Is Patriotism Uncool?

Is Patriotism Uncool?
Dr. Jerry Newcombe via Crosswalk Homeschool News (Thursday, May 31, 2012; Originally published May 29, 2012)

The Memorial Day parades and barbecues were barely begun when a TV host put his foot in his mouth, for which he has now profusely (and rightly) apologized.

Chris Hayes, a host on the very liberal MSNBC cable channel, who is also the editor at large for Nation magazine, said on the eve of Memorial Day that he feels “uncomfortable” with the notion that soldiers who’ve died are “heroes.” He said this because he fears promoting more unnecessary war. Or as he worded it, “it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.”

Naturally, this comment created a firestorm.

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Cannondale Schoolhouse,Wilton, CT


The Cannondale Schoolhouse Restaurant

34 Cannon Rd

Wilton, CT 06897

Cannondale is a community within the town of Wilton in Fairfield County, Connecticut.  The neighborhood, like the rest of Wilton, was originally a part of Norwalk, founded in 1651.  Originally called Pimpewaug, it became one of the three original school districts in Wilton, all of which were formed in 1729. The location of the first schoolhouse is not known, but it may have been in the same location as the second schoolhouse, a few hundred yards south of the intersection of Danbury Road and Olmstead Hill Road. That location is just north of present-day Wilton High School and south of Allen’s Meadow. Pimpewaug school met in August and September.  In 1792, the Wilton Parish School Committee established nine school districts in town, with District 7 corresponding to the present-day Cannondale neighborhood. By 1795, the districts passed from control of the local Congregational society to a new Wilton School Society, independent of ties to a particular religion.  In 1872, a second schoolhouse was built in Cannondale to replace the first. The new schoolhouse was on the corner of Danbury and Olmstead Hill roads.  June Havoc, the Hollywood and vaudeville star, originally purchased the schoolhouse for $1 and moved it to its present location.  The 1872 Cannondale School building is now a restaurant.

Andy Street and “Coyote Warrior”


Andy Street is an English-born American composer whose music is featured on television programs that are watched in over 100 countries throughout our world, and whose compositions, arrangements, and musical direction have won many major industry awards in England, Europe and the United States. Born in Burton-on-Trent, England, Andy proved to be a child prodigy with early successes at competitive music festivals. At the age of 12 he was composing and performing professionally. Street received his formal education in music at the historical and prestigious seat of learning, Cambridge University, where he earned his M.A. in musical composition at Emmanuel College. He studied piano with Gordon Green and Doreen Clemes of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

A passion for jazz and rock music as well as his training in the classics took Street along a path of light entertainment encompassing night clubs and theaters all over Europe until he became a musical director for many television shows in Britain at the age of 27. By 1992 he was firmly established as one of the leading figures in British television music working with such diverse talents as Georgie Fame and Gerry and the Pacemakers to The Three Degrees and Michael Ball. In addition he performed at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London, in the Casino in Monte Carlo, and on a European Tour with the Lindsay Kemp Ballet Company. He also began to commuting to the U.S. working on a continuation of recording projects begun by the late Joe Raposo featuring the music of Sesame Street for BMG Kids record label.

Increasingly in demand in the U.S., Street composed all the music and songs for “Madeline,” an animated series which won a Cable Ace Award in 1994 and an Emmy in 2002. Other work on animated series includes “Hurricanes,” “Double Dragon,” and “Ultraforce.”  Street is also known for his work on Bobby Davro’s TV Weekly (1987), Sketch Pad (1989) and Double Dragon (1993).  A permanent move to Los Angeles became a reality in 1994 where he has remained ever since. Further animation includes many series of “Strawberry Shortcake,” a huge hit around the world, and recently “Angelina Ballerina,” which airs on PBS in the USA.

In 1995 Street produced and arranged a solo album and concert show for Tina Turner’s legendary keyboardist, the late Kenny Moore. Another Saturday night Television show starring Brian Conley, the star of the West End hit “Jolson” followed for London Weekend Television, produced by Nigel Lythgoe. Andy’s collaboration with Lythgoe consisted of hundreds of Television shows during the 1980s iand 1990s and continues to this day with incidental music he writes for ‘American idol’ and ‘So You Think You can Dance’.  Coyote Warrior is identified as a piece of music by Andy Street, along with Jerome Mokar, Krys Mach, and Jo Azusa.  It is likely a traditional Native American song arranged by Street and is featured on several albums of Native American music, such as Into the Wild, The Essentials, and the 3-disc set Native Spirit.  I do not know if it has anything to do with the book “Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes, and the Trial That Forged a Nation” by Paul Van Develder

My collection includes the following work by Andy Street:

Coyote Warrior

Cecil Sharp and “On Top of Old Smokey”


Cecil James Sharp (November 22, 1859 –June 23, 1924) was the founding father of the folk-song revival in the early 20th century, who did scholarly field work on folk song, gathering thousands of tunes both from rural England and the Southern Appalachians region of the United States.  Sharp was born on November 22, 1859, in Camberwell, Surrey, the eldest son of James Sharp, a slate merchant who was interested in archaeology, architecture, old furniture, and music, and his wife, Jane née Bloyd, who was also a music lover. Sharp was educated at Uppingham, but left at 15 and was privately coached for the University of Cambridge, where he rowed in the Clare College boat and graduated B.A. in 1882. Sharp decided to emigrate to Australia on his father’s suggestion.   He arrived in Adelaide in November 1882 and early in 1883 obtained a position as a clerk in the Commercial Bank of South Australia. He read some law, and in April 1884 became associate to the Chief Justice, Sir Samuel James Way. He held this position until 1889 when he resigned and gave his whole time to music.

Sharp had become assistant organist at St Peter’s Cathedral soon after he arrived, and had been conductor of the Government House Choral Society and the Cathedral Choral Society. Later he became conductor of the Adelaide Philharmonic, and in 1889 entered into partnership with I. G. Reimann as joint director of the Adelaide College of Music. He was very successful as a lecturer but about the middle of 1891 the partnership was dissolved. The school continued under Reimann, and in 1898 developed into the Elder Conservatorium of Music in connection with the university. Sharp had made many friends and an address with over 300 signatures asked him to continue his work at Adelaide, but he decided to return to England. During his stay in Adelaide he composed the music for an operetta Dimple’s Lovers performed by the Adelaide Garrick Club at the Albert Hall on September 9, 1890, and two light operas, Sylvia, which was produced at the Theatre Royal on December 4, 1890, and The Jonquil. The libretto in each case was written by Guy Boothby. Sharp also wrote the music for some nursery rhymes which were sung by the Cathedral Choral Society.

In January 1892, Sharp arrived in England, and on August 22, 1893, at East Clevedon in Somerset, he married Constance Dorothea Birch, also a music lover. They had three daughters and a son.[4] Also in 1893 he was taken on as a music teacher by Ludgrove School, a preparatory school then in North London. During his seventeen years in the post, he took on a number of other musical jobs.  From 1896 Sharp was Principal of the Hampstead Conservatoire of Music, a half-time post which provided a house. In July 1905 he resigned from this post after a prolonged dispute about payment and his right to take on students for extra tuition. He had to leave the Principal’s house, and apart from his position at Ludgrove his income was henceforth derived largely from lecturing and publishing on folk music.

Sharp taught and composed music. Because music pedagogy of his time originated from Germany and was entirely based on tunes from German folk music, Sharp, as a music teacher, became interested in the vocal and instrumental (dance) folk music of the British Isles, especially the tunes. He felt that speakers of English and the other languages spoken in Britain and Ireland ought to become acquainted with the patrimony of melodic expression that had grown up in the various regions there. Sharp became interested in traditional English dance when he saw a group of morris dancers with their concertina player William Kimber at the village of Headington Quarry, just outside Oxford, at Christmas 1899. At this time, morris dancing was almost extinct, and the interest generated by Sharp’s notations kept the tradition alive. He began collecting folk songs in 1903 when visiting his friend and lyrics editor Charles Marson in Hambridge, South Somerset.

The revival of the morris dances started when Mary Neal, the organizer of the Esperance Girls’ Club in London, used Sharp’s (then unpublished) notations to teach the traditional dances to the club’s members in 1905. Their enthusiasm for the dances persuaded Sharp to publish his notations in the form of his Morris Books, starting in 1907 when he wrote an influential volume, English Folk Song: Some Conclusions, about his findings.  Over 1,600 tunes or texts were collected from 350 singers, and Sharp used these songs in his lectures and press campaign to urge the rescue of English folk song. Although Sharp collected songs from 15 other counties after 1907, the Somerset songs were the core of his experience and theories.  Sharp also founded the English Folk Dance Society in 1911 which promoted the traditional dances through workshops held nationwide.  Between 1911 and 1913 he published a three-volume work, The Sword Dances of Northern England, which described the obscure and near-extinct Rapper sword dance of Northumbria and Long Sword dance of Yorkshire. This led to the revival of both traditions in their home areas, and later elsewhere.

At a time when state-sponsored mass public schooling was in its infancy, Sharp published song books, such as English folk songs, collected and arranged with pianoforte accompaniment in1916, intended for use by teachers and children in the then-being-formulated music curriculum. These song books often included arrangements of songs which he had collected with piano accompaniment composed by Sharp himself, arrangements intended for choral singing which helped Sharp in his goal of disseminating the sound of English folk melodies to children in schools, thus acquainting them with their national musical heritage.  Sharp’s work coincided with a period of nationalism in classical music, the idea being to reinvigorate and give distinctiveness to English classical composition by grounding it in the characteristic melodic patterns and recognizable tone intervals and ornaments of its national folk music.

During the years of the First World War, Sharp found it difficult to support himself through his customary efforts at lecturing and writing, and decided to make an extended visit to the United States. The visit, made with his collaborator Maud Karpeles during the years 1916 to 1918, was a great success. Large audiences came to hear Sharp lecture about folk music, and Sharp also took the opportunity to do field work on English folk songs that had survived in the more remote regions of southern Appalachia, pursuing a line of research pioneered by Olive Dame Campbell. Travelling through the mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Sharp and Karpeles recorded a treasure trove of folk songs, many using the pentatonic scale and many in versions quite different from those Sharp had collected in rural England. Generally, Sharp recorded the tunes, while Karpeles was responsible for the words.

One of the earliest versions of the traditional folk song of the United States “On Top of Old Smokey” to be recorded in fieldwork was written down by Sharp.  Sharp and Karpeles found to their delight that the Appalachians, then geographically isolated, were a strong preserve of traditional music and that many of the people they met were naturally-gifted singers who knew a great number of songs. They were also intrigued to find that many of the songs the people sang to them were versions of songs Sharp had earlier collected from people in rural England, suggesting that the ancestors of the Appalachian residents had brought them over from the old country.  The version of “On Top of Old Smokey” that Sharp and Karpeles collected was sung to them on July 29, 1916, by Miss Memory Shelton in Alleghany, Madison County, North Carolina.   Miss Shelton was 23 years old, and was part of a family several of whose members sang for Sharp.  Memory Shelton’s version differs in notes, rhythm, and wording from the version most people know today, but only modestly so. It is unclear when, where, and by whom the song was first sung. In historical times folksongs were the informal property of the communities that sang them, passed down through generations. They were published only when a curious person took the trouble to visit singers and document their songs, an activity that in America began only around the turn of the 20th century.  For this reason it is unlikely that an originator of “On Top of Old Smokey” could ever be identified.

In 1918 Percy Grainger arranged Country Gardens, a Morris dance which Sharp collected; Grainger could never persuade Sharp to accept half the royalties. In 1919 Sharp became an occasional inspector, in folk-song and dancing, of training colleges, to spread his enthusiasm among teachers.  In 1923 his old university made him an honorary master of music; in the House of Commons he was described as one ‘to whose work in this field British education owes an almost irredeemable debt’.  The next year he completed The Dance, a historical survey of dancing in Europe, with Adolf Paul Oppé. On June 23, 1924, Sharp died of cancer at Hampstead. Survived by his wife, three daughters and a son, he was buried in Golders Green cemetery. The Times’s appreciative obituary recognized his commitment and prodigious output of eighty volumes. It noted that while the accompaniments he wrote were not those of a musical genius, they comprised ‘the stuff out of which music and literature are made’.

Cecil Sharp collected Appalachian folksong just before the time when this music came to be “discovered” by the outside world and sold as a commercial product by the nascent recording industry.  This development would ultimately create the modern genre of country music. The first to make a commercial recording of “On Top of Old Smokey” was de:George Reneau, “The Blind Musician of the Smoky Mountains,” who worked as a busker in Knoxville, Tennessee, just west of the Appalachians. Reneau made the trip to New York City to record the song, and others, for Vocalion in 1925.  In the 1940s through the mid 1960s, the United States experienced a folk music revival, in which Pete Seeger was a leading figure. His music—some of it drawn from scholarly sources like Sharp—was popular and was disseminated widely in commercial recordings. Seeger modified a version of “On Top of Old Smokey” that he had learned in the Appalachians,[ writing new words and banjo music.  He said that he thought that “certain verses go back to Elizabethan times.” The sheet music for the song credited Seeger for “new words and music arrangement.”  The Weavers, a folksong singing group that Seeger had co-founded, recorded a very popular version of the song using Seeger’s arrangement on February 21, 1951, that was released by Decca Records.  It reached No. 2 on the Billboard chart and No. 1 on the Cash Box chart, and sold over a million copies. The song also became one of Burl Ives’ signature songs, with his recording reaching No. 10 on the Billboard chart in 1951.  The enormous popularity of these recordings and others following in their wake led to the curious situation of the song re-attaining folk status; it is one of the few songs that most Americans know from childhood, and many are unaware of the mid-century recordings that promulgated it so widely.

The following work by Cecil Sharp is contained in my collection:

On Top of Old Smokey (collected)

Barry Sadler and “The Ballad of the Green Berets”


Barry Allen Sadler (November 1, 1940 – November 5, 1989) was an American soldier, singer/songwriter of military themes, and author, who served as a Green Beret medic, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Vietnam War from late December 1964 to late May 1965. Sadler was born on November 1, 1940, in Carlsbad, NM, the second son of John Sadler and Bebe Littlefield Sadler. His father developed a successful plumbing and electrical business in Carlsbad and owned several farms in the area but died at age 36 from a rare form of nervous system cancer. His mother moved her family around as she worked at temporary jobs in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Sadler dropped out of high school in the tenth grade in Leadville, CO. In 1958, at 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He finished his GED certificate while in the Air Force. He trained as a radar technician in 1958 and was stationed in Japan. After his discharge in 1961, Sadler enlisted in the U.S. Army, and volunteered for Airborne and Special Forces, opting to be a medic.

When he completed Airborne training, he underwent the lengthy training as a combat medic at Fort Sam Houston, TX, Fort Jackson, SC, and Fort Bragg, NC. In May 1965, while he was on a combat patrol southeast of Pleiku in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, he was severely wounded in the knee by a feces-covered punji stick. Sadler dressed the wound with a cotton swab and an adhesive bandage, then completed the patrol; however, he subsequently developed a serious infection in his leg, and was evacuated to Clark Air Force Base Hospital in The Philippines. Doctors were forced to surgically enlarge the wound to drain it and to administer large doses of penicillin. Sadler returned to Fort Bragg where he made a complete recovery.

Sadler recorded his famous song, “The Ballad of the Green Berets”, a patriotic tune in the ballad style about the Green Berets, an elite special force of the U.S. Army, in December 1965 in New York along with eleven other tunes. The song and album, “Ballads of the Green Berets,” were released in January 1966. He performed the song on television on January 30, 1966 on The Ed Sullivan Show, and on other TV shows including Hollywood Palace and The Jimmy Dean Show.  It is one of the few popular songs of the Vietnam War years to cast the military in a positive light and in 1966 became a major hit, reaching No. 1 for five weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, spanning March 1966, and four weeks on Cashbox. Ultimately, the song was named Billboard’s #1 single for the year 1966. It was also a crossover smash, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart and No. 2 on Billboard’s Country survey. The song was the No. 1 hit on the Cashbox end of the year chart for 1966; also the No. 21 song of the 1960s as ranked by Joel Whitburn. The single sold more than nine million copies; the album, more than two million.

The author Robin Moore, who wrote the book, The Green Berets, helped Sadler write the lyrics and get a recording contract with RCA Records. The lyrics were written, in part, in honor of Green Beret U.S. Army Specialist 5 James Gabriel, Jr., the first native Hawaiian to die in Vietnam, who was killed by Viet Cong gunfire while on a training mission with the South Vietnamese Army on April 8, 1962. Sadler had a minor success, the similarly patriotic-themed “The ‘A’ Team”, later the same year when that single scored #28.  Sadler’s autobiography, I’m A Lucky One, which he dictated to Tom Mahoney, was published by Macmillan Company in 1967.   Moore’s novel The Green Berets became a 1968 movie featuring John Wayne, and “The Ballad of the Green Berets” arranged as a choral version by Ken Darby was the title song of the movie.  The film’s score was not released as an album until Film Score Monthly released it in 2005.

Following his honorable discharge from the Army Sadler moved with his family to Tucson, AZ. After minor acting parts in four episodes of two TV western series, “Death Valley Days and “The High Chaparral,” and in the 1968 caper film Dayton’s Devils starring Rory Calhoun, he moved to Nashville, TN, and begin writing pulp fiction novels. His popular Casca series is about the title character, Casca Rufio Longinius (a combination of Longinus and the Wandering Jew), supposedly the Roman soldier who thrust his lance into Christ’s side during the crucifixion. Casca is cursed to remain a soldier until the Second Coming. The novels feature Casca’s life from biblical times to the 20th century. Sadler himself wrote the first twenty-two books

Sadler moved to Guatemala City in 1984. He continued to write and publish his Casca books, produced a never-released self-defense video, and provided free medical treatment in rural villages. On September 7, 1988, Sadler was shot in the head while sitting in a cab in Guatemala City. Witnesses said he accidentally shot himself, but his friends and family believed he was shot by a robber or an assassin. He was flown to the United States by friends in a private jet paid for by Soldier of Fortune magazine publisher Bob Brown.  Sadler was operated on at the Nashville Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital, and remained in a coma for about six weeks. After emerging from the coma, Sadler was a quadriplegic and had suffered significant brain damage. After being moved to the Cleveland VA Hospital for specialized treatment, Sadler was moved to the VA Hospital in Murfreesboro, TN, in February 1989, but he never recovered from his injury. He died there of cardiac arrest on November 5, 1989, four days after his 49th birthday, survived by his wife, Lavona, a daughter, Brooke, and two sons, Thor and Baron.

My collection includes the following work by Barry Allen Sadler:

The Ballad of the Green Berets (1965).

John Hill Hewitt and “All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight”


John Hill Hewitt (July 11, 1801—October 7, 1890) was an American songwriter, playwright, and poet who is best known for his songs about the American South, including “A Minstrel’s Return from the War,” “The Soldier’s Farewell,” “The Stonewall Quickstep,” and “Somebody’s Darling.”  Hewitt was born in New York City, NY, on July 11, 1801, into a musical family. His father, James Hewitt, was an influential music publisher, composer, and musician; his sister, Sophia Hewitt Ostinelli, would eventually become a renowned pianist; and his brother, James Lang Hewitt, eventually took over his father’s publishing operations. His niece was soprano Eliza Biscaccianti.  Nevertheless, Hewitt’s father tried to steer his son away from the music business, apprenticing him in a number of other fields. In 1818, Hewitt entered West Point. His grades were bad overall, but the school provided his first formal musical training. By 1822, Hewitt did not have the grades to graduate, and his military career ended when he challenged a school officer to a duel.

Hewitt moved to Augusta, GA, in 1823 to join his father’s theatrical troupe. Their theater burned down soon after his arrival, but Hewitt decided to stay in Augusta and open a music store where he could give private lessons for flute and piano. He became enamored of the South and its genteel traditions, and he enjoyed the attention paid to him by the wealthy parents of his pupils. However, Hewitt grew disillusioned as he realized that his dinner invitations came because his hosts wanted live music, not his company.  Still, Hewitt took a permanent teaching position at the Baptist Female Academy in Greenville, SC, in 1824, tutoring on the side. When a rival intimated that Hewitt was in fact a mulatto, Hewitt’s private students quit him. He eventually had John C. Calhoun write a letter attesting to the allegation’s falsity.

In 1825, Hewitt wrote “The Minstrel’s Return from the War” and published it through his brother in Boston. The song eventually became a success internationally, making him the first American-born composer whose fame reached both sides of the Atlantic. He married Estelle Mangin in 1827. In 1833 Hewitt was editor of the Baltimore Saturday Visiter. Not until 1840 would Hewitt pursue writing as a profession. That year he moved to Washington, DC, to start and edit a newspaper. Over the next few years, he moved again and again, eventually ending up in Hampton, VA. There he took a position at the Chesapeake Female College and remained for nine years. His wife died during this tenure.  His Jephtha in 1846 may have been the first oratorio written by an American.

By the start of the American Civil War, Hewitt had moved to Richmond, VA. He attempted to join the Confederate States Army, giving his background at West Point for credentials. He was already 60 years old, however, and the army would only offer him a drillmaster position. Hewitt turned it down. Instead, he took a job in November 1861 as the manager of the Richmond Theatre. During his stint there, he staged many of his own works, but in less than two years, the theatre owners grew tired of his authoritarian management practices. Hewitt was replaced by R. D’Orsey Ogden.

Moving back to Augusta, Hewitt joined Alfred Waldron to write pieces for the theatre and for the Queen Sisters, including the ballad operas King Linkum the First and The Vivandiere. He also began tutoring in private again, and he married an 18-year-old pupil named Mary Smith in 1863. With her he would father four more children, for a total of 11.  In 1863, he found a poem that was first published as “The Picket Guard” in the Harper’s Weekly issue dated November 30, 1861, attributed only to “E.B.” It was reprinted broadly both with that attribution and without, leading to many spurious claims of authorship. On July 4, 1863, Harper’s Weekly told its readers that the poem had been written for the paper by a lady contributor whom it later identified as American writer named Ethel Lynn Beers.

The poem was based on newspaper reports of “all is quiet tonight,” which came from official telegrams sent to the Secretary of War by Major-General George B. McClellan following the First Battle of Bull Run. Beers noticed that the report was followed by a small item telling of a picket being killed. She wrote the poem that same morning, and she read it in September 1861.  The poem was set to music by Hewitt as a song, “All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight.”  In 1863 and 1864, Hewitt traveled with the Queen Sisters as a songwriter. They popularized his song “All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight,” which became such a hit that his publisher went through five printings of the sheet music.  His poetry, music, and drama grew increasingly pro-Southern and pro-Confederate. He published through John Schreiner beginning in 1864, but sent pieces secretly to the Blackmars under the pen name “Eugene Raymond.”

Hewitt’s output during the American Civil War earned him the epithets “”Bard of the Confederacy,” Bard of the Stars and Bars,” and “Father of the American Ballad.”  Hewitt eventually bought the Augusta-based Blackmar publishers, but the business failed after the war. Hewitt returned to Virginia to teach at the Wesleyan Female Institute in Staunton and at the Dunbar Female Institute in Winchester. He bounced back and forth between Maryland and Georgia for the next few years, eventually ending up in Baltimore, MD, where he remained until his death there on October 7, 1890.  Over his career, Hewitt wrote over 300 songs, a number of cantatas and operettas, and one oratorio, as well as plays, poems, and articles for magazines and newspapers, in addition to working as a theatre manager, magazine and newspaper editor, concert performer, and music teacher at seminaries for women.

The following work by John Hill Hewitt is contained in my collection:

All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight (The Picket Guard)


Coming soon to your local library…?

We love our local library.  It is very family friendly and quite responsive to community standards.  However, not all libraries are like that.  And the American Library Association certainly is not.  So, for those who utilize their local libraries, just be on the lookout for these kinds of problems:

Mindless Entertainment at the Movies

Mindless Entertainment at the Movies
Eric Metaxas, Thursday, May 24, 2012

Over the first weekend in May, The Avengers grossed more than $200 million at the box office — a record. I was responsible for some of the take because my daughter wanted to see it, and I wanted to spend time with my daughter, so I went with her.

For over two hours I stared at the screen and saw, well, nothing. I left the theater not knowing what to make of what I had just watched. There was nothing particularly offensive about the film. Nor were there any ideas that I needed to discuss with my daughter afterward.

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Frankwood School House, Sanger, CA


Frankwood School House Restaurant & Tavern

1018 S. Frankwood

Sanger, CA. 93657

Formerly Frankwood School, the original school house now the School House Restaurant & Tavern was built in 1890 and wasn’t made of brick. It was a one room wooden schoolhouse that, at its pinnacle, held 61 students. Then, in 1921, it was replaced with the “L” shaped 8,000 square foot red brick architecture that exists today. In 1958, Frankwood was absorbed by Centerville School district along with six other smaller schools and the land and schoolhouse was put up for sale. Soon after, the building became Sherwood Inn Restaurant and operated as a very successful western steakhouse saloon for more than 30 years. When Sherwood Inn closed at the beginning of the millennium, the building sat empty for almost ten years before current ownership bought the building in the fall 2010. As the new owners of this historical monument, they wanted to embrace the antiquity of the schoolhouse and breathe new life into an edifice that has remained for over 90 years. After 2 ½ years remodeling inside and outside, this rustic country elegant establishment has been open since January 2012. Locally owned and operated, this rustic elegant establishment offers house made “New American” cuisine that represents a modern approach to classic favorites with a focus on local, seasonal fresh ingredients.

Ten Commandments for Beginning Homeschoolers


Advice from a Veteran Homeschooling Dad

  1. Stop and take a deep breath; then stop and take another deep breath.
  2. Remind yourself that you love your children more than anyone else does, so you are in the best position to help them learn what they need.
  3. Read, read, read, and read some more to your kids when they are young (we had family read aloud time until our younger son left for college).
  4. Focus on the basics.
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  6. Gear your efforts towards your children’s strengths, not their weaknesses.
  7. Refuse to listen to naysayers and discouragers—literally stop your ears if necessary.
  8. Take one day at a time, but plan to be in it for the long haul.
  9. Try really hard never to threaten to put your kids on that big yellow school bus (you may think it, but don’t tell them, and certainly don’t do it!).
  10. Go out often for ice cream, for ice cream shall cover a multitude of sins.

—Wayne S. Walker