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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thank you, Mr. Van Cliburn

~ photo borrowed from Mr. Cliburn's website ~
And in a world gone made with people jockeying and vieing for attention, no matter the cost, there are bit of news that are worthy. A gentleman who made a dramatic and positive difference in this frosty ole world is no longer with us.

Mr. Harvey Lavan Van Cliburn passed away yesterday at age 78. He won the first international Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 in Moscow when he was only 23 and won only six months after the Soviet's launch of Sputnik 1 which embarrassed the US and pushed us into the space age. Mr. Van Cliburn's triumph helped with cold war conditions between the USA and the USSR and launched his rock star status around the world. This "Texan Who Conquered Russia" returned to a first ever New York ticker-tape parade for a classical musician.

Supposedly Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave permission for Mr. Van Cliburn to receive the award; he was a foreigner winning an award named for a Russian. "Is Cliburn the best? Then give him first prize." This would be the same Khrushchev who, in the 1960's, pulled his shoe off his foot, beat the table with it, or so says "Viktor Sukhodrev, Khrushchev's brilliant interpreter, remembers that his boss pounded the UN desk so hard with his fists that his watch stopped, at which point, irritated by the fact that some "capitalist lackey" had in effect broken a good watch, Khrushchev took off his shoe and began banging."

I well remember Mom and Daddy watching the news and being aghast at such behavior and from a Russian who wasn't all that friendly to the USA. And, if memory serves me correctly, this is the same Khrushchev who said, "Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man."

But, I digress. Mr. Van Cliburn made his last public appearance in September, in Fort Worth, at the 50th anniversary of the piano competition named for him. In 2003, he was presented the Presidential Medal of Honor by President Bush. The next year, 2004, he was presented the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Van Cliburn, you, sir, were extraordinarily talented and a gentleman who encouraged thousands. Your talent was a gift from God and you served Him well; you're already missed. 

Oh, those mad folks referred to at the beginning? The Texas "teacher", and I use the word loosely, who made her female students dress in burqa's and call Muslim terrorists "freedom fighters". She was supposed to be teaching geography but strayed into pro-Muslim territory and needs to be taken to the wood shed. It's insane to think Christian children cannot pray in school but this "teacher" forces her students to pander to her wants and wishes in support of terrorists. Hellllloooo!? Remember 9/11? Or, did that not take place, like the Holocaust? As George Santayan said, "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it."

There are only two ways to live life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." ~ Albert Einstein ~

Today's Miracles ~ the gift and talent of Mr. Van Cliburn ~ 


  1. My father took me to a concert featuring Van Cliburn in the late 50's or early 60's at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. It was so exciting and beautiful. I even got his autograph afterwards...remember that his nails were bitten down.
    He will be missed.

  2. Mr. Cliburn was a true talent, through and through. I wish I could play a musical instrument like that but that takes real dedication of which I am sadly lacking. Speaking of which, the pro-Muslim teacher needs to be FIRED. Honestly, folks, take your kids out of the public schools. (Whaddya expect!? It's the government!) All they'll get is indoctrinated with Left-wing propaganda.

  3. Morning - yes, we registered the passing of Van Cliburn. One of my husband's idols when he was young and learning to play the piano. He was from Kilgore, Tx, just down the road from us here in Tyler. I didn't know much about him, but you've given a great amount of history here - going back to read again! Have a great day!

  4. Forgot to say that I'm appalled at the behavior of this "teacher", too. I think Islam is silently (and sometimes not so silently) being integrated into the minds of our kids. If they grow up hearing and learning about it, then many of them will accept it. If so, we are toast.

  5. I clicked on the 'teacher' link to read more - shocking!

  6. In the late 70s when I was a budding pianist, he was such an inspiration to me. I loved his recordings (on 8-track!) and listened to them for years.

  7. will miss his music!

    rarely do I say it, but that teacher makes me want to throw up,

    Lord, have mercy!!!

  8. What a beautiful tribute. I, too, remember his tours and the reactions of the world. Music conquers all.

  9. Attended a performance in an old wooden auditorium on the campus of University of Alabama in 1974. I'll never forget it! Truly beautiful!

  10. It is a huge loss for the cultural community in Fort Worth (yes there really IS culture in Texas) and the very next day a patroness of the arts - Nancy Bass died. She and Van Cliburn were actually close friends - wonderful to know there are people giving to communities for the sheer love of music/art and other people -

  11. such a mighty influence for beauty and
    such a loss to our world who desperately
    needs people like him.

    thank you for this interesting expose!

  12. What a tribute! I am sorry to say that I do not know this musician, but I'm going to find out about him now. Thanks to you!

  13. Charlotte, what a wonderful memory, I bet that concert was incredible!

    Sparky, it gets worse...that teacher in TX is one of many who are trashing Christianity and preaching Islam.

    Vickie, there's a Van Cliburn Museum in Texas, bet you could find lots of good stuff there.

    Vilisi, that teacher should be fired, then sent to Iraq where she could wear a burqa to her heart's content.

    MK, I wish I'd kept up with piano lessons.

    Annie, that teacher needs to be fired.

    Lois, he was one in a wonder and is missed dreadfully.

    Lottie, what a wonderful memory; you are blessed.

    LindaSue, your community is worse for the loss.

    Lea, you're welcome and he's already missed.

    Jody, he's wonderful, you'll enjoy finding out more about him.

  14. On that note, I'm listening to him on Spotify today. This was a wonderful tribute to one of the very best.. and I thank you :) -Tammy

  15. Hi Tammy, don't know what Spotify is but you'll enjoy, to be sure!


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