Why we celebrate Memorial Day

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(The following appeared in USA Today on May 24, 2014)

Americans love Memorial Day and, according to various polls, celebrate it in o variety of ways: 55 percent have picnics or barbecues, 21 percent take a trip somewhere, 21 percent go to a parade.

          However, many Americans aren’t quite sure what the holiday represents. When a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll asked Americans in 2000, “Would you hope to know why we celebrate Memorial Day?” only28 percent correctly answered that the day honors those who died while serving in the armed forces.

          The most common misperception: 40 percent said the holiday is for remembering veterans,” confusing it with the November celebration of Veterans Day.

          That takes us to: “What were we thinking in 1967?”

          Memorial Day first come into existence during the Civil War and was celebrated annually on May 30 for more than 100 years before being officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1967. One year later, Congress passed a low moving the holiday from May 30 to the last Monday in May. lt was not a popular move. Only 38 percent of Americans favored the idea in a Harris Poll conducted in late 1962 while 59 percent were opposed.

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Tips to Succeed:Take stock when traveling

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This is Tip 176 from The ABCs of Strategic Communication. Check it out on www dot larry litwin dot com.

Heed this advice:

If you’re preparing to travel here

are thoughts on how to avoid

lost luggage stress.

• Remember to keep valuables,

such as prescriptions, electronics

or jewelry, on you or in a

carry-on bag.

• Have with you, in a carry-on,

whatever you might need to get

through a 24-hour period if your

bags are lost.

• Make a list of what you pack so

if your luggage is lost you can

file a claim more effectively.

Include a good description of

the items.

• Wear clothing suitable for your

trip.

• If traveling on business, dress

appropriately in case the rest of

your items are lost.

 

Make a list of what you pack so

if your luggage is lost you can

file a claim more effectively.

Include a good description of

the items.

• Wear clothing suitable for your

trip.

• If traveling on business, dress

appropriately in case the rest of

your items are lost.

• Check to be certain that you

have an ID tag on the outside

and also put identification

inside your bag.

• If you check luggage, confirm

that the three-letter destination

tags attached to your bags are

actually for your location.

Diana Dratch – www.bankrate.com

 

 

 

 

 

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs and Common Myths

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com] This arrived from my mortgage holder:
When adding energy-efficient upgrades to your home, it’s important to ensure even the most fundamental of enhancements, such as lighting, offer the ease of use, reliability and value expected from the traditional, incandescent options.

Advancements in bulb technology 
Though they have had a presence in homes for the last three decades, the compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulb has greatly improved since its infancy. Some enhancements include reduced price, availability in standard warm tones and “A-line” shaped bulbs that mimic the look and feel of traditional incandescent bulbs.

New technologies include GE’s Bright from the Start CFL. This hybrid halogen-CFL light bulb provides instant brightness, and is now available at stores in a 100-watt incandescent replacement. It is also available in other wattages for table or floor lamps, globe lights for vanity lighting and floodlights for recessed lighting used in rooms throughout the home.

While new lighting advancements bring a wealth of benefits to many homeowners, there are still some mixed messages about the value of CFL bulbs, as a whole.

Common myths related to CFL bulbs 
As the lighting industry shifts to provide more energy-efficient lighting options, more homeowners are giving CFLs a try. However, a variety of myths about CFL lighting still exist today.

1. CFLs produce an unattractive blue light
Today’s CFLs can produce a soft white color similar to incandescent bulbs. Check the packaging for Kelvin numbers within a range of 2,700 to 3,000 for a warmer light appearance.

2. CFLs take a long time to get bright
While many CFLs take up to a minute to reach full brightness, there are now more advanced options. GE’s hybrid-halogen CFL uses a Brightness Booster, or a halogen capsule, for instant brightness, eliminating the wait for bright light.

3. CFLs are only available in corkscrew shapes
Many options are now available that mirror the traditional shape of incandescent bulbs for a variety of applications. One option is a 100-watt replacement bulb for table or floor lamps, as well as globe lights commonly used for bathroom vanity lighting and recessed lighting in kitchen, living and dining rooms.

Copyright© 2013 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Larry Litwin inducted into Parsons College Wall of Honor

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com] (See Nancy’s remarks on last week’s blog)2013-10-11 (15)

(Hand Nancy her dink)

     Hello, Sports Fans! That greeting started at KMCD radio almost 50 years ago…and I’ve been using it ever since.

To all who made this day and weekend possible. To all previous honorees … and to my follow honorees… and our many friends who share this day with us: I dedicate my remarks to all of you – and to my late dear friend…Dr. John DiFazio, who, with his wife Carol, spent many years teaching in the Fairfield Public Schools …and to my former roommate Doug Pocock who had planned on introducing me but was not able to be here this weekend. Doug was photo editor of our yearbook Peira and The Portfolio. In fact, during his years here at Parsons, Doug…photographer extraordinaire…was Parsons official photographer.

Today is about overcoming adversity, getting a second chance, life-altering events and other turning points. The enormity of this honor is beyond measure. It would be a huge understatement to say…I was speechless upon receiving Dave Neff’s phone call. And, as my family can attest, I am rarely at a loss for words.

Many times they accuse me of talking way too much. That will not be the case today as I, we, for Nancy and I…look back on what brought Parsons College and Larry Litwin…and Larry and Nancy Perris together.

My highest professional honor – and personal honor, too – is when one of my students is recognized with a major award. Several have told me…THIS will be the best and I wouldn’t fully realize it until this very moment. They are correct.

As Student Number 655280 – Nancy was 656997 – I look around this vast room and know I am not alone when I say…I have experienced many…life-altering events. But without question, THEeee … shall I say, FIRSTturning point in my young adult life was when I recognized being in pharmacy school… was not for me. So, in Fall1964 I visited my high school baseball coach, who, coincidentally…I had dinner with just two weeks ago after not seeing him for many years.

Back in 1964, coach advised that I look for another school – one more geared to my interests and one in which I might be able to play baseball. When I got home, I opened a small paperback book I had been reading by Herbert Tarr called, “The Conversion of Chaplain Cohen.”

In addition to being humorous, it contained advice –

first-hand – from the Chaplain who wound up at an air base in Mississippi. Chaplain Cohen’s story and Coach Minnick’s advice led me to “Lovejoy’s College Catalogue”…and the rest…as they say…is history.

I soon accompanied a friend to meet with a Parsons College recruiter. Remember them? My friend did not apply, but I did. I got accepted, received a partial baseball scholarship, thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies, and arrived …steamer trunk in tow…at the Fairfield Train Station on Thursday, February 4th, 1965.

It seemed like 25 degrees below zero – maybe even 40 below — but I am often reminded…I do exaggerate. Like many others, I left the trunk at the station and took that long, cold walk to the campus – my new home away from home.

Early the next morning – 5 a.m. to be exact – I  reported to Coach Joe Lutz for baseball practice in Fry Thomas Field House, faced a pitch from Dick Mills and immediately knew, I’d better study hard…because…playing baseball would not be my future. Coach Lutz’s words have stayed with me all these years: Sacrifice, respect, discipline and desire. Add: commitment and responsibility. Coach Lutz’s defined luck as preparation…meeting opportunity. Coach Lutz and Parsons did their share.

Another turning point, luckily, came soon after I injured my right knee playing ball. KMCD radio was broadcasting the game from Legion Field. I knew one of the announcers, Terry Shockley, was leaving the next day for a new job in Madison, Wisconsin …so I asked his partner, Dave Spilman if I could fill in. Dave asked if I had ever announced and I responded yes…a little white lie…not saying it was as a public address announcer…rather than play-by-play.

Thanks to that stretching of the truth – and a little luck – I have been in radio – in one form or another – ever since.

Pause

        The most important turning point – life altering event – occurred on the first day of the Summer 1965 trimester in Student Center One. That’s when I sat down in Sydney Spade’s Drama Appreciation class. Next to me was the cutest little blonde I had ever seen. She is still cute, and still blonde…and I’d better say…still little.

We were married two- and- a half years later in September 1967…just a few months after graduation…and are the proud parents of second grade teacher Julie Beth Kramer, her husband Billy, and our son, Adam Seth, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and his wife Claire. Julie and Billy have a 10 ½ year-old and 7 ½ year old Aidan. Adam and Claire have a  6-month old.

My Rowan University students often asked about my teaching style, why my office was adorned in green and white…or…Iowa rose, why I wore green and white during academic ceremonies (hold up academic hood), why the covers of the two books I’ve written are green and white, and why my favorite mascot is…the Wildcat. Two words: Parsons CollegeParsons College.

Among the most fortunate days of my life are my high school baseball coach’s advice, my co-incidental meeting with that Parsons recruiter, getting into Parsons, injuring my knee, totally embracing the “Parsons Plan”…graduating from Parsons and…meeting… and marrying Nancy.

If it were not for Millard G. Roberts’ vision…Doc Bob… the incredible professors, preceptors and tutors, I would never have achieved the successes I have. I owe so much to so many – not only from Parsons, but from the people in Fairfield.

You may find this hard to believe: a day does not go by without my thinking about Parsons. I don’t even want to consider where I would be without “Doc Bob,” and what I observed and learned from Parsons College. It was much more than academics.

        My total education included the brilliance of my dedicated professors and other faculty – plus learning a work ethic that my parents already possessed, what it meant to be a committed teacher and coach…and… social skills, which led to many incredible life-long relationships. We were constantly encouraged to succeed.

        I promised myself back then, if ever I became a college instructor I would emulate Drs. Baird, Russos, Robertson, Rodner, Dr. Tree and so many others. (Hold up “Scholars Who Teach” from Parsons 1966-67)

As a 1999 Rowan graduate recently posted on Facebook, you, Professor Litwin promised to Pay it forward – and now my husband and I are, too.

        In many respects, February 4th, 1965 seems like only yesterday, but I do ask…where have the years gone?– from that snowy, Thursday…flying from Philadelphia…looking out the TWA Jet window at my father, Eddie… crying like a baby while my mother hugged him…arriving in Chicago and taking the Aksarben/…a slow milk train – oh, it WAS a cattle car – getting into Fairfield and…thanking the good lord for putting off getting drafted for a couple of years. And I did get drafted right after graduation. What a commencement ceremony it was:…It was interrupted by a violent thunderstorm that knocked out the power, ironically, during the singing – of… “When you Walk Through a Storm.”

        Yes, we ask, “Where have the years gone?” (pause) … The years have brought us here today – Fairfield, Iowa 52556 – just a stone’s throw from the campus whose administration, faculty and staff, …staff like Chefs Mike Young and Captain John Bailey, of “The Old South Room” and cafeteria server, Irma…they made sure we ate well…and Doc Bob and Mrs. Louise Roberts and so many others who taught us to overcome adversity, work hard, get up when you get knocked down, turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones and – like my mother – Jeannie – always said, “Larry boy, If you dream it, you can achieve it.”

One more quick, true story: Many years ago, when I was teaching a graduate course, one of my students – a teacher –  shared her thoughts at HER school…about my teaching style and my approach. One of her fellow teachers, asked, “Did your professor attend Parsons College?” He sounds so much like the professors who worked with my father – Parsons Campus Minister, The Reverend Jack R. Steele. When the student shared that story with the class, I filled with emotion.

Pause

        My life has come full circle. No matter what happens from this day forward, as my mother promised, I have achieved my dreams. Thank you Doc Bob,…thank you Nance, …thank you everyone here…and ESPECIALLY, thank YOU Parsons College – Go Wildcats!!!

Larry Litwin
(L-r) Julie Litwin Kramer, Nancy Litwin and Larry(L-r) Julie Litwin Kramer, Nancy Litwin, Larry

 [To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com] (See Nancy’s remarks on last week’s blog)

(L-r) Larry, Dr. Robert Tree (Larry's history professor) and Dave Neff, classmate andWall of Honor co-chair.
(L-r) Larry, Dr. Robert Tree (Larry’s history professor) and Dave Neff, classmate andWall of Honor co-chair.

Nancy Litwin’s intro — Parsons College Wall of Honor

Nancy Litwin delivering Parsons College Wall of Honor introduction.
Nancy Litwin delivering Parsons College Wall of Honor introduction.

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

I remember it well – my first day of classes at Parsons College. It was on Monday, June 14th, 1965. I was 18 and freshly graduated from high school, although I had to miss the ceremony to get here for the summer trimester.

My early gym class preceded Drama Appreciation with Sydney Spade. With gym clothes tucked under my arm, I entered the lecture hall and found my seat. At that moment, one of my sneakers dropped on the foot of the person sitting next to me. Yes, it was Larry’s foot. We started a brief conversation, went for coffee after class and from that moment on Larry and I started dating…and still do.

Once I found my way around the campus, it was apparent, Parsons was such a nurturing place. Most important was the accessibility, empathy and sensitivity of the instructors.

Because of Larry’s radio career, we moved a lot, so my schooling did not end here…and…unfortunately, I didn’t find those qualities at the other three colleges I attended. I regret…to this daynot having Parsons on my diploma.

It is great many of you who made Parsons what it was are here, today.  Thank you for getting us here, today.

And now my husband of 46 years: Larry

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com] (Next week, Larry’s remarks)

NPR’s Race Card Project

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Leading up to the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, NPR’s Michele Norris established “The Race Card Project” http://theracecardproject.com/

Welcome to The Race Card Project!

What you see here are candid submissions from people who have engaged in a little exercise. Here’s how it works. Think about the word Race. How would you distill your thoughts, experiences or observations about race into one sentence that only has six words?

That’s right. Your thoughts. One sentence. Six words.

Since I began asking people to share their thoughts about race, ethnicity and cultural identity, thousands of submissions have poured in from the web, by mail, by hand and via Twitter. Spend some time scrolling through the Race Card wall. Click through to read some of the stories behind the six-word submissions. Send in your own six-word essay. Share this with your friends. Join the conversation.

– See more at: http://theracecardproject.com/#sthash.LJwSaF64.dpuf

Here are a couple that helped start my Facebook conversation asking for your six words on race:

Clarence B. Jones, MLK adviser/ speechwriter, and Palmyra High School (Burlington County) graduate, said, “Hate is why we cannot wait.” Civil Rights Leader Dr. Joseph Lowery: “Everything has changed-nothing has changed.” My six words: “Getting closer. So far to go.”

What are yours? Here are some of the responses

Patricia Quigley There is no room for hatred.

Edward Campbell The more I get to know people, the more I like my dogs !

Lauren Scarpa Hate destroys. Instill tolerance and understanding.

Steve Kwasnik We are really all the same!

Brian Startare Why must we worry about color?

Robert J. Kenney Can’t we all just get along?

Joanne Calabria So much progress in my lifetime.

Jessica Alamsha To hate is to lack understanding. #educate

Dina DiRenzo A social construct to vilify others

Nicole Lasecki I’ve been fascinated by the NPR race card project. So many things come to mind…

Terrible things said to me over the years:
1) Love everyone but don’t date him.
2) Yeah I have black friends too

3) Only unemployed because they are lazy.

4) “They” are all on government assistance. 

This is How I feel on the inside:
1) Loves all colors. Hates only idiots.
2) Suburban mom teaches tolerance and love.
3)Raised with blacks. Misunderstood by whites.
4) Watching racism thrive in professional world.

Norman Mazer States Rights will break up America

Joe Harrington Why is racism only one way?

Liguori Familia At the end, we are one.

Michael H. Color blind…more than a dream?

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Living in a college dorm

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My former Rowan University colleague Prof. Debra Nussbaum wrote in the Sunday, Aug. 19, 2013 The Philadelphia Inquirer ” College campuses have the perfect recipe for a spike in bad manners: Start with young people leaving home for the first time. Move them in with total strangers. Add alcohol (it happens). Then sprinkle in today’s technology and small living quarters.

Here’s the link:  http://www.inquirer.com/opinion/20130818_Civility_critical_to_surviving_dormitory_life.html

Says Prof. Nussbaum:

The rules for making peace with roommates are not much different from the basic etiquette that makes life better for everyone. To get you started this fall, try these tips from local students and Rutgers University roommate agreements:

  • If you make a mess, clean it up.
  • Decide ahead of time what you will share, who will buy what, and when guests are allowed.
  • Talk about volume on movies and music, and about your schedules. If you have an 8 a.m. class on Wednesdays or a 6 a.m. practice, let your roommate know.
  • Don’t use social media to air your complaints.
  • Be honest and talk to your roommate when something bothers you.
  • Don’t bring a pet to the apartment without getting your roommate’s permission (yes, this really happened).
  • Living with your best friend doesn’t always work out.

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com}

Weaning yourself off plastic

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

This appeared some time ago in The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Rodale’s editors blogged, and got many outside comments and tips, at www.rodale.com/plastic-free.

Their muse was Beth Terry, a Californian who since 2007 has been lessening her plastic use. She blogs and offers numerous insights at www.myplasticfreelife.com (an excellent website).

Emily’s main advice is to start by amassing all the plaastic you use in a week. Analyze it. there is probably a lot of packaging you could eliminate. More specific types from the group:

  • Carry your own cutlery. Skip single-use items.
  • Use metal or glass food storage containers.
  • Wrap lunch sandwiches in waxed paper.
  • Try laundry detergent powders that come in a box.
  • Carry reusable shopping bags.
  • Carry a reusable bottle, or buy drinks in glass or aluminum.

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

July Fourth prep for dog lovers — Tips to avoid dogs’ firework frenzy

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

This advice comes from Associated Press writer Sue Manning. You can find the entore story in the Courier-Posthttp://www.courierpostonline.com/viewart/20130704/NEWS05/307040030/Fourth-July-fireworks-rattle-dogs

Here are the tips:

Experts say you can prevent a personal doggie drama from becoming a tragedy by taking some simple steps:
• Take a walk and wear your dog out before sundown.
• Plan on staying home with your pet when fireworks shows are scheduled nearby.
• Close the doors and windows, turn on the television, music, fans and any other noisy devices to try and drown out the noise and percussion of the explosions.
• Just sit with the dog. Don’t force cuddling because fear can turn some animals aggressive. Have treats available but most dogs won’t eat through fireworks.
• Leaving a dog in a crate or cage may not protect it. Dogs can chip their teeth and break their nails on cages.
• If a pet doesn’t have a microchip or an ID tag with updated information, get that before the fireworks start.

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Miss New Jersey

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

Hello everyone…

I have just returned from judging the 2013 Miss New Jersey Pageant in Ocean City. Wow, what a special event. Too often the public takes pageants and judging for granted. Well, not in this case. For the six judges, three from New Jersey and one each from Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York, it was labor intensive. Except for a few hours Friday, it was all work all the time from Wednesday afternoon until late into Saturday evening. Except for one brief discussion session, each judge votes on every category every time independently without any discussion — evening during lunch and dinner. We were closely scrutinized and self-disciplined. Each might have his or her own criteria and that is how they voted. It was an excellent mix of opinions and criteria.

For me, this was educational. The longer the preliminaries continued, the more I learned. In the end, I know Miss New Jersey 2013, like 2012 (Rowan University’s Lindsey Petrosh), possesses the characteristics of a Miss America. We all wish Cara McCollum the very best. Bring home the crown. How cool would that be with the pageant returning to Atlantic City where it belongs?

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]