Saturday, September 30, 2006

Labor Day 2006 in Long Island - Part II: Calverton and Grumman Memorial Park

IMAGE: Entrance to Grumman Memorial Park & Aerospace Museum. PHOTOG: Lisa Tolliver. COPYRIGHT (c) 2006 Lisa Tolliver. All Rights Reserved.

As I mentioned in Labor Day 2006 in Long Island - Part I, I started Labor Day 2006 at the 60th Annual Shinnecock Indian Powwow (a.ka., the Shinnecock Summer Festival) in Southampton. After enjoying the cultural activities and cuisine there, my running buddies and I headed northwest to visit my Dad's grave at Calverton National Cemetery and afterward, checked out Grumman Memorial Park & Aerospace Museum.

Grumman Memorial Park & Aerospace Museum is up the road from the cemetery. It is situated due east of the 10,000 foot runway on the former Grumman Aerospace Flight Test Facility (Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant).

Although the placques and interactive features at the park make the fighter jets accessible to civilians and landlubbers, the military veterans in attendance really enhanced my appreciation. One was an Air Force veteran I met by the F14, who once flew super sonic jets.

My other unofficial guide was my friend, who had served in the U.S. Navy during the 1980s as an aircraft electrician both on land and on an aircraft carrier. The stories he shared were alternatively enlightening, informative and shocking.

I especially enjoyed hearing highlights of conversations my nautical pal had with my father (who as a U.S. Marine during the Korean War and later, on special assignment as a civilian, served as an aircraft electrician in the Pacific Basin). His primer on the features on the fighter planes on display was also interesting.

My friend told some shocking stories, too. One was about an incident when he watched, horrified and helpless, when a sailor who stood on deck next to him one minute was, an instant later, sucked into a jet's intake tube. The gory story (and others like these) renewed my gratitude to the servicepeople who lay their lives on the line daily. Moreover, after that tragic true-life tale, I'll never take the term "swab the deck" lightly again.###

Labor Day 2006 on Long Island - Part I: The 60th Annual Shinnecock Festival

IMAGE: "You tawkin' to ME?! Lisa Tolliver 'en masque' at the Shinnecock Festival" on Sep. 4, 2006. PHOTOG: T.K.A. COPYRIGHT (c) 2006 Lisa Tolliver. All Rights Reserved.

New York's weather often stays balmy well into September and 2006 was no exception. The fair weather was perfect for the Annual Shinnecock Indian Powwow in Southampton. (View - Shinnecock Pow Wow video.)

The three-day event - also known as the Shinnecock Summer Festival - is hosted by "The oldest self-governing Tribe of Indians in the United States." Participants include Native Americans (of every hue) who represent nations located throughout the three American continents and by visitors who hail from far and wide.

Many native Americans I met and their spouses (many of whom were of European, African and Latin descent) travelled in mobile homes. Several said they spend substantial time on the road, performing and vending handmade crafts, books, CDs and videos at similar events as far north as Canada and as far south as Mexico. Some worked other jobs too, in such fields as accounting, public relations and sports.

I'm hard-put to prioritize what I most enjoyed that day: talking with the interesting people I met, booking some for upcoming Lisa Tolliver Show broadcasts, the dancing, the crafts or the cooking.

AFTER THE FESTIVAL: You can read about post-powwow adventures in, Labor Day 2006 in Long Island - Part II: Calverton and Grumman Memorial Park . ###

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Today's safety tip from WEVR-MRC - Fire Prevention

National Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14. This year's theme is Prevent Cooking Fires: Watch What You Heat.

In preparation, Westchester County is offering free fire safety training for emergency volunteers and the Lisa Tolliver Show has cooked up a hot date on October 11 with a fire captain and WEVR-MRC representative, Marianne Partridge. Tune in at New York Radio WVOX 1460 AM and Read more at Emergency Preparedness & Safety Tips.###

Today's 'Lisa Tolliver Show' guest is a major league heavy hitter: Jackie Robinson Foundation President & CEO, Della Britton Baeza (By-A-Zuh)

On today's show we'll touch base with distinguished guest Della Britton Baeza, President & CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation (education is their pitch). (Read her bio.) Additionally, Marianne Partridge will share an Emergency Preparedness & Safety Tip from WEVR-MRC. (Read about it at October 8-14, 2006 is National Fire Prevention Week: Watch What You Heat.) Please join us at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 or hear and share via call-in line at (01) 914 636 0110. ###

IMAGE CREDIT: Photo of Della Britton Baeza standing before portrait of Jackie Robinson, courtesy of Princeton Alumni Spotlight Pics.

October 11 is a hot date for the 'Lisa Tolliver Show'

[The image below was reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week Web site, ©2006 NFPA.]

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Superman is to Kryptonite what Popeye is to....fresh spinach?!

The recent spinach scare makes me wonder what would happen if Popeye got a bad batch.

IMAGE: Still frame from Fleischer's animated cartoon "Little Swee' Pea" (1936). The film has fallen into the public domain, as its copyright has expired. It is available at the Internet Archive and in many unlicensed videotapes and DVDs.

As I taught my students in "Introduction to Mass Communications and Media Ethics," pop culture both shapes and reflects reality and provides a treasure trove of resources for making sense of madness. Take the recent outbreak of illnesses from the dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria 0157, which has been blamed on fresh-bagged spinach, and the examples of relevant, pop culture references below.

  • Survivor - tagline: 39 days... 16 people... ONE... Survivor!

As of today, the rising tally of tainted spinach victims is: 171 sickened, 25 states, 1 fatality (in Wisconsin). A second death is under investigation. It reads like a twisted version of the tagline for Marc Burnett's hit CBS television show.

Substituting the word "spinach" for "daisies" in the title of Jean Kerr's lighthearted book, Doris Day's movie (1960) and NBC television's situation comedy (1965-1967) sums up FDA and CDC warnings to "bag" (as in avoid eating) fresh spinach (e.g., see Medical News Today - Fresh Bagged Spinach E. Coli Warning By FDA).

I'm strong to the "Finich" / 'Cause I eats me spinach / I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.

- "Popeye the Sailorman" lyrics

Popeye - Wikipedia describes a recurring storyline associated with Elzie Crisler Segar's corn-cob pipe-smoking cartoon character:

A villain, usually Bluto (later renamed Brutus for a time), makes a move on Popeye's "sweetie", Olive Oyl. The bad guy then clobbers Popeye until Popeye eats spinach, which gives him superhuman strength.

The sailor man so popularized the green leafy vegetable that two grateful spinach-growing communities erected Popeye statues. Ed Black's Cartoon Flashback - THE LITTLE MAN AND THE ONE-EYED SAILOR explains:

Popeye is perhaps the only non-Disney character to have more than one statue erected in his honor. The people in the spinach-growing area of Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue of the one-eyed sailor there in 1937, grateful that mothers all over the country bought spinach so their kids could ''grow to be big and strong like Popeye." Spinach sold as fast as the farmers could harvest it. Witnesseth the power of a cartoon character.

A second statue was erected in Alma, Arkansas, the self-proclaimed "Spinach Capital of the World" and home to Allen Canning, which markets Popeye-branded canned spinach. A third statue was erected to honor Popeye's creator. It was unveiled June 25, 1977 in Elzie Segar Park in Segar's hometown, Chester, Illinois. The town's motto is "The Home of Popeye."

According to Popeye the Sailor Man Turns 75, the one-eyed mariner debuted in 1929, in a minor role in the comic strip "Thimble Theater." Popeye's immediate popularity with readers inspired his creator to promote him to star of the strip by 1931. The same source says:

But it was the Max Fleischer short films, 109 in all, that ingrained the spinach-chomping sailor into the national consciousness. The first one debuted in 1933, and Popeye became such an instant icon that spinach consumption in the United States jumped 33 percent during the 1930s.

Fleischer Popeye Tribute describes another outstanding Popeye feat:

By the mid-1930s, the one-eyed sailor surpassed even Disney’s Mickey Mouse in popularity.

It's ironic, given what's going on, that spinach could be Popeye's Achilles Heel. Sure, Iron Arm scarfed his spinach from a can, which - like frozen spinach and premade meals manufactured by food companies - the FDA says is safe to eat. And Allen Canning (which distributes Popeye branded spinach), posted a weblink that reads:

Concerned about Spinach? Canned is SAFE! Click Here.
[Clicking the link accesses a Canned Spinach Safety Holding Statement.]

I'm certain those reassurances are true. But my vivid imagination (and survivor instinct) is sparked by statements such as this one by Robert Brackett, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition. He has said of E. coli-poisoned spinach:

"If you wash it, it is not going to get rid of it."

Apparently, the bacteria is as tightly attached to tainted spinach as Popeye's tattooes are to his bulging biceps, and it's virtually impossible to wash off. Consequently, federal advisories warn against eating fresh spinach - whether it comes in a bag or not - and some experts (such as Washington Post food columnist, Robert Wolke) - warn the only way to outwit, outlast and outplay the potentially fatal bacteria is to avoid all spinach - fresh, professionally processed and home-cooked. Consequently, I can't help imagining what would have happened if Skipper Skraek had gotten hold of a bad batch, and the terror at sea that would have ensued.

NOTE: Some say the "spinach" Popeye was puffing in his pipe was really pot. But that's another story.

Eating E-coli tainted bacteria could be as crippling to the one-eyed Sailorman as Kryptonite was to Superman (another 1930s icon). Even worse, there's a possibility the toxic bacteria could "finich" the tough Gazookus just as Superman's ultimate nemesis - Doomsday - fatally felled the Man of Steel.

Some lessons learned from pop culture: Even superhuman cartoon characters like Popeye and Superman are not invincible. Mere mortals must take special precautions to avoid pushing up daisies, getting blown down (a Popeye term), or extinguishing our torches (symbolizing death to Survivor outcasts).

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 - October 15

According to the U.S. Census Bureau Press Release entitled, "Facts For Features (Special Edition): Hispanic Heritage Month" (CB06-FF.14, September 5, 2006):
DURING HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH: "America celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean."

People of Hispanic origin constitute both the largest and the fastest growing ethnic or race minority in the United States.

HOWEVER, DID YOU KNOW? That was not the case when, "In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week," or when "The observance was expanded in 1988 to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15)."

WHY DOES HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH BEGIN SEPTEMBER 15? "Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively."


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Roundup of the September 13, 2006 "Lisa Tolliver Marathon" on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 - Part III: The Don't Worry Murray Show

IMAGES 3&4-"Don't Worry Murray" Richman on the mic. PHOTOGRAPHER - Lisa Tolliver. COPYRIGHT: Lisa Tolliver. September 13, 2006. All Rights Reserved.

ROUNDUP OF DON'T WORRY MURRAY: Celebrity criminal attorney, Murray Richman, invited me to discuss the topic of stalking - of individuals by individuals. He then led a discussion of the Patriot Act, which Murray views as was stalking by the government. Stalking in the first case - of individuals by individuals - is a crime punishable by incarceration. Many resources about stalking are available online and in books such as Stalkers and Their Victims (by Paul E. Mullen, Michele Pathé, and Rosemary Purcell). ###

Roundup of the September 13, 2006 "Lisa Tolliver Marathon" on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 - Part II: The 'Lisa Tolliver Show'


I. 1:00-1:30 PM, Eastern Time - SCORE Radio: Counselors to America's Small Business - TOPIC: USPS Services for Successful Selling on eBay

II. 1:30-2:00 PM, Eastern Time - The Lisa Tolliver Show - TOPIC: National Emergency Preparedness Month

III. 2:00-3:00 PM, Eastern time - Don't Worry Murray with Murray Richman - TOPICS: Stalking and the National Patriot Act

LISA TOLLIVER SHOW ROUNDUP: The show was bifurcated. Additionally, we lost a few callers (including Marianne, at one point!) because the new engineer was getting his feet wet. I'm sure he'll be an old hand by the time we're back on air, September 27. It doesn't hurt that the new guy has a face for the big screen and friendly, professional demeanor to match.

In the first 12 minutes, USPS representatives Leslie Johnson, Rob McCarthy and Pat McGovern wrapped and "sent home" the discussion of USPS services and tips for successful selling on eBay that we'd begun on SCORE Radio.

The remaining time was dedicated to National Emergency Preparedness Month. How prepared are you?

Subject Matter Experts Marianne Partridge and Lisa Hale from WEVR-MRC and Westchester County, respectively, phoned in to discuss the history and rationale of National Emergency Preparedness Month and provide tips that can safe a life in a disaster or emergency. More details are provided at Emergency Preparedness & Safety Tips, which Marianne and I collaborate on to provide on air and online. I love mentioning the fact that the welcome page offers a Disaster Preparedness Kit with the following contents:

You can read more at Emergency Preparedness & Safety Tips and access Emeregency Preparedness Tip #11: POWER FAILURE SAFETY.

Roundup of the September 13, 2006 "Lisa Tolliver Marathon" on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 - Part I: 'SCORE Radio'

IMAGE 1- They're from the government and they're here to help: Patricia (Pat) McGovern, Robert (Rob) McCarthy, and Leslie Johnson from the United States Postal Service at Whitney Radio. COPYRIGHT: September 13, 2006 Lisa Tolliver.

OVERVIEW: Yesterday, in what radio colleague, "Steve Pal", calls the "Lisa Tolliver Marathon," I hosted SCORE Radio and the Lisa Tolliver Show back-to-back on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 and Then I was a featured guest on the show that followed, hosted by noted criminal attorney, "Don't Worry Murray" Richman (whose client roster includes rapper DMX). I've always admired Murray, but never knew how famous he was until I Googled him today.

  1. 1:00-1:30 PM, Eastern Time - SCORE Radio: Counselors to America's Small Business
  2. 1:30-2:00 PM, Eastern Time - The Lisa Tolliver Show
  3. 2:00-3:00 PM, Eastern time - Don't Worry Murray

SCORE RADIO SHOW ROUNDUP: Did you know the United States Postal Service (USPS) was the preferred shipper for items purchased on eBay? Or that the USPS offers free 90-minute "learning experiences" called online, and thanks to guests Pat McGovern (from USPS-NYC), Rob McCarthy (from USPS-Peekskill), and Leslie Johnson (from USPS-White Plains) (see photo above), it's now been covered on air.

In addition to sharing successful selling tips (such as: "photograph and download pictures of merchandise online - but don't violate copyrights", "write effective merchandise descriptions," and "set attractive starting bid prices"), the trio described convenient low- and no-cost USPS services every eBay seller should know about. Here are some examples: USPS Insurance Purchased Online, USPS Web Tools, Global Delivery Services Online, Print USPS Shipping Labels on eBay, eBay co-branded USPS/eBay Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, free package pickup from home or office, and Click-N-Ship (skip a trip!).

Rob also described a third-party service that is unrelated to USPS: selling merchadise on consignment. That's the role Rob fulfills when he moonlights as an Auction Assistant, helping clients with eBay listing, packing, and USPS Shipping in exchange for a 20% commission. Rob's volume of business on eBay - and monthly commission revenue which he shared off air) - is astounding. He earns more than some people do in their day jobs!

Sellers should shop around for Auction Assistants and check their references, as the quality, scope and pricing of such services can vary. For example, some of Rob's competitors may charge commissions of 40-50%!

I'd like to learn more about eBay, online selling in general, and USPS seller services and will attend at least one of Rob and Leslie's eBay Day "learning experiences." Their next seminars will be on Friday, September 15 at the Greater NY Chamber of Commerce Small Business Resource Fair in White Plains. The Fair will at the Westchester County Center in White Plains; it begins at 8:30 AM. The eBay Day "learning experiences" will be at 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM, and 1:00-2:30 PM. NOTE: SCORE will have a booth at the fair, too. Come check us out there and online!

Here's Rob and Leslie's schedule of upcoming eBay Day learning experiences:
  • Thursday, September 28 at 11 AM and at 1:30 PM at Katonah Library
  • Thursday, October 5 at 11 AM and at 1:30 PM at the Hopewell Junction Annex, 1616 Route 82 in LaGrangeville, NY 12540
  • Thursday, October 19 at 11 AM and at 1:30 PM at Mahopac Golf Club
    Thursday, October 26 at 11 AM and at 1:30 PM at 90 cornell Street in Kingston, NY 12410

Sep. 13, 2006 Roundup Part II: The 'Lisa Tolliver Show'

Sep. 13, 2006 Roundup Part III: 'Don't Worry Murray' with Criminal Attorney Murray Richman ###

Monday, September 11, 2006

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (Not at the Wheel)

"Failure to Launch" is more than a movie title. The phrase also describes my scrapped plans to drive a substantial distance yesterday. After starting out, I felt insecure with my functional, but somewhat spongy, brand new brakes so I had them checked out. The wiser soul I consulted gave the brakes a green light but convinced me to go home.

To summarize what he said: my vehicle was roadworthy but I wasn't. A pasta brunch, the brutally slow, congested highway traffic and overcast weather were conspiring to make me drowsy. Since I wasn't experiencing the severe symptoms described in Danger Signals: How Sleepy Are You? -, I had planned to push on and recharge my batteries in the conventional ways: by scarfing energy-boosting snacks, listening to lively music, blasting the air conditioner, stopping periodically to stretch my legs, and swigging caffeinated, non-diet cola.
[NOTE: only the last measure (consuming the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee) and taking a 20-30 minute nap have been shown to make a short-term difference in driving alertness, according to the NCSDR/NHTSA Expert Panel on Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness report entitled, Drowsy Driving and Automobile Crashes. A reader-friendly summary of the report is available at How to Combat Drowsy Driving - Smart Motorist - Drowsy Driving and Traffic Safety.]
But "driving while drowsy is dangerous," warned my wise friend. Moreover, he cautioned, many sources [such as The Case Against Soda - Diet & Fitness - MSN Health & Fitness] say "soda is not good for you."

He was right on both counts. Plus, I'd resolved to drastically reduce (although not completely can) soda sipping since joining a Saturday fitness program. So I pulled into a local park, drank fruit juice and bottled water while reading Sunday's New York Daily News, then saddled up and drove, safely, back to the ranch.

Eerie, Much! One of the first items I read in Sunday's paper was a real wake-up call. It reported the death of a driver who'd fallen asleep at the wheel. The movie crew member had been heading home after a long day of filming when he crashed his car.

Given the context, I was struck a reference, in another article, to a song from Bon Jovi's album, Keep the Faith. Here is the relevant excerpt from, How to 'do' New York Fashion Week- New York Daily News, NY - Sep. 10, 2006, by British Vogue fashionista Camilla Morton (who also wrote How to Walk in High Heels: A Girl's Guide to Everything):

How to survive the shows? Good question. Comfort is not always top priority as image is everything there. You can cry about the cheese graters on your feet when you get in; meanwhile, always have a Band-Aid in your purse, and hum Bon Jovi's "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Grandparent's Day occurs during a bittersweet month

Happy Grandparent's Day. As of 1978, President Carter designated the second Sunday in September National Grandparents Day. For me, it's a good day to reminisce, fondly, about my two great grandmothers, three grandparents and my parents (who, thanks to my nephews, are grandparents, too).

I am particularly blessed, as a descendant of African American slaves, to have known so many ancestors first-hand and to learn about others and their experiences through the family griots. As many historians have documented, numerous families of kidnapped Africans and of African American slaves were purposely broken up. Moreover, explains the Oxford University Press description for Brenda E. Stevenson's Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South:
the harsh realities of slavery, even for those who belonged to such attentive masters as George Washington, allowed little possibility of a nuclear family.
Septembers, for me, are bittersweet. I'm sorry to see summer go, but love the scenic seasonal transition and back-to-school buzz. I also enjoy collaborating with WEVR-MRC to promote and celebrate National Preparedness Month online (at Emergency Preparedness & Safety Tips) and on air (on the Lisa Tolliver Show). Of course, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and their evil sisters who hit the American Gulf Coast in September 2005 illustrated, painfully, why preparedness can make the difference between life and death during a disaster or emergency.

September 9, as explained in Why September 9 is a bodacious Bonza Bottler Day, is triply momentous. My maternal grandmother was born September 9 almost a century ago. She died about 10 years ago to the day. And the ninth day of the ninth month is a Bonza Bottler Day.

September 11, in 2001, became a day of infamy. My Aunt Violet, who was in a hospital in Brooklyn Heights recuperating from cardiac surgery, saw both planes hit the World Trade Towers and the aftermath. I'm sure the shocking scene contributed to her death several days later. Incidentally, the minister who presided over her funeral was the Chief Medical Examiner responsible for identifying body parts found at "The Pile."

And September 17 is the anniversary of my father's death. I spent most of late May through that date in 2005 at his bedside. Oftentimes, I'd tie up his hospital phone line (since cellulars and wireless Internet connections interfere with certain lifesaving hospital equipment) conducting conference calls, working online, and interacting with students and clients. After he died, I wrapped his bathrobes in plastic to preserve his scent and left his alarm clocks set to ring, as he had them, at approximatley 6:30 a.m. daily. (That is the time when, before being hospitalized, Dad took morning treatments for emphysema so he could breathe).

Lots of other things happen in September, but for me, the remainder of the month is but a blur and will remain so for quite some time.###

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why September 9 is a bodacious Bonza Bottler Day

September 9 has been a momentous occasion in my family for two centuries - actually, two millennia. It is my grandmother's birthday. She would have been 108 had she not died 10 years ago today.

I spent her last birthday with her. Nana had broken her hip several days before so we celebrated in the hospital. Talk about a party to end all parties! She was in good spirits when I was with her and died later that night in her sleep.

NOTE: Older souls must be careful; their bones are brittle and broken bones can be deadly. Fortunately, there are many books and online resources for strengthening skeletons at every age.

Those I've read indicate building and maintaining strong bones is an equal opportunity concern. One is never too old - or too young - to boost bone health. Moreover, osteoporosis affects both genders, as HealthDay News reporter E.J. Mundell reports in "Brittle Bones Can Affect Older Men As Well."

Here are several oft-cited keys to strong frames: consume lots o' calcium, beware of booze and tobacco, exercise regularly and soak up some sun.

On a lighter note, today's Bonza Bottler Day. May yours be bodacious! ###

Go see Deb go!

Image courtesy of Debbie Knebel Racing at

Champion drag racing champion, Debbie Knebel (prounounced Ka-nay-bull), is competing this weekend (September 9 and 10) in the U.S. Motorcycle Nationals 40th annual at Atco Raceway. in New Jersey. Go Deb, go!

Atco Raceway (a.ka. Atco) Motocross Park is located at 1000 Jackson Road in Atco New Jersey 08004 (Tel. 856 - 768 - 6000). Get directions.

These are the categories on the AMA/Prostar 2006 Race Schedule: Pro Classes - Top Fuel, Pro Stock & Pro Street. The racing begins bright and early; the gates open on Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 am, Eastern Time. View the full schedule.

Stay ahead of relevant happenings:

Get a handle on women motorcycle racers: