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Where’s Norman? Celebrating the Life of Norman Tischler

Yesterday, February 17th, 2019 I shared in a LOVE FEST. I was celebrating the life of Norman Tischler.  For some of you reading this you may not know who Norman was, and in reality, I barely knew him, but I loved him, and I cherish all that continue to love him, his partner Lynn, his grandchildren, and numerous assorted relatives, but mostly friends and fans!  Last night at the Music Box Supper Club in downtown Cleveland, Ohio many of his musicians’ colleagues paid tribute to him, his music, corny jokes, and his compassion for life!  If Norman Tischler said hello to you, you were/are his friend for eternity.

 

The music that played through the Supper Club both upstairs and down was contagiously filling the halls with such sincere gratitude that the hundreds or more of us became one as we swayed, danced, and sung to the music.  The talent that graced the stage, all local, were as good if not better than what we normally refer to as the professionals.  These men and women are truly honed crafted with the gift of sharing life through music, while voices sang or played a variety of songs that brought us all joy, even when we all shouted out, “Where’s Norman?”

 

Norman left the body of the earth four weeks ago and yet his life accomplishments live on.  Although not a wealthy man in the sense of financial riches, this New York transplant to Cleveland, Ohio was rich with compassion and love.  His love for music brought a sense of community to all he met.  From a Vista volunteer to a Saxophonist who jammed with anyone and everyone, jumping (or walking) up on stage with his trusty Sax.  As was shared last night, Norman never asked if he would be paid, fed, or thanked for his performance, he lived to give, not to get!

 

We all need to take a step back and like, Norman Tischler, live our lives with join and sharing that with everyone we meet.  Shake hands, fist bump, hi-5, hug, and or kiss and make a valuable connection with another human being.  Put your mobile device down and have a conversation, listen, learn, and “love on another, right now.”

STOP and THINK before you ASSUME!


My parents were born and raised in the early part of the 20th century.  What was considered OKAY then is being interpreted today as rude, insensitive, and morally wrong.  Although my parents and their friends may not have been perfect, I do not believe that they intentionally said or displayed themselves to be inappropriate or hurtful.

Halloween or costume parties was an opportunity to dress up as someone you admired or were intrigued by their character.  Think about the era that they were living at the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II.  In addition to the tenuous world, they were growing up in they among many found solace in movies, music, and a little bit of make-believe.  They were influenced by reality as well as the comfort of play acting that helped brighten their days.

If I had not researched the roots of blackface, I would not have known the origin was the whiteface actors were mocking.  “The purpose of blackface was mocking… and erasing black culture, turning it into a figment of the white imagination for entertainment,” says Prof Carr. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47125474)  My parent’s generation and mine as well saw the performances of actors, singers, and many musicians as entertainment, and only that.  Even the precious Mickey Mouse was first portrayed in minstrel form, considering it was 1929, and our culture was different.

Our culture has evolved. However, we must be careful and understand what we may approve of today, tomorrow our children and grandchildren will find fault with and point out the things we did that may keep them from being who they want because our society has a need to find fault!  Instead, of accusing, we should make an attempt to understand and become more aware of what is right or wrong?  Although I do not believe in the concept, “An eye for an eye,” in early days (before you or me, and even our parents and grandparents) this was an acceptable approach in some cultures.  The code of Hammurabi dates back to 1754 BC.

We are all human, and humans are not perfect.  We make mistakes by choosing to do something that we may think is OKAY.  We use words that in our group are acceptable, but outside of that circle may not be or interpreted in ways they were not meant.  Isn’t it time we become more sensitive to the real meanings and not the assumed.

Someone will read this and scream out that I am a bleeding liberal believing we should all be allowed to do and say things in our manner.  That is not what I am saying, what I am stressing is why we are so quick to punish people for what may have been acceptable when they were involved in their action.  Let us learn from it and understand why our values have changed and stop throwing stones and taking an EYE for an EYE!

I remember when I was about nine years old, I repeated the N-word.  I did not do so with malice, but I had heard the word used, and I knew it referred to African Americans, however when I was nine they were referred to as Black People.  Tempe was a beautiful soul and African American.  My family loved this woman who came to our home once a week to iron and press our clothing, as my mom worked out of the house.  I used to love coming home from school and sitting in the basement with her as she lovingly ironed the most perfect creases in my father’s white shirts, and my brother’s slacks.  She was an artist in getting each pleat in my skirts to lay appropriately, and her delicate touch with my mother’s clothing was precise.  Tempe taught me how to iron (which I still do to this day.)

One afternoon while sitting and watching her perform her craft I called her the N-word, I don’t remember what I said, but I do remember that when my parents came home, I was reprimanded.  I was told in no uncertain terms never to use that word again and that I had to apologize to Tempe.  My father drove me to her house, and he walked me to the door.  I remember when she opened the door her daughter, just a few years younger then I was standing behind her.  The look Tempe gave me was sad, and yet her demeanor towards me was accepting.  I began to cry as I apologized and told her I was just using a word I heard others use and she explained to me why it was hurtful.  She explained she knew in her heart of hearts I did not intend to hurt her, but someone else may not understand if I used that term in their presence.  I made a solemn oath to never call another Black person (African American) by that word ever again.  We hugged and cried together, and I was stronger for her understanding and the lesson my parent’s taught me.

I would not want that one incident to come back and haunt me or my son’s or any future grandchildren that I may have.  What was somewhat acceptable in some homes in the ’50s should not be society’s reason for throwing a stone today!

STOP and THINK before you ASSUME!

LEAP

This morning I awoke early once again, 5 am-ish, reflecting on Wednesday evening and how the Meet & Greet for Empowerment affected me.  For the very first time in a long time, I felt a community of people that I can begin to call friends.  I was instilled by these women to look deep inside myself and enjoy the fact that I have friends near and far.

 

Growing up I wanted to be like someone else, loving my cousin Gloria Jaffe Seigel; I longed to be just like her. However, that wasn’t possible.  I was me!  I could, however, learn from her and allow the beauty that I sought from her life to impact mine.  I wore some of her hand me downs, I babysat for her children, and we shared a birthdate separated by one month.  What I adored about my cousin was the energy that pulled people towards her and the abundance of friends she had.  When I felt alone and lonely, I would think of her and ask myself how I can be more like her?

 

In elementary and junior high school I wanted to be like Janet, Cheryl, Michelle, and the rest of the click.  I now know they liked me, but I was not part of the group back then.  I wondered why. and strived to be just like them, feeling like a failure every step of the way, spending too many days and nights crying over the WHYS?

 

High school was a momentous time in my life, I found a circle of friends, and made a commitment to myself to enjoy my life in a new city, the cold tundra of St. Louis Park, Minnesota.  The four years my family lived in SLP, I made life long friendship that I was able to rekindle on Facebook and beyond.

 

However, loneliness and that sad feeling of having no friends returned in 1996.  It was a warm Fall day when Alex was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.  One day he was just an over-active little first grader, and the next he was wearing the scarlet letter on his chest.  Parents of his schoolmates who were our friends pulled away and the kids that had been inviting him to birthday parties and play dates came to an end.  In the beginning, my family didn’t understand, and sadly some assumed he or we were faking his diagnosis.  REALLY?  REALLY!  Rich and I have spent the better part of twenty-two years without a social connection.  We both convinced ourselves that work and family were enough, but it wasn’t.

 

In 2013 I had a breakdown, I admitted I was depressed and feeling all alone.  Although I loved Rich, I did not feel like I was in love with him and that hit me hard.  I couldn’t live with him or without him, and this time I knew I had to fix this.  It has been a journey! (I love him, and I am in love with him, despite his wackiness.)

 

Over the last six years I have chosen to take forks in the road (thanks Katie the Carlady for that analogy.)  Following the straight path, being the good daughter, wife, mother, and acquaintance making everyone else happy was killing me.  It was finally time for me take a leap of faith and sooth my achy breaky heart.  Today I am proud to say I have and I continue to develop friendships.  No longer do I allow my head voice tell me I am not worthy, my mantra is, “If you don’t like me, it’s your loss.”  I am willing to listen, share, and care, it’s up to you to lend me a hand.

 

Last evening on Facebook I posted a quote and shared it with many of  my new and older friends (not age-wise.)

The responses I received from this post have sparked my heart, energy, and love for life.  It reminds me how fragile each second is.  So, if I become sappy, just know it makes me happy!
I hope you will join me on my journey and take the fork in the road that works for you.  There is no mistake you can always backtrack if you need to, or take another leap of faith.

The First of Many – MEET & GREET – EMPOWERMENT

Last evening, January 24, 2019, I completed a task on my bucket list.  Needing to empower myself, acknowledging that I am a caring, compassionate, and smart individual, Meet & Greet for Women’s Empowerment took place at Vista Springs, Greenbriar.  I do want to take a moment and apologize to anyone who may have misunderstood where the location for this event was taking place.  The FACEBOOK page is linked to newclevelandradio.net. However, we were meeting off-site as Sheila James, Vista Springs, provided us space for this new group.  (Thank you Sheila!)

 

More than fifty women replied to the first call out for interest in this group and the seminar series (book) that I have envisioned to help promote the message that we are all unique snowflakes and yet so much alike.  We all have a need to belong, be accepted, and appreciated, and this group is designed for that purpose. However, it begins from within so sharing, caring, and awareness are the key components for this group.  If you missed last night do not fret, last night was just one evening, and we will be meeting monthly and hosting POSITIVE ENERGY seminars.  If you have a story to share or a story you want to hear, we encourage you to attend.

 

I must confess it is always difficult for me to attend a meeting, or gathering of any kind, the first time.  I feel vulnerable and out of place.  Too often I lack the confidence that I will fit in and with that message playing in the back of my head I find excuses why I should not attend.  Surprisingly everytime I give into those fears and old tapes that replay in my brain, I am glad I have, I widen my world, and my connections with people that I care about and who care about me.

 

The mix of individuals that attended last night all have an interesting journey to share.  There was a common thread among us, and we were there to give back and learn from others at the same time.

 

The tentative date for our next meet and greet will be February 27th 6 pm at Vista Springs, Greenbriar, in Parma, Ohio.  At the next meeting, we will use social media such as Facebook Live to give those who can’t attend a birds-view.  We also agreed we will start out the seminar series with two personal coaches leading the way: Candace Pollock and Kathy Worcester Lentner will team together to share their journeys while using the coaching and guidance to empower us!  This is an open group, and the only rule is that we listen, learn and respect various thoughts and beliefs.

 

On February 11th at 6 pm, newclevelandradio.net will be introducing a new podcast with Melinda Smith entitled Heart Mojo.   Melinda will take us through her journey and invite others to participate in understanding their obstacles can be turned into challenges and facing the challenge empowers!

 

On February 14th at 6pm Katie the Carlady will be hosting Coffee and Cars with Katie, and the coffee can be any mixture and cars, well you will have to tune in to feel her energy.

We (newclevelandradio.net) are hoping to attract many new podcasts providing your message.  Please email me at newclevelandradio@gmail.com for podcasting information and rates.

 

Check out all of our podcast shows (some may be on Hiatus, but their past podcasts are still online.)

https://www.spreaker.com/user/newclevelandradio?tab=shows

Honoring the Word LOVE a Norman Tischler Challenge

I never met Norman, but I had the privilege of talking to him twice within the last several months.  I had reached out to Norman on the suggested of Jon Mosey.  I have been podcasting with music talent locally and afar to share the beauty of talent and humankind.  (From the moment I answered the phone, it was like we were kinder spirits.)  We shared thoughts and ideas on how it would be best to do this show, and he wanted to wait it out through February as he mentioned he had something special coming up.  I agreed to do what was in his best interests as the podcasts we do here at newclevelandradio.net are meant to capture the essence of the performer.  Anyone can listen to their music, see them on stage, or read their words, but to get to share some intimate moments opens up a whole new world for many.

I was mesmerized with Norman and so pleased when he contacted me again in December to touch base and ask again how he could assist me.  I told him it was not him assisting me, but providing him the opportunity to share his passion, his love and inspire others.  We once again discussed February, and I was anxiously anticipating meeting him and recording with him.

Sadly, like many of you, I learned he was ill last week.  When I saw his first post, he was in the hospital for tests and waiting results I believed he would challenge whatever diagnosis he was delivered and would end up beating the odds.  When I learned of his diagnosis, I contacted my Rabbi (Josh Brown at Temple Israel) and requested a Mi Shebeirach – Prayer for Healing.  It was the least I could do for my new friend (someone who already felt like family).

Yesterday, Monday, January 21, 2019, when I noted on Facebook that Norman had passed, I went into shock and denial.  I had not met him yet, and I missed out on knowing him in person.  However, as the tributes to Norman have abounded on Facebook, I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to connect with him and talk to him on the phone and not just in text, or email, or Facebook chat.  Norman was a mensch, he still knew how to woo a person, and he wooed me to appreciate his love for life, music, and the good in others.

I want to invite each of you who knew Norman to reach out to me and let us pay tribute with a series of podcasts.  In addition, I am hoping we can put together a Memorial to instill in others to use the word, LOVE and understand how important that four letter word is.  We need to make it our priority in his honor; we must never forget.

 

For my POPs J Harmon Moss

 

Tonight at sundown I will light the memorial candle for my POPS.  Tonight begins the 24 hours of his yarzheit, the anniversary of someone’s death, especially a parent’s, in the Jewish religion.  The remembrance is based on the Hebrew Calendar and not the Georgian Calendar that we typically live each day by.  It was on, February 3, 2004, late at night when my mother called me to share the sad news that my father had died.  That was also the night of our, Rich’s and mine, twentieth wedding anniversary, the Hebrew date is, Shevat 10, 5779.  I will never forget.

 

My dad was loved by many, and he has always held a special place in my heart.  Sadly for many years, I assumed my father was mad at me when he came home from work at night.  If he walked in the door without a smile on his face, my Jewish guilt set in, assuming I had done something to upset or disappoint him.  The reality was my father very rarely was mad at anyone, and even if he was, he got over it quickly, apologizing often.  I think that was one of the reasons he was liked (and loved) by many.

 

My father was a dreamer, and he wrote of his dreams using poetic rhyme and license.  For every occasion, there were poems and odes written for my mother, my brothers, myself as well as our partners, children and friends, and relatives.  I have boxes of his writings that my mother lept, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will enjoy reading and learning so much about this husband and wife team that survived so much.

 

In ways, my parents were lucky, as American citizens, first and second generation they unlike many of their friends were not exposed first hand to Nazi Germany.  My father was identified as F4 and again unlike other family members and his friends he was stateside during World War II, and the story goes he felt guilty that he could not do his part.  But he worked in the war plant in Detroit, Michigan and supported his brothers overseas, staying strong for their wives and families as they faced the unknown for years.

 

My father’s health issues could have plagued him for life, but he fought through the pain and the limitations of Scarlet Fever as a child.  Dad was one of the early heart by-pass patients at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan when by-pass surgery took weeks and months of recovery, and that was in 1974.  In fact, almost 30 years to the day of his death.  My POPs taught my brother’s and I some very important lessons that included not to take life for granted to make the most of each day, to ask for forgiveness, and mean it, and make every attempt to be better today than yesterday.

 

In the last month or so of his life, he called his kids, my brothers and I daily, he never said good-bye, but it almost became a ritual one that I thought would go on forever, but nothing does!  Forever will only go on in my memories of the loving man he was and how he adored my mother, his D’Vasha, the honey of his life.  My father was convinced by his mother, grandma Jen to ask my mother out after they met at a wedding.  Grandma Jen thought my mother would be a great catch for him, and although my mother hesitated to accept, once she did it was “farvorfn,” forever!  When my father passed away on February 3, 2004, they had been married 63 years and counting.  My mother survived my dad by twelve years; she continued to love her Harmon till the day she died, and now she is resting by his side.

 

I was blessed to have my parents in my life despite the fact that like many, I did not appreciate them all the time.  But today as I prepare to say the Mourner’s Prayer, I am sending out a message to all of you, appreciate the love of family and friends.  Hold on to moments and create memories to bring you sunshine on a cloudy day.  No tears for my father, just a smile of loving appreciation for all he gave me, his love!

Thanking you

As I end the year and begin a new, I want to thank you the listeners, the podcasters, our sponsors and all my friends and family for allowing me to share with you this past year.  I am looking forward to some new journeys in 2019, and I ask for your support as I Believe I CAN do Anything I set my Heart on.  My Heart is set to enjoy life and live it to the fullest.

DEPRESSION _ SUCKS

It came from out of nowhere – the feeling of something is wrong, but why and what.  Sitting at my desk reviewing Facebook post and emails before heading off to the gym, this wave of ANXIETY hit!  I could feel a low ebbing tidal wave approach, and I got up and said to myself, why now?  This happened to me about five years ago during the winter of 2013, and I tumbled fast into a pit of despair!  It took months of medication trials, a change of work scenery and getting my physical and emotional side to come to terms with the word DEPRESSION.  DEPRESSION sucks!  It is not something we choose, and often it sneaks up on us, and we are aware of the chemical both inside and out changes that are occurring.  I can say all I want I will not go there, and this time I will fight like a warrior to stop this flood up unknown feelings!

Please do not tell me or anyone else you know who may experience this malady to get over it; they can’t just do anything, they will need to work through it as I will too.  What works for me may not be the same course of action for another, but you must accept and tolerate that what we feel is real even if it is unexplainable.  Some like myself may pretend to be ‘OK,’ well others will take refuge in solitary personal confinement.  Sadly some will turn to self-medicate, beware and know you may need to pick up the pieces.  I will work through this maze of discomfort through self-talk, journaling, sharing my voice out loud so I may hear my thoughts through a different filter.

  

Bruno Mars sings:  “Is it strange that i talk to my self (oh oh oh oh oh oh)
Is it weird when I hear someone else (oh oh oh oh oh oh)
what do I do (what do I do)
There’s no more you (There’s no more you)
And I tell me you’ll be coming home (coming home)
Is it strange I believe them again (oh oh oh)
Voices in my head, the voices, the voices
Voices in my head.”[1]


Although Bruno wrote this as a love song, the refrain says it all; we allow an inner voice to invade us and tell us what may or may not be true.  Through my podcasting with Candace Pollock[2], the Intentionality Gurus has taught me to be more intentional in my thinking.  When this wave of anxiety or uncertainty hits me in the gut, it is time to take a deep breath and focus and cleanse the demons out.  It may not be easy, and along the path, I may stumble and fall, but I will get back up, I will stand tall.[3]

[1] Read more: Bruno Mars – Voices In My Head Lyrics | MetroLyrics

[2] https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-intentionality-gurus-with-candace-po

[3]To prove or display one’s pride, confidence, or fortitude.

Put on a HAPPY face

December 22, 2018, and now the days will begin to feel longer as we will experience more sunlight (daylight) now that the winter solstice has just passed. In years past I had allowed the doom of gloom of darker days change my moods without forethought of controlling the emotions that spring from the change in the seasons from warm to cool to cold which often means days were turning into nighttime when just weeks before nighttime was much later!

We still experience 24 hours in each day however our tilt in North America is farthest from the sun in the fall/winter, and for many, we experience a phenomenon that makes us think our days are shorter when it, in fact, is not, but the light of day is! The winter blues for many kicks in before the solstice and hangs on for many for another few months. There is a medical name for this called, SAD, seasonal affective disorder, often felt by the middle-agers as well as the senior population, of which I am one.

Yesterday during a podcast with Candace Pollock, The Intentionality Gurus, I expressed to her that this is the first year I have self-talked myself out of SAD. I have made an intentional choice not to hide and hunker down when the darkness invades my daytime hours. The decision to participate in life is essential for my happiness. You’ve heard the saying, “When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” But when momma is happy she spreads sunshine:

“Gray skies are gonna clear up
Put on a happy face
Brush off the clouds and cheer up
Put on a happy face.”

Four Songwriters_My Honor!

Last night, Sunday, December 16th, 2018, I had the pleasure and honor to attend a concert at the GAR in Peninsula.  To begin with, if you are not familiar with GAR Hall in Peninsula, Ohio, it is now time to draw your attention to this century plus venue.  This building is now a Civil War Museum and Concert Hall.  “The Peninsula Foundation supports the Arts Community by presenting Voices in the Valley, a showcase of traditional roots music.”  A special thanks of appreciation must go out to Karen James Walters, Manager at the GAR, a Peninsula resident who believes in showcasing live music in a music listening room.

Last night’s performance was presented by Four Songwriters, friends for forty years.  Each one is a talented genius in his own right, and they are humble to the point of disgust.  I am blessed to know each one of them and to call them friends.

Alex Bevin is a musician, songwriter, poet, radio personality and happily married with a grown son.  But Bevin is still a kid at heart, performing, creating, and enjoying life.  A Northeast Ohio native and area resident, he fills a room with a voice that is distinct, warm and mouthwatering.  As my friend Chuck Yarborough of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has written, “Cleveland’s favorite son Alex Bevan has done what I thought was impossible: He has captured the magic of a house concert in a recording. His newest album, “True Meridian,” was recorded with Bevan alone in his workroom and is, by his own admission, far from perfect.”  As newclevelandradio.net begins scheduling house concerts this in 2019, we hope you will welcome Alex Bevin into your home.  His imperfections are PERFECT.

Charlie Wiener, another hometown celebrity that only sees the perfection in others.  A sixties style songwriter, a comedian for all ages, a published author, and he does it all with heart and soul.  Charlie has a brilliant mind, if he didn’t, he could not do all he does with such excellence.  When Wiener talks you want to listen, it’s like sitting outside at the old country store hearing the tales of yesterday and how they relate to today.  Charlie Wiener and I grew up in the same era and yet in comparison to me, he is a walking, talking encyclopedia.  Unlike me, he has the words and the charisma to turn his knowledge into words that soothe through music, illustrate in novels, and make you laugh when he does his stand-up comic shtick.  Charlie is the father of two grown daughters.  He speaks of his beautiful wife in glowing terms (as he should I have met her), and he is the proud caretaker of Greta his bearded collie.

Jim Ballard is a man filled with passion, and he is committed to the people he attracts in life, some of whom call him “UNCLE.”  Unlike what the music industry has projected to the media, he too has been in love and married to his young sweetheart for thirty plus years.  They have shared the moon from opposite sides of the globe while he served in Vietnam and after traveled to his gigs sharing his voice and talent for others to hear and appreciate.  When you google Jim Ballard, it comes up with Jim Ballard, the quarterback, but you need to find:  https://www.jimballardmusic.net/ .  Jim has been on the music scene since the 1970s most likely influenced by his mother.  The musical influence he brings to his audience are the influences of social justice and community.  Listening to Jim perform is a unique experience and being part of his life is so much more!  In his way, Jim is saving Akron and the world.  Look up to the moon at night and connect with Mr. Ballard.

Jon Mosey, where do I begin.  Jon was referred to me by another great musician, Andy Cohen.  When I first googled Jon after Andy’s request that I podcast with Jon, I found bits and pieces but nothing substantial to tell me who he was.  But within a few minutes of podcasting with Jon Mosey, I was mesmerized.  I promised to come out and see him perform, I captured him on Facebook, just like I did with the others, but my mission was to get to meet Jon and hear him play.  The photos of Jon tell one story, he is the most remarkable and talented man I have met (sorry Richard) in my life.  He plays the Piedmont Blues and Ragtime, both of which I had to ask him to explain to me.  Last night I heard the fingerpicking style he has acquired, and it filled my heart with sounds that I will not forget.  Jon is married to his amazing wife Chris who not only supports her husband but supports so many who are just trying to live each day.  She is the sunshine of life that is needed to keep the community together and caring!

Once again, I am blessed to know these individuals, to rub shoulders with them, break bread and call them my friends!