Joan Baez was an iconic singer for those of us who came of age in the 1960s. I bought six tickets in February of this year for her "Fare Thee Well Tour," which came to Chicago on Friday, October 5th. I was not prepared for the surprise that awaited me.
Next Tuesday, August 28, 2018, will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and the anti-Viet Nam War Protests that once again (after the ML King riots just five months earlier) turned Chicago into a battleground and divided our city and country into camps; the "law and order" crowd (what Nixon called the "Silent Majority" vs. the anti-war protestors. It was the final melee in a year of turmoil that had roiled the nation.
When I was in eighth grade, our English teacher, Mrs. Hall, asked all the students in class to write an essay on why we thought our dads should be “Father of the Year.”
April is poetry month, and although there are many famous and fabulous poets to acknowledge and praise, I want share a poem my father wrote. Dad loved to write poetry. Dad was sensitive, and his poems allowed him to express himself in words that might have been hard to call up in speech.
Charles Schultz wrote two memorable square-shaped little "Peanuts" books in which each page expressed a single, simple thought about love or happiness. You can click to see these classics on Amazon: Love is Walking Hand in Hand and Happiness is a Warm Puppy. Well, I think my mom's following diary entries of falling for my dad could add something to those books:
At West End and Keeler Avenues in Chicago's West Garfield Park, an elliptical blue-green dome rises above the surrounding bungalows and two-flats. It is the pinnacle of Bethel Church, a symbol of community and an anchor to this neighborhood for 125 years.
When an assassin felled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4th 1968, it was not just the murder of the greatest leader of the Civil Rights Movement, it was the murder of hope for so many of our country's African American citizens.
My grandmother's madness seemed to come about suddenly, based on what I read in my mother's diaries. It was clear to me, however, that Grandma K (for Koroschetz) always displayed what today we'd call "anger management" issues. In Redlined, I write about my maternal grandmother's slide into serious mental illness, just a couple months before my parents were to marry. Was it a coincidence that Mom's mother started down the road to paranoia and psychosis just before she lost her only daughter to marriage?