NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Friday August 23rd 2019

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Editorial “A Smile is…the shortest distance between people.”

The final piano number at the recent Grand Opening of the American Swedish Institute’s Victor Borge Exhibit was the nostalgic Claire de Lune played by pianist Glenn Henriksen.

The last quotation shared by Janet Borge Crowle, a daughter of Borge, following nearly an hour of fascinating reminiscing about her “Papa,” the famous “Great Dane” and Clown Prince, was, “A smile is the shortest distance between people.”

Claire de Lune was always Borge’s final song.  It is also a reminder that even with turbulence in his life composer Claude-Achille DeBussy was able to compose contemplative and even romantic music like this song of the moon.

Borge and Frank Big Bear juxtaposed on the front page of the February issue of The Alley Newspaper was emblematic of the tremendous richness in diversity that we have right here in our own backyard.  The two featured galleries and museums also have coffee bars: ASI and its Coffee Stuge and My Own Relations Gallery and newly opened, Pow Wow Grounds are so diverse and yet so similar.

Our community has experienced its own turbulence over the years.  This issue mentions a couple examples:

  • The onslaught of 35W smashing through our neighborhood with people like R.P. Braun, assistant state highway commissioner at the time, adding insult to injury, “a study done by planning consultants in the mid-fifties [that] concluded that no functional neighborhood existed in the freeway corridor.” [See page 1 “What are Bridges”]
  • Read Annie Young’s article where she recall how the Green Institute and ReUse Center were conceived and nurtured in our community.  But the original visions were  destroyed by self-centered, incompetent management and taken to the suburbs. [See “GI Hi-Jacked at Hi-Lake” page 1.].”
  • In spite of those and scores of other onslaughts and detractions, the resilience and fortitude of our Community continues to rise.  Through adversity we, together,  “Face the Wind” [page 7] exemplifying the “fever-spasm” of which Wendell Phillips speaks [see page1] when he reminds us that the politics that has often hurt us is only the “common pulse beat.”  Reminding, too, that we need to ask, “Who is to rule?  And when we answer that it is ourselves, only then do we take back our community.
  • Annie Young’s “turning a negative into a positive.” Pg1
  • Robert Albee’s call to name a common street for our Wellness because “programs might die, but, good ideas and community…live.” Pg1
  • Dallas Johnson’s invitation to neighbors and artists to hallmark their stories and strength. Pg1
  • And Peter inviting us to smile with our Arab neighbors. Pg 7
  • A miracle of friendship from WWI in “November Day” at Open Eye Theatre Pg 6

In our community and in a much larger way in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere,
the words of Wendell Phillips continue to ring true:  “revolution is the fever-spasm” calling forth people in strength.

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