Category Archives: Memorial

Oklahoma City

Field of ChairsOklahoma City, April 19, 1995.

In a matter of seconds, hundreds of families around Oklahoma were racked with tragedy and horror, all in the name of unspeakable vengeance by a madman. Timmothy McVeigh, seeking revenge on the Government and FBI for the Waco Seige and the 1992 Ruby Ridge incident, parked a Ryder rental truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The cargo area held three- 55 gal drums of an explosive mixture of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, nitromethane, and diesel fuel.

McVeigh walked away and at 9:02 am the bomb detonated on the north side of the nine story building devastating the whole facade in a mass of collapsed metal, concrete and steel.

In the wake of the bombing 168 were confirmed dead including 19 children from the America’s Kid’s Day Care Center.

It was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The first time I visited the OKC Memorial was on Sunday, September 16, 2001. I had been on the west coast during the Word Trade Center attack and drove back east because of the airplane grounding.

The fenced area on the west side of the memorial was adorned with hundreds of 9-11 messages in rememberance of the attack. It is one of the most touching places I have ever visited.

The photo above is an image of The Field of Empty Chairs.


Field of Empty Chairs:

168 empty chairs hand-crafted from glass, bronze, and stone represent those who lost their lives, with a name etched in the glass base of each. They sit on the site where the Murrah Building once stood. The chairs represent the empty chairs at the dinner tables of the victims’ families. The chairs are arranged in nine rows to symbolize the nine floors of the building; each person’s chair is on the row (or the floor) on which the person worked or was located when the bomb went off. The chairs are also grouped according to the blast pattern, with the most chairs nearest the most heavily damaged portion of the building. The westernmost column of five chairs represents the five people who died but were not in the Murrah Building (two in the Water Resources Board building, one in the Athenian Building, one outside near the building, and one rescuer). The 19 smaller chairs represent the children killed in the bombing. Three unborn children died along with their mothers, and they are listed on their mothers’ chairs beneath their mothers’ names.

(From OKC Memorial Wiki)[/box]

Dick Clark

Dick ClarkRock and Roll icon, 82-year-old Dick Clark, long-time host of American Bandstand host and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” died Wednesday morning.

According to family sources, Clark suffered a massive heart attack after entering St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica Tuesday night for an outpatient procedure.

Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful.

Clark suffered a stroke in 2004, which forced him to significantly curtail his hosting of “New Years’ Rockin’ Eve,” a show he created in 1972.

This is my salute to Dick Clark on my Rock and Roll Saturday, Dec 31, 2011.  New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Dick Clark.


A Night to Remember


“We have stuck iceburg sinking fast
come to our assistance”

Distress call from RMS TITANIC 11:55 PM Position Lat. 41.46 N Long. 50.14 W
At 2:20 a.m, April 15, 1912, RMS Titanic sank in the frigid Atlantic
waters off Nova Scotia – 1,517 people lost their lives that
early morning in the worst maritime disaster ever.
May we never forget the lessons of the past and the hope of tomorrow.


Remembering Freddie Mercury

Freddies DeadNovember 24, 1991, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury died from complications of HIV. He was 45 years-old.

Mercury may be the most enigmatic talent and flamboyant character to ever pick up a microphone. His mastery of song and the range of his voice solidified the Queen singer’s spot among in Rock and Roll royalty. His was the purest voice and when he sang it was like the heavens had come to call.

Born Farrokh Bulsara, September 5, 1946, in Stone TownZanzibar, Mercury spent the bulk of his childhood in India. He began playing the piano at age seven.

In the midst of the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, the Bulsara family fled India and settled in Middlesex, UK. Mercury enrolled at Isleworth Polytechnic (now West Thames College) in West London where he studied art. He ultimately earned a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College, later using these skills to design the Queen crest. Mercury remained a British citizen for the rest of his life.

In April of 1970, Freddie Mercury joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor to form the band that would become Queen. Shortly after the trio recruited bassist John Deacon and Queen was complete.

Throughout their years Queen released a total of 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and 10 number one DVDs, and have sold over 150 million albums, with some estimates in excess of 300 million albums, making them one of the world’s best selling artists.

Mercury’s songwriting credits include:

Bohemian Rhapsody
Seven Seas of Rhye
Killer Queen
Somebody to Love
Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
We Are the Champions
Bicycle Race
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Play the Game
Don’t Stop Me Now

Queen’s performance at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1985, is regarded by many in music from artists to recording executives as the greatest live performances in the history of rock. Freddie Mercury led the throng of 72,000 to join him in song and for 20 minutes electrified the massive crowd.

It’s been 20 years since Freddie Mercury set off for the great gig in the sky. He left a void in music that has yet to be filled.

When I’m dead, I want to be remembered as
a musician of some worth and substance.
— Freddie Mercury


Visiting the OKC Memorial – 9/11

April 19, 1995 –

Homegrown terrorist Timothy McVeigh parked a Ryder truck carrying 7,000 pounds of homemade bomb at the service drop off entrance along N.W. 5th street adjacent to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma city.

He walked away.

Three minutes later at 9:02 am the bomb detonated and tore the full northern exterior of the building away from the structure.

On the second floor of the building was the America’s Kids Child Development Center. The explosive destruction did not discriminate. For many death was swift.

For friends and family pain lingers. An insane act tore apart families and left a void where days before there had been joy and unity.

We made the pilgrimage yesterday to the OKC Bombing Memorial to pay respects for the attacks of September 11.

I took the above picture in the Field of Empty Chairs. By one of the small chairs signifying one of the children who died in the blast, someone had left this little white angel bear. This particular chair honors then one year old miss Baylee Almon. She would be 17.

So as I absorb the vastness of this tragedy and the September 11 attacks, I couldn’t help but put a face on the human condition. The face of little Baylee Almon and the life that might have been.

OKC Bombing Memorial

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001

Graphic by Kelly Jensen-Mullins

I remember.

I remember that morning.

I was out west—Hayward, CA.

In my hotel room that morning I turned on the TV a little after flight 11 crashed into the north tower.

I watched with horror a few minutes later as flight 175 slammed into the south tower, 2 WTC.

I knew instantly our lives would be inexplicably changed forever.

That day is seared into my memory. I was out there to teach a software product but nobody was in a learning frame of mind. We were all shell-shocked from the tragedy unfolding on the east coast.

All aircraft within the continental U.S. were grounded, and aircraft already in flight were told to land immediately.

All international civilian aircraft were either turned back or redirected to airports in Canada or Mexico, and all international flights were banned from landing on U.S. soil for three days. The whole week was a nightmare come true.

The travel agency couldn’t get me back to Tennessee so that Thursday I set out on a west to east drive from Hayward, CA, to Nashville, TN.

I stopped that Sunday in Oklahoma City and visited the recently opened bombing memorial. The memorial fence along the western promenade was already adorned with messages, memorials and memories from the World Trade Center attacks.

September 11 Lights

September 11 Lights

So ten years later, where are we.

Operational mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammedsits in New Yark awaiting trial after transfer from Guantanamo Bay.

Al-Qaeda founder and spiritual leader Osama bin Laden was killed by a Seal Team 6 operative at the fugitives Pakistan compound on May 2, 2011.

U.S. President George W. Bush responded to the attacks with harsh military responses in Afghanistan, driving the Taliban and Al-Qaeda deep into mountain hideouts. He orchestrated another military incursion into Iraq. The U.S. continues to maintain a significant military presence in both countries.

And me—I’ll never forget the day our lives changes forever.

I’m going to the Oklahoma City memorial today to pay my respects.

Goodbye Jack Lalanne

At 96 years old Jack Lalanne was in better physical condition than many people half his age. In spite of his general good health, he died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia Sunday afternoon at his home in Morro Bay on California’s central coast. According to his agent and friend, Rick Hersh, Lalanne ate healthy and exercised every day of his life, right up until the end.

As a child I remember watching my mother exercising in front of the television to the Jack Lalanne show in the late fifties or early sixties. Born in San Francisco, Calif. in 1914, LaLanne opened his own health spa in Oakland, Calif. in 1936. He hosted TV’s “The Jack LaLanne Show” from 1951-1985.

Jack Lalanne - January 1942

“I feel you have have three ages: your chronological age (your actual age), your physical age (how you feel today), and your psychological age (how your feel mentally),” LaLanne once wrote in his book “Revitalize Your Life After 50.” “Like wine, you should be able to improve with age.”

When interviewed by Katie Couric, then hosting NBC’s Today’s show, LaLanne said his two simple rules of nutrition are: “if man made it, don’t eat it”, and “if it tastes good, spit it out.” He often said, “I cannot afford to die, it will ruin my image.”

Jack Lalanne is survived by his wife of 51 years, Elaine Lalanne, who said, “I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could ever hope for.”


“I don’t care how old I live; I just want to be LIVING while I am living!” ~Jack Lalanne