Not a Touching Story by Stuart Sheldon

I’m at lunch and read this post from Stuart and just had to share it with my Blogosphere Peeps! For whatever reason, I could not use Press This feature to reblog this post.



Not a Touching Story

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in Blog, Paintings | 18 Comments
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The little girl kept doing it … marching straight to the front, skipping everyone in line and going down the water slide. After the 3rd instance, I stepped in. The 6-yo culprit stood poised at the top in her one-piece, staring down the ramp, while my and my friends’ kids stood silently, confused.

“Excuse me. Everyone here is waiting in line and you need to wait too,” I said. I lifted her by the shoulders and placed her in line behind the other three kids. “Do you understand that?” I added. She instantly wilted and walked over to the railing, where she stared out into space. My 4-yo was next in line, and down we went together, singing as we curved, banked and burst into the splashy landing.

As my giggling boy and I emerged at the bottom, a tan woman in a pink bikini approached us with fire in her eyes. “Do you work here?” she barked into my face.
“No … I don’t,” I said.
“Then, why did you touch my child?” She stepped closer, her fury growing.
“She kept cutting the line in front of all the other kids.”
“You DON’T touch my child,” she growled. “She has autism.” Her grim-faced husband walked over.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t …”
“Try not to be so ignorant,” she said.
The lifeguard walked over and  asked, “Is there a problem here?”
“This guy aggressively touched my child,” the woman said, never taking her eyes off me.
“Listen, I’m sorry … Sincerely, I meant no harm.”

King of Nothing, acrylic, corrugated cardboard and antique book pages on canvas. 36"x48", 2005, Stuart Sheldon

I walked away, shaken by a seemingly simple situation that quickly became very complicated. “You didn’t know,” my wife reassured me. But then she asked a superb question, “What if that was our son, and you saw someone touch him?” THAT was the crux of the issue.

None of us want any stranger’s hands on our kids, especially not in a disciplinary manner. And, while I did not “aggressively touch” that little girl, I certainly lifted her up and moved her without reservation. I realize now that I was wrong to assume I could just step in as the referee. The moment I touched her daughter, the rules changed. Her autism, of course, made things far more delicate. Though, while my heart ached for what those parents must deal with daily, that was not the primary issue at hand.

I got spanked more than a few times by the principal in elementary school. But he was granted that authority by the system. As a former babysitter, summer camp counselor, stay-at-home dad and generally huggy person, I assume I can step in and, literally, handle situations involving my kids and their environment.

I may have been right in defending the fairness of the slide for the other children, but my touching that little girl, harmless as it was, was more wrong than my fairness was right.

I stepped onto a foolish and disrespectful, slippery slope. Those parents were justifiably indignant. And I felt genuinely ashamed for being so naive.


I’m a good father, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make bad choices. Next time, I’ll think twice before I deem myself judge and jury for someone else’s child. Yes, it takes a village, but we must know our fellow villagers well before we can touch their kids

Already Missing You…

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Tonight, I had to put a pet of 16 years to sleep on the Eve of Christmas. Some people will make their comments on this and probably won’t give a damn. But for pet lovers like me, this is hard to take especially around this time of year. For me it was especially hardest because I could not afford to keep him alive. I had to make this choice which makes it even worse. Although the Vet was stating it was the humane thing to do, it was so heartbreaking!

As I sit and post this story, I am just crying because I lost a wonderful pet…I lost my sidekick! You see, we had a wonderful thing. For instance, after a long day at work, I normally will go and play a game on the computer or spend some time watching a movie with CJ, my grandson. He would proceed to get on the desk and demand his attention by doing the various little annoying ‘love acts’ like stand in front of the screen; step on the keyboard; move the mouse over the edge until it would drop off the desk; or even step on the power strip to turn off the computer. Once he got my attention, he would lay on my lap and enjoy what time we had left before I would go to bed or leave to go to my home away from home.

I will miss my unique four-legged friend: the way he always seem to know when I was sadden of the death of a family member or friend or did his silly act after sniffing catnip or massaged my stomach thinking his nails was soothing for some reason or just laid down on my chest & feet whenever I was sick or cold. I will miss him so much.

For those who may never understand this loss I am posting about tonight, may never understand what pets really can do for people. For those who have a pet and reading this post, take a moment and give that special friend a hug. Enjoy the moments you have with it or them. Although I will probably not seek another pet for awhile, I will continue to encourage others to go to the local humane society or pet store or vet’s office and seek out what could be a wonderful pet for you or a love one. I know extraordinary feline has given me multiple moments of laughter and joy!

He will be missed deeply!

Manga – Comics Made In Japan.

Originally posted on nyparrot:

The word ‘manga’ (漫画, マンガ)  was invented in 1814 by a famous artist Hokusai (self-portret below).


He used two Chinese hieroglyphs – “man” (“sloppy”) and “go” (“Image”) to describe his funny drawings – meaning grotesque, strange or funny pictures. However, Manga-like sketches existed in Japan thousand years before Hokusai. According to Will Eisner, the first medieval Japanese scrolls can be considered to be the first mango samples, in which the pictures were interspersed with the text. Early rolls (such as the rollout of the 12th century in the 1st picture or the rollout of the 13th century in the next picture below) were only meant for the elite, and only later have they gone to the masses.



In the late 18th century throbbing consumer culture of the middle class urban population produced the manga-like entertainment that was more mainstream. Printed on wooden tablets stories with narration, dialogue…

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Homeless for the Holidays: A Thanksgiving Story

Empowered Results:

I found this one post and it really took me back to various times and places reminding me of the different people I met along my journey in life.

Originally posted on Gary Goldhammer - Below the Fold:

(The following post originally ran Nov. 21, 2007, and has become a Below the Fold holiday tradition of sorts. For those who have read it before, please pardon the repetition — and for those who are reading it for the first time, I hope it serves as a reminder of what this holiday, and being human, is all about.)

LOS ANGELES IS A CITY of fragments, its people fragmented. It’s a place apart and in parts, a labyrinthine expanse so loosely bound as if against nature. LA is a place to live, not to be from.

Most people only see L.A. through a windshield – the observer protected behind glass, the observed seen in glimpses if at all. It is into this concrete dichotomy I drive several days a week. I’ve done this for nearly a year with no regret, save for the occasional Sigalert that slows traffic…

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The Man-made Ecosystem

While listening to the dynamic duo Canadian sisters, Tegan and Sara You Tube playlist, a beautiful ad came on between songs. Of course I wanted to know more about this company, Unilever. So, my Google research began and I found some interesting info.

First, the company itself has dual ownerships based in London & The Netherlands. Unilever has been sold off and on. It appears that the Funds that own Unilever owns other major companies as well. Unilever is a major parent company for many corporations and owns many brands . One brand they own is Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (one of my favorites). So, I Googled Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever. I found an article about Unilever spending over $400,000 against GMO labeling.  So, it was very interesting to find this video about Ben & Jerry’s support for GMO labeling and being 80% free of GMOs at the time of the video. How confusing it is to see this? I mean, if Unilever is against GMO labeling, why would they allow Ben & Jerry’s to not only lobby for GMO labeling but make non-GMO products?

So why care about GMOs?

GMOs are genetically modified organisms.  In the Agricultural industry, the power to increase production of produce and livestock  has been the center of many corporations for years. Let’s face it, people have to eat to survive: right? According to the  US Environmental  Protection Agency (EPA) our US farmers produce about $143 billions of crops and about $10 million in livestock. Yet, many countries all over the world are putting billions of dollars to feeding the hungry because crops have been damage due to famine, war, etc… However, it is amazing to see how much food is wasted daily on an individual, local, national and even global basis.

According to those who support GMOs were going to be beneficial in improving the lives of countries with such concerns. Yet, who really benefit from this development. Perhaps, the CEO, the stockholders, the scientists, the investors, the lawmakers who support such companies like Unilever or Monsanto, who claim to do what they do to improve agriculture.  Although, I wonder if these people actually eat their products that they are placing on the shelf in the markets for us, the consumers to purchase.

Perhaps I am just really naive on the whole matter.I guess it is obvious on how I feel about this matter. In the past, I was concern about using the hybrid producing techniques in plants and animals because of cases of the sterilization or instability of the species/seeds afterwards. However, they were not being genetically modified between unrelated organisms for specific characteristics. Yet, this new innovation is really questionable on its true benefits for us. First, if we are what we eat, what affects will GMOs really have on our bodies over a period of time? Also, if there was nothing to high, why are these companies fighting so hard to prevent the labeling of GMO products? This man-made ecosystem may have been conceived with the idea to help us end world hunger or produce some means of food source. However, history shows that we never know where to draw the line and cause more damage than good.

Below are some links I found during my researching of this subject. Personally, I am adjusting my lifestyle to a more organic food change. As I get more educated on the matter, I hope to share more information in future posts. Please feel free to share your opinion on the subject.

Best regards!

Resourceful Links

National Framers Market Directory
10 Product Labels That Don’t Mean Organic
Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful(Released April 2000) by Deborah B. Whitman

Cabinet of Curiosities

Empowered Results:

As I am reading email from work, I stopped to help a friend find a specific shadow box. Not only I found the shadow box for her, I came across this interesting post by MJ. What an intriguing item!!! The details are fantastic!

Originally posted on This write life:

February 26, 2012

By Mary Jo Gibson

Several weeks have passed since my last Cabinet of Curiosities, a change in work environment and new responsibilities have filled my hours since January.  But I am happy to share that these events have cycled through and I am able to return and share a new cabinet and other changes that will be coming to my blog.

This Cabinet is from the Metropolitan Museum in New York, once owned by Dominique Vivant-Denon, director of the mint and the Musee Napoleon (now the Musee du Louvre), as well as a collector and arbiter of taste during the Napoleonic period.  He accompanied the Egyptian campaign of 1798-99 as a draftsman and published his drawings in 1802.  The pylon at Ghoos, in Upper Egypt, served as the model for the top section of this medal cabinet, which was intended for Napoleon but remained in Denon’s…

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