I am well on my way to becoming a poor man Philanthropist like my happy Polish Uncle Joe
I had two Uncles on different sides of the family, both named Joe, One was wealthy and wise and tighter with his money than a locked down Vise grips. He once said to me I never helped you or my son and both of you became very successful.
He actually did help me in the process of helping himself .He formed a Chapter S corporation to divert fund into an account that would fund my painting and travel. I would put all the art I created in that period away and then would have an exhibition later and share the money gained by sales.
It enabled me to go to England and paint the Cornwall coast and travel down the pathways of the Impressionist. I am thankful for that introduction but felt like a horse in a stable owned by some one else. Artist if they are ladies are like butterflies and have to be free, Men are like wild stallions and need their personal freedom also. I paid him back as I was successful to begin with and did not think it was a good idea to interrupt my consistent progress remove my work from the public eye.
I think one of the reason he suggested that to me was he tried to have some kind of deal with Dustin Hoffman who was somehow related to his second wife. Hoffman visited their New York apartment while dressed like the down and out bum in Midnight Cowboy they were filming in New York. City at the time. The door man at first would not let Dustin Hoffman in as he looked like a down and out vagrant. I guess Dustin appreciated his personal freedom also
Joe said My brother Mike helped his children and they never amounted to that much. In reality Mike's children turned out well as one was a professor of philosophy and another worked in Civic Government. They contributed love to society and their families in way that is not to be judged by income acquired and stored but by giving back to the world. Do not let the only legacy you leave be financial wealth that your surviving relatives can fight over.
My Polish Uncle Joe was a poor man Philanthropist. He inspired that term. He was a wonderful giving person that helped people in need constantly. He left this world with little more than he had at birth. His Epitaph may very well be. I lived to Give and Gave from the Heart. I am working on that form of lifestyle myself and if I earn the right to have that same quote inscribed somewhere,
It can be on a piece of Driftwood that my kids can throw in the sea along with my ashes when it is time! If Chris my surfing son was around , put my ashes in a card board box and set it on his surfboard. He could paddle out to sea and dump me in the deep to let the ocean currents carry my ashes to some tropic island hopefully. My son Jon who is taking up surfing could also do it as I intend to be around for awhile. In time he will be an excellent surfer like his brother. They would do me a special favor to share a bottle of Mt. Gay rum with their and my friends and leave a shot in the bottle and put some of my ashes in with it. add some sand from the beach and a little salt water which is my holy water. leave some air in so it can float away on it journey. May it drift ashore on some deserted Tropic Island beach.
I have a track record of making financial sacrifices to help those in need. They are also reflected in the songs that I write honestly and the inspirational spirituals I write to help others in their need. They can be downloaded free from my home page and I give free CDs out to people I sing to in my gallery, To Nurses, Nurse Aids and Doctors at Chomp to patients at hospice, and VA Monterey Clinics, volunteers and Doctors and Nurses. and last week at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto. . I have given out many to people who are ill and others who lost parents and love ones. A number of my financial gifts and gifts of song and CDs go back to the last verse of my Heaven's Gate Poem.
There is a lesson found in gardens where natural order reigns,
Father Ed from Nigeria, Africa who I gave the painting " The Prince of Peace, Man In Black" I wrote a song called Man in Black while working on the painting. I told Father Ed that I am not sure why but I think you should have this painting which was a Peace Painting for your Church in Africa. I was surprised later when He told me the name of his Church, It was St. Patrick which is the name of a church where I became an alter Boy in Glen Cove L. I., New York.
I had some good friends who were sisters in a religious Order, M M M, Medical Missionaries of Mary. They were an Irish order Who worked in Africa and other areas of the world that needed health Care. When new Nuns would come from Ireland, they would bring them to My gallery in Gloucester and I would take them out for a lobster dinner. I in turn would take my Mom over to their convent for dinner.
One evening The nuns and I were playing guitar and singing when this very loud Hard Rock music blared through the Air. I asked what is that? They told me a group called the D D D, The Dedicated Disciples of the Devil moved next door to the M M M. Convent. Earlier I gave one of their Nuns whom I met in Carmel That I first met in my gallery o tI gave one who I met in Carmel a painting for their Mother House in Winchester, Mass. On one of our singing get sessions I taught them My Family of Man song. I thought how it might be a pleasant surprise if I were in Africa and I hear some people singing it there.
$ 2300 to Oklahoma City's Children's fund.
$ 1000 dollars to the United Nation Children's Aids fund.
$ 4000 to a church in Japan KOBE Earth Quake relief.
$ Funds for local Flood and Earth Quake relief
$ 2250 to St. Monica's in LA Quake relief.
$ Funds for Church Burning in the South
Helping a PTSD Gulf War Veteran and wife
James and kelly Simpson from West Virginia with my spontaneous Gift
There is more about them in my song section. They were the inspiration for some of the lines in my Johnny Cash song I wrote during the Bush reign.
If Johnny Cash came back today I wonder what he would sing about , I wonder what he would say,
What the hell's going on. What the hell went wrong
This couple were In My Song section under Johnny Cash song is a picture of a young W.Va. Veteran James Simpson a veteran of the first Gulf War suffering with Gulf war syndrome and his wife Kelly who stayed with me awhile, Even gave them a $700 Bleich Master touch of Seine River they loved. Picture of them is from my home page in my mp3 section on my Johnny Cash song !
Legion of Honor Scholarships
I developed an Idea of Cities adopting the educational responsibility of Children whose parents made the supreme sacrifice in the first Gulf War. This is what I was actively involved in during and after the First Gulf War. I was promoting the idea of Cities adopting the educational responsibility of Kids whose parents were lost in that war, and there were not that many. I know for a fact that at least two cities did adopt the educational responsibility of Kids who were lost in that war. On the back page if you can enlarge it has ideas that could be relevant today.
Behind my $ 1300 donation to the Marine scholarship is a story about someone from Ft. Ord who was killed clearing bombs . He had two wives One who he met in Germany who divorced him after being in the states for while and another who was Puerto Rican like himself, . and children by both of them. They were in conflict about his Insurance. They had initially received approximately $ 15000 from the public but that stopped almost immediately. I offered to help them raise money for their children's education. I offered to help them if the money would be for education. I went to a provost marshal meeting at Ft. Ord with them and their families. They were adamant that they wanted to use the money any way that they saw fit. The Puerto Rican wife brother was there and he said what do they need an education for . They can join the Army and become a sergeant like me. I answered if they have an education they can become an officer.
I gave the $1300. I had to contribute to the Marine scholar ship fund that I was recommending as a wonderful support system for Veterans kids. to the Marine scholarship funds in memory of my Dad who was missing In Action. Bear in mind It was a lot of money to my family as we did not have that much at that time. The picture below is David Maupin who was Missing in action in Iraq.
$900 to Katrina Hurricane relief and said I will do a large painting for New Orleans Health problem really got in the way.
In reference to the above when I acquired MSRA Staph at CHOMP in June of 07 and I knew Staph has killed more people than AIDS in America, I made arrangement for the 5 ft. by 5 ft largest painting in the gallery and a painting I loved to be sent. to New Orleans as I was feeling so bad that I thought that I may die. and wanted to fulfill a personal pledge. I have sold my 4 by 5 ft paintings for $38000.
$1000 for educational purposes to Injured Soldier to help him become Surgeon
$ 1000 injured former 1st Lt. Eddie Rebrooke to help him become a surgeon. He was the Lt. who the army forced to pay $700 to for the vest they cut off his injured body while be air lifted out of a combat zone. That will never happen again because of the anger of Americans how Veterans and soldier were ill treated. This was done at a time that as usual I was in debt. I always have seemed to be provided for in my own moments of need and try to do the same for others when I can.
Over the 35 years and more that I have been in business in Carmel I contributed countless art works for local fundraising in schools and churches I taught art and art appreciation free at local schools from Bay school to the Carmel Mission School, High School and in between in Carmel and Pacific Grove. I worked on my largest work of art for Carmel HS Sober Grad night . It covered one whole back wall another on the side. wall. My Friend Miguel Dominges was my co- worker and other parents. While teaching for free at the Mission, I would have parents bring their kids over to my studio for additional help and would even supply them with tubes paint, brushes etc. to take home. Painting materials are expensive. Now I am finding myself short of paint, so I write more.
I enjoyed helping my wife coach the Wooden Horse Little league team.
Over $38,000 dollar worth of my Point Lobos art for world leaders who attended NATO conferences in Memory of my Dad who was missing in action in World war two in the North Atlantic. It took me close to a month to prepare these. I inscribed each one with my quote that Sec. Defense Weinburger approved. I have a silver plate from Pentagon and personal letters from Weinburger and President Reagan thanking me for the beautiful work, what I inscribed and why I did it!.
During the 1991 Desert War I encouraged cities to adopt the educational responsibilities of children whose parents were lost in that war. At least two cities did and more than likely more We should do the same thing for veterans and their families in this war.
After a Past California natural disaster, I addressed the Carmel Business Association which I was a member of how we could give back by helping other California communities in need due to natural disasters. I did not get to far. I remember experiencing a strong headache while speaking. I had a sense of negative energy to my suggestion.
Later I addressed the Board of the Carmel Gallery Alliance about coming to the aid of LA quake relief. They said their plate was too full, and said You do it which meant doing it my self without support or endorsement and do not use the name of the Gallery Alliance. Well with great effort I had 17 galleries involved in independent silent auctions for that Purpose. Most of them were artist galleries, I sent St. Monica's in LA $2250 The commercial galleries had next to nothing to do with it. to do it. Many of these artist have been forced out of business unable to compete with Corporate Commercial Galleries. That has been Carmel's loss.
I designed a Memorial Service for the Challenger Crew with Father Dudah of the Mission. 10 Candles were lit for each astronaut. The Challenger 7 and Griffen, Chaffee and White who died on the launch pad. I stayed up all night and did a 30 by 36 memorial painting for the service and gave a talk to the parish about overcoming difficulties faced. That Painting is now in the collection of the Challenger foundation in Arlington VA.. I am a friend of some astronauts and attended a shuttle launch and an aborted California landing in the desert.
I sent the painting to the Senate Space Appropriation Committee and called it The Silent Lobbyist. I told them to hang it in their chambers while debating funding and than give it to the Challenger Foundation or the Kennedy Space center. Senator Inouye from Hawaii who I have communicated with in the past had Sen. Garn who has been into space present it to the Challenger Foundation. It is far more than a painting Memorial. It is a concept of Honoring Volunteers through out the world who accept the Challenge of Risk in Serving Mankind.
Some time my gifts are coupled with the songs and poems I donated a painting to Catholic Military.org and wrote a song about an evolving theme. while working on the painting painting the wings , Red ,White and Blue. In addition to soldiers, it became a song for any one who needed the extra care an angel can bring to some one in need of an angel praying for Soldiers. I wrote. In Care of an Angel, Let us raise our voice in prayer, both beautiful songs written for our troop's care and safety.
Oklahoma City Blast
The Oklahoma City Blast inspired a song If we but give their Spirits Wings, that I introduced and sang at a Children Memorial Oklahoma City Mass at the Carmel Mission. It was a Memorial Mass for the 19 children included in the 168 who died in the Oklahoma City Blast. That song restarted my song writing fervor. 19 Different children lit 19 candles in the memory of Children closer to their age at a service there I designed for them. Pull up Wings on my home page song section I raised $2300 from Heaven Gates Sales for their children fund.
I once asked our pastor, Father John's Permission to have my Free Spiritual CDS That I create that had please share do duplicate on label put in the Carmel Mission Church Library. I gave him one and said he could select the songs he wanted on the CD. I sing but my voice changes like the weather, sometime it on and sometimes it's gone. My voice is like the Mpnterey fog. I spoke to Father John about having a fund raiser at my Pebble Beach Studio for the benefit of Homeless women in Salinas. Health problems created at CHOMP forced me to close gallery as I was not well enough to run the gallery or work. BUt I still had an inventory of art.
He sent me a note just before he left on an European sojourn that we will get together with Deacon Dan another friend to see how my art work can possibly help "Woman Alive" A group that wants to establish a physical structure or home for homeless ladies in Salinas. I was hoping to find an Angel to do what Denzel Washington did for The Fisherhouse which provides for families of injured Veterans when relative are visiting them. He contributed the funds to build another structure for them.
There are American Catholics who could do that as a Legacy of Life and Hope gift. It would be a wonderful generous gift that would carry on as a tribute to the donor loving concern for other long after the donor has going his or her way.
It would be appropriate if the home was named after them.
To download this MP3 right click the song's title and select 'save target as'.
© Feb. 04, 2009 , 2008 George J. Bleich