Tag Archives: #WATWB

Homeless in Pacific Palisades

A recent count revealed 58,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County. Of those there are 17,000 who are chronically homeless.

“The chronic homeless population — defined as those who have been on the streets at least a year or multiple times and suffering mental illness, addiction or physical disability — increased 20% to more than 17,000, despite increasing numbers placed into housing.”-LA Times

The problem of the homeless with severe mental illness seems almost insurmountable because this population often resists offers of assistance and current laws which prevent forced hospitalization state that a person must be a threat to themselves or others and unable to provide for their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter.

This is a positive story about the efforts of a small Southern California community, how they were able to bring a homeless woman, known as Pretty Blonde, to the mental health care she needed and reunite her with family. I read about her in the LA Times article by Steve Lopez, The Mystery Homeless Woman of Pacific Palisades and the village that helped her home.

LA Time video about this story.

Featured image ‘Almond Blossoms’ by Vincent Van Gogh via wikimedia.

 


We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB is a monthly blogging group, hosted by Damyanti Biswas, that have come together to post news stories “that show love, brotherhood and humanity.” You can click on the link above if you would like to join in. WATWB is co-hosted this month by Michelle Wallace , Shilpa GargAndrea MichaelsPeter NenaEmerald Barnes. 

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Art Is Essential

Art is a way that people can express and process their experience of life. It allows them to express emotions, perceptions, and provides a way for their spirit to be free of the limits of the physical or psychological environment. This post was inspired by a two posts on Hyperallergic “Seeking Escape in Painting,” and “A Painter’s Dreams Go Up In Smoke,”  about an artist, Brandi Twilley, who paints a picture of her bleak childhood surroundings yet includes a window with a beautiful blue sky.

“The paintings, which mainly feature the home Twilley grew up in until it burnt to the ground when she was 16, depict windows in a subtly astute manner. They function as portals in curious ways: they indicate the painter’s glimpse of spaces beyond the bleak circumstances of that house, and in seeing the significance of these spaces through Twilley’s hand, I identify with her and wish for that slim chance of escape.”-Seph Rodney Hyperallergic

This brings home to me how powerful and essential art is to our lives. It may be the only way for some people to express themselves, it is their language and best or only way of communicating.  Supporting art in schools and the community is as important as supporting language arts, math and science.

Matt D’Arrigo who started the nonprofit ARTS ( A Reason To Survive) in San Diego says,

“Having the arts taken out of schools is a form of identity theft,” ….. “There are lots of creative, artistic youth who are being told to fit into certain boxes. They are being told that what they do is nice, but it’s not important. That’s saying they are not important.”

To eliminate the opportunity for people to develop their artistic gifts is wrong. Here’s the article about ARTS.

“ARTS started with a single success story: D’Arrigo’s. He was unclear about his own identity and purpose when his sister and mother were simultaneously stricken with cancer. He left college his freshman year to care for them, and, in the process, found solace in painting and music.”-James Chute San Diego Union Tribune

A recent article about what ARTS is doing to help lift up a whole community.

 

Brandi Twilley Where The Fire Started exhibition at Sargent’s Daughters.


This post is part of We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB hosted by Damyanti Biswas and cohosted by  Simon Falk, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Uppal, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, and Mary J Giese

Featured image of Art Class Cathedral Senior High School New Ulm, Minnesota via US National Archives by photographer Abul Haque

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Do The Right Thing

Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, a Japanese American, grew up in Gallop, New Mexico. He was a young man when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt signed the order to move all West Coast Japanese Americans to internment camps.

“In February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, the first of the orders that would ultimately incarcerate 120,000 West Coast Japanese, more than 60% of them citizens of the United States.”-Joe Mozingo LA Times

Partial Summary from LA Times article: This was not mandated in New Mexico because it was considered outside of the coastal military zone. Some cities in New Mexico still decided to participate in the removal of Japanese Americans. Gallop’s sheriff, Dominic Mollica, did not think it was the right thing to do. Hiroshi Miyamura went on to be a hero in the Korean War, saving his squad and another squad leader. He was captured by the Chinese and carried his wounded friend Joe Annello in a forced march. Hiroshi Miyamura won the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was greeted as a hero on his return to Gallop and was recognized with a statue, a new high school and Freeway interchange named in his honor.

Hiroshi_Miyamura_and_Eisenhower

Hiroshi Miyamura receives the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Eisenhower

Jim Kanno was one of American’s first Japanese American mayors. He spent his last years of high school in an internment camp. This LA Times article tells his story and mentions there were people in Orange County, California who helped his family save their farm while they were interned.

“The family’s neighbors in Orange County had continued to manage their farm and “turned over the next crop to them so they could sustain living expenses,” Kanno’s wife, Frances, recalled.

Were there others who did the right thing when Japanese Americans were removed from their homes? One who did was Bob Fletcher, a California State Agricultural Inspector, who gave up his job to take care of the farms of 3 Japanese American families while they were in an internment camp. Many other Japanese Americans lost their homes and businesses during the internment.

“Few people in history exemplify the best ideals the way that Bob did,” said Tsukamoto’s daughter, Marielle, who was 5 when her family was interned. “He was honest and hard working and had integrity. Whenever you asked him about it, he just said, ‘It was the right thing to do.’ ” (The Sacramento Bee/Washington Post)

Bob Fletcher died at the age of 101 in 2013. Here is his story.

There are several books about the Japanese American interment during WWII. Here’s a few:

Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki Farewell to Manzanar : a true story of Japanese American experience during and after the World War II internment / Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston.

Julie Otsuka The Buddha in the Attic

Yoshiko Uchida  The Invisible Thread


This post is for We Are The World Blogfest. Co-hosts this month:  Simon Falk, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Uppal, Sylvia Stein, Damyanti Biswas.  If you would like to learn more about this blogfest and participate click on the link above. Featured image is of vintage Japanese watercolor art via Pawny on Pixabay.com

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Creativity

“But nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great, ever came out of imitations. What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”-Anna Quindlin

Is expressing ourselves creatively essential to our well-being and lives even if we are never famous, never receive recognition? It is great to hear about an artist who continued to create because that was what she had to do. She did not have any formal training but did it anyway. Eventually she was able to receive recognition and some income from her art. This post is dedicated to all of us who want to express our creativity and may never be recognized.

Maud Lewis had rheumatoid arthritis and lived in a small house without indoor plumbing or electricity. “Her pleasure didn’t come from the pride of having done a painting, but the creative act itself and the enjoyment others seemed to get from her work.”-Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

I am sharing a post from Hyperallergic by Olivia Gauthier about the film Maudie.

Some more info about Maud Lewis and her paintings from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. And a story from NPR, Home is Where The Art Is: The Unlikely Story of Folk Artist Maud Lewis.


We Are The World Blogfest is hosted this month by: Belinda WitzenhausenLynn HallbrooksMichelle Wallace, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia SteinIf you would like to join in this blogfest you can link up here. Featured image of Maud Lewis in front of her home via the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Wikimedia.

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For this 98-year-old baker, sharing dessert makes life sweet

Leo Kellner is a piemaker with a purpose. Seeking something to do with his days, the 98-year-old began baking after the death of his wife. He now donates his baked goods to friends and others in need, and is training a young friend to take over for him. Special correspondent Dennis Kellogg of public television station NET reports from Hastings, Nebraska.

Source: For this 98-year-old baker, sharing dessert makes life sweet

 


Featured Image ‘Cherry Pie ready for baking’ by Minette Layne via Wikimedia

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