Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Phoenix and A Memory

I was 18 when I joined the Mobilization Against the War in the March on Washington, D.C.  Four of us drove from Ithaca to the home of a professor friend of a friend who welcomed a dozen or more of us, strangers in need of a free bed, into his huge home.  We sat in his backyard, under the stars, and tried to articulate our need to be there.

Because it was a need.  Our friends were being drafted when their grades fell.  We played cards with a friend who ate next to nothing, avoiding a 1-A classification by being too thin.  Bombs were being dropped on innocents and Communists alike, awful bombs raining napalm and Agent Orange on a country that wasn't threatening us for any reason other than we were there, threatening them.

There were some principled legislators, elected officials who made a difference.  I was in the audience when Sen. Frank Church spoke out about the war, making a case I could understand and repeat to Daddooooo, who took the other side.  Allard Lowenstein, who spoke truth to power, gave me a front row seat to his reelection campaign.

I listened.  I learned.  I grew.  I saw the impact one person could have. I had to be in Washington that April evening.  I had to be heard.

And now, the President is bringing the fight to my neighborhood.  I'm not 18 any more.  I've been perforated.  Advice on treating pepper spray is less comforting than horrifying.  That's why I'm sitting on my couch right now, passing up an opportunity to peacefully, publicly, protest that which is reprehensible...... although the opportunity to punch a Nazi in the nose was almost enough to put me in a car, with some friends, to walk and chant and then sleep on a friend's extra bed before heading home in the morning.

I'm there in spirit.

We do what we can do.


  1. Doing what you can is doing quite a lot. You are writing about your true experiences and reaching out, offering conviction and wisdom.

  2. I am glad you stayed away. Violence and tear gas you do not need.


Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!