Our USA 速
Charming Stories & Photos Created by remarkable Americans just like you!
Our Country - Our People - Our Stories
Our Country, Our People, Our Stories
12 Back to the Future
It was a time, not too long ago, when our trust in the government, technology, big business and science were at its zenith, helping us to move forward to achieve the promise of the American Dream.
16 American Nostalgia
Materialism has become an easy enough objective in America, in part because products are so cheap and easily accessible. Easy to acquire – but do we appreciate them?
22 Gettysburg A year-long celebration commemorating one of this country’s most historic battles.
26 Paul Revere House
An American silversmith, early industrialist, and a patriot in the American Revolution. Wander through the past by visiting the Paul Revere House in Boston.
Beneath the embassy flags lining Pennsylvania Avenue, there lies a sub-culture that few take the time to notice.
29 Homeless America’s dirty little secret?
30 Feeding America
The Greater Boston Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in New England. Their mission is to end hunger in the area.
34 Open House
44 Find Your Way
Tiny houses – it’s becoming a movement – people are downsizing the spaces they live in. Take a peek at this young woman’s DIY tiny home.
How to listen to your own truth instead of expectations, and create an inspired life.
48 Shun Imports
Most people visualize gemstone mines in exotic places, not believeing that our country is a gemstone treasure chest.
50 Boulder Field
“The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up.” ~ W. Rogers
No sandy beaches here - be sure to bring sturdy shoes.
Blue & Yellow?
A distant relative, it shouts boldly – Don’t tread on me!
5 Contributors 9 6 Readers Forum 7 Table Talk 8 Made in the USA 10 America
Not Trickle Down
39 Red, White,
42 My Hometown Stubenville, OH
Mother Earth unfolds her paintings of greens, yellows, purples and the kaleidoscope of spectacular colors in the palette of spring.
40 The First
St. Patty’s Dolce Pizzelles
43 I’m Just Sayin’
Men Just Don’t Get It
56 The WPA A look at the simple beauty of By the People, For the People posters of the WPA.
36 Trickle Up,
Our Spring issue ushers in a new year. It is special for us for a couple of reasons. You will notice on both the front and back covers we have featured real, live people – specifically children. Children represent our hope and pride and they also represent all of our futures. I think the photographers who submitted their art express it best: “The idea was to consider the choices our children have to make about rebuilding America. Some images suggest pride, while others suggest the aloof spirit upon which such a serious job rests. I also think they suggest a call to all of us to stand up, step in and get involved so not to bequeath a shamble to our children.” ~ B. Goldman “Boy with the Flag is a special time that I photographed my son Nate on a recent family vacation to Disney World. I encourage parents to spend quality time with their children making wonderful memories. Because when you are older, those are the memories you will cherish – the laughing, smiling and loving.” ~ A.S. Wallace This Spring issue is also special because it will be our very first digital issue! We are furiously working on getting out the kinks, but it will be available for viewing or download on our website very soon! Lots more surprises on the way!
Cher Valentino, Editor Wendy Junker, Marketing Director CJ, Production Manager Debra Jennings, Text Editing Bubba, Director of Goodwill
Cover Photo -Brian Goldman www.goldmanpictures.com Center Spread - Dave Barnhouse www.davebarnhouseart.com Back Cover - Amber S. Wallace www.fotofocusbyasw.blogspot.com
We Are Going Digital! Check our website and Facebook page for updates.
P. 11 Nancy Ruest http://bit.ly/Z212Zn P. 16 Gwendolyn www.sliderarts.com P. 19 Ken W. Kiser P. 21 Robert W. Brunelle, Jr www.mrbrunelle.com P. 52 Nicholas A. Tonelli P. 55 Elise Marie Fallon
P. 63 John Underwood
our usa magazine PO Box 275 Leicester, NY 14481 PO Box 761 Sidney, NE 69162
www.ourusamagazine.com/blog Spring ‘13 Copyright © 2013
Celebrate Spring! Cher
All rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or part is prohibited.
A Shout Out to Our Contributors Brian Goldman Brian Goldman is a commercial photographer based in Texas. His work looks at that spark that connects us together, shows our true grit, and tells our story. His aim is to represent our work, our land, our place, and our relationships with each other. To Brian, the photograph is the celebration of our doing and undergoing. To see more of Brian’s work, visit www.goldmanpictures.com.
Sally Edelstein is an award-winning artist and writer whose work has focused on mid-century American culture. Her nationally exhibited collages of vintage imagery, offer a remix of popular culture. Her blog, EnvisioningTheAmericanDream.wordpress.com, offers up a curated collection of vintage advertising and illustrations of mid-century American consumer culture. Weaving personal stories along with vintage images, the commentaries are an amalgam of satire, history and memoir. www.sallyedelsteincollage.com
Tami Richards Tami Richards lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon, where she enjoys caring for her four grandchildren, two dogs and her wonderful husband. Day trips, photography, poetry, paper crafting, writing, and making duct tape projects are among her other passions. You can follow Tami at www.herrhetoric.wordpress.com.
Carl Whitehill Carl Whitehill is the Media Relations Manager for the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. He’s spent the last five years showcasing the popular American historic destination to journalists from around the world. Carl’s background also includes 11 years in the newspaper business, both as a reporter and editor at small daily publications in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. Carl is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance. He now lives in Littlestown, PA, with his wife, Kimberly, and two sons.
Nina Zannieri Nina Zannieri has been the Executive Director of the Paul Revere Memorial Association in Boston, MA since 1986. She is active in many museum professional groups and has served on the Board and as an officer of the New England Museum Association, American Alliance of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History. Ms. Zannieri received her BA in history from Boston College and her MA in Anthropology/Museum Studies from Brown University.
Karen Tremer Karen Tremer has served for twelve years as the Executive Director of Chances and Changes, Inc., a Domestic Violence and Homeless Shelter. She has over 25 years of experience in the Human Services fields as a front line worker in several roles as well as served in supervisory and administrative capacities. She is a member of two not-for-profit boards and many professional organizations. She received her BS in Psychology from SUNY Oneonta and her Masters in Public Administration from SUNY Brockport.
By Sally Edelstein
better life in the future is, in effect, the promise made by all advertising. Beginning in the dark days of the Depression and accelerated during the War years, many American businesses adopted the future as an explicit leitmotif in advertising. Especially during the deprivations and sacrifices of WWII, the glittering promises of a post-war world filled with unheard of conveniences and an abundance of tantalizing technological advances as presented by Madison Avenue, gave hope to a warweary public.
The Mad Men of Madison Avenue The perpetrators of this thermoplastic, aerodynamic, supersonic, electronic dream world of course were the Mad Men of Madison Avenue, who during WWII had no current consumer goods to sell, and who were forbidden to talk about war production and yet had to keep client company names fresh in public memory.
It was to be a world in which stockings never ran, fabrics never had to be washed, and intercommunication systems eliminated the need for a babysitter. Pants would never shine or lose their crease even in the rain since a man would ordinarily own several dozen synthetic suits, which after a wearing or two, he would roll up in a ball and fire into the automatic garbage disposer.
To learn about the future of the past, I take a look at a series of ads run by Seagram’s Canadian Whisky entitled Men Who Plan Beyond Tomorrow that ran during WWII through the early post-war years. Many of these prophesies seem fantastical, but many have a shred of truth or feasibility, provided the timing is not specified – and it usually isn’t. The term “tomorrow” leaves a lot of leeway. The war-weary consumer could drift through the dreamland and make some distinction between the near and the not so near, and between purposeful products and the purely fanciful.
Tomorrow’s Living Today In the post-war push button dream world, a man would travel in 300 mph trains, translucent automobiles, four-decker planes, helicopters, buses equipped with cocktail lounges and amphibious jeeps. Television would bring the world to his living room, and he could transact his business by walkie-talkie while bagging a brace of ducks.
Men Who Plan Beyond Tomorrow
After they had said what there was to say about war bonds many times over, our ad men had nothing to talk about but the future, and so created desire. Oddly enough it was more likely to be the advertisers of foods or liquor who would drool about the coming wonders of electronics than the actual electrical manufacturer who might one day be challenged to make good on his claim.
t is no secret to my family that I have a deep affection for American cars. The contemporary aluminum, fiberglass, or plastic American-made cars are not the vehicles that catch my eye, but I gape open-mouthed at those beautiful classics of steel and chrome of yesteryear. Nothing can turn my frown upside down as quick as seeing a muscle car or a vintage pickup truck driving down the road. The memory card in my cell phone is filled with pictures of gleaming classic trucks and the curvaceous or angled vehicles that have been known to stop my heart mid-beat from time to time. My appreciation for classic American-made vehicles runs so deep within me as to affect my reading choices. I have read a great memoir by Michael Perry titled “Truck: A Love Story,” about an International Pickup, simply because of the word “Truck.” I read John Grisham’s short story collection, Ford County, just because the word “Ford” was in the title. Even though I’m not an avid reader of genre fiction, I really enjoyed Grisham’s book, and I think that the title itself had a lot to do with it. I’ve also felt that the author who goes by the ingenious name of G.M. Ford would definitely be worth my time and I have added reading at least one of his mystery novels to my “must do” list.
Bomber - Original Art by Gwendolyn
American Nostalgia By Tami Richards
Perhaps itâ€™s natural for a person to become nostalgic as she ages, but the reality is that we have to go pretty far back in time or search the internet fairly aggressively to find anything that is being made in America these days. Nostalgia encompasses more than material things. Anymore, I am feeling nostalgic for the heyday of American production, for that was a time when people in the U.S. had jobs. At the time of this writing, the national unemployment rate is 9.6%, where my home state of Oregon holds steady at 10.5%. It appears that our America is no longer working, and we have only ourselves to blame. With only 14.16 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. compared to Chinaâ€™s 112.63 million, itâ€™s easy to see why we no longer have power tools that can take a beating, small appliances that last 20 years, or jobs by which to earn a living. We wanted cheap and we got it in full measure. If we would have paid more attention in school to our Economics teachers, perhaps we would have better remembered that we get what we pay for.
Beauty Abounds By Dennis L. Page
other Nature drew the shades tight today. The darkness has fallen into night and it is only noon. The lights illuminate my abode as if it were midnight, as a pouring February rain leaves droplets on the windows. The tapping sounds of the cloudburst resemble the beat of Celtic dancing on my rooftop. A gloomy day turns beautiful in the mind of an appreciative soul and that soul is me. “Thank you for this day!” I loudly exclaim.
We, as fragile, imperfect creatures, allow so much to enter into our lives and upset our individual apple carts. It is a character flaw to be sure, but one that needs constant attention for improvement. How can we grow spiritually, intellectually, acceptingly or even lovingly if we refuse to open our eyes, minds and hearts? It saddens me when I witness some extremely opinionated people who refuse to show even an iota of curiosity in regard
Mount Pleasant Township, PA Photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli
to varying viewpoints. Many times I have written or spoken my mind on a particular subject, only to be educated in the errors of my ways. Once I get over the initial shock of someone questioning my infinite wisdom, I will delve further into their argument or reasoning presented. Many times I have changed courses midstream and reversed myself. No harm, no foul…apologizing is good for the soul.
Iâ€™m puzzled by those who claim they do not watch news shows or read newspapers. Where is their curiosity about local, state, national and international events? Can you somehow bury your head in the sand without wondering about world disasters, wars, hunger, economies and social unrest? However, they may also be exposed to scenic cities, do good and feel good stories from around the world, international relief efforts and a myriad of humanitarian acts performed globally. How sad not to allow oneâ€™s self the exposure to such magnificence that abounds.
WHO WE ARE
We are a non-partisan organization lobbying for American made manufacturers, small business owners, suppliers, distributors, mom and pop stores, local boutiques and service providers. We are dedicated to encouraging consumers to buy American made products; providing our members with resources to expand their use of U.S. made products; and serving as a place to share ideas to increase our membersâ€™ bottom lines. We are a conduit for change by uniting American voices to tell Washington to bring American jobs home.
To play a part in the restoration of the U.S. economy by connecting American manufactures with consumers; to educate consumers on the importance of buying American made products; and to partner with American manufacturers and businesses to collaborate on maximizing their use and distribution of Made in USA products.
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The Red, White, Blue and…
Yellow? By: David Keith Morris Jr.
h, the sight of Old Glory herself. Fifty white stars patterned in a valiant blue field of thirteen red and white alternating stripes. When she swirls in the wind, eyes gawk at her presence; when she hangs from rooftops and flagpoles, her voice echoes with predominate passion, individuality, justice, liberty and democracy for all to witness. Her color of red bleeds courage, strength, bravery, fortitude and perseverance. Her bold blue signifies compassion, humility, integrity and morality, and her white combines them both together with magnificent precision and profoundly screams freedom. From her early conception in the Revolutionary days of our forefathers, to the bloody battlefield of Gettysburg, to the bombarded beach of Normandy, through the treacherous terrain of Iwo Jima and Vietnam, to the craterous crust of the moon, through the desolate deserts of the Middle East, and to the front lawns of American citizens, Old Glory has shined brighter than the sun itself. In fact, she’s more than just a flag, she’s an iconic immortal. She radiates accomplishment, touches minds and hearts, and will always inspire millions. How covenient is it that Old Glory herself has a relative? Almost like a long lost brother who’s been gone for centuries. This brother is more flamboyant than Old Glory. He prefers a more unambiguous approach to his interpretation. He signifies, no, he proclaims proudly one of Old Glory’s themes herself: liberty. Liberty in the most illustrated form; liberty that broadcasts to all opposition, to all enemies, wisely beware. By his swift piercing fangs he warns, think twice before you pace, step and trace on my rights. Ruminate, reflect, dwell and evaluate your next move carefully before you act. Oh yes, Old Glory’s long lost brother means business, and he’s here to stay. His “rattle” sends shivers down the spines of all creatures with ears, his sight never strays as he has no eyelids, he only attacks those who naively approach him first, and although his puncture wound appears small, paralysis and toxic venom pour from his fangs. He minds his own business, and keeps to himself as needed. But when in danger, when marched upon, his words fiercely bellow out “Don’t Tread On Me.” See, graceful Old Glory and galvanizing Gadsden are quite the family. Both display everything that is wonderful about this country: liberty, tradition, strength, democracy, altruism, opportunity, pride and most of all, freedom. Both are idols in the history of this great nation, residing in the innermost part of our very essence as citizens of this republic. We should fly these banners as high as the wind will propel them, and proudly honor the men and women of our past who gave us the freedoms we have today with a roaring display of patriotic nationalism. Yep, Old Glory and Gadsden are a part of us, enduring and everlasting, and will always be symbols of this wonderful nation we call home, The United States of America.
Photo courstesy of the Flag Museum of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusettes
Photo by Amber S. Wallace