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Today(June 14), being Flag Day, I thought that giving reference to the flag (irregardless of from what country one belongs to) is the priority task for today.
However, due to fate, it wasn’t meant to be. Neither giving much prominence that today is also the birthday of US President Donald Trump.

What happened today was the shooting of 1 US Republican Congressman (Rep. Steve Scalisse) by a gunman, known to be a supporter of US Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 US Presidential election. This all happened in a baseball field in Alexandra,Virginia,USA where both members of Congress were practicing baseball in preparation for a charity game tomorrow evening.

The gunman died from gunshot wounds inflicted by the US Majority Whip’s security staff( who were luckily present ). Rep. Scalisse was stable and will undergo hip surgery because he was shot at the hip. Later on, it was reported that he now got out of surgery and is in critical condition at the time of printing this blog.

The gunman through his social media trail, had voiced anti-Trump rhetoric and now the FBI is involved because it’s politically motivated.

I was afraid that because of the rising political rhetoric in the US, that something will just tip over.
Is today’s shooting the wake-up call to finally rein in all those hateful rhetoric which only incite violent feelings from mentally and emotionally disturbed individuals?
Is today’s shooting also the wake-up call to enforce gun regulation since it now affects the US lawmakers amidst a long history of mass shootouts in the US especially during former US President Obama’s term?

Time will only tell whether real changes will finally come or today’s events will just be forgotten in due time.

Just saying!

Josie

When I heard today that Sir Roger Moore had passed away after a short time, bravely battling cancer, I felt sad since I had always enjoyed watching him  in the movies portraying the suave British spy James Bond,Agent 007 as well as the crime-fighting tycoon Simon Templar in the TV series The Saint. He had a massive movie and theatre career but definitely the 2 aforementioned roles were his most famous ones.

He had been  more involved now with UNICEF, being a high-profile United Nations representative for children’s causes worldwide. This was one role that he relished the most until the end of his life.

Him being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II is like a cherry on a big cake. If this were part of a movie story line, it would appear as if the Queen had just knighted James Bond,Agent 007 who always serves at the pleasure of his Royal Highness.

Though I don’t drink liquor, much less a martini like James Bond, to Sir Roger, I salute you with my non-alcoholic drink,shaken,not stirred as you’d like it.

Salut!

Josie

With all that has been going on in this world  regarding terrorism, the fact that this time, in Manchester UK, it involved  a terrorist attack,bombing a concert by a popular American pop singer(Ariana Grande) who’s providing  good entertainment to a group of young people (teenagers, tweens) has sent chills and sadness to me.

A suicide bomber did his job and left  indescribable heartbreak to families and loved ones of the very young  victims whether they’re dead, injured or missing.

Second-guessing as to how to improve security in any public event will always come up. Unfortunately, we all learn by hindsight. It goes to show that nothing’s safe anymore.

I  feel sorry for Miss Grande who surely must be feeling distraught that her fans came to see her , only to later on meet their respective fates. I hope that this  awful experience will not prevent her from performing ever again but to use this very moment  to find new purpose in performing for her fans.

My thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by this awful tragedy.

 

Josie

With Easter Sunday arriving tomorrow,amidst all the impending festivities, I will also be reflecting on the life of a special family(a widow with 3 special-needs,adult sons) who all passed away from smoke inhalation secondary to a house fire just this past Tuesday.

It happened in the town of St. George,New Brunswick,Canada.

Their deaths have been deemed as “non-criminal in nature”. the cause of the fire remains now under the investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal.

The only silver lining here is that all 4 of them left this world together and will be celebrating Easter in their own way wherever they are now.

Here’s today’s news article which gives a synopsis of what had recently happened and the memorial service of all the 4 deceased family members.

Community gathers to remember family killed in house fire—-Sarah Seeley(The Telegraph Journal)

ST.GEORGE–  Fire trucks lined Main Street outside St. George Baptist on Saturday as the community gathered to remember Esther Boyd and her three adult sons,Davey,Billy and Robbie.

The four family members died in a fire at their South Street home on Tuesday.

The public memorial service was held on what would have been Davey’s 56th birthday.

The front of the church was filled with members of the St. George Fire Dept. where Davey was an honorary fire chief who had helped out at the station for more than 40 years.

Firefighters from the departments in Black Harbour,Deer island and St. Stephen were also at the service.

All the pews were filled at the Baptist church with more mourners gathering at the St. Mark’s Anglican Church across the street to hear a broadcast of the service.

Some of the Musquash Fire department took over operations at the St. George Fire Hall so the firefighters could attend the funeral.

Esther,80,was the primary caregiver for her three adult sons with special needs-Billy,59,Davey,55 and Robbie,52.

She was a dedicated member of St. George Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school and sang in the choir. The songs sung at her funeral were some of Esther’s favorites.

The church’s minister,Rev. Jason Hooper,and Rev. Mary Ann Langmaid from the Anglican Church conducted the service.

Hooper said Esther was known around the community as a kind and loving mother to her boys.

“She was a  person of strong faith,”he said. It was her strong faith that helped her to persevere .”

Premier Brian Gallant and MLA Rick Doucet and St. George mayor Crystal Cook attended the service.

After the service,Gallant told the Telegraph-Journal he was touched by the outpouring of sentiments from the town of 1,500 people.

“It’s very sad anytime that you have a community going through something of this nature.We wanted to be here to support them. We  know all New Brunswickers are thinking of St. George.”

 

My thoughts and prayers for this family as well.

Josie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Edward Anderson Berry aka Chuck Berry was born in St. Louis,Missouri on Oct. 18,1926. I heard the news of his death  which happened yesterday  in St. Louis as well. He was 90 years old.

Having read all the articles regarding him, I will give my own input as well about this man who’s considered the Father of Rock and Roll, an original Rock and Roll legend, in fact, was the first inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

His musical repertoire reflected his views on happiness and rebellion.He was able to use his great songwriting skills to tell stories that happen in  society —- for example—“Sweet Little Sixteen”(about young female fans called groupies), “School Day“(about daily school routines and trials and tribulations),”Back in the U.S.“(black man’s tribute to his country–the USA) ,”Johnny  B. Goode“(aspiring country guitar player being encouraged by his mom to pursue his dream to be a star).

The Johnny B. Goode song  became an anthem for every aspiring musician who dreams to hit the big time. It was also Chuck Berry’s signature song.

The song”Rock and Roll Music” became the guide song for all future rock bands to follow.

Even his gifted guitar skills have inspired known rock guitarists like George Harrison,Keith Richards and Eric Clapton for example.

He was able to combine both country fast beat and rhythm in blues song to produce the rock and roll music beat that we know now.

He was also an amazing live performer and would use his”bent-leg duck” walk from time to time while playing his guitar. on stage.

He was also known for his brushes with the law as well as his many extramarital liaisons  yet he was able only to serve just part of his time in jail and the rest were either dismissed ,commuted or pardoned. He remained married to his wife Themetta Suggs who stayed by his side up to his death.

His fame had been stratospheric and one example would be the launching of the unmanned Voyager in 1977 by NASA and inside that rocket was stored a music album containing a musical playlist which included  only 1 rock song—Johnny B. Goode. The purpose of that musical album was to explain to any potential extraterrestials that the Voyager may encounter as to what kind of music is being played on the planet Earth.

On his 90th birthday last year, he announced that he would be releasing his musical album first new in 38 years on 2017,titled “Chuck”. This would be a compilation of his new,original songs which were written,recorded and produced by him.

He reflected that he may be nearing the end of his life ,thus the end of his musical career and felt that it’ll be the time to hang up his boots.

It should be pointed out that he never stopped performing even when he got on in years. It probably kept him feeling young and strong because music playing and songwriting was what kept him busy and which he loved doing so.

He may be gone now but his music will live on. For me personally, all I need to do is just go on Youtube and watch Michael J. Fox sing Johnny B. Goode on 1 Back to the Future clip. I could even shake a leg and hip to its catchy beat too!

 

Josie

 

 

 

 

 

News item  from Chris Morris–Legislature Bureau—Nov. 12, 2016

Boys  killed in snake attack would have fought hard  : grandmother

The death of 2 little boys in a horrific snake attack was the focus of a now-finished trial in Campbellton, but for relatives of the children, it is their lives they remember,helping the family carry on despite the devastating loss.

The Barthe brothers Connor,6,and Noah,4, were very close,accdg. to their grandmother,Linda Barthe, who attended every day of the 8-day criminal negligence trial in Campbellton.

On Thursday,Jean-Claude Savoie, the owner of the almost 4-meter long python that killed the children, was found not guilty by a jury of criminal negligence causing their deaths in the 2013 tragedy.

Linda Barthe said it was difficult to sit through the trial,which included details about the attack on the children after the snake escaped its enclosure in Savoie’s apartmetn and killed the boys while they were on a sleep over.

“We had to be there for the boys,”Barthe said,who showed up everyday  with her husband and the boys’ grandfather,Ernest.

“I said to myself,”The boys went through it. I can go through it.”

She said Noah,who kept everyone in the family laughing with his funny comments called “Noah-isms”,was excited to start kindergarten. Connor,serious and thoughtful and about to start Grade 2, was intensely protective of his little brother and often put his arm around the smaller chiled.

Barthe said she was told that Noah died first in teh snake attack- a detail that did not come out at trial. She said the family believes whoever  was attacked first, the brothers would not leave each other.

“No matter which one was attacked first, there is no question that the other would definitely have gone to help,’Barthe said in an interview with Brunswick News.

“There would have been no hesitation. I don’t remember who told me, but I was told that Noah died first. Connor would have been right in there, fighting tooth and nail. We know he would have tried to help.”

The battle against the snake would have been uneven. The African rock python that killed the children was known to be aggressive and bad-tempered and if one child had tried to free the other, a snake expert who testified at the trial said the reptile was long enough to wrap both boys in its deadly coils and constrict.

A pathologist said the brothers died of asphyxiation.

Barthe said she often looked after the children,occasionally picking them up at their daycare and bringing them to her home in Dalhousie.

She said she always smiles when she recalls the routine the boys had when they came to her home, including asking their granddad to make pancakes-their favorite meal when visiting.

“I would sit for hours watching them play in the yard,”she said.

“there was no fighting.They were just precious,precious,precious,beautiful boys. They had big,dark eyes. Connor was such a handsome little boy and Noah was very cute. They were happy children. They were loved and they knew they were loved. I think that makes a huge difference in the life of a child-to know they are loved.”

Barthe said the family still is in pain over the loss. She said there has been counselling for some family members.Others still cannot talk about it and others just carry on as best they can.

She said there is an ache that will never go away.

“It is difficult to explain the hurt,the physical and mental hurt,when you hear something like this,”Barthe said.

‘The pain is physical. My husband said when I was told they were gone, I screamed so loud i must have woken up everyone in the neighborhood.”

Barthe said that when it comes to Savoie and the trial,there has never been any doubt in her mind that he loved the boys. She said their deaths will be a burden for him for the rest of his life, a fact acknowledged by Savoie through his defense lawyers.

“I don’t know what he will think when he closes his eyes and remembers Connor and Noah,”she said. “But i know when I close my eyes, and see them playing in my yard once again, I smile.”

 

After reading this article, my thoughts and prayers for all those involved.

Josie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts from Chris Morris–Legislature Bureau—Nov. 9, 2016

Jean-Claude Savoie found not guilty in case of young brothers being killed by python

CAMPBELLTON- Jean-Claude Savoie,whose large and aggressive African rock python killed 2 little boys on Aug. 5, 2013 .has been found not guilty of criminal negligence causing death. The 11-member jury delivered its verdict on Wednesday after deliberations for 5 hours.

Savoie’s immediate reaction was tears as he cried with family members.

The verdict follows an 8-day trial during which the jury heard often disturbing testimony about terrifying attack on 2 small boys by what was described as a “mean” and “crazy” python.

The deaths of the children in such a bizarre and horrific manner created headlines around the world when it happened in 2013, and it remains a sensitive issue in this northern New Brunswick community.

 

 

Josie