Tuesday, June 30, 2009
In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, SkillsUSA students and leaders volunteered to upgrade substandard housing in rough parts of Kansas City. One person they helped was "Miss Alice," who is over 100 years old.
Full of spirit, with a clear mind, and a desire to add color to her picture (hence the bottle of red Gatorade)
I just finished documenting my twenty-fifth annual trade skills conference for SkillsUSA, this year again in Kansas City.
Go visit: www.skillsusa.org
Thousands of students compete at a national level in their chosen field of work; from auto mechanics to dental assisting, masonry, culinary arts, TV production, crime scene investigation, welding, precision machining, nurse assisting, cosmetology, plumbing, advertising design, robotics... ninety-one contests in all; the competitors are tops in each of their states. A chosen few go on to international competition.
It's always a visual feast. Here are my views- from the surreal to the sober, and a range of other meanings and experiences.
Great people, and a terrific, uplifting, program.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Three shrines have been created to honor Stephen T. Johns, the security guard at the United States Holocaust Memorial in Washington DC, who was killed June 10, 2009. According to authorities, white supremacist and anti-semite James W. Von Brunn, 88, entered the Holocaust Museum and immediately shot Mr. Johns. Von Brunn then was himself shot and critically wounded by two other quick-acting guards. Von Brunn maintained a virulent racist website, and had a life-long history of involvement with hate groups. A notebook with anti-semitic writings that were also critical of President Obama was found in his car.
Johns, who is being referred to in the press as a "gentle giant" - he was 6' 6' - leaves an eleven-year old son. Von Brunn's crimes and motives have been universally denounced, including by both his own son & by the President.
Officer Johns is being hailed as a hero. The flags at the museum are being flown at half-mast in his honor.
These images are my way of saying Kaddish, and of leaving stones. May his soul and his family know blessings and serenity.
Yitgadal v'yitgadash sh'mei rabah.
I had the pleasure of visiting with my college roomates and other old friends from Trinity College in Hartford, CT - 35 years since we all graduated.
We continue to enjoy one another's company, and to have amusing adventures... Here's to Matt Moloshok, Alex Trocker, Dr. Becki Adams, and special thanks to Dave Duennebier and his band, Planet Earth.
Alex (Lex Rocker) of Phase3 TV slammed together & posted this kickin' video of the proceedings at: