resulted in at least 61 deaths. Seventy-five percent of the homes in Galveston are still uninhabitable, there is still no power or drinking water, and returning residents have been encouraged to bring rat poison.
“Most Americans haven’t absorbed how many people have really been hurt down there,” Clinton said.
Bush called the situation on the Gulf Coast “devastating” and said that recovery would take “a long time.”
“Forty-billion dollars in Texas alone,” he said. “That doesn’t include the neighboring Louisiana coast. Tens of thousands lost homes. … Seven-hundred-seventy communities in 22 counties assumed major damage. So it’s bad.”
But the Texas resident, whose own foundation office still lacks power, said he didn’t think the landscape of that part of the state had been changed forever by the storms.
“It will bounce back,” he said. “It might look different, but a lot of it will be the same. It’s not as though people are just saying, ‘We don’t want to go there anymore, we don’t want to live there anymore because of another hurricane coming up.’ People have a better spirit than that.”
“I think what will happen here is what we saw in the Katrina area, and when we did the [2004 Indian Ocean] tsunami,” Clinton added. “Any time you have this kind of disaster, the toughest part are the homes. That’s what takes the longest to redo, to get everybody back in their homes. Then I think it also is an opportunity to try to do it and do it in the right way, make them more storm resistant and all of that. I predict to you it will be painful, but it can also be exciting if we do it right.”
Clinton also raised the importance of restoring the barrier islands both in Texas and Louisiana, “to make it safer for the next time. … But our focus, obviously, is just going to be on helping the people that need the help.”
At today’s announcement, Bush said that the “political odd couple” had returned.
The two championed similar relief efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2004.
In response to the devastation of the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the former presidents founded the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, launching a major fundraising effort to provide for long-term recovery in ravaged regions across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The charity raised $135 million, and distributed grants to charities like Habitat for Humanity and St. Thomas Health Services in New Orleans for rebuilding, filling in gaps not met by other relief organizations.
In 2005, the former presidents put political differences aside, teaming up to lead the U.S. effort to provide aid to victims of the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. The duo traveled as emissaries to areas across Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. After seeing the devastating impact first-hand, the two carried the message across America, raising $1 billion in aid.
Here are products that can make being without electricity alomost bearable
by Mary Vuong – Houston Chronicle

Sept. 26, 2008, 4:38PM

A variety of products on the market can help the powerless deal with no lights, AC or refrigerators.


Life off the grid is tough.

You can make it more comfortable, though, with the right tools.

Water, nonperishable foods and a first-aid kit are essential, of course. But when it comes to other basics, like ice chests and lighting, what you get can make a big difference.

Weary residents heading into their third week without power know this well. They’ve upgraded coolers and invested in headlamps. They know which candles work best and that hand-crank radios are the way to go. They have refined their hurricane checklist over and over again.

And to those of you blessed with power, it’s never too early to re-evaluate your emergency survival kit. “Prepare now for the next time,” says Brad Veale, manager of the REI Houston-Willowbrook store.

Here, then, are the survival tools that stood the test of Ike.


Ice became a hot commodity as soon as the hurricane passed. Thousands of people lined up in the heat for it. But where to store that ice? A heavily insulated cooler. Rubbermaid, Coleman and Igloo all make versions designed to keep ice for up to 5 days.

“Having a cooler that’s going to maintain that ice for multiple days is huge,” Veale says. At REI, coolers were among the first things to sell out. Academy Sports + Outdoors’ most popular seller is the 100-quart Igloo MaxCold model.

Another tip: Houstonians Kenn and Karen Stearns, who went through Hurricane Carla as kids, stocked their coolers and fridge with ice prior to Ike’s arrival. “This bought us some time when we needed to extend the life of the refrigerator during the power outage,” Kenn Stearns said.

I relied on a rotating supply of reusable ice packs, which I refroze daily at work.


LED bulbs provide “phenomenal” lighting, Veale says.

“They’re very gentle on batteries. You get a lot of life,” adds Dave Fausnight, manager of Whole Earth Provision Co. in Houston.

Batteries in a hurricane are like gold, Veale says. They sell out quickly, especially sizes C and D, and are challenging for retailers to quickly restock. He suggests investing in hand-crank items or in equipment that uses AA and AAA batteries, which are easier to find.

Veale and Fausnight also favor headlamps over flashlights. They are “extremely valuable and useful,” says Veale, who knows firsthand — just try changing a newborn’s diaper while holding a flashlight.

Table lanterns, which also free your hands, provide overall light for eating dinner and playing games, suggests Robert Frennea, executive vice president at Academy Sports + Outdoors.

As for candles, thick pillars are virtually useless as task lighting. Scented candles, when burned for long, are cloying. Choose unscented tapers and tealights for emergency use. Little Woodrow’s in Rice Village even operated by candlelight. Manager Jon Orr says they used whatever candles they had but favored unscented tealights. IKEA sells them at a bargain: 100 for $3.99.

Hand-crank radio

Lee and Leslie Entsminger of Bellaire received an Eton hand-crank radio from a family they hosted after Hurricane Katrina. They used it for the first time during Ike.

“The hand-crank radio was the best thing,” Leslie Entsminger says. “The first couple of nights, we were just trying to find out what was going on. We didn’t have to worry about batteries.” The Entsmingers also relied on hand-crank flashlights and a backpack filled with emergency supplies that Lee’s employer, ExxonMobil, had distributed to employees after Hurricane Rita.

Eton manufactures a wide selection of hand-crank radios, including multitasking units that also function as flashlights and cell-phone chargers.

Select items that require less power and have longer duration with power, Veale says.

Power inverter

Frennea was surprised by how popular inverters were.

“You can run a small appliance off it,” he says.

“When the power goes out and it is dumping rain, the best technology solution was sitting in our hybrid car. We used the inverter to charge portable devices and enjoy a little air conditioning,” Stearns says.

Houstonian Victor Delgado used his inverter to power a fan and computer. “It didn’t drain the car battery,” he says.

Water purification

Demand for water purifiers, microfilters and purification tablets rose after Tropical Storm Allison but not so much this time. Still, Veale says they are important to have.

We learn something new from each storm we endure, Veale says. “Each event is different. … The more comprehensive you can be, the more prepared.

Insect repellent

If you want to open windows in your home and don’t have screens, it’s a must. This is Houston.



Filed under Uncategorized


All around the world, in America, and especially in Africa, Black women are treated as the mules of the world.
When will the day come when the humanity and contributions that are made by Black women the world over, be acknowledged?
When will the women of Africa be given the respect and validation for all they do to keep their world together, for their ability to contribute in ways that can and will revolutionize the lives and well-being of their families, their communities, and their nations?



What can a mother of six do when her husband’s sporadic contributions to the household run dry? Thirty-five-year-old Amina created a job — an extraordinary achievement for a previously unemployed woman living in Djougou in northwest Benin. A micro loan from a local organisation helped her create a successful business. Today she is selling cooked rice at the nearby school. One day, Amina says, she will open a restaurant. Providing economic opportunities for women and creating entrepreneurs such as Amina create positive ripples beyond just their immediate families. Not only are such women able to improve their own income and welfare, changing their own lives and the lives of their children in the process, but more than that, it is fundamental for creating economic growth and development in Africa.



Africa needs a better future. Despite progress in many areas, the continent has largely been left behind by globalisation just as most countries in Asia, Latin America and eastern Europe have surged ahead. Without things changing soon, it seems unlikely that African countries will meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, including that of gender equality, by 2015.


Inequality between men and women exists in spite of international agreements on gender equality. It exists in spite of equality between men and women being constitutionally ordained by most countries. And it exists in spite of the many studies that show that it is an economic win-win for men and women when women’s participation in the work force is increased. Then why is it that female participation in the labour market is so much lower than the participation rate of males? Why is it that women still get the lowest pay, the least education, access only to the most unskilled jobs, and are mostly employed in the informal sector?


Only about 10% of all wages in Africa go to women, although women on average work 10-15 hours more per week than men. And African women own only around 1% of the continent’s overall economy. To address these and other key topics determining the future of Africa, the Danish Africa Commission puts economic growth and employment in Africa at the top of the international agenda. Launched in Copenhagen in April, bringing together public and private sector notables, it is chaired by Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The majority of its 18 members are African.


The role of women is a critical part of the commission’s work, not just because it’s the politically correct thing to do. We know that economic growth and gender inequality are closely related: the less the inequality the higher economic growth. Improving the African women’s lot, unleashing the entrepreneurial energy of the many Aminas out there can only ensure a more prosperous continental future. But how? To do so governments, labour market organisations, civil society and the private sector, supported by international donors, should concentrate their actions by focusing on four key actions that can unlock this great potential.


First, reduce women’s time burdens by investing in water supply and sanitation, energy for household needs, access to public transport and investment in labour-saving technology especially in agro-processing, opening up and adding real value to the rural areas.
Second, empower women in small- and medium-scale businesses, the engine room of African economies, through access to micro-finance and skills training.
Third, facilitate female entrepreneurs by ensuring equal rights between men and women — including rights to ownership — and by supporting women’s business and social organisations, and by listening to and acting on their policy concerns.
Fourth, introduce targets for gender equality in public sector employment and promotion through public sector reforms.


Africa’s women are a hitherto largely untapped source of huge energy and economic potential. No one likely works harder worldwide than the rural Africa woman, tending her crops, raising her family literally on her back, and traipsing hours every day for water and other basics. Properly harnessed, this energy can transform Africa, liberating its women from such burdens and, at the same time, liberating the continent from underdevelopment.



*Luísa Dias Diogo is prime minister of Mozambique.
*Greg Mills directs the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation.
*Ulla Toernaes is minister for development co-operation in Denmark.
  All three are members of the Africa Commission


Filed under Uncategorized



I’ve been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you’ve seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war
And there’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runsOn the radio talk shows and the T.V.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can’t take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wireThere’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can’t even say the names

They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire



Lyrics by Jackson Browne, from his album, “Lives In The Balance”, 1986.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


CAMP DIVA and Soul Purpose Team Journey celebrate Nadine Thompson and her daughter Camilla as National Spokespersons for CAMP DIVA and invite you to join us for the launch of VIVA LA DIVA an exclusive girls line of wellness pamper products.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


September 19, 2008

Elected officials, family and friends remembered Anna Langford on Thursday as a pioneer, a champion of civil rights, a good lawyer.

She died Wednesday at age 90 at her Englewood home.

“Michelle and I are saddened today to learn about the death of Anna Langford — a historic figure and unwavering champion for civil rights in Chicago,” Sen. Barack Obama said in a statement. “Her strong principles led her to always fight for the underdog, and she never lost sight of the ‘least of these’ in our society.”

Langford was the first black women elected to the Chicago City Council, in 1971.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Cicero was conceived in her Englewood living room, she told the Chicago Sun-Times in a 1969 profile. Langford said she helped talk Harold Washington into running for mayor in 1983. And after he died, Langford unabashedly warned her fellow African-American aldermen not to criticize her for backing Ald. Eugene Sawyer over Washington’s floor leader, Tim Evans, for mayor.

Her fellow aldermen still respected her, said Ald. Ed Smith (28th), who was on the other side of that divide.

“She had great wit,” Smith said. “She had range and education. She was very concerned and sensitive. When the new people came in, she was always available to share the knowledge.”

“She was a pathbreaker for the rest of us,” Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) said.

Mayor Daley said Thursday, “She was very committed to the Englewood community. I knew her very well over many, many years. She was very supportive of my [school reform] efforts in 1995.”

SOURCE: The Chicago Sun-Times:

Published: September 19, 2008
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Rev. Simmie Lee Harvey, a fiery New Orleans preacher and civil rights stalwart who helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, died here on Sept. 10. He was 90.
The cause was complications of a stroke, Rhodes Funeral Home said.
Dr. Harvey was among a group of religious leaders, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, who created the S.C.L.C. in 1957. In one of his last public appearances, he addressed the organization’s annual convention here in July.
Dr. Harvey was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and grew up in St. Joseph, La. He graduated from the Utica Institute in Utica, Miss., and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Union Baptist College and Theological Seminary.
He was pastor of several New Orleans churches and worked as a longshoreman as well.
Dr. Harvey is survived by his wife, Marion Harvey; four sons, Salim Khalid of Atlanta, Darryl Harvey of New Orleans, the Rev. Gregory Holmes of Waggaman, La., and the Rev. Louis Harvey of Jefferson, La.; eight daughters, Essie Theyard, Annie Marshall and Simmie Weatherspoon, all of New Orleans; Lolita Harvey of Richmond, Calif.; Gloria H. Jackson of Mount Vernon, Ga.; Sandra Rodrigue of Seattle; Rocelia Harvey-Johnson of Washington; and Gloria Ezidore of St. Joseph; 35 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.
SOURCE: The Associated Press
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Henry Z. Steinway at Steinway Hall in 2003. In 1972 he sold his company to the CBS Corporation.



Published: September 18, 2008
Henry Z. Steinway, the last Steinway to run the piano-making company his family started in 1853, died Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 93.


 ‘I Love a Piano’ (mp3)

Invention for 900 Hands

In 2003, The Times ran a series of articles and multimedia about Steinway pianos.


His death was confirmed by a daughter, Susan Steinway.
Mr. Steinway once said that he had taken countless piano lessons but never knew “which is Beethoven’s this or Beethoven’s that.” He remained proficient on a typewriter’s keys, however; long after the world had adopted personal computers, he was still pounding away on his Smith-Corona manual.
Henry Ziegler Steinway — named for an uncle, and not to be confused with a cousin, Henry Steinway Ziegler — was the great-grandson of Heinrich Engelhard Steinway, the illiterate German immigrant before the ampersand in Steinway & Sons. Henry was born on Aug. 23, 1915, in his parents’ apartment on Park Avenue, between East 52nd and 53rd Streets.
The location was important to his tradition-minded father, Theodore E. Steinway. The Steinways’ factory, the largest piano plant in New York City when it opened, had occupied that site from just before the Civil War until about 1910. Theodore rented an apartment in the building that took the factory’s place. (The apartment house was demolished in the 1950s to make way for Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building.)
By the time Henry was a boy, the name Steinway had become almost synonymous with pianos, famous on concert stages as well as in Tin Pan Alley. Irving Berlin paid homage in “I Love a Piano” with the lyric “I know a fine way to treat a Steinway.”
After shuttering its Manhattan factory, Steinway & Sons moved its manufacturing operations to Queens, and as a child Henry wandered through a labyrinth of sawdust-strewn workrooms. He joined the company after graduating from Harvard in 1937 and began his career by building pianos, just as his father and uncles had.
“I learned a respect for work that is actually done,” Mr. Steinway said years later.
He also discovered that making instruments that have thousands of tiny parts under the lid is not easy. He said it took him a day and a half to do what the workers at the factory did in four hours.
In the 1940s, following the death of a cousin who had been the company’s general manager, Mr. Steinway began overseeing operations at the company’s three factories in Queens. Poor eyesight kept him away from the front lines during World War II; the Army stationed him on Governors Island in New York Harbor.
He became the factory manager after the war and president of the company in 1955, when his father made a surprise announcement that he was stepping down, immediately.
By then the piano business was struggling against changing technologies and tastes. Phonographs and radios had displaced pianos as home entertainment choices, and television was on the rise. As Mr. Steinway recalled in 2003: “People would say: ‘You’re in the piano business? That doesn’t exist anymore.’ ”
So he downsized the company — though he preferred the term “right-sized” — closing two of the plants in Queens. He decided that concert artists to whom the company had lent pianos would have to return them, unless they bought them.
He also arranged to sell Steinway Hall, the company’s building on West 57th Street, to Manhattan Life Insurance Company. He moved most of the company’s offices, including his own, to Queens. But the showroom, with its big front window and arched ceilings, remained.
In 1972 he sold the company itself. “It was the hippie time,” he recalled in 2003. “Nobody in the next generation —”
He left the rest of the sentence unsaid. He said he did not believe that any of his younger relatives could take over, so he proposed a $20.1 million stock swap with the CBS Corporation. The deliberations split the family, with his mother, Ruth, calling the sale “a betrayal,” although she ultimately voted for it.
CBS replaced him as president in 1977, naming him chairman. He gave up that title when he retired at 65, but he never really left. Until a few months ago, he went to Steinway Hall most days. He also went to the factory to autograph just-finished pianos, signing the cast-iron plates with felt-tip pens. At times he served as a goodwill ambassador, visiting piano dealers and attending music-industry conventions.
Last year President Bush presented him with the National Medal of Arts, the government’s highest award in the arts. Mr. Steinway was also the founding president of the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, Calif.
In addition to his daughter Susan, of Cambridge, Mass., he is survived by his wife, Polly; another daughter, Kate, of West Hartford, Conn.; three sons, William, of Chapel Hill, N.C., Daniel, of Rutland, Vt., and Henry E., of Los Angeles; and seven grandchildren.
CBS sold Steinway in 1985, and the company changed hands again in 1995. Mr. Steinway recalled worrying about that sale, to what was then Selmer Industries, a band-instrument manufacturer that had been taken over by two investment bankers from Los Angeles.
“I thought, ‘Here we go up the flue for sure,’ ” Mr. Steinway said in 2003. “ ‘Two hotshots who’re not yet 40. This is where we get liquidated for sure.’ ”
But the two investment bankers, Dana D. Messina and Kyle R. Kirkland, changed Selmer Industries’ name to Steinway Musical Instruments. Mr. Steinway liked to recall that when they took the company public in 1998, they used Ludwig van Beethoven’s initials for a stock symbol— LVB — because all possible combinations of S’s and T’s were taken.
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Published: September 19, 2008
Richard M. Sudhalter, who won wide respect as a mellifluous trumpet player and perspicacious jazz historian — and ignited controversy for a book arguing that jazz was shaped by white as well as black musicians — died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 69.

Richard M. Sudhalter in performance in the mid-1980s.




The final cause was pneumonia after a long period of declining health, said his partner, Dorothy Kellogg.
Mr. Sudhalter ranged widely across the jazz scene, from critic to concert producer to bandleader to scholar to raconteur to teacher to album annotator. He shared a Grammy in 1982 for notes he and John Chilton wrote for “Bunny Berigan (Giants of Jazz).” He organized the New Paul Whiteman Orchestra; became an admired fixture on the classic-jazz scene, playing with groups that included the short-lived but highly lauded Classic Jazz Quartet; and recorded for Audiophile, Challenge and other labels.
In his 1999 book, “Lost Chords: White Musicians and Their Contribution to Jazz, 1915-1945” (Oxford), he strove to controvert the widely held belief that white players contributed little to the development of jazz. His account began at jazz’s inception in New Orleans, providing captivating accounts of many important soloists, among them Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Red Norvo, Bud Freeman, the Dorsey brothers, Bunny Berigan, Pee Wee Russell and Artie Shaw.
Jason Berry, in The New York Times Book Review, praised the book’s “elegant musical analysis” and did not dispute that whites greatly contributed to jazz. But Mr. Berry questioned whether Mr. Sudhalter had properly apportioned credit by giving too much of it to whites.
Writing in The Atlantic Monthy, William H. Youngren defended Mr. Sudhalter’s balance, saying the tendency at the time would be to see the book as an attack on black achievement. “Nothing could be further from Sudhalter’s intent,” he wrote.
A month before the book was released, The Times published a long essay on the topic by Mr. Sudhalter in its Arts & Leisure section. A storm of letters followed.
In an interview with Contemporary Authors, Mr. Sudhalter said most critics had not grasped his point. “The angrier the denunciation, it seemed, the less the writer had actually read,” he said. His book, he said, was a history, not “a racial screed.”
Mr. Sudhalter, who was a music critic for The New York Post in the 1970s and ’80s, also wrote “Bix: Man and Legend” (Arlington House), a highly praised 1974 biography of Beiderbecke, with Philip R. Evans. His friend the critic Terry Teachout compared its thoroughness to “a scholarly biography of a major classical composer.”
In 2002 Mr. Sudhalter published “Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael” (Oxford). Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post said the book showed “that Carmichael’s mind was deeper and tougher than first impressions might suggest.”
Richard Merrill Sudhalter was born in Boston on Dec. 28, 1938. His father was a saxophonist who adored jazz, particularly Beiderbecke, and took his son’s musical education seriously. By his teens the younger Sudhalter was playing his cornet in Boston clubs. He earned a degree in English literature and music from Oberlin, worked as a musician in Germany and then was a reporter for United Press International in Europe.
He gave more emphasis to playing after he visited the Williams College library to research his Beiderbecke book. He discovered all the arrangements of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra of the 1920s, in which Beiderbecke had played, and decided to form a band to play the arrangements.
So he returned to London, where he was then living, and gathered top British musicians to play as the New Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Fans applauded them wildly at a jazz festival, a recording was made four days later, and the group went on to successful appearances at Carnegie Hall and elsewhere. Mr. Sudhalter played the cornet in the role of Beiderbecke, with inflections reminiscent of his other idols, Louis Armstrong and Bobby Hackett.
In addition to Ms. Kellogg, Mr. Sudhalter is survived by his sister, Carol, of Queens; his brother, James, of Harrisburg, Pa.; and his daughters Adrian, of Manhattan, and Kimberly, of Hollywood, Calif.
Dan Morgenstern, director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, said jazz lovers were disappointed years ago when the Classic Jazz Quartet suddenly broke up after the death of its pianist, Dick Wellstood. He recalled that all four members of the group were writers of various sorts, and all had a hearty sense of humor.
Their first choice for a name, Mr. Morgenstern said, was the Bourgeois Scum, but “they were told that was not commercial.”
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Published: September 20, 2008
For the “Star Trek” faithful, it was a historic event. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the series, showed up. So did the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, not to mention fans dressed as Klingons, Tribbles and Bele from the planet Ceron. NASA delivered a scaled-down lunar module and a spacesuit.
Jeff Maynard

Joan Winston with George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on the original “Star Trek” series, in an undated photo.


It was January 1972, and the first Star Trek convention was under way in a rented ballroom at the Statler Hilton in Manhattan. The organizers had expected a crowd of about 500. In the end, more than 3,000 fans turned up, so many that by the final day of the event registrars were issuing ID cards made from torn scraps of wrapping paper. For fans of the series, the convention marked the moment when a diaspora became a nation.
And it made a subculture celebrity of Joan Winston, who played a leading role in creating the event and went on to achieve a second-order fame as one of world’s most avid “Star Trek” fans. She died of Alzheimer’s disease on Sept. 11 at age 77, her cousin Steven Rosenfeld said. She lived in Manhattan.
“I would put her in the category of legend,” said Dennis Rayburn, a columnist for, a Web site of the production company owned by Roddenberry’s son, Eugene. “She is right up there with Bjo.”
For “Star Trek” devotees, the comparison requires no clarification. Betty Jo Trimble, or Bjo (pronounced Beejoe), won immortality in the “Star Trek” universe by leading the campaign to keep the series on the air when word got out that NBC planned to cancel it.
Ms. Winston earned the love of “Star Trek” fans everywhere by helping to orchestrate an afterlife for the series beyond the television set — initially by organizing conventions and persuading stars from the series to attend, later by appearing at the conventions as a star in her own right, a superfan whose undying devotion inspired awe among “Star Trek” devotees.
Her unstinting efforts for the cause were chronicled in “Star Trek Lives” (1975), which she wrote with Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Sondra Marshak, and “The Making of the Trek Conventions” (1977). She also edited “Startoons” (1979), a book of science fiction cartoons; wrote fiction using the “Star Trek” characters; and, moving with the times, edited Number One, a fanzine devoted to First Officer William T. Riker, a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
Ms. Winston was born in Washington and grew up in Brooklyn, where she attended public schools. After her father decided to send her younger brother to college instead of her, she went to work at Bonwit Teller as a merchandiser. She later worked in the contracts departments of CBS and ABC in New York.
She led a second life. A passionate fan of science fiction, she went into deep space when the Starship Enterprise set off on its voyage on Sept. 8, 1966. When the campaign to keep the series on the air took off, she picketed NBC. She sent story ideas to Gene Roddenberry. In 1968 she pulled strings to attend the taping of a “Star Trek” episode — the last one, as it turned out.
She made the most of her opportunity. In his book about “Star Trek” fandom, “Get a Life,” William Shatner described Ms. Winston as “bright, bubbly, and energetic beyond every law of human physiology and comprehension.” Mr. Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk in the series, steered clear of the earliest “Star Trek” conventions but later became a regular on the circuit.
On the set, Ms. Winston charmed the actors, rubbed noses with Mr. Shatner for the camera and impressed Roddenberry enough that he asked her to develop one of her story ideas for the series, if it should survive for a fourth season.
It did not. After “Star Trek” ended, Ms. Winston attended science fiction conventions, but like many other “Star Trek” fans felt a certain coolness in the atmosphere.
“Most of us belonged to the Lunarians, a science fiction club, and we attended Lunacon, their convention, but there was a sense that ‘Star Trek’ fans were not real sci-fi fans,” said Devra Langsam, a fellow organizer of the first “Star Trek” convention and the editor of Spockanalia, the first “Star Trek” fanzine.
Elyse Pines, a friend of Ms. Langsam’s, proposed a gathering specifically for “Star Trek” fans. A mutual friend brought in Ms. Winston, who used her show business contacts to secure tapes of 15 “Star Trek” episodes, a blooper reel and the presence of Roddenberry. She also requested a few moon rocks from NASA.
“I just assumed that a day or two before the event the mailman would bring us a little postal package full of moon rocks,” she later told Mr. Shatner. Instead, NASA dispatched a trailer truck with two tons of memorabilia that included a genuine spacesuit stuffed with a mannequin astronaut.
Ms. Winston and her associates, known to fellow aficionados simply as the Committee, presented four more conventions before withdrawing from the field, exhausted, in 1976. By that time more than 40 “Star Trek” conventions were competing for Ms. Winston’s presence as a guest speaker.
“She didn’t let the status she had among the ‘Trek’ fans go to her head,” Mr. Rayburn said. “She was just one of us.”
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Published: September 20, 2008
Hyman Golden, a businessman who was a co-founder of the Snapple Beverage Corporation and served as its chairman as Snapple’s flavored teas and juices became a national phenomenon, died on Sept. 14 in Great Neck, N.Y. He was 85.
The cause was complications from a stroke, said his daughter, Sharon Golden Brenner.
With a small investment in 1972, Mr. Golden and two partners started a business that would eventually produce one of the nation’s leading flavored beverages and compete with industry stalwarts like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.
By the time the company was purchased by Quaker Oats Company for about $1.7 billion in 1994, it had annual sales of $700 million, and its bottles of juices with their familiar blue-and-white logos could be found in delis, supermarkets, vending machines and homes across the country.
Mr. Golden, who had little formal education, had a humble upbringing in Queens, working first as a window washer for his father, a Romanian immigrant. Along the way he also worked as a business broker and founded a maintenance company with his brother-in-law, Leonard Marsh.
Then, in 1972, Mr. Marsh introduced Mr. Golden to Arnold Greenberg, a childhood friend who ran a health food store in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The three decided to join forces and founded a company — called Unadulterated Food Products — selling juices to health-food stores.
In 1980, the company introduced a line of all-natural juices with the Snapple name, which came from one of its first products, a carbonated apple juice that had a “snappy apple taste.”
“When it first came out,” Mr. Greenberg told The New York Times in July 1994, “we sold 500 cases. The next month we sold 500 more cases and got some calls from distributors. ‘You’ve changed your formula,’ they said. ‘This Snapple’s tasting better and better.’ Then one day in our warehouse the tops of the bottles started shooting off. Bang! Pop! We found out it was fermenting. We’d made Champagne.”
The company enjoyed modest success with its natural sodas in the early 1980s, but it was when it introduced its iced tea in 1987 that sales began to skyrocket. Amid a nationwide boom in health consciousness, Snapple became perhaps the only ready-to-drink iced tea promoted as having natural ingredients and being made from real brewed tea. Consumers increasingly chose it over its carbonated competitors.
Besides winning appeal through its 52 fruity flavors, Snapple quickly endeared itself to Americans with an aggressive marketing campaign. Its unconventional television ads featured a wildly popular spokeswoman from Long Island, Wendy Kaufman, or Wendy the Snapple Lady, who would read letters from devoted Snapple drinkers in her distinct “New Yawk” accent while promoting the beverage as “Made from the best stuff on earth.”
Snapple is now sold in 80 countries.
The company, which was founded in Brooklyn, eventually moved to Long Island, where Mr. Golden and his two business partners lived. All the while the three friends cherished their product, having a level of fun with it that was reflected in its quirky flavors and reputation.
“They used to sit in their office with chemists, and they would have concentrates all over the table as they did taste tests,” said Mr. Golden’s daughter, Sharon. “It wasn’t even work to them. It was total enjoyment and they just loved what they were doing. They had a ball with it.”
Hyman Golden was born in 1923 in Passaic, N.J., and raised in the Middle Village section of Queens. He served in the Air Force and in 1948 met his wife, Mitzi, whom he married the next year.
In the early 1990s, as Snapple was exploding in popularity, Mr. Golden served as its chairman. The company was sold several times — eventually ending up with Cadbury Schweppes, now known as the Dr Pepper Snapple Group — making the men a fortune. But Mr. Golden, who retired in 1995, always remained thankful, his daughter said.
“He accomplished the American dream,” she said. “When he and his partners would get together for events and celebrations, their favorite song to sing was ‘God Bless America,’ because they were so appreciative.”
“In their wildest dreams,” she added, “they never thought that this would be the end result.”
Mr. Golden is survived by his wife, Mitzi Golden; his three children, Sharon Golden Brenner, Dr. Bruce Golden, and Robert Golden; and seven grandchildren.
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Published: September 18, 2008
Correction Appended
Norman Whitfield, a Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and arranger for Motown Records whose many hits, including the signature song “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” helped solidify the Motown sound in the 1960s and afterward, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 68 and lived in Toluca Lake, Calif.
Louis Lanzano/Associated Press

Norman Whitfield in 2004.



The cause was heart and kidney failure resulting from diabetes, his daughter, Irasha Whitfield, said.
Mr. Whitfield, who often wrote both lyrics and music, had more than 450 songs released in his lifetime, his daughter said. Many, including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” memorably recorded both by Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips, were written with his frequent collaborator Barrett Strong. (The tune was by the Funk Brothers.)
For all his renown as a composer, Mr. Whitfield was even more prominent as a producer and arranger. He was known especially for his work with the Temptations; he produced many of their recordings for Motown, including the album “Cloud Nine,” whose title track earned the group a Grammy in 1969. He also helped usher in the era of psychedelic soul, producing the work of artists like Edwin Starr and the Undisputed Truth.
Mr. Whitfield’s songs were recorded by a string of Motown luminaries, who besides Mr. Gaye included the Temptations and the Jackson Five. His work was also recorded over the years by artists as varied as Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bruce Springsteen.
Among Mr. Whitfield’s other hits were “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” written with Mr. Strong. With Eddie Holland, Mr. Whitfield wrote “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” for the Temptations, which reached No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1966.
Norman Whitfield was born in Harlem on May 12, 1940. When he was a teenager, he and his family settled in Detroit after their car broke down there. Norman studied briefly at a technical school in Detroit before joining Thelma Records, a local label, when he was about 19.
Mr. Whitfield joined Motown in the early 1960s, when he was not much more than 20. He started there as a tambourine player; known for his keen ear, he was eventually put in charge of quality control by the label’s founder, Berry Gordy Jr.
In the mid-1970s, Mr. Whitfield left Motown to start his own label, Whitfield Records. Among his hits there were the soundtrack album for the film “Car Wash” (1976), for which he wrote the score. Mr. Whitfield won a Grammy for the album, recorded by the band Rose Royce.
In 2004, Mr. Whitfield was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The next year, he was in the news again after he pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. Mr. Whitfield, who had been charged with failing to report more than $4 million in income, was fined $25,000 and sentenced to six months’ home detention.
Besides his daughter, Irasha, of Los Angeles, Mr. Whitfield is survived by four sons, Norman, of Los Angeles; Michael, of Toluca Lake; Johnnie, of Atlanta; and Roland, of Murrieta, Calif.; a brother, Bill, of Los Angeles; eight grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
In an interview with David Ritz for “Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye” (Da Capo, 1991), Mr. Whitfield recalled the deep influence of the new, hard-driving funk of Sly Stone, and how he tried to bring something of Mr. Stone’s sound to his work at Motown.
“My thing was to out-Sly Sly Stone,” Mr. Whitfield said. “Sly was definitely sly, and his sound was new, his grooves were incredible, he borrowed a lot from rock. He caught the psychedelic thing. He was bad. I could match him though, rhythm for rhythm, horn for horn.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: September 19, 2008
An obituary on Thursday about Norman Whitfield, a songwriter, producer and arranger for Motown Records, omitted part of the name of the label’s founder. He is Berry Gordy Jr., not Berry Gordy. It also referred incorrectly to a recording Mr. Whitfield produced for the Temptations , a Motown group. The Temptations won a Grammy for their single “Cloud Nine,” not their album of that name. (Both were produced by Mr. Whitfield.) And they won in 1969 — the single was released late in 1968 — not 1967.
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Published: September 15, 2008
Correction Appended
Richard Wright, the keyboardist whose somber, monumental sounds were at the core of Pink Floyd’s art-rock that has sold millions and millions of albums, died Monday in London, where he had lived. He was 65.
September 16, 2008    

Associated Press

Pink Floyd’s original lineup, shown in 1967, included, from left, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Syd Barrett and Richard Wright.

MJ Kim/Getty Images, 2005

Mr. Wright performing with Pink Floyd at Live 8 London.



The cause was cancer, said his publicist, Claire Singers.
Mr. Wright was a founding member of Pink Floyd, and his spacious, somber, enveloping keyboards, backing vocals and eerie effects were an essential part of its musical identity.
Though Syd Barrett and then Roger Waters wrote most of Pink Floyd’s songs, Mr. Wright shares credit on the improvisatory psychedelic studio works the band composed collectively, and he sang a few lead vocals, including on “Astronomy Domine” from the band’s debut album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.”
Mr. Wright was the sole songwriter on “The Great Gig in the Sky,” a hymnlike track with a soaring, wordless female vocal at the center of “The Dark Side of the Moon,” the blockbuster 1973 Pink Floyd album that has sold some 40 million copies.

Dark Side of the Moon.png
David Gilmour, Pink Floyd’s guitarist and singer, said in a statement on Monday: “In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick’s enormous input was frequently forgotten. He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognized Pink Floyd sound.”
Mr. Wright was born in London in 1943 and taught himself to play keyboards, developing an early interest in jazz. He attended a boys’ school founded by the haberdashers’ guild, then studied architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic College.
With fellow students at Regent Street — Mr. Waters on guitar or bass and Nick Mason on drums — he started a group, at first playing American rhythm-and-blues songs. Mr. Barrett joined them in 1965, reshaping the music and naming the band The Pink Floyd Sound, after the American bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.
Mr. Barrett’s whimsical, asymmetrical songs and the band’s fondness for experimental sounds placed it at the center of London’s underground psychedelic movement in the mid-1960s. “Music was our drug,” Mr. Wright once told an interviewer.
“The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” was released in 1967 and yielded pop hits in England, but LSD use and mental illness made Mr. Barrett so unstable that he left Pink Floyd in 1968. He recorded two solo albums; Mr. Wright and Mr. Gilmour produced the second one, “Barrett,” in 1970. Mr. Barrett died in 2006, at the age of 60.
Pink Floyd’s late-1960s and early-’70s albums mingled pop songs with extended pieces, like the 23-minute “Echoes,” which begins with single notes from Mr. Wright’s keyboard, on 1971’s “Meddle.”
On the 1969 album, “Ummagumma,” which includes solo studio recordings by each band member, Mr. Wright’s four-part “Sisyphus” encompasses a majestic dirge with tympani, a piano piece that moves from rippling impressionism to crashing free jazz, a clattery interlude for keyboards and percussion, and a mostly elegiac improvisation with organ, guitar, tape effects and birdcalls.
With “The Dark Side of the Moon,” Pink Floyd reined in its improvisation, came up with a concept album about workaday pressures and insanity and established itself as an arena-rock staple. The album stayed in the Billboard Top 200 album chart for 741 weeks. Pink Floyd continued to thrive through the 1970s, and Mr. Wright released his first solo project, “Wet Dream,” in 1978. Pink Floyd’s 1979 album, “The Wall,” eventually sold 23 million copies in the United States.
But there were conflicts within the band. Mr. Waters, who had increasingly taken control of Pink Floyd, reportedly threatened not to release “The Wall” unless Mr. Wright resigned his full membership in the band. Mr. Wright quit, only to tour with Pink Floyd in 1980-81 as a salaried sideman. He does not appear on the band’s 1983 album, “The Final Cut.”
After that album, Mr. Waters left Pink Floyd for a solo career, declaring the band a “spent force creatively.” Amid lawsuits, Mr. Gilmour and Mr. Mason regrouped under the Pink Floyd name; Mr. Wright rejoined them for the 1987 album “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” and “The Division Bell” in 1994.
He made another solo album, “Broken China,” in 1996, with Sinead O’Connor among the guest performers.
Mr. Wright, who was married three times, is survived by three children, Benjamin, Gala and Jamie; and one grandchild.
In interviews in 1996, Mr. Wright said he had not spoken to Mr. Waters for 14 years. Mr. Wright played keyboards on Mr. Gilmour’s 2006 album, “On an Island,” and went on tour with Mr. Gilmour’s band.
Pink Floyd’s 1970s lineup reunited briefly at the Live 8 London concert in Hyde Park on July 2, 2005, performing four songs before sharing a hug.
Correction: A previous version of this article referred incorrectly to Mr. Wright having attended a school for haberdashers.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: September 17, 2008
An obituary on Tuesday about Richard Wright, a founding member of the rock group Pink Floyd , referred incorrectly to a school he attended. The school, the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, is an independent day school founded by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, a guild; it is not a school for haberdashers.
Associated Press
September 9, 2008
CHICAGO — Imam W.D. Mohammed, who succeeded his father as leader of the Nation of Islam but abandoned its teachings of black supremacy and moved thousands of its followers into mainstream Islam, died Tuesday. He was 74.
Sultan Muhammad confirmed his uncle’s death, but did not immediately offer details. He said the family planned to issue a statement.
The Cook County Medical Examiner said Wallace Mohammed was pronounced dead Tuesday. Mohammed went by both Warith Deen Mohammed and Wallace Muhammad.
An autopsy was planned for today.
“Obviously, it’s a great loss for the entire Muslim community,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan, where Mohammed led a convention last month. “He was encouraging his followers to accept the best of their humanity and to extend the moral and ethical values of Islam to the general American public.”
When Mohammed’s father, Elijah Muhammad, died in 1975, his son was named leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam, which promoted self-reliance and black supremacy, a belief that mainstream Muslims consider heretical.
Mohammed, a friend of Malcolm X, quickly abandoned that teaching and led the Nation toward orthodox Islam, emphasizing the faith’s message of racial tolerance.
Minister Louis Farrakhan, who broke with Mohammed over the change, separately revived the old Nation of Islam.
SOURCE:  The Houston Chronicle:
Bby Everett Evans Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
September 18, 2008
Houston actor Cary Winscott, 38, a mainstay with Infernal Bridegroom Productions during its years as the city’s leading alternative theater, died of cancer Tuesday.
Winscott was one of three performers who portrayed different aspects of Joe the Boxer, the protagonist in Speeding Motorcycle, IBP’s premiere rock opera based on the works of cult figure Daniel Johnston. The production drew national attention, with coverage in The New York Times and American Theatre.
Another of Winscott’s memorable turns was as Starmaker, the lead role in A Soap Opera, a rock opera based on the album by the Kinks. He was prominent in many other IBP productions, including The Hotel Play, Meat/Bar and Rhinoceros.
Also a musician and writer, Winscott contributed to the troupe’s ensemble-generated works, such as the popular Tamalalia revues showcasing Tamarie Cooper.
“I don’t know how to talk about the impact Cary has made on my life personally today,” IBP founding artistic director Jason Nodler said Thursday. “And I don’t know that I ever will.”
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Pat H. Foley Funeral Home, 1200 W. 34th, with a reception following at 4 p.m. at DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway.
In accordance with Winscott’s love of “his friends and music,” Nodler requests that those at the reception be prepared to play “whatever music they like, recorded or live, as the best way to celebrate Winscott’s life with each other. In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible donations may be made to:
The Catastrophic Theatre
P.O. Box 66814
Houston, TX 77266-6814;
or M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center.
Related links:  more info and a video at

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Here are some articles on what has been happening in Houston and Galveston after Hurricane Ike. Like some of the people in the articles, like a true Texan, I barbecued as well, to keep our meat from spoiling. My family as well had to seek out any store that was open that sold ice and bottled water, not to mention batteries. Of course, those commodities sold out a lot because of the major loss of electricity in Houston, Galveston, and surrounding towns.

Cooking by candlelight was interesting, as I would get as much if any cooking, done before it became too dark. After a while, the candles ran out, and we had to scrounge the open stores nearest us for candles. Stores that were open were completely out of candles—-even matches. Since matches, like candles and batteries were impossible to find, I lit candles the only way I could:  turning on a gas stove burner, pulling off a piece of newspaper, rolling it up, lighting it from the gas flames, holdling it to the candle wick, then, voila, lit candle. I also picked up two kerosene/oil lamps at a bargain, but, after setting one of them up, and havimg the flame burn too high, having the globe become dark from soot, then having the flame flicker and sputter till it went out, I then returned to the last of the canldes.

Eating one of the MRE’s was quite an experience. These are the meals that our women and men in the military eat. The MREs were given out by relief agencies to people to eat due to lack of electricity to refrigerate food.

Following the directions on the packet, I was able to “heat” up a meal to eat. (These meals come 12 to a box.) The one I tried was a “Sloppy Joe”. It contained the meat sauce packet, jalapeno cheese sauce, whaet bread biscuit, salt. The meat sauce packet you put, unopened, into another packet with a hydrogen cloth that would activate with the addition of water, to heat up the meal. The meal was not bad. The meals come with a hot and a cold powdered drink, cookie or brownie, mints, washcloth, to name just some of the items in each MRE.

By Friday evening our lights were back on. You really know how much you miss electricity when you have two refrigerators to clean out. Talk about a horrific job. After tossing the spoiled food, disinfecting with cleaner, rinsing and drying, both fridges looked brand new. Foodless. but, clean and ready for more food.

Living through a storm that had winds that reached up to 110 mph, was quite an experience.  But, I am a survivor.

And so too, are the millions of fellow Texans who got through this hurricane and took care of each other so well.

The following are articles on the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

Are we our brothers, and sisters keepers?

Many Texans certainly proved that this past week.

Now we must pick up the pieces and get on with our lives.

The fatigue and stress are finally catching up to me.

Tomorrow is another day.

But my (our) spirit and resolve is certainly not lacking.



Michael Stravato for The New York Times

The Soria home in Pasadena, near Houston, has a generator and has housed more than 20 family members since the storm hit.




Published: September 20, 2008
HOUSTON — Kimberly Sykes finally threw out the gumbo she made the night Hurricane Ike slammed this city. For a week, she and seven others in her family ate it by candlelight, trying to keep it cool during the day with what ice they could scrounge up.
September 21, 2008    

Michael Stravato for The New York Times

Janet F. Jackson, 80, in her damaged home in Houston. “I am still in shock,” she said. Neighbors took her in.




But when a fetid smell arose from the stew on Thursday, she pitched it into the street, scrubbed the pot and braced herself for another day of foraging for an open grocery store, for ice, for bottled water.
“Every other day we have to find a store, because we have to re-up the food,” Ms. Sykes said, as the three children in the household wandered aimlessly through the kitchen with bored expressions.
For almost everyone in Houston, last week was a lost one. With winds of 110 miles per hour and a high flood of seawater along the coast, the storm paralyzed the nation’s fourth-largest city. Millions of people were without electricity, even a week after the hurricane hit. Sewers failed in scores of neighborhoods; a few communities lost running water as well.
Most people spent the days after the storm in a mad scramble to find ice, gasoline and food.
With schools closed, children have struggled to entertain themselves. The office towers that teem with oil company executives were shut down until midweek, and small businesses had difficulty reopening because their employees were busy patching up homes or caring for children.
In hard-hit neighborhoods, people banded together to barbecue what fresh meat they could find and to sit outside under the stars and talk. For some it was an eerie but welcome change from the glow of streetlights and the endless chatter of television sets.
“These storms have their pluses and their minuses,” said John Frazier, a construction worker from the wrecked suburb of Seabrook, as he popped open a beer with neighbors sitting in plastic chairs outside his flooded house. “The plus is it drew all the neighbors together.”
Like an accident victim coming out of a coma, the city has been returning to life. The downtown glitters with lights, despite boarded-up windows and doors. More and more gas stations and groceries are opening.
Some people have returned to work in office jobs and at refineries, even if their clothes are wrinkled and their homes dark.
Priscilla Deleon, an accountant with Universal Plant Services, said her office was operating on a generator, which meant that the workers there could not use coffee machines and that the computers kept flickering. “Everyone there is a coffee drinker, and we cannot drink coffee,” she groaned.
Others had no workplace to return to. The road in front of Noah’s Ark, a popular restaurant in Baycliff, had washed away, and one waitress, Chris Riley, found herself wondering what the future would hold. “I don’t get paid if I don’t work,” she said. “And I don’t have no money.”
Employees at High Fashion Fabrics in downtown Houston returned to the shop on Thursday to find that leaks had ruined $80,000 worth of silk. Across the street, a sister store that sells home furnishings could not open because it still lacked power.
“It’s stressful because you are used to a certain routine,” said the manager of the fabric store, John Levan, 34. “It’s like someone throwing a wrench into the plans and things are all out of sorts.”
People with electricity took in family members and neighbors without. Jacquelyn Randle’s home in a working-class subdivision in west Houston became a refuge for her son and daughter, a son-in-law and a grandchild, as well as friends.
“It’s kind of like a family reunion,” said Ms. Randle’s son, Dalton Lewis, 44.
When Ms. Randle’s weary guests arrived, they flocked to her bathroom to bathe and then trooped to the kitchen to fill their bellies with something hot. She fed them baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, mustard greens and lettuce-and-tomato salad.
“Something like this makes everybody come together,” said Ms. Randle, 63. “We’ve all had bad luck in the past. Now, I can help somebody else.”
In Pasadena, just east of Houston, the Soria family home was the only one in the neighborhood with a generator, and there seemed to be a party going on. The smell of carne asada rose from a barbecue.
The dining table was surrounded with members of the extended Soria clan — more than 20 people — many of whom had been sleeping on the floor of the house since the hurricane hit.
The festive atmosphere belied a frustrating week of coping with the hurricane’s aftermath. Six days after the storm, the family still had no electricity and the ceiling in the living room had fallen in.
September 21, 2008    

Michael Stravato for The New York Times

The JPMorgan Chase building’s windows were boarded up last week.






September 21, 2008    

Michael Stravato for The New York Times

Jose Centeno, 52, was among those in San Leon, on Galveston Bay on the outskirts of Houston, who lost their fishing boats.




Every day has been a struggle to find an open grocery store and an operating gas station, said Armando Soria, 34, a technician in a radiology lab.
“It’s hectic,” Mr. Soria said. “We have to manage with what we can. It’s a hassle trying to get gas. We need milk for the kids, food.”
Some people, however, had no family to depend on when the storm hit. Janet F. Jackson, 80, lives alone in a single-story house. She had surgery to repair a heart valve last year.
When the storm roared into Houston early on Sept. 13, the wind was so loud she awoke and then stumbled from bed and huddled in a hallway. Then three large trees crashed into her roof, punching holes. Water poured in. The ceiling collapsed.
“I am still in shock,” Ms. Jackson said. “I’ll tell you, I started stuttering a little. I forget things.”
Neighbors came to the rescue. The family next door fed her and helped clean the rubble out of her kitchen. A couple down the street, Joe and Margaret Riley, took her in. “We couldn’t find a hotel,” Ms. Jackson said. “I’m surviving through the kindness of friends.”
Some Texans responded with a skill bred in the bone here — barbecue. Dewayne Loving transformed himself into the resident barbecue chef for his small apartment complex, which went without power for a week.
Mr. Loving cooked on his two barbecue pits from dawn until dusk, taking in donated meat from neighbors whose freezers were thawing. The food was distributed to people in the complex.
“From the time I get up, there’s somebody at the door with some meat who don’t want it to spoil,” said Mr. Loving, 56, a retired Houston native, as he drank a beer. “Everybody is bringing their meat to me.”
Mr. Loving was not the only one donating his time. Thousands of volunteers stepped in to hand out food, water and ice at distribution sites organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, after federal and state officials said they could not staff all 60 sites.
Others, like Reginald Dugas, 45, were what might be called incorrigible givers.
Mr. Dugas was handing out food every day to needy people in the parking lot of the University of Houston football stadium, after working an all-night shift as a clerk in the prosthetics department at a veterans hospital. He was only catching a few hours of sleep in the afternoon.
Mr. Dugas said eight people, mostly neighbors and family, were staying at his one-bedroom house, because he had electricity. His biggest problem, he said, was finding a working cash machine so he could buy gasoline.
“I am down to $8 with no gas,” Mr. Dugas said cheerily as he handed people their rations. “Right now I am down to empty, and my concern is how am I going to make it to a gas station and be able to wait long enough to get to the pump.”
Some shops went to extraordinary lengths to stay open. Several H.E.B. grocery stores opened on generator power the day after the storm passed.
Other shops escaped unscathed, like McCoy’s Fine Cigars in downtown Houston, a local institution where on Wednesday the owner, Mike McCoy, and a friend, Richard Carper, enjoyed a smoke and talked about the hurricane.
Mr. McCoy, 54, said he moved to the nearby Rice Hotel the day of the storm when it became clear his house in Lake Conroe would be without electricity or running water for some time. Mr. Carper, 50, a supervisory clerk for the Harris County Criminal Court, lingered in the shop, slowly puffing a Dominican cigar, because he had no electricity at his house near the Houston Ship Channel.
“I’m in the dark for another week or so; we are living out of a cooler and wearing wrinkled clothes to work,” Mr. Carper said. “I just came by to smoke a cigar and get some light before I go home to the darkness.”
For others, the impact of the storm was much more profound.
Fishermen like Jose Centeno, 52, in San Leon, a community on Galveston Bay on the southern outskirts of Houston, not only lost their boats, but their houses and other belongings as well.
Mr. Centeno, a bearish man with viselike, calloused hands, wept as he surveyed his fishing boat, the Texas Express, tossed onto a dock like a toy, two pilings sticking up through the hull.
“Very difficult,” he spluttered.
“Could be 15, 20 thousand to replace. I have been working here for 15 years,” and his voice trailed off.
The Centeno family’s home was flooded with four feet of water. Mr. Centeno; his wife, Maria; two daughters; and three grandchildren have piled their waterlogged belongings onto the lawn.
Mrs. Centeno said they were surviving on the military meals the National Guard was handing out and were sleeping at a friend’s house. She tries to keep the children clean with mini-baths using bottled water. They are bored, with no school and no television. One carries around a tiny Chihuahua named Bully.
“We have to have lots of patience, especially with the children,” she said. “They don’t understand what happened. They can get sick touching any little thing.”
Returning to Galveston
Galveston officials announced Saturday that residents would be allowed to return Wednesday starting at 6 a.m. Those whose property is behind the seawall will be allowed to assess the damage and determine if they wish to remain, said the city manager, Steve LeBlanc.
Those in areas not behind the seawall, including the city’s battered west end, will be allowed to assess the damage and gather important belongings but must leave, Mr. LeBlanc said. Those areas do not have basic services like water, sewer, natural gas or electricity, he said.
Jamaica Beach, a town of 1,120 on the western side of Galveston Island, on Saturday started allowing residents to return temporarily to view their property, according to its Web site.
SOURCE: The New York Times:

Past Coverage




Filed under Uncategorized