Friday, August 28, 2009
John Kennedy was the first politician that I was aware of and supported. I named my first son, John, after him. Kennedy was assassinatated by Lee Harvey Oswald on the day that I left the hospital with my 2nd son, James. I was devastated. As was my family.
John Kennedy's younger brother, Robert, ran for president in 1968. He was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan on June 5, that same year.
Edward Kennedy, who left this world this August 25, one day before my son John's birthday, worked diligently for the rights for the disenfranchised, giving substance to the dream proffered by his brothers.
I can't find words to express the loss I feel. I'm sure I'm not alone.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
John spent the morning working on the house while I cleaned the backyard. This afternoon we'll switch. I'll continue nailing the shear on the back of my new house and he'll rototill the backyard. All in all, a satisfactory partnership.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I've visited Hawaii twice, camping both times. It was amazing! Orchids and wild fires, volcanoes and boy scouts, poi and torrential rain, pig roasts and worms dropping out of the trees. I'll probably never go again and I'll never forget those experiences. Happy anniversary Hawaii.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Whether or not we believe that testing is useful, there is no way to ignore the impact to students in lower performing schools. I don't know the answer but I do know it is critical to figure this out NOW!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
1. Bastard Out of Carolina (Dorothy Allison)
2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)
3. My Antonia (Willa Cather)
4. The Tortilla Curtain (T. Coraghessan Boyle)
5. House on Mango Street (Sandra Cisneros)
6. Beautiful Losers (Leonard Cohen)
7. Sand and Foam (Kahlil Gibran)
8. Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)
9. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
10. China Men (Maxine Hong Kingston)
11. The Golden Notebook (Doris Lessing)
12. Dreams of My Father (Barack Obama)
13. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
14. The History of the World (George Orwell)
15. The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan)
16. The Shipping News (Annie Proulx)
17. Black and Blue (Anna Quindlen)
18. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf (Ntozake Shange)
19. A Life in Letters (John Steinbeck, et al)
20. Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
21. Breakfast of Champions (Kurt Vonnegut)
22. Slaughterhouse 5 (Kurt Vonnegut)
23. The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
24. The Outline of History (H. G. Wells)
25. Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary
I've been listening to Woodstock rebroadcast on satellite radio all weekend. It's nostalgia, longing, relief that I wasn't caught up in the 60s drug scene, all wrapped up in one. My favorite performer was Janis Joplin: loud, brassy, sometimes vulnerable, always determined to get the hell out of Port Arthur, Texas. Watch the Dick Cavett interview.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Two weeks ago today, through the miracle of the internet, I received an email from an old friend, Yvonne. We first met 30 years ago in Southern California when she and a friend were looking for a place to rent. With little hesitation, I moved my two teenage boys into one room and moved the two Brits in.
Renters turned into friends, and after they returned home, I visited England where Yvonne put me up for FIVE weeks. A true friend indeed! Yvonne, her husband, and their two sons just spent a couple of days with us here in Hollister. It was thrilling to renew our connection, confirming that friendship knows no boundaries of distance or time.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
World War I, known as The First World War, The Great War, and The War to End All Wars, was precipitated by the assassination on June 28, 1914, of Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip.
Within weeks the major European powers were at war; the conflict soon spread worldwide, mobilizing 70 million personnel, and resulting in a death toll of 15 million, making it one of the deadliest military conflicts in history.