Day 7 of 10: Thankful for Thanksgiving!

(West Orange County, 11/25/2014 by Dave Emerson)Thanksgiving is a uniquely North American holiday. It is only celebrated in the U.S. (4th Thursday in November), Canada (2nd Monday of October), and, more recently, in Grenada (October 25th).

What a great idea–a day set aside for a celebration of thanks! In many ways, it’s my favorite holiday–less commercialized, more family oriented, with unique American roots and even a healthy main dish.

About 48 hours from now most of us will be eating with loved ones, but that’s only part of what the holiday is all about.  Please endulge me as I repeat a brief history of  the three “first Thanksgivings” in North America, first in Florida, then Virginia, then in Massachusettes.  Yup, the Pilgrims were third,but they didn’t know it.

The First “first Thanksgiving:” en Espanol! Continue reading

Complete Text of President Obama’s statement regarding the Ferguson verdict

Last night our President made several important points. His statement is worth reading in its entirity.

(Los Alamitos, CA, 11/25/2014, bolding added) Here is President Obama’s address to the nation made last night shortly after it was announced that Ferguson, Mo., Officer Darren Wilson would not be criminally charged on any counts in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown:

THE PRESIDENT: As you know, a few moments ago, the grand jury deliberating the death of Michael Brown issued its decision. It’s an outcome that, either way, was going to be subject of intense disagreement not only in Ferguson, but across America. So I want to just say a few words suggesting how we might move forward.

First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law. And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an

Michael Brown, Sr. and Lesley McSpadden

understandable reaction. But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words: “Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer. No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain. I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.” Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone. We should Continue reading

Day 6 of 10 days of Thanksgiving: Our City officials and staff

Last week Los Al's Council thanked  outgoing State Senator Lou Correa

Last week Los Al’s Council thanked outgoing State Senator Lou Correa

(11/24/2014, Los Alamitos) by Dave Emerson:   Here’s something you may not have thought of to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week:  Our local elected and appointed city officials, staff, and volunteers.

I know, they’re not perfect, but neither are we!  They do work long and hard and give it their best effort pretty much all of the time.

I’ll only have time to go through a few of the people at Los Alamitos City Hall, I’ve gotten to know a bit that I’m thankful for, so if you’re in Cypress, Rossmoor, or Seal Beach you’ll have to fill in your own names, but this might give you a few ideas:

City Council (in order listed on City Website): Continue reading

Day 4 of 10 days of Thanksgiving: Thankful for Shabbat

(11/22/2014, by Dave Emerson:) My 4th “Day of Thanksgiving” falls on a Saturday, which reminds me of a Jewish tradition for which I’m thankful: Taking one day each week to rest and focus on God, the eternal, and others.

I’m not Jewish, but I do try to live by the teachings of the most famous (and controversial) Jewish rabbi this world has ever known.   And, as revolutionary as his teachings were, Jesus made it clear that the he did not intend to abolish the Law of Moses, but to fulfill it.

In our workaholic, materialistic world where possessions, money, fame and pleassure are worshipped, resting one day a week is practially a sin.  Thirty five years ago, when I was trying to get my real estate career going while working as a teacher, I sure thought I needed to hold Open Houses on Sundays to succeed.

Until I called mega-agent Ben Gritters to get more information  Continue reading

Day 3 of 10 days of Thanksgiving: Thankful for our Military & First Responders

The Los Al City Council encourages us to wear Red shirts every Friday to Remember Everyone Deployed.

The Los Al City Council encourages us to wear Red shirts every Friday to Remember Everyone Deployed.

(Los Alamitos, 11/21/2014)  Today I’m thankful for every member of our military, past and present, and our police and firefighters.   That includes my Dad, a WW II vet who and my father in law, a WW II POW.  The were both among the fortunate ones who returned home alive.

In the photo on the right are the flags that draped their coffine five decades later.  They were given to my mother and mother-in-law were handed  “On behalf of the President of the United States, the Department of the Air Force, and a grateful nation’  for their “faithful and dedicated service.”   I’m thankful for all our vets, living and dead.  Without their sacrifices, we would not have the freedom we so easily take for granted.

One of our own, Laura Hertzog, heads up Honoring our Fallen, which serves the families of our fallen from the moment they are notified of the death of their loved one.  You can read more about Honoring our Falling in JM’s recent post and on their website,, where you can also donate.

Behind the flags showing some of the areas of the world where  our military currently serve fighting everything from ISIS to Ebola as you read these words.  For them, I am not only thankful, but also   Continue reading