Jim Thorpe

Jared Kelley   Sport Kings Trading Card   2018

In 1973, President Richard Nixon proclaimed April 16 Jim Thorpe Day.  Proclamation 4209 begins,  “In the early years of this century when Americans of racial and ethnic minority backgrounds were reaching for greater dignity and opportunity among their fellow-citizens, and when excellence in sport commanded increasing admiration across the country, one magnificent athlete from the Oklahoma frontier came to world renown as a pioneer in both of these developing trends.” The president called “upon the people of the United States to mark this day with appropriate observances.” 

How does one “appropriately observe” Jim Thorpe Day?  Well, you start by learning the basics.  I hope I can supply you with just enough information to get you to learn more on your own.  I actually had never heard of Jim Thorpe until I was living in Pennsylvania and discovered a town with the same name.  Now we all know towns and cities named after people, but this one was particularly odd.  What kind of a town name is Jim Thorpe?  So I did what I do, started learning.  I was ashamed and embarrassed that I didn’t know his story before, and disappointed in society for not making him a household name.

There is so much legend and myth that swirls around Jim Thorpe it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction.  But what’s worse is the white-washing on one hand and the romanticizing on the other.  A lot of information I’ve read and videos I’ve watched contradict one another. I could write 20 blogs about 20 different aspects of Jim Thorpe’s life and not begin to scratch the surface of all that could be said.  Someday I’ll come back and write a blog specifically about Native children being removed from families, decimating their culture, and destroying vital links to their heritage.  There is just way too much to cover here to give you a feel for his life.

Many sources site that he was born to an Irish father and Potawatomi mother and he was raised on a Sac and Fox agency.  That is true, but it’s often not noted that his “white” father was half Sac and Fox and they lived with his family.  His mother was Potawatomi, and her family was part of the Potawatomi Death March in 1838 when armed militia “escorted859 people from northern Indiana to eastern Kansas, a 660 mile march.

Jim Thorpe was born in the spring of 1887 or ’88.  That means he was born only about 12 years after the Battle of Little Bighorn. In the Potawatomi tradition, his mother also gave him the name of something she saw at the moment of his birth, Wa-Tho-Huk, loosely translated as “flash of light on path.”  He had a twin brother, Charlie.

Around the age of eight, Charlie died of pneumonia.  Jim never fully recovered from the loss of his brother, and later in life would say that Charlie’s spirit had joined his and the two lived together as one.  After Charlie’s death, Jim struggled in the schools he was placed in located in Oklahoma and Kansas.  He was known for running away and going home. In 1904, Jim was shipped from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

In the movie Jim Thorpe–All American, Burt Lancaster portrays Jim Thorpe as a young man setting out to be educated.  (The movie is a great watch, but a bit idealistic).   It shows a romanticized version of the school as a college type setting with Jim and his buddies studying and milling around campus.  It states young people from all Native nations flocked to the school to continue their education.   Carlisle Indian School was not a college.  It wasn’t even a high school.  They didn’t have classes beyond the eighth grade. The tv special Sports Century, Jim Thorpe describes that he was “subjected to a harsh regiment aimed at obliterating the last vestiges of his Native American heritage.”  It was a boarding school where children were taken, often forcibly, away from their culture and way of a life. As   The slogan was “kill the Indian, save the man.”

For older boys, it was a job placement facility, as well an outlet for “American” sports.  In sports, Jim found something where he could excel and still be himself.  He quickly became the star of the track team, as well as football.  His physical abilities propelled not just him, but Carlisle Indian School into the spotlight as a football powerhouse, beating competitors like Stanford and Harvard.  The school knew how to capitalize on what they had.  They attributed their success to “warrior spirit.”  Nevertheless, Jim Thorpe, lead by legendary coach Pop Warner, changed college football into the spectator sport it is today.

In 1912, Jim Thorpe participated in the Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.  He competed in the decathlon, pentathlon, high jump, and long jump–17 events.  He placed fourth in the high jump and seventh in long jump. He received the gold in the pentathlon and won four of the five events.  In javelin he came in third, although he had never thrown one until the Olympic trials.  In the decathlon, he beat the second place finisher by more than 700 points, finishing in the top four of all ten events.  His total of 8,413 points stood for more than 20  years.  King Gustav presented his awards and told him he was the greatest athlete in the world.  In addition, he was on the US Olympic baseball team, which at the time was an exhibition sport.

Often overlooked is that in 1912, Jim Thorpe was not a citizen of the United States.  Native Americans were not given citizenship unless they gave up their citizenships of their nations.  He may have worn an American flag on his shirt, but he represented the nation of Sac and Fox.

Six months later, a story broke in the Worcester Telegram–Jim Thorpe had played professional baseball in 1909 and ’10, breaking Olympic rules of amateurism.  During the summer months he “took a job as a baseball player” in the Eastern Carolina League as a Rocky Mountain Railroader.  It wasn’t uncommon for college players to break the rules during the summer months, even other people on his Olympic team did the same thing.  The difference was he used his real name.

Although IOC rules demanded that any protests needed to take place within 30 days of the games and the news didn’t break until six months later, the committee didn’t care.  They didn’t care that he never denied playing and testified that he didn’t know that it wasn’t allowed. They didn’t care that he was paid a meager amount for expenses only.  They didn’t care that other people on the team did the same thing.  They didn’t care.  They stripped him of his medals, and struck his name from the record books.

I’ve read many, many articles that have a happy ending saying that although it took time, he was reinstated.  No, not true, not even to this day.  Jim Thorpe died in 1953.  After decades of pressure, the IOC relented in 1983 and presented his family with replicas of his medals.  That’s it.  He is still not listed as the gold medalist.  The second place finishers are not listed as silver.  Yes, his name was added, with an asterisk. His point total is not listed.  There is no reference at which to measure just how vastly ahead of the competition he was.  The IOC did nothing but make a gesture of appeasement.  And although I’m happy the family did receive acknowledgment, it’s disgraceful that still today his feats are not adequately reported.

So here is where some people end the story.  Or they go on to talk about Jim Thorpe’s career as a founding member of the NFL and his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame’s first class.  Or maybe they throw in a bit about how he decided that since he lost his medals for being a pro baseball player, he would just become one.  He played for both the New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox before leaving to play professional football.  A few stories even go on to tell about how he battled alcohol, married three times, and eventually took odd jobs to make ends meet.  But that’s not where my story ends.

Search for the name of Jim Thorpe on IMDB and you find 71 films.  71.  From 1931 until 1950, Jim Thorpe was one of only a few Native Americans to be cast in movies.  Most of those are uncredited.  Almost all of those he played one of two roles–athlete or stereotypical Indian.  In many of his roles, his character name is listed simply as “Indian.” This was the era of not only the Great Depression, but continued racism in practically all industries, Hollywood included.

By the late 1930’s, Jim Thorpe had a new title, Akapamata, caregiver.  He was an activist fighting for the rights of the Native American nations in the film industry.  He worked tirelessly to obtain parts for Native peoples both on and off-screen in Hollywood.  In 2019, the number of actors with Native ancestry is still small.  Native Americans have over and over and over again been represented on-screen by non-Native actors.  Jim Thorpe made great strides at ensuring the best not only for Sac and Fox, but all nations.   Read an article about his work in the industry here: Akapamata

In May of 2018, Angelina Jolie announced she was producing a biopic of Jim Thorpe.  Reportedly, she has the blessing of the Thorpe family.  Additionally, she has been working with several Native American nations as consultants.  (Although as far as I can tell, none of them are Sac and Fox or Potawatomi.  I could be wrong about that, so someone please correct me if that is incorrect.)  Most importantly, Jim Thorpe will be played by Martin Sensmeier, and actor of Tlingit, Koyukon-Athabascan, and Irish descent, marking one of the few (or maybe only) occasions a Native actor has played a Native historical figure in a major full release movie.  However, at this time, Bright Path: The Jim Thorpe Story is currently not listed on his IMDB page.

This portrait is by American portrait artist Jared Kelley.  He is well-known in the sports world for his work with Upper Deck and Sport Kings trading cards.  Beckett Monthly has listed him as one of “nine most influential artists in the country who are changing the world of card collecting.”

I had a hard time finding the perfect artwork for this blog.  Not surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of portraits of Jim Thorpe out there, at least not that I could find in four evenings of google searching.  Of those, many are just replicas of famous photos.  In several he’s wearing his leather football helmet, but that seems too constrictive for what I’m trying to convey.  And although this is a sports card, I think it’s more open.

Across the bottom are five events Thorpe participated in, above the Sport Kings Gum banner.  He wears his white track uniform, but only the shoulders are visible.  His head is turned to a three-quarter profile, showing his angular features.  Kelley uses several shades of color on his cheeks to highlight his deep-set features and prominent ridged eyebrows.  His brown hair is perfectly disheveled, a balance between well-kept and a man who just ran a pentathlon , then turned around and did a decathlon the next day.  I love the squint of his eyes.  There are stories about being on the ship sailing to Stockholm and he was just lounging around while the others trained.  When asked why he wasn’t training, he said he was visualizing his long jump.  Maybe that’s what he’s doing here.

There really are a million more things to talk about when it comes to Jim Thorpe.  I’m not even going to go into the soap opera drama that surrounds an entire town changing its name for a person that never stepped foot into it.  Just look that up yourself.  Or the fight that still goes on with his children over moving his remains, I’ll skip that too.

I will say one quick soap box item.  I’m highly annoyed by the internet meme going around showing Jim Thorpe with mismatched shoes.  It says something about how he still won a gold wearing shoes that were the wrong size, so don’t let anything get you down.  While I appreciate the idea, and the story of the shoes is true, I think it really belittles every other hurdle he had to face in his life up until that point.  Yes, at that point, he just put these shoes on and went with it.  But that’s because he’d been through so much in his life, that seemed like a situation he could handle.  In the grand scheme of things, that was no big deal.  Maybe for someone that is privledged enough to not have other challenges that would be inspiring, but I think Jim Thorpe would furrow his brows, lean back his head, and think it is a little bit foolish.

Please find out more about Jim Thorpe.  I have added some links below.

Smithsonian Article

More interesting reading:  Native American Stereotypes in Baseball

Proclamation 4209

Babe Ruth

Baseball Stats

See his actual scanned files from Carlisle Indian School, including correspondence regarding at $25 check from the New York Giants here:   Carlisle Files

New movie article:  Bright Path

Carlisle Indian School

Jared Kelley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Robert-Hugues Lambert in Mermoz

Mermoz Movie Poster 1942

Today we remember the death of French actor Robert-Hugues Lambert, who suffered in Drancy transit camp and ultimately Buchenwald while his first film premiered in Paris.  Few great French films were produced during the Vichy period, but reportedly, Mermoz was one of them.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to track down even a French version, much less one with English subtitles.  The story of the leading man, however, was worthy of a movie of its own.  (Keep reading, that exists too).

First, we have to take a very quick look at Jean Mermoz to fully understand the scope of the story.  Mermoz was an early aviation hero in both France and Argentina and everywhere in between. In the 1920s and ’30s he was making dangerous flights from France to exotic locales like Morocco and Senegal, and eventually all the way to Brazil. This led to exciting stories, like crashing in the Sahara and being taken captive by Turegs.
He moved to Argentina and became one of the leaders of South American aviation.

The mysterious ending to his historic career lends to the story.  He was lost at sea in a situation similar to what we associate with Amelia Earhart just seven months before her.  He is worthy of a blog of his own, which I may get to someday.  Needless to say, he was an extremely well-known and popular hero with a tragic disappearance. That is exactly what sells theater tickets, even when there is a world war going on.

Robert-Hugues Lambert was a little known comedic theater actor.  He was noticed by director Louis Cuny while working on a show by the great French playwright Jean Giono. But it wasn’t Lambert’s acting that caught the eye of the director, it was his likeness to Jean Mermoz.  It’s said the mother of Mermoz was overcome with emotion when she saw Lambert. The number one feature, of course, is their wavy hair.

Now one thing to remember here is that Cuny and basically everyone working on the set are relatively new to movie making.  Although he did have several short films under his belt, this was his first major motion picture.  The real reason he even had this opportunity was because in Occupied France of 1942, Jewish film directors, producers, actors, and even crew were no longer allowed to work.  Cuny saw this as a chance to make it big.

Unfortunately, the movie was plagued with problems from the get-go, most of which had to do with inexperience.  This included the below par acting of Lambert himself, as well as difficulty with the set and crew.  With the big premiere date in Paris already set, they were under the gun to finish on time, no matter what.

In Vichy France, homosexuals were as undesirable as Jews when it came to owning or running businesses. However, in the arts it was mostly overlooked.  Poets, musicians, and actors continued on (cautiously) with their careers.  Most believe where Lambert made his mistake was his choice to become involved with a specific lover.

There is very little that is actually known, but a lot of speculation swirls around what happened next.  With just over a week of filming left, Lambert disappears.  He attended a photo shoot earlier in the day then didn’t show up for filming the next day.  The evening of the photo shoot there had been a surprise roundup at a local bar frequented by gay men. Some believe it was coincidence that he happened to be there when the Nazi arrived.  I tend to believe otherwise.

He had been in a relationship with a German officer, which of course was kept secret.  With the movie about to be released, it became more important to keep the secret.  Some speculate there was a falling out between the two (possibly over jealousy) and the officer ordered the raid.  I tend to believe that the officer was afraid he’d gotten in a bit too deep and was scared for his own career and possibly life.  Or maybe it was just a coincidence.  Regardless, Lambert was arrested, most likely for “idleness,” and transported to Drancy transit camp.

There is also a haziness about what happens next.  I’ve read a lot of articles stating that Louis Cuny and the film company did everything they could to have him released.  I find that pretty hard to believe, because in similar cases people were released relatively easily.  Of course, this would have been more complicated with the German officer boyfriend perhaps hoping to keep the relationship under cover.  But Cuny was pretty well known for not caring about his actors.  He said he learned early to treat actors just like any other workers.  Once you’re done with them, that’s it.  You don’t call a plumber after he’s fixed your faucet.

So Cuny did what was easiest, he hired someone else to finish the shooting.  No problem.  They look similar enough, the shots will all be done from behind so no one will see Henri Vidal’s face.  They may have looked alike, but they didn’t sound alike.  They needed Lambert’s voice.

Meanwhile, Robert-Hugues Lambert is forced into hard labor.  In the end, he would be in at least four different camps.  But he was in Drancy when he was passed a series of lines to say into a microphone that was lowered over the barbed wire fence on a boom.  The movie could not be completed without his voice, and time was running out before the big Paris premiere.  Believing he would be released any day, he dutifully read the lines.  The crew sent to record lines even said they would see him at the premiere.  Perhaps they all really believed they would.

On November 3, 1943, Mermoz premiered in Paris.  Robert-Hugues Lambert is not mentioned.  In August of 1943 he is transferred to Buchenwald.  In November of 1944 he is transferred to Flossenberg to work in a brickyard.  On March 7, 1945, Robert-Hugues Lambert dies at the age of 37 of exhaustion.

It’s said that in the camps, no one called him Lambert.  To the Nazis he was 21623.  To everyone else, he was Mermoz.

Marcel Bluwal would eventually make a movie loosely based on Lambert called Le plus beau pays du monde which is sometimes translated (like on IMDB) as The Happiest Place on Earth, but seems to more closely mean “The Most Beautiful Country in the World.”  I have also had a hard time finding this movie in English.  I would be leary of viewing it as historical fiction, however, since it seems to take a lot of liberties and the majority of the characters are fictional.

Not surprisingly, I couldn’t find a painting of Robert-Hugues Lambert.  However, I thought this Mermoz movie poster was a beautiful work of art. I love the stylized stone faced depiction of Mermoz, wavy hair flowing behind him.  It contrasts so well with the simplistic sky and ocean in front of him.  It also really shows that while flying made him famous, it was his larger than life personality that made him popular.

It is a bit surprising to me that you’ll notice at the bottom under Louis Cuny you’ll see Robert-Hugues Lambert in large letters.  I wonder if they used a different poster for the premiere.  I’ve seen at least three different posters (all equally beautiful), but all do list Lambert.  One even shows his picture.

To see all three posters, click here: Mermoz posters

Read more about Vichy here:  Deportation from Vichy

To listen to a portion of the ahhhmazing score of Mermoz by Arthur Honeggar, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, click here:  La traversée des Andes

You may also want to check out the books World Cinema and Cultural Memory by I. Hedges and The Classic French Cinema, 1930-1960 by Colin Crisp.

*Description of poster: A horizontal movie poster.  The top two-thirds of the background is a dark blue sky. A small white plane flies in the distance.  The bottom third is a lighter blue ocean with dark blue waves.  The entire left side is an all white sculptural bust profile of Jean Mermoz covering both the ocean and sky.  His long wavy hair is chiseled as if it is flowing out behind him.

Across the bottom of the poster in large black letters, Mermoz.  In smaller letters, Un Film de Louis Cuny. Below that in smaller letters still, Robert-Hugues Lambert.  Across the top, Les Productions Francaises Cinematographiques, André Tranché.*

*Description of photographs: Two black and white portraits side by side. On the left, Jean Mermoz.  On the right, Robert-Hugues Lambert.  Both men wear a suit and tie and have dark eyes and wavy hair combed back.  Mermoz gives a teethy smile.  Lambert’s smile isn’t as broad, but both men seem to smile with their warm eyes.*

 

 

Flower of Srebrenica

Enes Klopic  Illustration  July 7, 2014

8,372, that’s the number of boys and men killed on July 11, 1995 in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In a town that was supposed to be a UN safe haven during the Bosnian war, Dutch peacekeepers were unable to keep the Bosnian Serb forces from entering the city, rounding up all the men and boys (officially) over the age of 15, and executing them.  Many of them were from nearby villages that arrived in the three years preceding the genocide seeking refuge from the war. 8,372, and that does not include more than 20,000 women, children and elderly that were displaced.

Relatively short in terms of war and armed conflict in general, the Bosnian war lasted from April 6, 1992 to December 14, 1995.  By July of ’95, the end seemed imminent, and the loss of the Army of Republika Srpska under the command of General Ratko Mladic seemed a forgone conclusion.  Many believe this certainty of defeat is what lead to the mass execution of the civilian population of boys and men.  There was little to no justifiable strategic reasoning, even during war.  It was nothing short of a desperate, last-minute attempt at ethnic cleansing.

On July 6, 1995, the offensive on Srebrenica began officially.  But long before that, the Srpska understood the key to breaking the town.  It was a UN safe haven protected by Dutch peacekeepers.  Rules of war stated they could not attack the town.  So instead, they cut off supplies of food and resources.  When people left the town for supplies, the Bosnian Serbs considered these “raiding parties.”

So they used this as a justification to enter Srebrenica.  NATO forces planned to attack the artillery locations outside of town, but the VRS threatened to attack other civilian populations and kill their Dutch and French hostages.  So the Srpska entered town triumphantly.

In the days that followed, the men and boys were separated from the women.  For the most part, they were marched or trucked to wooded areas or the river and executed.  Those fleeing through the woods were often coerced back into the trucks by Serb forces wearing UN peacekeeping uniforms and helmets taken from the Dutch forces.  Not only were they thrown unceremoniously into mass graves, but the soldiers were ordered to return and move the bodies to other locations to avoid the real numbers being known.

Twenty two years later, graves are still being found.  There are now approximately 7,000 souls interred at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial and Cemetery.  More than a thousand are still missing.  Every year on this day, July 11, more families finally have a chance to say goodbye to a son, father, brother, husband as DNA provides the evidence to ensure each person receives the proper recognition he deserves.

I encourage you to please, please learn more about the atrocities that took place such a short time ago.  I was in high school when this occurred.  This is not the ancient past, or even the memories of our grandparents.  This is our past.  Mladic was not even arrested for his war crimes until 2011.  I recommend this article in The New York Times:  Life in the Valley of DeathI also recommend this blog, but I warn you, the images are graphic.  Srebrenica Genocide.

The artwork is based on a symbol of remembrance of the genocide at Srebrenica.  Traditionally, the flower is crocheted, a popular art of Bosnia.  It was designed by the members of the association “Gracanica’s Crochet.”  The white petals signify innocence, the green center hope.  There are always eleven petals for the day, July 11.  Here is some more information about the design of the flower Flower of Srebrenica.

Enes Klopic takes this symbol, and transforms it into a beautifully haunting memorial to the lives lost.  The petals are eleven mourning women clothed in white.  They encircle a casket, covered in the traditional green Islamic covering.  Each have their right arm outstretched, touching the green cloth together, almost as one.

While most have their heads down looking at the casket, a few have their heads lifted, faces toward the skies.  But this is also the viewpoint of us, the viewer.  We are looking down from above.  The upturned faces seem to plead with us to see what they see, feel what they touch, and remember.

And one particular woman seems to stare right at you, as the viewer, although we do not see her eyes.  The mother on the top right appears to ask where you were when her child was marched away and executed, and tossed into a mass grave.  She seems to not quite accuse you, the viewer, as the perpetrator of the crime, but as a silent witness that stood by and let it happen.

Enes Klopic is a graphic designer from Bosnia who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo.  He now lives in Germany.  His Facebook page has a larger version of this piece, with the Srebrenica skyline at night in the foreground.  The flower is above, almost like a bright, full moon.

Read more about what the artist has to say about the work here:  Enes Klopic  (although Google Translator doesn’t seem to do a great job with Bosnian.)  I also spoke with him about the piece via Facebook to ask for his permission to post this blog.  He was very gracious and humble, saying his flower is free to share with everyone.  It is the lives of those lost we need to remember.

srebrenica casket
This photo is from the memorial service in 2010 when 775 newly identified remains were interred.   Photograph: Fehim Demir/EPA  July 11, 2010 The Guardian

I really wanted to actually list all 8,372 names here instead of just posting a link.  Unfortunately, every time I tried that, the paged locked up.  The sheer number of names locked up my whole system.  So instead, please click here Srebrenica Victims to read all of their names.

 

Bosnia
Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery                             Photo:www.skyscrapercity.com

 

 

 

 

 

Abraham and Isaac

Harold Copping  Illustration  Circa 1910

Tomorrow evening marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, one of the most important Holy days in Judaism.  In addition to the Jewish New Year, it is also a Day of Remembrance.  Celebrants remember the story of Abraham and Isaac at the alter.

Abraham was instructed by God to take his son, Isaac, to Moriah to serve as a sacfrice.  Abraham obeyed and took his son to the alter and prepared him.  However, before Abraham could perfom the sacrifice, an angel appeared.  God was satisfied with the knowledge that Abraham would have done what he asked, so he didn’t need to go through with it.

And here’s when the story gets pretty important.  The angel called out to him a second time.  Genesis 22: 16-18:

16 He said, “I have sworn by myself — says Adonai that because you have done this, because you haven’t withheld your son, your only son,17 I will most certainly bless you; and I will most certainly increase your descendants to as many as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the cities of their enemies, 18 and by your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed — because you obeyed my order.”

Isaac went on to be the father of Jacob, who in turn became the father of the 12 Tribes of Israel.  Abraham’s other son, Ishmael, was a prophet of Islam and an ancestor of Muhammad.  So indeed, Abraham’s descendants are many.

 

Some people may recognize this painting by Harold Copping, or at least his style.  He is one of the most popular Bible illustrators of all time.  I believe this is an illustration from The Copping Bible, which he produced in 1910.

Harold Copping worked with missionary societies and traveled to Palestine and Egypt to make his Biblical illustrations more realistic.  His painting “The Hope of the World” from 1915 is particularly popular, as it shows Jesus with children from different nationalities.

 

This painting has a much different composition than most paintings you see of Abraham and Isaac at the altar.  Copping shows Abraham looking up, probably toward the angel sent to stop him.  However, there is no angel in the painting.  Maybe this is the moment before the angel arrives and Abraham is just taking one last look, one last breath, one last hope that he won’t have to go through with it.

Also different in this painting is the positioning of Isaac.  He appears calm.  And although his legs are bound, his father’s reassuring hand rests on his chest.  The viewer doesn’t see his face.  In many paintings he is seen twisting or fighting.

Abraham is center stage.  For someone that’s in his mid-hundreds, he looks fit, strong.  But take a look at his wrists and hands.  They are my favorite part of this painting.  He grips the knife of sacrifice in his right hand, but when you look closely you see the hands of an old man.  And the juxtaposition of one hand gripping a knife and the other hand comforting his son is such a great representation of Abraham’s faith to me.  He will do what he feels needs to be done to please his God, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy about it.

Luckily for Isaac and his descendants, Abraham’s gesture was enough.  And it is this act we remember.  Shanah Tovah, happy new year!

 

Colonial Penguins

Matt D at collageOrama  Illustration  2016

Today is World Penguin Day.  Not to be confused with National Penguin Awareness Day which is in January, today is actually about penguin migration.  Traditionally, today is the day Adelie penguins return from their long migration at sea.

Check out lots of penguin facts and amazing photos here.  http://www.penguins-world.com/

Did you know a group of penguins is called a colony?  Nothing on earth is funnier to me than animals wearing clothes.  Nothing.  The only thing that can make that better is a good play on words.  They are colonial penguins.  Get it?

This awesome illustration is from one of my favorite etsy shops, collageOrama.  You can find them here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/82908855/penguin-art-print-a-colony-of-penguins?ref=shop_home_listings

Welcome Home, Penguins!

 

 

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