Susie Duncan Sexton's Blog - Posts Tagged "hoosier"

so the hoosier state plans to ban smoking except in bars and casinos?

alcoholism and gambling are fine and dandy? and devouring mammals (in those same eating establishments) which causes breast, colon and prostate cancer is hunky dory? not to mention ingesting flesh and organs causing diabetes and parkinson's disease? chow down...but first watch the film EARTHLINGS!

honestly, watching these films and reading books and articles and listening to lectures by scientists who have earned their doctorates should be required of all...and for those who cannot read, we can offer to read this scientific information to them...probably have to tie many to chairs for the duration...but they will be changed.

many too cowardly to sit still and watch or read or listen, but not too cowardly when they place a burger into their salivating mouths. that is a brave move. toxic to the human gastro-intestinal tract, and human teeth far from comparable to only four meat-eaters on our planet one of whom is the saber-toothed tiger.

we EVOLVED to eat veggies...and no meat and no dairy products. so if one feels sickly, the reason probably is a lifetime of gluttony -- swallowing substances toxic to our fragile little bods.

corporate america kills animals...and people...we are all mammals and we are not healthy nor wealthy nor wise. we are victims. to complain about our health is ludicrous -- visit a slaughterhouse...hitch a ride with pigs, cattle, chickens as they travel frightened and crowded together and freezing in a semi tooling up and down our highways full of vehicles emitting carcinogens from mufflers. ah, breathe in that deadly air. second hand smoke pales by comparison.

wow, what a convoluted ride. of course, we are not actually eating our relatives because, according to creationism which may be taught alongside evolution in our school system from which monies have been withheld, adam and eve and their two sons, one of whom was murdered by the other, are our parents somehow and animals are only on earth for our convenience anyway...and when they inconvenience us we kill them...and then gobble them up...then artificially impregnate to make more and etc. etc. and so forth.

400 million dollars is generated by our state's allowance of hunting so that the poor and prisoners can eat donated flesh which supposedly is diseased? 2300 jobs for relatives are available statewide to keep the licenses flowing from the DNR. not only are mass fatalities happening to hoosier animals but to some "hunters" as well and to by-standers just playing basketball near some field somewhere.

one out of three deaths is due to meat eating. i did not make any of this up...except maybe the adam and eve stuff...and i am not available for rationalizing-rebuttals.

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
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[Original column and photos can be found here}

Allow me to explain myself. I am located at the conclusion of a lengthy direct line of lineage piled up with (Carolina) Southern Dixiecrats and talcum-powdered ladies. I’ve lived my life as the lone Damned Yankee seeking to cauterize subtle family dissensions and outrageous stereotypical mind-sets, as in “enough is enough!” I admit that I judge myself as trapped in a one-of-a kind type of ethnicity in such a difficult to define breed that I am in a perpetual race to quell my own polarized tendencies. I struggle to find my original soul. I strive to function unsuccessfully as the diplomatic “missing link”.

On those long walks to and from a Hoosier grammar school in the 50s, I literally suffered, yet endured, misdirected prejudice and fiendish bias. Only a tall cold one in the form of an R. C. Cola, extracted from the “icebox”, would soothe my agonized psyche. Plopping onto the waiting “divan” -- to pout as well as to watch after-school kiddie fare on black and white Tv, emphasis on the “T”, -- calmed my nerves long about 3:30 every school day. MoonPies satisfied as tranquilizers.

Innocent phrases such as “my daddy carried us to Ft. Wayne Saturday to lunch at Gardner’s Drive Inn” nearly got me strung up, Clint Eastwood-ish “high”! Those harmless yet indigenous Southland words -- “divan” for “couch” and “icebox” for “refrigerator” and “carry” for transporting via our old Ford -- prompted gales of condescending laughter emanating from a few select classmates. Never beaten up but once, still I feared that one day I might be discovered in a lifeless heap before winding my way back to the safety of our little house. A replay version between Walnut and Line Streets, of the damaging War Between the States, seemed totally imminent. I languished in mortal terror until I left for a more representative and inclusive culture at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Fiddle dee dee! I got born in Fort Wayne’s Lutheran Hospital -- contrary to reports of having been discovered beneath a cabbage leaf somewhere -- seldom straying far from my roots in Columbia City, Indiana, but I am a perpetual half-breed. How so?

A personal inventory reveals: As a Southerner I seldom wear shoes, do possess a hospitable penchant for “critters”, gush out way too many compliments, and would give anyone -- who needed it -- the very t-shirt off my arthritic back! On the other more Northern hand, I become knee-jerkily stubborn, detest phoniness, generally tell it like it is, and never forget a slight. Neither an ignoble two-faced Janus nor a Jekyll and Hyde, I move pretty fluidly from one aspect of my personality to the other …occasionally puzzling both camps, the Union and the Confederacy.

Sensing through my reading and research and experience that every individual, whether one likes it or not, lives out life as a virtual melting pot, I cannot fathom why each of us is not more understanding and tolerant of those with whom we come in contact. At our cores, we are truly so comparable yet all mixed up as well! The contentiousness, lately (or since the advent of time?) associated with politics and religion and sexual matters and those who believe differently from ourselves, is a sheer and utter bore and the resultant chatter qualifies as cacophonous. Nobody wins. Is compromise the answer then? Milked down, moderate compromise? Or flaming extremisms of every sort. Moderation itself seems a “far out” (Thanks, John Denver!) stance currently.

Ah, the conflicts and contradictions of functioning on the playground of life! As a fifth grader, I recall the academic introduction, via our well-worn history texts, of the topic of the Civil War between the agrarian South and the industrial North simplified justifiably, as well as controversially, to the issue of human rights denied to African-Americans. One very bright girl, freshly envious of my switch to an all new wardrobe due to my waking up nearly six feet tall at age eleven one morning, started a small town “sour-grapes”-vine-ish rumor that the Duncans had once owned slaves????? Hardly. She confused us with Thomas Jefferson or maybe Simon Legree. (As a devout Methodist, she also broadcast that my Southern-Baptist-Indoctrinated/ Switched-to-Lutheran dad most certainly must be an alcoholic because we housed a lightly stacked liquor cabinet?) Furthermore, our own Hoosierland lives in infamy as a hotbed of Ku Klux Klan activity. So there. Paradoxes abound. Yankees and their biases!

On the other hand, a handsome cousin -- way down South in formerly Democrat-oriented Dixie -- contends that Tarheels still detest JFK who disrupted their once thriving textile and furniture-making commerce. I know better. The truth? Both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations pushed through Civil Right legislation, and the South felt humbled once again. But not for long. Its clay earth turned redder-than-red-Republican throughout the lay of the land. So very fiscally SELF-conscious are most of those freshly Conservative states beneath the Mason-Dixon Line that now Nissan and BMW plants dot the landscape as the (maybe schizophrenic) South rises once again, Phoenix-like! Wealth and political power stirred into a recipe including that “old-time religion” have returned. Politicians of all varieties fall all over themselves to cater to Southern voters and to offer promises ranging from reasonable to outrageous. How ironic that while enthusiastically embracing foreign automobile manufacturers, "new" Conservatives -- whose bloodlines I share but whom I barely recognize -- have abandoned Detroit and our "bailed out" American automakers? Rebels and their saccharine confused/confusing feistiness!

I am a quixotic blend of that fictitious, infamous “Man Without a Country” Philip Nolan and Abe Lincoln who borrowed the Biblical concept that a “house divided against itself cannot stand” (especially with one foot up North and the other down South) and also Tarheel Thomas Wolfe – author of 1929’s “Look Homeward, Angel” (originally entitled ”O, Lost”) -- who claimed via his 1940 posthumous novel that “You Can’t Go Home Again….”

During my college years, humorist/cartoonist Jules Feiffer wrote the script for a play and subsequent film entitled “Little Murders”, a black comedy which critic Roger Ebert declared “a definitive reflection of America’s darker moods…breaking audiences down into isolated individuals, vulnerable and uncertain.” Feiffer is also noteworthy for stating that “getting out of bed in the morning is an act of false confidence” and that “maturity is only a short break in adolescence…”

Having lived a relatively long life filled with fun, instructiveness, meaningful friendships, 5,005 glorious Facebook acquaintances around the globe, ironies, startling hypocrisies, and realizations of the ultimate importance of living and letting live, I wonder how we might rid this world of “little wars” whether they be among and between children, adults, political and religious persuasions, countries, or raging within ourselves. Peace! It’s wonderful -- but for some peculiar reason, also elusive.


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CALL TO ACTION...

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
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The epic conclusion of Sheepshead Bay Boulevard! Listen to the archive recording at this link.

In the prior week...well...everyone died, leaving only Nora (Susie Sexton) amidst the carnage. So what did that mean for Episode Thirteen, the grand guignol grand finale? Who knows! But listen to find out!

If you’ve missed any of the episodes, you MUST listen to the archives and get caught up.

ALSO, exciting news from my publisher! My book Secrets of an Old Typewriter is going to be carried by Literary Bookpost, a beautiful independent store in North Carolina. Hopefully the first of many! Check out their site - click here.

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Coverage of the paperback release of Secrets from the Columbia City Post and Mail newspaper. [View the scanned version here]...

Midwestern Author Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of eBook with Global Print Run

Columbia City, Indiana – When Hoosier writer Susie Duncan Sexton inherited an old IBM computer from her late, beloved sister Sarah, she had no idea just a few years later she would be a published author. “It’s true that playing with email and writing letters to the editor [primarily referencing the primary and presidential election of 2008] helped me re-discover my voice. My mother loved to write throughout my childhood and beyond, and we always had books and magazines and great conversation in our home. I passed that on to my son, but it had been awhile since I had put pen to paper or, in this case, fingers to keyboard.”

Flash forward a few years later to September 2011. Open Books published Sexton’s first book, a collection of memoir-style essays, Secrets of an Old Typewriter. From the Open Books’ website: “This book may be about small town life, but the ideas contained within it are expansive. The written accounts of the life of a ‘smart and sassy small town girl’ are as urbane as those of any city dweller. From ’50s and ’60s nostalgia to modern-day values, and from the drama and insight of America’s great books and motion pictures to politics, religion and animal rights, Susie Duncan Sexton’s ‘secrets’ always hit the mark with unexpected candor and a unique perspective.”

Melissa McIntyre, a librarian at New Mexico State University at Alamogordo, wrote in her review of the book, "It was an enjoyable read. Something to curl up on the front porch and enjoy a crisp fall morning with…engrossing enough to keep me captivated page after page.” Martin L. Davis II added as part of his review on Amazon, "I was reminded of Vonnegut...at times poignant, scathing, & compassionate. It is worth a second read,” with J.A. Hernandez of jensreview.com noting, "Poetic, energetic. Sentimental, temperamental.”

Now, one year after the initial release, Open Books, due to popular demand, is augmenting the book’s successful digital distribution with a print edition, available worldwide through various retailers, including Amazon.com and the publisher’s website. “It’s funny,” Sexton remarks, “that while this digital age of social media and blogging brought me back to writing, I am most overjoyed that I shall now get to hold this book in my hands. I love my Kindle and iPad, but there is nothing like turning the pages of a book, sharing it with others, and being able to tuck it into one of my shelves…nestled beside works of my favorite authors. I guess I shall always be that nostalgic Baby Boomer at heart.”

Sexton writes two monthly columns (one for hometown newsblog Talk of the Town and the other for the Columbia City Post and Mail newspaper) and maintains a prolific presence on her Goodreads’ author profile blog and various Facebook fan pages. She comments, “I would like to thank my son Roy who has introduced all of these worlds to me. I grew up in a small town, but I always found the power of film and television and literature so transporting. I find that to be true now with Facebook and other sites. I can meet like-minded souls the world over and have these great virtual ‘cocktail party conversations’ online, among new friends in Ireland or Australia and my next door neighbors.”

Roy Sexton, son of Don and Susie, grew up in Columbia City and now resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he serves as vice president of marketing and planning for the law firm Trott & Trott, P.C. and has helped found a theatre company there, The Penny Seats. He holds degrees from Wabash College, Ohio State, and the University of Michigan. He notes, “I am so proud of my mom. She is doing what she loves. She has put together a book that runs the gamut from classic film and Howdy Doody and Playhouse 90 to her time on the stage (Wagon Wheel, Arena Dinner, and First Pres theatres) to animal rights and religious freedom to Russell Crowe and Susan Boyle and back again…yet it is all thematically coherent and an absolute pleasure to read.”

Susie grew up in Columbia City, Indiana, and lived for a couple of decades in nearby Fort Wayne. After graduating twelfth in her class at Ball State University (winning the first ever John R. Emens award for “most outstanding senior”), she returned with her husband Don (who is originally from Shelbyville, Indiana) to her hometown where she has worked as a teacher, a publicist, museum curator, and a health lecturer. Describing her writing, Susie says, “I willingly share nostalgic trips to the past as I have now achieved such an old age that no one remains who can question the authenticity of my memory of places, people and events that were very much never what they were cracked up to be!” Susie writes extensively about her youth and adulthood in Indiana, referencing many beloved Hoosier places and figures from the 1950s to today.

Fellow author Donald O’Donovan sums up the appeal of Sexton’s first book nicely, “I'm going to confess that I didn't read Secrets from cover to cover, just like that. I picked an episode at random, then another, then another and another. I think the book is meant to be read that way, informally, as if you were gabbing with the author over the back fence. Secrets of an Old Typewriter is a scintillating pastiche of memories, anecdotes and portraits that the author has quilted together in a very agreeable way.”

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Secrets of an Old Typewriter is now available in paperback via the publisher's website at www.open-bks.com and via Amazon.com!
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Some neat comments in response to the above article - thanks, all!

Patty Golden: "I love your mother, Roy!"

Paul Clifford Schrade: "I have a great admiration for Susie the woman and also as a writer who can dip her roving eyes in so much sweet nostalgia and keep the best part of America so vibrantly alive! Interesting that the cyber world that has brought Susie alive has been a Berlin wall for me and holds me back, but I shout with all my heart, Susie dear...citizen extraordinaire...I'm so glad you were emancipated!!!...you are such a delight as a writer and a person that you must face the risk of winding up in the Smithsonian! You are my female Charles Kuralt! {Would rather tour the back roads of America with you instead of Charles, though}"

Donald O'Donovan: "Congrats on the print copy, Susie. I agree that a book really needs to be someTHING that you can hold in your hands, carry around with you and pass from hand to hand. And, of course, make notes in the margins!"

Pat Evanatz-Mossburg: "I got her book in the mail yesterday!! Looking forward to sitting down with a cup of coffee and her book this weekend!"

Mark Ross: "Great news, Susie! I see many people young and old (like us!) reading books while traveling on the NYC transit system as well as elsewhere and that adds up to a lot of people, so... the print edition of your book's gonna do just fine, yes! Happy for you my dear. All the best! ♥"

Pamela Forbus: "I have said the exact thing to many! FB has a magical way of bringing like minded people and kindred spirits from all over the world together! Absolutely, a magnificent experience to behold! Today's technological possibilities are truly astounding! ! Thank you, Roy!"

Bob Kellogg: "Roy, what a great article! I know you must be very proud of your Mom. And, I can just see your Granddad Roy looking down with that infectious smile and great pride. He had a particular posture and attitude when he was proud of something, and I can see him now."

Tressa Marie: "I agree with all the above comments about you Susie! You are truly a wonderful, amazing, compassionate lady and an inspiration to many. Much admiration and respect to you always! Also love, thanks and best wishes ♥ xxxx ♥"

Diane Karen Doucette: "Susie, I don't know you, but with all these accolades I'm sure I would enjoy meeting you for tea :)"

Bev Sexton: "Roy has sent me material in regard to your latest. I have not read it yet....but plan to as soon as possible. Congratulations!"

Irmgard Guters: "Your mom is an extraordinary person, Roy! I endorse that quote 100%!"

Kat Kelly-Heinzelman: "Susie, I'm ready to come and paint your porch and my cup or two of coffee and that nice chat...♥♥♥ love you girl so glad I know you...Thank you, Roy, again for being such a great son to a wonderful woman inside and out."

Ramona Sue Zachary: "Well, looks like I am going to have to make a purchase, AND have my local library buy it as well!!!"

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available. Also available in both formats at Amazon.com

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
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Published on September 06, 2012 12:46 • 509 views • Tags: 1950s, 1960s, alamogordo, amazon-com, animal-rights, ann-hampton-callaway, anti-abortion, arab-sheik, arena-dinner-theatre, australia, baby-boomer, ball-state-university, barbara-nicholson, beat-generation, bev-sexton, beverley-holden, bikinis, bob-hope, bob-kellogg, bold-native, bradley-miller, bushy-headed-stranger, cabaret, calgary, cara-sam-blount, caterpillar, charles-kuralt, charlie-brown, chick-fil-a, christians, christopher-jordan, clint-eastwood, colin-lively, columbia-city, convention, cynthia-devoe, czarist, dame-mae-whitty, danny-kemp, david-friedman, debbie-reek, deborah-fields-perez, deer-hunting, democrats, denis-henry-hennelly, diane-karen-doucette, diane-shenkman-baumgarten, dianna-agron, don-sexton, donald-o-donovan, dorothy-lamour, drex-morton, facebook, first-lady, first-pres-theatre, flint, fort-wayne, garrison-keillor, gop, great-books, guy-kibbee, hoosier, howdy-doody, hunting, ibm, indiana, ipad, ireland, irmgard-guters, j-a-hernandez, jack-kerouac, jennifer-mazur, jennifer-zartman-romano, jensreview-com, jessica-hagan, joaquin-pastor, john-r-emens, joshua-plant, judy-stadt, kayla-zerby, kickstarter, kindle, laurie-larue-bills, literary-book-post, lord-of-the-flies, louisa-bradshaw, lunch-and-judy, mark-ross, mark-twain, martin-l-davis-ii, matt-shea, matthew-parillo, mayor, melissa-mcintyre, meryl-streep, michael-john-lachiusa, mitt-romney, moo-prince, mormon, morris-king-company, movies, myrtle-beach, nature, new-brooklyn-theater, new-brooklyn-theatre, new-mexico-state-university, new-york, no-kills, nora-redmond, norma-jean-baker, north-carolina, nostalgia, november, ohio-state, on-the-road, on-the-road-again, open-books, oral-roberts, p-t-barnum, pamela-forbus, paro-babu, pat-evanatz-mossburg, pat-heinbaugh, patty-golden, paul-clifford-schrade, paul-ryan, penny-seats, playhouse-90, politics, print-edition, raissa-katona-bennettanimals, ramona-zachary, randolph-mantootth, redneck, religion, republican, republicans, right-to-life, roman-empire, romanov, roy-sexton, russia, sarah-duncan-mcbride, sarah-wolff, sarong, secrets-of-an-old-typewriter, sex, she-loves-me, sheepshead-bay, sheila-vand, shelbyville, siren-s-heart, slave-theatre, small-town, squawk-back, sro, stephanie-stringer, stephen-colbert, sucker-born-every-minute, sunset-boulevard, susan-alcott-jardine, susie-duncan-sexton, talk-of-the-town, the-colin-lively-show, the-columbia-city-post-and-mail, theatre, toni-albanese, tress-marie, tressa-marie, trott-trott, university-of-michigan, vegan, vegetarian, vet-bills, veterinarian, wabash-college, wagon-wheel, wild-time-radio, willie-nelson, www-pennyseats-org, www-susieduncansexton-com, www-talkofthetownwc-com, zealots
"You are who you are meant to be. Dance as if no one's watching. Love as if it's all you know. Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today." ~ James Dean

[View scanned copy of column and photos here...]

Quirky dame that I am, I admit to never swooning over Elvis Presley…with one exception. His rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" ranks as powerfully stunning! Instead, I wore out my sister Sarah's 1958 double LP, "Belafonte at Carnegie Hall", which she purchased at the Indiana University Bookstore prior to her spring break. "Oh, come, Mister tally man, tally me banana! Daylight come and me wan' go home…" Calypso style. I giddily sat three rows away from the handsomest gentleman in creation when Harry staged his concert at a Detroit Opera House 10 years ago. A smoothly exquisite performer! Fast forward to the recent present with me and my own particularly idolized spirits of Cal Trask/Jett Rink/Jim Stark all of us seated in folding chairs around a rickety card table nestling in the front yard of the James Dean Gallery in Jimmy's hometown of Fairmount, Indiana!

Picture a stack of soft-bound issues of "Secrets of an Old Typewriter -- Stories of a Smart and Sassy Small-town Girl" somewhat blocking our view of an impressive flock of passers-by anxious to enjoy the downtown mid-way rides, parade, craft booths, dance contest, Jimmy Dean Look-a-Like competition, and lemonade and cotton candy and elephant ear confections. Representative of the dreamscape of mankind, -- ranging from townsfolk as well as school chums of the legendary native son to toddlers in strollers or perched on their mamas' hips, miniature doggies peeking from shoulder-bags and pocketbooks, baby boomers, Generation X-ers, teenagers, infants OR white poodles in baby carriages, celebrities, authors, and musicians of every ethnicity imaginable and from around the globe--, humanity eagerly, reverently congregates annually to celebrate the amazing life of an iconic resident who died in 1955 at the age of 24.

The James Dean Festival…commemorates yet another anniversary since the boy wonder abandoned all of us star-struck fans still earthbound on that sad date of September 30th with our hearts broken and our eyes cast heavenward, wishing he would return and star in further films rivaling his three cinematic classics -- "East of Eden", "Giant", and "Rebel Without a Cause" -- released within one magic year. These movies offer mesmerizing, truthful, impacting, instructive stories sharing themes of forgiveness, coming of age, redemption, and the human need for inclusion. In our 21st century, this Hoosier figure continues to magnetize crowds with his amazing talent, devotion to craft, and poignant portrayals of credible characters with whom we can both empathize and identify.

Tooling down Highway 9 South, I quickly find myself only two counties from my Whitley County house. While lingering on the lawns and side-walks of Grant County, I have delighted in chatting with Texan/stunt man Bob Hinkle who served as Jimmy's dialect and lasso trick coach on the set of "Giant", Dean's high school speech and drama instructor Adeline Mart Nall, famous Hollywood sculptor/painter Kenneth Kendall, and I probably brushed right by George Stevens, Jr. and maybe Martin Sheen who often frequented Fairmount the final week of each September. I count as forever friends, from this year of 2012: novelist-poet Ted B. Guevara from the Philippines; Fan Club originators Sandra Weinhardt and her sis from Livonia, Michigan; Linda Levine and Kirk Shield from South Bend, Indiana; Professor Del Rae and his Hungarian wife from Akron, Ohio; author/Rock 'n Roll expert gorgeous Pamela Des Barres; a history buff/electrical engineer who drove from Alabama -- and a passel of Dean's "8th" cousins once and twice removed also from Akron --the Hausknecht family who share a common ancestry with Jesse James as well. Jesse and Jimmy and the Hausknechts! Who knew?

Supportive friend Lucy Langohr Grant, currently a resident of North Carolina, recently wrote to me, "Have fun with your writing projects -- turning 'pillars' into real, accessible people!" Speaking of that genre of gracious folks, I wish to thank Columbia City Library's Ray Ranier, South Whitley-Cleveland Township Library's staff of Renae and LeAnn and Darci and Virginia (whose mother-in-law once owned the house where my family rented an upstairs apartment when the Duncans first landed in town and which later Jim and Connie Rohrbach inhabited for many years --small world!), Whitley County Historical Museum's Dani Tippman and assistants, and the Churubusco Library for facilitating my appearances and book signings during October and November. A special bonus involved Deb Lowrance interviewing me, of all people, as a contributor to her astounding 42 part Whitley County Oral History series --we filled two tapes! South Whitley's (windy) Souper Stompin' Saturday I shall never forget not only because several readers added my memoirs of local history to their personal libraries -- but also, two "intellectual" llamas, a half dozen ponies, and a couple of sheep expressed an animated interest in digesting my bound recollections as well.

Dean's genius reached an entire generation which included my two sisters…and spoke to me a tad when I viewed "Giant" as a nine year old, squirming in my Columbia Theater seat about fifth row back. I genuinely discovered the psyche and depth of this young man when I reached middle-age, via my favorite of his films, "East of Eden". Simultaneously, I also became fast friends with David Loehr, originally from Massachusetts, who established the James Dean Gallery with his photographer pal Lenny Prussack. Fairmount boasts two museums, the other being the Fairmount Historical Museum -- many of Dean's high school friends hang out there--to this very day! Marcus Winslow --who resides in the perfectly preserved farmhouse where the freshly, tragically motherless Jimmy arrived at age nine to be raised by his (paternal) Aunt Hortense and Uncle Marcus Winslow (the parents of Marcus) -- speaks so lovingly and proudly of his older cousin's global influence and his impact upon a continual stream of America's youth since the early 50s: "When 'Giant' premiered in 1955, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor received top billing, but today my cousin's name, even though he is featured in just 35 minutes of a three and one half hour movie with intermission, appears above theirs on marquees and posters. Jimmy genuinely wished to leave his mark, and he certainly did just that."

"Jimmy gave expression to the discontent, the unhappy, the suppressed, the latchkey kids, the spiritually starved. Jimmy up on the screen and hundreds of like-minded in the darkness, sprawled in their seats chewing gum and eating popcorn. The identification worked for both boys and girls. For the girls he was an ideal figure of the courageous yet sensitive friend. And the boys felt the way (novelist/artist) John Dos Passos had described : '…they still lined up… before the mirrors in the restroom… to look at themselves and see James Dean…' " ~ Axel Arens, writer and journalist

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thanks for these comments on the above column...

Tara Hullinger: "Thanks for sharing it with me, Roy!"

Neil J. Simon: "'Jimmy genuinely wished to leave his mark, and he certainly did just that.' He did on Susie and many others. She is great with words and images!"

Tressa Marie: "One of my favorite quotes! A quote everyone should strive to live by. Love the article! Great work! Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Much respect, love and appreciation to you!"

Drex Morton: "My son, Joe, aspiring actor is reading a bio. of James Dean right now. I'll invite him to read your reflections...Susie is a treasure!"

Barb Nicholson: "Roy, I just love getting these from you. Great way to start the weekend! I enjoy reading your mom’s columns. They always give me a warm feeling. Photos are terrific! Easy to see your mom loves animals! Have a great weekend!"

Myrna Bailey: "Good job, Susie!"

Christopher Jordan: "What a wonderful story!!!"

Mary Shaull: "I just reread the amazing James Dean column. Great work. Great alliterative use. Impressive! The Belafonte part intrigued me too. I Adored Harry! I have an old 78 record that I cannot play, as I have no turntable, but I will keep it always. My favorites were Try to Remember and Scarlet Ribbons. I saw him in Birmingham, MI many years ago. When he sang Try to Remember, there was a huge fellow just off to the side of the stage, in the shadows. When the word, 'Follow' was sung by Harry, the other man echoed the word in a pure high tenor/falsetto, that to this day causes chills of emotion to travel through my body. I couldn't hold back the tears. Pure, pure beauty. I feel nearly the same thing with Scarlet Ribbons. We were lucky to have known him when. East of Eden hit me with a powerful agony. It was almost more than I could bear. I think I identified with James...Thank you, Roy, for sharing Mom's essay. She's a remarkable writer. Loved the pictures too. Now I feel I know you, having seen the photos. Lovely woman, awesome hair!!!"

Paul Clifford Schrade: "Susie is a true historian of the America we loved so dearly and took for granted. It never occurred to us then that someday that America we loved so much might start slipping away from us..but Susie held on grimly and rode out the storm and now we can thank her for it! We can be kids again and live it all over again and America is not dead. America may never return to the gallant lady she was...but if Susie has her way about it,she will!!"

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available (click the title to order from publisher Open Books' website). Also available in both formats at Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
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REGARDING THE DEER CULLING SCHEDULED FOR NOV. 13, 14, 26 and 27, maligning our state's parks' system (read the story by clicking here):

This truly needs to be stopped. We do believe fewer "state parks" are participating in this "operation" this year--we did our best last "season" to protest. We literally cannot believe this horror is allowed, encouraged, whatever...great money-maker for this state = the real bottom line. Certainly there are some Hoosiers besides us who are appalled at this "canned" plan and the false justifications for mass murder and slaughter.

Wow, Indiana...please reTHINK?

Congrats, Governor Mitch Daniels, on your pending presidency of Purdue University, famed college of veterinary science; please take a tip from New York's Mayor Bloomberg who called an almost instant halt to the marathon which would have damaged the reputation of his city at a crucial time for consideration of what is civil and kind and responsible.

Please prevent this heinous slaughter immediately, prior to the dates which have been publicized and reported for shutting down our parks for this profit-generating and profit-motivated mass killing -- a misguided, rationalized massacre.

Thank you in advance.
Don & Susie Sexton

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(informal) postscript...

wow...i am going to run through the forests ringing a bell and singing at the tops of my lungs..."the costumed hunters are coming...the costumed hunters are coming!" if it is the last thing i ever do...and it well may be.

CANCEL THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRES...ALL FOUR OF THEM. help me to stop this "hunt"! thanks!!!!!! the reasons are so manufactured and inane for this selling of licenses and guns and bows and arrows and bee bee guns and squirt guns and cap pistols and other toys...these annual murder fests are huge money-makers for our state. wrong-headed staged terror.

no wonder these deer are crossing our busy busy highways...the thugs flush them out of their domiciles. damn.

last year i gladiatored this topic all by myself...the "hunts" were not as successful as usual...and i am pretty sure the number of participating parks is less this year...but damn, this is just sheer idiocy and mean and nuts. ashamed of indiana. i KNOW there are hoosiers who believe the same...where are they? shy?

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feedback on the above...view the scanned version that ran in the Columbia City Post & Mail here...

Sharon McCullough: "cruel, unnecessary and only funds the gun, ammo, hunt clothing and accessories and hunt clubs coffers. I hear the guns in the distance all day."

Madeleine Fisher Kern: "Misguided is a kind word. Heinous more like it."

Ron Vogt: "The non-human animals of Mother Earth have been literally culled to death/extinction, by humanity. Isn't it time we controlled ourselves instead of looking at it as though the animals are overstepping their bounds? One more reason why I love this quote, ~ The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men. ~Alice Walker."

Mary Shaull: "Good for you!!! So proud of you. I was a tree-hugger once. It would be more fun to be a deer-hugger. Keep up the good work. We so need more like you!!!"

Shannon Wright: "Thanks for the tag!! Fabulous letter, thank you Susie and Don for standing up and speaking out. Being a Hoosier myself, I find this appalling. YES, this NEEDS to be STOPPED!!"

Mina Bonita: "Thank you Susie and Don for the tag ~ Must be stopped!"

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Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available (click the title to order from publisher Open Books' website). Also available in both formats at Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't
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very important story on yahoo! about your rights to know how animals are treated in the farming/food "industry"...click here to read...

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Animal welfare advocates say all of the focus on secrecy is energy misspent.

"I wish the cattlemen actually wanted to stop cruelty, not the documenting of cruelty," said HSUS California director Jennifer Fearing. "One could think of a thousand ways for them to actually stop cruelty rather than waiting for people to make videos and turn them over."


need to stop the bullying and torture extended to all animals...privacy issues are vital, but gentleness is even more crucial in this world! please do not extend an open invitation to heap more misery on farm animals that are purposely bred for slaughter.

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consumption of their cadavers leads to heart attacks, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes 1 & 2, parkinson's disease and most tragic of all, hardened hearts no longer capable of compassion.

we must no longer assure a continuation of artificial insemination and butchering and perpetuation of human illness due to cannibalism.

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please watch those videos now available on facebook...and the films and documentaries BOLD NATIVE, FOOD INC., and EARTHLINGS. let us stop the intentional over-reproduction of sentient beings to be enslaved and treated in a holocaust fashion. time to evolve and not to politicize death over life!

hoosier bill to go before house...please care...please share...please contact your indiana representatives and thanks!

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click here to let your voice be heard...

urge your representatives to vote against S.B. 373 because it 1) takes away basic American freedoms of speech and expression 2) whistle blower protection is already part of federal law and finally 3) what is the farm/food industry afraid of? if their operations are inhumane and/or criminal how else will the consumer be informed?

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"Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group funded by Charles and David Koch, billionaire brothers and influential conservative leaders...donated more than $200,000 to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's campaign." - Maureen Hayden, Statehouse Bureau Chief for CNHI


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please, do not care about red carpets, photo ops, tiger woods' new love affair, the pregnant princess...very much more to care about. do not be distracted or diverted from issues that truly matter...life or death, love or hate, action or inaction.

"Sweet truth for the animals! Except for species, I become increasingly aware of the parallel to slavery, the way we treat the animals. About racism in America, John Howard Griffin (BLACK LIKE ME) writes: 'It was too much. Though I was experiencing it, I could not believe it. Surely in America a whole segment of decent souls could not stand by and allow such massive crimes to be committed.' That's how I feel about factory farming." - Marian Patience Harvey, a noteworthy Hoosier!


stand up and speak out to make a difference...we pay taxes, and we vote. those opportunists we allow into office need to care as much as we do about what truly matters and stop answering to big money for future campaigns. all who live matter, all sentient beings...not just a few...not just a chosen few!

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.


a smart lawyer and also don have often spoken of career politicians...a really bad concept...these youngsters have studied the process at college and get bought and stay bought and never intend to go away...what was the supreme court thinking? lord!

omigosh...when it appears some of our state legislators are authoring a jillion bills per week...they ain't! those are decrees from some high muckety mucks on some shining national hill. don opined that as we returned from indy...damn, he was correct!

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and through gerrymandering and caucusing these careerists ease into their desk sets and thereby hangs the tale! and some national interests use them like puppets! and the states are getting sucked into hell. it's like they are working at a fast food joint flipping burgers.

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i am so sick and tired of people politicizing animal slaughter...and those who could do something want to be thought "well" of???? those who sanction killing should never ever be thought well of, no matter what "party" they are beholden to...our voices for what is correct are growing stronger, and it is way past time for those who wish to hold office to listen and to give a damn about murder and mass slaughter. our nation should be better than this.

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great feedback!

Larry Jaffe: "Amen."

Mina Linda: "I agree with Susie!"

Tyler A. Chase: "This is not about privacy. It's about criminals and sadists who can't seem to help themselves from torturing animals. This ban of cameras and video evidence is un American and against our basic Constitutional Rights to know what we are eating and how the animals are being treated is important. Enough of this nonsense of favoring the industries who are killing us with bad food."

Jean Armstrong, "Good Luck to you and Susie on this important issue!!!"

Kelly Huddleston: "Great post, Susie!"

Roland Vincent: "It is so satisfying to connect with someone who shares one's values and has the battle scars to prove it! No offense about the battle scar comment - lol, just figured you've got your share!"

"allllll over my little body" as jonathan winters used to say! i have been wounded so f-ing many times, i cannot believe i did not return to my original planet by now.

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Dee Turner: "You really have to ask yourself: What are the people in the meat industry trying to HIDE!! Apart from animal protection rights, our human right to know what goes on 'inside' is embedded in the constitution and oversight is critical. We already know about countless abuses: inferior feed, growth hormones, antibiotics in the feed to keep animals well enough through their shortened lives. The overcrowding is unacceptable, lack of sanitary conditions, the birthing stalls for sows are cruel & prevent ANY movement by pigs. Animal cruelty is rampant which undercover videos have clearly exposed in all areas of factory farming: chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, cows, goats, and horses! Beyond all of this, the slaughter has been proven to be INhumane, cruelty violations that go unpunished or corrected, abuses in shipping to slaughter, and even afterwards, the trucking industry FAILS to keep the raw meat properly refrigerated, and processing machines disinfected allowing listeria, ecoli, salmonella & other bacterial infected meat to be sold, sickening, even killing consumers. Perhaps this is why we need a complete overhaul of the entire farm/food industry & those who have violated the law must be prosecuted or nothing will ever change."

Paro Babu: "true lines : 'Sweet truth for the animals! Except for species, I become increasingly aware of the parallel to slavery, the way we treat the animals. stand up and speak out to make a difference...we pay taxes, and we vote. those opportunists we allow into office need to care as much as we do about what truly matters and stop answering to big money for future campaigns. all who live matter, all sentient beings...not just a few...not just a chosen few!' love you, Susie ♥ and Roy for sharing this with us."

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postscript from dee...

Dee Turner: "If you put this plea in Susie's blog it will reach more people who care about innocent pets. Brindi has been caged up for over 4 YEARS without having committed any crime ... simply because she is an animal! Halifax 'authorities' have abused their own by laws & covered it up repeatedly, lying in court. Fighting to save her beloved dog's life has almost completely bankrupted Francesca & the endless corruption by HRM is appalling. Apr 2nd she has to be prepared for the FINAL APPEAL TO SAVE BRINDI & every single dollar will go towards the spiralling legal costs. If many give just whatever amount they can afford, it will reduce the financial woes caused by this injustice & together we could set an important precedent to stop others from this needless suffering! It has been a nightmare for Brindi & Francesca and time is running out now... THANK YOU for whatever you can do to get some support on their behalf. Godspeed!"

click here to help!


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Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl by Susie Duncan Sexton

Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available (click the title to order from publisher Open Books' website). Also available in both formats at Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't

Secrets of an Old Typewriter: Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl
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Ah, the wonders of communication..by PHONE! Just spoke with Hoosier folks who'll convey my message of concern regarding today's "conference" status of S.B. 373, the "Ag-Gag" Bill!

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They listened patiently and will convey my thoughts to four Republicans: Governor Mike Pence (got his voice-mail!); Senator Jim Banks; and Representatives Kathy Heuer and Dan Leonard. I pray that human health, animal welfare, free speech, and the transparency of "industrial" operations will all be considered and will lead to opposition of this bill so that Indiana is in step with the 21st century.

Re-electability should not be a factor nor should this issue be politicized when intelligent elected officials vote their consciences -- I trust that will happen. I hope that I am correct.

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I ask of all politicians...

Please do not politicize this issue with all Republicans voting against the welfare of animals who are victimized for profit. All 'industries' need to be monitored...and free speech guaranteed.

Your votes when previously recorded and studied absolutely reflect that animals seem to be Democrats and their lives do not matter. This is an important vote for the well-being of humans, regardless of party affiliation, as well as abolishing the crass apathy and frequent cruelty directed toward those animals over-reproduced and too often mistreated and all for monetary gain, regardless of the damage to the human digestive system as well as the spiking proliferation of breast and prostate cancers, Parkinson's disease, and heart attacks.

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Be brave...your vote reveals your heart and your intelligence. Be not afraid that you might be voted out of office...this matter involves the importance of AND your regard for life itself.

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If you know anyone in Indiana, please share this immediately. Indiana’s ag-gag bill, which makes it illegal to expose factory farms, clearcutting, and fracking, has resurfaced and it is being rushed through the legislature.

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The bill had been watered down in response to massive public backlash against it. But now, Senate Bill 373 has all the anti-consumer language all over again. The provisions were inserted by the original Senate author Travis Holdman(R).

Phone Number for SENATOR JIM BANKS is 1-800-382-9467 and for KATHY HEUER 1-800-382-9841 and for DAN LEONARD 1-800-362-9841 or 260-356-8204

Consumers do care...please urge the vote against Senate Bill 373!

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Terrific response I stumbled upon a moment ago regarding S.B. 373 from Glen Flaningham:

Before I became enlightened, I naively never thought of animal rights/welfare being a political issue. It truly amazes me that more often than not, one side of the aisle seems to always side against what's best for sentient creatures. I always made the assumption that both sides would care fairly equally or not but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm not bashing you if you're a Republican because there are some that care but it does seem to be fewer and fewer at least the ones that serve in our governments. I'm saying this as someone who is on the left on some issues, on the right with some, and in the middle at times too!


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elected officials always ought to respond to the common lowly people's interests if only to be considered credible!

And another great comment from Sue Charles:

This is ridiculous!! Night after night we post, and share, and beg for help so these innocent ones won't be killed!! With prayers and tears we work, hour after heartbreaking hour trying to save them!! The killing of the innocent HAS to STOP!! It can NOT go on!! Where's the compassion? Where's the courage to say they won't kill any more? Where's the integrity and moral standards which say the innocent and defenseless shall NOT be killed??


Oh, how I do agree with Sue Charles! ♥!!!! i love what she wrote...as i notice a startling amount of shallow narcissism whenever i wander about reading posts, it is refreshing to know some percentage of the facebook population comes up for air once in awhile to see the big picture

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This truly matters to so very many of us...this legislation is so important. Kindness and acceptance and fairness to absolutely all living beings is essential.

Reply received via email from Jim Banks...

Dear Susie & Don,

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office about SB 373. I appreciate hearing from my constituents about any and all issues.

In regards to SB 373, which makes it unlawful to record agricultural or industrial operations, for a person, with intent to defame or to directly or indirectly harm the business relationship between an agricultural or industrial operation and its customers, this bill is still a work in progress but originally passed out of the Senate by a vote of 30-20. The intent of this bill is to prevent vigilantism and disparagement of certain industries and would require a person to report any information about bad practices or animal abuse to the proper authorities within 48 hours. It would also protect farmers' private property from being trespassed on and support the authority of agencies charged with insuring that proper rules and regulations are followed.

Again, thank you for contacting my office I do appreciate you sharing with me your concerns. Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Sincerely,

Jim Banks
Senator


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timely editorial...

Hoosier Opinions -- Chronicle-Tribune of Marion, Indiana April 26, 2013..."There is a long history of (conflicts of interest) in our community... It is as if the central purpose of government is not to do the public good but to do personal good for those in power. Otherwise, in this culture, why would anyone perform the thankless task of making and executing our laws and public policy? Certainly not, apparently, just for the good living government officials are paid above the table..."


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Cindy Ducey: "I pray to God that this bill does not pass. I heard Carrie Underwood is very opposed to this law and is trying her best to prevent its passing. She grew up on a farm and is vegetarian."

Thanks, Cindy! "grass-fed BEEF"... no such entity ... maybe a grass-fed steer or cow ... BTW, where do cows and steers get their protein then? (a riddle...a humane riddle) ...and try eating just a salad this evening...your heart will thank you! our teeth were not designed to tear flesh apart ...

Rebecca Winder: "We took a road trip out west three years ago, and passed a long stretch of highway in Colorado, bordered on either side by massive feedlots. It was disgusting, and reeked for miles. I took a bunch of pictures as we passed. It wasn't until later that I learned what I'd done was illegal. Good thing I found out before posting them on facebook!"

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Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl by Susie Duncan Sexton

Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available (click the title to order from publisher Open Books' website). Also available in both formats at Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't

Secrets of an Old Typewriter: Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl
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My latest Homeward Angle column: “JUNK FOOD ADDICTIONS & GOURMET PRETENSIONS" ... a post-PaulaDeenGate critique on our society’s obsession with Food Network “stars” through the context of a Baby Boomer’s youthful awareness of the mid-century food habits of parents and their friends… (view more photos here)

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(And don’t forget I will be in Ann Arbor on 9/15 reading from her book “Secrets of an Old Typewriter” as part of the Arts and Culture Series – all info can be found in this BroadwayWorld article covering the event - click here.)


JUNK FOOD ADDICTIONS & GOURMET PRETENSIONS

Yes Ma'am and Yes Sir! Immersed in the Old South for longer than a half century, I applauded a steady stream of what I perceived to be genuine sweetness and the spirit of both uninhibited jocularity and spontaneous fun. Lately, I figure my approval of Southerners ended at my own front door…through an accident of birth I landed into a transplanted Southern household located in Hoosierland. My deduction? Happiness hinges on WHOM you know and not WHAT or WHERE you know. I got blessed with parents whom I regarded, after a significant passage of time, as real people, not sugar-coated phonies but genuinely loving souls. Southern hospitality flowed naturally through their veins because they literally possessed hearts which not only kept their blood pumping but those figurative hearts, open and generous, that allowed absolutely everybody into their bloodstreams. Prejudices? They had none of those. The societal stumbling of Food Connoisseur and Southerner Paula Deen would have appalled them. My mom and dad defied classification -- as well as… "location, location, location". Roy and Edna, always individuals, would have been just as dear had they hailed from France or Outer Mongolia.

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Each August for as long as I can remember, my textile plant manager dad ordered, during the very early morning hours of his birthday, a couple dozen banana splits from our local Dairy Queen located on "Old Highway 30" back in the day. The owners referred to as the Goodman Sisters, sporting their jaunty little vendor caps and pristine white uniforms, scooped together a collection of boat-like ice-cream confections drizzled with pineapple, strawberry, and chocolate syrups -- finally topped with dollops of astutely aimed curlicued Reddi-Wip! Summer after summer, Daddy loaded cardboard box-lids positively over-flowing with those sundaes, throughout the years, into assorted vintage models of station wagons and then balanced the special delivery parcels across his forearms as he climbed the front staircase --two steps at a time-- of the Blue Bell/ Wrangler Jeans factory. Once inside, he positioned a succulent surprise onto each desk of all of the "girls in the office" starting with the switchboard ladies and on and on all the way up and down the tiled hallways of the front office area. His astroLOGICAL sign being LEO, he fit that horoscopic bill to the Nth degree…bigger than Life, a roaringly happy and regal soul who always meant business … even while having a ball and inviting others to join in his merriment!

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I recently googled a few of the delightful folks I remember from my past…most of whom enjoyed an affiliation with the Blue Bell Manufacturing Company… just to see where some of those loyal employees disappeared to or what successes they might have achieved as the years passed. Sadly, most had died…never in my heart though. Blue Bell psychologist and Iowa native Dr. Roy Standahl was father to two fabulous, fun-loving sons named Jon and Jerry, with whom I played board games and cards and drank oodles of Pepsi and devoured endless packages of pretzels and potato chips twice per summer as the family tooled through Columbia City on their way from North Carolina to their Minnesota lake cottage and back home again. Both "boys" earned Ph.Ds. in psychology, just like their pop. Sadly, Dr. Jon Standahl is now gone -- yet, according to his obituary, once wrote a quirkily instructive children's book outlining his own imaginative version of the origin of Santa Claus! I ordered a copy immediately, and as I read his account of Father Christmas, I recalled Jon's intelligence. I recaptured a glimpse of that hilarious, unpretentious, lanky fellow I grew up alongside.

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Martin Wimbs, one of the more sparkling "engineers" -- who eventually transferred to our small town from the Greensboro, North Carolina headquarters of Blue Bell, Incorporated (and then back again) -- left an enduring impression upon me during my junior high school days because each time he visited Columbia City, he would insist upon dropping by our house to teach me advanced Cribbage skills. Martin and Nelle, with their children Lee, Donnie (whom my dad kept supplied with stuffed toy monkeys), and baby Shauna, moved to Columbia City at the close of the 50s and lived contentedly for several seasons in that cute house facing the Kleespie family's parsonage and immediately behind Mrs. Salesman's "bed-and-breakfast" GUEST HOUSE. Nelle's down-home cooking -- somehow incorporating slivered almonds and water chestnuts perpetually into every innovative casserole-- coupled with Martin's winsomely witty personality remain unforgettable. A Facebook participant well into his 80s, Martin died this spring of 2013. Remarkable accomplishments during a colorful lifetime-- revealed in his obituary -- never ever got detailed by this modest gentleman, such as his "Merchant Marine" days or the piloting of private planes around and about 54 countries, but I shall always remember this unique person as a charmer possessing an air of intriguing mystery and a thirst for adventure.

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Martin's grandson Michael and I, now Facebook buddies for three years, enjoy exchanging stories of his family and mine. Among many impressive tributes on his site, to his grandfather Martin, I noticed a blog entry by James A. Martin, a "Southerner in San Francisco" (click here to read). James typically writes about Dixie-Carter-and-Governor-Ann-Richards-types, restaurants, beaches, political leanings, human rights, diversity, Free Thinkers, expansive and inclusive ideals, and various other notable and noble topics. Mr. Martin, a contributor to the "New York Times" and "Entertainment Weekly", co-authored "Getting Organized in the Google Era" with Dr. Douglas C. Merrill, former chief information officer of Google and a Princeton graduate; that beguiling textbook is currently stacked among several "must-read" titles upon our kitchen table. (Click here for Amazon link.)

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Shauna (Wimbs) Gamble shared a loving last moment memory of her father Martin Wimbs with James, her former school-days classmate. The topic involved "A First and Last Sip of Cheerwine", a cherry-flavored soft drink brewed in the Tar Heel state. "Shauna's sister Pam is a Cheerwine devotee. She nearly always carries a can of it… On the last afternoon of her father's life, Pam goes to visit him in his hospice room, Cheerwine in hand. Her father notices the red soft drink can. Though he'd never tried the fizzy drink before in his 86 years, he was curious about it. He asks Pam for a taste…'That's pretty good,' he says afterwards. And other than perhaps a sip or two of water, that swig of Cheerwine was his last drink."

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Folksy Hoosier comic and big band conductor/singer Phil Harris, raised in Tennessee, achieved fame in the mid 30s with a tune entitled "That's What I Like about the South!" I discovered that what I like about the Southland is that I have developed a fondness for a few kindred souls who, like myself, have emerged with Southern bloodlines intact but a fresh new world view…no longer steeped in fundamentalism, rigid conservatism, racism, barbecues, fried chicken, hog roasts, mint juleps swigged at country clubs, RC Colas, MoonPies, "Matlock" hot dogs, bull-headedness, and unwarranted senses of entitlement. Facebook, in all of its glory, allows reasonable and properly evolved children of the South to locate one another at our sundry stations scattered around the globe and to continue to respect precious Dixieland traditions which sometimes fall between the cracks -- easy graciousness, spirited fun, soft hearts, cordial adaptability and culinary open-mindedness. James and I are wide-eyed, wild-eyed, wise-eyed newly minted Vegans/Vegetarians striving to make sense of a new epoch recently dubbed "Anthropocene" by an ecologist named Eugene F. Stoermer and publicized widely by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Paul Crutzen. As the late comedian Tar Heel Andy Griffith might have described this newly-named era, "What it is…is a lengthy football field of a timeline during which manKIND has messed up this 'cow pasture' of a planet 'from one end to the other' and sorely needs to clean up its act without either spilling our 'big orange drinks' or 'gettin' knocked down or steppin' in somethin.' " (A Tip of My Paraphrased Hat to Griffith's popular monologue "What It Was, Was Football!")

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POSTSCRIPT: "In the South, some restaurants still list french fries as a vegetable. This wonderfully creative view of vegetables should come in handy -- as I flirt with vegetarianism. And so, in advance of my next cholesterol test…I decided to take my efforts to a new level. Nearly every morning, I'm eating steel-cut oatmeal with flax seed and slivered almonds. I'm swallowing supplements throughout the day: Metamucil capsules, CholestOff, Niacin... I've already learned something valuable. I'm not as wedded to my old Southern-by-way-of-San-Francisco diet as I assumed. This old dawg can learn new tricks--and perhaps even prefer them to the old ones. Who knows? In any event, it's comforting to know that french fries are a vegetable." ~ My new friend and fellow blogger James A. Martin, inventive creator of "A First, and Last, Sip of Cheerwine" & "Confessions of a Southern-Fried Quasi Vegetarian" - click here to read


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appreciate this feedback!

Helen Cochrane: "I can just hear Susie talking! What a wonderful author she's turned out to be."

James A. Martin: "Thanks for letting me know, Roy! Awesome!"

Paul Clifford Schrade: "SUSIE: We are terribly addicted to junk food and it's growing worse. We are disciples of our taste buds only and that seems to be the test....no tests too stringent, heaven forbid! If it tastes good, hell...it must be good! We put nothing but the bests into our cars so we can have a safe ride, but as for our bodies...hell, shovel anything into them...a regular garbage pit! Giants like Monsanto are always poised to strike like a rattlesnake and exacerbate the situation. We're trapped in between 'the devil and the deep blue sea!'"

Kat Kelly-Heinzelman: "Love your article, Susie, but then again I always do. You are a wonderful writer, and we are all blessed for you to share your beautiful talent with the rest of us. Love you, Susie, and you, too, Roy. Keep up the good work, Roy, and thanks for being there for the rest of us."

Barb Nicholson: "Love the way your mom goes back in time and writes up all these wonderful memories! I have told you many times 'I love the way she writes' and I truly mean it!!"

Shearin Wimbs: "Saw this last night and it's a beautiful piece. I'd like to meet this lady. I've been in the family 44 years and 'grew up' hearing stories and memories of the Duncans."

Christopher Jordan: "Hi, Roy and Susie!!! Just wanted to let you know I called and have my tickets on reserve. So, looking forward to finally meeting the Grand Dame Susie in person and hearing you sing Roy. Will be coming with my Mom, Dad, Younger Brother Michael, Younger Sister Theresa. Will also be bringing my camera so I can at least get a couple of pictures with us together."

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Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl by Susie Duncan Sexton

Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter - print and ebook versions available (click the title to order from publisher Open Books' website). Also available in both formats at Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or won't

Secrets of an Old Typewriter: Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl

Getting Organized in the Google Era: How to Get Stuff out of Your Head, Find It When You Need It, and Get It Done Right
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I got my copy of my son Roy Sexton's Reel Roy Reviews today and I not only LOVE IT...I ABSOLUTELY KNOW THIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME...and I am not biased...I am candid as can be. Ask anybody!

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Why do I love and enthusiastically recommend this exquisite, easily digested book of clever and meaningful words and phrases? Because Roy (www.reelroyreviews.com) covers the waterfront of moviedom … equal opportunity tastes satisfied without a doubt. A breezy yet informative trip!

Films are adored, fairly critiqued, and as a bonus this author's tributes include the human condition--who we are as we sit and gaze at the screen. Films remind us and advance us and chronicle US! Thanks for this collection of true stories of the human race's 150% love affair with cinema whether we admit that fact or not. Each essay equals a mini-movie…even the concert, CD, and book reviews! Gene Siskel is back! At last!

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My husband Don writes about the book, "This is timeless writing that will not only enlighten you concerning movies and theater - it will also give you food for thought concerning our ability to take ourselves too seriously - our ability to get hung up on the trivial - and the overall silliness of life in the 21st century. Grab this book and enjoy - as Mr. Sexton writes - 'I approach everything and everyone honestly and with a positive intent and offer candid feedback with an open heart and as much kindness as possible.' This book is highly recommended."

So there!

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On another note entirely ...

we have been watching tarheels battle the snow and ice as we have been doing in hoosierville...and we are sympathetic yet not featured on all the network news....on tv...and we keep remembering that the beautiful state gasses domestic animals all week long every week and our minds sorta wandered to that habitual, "way of life" torture of living beings...

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stacked on top of one another while suffering for prolonged periods of time--once the last howl or scream is seemingly final the door is opened again and live puppies and kittens are placed on top and the gassing lever is pulled again...then the bulldozer kicks in and they are pushed and lifted up and dropped and voila...fertilizer and pet food gets manufactured really soon for profit...empathy would be great in god's country...empathy. empathy.

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Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl by Susie Duncan Sexton

More Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels by Susie Duncan Sexton

Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter and its new follow-up Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels - print and ebook versions of both are available (click the title to order from publisher Open Books' website). Also available in both formats at Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or Won't

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Latest "Old Type Writer" column - you can view the post on "Talk of the Town" here ...

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Beautiful sunny April afternoons never ought to be spent listening to indoor lectures -- while sitting on uncomfortable folding chairs. However, IF some particular orator bears credentials of a Fulbright Scholar, a professorship, a Ph.D, a near Pulitzer prize, a notable recognition from TIME Magazine, and several stunning novels as well as a much loved poetry anthology, just such an opportunity qualifies as one not to be missed. Alerted (by a very special gentleman named Terry) to William Heath's Columbia City appearance located just around the corner one unseasonably temperate Saturday recently, Don and I strolled a couple of blocks to soon become enraptured by a very fast-paced 90 minutes of scintillating 'local color" stories as related by Dr. Heath. This Ohio "Buck-Eye", currently a Maryland resident, discussed a Hoosier native son called William Wells, a.k.a. "Blacksnake", who got himself kidnapped/adopted by the Miami Indians -- at age 14 -- and embraced the cultures of both the white man and the Native American while becoming quite legendary playing both ends against the middle not unlike the young Revolutionary War hero/spy Abraham Woodhull featured in the current AMC Sunday evening televised series entitled "Turn", to which we are hopelessly addicted. Wells/ "Blacksnake", who no doubt frequented Whitley County's stomping grounds, became the son-in-law of our very own Chief Little Turtle. Frank Bergeron writes that " 'Blacksnake's Path' tells the remarkable story of William Wells, an Indian captive turned Indian fighter-scout-spy-translator-agent, in a way that alters our sense of American Indian history."

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Having freshly acquired a personal, autographed collection of the professor's novels which blend history with fiction and have earned praise from "The Washington Post", "Publishers Weekly", "Kirkus Review", Bob Leuci, Joyce Carol Oates, and James A. McPherson, I've got some serious reading ahead of me! In 2002, TIME magazine online named "The Children Bob Moses Led -- A Novel of Freedom Summer" (focusing on the civil rights movement in Mississippi) as one of the eleven best novels of the African American experience. A pending novel entitled "William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest" is to be published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2015. I cannot wait to read the amiable professor's suspense novel "Devil Dancer" -- which seems destined to become a PBS Masterpiece Theater event in my estimation -- as it transports the reader to the Kentucky Bluegrass region via the dark, intriguing tale of a prize stallion and the pursuit of the thoroughbred's murderer. One reviewer deems this story "an edgy un-put-downable novel" (which sounds like something I would say!), and from the back cover: "While contemporary in its sensibility, 'Devil Dancer' draws upon some of the oldest literary traditions of all: people swapping stories to sustain each other and a mortal man's confrontation with the mystery of life."

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Speaking of my unabashed reverence for each and every species of the animal kingdom, the original and specific reason for our attendance at the recent week-end presentation by Dr. Heath involved reuniting with a pal from over 30 years ago whom we have admired since attending his "Theatre for Ideas" (New Television for a New Decade) in 1981 to say "Hey" to "Garfield" comic strip artist and college chum Jim Davis in the 1970s! Thus, the last time we chatted with Terry Doran who recommended the Heath program to us, we -- Don, Susie, "little" Roy, Jim. and Terry -- all stood together laughing and joking in a small room of the Allen County Library…tempus fugit! We endured Columbia City's rigid folding chairs JUST to reacquaint ourselves with this special person hailing from Ft. Wayne where he contributes "must-read" stunning uplifting editorial/op ed pieces to the NEWS-SENTINEL on a regular basis. I print them all for my files. Each one is laced with kindness, intelligence, common sense, fairness, a love of humanity, a respect for all sentient beings and repeated themes of the necessity for peace. My favorite of his essays assumed the format of an open letter of apology to Marius, the unfortunate year-old Danish giraffe slaughtered by the misguided director of a Copenhagen zoo in Denmark. Startled school children observed the execution as well as the detailed butchering of Marius who got fed to the establishment's lions as the attendees watched. Terry decidedly upgraded this heinous, unnecessary tragedy into a poignant, thought-provoking, cautionary plea for manKIND to mend its ways. [Click here to read.] Unforgettable. Inspirational. Truthful. Healing.

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Terry's conclusion to his essay entitled "Letter to 'Euthanized' Giraffe Serves to Help Me Understand Why He Died":

"You, the most gentle of creatures who was eating out of a kid's hand not long before you died. That's how much humans could trust you. Totally. What then , was the reason, the real reason, not the honorable excuse? Was it revenge? Jealousy? Power? What? ….No other animal is capable or desires to kill on the scale of humans…. So, Marius, I say to you, were I in charge for a day I would free all the animals in all the zoos, all the circuses, all the aquariums, all the slaughterhouses and shut them all down. And I would put you, your gentle soul and loving nature, in charge of it all…"

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Quite a satisfactory Saturday outing…populated by a renowned professorial historian/novelist, Native Americans, a famous Hoosier named William Wells, Chief Little Turtle, young Civil Rights activists circa 1964, terrific animals including a comic strip cat called "Garfield" and racehorse "Devil Dancer" and a martyred gentle giraffe known as Marius -- all gathered in one small sunlit room. Thanks, Terry Doran, for the invitation and for valuable lessons learned and for friendships renewed during a very informative 90 minutes during this Easter season, 2014!

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Hosea 2:18

“In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.”


Isaiah 11:6-7

“The wolf shall
live with the lamb,
the leopard shall
lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion
and the fatling together,
and a little child
shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall
graze, their young shall
lie down together;
and the lion shall
eat straw like the ox…"

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"For somewhere within us our hearts are always broken over the knowledge of our inevitable ending -- oh, let them be broken over life not death!" - Rick Doran, "Searching the Empty Places"; "The independent mind is becoming increasingly rare." -Malcolm Muggeridge; "The greatest education comes from action…the greatest action is struggle for justice." - Myles Horton (Quotations discovered in the 1981 Program THEATRE FOR IDEAS created by Terry Doran, Producer & Moderator)

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Also, here is a fun email I got from Jim Davis last year ...

From: Jim Davis
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2013 12:17 PM
Cc: Jim Davis

Subject: Hey!

Hey, Susie!

Your son, Roy emailed a few months ago to say that you are a published author. Congratulations! Whether right out of school, or later in life, it’s nice to see folks get to do something that they really enjoy. I can tell from your writing that you’re really enjoying the process. Good luck with book two… and three… and four. And say “hi” to Don for me. I’ve been to your site several times. Roy gave me the url when he first wrote. Great stuff!


Jim


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love this feedback!

Terry Doran: "What an absolutely beautiful piece of writing art in Talk of the Town. I'm humbled, Wow! ... I sent Bill Heath the column. Here's what he said: 'Many thanks for passing on Susie's wonderful article to me, Terry. Please thank her for me. If only there were thousands more like her! But as I note in my Afterword to Devil Dancer, I write for what Stendhal termed 'the happy few.' I'm in Greenwood, Mississippi, right now, on a book tour for The Children Bob Moses Led. Best wishes, Bill.'"

Kat Kelly Heinzelman: "Way to go Miss Susie I'm so proud of you maybe I could hear it sometime. Take care and Keep up the writing I love reading your articles I learn something new all the time. I love y'all too!!! thanks for being here when I need a smile."

Jim Davis: "A real blast from the past! Thanks for sharing, Roy and Happy Easter."

Jennifer Zartman Romano: "All those reconnections are fun! I wish I hadn't missed it -- it would've been nice to see you all!"

Beverly Williams: "My sister, Mary, tells me that Susie (was in her high school class) is a very wonderful writer....."

Jo Powers Biddle: "I LOVED reading and remembering about the Carol and Corky show! I wonder if your mom remembers inviting me to watch the program with her on more than one occasion...before my family had a TV?"

Mary Shaull: "It's raining here in Florida, and you brightened my day, as I read Susie's latest, delightful remarks. AND the photos of you, Susie. You look more gorgeous than ever! I don't go around complimenting women or raving about their talents, unless it's truly felt and deserved. Susie and Roy - you share the same amazing genes of talent and expression. Thank you for sharing with us readers."

Angie Choe: "Wow! How cool is that! That’s awesome that you and your parents know Jim Davis! I loved Garfield! He used to be stuck on the window of my silver GrandAm like 17 years ago…a stuffed version of Garfield – kept him until his fur got discolored and I had to throw him out LOL! Thanks for sharing!"

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Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl by Susie Duncan Sexton

More Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels by Susie Duncan Sexton

Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter and its new follow-up Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels - print and ebook versions of both are available (click the title to order from publisher Open Books' website). Also available in both formats at Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or Won't

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