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We seek a National Sales Manager (Equipment Leasing Experience) for a copier Captive. Also need a Business Channel Manager for a Captive. Also need Small Ticket Leasing Sales People for a multi-$B Bank. CA. AZ. & FL.

MSI International is a global recruiting firm that has been supporting the growth and success of companies and enhancing the careers of professionals since 1968.


Thursday, December 23, 2004


    Classified Ads---Leasing Industry Attorneys
            "Pay the Two Dollars" by Kit Menkin
    Leasing News Editorial
        Classified Ads--Help Wanted
            Jerry Bishop Retires---
News Briefs--
    Sports Briefs---
        California Nuts Briefs---
    "Gimme that Wine"
        This Day in American History
            American Football Poem

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”





Leasing Industry Attorneys

California - statewide: CA      "ELA"
5-attorney creditors rights law firm, in biz 25 yrs +, specialize all aspects of creditor representation. Primarily represent equipment lessors & funders,plus collection and creditor rep. in bankruptcy. Email: phemar@hemar.com
Website: www.hemar.com
California - statewide: Encino, CA.   "ELA"
24 Attorney AV-rated Lawfirm representing the Leasing Industry for over 25 Years. We specialize in Lease-enforcement, collection and representation in Bankruptcy Court. email: sjenkins@hemar-rousso.com
Website: www.hemar-rousso.com
Connecticut, Southern New England: EVANS, FELDMAN & BOYER, LLC Collections, litigation, documentation, portfolio sales and financing, bankruptcy. We represent many of the national and local leasing companies doing business in this state. Past chairman EAEL legal committee. Competitive rates.
email: rcfeldman@snet.net     EAEL
Law Firm - Service , Dallas, TX. ELA
Mayer regularly practices in leasing, secured financing, project development and finance and corporate finance.
email: dmayer@pattonboggs.com
Los Angeles, Statewide: CA.     "ELA" Aggressive creditors rights law firm specializing in equipment leasing handling collection matters on a contingency, fixed fee or hourly basis. email: RGarwacki@prodigy.net Los Angeles -statewide: CA      "ELA "
Practice limited to collections, bankruptcy and problem accounts resolution. Decades of experience. 10-lawyer firm dedicated to serving you. Call Ronald Cohn, Esq. (818)591-2121 or email. Email: rrcohn@aol.com

Los Angeles, CA.
Wagner & Zielinski,  successfully representing lessees/ lessors.  Not a member of any leasing organization, therefore not beholden to special interests.  Richard Wagner (562) 597-0450 www.wzlawyers.com

Long Beach CA.
Paul Bent, helping settle deals that have gone bad. Attorney for 20+ years with GoodSmith & Co., now providing mediation and dispute resolution for lessees and lessors.

National: Coston & Lichtman: Business attorneys serving the lease-finance industry since 1980. Transactional, documentation, corporate; workouts, litigation, bankruptcy. Chicago & Florida offices. Jim Coston, CLP (Members: ELA/UAEL/MAEL)
email: Jcoston@costonlaw.com
Website: www.leaselawyer.com

Northern California - Statewide: CA "EAEL" "ELA" San Francisco expertise at Marin County prices; practice limited to equipment leasing and finance with 22 years experience, testimonials. Ken Greene, Esq.
Vox: 415 461 3777
Email: keng@kengreenelaw.com
Website: www.kengreenelaw.com
National:  Full staff of attorneys and legal assistants work with Group Leader Barry S. Marks to ensure prompt, cost-effective responses to client needs: Email: poetbarry@aol.com
Website: www.leaselawyer.com

St. Louis County, MO. - statewide:
Defend clients sued by Popular Leasing USA and other assignees of Norvergence rental agreements. Also register and collect foreign judgments. Ronald J. Eisenberg, Esq.
Email: reisenberg@sl-lawyers.com
Schultz & Little L.L.P. www.sl-lawyers.com





“Pay the Two Dollars”

by Kit Menkin

Seventy-two percent of Leasing News readers believe our trade publication (electronic newspaper should take a stand and write an editorial for leasing companies to make every effort to make an amicable settlement with NorVergence.

Only those in the leasing industry votes were accepted, and only when an e-mail was attached. There are a number of comments that expressed the writer not be identified, and we will honor that as they did sign the questionnaire.

In the twenty-three percent who said “no,” many of these are from people who are not happy with Leasing News—period. It appears, the issue is not as important as their dislike of the publication itself:

“Sorry Kit but your continued obvious bias on the news makes editorial statements meaningless. Your bias still makes you fun to read but leave editorial comment to the unbiased experts.”


“Who cares ? We don't need or want the view from the dust farting old timers, get back to reporting the news and let your readers form their own opinion. What are you now, Leasing Views? Guess what, nobody cares what Lester and Baker think.”


“Since you don't have access to all of the facts you could mislead many people. Frankly, a lot of your prior comments and antics on this mess have been slanted against some of the individuals involved. I wonder how aggressive and quick to judge you would be if one of your name dropping cronies were involved. Report the facts and the developments as they surface and when the issue is resolved then you should editorialize.
Merry Christmas.”

And there were others in this group, who said “no,” with a somewhat different slant, but similar to the first group above:

“This situation is messy enough without any media source adding commentary. Both sides have valid arguments, but it is up to the courts to decide should a funder or customer wish to go that route. As with most sensationalist media "experts", I would appreciate your positions more if you had "skin in the game". Leave it alone.”


“In the humble opinion of this writer, sticking your "power-of-the-press" nose into this fray might possibly be viewed as an attempt to gain notoriety and exposure for Leasing News as opposed to actually facilitating a resolution of this very complex issue.
Our forefathers had the wisdom to assure that you have the right to freely express your opinion ;however, your wisdom will only be confirmed if you intelligently exercise your knowledge of when and how to use it.”


“Leasing News certainly has a right to express it's opinion but it is crossing the line when it undertakes to give advice.”


“Let the trial and judge and jury do their job in the Norvergence case.

I don't ask my local newspaper writers/editors to give their personal opinions about a lawsuit or business-misprecedures and I don't ask that of you either. I think you would get less angry emails if you stated the facts versus stating your opinions. Your newsletter sometimes reads as if your selling versus reporting. Now everyone on your listserv including myself appreciates the Leasing News but sometimes your reporting comes off as being too nosy or trying to solve something you have no control over.”

Both groups were in a small minority , especially compared to those in favor of making a stand:

“You have never shirked from your opinion before - why start now! We need an organ such as yours that's not afraid of telling people what they think - especially when what you think is always along the lines of decency and fair play.”


“Every good newspaper takes editorial positions on the big issues even to the point of endorsing political candidates.”


“There is so much fraud and nasty folks in the leasing industry I think that you are doing a great service for the consumers of leasing products! Keep up your good and ethical work!”

Charles Ledgerwood

“I believe that you can take editorial stance. Keep it short, simple and to the point. Otherwise you lose the reader. It is always good to see someone stick up for what they believe.”

Pat McCann universal5@cox.net

The overwhelming majority, over two-thirds, were in favor of Leasing News writing an editorial, and most were not afraid to sign their real name, something different than the first two groups:

“Settlement will be the best remedy for the industry.”


“There will be no winners in this debacle - and any court remedy that favors the leasing industry will lead to adverse legislative action. Both sides are at fault. . . Lenders for not performing due diligence on the vendor. . . Lessees for taking the bait and not acknowledging the oldest business axiom on record. . . which is. . Caveat Emptor. . . The purchaser "buys" at his own risk and is responsible for their decision process. . . . Pretty sad and disappointing for all those who make a living in this industry.”

Greg Williams - 925-838-3900 gregw@ampaccapital.com

“If the parties don't settle, it will be a blood bath for sure in our industry.”


“While the leasing industry will most likely win the court battle, we will most likely lose the war of public opinion unless this ‘goes away'.”


“Norvergence is not much different than the OPM scandal of the late 70's and early 80's. Lessors are in love with investment grade or equivalent credits with higher than market returns.

“A settlement is in everyone's best interest, especially the Lessors involved.”

Dick Myers
Minnwest Capital Corporation
Minneapolis, MN

“I don't' think the leasing industry can afford the bad press that will issue from a long court battle. anything that can help resolve this will help everyone involved. except maybe the lawyers”


“It's clear that both lessors and lessees failed in the most elementary way to understand what they were getting into. The lessees looked no further than "big savings" and the lessors only saw lots of volume for very little effort. Given that both sides share fault and that the only winners from protracted litigation are the lawyers, I'd say both sides should work to settle. Of course, the class action vultures won't see it that way.”


“We did minimal business but enough to impact us. We stopped funding Norvergence early due to some warning signs and poor customer service. All our NorVergence Lessee's had their equipment installed and operational. Most of our lessee's were paying on their lease. We did not do private label. All are deal were assigned and we billed the customer under our name. We did verbal confirmations on all deals and explained to these customers that the lease was non cancelable and that we were the company offering the financing and we do not warrant the equipment. We based our financing on their credit worthiness. Now having said all that this is a unfortunate mess and I would like the parties involved to come to amicable settlements. I like to see our lessees' take responsibility for their actions. We are willing to negotiate with those who want to resolve the matter. If a customer does not want to face up to any responsibility for making a bad business decision then we pursue them as we would any other lessee. Its time for everyone to accept some blame. We are spending to much valuable time and money. Lets learn our lessons what ever they may be to each of us and move on. On a further note I think the AG's of the states looking for the leasing company's to surrender need to look for amicable and reasonable settlements. We offered a 50/50 split to one AG's office and they did not know what to say. Lets be reasonable.

- name withheld at request of sender-

“Let's not make a bad situation worse by making the attorneys richer by going to court...but settlement is not going to be simple and may be impossible should be tried.

Just my opinion.

The “Old” Leasing Guy Russellsr@aol.com

“I pretty much agree with Charlie Lester - I think that there was too much "greed" involved that caused otherwise cautious lenders to overlook the smoke signals & the fraud being committed. The chase after the quick buck led many down a path that had they stopped for a moment to reconsider, would have given them many red flags.

- Please do not publish my identity. Thanks.”


“Everyone should settle, with the funders taking the biggest hit. every funder has an asset dept. How did funders not know they were leasing services not equipment? Since copier service contracts in the 1980's funders have not leased services. Of course they learned that lesson again with pay phones and table top ATM's in the 1990's.”


On the other side, there are those who disagreed with Charlie

Lester, for instance, and voted no:

“...think that this needs to be settled in court. In my opinion the banks and leasing companies involved in this were remiss in their duties to investigate the vendor. As I wrote before and as Charlie Lester succinctly state, any good third party originator would have discovered this scam. This whole story typifies the greed that drives some of these banks and large "direct" lessors. For so long they have portrayed the third party broker as dishonest, unethical, and greedy. Any honest broker or independent third party whose business has been refused by one of these lenders should feel a little vindication in watching them squirm. On the other hand, the people who bought this service were obviously looking for a "free lunch". The reason commercial transactions aren't as highly regulated as consumer transactions is because the "business person" is, theoretically, supposed to be sophisticated enough to avoid scams of this nature. So much for that theory!”

Bob Rodi, CLP
LeaseNOW, Inc.
1-800-321-LEASE (5327) x101

“As hard as it may be to understand, many BIG leasing companies are victims as well as the Lessees. As between the two victims, the Lessees and the Leasing Companies, it was the Lessees who were involved with NorVergence at the inception of the Lease, not the Leasing Companies, and it was the Lessees who signed Delivery & Acceptance Certificates upon which the Leasing Companies relied when taking assignment of the Leases - therefore - as politically incorrect as it may seem - it was the Lessees that participated in defrauding the Leasing Companies - not the other way around, and therefore, it should be the Lessees that take the loss by performing their contractual obligations under the Leases.”

( name with held )

“When it comes to maintaining and/or advancing ethical practices in our industry, I see Leasing News as an important forum. In trying to separate the facts in a situation, perception of our industry by consumers and regulators is a critical factor. This is where the scales tip in favor of "settlement" in the NorVergence case. I trust the judgment of your editorial board and its representative cross-section of practitioners in our industry. I trust that this is not Kit's opinion.”


Interesting Paul Menzel, CLP, should ask. The vote from the readers is very similar “ percentage- wise” to the Leasing News Advisory Board: as only three out of sixteen (not counting the chairman) stated they were not in favor of an editorial: 19%.

I would like to quote Leasing Advisory Board Member, Paul Weiss, President of ICON Capital, New York and San Francisco, who I have found not only to have great insight, judgment, but always have enjoyed his wit:

“I am a believer that you should go with YOUR instinct, survey the board and then ignore us.  It's the Kit show for a reason.”

When in doubt, survey the readers, who voted in the same proportion of the Leasing News Advisory Board, further giving indication as to their representation of our readers, and should answer Mr. Menzel's question.



Incorporated May 21,2000





Lawrence C. Menkin, Publisher
Christopher Menkin, Executive Editor

Advisory Board Members

Wildwood Financial Group, Ellisville, Missouri
Nassau Asset Managmnt, Roslyn Heights, NY.
Bank of the West, Walnut Creek, CA.
Global Financial Services, Manhattan, NY.
Larkspur, California
Dan Janal
Great Teleseminars, Shorewood, Minnesota
Kabot Commercial Leasing, Seattle, WA.
Empire Bradcasting, San Jose, CA.
Kropschot Financial Services, Vero Beach, FL.
MSI International, Atlanta, GA.
McCue Systems, Inc. Burlingame, CA.
San Diego Business Journal, San Diego, CA.
Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Santa Barbara, CA.
Teichman Financial Training, Sausalito, CA.
ICON Securities, N.Y., N.Y./San Francisco, CA.
Brava Capital, Orange, CA.


Amicable, Generous Settlement

Enough has been written for all Leasing News readers to know about the NorVergence Scandal. There is no doubt foul play is involved and those who directed the misdeeds will ultimately be brought to justice. The victims have been not only the direct users, but telephone companies and lessors.

Leasing companies should follow the example of GE Capital who reached a settlement in the State of New York with their lessees; that it was negotiated by the attorney general is political fodder. Individual leasing companies have already made individual settlements with well over several thousand of their lessees caught in the NorVergence “Equipment Rental Agreement” trap.

The collection and legal departments have been generous in their willingness to “work with the lessee.” Leasing News now calls on all the leasing companies involved with NorVergence to make a generous, amicable settlement for the betterment of the industry.

Such action should not reflect any admission of error or responsibility or misrepresentation or any wrong doing of the lessor, nor should it acknowledge the responsibility, admission of error, of those who signed the leasing contracts. It should be viewed as a gesture of good will and hope, a peace offering.

In reality, Leasing News believes it is a better "business decision" to end the conflict right now, take the financial losses right now, than continue this through the systems of courts and the news media.

The process can only go on for years, even winning in court, will make the leasing industry losers in the public eyes.



Classified Ads---Help Wanted


Small-ticket Lessor seeking an experienced accounting professional for a full-time position. Successful candidates should have prior experience in the equipment leasing industry. Knowledge of LeasePlus accounting software a major plus. E-mail: recruiter@gen-cap.com.
[Job Description]

About the Company: Genesis Commercial Capital, LLC; Irvine, CA; www.gen-cap.com


Funding Manager

Seeking a very organized, detail oriented Funding Manager with experience in discounting consumer and commercial auto loans and leases.
Send resume via email to ekaye@advantagefunding.us
or fax to 718 392 5427.

About the Company: Advantage Funding is the leader in automotive and equipment lease financing, Long Island City, NY.



Business Channel Manager / National Sales Manager/ Small Ticket Leasing Sales People

We seek a National Sales Manager (Equipment Leasing Experience) for a copier Captive. Also need a Business Channel Manager for a Captive. Also need Small Ticket Leasing Sales People for a multi-$B Bank. CA. AZ. & FL.

MSI International is a global recruiting firm that has been supporting the growth and success of companies and enhancing the careers of professionals since 1968.



Jerry Bishop Retires-First Federal Leasing/First Bank of Richmond

Jerry and Judy Bishop

(As I write this story, Jerry did not have a final chance to proof it, as they are having a “snow emergency” in Indiana. They closed the bank early today and expect not to open tomorrow as it is predicted they may have 24 inches of snow tomorrow. They don't know whether they will be open Friday, Christmas eve. editor)

Many bankers look at making a loan or a lease as a gamble, which is why Jerry Bishop enjoys his favorite "adult Disneyland," Las Vegas, Nevada. He likes the shows, the food, and the chance to compete with the professionals.

"Las Vegas and leasing have one similarity, they both rely on 'Risk versus Return'," he says, " Many travelers to Las Vegas never find the games which actually give them a chance to win and succeed (common sense always being the guide); and I find some similarities in the leasing industry.

"There are those who are successful in small ticket leasing and those who are not, Jerry explains. " Unfortunately, swimming up river in leasing, is like trying to beat Las Vegas at their own game, and failure is usually the end game. In the coming months, Jerry hopes to convey more thoughts about “... how to be successful in small ticket commercial leasing, and learn the benefits of swimming down stream. It's all risk versus return!”

The end of this month he is leaving First Bank of Richmond, Richmond, Indiana, doing business as First Federal Leasing, where for thirteen hears he was senior vice-president of the bank and chief executive officer of First Federal Leasing.

This was a two year succession plan, which allowed Paul Witte the opportunity to ease into the position of CEO. Paul has been managing the leasing division since August of last year. Jerry feels very comfortable leaving First Federal Leasing " in such capable hands."

Prior to First Bank of Richmond, Jerry was employed at Gem Savings (the largest savings and loan in Ohio at that time). He opened their Consumer Finance Division, spending ".... fifteen good years developing their programs. "Prior to that, he was the president of the McCall Magazine Credit Union for fifteen years.

Jerry joined First Bank of Richmond in 1990 with the concept of helping a community bank develop a local leasing operation into a regional, and perhaps become a national player. Within three years, FFL was experiencing significant grow, and was operating nationally. He gives most of the credit for his success to his staff who made personal commitments to originate, underwrite and services leases on a national basis.

Success was found by carefully selecting independent brokers (partners), who were equally interested in building a long term relationship. A common sense approach to lessee's situations, and ability to own and manage a business took president over volumes, or credit scoring. Seeking better credits became the goal of FFL and their business partners who built their businesses together. Very simple but it worked !

“I am going to devote considerable time to developing my consulting business over the next year, "he concludes.” I see many leasing opportunities that are worth pursuing, and some will undoubtedly include travel with my wife Judy.”

In the coming months, Jerry hopes to convey more thoughts about how to be successful in small ticket commercial leasing, and learn the benefits of swimming down stream. It's all risk versus return !

If you want to wish him a good-bye, you can still reach him at
1-800-848-8958, ext. 520.
After 1/1/05, he may be reached
@ bishops@core.com, or 1-937-456-3064.



News Briefs----

Airport Delays Nationwide---Latest Information on Line

Chicago Faces Sub-zero

For nation's heartland, a white Christmas isn't a dream

Economy picks up speed, heads into end of year with good momentum

Mortgage rates mixed

Stewart Calls for Sentencing Reform

King County reports recount results: Gregoire by 10

Dell selects Winston-Salem site for N.C. plant

California company sells clone of Kitten

ed cat, generating ethics debate

Site of Jesus' wine miracle said to be found



Sports Briefs---

Your One stop solution for training and reference material for the Leasing Professional

Visit our website by clickng on the logo above

122-A Foothill Blvd., Arcadia, CA. 91006
Voice 626-305-1053 . Fax 626-305-0019 .

Saban may take some time to make decision

Testaverde to start Sunday; 2005, too?

49ers are No. 1 (in draft) with just one more loss



California Nuts Briefs----

Governor's spicy schedule Budget meetings vie with interviews with Vanity Fair






World Leasing Yearbook 2005

ISBN:184374 142 3
Pages: 524
Edition: 26th
Directory Contacts: 4,354 Companies

Price: $243.00 (NORMAL PRICE $270.00)
Yearbooks 10% pre-publication discount.
(After January 1, $270.00)

The only annually-updated international reference book for the asset financing and leasing industry available. The new 26th edition includes the latest market trends, over 100 authoritative articles and reports on the leasing software and IT market, an exclusive ranking of the top 50 leasing markets by size worldwide with feature profiles from Africa to Venezuela PLUS a directory of over 4,354 companies.

To order call +44 (0) 20 7779 8999 or toll free in the US +1 800 437 9997 to receive your 10% discount. You can also order on line at
to order online.



“Gimme that Wine”

2004 Washington State Harvest Predicts Another World- Class Vintage

Two families, two directions Constellation, Mondavi have similar roots, but Sands family kept control

Mondavi's long and winding road http://www.napanews.com/templates/index.cfm?template=story_full

Las Vegas's Bounty Includes First-Rate Wine Lists: John Mariani

Beringer cancels plans for new bottling plant Proposed facility would have been largest building in Napa County

Adler Fels Winery Sold to Adams Wine Group - a New Wine Holding Company http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=

Juice for Caviar, Soda for Foie Gras


This Day in American History


    1779 -Benedict Arnold in essentia court-martialed for “improper conduct.”

    1783- George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in the senate chamber of the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where the Continental Congress was then meeting.
( lower part of: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/dec23.html
    1788- Maryland votes to cede a 10 square mile area for District of Columbia
    1811 - A cold storm hit Long Island sound with a foot of snow, gale force winds, and temperatures near zero. During the storm many ships were wrecked, and in some cases entire crews perished
    1823 - An anonymous poem appeared in the Troy (NY) Sentinel, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," later known better as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." The poem was written by a professor of Greek and Oriental literature, Clement Clark Moore, and appeared without his permission in the newspaper.
    1834- John R. Morrison of Springfield, OH was granted a patent for bellows for smiths and furnace fires.
    1848-The first railroad to run west of the Mississippi River was the Pacific Railway of Missouri( later known as the Missouri Pacific), which began passenger service from St. Louis.
    1852 - In San Francisco, California, the Theatre of Celestial John opened on Telegraph Hill, fronting on Dupont Street. It was the first Chinese theatre in the United States. The theater consisted of one vast pit or paquet and had a seating capacity of 1,400. There were no tiers of boxes. No scenery was used.
    1860 -- Harriet Monroe birthday, founder/longtime editor of "Poetry" magazine, born Chicago, Illinois.
http:// www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/orient/mod2.htm
    1867-Birthday of Madame C J Walker, probably the first Black millionaire. Considered a marketing genius, she made her fortune in hair straightener and care products for Blacks. The hair straightener and some other products she invented herself and in the early days that she mixed them herself in large tubs. Orphaned, SB married at 14 "to get a home," before moving from Louisiana with her daughter to St. Louis to work as a $1.50 a day washerwoman. She developed her products (which she said came to her in a dream after prayers) that were marketed much in the way Avon and Mary Kay products are sold today, door-to-door and then through neighborhood salespeople. She was a noted philanthropist in black causes, leaving a trusteeship to make sure the gifts continued after her death. For example, in one of her obituaries, it was noted "She spent $10,000 every year for the education of young negro men and women in Southern colleges and sent six youths to Tuskegee Institute" An unusual stipulation in her will decrees that the company which is still in existence is always headed by a woman. Much of the assets of the Walker company have been willed to the NAACP by Madame Walker's grand daughter



    1870 – American artist John Marin born

    1902-Birthday of Vivian Harris - Afro-American singer, comedian, chorus girl and longtime "Voice of the Apollo." It is reported she made 10,000 appearances at the famed Apollo in Harlem, New York. She was one of the first to dance the Charleston in a 1923 Broadway production of Running' Wild. She danced, sang, and did whatever to keep the Apollo going during the Great Depression. When she wasn't onstage or helping behind the curtain, she worked in wardrobe and even taking tickets. Highly talented, Vivian Harris appeared in a number of shows on Broadway and even in France. She died in 2000 at the age of 97.

    1902---Birthday of author Norman Maclean born Clarinda, Iowa. Firefighter, fly-fisher, scholar, storyteller. Author of “A River Runs Through It”. Died 1990.
“Eventually, all things merge into one, & a river
runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great
flood & runs over rocks from the basement of time.
On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under
the rocks are the words, & some of the words are
theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

    1913- President Woodrow Wilson signed the "Federal Reserve Act" into law. The act established twelve Federal Reserve Banks and the Federal Reserve System. The system serves as the nation's central bank, has responsibility for execution of monetary policy. It is called on to contribute to the strength and vitality of the US economy, in part by influencing the lending and investing activities of commercial banks and the cost and availability of money.

    1919- African-American Alice H Parker patents gas heating furnace http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blaliceparker.htm
    1925-Birthday of singer Esther Phillips, Galveston, TX,  At age 13, she was a member of Johnny Otis's rhythm-and-blues revue. She had a number of r-and-b hits in the early '50s but was forced to retire temporarily because of illness later in the decade. Phillips came back stronger than ever at the start of the '60s with an r-and-b version of a country ballad, "Release Me." It reached number eight on the U-S charts in 1962. The Beatles paid tribute to Little Esther in November 1965 by featuring her on a B-B-C television show. Phillips died August, 1984.


    1929-Trumpet Player Chet Baker Birthday (My friend Warren Luening said he often played “flat.” He certainly was bombed out. When I was much younger, I dated one of Chet Baker's ex-girlfriends. She told me he used to beat her up, and since then, I have never been able to listen to any of his albums—although he is considered of the giants of modern jazz.


    1931-Birthday of clarinet player Henry Cuesta, McAllen,TX

    1933-Birthday of altoist Frank Morgan born Minneapolis, MS.
    1935-Birthday of broadcaster and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Paul Vernon Hornung, born Louisville, KY.
    1938-Music impresario John Hammond presented his famous Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. The event introduced many black jazz musicians to a white audience for the first time, and helped launch a craze for the rhythmic boogie-woogie piano style. Among those appearing were pianists Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson with vocalist Joe Turner, blues singer Big Bill Broonzy, gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, clarinetist Sidney Bechet and the Count Basie Orchestra.
    1939-US Trotting association Incorporated. Following an agreement at a January meeting to merge several regional organizations into a national body, the US Trotting Association was incorporated in the State of Ohio.
    1939-Frank Sinatra, at $75 a week, wins release from the Harry James Band to join Tommy Dorsey.
    1941-Shep Field's All woodwind band cuts “Firedance.”
    1942 - Bob Hope agreed to entertain United States airmen stationed in Alaska for what would be the first of his famous Christmas shows for American armed forces across the world. The Christmas show tradition continued for over three decades.
    1944---Top Hits
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
Don't Fence Me In - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
I'm Wastin' My Tears on You - Tex Ritter
    1947 - John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley created the transistor, for which they would share the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics. In its original form, the transistor took up a large amount of space in the New Jersey lab where it was invented. Today, thousands of transistors can be put into a space tinier than a pinhead; and used in electronics such as computers, radios, televisions and video games.
    1954 - Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Peter Lorre and Paul Lukas, was released to theaters. It became one of the Disney studio's biggest-grossing films.
    1952---Top Hits
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jimmy Boyd
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes - Skeets McDonald
    1955-Pioneer rock 'n' roll disc jockey Alan Freed sponsored a week-long series of shows at the Academy of Music in Manhattan. The bill included both jazz and rhythm-and-blues acts, such as the Count Basie Orchestra and the Cadillac's. The shows took in more than 100-thousand dollars.
    1955 - The barometric pressure dipped to 28.97 inches (981 millibars) at Boise ID, an all-time record for that location.
    1957 - Actor Dan Blocke debuted on television in the "Restless Gun" production of "The Child". My father Lawrence Menkin wrote the original television play, and later was story editor and wrote several “Bonanza” episodes. My father wrote many TV westerns in the 1950's. Two years after this “pilot,” Blocker would star in NBC's "Bonanza" as Hoss Cartwright.
    1960---Top Hits
Are You Lonesome To-night? - Elvis Presley
Wonderland by Night - Bert Kaempfert
North to Alaska - Johnny Horton
Wings of a Dove - Ferlin
    1964-The Beach Boys make their first appearance on "Shingdig!" singing "Little Saint Nick," "Dance, Dance Dance," "Johnny B. Goode" and "Monster Mash.
    1967- The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Foxy Lady" is released.
    1969 - B.J. Thomas was awarded a gold record for the single, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" from the film, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". On January 3, 1970, the song would hit number one on the pop charts, staying there for 4 weeks.
    1968-Crew of USS Pueblo released by North Korea. The crew and captain of the U.S. intelligence gathering ship Pueblo are released after 11 months imprisonment by the government of North Korea. The ship, and its 83-man crew, was seized by North Korean warships on January 23 and charged with intruding into North Korean waters. The seizure infuriated U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. Later, he claimed that he strongly suspected (although it could not be proven) that the incident with the Pueblo, coming just a few days before the communist Tet Offensive in South Vietnam, was a coordinated diversion. It was 11 long months before the Pueblo 's men were freed. Both captain and crew were horribly treated and later recounted their torture at the hands of the North Koreans. With no help in sight, Captain Lloyd Bucher reluctantly signed a document confessing that the ship was spying on North Korea. With this propaganda victory in hand, the North Koreans released the prisoners and also returned the body of one crewman who died in captivity. Some Americans criticized Johnson for not taking decisive retaliatory action against North Korea; others argued that he should have used every diplomatic means at his disposal to secure a quick release for the crew. In any case, the event was another blow to Johnson and America's Cold War foreign policy. It dug Johnson in deeper into the war effort to overcome his “loss of face.”
    1968---Top Hits
I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
For Once in My Life - Stevie Wonder
Stormy - Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
    1969-The Supremes began Diana Ross's farewell engagement at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. Ross would go on to a hugely successful solo career. The Supremes also continued to hit record charts with Ross's replacement, Jean Terrell. She was the sister of heavyweight boxer Ernie Terrell.
    1969 - Elton John had his first meeting with arranger Paul Buckmaster, writer Bernie Taupin and producer Gus Dudgeon. Their collaboration started one of music's most lucrative milestones of the 1970s. Together the four created "Your Song", "Friends", "Levon", "Tiny Dancer", "Rocket Man" and many more.
    1970-Canadian folksinger Joni Mitchell was awarded her first gold record for the album "Ladies of the Canyon." The L-P contained the hit single "Big Yellow Taxi
    1972-The “ Immaculate Reception:” In an AFC first-round play-off game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders, the Raiders were ahead, 7-6, with 22 seconds to play. Pittsburgh had the ball on its own 40-yeard line. Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw three a desperation pass intended for Johnny Fuqua. The ball deflected off an Oakland defender into the waiting arms of Franco Harris, who ran into the end zone for the winning touchdown. The Steelers defeated the Raiders, 13-7, and the play has since been known as the “Immaculate Reception.”
    1974- The first free agents in major league baseball were Any Messersmith of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dave McNally of the Montreal Expos. A Federal arbitrator ruled that the two players, and by extension other major league baseball players not bound to a current contract, were free to sell their services to the team that offered them the most money.
1975-Metric Conversion Act: The Congress of the US passed Public Law 94-168, known as the Metric Conversion Act of 1975. The act declares that the SI (international System of Units) will be the country's basic system of measurement and established the United States Metric Board which is responsible for the planning, coordination and implementation of the nation's voluntary conversion to SI (Congress had authorized the metric system as a legal system of measurement in the US by an act passed July 28,1866. In 1875, the US became one of the original signers of the Treaty of the Metre, which established an international metric system.
    1976---Top Hits
Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright) - Rod Stewart
The Rubberband Man - Spinners
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing - Leo Sayer
Thinkin' of a Rendezvous - Johnny Duncan
    1978-Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" is released.
    1982 - A major winter storm struck Colorado producing heavy snow and blizzard conditions. A record two feet of snow was reported at Stapleton Airport in Denver, which was shut down for 33 hours. Up to 44 inches of snow fell in the foothills surrounding Denver. The storm hurt the ski industry as skiers were unable to make it out of Denver to the slopes, and the closed airport became a campground for vacationers.
    1983 - The temperature plunged to 50 degrees below zero at Williston ND to equal their all-time record. Minneapolis MN reported an afternoon high of 17 degrees below zero, and that evening strong northerly winds produced wind chill readings of 100 degrees below zero in North Dakota
    1984---Top Hits
Like a Virgin - Madonna
Sea of Love - The Honeydrippers
Cool It Now - New Edition
Why Not Me - The Judds
    1987 - A winter storm brought heavy snow to the Central Rockies, and also spread a blanket of snow across the Middle Missouri Valley in time for Christmas. Snow and high winds created near blizzard conditions in Wyoming. Snowfall totals in Wyoming ranged up to 25 inches at Casper, with four feet of snow reported at the Hogadon Ski Resort on Capser Mountain. The Wolf Creek Ski Resort in Colorado received 26 inches of snow. Totals in the Middle Missouri Valley ranged up to 16 inches at Alpena SD, with 14 inches at Harrison NE. Strong winds ushered unseasonably cold air into the southwestern U.S. Canyon winds gusting to 100 mph created ground blizzards in Utah.
    1989 - An historic arctic outbreak spread to the Gulf Coast Region, and a total of 122 cities across the central and eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Forty-one of those cities reported record lows for the month of December, with some cities breaking December records established the previous morning. Morning lows of 11 degrees at New Orleans LA and Lake Charles LA, 4 degrees below zero at San Angelo TX, and 26 degrees below zero at Topeka KS, established all-time records for those four locations. Yankton SD was the cold spot in the nation with a morning low of 31 degrees below zero. A storm system moving across the Florida peninsula and along the Southern Atlantic Coast produced high winds and record snows along the Carolina coast. Snowfall totals of 15 inches at Wilmington NC and 13.3 inches at Cape Hatteras NC were all- time records for those two locations. Gale force winds, gusting to 60 mph, produced waves thirty-four feet high off the coast of North Carolina, and whipped the heavy snow into drifts up to eight feet high. The storm resulted in the first white Christmas of record from northeastern Florida to North Carolina.
    1991 - Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll retired after 23 seasons. He was the only coach to have four Super Bowl wins (1975-1976,     1979-1980) and was the fifth winningest coach in the NFL (209-156-1).
    1991 -recent rains in Austin, TX set a new monthly (13.59 inches) and annual record total (51.64 inches).
    1994-an intense nor'easter, a hybrid winter and tropical storm lashed New England with high winds and heavy rains. The storm had its origin in the western Gulf of Mexico and had characteristics of a tropical storm even as it reached 40 degrees latitude. The storm dumbelled around a developing winter type storm off the mid Atlantic and approached New England from the south-southeast. Winds exceeded hurricane force over coastal areas. Walpole, MA had a wind gust of 88 mph. Sustained winds of 63 mph with a gust to 84 mph were recorded at Nantucket. Falmouth, MA had a wind gust of 78 mph and Ashaway, RI a gust of 74 mph. Plymouth, MA was deluged with 4.85 inches of rain and Gloucester, MA had 4.72 inches.
    1997-Phil Jackson of the Chicago Bulls won the 500 th game of his coaching career as the Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 94-89. Jackson got to 400 in his 682 nd game, faster than any other coach in NBA history. He was the twentieth coach to reach the 500 mark.
    1997-Right wing Jarri Kurri of the Colorado Avalanche became the eight palyer in NHL history to score 600 regular-season goals. Kurri tallied in the first period as Colorado defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 5-1.
    1997 - Terry Nichols was convicted by a Denver, Colorado, jury on charges of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the 1995 federal building bombing in Oklahoma City.


American Football Poem

A champion is one who gets up when he can't.

Jack Dempsey


Take pride in how far you have come; have faith in how far you can go.



Tough times don't last, tough people do.



If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you think you'd like to win, but you think you can't,
it's almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you've lost.
For out in the world you'll find,
success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself,
before you can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go,
to the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later the man who wins,
is the man who thinks he can.



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