Okay. Maybe it doesn't take a village to WRITE a book, but it sure does take one to make sure the book doesn't suck. While I got tons of valuable feedback on my book (as well as lots of pretentious/elitist/ridiculous drivel)...
Posts from the ‘Good Deeds’ Category
Meriwether Lewis was far more human than the comic-book history hero depicted in the grade school textbooks.
Imagine his emotion having led his crew of 30-some tough men to drag and row their crafts upstream for over a thousand miles, only to be faced not with the gentle crest of a continental divide, but the vertical wall of the Rocky Mountains.
I adore Andra. Two days before she left for this 444-mile walk we had a surprise celebration for her at The Belmont in Charleston, the first time I had successfully surprised her since the day 10 years before when I made my proposal to her that she be my wife for life. These ten years have been my best years, so far.
How could I possibly let her wander of into the dangers of the Natchez Trace? Throughout history, the Trace has been a haunt of notorious highwaymen, robbers and murderers.
Because I received several requests, I have included the excerpt of Dad’s StoryCorps interview on his role in the race riots at the University of Georgia in 1961.
For readers unfamiliar with that part of American history, I will give a brief synopsis.
Much of the Southern United States was racially segregated until around 1960. Where I live in Charleston, one can still see remnants of the segregated era, from a separate ‘colored’ entrance on an old theater downtown, to a wall that divided waiting rooms at the train station. We don’t use these things anymore, but the layer is there.
The Federal government forced desegregation in the South in the early 1960′s. Southern universities, which had historically been all white, were required to admit people of color for the first time, and many of the other separate barriers mentioned above were abolished. In the South, it was not a popular position, and it led to unrest, like the riot at the University of Georgia, in which my father played a key heroic role.
His story is about six minutes long. Set it to play and listen while you do something else at your desk. It always gives me chills to hear him tell it, and I’m very proud of him for standing up and taking what was, at the time, a very unpopular position.
Surely you recall that dreadful dance, Dear Reader? The funky chicken dance had to be devised by someone who was blotto, flapping arms and waddling legs an evidence of too much Everclear. Or Jack Daniels. All I’m saying is that grain alcohol had to be involved.
It is a dance that is beneath me. I have always been too hoity-toity to do it.
Until yesterday. I was slaving away at my desk and happened to look out my window. Behold! My urban back yard contained……live poultry. Squawking poulet. A FREAKING CHICKEN.
I’ve already squealed on my neighbors to all of cyberspace about their possibly illegal city-slicker hens. As long as they give me fresh eggs to keep me quiet, I don’t care WHAT they’re doing in their back yard.
But, that was before I discovered that chicken can fly. Or, they like to climb things, like my fence. I didn’t realize they became curious about their surrounding area and would decide to go exploring.
Once I saw the stupid bird, I couldn’t forget it. I tried to shoo it back to its own domain, flapping my arms and waddling my legs in tune with its ever-thrusting head. It looked at me like I had lost my marbles and tried to peck my foot, sending me screaming around the yard in a high lather of panic. “Who’s the chicken now?” it seemed to taunt me when I ran into the house and slammed and locked the door.
It was still OUT THERE, though, in the yard. Milling around and pecking things and generally harassing me. I had to GET RID OF IT. So, I did the only thing I could think of: I asked my friends on Facebook and Twitter how to catch a chicken. It was less mortifying than calling 911. Scads of ‘helpful’ commentary poured forth from my friends.
Bethany Vozel: Link sneaks up behind them and picks them up and throws them. (Great. Link wasn’t here.)
Brian PJ Cronin: Throw a towel over them. It confuses them for long enough that you can scoop them up. (But, what if it poops on the towel? Or on ME?)
Brett Myers: lol….. (Well, I’m glad SOMEBODY was laughing at my predicament.)
Karen Snyder: Ya’ gotta be quick. (I cannot be quick in a pink silk frock. Ain’t happening.)
Lou Mello: First, you have to cross the road. (Ah, Lou. You know me so well. You knew the only thing I would be capable of was RUNNING AWAY.)
Ginger Crawford Phillips: Where is that, in your backyard? Put out some scratch, or old veggies, oatmeal, something. Drop it out about 10 feet from you, then, a few feet closer to you, until it is right under your feet, then slowly pick her up. (The chicken already tried to EAT MY FOOT. I am not putting food next to any part of myself, thank you very much.)
Jackie Ng: Cuddle it. (Ew. EW. EWWWWWWWWWWW.)
Pretty much all of these comments have a common theme: the assumption that I will touch an actual live chicken. The very thought of having to touch the mangy thing caused me to have nightmares. I was fully awake, so I guess that means I hallucinated the Behemoth Bird Being. My ridiculous phobias left me with no choice. I had to call out the big guns.
Thank God, I slathered paint on my face yesterday.
I went outside and did my best impression of Southern Damsel in Heaps of Distress. My production caught the attention of one of the workers next door. He dropped everything he was doing and rushed over to rescue me from the Hideous Chicken Monster.
I don’t care that he called me a chicken over his shoulder as he walked away.