Anniversary event will honor victims of Pulse massacre

This memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was set up at Orlando’s Lake Eola Park last June. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

ORLANDO – A little more than a year after a devastating shooting massacre at a gay nightclub claimed the lives of 49 people, the City of Orlando and Orange County Government will organize a special event to bring the community together in remembrance of the victims.
Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness will begin with a dedication ceremony on Monday, June 12 at the Orange County Regional History Center in downtown Orlando. This event, which the city and county governments are doing in collaboration with Pulse, the nightclub that was the scene of the deadly shooting, will start with a formal dedication to the memory and honor of the 49 innocent lives taken at Pulse.
There will also be a strong spiritual element to the day’s events.
The office of Mayor Buddy Dyer also noted that this event “reaffirms the community’s commitment to survivors and loved ones, as well as recognizes the global compassion and love displayed in the wake of the tragedy.”
On June 12 2016, a 29-year-old security guard from South Florida, Omar Mateen, went to Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando’s Sodo neighborhood, and shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 others. Mateen was shot and killed by Orlando Police Department officers after a three-hour standoff. Continue reading

Some thoughts on ghosts in historic places

The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast and Museum is at 92 Second St. in downtown Fall River. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

On Oct. 11, 1998, I started writing a diary. I continued adding to it until Oct. 10, 2002.
At the time, I was living in a beautiful and historic Colonial house in Swansea, Massachusetts, built in 1889, and located on a pond.
I stopped adding to the diary only because I knew that in April 2002, I would be moving to Orlando, following the lead that my sister and her family made in 1999. I had sold the Colonial and was packing up to say goodbye to Massachusetts, the state I was born in.
The diary was not a daily recollection of my job, home life, family, or private thoughts about world events. I started writing it, sporadically, for a very different reason: I had come to conclude that the house was haunted, so I began writing down the eerie, spooky incidents happening inside those walls.
Pictures falling off a wall, even though they were securely attached to a nail. Loud banging in our basement, with no indication of what it was when we went to investigate. One of my cats staring down a dark hallway, and suddenly all the fur on her back standing up — and there’s nothing there. This happened over and over again.
The house, by the way, was right across the street from a graveyard.
Check out this entry from Thursday, Feb. 17, 2000: Continue reading

Freeline Media Review: The “It’s a Wonderful Life” revival

The Hollywood classic "It's a Wonderful Life' is a lot more relevant to today's world than some people might think.

The Hollywood classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a lot more relevant to today’s world than some people might think.

There’s no small irony in the fact that when the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” premiered on Dec. 20, 1946, it drew mixed reviews, did not do particularly well at the box office, and would lose the Best Picture Academy Award to “The Best Years of Our Lives.” That, in Hollywood’s view, is a movie slated to quickly be forgotten.
Of course, that’s not at all what happened, and the movie’s current status as one of the greatest films of all time (it was preserved in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress) owes much to the fact that the movie became a staple on television around Christmas time starting in the 1970s. The movie got a second life, and today, with so many cable channels available, it’s impossible not to find it playing numerous times this month – as I discovered several nights ago. Lying on my couch flicking channels, I came to the RKO Motion Pictures logo, and then the start of the movie. I put down the remote and started watching a movie I had seen countless times in the past decades, and wondered if it truly would hold up. Continue reading

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