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Operations Manager for growing equipment leasing/broker services co. in Costa Mesa, CA to oversee syndication, docs, & credit functions. Prior leasing experience pref. Salary with benefits. Send resume to:

Friday, June 9, 2006


Classified Ads---Operations
    US Bancorp gets Class Action Suit
        Welcome Back, ELA Monthly Report
Texas Judge Socks it to IFC Credit
    Classified Ads---Help Wanted
Selling Up by Steve Chriest
  “Sales Managers and Coaching”
Fraud! It's Back! Web Seminar
    Michel, Vitale, Wright new CLPs
        Richard Barry Joins Main Street Bank
News Briefs---
    You May have Missed---
        Sports Briefs---
"Gimme that Wine"
    Calendar Events
        Today's Top Event in History
This Day in American History
    Spring Poem
        SuDoku Puzzle

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


Classified Ads---Operations

Magnanini Farm Winery/Restaurant, Wallkill, NY *

Orange County, CA
Operations/Credit Manager with 15 Years Experience, Middle & Large Ticket, initiated policies for Patriot Act and Sarbanes Oxley, Team Motivator.

East Windsor, NJ
Skilled Manager in credit, collections, training, documentation, policy and procedure, lease and finance operations. Get results and keep the customer coming back.

New York, NY
10+ years in equipment leasing/secured lending. Skilled in management & training, documentation, policy and procedure development & implementation, portfolio reporting. Strong work ethic.

Operations: Wayne, NJ
20+ heavily experienced collection/recovery VP looking to improve someone's bottom line. Proven, verifiable track record. Knowledge of all types of portfolio. Will relocate

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

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




US Bancorp gets Class Action Suit

by Christopher Menkin

According to a highly informed source, US Bancorp is being sued in various states in a class action suit regarding lease contract and other fees. Allegedly others major funders of leases have settled, rather than go to court. Companies reportedly as CIT, Pitney-Bowes, perhaps Wells Fargo, all centered around three items: 1) Property damage insurance (forced insurance;) 2) UCC fees; 3) Origination fees (“doc” fee.)

June 7, 2006 US Bancorp was served in California.

The leasing attorneys are advising them it is a better business decision to settle than fight in court. The tide has changed, what was “normal” ten-twenty years ago, is now being question and funders are being held to the wall.

The class action suit brings all the lessees together, via the internet, to sign and take part in the “rewards” at no cost to them. While class action suits have been getting more prevalent, the internet has given the law firms who specialize in this action an inexpensive manner to contact potential “defendants.” The lists of who they are can be found for free on most state UCC filing lists, or from the company they propose action with the use of a subpoena.

Many states now treat all signers of equipment leases as consumers, whereas in years past most fell under “commercial law.” This enables attorneys to find compliance in equipment leasing and finance.

US Bancorp received the class action suit, according to the highly reliable source, and may settle as the other colleagues have.

The suit is based on their contracts, not “discounted” or “private label contracts” at this time. It appears the contracts in question are all “capital leases,” meaning “$1.00 out.” They seem to fall as “finance” leases without any controversy. Discounters who may have marked up the fees further on their end are not being called at this time.

Those without life insurance licenses or are not California Finance Lenders, licensed by the California Department of Corporation may be next regarding document, ucc, and other fees.

Leasing News has obtained a copy of the law suit:

It seems the contention is that while the contracts themselves require the property to be covered and if not, for the creditor to obtain “insurance,” the claim is that it is not disclosed that the company “earns” a commission on applying the insurance.

In the days of 1960 through 1980, it was common for banks, finance companies, and leasing entities to also charge “life insurance” and “liability insurance,” making it often mandatory. The commissions were from 30% to 50%, depending if the entity was an “agent” or a “broker.” Licensing requirements changed much of this, plus the competitive marketplace.

Origination fees or “document fees” have been common in the industry. Commonly referred to as a “garbage fees,” most have increased to $75 to $100 on microticket leases to $300 to $500 on larger transactions. Many brokers and discounters often increase this and take a part as additional profit in discounting to sources.

UCC fees have actually decreased with on line access, but the fees to debtors has increased, perhaps viewed as a “handling fee” or extra profit, particularly for micro ticket transactions.

The class action suits claim that these fees are “extra income” and are not disclosed to the customer.

In the works are verifying that personal property tax fees do not produce any “extra income” from what the county is charging, as well as “extra payment” income to those lessees who don't count how many payments they have made or when notified regarding any “purchase” of the equipment.

The actions by leasing companies involved in such scandals as NorVergence, and those broker/lessors who are keeping “advance rentals” and “deposits” as commission, when not earned, are bringing more attention to the industry and its practices.

The congressional investigations into the international and government/municipal sale leases/backs (SILO) have brought the FASB into considering forcing companies to include the cost of leased equipment and property on the balance sheet.

To learn more, it is recommended that readers see the excerpts from Jeffrey Taylor, CLP's, next book, “The Future of Equipment Leasing.”



Welcome Back, ELA Monthly Report

by Kit Menkin

After getting the kinks out, according to Equipment Leasing Association Vice President of Industry Services Ralph Petta, the first Monthly Leasing Index (MLI-25) was released yesterday. It covers January through April of 25 major leasing companies, up five leasing companies from their 2005 year-end report:

The 25 companies are:

ADP Credit Corporation
Amsouth Leasing Corporation
Bank of America Leasing
Bank of the West
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation
De Lage Landen Financial Services
First American Equipment Finance
GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation
Hitachi Credit America
HP Financial Services
Irwin Financial
John Deere Credit Corporation
Key Equipment Finance
LaSalle National Leasing Corporation
Marlin Leasing Corporation
National City Commercial Corp.
RBS Asset Finance
Siemens Financial Services
US Bancorp Leasing & Financial
US Express Leasing
Verizon Capital Corp/Verizon Credit
Volvo Financial Services
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance

The first year was a very good learning experience, also for those who received the report itself. The June, 2005 MLI had 18 reporting leasing companies and was issued in August. There were some up-and-down months as the coordination from these large corporations did not run as smoothly as the “Dow-Jones.” In reality, the information to coordinate and put together was more difficult than the end of day stock results. Despite the stops and starts has been very valuable to the industry as the only real gauge of the $220 billion industry. Personally, I look at it like the old retail chart: “Beat last month's sales.”

“The added leasing company participants make the MLI-25 a well-represented picture of leasing industry activity,” said Ralph Petta, Vice President of Industry Services for ELA. “The January to April data reflect fairly consistent, solid performance for the industry.”

Ralph Petta, Vice-President of Industry Services

According to the MLI-25 report, $20 billion in new business was conducted in this four month period, an average of almost $5 billion a month.

As the chart indicates at the top of this article, January, respondents reported $4.4 billion in new business volume for equipment leases and loans originated during the period. New business in February declined to $3.6 billion, a drop of 18 percent. New business volume for March climbed to $6.3 billion, an increase of 75 percent. This rise is attributed to the typical end-of-quarter sales surge, according to Petta. For April new business originated was $5.6 billion.

Portfolio quality for the first four months of 2006 remained stable with delinquencies remaining fairly constant. Charge-offs as a percentage of net receivables also remained stable during this period. From January through April, charge-offs remained at or near 0.40 percent. In February, charge-offs fell to 0.36 percent and rose to 0.41 percent in March before dropping back to 0.39 percent for April.

Credit approval ratios averaged between 81 percent and 83 percent for the period.

The total number of employees for January was 10,476. For February through April, the total number of employees continued to rise: 10,497 in February; 10,536 in March; and 10,630 in April. The January through April total headcount represents a 1.4 percent increase.

These figures are from the 25 companies. The end of year from 18 companies had 8,953 employed.

The six month figures, most likely available by August, will be interesting to see if the employment trend continues as well as the good new business sales.

Because the same companies participate in the survey each month, the MLI-25 provides a fairly reliable and consistent trend analysis of current industry activity. Results of each MLI-25 are posted on the ELA website and Equipment Leasing Today magazine. Leasing News will make available to its readers this full report including graphs.

The information available from the Equipment Leasing Association, report, including use of the legal library and other actual government liaison support, seminars, webseries, meetings, makes being a member very worthwhile for your dues.

Go here for membership information,

or talk to one of the board of directors, such as Paul Menzel, CLP:

Paul J. Menzel, CLP
Senior Vice President
Community Lending Group

P.O. Box 60607
Santa Barbara, CA 93160-0607
1 South Los Carneros Road
Goleta, CA 93117
Dir Ph# (805)560-1650



Texas Judge Socks it to IFC Credit

by Christopher Menkin

Well, IFC Credit Executive Vice-President John Estok just got another wallop, whether he likes the word or not, as the company officers testimony and then documents ordered convinced the judge to find for the NorVergence lessee. Then in a complaint about “disclosure” from Patrick A. Witowski, Executive Vice President of Operations, the judge ordered IFC Credit to inform all their NorVergence lessees about hold backs on their leases.

IFC Credit reportedly said they would appeal the decision.

June 5, 2006 Judge Montgomery filed the official ten page ruling that delineates her decision in the Final Judgment of Specialty Optical d/b/a SOS v. IFC Credit Corp, which would be utilized in the appeal. What makes this significant is the outline and reasoning for her ruling:

Judge Sally Montgomery
Dallas County Court-at-Law 3

If IFC Credit actually appeals, this document lays out how the court interpreted the facts of the case in reaching her final judgment. Leasing News has requested a copy of the appeal or a comment from IFC Credit, but has not received one to date.

Readers should understand that an appeal means the loser is 'suing' the judge for her bad decision. If the appeals court agrees to hear the appeal, the judge is (sort of) represented by the winner of the trial who tries to show that the decision was correct. The loser argues otherwise. The Findings of Facts and Law allow the judge to tell the appellate court what the facts are. (appeals are law only, facts are decided at trial and stay that way)

In the meantime, the Federal Trade Commission is interviewing IFC Credit Corporation ex-employees and investors, and may subpoena current employees, plus several new law suits in Texas (next week we may write about them, but they are very similar to this one, it appears.)

Ten pages ruling:

Previous stories:



Classified Ads---Help Wanted

Account Executive

Exp. Account Executive
Salt Lake City, Utah

Intermediaries--Background in sales/leasing and/or finance required/credit experience preferred. Salary plus commission. Fax resume: 801-733-2363 or email:

Jr. Analyst

Credit Analyst
Sausalito, CA

To start, $45M-60M per year depending upon experience and qualifications, small office in great community, work w/seasoned
professional; Banking or financial or leasing background required, opportunity to increase skills and knowledge: call Steve Pickens at 415-331-1725

Operations Manager

Operations Manager for growing equipment leasing/broker services co. in Costa Mesa, CA to oversee syndication, docs, & credit functions. Prior leasing experience pref. Salary with benefits. Send resume to:

VP-Manager of Equipment Lease Division

VP-Manager of Equipment Lease Division
Costa Mesa, CA

Responsibilities include managing and directing marketing staff from solicitations through credit submission and doc signing.
subsidiary Citizens Business Bank



by Steve Chriest

“Sales Managers and Coaching”

“Coaching” has become one of the buzzwords of the new millennium. Coaches have always been important in sports, but the idea of coaching has permeated everyday life, including business. For just about anything you can think of, you can find coaches. You can even find so-called Life Coaches who purportedly will coach you into better living habits!

Some of the better sales consulting firms advise sales managers to become effective coaches for their sales teams. While I absolutely agree with this advice, I think it's important to examine the practice of coaching and to understand what makes an effective coach in any discipline.

There are, in my opinion, three types of effective coaches. At the lowest level there is the good coach. The middle level is occupied by the great coach. Extraordinary coaches occupy the very top level of coaching.

All effective coaches share at least one talent – the ability to teach. Teaching techniques for any discipline vary widely, but you cannot coach effectively unless you can teach. It's not so important how coaches teach as it is what they teach that distinguishes the three levels of coaching.

A good coach, for example, effectively teaches the fundamentals, whether it's the rudiments in drumming, the compulsory figures in figure skating, or the basics of the baseline and net game strokes in tennis. Good coaches don't have to be superstars in their fields. The ability to effectively teach fundamentals is the most important attribute of the good coach.

The great coach is not only adept at teaching the fundamentals, but also possesses the ability to extract superb performance from his or her students. The great coach sees in a student what others don't see and, many times, what the student doesn't see. Great coaches know intuitively how to motivate those students with exceptional talent to give exceptional performances. These coaches have the ability to draw out from their students' performances that the students themselves may not believe they are capable of delivering.

Then there is the extraordinary coach. There aren't many of these. These coaches are master teachers of the fundamentals who routinely coax the very best performances from their students. What sets the extraordinary coaches apart from all other coaches is their ability and willingness to teach significant life lessons to their students.

Next week we will examine the role of the sales manager as coach, and we will explore how sales managers might go from good, to great, to extraordinary coaches of their sales teams.

Copyright © 2006 Selling Up TM . All Rights Reserved.

About the author: Steve Chriest is the founder of Selling Up TM (, a sales consulting firm specializing in sales improvement for organizations of all types and sizes in a variety of industries. He is also the author of Selling Up , The Proven System for Reaching and Selling Senior Executives. You can reach Steve at



FRAUD...It's Back: The Cost of Leasing Equipment or the
Penalty for NOT doing your Homework

An ELA Web Seminar
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
2:30 - 4:00 pm EDT

You are invited, you and your staff, to participate in an informative, web-based seminar scheduled for Tuesday, June 20, 2006 that explores recent frauds and scams plaguing the industry and what you can do to detect and avoid them.

Leasing companies have lost a great deal of money due to fraudulent schemes. These schemes can be perpetrated by vendors, end users, insiders in leasing companies or a combination of all of the above. An experienced panel of inside and outside counsel will discuss recent frauds and scams, including the All Serve Systems case. Panelists will consider the anti-fraud tools and resources available, and the steps to take to mitigate losses from fraud. The panel will emphasize what set of facts and circumstances may warrant additional attention to a deal, and other suggestions to aid you in detecting fraud. Get answers to these and other questions:

• What new schemes and new technologies are being used to defraud leasing companies?
• What are the "red flags" of fraud?
• What can you do when you think you have detected a fraud?
• What actions can be taken when you believe your company may be subject to a fraud?

Time of Web Seminar (depending upon your time zone):

2:30 pm - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
1:30 pm. - 3:00 p.m. Central
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Mountain
11:30 am - 1:00 pm Pacific


Michael A. Leichtling, Partner
Peter E. Ochroch, Assoc. General Counsel
Richard H. Weiner

Managing Partner

Intended Audience

This program is designed for business executives, credit and sales personnel and all individuals involved in documenting and negotiating lease transactions. Most companies will want to include a multi-person team in this web seminar who represent these disciplines.

Registration and General Information

FFor complete registration information, please go here:

The tuition fee includes the seminar materials, one toll-free connection to the live web seminar and your personal name and password to log on to the internet. You will be able to follow the presentation, ask questions and participate in polling questions directly from your computer. You pay one fee and you can ask as many people to listen in on your one connection, via speakerphone, as you wish.

Can't Make the Web Seminar, but want the Audio CD and Materials?

If you can't attend the web seminar, you may still purchase the audio CD and seminar materials. For complete details, go here
and click on the "Recording" icon.

Web seminar services are provided by KRM Information Services, Inc. You may contact customer service at 715-833-5426 or 800-775-7654 to register for this event.


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

Michel, Vitale, Wright new CLPs

The CLP Foundation is very pleased to announce the addition of three new Certified Lease Professionals. We extend our congratulations to them for completing the CLP Program and successfully passing the CLP Exam.

Jarrod Michel, CLP
Park Western Leasing
Golden, CO
Frank Vitale, CLP
Financial Pacific Leasing LLC
Auburn, WA
John M. Wright, CLP
Financial Pacific Leasing LLC
Auburn, WA

(For more information on why to become a Certified Leasing Professional, please go here: )


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

Richard Barry Joins Main Street Bank

KINGWOOD, TEXAS, – Main Street Bank, Kingwood, Texas, announced the appointment of Richard (“Rick”) Barry as Vice President of the Franchise Division.

Barry, who has 20 years commercial finance experience, is an industry leader in developing innovative finance programs for the franchise industry. Barry most recently served in a management capacity with TCF Equipment Finance, a subsidiary of TCF Financial Corporation, located in Minneapolis, MN. Barry was graduated from Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

Tom Depping, Chairman of Main Street Bank stated: “Rick is a recognized leader in the field of franchise finance. He has a long-term commitment to this growing market segment. We look forward to working with Rick in the growth of Main Street's presence in the franchise marketplace.

Barry said: “Main Street is committed to serving the ongoing financial needs of the franchise marketplace. We are confident that through our focused approach we will be the finance provider of choice within the marketplace.”

Main Street Bank maintains retail-banking offices in the Houston, Texas market and is a national leader in commercial equipment lease financing.

Rick can be contacted at .


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

News Briefs----

U.S. Consumers Upbeat about Economy,1,6736614.story?col

Administration upbeat about economic growth

REIT Replay: Lodging's a boom, housing's a bust

Greenspan Testifies on Oil Dependence, and Few Pay Attention

European Bank Raises Rate but Doesn't Signal Future Moves

Anheuser-Busch kicks in $70 million for World Cup campaign

Quality Ratings of Cars List: Is Yours on it?

Start-ups find new ways to move huge data files over Internet

Vodka and Coke mix on tour for Russians



You May have Missed---

Judge: Fan can sue Sox ticket reseller



Sports Briefs----

Titans finally trade QB McNair to Ravens

The NBA Finals:

Thu 8 Miami @ Dallas Finals 9:00pm EST
Sun 11 Miami @ Dallas Finals 9:00pm EST
Tue 13 Dallas @ Miami Finals 9:00pm EST
Thu 15 Dallas @ Miami Finals 9:00pm EST



“Gimme that Wine”

Minnesota Wine Tours for Wine Enthusiasts

U.S. Wine Educators Talk Cork!

SF Chronicle Endorses Charles Shaw Wines as California State Wine

Raymors' Valance: small vineyard, a big dream

Krug workers want new contract

Aussie wine glut lowers prices,2106,3694265a13,00.html

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page



Calendar Events This Day

Cuddle Up Day

Jordan: Accession Day

National holiday. Commemorates the accession to the throne of King Abdullah II in 1999, following the death of his father, King Hussein.

Profess Your Love Day



Today's Top Event in History

    1856- A band of 497 Mormons left Iowa City, Iowa, and began the more than 1,000-mile trek to Salt Lake City. They carried all their goods in about 100 two-wheeled handcarts, most of which were heaped with the maximum load of 400 to 500 pounds. Each family usually had one cart, and the father and mother took turns pulling while any children old enough helped by pushing. The handcart immigrants soon ran into serious problems. The Mormon craftsmen who had constructed the handcarts back in Iowa City had chosen to use wooden axles instead of iron in order to save time and money. Sand and dirt quickly wore down the wood, and water and heat made the axles splinter and crack. As the level terrain of the prairies gave way to the more rugged country of the Plains, the sheer physical challenge of hauling a 500-pound cart began to take its toll. One British immigrant who was a skilled carpenter wrote of having to make three coffins in as many days. Some of the pilgrims gave up. Two girls in one handcart group left to marry a pair of miners they met along the way. The majority, however, struggled on and eventually reached the Salt Lake Valley. Over the course of the next four years, some 3,000 Mormon converts made the overland journey by pushing and pulling heavy-laden handcarts. Better planning and the use of iron axles made the subsequent immigrations slightly easier than the first, and some actually made the journey more quickly than if they had used ox-drawn wagons. Still, once the church finances had recovered, Young's followers returned to using conventional wagons. The handcart treks remained nothing less than heroic. One Mormon girl later estimated that she and her family had each taken over a million steps to reach their goal, pushing and pulling a creaking wooden handcart the entire way.,10634,1787-1-1-1,00.html



This Day in American History

    1732-- Englishman James Oglethorpe received a royal charter to form the American colony of Georgia. It was to be a place of refuge for sectarian Protestant believers, persecuted in England.
    1772-The first naval attack in the Revolutionary Ware was made against the British revenue cutter Gaspee, commandeered by Lieutenant William Duddington, which ran aground while chasing the packet Hanna off Namquit Point, Providence, RI, in Narragansett Bay. During the night, merchant John Brown and number of others rowed out in eight longboats captained by Abraham Whipple, board the Gaspee, and set it on fire.
    1846- John Parker Hall of New Hampshire was elected, running on the first antislavery ticket. He switched from serving as a Democrat in the House of Representatives and ran as a Republican, starting the antislavery “ticket.”
    1856-Committee of Vigilance of San Francisco issued a proclamation which read in part: "All political, religious, and sectional differences and issues have given way to the paramount necessity of a thorough and fundamental reform and purification of the social and political body."
    1862-- Battle of Port Republic, last of 5 battles in Jacksons Valley camp, early Confederate victories by General "Stonewall" Jackson.
    1863-- The Battle of Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the North American continent. of the 20,000 soldiers involved, about 17,000 were of the mounted branch. Brandy Station is also the first battle of the war's most famous campaign - Gettysburg.
    1887- Gertrude Agnes Muller birthday, U.S. businesswoman and inventor. Her widowed mother ran a boarding house and sold her homemade doughnuts to support the family. She also was an inventor, primarily for children products, such as the “ toidey seat," and other such products, including being the first to develop a child safety seat for automobiles.
    1856- A band of 497 Mormons left Iowa City, Iowa, and began the more than 1,000-mile trek to Salt Lake City. They carried all their goods in about 100 two-wheeled handcarts, most of which were heaped with the maximum load of 400 to 500 pounds. Each family usually had one cart, and the father and mother took turns pulling while any children old enough helped by pushing. The handcart immigrants soon ran into serious problems. The Mormon craftsmen who had constructed the handcarts back in Iowa City had chosen to use wooden axles instead of iron in order to save time and money. Sand and dirt quickly wore down the wood, and water and heat made the axles splinter and crack. As the level terrain of the prairies gave way to the more rugged country of the Plains, the sheer physical challenge of hauling a 500-pound cart began to take its toll. One British immigrant who was a skilled carpenter wrote of having to make three coffins in as many days. Some of the pilgrims gave up. Two girls in one handcart group left to marry a pair of miners they met along the way. The majority, however, struggled on and eventually reached the Salt Lake Valley. Over the course of the next four years, some 3,000 Mormon converts made the overland journey by pushing and pulling heavy-laden handcarts. Better planning and the use of iron axles made the subsequent immigrations slightly easier than the first, and some actually made the journey more quickly than if they had used ox-drawn wagons. Still, once the church finances had recovered, Young's followers returned to using conventional wagons. The handcart treks remained nothing less than heroic. One Mormon girl later estimated that she and her family had each taken over a million steps to reach their goal, pushing and pulling a creaking wooden handcart the entire way.,10634,1787-1-1-1,00.html
    1863-The largest cavalry battle of the war is fought at Brandy Station, Virginia. After the Confederate victory at Chancellorville in early May, Lee began to prepare for another invasion of the North by placing General J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry at Brandy Station, just east of Culpeper, to screen the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia as it started toward the Blue Ridge mountains. Stuart used this time at Brandy Station to stage a grand parade in order to boost morale and show off his dashing troopers to local residents. Unbeknownst to Stuart, his pompous display was observed by uninvited Union cavalry and infantry under the command of General Alfred Pleasonton, who lurked across the Rappahannock. On June 9, Pleasonton struck the surprised Rebels in a two-pronged assault. After initially falling back, the Confederates eventually rallied, and the battle raged all day around St. James Church. The battle's key moment came when Union troops headed to seize Fleetwood Hill, an elevation from which the Yankees could shell the entire battlefield. Confederate Lieutenant John Carter struggled to mount a cannon on the hill and fired a single shot that stopped the Union troopers in their tracks. The Yankee officer leading the charge suspected the Confederates had a line of guns sitting just over the top of the hill, when in fact it was a single gun with barely enough powder for a single shot. Carter's heroic act saved the day for Stuart. The move bought time for the Confederates, and they held the hill.
The battle continued until late afternoon, with many spectacular cavalry charges and saber fights in addition to hand-to-hand combat by dismounted cavalry. In the end, Stuart's forces held the field. Although it was technically a Rebel victory, the battle demonstrated how far the Union cavalry had come since the beginning of the war. Stuart's cavalry had been the master of their Union counterparts, but its invincibility was shattered on that muggy Virginia day.
    1891-Cole Porter's birthday. Each day we celebrate life with the birthday of a notable musician, artist or American. The purpose is to celebrate life and a birthday is the perfect day to do so.. An excellent book is available at titled Cole Porter: A Biography by William McBrien. You will find my review of this book along with others on . Porter published his first song,” The Boblink Waltz” at the age of 10. His career as a composer and lyricist for Broadway was launched in 1928 when five of his songs were used in the musical play, “ Let's Dot It.” His prolific contributions to the Broadway stage included Fifty Million Frenchmen, Wake up and Dream, The Gay Divorcee, Anything Goes, Leave It To Me, Du Barry was a Lady, Something for the Boys, Kiss Me Kate, Can Can and Silk Stockings. Both of Porter's legs were crushed in a horseback riding accident in 1937, and he became a semi-invalid thereafter. Porter was born at Peru, IN, and died at Santa Monica, October 15,1964.
    1894 -- American Railway Union convenes in Chicago (-26th), representing 465 local unions & a claimed membership of 15,000. On the 26th they call a sympathy strike for Pullman workers.
    1899 - James J. Jeffries scored an 11th-round knockout against "Sunny" Bob Fitzsimmons at Coney Island, New York. Jeffries became heavyweight boxing champ as a result.
    1902 -Horn and Hardart Baking Company opened the first automatic arrangement for vending food at 818 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, on June 9, 1920. The mechanism, which cost $30,000, was imported from Germany, where the patents were acquired from their Swedish originators. The company then opened a chain of Automate restaurants in cities across the nation, including New York City, where a branch opened in 1912 at 1515 Broadway. These automats used a different mechanism that was patented and manufactured by Horn and Hardart. Customers were presented with an array of little compartments, each containing a dish of prepared food visible through a glass door. When the customer dropped a nickel in the proper slot, the door popped open, allowing the customer to remove the dish. The compartments were refilled from behind by restaurant workers.
    1909-The trip that changed women's attitude towards automobiles from “Woman of Achievement and History:”
Alice Huyler Ramsey, 22, with three women friends as passengers got behind the wheel of a topless motor car in New York City and headed west. Predicted to turn for home within days, the women sped across the U.S. to San Francisco in 41 days and proved that women could drive "just like a man."
The new Maxwel Ramsey could hit 40 on the few good roads there were. Most of the "roads" were nothing more than rutted wagon trails. Sponsored by the Maxwell Company, the women's trip was well publicized. Ramsey did all the repair work herself like changing sparkplugs and fixing flats. The women "passengers" were called a working crew by Ramsey. AHR drove cross country almost 70 more times, doing it once a year until her death at 96. She held a valid driver's license. In accepting an AAA award for her part in proving that "automobiles are here to stay rugged and dependable enough to commend any man's respect, gentle enough for the daintiest lady," AHR included herself among "the great women drivers who were convinced we could drive as well as most men." A 1909 "in town" race of women drivers show the cars and the race conditions in cities. But outside the cities, there were virtually no roads - just wagon trails. For years many women were afraid to drive because it infringed on the male prerogative. Men were men and could not be expected to trust a woman behind the wheel of a car. Most women chose not to challenge for the driver's seat since it made the man look less virile. Another reason was that a woman behind the wheel of a car caused rampant road rage as men deliberately crashed into the cars driven by women to teach them not to challenge men's rights.
    1915-Les Paul, one of the most influential guitarists in popular music history, was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin. With his wife Mary Ford, he had a string of hits in the late 1940's and early '50s. Among them were "Mockin' Bird Hill," "How High the Moon" and "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise." These recordings were among the earliest to use multitracking. Les Paul designed guitars which were marketed by the Gibson company, and became the favorites of pop, rock and country musicians. Paul also built the first eight-track tape recorder, which helped pioneer multitrack recording. And he invented "sound-on-sound" recording, which has since become known as overdubbing.
    1924 - Jelly Roll Morton and his band recorded "Jelly-Roll Blues" for General Records.
    1934- Donald Duck makes his first film appearance, in The Wise Little Hen, a short by Walt Disney. Donald, along with Mickey Mouse (who debuted in 1928), would become one of Disney's most beloved characters. Donald's popularity also led to other characters in the Duck family, including Daisy Duck, Uncle Scrooge, and nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louey.
    1934--soul singer Jackie Wilson was born in Detroit. He got his first big break when he replaced Clyde McPhatter as lead singer of the Dominoes. Wilson later developed into one of the premier black vocalists, beginning in the late 1950s. His string of hits included "Higher and Higher," "Lonely Teardrops" and "Baby Workout." In September, 1975, he collapsed on stage in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He remained in a coma until his death on January 21st, 1984.
    1943—FDR introduces “Withholding tax” on payroll; popularly known as the "Pay As You Go Tax," allowed Americans to taxpayers to withhold federal income taxes before getting paid their wages or salaries. It also was a major cash boon for the government, especially for the wartime economy.
    1944—Top Hits
Long Ago and Far Away - Helen Forrest & Dick Haymes
I'll Get By - The Harry James Orchestra (vocal: Dick Haymes)
I'll Be Seeing You - Bing Crosby
Straighten Up and Fly Right - King Cole Trio
    1946 - Mel Ott of the New York Giants had the honor of becoming the first manager to be ejected from both games of a doubleheader.
    1952—Top Hits
Kiss of Fire - Georgia Gibbs
Blue Tango - The Leroy Anderson Orchestra
Be Anything - Eddy Howard
The Wild Side of Life - Hank Thompson
    1953 -Touching down far east of traditional tornado alley, a devastating tornado, at least of F4 intensity, tore through Worcester County, Massachusetts and killed 90 people and injured 1288. The northern part of the city of Worcester suffered extreme damage. Property damage exceeded 52 million dollars which until then was a record high for a single tornado. 4000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. spawned by a classic supercell thunderstorm with tops at 60,000 feet, this tornado was and still is the worst tornadic event in history of New England.
    1954 - Army counsel Joseph N. Welch asked Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" during the Senate-Army Hearings. The audience of citizens and newspaper and television reporters burst into wild applause. Just a week later, the hearings into the Army came to a close. McCarthy, exposed as a reckless bully, was officially condemned by the U.S. Senate for contempt against his colleagues in December 1954. During the next two- and-a-half years McCarthy spiraled into alcoholism. Still in office, he died in 1957.
    1956-Bestselling crime novelist Patricia Cornwall, creator of crime- solving medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, born Miami, Florida. Hoping to become a crime novelist, Cornwall spent six years studying forensic science and working at the morgue. She wrote three novels between 1984 and 1988, all featuring a dashing, adventurous, and poetic detective hero, with a minor medical- examiner character named Kay Scarpetta. An editor advised Cornwall to focus on Scarpetta and to write grittier fiction based on everyday crime situations faced by the morgue. Cornwall wrote Postmortem, which was finally accepted by Scribner's after seven other publishers rejected it. The novel won five major mystery awards that year and sold hundreds of thousands of copies in paperback. Cornwall's subsequent Scarpetta novels, including Cruel and Unusual (1993) and Cause of Death (1996), sold in the millions and have been translated into 22 languages, earning her multimillion-dollar advances.
    1960—Top Hits
Cathy's Clown - The Everly Brothers
Burning Bridges - Jack Scott
Paper Roses - Anita Bryant
Please Help Me, I'm Falling - Hank Locklin
    1961-Birthday of actor Michael J. Fox, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
    1962 - Tony Bennett made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City ten years after making his first hit song, "Because of You."
    1963-Birthday of actor Johnny Deep, born Ed Wood at Owensboro, KY.
    1966 -Hurricane Alma made landfall over the eastern Florida panhandle -- the earliest lanfalling hurricane on the U.S. mainland on record.
    1968—Top Hits
Mrs. Robinson - Simon & Garfunkel
Tighten Up - Archie Bell & The Drells
This Guy's in Love with You - Herb Alpert
Honey - Bobby Goldsboro
    1969 - The U.S. Senate confirmed Warren Burger to be the new chief justice of the United States, succeeding Earl Warren.
    1972 -Thunderstorms dumped up to 14 inches of rain in about 4 hours on the east slopes of northern Black Hills in South Dakota. Severe flash flooding resulted, especially in the Rapid City area. The make matters worse, the Canyon Lake Dam collapsed sending a wall of water through the city. 238 people were killed and 2932 were injured. Total damage exceeded $150 million.
    1973 - Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first American Triple Crown winner in 25 years.
    1975 - Tony Orlando and Dawn received a gold record for their hit song "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)". The album sold a million copies, and was number one for three weeks from May 3 to 17, 1975. It was also one of five million copy sellers for the trio. "He Don't Love You" was a remake of a hit Jerry Butler crooned in 1960.
    1976—Top Hits
Love Hangover - Diana Ross
Silly Love Songs - Wings
Get Up and Boogie (That's Right) - Silver Convention
One Piece at a Time - Johnny Cash
    1977 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "I'm Your Boogie Man," KC & the Sunshine Band.
    1978 - Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints struck down a 148-year-old policy of excluding black men from the Mormon priesthood.
    1980 - Comedian and actor Richard Pryor suffered almost fatal burns at his San Fernando Valley, California home when a mixture of "free-base" cocaine exploded and set him on fire. Near death, he convalesced at Sherman Oaks Community Hospital Burn Center.
    1981-Xerox is the first with a personal computer for the office: Xerox 820. Basically a word processor, it retailed for $3,000, had two disk drives and a monitor displaying twenty- four lines of 80-character type.
    1983 - Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe Delaney tragically drowned while trying to save three children from drowning in Monroe, Louisiana. Two of the children perished, but one made it to safety. A few weeks later, Pres. Reagan posthumously awarded Delaney the Presidential Citizens Medal.
    1984—Top Hits
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Oh Sherrie - Steve Perry
The Reflex - Duran Duran
Someday When Things are Good - Merle Haggard
    1985 - American educator Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped in Lebanon, and he was released in November 1991 along with fellow hostage Terry Waite.
    1985 - The Los Angeles Lakers narrowly beat the Boston Celtics, 111-100, to win their first National Basketball Association title in nine tries against the Celtics. Since 1959, when they were based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Lakers had been shut out of the championship series. The most-valuable-player for the winning Lakers was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
    1987 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Always," Atlantic Starr.
    1987 - Thunderstorms in the northeastern U.S. produced large hail and damaging winds in Vermont injuring two persons. Thunderstorms in Ohio produced wind gusts to 75 mph near Akron, and deluged Pittsfield with two inches of rain in thirty minutes.
    1989-- Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry hits his 200th career home run in a ten-inning, 4-3, loss to the Pirates.
    1989 - Thunderstorms produced severe weather over the Central Gulf Coast Region during the day and evening. Severe thunderstorms spawned 17 tornadoes, including one which injured ten persons and caused a million dollars damage at Orange Beach, AL. Thunderstorm winds gusting to 90 mph killed three persons and injured four others at Mobile AL. Thunderstorms also deluged Walnut Hill and Avalon Beach, FL, with eight inches of rain.
    1989 "Star Trek V" premiers; "The Final Frontier"
    1990 -San Diego, California set a new record rainfall amount on this date. .38 inches of rain fell breaking the old record of .13 inches established in 1892. Moisture from the remains of Hurricane Boris was responsible for this rare rain event.
    1990 - 25 years to the day after their father Brian and his band The Beach Boys hold the No. 1 spot for "Help Me Rhonda," Carnie and Wendy Wilson's trio Wilson Phillips (with Chynna Phillips) move into the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with their single "Hold On."
    1993—Top Hits
That s The Way Love Goes-- Janet Jackson
Freak Me- Silk
Knockin Da Boots, H-Town
Weak- SWV
    1993 - What's Love Got to Do With It?, a film about singer Tina Turner and how she rose to rock stardom with her abusive husband Ike Turner, opened in U.S. theaters. The film was well received, and the stars, Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, were both nominated for Oscars. Bassett won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her electrifying performance as Tina.
    1998-Top Hits
The Boy Is Mine, Brandy
Too Close- Next
You re Still The One- Shania Twain
My All- Mariah Carey
    1999 - Ricky Martin's self-titled album was certified multi-platinum on this date.
    1999 --After being ejected in the 12th inning by plate umpire Randy Marsh for arguing a catcher's interference call, Bobby Valentine returns to the dugout with a fake mustache and glasses. The National League will suspend the Mets' manager for two games and fine him for using the disguise.
    2000 - Boyz II Men release to radio stations "Pass You By," their first new single in more than three years.

NBA Finals Champions This Date

1985 Los Angeles Lakers



Spring Poem


Mama said wisely, “A boy gets to be a man when a man is needed. Remember this thing. I have known boys forty years old because there was no need for a man.”

“When did Pepe come to be a man?” Emilo asked.

“Last night, “said Rosy. “Last night in Monterey.” The ocean clouds turned red with the sun that behind the mountain.

Rosy looked around at him. She drew her knowledge from the quiet air. “He has gone on a journey. He will never come back.”

“Is he dead? Do you think he is dead?”

Rosey looked back at the ocean again. a little steamer, drawing a line of smoke sat on the edge of the horizon. “He is not dead,” Rosy explained. “Not yet.”

Pepe rested the big rifle across the saddle in front of him. He let the horse walk up the hill and he didn't look back. The stony slope took on a coast of short bush so that Pepe found the entrance to a trial and entered it…

It was a long struggle to get to his feet. He crawled slowly and mechanically to the top of a big rock on the ridge peak. Once there, he arose slowly, swaying to his feed, and stood erect. Far below he could see the dark brush where he had slept. he braced his feet and stood there, black against the morning sky.

There came a ripping sound at his feet. A piece of stone flew up and a bullet droned off into the next gorge. The hollow crash echoed up from below. Pepe looked down for a moment and then pulled himself straight again.

His body harred back. His left hand fluttered helplessly toward his breast. The second crash sounded from below. Pepe swung forward and toppled form the rock. His body struck and rolled over and over, starting a little avalanche. And when at least he stopped against a bush, the avalanche slid slowly down and covered up his head.

John Steinbeck




The object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once. What could be simpler?


Ten Top Stories each week chosen by readers (click here)
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