A blessing not bearing disguise

Hi there. You know, for me a blessing not bearing disguise. Mine to give, dear friends, acquaintances, and all those you may come in contact with. Here with my story of what God given substantive life is all about. In my humble opinion! Excuse me, yours and mine, maybe?

Now provided without your request or approval. Da harv being who he is or pretends to be, finds himself amongst the many, constantly looking for reasons students today are attempting to place blame on brethren out there who have no history of teaching their children. How and why not to throw the very first punch.


Too long ago for me to recall exactly when it was, but there remains a few pieces from the past that every once and awhile, in my mind’s eye, returns for another sitting ovation!

Though still out of step

I wasn’t the class clown

But better yet

My nose wasn’t brown!

Kissing up to teachers

Not permitted in my small town



Thoughts driven by feelings

By this kid did abound

Bravery is a task to behold

Family and friends

Love and protect them

Like it or not

Forever yours

Better than gold

Remain bold

Given by birth

For hearts to nurture

Reflect and grow strong

Being taught by

The young and the old

Living right

Respecting your neighbor

Not a bill of rights

Passed on by congress

Rather by immigrants

Mothers and Fathers

They weren’t invaders

Teaching you to love this country

We stood in the ballparks

We stood during parades

We all, without exception

Waved our American flags

Our ministers, priests, rabis

Taught us with guiding hearts

beating with love while

Men and women serving the cause

Many of them never returning

Echoing prayers for all their brothers and sisters safety

Having each other’s back, on foreign landscapes

Fighting together as one nation

Under God

Believing in each other

 One for all, and all for one!

You know what? All this stimulated a memory for me…

I believe it was 1944. My mom and dad took the family along to some sort of fundraiser. In attendance at our table was my mother and father, my sister Ruth and her husband Al. An army air force engineer gunner, just returned home after being shot down and held captive by the germans. My kid sister Sheila, because she was only two or three. She didn’t make it with us for this event, she wasn’t in attendance. And of course there was da harv. I was either ten or eleven at the time.

At almost all family events, it became my Mother who surveyed all situations, and decided whether or not the affair came up to what she was expecting it to. I must take one short moment to explain, my mother was an absolute American patriot. From the moment her family arrived from Romania, as brand new Americans to be, there could never be a misunderstanding. Lillian Kalmenson had a “Tiger in her tank” when it came to feeling about her country, the United States Of America. Any person who got into a conversation about the USA better be extremely careful about what they had to say. My dad on the other hand was the quiet guy. If there was anything physical to take care of, dad was your man. Make no mistake, Lillian Kalmenson was never far behind.

And so the stage was set. The five of us took our seats at the table, and waited patiently for the fund raiser to begin. As we looked around the room we could see the place was packed with many of our family members at tables around the room. And then the trouble was about to begin. My dad and older sister recognized, much before I did, my mother had become uneasy as she began to look at the presentation podium and the entire room staging.

It suddenly became quiet as the lights flickered for a moment, and then came up to full strength as a group of three or four women entered on stage. The three were introduced to the crowd as representatives of a group none of us at our table recognized. She began to speak to the crowd with a very heavy, not recognizable accent. Her subject immediately began by referencing the audience making donations to her group. In less than one minute, my mother abruptly jumped to her feet. Three of us at our table were not surprised at mom’s action. We had seen her in action before. My brother in law Al had never really understood Lillian’s in action capabilities. This was his first crack at watching a true patriot taking charge! Little da harv was beginning to show his big smile until Dad gave me his look of concern. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn‘t showing disrespect for my mother. I was merely enjoying whatever antic she might be up to. Dad had moved into his protective mode. My mother knew nothing could ever harm her if my father was at her side.


So now, short and sweet, here’s what took place. Without warning my Mom abruptly stands, and interrupts the female speaker who remains shocked by her: “What is it madam?”. My Mom, without hesitation, blurts out: “First of all, I’m not a madam, I’m a Patriot”! Without hesitation the crowd begins to stand and simultaneously raucously applaud. Oh boy, I thought: “they’ll be no stopping her now!” And Mom continued: “What about our National Anthem? And I don’t see an American flag anywhere!” And then the biggest mistake of the evening, “This fundraiser isn’t about money for Americans”, was the woman’s response. “Then it isn’t for us. We’re leaving right now”. With that our family stood together united as one behind my mom. And as our family began to move away from the table, Mom offered her final words and a gesture: “God bless all our boys”. Mom took my brother in-laws arm as we left our table together as one.


And here’s the final note: There were many in that room who followed my Mom’s lead, forever on. Mom didn’t throw the first punch. That evening, she took the fight to them. And as the song says, “Turn Out the Lights…The Party’s over”.

And so as I think back to that day of real life nostalgia. It stirs my memory. I remember, and always will, coming home from Korea. Now it had become 1955. Harvey was still a flag waving American kid, age 22. Mom, dad and I sitting there just the three of us alone together at a very emotional moment. Words weren’t necessary. The three of us just quietly holding each other. That’s from me to you, Harvey Kalmenson, a day in May 2024.

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