Tara's Thoughts

Mark your calendar for the next meeting of

Tuesday April 13, 7-8:30 pm


We are honored to create space to hear voices of local International Indigenous Youth Council members. The International Indigenous Youth Council seeks to organize youth through education, spiritual practices and civic engagement to create positive change in our communities.

“Through action and ceremony, the IIYC commits to building a sustainable future for the next seven generations. We look forward to sowing seeds of mutual aid and solidarity.”

Register now at bit.ly/SFVCR

This post is directed to all the writers out there who may have an interest in sharing your vision for a world that has found its way through the Climate Crisis.  AND there is prize money involved here, folks!  Grist is accepting submissions through April 12, 2021  (11:59pm US PST).

What is Grist? Here it is in their own words:

“Our independent, nonprofit newsroom pursues in-depth stories on under-covered topics like clean energysustainable foodlivable citiesenvironmental justice, and a better economy. We elevate solutions, expose inequity, and give our readers the context, knowledge, and tools to make a difference.

Grist was founded in 1999 as one of the nation’s first online-only publications, covering serious topics without taking ourselves too seriously. TIME magazine calls Grist  the Colbert Report of climate change … except with real reporting and analytical journalism.”

And here is their Media byline:

“A non-profit news organization for people who want a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck.”

Well said!!   OKAY, so. Here is what Grist is offering via FIX, their Solutions Lab:

“All 12 final stories will be published in a digital collection on Fix’s website, and the authors will be celebrated in a public-facing virtual event.”

Here are the rest of the details and submission guidelines:

“Welcome to Imagine 2200 — a new climate-fiction contest by Fix, Grist’s solutions lab. What we’re seeking: short stories that envision the next 180 years of equitable climate progress. What we’re offering: $8,700 in prizes, publication, and a reason to stay hopeful.

The world is crazy right now, and the stakes are high: just, you know, our entire frickin’ future. Our newsfeeds are full of denial, delay, and doom that make us want to scream into our pillows. But that’s just the old story. At Fix, we are telling the new story, of a path to a clean, green, and just future, and the people who are driving it. Our mission is to make the story of a better world so irresistible, you want it right now.

With that goal in mind, we decided to launch our first foray into the world of hopeful, forward-looking fiction — to inspire visions of the future that haven’t even been dreamt up yet, and welcome more voices into the climate conversation. Join this uprising of imagination, and help us turn the page on earth’s next chapter.

Nuts & Bolts

  • Entry is free!
  • The contest is open to writers anywhere in the world.
  • Authors must be 18 years or older at the time of submission.
  • Submissions must be short, fictional stories, between 3,000–5,000 words.
  • No previously published, multiple, or simultaneous submissions accepted.
  • Submissions will only be accepted through Submittable — click the “submit” button at the bottom of this page when you’re ready! If you need accessibility accommodations, please email the team at imaginefiction@grist.org
  • Stories will be judged by a board of literary experts, including authors Adrienne Maree Brown, Morgan Jerkins, and Kiese Laymon.
  • The first-prize story will be awarded $3,000; second prize $2,000; and third prize $1,000. Nine additional finalists will each receive a $300 honorarium.
  • All 12 final stories will be published in a digital collection on Fix’s website, and the authors will be celebrated in a public-facing virtual event.
  • Worldwide copyright and ownership of each story remains with the author.
  • If a story is accepted for publication, Grist retains the first serial rights of the work to publish, produce, reproduce, distribute, and market.
  • All other remaining rights revert to the author upon publication.

Find more information about the contest at Grist.org/fix

And head over to their Submission Portal for complete guidelines: Grist.submittable.com

(When you are ready, click the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the Portal page.)

————————–

Please let me know if you decide to submit your story.  And, by all means, share this opportunity with any other writers you know.

I will end with one more quote from the Grist web site:

“Climate, sustainability, and social justice are the most important stories on the … well, on the planet right now. The stakes are high: just, you know, our entire frickin’ future.”

So write your hearts out and use your vision to inform, educate and enlighten, well, everybody you can so we can create a healthier world that, as they say on the Grist site, doesn’t suck.

Author Bradford R. Kane Supplies The Answer

Pitchfork Populism; the book by author Bradford R. Kane available on Amazon and at pitchforkpopulism.com

In this post I am featuring the work of an author with deep roots in political history, government, and social justice. 

(Full disclosure: Bradford R. Kane is my cousin and I am very proud of him!) 

“Pitchfork Populism; Ten Political Forces That Shaped An Election And Changed America” Prometheus Books; 2019)  connects the dots from where we are now as a country to times, circumstances and players deep within the history of the United States that opened the doors to what we are living through now. Mr. Kane’s book offers a journey through this landscape that reveals the roller coaster of our history and the long tendrils of past events, strategies and divisions of intent that continue to affect our country today.  

This book is a valuable tool for anyone seeking insight and clarity into the political forces that have shaped our country and offers an educated vision of what our future might look like. Kane’s well-crafted writing does a masterful job of explaining the context and history of a potentially confusing and multi-level subject without being dry or professorial. His personal stake in the world of politics and its consequences remains present in his writing giving the reader a human experience and a sense of just how relevant this analysis is to our own lives.

For those wondering whose agenda is being supported here, put your concerns aside. Kane views his subject from a non-partisan standpoint and has, in fact, a long-standing history of encouraging bi-partisan communication. Among many other efforts over a lifetime career in politics and public policy, Mr. Kane is the Founder and Executive Director of The Bi-Partisan Bridge, a resource for information with a mission of encouraging those with differing political views to find common ground.

The Bi-Partisan Bridge

Now, to show you that my admiration for cousin’s work is not just familial affection, here are some of his credentials:

Bradford R. Kane began his career in Congress as legislative counsel to Congresswoman Cardiss Collins (D-IL) and has served as counsel to the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce & Consumer Protection, and as a member of President Clinton’s Task Force on Health Care Reform. Kane has also served the State of California as Deputy Controller, legislator and subsequently, deputy secretary for information technology.  In the global arena, he was CEO of the International Commission on Workforce Development and a strategy council member of the United Nations Global Alliance on ICT & Development (UN GAID). He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis, and his law degree from Hastings College of Law.

As further proof of the heights Kane has reached with this book, there are the  reviews (on the book cover and online at Amazon and Pitchforkpopulism.com) from the likes of William S. Cohen, former Secretary of Defense, Henry Cisneros,  former Secretary of Housing and former Mayor of San Antonio, Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst and best-selling author, and Leon Panetta, former White House Chief of Staff, former Secretary of Defense and former Director of the CIA.

To make this an even easier read, the author has constructed his book so that you can start with any chapter that interests you and jump around as the topics catch your eye. This engaging read left me with an appreciation of Kane’s offering of hope looking forward and his conclusion that we are at our strongest as a society and a country when we work together in unity and mutual respect.

The Journey from 5-year-old Tomboy Ballerina to Climate Activist

Photo by Budgeron Bach on Pexels.com

In each of our lives, some years turn out to be more eventful than others.  Year 5 was a big one for me.

At 5 years old I figured out how to climb up to the top of the 7-foot tall, cinder block wall that stretched around our backyard in Culver City, CA and run along its 4” wide edge. It scared my parents, but I loved running and climbing, and I loved to imagine that I was running through the trees that surrounded our property.

The outstretched branches of beautiful green leaves shaded my path and seemed to extend an invitation to become a partner with nature. That year I also decided to be a ballerina and I saw a circus on TV. Both pivotal moments in the life of a 5-year-old. 

It was an old-fashioned, 3-Ring circus with acrobats and animals and sparkly costumes. The Ringmaster was a tall man wearing a black top hat, knee-high boots, and a red waistcoat with tails and shiny, brass buttons. 

After the first few minutes of enjoying the bright colors and festive atmosphere, I started to focus on the way the animals in the circus were being treated.  The more I watched the sadder I became.  Whips, chairs being pushed into growling faces, all types of animals being made to pose and bow and jump through hoops of fire!  To my 5-year-old mind, this was just unacceptable. It was clear to me that these animals did not belong here. And even though the animals seemed to cooperate I could feel their discomfort.  I just could not understand why anyone would take these beautiful animals out of their natural habitats and force them to perform.

My sadness quickly turned to anger. And it was at that moment that I became an advocate for animal rights and vowed to speak out whenever I witnessed any kind of abuse or neglect of these creatures with whom we share this planet. (Yes, I was a very intense little kid!)

As I grew up, I never lost my passion for animals or my love of the outdoors. In the third grade I beat the entire class in a race across the play yard! Anytime I wasn’t in a schoolroom or a ballet class I would be swimming in the outdoor pool or doing cartwheels on the lawn. 

When I was 12 years old my family moved to an upper, middle-class neighborhood in North Hollywood, California, located in a part of Los Angeles known as the San Fernando Valley.  From my bedroom window,  I could see open, blue sky and parts of the orange groves that blanketed the Valley.  I remember, as I walked to school each morning, being grateful for the sweet citrus smell and the serene skies.

In 1970, at the age of 15, I first became aware of how the environment was changing as I rode my bicycle around the neighborhood.  The growing development of housing tracts and business districts in our area had rapidly increased the number of cars on the road and slowly but surely eliminated the orange groves that had shaded our homes and helped to keep the air clean and breathable.

I remember wondering how the skies had become so brown.  Nobody talked to me about it but the adults knew it was the smog in the atmosphere caused by the use of fossil fuels to run our cars, homes, and businesses.

Smog. What a strange word. What was this thing that was suddenly beginning to impact our daily lives? Here is a definition from ScienceDaily.com:

SMOG:  Fog or haze combined with smoke and other atmospheric pollutants.

Smog is a kind of air pollution, originally named for the mixture of smoke and fog in the air…. Smog results from large amounts of coal burning in an area and is caused by a mixture of smoke and sulfur dioxide….  said Michael Bergin, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke. “If these chemicals are as bad for people as many researchers believe, then commuters should seriously be rethinking their driving habits.”

ScienceDaily.com

We started to hear air quality alerts almost daily on TV. “Restrict outdoor activity. Physical exertion can be dangerous to your health!”  Bad news for an active, athletic teenager.

At 19 years old, as I left college to begin my professional career as a performer in musical theater, my nice, middle-class neighborhood was no longer a place I would have wanted to move into.

As a young adult, it was obvious to me, and to anyone who bothered to look, that changes in the environment were impacting our health and the health of the planet.

Now, as an older adult, I mourn the loss of the calm, year-round, moderate temperatures and clear, blue skies of my childhood. And I live with a growing concern about the safety of the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.

All of that has turned that intense 5-year-old, animal-loving ballerina into a Climate Activist. 

That cinderblock wall around my family’s backyard has grown in size and now encompasses the entire planet. But the challenge of turning back the clock on climate change is not insurmountable if we act now. There is still room on top of that wall for future tomboy-ballerinas to run among the trees if we are all willing to adjust our daily choices, even just a little.

My first leap into learning about the history, science and possible solutions available to address the challenges of Climate Change happened when I was accepted into Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project Leadership Training Program.

In July 2020 more than 10,000 people from all over the world chose to participate in the first-ever, Virtual Global Climate Leadership Training program designed and presented by Mr. Gore. I was one of those new trainees who walked willingly into what was sure to be a daunting landscape.

But we persisted allowing ourselves to be pummeled by the frightening reality of the images and statistics being shown to us. We persisted through the evidence being presented to us bringing to full relief the damage done to our environment: the loss of habitat, the melting ice sheets, the rising temperatures, the pollution causing increased illness in both human and wild species.  We persisted through all of that to the discussions of sustainable practices and new energy industries that can help us to build a healthier, safer world for our children if we commit to following through on new ideas, concepts and actions.

We persisted, bringing the number of international climate activists associated with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project to more than 35,000 people.  Local Climate Reality chapters in more than 500 countries are working on multiple public policy and community outreach programs designed to heal our planet and redefine our relationship with the natural world.

And we are not alone in these efforts. There are many other organizations also working to address the challenges we face.  We have scientists, engineers, philosophers, teachers, healthcare professionals, artists, scuba divers, lawyers, photographers, writers, and, yes, one or two billionaires, working together to find answers.

For those of you who remember clear skies, orange groves, and neighborhoods designed to support the people who live in them, rather than the financial expectations of stockholders, it is not too late to join the fight.  Wherever you fall in the cascade of generations currently living on Mother Earth, you can be a part of the solution. Join us!

This week, just in time for your holiday shopping, I offer a book of poetry from Author, Poet, Lyricist, and Artist, Ann Vincent Vila.

“Grieving Healing Accepting: 25 Sympathy Poems of Loss”

Available on Amazon

Ms Vila has written an eloquent book of poems for friends and loved ones suffering loss, a circumstance too many of us have had to live through recently. In place of sympathy cards or flowers, this book is a gift to anyone you know who is experiencing loss. Ms. Vila’s poetry offers the comfort and companionship of knowing you are not alone in your experience of loss or grief. Once read, these poems can be revisited again and again as your journey through grief takes the all-too-common unexpected detours to acceptance.

Available in paperback and Kindle editions, this collection of heartfelt thoughts for “the darker moments” solves the question of what to give to someone you care about that will acknowledge their suffering and offer support when you can’t be there to hold them close.

From the Author:

“It is a book for those suffering around us when we are left speechless and can find no words from our hearts to soothe those grieving souls. An array of work that speaks to the darker moments of life when despair arrives in the wake of loss leading from the darkness of grieving to the healing light of acceptance.”

Ana Vincent Vila, Grieving, Healing, Accepting

One of my goals for this blog is to offer a platform for authors whose work I admire.  I know a lot of wonderful writers and poets.  When a new work is available I make it my mission to feature their work or point to it so you can take a look at it.

This charming little story was sent to me by Carole Field, MFT, published author and playwright.  You can find her books, “Dating Down And Those of Us Who Do It” and “New York Guns, Kansas Nuns, Birth Control!” on Amazon.  I have known Carole for many years. We talk about everything. She is an educated listener and a deep thinker. I can always count on her to give me a unique, well-considered perspective on any issue.

Knowing her as I do I can absolutely accept that she wrote this story in one session while sitting in the parking lot of the Food 4 Less!  “The Smell of Make-Up” struck me as engaging, lovely, funny, and touching. Here she captures a moment in time that takes a bit of nostalgia, a bit of fantasy, and our current planetary restrictions and ties them all up together into a little bit of hope.  Seems like a gem of a holiday gift.

THE SMELL OF STAGE MAKE-UP   by Carole H. Field

I am never really vexed by the randomness of thoughts. I’m aware our synapses aren’t linear. Ultimately, we just make them work.  But this particular, glaring, non-sequitur was so unhitched, I had to go home and scribble it on paper.

So- there I sat in the parking lot of  Food  4  Less on Van Owen Blvd. Not the most religious of experiences. And I watched the masked and gloved, largely Mexican, families cajoling and joyously poking each other towards their/our essential pilgrimage.

And so, what else do I think of when I’m in a grocery store parking lot on a scorching, Sunday morning during a pandemic? None other than-  how much I missed the smell of stage make-up. Naturally.

Yes- the smell. Not the pretty colors or what it did to these deep-set eyes, but the smell. That first blast when you unscrewed the lid and it hit you, without permission.

              “How do you do, Sugar? We’re in this together “, it would say.

I  would light up like a twin finding his counterpart, or, even, a virgin birth.

The make-up from Macy’s or Bloomies or the cheap drugstore on W.  53rd  never had that certain smell, nor, the voice, avuncularly calling me  Sugar.

That darling little man on E. 41st s who never looked up from reading Backstage or Show Business but could accurately advise you from some third eye.

              “Watcha up to?” he would ask.

              “Yay- I am going out with ‘No, No, Nanette’ next week, “ I would respectfully reply.

              “Mazel tov,” he would say. “Get the Max Factor #5. You’re part light olive, part pink. Anything else will drown you out. We got new lip brushes from Berlin. They’re on sale. “

And, I’d leave there, smiling, with my new stash, still never seeing the color of his eyes.

And in the subway, I’d steal a bench, peruse the area to begin my new relationship with no interruption, and uncap one of my new potions.

 And, there it’d be again. The waft, the greeting, the historical ambrosia left by every actress before me and every actress henceforth, hoofing, in “No, No Nanette”. And it would say,

              “Hi, Sugar. We’re in this together.”

 Whether it was the Belasco, or a black box on Melrose, or Temple Israel‘s backstage in Detroit, the smell of stage make-up had the same voice.

I pulled myself inside the grocery store. No doubt everyone in there was thinking the same as me. Understandably, I hobbled over to the lonely make-up stand. There, far from commanding,  smiled the Revlon and the Maybelline. They were trying. But I pretended, for just one second, that I was surrounded by the smell of  Max Factor and Ben Nye and….And, that the word pandemic was only something cobbled together on a Scrabble board.  And, that the lights were as radiant as ever on the Great White Way. And, the only masks anyone was wearing were for effect, for something theatrical, under the silly magicians, cheesy sleight of hand. Undoubtedly.

              “Sugar,” said the voice from Max Factor #5.  “Hey- you got it goin’ on. This pandemic thing is temporary. They all are. Go with your inner resources. Go for the love, Carole. Because whether you’re basking in the smell of odorous, legendary, rouge, or of the inhibitions produced by your mask, it’s all about the love. Did you ever believe it was about anything else? “ he laughed.

I cautiously moved away from the make-up stand and filled my basket with food. I now had to look at Food 4 Less with different eyes. Yow- who knew that roast chicken and mascara had so very much in common?              

Oh…..what was it I said about random thoughts?

While the election will eventually be over, the threat of Climate Change will not. We will all be affected by the multi-faced environmental consequences of the changes happening in our world.

**Join us tomorrow night, Tuesday, November 10, 2020 **, to hear what our CA State Assembly has been doing to address these issues.

This Zoom meeting is FREE and open to all.

Register at bit.ly/SFVCR

CA State Assemblymember
Jesse Gabriel

Our Special guest Speaker will be CA Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel.

https://jessegabriel.com/

Assemblymember Gabriel has just been re-elected as the CA State Assemblymember for District 45 in the San Fernando Valley.  He has championed efforts to address California’s housing and homelessness crisis, strengthen public education, pass gun safety measures, and protect vulnerable communities.

On November 10th he will be our Special Guest Speaker at the Climate Reality Project San Fernando Valley Chapter meeting. As he gets ready to start his second term, we wanted to hear from Mr. Gabriel about climate-related issues impacting our community and our state. Please join us and bring your questions.

Join us to hear his update about Climate Change issues and

to ask your questions. It’s Free!

Register at bit.ly/SFVCR

Would a heaping dose of hope-in-the-future help you right now?  How about someone in your circles who might be looking for some inspiration?

Stack of books fanned with adds for posts

A whole lot of us are finding just that in a newly published book from my dear friend Barbara Caplan-Bennett. If you have been feeling the weight of all the crises happening in our world, if you are not sure how to find hope in the face of your daily struggles, this is a book worth your time.

Check it out for yourself and then please help spread the word.

NOSEWORTHY, A Memoir

“Noseworthy is a memoir about a woman who faced a difficult choice when diagnosed with melanoma — lose her entire nose or very possibly lose her life. Her year long journey to obtain a prosthetic nose is filled with big challenges and small victories.”

This is a real-life story of courage in the face of great trauma (or as Barbara likes to call it, “the shit show”) and, ultimately a triumph over a life-changing course of inescapable events.  Barbara has been a bright spot in my life for many years. I have always been awed by her ability to keep smiling through the tears and to welcome whatever life throws at her.

I watched her face this battle and come out on the other side with her moxie, her sense of humor, and her love of life still intact. As a writer she has a natural gift for making her readers comfortable and the skill to tell her stories in her very authentic, likable, honest voice.

To Order an Autographed Copy  —  Email    Noseworthy2020@gmail.com

Venmo, PayPal, credit cards Accepted

Also available on Amazon  —  bit.ly/NoseworthyBarbara

 

For More Information  —  Follow Noseworthy on

Facebook:    facebook.com/Noseworthyamemoir

And

Twitter:  @noseworthy2020

The electric fan sits on the floor by the window. It protects me from the heat and humidity that plagues modern society.  In my youth I lived in world where my goals were achievable and my task list was short enough to complete by the end of the week. Here in Los Angeles it was almost always pleasantly warm and dry.  And I didn’t have to Another hot,oppressive dayfight the weather to make space in my brain to tackle daily goals and dreams. I don’t remember having so much to fight for and certainly not so much to fight through.

Now I feel the encroaching world press in on me in ways I never expected. And on top of all the daily challenges, the aches, the tasks piling up around me, the demands of a world grown altogether too connected to handle in any rational fashion, I have to fight through the physical discomfort of an environment grown so hot and sticky that it produces another, previously unexplored, struggle:  distraction. Distraction of a physical nature that Just. Should. Not. Be. There.

But there it is.  It frightens me to think I may have grown so old that my body can no longer survive in its environment. And it frightens me to think that we may have so deeply destroyed our environment that we, as a species, may not survive the very effects we have loaded on our planet and our own backs.

But, I have never been one to sit in my fears for very long. No pouting, pity-party for me!  So, kick up the level on the fan.  Take a drink of cold water. Take a deep breath.  Focus on what’s next.  Focus.  Ignore the ache that sits at the back of my brain that screams at me, “You could lose this time.”  Just put one foot in front of the other for as long as you possibly can and – focus. Say a prayer of gratitude for the cool air coming at me from the fan by the window enveloping me like a Cone of Silence.  (Yeah, you have to be “of a certain age” to understand that reference!)

Just keep fighting to move forward. Enjoy the cool air and ….. Focus.

Jacob Sitser, 91, passed away on Saturday, January 28, 2018  in the city he grew to love, Siesta Key, FL where he spent the latter part of his life enjoying the view of the beach from his 5th floor sunroom balcony and the company of the love of his life, Helena Pimenta Sitser.

Jacob, known to friends and family as Jack, was born in 1927, an only child, to Yetti Richter Sitser and Mauricio Sitser in Saõ Paulo, Brasil.

A professional musician from an early age, Jack mastered both the viola and violin.  At the age of 21 he was granted a scholarship to study music in the United States of America.  After graduating from music school Jack chose to stay in the US and became an American citizen. He married Dorothy Perlberg (divorced in 1973) and served four years in the US Airforce as a member of the Airforce band – an experience that provided him lots of amusing anecdotes about musicians being led by an Airforce Major who knew nothing about music!

During this time he became a father to Sheryl, Tara & Gerald.

Always concerned about being a good provider for his family, Jack made his career in the banking industry.  An amusing turn of events that happened when he saw a job listing in the newspaper for a “teller”.  His minimal English language skills led him to believe the job was for someone who could tell stories.  But take the job he did and he moved quickly up the ladder to become bank Vice President of major banking institutions including Union Bank, Lloyd’s Bank and Banco Do Brasil, eventually, taking the position of Bank President for Banco Real.

Jack never gave up his love of music and stayed connected throughout his life to a worldwide network of chamber musicians with whom he played regularly.

Jack’s favorite music partner was his wife of 43 years, Helena Pimenta Sitser, an accomplished cellist and pianist.

Jack is survived by his beloved wife, Helena, his children, Sheryl Sister, Tara Sitser Brickman and Gerald Sitser, his step-children whom he adored, Maria Lucia Machado Martin (married to Tom Martin) and Eduardo Machado (Married to Maria Beatrice Hadler Machado), his seven grandchildren Phillip, Marcos, Ricardo, Fabio, Mariana, Guilherme and Artur, plus more spouses and great-grandchildren than can be listed here. All of whom were treasured by Jack and brought great joy into his life.

Jacob Sitser was a man of grace and compassion, a support system to many, and a wonderful family man.  He will be missed.

***************************

SOME ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS FROM MY BROTHER, GERALD SITSER:

Among nearly a century of accumulated photos of my father, the one I cherish most is a portrait from his college days, joy and contentment on his face, his beloved violin in hand. Throughout his life, music was his refuge — from a turbulent world, the stress of work, the bittersweet onset of age. Most importantly, it was a passionate bond between himself and those he loved.

I’ve always maintained an impossibly ideal image of my father. But I’ve also seen how others admired and respected him: This thoughtful and generous man who was always available to offer a comforting shoulder, to share a few wise words, to calm any rough waters, and to bring a smile to every face in the room.

Dad was rightfully proud but never vain. He was a bastion of civility in a world that’s forgotten politeness. He was a patient teacher whose greatest lessons were to think for yourself, to remember that your actions have consequences, and that the world owes you nothing that you haven’t earned for yourself. He gave of himself freely with no thought of personal reward, knowing all the while that there is no greater reward than knowing you’ve made a difference. He understood the value of a moment of sorrow, but only for a moment and no more; for he also understood the need to shrug off your troubles, pick yourself up, and move on.

I can only try to emulate my father, but perhaps that’s enough. If there’s any part of his legacy I can pretend to claim, let it be his quiet strength and unwavering sense of dignity. There was only one of him. The world was lucky to have that; and his family, the luckiest of all.

***********************

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS FROM MY SISTER, SHERYL SITSER:

My father had a magic touch with people as a result of being generous, caring, empathetic, wise, funny, and fair-minded. Almost everyone who knew him wished that he could be their father and we were the lucky ones who could claim him as their own.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

When I was a child it seemed that few of my friends had fathers who were as compassionate, wise and loving as my father. As each went through some minor crisis (they didn’t get the party invitation they had hoped for, their mother wouldn’t let them wear make-up, typical teen-aged angst,) they obviously wanted a grown-up to talk to and didn’t feel their parents would be responsive or sympathetic enough. I offered to “lend” them my father who was not only the world’s greatest listener, but also gave the best advice. He always knew exactly what to say to cheer them up let them know that things would get better and my friends were always amazed and grateful that they had the opportunity to talk to this wonderful man.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

In the 70’s when my father was the president of Bank of America at downtown Los Angeles, he chose two proteges he would train to take over management positions. He recieved a suprising amount of resistance from the other bank executives because one of those trainees was a woman.  He was told that Bank of America had never had a female executive before and that woman weren’t competent enough for management. My father perservered and was eventually able to promote them both. This, and many other stories, show why my father was my hero.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

My friend Marsha was acknowledged by everyone who knew her to be a beautiful girl but because she was overweight, society was extremely cruel to her. One day she was sitting in church talking to friend when a man approached them. He told them he was an artist and wanted their permission to draw their likenesses for possible use in a Christian magazine. Marsha was extremely flattered as she had been lead to believe no one would ever be interested in a picture of her. Several months later she received a copy of the magazine with a beautiful drawing of the two girls. She called her father who didn’t seem to think it was very important or significant. She was crushed to think her father didn’t care.

Since my father knew Marsha pretty well, I told her to call him. As expected, my father was excited for her and told he was not only proud of her but was not at all surprised that someone would recognize her beauty and want to use her image.  In a matter of minutes, my father cheered her up and helped repair the damage done by a cruel, unfeeling parent.

These are examples of why Jack Sitser definitely qualified to be named “Father of the Century”.

***************************

 

 

 

Tara Sitser - Leadership Member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Project

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