I was born in Philadelphia in November of 1953 – a baby boomer, for certain, albeit on the younger end of that generation. Although many periods in history are full of upheaval and change, there is something unique about the speed and severity of the changes which started to occur as I entered primary school. The sequence of events are fairly well known, but to see them close at hand as a growing child was quite alarming. Continue reading
I really like my kids! Kids, I call them, but of course they are fully grown and capable adults! I sometimes wonder how they turned out so well. After all, we did not give them any formal education in the ways of life – no sunday school, hebrew school or long talks about education, hard work, etc.
In fact, we were a very laid back family – more interested in living day to day and making a living and a life.
But children seem to have paths of their own. Ours really never rebelled in the same way we did – maybe they didn’t have as far to go…that is, maybe our way looked pretty good to them, and they had little to rebel against?
I recently founds these words written by one of my daughters – about her experience as a camp counselor for children with AIDS. She was 16 years old, but her world view shows a maturity which I still respect today.
I’ve worked with children for years.
I would like to think that I have made an impact on some of their lives. At the least, I know I’ve helped to steer them in the right direction. Ironically, all these children I think of as mine have no idea what they have done to change me.
For just one week a few summers ago, I participated in a volunteer program at the local YMCA camp. The program was named “Bright Feathers” and was for children affected or infected with the HIV virus. I knew little about the disease at the start. I knew nothing about the children.
“But a Rasta never Marry, Cause a Rasta Never Sorry”
The tune still sticks in my head – it was part of a walking song our Jamaican friends called out as they trekked over the hills and ravines leading us to their bush outposts.
April of 1970. I was only 16 years old at the time. The world was in turmoil due to the social and societal changes brought about by the 60’s. The Vietnam war, race riots, killings of Dr. King and Malcolm X, LSD and Woodstock were all relatively recent news. It was a time which is difficult to explain to those who did not live through it. The closest I can come is to say that it seemed like virtually everything was up in the air. Any day could have brought the “revolution” that would have split the country even further apart. Continue reading
My first girlfriend was really into sex – a real addict. This was a pleasure for me, being a very shy and retiring teen. I never did, and never would, ask a girl for a date. By the time I hooked up with Carole (named changed to protect the innocent), I had already missed the chance at my first 4 or 5 loves. Not that sex was all I wanted – far from it. My first “loves” were women who I thought were beautiful inside and out…definitely could sense their presence! Continue reading
Must have been the summer of 1968 or so – we heard tell about some folks with a small farm right outside of AC who were growing pot. They told us we could pick all we wanted for $30. Continue reading
Soon after my childhood sweetheart moved in with me, we both developed a case of wanderlust. We had both been working jobs in the center city philly area, and although it was an interesting existence we knew that we would eventually have to get out of the city in order to experience the real world. We hatched a plan to save up some money and take a trip to Jamaica, a place which seemed quite exotic at the time (1970-71). Besides, we heard they had some decent pot at very low prices!