…Rockin’ It!

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Music is everywhere.  You can’t hardly go anyplace anymore without seeing people with ear buds crammed into their ears.  Go to the gym – there they are.  Go to the store or for a walk – you’ll see them all around you.  Even go to a fast food restaurant and they you will see them.  People seem to be addicted to music and given the availability of iPods and smart phones that can store entire music libraries (and more) on a flat card no bigger than your thumbnail, people are listening to music more than ever before.  (Well, listening to something…not all of what they listen to is music to my way of thinking!)  Just tonight, my wife and I went out to eat at a fish restaurant and they had ’50’s and ’60’s music piped in and it was great…but you know what?  Sitting there with her own headphones on was a young girl of maybe 15 at most, and I couldn’t help but wonder what she was listening to?  The music that was being played was great stuff…and I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Take your headphones off and listen to some good music instead of whatever modern junk you’re listening to!”

But, I digress.  When I went to the studio the other day to do some shooting, one of the models was handed a set of headphones and she put them on.  She started striking poses and I rather liked this one.  She gives the impression of being “moved” by the music with her right arm outstretched, grasping a shawl-like-thingy, and she seems to be starting to dance.  I liked the image.  It seemed like she was free – and that’s one of the things that music does for us, isn’t it?  The cares of the world seem to be lifted a bit when we hear music!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1815, Philip Kearny, one of the most promising generals in the Union army, was born in New York City. Raised in a wealthy family, Kearny attended Columbia University and became a lawyer.

Although his grandfather refused to allow him to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Kearny enrolled a year after his grandfather’s death in 1836. A superb horseman, Kearny served on the frontier before being sent to study at the French Cavalry School. After serving with the French in Algiers, he returned to the U.S. Army.

Kearny resigned from military duty in 1846 but quickly rescinded the request when war between the United States and Mexico erupted. Although he lost an arm at the Battle of Churubusco, Kearny earned a reputation as a brilliant and gallant cavalry officer.

In 1851, Kearny retired to his New Jersey estate but could not resist the temptations of military service. He joined Napoleon III’s Imperial Guard in 1859 and fought with the French in Italy. When the Civil War broke out, he returned to the United States and accepted a commission as brigadier general. Kearny served with the Army of the Potomac during the Seven Days’ Battles in 1862 and was promoted to major general in July 1862. Now in command of a division, Kearny was part of the Union defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862.

On September 1, 1862, the 47-year-old Kearny was killed when he accidentally rode behind Confederate lines at Chantilly, Virginia. Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who had witnessed Kearny’s daring battlefield exploits in Mexico, returned his body under a flag of truce. Lee later bought Kearny’s saber, saddle, and horse from the Confederate Quartermaster Department, and returned them to Kearny’s wife.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the exact death toll from the “Black Plague” is uncertain, but the number of deaths varied considerably by area and depending on the source. Current estimates are that between 75 and 200 million people died from the plague.  It wasn’t called the “Black Plague” by those who experienced it first hand.  It was then known as “The Great Mortality” or “the Pestilence.”

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