Sunday, December 15, 2013
The past week not only introduced us to the upcoming Naval media project, but also I must acknowledge two "honorings" that marked this holiday season as more than just a time for being depressed over those missing in my life -- and finding myself at the top of the pyramid -- which is just another way of coming to terms with being the last survivor of my nuclear family. Awareness of my mortality looms at the forefront of my life now, and never more so than over the past Thanksgiving weekend. But I digress ... .
Richmond's Human Human Rights and Human Relations Commission honored me among a stellar group of hard-working activists with a Special Award that was presented in a beautiful ceremony in Council Chambers last Monday evening. It felt somewhat awkward since the other honorees had many members of their friends, supporters, and families standing with them and -- except for Martha Lee, former superintendent of our park and Tom Leatherman, our current superintendent, my family was absent. I'd failed (intentionally) to mention it to them, but there are times when I feel almost embarrassed by the amount of attention I'm receiving these days, and I'd already asked my son, David and my two youngest granddaughters, to escort me to the Channel 7 ceremony honoring those selected for their Profiles in Excellence programs two nights later. Found myself overcome by an attack of modesty and just couldn't tell them of the HHRHUC event, too!
Which brings on something that's been looming in the back of my mind lately -- it's this: Have I simply aged into a time where one receives honors simply for being able to spell one's own name or tie one's own shoes? I'm surely extremely proud of being able to play what I see as a meaningful role in the shaping of a national park, and to be able to do so around what is still a rather controversial era in history, and to be able to do so without compromise -- that's a given. But the extent and amount of attention that surrounds me of late seems excessive, and there are times when it truly leaves me puzzled ... .
That being said, may I add that a reporter for the Voice of America is coming to meet with me for an interview early next week, and on last Thursday afternoon I met with the producers of a project that will probably take up most of next year as they research and plot the filming of my life story for a variety of purposes. It so happens that -- at least the past number of years of my life coincide with the beginnings of the park -- so is also the park's history.
Before that time, however, there is the rest of my bio that has become the basis for my presentations twice weekly in our little theater -- and is also -- quite incidentally --the story of the nation's social progress through the decades.
That's almost too huge to wrap my mind around, but there it is. Do you wonder that I've been having difficulty writing about it all?
I blush even in typing these words ...
bear with me, though, as all of this begins to reveal itself in more understandable ways ... .