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Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House April 13 2014

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Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House April 13 2014

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Apr 18 2014, 19:36

Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House


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Nick Clooney visited Ripley on Sunday to speak at the annual meeting of the John P. Parker Historical Society.

RIPLEY — Journalist Nick Clooney brought his unique fusion of education and entertainment to the area Sunday afternoon as he spoke to an audience at the John P. Parker House about modern day heroes for the John P. Parker Historical Society’s annual meeting.


The broadcaster, historian, human rights advocate, and actor is also the society’s Giving Campaign Honorary Chairman for 2014.

Although known for his prestigious work in the journalism field, Clooney, 80, is also known for his sense of humor and for being the father of two-time Academy Award-winning actor George Clooney — elements he used to break the ice by telling a comical story in which the nation was led to believe he was dead following a news station’s flub on live TV.

“They were discussing celebrities’ parents and they started talking about my wife and myself on the air,” Clooney said, gearing up for the climax. “One of the women said, ‘George? No, his parents are dead.’ And then the weather man — trying to be helpful — came up and said, ‘No, Nick’s dead, but she’s still alive!’ That’s the only time I have ever felt akin to Mark Twain.”

The room erupted in laughter at the embarrassing error.

“My wife, Nina, is not here,” Clooney said. “She is in Washington, D.C. having a girls’ weekend with three wonderful professors from American University in Washington where I taught for a few years, and we have some great friends up there. So those four are having a fine time in Washington while I’m here eating frozen dinners.”

Clooney then segued into a more serious discussion.

“The real reason she’s there is to honor Angie Chuang, a young reporter-turned-professor publishing her first book,” Clooney explained.

Chuang recently published The Four Words for Home: A Memoir of Two Families, which tells the story of what happened when two immigrant families — one Afghani and one Taiwanese — cross paths in post-Sept. 11 America.

He then discussed the days leading up to his visit to Ripley, and how it tied into his wife’s visit, as well as Chuang’s book.

Just two days before, on April 11, Clooney visited Xavier University to introduce Robert Edsel, the author of the trilogy which became the books and motion picture, The Monuments Men.”

“It’s a remarkable story that my son, George, brought to film this year,” Clooney said. “Now I am here with you, you who refuse to let John P. Parker be forgotten. You who say in Arthur Miller’s immortal words, ‘Attention must be paid.’ Attention must be paid to John Parker.”

Clooney recounted his previous evening, during which he went back and forth deciding how to connect the dots of the heroes in his stories to comprise Sunday’s discussion. He had several stories to tell: the reporter-turned-author, the story of the “Monuments Men” and even the stories of local heroes such as John Parker and George Catlett Marshall.

“The young reporter-turned-teacher-turned-author, Chuang, produced a series of articles by doing something remarkable,” Clooney said. “She went to Afghanistan, where her burka was her best friend and protector and she tried to tell us, her readers, what it might be like to be a woman in the land ruled by the Taliban.”


Chuang spent six weeks in the war-torn region and detailed her experiences.

“Her generous gift of her talent and her courage allowed us, the ones who are able to read what she wrote, [to see] a sliver of light into and a light out of a very dark place,” Clooney said. “Let’s think about that.”


Chuang: a modern day hero who educated the literate on modern day cultures, controversies, and human rights issues, reinforcing the importance of chronicling the human experience.

The term “Monuments Men” refers to a group of approximately 345 men and women from 13 countries who comprised the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives subcomission during World War II. Many of them were artists, art historians, museum curators, museum directors, architects, and educators who worked together to protect monuments and cultural treasures from the destruction of the war. They have been praised for several accomplishments, specifically for returning more than five million cultural items after the war stolen by Nazi Germany.

“The ‘Monuments Men,’ very unlikely heroes,” Clooney said. “This became a near obsession of Robert Edsel over a decade — more than a decade, actually — and when I introduced him Friday I said I was reminded of a phrase that was used several times by Winston Churchill when he described public policy instituted by the United States: that he thought it so generous, and generous in its scale, that it was unprecedented in human history. Those are his words. That’s what he said: never had nations been so generous.”

The public policy Churchill spoke of was the Marshall Plan, named after George Catlett Marshall.

Marshall was an American soldier who became well known during World War II for his leadership roles, specifically for being the chief military adviser to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was an American initiative — and rescue program — to help European countries rebuild their economies and preserve their culture following the war to prevent the possible spread of Soviet communism.

Historical articles noting Churchill’s views on the war quote the foreign leader using a particular word to describe the effects of the policy, a word which Clooney had never heard before, but that he now values: “unsordid,” meaning commendable, noble, or selfless.

“He said they were the most unsordid acts ever untaken by a great nation,” Clooney recalled. “Unsordid. I like that. Churchill applied that word to many things … And then most importantly, perhaps, he applied that ‘unsordid’ word in reference to the United States, to the Marshall Plan.”

Chuang: unsordid. The Marshall Plan: unsordid.

“Unsordid indeed,” Clooney said. “The act which in fact made inevitable the European Union, had saved Western Europe, created NATO, and saved a certain kind of civilization: unsordid. All of those acts that I talked about certainly contained some elements of enlightened self interests for us, of the United States. We derived something from them, too.”

Clooney then compared the effects of the ‘unsordid’ Marshall Plan and post-war brotherhood to the story behind the “Monuments Men.”

“The same cannot be said of the accomplishments of the ‘Monuments Men’ — there was nothing in it for us — nothing at all except the salvation of centuries of culture that we all rely on to define us, that were irreplaceable,” Clooney said. “And after some early missteps during the war, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George Catlett Marshall, and Dwight David Eisenhower eventually joined like British Commanders, made it their fixed purpose, and not just their fixed purpose but their specific order: they ordered the men in their charge to save as much of the culture of the world even as the bullets were still flying, and then when hostilities ended, to return these treasures to their rightful owners. That is exactly what they did.”

Unsordid.

“The allies, led by the United States of America, repealed the ancient barbarous law ‘to the victor belongs the spoils,’” Clooney said. “We should remember that. We should remember the men who were responsible for that, and the boys who put their lives on the line for that: for a painting, or a sculpture, for a Torah, for a Bible. We should remember that. Attention should be paid. In the time in which we now live, wonderful times, with our checkered, existential age of irony, we seem to have lost the ability to feel good about ourselves sometimes …We have done some very good things that have made the world better. We should remember that, too.”

Clooney then thanked the audience, not for attending, but for following in the same footsteps of people like Chuang and the “Monuments Men,” who perform selfless acts for the sake of preserving cultural history.

“So as I stared at the wall last night missing my wife and supper, hugging my dog, I thought about the woman publishing her first book and the successful author agonizing over each word of her latest creation,” Clooney said, as the audience laughed, then listened again. “And still another author raging about a defining American moment, furious that it might be lost on an emergent, apathetic generation, adamant that that would not happen. And finally you, just as furious — quieter, but just as furious — just as adamant that we not forget. Authors too, all of you, writing by your presence. Writing your chapter of the story that truly began when a tall redhead sat at a Philadelphia desk and put down the words ‘when in the course of human events…’”

Clooney said he regrets very few moments of his 80 years, but that he does mourn the loss of some words which have gone out of fashion during his lifetime.

“Gallantry is one,” Clooney said. “You never hear that word and yet there are times and people for which no other word will serve them: those I have spoken of today. Angie is gallant…Robert and the ‘Monuments Men’ are gallant. And so I submit, are you?”

For more information about the John P. Parker House visit [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Last edited by LornaDoone on Sat Apr 19 2014, 14:49; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added date of speech)

Nicky80
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Re: Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House April 13 2014

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Apr 18 2014, 20:00

The sentence he said is so true sometimes

"we seem to have lost the ability to feel good about ourselves sometimes"

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Re: Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House April 13 2014

Post by party animal - not! on Fri Apr 18 2014, 20:08

What an orator Nick Clooney is...........!

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Re: Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House April 13 2014

Post by it's me on Sat Apr 19 2014, 00:28

Nicky80 wrote:The sentence he said is so true sometimes

"we seem to have lost the ability to feel good about ourselves sometimes"


maybe
maybe not


thanks!!! great to know they are fine  Thumbs up!

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Re: Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House April 13 2014

Post by melbert on Sat Apr 19 2014, 01:49

Nick doing what Nick does best!

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Re: Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House April 13 2014

Post by Mazy on Sat Apr 19 2014, 02:41

Thank you Nicky so so much for posting that article I truly enjoyed reading it. Also I hope by now Nina is back at home with Nick so he is not lonely. God bless them both.xxx

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Re: Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House April 13 2014

Post by it's me on Sat Apr 19 2014, 08:45

they are so sweet Very Happy

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Re: Nick Clooney visits John P. Parker House April 13 2014

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