Archive for March, 2013

Retired Principal James Dierke writes about “a Quiet Revolution” that took place in his school

March 25, 2013

Leadership Cover Sept:Oct 2012Established in 1971, the Association of California School Administrators is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the nation, serving more than 16,000 members. In the ACSA Leadership magazine, President David A. Gomez reviews highlights of the September/October 2012 issue in a letter to readers: 21st century school: Learning and teaching in the classroom and beyond.

Here is what he says about Jim Dierke’s article: Classroom learning can’t happen if students aren’t in school, or if behavior problems and stress levels inhibit success. A San Francisco program called Quiet Time, which engages students in classroom meditation, has tackled these problems successfully. “No matter how much effort we put into teaching, if we don’t effectively address the pervasive underlying tension and trauma experienced by our youth, we can’t make real progress,” writes Jim Dierke, who initiated the program in his middle school (page 14).

A Quiet Transformation by Jim Dierke (pages 14-17) tells the story of what took place in Visitacion Valley Middle School when he was principal. Stress not only contributes to violence and behavior issues, it impacts focus and memory, fundamentally impairing a child’s ability to learn and make good decisions. Dierke’s decision to implement the Quiet Time program transformed the lives of hundreds of students, teachers, staff, and the school as a whole. As a result of the dramatic turnaround, James S. Dierke was selected as the NASSP National Middle School Principal of the Year in 2008. The program was so successful, the Superintendent implemented the Quiet Time Program in a few other schools in their district. See this video and others mentioned at the end of the post: The David Lynch Foundation Quiet Time Program in San Francisco Schools.

When you open the PDF of the article use the Open With Different Viewer option in the upper right. Save the pdf and open it with Adobe and it should have the missing part of the last sentence I added. The last sentence should read: I retire with the lowest blood pressure I have had in 10 years and a great optimism about our ability to realize this vision for education. If you download the digital version of the issue, you’ll be able to read it as it appears in the magazine.

The Intelligent Optimist’s Consciousness Issue Features Maharishi’s Approach to World Peace

March 24, 2013

The new Intelligent Optimist is out with The Consciousness Issue

Features articles on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s approach to world peace.

Optimist Jan-Feb 2013 The Intelligent Optimist, formerly OdeWire, is a magazine that pays attention to what’s good in the world. The new Consciousness Issue shows people meditating, connected to everyone else, with the words: The revenge of the spirit: A new consciousness is coming—and it will change everything. The Jan/Feb 2013 issue will be posted on their website. The editor-in-chief, Jurriaan Kamp, is inviting readers to receive The Consciousness Issue in digital format in their e-mailbox, for free.

There are two major articles on Maharishi’s approach to world peace: When monks rule: Rigorous research shows that group meditation reduces conflict and violence in society (pages 44–48), and Levitating for a better world: Selling his telecom company made Paul Gelderloos rich. Now he plans to spend millions reducing world poverty—through meditation (pages 50–53). You can also download PDFs of the articles: When monks rule and Levitating for a better world.

Optimist-When monks ruleThe Dutch-American publisher, Jurriaan Kamp, has written a most intelligent article. It’s actually one of the most enlightened pieces I’ve ever read about our approach to collectively transform society from within through the ongoing global world peace project. I especially loved his piece on Paul Gelderloos, our “Flying Dutchman!” 🙂 You’ll know what I mean when you see the photo they put together. I believe it was Paul who encouraged Jurriaan to write about Maharishi’s World Peace Project and the means to transform society. He did a brilliant job! You’ll enjoy it.

Of interest are Jurriaan Kamp’s Letter from the Editor: Your attention, please (page 5), and his editorial article (pages 36–40): The revenge of the spirit: Humanity stands at the threshold of a new era: the era of consciousness. After conquering the external world, human beings will discover their inner selves.

Here is an invitation from the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Intelligent Optimist, Jurriaan Kamp. (more…)

Fairfield Ledger: Smithsonian Magazine names Fairfield 7th best small town in America to visit

March 23, 2013

Smithsonian: Fairfield seventh best small town

By ANDY HALLMAN | Mar 22, 2013

Smithsonian Magazine has named Fairfield the seventh best small town in America to visit.

Fairfield will be featured in the April edition of the magazine along with the other small towns that made the top 10 list.

Smithsonian Magazine sent a writer to Fairfield for the weekend of Jan. 26-27. Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce director Nancy Morrissey gave the writer, Susan Spano, a tour of the town when she came to visit.

Spano visited numerous businesses and attractions while she was here. She went to the ICON Gallery, Maasdam Barns, Maharishi University of Management’s Sustainable Living Center, Sky Factory, Creative Edge Mastershop, Café Paradiso and many other places.

“Having spent a full day and a half with Susan Spano, I was convinced that we were going to be chosen as one of the top 10 small towns to visit in 2013,” Morrissey said. “Susan was charmed with the warmth and intimacy of Fairfield, fascinated with Fairfield’s sustainability lifestyle and entranced by our diversity, infusion of culture and entertainment and strong appreciation of our history.”

Morrissey said her only regret from Spano’s visit was that she did not get to visit Carnegie Museum. A combination of rain and freezing temperatures made travel difficult that weekend and the museum could not be open.

Morrissey created Spano’s itinerary for the weekend. She said it was difficult to decide on which sites to visit since Spano had limited time and because most of her tour was done on a Sunday when many establishments are closed.

Spano stayed at the MainStay Inn, where she had breakfast with a number of leaders in the community. Morrissey said Spano liked that, since it was a change of pace from the formal presentations she had received from community leaders in other towns.

Ken Chawkin, the media relations coordinator at Maharishi University of Management, was with Spano as she toured M.U.M., including the Sustainability Living Center. She met with David Fisher, chair of the Department of Sustainable Living, and Jon Lipman, who has designed all the buildings on campus since 2000. Those two gave Spano a presentation on what the Sustainability Living Center was all about.

“She was very impressed with the Sustainability Center,” Chawkin said.

The Smithsonian photographer, Charles Ledford, took a photo inside the Maharishi Patanjali Dome, which appears on the Smithsonian’s website above its article on Fairfield. Chawkin said Ledford was very appreciative of being allowed into the dome. Ledford also took photographs at Eco Village and inside Café Paradiso. Chawkin said Ledford got to hear a local Celtic band practice. Tim Britton even played a special tune for Spano when she visited the café.

The Fairfield residents Spano spoke with were interested to know if Fairfield would make the top 20 or even the top 10 list.

“She told us at breakfast that Fairfield kept coming up highly in their selection criteria,” Chawkin said. “Ours was the only town where she sat at a table to have brunch with people. She felt that was very warm and friendly.”

Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy was with Spano for part of her tour.

“Susan was openly impressed with Fairfield,” he said. “She was not hiding her enthusiasm about what she was seeing.”

Malloy said he and other Fairfield residents were hopeful they could make a positive impression on Spano to propel the town into the top 10.

“The news that we’re No. 7 is thrilling,” he said. “It acknowledges all the work we’ve been doing to promote our community, and it helps us stay current in defining how Fairfield is a great place to live and raise a family.”

Malloy said some members of the tour group were worried the bad weather that weekend wouldn’t give them the opportunity to put the best possible face on the town.

“To get that objective verification that we make that big of an impression on an outside organization or person is wonderful,” he said. “We really are a small town with limited resources.”

One resource that is not in short supply in town is friendly people. Malloy said visitors to town can sense the warmth of the city’s residents.

“The friendliness and compassion we have for our community shines through to people from outside,” he said.

Terry Monmaney, executive editor of Smithsonian Magazine, said he started the search for the best small towns by consulting with the geographic information services company Esri. Esri contains information about the services and amenities of virtually every town in the country.

“We asked Esri to look at towns under 15,000 people and check them for a couple dozen different cultural features or assets, such as museums, performance stages, parks, galleries, amusement parks and the like,” he said. “That resulted in a list of a few dozen high-scoring towns ranked by the number of assets.”

Smithsonian Magazine then narrowed those results further to achieve a ratio of the number of “cultural assets” per capita, which was mostly responsible for determining a town’s ranking.

“For the overall list we were looking for geographic range, editorial mix and what might be called freshness,” he said. “Fairfield met all those criteria and then some.”

Posted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger.

(I forgot to mention that “Stretch” Ledford, the Smithsonian photographer, had also visited MUM’s organic greenhouse and took some amazing photos of Steve McLaskey with an armful of vegetables he and his wife Susie had just picked.)

See The Smithsonian’s 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013. Fairfield, Iowa is in the Top 10 (No. 7). KTVO: Fairfield makes Top 10 in list of small towns to visit. Des Moines Register: Iowa town ranks No. 7 on list of Best Small Towns to Visit.

The Smithsonian’s 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013. Fairfield, Iowa is in the Top 10 (No. 7)

March 23, 2013

Best-Small-Towns-Illustration-631

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013

What makes a small town big on culture? For the second year running, we sought a statistical answer to this question by asking the geographic information company Esri to search its databases for small towns and cities—this time, with populations of less than 15,000—that have exceptional concentrations of museums, art galleries, orchestras, theaters, historic sites and other cultural blessings.

Happily, the top towns also boast heartwarming settings where the air is a little fresher, the grass greener, the pace gentler than in metropolitan America. Generally, they’re devoted to preserving their historic centers, encouraging talent and supporting careful economic growth. There’s usually an institution of higher learning, too.

Most important are the people, unpretentious people with small-town values and high cultural expectations—not a bad recipe for society at large. As a sign on a chalkboard in Cleveland, Mississippi (our No. 2), puts it, “Be nice. The world is a small town.”

Best-Small-Towns-Fairfield-IA-praying-large

Maharishi Patanjali Golden Dome (© Charles Ledford)

7. Fairfield, IA

Fairfield sits in an undulating landscape with farmhouses, silos, barns and plenty of sky. A railroad track runs through town and there’s a gazebo on the square. You have to stick around to learn about things you’d never find in Grant Wood’s American Gothic, like the preference for east-facing front doors. That’s the orientation prescribed by Transcendental Meditation movement founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whose followers went looking for a place to start a university and landed in the cornfields of southeast Iowa.

The Maharishi University of Management now offers B.A.’s in 13 fields, among them Vedic science and sustainable living. With students riding bikes and plugged into iPods, it looks like any other college campus, except for twin gold-domed buildings where practitioners gather to meditate twice a day.

Fairfield could stand as a case study from The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida’s book on the link between educated populations and economic development. Fairfield got the one when the college opened its golden domes, drawing accomplished people who saw its sweetness; it got the other when they started dreaming up ways to stay. “Everyone who arrived had to reinvent themselves to survive,” said mayor (and meditator) Ed Malloy.

The economy started perking in the 1980s with e-commerce and dot-coms, earning Fairfield the name “Silicorn Valley,” then launched start-ups devoted to everything from genetic crop-testing to investment counseling. Organic farmer Francis Thicke keeps the radio in his barn tuned to Vedic music; his Jerseys must like it because everyone in town says that Radiance Dairy milk is the best thing in a bottle.

But there’s more than mellow. The new Maasdam Barns Museum, with buildings from a farm that raised mighty Percheron horses, displays agricultural machines made by the local Louden Company. A walking tour passes the rock-solid, Richardson Romanesque courthouse, a Streamline Moderne bank, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired residences and myriad examples of Vedic architecture.

Artists and performers find they can afford to live in Fairfield. ICON, which specializes in regional contemporary art, joins galleries and shops in hosting a monthly art walk, featuring the work of some 300 local artists.

The striking new Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts welcomes acts from chamber groups to Elvis impersonators. The soon-to-open Orpheum Theater will offer something that is dying out in big cities—an art movie house.

Solar panels help banish electricity bills at Abundance Eco Village, an off-the-grid community on the edge of town. But it’s less about altruism than well-being in Fairfield. Take, for instance, the quiet zones, recently instituted at railroad crossings to silence incessant train whistles; newly planted fruit trees in city parks; and Fairfield’s all-volunteer, solar-powered radio station, producing 75 homegrown programs a year. “Fairfield,” says station manager James Moore, a poet, musician, tennis teacher and meditator, “is one of the deepest small ponds you’ll find anywhere.”

Visit an interactive map at the end of the Fairfield article on the Smithsonian site and click on the pins for photos and more information.

Related news coverage: Fairfield Ledger: Smithsonian Magazine names Fairfield 7th best small town in America to visit. KTVO: Fairfield makes Top 10 in list of small towns to visit. Des Moines Register: Iowa town ranks No. 7 on list of Best Small Towns to Visit.

Here is a scan of part of the two-page spread in the print edition of the Smithsonian magazine. At the top is a wonderful photo Charles “Stretch” Ledford took inside Café Paradiso of the mural in the background and a couple having coffee in the foreground. The head covering and look on the face of the lady at the table matches the shawl covering the head of the female artist in the mural behind her. They share the same sideways glance to the left, and even share the same orange color on their clothing! Stretch said: “I had my lens trained on her and kept the composition for at least 10 minutes, probably 15 +, waiting for her to turn just the right way.  I have about a dozen or so shots, but knew the winner would be when she turned.  Eventually she did, I was lucky enough to still have my finger on the shutter, and I made the shot.”

Smithsonian-Fairfield

Haiku With My Muse, Sali, inspired by Paul Horn

March 20, 2013

Haiku With My Muse

You are my soul mate
With you, I can be mySelf
Together, We Are

© Ken Chawkin
With Sali at Parkview
Sunday, March 17, 2013

See Celebrating Paul Horn and his Contribution to Jazz, World Music, Meditation and Spirituality.

(more…)

Celebrating Paul Horn and his Contribution to Jazz, World Music, Meditation and Spirituality

March 20, 2013

Paul Horn, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and David Lynch attend the press conference for the David Lynch Foundation “Change Begins Within” Benefit Concert at Radio City Music Hall on April 3, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

It was St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, March 17, 2013. It was also Paul Horn’s 83rd birthday, and I had sent around an email about it with links to Paul’s participation (:55–1:22) in the Change Begins Within Press Conference Highlights from Radio City Music Hall in NYC, April 3, 2009, and the concert the following night. Here’s an overview of the Change Begins Within Press Conference and musical Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr Concert Highlights. This is a great collection of concert clips and interviews, and DLF school clips: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr Collaborate for Meditation in Schools. An edited version was shown on PBS. Someone posted these excerpts: Paul McCartney/Ringo Starr “Change Begins Within” Concert (39:39).

A Symphony of SilenceI also read an interview with Paul Horn in the first chapter of A Symphony of Silence: An Enlightened Vision by George A. Ellis. Paul spoke about his philosophy of music and improvisation, how he communicated musically with a killer whale at an aquarium in Victoria, BC, and in Hawaii. He also spoke about his own spiritual quest, how he started Transcendental Meditation and met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He discussed how he was invited to join a course in India with Maharishi and his experiences there. George Ellis also asked Paul questions about his becoming a TM teacher in those early days, and also playing his flute in the Taj Mahal. It’s a great interview, and a wonderful way to start the book! It got me hooked.

Rolf Erickson, editor-in-chief of Enlightenment, The Transcendental Meditation Magazine, emailed to say there’s an excerpt of the interview with Paul Horn in the latest issue, number 11, called The Music of Meditation. In it, George cites a beautiful quote from Paul’s own book, Inside Paul Horn: The Spiritual Odyssey of a Universal Traveler, highlighted at the top of the article: “We are traveling in historical time, from the present to the distant past. We are traveling inwardly as well, through the music of meditation.” Rolf also contributed an article about George Ellis, Sharing the Symphony of Silence, describing what he had accomplished as a TM teacher and entrepreneur, and his heartfelt tribute to Maharishi with this book. Visit http://asymphonyofsilence.com.

Here’s an earlier post from a few years ago: Iconic Jazz Musician Paul Horn Performs Inside MUM’s Golden Dome in Historic Concert May 15. The concert was in the context of a Symposium on Music and Consciousness during which Paul Horn was honored for his lifelong contribution to music, as a jazz musician and Father of New Age Music; and consciousness, as a longtime teacher of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation technique. Paul taught thousands of people to meditate in the 70’s. Here is Paul’s great talk at that Symposium: Improvisation: The Ultimate Art of Self-Expression — Paul Horn at MUM. Click here to see all of the Lecture and Performance Videos including Q & A.

During his visit to MUM and Fairfield, Jo Ann Gesner interviewed Paul for an article, Paul Horn: Improvisation from the Inside Out, published in Enlightenment Magazine’s 6th issue with a beautiful photo of Paul and his wife, Ann Mortifee, taken in Café Paradiso.

This video, Inside Paul Horn, is an overview of Paul Horn’s career. Originally titled, Inside Paul Horn Special Edition, it includes clips from Story of a Jazz Muscian – David Wolper Presents, and was uploaded on Jan 14, 2011 by annmortifee.

For more on the music of Paul Horn and Ann Mortifee, visit http://paulhornmusic.com and http://annmortifee.com.

Listen to Monica Hadley interview George A. Ellis on Writer’s Voices – 20130712 and how his book Symphony of Silence came about.

See my Haiku With My Muse, Sali, inspired by Paul Horn.

See Snapshots: Paul Horn in Conversation: History & Influences.

Varanasi by Mary Oliver in A Thousand Mornings

March 16, 2013

I previously posted Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, and Philip Goldberg emailed me to say that someone recently showed him the last poem in her new collection (A Thousand Mornings). He said, “It’s called ‘Varanasi,’ and it’s exquisite.” I started looking for it and found the poem posted by another poet, Bob Arnold, on his website. After reading it I agreed – it’s stunning! That’s why I’m posting it here for you to enjoy. I also came across a musical video of the poem with images from the Ganges. After you’ve read the poem, see Diane Walker’s poetic reaction to it below. But take a break from this busy introduction, and then enjoy the enlightened peaceful simplicity of Mary Oliver’s visit to Varanasi.

VARANASI

Early in the morning we crossed the ghat,

where fires were still smoldering,

and gazed, with our Western minds, into the Ganges.

A woman was standing in the river up to her waist;

she was lifting handfuls of water and spilling it

over her body, slowly and many times,

as if until there came some moment

of inner satisfaction between her own life and the river’s.

Then she dipped a vessel she had brought with her

and carried it filled with water back across the ghat,

no doubt to refresh some shrine near where she lives,

for this is the holy city of Shiva, maker

of the world, and this is his river.

I can’t say much more, except that it all happened

in silence and peaceful simplicity, and something that felt

like that bliss of a certainty and a life lived

in accordance with that certainty.

I must remember this, I thought, as we fly back

to America.

Pray God I remember this.

_______________________

Mary Oliver
A Thousand Mornings
(Penguin, 2012)

Now read this beautiful poetic reaction to the poem, Mary Oliver’s Varanasi, that Diane Walker, a contemplative photographer, posted on her website.

Among the NPR Poetry series is this interview ‘A Thousand Mornings’ With Poet Mary Oliver. You can also read the transcript here. I especially love this remark she makes about poetry:

“One thing I do know is that poetry, to be understood, must be clear. It mustn’t be fancy. I have the feeling that a lot of poets writing now are – they sort of tap dance through it. I always feel that whatever isn’t necessary shouldn’t be in a poem.”

Here are a few other poems by Mary Oliver posted on this blog, and the wonderful Maria Shriver Interview With Mary Oliver.

Speaking of another famous American visiting the Ganges, see Prudence Farrow — subject of the Beatles song Dear Prudence — visits India’s Kumbh Mela.

Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, is a lesson on attention, receptivity, listening and writing

March 14, 2013

Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(Thirst)

An inspiration for a poem came to me from such receptivity to a tree. The first words entered my mind while admiring it. I wrote them down, and the next morning, I rewrote them as a stanza, and then the sequential stanzas naturally followed, reiterating what Mary Oliver describes. It was as if I was given a creative seed and it sprouted. This gift from the tree was much appreciated. I later called it Being in Nature. Its sequel, trees, was about the nature of trees, and what we can learn from them. Another poem once came to me from a rock with a sense of humor. You can read RIVER ROCK SPEAKS in my Vancouver Park Poems.

Diane Vance and Norman Zierold discuss his new memoir, That Reminds Me, at Revelations Café

March 12, 2013
Norman Zierold, author of “That Reminds Me,” autographs one of his books for Peter Ecob Saturday at Revelations Café, after a book discussion. Freddy Fonseca, center, pushes in a chair after attending Zierold’s interview while Terry Weiss, seated, talks with others across the table.

Norman Zierold, author of “That Reminds Me,” autographs one of his books for Peter Ecob Saturday at Revelations Café, after a book discussion. Freddy Fonseca, center, pushes in a chair after attending Zierold’s interview while Terry Weiss, seated, talks with others across the table. Photo by Diane Vance

Fairfield author talks about recent work

By DIANE VANCE
Ledger staff writer
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More than a dozen people attended a book discussion Saturday featuring Fairfield author Norman Zierold talking about his latest publication, “That Reminds Me.”

An Iowa native, born and raised in the Amana Colonies, Zierold has written and published eight books, but this latest, subtitled, “A Conversational Memoir,” comes 40 years after his seventh book, “Sex Goddesses of the Silent Screen.”

Those first seven books, beginning with “The Child Stars,” published in 1965, mostly deal with Zierold’s first-hand encounters, insights and research about authors, stars of stage and movies, his life and work in New York and Hollywood.

Zierold moved to Fairfield more than a decade ago and works at Maharishi University of Management.

“For about 50 years, people have said I should write a memoir,” he said. “I was always doing other things. I moved to Fairfield — though I’d been in and out of here before — and it took a couple years to begin writing.”

Having committed words to paper, he wasn’t sure how to get it all together in a readable fashion. He asked a co-worker and friend, Ken Chawkin, for help.

“Ken helped me get it all on my computer so I could manage it,” said Zierold.

“I always felt like I’d do a memoir; I knew I had one more book inside. Everyone has one book in them — everyone has ups and downs, traumas and experiences, and if presented well, it makes an interesting read. Everyone has a book,” he said.

So while Zierold happily drops names throughout his memoir, it is not about bragging or a “kiss-and-tell” expose.

Rather, Zierold keeps the little-boy wonder of the Iowa farm kid who spoke only German in his youngest years and relates everyday incidents, family dynamics and serendipitous meetings with the likes of Andy Warhol, Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot, E.E. Cummings, Anais Nin, Groucho Marx and many more.

Working for nearly a decade in New York City at Theatre Arts Magazine, Zierold’s job included interviewing Noel Coward and others, attending theatre productions and rubbing elbows with intellectuals, playwrights and celebrities at Sardis.

Even before his magazine job, his service to country and Navy uniform got him in to see performances of Ethel Merman, Edith Piaf and Mae West— including a back-stage meeting with her after the show.

Anthony Quinn hired Zierold to help him organize writing his autobiography. Part one took place around Los Angeles, with Quinn’s favorite retreat for working on his writing in California’s Death Valley. Part two took Zierold on a six-week encampment in Libya in 1979 while Quinn was shooting a movie on location in the Sahara Desert.

Zierold’s second book, “Little Charlie Ross,” published in 1967, is a true crime story about the first kidnapping for ransom in America in July 1874. His book landed Zierold an interview on the “Today Show” in New York, with Barbara Walters.

While studying for a master’s degree in English at the University of Iowa, Zierold was alone in a faculty lounge when the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas walked in.

“He was lecturing classes there for awhile, and he walks in and we have a visit, then I hear him again when he’s teaching the class,” said Zierold. “His reading of poetry is incomparable.”

Zierold is an avid reader. Before the book discussion began Saturday, he was perusing the biography bookshelves at Revelations Café while his audience gathered.

“I grew up reading, and especially liked Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemmingway,” he said. “Now I read biographies.”

He refers to Voltaire and Henry James as other favorites.

“I would encourage anyone to write,” he said. “Writing has a rhythm. Write without censoring yourself. Put it all in — you can take it out later. But if you leave it out and think you’ll go back to put something in later, it can interrupt the flow and not fit. It’s much easier to take something out than add it later.”

“That Reminds Me,” is a memoir, but it is not written in a chronological fashion. Zierold “puts it all in there,” and lets it flow as a conversation with a friend — this thought leads to another topic; that incident reminds him of another story.

Reading the slim paperback gives a full glimpse of a life, as he wrote in Chapter Five: “These digestible portions of prose will add up in time to a fully drawn portrait, just you wait and see. It will be like nature’s unfolding of a rose, petal by petal.”

Zierold writes about cocktail parties and gala weekends spent at various friends homes, at the shore or in Mexico. He writes about eventually asking himself if getting high, waking with hangovers and being witty at parties is all there is?

He relocates from L.A. to nearby-but-a-different-world, Laguna Beach. He describes the town’s peacefulness and incomparable beauty and power of the Pacific Ocean.

He sees a poster about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and decides to attend a meeting, where he meets young people who have learned Transcendental Meditation. At age 45, Zierold discerns meditation seemed to work for them, so he signs up to learn TM in 1972. It is a quiet, gradual transformation for Zierold that leads to transcendence, bliss and months of euphoria, then becoming a TM teacher himself. He adds more travels to his passport and continues learning.

One of the gems among the jewels in this book is Zierold’s story about his own father and their relationship as adults.

Zierold asks questions about life and offers some answers.

Posted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger. This article was featured prominently on the front and back pages.

Here’s an earlier announcement Diane Vance wrote Thursday, March 7 on the upcoming book discussion and signing at Revelations Café.

Author speaking about new book

Iowa native and Fairfield resident since 2002, Norman Zierold, will talk about his latest book, “That Reminds Me,” at 2 p.m. Saturday upstairs at Revelations Café in Fairfield.

Everyone is welcome to this meet-the-author session.

This is Zierold’s eighth book, which he’s subtitled, “A Conversational Memoir.” Reading it is nearly like having a conversation with him. He tells stories from his days of rubbing elbows with celebrities, including authors, artists, movie stars, Broadway stars, TV stars, news anchors and more.

Saturday provides an opportunity to have an actual conversation with Zierold. A time for questions and answers is planned.

Born and raised in the Amana Colonies, Zierold enlisted in the navy, graduated cum laude from Harvard and earned a master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Iowa.

He always wanted to write, but also travel, and he spent two years in France on a French Government Teaching Assistantship. After Paris, he spent a decade in New York City, teaching at Brearley School and working at Collier’s Encyclopedia before landing rewarding assignments with Theater Arts Magazine and Show.

His first book, “The Child Stars,” was published in 1965 and is available at the Fairfield Public Library. It features stories about the child stars of the 1920s and 1930s, including Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.

Other books followed: “Little Charlie Ross,” in 1967; “Three Sisters in Black,” in 1968, which won a Special Edgar Allen Poe Award; “The Moguls,” and “Garbo,” both in 1969; “The Skyscraper Doom,” in 1972; and “Sex Goddesses of the Silent Screen,” in 1973.

His books run the gamut of true crime novels, tales of Hollywood’s golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, and science fiction.

Posted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger.

For more information and other articles and interviews on Norman, see: That Reminds Me: A Conversational Memoir by Hollywood biographer Norman Zierold is now out!

Journeying god—traditional Ghanaian prayer song

March 10, 2013
journeying god
I found this beautiful traditional prayer song from Ghana, and photo, posted in the Panhala Archive. The translator is unknown.

Journeying god,
pitch your tent with mine
so that I may not become deterred
by hardship, strangeness, doubt.
Show me the movement I must make
toward a wealth not dependent on possessions,
toward a wisdom not based on books,
toward a strength not bolstered by might,
toward a god not confined to heaven.
Help me to find myself as I walk in other’s shoes.


%d bloggers like this: