I have just developed a new respect for the TV show, America’s Got Talent. At a time when we are confronted 24/7 by news reports of Cop Killings, of random murders and acts of terrorism, and by the ugliest and most disgusting U.S. presidential campaign in my lifetime, AGT presents us with positive evidence that a mixture of peoples, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age, or country of origin, can all get along with each other To understand what I am talking about, all one has to do is to listen to and watch this musical group from the Southside of Chicago (http://www.gossipcop.com/musicality-americas-got-talent-video-choir-skyscraper-agt-watch/). Look at them; look at the other performers – listen to their stories – and look at the thousands of people sitting in the audience, mostly unknown to each other, and you will know that ALL lives matter, and that ALL lives can live and work together. I don’t have the answers, but I know that it can work, somehow, someway, someday!
(if you haven’t watch AGT this season, it will be on NBCTV next Tuesday, July 26, 2016, when the finalists perform in Las Vegas, NV).
After reading this article (https://quillt.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/coexisting-with-or-without-the-bumper-sticker/) recently posted by my daughter, Theresa Willingham, I began to give some serious thought to “Coexistence.” Could we – can we – really coexist in the world we live in today?
Online research first led me to the thoughts and writings of Ariel Dorfman, whose plays include “Death and the Maiden” and “Purgatorio.” I have quoted this passage from an article that appeared in The Guardian in 2008:
“We inhabit a time of fear and mistrust: nothing could be more urgent than asking ourselves how we should react when we have been overwhelmed by a monstrous offence; nothing could be more imperative than the need to understand how easy it is to go from victim to accuser, from accuser to invader, from violator to victim.”
(https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/jan/17/chile.theatre) You must read the entire article)/
. Dorfman is also credited for saying:
“I’ve been wrestling with the dilemma of how you coexist with those you hate.”
This, of course, led me to think about hate, and that led me to Nelson Mandela who wrote in his autogiobraphy in 1994, “Long Walk to Freedom,”
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” (http://abcnews.go.com/International/nelson-mandelas-inspirational-quotes/story?id=8879848).
While I agree with the statement that “No one is born hating another person . . .People must learn to hate . . .” I do not know how or if everyone who hates can be taught to love those they have learned to hate. While my stepfather was one of the most hateful people I have ever know, he must have had some love in him. He loved fishing and hunting, and he must have loved my mother when he married her, but he hated *Blacks (he referred to them using the “N” word). He was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and once arrested for helping to dynamite a Black neighborhood in NW Miami. He also hated Catholics and Jews (he burned crosses on peoples lawns and once let a live pig loose in the lobby of a famous Jewish hotel in Miami Beach) and Yankees (why he married my mother who was from the state of New Jersey I will never understand), and I feel certain that he hated me; he never called me by my name – he just called me “boy,” whenever he wanted me for something. Although he never physically abused me, he mentally tortured me, harassing me, humiliating me, taunting me, laughing cruelly at me, day-after-day for the 6 years that I lived in his household.
How do we teach a young child to love the bully who is abusing him, or the bully to love the child he abuses? Should we, in fact teach the bullied child to love his abuser?
How do we teach the Islamic children that are schooled to hate us to love us? Is it possible?
Will we ever be able to stop individuals like the Tsarnaev brothers and Omar Mateen from hating us and orchestrating another mass murder?
Can the peoples of the world really coexist? You tell me how, Please!
*BLACKS: I am using this word to describe African Americans because my stepfather died before the Rev. Jesse Jackson made the title “African American” famous in a speech in 1988. (http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/african-american-term-brief-history)
These Thirteen Postcards Survived World War 1
(and so did the two brothers that mailed them home)!
On May 18, 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed. . .and on June 5, 1917, the first WW1 draft registration was enacted. Three brothers from Atlantic City, New Jersey. reported to the draft board on that same day:
Archie Summervill Scull, Age 29
Horace Scull, Age 26
Oscar Charles Scull, Age 24
Oscar Charles Scull was sent to Camp Dix in Wrightsville, NJ., and assigned to the 112th Headquarters Company, Field Artillery. He mailed his 1st postcard from there – home to his mother, Mrs. George T. Scull:
Horace Scull was transferred to Camp McClellan in Anniston, Alabama, where he became a soldier with the 117th Engineers Regiment, and he mailed his 1st post card to home to his sister, Reba, from there: (Reba Scull became Mrs. John Fennell (called “Jack” by her brothers. She eventually became my maternal grandmother):
Before being shipped overseas, Oscar was also transferred to Camp McClellan, and he mailed his 2nd postcard home. This one was sent to his sister, Reba (then Mrs. John “Jack” Fennell):
After arriving in Europe in November, 1917, Uncle Horace manage to mail more postcards home; 8 to his sister, Reba (my grandmother), and one to his mother, Eva.
I believe that my Great Uncle Horace Scull’s 117th Engineers Regiment became a part of what was then called the “Rainbow Division,” (and eventually, a part of the American Expeditionary Force) and that his path through WW1 first led him to France where he fought in the Baccarat Sector, Lorraine, and in the Esperance-Souain Sector, in Champagne. If this is correct, Company D then fought in the Champagne Marne Sector on July 18, 1918 where 14% of his company’s soldiers were killed or wounded. He survived that battle, moving through France, Belgium and Luxembourg with his company which was eventually demobilized in the United States on May 14,1919 (http://militarymuseum.org/Rainbow.html).
On January 7, 1918, My Great Uncle, Horace, mailed a postcard from Neumahr, Germany, to his mother, Mrs. George T. Scull, stating that he “hoped to be home soon. . .
. . . but no one had heard from his brother, Oscar, for over 11 months for reasons that later became very obvious. The 29th Division was first constituted on paper 18 July 1917 in the Army National Guard.:319 The division’s infantry units were the 57th Infantry Brigade, made up of the 113th Infantry Regiment and 114th Infantry Regiment from New Jersey, and the 58th Infantry Brigade, made up of the115th Infantry Regiment from Maryland and 116th Infantry Regiment from Virginia. Its artillery units were Maryland’s 110th Artillery Regiment; Virginia’s 111th Artillery Regiment; and New Jersey’s 112th Artillery Regiment. As the division was composed of men from states that had units that fought for both the North and South during the Civil War, it was nicknamed the “Blue and Gray” division, after the blue uniforms of the Union and the gray uniforms of the Confederate armies during the American Civil War. The division was actually organized on 25 August 1917 at Camp McClellan, Alabama.:319
The division departed for France in June 1918 to join the American Expeditionary Force fighting in World War I The division’s advance detachment reached Brest, France on 8 June. In late September, the 29th received orders to join the First United States Army‘s Meuse-Argonne offensive as part of the French XVII Corps. During its 21 days in combat, the 29th Division advanced seven kilometers, captured 2,148 prisoners, and knocked out over 250 machine guns or artillery pieces. Thirty percent of the division became casualties—170 officers and 5,691 enlisted men were killed or wounded. Shortly thereafter the Armistice with Germany was signed, ending hostilities between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers. (http://www.pbs.org/now/society/vetbenefits.html).
On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1919, My Great Uncle, Pvt. Oscar Charles Scull, mailed his final postcard home to his sister, Reba:
He mailed this card from Vals-Les-Bains (Ardeche) in Southern France, and it read in part, “hope to be home by Easter…”
He arrived a bit late since his unit did not arrive back into the United States until May, 1919 – but he made it!
Mrs. George (Eva) T. Scull
Reba Scull (Mrs. John Fennell)
Elmer E. Scull
Horace and Oscar Scull were born two years apart. Each of them lived for 84 years and, ironically, they died two years apart.
Uncle Oscar married a lady by the name of Mae, and they moved into a big house on the SE corner of the Mays Landing-Somers Point Road & English Creek Avenue; the first house on your right after you crossed the English Creek bridge when heading for Ocean City. Although they lived just a few miles away from the home that I lived in for the 1st 9-1/2 years of my life, I barely new them. Uncle Oscar and I shared the same birth date; June 21st. He died in 1976 at the age of 84.
I know even less about my great Uncle Horace. In fact, I only remember seeing him one time, and that was at my great aunt Mildred’s funeral on January 1, 1963. He arrived in the passenger’s seat of a brand new, bright red, Corvette convertible that was driven by a young blonde woman wearing an extremely short mini-skirt (also bright red – and much too short; especially for a funeral), and they were both “drunk as a skunk!” Uncle Horace passed away in 1974, also at the age of 84.
In case you might be wondering about what happened to the 3rd brother who registered for the draft in Atlantic City on June 5, 1917, Archie Summervill Scull: My great uncle, Uncle Archie, was already married (his wife was the former *Marion English) and he and his wife had an 11 month old son, Elmer. Archie, who was a postman in Atlantic City, was deferred from the service because of his age and marital status. However, he eventually moved to English Creek and became the lay minister of the Asbury United Methodist Church in English Creek, New Jersey (now named Egg Harbor Township, NJ). During the early years of my life I often road to and from the church on Sundays sitting in the back seat of Uncle Archie’s car since he was also the church chauffer! My grandmother and grandfather, **John (“Jack” to the Scull brothers) & Reba Scull, lived in English Creek (mailing address then: RFD#1, Mays Landing, NJ), Although I do not remember ever meeting Archie’s son, Elmer and my mother were friends and he even assisted her (mom) in the sale of our family home in the late 1970’s.
*Marion English was a descendant of Wolphert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven and her family history can be traced back to 1702.
**More can be learned about the Fennell Family by watching “The Fennells of English Creek (La Mia Famiglia Italiana;” a video posted on my blog (thesumofme2.wordpress.com).
Although I have searched far and wide, so far I have not been able to located photographs of my Great Uncles, Archie, Horace, & Oscar Scull; nor have I been able to establish contact with descendants of the Scull family now living in the Binghamton – West Springfield, NY area. If anyone can help complete this task, please contact me.
NOTE: While performing research for this document I discovered Elmer Scull’s obituary on line. He was born in English Creek, NJ., on June 25, 1926 and died in Agawam, NY., 96 years later on December 29, 2012. He worked at one time as a technician on the Space Program, and he held a distinguished military career as a Naval Commander during WWII and the Korean War.
*Thomas Fennell (Tomaso Fanelli) passed away in English Creek, New Jersey, on 14 October 1922. Three months after he died, his brother Antonio wrote a letter to him. That letter was dated on 12 January 1923. We have no idea how long it took that letter to find it’s way to the Fennell family home in English Creek, nor do we know if anyone ever replied to it. However, the return address on that letter was Sig.Antonio Fanelli, Via Setembrino, Castelnuova della Daunia, Foggia, Italy.
Updated March 22, 2011:
Sadly, my first cousin, Bill Errickson (William D. Errickson, Jr.) passed away on March 7, 2011. He will be dearly missed by his daughters, Patti and Jane; and all of the other members of his family, and especially – Simon, Patti’s Maine Coon Cat. Bill was was born on May 14, 1916:
To Google our family Tree, please click on the below link:
That’s me in the gray suit just a little left of center
(and I always have been)!
One of the biggest issues in the news these days has to do with public restrooms. It appears that two are no longer enough; now business establishments have to have at least three. One for men, one for women, and one for transgender people . . . and, just in case you have not heard about it, airports that have over 10,000 passengers per year will now also have to have a “pet potty!”
For some strange reason and shortly after retiring for the night, I woke up thinking about this, and I remembered something that I read a long, long, time ago. It seems that Aristophanes, a comic playwright of ancient Athens, believed that there were three (3) sexes. Since the information that I am referring to took place between about 385 and 370 BC, the three sexes probably all used the same bathroom (if there was one). However, I am of the opinion that not too many of you are aware of Aristophanes belief, so I am going to quote below some of the text from his speech regarding this matter. (You can read the entire story by clicking on the URL that appears under the above picture).
” There were three sexes: the all male, the all female, and the “androgynous,” who was half male, half female…”
**” Zeus thought about blasting them with thunderbolts, but did not want to deprive himself of their devotions and offerings, so he decided to cripple them by chopping them in half, in effect separating the two bodies.”
” Ever since that time, people run around saying they are looking for their other half because they are really trying to recover their primal nature. The women who were separated from women run after their own kind, thus creating lesbians. The men split from other men also run after their own kind and love being embraced by other men (191e). Those that come from original androgynous beings are the men and women that engage in heterosexual love…”
I think having three bathrooms in a bar or restaurant or grocery store, or any business that caters to the public is OK, and I can certainly see the value of having an indoor pet potty (thus avoiding the need to exit the terminal with your animal so that it can relieve itself – then having to re-enter and go through customs or security again). What do you think?
**I’m glad we no longer follow Zeus’ practice of “chopping them in half,” however, I do believe that there are people out there today who would like to do that!