Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Maybe not everyone has heard

I wrote a column last week about how newspapers helped spread the word about the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

As proud as I was of that achievement, apparently the word still hasn’t gotten to everyone.

A colleague of mine, who works part-time as a supermarket cashier, told me about something that happened on the Fourth of July, Independence Day.

As he rang up some groceries, a girl of about 10 asked her mother why the Fourth of July was so important. The mom told her daughter that it was a holiday — and seemed to be struggling with even a non-specific answer.

The little girl pressed the issue, though, asking what made the day special.

“It’s the day we won our independence from …”

And her mother’s answer just trailed off. The woman looked at my friend the cashier and asked “Who did we win our independence from?”

“England,” he said, in shock and disbelief.

Mom gave him a weak smile and said, “It’s been a long time.”

He wasn’t sure whether she meant it was a long time since she’d studied history in school or a long time since 1776.

The encounter saddened my colleague. It saddened me, as well.

But before I could let the exchange fade away, I took a second volley.

I was editing copy for the paper and website and ran across one writer’s statement that on the Fourth of July, we celebrate the signing of the Constitution in 1776.

I was flabbergasted.

Here, I was, thinking I’d have some fun, praising 18th century newspapers for helping get out the word of the impending revolution and imagining how such an achievement would be covered in modern times.

I guess we probably could benefit from media hoopla, after all. Because I suspect that mother, who didn’t know from whom we won our independence, would know all about the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” or “Jersey Shore.” Sheesh.

I have bemoaned the fact before that some kids these days are taught the concept of spelling — they don’t have to spell a word correctly, just demonstrate they have some notion of how it’s spelled.

Now I’m going to begin worrying about how history is taught.

Sure, I admit, I don’t remember all the history I’ve been taught, although I have a penchant for unusual history, little-known history, probably thanks to Brother Gregory, my sophomore history teacher in high school. He used to illustrate what we were learning from the book with little anecdotes that were absolutely fascinating. Tidbits such as the name of Sacagewea’s baby’s name (Pont; although named Jeanne Baptiste, he was called Pont by all the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition.)

When I lived in Old City Philadelphia, I made a point of learning the secret history of my neighborhood: That no one really knows in which house in the 200 block of Arch Street Betsy Ross actually lived (this jottle of information almost got me banned from the Betsy Ross House); where the first store with a display window was (2nd and Market,); where the illegal speakeasies were in the 1770s (along Front Street, some of them in caves.)

So, maybe I don’t remember all the details about history, but I’d like to think I keep track of the most important ones — especially those concerned with the creation of my country.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Well, it's been quite a while since I've posted here. That's mainly because I have devoted so much time to my own Web site — — and my MySpace page .

But I realize now I should maintain this blog, as well.

So I will be adding new posts and materials here in the near future — please stay tuned.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Brand spankin' new Web site!

I finally pulled the trigger and got my own domain and Web site.

I'd like you to visit me here. Please bookmark the site, because I'll be keeping it updated with songs, photos, news and my gig schedule. It has just about everything, so I'll be using this spot less and less for music and more for other things, the newspaper column, whatever.

When you get over to the new site, please sign my Guest Book, let me know you visited, and sign up for the mailing list to get regular updates.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Heeeeeeere's the band!

The very talented folks pictured below will be backing me up at EmJay's Café this Friday, Jan. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m.

You won't want to miss this special performance!

Eileen Cain and Rich Snyder

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Ed McCaffrey and Greg Potter

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Here comes 2007!

I'll be starting off the new year with a Jan. 12 performance at EmJay's Café.

Hopefully, we'll kick off the music at 7 p.m. I'm going to do a solo set, then some friends will be joining me behind the microphones — on guitars, bass and drums. These players are really good, so the music could sound really good — even if we don't really know what the hell we're doing!

I will be back at EmJay's on Friday, Feb. 2.

Welcome to The Roadkill Café

Wrote a new song just before Christmas that ought to be a big hit at the East Coast Vulture Festival in March. It's called "Welcome to The Roadkill Café." (You can get a preview on Jan. 12 at EmJay's.)

What some critics have said...

Back in the old days, I worked with performers such as Tammy Wynette, Mel Tillis, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tom Rush, David Amram, Eric Anderson, Livingston Taylor, John Denver, Emmy Lou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Asleep At The Wheel, Penn & Teller and Patti Smith.

Here's what some music writers had to say:

"Soon to be big Jim's folk abilities are far superior to anything going down in the area."

"The show was opened by one of the few Philly performers talented enough to open for Asleep At The Wheel."

"Jim's poignant tunes and incredible deliveries make you smile and tap your toes like no other performer..."

"Jim Six specializes in sardonic lyrics, gutsy vocalizing and witty, relaxing stage patter..."

"Jim Six is destined to make it big. He makes manifest a songwriting ability that's right up there with Willie Nelson and John Prine."

The owner of a major venue in Georgia said "Jim Six is one of the five best singer/writers in country music."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Well, that's it for this year!

Well, the last gig of the year at EmJay's has come and gone. It was a small but most loyal crowd and I got to try out a new song I've written and two new cover songs I'd been working on.

Stay tuned for a new date at EmJay's in January and don't forget the East Coast Vulture Festival on March 3 in Wenonah.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Get your tickets now!