Saturday, 18 May 2013

Connor, a friend, was beaten up.

Connor - is one of the fabulous young people from my  St. James's Cambridge days. He was beaten up on Friday night.

Connor's Mum (Tess Pope) writes this regarding what happened:

"And so summer begins. At the ER with Connor until 5 a.m. A joke about the relative merits of one exam school over another can lead to this? 5 kids kicking Connor in the head???

What is the mind set here? How do you justify kicking another person in the head? Or being part of a group of 5 kicking 1 person in the head? The kids who did this were not lacking in privilege or opportunity, most of them growing up in West Roxbury."


Connor on the E.R. after having been beaten up on Friday .
All violence is rotten, but it seems to be more awful when it is inflicted upon a person for whom you care deeply (jmp)

I called Connor this afternoon.  He is in good spirits, but his body is hurting.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

"Brothers .... " a fabulous book by George Howe Colt.

There are five Povey brothers who are the sons of Henry John Povey and Evelyn Maud Finch of Bristol, U.K..

I, John Michael, am the oldest of the five (born 1944)
Then came Andrew (1950), David (1951), Stephen (1952), and Martyn (1954).

(We also have four sisters).

The older I get the more I realise that I love my four brothers dearly, if not equally.  I cannot imagine growing up without brothers.

So it is little wonder that I was drawn to a book published in 2012 by Scribner (a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.)

The book is “Brothers  ---   George Howe Colt On His Brothers and  Brothers in History”.
Lord above I loved this book and I highly recommend it.

It tells a wondrous tale of George, his older brother Harry, and their younger brothers Ned and Mark, who grew up in Dedham, MA, Darien CT. and then back in Dedham.

It’s a tender and honest tale of sibling brothers who in youth are rivals, allies, competitors, protectors and antagonists, and in middle age become “best friends”,

George Colt interweaves his family story with fascinating accounts of other brothers:

          1 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (who founded a holistic medicine sanatorium in Battle Creek, MI) and his younger brother Will Keith.

John Harvey Kellogg treated Will Keith Kellogg as a peon in the Sanatorium. But it was Will Keith who in middle age broke away from his older brother, and established the famous “W.K. Kellogg” breakfast cereal company.


The Booth brothers, sons of the eccentric Junius Brutus Booth.

 The sons were  Junius Booth Jr. who has all but been forgotten;  Edwin Booth – the most famous and admired Shakespearean actor in 19thc. America -  then  John Wilkes Booth: – a fabulous actor.... (who is remembered chiefly because he was President Lincoln’s assassin.)


Colt writes at length about the Marx Brothers: Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Gummo and Zepoo – with their lives, loves, debaucheries  anf  rivalries – and their tender affection for each other.

Colt tells about so many other brothers: viz Henry David Thoreau and his older brother John, or Vincent van Gogh and his older brother Theo van Gogh.

George Colt’s book is fabulous. I recommend it without reserve.  Please borrow at your local Library (as I did), or buy it at your local bookstore (or via Amazon).

(George’s brother Ned should be very well known.  See:

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A spammer warns me about spam!

I received the following e-mail today (together with a return e-mail address)

"I am David williams(Special Agent FBI)working in conjunction with The Unied Nations and The world Bank on compensation of internet scam victims around the globe,pls do contact me if you are a victim of scam

Thank You.

David Williams"

"David Williams"  must think that I am stupid.

Indeed I can be stupid.  

That's not to say that I am gullible!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Humour at the polling place.

This morning I took myself to a local Church which was the site for voting in Sarasota's Precinct 125.  We have a run-off election for two City Commissioners.

I didn't notice that there were two registration places, arranged according to the first letter of the voter's last name.

The registering Clerk look at my photo' I.D. -  then, realising that I was at the wrong desk she said

"Oh, you'll have to go to P".

There was a split second of silence, then the whole room erupted into laughter.  The Clerk had a very red face.

Monday, 13 May 2013

May in SRQ

In our Spring.

No daffs or tulips.

No lilacs.

No hyacinths.

But we do have a plant which for most of the year looks like some dead stalks, but which produces lovely flowers at this time.of the year,

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Episcopalians join Mother's Day Walk for Peace

Readers in countries other than the United States may not be familiar with one of the origins of the American celebration of Mother’s Day, (not to be confused with Mothering Sunday).  

Around 1870, (soon after the end of the Civil War) Julia Ward Howe called for a Mother's Day to be celebrated each year to encourage pacifism and disarmament amongst women. It continued to be held in Boston for about ten years under her sponsorship, but died out after that.  

For more about Julia Ward Howe see:

Peace was at the heart of that early observance of Mother’s Day.

Thus it was that in Boston The Mother’s Day Walk for Peace” began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence; over the years, it has become a way for the wider community to show a commitment to peace and financially support the work of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.

According to Boston.Com thousands of folks participated in the walk this year. 

Among them were some 650 Episcopalians, walking  in part to honour the memory of  Jorge Fuentes a nineteen year old member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (Boston) who was gunned down in September 2012, and in part to work against violence in the City.

Some of my friends were part of the Boston walk today

The Revd Kim Hardy

Massachusetts Sate Rep. Byron Rushing (he with the super beard and great smile)

Manny Faria (rector at St. Peter's Beverly MA, and formerly my curate in Pittsfield) with the BoSox  cap and the clerical collar, and Claire Thompson (BSafe tee shirt, black pants and super smile). Claire is married to Bob Thompson, who in turn is the brother of my wonderful Sarasota friend - Ron Thompson.

Bishop Gayle Harris and the Revd. Kim Hardy.

Massachusetts Bishop Tom Shaw SSJE in the walk.  Bishop Shaw is an Episcopal Monk as well as being a Bishop - hence his garb.

My beloved and admirable Bishop Barbara C Harris - the first female Bishop in the Anglican Communion.

For information about another “root” of Mother’s Day by Ann Reeves Jarvis, and especially by her daughter Ann see: