Sunday, May 30, 2004

I don't really see myself as particularly self-promoting,

but I'm beginning to feel cornered into seeming so. Not a terribly comfortable role.

Came home yesterday to a message on my answering machine from MS-NBC-TV in New York, wanting an interview. They appear to have been referred by the National Park Service people. The interview has to do with Memorial Day, remembrances of Rosie the Riveter and living again in the time of war, I guess. At any rate, I didn't return the call (not knowing quite what to do with it). This morning I woke to another call, Ms. Erin Anderson, from their booking office asking if I would be available some day this week for a studio (local) interview, and did I plan to be at the Rosie Reception Center grand opening next Saturday afternoon on the Richmond Marina? "We may be placing a news truck at the site, and if so, we can do it then."

I told her that I just might not be quite what they're looking for since I had spent the war in a Jim Crow union hall filing cards, and that would make me more of a "Rosie-May" than a genuine "Rosie With Helmet and Welding Torch". "If you want my unvarnished report on the times, you're on. If not, you need to find yourself a flag waver." She said that she'd get back to me, but that while this was not the story she'd expected to find, it might be an even more important one to tell. "I'd like to talk with my producer and get back to you."

Ten minutes after she hung up, at around 9:00 on a Sunday morning(!), comes a call from the West Contra Costa Times wanting to do ... you' guessed it. Told him that -- if he had any questions -- I'd answer them now. We talked for about 15 minutes.

I'm concerned about getting myself identified as something that I'm distinctly not. I refused to be photographed with Mrs. Lynne Cheney while she was here on her book tour, and refused to attend the White House Reception two weeks ago. Not sure why the NPS continues to send the media to me, unless they agree that a dissonant voice is one of legitimacy and should be heard. I won't be used to bolster the image of Henry J, Kaiser, who didn't give a damn about bringing all those southerners (white and black) and then abandoning them at war's end to fend for themselves. He was into building ships, and social engineering was far from his mind, no more than an unintended consequence. That was a period when the country was still segregated and he imported segregation to the west coast where it had not yet become overt but lay dormant still. what happened here in those years may have accelerated the Civil Rights Revolution a decade later.. Guess I'm still angry about that.

Guess the ball's in MS-NBC's court. Will keep you posted. I've got to be a very small blip on their radar, and someone more in keeping with the goals of this weekend celebration may be a far better choice.

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