Friday, January 30, 2009

Volcano Watch - Update

Here is a web cam link to Mount Redoubt. No picture yet, but this is the place to be when USGS stacks enough servers to meet demand.

Volcano Watch

In 2000, I was fortunate to have spent two weeks in and around Anchorage, Alaska. For most of the trip, I stayed at the Hotel Captain Cook where my window overlooked the Cook Inlet. A hundred miles to the southwest, Mount Redoubt often rose dimly out of the haze. Redoubt is an active volcano with a history of explosive eruptions, the last one occurring about thirty years ago. Seismologists are telling us that another eruption will occur at any hour.

Here's a U.S. Geological Survey photo of the 1989 event.

If you're an earth sciences nut like me or just curious, stay alert for news. All the web cam sites appear to be overwhelmed with traffic. If I can find one that works, I'll post a link for your convenience.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Escape From Paradise

Hugh Conner, British foreign service officer, finds himself crashed in the forbidding Himalayas, rescued, and taken to a lamasery. There, he finds his true vocation and wants to stay, however, his good friend wants to return to the world he knew and cannot do it without help. Conner agrees to leave with him, but once outside, finds that his only desire is to return to the Valley of the Blue Moon and its lamasery, Shangri La.

Many of you may recognize the above as a summary of James Hilton's novel, Lost Horizon. I thought about it this morning while reading a news story that 31 more Cuban exiles had arrived on U.S. soil near Turkey Point on Biscayne Bay. Most likely, the 28 adults and three children were transported by a smuggler at great cost to themselves - and Florida friends and relatives - and at high risk as well. The "dry foot rule" means they must be on our soil physically in order to stay. Being on a boat thirty feet from land means they are returned to Cuba. I cannot imagine the sorrow that situation would create.

Many leftists would tell us that, in spite of some difficulties, the 50 year old communist regime that these exiles left behind in Cuba was a paradise. The evidence readily available on any number of web sites would tell us otherwise, yet there seems to be a growing movement on our shores to reestablish closer official contact with this brutal dictatorship. True, the Cuban people no longer struggle under capitalism. Instead, they struggle to sustain a tiny wealthy ruling group and a much larger and far poorer population in a perpetual tension of the common denominator. No up. No down. Simply the pursuit of an equality of prosperity. What then motivates 28 adults, many of them too young to have known their country before communism, to risk all in an attempt to leave such a place? Family or friendship may be in play, but I would say they leave also to pursue freedom and actualization. The U.S. is their Valley of the Blue Moon. We are, after all, a nation of Hugh Conners. In our search for actualization in a free environment, sometimes we may chose loyalty and friendship over the security of Shangri La thinking that we can return at will. One must be careful, for the simple act of choice guarantees that there is no guarantee.

Did Conner return to his paradise? You need to read the book. I think our 31 Cubans have found theirs. Where will their choice for freedom and actualization take them? Anywhere they want. I wish them well. And I pray for swift liberation for those they left behind.

Thanks to Babalu for kindling these thoughts.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Negotiating With Madness Is Not An Option

This commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day left me speechless. WARNING: Graphic Holocaust footage

Hat tip to Dr. Sanity and Little Green Footballs

America's Diplomacy of Freedom is Over

William Katz's always insightful Urgent Agenda brought this Wall Street Journal article by Fouad Ajami to my attention this morning. Remember that Katz also contributes occasional articles on Hollywood and television history from the '50s to the '80s at Power Line. Such a good writer, too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Taize: Music from the Heart

The Taize Community is a family of brothers dedicated to Christian community both through example and practice. They have been active in Europe for the last sixty years or so, most of the time from their facility at Taize, France. For decades, they have brought young people to the site to spend a week practicing the essence and simplicity of their faith. The brothers have touched the hearts and minds of thousands and their approach to worship has spread around the world. A week at Taize focuses on prayer and meditation, Bible study, the sacraments, and silence. And it is a retreat into community.

I discovered Taize by accident while searching for alternatives to what the industry calls contemporary Christian music (CCM). While some may accept that music for worship, I do not, especially now that it has "matured" into a major profit center for the same folks who bring us the delightful strains of gangsta rap and hip hop. Music that moves into mass market mediocrity is never far from the lowest common denominator of schlock. My friends, there is schlock in almost all music today, sadly, much of it resides in CCM. Personally, I think we should reserve the best for worship.

All of us know what CCM from Nashville/Hollywood sounds like. Here is the CCM of Taize:

I'll leave it for you to decide, and I'll respect your decision. For me it is Taize in all its simplicity. Music filled with wonder. Music filled with worship.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rabbie Burns's 250th

Today marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Bard of Scotland, Robert Burns (1759-1796). I think I hear the skirl o' the pipes. Pay a visit to the official Burns site to learn a bit more about the man.

And the poet at work . . .

Bonie Peg-a-Ramsay

Cauld is the e'enin blast,
O' Boreus o'er the pool,
An' dawin' it is dreary,
When birks are bare at Yule.

Cauld blaws the e'enin blast,
When bitter bites the frost,
And, in the mirk and dreary drift,
The hills and glens are lost.

Ne'er sae murky blew the night,
That drifted o'er the hill,
But bonie Peg-a-Ramsay
Gat grist in her mill.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Container Gardening Means More Than Flowers

Temperatures in south metro Atlanta reached into the mid-sixties today reminding me that it's time to order seeds for this year's garden. If you enjoy landscape gardening, there's almost no way to avoid spending hours bending, stooping or working at ground level. The best way to avoid the annual aches and pains in this case is to go with flowering shrubs and trees, and smaller perennials that return year after year. But giving up the flowering annuals - they last one season - usually means you give up variety and a full color palate in the garden. I've had good success the past few years with a combination of landscape perennials and container annuals. Less work and easier work still resulted in pleasing color and variety.

Last year, I decided to expend that saved energy in planting a vegetable garden in containers. The result exceeded all expectations. We live in the woods with only a few patches of more than dappled sunshine during the growing season. There is a nice eastern exposure by the garage that provides about seven hours of direct morning sun - not a blade of grass at that spot, unless it's coming up through a crack in the concrete. I put the container garden there in three tiers between ground level and two feet high, planted with cut and come again lettuce, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and zinnias to aid pollination. The entire plot was in containers up to five gallons in size, and covered about 20 square feet.

Within fifty days, the harvest began with lettuce, then tomatoes, quickly followed by cucumbers and peppers. It lasted into December when the frost finally killed the tomatoes.

If you have a garden or want to start one on a simple and manageable scale, I suggest you give container gardening a try. Many web sites can help, especially those extension service sites maintained by your state's land-grant universities. You'll get some good outdoor exercise, enjoy watching the garden grow, and savor the goodness of your very own crop of pesticide-free vegetables.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inaugural Update - Photo Essay

Age of Hooper (The) has a fine photo essay showing some of the "side show" folks and themes that would never make it into state media (ABC, NBC, CBS CNN, etc.) reports on the inauguration. Thanks to Little Green Footballs for the link.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

That was an inauguration?

In my lifetime there's never been an inauguration in the U.S. quite like the one I saw yesterday. We must look beyond our shores to find a suitable musical expression. Where better than England and its naturalized citizen, George Frideric Handel.

What a glorious beginning filled with unrestrained jubilation. Not a coronation, but damned close. Too bad so few people saw the parade. Thanks to C-SPAN for broadcasting it.

Lets hope the Executive governs from the center.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Remembering Dr. King

King had the dream.

Let all Americans work together to make that dream a reality.

Edgar Allan Poe

Today marks the 200th birthday of an American literary beacon, Edgar Allan Poe. I don't recall when Poe's work first entered my life, but I was reading him before high school. He's been a source of great enjoyment to my family. Poe was buried in Baltimore in 1849, a fact that made him even more popular with my English teachers in Maryland. My thanks to all of them.

Poe and I do share a bit of history. He was stationed at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina for about a year beginning in 1827. The fort and island are the setting for his short story, The Gold Bug. During my career, I spent a total of several weeks walking the damp tunnels, the grassy terreplein, and studying the character of this historic fort and those who garrisoned it. I watched the sun rise and set over the fort, and stood at the gun emplacements at midnight listening to the invisible surf breaking on the beach or watching ship traffic moving in and out of Charleston harbor. For all I know, Poe's shadow may have watched my every move.

There is magic about deep historic places, and it is magnified by darkness, fog, or a rich drizzle. Judging by the vast body of his work, I'd say Poe enjoyed his duty station at Fort Moultrie. His biographers would tell us otherwise. Unrest, tension and unhappiness seemed to follow him everywhere. Out of his personal darkness came a magic that blossomed into timeless contributions to Western literature. Bring on the cognac and roses.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Georgia on My Mind

One winter many years ago, I recall listening to this while looking out my big wall of windows overlooking the beach at Tybee and the Atlantic beyond. Georgia was new to me at the time. Grew to really like the place. Always liked Django and Stephane.

BTW If you live in Georgia or have an interest in the state, check out Georgia on My Mind, "home of the Georgia Carnival, the Georgia Blogroll, Georgia history, and a little bit of everything else." Sure to find something interesting.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thank You President Bush

Somewhere in my long search to understand the United States, I encountered an author - long forgotten - who made an interesting observation on history. He said that five hundred years from now the story of England and the U.S. would be viewed as a continuum rather than the divided experience we hear about today. [After all, England "arrived" in what is now the U.S. in 1607 with the first permanent European settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.] If you know your history and ponder that statement deep enough, you soon realize it is the opinion of a wise man. Five centuries is a long time to distill the essence out of a national experience. And in the hourglass of history, even a president's eight years in office is a mere speck, a grain of sand on a vast beach.

Last night, George Bush chose the high ground to say farewell to the nation as its president. In a very narrow description of his accomplishments, he focused on two primary points. First, was his response to the Islamo-fascist attack on the nation on September 11, 2001. For seven years, his policy has prevented a repeat of that event on American soil. His second point was the liberation of Iraq from the hands of a bloody tyrant and establishment of a fledgling democracy in a deeply troubled region. President Bush acknowledged that the pursuit of security at home and liberation abroad has come at a high cost that can be measured in more than dollars. Would he have done some things differently? Yes. Would the strategies have changed? Probably not. In the end, we find a president leaving office having done his very best to uphold the values and laws of a nation that he loves.

He is not alone. Students of American history have told us that every president challenged by war, at home and abroad, has taken extraordinary steps in bending the rule of law to insure that his policy objectives succeed. Presidential history books are full of examples - I'll let you search them. More often than not, those presidents have also faced great opposition at home.

So President Bush will leave office in a few days to become Citizen Bush. The best and worst of his time in the White House will be history. What we will remember, I'd say far sooner than 2509, will be those eight years of security at home and the continuation of the nation's two centuries of virtuous attempts to plant the seeds of freedom and democracy abroad. The waves of history will reveal the essentials and they will be appreciated.

[Sounds a bit lofty? It's time for you to read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Wild experiment then. Wild experiment now.]

Thursday, January 15, 2009


In the next 48 hours, this winter will probably bring its coldest temperatures to Atlanta. I can already see the winds moving through the trees. The arctic temps should follow shortly. I can best enjoy this event from my big chair looking out into the woods back lighted by a brilliant sun. It is an invigorating scene deserving a similar accompaniment. Vivaldi and his Four Seasons comes to mind. Here is an interpretation of Winter that should brighten your day.

Different. Passionate. Zestful.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


It was dark when we reached the campground just off the Pacific Highway (Highway 1) at Leo Carrillo State Park. An hour before, we were navigating through the noise, tension, and confusion called the Los Angeles freeway system. With the tent pitched and the Pacific surf pounding the beach, we drifted to sleep knowing this was the paradise called California. The year was 1972. I have made five trips to the Golden State over the years, all of them driven by the remarkable diversity of natural resources that can be found at every turn.

Today, those resources remain as attractive as ever, but the social and political landscape has deteriorated to the point that the "paradise" I knew is essentially bankrupt. I've studied enough history over the years to know that California's success - once the eighth largest economy in the world - could not be sustained. What I didn't expect to see was the apparent lack of any long-term strategy to soften the coming landing. How could a government of, by and for the people lose such a rich gift as California?

My favorite participant/observer of the California experience is Victor Davis Hanson, retired professor of classics and military history, and currently a fellow at the Hoover Institution . He farms in the San Joaquin Valley while revealing through the lecture circuit and the printed word how classical ideas underpin Western civilization and influence the decisions we make in day-to-day life in the United States. Hanson is a rare combination of academic knowledge and practical experience expressed through skillful communications.

He has two posts, here and here, about the reality of his home state. In 2004, he wrote Mexifornia:A State of Becoming, an analysis of Mexican immigation in California and its potential national impacts. Ordinarily, I don't recommend books I have not read. This is an exception based on excerpts, commentary, interviews and reviews encountered in the last few years as well as the author's work that I have read.

Will I ever again hear the Pacific roar from the beaches at Leo Carrillo? It's doubtful, but be assured that travel to California will be on our agenda. I can always find my paradise there.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More Rumblings of the Weimar Culture

For about six years, beginning in the mid-sixties, I attended a large urban university frequented by several violent anti-war demonstrations. Although I never joined in those confrontations, the contempt that settled over American intentions in Vietnam led me to question many values that had been the bedrock of my upbringing. I turned both inward, exploring new spiritual paths, and outward working with the political system but on the radical edge. Unitarian ministers, blood-tossing priests, an assortment of Quakers, flower children in training, and amateur druggists crossed my path. Some of those folks probably held more than a passing interest in socialism, but I don't recall those sympathies outweighing their desire to see a war come to an end. Indeed, the war ended a few years later, as did my flirtation with "progressive" ideology.

Today, anti-war protests in the the West have some disturbing new ingredients. First, the socialists/anti-capitalists now march under the mantra of the environmental movement. Second, the communists, unhinged by the fall of the Soviet Union, join with the anarchists in search of profound "political" change. Third, and I believe the most disturbing, is the introduction of often violent religious opposition toward others. In an earlier post, I mentioned how our national experience could be taking on some of the qualities of the Weimar Republic in Germany during the years between World War I and the creation of the Third Reich in 1933. Other political bloggers seem to be noticing this trend; however, their observations are based on far darker elements of that culture. Could protests opposing the Iraq conflict and the current Israel-Gaza Strip fighting be a mere prelude to greater, wider unhappiness? Here is one "take" on that scenario from Gateway Pundit. Zombietime has the photo essay of the January 10 anti-war march in San Francisco. Does the call for putting Jews back in the ovens fall under the protection of free speech in America? This is a question we will face any day. The "oldest hatred" has had serious consequences for those pursuing such a course. Mark Steyn provides the enlightenment here.

To me, the behavior of today's anti-war protester has about it a pathology, an element of madness, that was not there in the 1960s. Did I overlook something? Was I on the wrong campus? Has wisdom set in with age? The answer will be of little consequence if we are indeed entering the Weimar of the West.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Story of India

It's been almost fifty years since the Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Newton Minnow, first described broadcast television as a "vast wasteland." Sadly, the medium remains in a vegetative state interrupted by occasional blips of consciousness. I'm pleased to report that I found one last night strictly by accident after watching the Steelers beat up the Chargers - by default, most sports qualify as blips in my home.

The program, a six-part series, is entitled, The Story of India. It is a joint production of PBS and BBC, a marriage that has given us several past landmarks in television. As stated in the program notes, Western television has presented the stories of all the great civilizations, except India. It is an odd exception because India is the planet's most enduring civilization, spanning more than 10,000 years. If you're curious about the world's largest democracy and how it got to be, check it out.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Short Trip

Have some chilling laughs today by checking out Diversity Lane, the product of artist/cartoonist Zack Rawsthorne. Love the music on the homepage; perfect for the lefty mindset.

I'm so happy only one of my distant neighbors has a serious infection of "progressive" thinking.

Just a mild sample of Rawsthorne at work.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Climate Change

If you like warm weather, the next day or so will be important regardless of any snow, rain or wind blowing at the time. It's been over two weeks since the Winter Solstice for those living in the Northern Hemisphere. On that day, the Sun (sol) stood still (sistere). It reached its southern-most position in the noonday sky. Today, the noonday Sun is a bit higher, and its height will gradually accelerate day by day, through Spring, then decelerate to reach its maximum height at the Summer Solstice. Ah, Summer.

So what happens in the next day or so? It's going to be so subtle you probably won't notice it, but the average daily temperature is on the rise. In other words, if you examine the record over the past fifty years, we have survived this Winter's "coldest" days. My friends, do keep in mind this is an average. The Canadian Arctic may have a record cold air mass just waiting to descend on us with zero degree temperatures anytime over the next month. I'd say there is a good chance we'll see some bitter cold before Winter gives in to Spring. Simply knowing that those averages are rising should help us tolerate any nasty cold invasions that may be planned by Mother Nature.

That said, there is one more event happening on Saturday that you should plan on seeing. The Full Moon will rise around sunset - full moons always do that - as the largest and brightest moon of 2009. In fact, it will blanket Earth with up to 30% more light and be 14% wider than smaller moons. Check out the story from NASA here. Thanks to Spaceweather - a site full of great info and links - for the Moon news. Seeing that orb on the horizon will be downright captivating.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some Sanity Restored

Dr. Pat Santy, blogging as Dr. Sanity, is back to writing daily after a few months off. Today, she updates us on the Israeli Defense Force's killing of Assud the Bunny, that lovable Al Aqsa television character used by Hamas to indoctrinate the next generation of suicide bombers. Yes, my friends, in a phrase we're seeing more of these days, this is stuff you just can't make up. It is frightening, hilarious and heartbreaking. BTW, Assud now joins Nahoul the Bee in martyrdom.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Group Therapy on a National Scale

When I was a grad student many years ago, the crossroad of geography and psychology for me was the study of perception, both physical and behavioral. At that time, my studies applied to the individual. But I have always had a more than passing interest in perception and group behavior, the world of Marshall McLuhan, and marketing. The Islamofascist attack on the World Trade Center in February 1993 should have brought many aspects of those academic studies into focus. Both the Clinton administration and American media worked against that, and I waited until the 2001 disaster to be fully awakened.

In seeking answers to this dilemma facing the West, I was attracted to the sound reasoning of two pundits, both psychiatrists. One of them, Charles Krauthammer, is likely familiar to most of my readers. He has an ability to interpret the complexity of issues at hand and present them in sound bites appropriate to broadcast and mass market print media . The other doctor, blogging as Shrinkwrapped, also synthesizes the material well, but delves deep into the collective minds of the respective groups, explaining the how and why of the behaviors, and appropriate responses to them. Together, Krauthammer and Shrinkwrapped make for extraordinary reading at two levels. At this moment, the Gaza Strip conflict is the specimen in the lab, and Shrinkwrapped is writing a series on Hamas under the title, "Adolescence and Societies." Read it and you will have a better understanding why this and other radical Islamic conflicts present the West with a challenge it has not faced since the Battle of Vienna in 1683. If this battle is a new subject for you, your background reading begins here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Entertainment News for Center-Right Americans

Several news sources are reporting on the debut of Big Hollywood, the brainchild of Andrew Breitbart, a right-minded thinker and founder of the news portal bearing his surname. This should be great news for those who are saddened by the malaise that has descended over Hollywood, and the entertainment industry in general, at the hands of the moonbat Left. The great movie producer, Samuel Goldwyn, would have been so proud to hear about Big Hollywood, and eager to contribute more gems like these:

A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad.

Television has raised writing to a new low.

Pictures are for entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union

Goldwyn's wisdom is hard to find these days. Let's hope Big Hollywood can make that search an easy one.

A Day of Revelation

Today is Epiphany, a celebration of the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus, and their recognition or revelation of Him as the King of Kings.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Twelfth Day - and Twelfth Night

Today is the twelfth and final day of Christmas. For some, it will end with feasting, music, dancing, and theater at Twelfth Night festivities. The festival cakes will chose a king, a queen, and a fool for an evening. It has been a part of Western culture for a thousand years.

This is an important day: it marks the end of a long festival celebrating the birth of Christ, it is the eve of Epiphany, and the beginning of the carnival season ending in Mardi Gras. I trust you have experienced a wonderful Christmas season, and will live throughout this year in the spirit of Twelfth Night, finding joy and happiness even in this topsy-turvy world. In the words of William Shakespeare,

"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."
Twelfth Night (Act II, Scene V)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Eleventh Day of and Second Sunday after Christmas

Today calls for music. Here is J.S. Bach's Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio) BWV 248. Part Five, presented here in its entirity, was written especially for presentation on the first Sunday after Christmas. Performers are soloists and members of the Tolzer Knabenchor and the Consentus Musicus Wein under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Link to the original text and an English translation here.

Divine inspiration throughout.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

On the Tenth Day . . .

. . . of Christmas, it's time to focus on some seasonal literature. I suppose in the last week or so, many of you watched or heard bits and pieces of the film, A Christmas Story, during its annual television broadcast by Turner Classic Movies. Its author, Jean Shepherd, was a wonderful storyteller, humorist, and radio personality who left us with enduring images of growing up in America in the '20s, '30s and '40s.

While Shepherd spent his childhood in the Midwest, the poet and writer, Dylan Thomas, grew up in Swansea and the surrounding farmlands of south Wales. In his brief life - he died at 39 - Thomas would turn experience and observation into some of the most beautiful and lyrical imagery ever written in the English language. Two years after his death in 1953, his story, A Child's Christmas in Wales, appeared in print.

Although both men approached their craft from very different perspectives in terms of geography as well as style, each has left us with an enduring story of Christmas. Shepherd's work is easily accessible, but Thomas's is obscure, if not lost, to most Americans. To rectify the issue, here is a reading - the first of two parts - of A Child's Christmas in Wales.

I would be doing my readers a great disservice if I did not include a sample of Thomas reading his work. Here he is reading the villanelle, Do not go gentle into that good night, probably his most remembered work.

The lilting expression is unforgettable. No wonder he dazzled Americans with his readings. Where is that craft today?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas: Day Nine

We can only imagine what it must have been like to celebrate Christmas for twelve days. The festivities, including the giving of one gift a day, then opening all of them on Twelfth Night or the following day (Epiphany), must have delighted children. I suspect that a few of those gifts were modest by today's standards, perhaps as simple as an orange or bag of special candy. My dad once told me that as far back as he could remember, his Aunt Lizzie [shown here in 1912 when she was 24] had always given her nieces and nephews several gifts, including a popcorn ball wrapped in colored cellophane. Lizzie never married. When my dad's generation did and had children of their own, she continued her generosity, including the distribution of those popcorn balls up through her last Christmas in 1958.

I loved crunching into them, but for some reason, never carried on that tradition. I'm sure they were a part of Lizzie's childhood in the late 1880s and 90s when popcorn was wildly popular. It may be too late for my kids, and grandchildren are rather unlikely in the near future. Still, I think it's time for my wife and me to make a batch.

Aunt Lizzie's Christmas Popcorn Balls

8 cups of popcorn
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup of sorghum syrup
1/3 cup of water
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Combine the sugar, sorghum, water, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches about 250 degrees or hardens when dropped into cold water. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and pour over the popcorn. Working quickly, mix thoroughly, butter your hands and shape popcorn into balls about four inches wide. Let them cool on wax paper. Wrap each ball in red or green cellophane and secure with a ribbon.

Distribute to wide-eyed youngsters or oldsters - not so sure the 'tweeners would understand. Lizzie would.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day and the Eighth Day of Christmas

Happy New Year everyone!

Here is a 1907 postcard sent to my great uncle.

The message:

"May the new year prove a bright, happy and prosperous one to you is the wish of your Brooklyn friend. "