Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sunrise to Canton Road Trip Report #1

A road trip of 3,000 miles starts with the first coffee at my local.
Apologies to the regular readers of the Not Now Silly Newsroom for no updates. It's been a hectic trip so far.

I left on the 3rd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research 8 days ago and I've not checked in here, tho' my facebook profile's been full of it.

The northern leg of the trip was not without its challenges. The first problem I encountered was a leak somewhere in the air conditioning drainage system. While the A/C worked fine, the passenger side of the Buick POS started to fill up with water. The carpeting was soaked and I decided to run without the air in order to let it dry. But, it was hot. Real hot. Hot enough that I had to turn on the air again.

The next problem was all on me. I somehow miscalculated things and arrived a day early in Ohio. I called my friend -- who was part of the 2nd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research -- that I was supposed to meet in Centerville ("A real nice place to raise your kids up.") to tell her I was 2 hours away. Considering she wasn't expecting me until Thursday, she was quite surprised. Luckily her schedule was flexible and we met at an Asian restaurant for lunch.

However, that meant I was still a day ahead of schedule and my next visit in Columbus couldn't happen until Thursday afternoon, just because. Considering I had already driven some 1,200 miles and 20 hours, kipping in the car for 4 hours in northern Georgia, I was totally bagged and needed to sleep. So, I found an inexpensive Days Inn in Dayton to spend the night.

Funny story: Because the car also has a security issue I decided I had to take everything into my room. It took 3 trips and it was very hot. When it was done I fell on the bed exhausted and took off my shoes and put my feet into a giant wet spot on the carpet immediately beneath the air conditioner. This was the exact same problem I was having in the car.

The view from my room. Look, there's Pop's Diner!
They were great about giving me a new room, but the new room was on the other side of the building AND on the 2nd floor. So, I loaded up the car, drove to the other side of the building, and lugged all my crap up to the second floor. By the time I was finished I just went to bed, even tho' it was only about 6PM. I was spent.

The next day I met up with a friend in Columbus, Ohio, I've known online for many years and who was a stop on the original Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research. Only a family emergency kept us from meeting again last year.

Then, Detroit the following day. I've been doing some deep research on a number of topics. I have been given entree to a world that few people get to see from the inside. This will become a long Not Now Silly Investigative Report, which I've already started writing. Hopefully, I can finish it before I get home, but you never know.

Additionally, I've been researching the National Shrine of the Little Flower, which will be my next post, and the Viola Liuzzo Playground and Homestead for another article. I've already been in touch with her daughter Mary and hope to get a phone interview with her while I'm here.

Tonight I'm going to a Drum Circle in Detroit at the corner of 7 Mile Road and Woodward. I can't even imagine something like his happening right there. Just this week:
[I]n Detroit, a task force of federal, state and local police agencies executed a dozen search warrants and made two arrests along a two-mile stretch of Woodward and nearby streets, from McNichols north to 8 Mile, Detroit police said. The agents targeted homes, a gas station and other sites where police said suburban heroin buyers had been driving up to buy heroin almost as easily as making a run for coffee.
A drum circle right in the middle of that? I'm so there!!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Packing Up The Newsroom ► Unpacking The Writer

My old house to the Viola Liuzzo Playground is just over 1/2 mile
The 3rd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research begins early tomorrow morning and the excitement is building.

Yesterday I told someone that driving is my "happy place." There's nothing I like better than to get behind the wheel, crank up the tunes, and cruise. I have many hours of that ahead of me over the next few weeks and am looking forward to it.

Excitement is also building -- I hope -- among those folk who signed up for a visit during this year's road trip. Several of them are repeat customers, so I must be doing something right. A few of them are brand new to the Aunty Em Experience. I'm looking forward to seeing them all.

Among my stops are Centerville, Columbus, Elyria, Akron, and Columbus, all in Ohio. I'll be retracing my steps in West Virginia, the subject of last year's A Tribute to Don Knotts ► Morgantown's Favourite Son. The last 2 stops will be to visit people in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Oviedo, Florida. The latter is someone I've known in Cyberville for decades, yet we've never had the chance to meet.

During this year's Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research I've also scheduled several stops for Racial Research™ along the route. I'll be visiting the Harriet Tubman Museum in Macon, GA; the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, with a stop to pay respects at Mother Emanuel Church; and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Through sheer synchronicity the Wright Museum is holding CALL of The DRUM: An International Drum Summit on the weekend I'll be there. I'm taking my claves.

As well I plan to stop off for a night in St. Augustine. I've been there once and found it incredibly beautiful. It's the oldest, continually inhabited city in this country. Ponce de Leon was tramping around there and I can't wait to see it again.

There's been no word from J$ on whether he wants to help me write The Johnny Dollar Wars ► The Final Chapter? There's still another 10 days for him to decide whether he has the cajones to confront the man he relentlessly cyber-bullied for more than 3 years. Regardless of whether he participates, the final chapter will be written.

However, one part of this trip only got added to my itinerary yesterday, and it's an interesting story. Have a seat. Relax.

In preparation for this year's Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research I was looking on Google Maps for the name of a park in my old neighbourhood. If I remember correctly, this park once had a water tower, torn down in the late '50s or the early '60s. I have vague memories of playing on the girders after it was ripped down, but before they had been hauled away.

What I discovered on Google Maps came as a shock, mostly because it came as a total surprise. It's the Viola Liuzzo Playground.

I had no idea this park was named after a Civil Rights Martyr from Detroit. I had no idea Viola Liuzzo came from my old neighbourhood. This is a woman whom I have read about so many times in so many books. I've watched documentaries in which she has appeared prominently. Tara Ochs plays her in the movie Selma.

Brownsville Herald - April 4, 1964
The house I grew up in was slightly over a half mile from the Viola Liuzzo Playground. [See map above] In 1964 I was 12 years old yet I knew nothing of any of this. Whyzzat? This is as local as it gets. Cross burnings in my neighbourhood? Really?

When I visit Detroit this time I am going to visit this park. It's my plan to write about it and, more importantly, write about my ignorance of the fact that her funeral, with Martin Luthur King, Jr., attending, happened practically under my nose without me realizing it.

I have now been in contact with Mary Liuzzo, Viola's daughre, who identified 19375 Marlowe Street as the house that Viola Liuzzo left behind to join the Freedom March in Selma, Alabama. She never returned, having been murdered as she was ferrying Freedom Riders to several locations. A week after her death a cross was burned on her lawn.

Hopefully, one of the other people I'll be seeing on this trip is Pastor Ken Wilson. We grew up across the street from each other and recently reconnected losing track of each other 45 years ago. Ken has become a bit infamous over the last year. As Senior Pastor of the Vinelands Church in Ann Arbor, a church he founded in his living room 40 years ago, Wilson wrote what I believe is a very important book. "A Letter to My Congregation" argues for full inclusion and acceptance in the church of the LGBT communities. For his troubles, he was kicked to the curb by Vinelands Church -- or he resigned in mutual agreement. However, that hasn't stopped him.

It's to Pastor Kenny that I've addressed all my Pastoral Letters. However, I've just learned there may be a scheduling problem and a reunion with Kenny may not be in the cards after all.

Curious, I've just asked Ken electronically. While he was aware that Viola Liuzzo was a Civil Rights Martyr, he was also unaware that she was from our own neighbourhood and was as ignorant as I was about the cross burning just a mile and a half from where we lived.

This is going to be the best Sunrise to
Canton Road Trip for Research

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Headlines Du Jour ► Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hello, Headliners. Today's birthday belongs to Root Boy Slim. Here are some other Headlines Du Jour of yesteryear:
Here is today's Headlines Du Jour:









For the first time, filmmakers capture
plankton feasting on polystyrene.



Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today's open thread.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Headlines Du Jour ► Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hello, Headliners! Today's birthday belongs to Robbie Robertson of The Hawks and, later, The Band. Here are some other Headlines Du Jour of yesteryear:
Here is today's Headlines Du Jour:













Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today's open thread.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Celebrating Independence Day on Bizarro World

One of the most curious aspects of the Religious Right is its ability to turn around every controversy in order to play the victim. This despite being the dominating force of all public life for the last several millennia. The Phony War on Christmas has now morphed into the Phony War on Christians.

After the Supreme Court's recent decision granting Marriage Equality to the LBGT communities, the Religious Right lost its collective mind. Several GOP candidates for president have denounced the Supreme Court, forgetting the Founding Fathers designed the government in such to provide the Checks and Balances needed for the Republic to survive.

Senator Ted Cruz called the decision "the darkest 24 hours in our nation's history," clearly topping such events as the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Civil War, and 9/11, to name just a few. For his part, Mike Huckleberry Hound says, if he were president (an absurd notion in the first place) he would use Executive Orders to roll back the Supreme Court ruling (an absurd notion in the second place). As PoliticusUSA quotes him:
America didn’t fight a revolution against the tyranny of one unelected monarch so we could surrender our religious liberty to the tyranny of five unelected lawyers. The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and the Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than they can the laws of gravity.
Had the media not been following the shiny object called Donald J. Trump and his bigoted comments on Mexicans, we might have heard more about this GOP insanity.

However, the Religious Right have been taking notes from the GOP. They don't like this Marriage Equality dealie. They don't like this Marriage Equality dealie ONE BIT!!! That's why these butt hurt Christians -- whose churches pay no taxes, of course -- have made a video portraying their victimization at the hands of people who believe love should triumph over hate. In Anti-gay marriage video by US pressure group CatholicVote plays victim card, by Damien Gayle (a spawn of Satan if I ever pigeonholed someone based on merely their name) wrote:
Over a soundtrack of soft ambient music, the first woman to speak says: “I am a little bit nervous about people, kind of, hearing that I am this way and then thinking, well, she’s not welcome here.”

“I have tried to change this before,” begins another woman, who is close to tears. “But it’s too important to me.”

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” continues the first, her view repeated by the rest.

Some speakers emphasise [sic] that they have gay friends, and insist their position is based on their religious conviction rather than bigotry. “I have gay friends. I don’t fear them,” one young man says. But he goes on to suggest that, as gay marriage grows in acceptance, his conviction is beginning to attract the stigma once attached to gay men and lesbians.

And, as day follows night, naturally there is already a parody version:


If it were not so frightening, it would be highly amusing that Christians feel they are under attack. Equality is NOT a zero sum game. Giving equal rights to LGBT folk takes nothing away from churchgoers.

Only when, and if, the Religious Right truly understands that, can they celebrate a true Independence Day for all, including themselves.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Johnny Dollar Wars ► The Last Chapter?

Cyber-bully Mark Koldys as a child
As I prepare for the 3rd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research, I would be remiss if I allowed an anniversary to pass unremarked.

July 4th of last year was a personal Independence Day of sorts. It's the day Ashley Graham, the Head Nutjob of The Flying Monkey Squad, tweeted his last tweet. Grayhammy, as he called himself on the interwebs, stalked me online, revealed my alternative lifestyle, and cyber-bullied me for more than 3 years. He didn't do this for himself. He did it on behalf of Johnny Dollar, who gleefully joined in on the cyber-fun.

Johnny Dollar -- in reality, former-Wayne County Michigan prosecutor Mark Koldys -- is a self-appointed Fox "News" defender. Because I was writing Fox "News" criticism, Johnny Dollar thought the very best way to defend Fox "News" was to publish details of my private life on his sewer of a blog. If you can't kill the message, try to kill the messenger.

Despite July 4th of last year being the last cyber-attack, I waited a full 6 months before I was Declaring Victory in the Johnny Dollar Wars. Things have been very quiet since that went up.

IRONY ALERT: While Mark Koldys had no compunction about publishing details of my private life in his quest to be an apologist for Fox "News," he squealed to facebook and Google when I used pictures of him and his family that I found online. He then tried to pretend that he was the victim of my unprovoked attacks, as if I had no reason whatsoever to retaliate.

However, that's water under the bridge, all written down, and currently being poured over by editors. However, one of them makes a fair point: "Where's the Fairness & Balance in your story? What does your antagonist have to say?"

Home of Mark Koldys, who, as Johnny
Dollar, is a proud Fox "News" defender

Fun fact: Canton is a township, not a town
Official Wesbite
Wikipedia Entry
Canton Weather
Public Safety Office
Public Library

Observer and Eccentric - Canton
Plymouth-Canton Patch
Canton Videos
Canton at ClickOn Detroit

Things to do in Canton
Attractions near Canton
IKEA Canton

Canton Township
Cornerstones: A History of
Canton Township Families

Seven Fatality Christmas Tree Fire
Encyclopedia of Invasive Species: From
Africanized Honey Bees to Zebra Mussels

Leaving Home to Find Home

Let me explain. Since the day Johnny Dollar outed my alternative lifestyle I have been writing The Johnny Dollar Wars, a full-length book on what it's like to be the target of a viscous and relentless cyber-bullying campaign.

Mark Koldys (Johnny Dollar) lives in Canton Township, Michigan. Therefore, The Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research was always an itinerary based on my need for on-the-ground research. I purposely named it such so he would know I was coming. While the word "Canton" means little to most people, it hit the intended target: both Ashley Graham and Mark Koldys, who stalked my social media for anything to use against me, made a point to mention it.

During the upcoming 3rd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research I am hoping I can finally write the last chapter of The Johnny Dollar Wars by interviewing Mark Koldys himself. This will be a way for Johnny Dollar to finally go on the record and describe the skirmishes in The Johnny Dollar Wars from his side of the battlement. Maybe there were extenuating circumstances that resulted in my private life being outed.

I have a journalistic duty to find out, I suppose.

Because Johnny Dollar blocked me on Twitter after I started sharing The Johnny Dollar Wars with his correspondents, I cannot message him there. I am hoping someone -- like maybe his brother Bruce -- will pass along this interview request to him.

Funny story: Bruce and I exchanged some messages in 2013, after which I wrote Fun With Pictures. For reasons I don't quite remember (I hope I was trying to be funny) I blacked out his name in that post, but it was Bruce Koldys I had been addressing.

During that exchange of messages, Bruce asked me not to judge an entire family based solely on the nut that fell from the tree, but I am paraphrasing wildly. TO BE FAIR: He merely wanted me to know that his politics are far different from his older brother's and to leave him out of The Johnny Dollar Wars. Ever since, Bruce Koldys has regularly retweeted some of my Fox "News" snark, which is probably his way of tweaking his brother's nose.

IRONY ALERT: Just before publishing this, I checked his
Twitter timeline. I'm glad I did because it's obvious Johnny
Dollar has reformed. Now it's diseased and creepy to stalk
people online. I'll have to ask him why he changed his mind.
So, I am hoping I can dragoon Bruce into passing along my interview request to his big brother Mark.

Bruce: Tell him we will meet in a neutral location, preferably a Starbucks. He should come alone and make sure he's not followed. No weapons of any kind. Both of us can record the interview for posterity. Everything said, from first greeting to last goodbye, is ON THE RECORD. Any deviation from these instructions and the truth gets it.

If he agrees to these terms tell him to give me a call. Mark once indicated (correctly) that he knew my address and phone number, so that should be no problem. Or, he can email me. I will be in Canton from July 17th, through to the 24th performing some last-minute research. He can contact me right up until the 24th.

SYNCHRONICITY ALERT: Those who have been following my Pastoral Letter series will be glad to know I finally have a copy of A Letter to my Congregation by my childhood friend, Pastor Ken Wilson, of the Blue Ocean Faith Church in Ann Arbor.

I started reading the book as I always do, from the title page on, including the copyright page. Lo & behold: A Letter to my Congregation is published by Read The Spirit Books; an imprint of David Crumm Media, LLC; of Canton, Michigan.

It all comes full circle. Maybe Pastor Kenny can help me how to find forgiveness for Mark Koldys. However, I'm more inclined to think I'll be able to forgive when the full-length Johnny Dollar Wars is finally on the shelves of bookstores all across 'Merka.

Headlines Du Jour ► Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hey there, Headliners! Today's birthday belongs to keyboard player, Roy Bittan, of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. Here are some other Headlines Du Jour of yesteryear:

Here is today's Headlines Du Jour:


Chris Christie is the GOP's most emotional
candidate, but will the show get old?















Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today's open thread.