Monday, June 6, 2011

Come Monday...The Fresh Air Fund

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of, or commentary about,  websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time.  Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.”  This is subject to change, however.  In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while.  For rants promote change, and change can be good—right?  Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

I can’t recall just exactly when, but I distinctly remember a kid (around my same age at the time) in a television show having no idea where milk came from, other than the store on the corner down the block from he lived in Brooklyn (I think). I thought that was about the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. For even if he had of never been out in the country, there were plenty of books with information about that sort of thing.

Since then, I have been shown that there is a big difference between reading about something and actually experiencing it in person, which is where [The Fresh Air Fund] comes to the rescue. For they seek to make it possible for thousands of children from New York City to see what life is like outside of the concrete jungle that have been raised in.

If you believe that this is a worthy cause, you can help in a number of ways. Becoming a host family would do the most good, of course.

No, you don’t have to be living on a working farm. For just getting out of the inner city can do wonders. Please take the Brandon Mendoza story for an example.

Yes, times are tough. Nonetheless, becoming host family is another example of where a little can go a long, long way towards changing a person’s life. Hey, it might even be your own life? For these kids have a lot to give, as well.

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  1. I had to laugh at this - the thought of going to camp or to the country appalled me when I was a kid. I grew up in Queens, NYC - in a suburban like area - single family homes, front yards back yards, trees to climb, city-type playground with swings and see-saws and skully boxes painted on the ground. Played stickball in the street in front of the house where there was little or no traffic and yet 3 blocks away was Hollis Avenue with much traffic and stores.

    My brother went to boy scout camp and church camp - I never wanted to go and no one ever asked if I wanted to go - so win-win there.

    But I do remember seeing these advertisements and wondering why anyone would want to to that!

    I'm a weird person, I know, I know.

  2. I can't imagine living in a concrete world. I have aunts and uncles with farms and it's always been a part of my life. I think every kid should get to experience both worlds.

  3. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Grace!!! Well, I can't blame you for wanting to stay put. On the other hand, if you had of been living in one of those housing projects that can been seen from I-95 in the Bronx(?) up towards the Connecticut line, you might have wanted to escape for at least a little while, and I am sure that there are worse parts to hope to survive deeper in the inner city.

  4. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Ann!!! One of the most interesting conversations I ever had while I was trucking was with the shipping/receiving manager of a business that was located literally in the shadow of Yankee Stadium (when the sun was right, of course). As I looked out at how run-down most the buildings were within sight, I started out with a, "No offense," and then I asked him how people could live in such place. He answered by asking me where I was from, and I told him about our (my third wife and I's) little place about a mile outside of Bethlehem, MO, which is a town that consists of a feed mill, a church and two houses, which is located 10 miles from the nearest gas station. After I told him about all of that, it was his turn to shake his head in disbelief. For he said that he could get anything that he could ever want within 5 blocks of where we standing, and that he (along with most of the residents in the area) would be scared to death to live in such an isolated area, which I did not consider to be isolated at all.

    So, I suppose the moral of the story is that it all depends upon what we get used to. Nonetheless, it is almost always good to experience new things.

  5. Thanks for stopping by again, Life Moto!!!

  6. Actually I did live in the projects in the Bronx for a time - in a 14 story apartment building and on rainy days we would have elevator races. Across the street was a huge city playground and just down the block from there was the marble factory - a place where they churned out those Beethoven busts folks put on their pianos. My school was another block or two after the factory and just behind the school was the Bond bread factory...There was expanses of lawn with low chain fences and we played on them even tho we weren't supposed to. When we moved to Queens we were not thrilled at all. It was a longer walk to school and on rainy days no one to play with because all the kids stayed in their own houses...I grant you it was the early 50's and things were not as desolate as they are now but still...I spent my childhood plotting and planning to get back to the "city". And every where I lived there were always trees and gardens and flowers and birds - one apartment I had not only looked out over gardens but the Empire State Building. Philadelphia is the first place I have ever lived where there is no sign of greenery and gardens. I've always said I was a city girl but there are cities and then there are cities. I've lived in a rural area with cows next door and quite frankly I became suicidal after a few months. It was not for me just as the city I currently live in is also not for me.

  7. Yes, there is nothing wrong with being a city kid, and after I started traveling all over this country in a truck, I quickly learned that there are really good people all over--even in NYC! In fact, two of the finest people I have ever met told me that they had never been more than five miles from where I met them on a street in Brooklyn, and they were both well into their 70's. I even got to met some really good people in different parts of Philly, but I have also seen some areas there that I would not like to have to be in after dark. Hey, if you want to meet some mean people, go to Chicago. Maybe it was just me rubbing them the wrong way, but I always felt a lot more welcome in both NYC and Philly than I ever did up there, even out in the suburbs.


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