All right, strengthening background checks for gun purchases sounds like an okay idea, if not the best of all possible ideas for wiping out the gun violence epidemic. And without additional gun reform measures to go with it maybe not even an idea that will necessarily make a whole lot of difference in gun deaths in this country, this country being so awash in guns and there being so many options for obtaining a gun besides a gun-selling store, like from the street, from your friend, from some guy your friend knows, from a house you broke into from which you stole three dozen guns, etc.
But requiring better background checks, eh, can't do any harm, right? Might even do some good. Anyway it would be a start.
So how come our lawmakers haven't already done this? Why haven't they yet passed a law requiring stricter background checks, since they've only been talking about it for years as the answer to gun violence?
And as for doing something about all the mental illness out there that's turning men (but not women, as you might have noticed) into mass shooters (unless the shooter happens to be Muslim, in which case he couldn't be mentally ill, just evil, right?), politicians have likewise been jawing about mental illness for years. So why haven't they done anything about that, either? How about giving us some meaningful legislation - instead of just meaningless talk - that addresses the need for more affordable, accessible mental health care?
It's as if "background checks" and "mental health" are words embroidered on a couple of pretty silk hankies that Congress pulls out of a drawer every time there's a mass shooting to wave at the public for a while, calm us down until all the fuss has faded, at which time the embroidered words can be slipped back into the drawer until next time.
But next time is now, and seventeen more people are dead in Parkland, Florida. This time it was fourteen high school students, a geography teacher, a football coach and an athletic director who bled to death on the ground from gun shot wounds. Seventeen bullets to the heart, was how one tearful young survivor of the shooting described the effect on his grieving community, while others around the country have sought ways to express our collective horror, anger, and grief.
And the faint-hearted politicians have in their turn responded to the mass horror by pulling out their dainty little "background checks" and "mental health" hankies and are once more waving them at us. Accompanied by, of course, the usual flirtatious eye-lash batting at the National Rifle Association.
Here's me doing an open mic on "Equal and Opposite Reactions" on the podcast yourbookmybook.com.
Yesterday the news broke that the sheriff's deputy assigned to protect Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stayed outside the school while a gunman armed with an AR-15 rampaged through the halls, killing seventeen students and staff members and wounding fourteen others.
The deputy, 54-year-old Scot Peterson, was a thirty-two year veteran police officer. He'd been assigned to the school for eight years. He was trained. He was experienced. He was armed. He was present. He was in uniform. He knew that it was his job, what he'd signed on for, to to run into that school alone and, having no idea where in the 30-classroom building the shooter might be, find the shooter then charge him head-on on and, alone, using only his service pistol, bring down a crazed moving target, moving through the building while randomly spraying bullets from an AR-15 that could discharge 90 round a minute.
So why didn't Officer Peterson try to charge the moving, bullet-spraying shooter and bring him down with his pistol?
I don't know. Maybe because he knew that it was a suicide mission he'd be on, one he never expected to actually have to undertake when he signed up for school protection duty. He was a police officer well-trained in firearms use. He surely knew what my husband Tom,
...that hitting a moving target is extremely hard, even when one isn't outmatched by a target using a semi-automatic assault-style rifle.
Officer Peterson probably already knew what was published this morning in the Chicago Tribune, that "Police Executive Research Forum, a think tank backed by major-cities chiefs, wrote in a 2014 report (that) 'a faster response is more dangerous to responding officers. Patrol officers who quickly move to confront an active shooter face a high likelihood of being shot themselves.'"
Maybe he knew that if he ran into that building and tried to rush the shooter there was less than a one-in-a-million chance that he would stop the killer and the same odds that he himself would come out alive.
Maybe 54-year-old Scot Peterson didn't do what his superior, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, said he should have done, "Went in and addressed the killer. Killed the killer" because he believed that neither addressing the killer nor killing the killer was available to him under the circumstances.
Maybe he was thinking about his family, his children, his wife, wondering what would happen to them if he came out of this dead, a hero, but a hero not because he stopped the shooter or saved any lives, but only because he lost his own.
Maybe as Scot Peterson stood outside the building inside of which children were being murdered he felt the cruel, sharp horns of the dilemma facing a good guy with a gun.
It's been almost a week since the latest mass murder by assault rifle in this country.
A whole week that legislators could have been doing something, introducing bills or even a bill aimed at ending the horrifying blood baths that have become so common that parents are afraid to send their kids to school, a teacher's job description now includes taking a bullet if necessary to protect his or her students, and the rest of us feel like we have to keep a wary eye peeled in public.
Well, at least I do.
Meanwhile, while our lawmakers spin their wheels and give off little squeaks about, I don't know, spanking the FBI, tightening up background checks, and putting everybody who's ever been in therapy or taken an anti-depressant on some list (it will have to be a pretty long list),
...the youngsters in this country have taken matters into their own hands.
As for our lawmakers, I suppose I should clarify that actually there has been some gun control-related legislation over the past year:
1. In December of 2016, during the final days of his administration, President Obama passed a ruling requiring the Social Security Administration to send the names of people who were on disability due to mental illness to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to keep those people from purchasing guns.
2. Last year Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas introduced what he called a gun control bill that would require that federal agencies be held accountable if they failed to add relevant information to the National Criminal Background Check System.
Pretty bold initiative, huh?
Still, Donald Trump wouldn't back the bill, even though the National Rifle Association - which spent tens of millions of dollars supporting Trump's presidential campaign - gave it a green light, which shows how effective the NRA figured this bill would be.
However yesterday Donald Trump said he might - just might - maybe cautiously consider tentatively supporting Senator Cornyn's bill. Like, as long as the NRA was okay with it.
The NRA, of course, is the root of the problem for Donald Trump and his Republican Congress, so many of them being financially beholden to the gun lobby and therefore not wanting to appear to support any legislation that could theoretically cause the gun industry to lose a single dollar of revenue.
At the same time, Americans are crying out for our law makers to DO SOMETHING about the gunshot wound epidemic in this country that takes 13,000 lives a year.
So this has Congress in a real pickle because, as we all know, a person cannot serve two masters; for they will either love the one and hate the other, or else they will hold to the one and ignore the other.
Now which of the two do you think Congress will hold to and which will they ignore?
After all the deaths by gunshot wound in this country, all the mass shootings, all the school shootings,
...all the children murdered with assault rifles by unhinged men in possession of an arsenal of military weapons because in the United States of America anyone can get their hands on any kind of gun and as many guns as they desire; after episode upon episode of a mass shooting followed by our lawmakers responding by spouting phony pious platitudes and other assorted nonsense,
... instead of by taking action to curb gun violence because they don't dare cross the gun lobbies,
...after all the years of Americans existing in a seemingly hopeless cycle of mass shootings followed by inaction followed by more mass shootings followed by more inaction, there appears to be, at last, some green spouts of hope that a change may be coming.
It took another school shooting, another mass murder of children by a young male sociopath with an assault rifle, this one last Wednesday, February 14, at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the affluent town of Parkland, Florida.
Just another horrific American blood bath, just 15 more young lives and two adults bled out from gunshot wounds, just 17 more families shattered, just another community traumatized and grieving,
....just the same callous politicians offering the same hackneyed, meaningless thoughts and prayers, .with Donald and Melania stopping by Parkland for their own meaningless gesture, a thumbs-up photo op on their way to Mar-a-Lago.
But this time it's different. Maybe this was one mass murder too many, the carnage event that has finally pushed our country over the edge.
From the devastated young survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has sprung up a grass roots movement that started with a candle light vigil,
...in which she eloquently shredded lawmakers who take money from the National Rifle Association, shredded their excuses for doing nothing, and vowed to lead the charge for gun reform in this country.
From that rally has arisen the voices of those Parkland, Florida students and others, calling out NRA-funded lawmakers, calling for change, calling for an end to the glut of guns, especially assault rifles, that plagues our country.
Within days of the murder of their classmates these students have started an anti-gun movement they call "Never Again." They are using social media and making the rounds of cable news networks.
They seek to pin a badge of shame on lawmakers who accept money from the National Rifle Association. On the wings of their nascent activism, marches walk-outs, and sit-ins are being planned in the coming months all over the country by youngsters and adults alike, beginning with a lie-in this afternoon in front of the White House by a group of Washington D.C. teenagers who call themselves Teens For Gun Reform.
Who loves a good movie?
Who loves a good love story?
Who loves a good movie love story?
Who loves a good movie love story with a beautiful song that gently drifts throughout the movie?
For those who raised their hand to any or all of the above, I am, in honor this being Valentine's Day, sharing my top five - make that six - favorite movie love stories that have beautiful love theme music as well:
1. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
My favorite of all favorite movie love stories, this 1964 French movie (with English subtitles) is sung through and tells the story of two young lovers, Geneviève and Guy,
....who are separated when Guy is drafted to fight in the war in Algeria.
...and the film's theme has to be close to the most beautiful movie music ever written.
Here's the Youtube link to the theme from "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg":
2. The Painted Veil
Here's the link to the movie's meltingly beautiful theme, "River Waltz":
3. An Officer and a Gentleman
In this 1982 movie a young Richard Gere plays an emotionally lost young man from a sad, lonely background who, during his rigorous training as a U.S. Navy Aviation Officer Candidate,
This movie also has some heart-melting music in its theme, "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong."
This 1953 movie is one of my all-time favorite heart-tugging movies, one I can watch over and over again.
"Lili" tells the story of an orphaned French teenager, alone, friendless and with nowhere to go who joins the circus, where she becomes part of the puppet act.
Here's the link to a clip in which the characters sing the theme song of this sweet little movie:
5. Cinderella Liberty
This 1973 movie tells the story of a sailor on what was meant to be a "Cinderella Liberty" - leave that ends at midnight - who, when his paperwork is lost by the Navy, inadvertently becomes involved with a prostitute,
This heart-wrencher also has a hauntingly beautiful love theme written and sung by Paul Williams.
6. Brokeback Mountain
I guess everybody knows the story of this 2005 movie about the hopeless longing of two gay men who meet and fall in the rugged mountains of Wyoming in the early 1960's.
Here's the link to this movie's lovely theme:
And those are my recommendations for the best love story movies with the most beautiful love story music. May you enjoy a few of them!
Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!
For the past 20 years the Lieutenant Colonel (which is how I sometimes refer to my hubby Tom, pictured below, back when he was a cute First-Lieutenant in Babenhausen, Germany),
...has been a member of the Gahanna, Ohio Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee, the purpose of which has been to advocate walking, biking, and hiking trails around our town.
And for all those years Tom has been going before our City Council pleading the case for the construction of more of such trails, including sidewalks through neighborhoods and along routes that would accommodate children walking to school.
On more than one occasion Tom has stood during a City Council meeting and stated for the record that sidewalks and walking and biking trails are needed not only in our city but in cities across America, not only for health and safety, but as a matter of national security.
Tom's rationale has been that American youngsters, lacking sidewalks on which they can walk through their neighborhoods and to school and trails over which they can bike and hike and get some outdoor exercise, risk growing up into young adults who are too out of shape to serve in our armed forces. Thus our military could eventually be unable to find enough recruits who can meet the minimum weight and and physical fitness requirements for enlistment in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines.
"So what did City Council say when you told them about your sidewalks-and-bike-trails-for national-security theory?" I once asked Tom after he spoke on the subject at a meeting.
"They didn't say anything," Tom replied. "They just smiled."
I'll bet they did, I thought at the time.
However as it turns out, the Lieutenant Colonel has been steel-on-target (as they say in the Field Artillery) for all these years.
Apparently the U.S. Military is having a huge problem with out-of-shape recruits. They're arriving at boot camp physically weak and overweight and they're getting injured during basic training, which has had to be softened because so few recruits can hack the traditional standards.
These out-of-shape recruits are becoming out-of-shape troops who have trouble running, climbing, and marching for miles with packs on their backs while carrying rifles. They lack the stamina for combat duty. If an over-weight soldier is injured during combat his or her comrades have a hard time carrying them.
According to an article in the Military Times entitled, "The U.S. military has a huge problem with obesity and it's only getting worse," 7.4% of men in the military and 10.3% of women are overweight:
It's not only that our troops are overweight; it's that obesity among young people has depleted the number of recruits who can even be accepted into the military.
The U.S. Army commissioned a study on its recent inability to find enough recruits from the Southeastern states - from where come the greatest number of Army enlistees – in good enough shape to be accepted into the Army. Hence the size of our military is shrinking while the size of our soldiers is growing.
“This has a real impact on national security,” said Daniel Bornstein, the researcher who led the Army’s study.
Which brings us back to what Tom’s been saying for years.
Now, I see two grand ironies in the problems that obesity and lack of physical fitness among America’s youth is causing for our military and subsequently our national security:
Grand Irony #1:
Remember when Sarah Palin sneered at Michelle Obama's healthy eating and exercise initiative by sending chocolate chip cookies to students at a school that was trying to enforce healthy food guidelines?
So who was the true supporter of our nation's military and national security?
Grand Irony #2
Donald Trump has proposed a gargantuan, skies-the-limit defense budget that includes hundreds of billions of dollars for more, bigger, and newer weaponry and a giant wall, all in the name of national security.
Meanwhile our troops are getting too fat to fight.
They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
This past Saturday there was in this country yet another incident of senseless gun violence committed by yet another mentally deranged shooter, a man who in spite of his violent past had no more problem procuring a gun than would a police officer.
This time death hit Westerville, Ohio, a pleasant, normally peaceful suburb of Columbus, the next suburb over from my suburb. This time the shooter was was an ex-felon who nonetheless had no problem procuring a gun; it was as easy as giving the money to a friend who got the gun from one of the hundreds, thousands, who-even-knows-how-many gun-getting places that keep this country awash in guns and death by gunshot wounds.
Old story, tragic new chapter.
This time the victims were two police officers who were answering a call for help from a frightened woman who'd called the police several times in the past on her abusive husband.
Surely when Officers Morelli and Joering said good-bye to their wives and children as they left for work last Saturday morning their families never imagined that this would be their last good-bye.
And it shouldn't have been.
Call it a mental illness problem, a domestic violence problem, or an ex-felon problem, the problem is that if one mentally ill ex-felon spouse abuser hadn't had been in possession of gun two police officers would still be alive today. Take note, all gun-rights supporters who believe that arming every man, woman, and child in this country is the answer to gun deaths, that the two officers who died were armed and trained in the use of firearms.
And now there are two wives who've lost husbands, two families who've lost fathers, a community steeped in shock and grief,
This time I expect there'll be the standard-issue outpourings from politicians of thoughts and prayers for the fallen officers and their families but, as usual, no legislative action on putting an end to the firearms free-for-all that reigns in our country from sea shining sea.
And here I am writing another lacrimosa on another gun violence tragedy.
For what, I wonder?
I can't take it! This is too much! Please, somebody make this parade not happen! It's embarrassing to our country! It's humiliating! We don't do this in The United States of America!
All right, France does it, too, in honor of Bastille Day.
But if France jumped off a bridge would we do it, too?
Look, if Donald Trump wants to copy France, why doesn't he try copying their national health care system or their healthier lifestyle habits?
This is unbelievably crazy. Why are we even talking about a parade for Donald Trump?
Why is Donald Trump talking about a parade for Donald Trump? He's the President of the United States, for crying out loud!
The President of the United States does not go around planning a behemoth, gargantuanly expensive military extravaganza in his own honor, just as he doesn't demand applause or call anyone who doesn't clap for him a traitor.
But the President of the United States does not make our troops march all day in full uniform while carrying a rifle and say he's making them march to honor themselves. If Donald Trump wants to honor the troops, why not give them a day off instead of making them march? It would be a lot cheaper.
At this moment in our country we have an immigration crisis, an infrastructure crisis, a Puerto Rico crisis, a North Korea crisis, a Russia crisis, an opioid crisis, a flu crisis, a norovirus crisis, a gun violence crisis, an affordable housing crisis, health care still isn't fixed and there are people in Houston who are still living in their cars from Hurricane Harvey. We have a trillion dollar deficit crisis and a borrowing-too-much-money-from-China crisis.
At this moment in our country we have a homeless veterans crisis and Donald Trump is planning a military parade for himself?
Why the @#$% does Donald Trump even need a parade?
With all the expensive toys he's got already got to play with?
You give him a military parade today, tomorrow he'll want a fireworks display.
Since he was elected Donald Trump has been squandering out nation's resources on himself and his family, squandering millions to keep Melania in her Trump Tower penthouse, millions on his golf outings, millions on his weekend flings to Mar-a-Lago.
You know what? Donald Trump wants a parade so bad, he should pay for it himself.
And he shouldn't make the troops march. The purpose of our military is not to entertain a spoiled, spendthrift billionaire.
If Donald Trump wants a parade he should pay actors to play soldiers. He should pay float-builders to build him some balsa-wood models of tanks and guns and missiles that won't damage the city streets. He should pay for the use of the streets. He should pay a crew to clean the streets after the parade is over.
In fact, Donald Trump should march in the parade himself. From start to finish. The exercise would do him good.
Anybody who fully understands and can explain what The Memo is talking about raise your hand.
Extra credit if you can connect the dots between Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Fusion GPS, opposition research, the Steele Dossier, the Strzok-Page texts, and FISA.
I for one have been having a time trying to wrap my head around the whole Nunes Memo thing, The Memo supposedly either proving FBI bias against Trump or not proving anything in the special investigation that started out as an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election but could end up, well, who knows where?
But has anyone actually tried reading The Memo? Darned thing was only 3 1/2 pages long but reading it was like trying to push your brain through oatmeal. Greek legalese oatmeal.
Still, I've been attempting to unravel the tangle which spawned The Memo, and for those who'd like to give their tired brains a break from trying to figure out this integrated differential quadratic post-graduate calculus word problem on their own, I'll share what I've been able to come up with, though I can't even guarantee I've got it all right. But I'll try.
As there are several story lines to this narrative, I'm going to break it down, hopefully for the sake of a smidgen of clarity. So:
He's been on the radar of the FBI since 2013 under suspicion of being a Russian agent.
In 2016 the Trump campaign took Page on board as a foreign policy adviser but dumped him in September when his unsavory reputation started creating bad PR. In October Carter Page was put under surveillance by the FBI. He is currently suspected of having passed to Russian agents sensitive documents related to our national security for his own financial gain. Now hold this thought.
George Papadopoulous is a 30-year-old...well, I don't know what he is now,
... but back in 2016 when he was 28 years old he was recruited to be another foreign policy adviser (along with Carter Page) to Donald Trump's campaign team even though he was living in London, go figure.
During this time young Papadopoulous began meeting with Russian agents who told him that there were Russians who had dirt on Hilary Clinton. These agents pushed Papadopoulous to arrange a trip for the Trump campaign staff, or even the Donald himself, to Russia to pick up the Hillary dirt.
However George could never get the trip-to-Russia idea off the ground with the rest of the Trump campaign team.
One night, mayhaps in disappointment and frustration that he wasn't going to get to go to Russia with the gang, Boy George, after a few too many drinks in a London bar, spilled to an Australian diplomat that his Russian friends had dirt on Hilary.
The Australian went straight to the FBI, who subsequently interviewed George Papadopoulous about his dealings with the Russians.
But George forgot what his mother taught him and lied to the FBI.
The FBI figured that George - along with a good many other Trump staffers and former staffers - had lied and by October of 2017 he'd been arrested, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and has been cooperating with Robert Muller's investigation ever since. So, even though Donald Trump has tried to throw George Papadopoulous under the bus, the kid'll probably be okay.
Okay, I'm now realizing that George Papadopoulous doesn't actually have anything to do with The Memo. But he's still kind of an interesting side plate.
During the Presidential primaries in 2015 Fusion GPS was hired by The Washington Free Beacon, and anti-Trump conservative group, to gather opposition research - read "dirt" - on Donald Trump, according to rumor to help Marco Rubio's campaign, though Rubio has denied this.
After Trump became the Republican Presidential candidate The Washington Free Beacon stopped funding the dirt-hunt on Trump; however at that time the Democratic National committee and the Clinton campaign took over funding the investigation. In other words, now Fusion GPS was doing their opposition research on Trump for the Democrats instead of the Republicans.
In the course of their investigation, Fusion GPS approached British ex-spy Christopher Steele,
...who accommodated the company by putting together a dirty dossier on Trump known as the Trump-Russia Dossier or Steele Dossier, a copy of which he slipped to the FBI, so dirty it was.
It turned out that, besides giving the poop scoop about Donald's supposed romp with a couple of Russian prostitutes during the course of which they all went wee-wee for fun and which was clandestinely filmed by Putin's agents for future blackmail use against Trump in case he won the American Presidential election, anyway, besides containing that narrative, the dossier had some nasty dope on...Carter Page.
According to the dossier, Carter Page, in July 2016 while part of the Trump campaign, flew to Russia for clandestine meetings with Russian officials on the subject of trading lucrative contracts to U.S. corporations in exchange for getting Trump, if he were elected President, to lift U.S, sanctions against Russia.
Okay, stay with me now:
By October of 2016 it was clear to the FBI that there was Russian interference in the Presidential election and an investigation into possible Russian collusion with members of the Trump campaign was well underway, though, unlike the FBI investigation into Hillary's emails, FBI Director James Comey did not think it necessary to share the existence of this investigation with the public.
Anyway, during the course of this budding investigation two FBI agents, lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page (no relation to Carter), exchanged emails of a derogatory nature about Candidate Trump, calling him things like "idiot" and "a loathsome human." (How could they, right?) The existence of these emails is also not mentioned in The Memo, but are kind of related. Anyway, those emails were eventually discovered and the two agents were fired by Special Prosecutor Mueller.
Those ill-advised emails kind of energized the Republicans - and Trump himself - who wanted the Trump-Russia investigation to go away and might have given Republican Congressman Devin Nunes - who'd already screwed up once in his roll as member of the House Intelligence Committee - the moxie to write up his memo - The Memo - charging anti-Trump bias in the Mueller investigation.
But I've gotten 'way ahead of the story; still, pay close attention here, I'm about to get into the meat and potatoes:
In October of 2016 the FBI was suspicious enough of Carter Page's activities that the agency sought a warrant to put him under surveillance. They sought a surveillance warrant from the United States Foreign Intelligence Court, known as FISA, which is a federal court that oversees granting warrants for U.S. intelligence agencies against foreign spies in the United States. Which is what the FBI suspects Carter Page of being. The FISA court granted the FBI the warrant. One of the pieces of evidence considered in the granting of the warrant was the Steele Dossier.
Fast forward to 2018. the Mueller investigation has been rolling along, slowly, day by day, for the better part of a year, closing in, inching closer and closer to the truth about Russian interference in the 2016 elections and no doubt other things yet to be revealed about...
In any case, the Mueller Investigation has, as we all know, been causing the above person some agita, as well as some of his water-carriers, among whom is
It was Nunes who wrote The Memo - against the will of the FBI - the point of which was to accuse the Mueller special investigative team of anti-Trump bias because the Fusion GPS opposition research investigation which initially procured the Steele Dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee.
So, weakening the Mueller investigation and whipping up popular sentiment against it was the hoped-for outcome for of The Memo.
(Sigh) Sorry, I know the whole thing is probably too gnarly for most mortals to digest. Me included, even after writing out all of the above.
But Anyway, now the Democrats want to release a 10-page rebuttal memo filling in all the important info that The Nunes Memo left out. And Nunes has come back by saying that he's going to release a rebuttal memo to the Democrats' rebuttal memo.
(Sigh) It's going to be a long investigation.
Unless, God forbid, it ends up being a too-short investigation.
My book, "Equal and Opposite Reactions" is under discussion this week by the Indie Eden Book Club. Anyone who has read the book and would like to join the discussion can go the the Indie Eden Book Club Facebook page, join the club, and join in the discussion!
Late last night there was much rejoicing from sea to shining sea, though none more, I'm sure, than in my home-town of Philadelphia
...where things may have gotten a weence out of hand,
...in the celebrations of the Philadelphia Eagles' historic win over the New England Patriots in last night's Super Bowl.
And today the celebration continued among happy Eagles fans everywhere. I saw it and heard it all around me: this morning among the elliptical machines in the gym, during my yoga class, in the grocery aisle of the supermarket where I stopped to pick up some shiitake mushrooms and kale, and all up and down my Facebook wall.
And I, alas, stood alone like one of the foolish maidens shut out of the feasting. All the more foolish, some might say, because I shut myself out.
Because I'm a non-fan of football. Make that a super-non-fan.
How that happened to a girl who grew up in a big football town with three sports-loving brothers is anybody's guess. Mayhaps a genetic kink in my DNA.
In any case I distinctly recall during the fall and winter Sunday afternoons of my teen-aged years sitting at the dining room table sipping some tea and trying to read a book or do my homework or hatch a plot to move to France while my brothers and father watched football on the TV in the living room, whooping it up, every now and then jumping off the couch and letting out with a protracted yell, Go! Go! Go! or No! No! No! that would end in a scream of ecstasy or one of agony.
I wish they'd quit doing that, I'd think to myself.
...I would feel the excitement from time to time. Yes! I'd joyfully shout (to myself) any time the coach took him off the field and directed him to the bench where I knew he'd be safe from injury at least for a little while.
And I never missed a Bishop Hartley High School football game and glowed with pride the years my child was one of the players out on the field...in the band.
Theresa, the Bishop Hartley High School Band Field Commander.
Before and after the band's half-time performance I'd try to find someone to chat with, another disinterested parent who like me had no idea what was going on out on the field, or else I'd mosey over to the snack bar to see if any parent volunteers were needed to work, or else I'd walk 'round and 'round the track that ringed the football field, stopping to throw my hands up in the air and cheer when I saw everybody else doing it.
I've not watched, or pretended to watch, a football game since then.
And so last night, while the rest of the country whopped, wailed, cheered, booed, rejoiced and lamented, I sat in the quiet of my self-exile, as during the football games of my youth.
I didn't dare tell my 97-year-old mother, who definitely got it said for the Eagles.
by Patti Liszkay
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by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Amazon:
"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Amazon:
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of German Village,
Or check it out at the Columbus Metropolitan Library
I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.