Gordon notes that today is Blog Agaimnst Sexism Day.

O.K. I’m against it.

No, I’m not that glib about it. I do recognize that there are lots of parallels between racism and sexism, such as people who are not experiencing it telling you: it’s all in your head, you’re exaggerating, you’re whining, you want special privileges.

I did not know until today that there is The National Organization for Men Against Sexism. There’s always more we can learn about each other, so I’m interested in learning more about them.

I have a daughter (as some of you may know), and I want her to have all of the opportunities that she’s entitled, regardless of her gender, regardless of her race. It’s seems almost puerile to state these things, but there it is.

Renaissance Man

“I picked up a camera because it was my choice of weapons against what I hated most about the universe: racism, intolerance, poverty,” he once said.

It wasn’t just that Gordon Parks, who died yesterday, did any of the things that he did, even if he was “The pre-eminent American photojournalist of sub-Saharan descent.”

It was that he did SO many things and did them well.

Others have noted some of his other LIFE magazine covers, or his work on the movie Shaft. The image I remember the best is this photo by Parks of a woman named Ella Watson. He was an extraordinarily inspirational figure to me for as long as I can remember.

Becky & Rico

“March 7?” That’s what I said to my sister when she told me.

Last year on that date, I know EXACTLY what I was doing: attending the wedding of my niece Becky (sister Leslie’s daughter) and Rico Curtis. The wedding was on a MONDAY, and the same day as my birthday, but NOT because it was my birthday. It has to do with uniform numbers – Rico was number 37 when he was a defensive back with San Diego State, and later with the San Diego Riptide of the Arena Football League. Becky was number 5 when she played basketball with Berkeley, which is why they’re getting married in ’05. The wedding was scheduled for 3:57 PM.

My flight was the previous Friday. For monetary reasons, and because Carol could take off only so many days as a teacher, and because we were unsure about a transcontinental trip with a less-than-one year old, it was a solo trip.

Leslie picks me up during the rainiest day I’ve ever spent in San Diego. The next day, she, her friends and I arrange table ornaments – it’s a football and basketball theme.

Sunday, Leslie gets sick and goes to an urgent care place. There’s actually an urgent care place around there that is open only Monday through Friday, negating most of the NEED to go there. I stayed home and made a bunch of phone calls.

Sunday night, before the rehearsal dinner, the mothers of the bride and groom are negotiating who shall be mentioned in the program, which Mrs. Curtis would have printed overnight. Our family is fairly small. Three of my mother’s first cousins were present and Leslie was angling to have them included. After a bit of haggling, it was agreed.

My mother and I stayed at the hotel where the wedding was being held. The day of the wedding, my mother, of course, wishes me a happy birthday. We all attend to various last-minute details.

Just before the ceremony, one of my mother’s cousins was the first to look at the program. The cousins were included, but guess who was inadvertently left off?


After the lovely wedding, while we were at the reception, Rico’s mom comes to me. She’s one of those people who never apologize, she noted. But she made it clear that the omission of my name was totally accidental. I did believe her.

A couple weeks later, I receive about a dozen copies of the program with my name included. Rico’s mom had them reprinted!

Happy anniversary, Beck and Rico. I’ve (almost) gotten used to sharing the day with you, and in any case, I’ll never FORGET the date of your vows.

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