Freddie Mercury – What a Surprise

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury – What a Surprise

Bohemian Rhapsody produced by Fox came out around the same time as A Star is Born. Chip and I went to the theater to see ASIB and it was playing later than we thought. So we bought tickets to Bohemian Rhapsody. Then changed them back to a ASIB. When I finally saw Bohemian Rhapsody on Netflix, I fell in love. I would actually go as far as say obsessed. I have been reading everything I can on Freddie Mercury and Queen. If it was somewhere playing on a big screen, I would go immediately. And, I’m still regretting changing tickets … huge mistake.

Why it is So Great?

Bohemian Rhapsody’s theme wasn’t about decadence (even thought there was a lot). It was about living by three moral codes.

  1. Good thoughts; Good words, Good deeds.
  2. The expansive definition of family.
  3. Everything isn’t how it appears.

The Movie Premise

The movie starts and ends with the Live Aid concert from 1986. It takes you through a journey of Freddie Mercury and the whole band … Queen. The story took the band members from kids to men with largest focus on Freddie Mercury. But this really isn’t about the movie.

Freddie Mercury Back Story

Who’d have thought the flamboyant and exotic Mercury would have come from a traditional Tanzanian, loving family with a focus on doing the right thing? And, he was incredibly quiet and shy. He let few people into his true life. The mantra from his father was simple … good thoughts, good words, good deeds. Throughout the movie you see this ideal come to light whenever Freddie was faced with a situation where the high-road was the best road.

And, he could sing like no other.

The Rest of the Band

The members of Queen aren’t a bunch of kids trying to make it in the world. They are a team of intellects … an astrophysicist, a dentist and an electrical engineer. Not just by eduation, but their day jobs before Queen became a viable band. They all were also traditional in their ways. Family first.

Queen Dynamic

It was a true collaborative group, who were different but bonded. They appreciated each ones special value to the whole. No one could produce their quality and creativity of music without having their idea challenged and added to. They considered themselves family.

But Why Freddie Was Freddie

There were three points in Bohemian Rhapsody that made me become extremely respectful of Freddie Mercury. First when you could see he had to change his name to transform to the needed persona of lead signer of Queen. Again, when you see him lonely in his home with no one to share his accomplishment and joy. Finally, the conflict of his love for Mary Austin (his ex fiancé) and his love partners.

Creativity galore
Kind man amazing talent

In fact, the last point is the one that won my heart. Since seeing the movie, I have seen some candid shots of Freddie Mercury within the non-public portion of his life. He comes across, gentle, kind and vulnerable. In the traditional part of his heart, he was bonded and married to Mary.

The other part that demonstrated his loyalty and kindness is seen in how he distributed his estate. Every person in his life is remembered in very different ways. His bequeaths, working solely from memory (can’t find the article I got this from), The majority of his wealth was split between his family and Mary Austin. One quarter of his royalties are split between the remaining members of Queen. His three primary lovers were each given a home and $500K. His manager was made the executor of his estate and control over all his money and given a substantial pay for doing this.

And, just a FYI … the success of Bohemian Rhapsody is expected to generate about an extra $150 million for his family and Mary Austin.

How Can an Introvert Become Such a Vivid Performer

This is something I had to research some. From what I read, there are a couple reasons. The one I have applied to Freddie Mercury is that his introversion and vulnerability made it easy for people to relate to him. Another I read noted that because these performer are shy, the only way they can have a voice and be authentic is through their music. The other is that they have unusual lives or life-histories and performing creates a way to escape and become someone that can be liked and accepted.

After getting this sense of his introversion and privacy, there are parts of his life that really get to you. There are times when he is pressed by the media to discuss his possible illness and partner preferences. In addition, he had to watch a confidant betray him in a public venue. Any person would be overwhelmed at such personal intrusions.


This is a tough part to write about because it shifts the emphasis from the person to something different. I will suffice it to write …

From an interview with Brian May (Queen lead guitarist) , he reports that in Freddie’s last days he was more concerned with others comfort with his weakened condition; and he even apologized for his appearance. Many sources say that he wanted to make music until the very end; which is exactly what he did.

And, most sadly, just months after his passing, the medical community found ways to control those with HIV/AIDS to preserve and prolong their lives.

Things to Watch and Read

Queen Live Aid Performance I watch or listen to this almost everyday now.

BBC Documentary

According to the Tampa Bay Times in October 2018, here are a handful of Queen documentaries to watch.

  1. Becoming Queen (2004): Amazon Prime features a host of free Queen documentaries offering broad looks at the band, a la any generic, hourlong TV special
  2. Becoming Queen (2004): Amazon Prime features a host of free Queen documentaries offering broad looks at the band, a la any generic, hourlong TV special
  3. Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender (2012): A sequel of sorts to Days of Our Lives, this Emmy-winning doc
  4. Inside the Rhapsody (2015): The song Bohemian Rhapsody is practically a movie in and of itself, so why shouldn’t it get its own documentary?
  5. Queen: Rock the World (2017):

Facts That I Kinda Loved

  • In Bohemian Rhapsody, they give a list of many of the bands on the Live Aid playbill. The list is actually a list of all Freddie Mercury’s friends in the music industry.
  • During Live Aid, Freddie had a throat condition and doctors advised he not perform, but he did. Thank goodness. I remember watching that performance.
  • After one bad MTV video, Queen lost it’s US audience willing to accept new material, but they had numerous charted songs around the world for years after 1986. Who knew?
  • Queen music is everywhere. It’s in commercials, background to radio shows (even NPR), on video games, in elevators, etc. How could I have missed it before?
  • Freddie Mercury wrote over 70 songs
  • As I was writing this, I got a text from Chip of something trending on twitter about Freddie Mercury … what the f*** facts

Let us know if you liked Bohemian Rhapsody and if it renewed your interest in Queen. watch the movie. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching YouTube again.

Tribute to Officer Circelli – USS Missouri

This is my second big brother’s father. He and his dad are both American heroes. Here’s a tribute to Officer Circelli.

The Greatest Generations Foundation

January 24 at 6:18 AM ·

AMERICA REMEMBERS: It is with a heavy heart we learn the news that Mr. Albert A. Circelli, the man who prepared the table for the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay has passed away. He was 93

Born to Crescenzo and Antoinette Pastorelli Circelli on October 19, 1925, in Utica. Mr. Circelli joined the “CCC” Civilian Conservation Corps., right out of high school and subsequently began his work career with the Topper Beer Co, Balayntine Beer Co. and had a long and enjoyable career with the West End Brewery, until his retirement. Mr. Circelli was proud of his Italian Heritage and was an American Patriot through and through.

Mr. Circelli proudly served his country in the US Navy and was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He served aboard the USS Missouri and was present on the ship when they announced the Japanese would sign the surrender to America.

Mr. Circelli carried his military service with him, and every Veterans Day would always speak to the school children, about the significance of the war.

He married the love of his life Rose Marie Gaetano in 1948, a blessed union of 70 years. Mr. Circelli’s life revolved around his family never missing one of his wife’s meals, and always attending his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s events. His stories will never be forgotten, from the bean fields and shacks to the streets of his beloved Utica, to the Military.

On behalf of TGGF and its members, we salute Mr. Circelli for his devotion and service to our great nation.

“Every Day is Memorial Day”
The Greatest Generations Foundation

Tell us about your hero

25 Signs of Maturity – Got Any?

Humble and Kind

25 Signs of Maturity

The last couple of days, I’ve been frustrated about something and considered speaking to the “person” responsible for the situation to point a few things out.  However, I knew that conversation would solve nothing.  And, that, no matter how I phrased things, it sounded  immature.  Then I wondered what maturity is anyway.  I found this blog “25 Signs of Maturity: How Mature Are You?”  Take a read.  Seems it’s Ok to be frustrated but ….

25 Signs of Maturity: How Mature Are You?

Do you think there is a certain age at which maturity sets in? Could it be 20? 40? 70?

In my personal experiences, I’ve observed that age has little or nothing to do with it. I have met young people who are mature well beyond their years, and I’ve known older folks who act childish, only thinking about themselves.

So the question is:

What are the character traits that show maturity?

And do “mature” people exhibit them 100% of the time?

Well, I’m not sure that we can be mature in every situation that presents itself to us because we are always growing and learning as human beings, and I’m pretty sure that all of us have been guilty of at least some of these negative behaviors at least once in our lives. That being said, by considering these 25 tell-tale signs, perhaps we can be more aware of the interludes in which our whiny, adolescent self rears its immature head…

1. Realizing how much you don’t know.

2. Listening more and talking less.

3. Being aware and considerate of others as opposed to being self-absorbed, self-centered, and inconsiderate.

4. Not taking everything personally, getting easily offended, or feeling the need to defend, prove, or make excuses for yourself.

5. Being grateful and gracious, not complaining.

6. Taking responsibility for your own health and happiness, not relying on others to “fix” you or placing blame for your circumstances.

7. Having forgiveness and compassion for yourself and others.

8. Being calm and peaceful, not desperate, frantic, or irrational.

9. Showing flexibility and openness as opposed to resisting, controlling, or being unreasonable.

10. Helping yourself, not just expecting others to do it for you out of a sense of entitlement.

How are you doing so far?

11. Doing good deeds even when there is nothing in it for you other than knowing you helped, being selfless.

12. Respecting another’s point of view, beliefs, and way of life without judgment, not insisting you are right, belittling another, or using profanity or violence to get your point across.

13. Sharing your good fortune with others.

14. Being able to turn the other cheek without wishing harm on another.

15. Thinking before acting and having good manners, not going off half-cocked, lashing out, or being rude.

16. Encouraging and being supportive of others.

17. Finding joy in the success of someone else, not envy or criticism.

18. Knowing there is always room to grow and improve and reaching out for help.

19. Having humility and laughing at yourself.

20. Recognizing that which does not work in your life and making an effort to do something different.

Feel like I should put a link to Tim McGraw’s song Humble and Kind

21. Passing up instant gratification in favor of long term benefits.

22. Accepting, liking, and loving yourself, not needing someone else to “complete” you.

23. Standing up for fairness and justice for yourself and others and choosing to do the right thing.

24. Making sacrifices for the good of others without resentment.

25. Not clinging to materialistic items or bragging.

I’m sure there are probably other signs, but this list covers at least the majority of them. I know we can always do a better job displaying our mature sides. I also know that, by doing so, we lift each other up through our example. What’s most important, however, is seeing the negative side of our behavior and knowing we must do something positive to change it…And that, my friends, is WISDOM.

So, how mature are you?  Let us know how many of the 25 you do.

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Special Olympics Penguin Plunge – Narragansett RI – Wow

Special Olympics Penguin Plunge – Narragansett RI – Wow

At noon yesterday, we had a “what the heck” moment. We learned the Special Olympics Penguin Plunge was happening nearby. So we thought we’d see what it’s all about. And, we sure did. All of us have probably seen the news stories on New Year’s Polar Bear Plunges around the world every year. You see a handful of people jump in the water and quickly out. Then say “OMG who would do this?” Well we learned the answer today. They do it for charity.

RI Special Olympic Penguins plunged in groups and as individuals. All participants needed to raise at least $500 to take the cold dip.

This year they raised a minimum of $125K, from our estimate, for RI Special Olympics. One group raised $20K. Wow!

The History and Event Details

For the last 42 years, RIers have raisied $3.2 million to support 3,900 RI Olympians annually through this event. RI Special Olympics is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year; and this is one of its largest fundraisings.

About 2000 people plunged this year. Take a look at the kickoff of the
Special Olympics Penguin Plunge. There were others who jumped in from other spots on the beach too.

In they go … Video courtesy of Chip

Ready Set Go

Isn’t that amazing. And some people stayed in the water for more than a plunge. That still had us saying, “OMG who would do this?”

The organizers give you a safety sheet when you pull in to make sure everyone is plunging responsibly.

It was 56 degrees on Roger Wheeler Beach on Tuesday. Last year it was 1 degree.

Penguin Plunges are like a box of chocolate … you never know what you’re gonna get.

More Than Plunging

But there was more than plunging. There was fun music (personally I danced some…Chip swayed). Tents with opportunities to participate. We bought hats and tee shits.

There was a costume contest. Buses for different groups participating. Biker groups participating. Tailgaters. I will not say what some of them were drinking. Perhaps hair of the dog? It is the day after New Year’s eve.

The one thing missing was any visible corporate sponsor. No Dunkin Donuts tents with hot chocolate, nuttin’. The Free Masons had some signs around though.

Meet a Plunging Hero

But there were so many bright spots, that it didn’t matter. Meet the man below, Wayne Meunier of Warwick RI.

He has plunged for Special Olympics for 36 years of the 42 years of the RI Penguin Plunge . Each year they have a pin. You can see them all on his hat.

He casually walked in alone (as many people did). Plunged, dried briefly and got in his car and went home. We caught him in the parking lot and congratulated him. He was nice enough to tell us about himself.

All I can say is we were humbled and impressed. Chip wants us to try dipping in the Atlantic for the RI Special Olympics Penguin Plunge next year. It is for a good cause, so who knows.

Here Are A Couple More Pictures –
RI Special Olympics Penguin Plunge

Best Costumes From Our Perspective
Penguin Family … The Family the Plunges Together Stays Together

The Polar Bear Plunges and Penguin Plunges both benefit the Special Olympics. I think Polar Bear Plunges are for National Special Olympics and Penguins are for state programs. Hundreds of events take place on lakes, rivers and oceans around the world.

Happy New Year!

And take the plunge in 2019. Whether in resolution or passing it forward. Hugs.

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