Gate Keepers

Gate Keepers

As we know more about a lot, we master nothing.    We toil and strive and then concede,  ultimately wallowing in the muck and mire of our own personal experiences.   We assume we are patently original,  suspiciously aware of our hypocrisy.    We claim we never lie and if we do then we do.

Sometimes in our youth,  we wish to cheat death or get as close as we can to that.  Impressing others of our bravado and recounting our glory years.    Like the song, ‘Those Were the Days My friend,   we thought they’d never end,   we sing and dance forever and a day.   We live the life we choose,  we fight and never lose,  those were the days,  oh yes, those were the days.’

There was a time in our life, when we romanticized love,  as if we were Romeo and Juliet,  or we might be Bonnie and Clyde.   We would make love as no one else could.   Like a Muse in a Xanadu,  we find our own reality,  as we move gracefully together.

But then something happened.  The Yellow brick road began to crumble and the house landed upon our love.   With a resounding thump and a crash of dishes,  our dreams faded like a late show re-run.

Those songs that inspired us,  were now a requiem,  sad and haunting.   Soon bitterness impaled our hearts and they become like stone.    And instead of skipping flat stones across a florid lake.

Florid Lake

So maybe we find a church ,   with a choir and we sing staid old songs,  as lifeless as a still-born dream.  We are reverent and judging,  but we judge others for their specks,  while redwoods roam in our eyes.

We can’t wait to leave and try to depart as soon as we can and we claim a god of opportunity to an end with no life,  like that old abandoned church.

We hear a knock from above,  wistful vapors of the unseen but our spirit consists of seeing images in an office building and tying meaning to a ship that never comes back.

It need not end this way.   In spite of unrequited love snatching us too early.  the knocks push upon us harder and the message is clear and unwavering.  Though all around are the indignant,  honest, godly church going people who flick ashes upon others.

We cannot find what we assumed was there until our hearts melt for the needs of forgiveness of our own missteps.   The harrowing nightmares we perpetrated on others,   while claiming some kind of victim-hood.

When we realize that we are there,  we will know we have arrived.   Our pretentions are like tumbleweeds drifting on a dusty road.   Yet in that abyss of faith,   we find ourselves trembling but more free.

Remember good is never good enough and if it will be,  it definitely be.  with no further side-slips on that precarious path.

 

It’s Not Just a Black Thing – Bingo Long’s Travelling All-Stars

The above movie was made in 1976 and it was a semi-historical look at the Negro Major Leagues of the 1930’s.    It starred Billy Dee Williams as a charismatic star pitcher in a league of undiscovered talent.   Also manning his team was James Earl Jones,  being one of the Negro Leagues most prolific homerun hitters.  And lastly and who can forget Richard Pryor trying to pass himself off as Cuban.   Talk about fuzzy math…

Below is that movie and I think,  it should be understood the context of the times the true greatness and soul of a people starving for their own heroes,  on their own terms.   Rather than do something construction it becomes all about you.  It is political correctness run amok.  It

http://youtu.be/bCJ_INhdW9M

The movie is comic ‘gold’ and with it gives us an impression of a world largely unknown to whites.    And for the people who talk about Blaxploitation go take another bong hit.   It is criticism with no object except self-aggrandizement.   It is not about you.   It is about Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays,   Hank Aaron and Bob Gibson and many more.   People who suffered Jim Crowe and have to listen to white people playing politics with all our lives.

We are all human and all have the potential for good.   We can try and make a difference  finding a way to unite us and break down stereotypes from all sides.   It is looking for good and turning over rocks to find things that make us shout in one voice about harmony than discord.

A good series about how things are changing from the heartbreak of the 60s both from the black and white perspectives is ‘The 60s’.    Julia Stiles goes through a lot as does her brother who comes back broken because of the Vietnam War.

I have ties to the Tuskegee Airman and I have a project in mind that could ultimately make a difference for all.   We can make a difference and I promise to make an impact where mainly people just rant,  trying to score points and kiss up.

I want MLK Day to be more than a holiday.   What does it do for anyone in the way it is celebrated?  This is all about inclusiveness and what Martin Luther King had in mind.

 

 

Black History Month and Bob Gibson.

I think much of America lives in a dream world.   It is kind of like fast food and they get their news in a drive-through window.    It is also Black History Month and that is a noble cause for sure.

But nothing is really changing.   People live in their glass houses and throw stones but never entertaining the notion of actually changing.  Then to justify their odd behavior,   they watch the news and that news and agree with their favorite pop view of what is going on.

Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson 2

Bob Gibson 3

In this case,  we have the same ole recipe.   We name streets MLK or a Newscasters who feign concern over the plights of the poor.   But like Scrooge they hoard emotions and follow carefully nuance scripts full of hyperbole and the kinds of generalizations that make no sense.

Don’t get me wrong,  we should change but those changes are to investigate stories of minorities and whites.   Expand our lexicon to include people who have done well for their own community.

I am white and male and I am not intimidated by stupid people who do only what is expected and no more.  We become a reflection of what we despise.   I live close to Greensboro, NC.    The place where four black men decided to do their own part in integration and they are heroes and rightly recognized in that very building where Jim Crowe’s spirit thrived.

That building is now the Cultural Center and I had the opportunity to visit that place and came away with a further appreciation for history that is often overlooked.  So it is my intention to bring my own appreciation and it concerns a baseball player.   An unique player and he did not wear the number 42 or was he named Robinson.

My childhood hero was black.   I wanted to be him.   I practiced my high leg kick and pitched for hours on a makeshift mound and rubber.    I had a bucket full of balls.  These green and brown balls were stained by dirt and other grime and eventually the seams would break until they were not any longer serviceable.   These flights of fancy put in the front of adoring fans.

I was Bob Gibson.   A flame-throwing right-hander with an attitude.    The real Mr. Gibson dealt with a childhood that was dangerous,  growing up in the projects of Cabrini Green. (A notoriously violent ghetto).  He fought daily and commonly they were racial in nature and sometimes he had white friends fighting along side him.     There was also twice as many whites as there were blacks (Negroes back then).   Even as a kid,  I hated that term and the larger N-Bomb I heard from my own father.   He said,  “they smell among other things”.

One day at the supper table we rebelled at our own risk and pointed out dropping that word was offensive and it was all five of us kids.    It was a seminal moment and we didn’t have  cue,  we got it and made the point that that kind of bigotry was unacceptable!

Bob Gibson was an All-American basketball player at Creighton University and then the Harlem Globetrotters.   He also signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and stopped playing basketball at the insistence of Bing Devine,  the Cardinals General Manager.

As Gibson matured into one of the greatest right-handed pitchers ever.  I used to listen to the games on K-M-O-X in St. Louis, a very famous radio station that aired all the games and I almost always heard  their games.

In one season he had 12 shutouts and an ERA of 1.12.   Both of those are exceptional and legendary especially the ERA.   Gibson said the pitcher mounds were lowered just because he was black.   And he is probably right.

In spite of the racial hubris,  Gibson was loved in the City of the Arch but the same hospitality was not afforded him or the other black Cardinal players.    They had to live in segregated housing in Sarasota,  Florida instead of the hotel in St. Petersburg.

The next year,  the Cardinal’s owner August Busch bought the motel,   declaring that all his players  were equal and would be treated the same no matter their race.

This was also a great selling point for me.    Not only that but many players of that age named Gibson as the greatest pitcher ever.

April 15th of every years all teams and all players wear the #42 of Jackie Robinson.   I wish that only one player would wear that number and preferably a team’s best player.   I  believe that the Cardinals do the same thing each year.   A living memorial to players who clawed through the hell that players suffered through back then.

It will be a sad day for me when he dies.  A part of me will die with him and there are other teammates who were black that also inspired me, such as Lou Brock,  Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee.   I would adopt their personas playing baseball and softball.

Lou Brock 1

In high school I made an unassisted triple play which is a legacy that is still recognized today and that was many passes around the sun by the 3rd Rock from the Sun.

All I know is this is the day that we can make a difference.   Let us get outside of our comfort zone and look for redeeming qualities and I am sure we can.  I would hope that all peoples recognize the inherent beauty of each other and let’s not hate on each other for our race,  political party or skin color.

Lakeside Speedway Colorado – 25 years later

As I child I did have the horror of seeing race tracks close.    You might ask what is horrible about that?   Nothing!   But for some it is a way for them to take over.   It might be a parking lot or a high-rise apartment and that sits fine with them.   These bitter acolytes and self-proclaimed do-gooders are a bunch of mean-spirited old hags and crotchety old men.

In their wake of bitter self-interest they lay waste to good clean fun.   And while there  might be that occasional row between drivers and fans it is wholesome.   And most of the local drivers are not rich.    So naturally they may be inclined to watch ‘Duck Dynasty’  or have NASCAR stickers prominently displayed on their trucks,  cars and race car haulers.     Many like country and some like rock but most don’t fancy ‘snooty music’.    They might just use Moonshine instead of pricey wines and beers from Germany and France.

Now this track I am going to mention was closed quite a few years ago.    And racing had been there from around 1938 to 1988.  Fifty years of legends,  urban legends and a culture of competition that includes families who race and people who actually know the drivers.   The older drivers will pine about the day they drove at a track like Lakeside.     Some will have pictures lovingly maintained reminiscing about a past that lives on with the people of that day and the offspring who were told about the ‘good old days’.

By and by most signs of the track disappear little by little when they are abandoned or redeveloped.    One of the most saddening sights is the race surfaces with blades of grass piercing the track.   A challenge to the track by nature,  perhaps a loss of interest from owners and investors.    Or maybe even the ravages of a cruel winter and the unrelenting rains of springtime.    And yes,  springtime,  would invariably carry the bright hope of watching racing once again and you do NOT have to pay for an autograph.  The drivers actually appreciate the fans and by race day the excitement builds.

The racing family usually has to put up with a dad (for the most part) who is seemingly always working on this car and the idea of gracing the winner’s circle.    One time at East Bay in Florida,   the family of one of the drivers (who was usually in the back)  would stand up and cheer each time he went by.       It was kind of odd yet kind of quaint.   Here you will find some people who may be marginalized for being different.     One may call it ‘hillbilly,  redneck or low brow” ,   but seriously who asked them?

It is more than likely that they would embrace that term.      They really do not care where you are from except if you are from far away and you think that your opinion matters over theirs.    Once the drivers escape the cozy confines of their home-tracks families that can will follow along.   And sponsors are the reason they get to dream bigger.   When you into the more expensive divisions,  the owners and sponsors could buy the hoity-toity type many times over.    It is a passion as a large as a father and son fishing.    Just like with fishing it is not the fish but the time spent together.   Like the tracks,  we come and go.   Yet the history of a community is deeply entrenched in the souls of racing fans.

The song has that same kind of sad ending when a driver or a track goes belly up.    For the new tenants they may never know or ever care.   They will be too busy being city-like while forgetting that most rural folks hate cities.   Less smog and less smug the race fans trundle up to the track and take their positions almost like assigned seats.   Cat calls can  heard especially as the protagonists earn their reputations by spinning out another driver or what the fans perceive to be some injustice.       But this is some of what happens,  there is also the drivers who went on to bigger and better things or drivers who die doing what they like.

And on that opening day,   that race car freshly painted or adorned with wraps, speed by as expectant fans cheer for their guy and the nicer looking the car the better chance that drivers get sponsors and fans.     A lot happens here and the people are the nicest anywhere.  They support us military veterans like Kings and Queens and will most always pay respects to the flag and our country.

Marines Dress Uniforms

I want to shake you down. My child(ren) Love Story

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc8wmLul3uw

I used to feel something.   Something like desperation.   

 We were like fugitives from another life, 

  riding the waves of orgasm and then

with little outlaws and outstretched fingers.  

The first blessing of two,   faded like a stranger, 

although I felt his spirit as he left,   saying “Dad do not worry.” 

I just had to say,  “Goodbye”,  because I really did love you both.

Then I told my lover,  “Little David is gone”.  

  I sat and watched as mother and child spoke silently, 

as only a mother can,  now—

  Another empty rocking chair creaked for the last time.

and the rocking chair sang a lullaby,   “Hush little baby,   don’t say a word”.  “

Surely as one ship sails from view,   another will come.   And it did.  

The news came about as a lighthouse parted the fog

but the jagged rocks once again appeared,  

 like little daggers that lined the halls,  

just getting their was perilous.   But the fury of the sea calmed, 

and another blessing appeared upon the stoop.    

But as one tragedy had faded,  another conspired,  

by this time mother and I were tired.   Little did I know or suspect,  

that the next day it was like a hole swallowed them both up,   

mother and child.    The twists and turns of this hallway with many doors, 

had very many vistas,    but some doors were locked.  

   Then one day some 15 years later,  an angel reappeared,  my daughter.  

A friend of my X said Rachel wanted her dad.  A tear and excitement

rocked me like a spewing volcano.  

   The  mother of my child was now no longer a harbor,  

but a battered port and Rachel,  my daughter,  paid for it.  

   The end of this story is a reunion that seemed like continuity.   

Like heartbeats over some rainbow,  the colors appeared brighter, 

than even before.    To hear my sweet day say,   “This was the best birthday of her life”.     I do

not know how to even express the waterfall of love that engulfed me.  

my story

Images in Sports

These days reporters and broadcasters do NOT report the news,  they invent it.   Like editors of a kind,  they put a spin so breathtaking that you like you were in some surreal where the stories are changed and no one is protected.      Some names that went afoul of the media demagogues were Morton Downey Jr,  Andrew Dice Clay and the zombie like Ismus in the Morning.

And then you have the shock jocks like Howard Stern and Bubba Clem.   Those two are nothing more than misogynists women haters who relieve themselves on the air,  in the name of freedom and free speech.   Yet there is huge cost for dishing out morality.

Morton Downey –  This guy was a consummate rabble-rouser and some say ‘racist’ although they say that about anyone they dislike.   Morton was an entertainer and he knew this was nothing more than stagecraft.   The scripted diatribes evoked anger from the left and they would battle back with some inane characterization of Downey.   It was like the last strong voice of dissent had faded where new technologies proscribed a new set of rules and people like this will not do.

Andrew Dice Clay  –   This guy was like Rush Limbaugh on steroids.   He was a bit of a misogynist  in theory and considered racist (again by the  same.   He was able to do what ‘In living Color’  had done  with a whole cast.    Clay was imposing figure clad in his leather and sporting chains and gloves.   He kind of looked like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky when Rocky was collecting booty for knuckle-busting Mafia type bosses.

Little Boy Blew
Hey! He needed the money.
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And said, “Hey! What’s in the bowl, bitch!”

This is some of what got him in trouble and while I hate his misogyny I still feel he has a right to be a jackass,   and for which democrats seem to be seldom called out on,  especially when they have allowed worse somewhere else.

Imus –   In this case,   he had made disparaging remarks of a girls college basketball team and essentially called them “Nappy Headed Hos”     What bothered me was these girls are college kids doing the basketball thing and being good students (for the large part).    The takeaway point is some fathers should be very angry.  And some husbands,  uncle, boyfriends,  you get the drift of where I am going.

 

I will talk about the political and sports figures that have their own nice,   but as much  as they offend,   so did Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Mel Brooks.   It seems as if punishment is merited out with race in mind.  Offending the very point of MLK about the quality of individual character.

At the bottom of all this is the patent hypocrisy.    Sequestered behind the Wizard of Oz’s  Head Henchman and erstwhile Wizard’s curtain was the dirty little secret.    That liberal fascism is quick to condemn a Conservative but hesitant to do that with their own fasicistic  tendencies.

Again this is not about carrying grudges forward but actually trying to have some compassion for one another.  These comedians provide a perfect out for their own transgressions.    See Jason Whitlock’s comments about Jeremy Lin’s one inch penis.     There was feigned contempt that eventually found the media being suddenly silent.   It was like for whites there is termination and isolation.   White Man’s guilt is branded into their flesh and their soul.

Comedy is a way out for us.   It gives us to chance what we otherwise could not admit to.   And it is not only whites who fall short and that must be admitted to.  If anything however,  it appears the gulf is just getting wider and neither side wants to draw out an armistice and eventually lay down arms.   It is like two young teenagers bickering over who started what.

In the end,  we do need to fix this or at least,  find peace with ourselves and others.  It will be long past our generations when perhaps the true paradigm shift will happen then.  Let’s hold out for that!!!

 

 

Hero comes standard

Men in uniform are often described as serious, strict, firm and dangerous , but I would describe him as the sweetest, most gentle and most loving person that every woman would wish to have… My friend, my confidante, my hero, my soldier, the love of my life…

I remember signing up.  Leaving from a bus stop in Syracuse as my sister cried.  The war that was raging had slowed to a simmer and was ending.    That didn’t stop hippies and such for spitting on us.  Nor did it escape my notice when people called my dad, a baby killer.   My dad was an Air Force Recruiter.    I also saw firsthand what the war did to many of my friends.   It was kind of like Cheech and Chong’s.  ‘Up in Smoke’.   The military knew that this was coming full circle.  Them sending boys to die while politicians played their games.

Today as I tour the VA hospital,  I see the brokenness and yet a pride that was certainly in low supply during the mid 70s.   And I am not happy when I hear the term ‘gook’.   Even though the men went through hell,  and were taught to kill.  Too often innocents were slain after being hosed by our own troops.  Too many experience exploding babies and women boobytrapped by their own men or VietCong soldiers.   The women raped by both sides of Vietnam and pictures of kids running naked through the streets naked and in terror.  I am sure we never experience that kind of hell for our own children.  That is why we defend our country even though politicians have our blood on their hands.

And don’t think it doesn’t happen in peace time,  In 1981,  Ramstein was bombed by the Bader Meinhof gang and trust me,  collateral damage was not even considered with these acts of terrorism.

Working in the command post and donning chemical warfare gear,  it was a stark reminder of people like Stalin and Hitler and the sociopathic villains of today.   So much water has ran under the bridge.   Countless families mourn even today,  while some protest at funerals of today’s fallen soldier.   Trust me when I tell you this,  but a warrior does not want to kill anyone,  except those maniacs who like inflicting pain.

We are cognizant that they too have families,  so unless they are purely evil,  we get it.   They want to see  to see their kids too and most love them just as much as we do ours.

Just remember,  we didn’t star the fire.