Mia Birdsong is the host of More Than Enough, a Nation podcast that uses the concept of universal basic income to start a conversation about dignity, deservedness, and the country America can and should be.
An idea: buy a postcard, send it to Temporary Occupant, 1600 Black Lives Plaza, Washington, DC 20500 (ZIP Code should get it there), and send your message of disdain. (Postage is 35 cents, but hey, spend 20 cents more, slap that first-class stamp on it, and support the USPS.)
“You think grown-ups have it all figured out? That’s just a hustle, kid. Grown-ups are making it up as they go along, just like you. You remember that, and you’ll do fine.” – Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman), MATINEE (1993).
Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, the first black player on the Boston Red Sox, has died. He was 85. Green played parts of four seasons with the Red Sox and one with the New York Mets from 1959-63, batting .246 with 13 homers and 74 RBIs. But his place in history was made when he stepped on the field as a pinch-runner against the Chicago White Sox on July 21, 1959. The Red Sox were the last team in the major leagues to field a black player.
“This is theater as teaching tool, artistic expression and catharsis”
One of my pet peeves – nah, it’s stronger than that, more an irritation – happens when I hear folks from around the Capital District say, “There’s nothing to do around here.”
For instance, last weekend was chock full. On Friday, author L. Lloyd Stewart spoke at my church about his 2013 book The Mysterious Black Migration 1800-1820: The Van Vranken Family and Other Free Families of African Descent in Washington County, New York.
Now mostly rural, Washington County, not far from Albany, is not a place people around here think of as an African-American stronghold. But the growth of free blacks, and slaves – the institution didn’t end in the Empire State until 1827 – was huge.
Times Union newspaper critic Steve Barnes wrote: “This is theater as teaching tool, artistic expression and catharsis, for the performers and their audience, and it is often deeply moving to experience.” It was so much so that our daughter went AGAIN on Sunday afternoon.
Peter Lesser from The Egg, the venue where the event took place, started things off. Sara Ayers, true love of Greg. was wonderfully gracious. Then Paul Jossman (guitarist Bowtie Blotto) and Bill Polchinski (guitarist/songwriter Broadway Blotto) gave touching and funny tributes to their band mate.
Michael Eck (Ramblin Jug Stompers) was particularly emotional. Local musician Bryan Thomas spoke of Greg’s encouragement. Kirsten Ferguson discussed Greg’s light touch as Nippertown editor. The aforementioned Steve Barnes marveled how Greg could know EVERYTHING about what was happening in the local music scene.
Rosanne Raneri and Steven Clyde sang and played a Jefferson Airplane tune. Then there was proper New Orleans sendoff with The 2nd Line Driveby Jazz Band. A wonderful celebration.
We were so busy that weekend, we didn’t make it to the annual Greek Festival. Monday night, I had three choices of activities, including something promoting the census; I did none of the above.
This is not a complaint, but most of my weekends have been very busy all year. There’s NEVER “nothing to do.” I can tell as my email queue gets longer and my prepared blog post list gets shorter.