In Memory

One of my inspirations passed away yesterday.

ZZ Top – Gimme All Your Lovin’ – Official Video – 1983

Dusty Hill the famously bearded bassist of ZZ Top passed away at 72 years of age 7/28/21.

ZZ Top formed as a group in 1969 with the current configuration of Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard (the non bearded drummer) and Dusty Hill performing together continuously since 1970. Here is a classic from 1971 that shows the raw talent and depth of this trio.

ZZ Top – Brown Sugar – 1971

The last recorded performance is this one from not quite two weeks ago.

ZZ Top – Gimme All Your Lovin’ – Live – 7/16/2021

Thank you Dusty for the incredible tunes and the Bearded inspiration. Godspeed.

We Are Family

One thing Anne Marie taught me was to have a good time.

Times get hard, politics can suck, shit happens, illness comes and it goes, we age, life isn’t always fair, work is …well work and sometimes all we can do is scream FUCK!

But

We can always stop and have a dance party.

She taught me to feel the pain, but to get up and change my attitude. To get up, get back to it and most of all have a good time. Life is short, why waste it?

She taught me that we can create our own family through our community.

Sister Sledge – We Are Family – 1979

Anne Marie, you are family!

In Loving Memory

It is with great sadness that I write this.
Our beloved friend and blogger Anne Marie in Philly has passed away.

Todd, Fearsome, Mistress Maddie and Anne Marie July 2019

Anne Marie,
I cannot fully express my gratitude that you came into my life. I thank you for the laughter, smiles, smooches, encouragement, likes, comments, tears, fun, companionship, hospitality, outlook, perspective, bitchyness, joy and most of all love. I will miss you greatly. I will always carry you in my heart and share just a piece of you with everyone I possibly can.

Todd,
My condolences in your great loss. Please know that I am always here for you.

Godspeed.

When our pets die

Rainbow Bridge – Author Unknown

Gilda came into our lives as a stray whom we rescued some 14 years ago when she was about 2 years old. It was actually a very long, stressful and convoluted story but we were fortunate to legally adopt her from her owners with the help of our local shelter. She was also fortunate that it was my car she stepped out into the road in front of that day. I first wrote about her HERE and also celebrated her 12th birthday HERE .

Gilda was a Belgian Laekenois and Belgian Malinois cross. She had been purchased by a young family in our neighborhood to be a guard dog. Belgians are a special breed that can be difficult for inexperienced dog owners to handle. It was not a good mix and she found herself in a horrible situation. I won’t go any further into details except that by the time she stepped into traffic in front of my moving car she was malnourished and maladjusted. At the moment my eyes landed on her I didn’t yet realize the blessing the universe had just placed into my path, I just knew I had to get this strange and frightened dog to safety.

After many healthy years here with us, Gilda started her decline about a year ago. It was slow and she had many wonderful days, but she had some struggles too. It’s when the struggles outweigh the good days that we owners have to make that final hard choice. Last Saturday it appeared it was about time to call the vet for the home visit, by Sunday evening it was obvious. Monday morning at 8 am the phone weighed about 20 pounds as I dialed the number, fortunately they had a 12 noon opening for the same day.

Monday was a beautiful day and The Better Half had the day off. We were able to open all the doors and windows and spend the morning right here on the house giving her her favorite treats, help her out into her yard for a few last trips and lounge on the floor with her in her comfy bed. We were all blessed as the breeze blew through the house and she could part this life peacefully with us and all her sibling dogs at her side.

While we will never see her beautiful sparkling eyes again in this life, we know we will on the other side. She was the most loyal, loving and gentle soul that anyone could ever be blessed with in life.

Goodbye for now Gilda. Please say hello to Mitzi, Virgil, Diva, & Nina for us. We love you and look forward to the day we can hold you close again.

Gilda with Fearsome

Gilda with Hazel

 

Gilda and Nina

Her eyes

Godspeed.

Real Presidents

Real Presidents are respectful, have good character qualities and aren’t petty.

 

No they aren’t perfect, no human is. However they continually march toward betterment of themselves and of society.

Real Presidents are good people. Real presidents lead.

In Memory

In Honor of John Lewis, may each of us take steps daily toward justice.

Speak out against injustice. Be kind. Love. Respect. Do right. Get into trouble, good trouble. Stand up. Stand with. March toward equality. March toward betterment of all.

Macklemore Christmas

It’s Christmas Time – Macklemore feat. Dan Caplen – 2019

For those who regularly read throughout the year, you will see why this video resonates with me at this time. Christmas will just be different without our dear Mitzi and Virgil this year for we will deeply miss them.

Hazel, may your first Christmas with us be amazing.

Love, hugs and wet kisses!

In remembrance of Virgil and Mitzi 

Hazel

In Memory

A leader, an inspiration and simply a very nice man.

Elijah Cummings with Fearsome May 2019

Elijah, we thank you and we will certainly miss you. Your inspiration shall live on through us.

Godspeed.

In Memory

In memory of our beloved boy Virgil May 5, 2002 – September 10, 2019

Virgil on his 17th Birthday Celebration 2019

Our little old man has passed on. He has now joined his sister Mitzi in a spiritual realm.

Virgil joined us in October of 2002 as a first birthday present of sorts for his older half sister Mitzi. He was from a second litter her mother had from a different father 8 months after her birth. He was an awkward looking puppy that actually seemed as if he  might have a slight birth defect. Possibly from an unhealthy mother did who had her litters to close together. The owner of the mother had him left as no one would take him and was about to take him to the humane society. I gave the guy money to have the mother fixed and I brought Virgil home to foster until I could find him a home.

Needless to say he was a hit with Mitzi from moment one.

Virgil and Mitzi circa October 2002

Our Dalmatian, Mattie, was having issues with a rambunctious 5 month old playing with a wild one year old and got snappy with him. I had a favorite line from Greater Tuna that popped out of my mouth when scolding Mattie for scolding the puppies. I sternly warned her and said “Mattie! Quit it now! …. Mattie, I’m gonna knock you into next week!” That line was used by the character Vera Carp in the funeral home scene toward her son Virgil so the original line was “Virgil! quit it now! …”

I don’t know how to cut it out of here but if you just want to see that line, start at 26:00 and run through 28:10. (This is actually the HBO production of the entire play, if you have time it’s fantastic.)

At that moment not only did Virgil now have a name, but he also had a home. That scared little dog that I took from the back seat of the marina dockworker’s car to foster had a forever home where he continued to live a long, happy and very healthy life for the next 16 years and 11 months. His home was right here with us.

Over his years here our family has lost, and our family has grown.

From left to right in front the back are: Betty, Mitzi (deceased June 2019), Abner, Virgil, Phoebe, Patsy and then Gilda (way in the back).

Others that Virgil shared our home with that passed on before him were our beloved Liver spotted Dalmatian Mattie, our sweet Chocolate Lab Diva and the rescue of our senior Border Collie Nina that was featured here on Fearsome Beard in 2014. Right now instead of here in our bed, he is there with his familiar housemates and sister that he hasn’t been with in a while.

Virgil and Mitzi in their golden years.

Virgil was a happy and healthy boy until the very end. Yesterday he was out on our patio sunning with Betty. He was mobile and out their on his own accord. It wasn’t until last night just before bedtime that he showed signs something may be amiss. He lost his balance and couldn’t stand. He was just off balance, we’ve seen that in other older dogs before and seen it pass quickly so we did not worry. We carried him to bed and he actually had a good night. However this morning he worsened and his deterioration was fast and he did not suffer. He died very unexpectedly in my arms.

He had a great life here with us as we had with him.

Virgil after a grooming cuddling with his youngest housemates Betty & Phoebe

Virgil we will forever love you. We will forever be grateful that you were part of our lives. You will live on in us as we share the love you placed into our hearts with all the others we touch.

Virgil, this is not goodbye as we will see you on the other side. Until then continue to share your love with your canine family that has been awaiting your arrival. Your kisses enrich us. Your snuggles comfort us. Your love fills us.

Virgil, I love you, we all love you.

Until then, Godspeed.

Virgil May 5, 2002 – September 10, 2019

Mitzi

My Angel, you kissed me one last time an hour ago. You were my angel from the day I met you and brought you home. You were only 8 weeks and weighed about a half of a pound. You are my Angel today although you’ve left your earthy bounds for a heaven I do not yet know, you are still with me. I promised you the day I first held you that I’d always take care of you, love you and be here for you, I still am. We may be apart, yet we will always be together. That’s what love is. Love sets us free. Together or apart we care, we love.

Godspeed my dear little girl. Give Nikki, Tess, Mattie, Diva and Nina a kiss for me. I’ll sure miss you here with me but I know I will hold you and kiss you again when I get to the other side. Until then may you find as many Itty Bitty Balls to chase and fetch as you desire.

Mitzi 2001

Mitzi 2019

Mitzi October 15, 2001 – June 2, 2019

I love you.

In memory

To the families and friends who lost their loved ones in the Parkland shooting, we stand with you on this day.

To the survivors of the Parlkland shooting, you inspire us with you leadership.

To all the youth in high schools throughout this country, take a stand for your future to live in a country that respects life, responsibility and safety over stupidity. The future belongs to you.

Honor

In 1988 I was young. In 1988 I was still very influenced by my upbringing. In 1988 I was  financially successful. In 1988 I was selfish. In 1988 I voted with my wallet, I remember making that decision on purpose …to vote for a conservative financial policy, that at that time I believed benefitted me, over social policy. In 1988 I voted for George H.W. Bush for president.

My politics changed during the George H.W. Bush presidency. I matured. I moved away from my conservative roots. I realized that I resonated with liberal social policy and with liberal financial policy over those policies of the conservatives. In 1992 I voted for Bill Clinton.

Looking back, I disagreed with much of the politics of George H.W. Bush. I lived through the AIDS crisis and lost more friends and lovers than I wish to count. I hated his war. I grew to completely disagree with trickle down economics, tax cuts and reductions in societal safety nets.

In fact I came to resent the politics of the entire Bush family.

Yesterday I flew through Houston on my way home to San Diego from Ft. Lauderdale. I had a tight connection and had to practically run to make it to my next gate. As I made my way as fast as I could my stride was stopped in its tracks as I passed this at the George H.W. Bush International Airport:

George H.W. Bush Statue

I’ve passed that statue many times. I’ve even stopped to read the honorarium in times past when I needed to pass some time at this airport. The wall is filled with the history and the achievements of service that he gave to his country. From his service in World War II through his service after his presidency. George H.W. Bush was devoted to his country and to democracy.

Yesterday in my rush I not only stopped in my tracks, I paused. I paused to respect a man for his service. I paused to respect a man for his honor. I paused to realize that he valued political discorse. I paused to acknowledge that although we differed, he also believed in human rights, freedom, immigration, respect, service, compromise, representation and his country. I paused to respect that he valued a greater good for community, he valued society and he valued the world.

We had differences, but we had commonality. I began to cry.

I got to my next flight as Fearsome absorbed my silent tears. I wept for my country. I wept in hope that the future of our politics will one day soon again allow discussion, understanding, compromise, progress, respect and honor.

Godspeed.

Stan Lee, Superhero

Stan Lee 1922-2018, Marvel Comics

Super Heroes often save us from evil. There is no evil greater than bigotry and racism.

Stan created some of the greatest Super Heroes we know. His words from 1969 live on as an inspiration.

-Stan Lee, you will always be a Superhero-

Veterans Day 2018

The Music used in the attached video is from my childhood. I remember it playing at the swim club during summer as well as emanating from behind my older brother’s closed bedroom door. I always loved this tune.

My childhood was innocent. I thought people always landed on the moon. I come to find out later that the moonlanding I watched was the first ever. I thought Seasame Street and color televisions had always exhisted. Turns out that season of Seasame Street I was watching in 1969 was the very first season, and that color TV we had was the first my parents had ever owned.

I hated war. Vietnam reinforced that fact. The TV showed horrible scenes. I didn’t understand why people had to do such destructive things. It was wrong. I knew it was. Innocence tainted.

My uncle was in Vietnam. My father and another uncle served in the Korean era. My father’s uncles served in WWII and his father’s uncles in WWI. War stole innocence. War destroyed lives.

My brothers and I avoided the service. No war drafted us nor demanded our service.

Even though I hate war, I respect and I wish to honor those who serve. The serve their country. They serve their family, community, neighbors and each other. They didn’t start nor cause any war. Those who serve do so for a common good of service to something greater than themselves.

I am deeply grateful.

If you served, either in war or hopefully in peace, I thank you.