Rae’s Page

Rae Belle was a twin to her sister Mae Belle.  One of 7 sisters Pearl, Hattie, Zelma, Bobbie and Flora. Great names for a family in the early 1900’s in Oklahoma.  Rae lived to the age of 92, she was my grandmother. She had a quick wit, a sharp mind and loved to read and tell stories.  When she was 90 she would still give the entire Gettysburg address from memory.  And when she had an audience of listeners she’d add her own quirky lines to Lincoln’s speech just to bring the house down in laughter.

She had a book of quotes, poems and songs that she kept.  Reading through this book was one of my favorite things to do when we visited.  (along with getting the eggs from the hen-house, feeding the neighbors pony, eating cinnamon toast and listening to her argue with my grandpa Earl).  That book gave me a window into her soul to see what brought her comfort, hope and encouragement.  I too have some favorite quotes, but they are scattered among the books I’ve read, underlined, earmarked, written on index cards or the back of a bookmark.

This page will be a place to keep them.  For me.  You’re welcome to read them as well.

  • “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”   Charles Dickens
  • “The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re ok, then it’s you.”
    Rita Mae Brown
  • “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”  Albert Einstein
  • Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.  – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
  • Don’t worry about anything, but instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, thank Him for all He has done.  – Philippians 4:16 NLT
  • You can have the hard conversation now or you can have a harder conversation later.  – D. Bullock
  • Itay Talgam, a renowned Israeli orchestra conductor, stood on a small semicircular stage wearing a wrinkled cotton polo shirt with a sweater draped over his shoulders, his sparse hair shooting in several directions. For a half hour, his presentation of how conducting could be a metaphor for transformational management hushed the audience. Music is “noise,” he began, and what the conductor does is “make a large group of people work in harmony.” Scanning a century’s worth of conductors, he chose to discuss five. Each was outstanding, he said, but only two were transformational. The lights went down and on a large screen appeared a video clip of the autocratic Riccardo Muti, whose stern face and robotic baton movements brought forth from his orchestra no “joy,” and suppressed the development of individual artists. Muti’s “expression never changes,” Talgam said. “He tells everyone what to do. He is a micromanager.” The second conductor was Richard Strauss, who seemed to be in another place as he mechanically moved his arms, granting his orchestra more freedom but imposing no authority and offering no inspiration. The third was Herbert von Karajan, who never looked at his orchestra and also failed to inspire. The fourth was Carlos Kleiber, whose face was filled with rapture as he conducted and who, Talgam said, “creates a process” and “a feeling of freedom” while also conveying “authority.” Notice, he said, the way Kleiber shot a disapproving glance at a soloist. Talgam saved his favorite conductor for last. With the fifth clip, we were treated to a video of Leonard Bernstein welcoming an orchestra of high school students from around the world who had been granted one week under his direction to perform Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The first day of practice, the makeshift orchestra was discordant. But Bernstein did not wield a baton as a symbol of his “authority,” Talgam noted. Instead, he stopped the music and spoke of the feelings Stravinsky sought to evoke, of the smell of spring grass, of waking animals. “He empowers people,” Talgam said, “by telling them that their world is larger than they think.” Cut to a week later, and the high school orchestra sat attentively before Bernstein, who looked on with obvious satisfaction as an assembly of young strangers achieved musical harmony. Without a baton, arms folded, Bernstein conducted only with facial expressions—a curled lip and lowered head for the basses, a raised eyebrow for the higher strings, a nod to the horns, an extravagant smile for the finale. Talgam did not need to tell the audience what they had seen. It was a sublime management seminar demonstrating how unusual leaders liberate those who follow. Bernstein was the boss, but he was not an autocrat. He managed to coax the best out of his orchestra, to make them part of a community.  – Ken Auletta, Googled


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