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Grammy Awards Brings New Action
The Grammy Awards, was held at the Staples Convention Center in Los Angeles, had mixed reviews as a show. But let’s remember that this 50-year-old awards show covers a wide range of genres. It also is about popularity and marketability of songs. After all, downloaded ring tones of favorite artists’ songs are downloaded mainly by teens and college-age students. So anyone can download music from the Internet today; however, there will always be loyal fans supporting their favorite recording group.
And that brings me to Tina Turner. Here’s a woman, who at 68 years old, keeps getting better and has stood the test of time. Her performance, accompanied by Beyonce Knowles, stole the show. It just goes to show you what a positive attitude, great talent and great marketability can do for you.
Another performer who added to the show was the outstanding Morris Day. So if someone says to you, “was that really music? Or, “There was too much rap.” Or, “There was not enough country,” and so forth. Remember that music is like people. It comes in all sizes, shapes and forms. So, it’s not just about rap, but the Grammy Awards covers everything that sells.
And then there was Amy Winehouse, the “no-rehab” protestor herself, who took away four Grammy’s.
Friends Who Pass On
There’s probably not one of us in this world that hasn’t had a close friend pass on. My most dear friend Clarence Jones “C. J.” Cansler was one of those quiet, compassionate, yet remarkable, individuals who excelled in everything he touched. C.J. did so many outstanding things in his lifetime. From a high school track star, he went into the U.S. Army as a Ranger. It wasn’t before long that he was known as one of the best sharpshooters in the service. C.J. lived life to the fullest. He played hard, and he worked hard. In his hometown in Alabama, he was a general contractor and later went into electrical contracting.
However, it wasn’t until he moved to Las Vegas that he helped support the career of his wife, Dr. Kathleen Cansler, from her internship on through her establishing a practice. She is one of the finest internist in the valley. They had one daughter, and she is one of the top junior soccer players in Nevada.
During C.J.’s last years, when he was enjoying the fruits of his labor, he became one of the most successful sports photographers in the business. He had that magic of knowing how to take a picture and make it come to life on the pages.
I was honored to know C.J. for about 15 years. He was the kind of person who didn’t have to say a lot; all he needed were a few words to make his point.
And so, in remembering our friends, we can recall their important life’s highlights. C.J.’s were his pictures through boxing events, Ultimate Fighting Challenge and celebrity photo shoots. But most importantly, C.J. was such a giving person. He was known among his peers as one of the top professional instructors of photography at Community College of Southern Nevada. He was also a very charitable person and helped during holidays deliver bags of toys to less fortunate children.
One of the things I’ll remember most about him is that he listened to people’s problems. I know; I was one of those he advised on a personal basis. The truth is, if C.J. were here today, he would say that there are no shortcuts in life; that you have to work hard to reap the benefits, and most important, something he often said: “One good deed deserves another, but one bad act can bring another one your way.”
A picture is worth a thousand words, and C.J. Canslers’ photos will inspire comments for years to come.
Miss America Judges
When the stakes are high, and pageant producers have a lot of pressure on them on ratings, it’s always a point that celebrity judges are a part of the pageant. Seven celebs determined the 2008 winner.
The 2008 Miss America Pageant, which was held at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, had just that. Speaking of competition, one celebrity judge, Jack Joyner Kersey now working in the field of community service, is considered one of the great athletes of all time. She is the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic Gold Medals in the seven disciplined events heptathlons.
She is also the first woman to score 7,000 points in the event, and her world record of 7,291 points remains unbroken. She is also the first American woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the long jump, all accomplished on her way to wining six golds in four consecutive Olympic games.
It is those persistent, yet talented, individuals, such as Joyner-Kersey, who make the world renowned pageant, such as Miss America, one of the most respected pageants in the Universe. Kersey, who is giving back to her community by spearheading fundraising efforts, has collected more than $12 million to build a safe haven for young people. The JJK Center in East St. Louis, Ill., provides services the thousands of families in the surrounding areas. It offers a variety of educational and recreational activities, including tutoring, youth sports leagues, nutrition, health education, character-leader workshops and fitness for seniors. The famed athlete currently travels as a motivational speaker and the author of, “A Woman’s Place is Everywhere,” and her autobiography, “A Kind of Grace.”
“No matter what you do in life, it’s the persistence that’s going to get you there,” Joyner Kersey said in press conference at the recent event.
Robin Meade, one of the other judges, is the lead news anchor for CNN’s “Headline News” early morning segment is another outstanding personality. She also serves as co-host with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for Turner’s closed-circuit network, Accent Health, which delivers consumer-related health programming directly to physicians’ waiting rooms.
Meade competed in the Miss America Pageant 1992. She is the recipient of two regional Emmy Awards and in 2005 was inducted into the Ohio Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
From the field of talent, Jason La Padura, is a casting executive behind Disney Channel’s phenomena, “High School Musical.” He is currently casting NBC’s hit ‘Heroes,” and CBC’s “Cane.” La Padura received the Media Access award from the State of California for his work promoting the profile of performers with disability. He was nominated for Emmy awards for “High School Musical” and the NBC series, “American Dreams.”
Other pageant judges included Sarah Ivens, editor-in-chief of OK! magazine, a leading celebrity news publication; Kim Lyons, star of NBC’s “Biggest Loser,” and James Arthur Ray, president and CEO of James Ray International, a multi-million dollar company dedicated to teaching people how to create wealth. And Trace Ayala, international fashion designer, was also a judge.
This year’s winner of the pageant was Kirsten Haglund of Minnesota.
Scenic San Diego
More than ever, people are making time to take four to seven day cruises. Cruising is a part of life that no one should let slip by. There are also dining cruises, such as the San Diego Harbor cruises for couples, singles and families when they can only take a few hours out for a day or evening outing. The setting for these cruise are spectacular, especially that of the skyline of San Diego. This is one of the most breathtaking dinner cruises I’ve ever experienced. San Diego Harbor Excursions have been serving the area since 1915. The staff and service is dependable and friendly, plus they have six ships serving the San Diego Bay. The Spirit of San Diego, the ship I was on, holds about 250 people, and they offer a variety of cruise packages from $37.50 for children 4-12, up to $62.50 per adult. This includes a dinner menu selection of entrees, such as Iron Steak, Grilled Tenderloins, Herb Grilled Chicken, Dungeness Crab Stuffed in Pacific Snapper. They do offer vegetarian dishes. Also, they offer complimentary champagne.
For a breathtaking view of the Skyline of San Diego, including its naval shipyards. I highly recommend taking some leisure time to experience San Diego Harbor Excursions or consider holding your special events, weddings, graduations and other occasions aboard. As the company and others say, it’s “an unforgettable dining experience on San Diego Bay.”
By just calling (619) 234-4111 or (800) 44-CRUISE. For more information visit www.sdhe.com.
My book of poetry entitled "Messages" was inspired by my dear friends C.J. Cansler along with Victoria Boone and Beryl Warren.
The group of poems along with some beautiful photographs are to inspire the reader.