2009 - 2010
Comments are welcome. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to use any material you find useful. I'd appreciate a line
stating that you got it from www.billiesilvey.com.
"I'm not sure if you're the right person to contact, but I wanted
to tell you that as a student teacher working on a lesson plan for
next year, your page [on the Gilded Age] was a great source of
information. I've been using material from this page (http:
html) It has some good information about Ford and the
assembly line that you might find useful."
"Loved your write up on Constantinople this month Billie! "
"Thanks for including me on you list. I hadn't thought of
Constantine as the first proponent of religious freedom- or I had
forgotten it. That was an encouraging reminder of how one
person can make a huge change-especially encouraging in light
of the religious persecution that continue to this day."
"You did a nice job on light from the physical to biological to
I enjoyed viewing your website's topic on light. Thank you for
the illuminating updates. Have you ever seen this image
before? I also appreciate the religious and intellectual
application of the term 'reflection.' I believe connotes the ability
to bring in radiance from many places and to apply them in a
way that requires no small amount of discipline. "
i love katyana's garden!!! she is so sweet.
i love knowing you as a friend - i hope you had and joyful easter
with your family. "
"This was a lush reminder of what Spring is all about, Billie -
many thanks for sharing this with me. I'm forwarding it to my
class to share Katyana's Garden with them - we're planting our
gardens this month! "
Your article on gardens was interesting, and I appreciate your
research into all the types of gardens, so that everyone ought to
find a type that is particularly appealing .
I'm not a gardener at all, but I appreciate other's efforts. My
husband Joe was a gardener, not entirely from choice but
necessity, but he truly had a good eye for what was pleasing.
After he died, things were ok for a while--however, now and
then I feel a bit guilty about not being able to keep our garden
areas in good shape, and find that it's really on the bottom of
my "to do" lists. I had a wonderful gardener who came down
with a liver disease and is currently unable to work. My current
gardener is the former gardener's nephew and works hard, but
is essentially a lawn cutter who is willing to do extra things if I
mention them to him (which I realize is much more than a lot of
gardeners would do).
Have you ever visited the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys? It's
located at 6100 Woodley Avenue, Van Nuys 91406, 818-756-
8166. The garden was designed by someone from Japan and is
watered solely by reclaimed water and is called 'Tillman
Reclamation Center' or something similar. There is a Japanese
tea house which is available for rent for a party, if arranged in
I've taken folks on guided tours which can be arranged ahead
of time so that a docent may be available. I can't recall if there
is a fee for the entrance admission or for the tour since it's been
a number of years since I've been there.
I have a note on my rolodex card that there is a website 'the
The designer also developed a much larger garden in St. Louis,
as I recall.
I also know that there is a Japanese garden recently re-done in
Little Tokyo at the JACC (which stands for something like
Japan America Cultural Center??).
Culver City has its own Japanese garden at the Public Library
on the west side of Overland, between Braddock on the north
and Jefferson on the south. I think some of the gardeners from
the Culver City/Mar Vista area take turns trimming, etc.
Thank you for your interesting page."
"Hi Billie, I enjoyed your post on Pirates! I prefer the
legendary aspect of pirates emphasized in the movies and
games. Yes, real life is often brutal and ugly, so I find the
legendary preferable in a general sense. Why else do we have
restaurants named after blood-thirsty mythical pirates like
"Long John Silver's"?
My name is Kristi Nichols, I am a history teacher, I am working
on finding links about the middle ages. While looking for pages
on the middle ages I found your page (http://www.billiesilvey.
com/chaucers_world.html) which was very helpful. Thanks so
I noticed you missed a great page on Medieval Times: http:
//www.usa-people-search.com/content-medieval-times.aspx . It
looks like a very nice resource on the middle ages, it covers
everything from people, places, historical events, wars, art,
architecture, and culture... I plan on using this page in my list of
Have a wonderful day :) "
"Billieâ€“ While searching the internet for information about a
dear Isai friend, I ran across your website. While chasing
Japanese-American rabbits, I stumbled upon your Canterbury
Tales as taught to you by Jimmy Smythe. Also, I read your
description of Michio Nagai. Both of these men were professors,
and early influences, my freshman year at Pepperdine. I
graduated in 1964 with a B.A. in English
Both of these instructors have profoundly influenced my life, and
I thank God for them both. And thank you for your sharing."
--Betty (Ousley) Wyatt
"Thanks for the information on Chicago.
I wish I was still teaching my Five American Cities English class.
Your historical outline of Chicago would be great since it was
one of the five.
I have to go back and read the Saints and Sinners.
On this past Sunday I was trying to convince someone to move
there and pursue a PHD.
Rich Little was in Japan for a weekend lecture series
He teaches at Wheaton College/University in Chicago.
His original undergraduate school was Harding.
(Steve Hazenâ€™s, (PU, 1970â€™s) sister Mary Hazen Osgood
sent two of her children to Wheaton College.
Her daughter still lives in Chicago.
You might have know their older sister Susan Hazen who
married someone name Bill....(or William somebody).
Ok, here is the best one. Your friend, Harris was born in
Chicago. I know you have heard the story before.
Have you ever been to Chicago? I have. I actually walked
along the lakeshore.
I saw the Broadway play â€œChicagoâ€� on Broadway a
couple of years ago.
--Eloise Brown Ives
"I loved this story."
"To be sure, as we both know, a large part of the "Black
Church" experience" involves a fervor that expresses itself in
the emotionalism that can be identified with the "fire and
"I would want your readers to be aware of the diversity within
the African American worship community.
"During my years worshipping with the Vermont Avenue
Church of Christ
(predominantly Black for many of those years), I also visited
congregations within and without the Church of Christ
Fellowship. One of the 'other' places of worship that I have
enjoyed (present perfect tense) is the Church of Christian
Fellowship, Congregational, in Los Angeles. The Church is 90%
African American--an overwhelming portion of the people are
dentists, doctors, lawyers, politicians, and professional
musicians who have graduated from the prestigious Black
universities (there are still approximately 100 of such
institutions--many of them date back to years just after
'The Church of Christian Fellowship is a beautiful building
belonged to the Armenian Rite Church). It features a massive
pipe organ. The services are stately and liturgical. The worship
opens with an organ prelude and ends with a processional of the
minister and acolytes carrying a cross. During the postlude, the
people remain seated as the church darkens. Everyone remains
seated quietly until the last strains of the postlude.
"The stain glass windows alternate between biblical scenes and
stain glass depictions of the replicas of the crests of the various
Tougaloo, Fiske, Dillard, Meharry. For all of their attention to
find the people loving and generous.
"The sermons are of the style that I preach -- informative, filled
literary references, and appreciative of the erudition and piety
"I have moments when I require a Sunday in a fire and
brimstone Black church --I have to do research to locate such a
"As regards the Nagais, you know of my great love for them.
You and I have shared many complimentary reflections about
-- Harris Ives
"Iâ€™m confused about what you meant in the following
paragraph. 'Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) had been
born into a patrician New York family. He was in an
unprecedented third term as president and was expecting to
leave office in January of 1945 when the war broke out.' He was
in his fourth term in 1945, but the war didnâ€™t break out
then. He wasnâ€™t expecting to leave office when he died. Iâ
€™ve tried changing dates, etc to see if I can figure out what
you meant, but I canâ€™t make sense of it."
"Remember Daddyâ€™s petrified rock coffee table to be? I
wonder if itâ€™s still there."
"As you may or may not know, I sold buttons (wholesale) for 12
years and one of our best sellers in the later years of my career
were rock buttons â€“ literally, 2 and 4 hole sewing buttons
made from polished rocks by a rockhound living in Boulder.
They sold like crazy even with a retail price of $12.00 per
button! They were beautiful in shades of every color of the
rainbow and you never knew what colors incoming stock would
be! We were like Kathyâ€™s little girl, playing with them, etc. "
"Best wishes Billie and thanks for sending this. "
"I admire you for creating and maintaining your website. You
were up and running ahead of the pack. An inspiration to me.
Hope all is well with you and your family.
Bright blessings of love and light."
"Just looked at the website and it is so good. What a blessing
you are. I too have always followed Kennedy activities, such a
"Thank you for your kind email! Iâ€™m glad you have seen the
museum in its current form as we have done a lot of work to it.
In the not-so-distant future there will be some big changes so be
watching for those about a year from now.
"We do have the corner in the Art wing dedicated to Oâ
€™Keeffe, but the painting we have of hers is currently on tour
(last I heard from the art curator it is in a show in Canada and
still traveling); thus, you may not have seen what we normally
have up for her. Many people come here to see that painting so
when it is out on loan, it is always disappointing for people who
wanted to see it. Itâ€™s a difficult choice because we want
people who couldnâ€™t come to our museum see it also,
especially because itâ€™s one of four oils she did while in
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
"Thank you for the website content this month. I am enjoying it
and finding it inspirational.
May you continue to be blessed in your good work."
"Hi! Hope you and Frank are doing well. I liked the photo of
Katyana blowing out her birthday candles on your website. So
cute! Meredith and the boys are doing well. Nathan turns 8 next
week. Isaiah is 6. And Elijah is 4. Can't believe how fast they
"Billie, thanks for reminding us of Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore and
all the special memories of our children and our grandchildren,
dear delights from our Heavenly Father. My birthday quote this
year was:The great thing about getting older is that you don't
lose all the other ages you've been. ~ Madeleine L'Engle
"Best wishes as you continue to practice your craft."
"Thanks for the update. It is good to think of and care for the
--Father Loyd D. Morris
"Hi Billie...can totally relate...Jake and I watched our grandkids
all weekend last weekend and I have paid the price all week.
Really wonder how we did it when our own kids were small...
can't believe it is all about the fact that we were much younger."
"I think I know about your granddaughterâ€™s first birthday.
Did I miss the second one? She is a cutie.
"I liked the fact that you did not say exactly how old you are. I
always tell ladies here [in Japan] (who are totally open about
their ages) that in my circle of friends in America, we never
discuss our age, our weight nor our natural hair color. Someone
always makes me a untruth teller. I do not mean you did. Ladies
show up in Japan all the time and someone asks (How old are
you?) Many tell their age before they realize that one's age is
fodder for gossip and it determines whether one will be in the
questioners social group or not. This is a hierarchical society.
"The only times that I feel my age (and that is my deepest,
darkest, most private information) is when I get out of a car
that is not exactly a low rider, but is low enough that after
sitting more than 3o minutes in it. I can not jump out, I have to
get out extremely gracefully (meaning slowly). I used to swivel
around to the side and jump out. Now I turn around and put
both feet on ground and stand and then walk away.
"I will get back to article and read it more thoroughly. I took
quick read through and loved it. Your web brag book,grandma,
"Thanks for another beautiful issue -- I've read only the
introductory story of your west, that's enough to warrant the
characterization of the issue. My west starts in California's
deserts, let's say from Banning eastward and from the San
Gabriels northward and eastward.
"As for my panhandle experience, I don't recall my rides on the
Chief and SuperChief when I was 6 and 9 years old, at least not
the TX parts.
When as a war resister U.S. prisoner I was being transported
around I passed through the panhandle several times, spending
one night in the Potter Co. jail in Amarillo, and amazed to see
the very very big cattle pens very very full of cattle on the way
out of town to the s.west. There are many other memories and
places in "my" west, but those overlap the ones you wrote
about, such as my year in a prison on the TX-NM line n.e. of El
Paso, seeing the dust cloud approach from far away and then
close over us -- and the day we had 6 degrees F. temperature
and snow on the ground! The scattered and fierce
thunderstorms visible from 50 miles away are another
impression. How fortunate I am to have criss-crossed and spent
some time in the west you wrote of and the areas around it."
"My husband, Arthur, has been reading American Indian history
books, and is aghast at how they were treated. (There is
Cherokee blood in his family.) God forgive us all."
"I am about to order this book [Closing the Circle.] One
reviewer said: 'Expecting a romantic novel, I was thrilled to
find a fictionalized historical perspective of an anthropoligical
expedition in the Rift Valley in the wilds of Africa. This is the
place where the Leakey Expedition famously discovered the so-
called cradle of human kind.'
"When I saw your website, I thought about serendipity and
wondered if this book might be of interest to you as well."
"I really enjoyed the new archeology stuff. I've always wanted
to be an archeologist."
"Thank you for wrting about India. This topic particularly
caught my attention. Probably because I keep meeting people
from there. For years we had Hindu neighbors from India living
downstairs from us. The mother would not permit her grown
son to ask questions about their religion, but he would talk
privately to me about his disillusionment with all religions. Last
year we met a Hindu family from Bangladesh who fled to India
to escape persecution before they eventually came to Los
Angeles. ...A couple years ago I received some training from a
man named David Watson whom God used to catalyze an
indigenously-led church planting movement in an area of North
India commonly referred to as a graveyard for missions and
missionaries. Within the past 15 years that movement grew to
over 40,000 churches and over 2 million people were baptized.
A recent audit seems to indicate the numbers have doubled, and
these are Indians leading other Indians to Christ. Mind blowing
stuff. ...A few months ago I met Mark Hooper of Missions
Resource Network who has told me stories of when he used to
live as a missionary with his wife and kids in Mumbai when it
was called Bombay and how he still visits there and maintains
friendships there. And of course the horrific news of the attacks
on the hotels, just awful. ...Last week we had Joe Burns
(Hollywood Church of Christ minister) over to our home to
show us videos and pictures of his January trip with Church of
Christ folks to India where they participated in an effort to start
50 new churches in one of the cities of India. Meredith and I
have been touched by the plight of the poor in India. We have
been moved by the example and teachings of Ghandi, Mother
Teresa, and recently a book we read by Shane Claiborne who
wrote about some of his experiences working alongside Mother
Teresa in Calcutta. India - what a strange mixture of despair
and beauty... For years I ignored its despair and knew nothing
of its beauty. Today I feel like my education on India is just
beginning. Today I prayed for your friend Vijaya and her family."
"Have you seen the movie, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, yet? It
One of my sisters and her husband were heavily involved for a
number of years in the establishment of a boys' home for
abandoned boys. The house took in 7-8 boys, taught them
Christianity, sent them to school. . . . They made a number of
Are you familiar with www.eternalthreads.com ? (Linda Egle's
brother is married to one of my cousins.) Linda flew as an air
hostess for 20 years with USAir. She fell in love with India, in
particular. She now lives in Abilene, TX, and has established a
way for women in India to sell the embroidered bags they make
for money that is used to send their daughters to school. She is
extending the opportunity to other countries: Afghanistan,
Madagascar. . . ."
"Charles Thigpen of Tennessee travels to India several times a
year and then back through Vietnam. He works with the
churches training leaders in both countries."
"I really liked the site! The religion section was surprising. I'm
still trying to understand the Hindu philosophy behind
cremations- something about how the soul is freed up to go on
to another level, or something. Also, I'd like to share a title with
you: The God of Small Things by Arundati Roy, a novel placed in
India. You'll like it. If you haven't already read it, I could lend
--Bruce R. Downie
"I really liked this month's website messages.
"Your granddaughter's firsts were very interesting. I know you
had a good meaning or purpose for using her photos and
activities. I have a different title for the photos. Grandmaâ
€™s Ultimate Brag Book. You deserve to brag...she is a
darling and she will keep you and Frank young and active for
more years than you want to be moving like the speed of
[On President Obama]: "Black students (of my school days)
were always told they could become anything they wanted to be
and the key to reaching their goals was HIGHER EDUCATION
which would be obtainable even if one had no money--or
virtually none. Desire and motivation were the most important
elements needed to achieve a set goal. The reason some goals
were not obtainable was, what is now called a glass ceiling was
a cement ceiling better known as institutional racism and
societal racism. In our home hanging over the kitchen door is a
little book mark I put there to inspire Tyson and Amy:
'Reach for the Moon. If you fall short you will land on a Star'
Thanks for your good thoughts."
--Eloise Brown Ives
"Billie, Your Katyana is an absolute darling! What a beautiful
window to the world! Have a wonderful 2009! "
"I appreciate your writing and your heart."