The Color of God

The bus crossed the 7th street bridge and I peered over the rail through an open window at the eddies of a muddy river, swirling coffee relentlessly shaping the bank of naked earth. On my first day of junior high ringing bells punctuated my hourly class schedule. This change in my academic life assaulted my senses, along with the smell of lingering cigarette smoke in bathrooms, hot sawdust and oiled metal cuttings from shop class, the musty sour odor of the gym class unwashed, and the siren smell of shampooed hair, the same hair that framed stick figure girls in … Continue reading The Color of God

Abraham, Martin & Me

Originally posted on Bespoke:
It was the first time I ever prayed with my face touching the earth…and the first time I have ever had a prayer interrupted by a President of the United States. I lay prostrate on the green grass surrounding the Washington Monument, praying with ten other men in a tight circle, and a half million men all along the Washington Mall. It was October 4, 1997, a Saturday afternoon, and the Presidential helicopter with William Jefferson Clinton aboard, had just powered over our prayer huddle flying barely higher than the Washington Monument peak as if by… Continue reading Abraham, Martin & Me

LBJ & Dad had No Idea What Fuse They Lit in 1965

My favorite childhood holiday through the wonder years of the Sixties was the 4th of July. I had no precocious notions of patriotism, not one noble sentiment of love for country. I just loved fireworks. Sparklers (Please…don’t plunge them deep into the retina of your sister…yes ma’am, I’ll be careful), lava-flowing glow worms that mutated from fire to molten ebony marking our driveway with a trail of patriotism identifiable in the concrete for years to come. Pop bottle rockets that never saw the translucent green glass of a pop bottle, only the synchronized whip like action of fleshy adolescent palms, … Continue reading LBJ & Dad had No Idea What Fuse They Lit in 1965

I’m Pilgrim, but My Indian is Stirring

Part one My daughter Lauren has an ear tag from birth about the size of an uncooked lentil. At the age of four, she informed her two younger siblings that her ear tag was Cherokee Indian…the rest of her was Pilgrim. My understanding of my own Native Indian heritage is apparently less considered. During my four years of living and working near Tabernacle, New Jersey, where my wife was raised, the question of my roots would invariably arise given my speech inflection. A co-worker referred to me as Tom Bodett of Motel 6 radio commercial fame…”I’m Tom Bodett for Motel … Continue reading I’m Pilgrim, but My Indian is Stirring

Abraham, Martin & Me

It was the first time I ever prayed with my face touching the earth…and the first time I have ever had a prayer interrupted by a President of the United States. I lay prostrate on the green grass surrounding the Washington Monument, praying with ten other men in a tight circle, and a half million men all along the Washington Mall. It was October 4, 1997, a Saturday afternoon, and the Presidential helicopter with William Jefferson Clinton aboard, had just powered over our prayer huddle flying barely higher than the Washington Monument peak as if by governmental mandate. As dusk … Continue reading Abraham, Martin & Me