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03/23/20 09:05 PM #4644    


Bruce Fette

Hello all,


My wife is part of a music group called the Sunshine Gang. They often play music for various charitable purposes.The group circulated this link today. Perhaps you will enjoy this from a socially distanced concept still making good things happen.  Enjoy.






03/23/20 10:14 PM #4645    


Ann Shepard (Rueve)

Took a nice walk today with my dog, Chief, and my neighbor's dog Juno. Both are golden doodles.
Under mandatory Stay At Home orders from the governor, we returned, I joined the neighbors in our six feet of separation for happy hour, with no more than ten people. 



03/24/20 12:48 AM #4646    


Philip Spiess

David:  You ask what we're doing?  We're stalling in place.  Yes, we have enough toilet paper, canned goods, frozen foods, alcohol (not that I intend to wash my hands in it), etc., -- nor are we hoarding (as some are); we're doing okay.

As to what our activities are, both being retired, each day is pretty much like the others, no change.  My wife binge-watches old TV shows; my son takes the dog for long hikes in the local parks and is doing music broadcasts from his home studio (here) on Facebook for tips, since his performances around the country have been cancelled; and I am reorganizing my library, as I research and write articles on Cincinnati history for "The Forum," consult at long distance on the history and restoration of Cincinnati Music Hall, make caustic comments on the alternative WHHS site, commune about literature with our WHHS teacher, Mrs. Carol McCammon, conduct (online) the adult education classes of my Presbyterian church, and, when the Cocktail Hour rolls around, my wife and I retire to the patio (if the weather permits) to enjoy our backyard and, occasionally, the firepit (you may recall that for the past several years I have been researching historic cocktails, a subject which has driven me to drink).  Afterwards, I indulge in what I call the "semi-gourmet" cooking of dinner, then we watch the news, and in the words of that inveterate diarist, Samuel Pepys, "And so to bed."

03/24/20 03:42 AM #4647    


Jerry Ochs

A bit of light music that goes well with a quarantini.

03/24/20 08:31 AM #4648    


Paul Simons

 Thanks Jerry. That’s some welcome comic relief from the comorbidity that crosses our TV screens and even NPR at around 6:00 PM every day.

03/24/20 06:42 PM #4649    


Steven Levinson

Bruce, thatks so much.  Absolutely beautiful.

03/25/20 09:20 PM #4650    


Jerry Ochs

Music soothes the savage...

03/26/20 02:16 AM #4651    


Philip Spiess

Herewith CINCINNATI’S AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY:  Part IV:  Allen Temple:  Its Pastors and Its Influence:

A Few Words on the Paucity of Early Sources for African-American History:  There are several reasons why we do not have extensive records for the earlier periods of African-American history in America:  (1) few people, of any race or color, kept personal records (as, of course, many were illiterate, which simply means that they could not read nor write); (2) African-American folk found it best not to keep minutes of any meetings that they held, as in many places it was illegal for them to hold meetings at all without at least one white man being present; and (3) the newspapers of the day had no interest in reporting the activities of African-Americans, unless they were of some importance to the white community; in 1816, for example, no editor cared much about what went on among the blacks – even the creation of the nation’s first black bishop -- and the blacks were happy to keep it that way:  the less publicity they got, the less trouble they had.  

A Prefatory Note on the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen:  Richard Allen, born a slave in 1760 in the household of Benjamin Chew, a Philadelphia lawyer (yes! there were slaves in the North at that time), rose, by his own endeavors, to become the founder and Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States (that “A.M.E.” seen on so many black churches, particularly in rural areas); he was thus the first African-American bishop in America.  [The Benjamin Chew estate, “Cliveden,” in the Germantown suburb of northwest Philadelphia, where Allen lived in his early years, is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (I was head of Research for the National Trust, 1973-1979), and it is open to the public as a museum.]  In the latter years of the 18th century and in the early years of the 19th century, the African-American, whether slave or free, was, as you can imagine, in a totally helpless situation.  Allen’s working premise, as an eventually freed slave (while still a very young man), was that the African-American could only take his place in American society when he had learned who he was and what he had to offer:  blacks had to get together for purposes of education, training, and mutual supportnot relying on the white man.  Racial unity was the essential first step, and, yes, at that time this meant what we would today call “segregation” – withdrawal from white society for purposes of black self-improvement.  Allen’s Christian “rebirth,” inspired by a traveling Methodist preacher, occurred near the end of his teen years, and he promptly converted the rest of his family.  The Methodist Society’s classes taught him to read and write, and, even at his young age, he became a leader in the black community.  In 1777, at the age of seventeen, Allen purchased his freedom from the slaveholder who owned him, thus making him free but jobless.  He worked at various jobs in the Dover, Delaware, area, but he always kept preaching Christianity for the Methodist Church – unofficially (as a “licentiate”), as only white men could be ordained as pastors.  In 1786 he was invited by St. George’s Methodist Church in Philadelphia to come and preach (at 5 a.m. on Sundays) to the African-Americans of the city, most of whom were freemen.  But St. George’s ended up with more black parishioners than it was prepared to handle, so the African-Americans started their own church.  After this church turned Episcopalian, Allen started a new church, the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1794; it was dedicated by Bishop Francis Asbury, the head of Methodism in America, who finally ordained Allen as a Methodist “Deacon” in 1799.  Eventually, by 1816, there were enough independent African-American churches in the mid-Atlantic states for them to hold a unifying conference in Philadelphia, of which Allen was chairman; the result of this meeting was the founding of “the African Methodist Episcopal Church” in the United States.  Richard Allen was ordained finally as one of the church elders, and at the same time he was elected this new religious body’s first bishop; he was consecrated as such the following day.  Within a few short years the new church grew into more states and several regional conferences, and by 1824 the church spread west across the mountains when a call came from Cincinnati to found an A.M.E. church there.  (The Ohio Conference of the A.M.E. Church, the fourth such conference, was established in 1830 in Hillsboro, Ohio, with five churches and circuits in western Pennsylvania and six in Ohio.)  But here’s an interesting sidelight:  in 1820 the first General Conference of the entirely northern A.M.E. Church passed a resolution denying church membership to slave-holders; this was because, at that time, ten percent of the two million African-Americans in the United States were free, and many of these former slaves were beginning to own slaves themselves!  (By 1830 there were 3,777 slaveholding African-American families, mostly in the South.)  As bishop, the Right Reverend Richard Allen built up the A.M.E. Church in the United States, and when he died in 1831, his funeral was the largest African-American funeral ever held in America up to that time.  He had truly earned the title of “the father of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.”  And so to Cincinnati’s Allen Temple. . . .

[For more on Allen, see Allen’s own short autobiography:  The Life, Experience, and Gospel Labours of the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen . . .(Philadelphia:  Martin & Boden, 1833); Charles H. Wesley’s Richard Allen:  Apostle of Freedom (Washington, D. C.:  Associated Publishers, 1935); or Rev. Howard V. Harper’s “Richard Allen,” in Profiles of Protestant Saints (New York:  Fleet Press Corporation, 1968), pp. 56-76.]

Allen Temple in Cincinnati:  The Allen Temple A.M.E. Church in Cincinnati is the mother church of the Third Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Founded in 1824, it is the oldest operating African-American congregation in Cincinnati and the largest church of the Third Episcopal District.  It was named after Richard Allen, founder of the A.M.E. Church [see above], and it began as a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, one which had separated from the main church (the Old Stone Church or “Wesley Chapel” – not the later, famous one on Fifth Street, which was torn down in the early 1970s) because of prejudicial treatment by the white congregation (which, among other things, did not allow the blacks to sit down, nor were they allowed to witness by shouting out).

This congregation was the first African-American religious society to be organized in Cincinnati; prior to its joining the A.M.E. church, it was known as the Deer Creek Church, founded about 1815.  The congregation had petitioned Judge Spencer to form a black church, and he and his partner, Col. J. H. Piatt, offered to donate to them land above Deer Creek, near the corner of Hunt Street and Broadway.  The architect and builder of the church was an African-American carpenter and minister, Joseph Dorcus, who also served as the first periodic pastor.  Due to a lack of many male members, women often administered the sacraments.  The Rev. William Buck, a well-regarded local white minister (later postmaster of Cincinnati), regularly helped serve in the church’s pulpit, as did some of the laymen of the church.

However, desiring a permanent pastor and a black one at that, the church turned to the Rev. James Kinga slave living in Lexington, Kentucky, whose owner allowed him to hire out his time and who gave him a pass to travel to the various congregations that he served.  After several years of his traveling back and forth between Lexington and Cincinnati, a committee formed by Judge Spencer, chaired by William Lloyd Garrison, and including Wendell Phillips [see previous installments for these latter two gentlemen], conspired to keep King in Ohio.  They confiscated his pass and had him arrested, and, when the magistrate examined the pass, he saw that King had come into a free state with consent of his master.  The magistrate therefore declared him “as free as I am” – and they kept him in Ohio.  For nearly two years he was hidden at Judge Spencer’s house, venturing out under guard, until his former master ceased looking for him, after which his wife Hester (later known as “Mother King”) joined him.  

In 1824, following a camp meeting revival, during which the black brethren and black pastors attending were held back from communion until a “second table” had been set up for the blacks, the Rev. King and the Rev. Philip Brodie, withdrew without taking communion, as they thought the Bible said God was no respecter of persons.  They then led the congregation to join with the A.M.E. church, having petitioned the main A.M.E. church in Philadelphia to become a member church of its denomination.  Accordingly, the new church was organized by the Rev. Moses Freeman of Chillicothe (the official representative of the A.M.E. mother church in Philadelphia) on February 4, 1824, at Father King’s Cincinnati house at 218-220 Broadway.  The Rev. Philip Brodie became the first full-time pastor.

In the early days, as the congregation grew, there were several meeting places in succession.  The first meetings were held either at Father King’s house or in other private homes, or in the basement of Rev. Brodie’s house, known as “Jericho.”  Later the congregation moved into a blacksmith shop on North Street near New Street, which came to be known as the “Little Red Church on the Green,” because it was made of rough boards, the front of it being painted red.  It was known as the “anti-slavery” church, and its members were harassed by pro-slavery forces, being called “black abolitionists” and worse terms (which you may guess at, but which I will not repeat here).  The church, often still known as “King’s Church,” was instrumental in “Underground Railroad” activities in the Cincinnati area.

The next meeting place of the congregation was the “Old Lime House,” a carpenter shop on Seventh Street east of Broadway, the lower story being the lime house and the upper story the carpenter shop.  Many new members were migrating blacks from the east, as well as escaping slaves from the south; all believed in a gospel of freedom.  As the congregation grew, the whole building was finally turned into the church, and an addition was put on.  One of the ministers during this period was the Rev. Job Dundy.  [It should be explained, before we go through the succession of ministers that follows, that, in the Methodist Church, pastors are “appointed” annually through a process involving the minister and his family, the congregation, and the District Conference, with the result that pastors are often moved from one congregation to another on (sometimes) an almost annual basis.]  In 1834, having outgrown the old church, a new church was built on a lot on Sixth Street east of Broadway; Peter Harbeson, a member of the congregation, was the architect and carpenter (the church included brick as well as lumber).  The Lord having thus provided, the congregation called the church “Bethel”; later on, it came to be known as “The Old Bethel” or “Bethel Creek.”  Ministers during this period included Henry Aderisson, who arrived in 1839, Rev. Charles H. Peters (1841-1842), Rev. Claybourne Yancy (1843), Rev. M. M. Clark, and Rev. Thomas Woodson.  In 1846 the first general conference of the national A.M.E. Church was held in Cincinnati; it was a big event in the history of the local church.  In 1846 also the Rev. A. R. Green was minister, and the church continued to grow under his care.  But there was now the need to move to another location, and the church needed to incorporate under the laws of Ohio; this included the first general roll of church members in 1847.  A lot was selected, a new foundation laid at the back of the property, and a little house was built.

E. Garry, from the West Indies, was the next pastor; he is described as having been “very elegant.”  Next came the Rev. Leven Gross, “Old Man Eloquent,” a dignified and polished preacher.  During his tenure the cornerstone was laid for the new “Allen Chapel.”  He was succeeded by Rev. Thomas Lawrence, but the chapel was unfinished, and the congregation met in the basement.  So Lawrence went to Pittsburgh and asked the Rev. Charles Avery for funds; he promptly wrote a check for $1500.  This allowed the congregation to finish the church (albeit in a “plain manner”); the Rev. Avery himself came to Cincinnati to dedicate the new chapel.  Now at last the congregation had a main audience room (sanctuary), a basement (for general meetings), and an office for its minister.  Rev. (Elder) Lawrence remained a circuit rider among the Methodist churches for many years, recognized and loved.  He was succeeded by the Rev. A. R. Green (again), who (curious, to my mind) passed a resolution “That instrumental music does not tend to the glory of God.”  [This seems un-Scriptural to me (given passages in the Old Testament), nor do we have any information at this time about congregational singing.]  After his tenure of three years, the Rev. John Tibbs became pastor; it was during his tenure (1856) that another general (national) conference of the A.M.E. church met in Cincinnati.  The next pastor (1857) was the Rev. William Newman, succeeded by the Rev. John A. Warren (1858); his office was often the meeting place of the young men of the church.  And with the Rev. Grafton H. Graham (1860), we come to a period when the storm-clouds of approaching civil conflict were evident on the horizon; the influence of slavery was felt everywhere in Cincinnati, and it was dangerous for colored men to walk on the streets.  Public abolitionist speakers were mobbed, and poor colored people were compelled to flee; Allen Chapel at this time, although having attained a large congregation, was thinly attended.  War ensued; after Emancipation, the church filled up again, as a great many former slaves arrived in the city from Kentucky, and Rev. Graham himself moved south to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, being replaced by the Rev. James A. Shorter in 1863.  Rev. Shorter finally allowed an organ to be placed in the church [see above], but, because of it, some of the members would not come to church; they were expelled for non-attendance.  At this time the women of the church formed the Freedmen’s Aid Society, the purpose of which was to help the freedmen (and women) of the South to find homes and to shelter all who had no place to go.  The house back of the chapel served as a hospital.  A later pastor, Rev. Henry J. Young, D.D. (1867), built a parsonage, repainted the chapel, completely changed the pulpit, and, it was often said, that “what he could not preach, he would sing.”

I won’t belabor you with the various pastors that came and went during these next several years; let us move on.  Rev. Robert A. Johnson arrived in 1870; he began the sale of Allen Chapel and the purchase of a new one, for continued growth and increasing vandalism caused the congregation to seek a new home.  Finally, in 1870, the congregation bought the former Bene Israel Synagogue at 538 Broadway, northwest corner of Sixth Street, in downtown Cincinnati (built in 1852), and renovated it from top to bottom.  The larger synagogue building, with its barred windows and iron fence, seemed more secure than their previous houses of worship.  And there was the symbolic connection:  it had been the home of the descendants of the Israelites, who had once been slaves in Egypt, but whom the Lord had set free.  So the congregation consecrated its new home as Allen Temple.

At first, there was some financial difficulty due to money owed to the Bene Israel congregation for its building; then there was a fire in 1874.  Several charity groups were founded to solve the financial problems, and these groups later established the Temple’s social and welfare services.  The Rev. Benjamin W. Arnett, who arrived in 1873, was also a prominent Cincinnatian; he was active in the civic and religious life of Cincinnati’s African-American community in the late 19th century.  He became a bishop of the A.M.E. church in 1888 (he was also editor of the proceedings of the Temple’s semi-centennial celebration, cited below).  From 1886-1887 he was a member of the Ohio legislature’s House of Representatives, where he worked to repeal Ohio’s “Black Laws” [see Part I:  “Origins Up to the Underground Railroad” (Post # 4528)].  A historian of the A.M.E. church, Arnett was also a promoter of Wilberforce College, Ohio’s African-American college near Xenia (William Wilberforce was the British member of Parliament, evangelist, and abolitionist who helped push the British Slave Trade Act of 1807 and the Slave Abolition Act of 1833 through Parliament, the latter abolishing slavery in most of the British Empire).

Early on, the congregation of what became Allen Temple established a Sunday School for the youth of the congregation, and in 1866 the Missionary Society of the A.M.E. Church of Cincinnati was established by the church.  In 1862, while the church was still at Allen Chapel, leaders of the church organized a branch congregation, known as Brown’s Chapel, on “Kemper Street” (I suppose “Kemper Lane”) in Walnut Hills.  Rev. Phillip Tolliver was the first appointed pastor, remaining three years; he built the first church there.  Other sister churches which grew out of the Allen Temple congregation were as follows (as of 1874):  (1) Union Chapel, M. E. Church, Seventh Street near Plum Street (the old Deer Creek congregation); (2) Union Baptist Church (1835), east side of Western Row, later on Baker Street, then the corner of Mound and Richmond Streets:  at first, African-American folk coming to Cincinnati joined the Methodist Church, but later, the Baptists, having become numerous, desired a church of their own; (3) Zion Baptist Church (1845), Third Street near Race Street, then the south side of Third Street, later Ninth Street near Central Avenue:  some members of the Union Baptist Church, being dissatisfied by the church’s stance on slavery, organized as the “Anti-Slavery Baptists”; (4) Plum Street Baptist Church (1867), organized as a Mission Church, but constituted as a congregational church in 1871; (5) Cumminsville Baptist Church; (6) Walnut Hills Baptist Church, Willow Street near Chapel Street; and (7) Mount Zion Baptist Church (1873), formed by a group which withdrew from Zion Baptist Church.

In the 1960s, as the African-American community began to migrate from the downtown area, the Allen Temple congregation made several attempts to sell the building and move to a new location.  Finally, in 1979, the Allen Temple congregation (as it was still called) moved to Roselawn Baptist Church at 7181 Reading Road.  Under the leadership of Rev. Donald Harold Jordan, Sr., the church acquired hundreds of new members, and so in 1998, Allen Temple bought Swifton Commons Shopping Mall in Bond Hill at 7030 Reading Road (sold in 2013 for redevelopment), and in 1999 built a Worship Center in front of the mall.  An impressive new church, seating more than 1,000 people, was completed in 2004, being dedicated by Bishop Paul A. Bowers of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World and Bishop Robert V. Webster of the national A.M.E. Church.  The church’s latest growth has been in its youth ministries.

The 1852 Allen Temple on Broadway (the old Bene Israel Synagogue building) achieved National Register of Historic Places status in 1975, but it was removed from the National Register in 1999 after it was torn down, having been sold to Proctor & Gamble (which also had demolished, in 1972, the historic 1831 Methodist Wesley Chapel on Fifth Street, site of President William Henry Harrison’s funeral service and the last public speech of former President John Quincy Adams, dedicating the Cincinnati Astronomical Observatory on Mount Adams).

[The early history of Allen Temple and its congregation can be found in Proceedings of the Semi-Centenary Celebration of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Cincinnati, Held in Allen Temple, February 8th, 9th, and 10th, 1874; With an Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colored Schools; also a List of the Charitable and Benevolent Societies of the City (Rev. B. W. Arnett, ed.; Cincinnati:  H. Watkin, 1874; 135 pp.).; also see Alan I. Marcus:  Allen Temple:  Formerly the Bene Israel Synagogue, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1852-1979 (in the Cincinnati Historical Society; it concentrates on the building).]

Part V:  “Cincinnati’s ‘Colored’ Schools” will be posted soon.

[to be continued]

03/26/20 05:09 PM #4652    


Richard Winter

03/27/20 10:17 AM #4653    


Stephen Dixon

So, we are cautioned to wash our hands through a chorus of Happy Birthday to help ensure that we are getting them sufficiently sanitized.

Am I the only one who hears, in my fetid brain,  Bud Chase (String Bean's Clubhouse) doing his amped-up version of this classic?

I'm not sure that The Bean's speedy birthday song was enough to do the trick.


03/27/20 11:35 AM #4654    


Gene Stern

03/28/20 01:38 PM #4655    


Judy Holtzer (Knopf)

Access 1.4 Million Digital Books For Free At The National Emergency Library


While travel has all but stopped during the COVID-19 crisis, this is the perfect time to enjoy some armchair adventures.

Readers, rejoice! Over 1.4 million books have been made available in the brand new National Emergency Library created by the Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites and more. The archive is suspending waitlists through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later. 

Users will be able to borrow books from the National Emergency Library without joining a waitlist, ensuring that students will have access to assigned readings and library materials that the Internet Archive has digitized for the remainder of the US academic calendar, and that people who cannot physically access their local libraries because of closure or self-quarantine can continue to read and thrive during this time of crisis, keeping themselves and others safe,” the Internet Archives explains in a blog post.

The options seem endless. Looking for a great read? Digital bestsellers include everything from Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and John Grisham’s The Firm to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Never read the Harper Lee classic To Kill a Mockingbird? Now’s the time. (Heck, you can even borrow the Cliffs Notes or the audiobook read by Sissy Spacek.) You can dig into J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. Or maybe you’d prefer Shakespeare. You might decide to tackle Hamlet or, better yet, listen to Richard Burton read it to you.

History buffs interested in lessons we can learn from history’s deadliest pandemic of 1918 can start with John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza, which the National Academies of Science named the outstanding book on science or medicine of 2005.


Got cabin fever? You might draw inspiration for a future trip from Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, Ann Vanderhoof’s The Spice Necklace or Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence. For now, these literary escapes are the next best thing to being there.

To get started: You can sign up for an Internet Archive account for free from anywhere in the world, then browse the collection or search by book titles or authors. If you like what you see, consider donating to the Internet Archive.


03/28/20 05:08 PM #4656    


Paul Simons

Thanks for the information Judy about free books. I just paid $19.95 for the Kindle version of “Behold America” by Sarah Churchwell (she’s a terrific writer on several topics) and I’ll add a link to her brief description but the words “free books” sounds good. But how do you “borrow” a digital edition? I guess I’ll find out when I click your link.

03/29/20 03:38 PM #4657    


Judy Holtzer (Knopf)

Paul, don't shoot or ask the messenger.....

Here's another link I was sent but have not yet opened myself. The Bolshoi is streaming ballets and operas. on this link until April 10


03/30/20 01:04 AM #4658    


Philip Spiess

Classmates, at #4631 I suggested, almost caustically, as appropriate reading for this time of quarantine and seclusion, Daniel Defoe's (he was the author of Robinson CrusoeA Journal of the Plague Year (1722).  I had never read it, but I now am.  Although he wrote it as fiction (being too young to have witnessed the plague), OMG! although I have only read the first thirteen pages (of some 277), it reads like what we are experiencing today -- questions of where it originated (Italy is mentioned); spreading from one quarter of the town to another; local officials denying or covering up the actual numbers of sicknesses and deaths; people fleeing to the sparsely-populated countryside; deciding whether to stay in town or go elsewhere; lack of burial places; etc.  You might find it interesting (or depressing) to read.

03/30/20 08:42 AM #4659    


Jerry Ochs

The following site offers free books for downloading, including those mentioned by Phil.

03/30/20 01:52 PM #4660    


Paul Simons

Thanks Judy, Phil, Jerry for the info. I'm going to admit that I'm a pretty lazy dude and while I do keep up with som reading, most consistently the daily New Yorker newsletter that's a free app for iPhone, I also enjoy lounging atound watching TV. I found free full-length good movies on YouTube while searching for and finding one in particular - "Paradise Now", a 2005 film shot in Jerusalem, in Arabic with subtitles, about the planning and execution of a bombing "operation". Judy I'd be interested to know your ideas in this area. Like ideological films in general, like Ayn Rand books, characters are given lines that are expressions of the writers' ideologies. Little appears to have changed concerning the justification for and arguments against bombings, but measures have been taken that appear to have made the completion of such "operations" far less frequent than they were. Anyway here's the link but equally important - on the right-hand sidebar there are film after film, full length, free to view.

Last night the local PBS station ran a British crime drama that was excellent! Part of a series, the protagonist is a middle-age woman detective, a bit similar to the Frances McDormand character in "Fargo". Here's a link to one episode, again with others listed on the sidebar:

03/31/20 12:26 PM #4661    


Barbara Kahn (Tepper)

Thank you Jerry, I do use gutenberg but also for older books I use  Another site with low cost or free books is  

03/31/20 01:55 PM #4662    


Judy Holtzer (Knopf)

Sorry, Paul. Not going down that rabbit hole.

Keep safe everyone!

04/01/20 03:56 PM #4663    


Margery Erhardt (Feller)

Paul, in response to your comment about the PBS program, Vera, it is a great series. Vera, a series of books was written by Ann Cleeves. I had watched Shetland, another series she wrote (I have every book!) and loved it and I started hearing from my English friends that everyone was talking about Vera. I watched the series and it just keeps getting better and better. Vera comes into her own after several episodes. If you like those, some others are anything by Julian Fellowes (starred in Monarch of the Glen before his fabulous writing), Guernsey and Broadchurch both movies/series and great books too. Wallendar, a series written by Henning Mankell, is Swedish and extremely well done. The original series finished and Netflix is now coming out with what I presume is a new series entitled Young Wallendar as the original series was so popular and there is a reason the original can't go on but I don't want to give anything away. A fun book and movie are entitled Guernsey. And The Two Popes is a must!!!! I couldn't believe the casting for the Popes as they were right on! I rarely (if ever?) watch American shows as they pale in comparison to British TV. Living in England as I have and having several BBC channels really can destroy taste for lesser quality productions. BritBox, Acorn, and of course Netflix, are the Best!

There are various sites you can join whereby they send you selections each day starting at $.99 to about $1.99. The sites get to know your interests. I prefer books but digital is great as I have a library of hundreds, both classics and new releases. You might try Book Bub, BookPage, Book Perk, and Good Readers for good ideas and “deals.” For Audio I like Chirp deals and have started a little audio library.  

And don’t forget our great libraries. Many have programs that connect digitally through programs like Zoom conferencing and webinars and also have many ways to download books digitally. We have a wealth of books and movies right at our fingertips.

04/01/20 04:18 PM #4664    


Jeff Daum

I agree Margery, the Two Popes was very well done.

04/01/20 04:37 PM #4665    


Paul Simons

Thanks very much Margery. I have to confess that although I've had a Kindle and a Nook for years I haven't done much reading besides The New Yorker which does cover everything worth being covered. But reading that Philip Roth thing "The Plot Against America" got me interested in serious fiction again. It appears that fact is catching up with fiction in some areas. And I'll look into recommendations that you and others have listed. I can't turn on a TV until after 6:00 PM without feeling guilty but now there will be more spice and variety when it does get turned on!!

The Brits are phenomenal. They did invent the language, and we alomg with Canada and Australia and New Zealand were more or less part of their Empire for a time, although not in the way that a place like India for example was. There was a BBC man, Alistair Cooke, who lived here in America and broadcast his views on this place on a program called "Letter From America", he was a joy to listen to, and the programs are still available - here's the link -

Again many thanks.

04/02/20 01:29 AM #4666    


Philip Spiess

And may I add, Margery, the BBC's "Father Brown" series of mysteries.  Although they take as their major character Father Brown, a Roman Catholic priest in England, who is, whether he wishes it or no, a detective, from G. K. Chesteron's many "Father Brown" stories (although Chesterton wrote many other books, including other mysteries, the "Father Brown" ones remain -- to my thinking -- the best), the series is barely based on Chesterton's original stories (only some of the early cases allude to Chesterton's original stories).  Nevertheless, the series is very good, goes on for a good number of seasons, and the central group of actors are very endearing.

I therefore commend to your attention G. K. Chesteron's original stories:  The Innocence of Father Brown (1911 - 12 stories); The Wisdom of Father Brown (1914 - 12 stories); The Incredulity of Father Brown (1926 - 8 stories); The Secret of Father Brown (1927 - 10 stories); and The Scandal of Father Brown (1935 - 8 stories); as well as the independent story, "The Vampire of the Village"); I also recommend viewing the BBC television series.

04/05/20 06:48 AM #4667    


Jerry Ochs

Returning to the subject of music:

04/05/20 09:00 AM #4668    


Philip Spiess

I'm totally cowed!  They milked that for all it was worth, didn't they?  (And which one wrote "Old MacDonald Had a Farm"?  I think it was a Chunese guy, Eli Eli Yo.)

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