Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

The Reading Mother

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings--
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be--
I had a Mother who read to me.

Strickland Gillilan

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dame Elizabeth Rosemund Taylor, 1932-2011 Rest In Peace

Beautiful Elizabeth Taylor was a consummate actress and Hollywood legend with the most striking pair of violet blue eyes this side of heaven. She was also a compassionate humanitarian, known for her work helping victims of AIDS.
In 1985, Elizabeth founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research. However, what many people do not know about lovely Elizabeth is that at the height of her acting career, she became a Jewess.
After her conversion to Judaism in 1959 (this had nothing to do with her husband Eddie Fischer) Elizabeth took the Hebrew name, Elisheba Rachel. She began to support many Jewish causes, especially Israel's right to exist. Because of her generous purchases of Israel Bonds, Arab nations targeted Ms. Taylor and boycotted her films. In 1962, the Egyptian Government under President Gamal Abdul Nassar banned Elizabeth from entering Egypt to finish the filming of Cleopatra primarily due to her support for Israel. Egyptian officials declared, "Miss Taylor will not be allowed to come to Egypt because she has adopted the Jewish faith and supports Israeli causes." Elizabeth later canceled a trip to the Soviet Union after it's condemnation of Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
In the 1970's her activism for the Jewish people and Israel continued with her signing a letter of protest against a UN Resolution which declared that Zionism was racism and a form of racial discrimination. But perhaps her most noblest gesture of support for the Jewish people was when Elizabeth offered herself as a replacement for the Israeli hostages being held by Arab hijackers in Entebbe, Uganda in July, 1976.