Daily Archives: September 28, 2008
I miss Ann Landers.
Here’s a great quote:
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
From Brainy Quote.
Library of Congress’s National Book Festival Attracts More Than 120,000 Book Lovers to the National Mall – MarketWatch
For some time now, I’ve been planning a 2009 trip to Rochester, New York, which is my hometown.
In June, as many of you know, I traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in an expert panel for work.
I got a chance to spend four hours in downtown D.C., and I need to go back for a vacation.
Goodbye Rochester, hello Washington, D.C.
Looks like I’m planning a September trip, so that I can go to the National Book Festival!
With my resources, it may be 2010 before I can get there, but I’m going for sure.
It was 1958 in upstate New York.
The Boy was in my grade school class.
He lived with his grandmother and brothers in the poorer part of town.
The Boy was in trouble, it seemed, all the time.
We came back from Christmas vacation, and The Boy’s friends asked him what he got for Christmas.
A football, The Boy looked straight ahead, his eyes hard and cold.
That’s all you got?
The boys laughed.
It’s all I wanted, The Boy answered, still looking straight ahead.
That night, I talked to my father about this, and asked him why some people had so much, and others had, well, nothing.
My father held me close, and talked to me for a long time about being poor and doing without. Dad lived through the depression, but his family ate well because they had a farm. Every few weeks, my Dad told me, a neighbor would sneak over and steal one of my grandfather’s chickens. Dad’s older brothers wanted to chase the guy off, but my grandfather wouldn’t let them.
He’s a good man, and he’s just trying to feed his family. Leave him alone.
Fast forward about 20 years:
I walked into my father’s kitchen, and Dad was reading the daily paper. Dad opened up the local section of the paper and showed me a news story about a young man going to state prison for murder.
It was The Boy.
Now, I realize that Christmas isn’t just about getting gifts.
But poverty stamps some of its victims with a sense of failure that they just cannot shake.
I took me years to realize that The Boy was probably hungry a lot, that just blocks from his housing project were homes where families were living the good life, and he was not a part of our country’s boom times.
Poverty hurts, folks.
Hokey smoke, Batman.
It’s banned books week.
Book banning is the #1 topic that makes me madder than hell.
I believe that people who want to ban books ‘need to stick it where the sun don’t shine.’
When you tell ME what to read, you invade my personal freedoms.
Right now, I could go on forever, hurling insults towards those who would ban the printed word.
But I will stop.
And now, from the ALA website:
The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2007″
1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language
4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint
5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,
7) “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
8) “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit
9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
10) “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group