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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

National School Walkout

Laura went to school today, and her other agenda was to determine who of her teachers might join the National School Walkout on March 14th, and which of her friends. The answer tonight is two teachers who aren’t “afraid”, and three of her friends. So far. I know one of the teachers, and emailed to her the link to a national register of school walkouts.

In Ohio we’ve suffered nine incidents with twenty injuries and five fatalities, in the last thirty years. Guns are the second leading cause of death by injury in Ohio and in the nation. But guns don’t seem to be dominating the conversations I’m privy to. However, the Parkland shooting seems not to be fading from the news.

I hope the Parkland youngsters can sustain the momentum, to the ballot box. I hope enough parents and grandparents get behind them. They need applauded. They need financed. They need us at their rallies, holding signs and shouting. At their back.

These kids, and those of us who support them, are the reality that will change minds in America about gun laws. Let’s get behind this.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Nation mourns, Trump fumes

Ann called me today, to read the top of the fold headline from her very red home town newspaper, circulation a few thousand. I’m watching the next three years as chipping away. Sort of like the flakes around lambie, toad and Pig. That’s her headline, top of my page.

I pay attention to Wisconsin. I see it as the obverse of Ohio, and sometimes the perverse. I called Ann in January to tell her that in a special election to fill a state Senate seat vacancy in ultra conservative northern Wisconsin, the Democratic candidate took the seat in a district Trump won by 17 points. My ultra pessimistic little German friend called me today. With some hope.

Over the weekend I wrote out postcards to a couple dozen sports figures, pitching a public service denouncement of gun availability. They went in outbound today, but won’t move until tomorrow. I haven’t a lot of hope there, by the time they cards go through layers of player management, but here’s to one sticking.

I wrote to my friend, too. I spent twenty years working with him, to make this town a success for the artist/merchants and for the tourists who come every weekend. He and his husband are ex-pats now. I know many, many will relate to his answer:

Hi Joanne -

Nice to hear from you, but I’m not your guy.  I don’t have any connections to sports heroes, and I barely have a connection to the country anymore.

One of the reasons I left the US was to remove myself from the disastrous state of the union… and I doubt I will ever live in there again. If we tire of Mexico, Europe or South America will be next on the agenda.

Sorry to have become a pessimist — but I gave several decades to activism for the Just causes in the US… And now I recognize that life is short and time is fleeting. I’ve chosen to be a bit selfish these days, and I feel the gun issue is a lost cause.

Good luck with the effort — and I applaud you for trying.  I just don’t have it in me.

Un abrazo de Mexico –

How sad, all his talent is gone, left. Laura and I have an eye on the Women’s March organizers and the March 14th anniversary march in support of the Florida students. She says her GSA advisor would be on that in a heartbeat, and she will bring it up with her.

And, in the everything old is new again, Laura had a great visit with her sisters Saturday, and scored a twenty five year old sweater. Her mother, an exquisite knitter made this sweater for Becca. Then Hamilton wore it. Then Emily.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Shut up and dribble

The Fox host, Ingraham, told LeBron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble” in response to their criticism of the president. I just backtracked to delete “snarkily,” as in “snarkily told…”, so I might  sound less snarky myself.

I’ve forgotten everything I know about baseball and paid attention to no other sport in my nearly seventy five years. I do pay attention to people, though, including LeBron James. If nothing else, he’s the hometown hero. More than that, I’ve watched him grow from an awkward teen phenomena to a poised and influential spokesman for his sport and for cultural divide issues.

I spent my day driving my car; I’m tired and about to go to bed. I dropped Laura off to see her sister’s new apartment. Bekka, my oldest grandchild, has completed her welding apprenticeship, has a job welding for a company with a Navy contract, and, (trumpet sound), her first apartment. Emily, currently known as Blake Lytle, was there too, so I left the three to their devices and went to take their aunt, always known as Beth, to lunch.

Complete aside to the narrative, but Blake was on hands and knees, pinning and basting pleats into many yards of Black Watch plaid. I was gobsmacked, so to speak. At her very age I did the same, and made my very own, authentic kilt, with leather straps and everything. I teased her about the pressing of the pleats she has facing her, to which she replied, “Grandma, I’ll take it to the cleaners to get pressed in!”

Bekka, Emily (aka Blake), Laura

After lunch I backtracked for Laura; we went shopping so we can forgo that tomorrow in favor of her helping out Kay. What is my point, you ask, of my generally less than five hundred word essays or complaints.

Simply this: those athletes have kids, just like the rest of us. My first thought—ask LeBron James to make a public statement about school shootings. “Just like Willie and Farm Aid,” I thought, merging onto I 90 toward Beth’s house.

Farm Aid! I shouted out loud. We’ll call it Kid Aid or School Aid or some other cool name some marketing person can think of, and I’ll ask if a stage full of athletes can make a pitch for congress to take back control of this country from the NRA, and ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons, plus background checks, etcetcetc.

My job for tomorrow is to compile a list of athletes and addresses, who I can begin mailing to next week, asking they find someone who can put together a public service ad. I have an artist friend from the old days who has gone on to bigger and better contacts. I'll call him. 

The beginning for me is the beginning. A list of who to contact and how to reach them. I’ll send the file to any one of you who would like it.