Art Youmans “Never Let Adversity Get You Down” 24 February 10 March 2015
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.
” (Free verse poem from poet E.E. Cummings)
Back in 1964, when I was president of a New York City ski club (because I was one of the few New Yorkers who could both ski & organize special events, I was made president), the ski club spent a weekend in the Catskill Mountains at The Concord, a large summer resort, the equivalent of a Casino, today.
The M.C of the evening variety show, featuring trumpeter & singer Louis Armstrong (Satchmo), was a popular east-coast comedian named Murray Roman, who won an Emmy Award (in 1969) for his work on The Smothers Brothers TV Show
. I vaguely recall that Satchmo sang his 1964 #1 for-the-year hit song, “Hello, Dolly,” but clearly remember the 4 words that Murray Roman etched into my brain, that night.
Murray’s opening line to the audience of about 400 men & women got a big laugh. It was so on point that I never forgot his message, when he ran on stage, grinning, & yelled into the microphone:: “LIFE is a SON-OF-A-BITCH!”
The MC’s statement was so unexpected that the laughter continued for a minute or two.
He went on to describe humorous times in his life when he met adversity & had to fight back to survive. He mentioned the time he was arrested by the IRS, the time the police stopped him for speeding, the time his 1st three wives divorced him & then banded together to sue him, again, claiming he hid money in The Cayman Islands.
In a 20-minute dialogue, he had the audience in stitches with tales about how he was a sad sack who refused to cave in to adversity. To keep life from overwhelming you, he said that you have to realize that it is a son-of-a-bitch. He reminded us that kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill fought the Nazi son-of-a-bitches during the Battle of Britain in 1940 & until early 1945 & won.
Murray said that he followed Churchill’s policy to never stop fighting back & he also won most of his battles. “Never give in, Never, Never, Never…!” he yelled Churchill’s words (1941, in a speech at UK’s Harrow School) to a cheering audience.
I was impressed with Murray, whom NY columnists considered as talented as comedian Lenny Bruce. I never forgot these words out of the mouth of stand-up comedian Murray Roman (1929-1973), who died in a 1973 car crash in his early 40s.
Murray Roman is largely forgotten by most Americans. To me, he is a hero…the person whose words kept me fighting, when I encountered a gangrene-causing blood clot in my left knee & LAK (left above knee) amputation, that ended my life as an average runner, above-average triathlete & below-average marathoner, in 1996, when I almost died, & spent 36 hours, nearly bleeding to death, losing 4 pints of blood, while in an induced coma on morphine, in a hallway of Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa.
That was my 1st life. I recall little of that time, due to the morphine wiping out most of my memories of the pain. I still have 8 cat lives left & I’ll live them, fighting back, with a chip on my shoulder… remembering both the words of poet E.E. Cummings & comedian Murray Roman. “Life is a son-of-a-bitch!” Believe it! I do.
“If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you; ….” (“If,” Rudyard Kipling)
Whenever my computer crashes, like it did in 2006, or the stock market crashes like it did in 2001 & 2008, or when corrupt, bought-off (with Monsanto’s lobbyist’s $500 million bribes) Washington bureaucrats approve two deadly Agent Orange chemicals to coat GMO seeds, like they did for Monsanto’s vegetable seeds in 2014 & “arctic apples” & other fruit in 2015, I think of Kipling’s poem.
I don’t take it personally. Corrupt bureaucrats have been around as long as our caveman ancestors elected their 1st leader. I just think of Kipling’s poem & trust myself to take steps to avoid stepping on landmines in my future, like eating GMO foods. The only way to do this is to do the following: Eat no processed foods. They’re all GMOs or will be very soon.
Eat out as little as possible.
Aside from health food stores, like Whole Foods, you’ll be eating GMOs. Buy groceries only at places that advertise “Non GMO Foods.”
If you live in a retirement home that serves meals, try to get a large group of residents together to petition for non-GMO meals being added to the menu, like Kosher meals or vegetarian meals often are.
It took about 20-30 years for the government to semi-admit that Agent Orange chemicals may have sickened or killed thousands of Vietnam veterans prematurely. (By then, most of the infected veterans were dead.)
. I trust that in another 20-30 years, the government will also semi-admit that the 2 deadly Agent Orange chemicals, with which Monsanto is coating its GMO vegetable & fruit seeds, has, like happened in the 1960s to 1970s in Vietnam, destroyed American’s internal organs, altered their DNA/RNA & given them deadly diseases like cancer. (Monsanto sells about 90% of all GMO seeds, which are banned in Europe.)
Monsanto spent more than $500 million in lobbying U.S. congressmen & congresswomen to get approval & immunity from prosecution for its GMO seeds coated with 2 deadly Agent Orange chemical poisons.
Would you trust in a government that can be bought for slightly more than $500 million in bribes? In my opinion, no rational person with an IQ over 70 should answer anything but : NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If they are Washington bureaucrats & their lips are moving, watch out. You’re about to get screwed. You are about to become the screwee, once again. Illegitimi non carborundum (Don't let the bastards get you down.)
Below, is a Christmas family poem, that I wrote minutes ago, 1 January 2019.
If alive, today, Betty Lee would ask me to send this poem to you, to show her love for each of you, after Geana’s & Jimmy’s Christmas family party, December 25th, 2018 in Broken Arrow.
Do you remember that Betty spent 19 years with the M.O.U.S.E group at American Airlines working with the F.B.I. to spot & recover stolen airline tickets?
.The F.B.I. was so impressed with Betty's skill that they offered her a job in their Washington, D.C. headquarters.
Betty turned down their job offer since she didn't wish to leave American Airlines in New York City.
Whether you knew her as Betty, Mom, Grandma Betty or Aunt Betty, always remember how much she thought about and cared about you.
Betty’s Family Christmas Poem
A mouse squealed in a corner
Hearing a squawk from the mouth of an owl
On Christmas Eve it happened
When a wolf on a hill began to howl
Santa slid down the chimney in silence
A smile on his lips sparkled light
Illuminating packages under a tree below
A happy and colorful sight
In the morning children would be delighted
Grateful for Santa’s North Pole Flight
To bring packages of love to each of them
Including food most delicious to bite!
A sonnet by Art
FROM: Art Youmans I've written likely a thousand poems, some short, some long, most lost with the passage of time. Below are a few :
Poem 1 (2018)
Tonight, In my dreams
You will be. floating
Like a playful, gentle breeze.
Soon We'll meet,
Two future ghosts
With tickets already-punched
For the Heaven Express
I'll save you a seat if I get there before YOU.
POEM 2 (2016)
We are grains of sand On the beach of life
Bringing happiness & strife
Maybe gone tomorrow
Replaced by other grains of sand
Amidst mourning & sorrow
Like the color-rich monarch butterfly
A short life bringing a million smiles
Our dying, while loved, makes the
Happy decades lived most worthwhile.
POEM 3 (2013) scroll down for Poem 3
TWO NAKED ELEPHANTS
Pictures of a medium-sized elephant wearing a pink bonnet & a larger elephant wearing a blue hat did NOT copy & paste here. Both are smiling & happy.
2 naked elephants Fell in love in May, Neither was much a gabber, Each had little to say
About feelings for each other, As deep as feelings can be, ? and Art never thought they’d live atop A thick-limb Banyan tree.
“It’s a solid home,” the realtor claimed, “A hippo couple lived here last. This tree house is so well-built That you won’t even have to fast.”
The benefit of fiction is that your mind is always free To create a world of our choosing For 2 naked elephants, you and me.
And will always be
In my life..
Art Youmans, “Humor,” March 2007
MY THIRTEEN PHOBIAS:
Do not pet a rattlesnake on a Monday. It’s their day of rest.
Do not kick your neighbor’s pit bull on a weekend…especially if he’s resting from a busy week of chasing and biting the postman.
Do not argue with anyone bigger than you.
Never try to speed through an east or west intersection, if an 18-wheeler is barreling toward it from the north or south.
Do not walk under a ladder if the painter standing on the ladder is drunk
. If your spouse has spent all day cooking a meal that tastes like sawdust, be careful what you say when she asks you how you liked the food, especially if she has a cast iron skillet in her hands
. If the man facing you is holding a gun, even if he speaks in a foreign language, smile and listen carefully to every word he says.
When a politician tells you he’s only going to tax the richest 1-2% of the population, watch your wallet. Remember, that’s what Congress claimed they were doing when they passed the 16th Amendment & voted for Federal income taxes to start in 1913, on only the richest 1% who earned over $500,000 annually.
If you’re among the 99% of Americans who cheat on their taxes, do not get drunk to celebrate April 15th being over until you’ve survived the resulting tax audit and your time in jail.
Do not forget Murphy’s Law. It’s as much a universal truth as death & taxes.
Do not think of the IRS as a heartless, bureaucratic monster. IRS agents have a heart. After relentlessly pursuing former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Lewis for back taxes on about $2 million he donated to the armed forces during WWII from his fights…although the IRS drove him to an early death, and forced him to return to the boxing ring when he was in his forties, and also forced him into professional wrestling to repay his taxes, the IRS actually forgave his remaining debt after they killed him.
Isn’t the IRS great folks. Let’s have a hand for those wonderful people at the Internal Revenue System!
Do not kiss another man’s wife, especially if he’s within punching distance of your jaw.
Do not ever ask anyone what they think of you…especially if you want the truth.
No one ever thinks as much of you as you do!