Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Rita Lorraine And Her Magic Violin

We think this was taken when Rita was a teen.

She slumped, weeping, in the azure armchair amidst dozens of vases of roses placed on the dressing table, end tables, and on the floor of her dressing room.  They surrounded her like cascades of water.  Breathing the air was like taking a breath of heavy rose perfume.  Her red taffeta dress crawled over her legs and feet, covering the red velvet pumps.  She was drained, but she had done it.  She had performed the Tchaikovsky. 

Stop!  I confess. This is a fictionalized version as I imagine it could have taken place when my mother-in-law performed with the Spokane Symphony playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major. The performance was probably right after WW II in 1946 or 1947.   She had practiced for an entire year.  She vowed she would never play it again.

Flash back—Rita was 16 in 1933 when she kept a 1-year diary.  At that time her only class was French.  She most likely had a private tutor.  The tutor’s name is never mentioned in the diary.  She relates how she went home to Potlatch after a trip around Idaho and Washington State playing in concerts, attending concerts, plays, and eating with many in the music industry.  She mentions friends--   Billy Norse (her first boyfriend who lived in a big house next to the apartment in Lewiston.  He would sit on the lawn and listen to her practice.She attended Jr. High there and played basketball in school. She was very excited when she was the only one in the class who made a basket.) Maxine, and Claribel were two other friends.  They showed up periodically to play anagrams and to hang out.  In the spring of that year she traveled with her mother to Portland, Oregon and attended a Yehudi Menuhin concert.  He played The Beethoven D Major concerto and the Bach No. 2 in E Major and Mozart, No. 7 in D Major.  Major Alfred Hertz conducted the orchestra.  She went back stage with Mr. Wallin and Mr. Gershkovitch to shake hands with Yehudi. 

 Then in the summer she took the bus to San Francisco and was met by Mrs. Havlicek.  She was invited to various homes for meals and attended more concerts and played at several events. 

In September she went to Mr. Peterson’s house with the Havliceks to try out a “Strad” and a Guadagnini violin.  Mr. Havlicek decided to stay in California and resigned his position at Washington State College.  Rita wrote to her Mother and she came down and they rented an apartment together. She attended the Northbrae Church with her mother. Havliceks rented an auditorium and invited potential students to watch Rita perform.  This is how he acquired new students.

We have no other record of what she did between 1933 and 1940.  We think she traveled to Los Angeles. We think she then met Jes Brown who we think accompanied her on the piano.  They were married in Las Vegas in 1940.   Chris was born in 1942.  Because of WW II Jes enlisted in the Coast Guard we think in 1943.  Rita and Chris moved to Spokane where Rita played for a radio show called “Rita Lorraine and Her Magic Violin.” My Grandmother Stowell was one of her fans and listened every week.  We think Rita was offered a job with the Hormel Girls traveling around the country. Because of Chris she turned them down.  By that time she owned a Gagliano violin.

If I find another diary I will continue the tale in another blog.  Click here if you would like to see her page.

Here are Jes's observations after he read the diary:

  • She traveled a lot and often her mother went with her
  • She either seemed to do things with her mom or with her dad. There was never a mention of going to the movies with both parents. Some of that is probably that Daddy Bert was always off working somewhere, but still even when she did things with her dad I thought it interesting that her mom wasn’t also there ever really.
  • They shopped a lot.
  • It looks like her mom actually was in San Francisco quite a bit.
  • It seemed like her teacher kind of abruptly resigned his position at then WSC (now WSU)… he went down with Gram and then basically quit his job. Seemed like immediately after that info Gram’s mom came down. It a little weird!
  • There was mention of Daddy Bert singing in church choirs. There was one entry where he sang in the Episcopal church choir in the morning and then in the evening he sang in the Presbyterian  church choir
  • Gram went to church here and there – she went to a church with her Mom. Apparently the preacher was talking about things like race relations and I guess Gram thought that was interesting that the preacher was as interested in that.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's Friday But Sunday's Coming

Sermon by S.M. Lockridge

When everything looks bleak, when even The Church is being deceived and led astray by false teachings, when the culture has become crude, remember that Sunday is coming.  Keep in mind Ephesians 2:5-6 “even when we were dead in our trespasses, (He) made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

It’s Friday
Jesus is praying
Peter’s a sleeping
Judas is betraying
But Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
Pilate’s struggling
The council is conspiring
The crowd is vilifying
They don’t even know
That Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
The disciples are running
Like sheep without a shepherd
Mary’s crying
Peter is denying
But they don’t know
That Sunday’s a comin’
It’s Friday
The Romans beat my Jesus
They robe him in scarlet
They crown him with thorns
But they don’t know
That Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
See Jesus walking to Calvary
His blood dripping
His body stumbling
And his spirit’s burdened
But you see, it’s only Friday
Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
The world’s winning
People are sinning
And evil’s grinning
It’s Friday
The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands
To the cross
They nail my Savior’s feet
To the cross
And then they raise him up
Next to criminals
It’s Friday
But let me tell you something
Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
The disciples are questioning
What has happened to their King
And the Pharisees are celebrating
That their scheming
Has been achieved
But they don’t know
It’s only Friday
Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
He’s hanging on the cross
Feeling forsaken by his Father
Left alone and dying
Can nobody save him?
It’s Friday
But Sunday’s comin’
It’s Friday
The earth trembles
The sky grows dark
My King yields his spirit
It’s Friday
Hope is lost
Death has won
Sin has conquered
and Satan’s just a laughin’
It’s Friday
Jesus is buried
A soldier stands guard
And a rock is rolled into place

But it’s Friday
It is only Friday
Sunday is a comin’!

Thursday, March 10, 2016


 My prayer partner Nan would tell me about the trouble she had controlling her tongue.  She was concerned about being judged by God for every careless word. (Matthew 12:36 says “But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give an accounting for every careless or useless word they speak.") So Nan spent a lot of time biting her tongue so she wouldn’t say something she shouldn’t.  She said her sister, Alice, would encourage her to keep her tongue in back of her teeth!

So now I am contemplating my words.  Will I give a soft answer or a harsh one? (Proverbs 15:1).  James tells us in 3:8  “But no one can tame the human tongue; it is a restless evil (undisciplined, unstable), full of deadly poison.” It is an impossible job for a human to control the tongue.  

Therefore, if we will be judged for what we say what about these verses—Matthew 7: 1—5?  “Judge not, that you will be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."Now this tells me that I should take the speck out of my brother’s eye that is after I take the log out of my own eye.  Wow!  Very difficult! 

Next, what about the judgment at the great white throne that Nan was worried about?  Very soon we will be studying this in Revelation chapter 20 in our BSF class.  Last week I was interested in listening to a podcast of the sermon given at Capitol Hill Baptist church in Washington D.C. entitled “Don’t Judge Me.”  The speaker, Jonathan Leeman, covered the entire book of Ecclesiastes in 50 minutes.  (His voice sounded to me like Sterling Holloway’s voice when he narrated Peter and the Wolf.  Click here to listen.)  Leeman was very dramatic and kept my attention.  Click here if you would like to hear the sermon. 

What struck me as interesting is how he explained the books that will be opened at the great white throne judgment. There will be measurements and judgments. With judgments, every moment of our lives and of history counts.  If you take the judgments and measurements away nothing counts.  Life would be meaningless.

In the end, if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, Jesus takes the responsibility for all of our bad words and He gives us credit for all of our good ones.  We have a choice—we can take the free gift of salvation or we can pay for our own sins.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Ted Cruze explains why he is a friend to Israel.
Click on the arrow to play.

Many Christians are drawn to visit Israel.  Some go to see the historic sights and to walk where Jesus walked.  Others go who believe in replacement theology.  In other words they believe that God has substituted the United States for Israel and made the U.S. the chosen people.  If you would like more information about this belief system click here:

But what caught my attention was when Joel Rosenberg and Ann Graham Lotz taught biblical prophecy using one of the Minor Prophets, Joel.  In the scripture Joel prophecies that if Israel is divided God will judge the nations who do this. Click here to read about it:

So my prayer is that the United States and the rest of the world will not divide Israel.  One way to achieve this is by voting in the primary election process for the candidate who will not favor dividing Israel.  Many believe that the candidate to support would be Ted Cruz.

Someday we will know all of the answers but until that day Christians follow the light that is given by the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Treasure Hunt

What the left wants
One of Trumps failures.  What the right wants.

When our daughter turned 5 and again when she turned 6 years old she requested a treasure hunt for her birthday party.  She enjoyed finding the clues and having her friends help her to find the next clue.  

This is most likely the same with all people. We enjoy God when He gives us clues and we find the next clue. We feel happy that we have worked out something for ourselves.  In Proverbs 25: it says, “it is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”  In other words God doesn’t hand us anything on a silver platter.  We have to work at solving problems with God’s help.

So now we are living in puzzling times.  When the American people elected Barack Obama for a second term I was astounded.  Didn’t they see the immorality of  the homosexual activists who were destroying the country and that the president supported them?  Didn’t they know that there is human DNA in the womb of a pregnant woman? Why would the president support killing babies and why would ½ of the American people agree?   Didn’t he know that those who do not support Israel will not be blessed? Didn’t the American people know this?  Hasn’t he read the Bible?  Haven’t the American people read the Bible?

Next I have to wonder why even those people who are church going would vote for an amoral person like Donald Trump in the primary in South Carolina last week.  I was flabbergasted!

Now it was time to figure this out.  My theory is that the people are deceived or they have rejected God.  They are looking for the wrong treasure.

But where does God say our treasure should be?  What would lead us to God’s blessings?  Our pastor gave a sermon on learning to follow the treasure trail to tell  ourselves exactly where our treasure is—Matthew 6:19-24.

·      Durability—how long will it last?  People and God’s word will.
·      Where are you investing your time and money? The gospel and people are a good investment.
·      The eye test—Jesus is the light; if he indwells you your eyes will be full of light.
·      Master test—You cannot serve both God and money.

It looks as though the American people have rejected God's ways and are worshipping the golden calf like the Israelites did in the desert.  Will they suffer the same fate?  

Right now, to me, this election looks like a disaster waiting to happen.  But God's people do not have to be afraid.  We know in the end Jesus wins!