When I first started attending St. Thomas Episcopal Church, one of the first persons to befriend me was an 84 year old lady. We found we had a great love of books and one day she handed me a book to read. It was titled Granny D: Walking Across America in My 90th Year, by Doris Haddock and Dennis Burke. Granny D chronicles Doris Haddock, who walked across the U.S. in 2000 at the age of 90 to highlight the need of campaign finance reform. I was instantly enchanted by Haddock, and admired her life of activism and her love of our country. My friend loved Haddock’s motto in life: you’re never too old to raise a little hell.
My parents have always allowed and encouraged me to chase my dreams. I don't know that I realized that when I was younger.
Their time and money was spent on me taking baton twirling lessons, piano lessons, traveling, participating in choir events, becoming a "Future Business Leader of America," a Future Farmer of America," a "Future Homemaker of America," and all kinds of other things. I only recently realized that they enjoy traveling... I suppose because I spent all of their money as a teenager exploring my own interests!
This is unbelievable. It's totally unacceptable in my mind. Things need to change. I believe the consciousness is there, people talk about it, we send these emails round and round, but where is the energy to actually create a change? We have so much more power as individuals and as a mass community.
I often think about the 60's and the Vietnam war. Why can't we find that same enthusiasm? I'm not saying I'd do it the same exact way, there is a certain intelligence that hopefully we've acquired over time, but the intention was beyond great. We complain about our government, about the war, about taxes, education etc. How can we find the force within us to shift the power from a few moronic, malicious, monkey-man like idiots, to the majority, the community, we the people? Wasn't government created to be the representative, the voice, of the people? Where along the way did that change?
For the last few months, Residents in Rochester Park (in Dallas) have been meeting with City officials to communicate frustrations (one of them being that entire rows of street lights have been out form months (see the picture to the left). Calling 3-1-1 didn't seem to get results.
I discovered Ralph Fasanella in the pages of Smithsonian magazine sometime in the 1990s. The article talked about a man who worked in a gas station by day, and painted wonderful works of art by night. His paintings were colorful and well composed and they showed working class people in New York neighborhoods, at play in baseball games, protesting for the right to organize in unions. These paintings were accessible and full of the joy and sadness of ordinary workers’ lives. A few years later a coworker gave me a calender of Fasanella pictures. Caught up in the art once again, I bought Paul D’Ambrosio’s book Ralph Fasanella’s America from Amazon.com.
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