Giving Thanks to SOBcon Chicago 2012

SOBcon Chicago 2012 happened this past May, and I haven’t been online much since, working my butt off on building my studio and ideas that transformed and developed since the event…  The people and the event helped me more then words can could ever describe…

Bit of history…

This morning I got to thinking to my Mom who passed away from Cancer that morning a year ago today, the 7th of September landed on a Wednesday…  I smile thinking to how much she supported and helped me in becoming an Artist, and smile deeper thinking of how happy she was when I first shared with her ideas of doing a Charity Art Auction to raise money for the Cancer Research Institute and to help the homeless…

She had donated much of her life in helping people in our town and county…  My Mom had helped in starting the Tioga County Arts Council, helping with writing it’s non-for-profit status and being one of their first Presidents…  She donated thousands of hours during almost 20 years with our town’s volunteer ambulance, and even helping in writing the by-laws of our town’s Chamber of Commerce- she was so proud when later I would become the Vice President of the Chamber…  I was taught to give back to the community through her giving…

Last summer I ran this idea of doing a Charity Art Auction by a few of my friends online, and when Liz Strauss (one of the founders of SOBcon) felt this was a great idea, I knew I was on to something…  Sadly the idea I knew needed to be shelved last summer when I found the cancer had spread to my Mom’s brain, then her passing away- I knew then I would need a better frame of mind and my studio completely up and running… So slowly I handled the many challenges in front of me then…

Since my Mom’s passing a year ago, I’ve worked to get my studio equipment and needed materials and supplies to be able to offer the best possible color for fine art prints possible, I also worked on growing this idea…  The color management system is going to be added this week that will help with the Giclee Fine Art Imager to print the best possible color possible… Smiling with pride as I slowly work on the studio, building the furniture by hand and slowly earning the money needed for new equipment and materials to open the studio’s new Fine Art Reproduction service…

I’m getting close to finishing everything needed to reopen the studio soon…   Then turn my efforts to earning the money needed to pay for Artists and purchase more materials and get the needed permissions all in order for the first Charity Art Auction…

Inspired by SOBcon- Giving

With realizing in the beginning of this year my portrait abilities had become a bit rusty, I started to think to some Artists I would like to hire to do two portraits each of some inspiring people in Social Media…  As I started to look into this some, I suddenly had an opportunity to attend SOBcon Chicago 2012

Even before the trip to Chicago, this idea started growing, and I would like to share how…  A few weeks before the event, people were sharing online why they attend SOBcon…  Molly Cantrell-Kraig (founder of Women with Drive Foundation) did an AudioBoo audio recording that I felt was very insightful and so very inspirational-

Molly made my heart grow larger and larger- she Grinched me…  To you Molly, I whisper softly a special “Thank You”…  Wish I could have spent more time with you to share this idea more in depth, events like this have so many people, am glad we could share that glass of wine together, and now you know why I mentioned that you “Grinched” me…  As I was listening one late evening of sleeplessness to Molly’s soft voice, I came up with the domain name and bought it- ArtistsHelping.com (which I am thinking now to a nice logo for and will soon be starting to create the website)…

Knowing my studio wasn’t yet ready to start this idea, that I still needed a bunch of time to build studio furniture and buy the needed equipment to produce the idea of quality fine art prints…  Since December I’ve been needing to reinvest in a new computer, all new software and there was hundreds of pounds of materials and some more tech equipment I would need to purchase…  But also felt there was nothing wrong with starting to share the idea some with a few people to get their feedback…

Landing in Chicago, this artist from a small town without a stoplight was a bit overwhelmed with the BIG CITY…  It being about 8 years since I had been in New York and looking up at buildings that disappear in the clouds…  And even longer since attending a large Tech conference…

I shared the Charity Art Auction idea to a few people at SOBcon and got even more support for the concept that truly astounded me and also helped in growing more confidence in this idea…  Chris Brogan said he really liked the idea and would do all he could, as he would be one of the six Inspiring People…  Then after Tim Sanders spoke, he stopped at our table and asked me what I was doing, so I told him quickly and he looked to me and said; “I want to help make this happen!”, giving me his business card…  And then there was Jay Jay French who spoke a little bit about how he too had suffered the loss of his mother to Cancer, of how he came through that hard period of his life, such strength to share such pain and how he made it through it, which giving me a bit more confidence in my own pains of the heart…

Over the next couple of weeks I got to thinking as I listened to this recording Molly made…  I suddenly thought to myself- “Why do just one event, when I could possibly create something that could help other Organizations and Artists too”…  I did poured myself into research about Copyrights, Taxes and Art Donations…

Did you know if an Artist donates a piece of artwork to a charity to be auctioned off, the Artist can only write off on their taxes the material cost to create artwork?  So a piece of art that might be sold for a large amount of money, if it were a watercolor, only write off the cost of the paper, frame and a few more cents to cover the amount of pigment used, an Artist can’t even write off the time taken to create the art piece…  This too came into the idea- how could I maybe be able to benefit Charities and also help the Artists that donate their artwork?  Took a bit of time, but I figured that part out too, how this could also help Artists since attending SOBcon

The ideas I gained with some of the people I had the opportunity to meet during SOBcon in Chicago, and those ideas of “Giving” helped to grow this concept further…

The first Charity Art Auction I will do with ArtistHelping.com will be for three Artists to do 2 portraits each of Inspiring People in Social Media, produce 200 limited edition prints of each of the 6 portraits, then to do an online and live via smart phone Charity Art Auction during a major Social Media Conference…  To be able to donate the profits after covering the costs, to be able to print out one of those HUGE Checks to donate the net profits to be split between the Cancer Research Institute and InvisiblePeople.tv

Giving Thanks to those at SOBcon Chicago 2012

Now the time is drawing near and I wanted to share and also thank some people who were so very inspiring to me…

It’s the amazing people who attend SOBcon- the people that make it such an amazing event, not just the learning or mastermind sessions but the feeling as if all who attend are like family…  The speeches and learning is just a small part to the whole- it’s really the people and the giving that makes this such an amazing event!!!  Too many good people to list that I had the opportunity to meet, but there are a special few I do wish to thank-

Cate Equality Colgan (@CateTV), Liz Strauss (@lizstrauss), Terry St. Marie (@Starbucker), Tim Sanders (@sanderssays), Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan), Diane Brogan (@DianeBrogan), Steven Brogan (@SteveBrogan), Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal), Molly Cantrell-Kraig (@mckr1g), Ric Dragon (@RicDragon), Marc Pitman (@marcapitman) and Jay Jay French (@jayjayfrench)…

Thank you all for listening to my idea and for giving me the extra confidence to start making this happen…   Thank you all for being so very inspiring!!!

The Last Dance with Mom…

Dancing is such an important part of our lives; embedded as part of so many religions, a major part within so many cultures and our lifestyles… The wedding dance that a father does with his daughter or mother does with her son is considered a special prized and cherished moment to so many people, we look forward to this special Dance and then after remember with such deep care… Such a special moment with so much meaning for parent, grandparent and child…

Personally, I’m not one to often dance just for the joy of dance, use to only slow dance once in a great while with someone special… If I had deep feelings for that person, we can dance to music not heard by others, to a rhythm of the deep care and love shared…

A couple months ago while visiting my Mom who was fighting cancer, was up late night around 2am-ish, not being able to sleep and I shared a few hours just talking with her about memories shared that would bring her some laughter… We got talking about Dancing, something my grandmother who passed away had told me too- she had no regrets except one, to see me married and to have that extra special dance with her grandson…

Then Mom said she wished so deeply she could have this one dance too, that special Mother-Son Dance… She then told me that she had hoped to someday watch me get married and wanted to have that special dance that a mother has with her son… I tried not to think to this, and reaffirmed she would get healthy again and we would have that dance someday…

We both all teary eyed shared tissues together, till I got her laughing… I told her that I would only do a slow dance with her if she did another with me afterward, standing up showing her my funny dance – the “Uncle Chuck Dance”… I’d started doing this dance with and for my niece when she was barely able to walk, her baby body waddle to control balance just to stand and take those first few steps… Later she would shake her hinny to music in her little diaper, she would dance, swinging her butt around, and I started to imitate this balance act to the rhythm of the music… How my niece, Mom and sister laughed… It’s been now about 22 years that this dance has brought laughter to my family, even still to this day… At the time it was nice to hear my Mom laugh, when I knew even then she had so much pain…

I am still not married and that special moment is now something that will never happen except within my heart and memory…

Monday morning, we needed to bring in a special bed for Mom, so she needed to come out of her room while we took her bed down and brought in the special adjustable bed… Unfortunately she was in such deep pain get up to walk, she needed help…

Happily she recognized me with a large smile, as we often joked about she said; “My Favorite Son”, as I am the only son with two sisters- no competition- another joke we all enjoyed… She laughed for a moment as she put her arms around my neck, and I helped lift her to her feet… Slowly we danced without music, taking baby steps to where the wheelchair was at the doorway, my last dance with my Mom and seeing her smile, she now watches from heaven…

Voice of an Angel

Last night, my sister Wendy asked me what music and/or musicians Mom enjoyed listening to, her wanting to post some of the music within her Facebook page to share with her friends and people she knows… Wendy had been playing some that she knew of off the computer, as I talked with Rick our stepfather… The sounds of classical, opera, jazz and songs from famous musicals filled the room as the evening wore on… So I told her a few that came to mind, though I am often hard pressed to remember the names of songs or who sung them, often just enjoying the music or the story behind the words sung… There are just too many groups and musicians to recall, picturing the album artwork in my head relating to the musical sound, but not recalling the singer/s or group’s name…


Our Hunting Fathers (“Messalina”) sung by Phyllis Bryn-Julson

One of my Mom’s dearest friends from college and also my Godmother Phyllis Bryn-Julson (singing in the video above), whom is a very respected opera singer… Mom would play her albums, singing with her in harmony words I didn’t seem to understand then…

When I was very young one of my first and fondest memories of my Mom playing music, the old stereo just shaking the pictures upon the walls and make the windows shake… I recall is of Wendy as a baby, when she was crying once… My Mom singing to the Sound of Music to Wendy, when she was just in diapers before she could talk, the tears stopping and a look of wonder in her face… We lived in Rochester then, a large house that the acoustics would echo up the stairway to the next floor…

Some of the albums would be classical music that would include, organ or piano, then others with song, Hymns, opera, songs from classical musicals… Two of the albums included my Mom singing on them, my grandfather accompanying her with playing the piano in the background…. She had even originally gone to Syracuse University to be a voice major in music, but had later changed to get a teacher’s degree…

The memory is a song she would sing with is from an Opera, Lakmé… This opera includes a famous and popular part of the concert- the Flower Duet, a duet sung by two women… I recall my Mom matching note for note in perfect harmony her voice to theirs… I was still very young but the image and memory has ever been one I always cherished… For me her voice became what I would believe would be what the musical voices of angels should sound like…

Season of Giving- a Social Media Campaign is a great way to give to someone who keeps giving of himself- Mark Horvath…

 

If you don’t know who Mark Horvath is, here’s a link to his story…  http://player.vimeo.com/video/2077647

The reason I am highlighting Mark Horvath is that he is was once homeless and now spends his life helping bring awareness to people in the United States that are now homeless on his online show InvisiblePeople.tv…  He does interviews with homeless people through out the country and then uses Social Media and his website to share their stories, the stories of Invisible People…  In my view a true American Hero caring for other people who are in need!!!  I don’t know how much money he has raised, but he is making a mark and helping many people who truly need help…

So many people think that the homeless just didn’t try hard enough, but in this day and time of so few jobs, there are many now who are filling tent cities and for what ever reason, find themselves homeless now… I can relate some, I have taken into my home a friend who also found himself homeless, as he fights for his last home that is rented out and trying to save money for lawyers and property taxes…

In June 2010, the National Alliance to End Homelessness (www.endhomelessness.org) did the numbers; “The Alliance research brief Economic Bytes: Doubled up in the United States estimates that there are 4.85 million people (individuals and persons in families) living in housing units with extended family, friends, and other non-relatives due to economic hardship, earning no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level. This map shows how many of the 4.85 million reside in each of the 50 states. This ranges from a low of 4,330 in Vermont to a high of 725,899 in California.”  Go to the interactive link to see just how many homeless people are estimated in your state: http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/article/detail/3153

My Idea:

There are times I am at my girlfriend’s house and as she relaxes from her day of IT security, she uses her TIVO, to watch one show named “The Talk” with  Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marissa Jaret Winokur…

I have been watching it with her in my ever attempting of learning to understand Women’s Views and the way they think for marketing and understanding Women’s buying power…  So I sit on the sofa with my girlfriend as I tweet or work on my Powerbook, this last Friday I started looking at their website…

On “The Talk‘s” website, I came across an area for future show themes, one of which was “Hometown Heroes”, and instantly I thought to Mark Horvath- who I believe is a True Hero more people should hear about and he should be on that show for that theme…

Then thought maybe this would make for great for Mark to be on the show and maybe his being able to not only meet the hosts, but since Mark Horvath use to play in rock bands… Maybe somehow a request for him to meet Sharon’s husband Ozzy Osborn or some other Rock Stars (I’m going to see if a friend of mine would know of some who would meet him) as such shows sometimes do for people in a way to give back to good people…

I got to thinking about Social Media as I looked at The Talk’s website and their Facebook Fan page…  I’ve written about Mark in my blog- “Making a difference- Mark Horvath of InvisiblePeople.tv is a Hero for all!: http://bit.ly/9D52L8. So again I write to see if maybe there are other good people out in Social Media that would help to give back to someone who has given so much for such a good cause…

I am going to be getting in contact with as many of my Social Media friends I can, and see if maybe they will Tweet and Post this article to see if maybe we can get Mark Horvath on “The Talk” for their upcoming show “Hometown Heroes”!!!

So Post his name in The Talk’s FaceBook Fan Page for “Hometown Heroes”…  Link Mark’s Video Interviews, write something about him, lets see if maybe we can get as many people as possibly to help get Mark on the show and to highlight his cause of Homeless People in America- InvisiblePeople.tv!!!

The Talk- Website: http://www.cbs.com/daytime/the_talk/

Future Show Topic: Hometown Heroes http://www.cbs.com/daytime/the_talk/be_on_the_show/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=120384641362266&id=562217237#!/TheTalkCBS

Twitter: @TheTalk_CBS

Mark Horvath of InvisiblePeople.tv

Website: www.InvisiblePeople.tv

His Blog: http://hardlynormal.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/invisiblepeopletv

Twitter: @hardleynormal

Memorial Day- Living in his honorable memory… My Grandpa Taggart

 

On this Memorial Day, I would like to remember one of those who died in the protection of our country, my Grandfather… Always I will be a living memory of my Grandfather of whom I am named after, he being Charles McLeister Taggart and I being the same but added in the end “ the 2nd”… And such a proud name I have, wondering if I will ever truly fulfill such a great person footsteps, though I know I have a good start in the descriptions of his memory and stories I have been told of his life…

As I grew up, one of the few memories I cherish of my father, but at 12, he gave me one of these few memories the day when he pulled from the shelves a gray box with silver dual lines and the signs of time on the edges… He told me I was the “Only son of an only song of an only son- the third generation of having our family name Taggart… Within this box, as he opened it, he told me how the namesake I was given the honor of having, my grandfather’s name… He then pulled out a black and white photo of my grandfather, in his navy suit and a smile more like a smirk and a gleam within his eyes as if he is holding within some form of happiness about to be shared in teasing for laughter, which I was told my grandmother I have the same smirk and smile too…  He gave me this photo, telling me; “Grandpa is always with you, be proud”…

The gray tattered box in his hands were the most cherished of memories my Father has of him, an envelope with the letter from the President was first opened and he read it aloud to me, the honor of my Grandfather’s passing in World War II… He explained first of his memory of his mother receiving it in early spring… Upon this fine parchment I remember seeing the President’s Seal and what later I would know where the tear marks of my grandmother upon the letter as she first read it… He read of the date the ship escort destroyer USS Frederick Davis…

Lt. Charles M. Taggart was killed along with 114 crewmates when a German U-boat off the Atlantic coast of Europe sank the USS Frederick C. Davis on April 24, 1945.

He then would take out two boxes in one was a metal of Honor, and the other a purple heart, with my name on it without the 2nd… And he would tell me his memories so few of his father, and the stories that Uncle Harry would tell him- what a great man he was- polite, honorable, intelligent and always wanting to give someone a hand to help and a smile… My Father then put all and everything into the box and put it away telling me someday he would give these things to me, as I am the last heir to his memory and the family name Taggart… This is something of all the promises my father has given but broken, I am wishful and pray he would keep at least just this one…

My Grandfather was also a great sportsmen at Syracuse University, playing both Football and Basketball and was one of the undefeated 1931 freshman basketball team…
http://www.orangehoops.org/CTaggart.htm

Syracuse University Football:
1931– The Orange outscored its opponents 238-56 en route to a 7-1-1 record.
1932– The program enjoyed its 250th victory, a 27-6 win against Oglethorpe.

The next time I am on campus I am going to go to the Sports department and see if I might find photos of my Grandfather playing basketball or football and also see if there are any of my Grandmother’s brother Uncle Al who was also a great football player for Syracuse University…  The last time I did I got kind of off target and instead got to talk to the Basketball couch at that time, but that’s another story…

Even though I was a bit rebellious of going to SU when I first finished High School I am proud now to be a third generation SU grad of my family college on both my Mom’s and Father’s sides of the family and how deep the history is there of also many cousins and uncles and aunts that also attended Syracuse University…

It was at Syracuse University my Grandmother met my Grandfather, in an illustration class, in Figure Drawing… A tale I smile in remembering my Gram telling, Gram who was in her 1st year at SU majoring in illustration… Her paper was empty as he was embarrassed to look let alone draw the male nude the class was suppose to be sketching… She would smile, as if reliving the moment again, and also seemed to blush at the thought then say; “Your grandfather was a bit of a teaser and popular with the woman and well known in the art department for his artistic abilities walked up with the professor, who was about to say something to me about her not drawing, when your grandfather said-“Oh what a beautiful drawing of a polar bear in a blizzard, but where is the man you should be drawing?” Gram would seem to blush and smile telling me he loved to make her smile with jokes…

She also told me, not only did I remind her of him, in my love of art and drawing but she and my Great Uncle Harry would say, I was artistic like him, was somewhat soft spoken as he was, even walking and carried myself physically as he did… Gram would say that I even loved fishing and hunting just as he did, loving being out in the woods and streamside enjoying nature…

Every Memorial Day, I spend a bit of time and open a box my Gram gave me, his baby book that shows 4 generations of the family tree and the first of my Taggart linage that came to the US, letters he sent her when he was off to war… I will thumb through the baby book and wonder of their lives these family members names without faces and no photos that I have of them, thinking of the photos that Gram might have had, that my father I hope my sister Beth didn’t steal… Open one of the letters and try to read it, but even though it has been now 20 years that I have owned these parchments and his beautiful handwriting and a love that seems to even glow within these sweet words, I have yet to ever finish one with out some tears falling down my cheek… Even now I have this box to my left, computer in front of me and an espresso to my right, just the thought to touch the paper that also holds marks of tears upon them, I feel my eyes start to water some…

So I sit thinking of Gram and Uncle Harry’s stories of Grandpa Taggart… He was my Great Uncle Harry’s best friend in High School and introduced Uncle Harry to my Gram’s sister Harriet… My Cousin Nancy would tell me that the love between Uncle Harry and Aunt Harriet was that which you could see a glow around of true love and that same glow was also around Gram and Grandpa Taggart, somewhat a legendary love within our family, it being so deep… This too I could see each time Gram would talk of Grandpa Taggart… She would even tell me to my extreme surprise that he brought her to a Speak Easy and how he was so light upon his feet as he danced with her to big band music of the 30’s…

Each fall, while I was at Syracuse I would also go back home or go to the woods near Syracuse and go hunting and fishing… Bringing back venison, rabbit, pheasant and grouse or fish I might catch to share with Gram and Grandpa Davis. She would tell me of how Grandpa Taggart would go hunting and fishing with the Minister of the Church in Malone and bring back small game for Gram to cook or venison… She would tell me she never cared much for Venison till I started to bring it home as I think Grandpa Taggart was having it butchered wrong… She then grew to really enjoy my filling their freezer with venison and each meal she would tell me some stories of Grandpa Taggart bring home small game or fish he would get with Uncle Harry or the minister… I like to think that my Grandfather would be proud of my hunting and fishing as Uncle Harry use to also fish and helped in teaching me how to hike and use a compass to navigate the woods of streams he and my grandfather had fished and laughed…  It is these simple memories and stories that Gram and Uncle Harry would tell me of Grandpa Taggart always think to when I am out in the woods or streamside…

It is these memories and stories of a man I am named after but never met, that I hope I can somehow live up to be just as honorable, caring of others and be able to give just as many smiles in my jokes and laughter as he, my grandfather, Charles M. Taggart…

My Hero, My Mom- Neenah Kromer

My Mom, Neenah Kromer

One of the most influential people in my life has been my Mom, Neenah Kromer, but she didn’t just influence me, she has become one of my heroes too…  Yes we all love our mothers and how much love and care they pour into us from the time we are born, through childhood, teenage years and every day of our lives we are a major part of their cares, worries, hearts and thoughts…  But for me, My Mom is really special, as she has given to me so much more then just knowing how to tie me to walking, talk, which fork or spoon to use and the basics of life, she taught me will power and responsibility and not giving up and one of the largest things, to be myself for whom I am and not live under other’s shadows…

Pride of my Family History she gave me too…  My grandfather was a professor at Julliard teaching classical Piano and Church Organ Music.

Vernon deTar, Photograph by Yousuf Karsh

My Mom was accepted at her Father’s Amimoto, Syracuse University, studying to be a Voice major in the Visual and Performing Arts College… She had already had a couple of albums with her and my Grandfather singing church music and song- a beautiful voice even today, a voice as if she being an angel… He also was the Organ and Choirmaster at Church of the Ascension in New York City… He received Syracuse University’s highest awards, the Arents Award… Through the deTar name a cousin of mine traced it back to one of the three ships of Columbus, the Nina, where one of the Lady’s in waiting of the French King’s court had escaped the French Revolution with her head…  They also traced it back to the first use of the stamp for letters, and to be proud of her part of my family history with great uncles and Aunts that where a Doctors and a Nun…

Nina deTar as a student at Syracuse University

But one thing bothered her while in Syracuse University, she was always introduced as Vernon deTar’s daughter and not as Nina deTar for her own achievements…  This too I also had the chance to experience while I also was at Syracuse, and I also grew to kind of stay away as often as I could from the being introduced as Vernon deTar’s grandson, though now I have more pride in this, as I have also achieved my own self wealth, and now take more pride in my family history but like to not depend on it…  Does add to very interesting conversations though, and I do take great pride now in knowing his history too… Because of this my Mom taught me in this way to “Stand on my own merits” and it wasn’t until recently I started to talk to others of who my family was and their history…

Mom changed from being a Voice Major in the College of Performing Arts the School of Education, obtaining bachelors of Education from Syracuse University with final classes with me inside of her… She often would tell me laughing the story of how her last professor would make sure she was comfortable and his great worries she would give birth in his class…

As a child, I’ve memories of visiting my Grandfather in New York City.  It was here she taught me of the beauty of Art in its many facets…  In the Church of the Ascension beautiful art stained glass windows paintings murals and building architecture…  Memories of her and Grandpa deTar walking through the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts the wonder in my eyes of paintings, sculptures and so many kinds of artworks…  How she always supported and encouraged me to follow my dreams of becoming an artist even excepting somewhat my drawing on walls as a child later buying me proper art supplies watercolor, oils paints and charcoal…

Her life has also been filled with so many people that makes me sit back in wonder of the Who’s-who’s of culture and history she had the chance to meet and share life and learning with…

Eleanor Roosevelt Portrait

In stories she tells me, my sister with her children of who taught her which of tea time with one of my Grandfather’s friends, Eleanor Roosevelt whom enjoyed his organ playing so much within Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 5th Avenue at 10th Street, New York City where she use to sing in the Choir…  How Eleanor Roosevelt had her and her friends after school for Tea Time, there how to set a table and the proper way of sipping tea, in little tea parties she would hold for the young women from her school…

In my youthful hell raising days Mom would tell me of her helping tutoring

Chuck Mangione

Chuck Mangione an American flugelhorn player and composer who achieved international success in the jazz-pop scene…  Mom would give some examples of the 60’s artist scene and how she knew of things regarding my youthful hell raising days…  How often she would play his music and I would listen to his playing, as she would tell me of her knowing and helping him through college at Syracuse…  Through my listening to her collection of his albums I grew to enjoy Jazz music…

While she was working at Cornell she was the secretary of Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., B.A., Ph.D

an American literary critic, educator, scholar, writer, editor, public intellectual and He was the first African American to receive the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship…  She gave me the chance to meet him and also some of the people that came through his office he knew such as

Nobel Prize Winner Wole Soyinka

Nobel Prize Winner, Wole Soyinka…  She was also able to allow me to meet some of these great people that will leave their print on American and world history, such an enlighten…  She taught me not to see people as color, but for whom they truly are within…

I was in 9th grade when my Mom was able to get something she had ever wanted a small farmsted an old salt box styled house dating back to around 1875 with a nice sized Dutch styled barn and about 5 acres, half of which was wetlands…  We started to raise pigs and a couple beef cows and got to the point of having 24 head of dairy cows…  She also had great joy in having ducks and chickens, and a very large garden…  Heating with firewood I started to do the firewood to heat the house and learned to do chores of taking care of the animals and milking…  Here she taught me major responsibility, how to do a large garden the enjoyments of it’s harvest…  It was also this property that I got to start to do carpentry, building and renovations within the old house…  A farm I now have it begin a 2nd generation ownership and great pride in the last 20 years of renovations I have put into this old family farmstead…  Hobbies, appreciation of owning a property and the enjoyments of animals and gardens because of my Mom…

While I was in High School, my Mom started suffering from a very bad back…  It got to the point where she finally had to go in for surgery on her spine…  She had a spinal tap and for a few seconds her heart didn’t pump, she died, but it suddenly started to pump again…  I feel an angel was around then, knowing this wasn’t her time, and helped my Mom back into her Body then- I like to think it was Grandma deTar…  This back problem though was so hard on her she needed to stop working for a while, it didn’t stop my Mom, she learned to grit her teeth and bare this insane pain, she still worked on the farm she had bought…  She would do some of the milking and not be afraid of pushing a cow or a pig to where they should be, would drag bags of grain or bails of hay to help feed them and for years she also would buy coal in 100 pound bags for heating the farm house…  She taught me to bare the pains, to go forward and do what truly needed to be done for family and friends…

It gave me happiness when I first graduated High School to see my Mom in tears of joy in watching me graduate from High School, lets say I was a handful with my “girl chasing, fast cars, fast living and hell raising” days…  The happiness she had in her eyes when I was accepted and planned to go off to College in Boston at Chamberlain Jr. College will always stick in my mind, she was so happy and also very supportive of my going into the Arts… Later when I finally was accepted to Syracuse University, she glowed with deep happiness and pride, I would be the third generation through her and my Grandpa deTar, to become a Syracuse University Alumni…  She is still very proud of this part of my life and my achievements…  It was her inspiration and pushing me to go to college and to acquire a life of learning and giving of your self…

When I finished and came back to this town without a stoplight Mom has been involved with the 19 years of volunteering in the town Ambulance squad…  She helped raise money for them to get an Ambulance garage new ambulances and her volunteer work she also would make run after run, some times never sleeping, helping people…  She and I also joined the beginning years of the Candor Chamber of Commerce and she was on the committee that helped to write the bi-laws that this Chamber still uses…  The pride in her eyes later when I would become the Web Master, a Director on the board then finally a Vice President of the Town Chamber also gives me pride as she was one of the founding members and so implemental in it’s beginning days…  She also was proud when I was a major idea and supporter and founding member of the Candor Economic Development Committee…  She taught me to give of yourself and your abilities to help others…

Two years ago, my Mom was diagnosed with having Lung Cancer…  She had recently remarried a very Great fellow,

My Mom on her wedding day with her husband Rick Kromer

who is also earning my deep respect in his views and life as I get to learn more about his life’s history- Rick.  In her learning she got Cancer, they started to do Chemo treatments on her, the really heavy hard kind…  This was so hard on her; she not only lost her hair, but also suffered greatly in loosing energy, and even fainting several times…  But this didn’t stop my Mom; she would do a hat to protect her skin, but not to hide her lack of hair…  And she continued to work her part time jobs, not giving up as often some do… She has stopped the heavy treatments of radiation and has been going through a less evasive form, which she is now able to feel a bit better, not loosing as much energy or her hair…  she even took major pride when her hair started to come back curly, joking; “All these years of getting perms and finally I have what I enjoy and don’t need to spend so much time after a shower on my hair”…  She still amazes me each day and every time I share some time with her, learning a bit more of her history, the people she knew and those in her life I didn’t know about as I was a child and blind to seeing the small world children life in…

Her life and the people and places she has had in her life, the places she has been and experiences I haven’t enough space to continue to go into some details off… I have been trying to get her to write an Autobiography of her life as I am leaving so many people she has met and places she has seen out of this…  And I will continue to try to get her to write this too… Once I am able to sell the farm and move down near her we also will be creating a DVD of Grandfather’s life, his achievements and his music…  When I finally open my Internet Café, I hope to she will also be able to help me with it to have classes of teaching older people how to use the computer and get online… So many things I seem to be leaving out of her life and how those too earned me such deep respect in her…  An amazing person and humble and she has given so much of herself and her life to others, this too she taught me…

You combine all of this together and my Mom becomes a living hero to me!!! For all she has taught me and in how deeply she has also earned my undying respect in her… She isn’t just my mother, she is a friend, a past & future business partner and will always be my hero- My Mom, Neenah Kromer…

Happy Belated Mother’s Day Mom, you mean the world to me!!!!

Making a difference- Mark Horvath of InvisiblePeople.tv is a Hero for all!

Mark Horvath– 15 years ago he was a TV exec. 14 years ago he ended up homeless on Hollywood Blvd. Mark started a homeless awareness vlog (Video Blog) to raise awareness about homelessness in America, he started Invisible People TV- http://invisiblepeople.tv

Mark grew up in the Binghamton, New York area. He described a couple days before Mother’s day, that he was a bad boy… He had a rough hell raising teenage life, being involved in drugs and having too much fun that wasn’t good… He considers his Mother his True Hero, for all she did for him in his life, putting up with him and teaching him to stand up for himself and what is truly right… After hearing him talk about him Mom, I can truly understand just how much he respects her and cares for her…

Mark Horvath Interviewing a homeless person for his online show InvisablePeople.TV

Mark: “I don’t know that I’m driven by passion. I don’t see any other choice in what I do. I really don’t. I help homeless people. I didn’t wake up one day and say “this is my career move…” It just happened. I once had a great career in television and I ended up homeless on Hollywood Boulevard…I did everything both good and bad a person can do in Los Angeles. When I first hit the streets homeless I didn’t know how I was going to survive. I had a 6-foot iguana…I was sitting on the wall (by the Chinese theater), with my head in the lap…and asking “How am I going to live?” Some tourist pull up and they get out of the bus and ask “Can I take a picture of your iguana?” I said “for a dollar,” and they all started handing me dollars. That’s how I became the lizard man of Hollywood – that’s how I survived.”

Mark uses Social Media and Web 2.0 to help bring awareness of the pain, suffering, hardship and successes of homeless people of America and what they go through…

Mark Horvath interviewing a homeless person in their makeshift tent...

He is using Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Ustream and his blog interviewing homeless people to help bring awareness to this huge problem…

If you want to make a difference, you can follow him on twitter, Become a fan on FaceBook or go to this vlog and website to find out how you can help his cause in helping fellow American citizens in their struggles of hardships that these hard times and life that are creating Invisible People… I have been able to virtually meet, chat and listen to Mark online through Social Media, through Twitter and in his InvisablePeople.TV, he’s truly an amazing person and has a heart of gold, helping people who truly need help, doing the right thing in Making a Difference…

Mark is now one of my hero’s and a hero he should be for all!!!

I hope to someday be able to meet him in person and shake his hand!!! I will do and try as soon as I possibly can to help him in this cause of helping Invisible People… This being the fist thing for now I can do and offer to him, writing a little about him and his cause and try to help get the message out… My way of saying thank you for sharing your story and in talking every so often via Twitter… Again, your one of my Hero’s Mark!!!

You can see some Mark Horvath’s interviews or follow him, check out the following links:

Website: http://invisiblepeople.tv
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/invisiblepeopletv

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hardlynormal
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/invisiblepeopletv
Ustream: WhatGives with Mark Horvath http://www.ustream.tv/user/WhatGives
Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/user/hardlynormal
Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/invisblepeople-tv

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