In traditional cultures, where you live is a big part of who you are. Many Americans, on the other hand, tend to view our communities as way stations to somewhere else. Most of us leave home at an early age and don’t return to raise our kids in the communities where we grew up. As we age, many of us move again for economic reasons or to be with the grandchildren our children are raising somewhere else. Continue reading
Like most parents of active boys, I got a few phone calls from school over the years. Remembering them, I usually laugh. He stole a potato chip from Emily! But one of them still turns my stomach. When I was at work one day, the principal of Gabe’s school called to say Gabe had been “acting up” all week whenever his teacher read aloud to the class. This wasn’t Gabe’s usual venue for mischief so after a few minutes on the phone I asked what book the teacher was reading.
Meet Robi. He looks like a normal 25-year-old with a creative presentation and a healthy dose of self-confidence. Long dreds, faded jeans, a self-deprecating sense of humor with a second sense about how to tell a good story. It would probably take you a long time to guess that Robi is a Haitian High Priest in the voodoo tradition. Continue reading
For a really really long time, I have wanted to go on a Zydeco trail ride. Zydeco trail rides have been around for a long time, traditionally as informal cross country rides with neighbors. Today, hundreds of Creole cowboys may join a ride, which usually ends at a big barbecue picnic with friends and family and Zydeco music. Continue reading
During my short stay in New Orleans, I visited the Blandin Backstreet Museum, which has long been one of my favorite museums anywhere. The Blandin Backstreet Museum tells fascinating stories of Louisiana history that might have been lost forever if it weren’t for one dedicated person: Sylvester Francis. Continue reading
Just before my plane landed in New Orleans yesterday, a recording came on over the PA system. “You will be provided arrival cards that you must complete before entering the country. ” Hello? Our flight originated in Dallas. Texas. The recording was a mistake but it was a relevant one. Louisiana is not like America, more like its own country. Continue reading
Haha. The title is a pun. Does anyone know what the Warsaw Pact is? In case you ditched class that day (Kathy), it was the alliance of the Soviet Union with its satellite states, including Poland. Signed in 1955, the purpose of the Warsaw Pact was to defend its member states against the US and Europe, which had its own alliance, NATO. The Warsaw Pact dissolved in 1991 and Poland has been a member of NATO since 1999. I imagine that rankles a certain somebody in Moscow. 🙂 Continue reading
Sometimes I visit cities that are super livable. They are kind of low key with lots of trees, clean air, an arts community, public transportation, and people who seem to like each other. Bonus points for being situated on a body of water and having a university. Places that come to mind are Vancouver BC, Rotterdam, San Miguel de Allende, Stockholm and Hiroshima. Continue reading