Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Still Searching for my Element!

Last night we made a quick trip into the Big City north to go to the mall so that the good wife could make some exchanges. Before we got there we visited Papa Vino's and there enjoyed some Sizziline Spaghetti. It was super spicy, at least for me. Now I've always enjoyed a little heat in my jambalaya but that's about it, but this spaghetti was soaring, and I actually ate all of it, and enjoyed it; of course a large roll of Italian bread kept the heat somewhat in check, I think. The older I get the more I like spicey things, my mom tells me that's good, though I won't go into all the reasons she thinks that. Of course eating at an Italian restaurant is not complete for the good wife without finishing with a tiramisu ..... and she said it was excellent, just tasted like regular pudding to me!

Onward to the mall; while the good wife exchanged I journeyed to the Barnes & Noble store. By the time she was calling me on the cell phone I was getting close to the check-out counter, not there yet but her call pushed me over the line. How could she be ready to leave so early, I only had two books? Its always a treat to hand the clerk my Barnes & Noble mastercard because I will inevitably get that 'you're one of us' smile. It makes me feel like maybe after a future purchase I'll get invited to the home office of Barnes & Noble to be presented with the 'Publishers Purchase Prize' for the year, and my award is an unlimited choice of free books for a whole year.

The two books I purchased were 'The Element' by Dr. Ken Robinson and 'LEtters from the Land of Cancer' by Walter Wangerin Jr.. I would like to quote from the back of the book The Element to give you an idea of what its about: 'The Element' is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves, most inspired and achieve their highest levels.
Ah, hah, that's it, I'm still either searching for my passion or purpose and when the two meet, watch out! I think I've always wanted to be an author, and I'm almost 100% certain thats not going to happen. This blog is as close as I'll ever come, some sorry attempts have been made, but let me remind you how grateful I am that you stop by for a spell, and some of you even comment here and there, it does this old heart good - more good than you'll know. However writing a blog isn't writing a book; my hope is that one day one of my grand kids [or great grand kids] with the same passion will read thru gramps old blog and either come away with an idea for a book, or piece together elements of this one and boom, a Christian author is born. Sorta like the story of King David and the building of the Temple. Although the Lord forbid David from building it, he did tell the king he could begin to make provisions for the materials to be gathered, so his son Solomon could build the temple. I'm sure there was a considerable amount of disappointment in David's life but at least God had allowed him to be a part of it. Now God knew only too well David's heart and mind so he didn't give David any of the blueprints because eventually the temptation would have been too great and David would have tried to assemble something; better to just keep the king focused on opening up channels so Solomon could get what he needed. Imagine with me the royal dinner table as David and Bathsheba [henceforth known as 'Babe'] sit down to eat. Babe looks at DAvid and ask,'anything noteworthy happen today?' As a face-wide smile breaks out on Davids face he replies, 'Anything happen, I had a meeting with the Ambassador from Lebanon..., Babe encourages him to continue 'and we signed a trade agreement. Israel will provide Lebanon with marble from our quarries and a few tons of scrape iron, their main export is the worlds finest lumber and they need material for saws and things for that industry, and we will also provide them with sheep and goats for three years; the sheep and goats I really sold him on. Then when Solomon is ready for the lumber that God requires in building/furnishing the Temple they will provide him all he needs. Pretty good deal, wouldn't you say.' Babe says nothing but smiles, not because she thinks her aging husband is such a clever businessman but because it will be a wonderful blessing to her son.

The other book, 'Letter from the Land of Cancer' is by one of my favorite authors. Brennan Manning is my favorite, and so Henri Nouwen and WAlter Wangerin,Jr. are vying for 2nd or 3rd place; Nouwen of course is at at disadvantage since he succumbed to celestial joys! Once again I will quote from the back cover of the book to give you an idea of what the book is about. I'm nearly a third through the book but will save reflections until I'm finished, ... I think?! 'On Dec.26, 05, Walter Wangerin Jr. felt a lump in his neck. Doctors confirmed his fears: Wangerin had inoperable lung cancer. Almost immediately Wangerin began writing a series of letters to his friends and family, detailing the many facets of surviving cancer and eloquently reflecting on the end of life. [Wangerin is still a senior prof. at Valpo University] Now Wangerin offers these intimate letters to all who ask questions about what it means to live and die well. As Wangerin writes, 'Here is the story which must ultimately embrace every living body, every physical person. Here, too, is the story in which our faith in Christ most can shine.' LATER.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesdays thoughts

ORIGINAL SINNERS [A New Interpretation of Genesis] by John R. Coats; New York, New York, Free Press. 2009; ISBN: 9781439102091
I always love to read new thoughts, especially when they are talking about scripture. The author, a former Episcopal priest, states up front that he believes the story of Adam and Eve is a metaphor, but a metaphor worth paying attention to. In reviewing the book in Barnes & Noble I found that out but still went ahead and bought the book. I'm glad that I did. Let me say up front, that the author did not convince me Adam & Eve is a metaphor, I still hold firmly to the conviction its a real story [even in my recent Master's course on Spiritual Formation I from time to time came across the metaphoric perspective about Adam & Eve]; however I did enjoy some new thoughts on the book of Genesis. In each chapter the author includes a personal human story from his own life, and the more chapters I read the more convincing it became that much of the authors opinions regarding Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph stemmed from his own experiences in life; to a degree that probably exits in all of us as we seek to apply scripture to ourselves. The fault I find with that is that there are so many different variables between their times and culture and ours, and how we in Western culture measure everything, not in so much in comparison to ours but against us. I believe that often in seeking to understand every little difference we overlook the real lessons meant for us. I think the author did an excellent job in challenging the reader to evaluate what they believe, and being willing to at least entertain other perspectives. Knowing where the author stood ahead of time, and then having a Bible close, provided both his perspective and the Words of Scripture. Let me give you a couple examples of the author's challenging the reader, 'Do we really think Isaac was fooled by Rebekah & Jacob's tricks? ... and here I agree with the author, probably not! For if God told Rebekah that the older twin [Esau] would serve the younger [Jacob], would he not also let Isaac know? I know that Isaac was failing in sight, but I have my doubts he was intellectually. 'Maybe Isaac purposely sent Esau on a mission that he knew would give him plenty of time to bless Jacob? Maybe Rebekah and Jacob didn't need their trickery?' A later question posed by the author was, 'Why, after Esau invited Jacob to his home, after they had made up, did Jacob immediately head in the opposite direction? Did Jacob think Esau was really laying a trap for him? or in asking this question was the author obsessed with the theme of trickery in the story of Jacob?
Other thought provoking speculations are presented by the author that kept my interest. It was a book I recommend but also suggest keeping the Scriptures close by.

After finishing the book I read a little from a recent theology book a gentleman in the church gave to me. I turned to the chapters on creation and read again some of the modern philosophies about creation that conflict with scripture. That's a discussion for other days though; it did however get me to thinking about carbon dating again. Now when it comes to knowing science I'm a cave man in the dark. Never did do every well with figuring planet rotation, star alignment and carving up frogs, so in my antiquated thinking I've always been skeptical about carbon dating.
I'm not entirely opposed to the ideas of earth plates, dinosaurs and long time periods, .... but millions of years - I still can't buy it, although there's still a small window I can be convinced, well a real small window! But just like thinking Adam & Eve are a metaphor, understanding all there is about creation is beyond our human capacity; and so for the moment I'm convinced with both stories we need to have faith and make sure we're not missing out on the lessons. You can go to and find some reviews there that will also help.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yesterday was fun!

Yesterday we braved the blowing, slushy snow rain and arrived safely at Younger Son's house with the Oldest Daughter! We had a great time with all the grandkids and adults.[My granddaughter was home on spring vacation; imagine spring vacation before spring - go figure; but I'm certainly glad she was there] Son lighted the fireplace with a log, and we sat around it playing games, me with trucks and grandson, and bouncing the little man on our laps. We enjoyed a big healthy lunch at Pei Wei's, that lived up to its expectations again. Of course it didn't take long for Oldest Daughters home-made sugar cookies to be consumed, then it was on to the peeps. I really believe that if I could consume as much sugar as my grandkids[I am guilty of being their supplier!] I'd be bouncing off the walls - ah, hah, that would be a site or one huge splat. On the way home we stopped about half-way and my daughter treated her mom and I to a light supper. Today, after a really good breakfast and some father-daughter time I took her to the airport! She told me that it had been suggested if she came in the summer there would be more things to do, but we both agreed the winter break is much more appreciated and needed by us both.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

INVICTUS! An opinion

Last night, late - late last night, the good wife and eldest daughter and I, saw the movie Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman. This is a powerful movie showing the true character of a man, imprisoned for almost thirty years in a small cell, who eventually becomes the President of his country. Against all odds [including members of his own family and presidential staff] exceed any expectations of anyone. There are so many good ethics/values taught through this picture of a brief segment of his life; but perhaps one of the most amazing was his willingness to forgive...with him the present and the future became more important than the past. Now that's excellent sermon material! Since in the pastorate I daily work with people, and there are those in my own congregation who don't care for me and gossip about me, the lessons on tolerance and forgiveness were not lost, the challenge will be to see how well I practice them. The vehicle, sports, through which Mandela choses to place his strongest efforts of reconciliation in the early days of his presidency is a story that could be taking place in our entertainment-focused culture today. The values taught in this movie need desperately to be taught to our children and youth, and Mandela's faith [in my book] is one we are the poorer for neglecting. There will be those who will argue that Mandela was just being a wise, sly political fox, and to a point they are right, but only to a point for in a personal sense they are wrong, for the overwhelming majority pushed for him to accept the popular and easy course, yet he stayed the course he felt predestined to. Let me give away one scene. In it the rugby team visits Robin Island where Mandela was imprisoned and the captain of the team, whose father is a confirmed apartheid believer, is deeply touched as he closes the door and stands in Mandela's cell. It reminded me of the old Indian saying, 'don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes.' Standing in that cell was a transforming moment as the captain
stood in Mandela's shoes, and I wondered how life changing transforming moments I've missed because I've consciously chosen not to stand, FOR BUT A MOMENT, in someone else's shoes? Loved the movie, and I might purchase the DVD, for I need to take the tme to watch it and make notes. Have a great day - its snowing again - and the good wife and eldest daughter will be going with me to the other side of the state to visit our youngest son and family. Look out grandkids here comes Gramp's and he's got company!! We'll probably eat at Pei Wei's, I love it there. Have a great day.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two Hearts The Same!

You're not going to believe this, because I wouldn't either if I hadn't experienced it and had our oldest daughter as witness. On our 37 Valentine Day as husband and wife, my wife and I got each other the SAME Valentine card ..... purchased at the same store! The only difference was her's came with a helium balloon, a free coffee ticket, and a little box of Russell Stover chocolates! Now we can't figure out how it goes, I'm becoming more like her or she's becoming more like me? ... probably the former would be better for both of us, either way its scary!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Toni who?

One of my dreams is one day to write something longer than a five minute blog entry. Something that challenges people, something that presents a fresh perspective on a well worn issue, something that demands a discipline of me that at the present I'm weak at. I'm always on the look-out for a subject that is obvious yet seems mostly undiscovered or written about. With that in mind I came across an article in the American Thinker that talked about an author whose works I've never read, but often read the remarks on the backs of her novels while perusing the book store aisles. I've noted that a number of nationally known book clubs have picked her novels for discussion. Though I've never read them I've always second guessed myself in not buying one, yet they have caught my attention briefly. I'm a sucker for unique titles and unusual stories so the afore mentioned critique drew me in. After reading the article I googled the author, Dr. Jeffrey Folks. I believe its as important to know as much about the one doing the assessment as the matter being examined. Dr. Folks, apparently is a Fulbright scholar with numerous literature contacts throughout the world, so I felt a bit better evaluating his concerns. I especially appreciated the fact that he used actual book sales as a measuring tool. AFter listing all the literary awards [plus Nobel prize] that Ms. Morrison had won he went on to say that actual readership of her works did not measure up to the significance/prestige/reputation of those awards. To those of you who are avid readers I would recommend this article where you could evaluate the author remarks on your own, I'll list it at the end of this piece. Now what did the article say to me, personally? You can have a lot of academic acclaim but if people aren't buying your work, or listening to your ideas what is its lasting value; am I writing just to impress others, that's certainly hedonistic; or am I actually seeking to learn something by having the feedback of others to evaluate my own writing by; or am I truly trying to pass on to others a little wisdom from my life experiences that might in some way encourage them to look for meanings in their own experiences? After reading this article, googling its author, and then reading the post comments I think I will pass on reading Ms.Morrison's works. A partial comment by someone nick-named Tess struck as a statement to be remembered in any writing venture I might one day cast out on was, '...the point of literature[writing] is that there are universal human experiences: joy, loss, success, failure, faith, anger, deception and reconciliation' around which the article is centered. The reason Morrison's books don't sell is that they do not have any redeeming [or what what might be considered 'universal'; doesn't the term universal include more than just one culture, or even more than just a couple?]transcendant themes, except redundant themes such as victimhood, defeatism, national guilt [thanks Dianor]. I like that concept of redeeming 'transcendant themes;' do I even post with that concept in mind? What a goal, that my pithy crib notes might aspire to have at least one 'transcendant theme.' Now I'm inspired, so I'm going to search for a redeeming 'transcendant theme' to scribble about - maybe Monday?

Stepping up to the Valentine plate!

Happy Valentine's Day! {I know its tomorrow, but hey how often am I early?] As I was again reading all the stories and myths about Valentines' day, some simple facts held my attention. First, there are over a billion Valentine cards purchased each year, second only to Christmas cards, that's a lot of cards and quite encouraging. Second, 85% of those cards are purchased by women! Now I was really down-hearted after hearing that ... come on men, where are you?! The heroic, life threatening actions taken by Saint Valentine in Rome should be enough to embarass any of us men who don't send valentine cards to our loved ones. I know that culture has ingrained in boys that its weak to show emotions, and recently its gone in the extreme to the other side, but in the middle there is a maturing mixture of romance and ruggedness. So I'm going to conclude this brief article and go to the store to purchase 6 cards: 1 for my wife, 1 for my mother, 1 for the good wife's mother, 2 for my daughters and 1 for my daughter-in-law. ....maybe a few chocolates here and there. I love it that no one in my family reads this blog so I don't have to keep secrets - I keep secrets too well, and what usually happens is, because of my faulty memory, my secrets quickly morph into mysteries! Well gotta go, catch ya later ... any men out there, 'got your valentine[s]? ... I'll meet you at State Grounds for a cup and we'll compare cards? they've also got balloons with little chocolates there.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Oldest Daughter Arrives II

Daughter One has arrived safely! We picked her up at the airport just as she was coming from the baggage area; she didn't know that only about ten minutes earlier her incoming flight had passed not far above us. As I said earlier we [rather the good wife] noting she was probably hungry asked her where she would like to eat. In the prior newsbrief I mentioned that my wife's choice would be a Japanese restaurant, and mine at a new Italian place, so here is how my wife phrases the question, 'Honey, we know you're hungry so would you like to eat at the Japanese Steak House or at another restaurant? Now Oldest Daughter has no idea what restaurants are in the area, and probably isn't really in any mood for any specific kind of cuisine, so the good wife's
mention of an exotic 'steak house' carried the day - big surprise!!

After walking past the carp pound and being seated the show is about to begin, orders are taken and tea distributed, then I note that sitting at our island is a young couple with two sons who have never been in a Japanese restaurant, so I'm thinking this is going to be fun. You should have seen their eyes when the usual 'onion volcano' is lighted, and then when it begins to smoke is nudged across the hot surface to the sound of a banging spatula, their father tells them this is a train .. this is fun. Of course every time the cooks asks us a question I have to interrup the intense mother-daughter conversation, and end up providing the answer myself. They order steak of course, and I order scallops and prawns, knowing that I'll be sharing them with my daughter who loves them, the good wife doesn't care for scallops and mildly tolerates shrimp - but this is a Japanese restaurant, right.

Overall the food is pretty good except I was a little troubled by the order in which it arrived [which may be why I haven't been there in a couple of years] and when I attempt to explain it later I'm give one of those 'who made you the expert' looks. I have absolutely no complaint on the rice, the scallops, the prawns. They were all delicious, and so was my ladies meat [God save the cook if it hadn't been]. My quibble is with the vege's [mushroom, bean sprouts, onions and zucchini]. I thought they were overdone, and they came last after we were almost completely done with our rice and meat. My reasoning is that the vege's should have come immediately after the rice, so that when the meat, fresh and warm comes, we can enjoy all of them together. The cook however was very attentive to they boys and this was good he even got a game of 'catch the shrimp' going around the island. Their oldest boy caught three shrimp in his mouth, their youngest caught one, and neither their father nor I, after many tries, was able to cough up one.

Leaving the restaurant I had to stop by Arnies for a few slices of Cheese Cake. The same restaurant my daughter insists we bring a whole Cheese cake from when we visit them in Alabama, and we do. Go figure, transporting a whole Cheese Cake from Southern Michigan [14 hrs] to Southern Alabama? ... and the grandkids devour it in 'world record time.' You have to grab fast to get a piece! Life is good.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oldest Daugher Arrives I

Late this afternoon our oldest daughter, from Alabama, should arrive in the Big City north on a big bird from Florida. She and her family only live an hour from my son-in-law's parents town in Florida that has a good size airport. It's stopped snowing here, so hopefully everything stays on schedule. I've begun to arrange some ways to already start spoiling her, got some 'special chocolate treats' and she gets her choice of where to eat in the big city before we return to our rural digs; mom is hoping she'll chose her favorite Japanese steak house, I'm voting for a new Italian resturant. This will be the fourth year she's been able to spend a week, alone by herself, with mom and dad since I had my stents put in in 2006. Its always a lot of fun, and one day we'll take her across state to visit her little brother and family; her other sister [and family] live ten hours away so we won't get to their house, beside they are in Upper New York and snowed in. ONe of the upsides to spoiling her is she likes 'nice' eating places, and so that means, we can't let her eat alone, and we get to introduce her to some fine Western Michigan cuisine! Of course there will be those 'mother-daugher' gigs in which I won't be invited, except to transport them to; but that's normal so I'll make the most of my time with her while mom works.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Souper-bowl loser!

This past Sunday night,at church, we held our annul Souper-bowl fellowship. In that fellowship we also have a 'home-made' soup cook off; and no surprise to anyone I finished last again. My asparagus, shrimp, mushroom noodle soup just didn't cut the taste test. I thought it was pretty good, but the good wife warned me that my penchant for making soups outside the box usually don't do well. The only year [over 15 years, two congregations] I won was when I fixed Jambalaya.
There was however a four-way tie up until the last vote between cheesy potato w/ham, Chicken Mullet Barley, cream of clam chowder and the winner Mushroom Beef barley! Now who in their right mind would pick those over asparagus, shrimp, and mushroom noodle - quite a few I guess.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Thursday, February 4, 2010


In adult bible study last night we talked about Jesus' beatitude, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit.' And just between the few of us that were gathered had a great discussion; almost everyone said they had never viewed limitations as a part of our creation by God, and further had not viewed them as invitations[opportunities] for God to work in our lives, and certainly had not viewed limitations as stepping stones to drawing closer to him. So here are some reasons we thought of why we should have a positive view of limitations. First, our limitations are constant reminders of who we are and who God is,[ie. Paul's thorn & Jacob's limp] limitations that if heeded will keep us from getting big-headed. Then we talked about limitations defining us; our limitations not only tell us where we are not equipped but also define where we are equipped so that we have a clearer picture of who we truly are. WE spent some time talking about how Satan tempted Eve so that she might become disgruntled with her limitations [which she was not aware of]and want to be 'like' God; then we discussed how Satan become furious in the wilderness because Jesus would not go beyond his human limitations but leaned on his Father, a perfect example to us. Limitations help us in being more spiritually specific in our prayers with God - limitations define for us our true needs as opposed to desires and wanting to be like someone else. This means that in order to accept who we are and truly love ourselves as Christ would have us to we have to first identify who we are. Limitations help us to find our niche in the body of Christ, are we a foot, an eye, an ear, etc...often when we look at our limitations in a negative light we hinder the body. Finally we talked about how our limitations are fertile ground of God's blessings and his working in our lives - he created us to be 'continuing projects,' and our limitations are the foundations he has already placed in our lives for his building, our maturing. We are 'created in his image,' sin however mares that image, but it does NOT destroy it, nor warp it beyond repair, that's what CHrist work on the cross did - his blood can wipe out that sin and the image can begin to be restored ..... ah, restoration can be such a longgggggggggggggg process,
but there's nothing in the world like 'becoming' whole, holy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

'Thanks God for my humanity!'

'The poorer you are the more Jesus will love you' -St.Therese of Lisieux[Little Flower]
What a tremendous statement, stopped me cold in my tracks as I was reading 'Souvenirs of Solitude' by my favorite author Brennan Manning. This statement came in chapter 11:
Really Human - Really Poor. Now I'm about as far from being a theologian as one can get, and perhaps some [probably should say 'all'] of you will find great disagreement with this article, but I welcome your remarks, just don't labor yourselves with thinking I will agree; but disagreeable agreeable exchange of thoughts is always welcome in my book. Manning goes on to say, 'To be poor in spirit means to cling to your impoverished humanity and to have nothing to brag about before God.'[p.87] I've got the apostle Paul agreeing so far. I love it, I love it. For so long I've wearied of theologians telling us we should reject our humanity, that we are earth sucking worms before God. Now I am the first to agree about the great gulf that divides us, but its not insurmontable to God. I keep thinking God created us and he doesn't waste his time making junk. He loved[loves] us so much, even in our sinful state, he gave his son to die for us, so how about we stop minimizing the price. He became one of us, should have seen this one coming, theologians will be quick to point out 'he was without sin,' I'll give you that because its scrptural truth but Jesus never mentioned how discouraged he was because he was human or how lowly he felt because he had become flesh. Manning goes on to say, 'Of course, the Evil One gets upset when we cling to our humanness. He was very distressed in the desert w/Jesus for this very reason. He wanted Jesus to renounce his poverty, his humanness. Satan already knew that when Jesus accepted the poverty of the human conditin, the saga of salvation history was moving towards its climax. Jesus held nothing back, clung to nothing, permitted nothing to shield him - even his true origin. [Php. 2:6-7] p.87 Jesus emptied himself, not of his humanity but his divinity - and Satan was furious! Satan despises the poverty of humanness because when it casts its poverty upon Christ we are filled. My LIMITATIONS are INVITATIONS are invitations to become more like Christ. My LIMITATIONS make me more compassionate, my limitation remind me that I am no better than anyone else, my LIMITATIONS remind me that it is his love, his strength that help me to achieve his plan in my life. Well, I'm getting to passionate, and probably sound like I'm rambling on ........... but this chapter has addressed a many many years searching come to an end. I'll close with a quote from this same
chapter:'Sin does not magnify the suffering of man's plight; instead it mitigates it. When I sin, I seek an escape from my humanity. I used to say to myself, 'well you're only human!' But sin does not make me more human; it compromises my humanity.' [my being made in His image]p.89 Thanks Brennan.

Monday, February 1, 2010

'Good night - Sleep tight'

Picked up the good wife this past Sunday night from her visit to Naples Florida. She had a great time with her little sister there and on the way home from Indy we celebrated with supper at STone Creek Dining Company. If you feel inclined to see their menu you can find it at It was delicious, I had a broiled Seafood Combo - two jmbo shrimp, three scallops, one fantastic crab cake and a Mahi-Mahi filet - plus a baked potato and the chef's choice of vegetables. ONe of the best meals I've ever had .. literally. The seasoning on everything left nothing to be desired; and I have eaten at some pretty fancy places both in/out of the good ole U.S.. The house salad was excellent with Cranberry-Poppy Seed dressing. The good wife had her usual filet mignon. NOW, as Saturday started to wind down at mom's house [after a day of shopping, and running little errands for her friend and family members -one was a trip to the Emergency Room] we settled down to watch a 1960's, black and white Lawrence Welk show. I'll list some songs [many which mom and grandma knew] and some of the band leaders they honored. SONGS: 'Minnie had a heart as big as a whale,' 'Dream', 'O, Johnny O,' 'I had a date with an angel, now I'm on my way to heaven,' 'Lets Dance' and they closed with their theme song 'Good night and sleep tight.' MUSICIANS HONORED: Tommy Dorsey, Louie Armstrong, Fred Miller, Les Brown and The Reknowns, Fred Warring & The Pennsylvanians, Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Arron Thatcher, and Fredy Martin. I missed some of the songs and musicians but you catch the jest of it. During the first part of the show there was a giant GERITOL sign behind the Orchestra - then the second half the sign said SOMINEX. Now that I think about it the music and signs were more closely linked that perhaps anyone realized?! My 96yrs. old Grandma told me that Lawrence Welk's biggest sponsor was DODGE; but by the time they sponsored the show it was going to color and advertising had advanced to a new stage without signs in the background. There was a live interview with an old LW trumpet player Rocky Rockwell, following the program. Rocky was born in St.Joe, Missouri and attend McKinley H.S. when his music teacher Mrs. Sharp wanted to start an orchestra. She needed a trumpet play so Rocky volunteered never having played a trumpet; he told his father and his father went to a local pawn shop and purchased a trumpet for $5. LW first heard Rocky when Rocky was playing on KMMJ radio, and liked what he heard and asked Rocky to also sing a song for him - LW ended up inviting Rocky to play in his 'big-time' band! Rocky also mentioned a Frog Hop Ballroom with manager Tom Archer. It was a great trip back into the past and my mother[and grandma] both loved it, and I loved going back there with them.