I have a new blog for 2012 – Assignment 35.
In honor of the 35th anniversary of my move to Denver, I’ve adopted a random set of assignments which involve the number 35.
See you over at the new place.
Posted in Blogging, Books, City, Culture, Current Events, Denver, General Suz-ness, Good things, Life and death, Movies, Music, Travel, tagged 2012, blog, blogging, books, Denver, Movies, music on January 7, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Hollywood being what it is, plenty of ugly is being freely shared from Balloon Dad’s personal history. He did, it seems, little to endear himself to folks out there.
But Tina Griego’s column in today’s Denver Post is a gulp of clean air among this story’s many kinds of stink.
It’s about the man in the red shirt, a father himself, running hell for leather after the silver balloon in the field to get the kid out safely. It was about a child – the fast dash, the fierce grasp of the tether ropes, the total focus on getting that contraption to the ground and keeping it there. It wasn’t about him.
And he didn’t want his name in the paper.
Full column below the fold in case the link expires.
Sitting on the sofa
Puppy on my lap
Just me at home with him
watching the sleek new HDTV
with count-the-wrinkles resolution
Sun pouring onto us this morning
and the Rockies in the distance
was it dusty country Oklahoma
nearly 60 years ago
was it sultry 60′s Houston
middle school in a buckle of the Bible belt district
surely the place – as Molly Ivins said -
that I realized they were lying about race
and wondered what else they lied about too
was it my early 20′s working learning
law school at night
Or my late 20′s moving up to Colorado
standing up in court
conferring in the jails
with clients in assorted shades
it was my personal soundtrack in college: Aretha’s LPs
it was eighth grade class where we read
the United States Constitution aloud, every last word -
and discussed it
it was the place in my heart
those complicated chambers belonging to my father
whose journey ended too soon long ago
came a lump into my throat this morning
It only went away when Aretha started singing
it dissolved into tears down my face
I don’t really hate Christmas. Although I think I already said that it’s not Christmas I hate, just the gross commercialized culture of excess and frenzy that comes with it these days.
So, it happened again to me this year. The annual miracle of the Christmas spirit. Right on schedule, the morning of December 24. I had no more gifts to buy, but some left to wrap. And errands to run.
I cranked up some favorite Christmas music. My favorites change a little. This year the most played Christmas song on my iPod is this one:
Followed by “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” featured below.
With the music going, I felt my old cold grinchy heart start to warm and melt. Sang along to the iPod, practiced singing harmony to “Silent Night.”
Hopped into the car, with iPod music blasting, practically danced around Costco. Sang to the checkout staff and thanked them for working Christmas Eve. They must be trained to deal with crazy people; they were unfazed.
Was it me? Or were most people I saw in Costco on Christmas Eve *not* all stressing out this year?
Home again, had fun wrapping the presents, all for the little kids in the family. Was sure I wouldn’t make it in time to join the family at church, even called to say so. Figured as I headed out for their part of town that I’d hope to find a coffee shop nearby open, to sip and read for a while till they could get home and let me in. But the magic of Christmas slipped the old Subaru right down the freeways and into the church parking lot to a space across from the family’s van, and ushered me into the church two minutes before the service started. Everybody squished down and made room for me in the row.
So I got to have my annual misty-eyed Christmas Eve service experience at their church, which really piles it on and surpassed itself this year. I think the only thing left is to actually bring in live animals for the manger scene, so I wouldn’t miss next year’s service for the world. Despite the lingering cough from my recent sickness I sang pretty well, and cried during the final candle-lighting in the darkened church. And managed not to splash candle wax around when I blew out my candle afterward.
Nice eats and gift exchange back at the cousins’ after church. Four little kids, two sets of young parents, their grandparents on their dads’ side, two great-grandparents, and assorted loose cannon cousins. Including moi. So many gifts that expressed the love and involvement all these people have in each others’ lives, along with lots of giggles, laughs and squeals among the wrapping-ripping. Some of which was from the kids. A toy horse was the gift of the night for one of the girls, a toy rifle for one of the boys.
After the gifts, the electric Christmas tree lights were turned off, room lights doused, and the little candles in heirloom German silver holders on the tree branches were lit, for all of us to enjoy for a few minutes. That’s what trees looked like way back when.
Christmas day, after Jasper got a nice walk, I worked a morning shift as a volunteer hospitality ambassador at the airport. Lots of family reunions, Santa hats, people with antler headbands, hugs, smiles, even people thanking me for being there. Basically as a talking directional sign – yesterday I was mostly at the spot where people ask directions to their baggage claim carousels. There being 19 of them, I don’t have every single bit of info memorized but fortunately it’s not too hard to steer them the right way. And they give us a cheat sheet too.
Then it was home again, to rest my feet for a while. Then back out to the cousins’ for a nice dinner with most of the family. A quiet time to chat and laugh with the people who’ve known me all my life, or whom I’ve known all their lives, as the case may be. And they put up with me anyway. Bless them.
Long live Christmas. I hope you all had some miracles too, especially the miracles of comfort and joy.
Of all the total stupid backassward fatuous IDIOCY I have read in the course of a long and wasted life, something I saw today online may have taken the all-time award for Stupid Backassward Fatuous Idiocy.
Some clueless airhead who is either a lower-than-a-snake-belly liar, or has had all his or her taste buds surgically rendered inoperable, or has a serious personality disorder involving totally deadened pleasure receptors in every square inch of his or her no doubt unappealing body, has actually written and posted THIS, on the MSNBC website, no less, in an article explaining how dieters can “trade up to healthier treats”:
Skip it: Chocolate chip cookies
234 calories, 13.6 g fat per three cookies
Scarf it: Fill your cookie jar with 100% Whole Grain Fig Newtons and you can feel good about having a helping. A three-Newton snack (165 calories, 3 g fat) nets you 80 percent less fat than three chocolate chip cookies; plus, their 3 g of fiber will leave you feeling fuller.
You save: 69 calories, 10.6 g fat
That is so wrong.
First, if I actually ate three Fig Newtons either whole grain or partial grain, I would save the entire 165 calories because after managing to choke them down I believe I would, well, not keep them down.
Second, and maybe this should be first: who the hell could possibly believe that anything, much less something as creepy as FIG BLOODY NEWTONS, which does not contain chocolate, could in any way, shape or form, be a substitute for a chocolate chip cookie?
Finally, I will concede that under certain circumstances incompatible with my personal situation, a FIG NEWTON might be considered a treat. And one might “feel good” after consuming one. Or three. See the title of this post.
I had always figured that we would not see this during my lifetime. No matter the quality of the candidate or the good ideas in the platform. Americans would not elect an African-American as President. Wasn’t happy about it, but I thought that was a river we were far from crossing in our journey of progress.
Bless all you people out there – especially all the millions of YOUNG Americans – who proved to me just how far we have come.
In my lifetime.
And I think my friend Helen, who died last March at age 94, is celebrating this wherever she is. Her daughter, in sorting out Helen’s financial stuff as the personal represenative of the estate, found that in the last months of her life Helen had sent several donations to the Obama campaign. A retired public school teacher. White. Lutheran. Iowa-born and bred. Ladylike to her core. Sharp as a tack until the end and gracious with it.
Maybe Helen’s support should have hinted to me how big this thing would get.
Tony Hillerman died yesterday at age 83.
I never met him though I saw him at a couple of events. I feel sad that he’s gone, because I would have welcomed another of his stories, long or short, about Jim Chee, Joe Leaphorn and their world. The last time I felt this way was when I heard that Michael Gilbert died, and before that when I learned of the untimely death of Anne George.
At times like this I think: There ought to be a special physical immortality for our master storytellers. They should be given extra-strong hearts, forever supple hands, clear voices never scratched up by passing decades, and the eyes and ears of young wild critters.
But of course the best of our storytellers? Wouldn’t take that if offered on a platinum platter. Because they are human and understand so much about that condition, and the difference between humans and God, and the perils of hubris.
Some when they arrive, and others when they leave.
It’s here if the original link won’t work: frankobit08-2
UPDATE on August 18: I checked the original link to the obit, and it appears the obit may have been pulled from the newspaper’s website. I don’t know if the obit was published in the print edition of the newspaper or just online. It is harsh. I have now redacted the decedent’s name and the names of her family members from my pdf version, out of privacy concerns.
Thursday I was Miz Grumpy so it’s just as well I didn’t blog then. I was going through the major inconvenience known as “colonoscopy prep.” The no-solid-food-all-day followed by the overnight at-home inner cleansing (the most polite phrase I can think of) before my 8:30 a.m. Friday colonoscopy. Now I really understand the metaphor of something “going through [someone] like a dose of salts.” Oh, yeah. I wish they would (could?) make the liquid concoction that you have to drink so copiously, to taste less vile.
Friday morning I was a little less grumpy, if only because I was nutrient-starved and sleep-deprived.
My friend who drove me to and from the appointment was cheerful and the event itself was not unpleasant. Kudos to my HMO’s Gastroenterology docs and staff. They are pleasant, competent and amazingly efficient. I really liked the drugs they gave me, which blotted out all memory of the main event.
I remember my bed being wheeled from the procedure room to the recovery room, then waking up in there. Where the doc dropped in to hand me a sheet with the results and six color photos of various parts of my plumbing including the one polyp he found – and removed. We’re waiting for biopsy results on the polyp, but overall the plumbing looks good.
Although I wouldn’t have said so beforehand, I encourage everyone to have a colonoscopy if your doctor thinks you should. Most people who’ve done it that I talked with, say the prep is by far the worst part – and as some of them point out, you also get a good inner clean-out.
I surprised myself by suggesting, as we were driving away from the clinic, that we stop at Zaidy’s for breakfast. I further surprised myself by enjoying a moderate amount of scrambled eggs and a whole bagel and a cup of coffee. After I was dropped off at home, I slept most of the rest of the day. With breaks to wake up and walk Jasper, of course.
Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.”– Gilda Radner
A year ago I grabbed the modest retirement I’d earned by sticking to a job for 17 years and achieving the age of 55 years. (Well, over-achieving that latter bit, if you want to be picky.)
And headed out the door into a world quite new to me: life without a full-time job. No pets or people to care for at home, a little bit of money dropping into my checking account each month just because I’m still breathing, a bit of money banked in the “fun and travel” account, and no fixed schedule.
I found it was relaxing, healing, scary, and sometimes I was immobilized by a sense of infinite possibilities or at least more than I could handle. I traveled, I snoozed, I took a lot of pictures and read a lot of books and walked for miles in the parks. I also let my inner lazy slob out to play and gained ten pounds. Ouch. I wish I could say that I embraced life and all its unknowns with verve and style, but I’d be lying. I’ve struggled some.
It’s been an ambiguous time, that’s for sure. Four times, on an airplane, I was handed customs and immigration forms as we headed to a foreign country. All asked me to state my occupation. How I answered depended on my mood. But I think I only wrote “retired” once because it didn’t seem right.
Now I’ve been working again for four months, this time self-employed. I’m happy about it. That ten pounds is gone. And I’m over communing with my inner lazy slob; she can go away forever.
I’m still a little stymied for an answer when asked “What do you do?”
Sometimes I say I’m semi-retired. Other times that I’m working as special counsel on a short-term contract without mentioning the R word.
In a couple of weeks I’ll probably say that I’m engaged full time in housebreaking a Shih Tzu puppy.
My hope for the next 12 months: that I can savor life’s ambiguity.
From this morning’s newspaper, life advice from Trudy Strauss. She’s not rich or famous or on Youtube and I haven’t bothered to google her. The column (printed in full below the fold) told me all I need to know. Here’s the gist:
It’s all about being positive.
Attitude really is everything.
Make good friends.
Try to be tolerant and open-minded.
Happy 93rd birthday, Trudy. And thank you.
Does it take 21 days to change a habit?
How do we tell our habits from our compulsions, and our compulsions from addictions?
One way to find out is to try to change our behavior - and see what happens.
This week I received the book and purple bracelet I’d ordered from A Complaint Free World. I’m wearing the bracelet. The idea is that you move the bracelet from one wrist to the other each time you complain, criticize or gossip. My goal is to get through a day without moving it from one wrist to the other.
Last night at dinner I said my goal was to go 21 straight days without moving the bracelet. This morning I realize that’s the long-term hope, but in fact the goal is to get through one day with it on the same wrist.
The one day goal is doable. The bigger target consists of making 21 of those days in a row.
I know a little bit about one day, a string of days, an eventual enrichment of years.
I used to drink too much, and I tried to cut back or quit on my own. It didn’t work. My secret knowledge was that I could not control my drinking, but my life looked pretty good. I wasn’t broke, unemployed, facing drunk driving charges or living out of my car. I couldn’t be an alcoholic.
The moment I admitted to another human being that I was, and needed help to deal with it, I felt myself literally supported by strong arms, and a weight lifted from my head and shoulders. I kept my word and went for help. It wasn’t an incidental commitment slotted into my busy life, but a commitment that rudely interrupted my work and social life for a good month at first.
In return, I was able to hold on to the gift of sobriety. Went to a lot of meetings in a lot of different rooms, met a lot of new people, and learned a lot. Including that I can do a difficult thing for a day if doing it forever sounds too long, or for ten minutes if doing it for a day sounds too long.
I haven’t had a drink since that conversation, that moment of admission which summoned something like angels’ wings to hold and comfort me.
It happened on March 9. Twenty-one years ago today.
Damn. Damn. Damn.
What a bloody stupid waste.
No, he wasn’t a relative, or a friend. He was an employee of a client agency. I’d worked with him on some things over the years.
A troubled soul who left this life the other day by choice.
And who has left those who did care, who did try to help, hurting over it.
A soul in darkness. For whom I will, in a minute after I’m through being really really pissed here, send prayers to go into the light.
November is a tiring month for me, and I’m always glad when the 29th is over. Although the sharp grief is past, I can’t forget it’s the date when my dad died – much too young – suddenly, after a heart attack. Many years ago. Sometimes when I think about those days it feels like a few lifetimes ago.
And I like a lot of Christmas music.
Allow me to highly recommend some:
Cindy Horstman’s two CDs: Christmas Harp and Christmas Harp 2. Utterly beautiful solo jazz harp. I’ve had these CDs for years and have never tired of listening to them. I’ve given more than a dozen of them as gifts. Right now I’m importing them into my iTunes library so I can take them with me on my iPod.
Baroque at Christmas. “We were going to do Brahms or Beethoven for Christmas, but we’re BAROQUE!” – Scarlet Rivera & Tommy Eyre with The Newport Chamber Orchestra. I found it in a bargain bin somewhere; it’s a fine companion for the season. Traditional Christmas carols alternate with less obviously “Christmas” music, in a satisfying combination.
Winterlude - Instrumentals for a Contemplative Christmas. One of a series, I think. Another bargain bin find, certainly not elevator music but very good quiet-times listening.
And any CD you can find with the original rendition of Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. And rousing choral versions of Joy to the World, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, and the Hallelujah Chorus. Although probably not all on the same CD.
Wishing you all the joys – contemplative, heartwarming, and just plain silly – of the season.
un • ru • ly – adjective, -li·er, li·est.
not submissive or conforming to rule; ungovernable; turbulent; intractable; refractory; lawless: an unruly class; an unruly wilderness. *
It’s like the bad old days of policing in the USA: bring in a suspect, interrogate him, and if he doesn’t say what you want, beat the crap out of him. And then charge him with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Pakistan’s President/General Musharraf has just done his own macro version of that. Order judges to rule the way he wants – regardless of what the law says – and when they won’t play along, declare a state of emergency, including over the court system. And say it’s because they were “unruly.”
According to BBC News:
The president, who is also head of the army, has said he declared the state of emergency because of a crisis caused by militant violence and an unruly judiciary.
Let’s see. His strong political opponent finally returns to the country and coincidentally somebody bombs the welcoming streets full of celebrating people – somebody whom Musharraf’s troops and tame secret police just couldn’t learn about and stop beforehand. Despite that ELEVEN BILLION US DOLLARS of “antiterrorist” aid Musharraf’s received from the Bush Administration since late 2001, there was this “militant violence.” Uh-huh.
And gosh, it must also just be a coincidence that the nation’s supreme court was about to issue a decision as to whether Musharraf’s re-election as President was voided by his failure to step aside as head of the armed forces as required by law. But, well my goodness, what with all that unruliness going on, there just wasn’t a minute to lose to slap down the court system after individual justices refused to be pushed around by Musharraf’s administration.
And don’t you just KNOW some of the farthest-out-there Bushies wish they could do the same thing to the United States courts? I would like to think it could never happen here.
I would also like to think that if it did, US lawyers would show the same courage and take it to the streets like our Pakistani counterparts.
Also, for the record, courtesy of the BBC, here’s a list of the “emergency” restrictions Musharraf has put in place:
Constitutional safeguards on life and liberty curtailed
Police get wide powers of arrest
Suspects can be denied access to lawyers
Freedom of movement restricted
Private TV stations taken off air
New rules curtail media coverage of suicide bombings or militant activity
Chief justice replaced, others made to swear oath of loyalty
Supreme Court banned from rescinding emergency order
Full BBC story here if the link above doesn’t work.
*”unruly.” Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1. Random House, Inc. 06 Nov. 2007.)http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/unruly
Many lawyers in Pakistan have mobilized to protest their President’s seizure of essentially absolute power – he suspended the constitution. Just ahead of a supreme court ruling on whether said President’ re-election was legal. Lawyers are being arrested by the hundreds. Even those who are not protesting are being grabbed off the streets and taken to jail. Just for being lawyers.
I am sure that the Bush Administration – which shows damn little respect for the rule of law and the independent authority of the courts as a branch of government in its own country which is also MY country - will do essentially nothing about this. Oh, they’ll tell Condi Rice to squawk a little about human rights. But at the end of the day, the Bushies will keep all that US money flooding into Musharraf’s pockets in the name of “antiterrorism.” I am feeling more than a little terrified right now. Oh, by the way, Pakistan has nuclear weapons.
Here’s the caption to this picture: “Policemen beat a lawyer outside provincial High Courts in Lahore November 5, 2007. Pakistani police used teargas and batons on Monday against lawyers protesting at President Pervez Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule and detentions mounted, prompting Washington to postpone defence cooperation talks. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza (PAKISTAN).”
I’ve always tested out as INFP on the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory. A personality type that’s not at all ideal for the practice of law. And I’ve practiced law for 30 years. That’s a recipe for a lot of personal growth – and a boatload of constant stress. Someday I may write more about it.
HT to Saintseester for the link.
I have a hard time believing it when I’m sick. You know, that I’m really sick.
Oh, I never was one to show up for work with a 102 degree fever or a blinding headache, or during the worst days of a bad respiratory infection.
But even when the evidence of my senses is well into the “preponderance” area – even clear past “beyond a reasonable doubt” – I usually have this idea that I can’t be, like, really sick. Even after I’ve taken the indicated or prescribed drugs, checked with my doctor’s office, crawled into bed or plopped myself down on the living room sofa to wait for this too to pass. I believe it’s really some kind of mental funk or moral failure. Yeah, I know. But still.
Today I’m not running a serious fever, but I feel lousy. I didn’t sleep much last night, finally gave up trying, plopped down in the living room and watched my latest DVD from Netflix, Mrs. Henderson Presents. It ended a little before dawn, and I found the memorial service for Princess Diana – already in progress – being aired live on BBC America. I was stunned when it was rudely interrupted by a commercial for some kind of hot tub, but luckily I found that MSNBC was airing the service without such disgusting nonsense. I wouldn’t have gotten up early to watch the service, but I’m glad I got to see it.
During the final hymns I hopped off the love seat, had coffee, cereal, and ibuprofen, and read the morning paper. Not believing I’m really sick. Then finally went to bed and slept all morning. Now at 1 p.m., I’m up again, and wandering around the house with a headache. And things I need to do.
Because it’s not like I’m sick or anything.
More about Mrs. Henderson below the fold. (more…)
It’s what you do when you don’t have to do anything at all, that makes you what you are when it’s too late to do anything about it.
–R.J. Gary, Texas Utilities
Having things to do and places to go this morning, I’ll just post this and run.
I don’t think I’d have a pet camel. The BBC has the scoop. And while we’re on the subject, I also learned that in addition to house cats, the introduction of camels to the land of Oz has resulted in huge herds of feral beasts. Scary. Stories below the fold if the links expire.
It happened early and via emergency C-section, but mother and baby are recovering. Mother at home, preemie baby (the Squeaker) in the NICU making progress on the breathing and other issues. If there’s anything to heredity, the Squeaker is going to have a wicked wit. Best wishes to them both.
Wisdom in a column printed in today’s Denver Post Style section, along with Ask Amy, the daily horoscope, TV schedule, and the comic strips. The author, Natalie Constanza-Chavez, writes:
This I know: I have no gospel to spread, and I am quite proud that I am sure of very little.
I believe language is powerful, especially poetry, that words can be weapons or gifts, that healing is always possible, and that we are each more holy and worthy than we think. . . .
I believe that we are complicated and at our best, we know it, and that trying to reduce things to black and white usually makes us stupid.
Wonder and amazement are necessary, and the ordinary can be profound.
What do I know? That a clouded leopard lives in the heart of Borneo, stalking monkeys and young bearded pigs for sustenance, and that for more than 100 years scientists thought they knew it to be the same species as the mainland clouded leopard. They were wrong.
I’m looking forward to more from this lady. The full column is below the fold.
I don’t know what to write about this, or how, but I have to. If only to quote Susan Barnes-Gelt, writing in Sunday’s newspaper:
[R]arely recognized are those gifted public servants who work to advance the mission of caring for the most vulnerable among us, ensuring that the protocols and systems that protect them are empathic, predictable and fair.
One of those stewards is Lynn Lehmann, who is suffering from terminal kidney cancer and deserves to be recognized. For 17 years, from 1984 until 2001, Lehmann supervised the human services section of the Denver city attorney’s office. . . . As a result of his unrelenting advocacy and focus, outcomes for Colorado’s children and families improved significantly.
The full column is below the fold.
I remember back in the 1990′s when a new Mayor appointed a new City Attorney. The new City Attorney – very smart, with a lot of relevant experience – thought it would be good to start routinely reassigning lawyers from one section of the office to another. Cross-training, enriching our experience, diversifying our skills, or just plain shaking us up and waking us up – I can’t remember which if any of those goals he had in mind.
But he was surprised by the strong response from Lynn Lehmann’s lawyers in the Human Services section. They were deeply committed to that work, and did not at all equate it with working on tax assessment disputes or eminent domain cases or construction contracts or the prosecution of barking dog tickets – or any of the many other things that assistant city attorneys in other sections do. They convinced the City Attorney to leave them where they were – doing utterly non-glamorous, difficult, unsung legal work, in the courthouse trenches day in and day out, to protect children and other vulnerable people.
I’m gradually reentering my real life after coming home from that long vacation trip. Today after a haircut from Mitch the Wizard of Color and Cut, I went downtown to the City office building – for the first time since I retired. To a retirement party, and then upstairs to see some former colleagues.
It was huge fun to visit with them. I felt not a twinge of regret to no longer hold that building access badge, and therefore to have to go through the security scanner as a member of the public. Not even a sadness to no longer be on the inside. I am moving forward. I will not turn back.
Finally, I went to a bargain matinée movie: Waitress. Which I selected based only on the small ad, knowing nothing more about it. After all, I’ve missed at least four consecutive Fridays reading our local newspapers’ movie reviews. Great pick, if I say so myself. A little gem with romance, comedy and fresh true characters. Marvelous cast, impeccable performances.
At home afterward, I researched the movie online before writing this blog entry. I was stunned to learn that Adrienne Shelly, who wrote and directed the film and acted in a supporting role, was murdered on November 1, 2006. She was 40 years old and survived by her husband and young child. A tragic waste of a life, a horrible loss for a family.
I didn’t need or want this reminder that we have to grab life while we have it, that we are not promised tomorrow.
In one page, Time magazine columnist David von Drehle takes a swing at the troubling “why” of the Virginia Tech mass murder last week, and hits the sweet spot.
Von Drehle points out that it’s all about him – the shooter. He acted out of extreme narcissism, which is the hallmark of killers far and wide. Guns aren’t the issue here, so the NRA and the gun control folks are just flapping their gums for no good reason.
Full column is below the fold in case Time deletes it from the archives. (more…)
There are 168 chairs. The transparent base of each chair is lighted at night. I was there yesterday midday and noticed before I read it, that some are a smaller size because 19 of those killed were children.
The twin portals at either end of the reflecting pond are marked 9:01 and 9:03. The first denotes the last moment of a community’s innocence and the second the first full moment in which so much had changed forever. A beautiful old tree survives on the site. Remnants of the bomber’s target building are there, and the back wall of the building across the way has been preserved with its scars showing.
The helpful park ranger answered questions and handed me a brochure. “You may walk among the chairs,” he said.
I walked among the chairs on a perfect day. The stubborn wind was a mild spring kiss. I stood before a chair bearing the name of a woman and her baby.
The museum on the site provided an intense emotional roller coaster. I cried before I went in, walking among the chairs. After experiencing the museum I needed a long drive down sunny highways, so I took it.