Friday, January 10, 2014

Serenading the Demons - A Biography of the Music

I think if you were looking to understand who John Bartee was... you would have to start down South near Fitzgerald, Georgia.  John's father moved often in his job as a telegraph operator for the railroad so it was rare for the children in the family to have time to form lasting friendships with the local kids.  But the Summer of  1921 was different, John met Fitz Finney, and whether together or apart they would have a friendship that lasted though many changes in each of their lives.

Fitz was named after his granddad Zion Fitzgerald a former slave of the Fitzgerald Family who had  apparently ruled these parts of Georgia at one time,  at least until  General Sherman cut a path of total destruction from Atlanta to Savannah in 1864 driving the Confederates out on Dec 24,  and handing the City by the Sea over to President Lincoln as a Christmas present.

Zion Fitzgerald had seen much pain in his life but at age 72 he had come to find a little taste of freedom & joy even if he was still surrounded by intolerance in a segregated South.   He definitely found a freedom when he played on the piano down at Doc Mathew's Place, where John & Fitz would sit out front in the shade of the porch sharing an ice cold Coca-Cola in the afternoon heat.  Taking in all the rhythm and melodies from the music the old man would finesse out of the keys of that piano.  It was also the summer the boys ended up behind the shed of  the Bartee's neighbor Mrs. Ella Chambliss, the elderly widowed daughter of Confederate General William Hardee the guy that Sherman just happened to run out of Savannah years before. Fitz had gotten hold of one his Uncle's hand rolled cigarettes which was pretty much the way the smokes came in those days unless you had some real money.

You get the picture, two little boys curious to see what  smoking  tobacco was all about. The way my Grandmother told the story it turned out it wasn't that fine Virginia tobacco in this little cigarette as they had thought...  You guessed it...  It was some of that fine Tanga weed we still enjoy today... just more of a wild southern blend.

John's mother Nell, a gentle woman with a love for music had started her two oldest daughters Julia & Mary Kate off learning the piano at a young age. But, John had just seemed to find his place at the keys naturally.  One can image these two boys getting a taste of a special weed on that summer day when Nell called out for John to come on in and play her a song while she fixed dinner.  Hearing his Momma call he hurriedly jumped up and parted company with Fitz, who was wearing the widest grin as he sat leaned up against the back of Mrs.Chambliss's shed. "Yeah, go play us some music John-Boy, music would be real sweet right now."  Fitz mumbled.

John raced to the back of the house to be greeted by Nell who grabbed her young son as he bolted through the door giving him a hug,  "Where you running to John?", she asked.  " I got a new song to play you Momma,  you really going to like this one."  he replied as he slipped from her arms and headed into the parlor. "What you and Fitz been up to today?" Nell asked from the kitchen...  "Ah you know Momma, What God invented Little Boys for... Trouble."  he replied.  "John Lewis Bartee!!"  Nell exclaimed as she entered the parlor "You are a little devil." she said to him with a grin.  And he started to play a sweet little melody that took on a rhythm and tempo that seemed to grow in volume as he played .  Nell just stood there focused  with amazement on her oldest boy,  Mary Kate came running in wondering what was going on.... and before long seemed like all the neighbor kids were on the porch leaning in through the open windows listening as John's song went on.  Even old widow Chambliss had been stirred from her afternoon nap to walk over and see what all the fuss was about.  Suddenly the song came to an end and John looked over at his mother.  "So what did you think Momma?" he asked.  Nell looking flushed but always one to encourage her children's music talent, she answered. "John that was just something special,  so very different.  What do you call it?"  John paused a moment, looking down at the keys in thought ,  then turned to his mother and said,  "I think I'll call it...Tanga".  

"Well John, I think that fits that tune just fine... It sounds like a fun name,.  Yes... Tanga... sounds like a party." Nell said as she turned back to the kitchen to  finish preparing dinner.

More to Come...

 (A play on words... Ganja = Tanga & Tanga = Ganja,  the song title, Tanga being the hidden message.)

NBC/Universal pulled the original Music Video with Cab  Calloway showing more dance moves long before Michael Jackson was born. Here's a taste of the Music.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Finding Forrest...

12 years ago this week I did my yearly search of the Social Security Death Index for my Great-Uncle, John Lewis Bartee. There on my computer screen I read his name and date of death along with a location of Gallup, New Mexico where his last benefits had been sent. Within hours after calls to the Gallup police department and other persons in New Mexico I was speaking with Sister Gonvague at Little Sisters of the Poor.

Now my search to find John Lewis Bartee was redirected and a new task was put in front of me. In the first moments of that phone conversation with Sister Gonvague I was informed that John had told them he had a son, John Forrest Bartee whom he had not seen since the boy was a small child.

John Forrest Bartee    abt.1945
Photo used by permission / All Rights Reserved - John Forrest Bartee
For the last eight years my family and friends have had to endure my endless stories of John Lewis Bartee and what I had found in my research of his life. Though in all my stories... those involving the underlying search for that missing young son I make no apology for boring others with. Many times in my research of John Lewis I had become discouraged myself with discovering the events of his Life, and the wide scope of deceit & lies (past & present) in the music industry. I think I was always drawn back to what I felt was a journey or task that was put before me when Sister Gonvague mentioned the boy. Was he alive?  Is he OK?   Does he have a family, and do they have information regarding John's life unknown to the other long estranged Southern Kin?

Was Sister Gonvague... John's messenger to find the son he hadn't seen in over fifty years, yet had never forgotten? I think it was this question that propelled my search for John Forrest Bartee.

When I did finally get a break in my search for Forrest, new discoveries regarding him came in short time. Back in the Spring 2010 that break came on when I got a new hit on John Lewis, a marriage license in Vermont had become available. To date the family had known John had married but as to details like a name of the Bride or place of the event were unknown. In the previous years I had thought many times... even if I knew her name it was likely that when they had split up she probably went on to remarry and would have a new name. At the same time the young boy would have probably been adopted by a new father, or at least have another name.

I was right about all of those details but, the marriage license gave me something special... the names of the Bride's parents and residence. With that information I knew through my knowledge of Genealogy research; a hobby my grandmother Olga Kathleen Haynes had started me on in my teens, I might have a chance to find the woman John married, and had a child with.

I began a genealogy search that in itself was a novel of vivid images of some very interesting individuals and events in History. Pictures of  childhood Italian immigrants to the United States in the 1870's marrying and having children in NYC later becoming early residents of South Florida area of Cocoa.   Then another family side of native Scot / Floridians who date back and worked with Governor Andrew Jackson on the transition of the Spanish government to the United States Territory, and handled one of the first Real Estate transactions regarding 5 islands of the Middle Keys. One relative even being one of the first US Mayors of St. Augustine, Florida.  A place where as a child I had stuck my head in the old cannons at the Spanish Fort.

Once one does find a little out about their ancestors they will know the odds get better that with each generation back there is another person somewhere out there that has also done research on the same common ancestors. And, just as I had hoped there was a very helpful fellow researcher in the Mid-West whose husband was a relative of John's ex-wife. I sent her a note telling of my strange search and within twenty-four hours I had a phone number for a Sister of John's ex-wife.

I made the call, and again was rewarded not only with information about the ex-wife, but yes... John Forrest Bartee did exist. Also... as it has been many times in my research I met a very interesting individual herself, John Forrest's Aunt.  She let me know that John Forrest's mother had just died the previous year. That day we began a process which on Thursday, December 30 led to me finally shaking the hand of John Forrest Bartee.  John Forrest shared the New Year Holiday with his first cousin my mother, and some of our family here in Virginia.   As I have mention in previous posts John Forrest knew nothing of his father since he was 8 years old.  This past Summer I sent him a book with photos of his natural father, John Lewis Bartee along with other family photos and genealogies for both his mother & father to start introducing him to John Lewis. Of the memories John Forrest does have of his father, one is his last visit with John Lewis at age 8,  they went fishing at Port Washington, NY with cane poles.  If I was to have lost a parent in childhood I would hope my last memory with them was a good one.

John Forrest left this morning (Jan. 2, 2010)... we saw not only John Lewis Bartee's image in him but, traces of a couple of his Uncles.  As he nears age 71... I pray that John is safe, and joy finds him in life.

Finally today I can call out to John Lewis Bartee, and say, “I found John Forrest”.

Why is it with the peace of finding his Son, I feel as if the journey has many more miles and lessons ahead.

Now some time and energy can go to The Music of John Bartee  & The Georgia Music Hall of Fame Inductions 2012.

I've added the Video below of Enya's Music and Beautiful Images... Two things that bring Joy to John Forrest Bartee's Life.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lovers of Music or just a big Lie?

This was an original post from Sept 16, 2010  /  It was originally intended as humor pointed at the Egyptian Press & the spin that the World's Leaders put on their adventures...

But this past month the powers that be didn't find humor in the fact that this page was viewed by many in Egypt, Jordan & the Mideast during the people's uprisings.  It has been shut out of google search engines, while this site's online storage has been deleted.

Go figure....    Well it is an election year in the United States,  but don't the powers know we don't support either side.

 Was once again re-posted on May 20, 2012  once again attacked...  Internet Terrorist... Secret Squirrel Agencies...  Mickey Mouse Lover's Association... Mickey Mouse Haters... ??? I don't know.  They took out the whole site months later so I assume they were slow readers.  The site is back up for 2014.  I am re-connecting this post just so those that can't read are able to at least look at the colorful pictures.

UPDATE: March 21, 2014
Thank You for your comments & suggestions on vacation locations.  But I am sure the weather will warm up here in Virginia and I won't need to accessorize my wardrobe with a pitchfork.

If you are a supporter of President Obama... know that I would have had no problem creating the same POST had a Republican been President when the original photo was taken.
Believe me The King of Jordan's people didn't care for the way he was portrayed in the image any better.  As to Mubarak... well what can he say now... his people posted the Mickey Mouse on Arab Spring Billboards.

I guess I could have posted...

    Humorist images of Harry Reed licking Mitch McConnell     
    cheek, along with John Boehner sucking on Nancy Pelosi's 
    toes...  I really don't want to focus on those images as I gag 
    when I see or hear all of them in any setting.


Update to the original BBC and Yahoo News Blog Stories

Thu Sep 16, 10:57 am ET

Egyptian paper doctors photo of Mubarak and Obama

By Michael Calderon

Al-Ahram, the state-run newspaper in Egypt, recently ran the above photo of  Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak leading President Obama and other world leaders during Middle East peace talks at the White House.

But that's not quite how the walk to the East Room played out. The BBC reports that Al-Ahram apparently had some fun with Photoshop, and placed the country's leader up front.

You can see the original Getty photo below.

Egyptian media has long faced government censorship, so it's not surprising the state-run newspaper would opt to place Mubarak ahead of the pack. News of the re-cut photo drew a swift rebuke from one of Egypt's leading opposition groups, the 6 April Youth Movement. "This is what the corrupt regime's media has been reduced to,"  a statement on the group's website said. The state-owned press had "crossed the line from being balanced and honest," the statement continued. But the specific reason for doctoring this photo is unclear, since Al-Ahram did not respond to the BBC's request for comment.

(Photo of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Barack Obama, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House on September 1: Getty/ Alex Wong)

UPDATE:   (from additional Internet sources)
This really could have turned out worst for all sides concerned if the majority of the Enslaved Population saw the true original photo.

If the citizens of the World knew that their leaders have always secretly belonged to the same CLUB.
It seems as if there has always been peace among the leaders of the World,  they get together in secret whenever possible to dance & sing club songs.  The image of discord & wars between them is to mislead the Sheeple of the World, so they could enslave them for the SECRET Club's benefit.

A copy of the secret photo was secured by undercover operatives of the Looney Tunes Gang, said spokesperson Porky Pig in a breaking press release.

"Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it."

~Henry David Thoreau

UPDATE: January 31, 2011  If you thought this was all a big joke... It might be.  But, consider the current events in Egypt and Jordan, along with the photos below.  Then a Senator a few weeks before the 2008 election, Now... President Obama he does appear pleased to be a new member of the CLUB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      " Now listen closely... The key to control Barry is not giving the servants too much of your CHEESE.  Just allow them a taste, and promise them more if they do your deeds."