Don’t stand by.

Mother-frackin’ WordPress. I just completed a 925-word entry, thinking it was autosaving all along, went to add a headline and got my log-in screen. No amount of backing out could find the draft, which I assume just went down the drain for reals.

So here’s one link, and here’s another. I had a few things to say about both, but it’s gone now. And right now I want to take a shower.

If you have time for only one, read the second. It’s amazing.

But I’m headed for the shower. Let’s hope for better luck tomorrow.

Posted at 9:33 am in Housekeeping |

56 responses to “Don’t stand by.”

  1. Joe Kobiela said on December 13, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Bummer of a start to the day.
    Pilot Joe

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  2. Jolene said on December 13, 2011 at 9:59 am

    The story re the football player is, indeed, amazing. I read this last night, and my jaw dropped when I read the line about the kid looking like a drug dealer. Just unf’ingbelievable.

    Some time back, Nancy posted a picture of an ape (or monkey, I dunno) “family” dressed in human clothes, with Barack Obama’s face Photoshopped onto the “child” in the picture. My first thought on seeing that was, “How do they protect their children from seeing this crap? How do they explain it to them?”

    It didn’t take long, of course, to realize that this is a burden all black parents bear–the burden of defending their kids from the rest of us.

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  3. Bitter Scribe said on December 13, 2011 at 9:59 am

    The next time I get into a debate about school vouchers, I’m going to point to Fuqua Academy. How nice that they received tax money to keep black students out.

    (And yes, I’m aware that they’re trying to reform. Pardon me if I’m skeptical, but when someone from the school says that a 14-year-old black boy looks like “a 25-year-old drug dealer,” it doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.)

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  4. Jolene said on December 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

    The language poem is hysterical. We are, indeed, lucky to speak English as a first language.

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  5. Dexter said on December 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

    You can always meditate and start your day all over again. (Please don’t throw that frying pan at me!)

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  6. 4dbirds said on December 13, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I am against the death penalty. That said I don’t know if this guy is guilty or not but THIS is what a drug dealer looks like in Virginia.

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  7. nancy said on December 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I’m bummed about this. I thought it was a pretty good entry today, in that it started out talking about something entirely different (the angle of the winter sunshine), wound its way into English usage and ended up at the Fuqua School, all without any jarring transitions. A textbook NN.C blog, in other words.

    Oh well. “Kill your darlings,” the writing teachers say. Sometimes, your software does the work for you.

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  8. Deborah said on December 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

    This one hung me up, I had to look it up:
    noun \ˈā-(ˌ)gyü\
    Definition of AGUE
    1. a fever (as malaria) marked by paroxysms of chills, fever, and sweating that recur at regular intervals
    2. a fit of shivering

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  9. Connie said on December 13, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Following up on yesterday’s comments. Maggie, I did two weeks of IV vanco last year by driving to an infectious diseases specialist on Woodward to sit in a room full of big chairs, IV poles, and televisions, and sitting for an hour while it dripped. I just did a week in the hospital for more. I’ve had recurring infections for two years now and it is just a pain. Vanco is nasty stuff with a rep for blowing veins.

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  10. Dorothy said on December 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I know ague – there was a chapter in a Little House book called “Fever and Ague”. Although when I first read the book I’m guessing I had to ask my mother what the word meant.

    I could only read the first two pages of the Fuqua article. Then I was told I had to pay for a subscription if I want to read more. I’m going to the bookstore and see if they get the Washington Post over there.

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  11. Connie said on December 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Dorothy your campus library surely gets the W post.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on December 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Here’s some happy news. SheWho has indeed finally, blissfully, slipped into full irrelevancy. Gawker is reporting the Wasilla con artists were shopping a reality TV show that would focus on Tawhd Palin’s career as a snow-machine racer. There were no takers.

    The stories about charter schools performance in the Chicago area vary so much it’s hard to determine if they are a possible solution to our educational woes, or just another scam for fleecing people desperate to give their children a better life. My cynical nature leads me to see this as yet another right-wing effort to privatize a government function, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

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  13. nancy said on December 13, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Dorothy, I just sent an email-as-text request to the WP for your Hotmail account. Fingers crossed.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on December 13, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Dorothy, I was thinking the exact thing about the fever and ague from Little House. It’s amazing how much can be learned by reading fiction. Right now I’m in the middle of the latest by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot. I don’t think it’s as good as Middlesex, but one character shares a medical issue with someone in my family so I’m still gaining fresh insights.

    And speaking of expensive meds, if you aren’t insured spend a little time on the phone asking for price quotes. I helped a family member do this and found the price varied between $17 and $125. Well worth the half hour it took. I thought it might vary a bit, but the amount surprised me.

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  15. Dorothy said on December 13, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Thanks Nancy! And if the campus library doesn’t get it, I’m guessing the Mount Vernon Library does.

    Update: Well the link got me to the article again, and it allowed me to read page 3 but not page 4. Maybe I’ll try it on my computer at home tonight to see if page 4 is available to me. Interesting exercise, that.

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  16. mark said on December 13, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Sorry about the computer glitch, Nancy. Very frustrating and, at least for me, recreating something already written is an in-the-gut painful thing to do. The links are great though.

    Great piece on Fuqua. Hard for me not to see the schools outreach as a plan to improve the sports program rather than shed an ugly reputation. Of course, sports have often been first in breaking down barriers. I still can’t figure out on what basis the school could condition admission or scholarship on an agreement to act as an ambassador. I’m guessing a wealthy white man-child with a great throwing arm would not have to agree to do inner-city outreach to make the roster at Fuqua.

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  17. nancy said on December 13, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Here’s one for Dexter and all you friends of Bill out there: The new New Yorker has a Talk of the Town piece about Elmore Leonard and his new BFF, Julia Taubman, who’s just published a big book of Detroit ruin-porn photos. (I might have something to say about this beyond what I already said on Facebook a couple weeks ago, or I may not. I’ve only leafed through the book.) Anyway, it’s the usual New Yorker sloppy kiss for the billionairess and her pal and her book, only it describes the two of them drinking together. Wine and beer. Leonard is a pretty public recovering alcoholic. He’s also 86, and going through a divorce. Do the standard truisms about alcoholism still apply, or at some age can you start quietly taking a drink now and then?

    I was under the impression EL still goes to meetings from time to time.

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  18. Deborah said on December 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Maybe it was O’Doul’s? Or was he drinking the wine?

    edit: OK it was Miller Lite

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  19. Kim said on December 13, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Those of you who don’t live in the Old Dominion don’t realize the Fuqua story is one that could be told over and over and over. It is that common. The only difference of Fuqua is that Prince George County public schools closed – for almost five years, until the Supreme Court forced them to reopen – rather than admit black students. In other places with a black student population the white folks simply decamped to the tuition-based Christian or ‘independent’ schools they created for their children.

    Before I moved here I had no idea there was a thing called Massive Resistance (this is what growing up in the state of Chicago will get you – I am not proud of this). Look it up on the Wiki.

    The WaPo reporter tells it true. It is a depressing thing to witness 14-year-old kids who are expected to make it right through athleticism and the white leaders who cheerfully describe what a great opportunity they’ve given these poor black kids.

    Nance, thanks for sharing it and sorry you lost your post. I know it was worthwhile reading.

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  20. Deborah said on December 13, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Kim, I didn’t know there was a thing called Massive Resistance either, until I read your wiki link. Holy cow, stuff like that actually happened. I remember going to a store when I was 6 or 7 and seeing side by side drinking fountains, one marked white and one marked colored. I spent some time trying to figure out why they both had clear water coming out of the spout. My mother finally yanked me away and explained it to me. These things happened still in my lifetime, amazing.

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  21. mark said on December 13, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Dexter’s been a friend of Bill’s longer than me, so I’ll let him be the expert. But my answer is yes, the truisms apply and no you can’t have a drink now and then.

    By the time I quit, I no longer had any interest in “a drink now and then.” I liked to get drunk now and then and could not reliably predict how drunk or how often now and then would be. I’ve occasionally thought that at some age and circumstance it might not matter, but I’m sure I’d be looking to get tanked, not sip wine. An octagenarion drunk drinking away the last of the “golden years” doesn’t sound very attractive to anyone but an alcoholic.

    Edit: I don’t know anything about EL’s drinking habits or problems and don’t intend to be commenting on his situation.

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  22. Bob (not Greene) said on December 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    When you visit the Fuqua School website, this pops up over the home page:

    Washington Post article “…profoundly disappointed and outraged…”

    Fuqua School is profoundly disappointed and outraged at the gross misrepresentation in the December 11 Washington Post article of our program and our students, as well as our efforts for the past 19 years to address the school’s early history in a measured and concerted manner.

    The reporter spent days on campus, beginning last spring, meeting with students, faculty and staff, and was welcomed with the same open spirit that always characterizes Fuqua School.

    By taking comments out of context, misquoting several people, inserting inflammatory words, making negative inferences, and omitting vital information that was provided to him, he did a clear disservice to our entire school community, including Charles Williams and his family, as well as our alums. These actions have also hurt the broader community in which we live.

    Ruth S. Murphy, President

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  23. Jolene said on December 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks from me too, Kim, for the link re massive resistance. Although I do live in the Old Dominion, but I’m a relative newcomer and wasn’t aware of that history. Honestly, you wonder how those people lived with themselves.

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  24. alex said on December 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I’m sure Ms. Murphy’s hackles are up because of her stupid drug dealer quote. Which of course captured her essence perfectly.

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  25. Bob (not Greene) said on December 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Here’s a link to the full story:

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  26. Kim said on December 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Deborah – I should add that a commonwealth’s attorney here (the elected prosecutor for a locality, like a state’s attorney in IL) who is not an old man was part of the last graduating class of an all-black high school here. This is not ancient history, not at all.

    BobNG @ 22 – as I said, the WaPo reporter told it true.

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  27. Bob (not Greene) said on December 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Well, Kim, you know schools. Unless you’re kissing their ass, they feel they’re being attacked. Sure, they rolled out the welcome wagon for the reporter — they wanted a puff piece. When they got something more complex, it’s betrayal. Just this sentence alone in Murph’s complaint “our efforts for the past 19 years to address the school’s early history in a measured and concerted manner” speaks volumes. They want integration on their limited terms only and only if it benefits them in a specific way. They didn’t admit black students until the 1980s for chrissakes. The 1980s! And they had only five black students four years ago. They want credit for admitting their version of Jackie Robinson in 2008?!? God damn, Jackie Robinson joined the Dodgers in 1947. They want credit for this shit?

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  28. adrianne said on December 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    And with that response from Fuqua School, I know the W.P. reporter got it right.

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  29. Bitter Scribe said on December 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Bob NG @27: That pales in comparison to what you read if you click one of the links in the WaPo article. They quote some asshole official (I don’t want to look at it again) who said the whole desegragation issue was about states’ rights, just like the Civil War (no, really), and that it was all the fault of the NAACP for agitating and denying those poor Nigra children the right to be educated in their own tarpaper shack.

    Honest to God, we have been taking it easy on the South since the last shot was fired in the Civil War, and what has it ever gotten us?

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  30. Sherri said on December 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    The Fuqua School story can be told all over the South, except that most places didn’t shut down the public schools. There wasn’t a private school in my hometown until desegregation, but the instant blacks and whites started attending public schools together, a lily white private school appeared. At some point, to insulate themselves from the charges of racism and to be more competitive in sports, they recruited a few token black athletes.

    My husband once accompanied me to a meeting. Someone there shared a thought experiment. If a doctor came up with a test tomorrow, and could definitively tell you that you weren’t an alcoholic, what would you do? That room full of alcoholics knew exactly what we’d do – go get drunk! That’s when my non-alcoholic husband began to understand the difference the two of us.

    My experience was that I could control my drinking, or I could enjoy my drinking, but I couldn’t do both, until the end when I had difficulty with either. I don’t think that nine years of sobriety has really changed that. Whether the same is true for EL, I couldn’t say.

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  31. Dexter said on December 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I had a friend in Florida, an older lady, who told of an old man in her Home Group of AA who wasn’t ashamed to tell anyone who cared that he’d pop a beer open from time to time, and he still went to weekly meetings. Nobody bothered talking to him.
    I had to think about that a while . A person simply cannot drink and still call themselves a member of AA for many reasons, too many to detail here.
    I also am a big fan of a radio personality who is a drug addict and alcoholic , sober about fourteen years as near I can tell.
    He loves to party with his younger radio cohorts and the small army of listeners who gather from time to time in halls and bars. He even talks like this: “…we went drinking at that place and…” but the truth always leaks back in…he never touches a drop himself, and when his appendix burst and he was in agony in the hospital he refused all the morphine derivatives offered, and was steadfast… when it was offered he immediately went into “yeah, I’ll get some music going in here and it’s gonna be great!”…then he caught himself and just refused it all. That is a good example of a person in recovery. Now, back to regular AA, focussing on only alcohol problems like I and my old departed lady friend-in-recovery, we have to adopt the same resilience. We can’t be lulled into thinking what is good for a celebrity in recovery who apparently has taken up drinking again is good for us.
    Well, anyway, this is the classic example of why the thing is called Alcoholics Anonymous. It is why in the eleventh tradition of AA we are told we must always maintain personal anonymity regarding press, radio, and films.
    This is so a member of AA who decides to leave and drink again doesn’t cause a ripple effect and drag some AA members out of the organization: “if HE thinks AA isn’t worth it. why should I?”
    This used to happen a lot. Now, I don’t know what anonymity means to celebrities, I just know that all members of AA cannot put any single person on a pedestal and create a guru for themselves, because so many people leave AA, and some constantly come and go…it’s not a great place to create role models. And on that note, and if Elmore Leonard is drinking again, I offer no opinion. If he’s drinking, more power to him. It’s nobody’s business. AA is a revolving door unless it gets into your heart and soul.
    I suppose having my picture up here on a public blog and revealing myself as a member of AA is a violation of the eleventh tradition, but rest assured, Dexter is not my “AA handle”!

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  32. Deborah said on December 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Littlebird and I got some shockingly sad news over lunch today. She made soup so I walked home for lunch. While we were eating she got a call from her dad telling her that her Godfather killed himself. Her father had gotten a letter from Littlebird’s Godfather’s wife telling the whole sad, sad story. This was the nicest guy, he was single when we first met him, a member of our church (Littlebird’s father and I that is, I no longer attend church) that’s when we asked him to be Littlebird’s Godfather, he was there for her baptism and stayed a friend for years. I had no idea he suffered from severe depression, his wife said he hid it well. He drove himself to a police station and shot himself in the chest in his car so his wife wouldn’t have to find him. He died immediately, thank goodness for that. So, so sad. Not great to hear when I’m having SAD issues this time of year. Not great to hear anytime.

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    And what, I wonder, did the staff and administration of the Fuqua School think the story was going to look like? As someone upthread noted, any school, public district or private program, thinks that anything other than lavish praise is an unfair attack . . . which makes them not one whit different than businesses, which at least are more guarded from the outset, assuming you won’t be entirely complimentary, so they they hedge and fence until they hear something that convinces them the story won’t be a total hosing. And if you even breathe a whisper of “. . . but they . . .” you’ll hear about an angry call to your editor, demanding a retraction/correction, and not infrequently asking for disciplinary action on you.

    At least schools don’t usually go for that last step. But why doesn’t Mrs. Murphy have anyone about her smart enough to tell her “just say nothing, you’ll only make yourself look worse” – that’s not as good as a press release stating “we appreciate that, given our history, we were given a fair chance to share our intention to move in a new direction,” but her posted letter is more aimed at the donors than a wider audience.

    EDIT: I posted not having seen Deborah’s previous note; very sorry for you and your daughter, and of course the godfather’s family. I hope you both get a sunny day pleasant enough for a long lakeside walk. If you get up to Field’s (Macy’s) on State Street, tell Uncle Mistletoe I said “hi,” which was always a high point of my Chicago Christmas season. He doesn’t always get atop the Walnut Room tree these days, but there’s nothing like a string of escalator rides to cheer one up . . . or that may just be me.

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  34. Jolene said on December 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Sorry to hear this sad news, Deborah. It’s hard to lose a friend under any circumstances, and suicide is among the worst. Might comfort both you and the godfather’s family to give his wife a call.

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  35. Deborah said on December 13, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    This is Little Bird (using Deborah’s computer), I intend to get his wife’s address so I can send her a letter. Part of me is in shock, he was always so friendly, happy seeming. It’s nothing I’d have expected of him. Particularly him.

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  36. 4dbirds said on December 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    So sorry Deborah. Suicide is the worst. My commanding officer killed himself in 1997 and I still fret and worry about what I could have done to help him. I loved him as a brother.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on December 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Little Bird and Deborah, I’m so, so, sorry. Suicide leaves so much collateral damage. I wish I could say something that could make a difference but all the words I try to write seem inadequate. Healing will take a long time. Be kind to yourselves.

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  38. Deborah said on December 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Another really sad part of the suicide story is our friend’s wife’s first husband died of cancer when she (and he) were still in their 20s. Then this happened to her second husband. She referred to his depression as a disease which took his life too.

    And this is one of those friendships that I didn’t get custody of (so to speak) in my divorce, which makes me feel awful. I hate that people feel they have to choose sides. Littlebird got to keep a relationship with him which was great.

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  39. brian stouder said on December 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Deborah and Little Bird – strength and courage to you both. The older I get, the more it strikes me that life is strange, altogether.

    Your news certainly places in proper perspective the three trivial things I was going to yap about.

    As Jolene said – certainly any communication between the godfather’s family and yours will mean a great deal to everyone, and that’s a good thing. (I used to think funerals were such odd things – but really, they do serve a very healthy purpose; not “closure” so much as continuation and affirmation.)

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  40. Suzanne said on December 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I grew up in good old NE Indiana and knew almost nothing about segregation until I studied it in high school history. I only a few years ago learned that most of the church and other private schools in the South were non-existent until segregation was outlawed. I used to work with a guy who had taught at a Christian school in Virginia. He told me it was the dirty little secret (not so secret, though) and that once these schools discovered there were some fine athletes among the black population, they suddenly became integrated! Boy oh boy,won’t those Christians be shocked to discover there are black people in the great hereafter!

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  41. Kirk said on December 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    When I was a kid growing up about 40 miles south of Columbus, Ohio, the local public pool, run by the Rotary club, was whites-only.

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  42. Judybusy said on December 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Deborah and Little Bird, I am so sorry to hear of this loss. The suicide is an extra tragedy, as others have noted, because those left behind often wonder what else they could have done. I am glad LB is going to reach out to the family; it used to be deaths in these circumstances were shrouded in shame. Your efforts will help with this and I am sure be a blessing for all.

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  43. Dexter said on December 13, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Many sports fans associate the team “The Indianapolis Clowns” as a Negro League team, and it was, until the Negro Leagues dissolved as Major League Baseball slowly became integrated.
    The link has information as to what the Clowns became after 1952 when Ed Hamman became part owner. In 1967 summer riots flared up as American racial tension boiled, and Ed Hamman decided once again to integrate the Clowns, now a barnstorming team. I answered the call and took a bus to Winston-Salem, NC to try out for a spot on the “College All-Stars”, a misnomer if there ever was one.
    I made the team and therein began my education in race relations.
    Kirk, we were in the old bus somewhere in Tennessee and we drove past an all-white swimming pool. One of our players on the Clowns just flipped out, saying how that when he made the majors he was gonna buy that goddam swimming pool and splash his goddam black ass right into it. He was dead serious and mad as hell. Later, we got into a fist fight because he didn’t like his seat, and mine was ahead of his, and he fought me for it. Nobody won.
    I learned so much in those two summers just before Uncle Sam got me into the Army. I saw wicked racism many times and I wrote a bit about it here a few years ago…it was pretty damn ugly.
    In the Army, it was different. The Army brass were scared of the bands of united soul brothers and their stereos blaring out Malcolm X tapes. The racial makeup of the fighting forces in Vietnam included a high ratio of Blacks. Things were changing as African Americans were standing up for themselves.

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  44. Dexter said on December 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    banksy is at it again in London

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  45. Kim said on December 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Deborah and Little Bird, condolences to you both.

    MMJeff and BobNG: I once wrote a story about a school whose origins are very similar to Fuqua. Told the head of school I wanted to do it as part of a comprehensive look at the Brown vs. Board of Ed. aftermath, because the school’s storyline at that point was, “Hey, segregation all done! Look at us!” I asked to interview some black students (black, not other minority, solely because of the history of the place) and was delivered a trio who’d been there for years, two because their parents wanted the absolute best prep for college and one because of athletics, mostly. All three were leaders, but the athlete pulled out at the last moment. We met in Head of School’s office and I laid out where the interview would go and offered to speak to the kids’ parents (all were under 18) if anyone had any questions. Head of school very blithely departed the interview, saying “I trust these kids!” I did call the parents later; both sets had no problems with their kids talking to me and, after the story ran, both sent thank-you letters.

    Short version: The kids told stories about segregation at the tony private school where it didn’t exist, about never feeling part of the school, about the white kids asking why the didn’t invite each other (the black kids, that is) to dances and social events (one kid said, “hey, you’re black, I’m black, we have so much in common, let’s go out!”), about how they couldn’t wait to get to a college where there was more than privileged white kids, about how the administration and parent board were deaf to their feelings.

    Story comes out and much of the whole school community loses its shit. I get calls like crazy and I have to say I did not choose these students; the head of school did and then departed the office (I doubt these kids would have said anything different had the head of school been there; the surprise of it would’ve been dampened some). Some of the callers pointed out that one of the kids came from a very privileged family – like that meant anything!

    I happened to know quite a few of the people who called (this is the biggest small town EVER) and each one was trying to justify the majority’s behavior by calling out the black kids who spoke on a bunch of little things it seemed they’d tucked away, waiting for an opportunity to use ’em. These black kids were owed – didn’t they know? It was a sad affair, one I am happy to say the kids who spoke out survived.

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  46. Deborah said on December 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Thanks you guys your words mean a lot to the both of us. I can’t even imagine how this has made our friend’s family feel. It must just be beyond devastating. I can’t fathom it.

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  47. Linda said on December 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Deborah and Littlebird, I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and godfather. No matter how well you know somebody, you never know how much they might be hurting. My condolences.

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  48. Little Bird said on December 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I talked to my godfather’s wife. It was nice to reconnect. We have plans to get together at some point, maybe go put to Chaco Canyon in a year or so. Talking to her was sort of cathartic, soul easing. Thank you to all of you for your warm thoughts and prayers. It’s meant a lot to me and Deborah.

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    There is no bad reason for going to Chaco Canyon!

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  50. Dexter said on December 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Deborah-Little Bird: Sorry for your loss. Suicide is a complicated issue; no need to fire off obtuse opinions on that practice in your days of sorrow…my only experience with it was 47 years ago when a kid in our high school hanged himself. I never will understand it except in an academe way.

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  51. Little Bird said on December 13, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    My dad expressed that he didn’t understand that kind of crushing depression. He couldn’t wrap his brain around it. I told him to think of depression like diabeties. It requires medication, and sometimes can’t be controlled entirely. That there is no stigma to it, it just is. For the first time in my life, I think he almost got it. I count this as progress.

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  52. Dexter said on December 14, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Depression is such a frustrating condition. Earlier I blogged here about AA. AA’s co-founder, Bill Wilson , was plagued with severe depression or as he said “depressions” for many years.
    At one point he found “a bright sunshine”. You can skim this excerpt to see the outline of how he achieved this.
    Now one might be surprised to know that in the modern day rooms of AA meetings, there is a lot of absolute hatred for religion, which is traded out for “individual spiritualness” or something like that. However, there is no denying that the program of AA was founded on strong Christian principles, as you will see in the excerpt:

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2011 at 7:04 am

    There’s AA rejection of religion, which is common enough but I don’t think it’s dominant (but I haven’t been to that many meetings, so that’s second hand). It seems no more common, but as influential even in a minority position as the religious rejection of psychology & psychiatry. Which itself is fed by the fact that there’s a small but very vocal subset of psychological practitioners who loudly assert that religious practice is a neurosis or psychosis.

    One of the big complicators in doing community awareness & outreach for mental health & recovery is that given the relative thinness of resources, faith communities are a logical secondary network of referral. But the small anti- groups in each keep this from happening, and maintains a bigger barrier than needs be. Meanwhile, whether mental health professionals like it or not, pastors (educated or not, trained in counseling or not) are doing lots of front-line counseling, and whether they agree with it or not, lots of their parishoners would benefit from effective referrals to community mental health & recovery resources.

    But for every minister I’ve heard say psychiatry is of the devil, I’ve heard a counselor or therapist say that it should be illegal for religious professionals to do counseling. It’s a barrier that needs more gates and bridges in it, if not dynamite.

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  54. alex said on December 14, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Interesting news re: the Teabagger mayor of Troy.

    My Freudian analyst was hostile to both religion and AA. She told me she wouldn’t work with me if I ascribed to either. As to the former, she felt that it aids and abets the very sort of denial and magical thinking that she wants her clients to unlearn. As to the latter, she felt that it doesn’t sufficiently address the demons that motivate substance abuse and that one could drink again having conquered them.

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  55. ROGirl said on December 14, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Sorry for your loss, Deborah and Little Bird. Although I have had periods of depression in my life, I’ve never wanted to end it all. The lack of availability of professional help in these tough times makes things worse for those of us who really feel the need for it.

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  56. Dorothy said on December 14, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I’m so sorry ladies for the loss of your friend and godfather. I have never lost anyone to suicide but I have experienced depression with my husband and a few friends. It’s not easy to understand, and when someone decides to end it all like that, I think it stirs up real fears that people you know and love might do the same awful thing. I have felt that way, anyway. It’s a very helpless feeling.

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