Sunday, June 15, 2014

Photo by Toni Frissell - 1945
Meanwhile ... 

I've received an invitation to travel to Tuskegee Airfield to help to celebrate Women's Equality Day with the National Park Service team there on August 26th, and have accepted the honor.  I've never been to Alabama, nor to Atlanta for that matter, and the chance to see the King Center and to stand in the space where the fighting 99th trained to serve so valiantly is just too good to pass up.

Just thinking about it knocks off decades!

The invitation grew out of recent stories run in the media, and the interview featured on National Public Radio (NPR), which brought attention to my work here, and does not relate to the fact that I can boast of having dated at least 3 Tuskegee Airmen in my time, though that's the only thing that I can attribute it to at this point.   And that happened in the years before any of them entered the Air Force and before my marriage to Mel Reid.  I was about 18 at the time, and Kenneth "Bunny" Hernandez, Francis Collier, and Les Williams were eligible young bachelors who were natural choices for the heroic roles they were destined to play in the skies of WWII.  It looks like the Air Force and I had similar tastes in men.

... but I don't suppose anyone will expect me to speak about that from the lectern, right? 

I'm hoping to have a few days in Atlanta before returning to the Bay Area, but the only person I know there is a nephew who plans to be in the Bay Area for a family reunion that occurs that same week.

If anyone would like to do a meet-up while I'm there, I'd love it!   
You might be wondering whatever became of my latest project -- that of interesting others in creating that memorial to black men ... .

... not to worry.

I was able to interest others in taking on this worthy effort but, unfortunately, it seems to have gotten caught up in the upcoming election cycle -- which promises to be even more chaotic than ever before -- and people are jostling for position on the ballot and all else is fading into the background.

If only some candidate for the top of the local ticket would see this as a way to change the conversation and frame the debate ... but that seems a long shot, and instead we'll talk the usual
potholes and jobs, jobs, jobs ... .

My guess is that there is little chance of anything happening until the seats in local government are occupied by the new team, and we can turn our thoughts to other things.