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Saturday, May 16, 2015

This should take you to the Weekend Today Show segment that aired this morning on NBC:


http://www.today.com/video/meet-the-nations-oldest-park-ranger-446563907764

Since I'd discontinued cable (again) I couldn't watch it until after the fact, and it was curious to know that it was being telecast everywhere but in my living-room.

It also gave a few moments of watching my mother on the screen  when I knew that was not possible since she passed on in 1995 -- yet here she was.

I don't think that my inner-image of myself has been updated for some years because the woman in that piece looks far more like my mother than the one who inhabits this body these days.

Although that might have been caused by the fact that this week I found myself occupying a hospital bed for a couple of days and nights due to an inexplicable incident involving finishing my work day standing at the teller's window of my bank -- feeling perfectly well -- waiting for the completion of a transaction and waking up some time later in an ambulance en route to John Muir hospital in Walnut Creek!

That was on Tuesday and today is Saturday and in between are some days of uncertainty and lots of unexpected bed rest and a bump with a gash on the right side of the back of my head that sports a few stitches and tenderness to the touch.  Apparently the fall to the stone slab floor caused a concussion that I'm still recovering from, but I'm definitely on the mend at this point, except for the reawakening of vertigo that has lain dormant over many months, but has now returned with a vengeance.  Had forgotten how miserable a state that is with its nausea and dizziness making moving about impossible.  It responds to Meclizine, fortunately, and seems under control at this point, though I won't stray far from home for a few days. 

The diagnosis is that the meds that had been prescribed for me for a "marginally high blood pressure" were ill-advised.  With 36 hour monitoring (every 45 minutes) it was discovered that I apparently had a precipitous drop in blood pressure that had caused the fall.  Medication has been ordered stopped until my primary physician can reassess.  I was also in need of hydration and once a couple of pints were administered intravenously the problem was solved.  I recall grinning to myself as I watched the drip-drip-drip from that plastic bag if things might improve if that were chicken soup or even bourbon, but maybe that was just an indication of my state of mind at the time.

Within a few hours was moved back (by ambulance) to Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland from   John Muir hospital emergency, where a catscan, ekg, blood work, etc., were administered, and my all around good health was confirmed yet again, and the scare was over.

Meanwhile, I'm at home for the next week for a much-needed hiatus except for Tuesday when I'm planning to attend an event that I've been looking forward to that's being sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association about Pullman porters/Buffalo soldiers/Harriet Tubman.  Can't imagine missing it.

Now I'm about to try my wings for the first time in days -- going on a short trip to the supermarket to pick up the things that I was planning to purchase last Tuesday after the trip to the bank for cash ... .


Monday, May 11, 2015

It's becoming routine, now, the public exposure -- the interviews ... and last week was no exception ... 

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/may/08/park-ranger-rosie-the-riveter-san-francisco-us

His name was Will and he was someone from the Guardian requesting a 30-minute conversation for a Travel piece to be published in England.

Two days later the article was sent as an attachment in an email complete with an accurate interview (no misquotes) and photographs taken from the Internet I suppose, since none were requested prior to publication.

I suppose this means that we've gone international, right?  My city of Richmond is experiencing international attention as the result of having been established as the site of the greatest shipbuilding effort in the history of the world, and our park is the focus for the interpretation of that history.  Henry J. Kaiser's four Richmond shipyards with their work force of 98,000 extraordinary ordinary American workers formed a critical part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Great Arsenal of Democracy. 

I suppose that -- as living primary sources -- those of us still living are becoming the link between then and now, and that we've begun to personify an important aspect of the stories at a time when racial politics continue to fuel dissension the world over.   Berlin, Paris, and London among other world centers, continue to experience racial unrest and answers remain tantalizingly and dangerously beyond reach.

Perhaps, because of this nation's youth and volatility, we're being seen as the place on the planet where breakthroughs in human relations are most likely to occur.  Maybe.  I happen to believe that just might be possible.  And I continue to believe that I'm living in the one place on the earth where that possibility might best be witnessed; the Greater San Francisco Bay Area in the State of California.

I continue to believe that it was the seeds of social change sown here during the Home Front period of WWII that gave form and substance to the Civil Rights revolution of the Sixties, and that those influences continue to radiate out from here into the rest of the country and the world to this day.  I suspect that it may well have been those of us whose lives spanned both those eras who shaped what was then the future.

... but then that's the part of the story that is told in my three-times-a-week commentaries in our little theater.

Y'all come.

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