Waltz time for Bernd/Lenny
|Happy 15h Birthday to Bernd's new name!|
(Click on pic to enlarge)
Today on this Whirled, Dear Ones, we are celebrating! We are here to celebrate the momentous Quinceañera -- fifteenth birthday -- of the former Bernd Klein's new legal name: Leonard Coldwell. Bernd was apparently using this moniker as an "artist's name," or Künstlername, for years in his homeland of Germany, but he became "known legally only as Leonard Coldwell" by order of a court in the great state of Virginia, USA, on June 25, 1998.
It was perhaps symbolic of the beginning of a new life in his adopted country. He moved from Virginia to South Carolina in the summer of 2000, and a few years later -- I don't know the exact date, and am too lazy to research it, but I believe it had to have been some time between 2002 and 2007 -- he became a naturalized US citizen, reportedly with the help of a few notorious South Carolina Republican politicians such as Joe Wilson and Lindsey Graham. (I've said it before and will say it again: the fact that Coldwell was able to become a US citizen shows that the US is definitely in need of immigration reform. For one thing, Coldwell the proud American citizen has actually spent a great deal of time undermining the US by telling people they don't have to obey laws, and preaching that if they vote or participate at all in the political process, they're fools. See, for instance, this post, and this one (scroll down to "And let's not even get into the fear-mongering...").)
At any rate, Coldwell has boasted numerous times about being friends with, and loved and endorsed by, both Wilson and Graham. More recently, however, he has kind of thrown Graham under the bus, by copying and pasting a SHTFplan.com article that is critical of Graham's apparent police-state leanings.
I've never really learned the exact reason that Bernd Klein became Leonard Coldwell -- or for that matter, exactly why he left Germany -- though I have heard several stories. What does seem clear is that Bernd Klein is not the only other name Lenny has used. He also used the name Bernd Witchner on his German passport; I'm told he borrowed that name from a former wife. I have no idea if that is true, or if he still uses the name Witchner on his passport or on any other records in the US or abroad. But he did use it at one time, according to this document, which was initiated in September of 1998, when Bernd's new legal name was a mere infant of three months. Germany is kind of weird about names and name changes, so back when he was still Bernd, he may have been within his legal rights to use the name Witchner if he was married to a Witchner. But you do have to sort of wonder why he didn't use the name consistently in his everyday life.
Anyway. We are observing this occasion, the fifteenth anniversary of Bernd's legal name change, with a lovely Latin American tradition because, alas, the Fatherland appears to have no special celebration for fifteenth birthdays or anniversaries. I realize we are mixing cultures here, but isn't that, after all, what Bernd/Leonard's adopted homeland is all about? The US is a melting pot, or so I've heard. So a Quinceañera it is!
The Quinceañera -- pronounced KEEN-say-ahn-YEH-ra -- is a lovely tradition, usually held for girls on their fifteenth birthday. It's kind of like a Sweet Sixteen party, but a year early. Marking a young girl's passage into womanhood, it is a time when the honoree is truly a princess-for-a-day. Done properly, a Quinceañera is nearly as elaborate (and expensive) as a wedding, and some girls do choose a white wedding-ish gown for their special day.
In fact, a few months ago at my favorite country auction, there was a Quinceañera doll on the block. More than likely she was intended as a table centerpiece for a Quinceañera party. (Yes, I know I've told this story before on Facebook and possibly here as well, but I'm afraid you'll have to hear it again.) At first I thought the little figure to be a bride doll, because she was decked in a gorgeous white gown. But then I looked at the sash the doll was wearing, which read, "Mis Quince Años." (Mis Quince años (pr. MEES KEEN-say AHN-yos) literally translates to "My Fifteen Years," and is of course a reference to one's fifteenth birthday.)
I thought nothing more about it till much later on when, half asleep, I heard the twangy, Texas-accented voice of the obviously Spanish-impaired auction floor assistant holler out:
"Miss Quint's anus!"
Startled into full wakefulness, I looked up and saw that he was holding the Mis Quince Años doll high up in the air. There were a few shocked faces in the audience; no one who was paying attention knew quite what to make of it. But others, like me, were trying heroically to suppress their mirth. Said the dapper British auctioneer, who was clearly trying to stifle his laughter, "Um, what was that again?"
"Miss Quint's anus!"
A few in the audience tittered. Confused, the poor floor guy said, "Hey, don't blame me. That's what it says on the doll's ribbon!"
Once the confusion was cleared up, the proceedings continued, but alas, there were no buyers for Miss Quint or her anus. I kind of felt sorry for both of them.
But I digress. It's time to party, amigos! I've earned the right to do so because I have to tell you, it has not been easy being a Quinceañera planner. Shopping for the gown, for instance, was no easy task. There were so many breathtaking varieties from which to choose! White seemed dreadfully inappropriate, so that was out, but I couldn't decide between two of Bernd/Leonard's favorite colors, pink and aqua. After long minutes of agonized mulling, I chose a lovely number that is pink and aqua, set off by a glitzy little tiara. I think it really brings out the shine in Lenny's forehead.
But my trials were not over once the gown and tiara were chosen. When I was creating the cheesy commemorative graphic, my graphics app, CorelDraw (I know, I'm a rebel) crashed several times. Each time it did, I could hear my computer making little puking noises, kind of like the ones Gollum makes in Lord of the Rings, but with something that sounded more like, "Bernd! It Bernd us, Precious!" I think the problem was that the textured pink-striped bitmap in the frame takes up a lot of memory, for some reason. (Also, you should see the way I work when I am creating something; I clutter my Corel desktop with all sorts of miscellaneous memory-hogging elements. It drives Ron nuts, but that's the way I roll.)
But I soldiered on. I wasn't going to disappoint Bernd's new name by not having a virtual party in its honor. (Never mind that a name can't actually wear a gown; the face of a little Teutonic twerp who owns the name can be crudely Corel Photo-Painted into a pic of the gown.) I overcame the technical challenges, knowing that you simply cannot have a virtual party on my Whirled without a cheesy commemorative graphic. A video would possibly be better, but I don't do vids, so this will have to suffice. (By the way, I redacted Bernd's mommy's maiden name from the graphic, because, as Bernie O'Mahony mentioned on GINtruth.com recently, Lenny's alter ego Rudi Kauder gets really, really mad and tends to threaten me with violence when I mention Mommy.)
What about refrescos? Well, I can't bake worth a darn, and Ron is busy, so I decided to skip the cake. I hope y'all don't mind. You are certainly welcome to bake your own cake, or pies, or Very Special Brownies, or other sweetmeats as you wish. And I know some of you will be popping some popcorn and pouring yourself a few cold cervezas. It's up to you. After all, it's your party too!
I didn't bother with balloons and decorations either because I am lazy, but here are some good ideas, with lots and lots of pink:
I knew we needed music for our celebration, and that was easy. For the traditional choreographed Quinceañera waltz, I chose a contemporary favorite.
The song that is playing is Tiempo de Vals (Waltz Time) by Chayanne.
If you want the English translation to the lyrics, try this link: http://lyricstranslate.com/en/tiempo-de-vals-waltz-time.html
Like so many things, the song's lyrics lose something in the translation... just like this German document, when it gets translated into English by Google. But the meaning is fairly clear. You should, of course, feel free to go surfing all over the Tubes for more Quinceañera waltzes. But don't get carried away, lest you become burned out on "Tiempo de Vals."
I leave you for now, Dear Ones, with yet another waltz (since we're already en tiempo de vals anyway): an oldie but goody, Joan Baez' "Brand New Tennessee Waltz," which at least is culturally closer to the former Bernd's adopted region than all of those lovely Latino themes above.
I have been a fan of this song for years, and the last verse never fails to choke me up.
So let all of your passionate violinsMaybe I messed up a little on some of those lyrics. But it's quite a lovely tune anyway, don't you think?
Play a tune for a Germany kid
Who's feeling like leaving another land
With no place to go if he did
'Cause they'll catch you wherever you're hid