Why Art Matters ( to a Child)

Why Art Matters ( to a Child)

In today’s word of images, we know how much they impact us.  Visualization is used to sell, motivate and facilitate everything from automobiles to toothpaste.  We paste icons and logs on clothing, business cards and bumpers.  We react to colors of team sports, gay parades and political parties.  We are submersed in the world of art.  However, we teach STEM to our children at school:  Science, Technology, Education and Math.  All of these are left brain. Left brain that description of imitate, follow, judge and criticize.

Most art classes in schools are the first to be removed when the budget needs a cut.  When schools want to raise funds they enlist the donations of artists to sell and donate a portion of their sales to the school.  VioletChildren are taught to “follow and behave.”  There is little room for “creation and making a mess.”   Paints are rejected because they may stain the carpet.  Crayons are wrapped up in paper so that the tactile feeling of greasy wax is replaced by clean dry paper.

All children like to create.  It is only after the exposure to criticism and critique that we take the “art out.”  The child learns that what he does doesn’t matter.  It is with focus and exploration that the child begins to see that they too are responsible for the act of creation and expression.

Parents are at a loss with how to entertain their children. Sports are good to teach left brain and gross motor skills like running and throwing a ball.  Art as in painting, sculpting and playing musical instruments develops the fingers and fine motor skills.  When children are loud and out of control it is easy to take away all the colors.  Art therapy teaches that with colors, paper and time the child quiets and calms -even if the beginning was loud and messy.

In art we learn a language.  There are relationships and connections.  Shapes, colors, lines and movement help us to see the world through a different set of lenses.  Suddenly a child may notice the colors of the leaves on the tree or how to tell their friends what color their cat is.  In art we learn to ask for what we need, “Can you pass me the red crayon, please;” and ask for help, “how do I make gray?”

Problem solving is another aspect of art that is forgotten in scholarly articles.  A child learns how to deal with frustration, “I made the wrong color;” or I wish I would have made it a different way but it’s too late now.”  Children with guidance and acceptance learn that we all make mistakes.  Most of our mistakes in life are not life threatening.  After many years of frustration without insight the child learns that he is incapable and unqualified to “live their own life.”


The History of the Cigarette

The History of the Cigarette

Tobacco Connections

What do James Albert Bonsack and “Buck Duke (James Buchanan Duke) and Edgar Cayce have in common?  Hopkinsville, KY and tobacco.  James Albert Bonsack won the contest “to build a machine that would wrap tobacco into cigarettes.  The present form of tobacco was plugs, snuff, dip and chew.  It was a luxury to be able to afford a personally made wrapped cigarette.   In 1880 James Albert won the contest.  In 1890 he sold the patent to James Buchanan Duke.   Both are known to be the inventors of the modern-day cigarette.  Bonsack’s machine could make 120,000 cigarettes a day vs the handmade kind of only 210/day. Bonsack was paid seventy-five thousand dollars by a subsidiary company, Allen and Ginter of Richmond, VA.

james albert Bonsack
The Inventor of the Cigarette Machine

Little is known about James Albert Bonsack.  He was born in a small town in Roanoke County, VA.  He died a rich man and is buried in West Laurel Hills Cemetery in Montgomery County Pennsylvania.His grave is simple.  He is not listed as a famous grave as are David Hayes Agnew, MD the surgeon of the Union Army and President Garfield. Other famous neighbors in Bonsack’s resting place are William a Breyer, the founder of Breyer’s ice cream who died of smallpox.  Another important person listed in the West Laurel Hills Graveyard is John Thompson Dorrane, the inventor of condensed soup for Campbells Soup.    His grave is not noticeable, not large and has no plague or engrave words “The inventor of the cigarette rolling machine.”

james Buchanan DukeThe first organized attack occurred at Trenton when a band of armed and masked men burned the tobacco warehouse and factory of an independent dealer who had bought non-association tobacco. A little later they appeared at Elkton and dynamited the warehouse there.In 1904 Buck Duke married Lillian Fletcher McCready, the same year as the The Black Patch Tobacco Wars started.  He divorced her in 1907, married again and then in 1907.  The American Tobacco Association “lost the war” due to 35,000 farmers who refused to raise tobacco.Buck Duke is known to be one of the founders of Duke University.  His family is famous for Duke Electric Power Company in North Carolina.

He and James Bonsack are the “Cigarette dealers of death.”  More can be found about James Albert Bonsack and cancer.  James Duke is known for wealth, education and business.

Another investor into Duke ‘s American Tobacco Company was Oliver H. Payne of Standard Oil Company.  At the same time there were Night Riders in Hopkinsville, Ky.  The fisherman of Reelfoot Lake was the Night Riders of Reelfoot Lake. Probably no event in the region’s history, apart from the Civil War, polarized the population of Obion County as did the Night Rider episodes of 1908. Nearly a century later, public opinion still varies greatly regarding the character and motivation of the men and women involved in the Reelfoot violence. For seven months in 1908, masked horsemen rode roughshod over a portion of Obion County and imposed their brand of justice with whip, arson, and shotgun. But if the riders are judged guilty of excesses, their adversary, the West Tennessee Land Company, with its example of callous greed, must share in that guilt. Unfortunately, when the State of Tennessee intervened in the matter, it too showed scarcely more restraint than the other participants in the events.Night riders

Simply stated, the Night Rider episode was a dispute over title to Reelfoot Lake and the surrounding land. Created by the cataclysmic forces of the 1811-12 earthquake, the lake and its wildlife supplemented the diets and incomes of subsistence farmers in the area. Although claims on the land existed prior to the earthquake, the local population regarded the lake as public domain. When the West Tennessee Land Company quietly purchased old claims and made plans to drain at least part of the lake and convert it to cotton production, the region’s residents reacted violently.

On the night of October 19, 1908, after several weeks of increasingly violent activities, events moved swiftly to a tragic stage. Masked riders kidnapped Tennessee Land Company officers R. Z. Taylor and Quinton Rankin from Ward’s Hotel in Walnut Log. Rankin was murdered, but Taylor escaped into the swamp and was presumed dead. He survived by hiding under a cypress log and was found more than twenty-four hours later, wandering and disoriented.

Governor Malcolm Patterson personally took charge of matters and arrived in the lake region with the Tennessee National Guard. By the end of October, nearly one hundred suspects were incarcerated in a makeshift camp set up by the Guard. The suspects received very harsh treatment while in the custody of the state, and two died while awaiting trial. Eventually, six were found guilty in the murder of Quinton Rankin and sentenced to death. The Tennessee Supreme Court overturned their convictions in 1909.

Public opinion favored the plight of the Reelfoot Lake people. Consequently, the state took ownership of the lake from private ownership.

Oliver Hazard Payne was born in 1838 in Ohio.  He died in NY without ever having been married or having children.  He was the organizer of the American Tobacco Trust, he organized US Steel Company and the Standard Oil Company.  He served in the Civil War as a Colonel. His resume would state that he was a US Senator, a US Congressman.

The connections aren’t distant.  You can make a cigarette machine, but nobody will ever know your name.  You can form a business and get elected.   Even Edgar Cayce, the psychic from Hopkinsville might have been able to predict our future.cigarette-dark-smoke-background-vector-11699420 (1)

What is a Brain?

What is a Brain?

What is a brain?  A brain is found inside a hollow hole in the head.  It is attached to the body so that you have somewhere to hold your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your nose.  All these parts are dependent upon the brain, a mass of twisted gray gooey tissue about half the size of a five-pound bag of sugar-in some it has been described as a vegetable-the size of a green pea. “You P brain.”  Which means you probably are at a deficit when it comes to brain mass.Tumors.  These are cancerous.  They seem to be attracted to Nashville.  They are tourists who come to Nashville to ride the scooters on the sidewalks, fall off the pedal taverns and consume too much alcohol in the pub crawl on Broadway. The symptoms of these tumors are sudden changes in slurred speech and stumbled gait, periods of yelling “yee haw” Brain image

The brain is used to function- something like a control panel- a switching gears- a monitor of sorts. For males it is mostly a GPS locating and surviving.  It finds attractive women and food- not necessarily one in the same as in pretty women don’t have to know how to cook.  The real brain that males are controlled by is the one in their pants, behind the zipper, below the waistband.  In females the brain is mostly liquid- alcohol, diet cokes and Starbucks Latte.

Occasionally the brain is called upon to solve problems, but most problems are dealt with.  Consequences of “not using the brain” are evident when one wakes up in strange places with strange people.  The brain is a complex organ.  Complex in the fact it has three regions of the brain: sex, food, and sleep.

The brain is like a Wi-Fi connection.  It picks up signals and clues from the outside world. The noise in the background of gut feelings and bad past experiences is regularly ignored and overridden by another set of bad choices and new mistakes.

When one speaks of “out of mind” they are really saying, “I have a brain (I think) but it is clear at this moment that I was aware of its functional capabilities in the maintaining of my health.

The brain has sixteen billion neurons and not enough sense to balance the checkbook and remember passwords on fourteen different online accounts: Amazon, Citibank, google, yahoo, Comcast, ATT, six credit cards, the electric, water and gas company.

Brains can move all parts of the body except the body after a crucial number of four snooze alarms have been pounded into the nightstand.

Brain disorders can be described as a neurological disorder. Not all neurological disorders are brain disorders but all brain disorders are neurological A neurological disorder is any disorder of the nervous system. Structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brainspinal cord or other nerves can result in a range of symptoms. Examples of symptoms include paralysismuscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensationseizuresconfusionpain and altered levels of consciousness. There are many recognized neurological disorders, some relatively common, but many rare. They may be assessed by neurological examination, and studied and treated within the specialties of neurology and clinical neuropsychology

One brain disorder that occurs in young adults is Math. It is characterized by night sweats, muscle tremors and panic attacks.  Mostly when books, tests and pencils are required to answer questions in statistics, algebra, geometry and calculus.

Aphasia.  The difficulties of people with aphasia can range from occasional trouble finding words, to losing the ability to speak, read, or write; intelligence, however, is unaffected. Expressive language and receptive language can both be affected as well. An example is when a wife has lost the ability to communicate and with frustration is hopeless explaining to her husband 1. Where the garbage can is 2. What day is trash pick up   3. What color the recycle bin for compost, glass and paper is 4.  When the trash man comes that the can at the curb cannot come to the house without supervision.

Coma.  A coma is a deep state of prolonged unconsciousness in which a person cannot be awakened; fails to respond normally too painful stimuli, light, or sound; lacks a normal wake-sleep cycle; and does not initiate voluntary actions. Coma patients exhibit a complete absence of wakefulness and are unable to consciously feel, speak or move.Comas can be derived by natural causes, or can be medically induced. Brain disorders characterized by binging on TV series of Game of Thrones, murder-mysteries, horror films, sci-fi, drams and documentaries.

Alzheimer’s  is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens over time. Extended training, education and internships seem to contribute to the loss of the ability to function in activities of daily living.  Victims of this disease are said to “spend more time on making a living than actually living.”

Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person’s daily functioning. Other common symptoms include emotional problems, difficulties with language, and a decrease in motivation.  Dementia seems to cause impaired judgment caused by sunshine, testosterone, birth control bills, sand and college students on spring breaks.

Speech Pathology Social communication difficulties involving how people communicate or interact with others.  Southerners can recognize this immediately from aliens who speak in foreign languages known as Yankee Lingo.  Most Yankees know how far south the Southerners are from in the number of syllables in the word, “ Shiiiitt.”

Memory Loss or Amnesia  can be caused temporarily by the use of various sedatives and hypnotic drugs. The memory can be either wholly or partially lost due to the extent of damage that was caused. There are two main types of amnesia: retrograde amnesia and anterograde amnesia. Retrograde amnesia is the inability to retrieve information that was acquired before a date, usually the date of an accident or operation.  One example of amnesia after a weekend of the wife visiting her mother was exacerbated by the sudden discovery of a tube of fiery red lipstick and a pair of twisted G-string thongs under her pillow.

The husband suddenly suffered memory loss, amnesia and a cardiovascular stroke.

Endorphins. Literally means that we produce our own morphine. The surge of endorphins pulsating the feeling of vitality and superiority, Delusional desirability can be caused by men observing the cheerleaders at the county high school games, especially in Dickson and Cheatam counties in Tennessee. high school cheerleaders

Too tight to pay a professional.  Who then must spend the money to call the ambulance and take three weeks off after brain surgery?

Brain damage and paralysis. Brain damage can be caused by comas, TBI, strokes,  Can be a result of watching too many sports  such as NBA, NFL, SEC, Major League, Bowling Channel, Tennis Chanel, College Basketball, football and baseball, ESPN 1, ESPN 2, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, World of Wrestling, World Fishing Network, Playoffs, March Madness, The Final Four and all Olympics.

Brain abscess. Infection of the greasy part of the gray matter. Causes swelling of the ego.  The patient has feelings of superiority and narcissism.  Treats family, friends and colleagues like dirt.

It stinks and is very painful for people who are exposed to people who have brain abscesses.

This is caused by ingesting one’s own bullshit, lies and flattering words.

Cerebral hemorrhage also known as a stroke.   Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel that breaks and bleeds into the brain. Another condition that’s like a stroke is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) It is a sudden excruciating stabbing pain in the head that happens after one opens the bill from the credit card company, the phone company and the garbage can at the same time.  The term CVA should be changed to a more appropriate terminology for the actual feeling:  A mental bloodbath.

Intracranial Hypertension.  It is an unexplainable severe headache and blurs vision effects.  It has root causes in eating hot dogs at the Tiger Market while filling up your Cadillac Escalade with high fumes and 4.50 per gallon…then strolling into the filthy bathroom to scratch off your recently purchase entire roll of lottery tickets hoping that you have become a winner.

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. Some people think they are as smart as artificial intelligent robots (AI) When they are really (IA) Idiotic Assholes.

They analyze, preach, explain and force feed their opinions on politics, women, religion, gun control and gluten free diets to everyone they meet.  Hemorrhoids are not life threatening even though they are difficult and painful.   Hemorrhoids are not the same as hemorrhage.  Even though you would like to relieve their symptoms by hitting them over the head with a hammer until they are unconscious.


Bobby Wilks, Digging up Bones

Bobby Wilks, Digging up Bones


Bobby Wilks

27 Nov 1936- 09 July 2010

I’m diggin’ up bones, I’m diggin’ up bones,
Exhuming things that’s better left alone.
And I’m resurrecting mem’ries of a love that’s dead and gone.
Yeah, tonight I’m sittin’ alone, diggin’ up bones.… M

Cadillac Bobby WilksIt’s 1984.  The town is Cross Plains, TN.  A town founded in the late 1700’s and has grown to a population of 1000. I am a local.  My great parents are buried in the graveyards around the highway that runs through the 4-way stop where Thomas Drug, Graves Market and Tate Chevrolet do business. Robertson County Tennessee just ten miles south of the Kentucky state line has a dividing line down 31 W highway between Robertson County and Sumner County.  My daddy said, “ Sumner county line is where my world ended.”

In the fall of 1984 I was divorced, a registered nurse and the mother of two children who attended East Robertson Elementary.

We lived on the same road as the school and the Greenwood Church.  Turn down on Greenwood Road and through and open vista of soybeans and cornfields there was a big barn owned by the Yates family.  It was a tobacco barn used for Burley tobacco.

Entertainment in these rural communities is one of baseball, basketball, football.  This year it was between all those seasons and it just so happened to be almost Halloween.  The parents of the kids were going nuts because the kids were going nuts. “ For Halloween let’s have a haunted house. “  It all seemed possible.  The old ways of cars and kids driving miles to find Reeses’s Peanut Butter cups, Milky Ways and Sugar Daddies seemed expensive:  the gas costs more than the sugar.

“ The Yates barn might be a good place.”  Another said, “ Yeah, but can we ?” Gayle said, “ Yes, I’ll ask Steve.  Steve being the brother of Jeff and Ernie and Gayle’s husband.  “ Steve, will help us.  He’ll love the idea!”And so our Halloween Haunted House of 1984 was dreamed up on the back of the Ford tailgate at the last of the baseball season 1984.

We decided that we needed ghosts, corpses, and witches.  Melanie said she’d be the corpse “ and lie in the casket, rise up when the kids walked by and then look at them.”  Chris Faulkner said she’d be the witch.  Her friend thought of a barrel of dry ice from Baskin and Robbins ice cream that we could get as a place ‘ to boil the kids alive.’ Steve though he could represent Chain Saw Massacre by taking the chain off the chain saw and chasing the kids when they came out of the barn.   Bob added that he had metal box springs that could cover the dirt floor and then by covered by plyboard to make the floor move.  John said he’d spray the kids with water to force them to move quickly through the maze. The can was a tobacco spray can most used to spray for weeds.  The probable chemical rinsed out before was probably Roundup.  Nobody asked why they smelled funny.

Melanie’s husband went to the Milldale Funeral home in Orlinda to ask Bobby if we could borrow a casket.Milldale Funeral Home

He said, “ Yes!”  He didn’t ask any questions.  He laughed and said, “ How many do you need?”  John said, “ Just one, I think, but I’ll get back to  you if we need more.”  John, was green in the face when he said, “ Bobby wanted to know if we needed more?

Halloween came.  The barn was dressed in black plastic for walls. The floors were wobbly, Melanie laid in the casket under the candles and the flashlight shining under her chin.  The witch laugh echoed through the noise of the chainsaw.  Ropes led the way into the wobbly floor room. Fifteen kids showed up to be “ scared too death.”

After the scare was not scary anymore Steve brought the tractor with the wagon full of hay.  Fifteen kids, parents and strays bailed in to meander and look up at the stars in the Southern sky while throwing straw and screaming.

Soon it was time to come back to the barn.  We ate hot dogs, marshmallows.  A few drank beer in red plastic cups that camouflaged the alcohol.

A few weeks later I asked, “ Did the casket get taken back to the funeral home?”  “Melanie’s husband took it,  Steve said. Steve laughed and said, “ Bobby said, it was used so it wasn’t a problem that Melanie got makeup all over the satin interior.”

corpse in a casket