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Job opening in
Baltimore/Virginia Region

In this position, you will develop and maintain relationships with lease brokers, leasing companies, equipment vendors and direct lessees throughout Baltimore/Virginia Region. Must be knowledgeable in indirect/third party transactions ranging from $15K and up and have in-market experience. Please apply on-line at and view posting 5245

At M&T Bank, we provide an exciting and challenging work environment where performance and innovative thinking are encouraged and rewarded at every level.
With over 700 branches, your career can travel as far as you want to take it!

Friday, December 23, 2005


Holiday Greetings
   Classified Ads---Senior Management
    New World Book-10% off
     Serenity Prayer Placard
  January 3rd-Leasing News Person of the Year
   Classified Ads-Help Wanted
    IFC Credit Renews $75MM Credit Facility
     CVB Stock Split and Cash Dividend
      Greater Community Bancorp Cash Dividend
         News Briefs---
          You May Have Missed--
            "Gimme that Wine"
              Calendar Events
                Today Top Event in History
      This Day in American History
        American Football Poem

########  surrounding the article denotes it is a "press release"


SAN FRANCISCO---In the winter of 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joe McFee put a crab pot on the San Francisco docks and asked citizens to "keep the pot boiling" by making donations so he could feed the needy at Christmastime.These days, we all know this "crab pot" to be The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle


"God bless us every one."

Merry Christmas
   Happy Hanukkah
    Celebrate Kwanzaa

The Cratchit family drew round the hearth, in what Bob Cratchit called a circle, meaning half a one; and at Bob Cratchit's elbow stood the family display of glass. Two tumblers, and a custard-cup without a handle.

These held the hot stuff from the jug, however, as well as golden goblets would have done; and Bob served it out with beaming looks, while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. Then Bob proposed:

`A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.' Which all the family re-echoed. `God bless us every one.' said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

   "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

        From all of us at Leasing News---
    Kim McArthur, Kit Menkin,  Brian Wong, Maria Martinez-Wong

and the Leasing News Advisory Board

Bob Baker, CLP.   Wildwood Financial Group, Ellisville, Missouri 
Edward Castagna   Nassau Asset Management, Westbury, NY.
Steve Crane, CLP    Bank of the West, Walnut Creek, CA.
Phil Dushay Global   Financial Services, Manhattan, NY.
Steve Gabriel    Porter Novelli-Advanced Tech Division, Campbell, CA 
Ken Greene, Esq.   Larkspur, California 
Theresa M. Kabot, CLP    Kabot Commercial Leasing, Seattle, WA.
Robert S. Kieve     Empire Bradcasting, San Jose, CA. 
Bruce Kropschot    Kropschot Financial Services, Vero Beach, FL. 
Fred St. Laurent    SFBI Recruiters, Atlanta, GA.
Andrew Lea, M.A.    McCue Systems, Inc. Burlingame, CA.
Armon L. Mills, CPA     San Diego Business Journal, San Diego, CA. 
Dan Pulcrano     Metro Newspapers, San Jose, California 
Steve Reid, CLP     Pacific Capital Bank, Santa Barbara, CA. 
Bob Teichman, CLP     Teichman Financial Training, Sausalito, CA.
Paul B. Weiss     ICON  Securities, New York, N.Y./San Francisco, CA.
Ginny Young    Brava Capital, Orange, CA.

History of Christmas

History of Hanukkah

History of Kwanazaa



Classified Ads---Senior Management

 Atlanta, GA
Experienced leasing exec looking for next challenge.  Various asset types, deal sizes and channels.  Turn-around or expansion opportunity.

Baltimore, MD
25 year veteran of commercial and equipment leasing seeking a senior management position with leasing or asset based financing company in the southeast (Florida preferred)

Denver, CO.
Fortune 500 GM/SVP wants to team up with aggressive lender looking for Western expansion mid-market equip. finance/leasing. 20+ years experience within Rocky Mountain/Southwest and Ca markets.

Hope, NJ.
25 years in optimizing call center operations, collections, billing, and back end revenue generation. Experienced in $7 + billion dollar portfolios. Verifiable achievements.

Irvine, CA.
Credit executive, portfolio manager and syndication facilitator. Extensive business building experience in small and mid-ticket operations. Highly innovative. Fortune 100 audit and technology skills. Bottom-line manager.

Jacksonville, FL.
15+yrs Collections/Customer Service Expert. InfoLease, CARMS,managed staffs excess 100 VERY successfully - will relocate WITHIN Florida for right position ~ SIMPLY THE BEST

Lawton, OK.
Twenty years, I have been the President of Cash Financial Services. I sold my loan portfolio. Resume.

Long Island, NY
Degree Banking/Finance. 13 years leasing exp. Now prez young leasing company where promises were not met. Interested in joining established firm with future.

New York, NY, NJ, Ct Tri-State
Top Exec. middle and big ticket, top skills treasury,funding, ops,transaction detail, syndication, ready to max profit, help build quality operation. right now!

Orange County, CA
25+ years experience large ticket equipment finance companies and commercial banking. Operations, documentation, legal, credit, workouts, portfolio management. $2+Billion portfolio. Seeking CFO, COO or similar.

Philadelphia, PA.
27 yrs. exp. sales, ops., credit, strategy, P&L mngmet. Most recently created & executed the biz plans for 2 highly successful Bank-owned small ticket leasing subsidiaries.

Portfolio Management Consultant ;
25+years experience in Collections, Customer Satisfaction, Asset Management, Recoveries, Continuous Process Improvement, Back end Revenue Generation, Cost per Collection Analysis. $5+Billion Portfolio expertise.

Salt Lake City, UT
GM in Sales, Marketing & Operations for Several technology captives. Seeking new adventure in Western States. Consultant of full time.

San Francisco, CA.,
25 years experience w/global leasing company, sales,marketing,business dev., P&L responsibility, asset mgmt, brokering and re-marketing. Interested in joining an est. firm with a future.

Sausalito, Ca
Sr. Corp. officer, presently serving as consultant, fin. service background, M&A, fund raising, great workout expertise, references

Syracuse, N.Y.
Int. equip. leasing exec. 25 yrs global P&L sr. mngt., including corporate turnarounds, strategic planning, new biz dev., structure finance, contract neg., vendor leasing specialist.

Wilmington, DE.
Over 15 years experience managing Credit, Risk Management and Fraud operations for large Financial Institution. Proven Results. Anywhere between NYC and DC for right opportunity.

For a full listing of all "job wanted" ads, please go to:

To place a free "job wanted" ad, please go to:



New World Book-10% off for Leasing News Readers





January 3rd -Leasing News Person of the Year

The Leasing News Advisory Board has suggested many
candidates with the goal of choosing the person in the
equipment leasing industry who has not only lead by
example, but has contributed much to the equipment leasing
industry by their actions, words, and deeds in the year 2005.

The announcement of the Leasing News Person of the Year
for 2005 will be made in our January 3 rd  ,2006 edition.



Classified Ads---Help Wanted

Equipment Finance & Leasing Representative

Job opening in New England

In this position, you will develop and maintain relationships with lease brokers, leasing companies, equipment vendors and direct lessees throughout New England. Must be knowledgeable in indirect/third party transactions ranging from $15K and up and have in-market experience. Please apply on-line at and view posting 5245.

At M&T Bank, we provide an exciting and challenging work environment where performance and innovative thinking are encouraged and rewarded at every level.
With over 700 branches, your career can travel as far as you want to take it!


Job opening in
Baltimore/Virginia Region

In this position, you will develop and maintain relationships with lease brokers, leasing companies, equipment vendors and direct lessees throughout Baltimore/Virginia Region. Must be knowledgeable in indirect/third party transactions ranging from $15K and up and have in-market experience. Please apply on-line at and view posting 5245

At M&T Bank, we provide an exciting and challenging work environment where performance and innovative thinking are encouraged and rewarded at every level.
With over 700 branches, your career can travel as far as you want to take it!


Sales Professionals :

Outstanding opportunities for Equipment Finance Leasing professionals with middle market leasing sales backgrounds, an existing or established book of business, and at least 2 plus years experience.  Fast paced environment.  NYC, Long Island, Westchester and National areas available. Lease teams welcome.

Sales Manager :

Seeking a top NYC based sales manager to become part of an excellent executive team. The job would include recruiting salespeople and supervising up to 20.

Credit Analysts :

Seeking Credit Analysts with at least 2-4 years experience. NYC location

E-Mail :


Please visit our website at:

Senior Funding Manager

Equipment Leasing
Senior Funding Manager
Portsmouth, NH

If you have a minimum of 4 years experience in Credit and Funding in the Leasing industry we'd like to speak with you. For more information, please contact Rick at


### Press Release ###########################

IFC Credit Corporation Renews $75 Million Credit Facility

MORTON GROVE, Illinois, - IFC Credit Corporation announced  that its wholly-owned subsidiary, FPC Funding II, LLC, has completed the renewal of its $75 million revolving credit facility with Autobahn Funding Company, LLC, an asset-backed commercial paper conduit sponsored by DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank.  The facility has a term of five years. 

IFC President and CEO Rudy Trebels commented, "The Autobahn facility provides us with low cost funding and flexibility, which optimizes our competitive position in the small-ticket marketplace, and results in an improved customer experience."

About IFC Credit Corporation

Founded in 1988, IFC Credit Corporation is a Morton Grove, Illinois-based firm that provides capital equipment leasing services to businesses throughout the United States.  IFC's services are offered on a direct basis to middle market companies, and indirectly through its FirstCorp vendor services group and its third-party funding services unit, Pioneer Capital Corporation.

About DZ Bank

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, DZ Bank has offices in key financial centers and economic regions through the world.  Through Autobahn, DZ Bank's Asset Securitization Group offers structured asset and receivables financing for a wide variety of clients and asset types.  Through DZ Financial Markets, DZ Bank's broker dealer, ASG provides term securitization placement capabilities.  


Brian Cascarano
Vice President of Marketing
IFC Credit Corporation
(847) 663-6700


### Press Release ###########################

CVB Financial Corp. Announces Stock Split and Cash Dividend

ONTARIO, Calif.-----The Board of Directors of CVB Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CVBF) declared a 5-for-4 stock split at its regularly scheduled Board of Directors Meeting on Dec. 21, 2005. This will result in shareholders receiving one additional share of stock for every four shares they own. The 5-for-4 stock split will be accompanied by a cash dividend of $0.09 per share.

   D. Linn Wiley, president and chief executive officer, stated that: "The decision by the Board of Directors to declare the 5-for-4 stock split and the $0.09 cash dividend is predicated on the solid growth and strong financial performance of CVB Financial Corp. and its principal subsidiary, Citizens Business Bank."

   Shareholders of record on Jan. 10, 2006, will be entitled to the 5-for-4 stock split. They will receive the additional shares of stock on or about Jan. 26, 2006.

   The record date of the cash dividend of $0.09 is Jan. 11, 2006. The cash dividend payable date is also Jan. 26, 2006. The additional shares resulting from the 5-for-4 stock split and the cash dividend will be mailed to shareholders on or about Jan. 26, 2006.

   The cash dividend will be paid on a post-split basis. Consequently, shareholders receiving the 5-for-4 stock split will receive the cash dividend on both the old and new shares.

   This represents the 65th consecutive quarterly cash dividend paid by the company. The $0.09 dividend on the 76,416,419 shares outstanding following this 5-for-4 stock split represents a total cash payment of $6.9 million. This is an increase of $155,723, or 2.32%, over the $6.7 million in cash dividends paid for the third quarter of 2005.

   CVB Financial Corp. reported net income of $53.4 million for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2005. This represents an increase of $8.8 million, or 19.83%, when compared with the $44.6 million in net earnings reported for the first nine months of 2004. Diluted earnings per share were $0.87 for the first nine months of 2005. This was up $0.14, or 19.18%, when compared with earnings per share of $0.73 for the first nine months of 2004.

   Net income for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2005, produced a return on beginning equity of 22.51%, a return on average equity of 21.29% and a return on average assets of 1.50%. The efficiency ratio for the nine-month period was 45.29%, and operating expenses as a percentage of average assets were 1.89%.

   CVB Financial Corp. operates Citizens Business Bank. Citizens Business Bank is the largest bank with headquarters in the Inland Empire. It is the dominant community bank in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Central Valley areas of California. Its subsidiary, Golden West Financial Services, provides vehicle leasing, equipment leasing and real estate loan services. The Financial Advisory Services Group has over $2.5 billion in assets under administration. They provide trust, investment and related services.

Shares of CVB Financial Corp. common stock are listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol of CVBF. For investor information on CVB Financial Corp., visit the company's Citizens Business Bank Web site at and click on the CVB Investor tab. 

CVB Financial Corp., Ontario D. Linn Wiley, 909-980-4030


### Press Release ###########################

Greater Community Bancorp (GFLS) Declares Cash Dividend

TOTOWA, N.J----At its regular meeting held on December 20, 2005, the Board of Directors of Greater Community Bancorp (Nasdaq:GFLS) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.13 per share on the Company's common stock, payable January 31, 2006 to shareholders of record on January 13, 2006.

Greater Community Bancorp is a financial holding company headquartered in Totowa, New Jersey. The Company operates fifteen full-service branches in the northern New Jersey counties of Bergen, Passaic and Morris through its three state-chartered commercial bank subsidiaries: Greater Community Bank, Bergen Commercial Bank and Rock Community Bank. The banking subsidiaries provide traditional commercial and retail banking services to small businesses and consumers in New Jersey. The Company also offers traditional insurance products through its Greater Community Insurance Services, LLC subsidiary. The Company's banking subsidiary, Greater Community Bank, owns an equipment leasing and financing subsidiary, Highland Capital Corp. In addition, Greater Community Financial, a division of Greater Community Bank, provides a wide range of investment products and services exclusively through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member NASD/SIPC. (Securities are not FDIC insured or bank guaranteed, and are subject to risk and may lose value).

Greater Community Bancorp Anthony M. Bruno, Jr., 973-942-1111 x 1001


### Press Release ###########################

News Briefs----

Workers Choose to Come Back and Talk

Consumer spending and leading index post solid gains in November

Rates on 30-year mortgages dip for second week

Green Light For Siebel-Oracle Merger

Shopping will be hopping Dec. 26

King Kong Falls out of first Place



You May Have Missed

Fewer workers truly 'off' on holidays



"Gimme that Wine"

V. Sattui Winery Responds to ABC "Sting"
(ABC spokesman John Carr said the 60 percent violation rate of the Napa County sting was disappointing and far below the state average of 16 percent.)

Napa Valley's grande dame
Schramsberg's Jamie Davies coaxes Champagne quality from California grapes

Montana vineyard gets new name after conflict with Washington winery

Ringoes and Beyond: Wineries of New Jersey

Last-Minute Bottles to Throw in the Sleigh---Eric Asimov

If you want to know if you got a value for your wine, or what the wine price is today, go to Type in the vintage (year) and name of the producer with wine type or geographic area, such as 1995 Chateau Lynch Bages Pauillac. Even 1995 Lynch Bages will work, or 1999 Viader



Calendar Events This Day

Popcorn Popping Day

In 1519, Cortes got his first sight of popcorn when he invaded Mexico and came into contact with the Aztecs. Popcorn was an important food for the Aztec Indians, who also used popcorn as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of their gods, including Tlaloc, the god of rain and fertility. Some believe it goes further back as popcorn was discover in Mexico bat caves going back 5600 years.

In tombs on the east coast of Peru, researchers have found grains of popcorn perhaps 1,000 years old. These grains have been so well-preserved that they will still pop.  In southwestern Utah, a 1,000-year-old popped kernel of popcorn was found in a dry cave inhabited by predecessors of the Pueblo Indians.

By the time Europeans began to settle in America popcorn had spread to almost all Native American tribes. The English colonists were introduced to popcorn at the first Thanksgiving feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where one of the chief's brothers arrived with a goodwill gift of popped corn in a deerskin bag. After their introduction the colonists had the idea of eating popcorn with milk and sugar and so was born the breakfast cereal. At this point there were more than 700 varieties of popcorn.

When Columbus first arrived in the West Indies he found the natives eating popcorn as well as using it for decoration. Cortes also discovered, after invading Mexico in 1519, that popcorn was just as important to the Aztecs, who used it for decorating their ceremonial head-dresses, necklaces as well as for food.

Around the year 1612, early French explorers through the Great Lakes region noted that the Iroquois popped popcorn with heated sand in a pottery vessel and used it to make popcorn soup, among other things. Writing of Peruvian Indians, Bernabé Cobo, a missionary in Peru between 1609 and 1629, remarked that they toasted "a certain kind of corn until it bursts. They call it pisancalla, and they use it as a confection."

One of the earliest ways to pop corn was to toast it over an open fire or even to throw the cob directly into the fire until it began to pop. American Indians would pierce the centre of the cob with a sharp stick then spread oil over the corn and lay it near a fire, causing the kernel to pop attached to the ear. Another way was to use a clay or metal cooking pot containing oil held over a fire, much like today. It wasn't until the 18th century when popping in oil really began to take off as the results and taste produced were far superior to that of toasted popcorn.

During the depression years, more people sold popcorn, popped or unpopped, than apples, as popcorn vendors walked the streets.  Later machines were invented.

Charles Cretors, founder of C. Cretors and Company in Chicago, introduced the world's first mobile popcorn machine at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Scientific American reported: "This machine...was designed with the idea of moving it about to any location where the operator would be likely to do a good businesss. The apparatus, which is light and strong, and weighing but 400 or 500 pounds, can be drawn readily by a boy or by a small pony to any picnic ground, fair, political rally, etc. and to many other places where a good business could be done for a day or two."

Percy Spencer, Raytheon Manufacturing Corporation, figured out how to mass produce magnetrons which were being used to generate microwaves for use in World War II. Looking for post-war applications of Raytheon technology, Spencer spurred the development of the microwave oven. Popcorn was key to many of Spencer's experiments.

National Popcorn Day is celebrated January 19th.

Two Days To Go

  Merry Christmas

Three Days to Go



Feast Of The Radishes

Also known as the Night of the Radishes (La Noche de los Rábanos.)

the beginning of this tradition dates back more than 200 years. Before the Spanish arrived, many of the plants we know today didn't exist in the New World. The settlers, and especially the friars, who arrived in Oaxaca brought many fruits, flowers, trees and vegetables, including the radish.

During the colonial period Oaxaca was a very small city in a lusciously fertile valley. The biggest plantation serving the city with fruits and vegetables was in Trinidad de las Huertas, roughly the area between La Noria Street and several blocks south of the Periférico. The harvest was plentiful and so much of it was brought to be sold in the market which was then set up alongside the Cathedral and in part of what is now the Zócalo. At that time there was no park, no bandstand or landscaping.

As it happened, one year around the mid-eighteenth century, the crop of radishes was so abundant that a section was not harvested and lay dormant for months. Then in December, two of the friars pulled up some of these forgotten radishes and were amazed and amused to see the size and shapes. Imagine a red carrot gone wild. It not only grows fatter and longer but it divides and grows out into strange shapes. So the friars selected "demons" and "monsters" and brought them as curiosities to the Christmas market held the day before Christmas Eve.

These huge, misshapen roots soon began to attract crowds to the area where the vegetables were sold. It was not long before they were being formed and carved to give a greater variety of shapes and figures. From this beginning evolved the idea of fashioning the radishes into nativity figures and eventually a competition began, to create more original and more perfect figures.

In 1897 the City sponsored the first contest with a prize for the best nativity scene. Thus for more than 100 years the figures have been displayed and judged on December 23. The Night of the Radishes is no longer limited to Nativity scenes. Now you may see Guelaguetzas, posadas, calendas and other representations of Oaxacan life. Also, as there are fewer growers who carve the radishes, the city now cultivates the special radishes and permits entries from sculptors and others who want to try their hand. Also, there are now scenes made from special flowers and corn husks.

The competing tableaus are set up in the Zócalo late in the afternoon of the 23rd and people start lining up to view the artistry as early as 4 p.m. although the judging and awarding of cash prizes isn't done until around 9 p.m. To accommodate the ever-increasing numbers of spectators, the city builds a two-level ramp that encircles the displays.



Today's Top Event in History

    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.



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: )
    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.
    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
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
    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.