EVERYONE HAD SLAVES

The essence of the closing monologue on Real Time with Bill Maher the other night was a rebuttal against “white people” being the villains of the world. Essentially diverting blame to all of humanity in general, he claimed white people may suck, sure, but so does everyone else. People are just horrible in general.

I kinda pretty much agree with that part. Take Texas, for example. Need I say more? Women charged with murder for abortion? Where were these righteous Texas lawmakers when fully realized human beings—Native Americans and Blacks and many others, not a clump of cells–were being erased from the earth? Where was the Texan uproar after George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight?

And what’s with book banning? Is everyone really that eager to rush back into the Dark Ages? Among the targets is an illustrated version of Anne Frank. Ironically, clueless students would miss out on Anne Frank reassuring us all that she believed, despite everything, that people were good inside. Whoa, somebody light the bonfire! God forbid that message ever gets out!

Unfortunately, Bill Maher and his writing staff were correct to say that, yes, we had slaves, but everyone had slaves. Disturbingly, surveys have shown that a large amount of students believe slavery was created in America. I don’t know why, though. What a strange perception. Surely teachers don’t begin teaching history starting from 1619 in the U.S.

But while slavery was practiced world-wide, I do think it’s a dangerous form of rationalism to try to diminish the type of slavery America practiced.  http://crab.rutgers.edu explains where skin color entered the picture along with the difference between the Colonies and the rest of the world succinctly:

By the 1400s and 1500s, the issue of color begins to enter the picture for Europeans, and gradually we get a new type of slavery based on race or color rather than religion. Once the African captive or the American Indian converts to Christianity, we can no longer use his “heathenism” as an excuse for this enslavement. It is at that point that apologists seized upon the difference of color and ancestry to justify the continuation of slavery.

In the Old World, the slave was a person with customary rights. They could marry. It was not always hereditary. In Moslem societies, a man would set free his children by a slave woman. Most often, a slave was like a house servant. Slaves could own property and have money.

The type of institution that developed in the New World was plantation slavery, and chattel slavery, in which the captives are worked in the fields from sunup to sundown. Chattel slaves were not thought of as people, but as objects, as property, like livestock. New World slaves had no rights. In the US they could not own or possess property. Families were broken up in forced sales.

And worst of all, slave masters sexually exploited slave women as concubines and did not acknowledge their children or set them free. This would have been unimaginable in African or Islamic (Moslem) culture.

The chattel slavery that evolved in the New World was an extreme institution that animalized and dehumanized (per David Brion Davis) the slave. This is why New World chattel and plantation slavery really cannot be equated with Old World slavery, and why it cannot be equated with African or Islamic or ancient slavery.

Just a thought. Just a reminder for when the topic comes up and someone blithely says, “Everyone had slavery.” On top of the fact that the ancient world is one thing. Recent history—a few hundred years ago—is pretty sad and unforgivable to have been shamelessly engaged in a brutal slave society.

I feel afraid for Texas and other states that seem intent on going backwards…and worried how many more will get pulled into their mire. People increasingly just don’t want to hear it, don’t want to know. But ignorance is binding, not freeing. What happened to the truth shall set you free?

Anne Frank thought that people were mostly good, even after everything she’d gone through. We’re all supposed to have a piece of divinity inside us, after all. But maybe it needs to be cared for, whatever “it” is–the light, the spark, the seed of grace–carefully attended to like a bonsai tree, and if it’s not, it shrinks and petrifies, frozen inside its desiccated landscape.

Thug Life

I wrote a blog a while back about Cats, Karma, and Christopher Walken, where Mr. Walken muses on the nature of cats:

“I like cats a lot. I’ve always liked cats. They’re great company. When they eat, they always leave a little bit at the bottom of the bowl. A dog will polish the bowl, but a cat always leaves a little bit. It’s like an offering.”

I think that’s true. But what about this video and what this cat is doing to this dog?

How does one balance the monastic behavior and offerings of cats with their shameless hooligan nature? (lol)

When Dying Feels like Living

I was dying. At least that’s what it felt like. We were moving downhill, but that didn’t matter. It took focus to not stagger or drag my feet. The backpack felt like it weighed 3,000 pounds, not 30. I had no moisture left in my mouth but an ocean streamed from every pore on my body.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about the time my husband and I (his idea) hiked down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River.

We started at 6 am and had intended to arrive at the bottom well before sunset.

We ogled the soaring cliffs. We peered into the dusty crevasses.

Due to the fact that I thought I’d been drinking enough water but it ended up had not been drinking enough water, I became dehydrated and we barely made it to the campsite before sunset.

Cue: earlier description of my zombie-like behavior.  At that point, I did not even have the strength to ogle anything anymore. I just focused on not stopping. Because we did not have $10,000 to helicopter me out of there.

One might be surprised to know, however, that there are cabins and a restaurant at the bottom of the Grand Canyon called Phantom Ranch. (And amazingly, flush toilets, too).

After we set up camp, we attended a hearty stew dinner that we’d signed up for months ahead with a room full of other guests, the majority of whom had ridden down to the bottom on mules.

In the morning, we headed back up, hiking halfway out, and camped. The next morning after that, we hiked the rest of the way to the top.

Fast forward to several years later.

A couple of years older but none the wiser, we fought to get into some kind of shape again, this time to summit Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 at nearly 15,000 feet.

The first attempt took place in the fall, around September. Thinking we’d skirt the crowds and still avoid winter, our gambling did not pay off, and we got stuck with dangerous snowy conditions at the higher elevations.

Please forgive my horrible edit job on my husband in this photo; he doesn’t want to appear anywhere in my blogs (or online) so I “deleted” his head. But that’s a shot of the narrow thruway bordered only by a thin wire railing that leads to the switchbacks that are higher up.

We had already slipped on the icy snow there, grabbing at the rail, our walking sticks useless, surprised by a sudden loud silence. What was the silence? Our hearts had stopped beating. At that point, due to the near-death experience and a descending hiker informing us of storms ahead, we abandoned ship and headed back down in defeat.

By the way, in this photo where I’m crouching on the snowy trail, what looks like little puddles of water way down below actually are huge, full-sized lakes.

At the camping site that night, the temperatures got to about -14 farenheit with frigid winds blasting through our tent. My husband and I, fully clothed, with our sleeping bags zipped together, clung to each other…and never once that night were we able to get warm.

Who had suggested avoiding the hiking crowds? What kind of nightmare was this? But man, oh, man, was it gorgeous.

Shoot forward eight months later, late spring.

We finally made it to the moon!

Seriously, though, the top of Mt. Whitney does look like the moon, doesn’t it? We had returned during a temperate month, avoided winter altogether, and finally made the summit.

The hike started early in the morning before sunrise and took all afternoon, with us returning to camp a little before sunset. We had small oxygen canisters that we never had to use because our training at Mt. Gorgornio (11,500) and Mr. Baldy (10,068) had helped immensely to acclimate our lungs and our bodies to altitude sickness. We passed many people on the way up gasping for air, unable to continue, some even vomiting. It was advised, once you acquired a headache, not to take Ibuprofen or Aleve and keep going. It was advised to turn around and go back.

It had been no easy feat. I remember one training period at Mr. Gorgonio where we were heading back to the car after camping and summiting the mountain. At some point, I realized I was making a weird sound that I couldn’t control. I was whimpering. Because every step I took felt like knives were slicing through my feet and straight into my bones. Knives made of lava and sprinkled with shards of glass. I could not believe how much my feet hurt. Could not believe it.

But then weirdly, amazingly, once we reached the car and started driving home, within ten to fifteen minutes, they were completely back to normal, as if nothing out of the ordinary had even happened.

Back on Whitney, we stared out across the stark moonscape into the vast horizon, humbled and staggered. We’d felt much the same in the Grand Canyon. The pain and suffering had been immense, but we didn’t regret it. We’ll never be able to experience those places in that way again, and the beauty that wasn’t ours became ours for a moment, having been so hard won, making it somehow more piercing. Elevated. Sublime.

THE WRATH OF CAAN

that’s Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame, screaming out his rage and frustration at his nemesis, Kahn Noonian Singh, played wonderfully by Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

But isn’t it also true that the Wrath of Khan and the wrath of James Caan, the actor, and all or most of Mr. Caan’s characters, stand as equals in the arena of rage and acrimony and violent entitlement?

In Star Trek II, Khan’s thirst for revenge against Captain Kirk, who exiled him to a planet out in the boonies, Ceta Alpha V, that could barely support life (at least in the movie version) knows no boundaries.  And when the chance finally arrives for him to seize vengeance, he does so with a ruthlessness for which Genghis Khan, the ancient warlord from whom he adopted his title, would no doubt squeeze out one or two proud tears.

I suppose it doesn’t matter that the initial crime of attempting to take over The Enterprise (among other things) got him there. Or that he, at least in the TV version, was even given a choice, and chose the planet himself. Those in dire need of court-appointed lifetime anger management courses never remember that part, do they?

Among some of the most famous and some of my favorite lines encapsulating James Caan’s career as an often criminal, sometimes just fiercely individualistic bad boy, but always, always angry, straight-talking tough guy are:

Frank:  My money in 24 hours, or you will wear your ass for a hat.

Cassandra: Tell me the truth. Have you ever… made it with one of us?

Detective Sykes: No… unless I got drunk and somebody didn’t tell me.

Cassandra: Mmm. A virgin! I find that very arousing. You sure you haven’t?

Detective Sykes: Um… there’s lots of things I haven’t done; that’s not real high on my list. No… you know… don’t take it personally. I’m a bigot.

Sonny: What’s the matter with you, huh? What am I going to do? Am I going to make that baby an orphan before he’s born?

The Big Man: Shoot them and burn down the town.

Daphne: You better do as you’re told, Jonathan. That’s all I have to say.

Jonathan: Are you threatening me?

People even invited Mr. Caan to share his now-famous tough guy persona in later years in several comedies. In this one, he’s a priest who used to be a boxer who takes offense to Adam Samberg and is about to kick the crap out of him:

Father McNally: My father…beat me every day with a rake. But you don’t hear me smack-talking him here in the house of the Lord.

And one of my absolutely favorite roles of his…ever. A hilarious holiday movie you should not miss!

Walter: I don’t care where you go. I don’t care that you’re an elf. I don’t care that you’re nuts. I don’t care that you’re my son. Get out of my life. Now!

Hey, even a cheerful, naive elf who comes out of nowhere, claiming he lives with Santa Claus at the North Pole and is also Walter’s (30-something) son, doesn’t escape the gruff attitude of one of Hollywood’s most beloved, brazen and macho individuals to grace the silver screen.

Even with all that, another line from Roller Ball summarizes, for me, the aura of James Caan’s persona. Though he and Khan share powerful wraths, a line of temperance often runs beneath James’ story lines:

Frank: It’s like people had a choice a long time ago between having all them nice things or freedom. Of course, they chose comfort.

Though his characters vibrate with anger, resentment, and charming thuggery, a little bit of this Roller Ball credo always seems to be tucked into every role he brings to life: the (generally) down-to-earth guy who sometimes gets pushed to the limit by circumstances, will always tell you the truth and will fight for the underdog and for what he believes to be true, regardless of his potential doom. CAAANNNN !

I know I’ve left out a bunch of his roles. Feel free to list any of your favorites.

WELCOME TO COSTCO

We finally saw Moonfall the other weekend, not expecting much. Which is always a good thing with Roland Emmerich, today’s Irwin Allen “Master of Disaster” type director. But the sighing and eye rolls and general contempt began almost immediately with hubby.

Even though Star Wars isn’t sci-fi but sci-fi fantasy, whenever Padme (Natalie Portman) hopped into a ship and appeared somewhere across space an hour or two later, I thought hubby would lose his religion. Similarly, in Moonfall, the astronauts’ two-hour trip to the moon was met with unmitigated disgust.

“It would take at least two weeks to get to the moon,” he informed me.

The shuttle flying through space, the vehicle’s rear lighting up with a warm glow from the engines, received a caustic, “The shuttle doesn’t have engines.” (They do at first, but later, evidently at this point, not anymore).

When a gigantic space rock smashed into the outside and the vehicle continued on with no apparent damage, I worried about epilepsy: that’s how far his eyes rolled into the back of his head. “Those things are basically made of tissue paper,” he told me, and released an embittered, bone-weary sigh.

Movies are for entertainment, right? And while our subconscious may know better, our frontal lobe will simply immediately decide, “It’s the future. Must be future stuff.” Most people just wanna have fun at the movies. Unlike my husband, most people didn’t write a letter to NASA as a kid. So, yeah…nerd alert!

When we re-watched Idiocracy the other day, though, the levels of stupidity there, along with some accurate crystal balling of our future (an idiotic president, for one, surrounding himself with a moronic, clueless administration) was simultaneously hilarious and horrifying.

There’s even a word for it, coined as far back as the 17th century: kakistocracy. A government run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. I’ve never heard that word before. Which makes me feel like I’m on the way to my own idiocracy!

And it’s not getting any better. Take a gander at today’s headlines. Sarah “What’s the difference between North and South Korea?” Palin is now running for Congress.

Here’s IMDB’s blurb for Mike Judge’s 2006 dystopian movie Idiocracy: Private Joe Bauers, a decisively average American, is selected as a guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program but is forgotten, awakening to a future so incredibly moronic he’s easily the most intelligent person alive.

In my personal opinion, being dumb, unambitious and/or overly greedy, and lacking any sense of propriety began, insidiously, with Married with Children in the ‘80s.

Although All in the Family preceded Married with Children by well over a decade, its MO included outrage against much of Archie Bunker’s behavior, along with discussions of morality conundrums and other various points of view.

By the time we’d reached Married with Children, laughter replaced ideals and high ratings eliminated any hope for principles or integrity. Just chug the Cola and guffaw. Still, we were kind of laughing at Al Bundy and his gang, not with them. Which made them sort of harmless, in a way, but still deceptively dangerous. Why?

Because they paved the way for reality TV. The real villain, in my opinion,  behind the adolescentization of America. And probably many other countries, but I haven’t researched those.

What’s included in adolescentization? (And yes, I made that word up) Chronological immaturity and emotional instability.  An inability to speak coherently (what Idiocracy calls “the low registers of English”) for example, without saying “like” every other word. Cursing as a substitution for thought or reason. Gossip as an art form viewed as a necessary lifestyle component. An inability to laugh at oneself due to an inability to perceive “the bigger picture,” resulting in “hurt” feelings and a distorted sense of righteousness leading to revenge boycotts and cancel culture.

But more than anything, adolescentization’s most disturbing outcome may be that we’re all laughing with reality TV stars, not at them. We’re identifying and commiserating with them. Man, was Andy Warhol right! But 15 minutes of fame was only the tip of the iceberg. Just ask The Real World (on for 29 years), Survivor (21 years) and Cops, on for a surprising 32 years—cancelled after George Floyd’s death, but slowly reinstated back to business as usual (surprise, surprise!) as of 2021.

Meanwhile, in the real world, one headline on nationalreview.com says: Why Johnny Still Can’t Read. And goes on to claim: Public schools are passing students who can’t read at any level — all to avoid blaming teachers, lawmakers, and bureaucrats.

The website calmatter.org says: Results from the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress show that only 32% of fourth graders are reading proficiently.

Even more disturbing: “Reading tests have shown that 10 percent of Minnesota`s public high school juniors and seniors are functionally illiterate….”

This was a headline in the Chicago Tribune…from 1987! Right about when…hmm…Married With Children unleashed its brand of slovenly, cackling humor into the world.

In the end, $$ says it all. $$ is the root of all evil. You can’t take it with you (off Earth), but you can’t live without $$ while you’re on Earth. If the US military budget is $782 billion while spending for education in total for all of the country is “upwards to” (their words, not mine, meaning, I assume, it probably often does not reach up quite that far) $79 billion….. well, need I say more?

Actually, there is one thing we could say. What the greeter at the entrance of a popular warehouse store says in Idiocracy.

A paradoxical confluence of fact combined with an abrupt left turn away from said fact, compounding the hypnagogic state we’re all slowly succumbing to, undermining reality by diverting our attention elsewhere with something that has nothing to do with the original thing, but hopefully muddying up the waters enough that, in the process, we forget what we were thinking, especially if it was contrary in any way to what the puppet masters desired. See? Any idea how I started out that sentence? Of course not!

“Welcome to CostCo. I love you.”

Hold The Dark

Hold the dark, but once you’re lost

home will never find you.

Loosen ties because the clock

will murder all behind you.

The strangest stars are silent still,

the ancient light is bending.

No message yet to warn of

your beginning or your ending.

Rhyme I wrote for one of hubby’s sci-fi screenplays involving deep space travel and time dilation, and you can bet your butt that nothing good comes of anyone in this tale.

Who would want to jump into a ship and travel at the speed of light out into the deep, dark depths of unexplored space? And then by the time you return home, if you do, everyone you know is super old or dead? Well, I thought it was a good story.

But writing screenplays, I’ve found (through hubby), is a little bit like deep space hardcore sci-fi where, by the time you’ve written two or three or five of them, you look up and eons have gone by, most everyone you know has disappeared, and you can never go home again.

Ah, well.


ANTEBELLUM…and beyond

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t yet seen Antebellum and plans to.

An enslaved Black woman in the Antebellum South hears a cell phone ringing.

A Black man visits his white girlfriend’s family and discovers brain transplants taking place in the house’s basement.

While the mechanisms of storytelling in both Liongate’s 2020 Antebellum and Jordan Peele’s 2017 Get Out were unusual and intriguing, I couldn’t stop wondering, like a tongue probing a sore tooth, why we were taking a ride down this particular road yet again, something I addressed a while ago in a blog called Three Michaels.

In the 1990s movie Sankofa, a beautiful model flounces around during a photo shoot in Ghana amongst the remains of Cape Coast Castle, one of many large commercial forts built on the coast of West Africa by European traders. Originally a center for trade in gold and timber, it later became a bustling hub for the transatlantic slave trade.

In Sankofa, much like the protagonist of Antebellum, the model is mysteriously transported back in time and made to endure plantation life as a slave.

Except that Antebellum Dr. Veronica Henley, married, with one child, hasn’t really gone back in time.  She’s actually a renowned sociologist on a book tour in Louisiana who is drugged, kidnapped, and transported to a Civil War reenactment park where she and other hijacked African Americans are forced into a nightmare of psychotic slave fantasies with an ever-changing cast of cruel, debauched, and murderous white people (including one creepy child).

As screenrant.com says: (Antebellum) mainly focuses on the concept of what would happen if a Black person living in the 21st century woke up one day to find themselves in Southern states during the 19th century.

Okay, but is that a serious question? I mean, what do we think would really happen if Black people living in the 21st century woke up one day to 19th-century plantation life?

To even imagine that modern Americans would resign themselves to such an outrageously insane situation is beyond belief. Yet Antebellum suggests that at least some of the victims were not only resigned but completely hopeless—so much so that a pregnant Black woman actually hangs herself.

Uh…no. Not buying it. Apart from how ferociously a mother-to-be will protect an unborn child. But especially with the promise of escape so close.

Because even though the victims were punished harshly and/or murdered for “trying” to flee, escape appeared to be fairly actionable, considering there weren’t a crapload of “guards” everywhere, everybody seemed to get rip-roaring drunk, sloppy, and lazy at night after a good meal and some traditional raping, and there were NO BARRIERS around the encampment.

No electrified fences, no 20-foot walls. No moats. Super important to keep it period-accurate, I guess.

The idea that any of the kidnapped people would remain there for any length of time–getting raped every night, picking cotton all day long or getting straight up murdered and/or their bodies burned in a crematorium–beyond the few hours it would take for them to wrap their heads around what was going on, rush the guards, and storm out of there seemed like subtle hat-tipping to the myth of Africans rarely putting up a fight.

Which, of course, is patently untrue, as seen in the myriad revolts and rebellions that constantly bloomed among their ranks.

Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The literal translation of the word and the symbol is “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”

I love the idea of that, because it’s true and real and pure.

Yes, the model in Sankofa probably shouldn’t have been prancing around at Cape Coast Castle as if it were a casino in Las Vegas. No one would go to Treblinka and take white-toothed selfies with the physical ruins symbolic of such untold suffering looming right behind them.

But there’s a fine line between education and awareness and shouldering a burden that never eases or having past circumstances forever dictating one’s identity.

In the news recently, a white and black couple were arguing in a coffee shop over something, and then the white man yelled, “My ancestors owned your ancestors!”

My question is, would he have thought of that insult if it wasn’t an immediate go-to, if it wasn’t the first association that came to mind: Black people=slavery? And is it a go-to because we’re all drowning in a tsunami of history-telling that focuses 90% on Black people’s “victim hood” and 5% on everything else?

With that in mind, one could also take the point of view that the model’s light-heartedness at the start of Sankofa was a manifestation of what any parent wants for their child: a better life. We don’t necessarily need her to “learn a lesson” by going back in time. A little sensitivity training wouldn’t hurt, but she is where her ancestors wanted her to be.

And we certainly don’t need the paint-by-numbers “slave/master” narrative and adolescent fantasies of Antebellum pointlessly grinding salt in the wound. Are we supposed to be happy that, no matter how monstrous they were, she actually burned three men alive? Were the filmmakers striving for Tarantino-like historical revenge porn like Django and Inglourious Basterds?

In the end, I still agree that while it’s “not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind,” I also think, at least in the entertainment realm, that it’s also true that it’s not taboo to loosen our grip on that which is at risk of hindering potential, constricting creativity, and dampening true joy.

Guest Writer Pamela Lowe: We Belong to Us

Fellow blogger/writer, teacher, and humorist Glen of Scenic Writer’s Shack (https://scenicwritersshack.com) started this. He was the first to post about his first love:  https://goosefleshsite.wordpress.com/2021/02/26/first-love-endless-love/

Inspired by his passionate and exciting tale, I re-posted it here and am now once in a while inviting whomever cares to dredge up those long-ago thoughts and emotions to share them on my humble blog.

Among those so far have been movie & actor reviewer/interviewer extraordinaire Michael S.  (https://moonknight65.wordpress.com/about/)/https://wordpress.com/post/staceyebryan.wordpress.com/2918 and by happenstance, an unexpected journey in the comments from restorative philosopher Burning Heart of Kone, Krusos, Kronos: https://konekrusoskronos.wordpress.com/https://staceyebryan.wordpress.com/2021/02/27/first-loveendless-love/

Today my thanks go to Noir Queen and music aficionado par excellence Pam Lowe for lifting a corner of the curtain and allowing us a peek into a mini-montage of her past. You can find all things mysterious and thrilling and intensely informative at her site: https://allthingsthriller.com.

(Though I’ve inserted photos and drawings at various points in Pam’s story, all are a result of my perceptions only and have nothing to do with the images Pam might have chosen for herself).

head swirl colors

It depends on what you mean by “first love.” Presuming you mean romantic first love, it’s still a rather broad category…concept…feeling, whatever.

Still, I’d say my first love was my dad. Same as a lot of little girls.

My dad was handsome. He smelled good. English Leather. Yeah, it’s old school…shoot, it’s practically Old Spice. (He used that too. The deodorant.) It was a long time ago. English Leather was actually respectable then.

hand

He was a flashy dresser. Flashy, but tasteful.

Complementarily contradictory. A dichotomy, you might say. That sums him up pretty good, I think. He would like that…

My next romantic interest was Lyle Wagoner on the Carol Burnett Show. I liked the “pretty” men. Of course I was five years old…

My first boyfriend was named Lee. We were in fifth grade. Again–a pretty boy. He sang Donny Osmond’s Puppy Love beautifully on Talent Friday’s. (He sang Elton John’s Island Girl, too. In fact he’s the reason we couldn’t sing to records from home anymore. It was a private Christian school and Island Girl was taboo.)

The first hard crush I had was on a guy named Jon. He was my neighbor from across the street and he was gorgeous in a dark, brooding kind of way. Kind of like Matt Dillion, but more careful with his attire.

One evening my mother forced me to practice my French horn in the garage. I had those big pink sponge rollers in my hair and long cotton gown on. There were ruffles on it, I think…the gown.

french horn

rollers 2

I kept playing the same three scales over and over again because that’s all I knew. That’s why I had to practice in the garage.

Anyway, there I was blasting away when I look over at the little glass panes in the garage door and there was Jon, staring at me. I was mortified.

standing in door

He took a shower at my house one time when the city tuned off his utilities. I was honored.

His girlfriend was just as gorgeous as he was…

Mitch was my first serious boyfriend. We were juniors in high school when we met. He turned me on to pot. The first time I smoked it, I was terrified. We were in a church parking lot less than a mile from my house.

Joint in the hand

I told him to take me home. I laid down on the couch to sleep it off, not sure if I’d wake up or not.

Really. I’m serious. So much for drug-scare-tactics.

But even though it was serious with Mitch doesn’t mean that I loved him. I didn’t. I cared for him. He was my friend. For me, that’s a lot…

True love didn’t strike me until I met my husband. For all intents and purposes, he was/is my first love. I’m not going to write very much about him because it’s private. We belong to us.

But I’ll share this…I like to talk to my husband. I enjoy his company…I was very young when we met. Nineteen. I’m fifty-six now. He’s sixty-three.

I think that says a lot.

holding hands black and white

Afternoon On A Train

train

I wrote a small memoir about my dad a couple of years ago, showed it to him, then posted here. Then I decided recently to spruce it up and send it out. Why not? I was happy to have it accepted by The International Human Rights Arts Festival where it was finally published this past week.

Here’s the link…if you have time….ever. It’s longer than the average blog, and I know I only have a certain amount of minutes a day to go through people’s material. But I’m glad I did it, someone liked it, and now it’s out there.

https://www.ihraf.org/ihraf-publishes