Friday, March 20, 2020

Do The Five

The world has been turned upside down. Everything that was once normal has been replaced with the new normal.  Shops and restaurants closed. Gyms and fitness centers shut down. Broadway gone dark. Local movie theatres shuttered. And airplanes flying less than half full. 

COVID 19, the corona virus, has many, including me, self-quarantined. 2020 The Musical is going nowhere this season, which left Uncle Sam wondering what to do with herself.

What to do? Use the Uncle Sam persona I take on for 2020 The Musical for an upbeat public service announcement. Well, anyone who knows me and my work knows I would by definition create something unconventional. 

Many people are still not heeding the seriousness of the pandemic. I decided to create something that was not only informative but also entertaining in the hope that it might draw the attention of naysayers still out there. 

Enter Do The Five. 

Do The Five

This is a video that explains how to protect oneself from the corona virus (COVID 19). Five basic routines to follow include: 1. Wash hands often, 2. Cough into your elbow, 3. Avoid touching your face, 4. Maintain a social distance of 6 ft., and 5. Stay home when sick

Please Share to Save Lives. #coronavirus #COVID19 #DoTheFive #DontBeASpreader #UncleSam #2020themusical

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Michigan Democratic Primary Today

The Michigan Democratic primary was held today, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Uncle Sam aka Carol Dunitz arrived at the polls about 9 am. There was no line. Evidence submitted here by means of the Uncle Sam suit with "I voted in Ann Arbor" sticker on the right lapel. 

It is critical for everyone to vote. Who Won? Biden beat Sanders. Vote blue no matter who.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Pianos and Patriotism; Steinways and Submarines

The Yankee Air Museum, Willow Run MI. Today. That's where I learned about the Steinway Victory Vertical Project. And it certainly was a fascinating journey led by Dr. Garik Pedersen, a Professor of Piano at Eastern Michigan University.

The program, sponsored by the Eastern Michigan University Foundation, featured Pedersen telling the story of "Victory Vertical" pianos and playing music from WWII that related to the war effort. Pedersen first learned of these special WWII pianos during an impromptu interview with Henry Z. Steinway shortly before his death in 2008. That interview piqued Pedersen's interest and resulted in a decade-long journey during which he learned more about the pianos and the impact they had on men and women in service. He now presents an eye (and ear) - opening presentation around the country. 

The Victory Vertical Pianos were lightweight, 40 inches wide and could be packed and shipped in a crate. Steinway created these inexpensive instruments to be easily delivered to areas where fighting was going on. They weren't the finest pianos that Steinway produced but were certainly the most resilient. Some even found their way into submarines. Others were parachuted into war zones! They were lighter than standard instruments and made with metals and materials that had not been reserved for the war effort. In an era when many homes had pianos and many could play them, these pianos and the music generated at their keyboards boosted morale overseas. 

The audience today was transported through a sentimental journey of sorts as we heard Pedersen play swing, jazz, classical and film music from the 1940s. I know I welled up with tears at times. From Moonlight Serenade (Glenn Miller) and Chattanooga Choo-Choo (Harry Warren) to the Warsaw Concerto  (Richard Addinsell) and Laura (David Raksin), there was an abundance of memorable music expertly played by Pedersen.

The Yankee Air Museum was a fabulous place for the presentation. It features planes and other memorabilia from WWII. I had never been there before and was pleased to have this opportunity. How would I dress for the event? As Uncle Sam, of course. It was a perfect fit.

Looking for more information on Garik Pedersen and his 
Victory Vertical Project? Check out