“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.”
Edgar Bergen (1903-1978)
While this quote is variously attributed to Milan Kundera, Steven Wright, and others, the earliest citation I could find was from Bergen, who was born in Michigan, but spent much of his youth in Sweden. After his family returned to the United States, he taught himself ventriloquism and got his start in vaudeville, where he, and his dummy/alter ego Charlie McCarthy were discovered by radio producers for the Chase and Sanborn Hour. Even though the talents of a ventriloquist are harder to appreciate on the radio, the duo became big stars for their self-deprecating and often incisive humor, played against other well-known figures of the era such as Mae West and W.C. Fields. Bergen successfully made the transition to television and continued to work in the nightclub circuit until three days before he died. The beautiful and talented Candace Bergen is his daughter.
“If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact – not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.”
Shimon Peres (1923- )
Born in Poland, Peres’s family moved to Palestine in 1934. Raised on a kibbutz, he entered politics through an agriculturalist party and with his mentor David Ben-Gurion was one of the people who created the state of Israel in the 40’s. By 1952, at the age of 29, he was Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, the youngest person to hold that post. Elected to the Knesset in 1959, he spent the rest of his life in the Israeli government as, sequentially, Minister of Defense, Transportation, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister. He was instrumental in the Oslo Peace Accords with the PLO, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. He served as the 9th President of Israel from 2007 to 2014, the oldest serving head of state. Barack Obama recognized him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
“It’s hard to feel sad when you are being useful.”
Louis C. K. (1967- )
A Washington, D. C. native, C. K. uses the initials in place of his birth name, Szekely, as they approximate its Hungarian pronunciation. His family moved to Mexico City when he was an infant and then to Newton, Massachusetts when he was seven. He is perhaps best known for his highly-regarded comedy show “Louie”, on FX, but he has been a writer for Chris Rock, David Letterman, and Conan O’Brien as well as writing and directing several films and shorts, and appearing in many movies and television shows. He began his career as a stand-up comedian at an open-mic night in Boston, and now tours widely, and has innovated direct-to-consumer ticket sales, bypassing Ticketmaster and other large, controlling middlemen. C. K. has won five Emmy Awards and a Grammy. He is divorced from Alix Bailey and has two children.
“Many of our prayers were not answered, and for this we are now grateful.”
William Feather (1889-1981)
A native of upstate New York, Feather moved to Cleveland as a teenager and graduated from Western Reserve University in 1910. He was a reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer for several years before starting The William Feather Magazine with a friend who owned a print shop. He later married Ruth Presley and borrowed against her inheritance to buy out the friend. As sole owner and publisher, he used the magazine to gain a national reputation as a “benevolent iconoclast” writing on business, taxation, and philosophy. He often sparred verbally with H. L. Mencken on issues such as a flat tax and advantages for businessmen. He remained editor of the magazine until his death at 92.
February 14, 2015
“The one thing a creator can bring to the table when everybody else has all the money and power, is centeredness and the ability to walk away. Never sit at a table you can’t walk away from.”
Joseph H. “Joss” Whedon (1964- )
The grandson, son and brother of screenwriters, Whedon is perhaps best known as the creator of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, although he also co-wrote Toy Story, and is the co-founder of the production companies Bellwether and Mutant Enemy. He wrote and directed The Avengers, the third highest grossing film of all time. Through his collaborations with Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios he created several series of graphic novels and sequential films sharing a common “universe” and themes centering on feminism, anti-authoritarianism, existentialism, and the importance of community. Winner of the Emmy and Saturn Awards, Whedon created the sci-fi cult-classic Firefly series and its follow-on movie Serenity.
“When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.”
Henry J. Kaiser (1882-1967)
The son of a New York shoemaker, Kaiser started a construction company on the west coast which quickly became among the largest through his innovative use of heavy machinery, and participated in the building of the Hoover and Grand Coulee dams. At the outbreak of World War II, Kaiser established ship yards to build hundreds of Liberty ships in record breaking time, switching from riveting to welding, introducing mass production techniques, and earning himself the title “The Father of American Ship Building.” An classic industrialist of the first water, Kaiser also founded an aluminum company, a steel company, and a car company and was among the first to offer his workforce health care and credit unions (Kaiser Permanente). A large part of the fortune he amassed is now administered by the non-profit, non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation which supports health care research.
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”
Havelock Ellis (1859-1939)
Born in Britain to a sea-going family, Ellis spent many of his teen age years in Australia before returning to England to study medicine. In 1897 he published Sexual Inversion, the first book to study homosexuality and transgender issues objectively and without moral judgment. He was an active social reformer and president of the influential Galton Society which promoted eugenics, an attempt to improve human traits through controlled reproduction, later so discredited by the Nazis. His early studies on autoeroticism and narcissism prefigured those of Sigmund Freud. He was married to Edith Lees, an avowed lesbian, but they lived apart, and he himself complained of impotence for most of his life.
“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”
Lou Holtz (1937- )
Best known as a football coach and motivational speaker, Holtz is a West Virginia native who had a brief career as a player at Kent State. Famously quick witted, his inspirational abilities have allowed him to hold head coaching positions at six different academic institutions and to compile a 249-132-7 record. Although hired by Notre Dame with a lifetime contract, it is rumored that he was forced to retire before he broke Knute Rockne’s record of 105 wins with that team. He is a commentator for ESPN and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. A long-time Republican, he frequently appears on Fox News, but also donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 effort.
Dear Friends and Family,
I thought you might like to know that Gloucester filmmaker Dennis Lanson’s fine documentary about the organ we (C.B. Fisk) built at Harvard University will be shown on WGBH Channel 2 at five o’clock on Sunday, January 11.
It’s called “To Hear the Music,” and it not only follows the construction and installation of our Opus 139 at Harvard’s Memorial Church, but also looks back at the 54 year history of our unique Gloucester company, and at the life of Charles Fisk, our founder and mentor.
Here’s a link to the trailer, and other info as well.
Please help us get the word out by forwarding this on to folks you know who might be interested.
Best wishes for the new year,
Gregory R Bover
V.P. Operations, Project Manager
C. B. Fisk, Inc.
“It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.”
Isaac Asimov (1920?-1992)
Born in Russia, Isaak Yudovich Ozimov immigrated to the United States with his parents at the age of three. A voracious reader of science fiction, he began writing as a pre-teen, selling his first piece in 1939 to Amazing Stories Magazine. He would go on to become one of the most prolific of sci-fi and hard science writers, publishing an astonishing 500 books in nine of the ten categories of the Dewey Decimal System, while simultaneously holding a tenured position as Professor of Biochemistry at Boston University. Recognized as one of the most brilliant men of his age, he was Vice President of Mensa, and opined that Carl Sagan and Marvin Minsky were the only two people he knew who were smarter than he. In his science fiction work he is perhaps best known for his Foundation Series and for I, Robot which propounds the Three Laws of Robotics, incorporated by an entire generation of writers from Roddenberry and Clarke to Ellison and Silverberg. He was a six-time winner of the Hugo Award and has a crater on Mars and an asteroid named in his honor.
“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”
Ayn Rand (1905-1982) from the GHS Guidance Newsletter
Born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Rand moved to the United States in 1926 with the intention of becoming a screenwriter. After two unsuccessful novels and a largely unnoticed play, she wrote The Fountainhead, published in 1943, which established her fame as a writer and was later made into a popular movie. Her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, expanded on her rationalist, anti-romantic themes, which she labeled Objectivism. This book essentially ended her career as a novelist, as she became more and more influential in Republican and conservative political circles for her libertarian philosophies, which rejected altruism and promoted laissez-faire capitalism. She continued to lead the Objectivist movement until her death due to complications of heavy smoking and decades of amphetamine use.
Dear GMG Friends,
I have been thinking about what Thanksgiving means, beyond turkey and football. I looked back through my four plus years of weekly quotes and was a little surprised to find so many that speak about the various facets of gratitude, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been. Wise people over the centuries have recognized the power of thankfulness to transform one’s life, and it certainly has changed mine.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but also the parent of all the others.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)
“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
Henry Van Dyke (1852 – 1933)
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)
“By holding up a fancied golden era of yesteryear, we can devalue where we are and who we have become. Thanksgiving aims at gratitude not for what was, but for what is.”
James Carroll (1943- )
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
Melody Beattie (1948- )
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Oprah Winfrey (1954- )
“Happiness equals reality minus expectations”
Tom Magliozzi (1937-2014)
A native of Cambridge (our fair city) MA, Magliozzi was, with younger brother Ray, host of the NPR call-in show “Car Talk” which started locally on WBUR before going national, first as a weekly segment with Susan Stamberg on Weekend Edition, then in its own right as an hourly program, produced by Doug (The Subway Fugitive) Berman. Although they were auto mechanics and owners of a garage, Tom had an engineering degree from MIT and later an MBA and PhD from Northeastern and Boston Universities. He ran an international consulting business and taught at the university level for many years, but it was his infectious laugh and unbridled silliness for which he is most remembered. The show was recognized with the Peabody Award in 1992, and is widely considered to have changed the nature of public radio.
“The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.”
Robert Frost (1864-1963)
Often cast as the quintessential New England rural poet, Frost was a San Francisco native, who then spent the majority of his youth in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He attended Dartmouth and Harvard Colleges, but graduated from neither, ultimately settling in Derry, New Hampshire, where he wrote many of the poems for which he is most famous including “Mending Wall.” He taught English at Pinkerton Academy, (my alma mater) and at Middlebury College for many years. Frost’s gift was to be able to take the doings of everyday people and express them in the vernacular while teasing out the deeper meanings that we are often too busy to see. Although he was recognized and honored in his lifetime, winning four Pulitzer prizes, receiving more than forty honorary degrees, and reading “The Gift Outright” at John Kennedy’s inaugural, he was no stranger to grief and depression, losing both his parents at an early age and outliving all but two of his six children.
“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”
Beverly Sills (1929-2007)
Born Belle Miriam Silverman in Brooklyn to immigrant parents from Ukraine, Sills won her first singing contest at age three and would go on to win first place on both the Major Bowles Amateur Hour and Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, the American Idol of their day. She broke into opera in the late forties, specializing in the work of Donizetti, Rossini and Massenet, and by 1971 appeared on the cover of Time Magazine as “America’s Queen of the Opera”, despite limiting her career to spend more time at home with her children, both born with disabilities. She retired from singing in 1980, but continued in the public eye, first as director of the New York City Opera, then Chair of Lincoln Center, and finally of the Metropolitan Opera, while simultaneously offering her celebrity to the March of Dimes and other charities. She was the recipient of four honorary doctorates, multiple Emmy and Grammy nominations, and the 1980 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
A Jamaica Plain native, Plath wrote and published poetry from an early age. Educated at Smith College, where she edited the college magazine, she received a Fulbright grant to study at Cambridge University in England, where she met and later married poet Ted Hughes. She struggled with depression throughout her life, spending significant time at McLean’s hospital in Belmont and receiving electroshock therapy. Plath is credited with popularizing the confessional poetry genre and won the Pulitzer Prize for her collection Ariel. She survived a number of suicide attempts, but ultimately succumbed just after the publication of her novel The Bell Jar, leaving two children aged 2 and nine months.
“I would rather be able to appreciate things I can’t have, than have things I am not able to appreciate.”
Elbert Green Hubbard (1856-1915)
An Illinois native, Hubbard enjoyed early wealth as a successful salesman for the Larkin Soap Company. Inspired by John Ruskin and William Morris, the self-described socialist founded the Roycroft Press and later the Roycroft Community in East Aurora, New York, whose shops produced furniture and printing that had a profound influence on the Arts and Crafts Movement. During the First World War he was fined and had his passport revoked for printing anti-war commentary. He successfully appealed directly to President Woodrow Wilson for it to be reinstated and traveled to Europe to report on the war. Hubbard and his wife were returning to the States on the RMS Lusitania when it was torpedoed by a U-boat and sank off Ireland, both died. Another Hubbard quote: “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.”
“…the intrigue of existence would be purposeless without the element of the ineffable.”
Timothy Wilson (198?- ) From Quantum Art Review (as is the bio below.)
Timothy was born and raised in rural Maine. Upon graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design he enrolled briefly at the Grand Central Academy before moving back to Maine to work as a creative designer for a clothing company. Not long after, he decided to leave the portence of a successful career and pursue a life as a frustrated painter. In November he will be undertaking a two month Fellowship in the Hudson Valley courtesy of the Art Students League. Timothy keeps his studio in Portland, Maine where he occasionally cat sits for his sister’s purebred Persian. His solo exhibition at the Steven Amedee Gallery in New York City opens in October.
With thanks to Nick Bover
August 29, 2014
“They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad that I’m going to miss mine by just a few days.”
Gary Edward “Garrison” Keillor (1942- )
The Minnesota native has been the host of the popular radio show “A Prairie Home Companion,” a fixture on NPR since 1974 portraying life in the fictional Midwestern town Lake Wobegon. Thrice married, Keillor’s folksy story telling mixed with literary allusions has been published in the New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and Salon.com.
His liberal politics and opposition to the policies of George W. Bush have raised the ire of some of his conservative listeners, but he has been a sought-after speaker and voice-over artist. Keillor has won the Peabody Award, the National Humanities Award, the Steinbeck Award, a Grammy, and the first Moth Award for excellence in story-telling.
GloucesterCast With Guest Toby Pett and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 8/31/14
Topics Include: Toby Pett Looking Svelte In His Black Shirt, Ladies Man Toby Pett, Contributor Of The Week, Craig Kimberley’s Birdseye Demo and USCG Barque Eagle Drone Videos, The Schooner Adventure Progress, Greg Bover, The Schooner Adventure Business Model, Peter Bent Running The Show On The Adventure Today, The Bluenose II Question, Barry Pett and Marty Luster Go Behind The Scenes For The Gloucester Fireworks Set Up, The Gloucester Fund, Hosting The Schooners, The Question- Does Schooner Festival Exists If People Don’t Come To See the Schooners?, Local Traffic, Parking IMO Is A Non-Issue, Sailing Activity In Gloucester Today vs 25 Years Ago, Football Season, Question- Can Tom Brady Still Have As Much Focus and Will To Win As A Young QB Without A Superbowl Win?, Market Basket Re-Opening But Let’s Not Forget The Great Employees At Stop and Shop, Labor Day Schooner Festival Fireworks Were Awesome, Boat Horns.
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