About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Music, war, and the 21st Century

As those who have followed my blog know, this has been an amazingly emotional week. I have tried to keep up with the routine that makes up everyday living, but that hasn't always been possible as I have been fielding emails and phone calls from many well-wishers. I have been reading a lot about my friend Pernell Roberts and reminded that he had been in the Marine Corps Band in Quantico, Virginia in the the late 1940s.

The use of music in the military has long been a tradition in various wars, here and abroad, so it is no surprise that a news story on Good Morning America caught my eye, introducing me to

Things have not changed since our ancestors marched to war: music still inspires and soothes the souls of those who are at the battle line as well as those who support from the homefront. This amazing vocal group does just that with their music. As I watched the interview with them and listened to their incredible harmonies, I was moved by their talent and patriotism. Click on the image above to go to their website, see their YouTube performance, watch their interview on Good Morning America, pre-order their CD, and/or subscribe to their newsletter. They are carrying on a tradition of music in the time of war, no doubt making their ancestors proud.

They are (in the back): former Sgt. David Clemo, Staff Sgt (Ret.) Ron Henry, Capt. Meredith Melcher, and (in the front) Sgt. Daniel Jens, all veterans of the current war.

True to the tradition of professional entertainers touring to help raise the morale of the troops in the field, this group will be following so many others before them by visiting military bases later this year. What an inspiration!

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