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“Over the Mountain”

Banks, Phillips and Woodlawn students protest integration, Sept 12, 1963. Photo: Birmingham News

Still thinking about the movie Woodlawn that I am yet to see. And merging those thoughts with the Facebook conversation about the proposed new football stadium for USA. I guess that is part of the reason I’m so uptight about that one stadium supporter’s words that he “is tired of going to football games in the slums.” I’m feeling guilty by association, by not having spoken up in the 60s and 70s when the white flight from Birmingham, and so many other southern cities, was beginning.

When I was growing up in Birmingham, downtown was the place
to go for essentially everything. It was where most people worked, save for the many that worked at the steel mills on the west end of the city where I was initially brought up. West End, as it was formally called, was not a bad place to live except for the extremely poor air quality there. There was yet to be any governmental controls on the environmental damage from the steel and coal plants in Birmingham, or anywhere else in America for that matter. (more…)

Woodlawn and Mother’s Day 1961 in Birmingham

I just watched the trailer for the movie Woodlawn and it brought back some vivid memories. I played football for Banks High School in Birmingham in the 60’s. That’s me, #80, talking to my linebacker coach, Coach Taylor, during a game.

Woodlawn was our arch-rival and I looked forward to that game each year. Usually, we played at Legion Field, but once when I was on the JV team, we played Woodlawn on the field behind their school. Much like one of the games in the movie, the field was muddy, but we won.  Shorty White, an Auburn graduate but admirer of Coach Bear Bryant, took over the football program at Banks in 1961 and began to build a (more…)

A True Golden Boy – Jim Steadman MIA

I met Jim just a few hours into my four years at the Air Force Academy. As the last step of induction, I was led by an upper classman (a “Firstie” or senior) to my dorm room on the top floor of Vandenberg Hall. When I entered the room, I saw Jim sitting at one of the two desks looking as stressed as I felt. Before I could even say hello, the firstie screamed “Get this room in order! I’ll be back in 30 minutes and this room better be ready. And somehow we made it. (more…)

Pondering the latest attack on Christians.

christians under attackNot very long into the press coverage of the terrible tragedy in Oregon, the interview with the father of one of the survivors brought up the possibility that the gunman may have asked some of the victims if they were Christian. (I believe that has now been pretty much confirmed.) The “media” as the folks on Fox and Rush like to call them, reported that information but did not editorialize on it. Of course, Fox et al immediately used that fact to bolster their construct that Christianity is under attack in America (it is not as far as I can surmise from reading both responsible conservative and responsible progressive sources). (more…)

Facebook Timeout

Well, folks, I have just had enough of Facebook for a while.

F2F Conversation MatterAlthough it used to be fun to keep up with the doings of my friends, things have deteriorated to the point the majority of postings, mine included, have become political, or even worse, ideological and extremist. Our nation, and my Facebook friends who reflect that, has become so polarized and proselytizing that my stress levels have greatly increased. I have learned that when you take on a Facebook friend, you also get their friends, and their friend’s friends. I have a fairly wide diversity of Facebook friends and as the friends of friends get added in, the vitriol just becomes too much.

The only option seems to be unfriending those with a conservative bent, even if (more…)

EPA’s mine spill?

Mine drainage near Silverton Colorado

2014 – mine drainage near Silverton Colorado

One of my friends posted on Facebook, justifiably upset over the very recent spill of hazardous water from an abandoned mine tailings pond. In part, she was upset with EPA. I understand her frustration.

But I have to speak up in defense of the EPA. [Self-disclosure: For 25 years, beginning with the passage of the legislation creating the EPA and the Clean Water Act, I was an active (more…)

MASH & Korea

16th TFS F4E 67-231 taxing at Kunsan

16th TFS F4E 67-231 taxing at Kunsan

I was stationed at Kunsan AFB in South Korea with the 16th Tactical Fighter Squadron when the Mash Movie was released. We, of course, got one of the first releases (Not). We watched it on a bed sheet hung on the side of a Wonder Arch.

This was in 1970 with the US still reeling (more…)

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Mama's irisLuisa
Just thinking of you and hoping you are well.

I’m flying straight and level – an old USAF term meaning nothing has changed since we last talked. Though my destination is still uncertain, at present I’m just looking out the window and trying to take things one day at a time.

And I’m not sure I thanked you for the Daily Devotions booklet you sent. I am reading it and the Bible almost every night, some nights though I fall asleep before I get very much read.  But I do try to get some quiet reflection time during each day as well. It helps me keep my eyes looking forward rather than back.

Cyndy sent a nice thank you note for the birthday card and gift I sent via Steph. (more…)

Thursday, July 02, 1998

pink n blue

Image by Vonderific

Something Bruce Jenner said during the interview on 20/20 Friday night resonated and brought me thinking back to a critical juncture in my own path to transition. “You can still call me Dad.”   (Note I hid in Tef’s carryon bag for her 1998 trip to Oz)

“Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you, For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows might go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, So He loves also the bow that is stable.” Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” (more…)