Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has Fairbanks Disease, which causes stunted bone growth. He’s 4’11”. So he was bullied mercilessly in school until somebody stood up for him. An older kid who he didn’t even know began to beat the crap out of anybody who bothered him. It was the foundational experience of his life.
The older kid was Mickey Schwerner. A few years later, Schwerner joined Andrew Goodman and James Chaney and went door-to-door in Mississippi, trying to register Black voters. You know what happened.
The picture on the top of the page is of actress Gloria DeHaven. Yet it shows up often on the Internet as being a young Frances Bavier, the woman who would eventually play Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith Show in the 1960s.
I did not realize this until recently, but I think I’m becoming a devotee of the British way of punctuation. “British usage omits the apostrophe in the plural form of dates (e.g., 1980s)”. Also, “British style (more sensibly) places unquoted periods and commas outside the quotation marks.”
It was this red shoestring licorice we bought about two blocks from the school
Got a bunch of questions, great questions. Gracias. I’ve been thinking about them, some of them A LOT, but some are going to require longer answers than others, and I’ll have more time in the next week or two (I hope).
Were you ever into fossils or dinosaurs? What is your favorite dinosaur?
Not in any kind of systematic way. I mean they were collectively cool, but I didn’t study them very thoroughly. I got frustrated that several of the ones I knew as a child have totally different names, and theories as to their origins are different. Some are now birds that were thought to have been reptiles, etc. Rather like the planets of our solar system, where I once knew how many moons each planet had, but no longer. I’ll pick T-Rex; always liked Bang A Gong [LISTEN].
Have you ever had your IQ tested? When? What was your IQ?
Yeah, at least a couple of times, but they never told us. Once in fifth or sixth grade, some of my classmates discovered our scores but no names were attached. Someone was in the 140s, and we all figured it was friend Carol (not my wife Carol). There were three or four in the 130s, which we surmised were friends Karen, Bill, and me. But we really had no idea.
Did you ice skate as a kid?
I don’t believe so. I have no recollection of it. And not as an adult except once, and it involved wooing Carol (my now-wife).
How do you memorize skits for plays? (This one is fairly urgent… 😛 )
Repetition, optimally with another person, or persons, reading the other parts. But I HATE doing long speeches, soliloquies because I have a hard time memorizing them. Unless they’re poetic, and I can make a song out of them. *** SamuraiFrog wants to know:
At what age did you feel like you became an adult?
62. (Not entirely false.)
I suppose it was when I bought a house, and I was 47. Not sure I like this growing-up stuff. *** Jaquandor, who is in the midst of answering MY questions to him, wants to know:
You’re given enough money for a road trip someplace in the US…not enough to fly anywhere in the world, but enough that you can pay for gas, food, and lodging someplace in this country. Where do you go?
I’d do a bunch of baseball parks by train. But if we’re talking a single location, I’ll pick Juneau, Alaska, because it’s the farthest state capital one can get to by land. If I’m limited to the continental US, then Seattle, WA, or Portland, OR, because I’ve never been to either of them, and they are in states as far from me as possible.
*** Tom the Mayor, my FantaCo colleague, asked:
What was the first comic you remember reading? And the first book?
The first comic I have no idea. It may have been Archie, or Richie Rich, or some other Harvey Comic. The first superhero comic was almost certainly DC, Legion, or maybe Justice League.
I had these Golden Books, but I don’t quite remember them individually. I also had the Golden Book Encyclopedias, and those I remember reading voraciously.
What was the first movie your parents took you to?
Not sure. Can’t remember seeing any movies with my father except for the drive-in. Maybe it was the 1960’s version of State Fair; or did I go without my mother? 101 Dalmatians? Early on, it was West Side Story.
What was your favorite candy as a kid?
It was this red shoestring licorice we bought about two blocks from the school, right across the street from friend Bill’s house.
Do you Kiss your wife and daughter in public? Did your parents kiss you in public?
Yes, and The Daughter still lets me! Not that I can recall, and I don’t know if they kissed my sisters either. *** You can still Ask Roger Anything.
I got to go to eight states directly as a result of work. But I also missed out on the farthest state away for the same reason.
Arthur@AmeriNZ said: Okay, I haven’t participated in awhile, so: If you could pick one thing to do that you haven’t yet done in your life, what would it be and why? It could be a single event (bungy jumping in Skippers Canyon), or it could be a project or process. I’m interested in what you haven’t done that you’d like to do/wish you could do.
OK, maybe I should expand on this.
Here’s a map I made in 2008, right after I visited Illinois, and your former city of Chicago, for the first time. It showed that I had visited 30 of the 50 states. Now, four years later, I have visited 30 of the 50 states. My desire is to visit all 50, and I’ve made zero progress.
Related: my wife made my daughter a promise that she would visit all 50 states by the time she’s 18; she’s almost nine and she’s only been to 11, all between Vermont and North Carolina.
Now that the house is paid off, we need to save money to go west and see the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Park. My wife has seen Mount Rushmore, but she’d go to South Dakota and see it again with The Daughter and me.
Also related: as I explained to Scott: “I want to go to every Major League Baseball park in the same year.” I might end up breaking it up in chunks, but my thought then was to fly to Seattle (check off Washington), take the train south (stop somewhere in Oregon – check) to the 5 California teams, then to Arizona (check), Colorado, Texas, Florida, Georgia, followed by the Midwest, starting with Missouri (check), through Iowa (check), catching Minnesota (my father-in-law’s favorite team – check) and ending in the east.
I noted that I got to go to eight states directly as a result of work. But I also missed out on the farthest state away for the same reason.
Back when Carol, then my girlfriend, was working in the insurance industry, she studied to get a series of designations. She completed her coursework and was rewarded with a trip for two to Hawaii! Who wouldn’t want to go to paradise with his Significant Other?
Unfortunately, that trip coincided with a trip to New Orleans of the Association of Small Business Development Centers. As the person who was the liaison to the other SBDC programs in the country for our library, I should have been going on that trip. But my new boss said no, that she and her chosen favorite – she was very much like that – would be going, and that we could not afford to have more than two of the six or seven librarians out of the office at the same time for three or four days.
Carol wanted me to ask if she’d let me go to Hawaii with her. My thought process was if my boss said no to New Orleans because that would leave us short-staffed, then she’d say no to Hawaii for the same reason, and that I’d lose ANY chance of going to New Orleans as well. Despite my attempts to explain, I don’t think Carol truly understood my office dynamics at the time.
As it turned out, Carol went to Hawaii with my parents, and I ended up going to New Orleans, not because of the reasons I suggested, but because the two women who were going would be hauling a lot of heavy equipment with them, and they needed someone to help schlep it.
Another place I regretted not going to was Puerto Rico. My sister, her husband at the time, and her daughter lived there for six or seven years. I should have invited myself down.
Beyond the US, I’ve been to two Canadian provinces, albeit the most populated ones, Mexico, and Barbados. That’s it! I’d love to go to Paris, Rome, London, and Tokyo. Now that it’s not at war, I’d be interested in visiting Liberia, which was populated by ex-slaves from the US.
Conversely, in the past decade, my friend Karen has been to India, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Turkey, and is currently in Burma.
Arthur, you said on a recent podcast, and I’m paraphrasing here: “In 1994, if you told me I’d be moving halfway around the world a couple of years later, I would have told you that you were crazy.” Yet you packed up and moved to New Zealand, eventually getting married and doing that dual citizenship thing. I still find that remarkable.
Esso stations, unusual in franchising to African Americans, were a popular place to pick up a Green Book.
When I was growing up, as often as not, we got our gas from the Esso station. Esso (“S-O”) “is derived from the initials of the pre-1911 Standard Oil.” I didn’t remember this, but I read that it became the focus of so “much litigation and regulatory restriction in the United States [that in] 1972, it was largely replaced in the U.S. by the Exxon brand… while Esso remained widely used elsewhere.” Ironic, since the Exxon brand name has been forever tainted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, not to mention purposefully manufacturing uncertainty on climate change.
Whereas Esso had quite a positive image, at least with many people of my father’s generation. For there was a time in the United States when many African-American travelers were uncertain where “they could comfortably eat, sleep, buy gas, find a tailor or beauty parlor…or go out at night…without [experiencing] humiliation or violence where discrimination continued to hold strong. These were facts of life not only in the Jim Crow South but in all parts of the country, where black travelers never knew where they would be welcome.”
In 1936, a “Harlem postal employee and civic leader named Victor H. Green” [no relation] developed “The Negro Motorist Green Book: An International Travel Guide …abbreviated, simply, as the ‘Green Book.’ Those who needed to know about it knew about it. To much of the rest of America, it was invisible, and by 1964 [when the Civil Rights Act was passed], when the last edition was published, it slipped through the cracks into history…
“The 15,000 copies Green eventually printed each year were sold as a marketing tool not just to black-owned businesses but to the white marketplace, implying that it made good economic sense to take advantage of the growing affluence and mobility of African Americans. Esso stations, unusual in franchising to African Americans, were a popular place to pick one up.”
So I have a soft spot in my heart for Esso; not so much for its successor, ExxonMobil.
I got to think Romney’s VP pick won’t be a white non-Hispanic guy.
Scott of the Scooter Chronicles, who is BACK blogging after an understandable hiatus – asks these questions:
1. (The Usual) Who do you think ends up in the World Series this year?
Interestingly, it feels more like parity to me this year. It’s not that ANYONE could win the Series – it won’t be the Royals or the Mets, e.g. The AL East will be very competitive unless the BoSox don’t recover from their epic collapse. Will the Rangers represent the AL for the third year in a row? Not feeling it; the Angels, with Pujols, should win the West. And the AL Central remains a mystery to me.
Washington will be better, Philadelphia will be worse. The Braves are supposed to have some great young arms, after THEIR epic collapse. The Giants will improve, iff Buster Posey’s healthy. I think Cincinnati wins the NL Central.
For no good reason, I’ll go with two Florida teams, the Tampa Bay Rays and the FloridaMiami Marlins. Unless Andy Petitte’s return to the Yankees is way more successful than I expect.
4. (May have been asked this before) If money was no object, what is your dream vacation?
Not just money, but time: I want to go to every Major League Baseball park in the same year. Fly to Seattle, take the train to the 5 California teams, then to Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Georgia, followed by the Midwest, starting with Missouri and ending, via Toronto, with Pittsburgh, then finishing with the I-95 corridor from DC to Boston.
3. Any travel plans for the warmer months?
It’s ALREADY the “warmer months”! If it’s 75 in Albany in the fourth week in March, with mosquitoes in the yard, what will July look like? That said, we’ll probably make it to Newport, RI.
5. Did you ever visit an area, not expecting much, but were surprised at what it had to offer?
Last summer, we went to this cabin in the Adirondack Mountains. Let’s say that it wasn’t my thing. But we went into town to North Creek, where I got to use the library. It had some nice restaurants, and it was quite scenic.
2. Who do you think Romney will pick as a running mate?
Let’s start with names he said he’d consider earlier this year: several governors- Chris Christie (NJ) – too much of a blowhard; Mitch Daniels (IN) – his family will veto this; Bobby Jindal (LA); Susana Martinez (NM) – pictured; Bob McDonell (VA) – fatally tainted by the ultrasound thing; Brian Sandoval (NV); Nikki Haley (SC) – having problems in her own state. Former governors Tim Pawlenty (MN) – got out of the Presidential race too early, so his fire in the belly will be questioned, plus he’s dull; Mike Huckabee (AR) – seriously?; Haley Barbour (MS) – his prisoner release just before the end of his term will not serve him well; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), a Cuban Hispanic with issues, who won’t necessarily bring the Mexican-American vote; CIA director David Petraeus – the name associated with an increasingly unpopular war. Here are some more names being bandied about.
I got to think it won’t be a white non-Hispanic guy. Rubio was my initial pick, or maybe Haley, but now I’m leaning towards Martinez, head of a swing state, or Jindal .