Archive for the ‘yesterday’ Category


bugler_monmentBEAT! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows—through doors—burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation;
Into the school where the scholar is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet—no happiness must he have now with his bride;
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, plowing his field or gathering his grain;
So fierce you whirr and pound, you drums—so shrill you bugles blow.

Beat! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Over the traffic of cities—over the rumble of wheels in the streets:
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? No sleepers must sleep in those beds;
No bargainers’ bargains by day—no brokers or speculators—Would they continue?
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums—you bugles wilder blow.

Beat! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley—stop for no expostulation;
Mind not the timid—mind not the weeper or prayer;
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man;
Let not the child’s voice be heard, nor the mother’s entreaties;
Make even the trestles to shake the dead, where they lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump, O terrible drums—so loud you bugles blow.

–Walt Whitman


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patrickmcgoohanVeteran actor Patrick McGoohan died yesterday after a short illness. He was 80 years old.

McGoohan starred in many movies and television programs including “Danger Man”, “The Prisoner”, “Colombo”, “A Time to Kill”, and “Braveheart.” He won two Emmys for his work on “Colombo”. But I remember him most vividly for his portrayal of English country parson Dr. Syn, and his alter ego, the Scarecrow.

I don’t think any movie had a more profound effect on my childhood life than “Dr. Syn alias The Scarecrow”. drsynIt is the story of soft-spoken Dr. Syn, vicar of England’s Dymchurch parish. By night Dr. Syn becomes the Scarecrow, a masked smuggler outlaw determined to thwart governmental tyranny. The year is 1736; the heavy toll of King George III’s taxes has come down on the peasants of southern England. In desperation they turn to the mysterious Scarecrow and his band of smugglers to provide them with their daily bread.scarecrow_2

To me it was the ultimate story of good verses evil. A tale of a man of God who was not afraid to fight on earth; the perfect blend of faith and works. I remember watching that movie with my brother over and over again, so many times that I can still sing the entire theme song from memory 25 years later. I remember the thrill of watching the Scarecrow ride on horseback across the marshes pursued by the King’s redcoats, only to escape at the last minute. No super powers. No magic spells. Just right battling might, with a healthy dose of daring do.

Rest in peace Dr. Syn. Ride on Scarecrow.

Cross-posted to Facebook.

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