Graduation....
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An Ozark E-Zine

As I announced in Gozarks Newsrelease/Newsletter Digest last week (if you'd like to subscribe -- its free -- sign-up here), it is with unabashed joy and exceedingly great pleasure that I announce the Homeschool Graduation of my 'middelest' daughter, Shalom, pictured at right in the prom dress of her custom-couture handcrafting.

Many of you reading this know Shalom from her Intern work with Gozarks these last several years, and thus equally know how this outstanding young woman has grown to become a true professional and pretty neat person to boot. In honor of this illustrious occasion, we were honored to greet a great group of friends at Shalom's Homeschool Graduation Luncheon last Thursday, April 20, 2006, our homeoffice (near Clinton, Arkansas).

In light of Shalom's outstanding achievement over the past many years I shall, as a combination graduation and coming of age gift, be giving Shalom the Gozarks business (you may take this both literally and figuratively if you wish <hehehe> one of the joys of being a parent is 'rewarding' our kids!!!) commensurate with her 18th birthday later this year.

I make this announcement now as this transition is already in progress and shall become more evident on these pages over the coming months as I increasingly toss my talents back into the role of freelance journalism [Note: if you'd like to read my entry in a Travel Writing Contest, click here.] and as a speaker on topics which are near and dear to my heart, such as the WellAware personal empowerment programs. Thus if you are an editor looking for a feature assignment writer/photographer or a program coordinator seeking a keynote, feel free to give me a call.

That said, I'll return to the primary topic of this column which is my daughter Shalom and celebrating her moment of graduation celebrity, in honor of which, as a tribute to her, I have plagiarized (from "America The Beautiful" and "My Country 'Tis Of Thee") and amplified a little poem:

O beautiful for spacious eyes,
For amber waves of mane,
Shalom… Shalom… sweet graduate,
In you blossoms glorious fame.

O beautiful for pilgrimage,
From babe to lovely Miss,
A thoroughfare to Freedom trekked
Through fields of youthful bliss.

Shalom… Shalom… my daughter-child,
‘Tis of thee I sing.
Thy gracious soul is Liberty,
Begot of Freedom’s ring!

Abiding Mercy, full of Faith,
God shed great Grace on thee,
Thy gold refined with selflessness,
Beyond thy years to see.

O beautiful for dreaming,
Undimmed by human tears,
To crown thy good with personhood,
And live abundant years.

Shalom… Shalom… dear woman-friend,
In your eyes all is fine,
Success flows through your nobleness,
Making every gain divine.

We love thee with a rapture,
May your music never cease,
May long our land be bright and shining,
With the kindness of your peace.

Easter Sunday Prayer...
Being it's Easter Sunday and in a deeply personal way I consider myself a devotee of Christ... I earnestly believe in order to make manifest the tactile reality inherent to the spiritual gifts bestowed upon us, it is up to EACH ONE OF US to LIVE BY THE GOLDEN RULE....  ALL OF THE TIME... NO EXCUSES!!!!

Note: If there is ever to be worldwide PEACE ON EARTH it MUST begin with EACH "ME"....

Thus my prayer for this and every sacred day is for all of us to shed every sliver of bitterness, hatred, angst and fear and walk together bravely into the day-by-day future of making the whole earth a paradise of human respect, common courtesy, usefulness, appreciation, dignity, praise and grace... now and forevermore. ~Amen (and Awomen, too...)

PS: We are the ones we've been waiting for. Our ONLY time to make a unified stand in proaction is (the ever present) "now".
 
(((hugs)))

Petit Jean...
As some of you already know, I have announced my willingness to serve on the Board of Directors of our local electric company, Petit Jean Electric Cooperative Corporation. The reasons for this are manifold -- a whole composed of diverse elements -- but essentially boil-down to one thing: I want to learn firsthand how the systems of self-governance work as instituted by this particular organization which I, as a member, essentially pay $14 in subscripted dues to each month in order to have access to residential electrical service.

And I'll be up front to say that I have a crystal clear idea about how such systems *should* work. I am well schooled in 'right conduct' for members of a board of directors. I understand -- far too well -- the responsibilities and obligations incumbent to any public office. Taken seriously, a directorship with any organization is the equivalent of a full-time/part-time job, to wit the following is quoted verbatim from the Petit Jean Electric Cooperative BYLAWS:

ARTICLE IV - DIRECTORS, SECTION 1. General Powers. The business and affairs of the Cooperative shall be managed by a board of nine (9) directors which shall exercise all of the powers of the Cooperative except such as are by law, the articles of incorporation or these bylaws conferred upon or reserved to the members.

I've cited the text here because I could not find a publication of our organization's bylaws to link to on the PJE website, however our local office was pleased to provide me with a printed copy of same. Anyway...

Also in accordance with our bylaws, any person who is not nominated to the annual ballot by the PJE Nominating Committee (which is appointed by the existing PJE Board of Directors) but is otherwise qualified to serve (in context of the PJE bylaws) may collect by petition 100 signatures from PJE Members In Good Standing who reside within the PJE District where the directorship will come up for a vote.

So, that's what I'm doing, announcing my eligibility to be nominated and stand for election with others who are also seeking election to PJE District #1 Position #2, at the expiration of the term of Terry Kirkendoll, who is among those who will definitely be on the ballot this year. And I make it plain here that I have absolutely nothing against Mr. Kirkendoll. He's always treated me fair in business and is widely respected in our community. What I do have truck with, however, is this:

Whilst making the rounds, requesting permission to place my petitions in various public gathering places, an interesting comment was made by a man who declined to sign: "None of that matters," he said. "The Petit Jean 'powers that be' will make sure that they get whoever they want on the board."

I shared this comment with a well-schooled Gozarkian friend. Her reply, in part, was that she found it illustrative of "someone who has complete distrust in the system." Someone who "has perhaps seen new blood run and be defeated in times past, and who may be speaking pure truth.

"This is why," she elaborated, "celebrities get appointed/elected to boards of directors. They have name/face recognition with the public, therefore the public says 'Wow!  We really got somebody on the board now.'  And the only other reason the celebrity is on the board is to draw a director's fee for attending meetings and to 'rubber stamp' whatever the 'powers that be' want rubber stamped. There's nothing altruistic about it. You're one of our directors, they say, here's the way we do business, now make it possible for us to continue. 

"I'm reminded of the WalMart b.s. about calling their employees 'associates.'  Makes a real difference in the way they do business, right?  And Harp's touts itself as an employee-owned company.  Let's ask the employees how that works and when was the last time they got consulted about major business decisions. I should probably shut up about this. My attitude stems from two things:  (1) The years I spent working for the federal Labor Dept., and (2) Reading all the crap that comes with proxy solicitations from companies I've owned stock in.  Business as usual; bullshit as usual. 

"The lack of public trust of elected and appointed officials, whether they be in private enterprise or public office, is, truly, a 'sign of the times.'  This is precisely the feedback that occurs when the consumer/voter/citizen (whatever--let's say 'target') has seen the abuses, malfeasances and nonfeasances that take place with their so-called representatives and leaders. The dogs have been kicked so many times that it is only natural for them to shy away when someone calls them.  How can that trust be restored?  I don't know. I'm not sure it can be restored.

"But I still think you need to get yourself elected," she concluded, "so you can make life miserable for those who need it made that way, by making them take a look at themselves. And just maybe you can be a catalyst for change."

So anyway, if you are a Member in Good Standing of the Petit Jean Electric Cooperative who resides in District #1 and you are willing to endorse my name being added to the ballot, petitions are available for signatures at:

  • Gozarks homeoffice, 223 Primrose Lane, off Burnt Ridge Road, near Clinton, AR., phone 501-745-4153.
  • Arkansas Telephone Company, downtown Clinton.
  • First Service Bank, Clinton Office, U.S. Hwy 65.
  • City of Clinton Water Department, downtown Clinton.
  • Petit Jean Electric Coop Office, 270 Quality Drive,
    Clinton, AR.

Signed petitions must be tendered to the Petit Jean Office in Clinton by April 21, 2006. If you'd like to see a PDF copy of my petition and a map of District #1, click here.

NOTE: The petition is titled to Christine Weiss which is still my legal last name, even though I am in the process of publicly reclaiming my maiden surname, Beems, and now use Christine Beems exclusively as my nome de plume.

Road Trip...
I have never quite figured out why a tree that has pink-purple blooms is called a 'red bud'... However, the Ozark roadsides are profuse with them this time of year, though their hue is so delicate as to give the illusion of a magenta glow to the treetops as one cruises along Ozark Mountain byways [click here for Road Trip video].

Another One Bites the Dust...
Whilst wending my way through the quaint mountain towns that make the Ozarks live and breathe, I passed through one of my personal favorites, the City of Mountain View. For many years -- ever since my first trip there nearly 2 decades ago -- there was located a really neat grocery store at which I loved to shop. They always had an interesting selection of unique items. Good 'home baked' breads, lots of fresh vegetables and great prices. What a dream.

I had planned to stop there for a bit of provisioning on my way home from my last road trip (see above), but what greeted me was the image you see below.

I note with interest that a new Wal-Mart (with a grocery section) just opened in this fair community and I mourn... as should we all.


If the general conversation here is of interest to you I highly recommend the following books. Order here through Amazon and we at  Gozarks (aka: my kids and me) actually earn a few cents...!!!! Thanks!!!
 

A New Science of Life
by Rupert Sheldrake
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Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness
by Rupert Sheldrake
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Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science (2nd Edition with Update on Results)
by Rupert Sheldrake
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Looking for more books to enrich the mind with musings about history, science, government and life?

Visit the ArmchairHoodlum Book Shop.

Christine Beems [read my blog]
editor@gozarks.com

Hey! Come visit us at SassafrasWilds!!!

 

 

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