Repeated because you asked.
Wish you all a blessed Easter.
A last meal and blessing hand
Bring us peace in holy land
Make your neighbor a best friend
Hate has no place in holy land
My heart will fold as red as blood
Forgive I will my tears will flood
You were created to be good
An undivided brotherhood
Lavender blue will spread in spring
It’s peace of mind that it will bring
Don’t make hate your tool of life
End your endless deeds of strife
Shout that peace is good for all
Not just you in clustered walls
Tear them down your flags of hate
They are NOT an act of faith
Shaking hands across the line
Sharing meals of bread and wine
Showing trust in someone’s heart
Making one a world apart
[And keep that dagger just in case
The other earthling shows bad grace ]
Why should we be surprised that so many like this memoir/coming of age story? On a first Goodreads giveaway of only 2 books it got some 600 entries!
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Whose memoir starts off playing with Audrey when they were kids (she 13 and he 7) , only to discover ten years later that she has become a famous movie star winning an Oscar in Roman Holiday with the great Gregory Peck? I remember her from when she came to visit us during World War II when she lived near us in Arnhem at the house of her grandfather, Baron van Heemstra, with her mother and two stepbrothers. She told me she practiced for ballet at the Arnhem Conservatory. I drove her in my pony wagon but did not really know what she was talking about!
The Audrey picture above and the dancing one below are private pictures that nobody else has! I donated them to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.
Thirty years later we met again in Geneva when she was an accomplished and widely acclaimed actress, with two great sons. Many people knew her then but few people knew her as a young, beautiful undiscovered star at age 13 (picture left).
Sam says: This is a heartwarming collection of short stories that portray the path of boy meets world with realism and sensitivity. Perhaps most surprising are the different relationships that each story portrays – some were romantic, while others were more familial or close friendships. Those qualities, combined with the historical backdrop and international perspective, distinguish this book from the more typical and predictable storylines, making it a five-star read!
Get it at:
This may be the reason why so many want to read this story. But it’s not just Audrey. The other woman who till to-day, remains an anchor in my life is my grandmother, who appears in the book as “Lady D.” Who does not love their grandmother like the author does?
Sure everyone’s grandmother is something special! This one was, a Grand Dame who left an indelible mark on the author’s mind and soul. Many want to read it, thinking, yes, that’s how my grandmother was, too!
Then follow the heartwarming females that upset any young lad growing up!
And the first real love? That girl that knocks you of your socks when you are just 17?
Get it at: http://amzn.to/1QIL94B
If I told you that picture with the beloved girlfriend was taken in a heavily guarded Jesuit boarding school you would not believe it, but it’s TRUE.
Then that lovely pianist in Paris.
Paris upsets anyone’s love life. Hundreds of books and movies ballyhoo about it, and you don’t believe it until you get bitten yourself! That city does it to young people, especially if you speak its language of love, as I do. Imagined, dreamt of, hallucination, or wishful thinking, probably all of the above, turned me topsy-turvy. Everyone who went through the same experience, and many did, wants to compare with someone else’s experience, just to be able to say, yes! that’s how it felt! Yes, that’s how it was! And then to think that I and my adorable pianist ran into Sammy Davis in the Hermes store, getting his broad smiles and autographs on her shawl!
Get it at:
But the author ran into big troubles, too. Did anyone mess up because they met spider woman when they started their professional career? I did! Nothing more distressful then getting enamored by blond hair, artic blue eyes, a most enticing bright smile and a sexy seductress grabbing you by your….well you know what. Readers don’t want to miss that desperate episode. The author got out of it thanks to the blessing of his gods…oh boy, how that seductress could have destroyed his life…Remember that fabulous song “Here she comes! she is a Man Eater, Ho Ho Ho!?” Watch out!
And then he escapes to Switzerland, meets a loving woman but when the relationship sours because of differences in viewpoints and objectives in life, he breaks up once more, only to fall in love with a Norwegian Viking on the skis slopes that ends up in tears on both sides.
Ach! How difficult young life is. Loving and living love and it never stays the way it is. Why does it have to be that way?
Dan Dwyer writes: I had read the author’s vignette on Audrey Hepburn a few months ago when I was looking for something short, different and personal because my daughter is a big Hepburn fan. Mr. Schwartz did not fail me then nor has he failed me now with his compilation of the women he has met in his life. This latest work, Some Women I Have Known, talks as much about the man himself growing up amount the fairer sex, which he learns almost too late in life has a decisive advantage over a man too eager to find life’s companion.
Get it at:
And so the deep sufferer left for Africa. Only a desperado would do that. But he got mesmerized by a dark figure, a magnificent African woman, strolling on a hill who wanted something from him. No, not sex, not earning money to give her beauty away. She wanted freedom, away from mistreatment, longing for the moment she could employ her talents, flying away to unsurpassed heights, dislodge herself from imprisonment in a suffocating society, forced marriage and abusive treatment. A beautiful bird from the jungle, begging to be let loose from its cage to spread its wings and shoot out to heaven.
I don’t think I can ever forget Nyira, ever. I don’t know where she is now, what finally happened to her when I got her out, but she did get her chance to live a better life and she did.
And that’s the moment where young minds settle and reach some sort of maturity. It’s what they call coming-of-age. We all go through that one way or another. The only thing this author can say is that he was damn lucky he did not fall between the cracks. He finally met the woman he felt comfortable with. The opposite of what he had imagined.
I think this is the element why so many want to read this love story. It’s out on Amazon. com, Kindle e-book, paperback and hardcover. Don’t miss out on these stories, they inspired me to write them, and they will inspire you when you read them.
SOME WOMEN I HAVE KNOWN – MEMOIR AND ROMANCE
KIRKUS REVIEW; “A WISTFUL MEMOIR…“
AMAZON.COM KINDLE, PAPERBACK AND HARDCOVER.
THREE THINGS INSPIRED ME WHEN WRITING ENCHANTING THE SWAN: ROMANCE, LOVE FOR MUSIC AND MUSIC IN LOVE. IN SHORT: FOREVER ROMANCE:
HERE IS THE TRAILER: https://youtu.be/8vHdGKGWQEo
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Don’t take me wrong: it is not only love that makes the world go round: pigheaded ultraconservative family rules preventing a SHINING love blossoming from the heart and conceived in music, GREED versus compassion, JEALOUS PURSUIT to snatch away someone else’s love, ABUSE IN MARRIAGE, desperate escape and FINAL REDEMTPION in music: it’s all in ENCHANTING THE SWAN, a love story as no other.
Paul Cramer, MBA graduate and Fiona Baroness de Maconville, cellist, play The Swan, a famous cello-piece by Camille St. Saëns, before their William & Mary Audience. That’s where their love bloomed: at the Department of Music in the Ewell Hall, located at the College of William & Mary, situated in rustic Williamsburg, Virginia. They play it also at the Graduation Ceremony!
Neal Cary, Professor and cellist teacher at the College of William & Mary, writes about Enchanting The Swan: “…a beautiful story — full of suspense, drama, and enduring love centered around music. John Schwartz has created a whole world, and a wonderful escape. The characters jump off the page with such personality and imagery that this book could make a great movie. Enchanting the Swan is a very enjoyable read, and I recommend it highly.”
What does VT Mom say: I loved this book! I had not read a novel in several years. After only 3 chapters I was hooked. I live in Virginia so I was very familiar with the college where Paul and Fiona met. Very impressed with the author and his attention to detail. Hope he writes many more.
And Vera: Enjoyed the book. Well written book. First book to read by the author, but sure will read more of books by him in the future. They seem to click and make beautiful music, have plans for the future when graduate, but when go by her place she has now gone. Not even a word to Paul. Seems like wishes of her Godparents are more important. A very heartbreaking love story. How can every thing seem so right, and now so wrong?
And MJOrlean: John writes beautifully – I found the book difficult to put down – an easy read, full of intrigue, love, passion, international travel and dubious banking business, and lots more – a must read.
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As you see from the back flap, the beginning of their love seems doomed in a bitter family feud of old stiff Belgian nobility with modern times. Fiona, an orphan raised by godparents after her parents died sailing into a storm at the Belgian coast, must break off because her noble godfather wants her to marry into their Belgian circle. At a heartbreaking lunch in a restaurant at the Grand Place in Brussels, The Roi d’Espagne (right on the photograph) she tells Paul she can’t marry him.
Paul joins a financial postgraduate course at the Free University of Brussels for a few weeks in the hope Fiona and her godparents change their mind, but eventually must capitulate, and when offered a promising internship at First Swiss Bank in Geneva he takes it. And off he goes, heartbroken, not knowing this step leads him into lots of trouble. Read the story in http://amzn.to/1LPFw5o
Paul skiing in Swiss Alps
Brussels is again the focus of Islamic radicalism. Brussels is the center of the European Union and has been the center of Europe since the European reunification began after World War II. I worked and visited Brussels many times for work and pleasure. Like I mourned with my friends in Paris last November, I mourn with my friends in Brussels now. It is a place with great treasures, such as the Grand Place. Now Islamic Radicalism is overwhelming the city with brutal force to stem the growth of Europe as a symbol of Western Union and Civilization after it stabilized after two terrible wars in the twentieth century and many more before since the Middle Ages.
The issue of Radical Islam has become so predominant in current times that many believe it is something new that only now comes out of the woodwork. In fact, Islam has always been a political movement, starting with Mohammed whose armies swarmed over the Middle East to suppress peoples into submission. Islamic religion, the Quran, has many good thoughts, but it is also a religion of strife. Christ was a prophet of the cross, whose sacrifice we are remembering this week. Yes, many religious and political leaders have also abused and misused Christianity for political purposes. Popes, Emperors, Bishops and priests. Christian fundamentalism in the Middle Ages and many wars between Catholic and Protestant forces caused huge suffering and destruction for four centuries long. With the last remnants of these terrible fissures finally solved with peace in Northern Ireland only some fifty years ago, Europe no longer has religious wars between their main religious beliefs.
Yet now Europe is again overtaken by Islamic Jihadism. Actually, Islamic strife has never really stopped. The Islamic march to conquer Europe was defeated several times, in 732 by France, in 1492 by Spain, in 1683 by the Austrians when the Turks laid siege to Vienna, and in 1918, when the last caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, crumbled at the end of World War I. But jihadism continued to rumble on after the creation of artificial Middle-Eastern countries from the broken Ottoman Empire, and the birth of Israel. Political Islam has consistently grown. Out of a deep hatred for whatever is “Western” or “Jewish,” activist Islamic groups have been attacking and murdering: Iranian Mullahs, Hezbollah, Hamas, then Al-Qaeda born from Saudi-Arabian Wahabism, and now ISIS and its offshoots. Islamic migration to Europe has been largely unassimilated. Zones of Islamic radicalism are created in Europe where police is not even allowed to set foot.
Millions of people of Islamic belief live peacefully, doing their daily work, growing their kids, going to their mosques, trying to live a decent life. So why is it that many of their leaders continue their strive towards Islamic supremacy? The killing, at genocidal proportions, abhors every reasonable person, even peaceful Islamic believers. Why do they not stand up against their own?
Rational Muslims must eradicate the cancer in their Islamic religion. Like any cancer, it kills. If the Muslims themselves do not eradicate this built-in cancer of jihadism in their religion, it will ultimately kill the religion itself. So far, few Muslims have spoken out. How many more terrorist disasters must happen before they realize they must put a stop to it to protect their own religion from oblivion? Christian and Western peoples are not going to let themselves be pulverized into Islamic submission. Jihadism will lead to further war, as it has done from the times that the religion emerged in 632. If that is their wish, it will cause Europe and the USA to lean more and more to leaders who will execute a radical counter-terrorist military offensive, and vote out politicians who practice peace, political correctness, and weakness. It will make the life of innocent Muslims more threatened than ever. They will only have themselves to thank for it.
Our popular show “Mother Earth’s Weekly Squirms” was on Mars City TV to discuss the results of the USA 2010 mid-term elections.
“No surprises in the USA,” I said, opening the talks. “It was in the cards for many months. The Pied Piper got a good shaking down. He says he was not on the ballot but he clearly was. It’s the first time in a long time that mid-term local elections became national indeed. The majority of the American electorate said it rejects socialism. Shamus, tell us, was it what they call the economy stupid that broke the back of the President and his obstinate Democrats?”
“It was the stupid economy,” Shamus said coolly. “Because it does not want to do what the politicians want.”
“But don’t politicians know that?” I asked. “After all, they’re supposedly intelligent people, no?” Shamus put on a learned face.
“They try whatever they can to circumvent the economic laws promising heaven and manna to keep their seat. Especially the House with its two-year cycle. When it’s not working they blame the other party or Bush.”
“I thought economics was a social science, not a manipulative device,” Pasha said.
“True, it’s exactly the opposite of a manipulative device,” Elmer said, agitated. “That’s what the socialist’s ideology wants it to be. They disregard the fact that economics responds to a system of unwritten laws and doesn’t conform to the ones their lobbyists drafted and they voted on blindly. When lawmakers ignore them, they do so at their own peril and everybody else’s when the dirt hits the fan, and it did majestically this time.”
“It’s a science all right,” Shamus pointed out, turning to Pasha, “but not like a predictable chemical formula where you know that if you mix liquids, they explode. Politicians mix their laws with your tax money, saying you would be better off if you let them do that and when you look in your wallet a year after and you wonder why it’s empty, they still want more from you saying things take time.”
“But what about these economic laws?” I asked. “Our viewers would like to know.”
“Well, to simplify,” Shamus said, “Suppose I am manufacturing cars. Demand is good and I sell a lot of them. Other carmakers do too and we employ more people to manufacture more to supply demand. People make good money and buy more stuff. Everybody’s happy. Then Mr. Obama needs money for lofty programs that make his voters feel great, and his political majority enforces higher corporate taxes on cars to pay for them. Suddenly I can’t sell them my cars any more at the price I got, have to lay-off workers and must raise prices to stay in business. Then the buyers can’t buy cars at the price they could afford and I am loaded with inventory, make losses and can’t pay the high worker salaries anymore. Then the workers go on strike and I am forced out of business. That’s the economic laws that are at play, works like gravity. But because that’s bad politics, the politicians compound their mistake of raising taxes, and use tax payer money or borrowed money from China or both to keep me afloat and buy off my debts. To pay for that they must raise taxes even more and the Central Bank must print money. Then the US dollar declines in value and makes imports more expensive in the shops, people buy less, and slowly they go down the drain in the rest of the world. Double whammy as they say in the USA. The original mistake was to raise taxes to pay for programs that are not needed or they can ill afford. You have to live within your national means, not your political dreams.”
“Simply put, a stone does not fall zig-zag in physics but in politics it does,” Elmer chuckled.
“But don’t all parties on Earth do that?” Huda asked.
“Some more than others, but socialists in particular,” Tamil said. “The more they give people the more people depend on them and when the next government has to take that away to clean up, the people get mad. Look at France. Till the whole place is in such a mess that only draconian austerity can drag you out of the hole. Look at Britain.”
“But I read over the wire that even some reputable economists support these spending policies,” Pasha wondered. “Don’t the economic laws apply to them?”
“Some economists are socialist economists,” Shamus said. “for them capitalism is the culprit. They base their assumptions on ideology and skew their assumptions in such a way that the outcomes seem right. But their assumptions are artificial. They lack a mathematical base. Socialist ideologues make everyone poor because they want to kill the human urge that wants more. With them, life gets pretty drab, except for those in power. But not all is right with the capitalist economists either. Capitalism gives incentives to the risk takers to invent, produce and make money, but then everyone goes for the same buck, the economy overheats, and the balloon bursts. They call that the business cycle. Humans are imperfect and so are their markets.
A good governor with a good team knows how to manage these ups and downs. Socialists want to get rid of the business cycle all together but throw the baby away with the bath water.”
“So, if the business cycle bursts at the same time as elections are held, as it did in 2008,” Pasha concluded, “the populace swings to the socialists for correction and when they wake up seeing the bad results, they swing to the capitalists again.”
“Exactly,” Shamus said, nodding approvingly like a university professor.
“Has anyone any views on what happens now?” I asked.
“There’s no major change in government like in Britain or even Sweden and Holland,” Elmer said, “Obama is still president and his Czars in the White House are still penning socialist policies and regulations. The main change is that his ambitious spending programs will be arrested. We will see what happens in 2012.”
“Stopping spending is the first thing the new majority must do,” Shamus said. “Confidence will return and bring people back to work and the economy will pick up again. Taxes must be kept low for at least the next five years and Obamacare must be repealed, so that businesses can plan to make a profit for a reasonable return on their money and re-employ people.”
“Why could the socialists not do that too?” Huda said, puffing in her chair. “It sounds pretty logical to me.”
“For socialists, profit’s a bad word,” Elmer explained. “They say it’s steeling from the worker, forgetting that it’s the investor who’s risking his hard earned money. They want the government to produce what everyone needs at a given price and in accordance with their regulations, and pay employers and workers a fixed wage. They forget that human beings aren’t made that way. Only dictatorships can enforce such policies. That’s why they lose at the ballot box.”
“But the huge USA deficits still burden their economy,” I said. “It will keep the recovery down. The new majority will face criticism in 2012.”
“I bet Earth’s socialists are banking on that,” Tamil said, laughing. “If it goes better, the president can say, hey, folks, you see that we are doing better after all thanks to my policies?” and if it does not he can say “hey, you see who’s been messing up again? Didn’t I tell you about the failed Bush policies? Vote for me!”
“The economic laws don’t take sides, the average voter does not understand. They vote emotionally.” Shamus said. “Despite all the warning signs hanging around his neck, people just discarded all the negatives and voted for him, regardless.”
“The Pied Piper played on that handsomely in 2007,” Pasha said. “Remember the Obama girl? She’s nowhere to be found. They just had Halloween down there. I heard she was cultivating pumpkins in Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden. Others reported she returned as a witch at that teleprompter that reportedly broke down during a speech when he lost his cool.”
“Earth was ripe for an illusion in 2007,” Huda said. “The Pied Piper played all the right tunes. Hope and change. Nobody knew what that was, just an orgy. But he did, like his cronies of the sixties whom he appointed Czars. The Presidential seal that fell down to the floor for the whole universe to see was a bad omen and a good laugh for many.”
“Former President Reagan warned about these people at his speech in 1964 at the Republican Convention, as a young supporter of Goldwater,” Elmer said. “I looked it up. His words are as right today as they were then because the same sixties people who were acting up then are now Obama’s friends, mentors and Czars or close visitors to the White House. They finally got their chance in 2007. The result? A debt burden almost as large as the USA’s gross national product. No wonder people get scared. The whole Earth is looking down on the USA.”
“Obama is off to India this week for a state visit to forget the election debacle,” Tamil said. “A country of 1.3 billion people. You imagine? A nice tax-payer paid vacation at a cost of 2.5 million dollars a day. And that with a USA deficit that sticks way out of his ears in a country where per capita income is a little over 1000 dollars a year only.”
“The Republican Party’s euphoria may be exhilarating,” Shamus said, “but if they don’t resolve the deficit problem and perform to the wishes of their multiplex supporters, they will lose again in 2012. What’s needed is at least six years of conservative statesmanship to put their fiscal house in order, bring the deficits down and balance the budget. It all depends on who’ll be minding the store.”
“The big issue is indeed who will be their leader,” Elmer said, seriously. “If they can’t find someone who can face up to the Pied Piper and talk him under the table, God forbid, the USA will be written off for good.”
“Well,” Shamus said,” let’s not be over pessimistic. Humans on Earth have screwed up time after time but overall progress has been impressive.”
“There’s always a silver lining to Earth’s tough luck,” Pasha said, smiling. “As long as they don’t do so well financially, they won’t come visit us and spoil our way of life.”
“That’s the last word, dear panel,” I said. “Our next Round Table will be joined with Earth’s TV show Where the World Turns to discuss the fall out of the USA mid-term elections and their impact on the rest of Mother Earth. See you then.”