Art and Literature

Entries about creativity in all its forms, plus original creative material.

Dan Seals, Pleasant Grove youth who grew up to be music star, dies at 61

Dan Seals

Dan Seals, the kid from Pleasant Grove who emerged as a country music star after performing as one-half of the top 40 hit machine known as England Dan & John Ford Coley, died Wednesday night from complications of lymphoma.

Seals, 61, was born in West Texas but moved to Dallas as a teenager. He graduated from Samuell High School in Pleasant Grove in 1966. He and classmate John Colley, who later changed the spelling of his last name to Coley, formed a group with three other Samuell students called the Playboys Five. That became Theze Few, which morphed into the legendary Dallas high school band Southwest F.O.B.

{josquote}If you want to honor Dan you should oppose bigotry, intolerance and prejudice.{/josquote}

"We were very popular in the late 1960s," Coley, 60, said Thursday from his home in Nashville, Tenn., where Seals also lived. "We even opened for Led Zeppelin and Three Dog Night, and remember, we were just high school kids."

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Country/pop star Dan Seals made his own path
“england” dan seals dies at 61

Dan Seals, country-music star, dies at 61

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Sad news for country music fans: Daniel Wayland Seals, the Texas-born, CMA-award-winning singer who piled up 11 No. 1 songs between 1985 and 1990, passed away yesterday after a battle with mantle cell lymphoma. Initially known to pop fans as the "England Dan" half of England Dan and John Ford Coley, who had a No. 2 single in 1976 with the soft-rocking classic "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," he went on to forge an impressive solo career in Nashville.

Over 16 studio albums, the gentle, bearded crooner in the ten-gallon hat produced some 20 hits, including "Bop," the duet "Meet Me In Montana" with Marie Osmond," "Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)" and "You Still Move Me." Music clearly runs in the family: Older brother Jim was in Seals & Crofts, and several cousins are well-known country singers and songwriters. Seals' final studio album, Make It Home, was released in 2002. Messages of condolence are being forwarded to his family at

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Complete interview with Bart Ehrman (extract)

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On March 9, 2009, Indy reporter Fiona Morgan sat down with Bart Ehrman, UNC's James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, to discuss his latest book, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them).

Do people contact you, e-mail or send you letters, and say, I really wish I'd known this? Do they say they're going through some doubt themselves? Do you get personal response like that?

Tons. Just before you came, I read about six letters from people. Here's one from a guy who had a very similar experience to what I had, went to Moody Bible Institute and then went to a Presbyterian seminary and lost his faith and became an agnostic. And he's written me a four-page hand-written letter. He left his e-mail address. Frankly, I don't answer snail mail because I just don't have time, but I get dozens of e-mails every day and I answer just about every e-mail except for e-mails that are antagonistic I get a lot of people who have a similar spiritual journey who are interested in hearing somebody speak out about it. I get people who tell me they're sad to hear that I've lost my faith and they want me to change my mind. I get a lot of e-mails from people who agree with me, with what I say about the New Testament, but if I would just join their religion I wouldn't have these problems. Those people tend to be either Muslim or Mormon. [Laughs.] A couple days ago I got something from somebody who was Baha'i who thought I should join the Baha'i faith.

{josquote}A couple days ago I got something from somebody who was Baha'i who thought I should join the Baha'i faith.{/josquote}

They're welcoming you with open arms.

I think it's a free world. They're welcome to convert me. I'm welcome to convert them.

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Who Am I?

Bonhoeffer in the courtyard of Tegel prison (summer 1944)
Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat,
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, 0 God, I am Thine!

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Profile: Iranian-American Artist Mona Shomali

Fear of Choice


Mona Shomali was born in Los Angeles California in the year 1979, the same year of the Iranian Revolution. While pregnant, her mother fled Iran out of fear of persecution for her non-Muslim religion (Bahai Faith), followed months later by her father. In her early years, she was raised almost exclusively with the Iranian Diaspora, not learning English till her first day of kindergarten. Eventually, the young family moved to the San Francisco bay area. Mona was raised in the east bay, attended university in Santa Cruz, and lived and worked in San Francisco where she met her husband on the N Judah train. A few years later, she moved to New York with her husband and completed a Masters program at NYU. Currently, Mona lives in Manhattan with her husband, their two cats and many plants.

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