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1919: Congress passed the 19th Amendment
So, 143 years after mankind is granted the right to “life, liberty & so forth,” women get included — pretty cool! I get so excited and engaged each election — my parents gave me the “right, responsibility & duty” speech from the time I was 3 (OK, it’s bizarre that I remember that). For me, the antithesis of that was a horrible, frightening, truly disturbing episode of the “Man Show,” where Carolla & Kimmel set up a table with a petition to ban “women’s suffrage.” Yeah, people don’t know what “suffrage” means — not a great example of the discerning electorate, sigh…………. did you see that show? did you laugh? feel outraged? get creepy-crawlies down your spine?

1942: The Battle of Midway begins
My Daddy loved WWII films. Unlike many vets, he thought Hollywood brought a better understanding of the times to my brothers and me. When I was 10, he let me stay up until midnight on a school night to watch “Tora Tora Tora,” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” with Robert Conrad was Daddy-daughter must-see TV. So, “Midway,” with Heston, Fonda and Ford was a family classic early on. Looking back, I can see how many of the “hits” in the WWII genre focused on the Pacific. It’s easier, the issues are less complex, there is the defined “other.” As I grew older, I became enthralled with the path to war, and the complexities east and west. That didn’t work so much for my Dad — he liked the world in black & white, good guys and bad….

1989: Tiananmen Square massacre takes place
The summer of 1988 my brother travelled to China as a summer exchange program. The democracy movement was flowering and they exchanged ideas and beer just like college kids from the beginning of time. The two of them exchanged letters afterwards my brother returned home to North Carolina — until… until Tiananmen Square. My brother’s last letter to his friend was never answered. When I take out the treasures my brother brought me back from that summer — I wonder. Is his friend hanging with his nieces the way my brother does? Is he focused on his career? Did he get to finish school and make a life? Did he get a life?

1948: Happy Birthday Frank Estersmith (of Air Supply!!!) — how could there ever have been “couple skate” without you!!!

Deep cut media: There are a few albums that I have destroyed with my love over the years, and the cassette version of Steve Winwood’s “Back in the High Life” would definitely be one of the them. I listened to it so much that it became like the pimento cheese sandwiches I brought every day in 4th grade — I rebelled at the idea of taking a bite, or listening to a chorus. It took some time — and now I’m remembering what drew me to these songs (and to pimento cheese for that matter 🙂 ). Track listing: Higher Love (with Chaka Khan — remember her?); Take it as It Comes (love this one!); Freedom Overspill; Back in the High Life Again (with James Taylor — which makes the song too cool); The Finer Things (such a great cut); Wake Me Up on Judgement Day (desert island song); Split Decision; and the poignant My Love’s Leavin

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it take to sit down and listen –> Winston Churchill

Take care,
Aly

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