Category Archives: Lexington-Today

How Deep Does It Go?

Let’s assume for a moment that Russia at least attempted to determine the result of the US presidential election. Can we all accept that assumption?

If not, would those of you who cannot accept that assumption, simply absent yourselves from this pondering? I’m not looking to change your vote or remove your guns, but frankly, I can’t do business with you anymore.

That was an uncivil request.

I apologize.

But I’m moving on.

Let’s assume for a moment that Russia at least attempted to determine the result of the US presidential election. If so, then other assumptions present themselves as possible;

  1. They tried but had no affect (are we OK with that?), or
  2. They were successful by swaying voters’ opinions (ARE WE OK WITH THAT?), or
  3. They were successful by actually changing votes in our voting mechanism (good grief!).
  4. Assumptions “2” and “3” (…crickets…).

I don’t know which of those assumptions, if any, is true. But I know they are all important and scary. Yet the current occupant of the White House and much of our Congress (bicameral and bipartisan) don’t seem terribly perturbed by these possibilities.

Why is that?

By the way, if you don’t know the terms “bicameral” and “bipartisan”, please look them up. Yes, you are entitled to your informed opinion. Informed…informed…INFORMED……that’s sorta important and useful. It’s a good thing to actually know what you’re talking about. It’s not “fake” or “elite”, it’s useful.

If any of the assumptions above are true, what makes us think this was their first try?

Does it seem logical that their first attempt to affect US elections was the US presidency? Wouldn’t you wanna practice first before you took on the big game? Wouldn’t you wanna see what you could do in say…Wisconsin or…Kentucky…or Utah, before you took a shot at Washington?

Maybe the un-urgency of the response to this cyber-attack has something to do with the culpability of the responders……in various buildings in Washington.

In business, when I was confused or uncertain about the people keeping an eye on business, I changed the eyes.

It usually opened mine.

Jes’ sayin’.

Part-Time Jobs?

Caught by surprise last November, I withdrew into stunned silence; afraid and ashamed and angry.

The anger faded. It will do no me no good. I will resist every unfair, greedy, and unwise effort I can identify, but I have always done that – it’s a reflexive urge taught to me by my Southern Baptist Sunday School childhood – nothing’s changed as far as that’s concerned.

I was afraid of what the results’ results would be.

I was ashamed of my own surprise and fear of my neighbors’ choice.

Why didn’t I know?

What have I missed?

What should I have done?

I will do better.

I will listen harder.

I will seek a better and more useful understanding.

I will act on what I learn.

I will…because I want to be a good neighbor.

But, (isn’t there always a “but”?) …so must others.

I have no answers, but I have glimmers of a suggestion.

If I have lost connection with my neighbors, so have my political representatives…and how could they have not? They must solicit campaign funds 24/7/365. They must run campaigns to retain their offices for six to twenty-four months (President Trump has already declared his re-election campaign’s beginning for 2020). They serve in legislative sessions for months at a time every year. They have homes in Washington and regular living quarters in Frankfort. They are full-time governors and lawmakers elsewhere, away from me, all while they’re supposed to be representing me and Janie on Providence Road.

That was not what was intended by our founding fathers.

George Washington was president, but he also went home to run his farm. He had to listen to and represent his neighbors. The same was essentially true for all elective officials.

I would suggest considering a move back to those conditions.

Rather than point fingers at how little time the Senate and the House of Representatives spend in session in Washington, perhaps we should reduce the length of campaigns and legislative sessions (and the participants’ pay).

Send them home to local concerns.

Perhaps we should rescind the expansion of the Kentucky legislature from bi-yearly sessions to yearly sessions. Have we really been improved by having the legislature meet every year?

Send them home to local concerns.

Make all of them part-time lawmakers and full-time neighbors.

Just a thought…

High Flyin’

I would have been 13 or 14 years old when one day I heard this funny little song about outhouses on the radio. It was Billy Edd Wheeler’s “Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back.” It got a lot of play for a few weeks before local radio returned to its breathless documentation of the British Invasion. Whimsical fantasies about plumbing architecture trends in Appalachia didn’t stand a chance against the Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark 5, and that other group.

But there was wisdom in the whimsy. Mr. Wheeler described the title facility;

 

Now, it was not a castle fair, but I could dream my future there,

And build my castles to the yellowjacket’s drone.

I could orbit ‘round the sun, fight with General Washington,

Or be a king upon a golden throne.

 

Life-changing?

Hardly.

But it stayed with me and suggested something I was just beginning to suspect; my imagination and a quiet place might be a powerful antidote to the random adult violence depicted by Cronkite and Huntley/Brinkley.

The next year I heard the Kingston Trio deliver with typical Kingston Trio gusto the instructions of Billy Edd Wheeler’s “Desert Pete”;

 

You’ve got to prime the pump.

You must have faith and believe.

You’ve got to give of yourself

‘Fore you’re worthy to receive.

 

A simple thought; one I had learned in Sunday school and Cub Scouts, but now had outgrown in my teenage cynicism. I was so much older then…

It wasn’t until I heard Judy Collins on her concert album talk about Wheeler and sing three of his songs that his songs became important to me.

Ms. Collins sang his elegant description of a “Red-Wing Blackbird”;

 

O can you hear that pretty little bird singin’ with all his heart and soul?

He’s got a blood-red spot on his wing, and all of the rest of ‘im’s black as coal.

 

That’s my bird now.

It belongs to me and my part of the country.

I may not be happy about the sombre imagery (“When a man spills blood on the coal…”), but it belongs to my home state.

It’s my bird singin’.

Ms. Collins also sang his amazingly prescient “Coal Tattoo.”

 

Travelin’ down that coal town road; listen to my rubber tires whine.

Goodbye to buckeye and white sycamore. I’m leavin’ you behind.

I got no job and I got no pay – just got a worried soul,

And a blue tattoo on the side of my head left by the #9 coal.

 

This in the mid-60s’ and more true now.

A couple of years later, Wheeler anticipated the coal country environmental anxieties of the 21st century in his “Coming of the Roads”;

 

Look how they’ve cut all to pieces our ancient poplar and oak,

And the hillsides are stained with the greases, and they’ve burned up our heavens with smoke.

 

Is Mr. Wheeler the the Madame Cleo of the Smokies or have we not been paying attention? Perhaps a bit of both.

Grim stuff.

It gets grimmer.

Two of my favorite Wheeler songs speak of the longing to fly…but with a price.

In “High-Flyin’ Bird”;

 

There’s a high-flyin’ bird flying way up in the sky

And I wonder if she looks down on me as she goes on by?

Lord, look at me here. I’m rooted like a tree here.

Got those sit-down, can’t cry

Oh Lord, gonna die blues

 

And the song ends with specificity;

 

And the only way to fly is die.

 

He echoes this thought in “Winter Sky.”

 

Out under the winter sky

Out under the winter sky

Stars come tremblin’ on my eye.

Hand me wings for to fly.

And I feel like somethin’s gonna die.

I feel like somethin’s gonna die,

And me with it.

 

I wonder if once again Mr. Wheeler has accurately predicted, 50 years ago, a mind-set of today. In a geography of few opportunities, no jobs, education possibilities starved of funds, and little hope, how can you fly?

How?

In a geography of dwindling art experiences to spark dreaming of futures and castles and orbiting the sun, how can you even dream of flying?

How?

Well…………of course there are pharmaceuticals.

Tough Time for Heroes

I think my first hero was Mickey Mantle. Then I learned there were problems with alcohol.

Then it was Pete Rose……

Then it was groups; reporters, yippies, writers, comedians, teachers, US bicycle racers, film directors.

It seems the anointing of a hero leads quickly to the toppling of a hero.

Especially now.

Especially this month.

I’m not sure I can live in a world without heroes.

What to do?

Yesterday I attended an event that suggested a couple of places to look for heroes today.

I was flattered to be invited to be in the audience for the Senior Recital of a young singer I met when I did a small role in last year’s University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s production of RAGTIME. The singer is a fierce, intelligent man of strong opinion and strong voice. I suspect his strong opinions will occasionally get in his way as he journeys through life. I also suspect his intelligence and strong voice will cause people to listen carefully to his strong opinions and we may all made better for it…including him.

That would be OK, wouldn’t it?

He sang a song cycle by a Spanish composer I did not know; Xavier Montsalvatge. The song; “Punto de Habanera” is racy and probably presents a point-of-view that’s far too masculine for this week’s news cycle. “Canción de Cuna Para Dormir a un Negrito” is a beautiful lullaby with the politically-incorrect sentiment; “Close your eyes, frightened little black boy; the white boogey-man is going to come and eat you.” The songs were sung with passion and control…AND passion and a determination to make things better. That might be heroic enough to withstand today’s 24/7/365 media eye.

He also sang of Don Quixote.

It was Ravel’s song cycle; “Don Quichotte à Dulcinée.”

Quixote is a personal hero of mine. He fights dragons that are actually windmills…and loses. He physically defends the honor of maidens that can ill afford physical honor. He sees glory and beauty in the mundane.

Ravel’s Quixote swears to Dulcinea that at her request he will;

  • Stop the Earth from turning.
  • Remove the stars from the sky.
  • Put the stars back in their place.

He will of course fail on all counts……but he will try……for her.

He prays in delight to St. Michael and St. George for assistance in these efforts…for her.

He is, by 2017, a thoroughly vetted hero. I will be very surprised if emails, dossiers, or accusers emerge to shine new, righteous light on his failings. His failings are well-known and they are admired by me.

Whew!

Perhaps this is where we must look for our heroes today;

  • In the past.
  • In the arts.
  • In our fierce youth, beginning their journeys.

I’m OK with that.

Lucky Us

It’s a big weekend for my hometown and my beloved University of Kentucky.

  • The football team won and still has a chance to play for something big.
  • Ditto for the basketball teams – male and female.
  • Ditto for two singers from our nationally-ranked opera theatre program.

Please notice especially that last item.

The District Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera were held in Lexington this afternoon in a lovely room; the sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church.

I attended. Let me tell you about my day.

This lovely room is located in downtown Lexington, a few doors down from Henry Clay’s law office, a few blocks away from Mary Todd Lincoln’s home, and about two blocks away from Gratz Park (the heart of old Lexington) and the home of Thomas Hunt Morgan, Nobel Prize-winning brilliant Lexingtonian. The room is wood, and stained glass, and wood, and soaring ceilings, and wood, and memories of the funerals of personally-remembered brilliant Lexingtonians, and wood.

Today, it was all that filled with beautiful young singers singing humanity’s most beautiful songs beautifully all afternoon long…for free.

I watched and heard my friend Cynthia Lawrence, Metropolitan Opera star (I don’t believe anyone has sung with Luciano Pavarotti as often as Ms. Lawrence) lead a large audience in a seismic rendition of the National Anthem. Now we can all say we’ve sung at the Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

I watched and heard Jessica Bayne mesmerize the room with her Bellini number.

I watched and heard Taylor Comstock remind everyone of his recent stratospheric performance in LA TRAVIATA.

I watched and heard my friend Thabang Masango simultaneously charm and inspire the room with his Donizetti.

I watched and heard my friend Zachary Morris stir the room with his “New York Lights” from A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE.

I watched and heard Rebecca Farley force me to resist the urge to warn her of her fate if she believed the blandishments of the Duke in RIGOLETTO.

I watched and heard Mary Catherine Wright break the hearts of the male half of the room with her Handel piece.

Some of these singers were proclaimed “winners” by day’s end and will go on to compete in the Regional Auditions in Chicago in January, but the real winners were those of us in the wooden pews of the lovely room to watch and hear.

The ultimate winner is Lexington which, for a while, gets to be home for these remarkable young people as they mature before leaving to populate the planet with singers.

Lucky us.

The Homeward Three-Step

Revisiting a moment from last year…

 

The Homeward Three-Step

 

Multitasking – I’m thinking of giving it up.

Oh, it’s been fun to pretend to be smarter and more productive now than 30 years ago when I was doing a mere one thing at a time. But it’s not true…and I think I’ve always known it was not true. I think the myth of the miracle of multitasking stems from a phrase I heard so often when I was younger; “Humans only really use about ten percent of their brain’s capacity.” I’ve never seen any research to back up that statement. Perhaps the research exists, but in these days of fake news on the internet I’ll wait till I hear Jon Stewart say it.

But suppose it is true… So what?

Maybe we need to have some empty space in our heads in order to manipulate the knowledge and ideas and experiences and memories that we acquire in living. Everybody knows that to build something cool with Lego pieces, you have to spread them out to see what you’ve got to work with. I think that might also be true of our brain’s inventory. Maybe we need unused brain capacity as an uncluttered space from which we can survey our stock of thoughts and ideas and perhaps we need some uncluttered time and attention to conduct that survey.

I used to play a bit of chess. I wasn’t very good but I enjoyed the hell out of it and I believe it made me a better and more useful person. I have not played a complete game of chess since about 1986… 30 years… What happened?

Multitasking happened. To even play chess badly, you have to play chess totally, un-distractedly. You can’t study the board, remember the openings, juggle with time/position/power, and calculate an endgame; while checking your email, checking your voicemail, returning a phone call, updating your Facebook page, and watching a baseball game. It just doesn’t work that way.

Chess demands your complete, undivided attention. Your cat does too, by the way. Of course your cat can be appeased as long as part of your multitasking involves taking the cat’s picture and putting it on your Facebook page. Chess does not offer that option. Maybe that’s why we see far more pictures of kittens than chess games on our screens. To play chess is to do one thing…

one…

one thing…

at a time.

How embarrassing.

How shameful.

How unproductive.

This has been buggin’ me for years, but what could you do about it? Extreme multitasking has become something to which we all aspire and something on which we grade each other. Yet, even in the blizzard of multitasking I have found myself carving out uncluttered space and time in odd places.

When I was working in various parts of the state I had a lot of windshield time. Yes, it was a curse, especially on the interstate between Elizabethtown and Bowling Green, being pummeled by semi’s. (I’m convinced that if you built a windmill farm in the median of I-65 you could power the entire state from the turbulence of those trucks.) But it was also a blessing in the form of un-distracted time to consider the whence, the wither, and the why of your days. Where are you coming from? Where are you going? Why are you making the trip? I don’t miss the driving. I do miss the cogitation.

My newest oasis in the multitasking sirocco is being provided courtesy of Chloe, my wonder pup.

We walk………..a lot.

We ramble all over our neighborhood and in our meanderings we have now met and visited about a dozen canine and human neighbors. Chloe is a social addict. She loves to visit her acquaintances. I fear her social hunger is fueled by being stuck with a boring white-haired guy all day.

Sigh.

Whatever.

We walk a couple of times a day. When we commence we walk briskly, with purpose, with dispatch. We walk several blocks to see if Bailey, or Stupie, or Izzie, or Bert are out. We pause in front of the houses of Chuck and Joe (the greatest men on the planet in Chloe’s opinion). We keep a sharp eye out for joggers and walkers we recognize and JoAnne, our mail carrier and Rusty, our Herald-Leader delivery champion.

When we have reached the apogee of our walk and turned for home (having accomplished our biological missions as well – well, hers anyway), we embark on Chloe’s Homeward Three-Step. Urgency has now left the building.

We take three steps, stop, and turn to admire the sun on the magnolia tree at the Greek lady’s house.

Three more steps and validate the new fence at Chuck’s house.

Three more steps and explore the intriguing leaf and pine-straw pile on Berry Lane. Chloe is convinced there’s a dead body beneath the pile – I think it’s a carcass formerly known as squirrel.

Three more steps and we pause to discuss whether Dino Risi’s delightful film IL SORPASSO might have influenced the creators of AMERICAN GRAFFITI. I believe it did, but Chloe thinks I’m over-thinking a couple of rock ‘n’ roll flicks.

Three more steps and we sit for a spell to consider the possibility that old hootenanny folk music from the early 60’s might have new relevance and usefulness during a Trump presidency.

You get the idea.

Un-distracted time. No multitasking.

Woof.

“Cathedral Bells Kept Time”

“Cathedral Bells Kept Time”

Nanci Griffith made that observation in her song/reminiscence; “Three Flights Up”.

I lived it…

…for a while.

I’m an unrepentant, nay, make that a gleeful old hippie. If you don’t know the term…look it up…please!

In my college years and early twenties my friends and I generally lacked;

  • Money
  • Computers, laptops, cell phones, fitbits, I-pads or pods, thumb drives…
  • More than three TV channels
  • Multi-tasking urges
  • Regular haircuts
  • Pizza delivery (don’t laugh, gasp – it’s basic human right in my book)

It was a nightmarish time; a time to survive and be made stronger by surviving.

<<  snort!  >>

We didn’t have reality shows. We had reality.

We didn’t have social media. We had each other.

To quote Ms. Griffith’s song again;

“There were blinking pictures

Of how we’d sit and chat.

Some of them are scattered

Some are shattered in my mind.”

I remember many all-night random congregations over kitchen tables in shabby apartments. Discussions that originated at that evening’s rehearsal or that evening’s session at the Paddock Club continued after hours, sometimes till dawn.

Bob Dylan nailed it in his “Dream”.

“I dreamed a dream that made me sad,

Concerning myself and the first few friends I had.

With half-damp eyes I stared into the room

Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon,

Where we together weathered many a storm,

Laughin’ and singin’ till the early hours of morn.”

Earnest discussions, at times lubricated by beer and wine and carry-out burgers from Tolly-Ho.

We solved everything and solved nothing.

We knew everything and knew…the same.

“As easy as it was to tell black from white,

It was all that easy to tell wrong from right.”

We basked in the surety of our opinions about, Vietnam, the draft, Artaud, Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Prine, Richard Nixon, Malcolm X, Ginger or Mary Ann; every burning issue of the day.

We were most sure of each other.

We listened to each other. We didn’t check our phones or email. We didn’t channel-surf. We didn’t update our Facebook page. We didn’t fact-check each other’s lies/stories. We listened and were entertained and, I think, mostly enlightened by each other’s presence.

“Cathedral bells kept time.”

Yes. Usually, we were in no hurry to part.

Last night a small group of people representing almost 400 years of friendship gathered with Janie and me at the house, ostensibly to celebrate Halloween, but really to celebrate each other. Dinner was great, Janie’s Halloween decorations were over the top, and the conversations were finally suspended (not ended, mind you…suspended) by the chime of Christ the King Church ringing 2:30am (I drift happily and deliberately from verisimilitude here, but you get the idea).

We solved everything and we solved nothing.

We still know everything and we know…less.

Checking in once more with Mr. Dylan…

“I wish, I wish, I wish in vain

That we could sit simply in that room again

Ten-thousand dollars at the drop of a hat

I’d give it up gladly if our lives could be like that.”

Last night…

…it was.

As nice as it was…I’m glad I didn’t have to fork over the $10,000 though.

Open Letter to a “Facebook Friend”

A “Facebook friend” posted this today and it made me sad.

“Say what you will, maybe I’m a pessimist, but it kind of seems like people are inherently awful. Yes, there are good people, but aren’t they often motivated by outside forces (God, morality, opinions of others, etc.) to be good?” –a Facebook Friend

An open letter to a Facebook friend…

I know we’re merely “Facebook friends” and I’m of another generation (times two – ack!) and I’m probably breaching 85 rules of social media etiquette, but you invited folks to “say what you will”.

I could not disagree with your statement more.

I believe far more people are inherently good than not and that they will evince that goodness most often if less affected by “outside forces”. I believe the outside forces have grown in volume and subsequent influence over us in my lifetime and while I revel in having immediate access to the entire Oxford English Dictionary (something I used to have to drive to the public library and find a parking place to access), over 10K songs on my ITunes shuffle, 200+ channels of cable TV (on which, much of the time, the Spectrum monster commercials are the most appealing options), three major 24/7/365 news channels repeating the same panel discussions, opinions, and guesses every hour – very like a 1960’s AM radio station, and IMDB at my fingertips no matter where I am on Earth to settle those burning arguments (wagers) like; “Was Alex d’Arcy French or Egyptian?” (by the way, he was both), aside from access to the OED, I’m not sure these outside forces have made me a better person.

I think, in most situations, we know on a cellular level how to behave. We know how to treat other people. We understand the sheer “mathematics” of the Golden Rule. But these things we know get drowned out by outside forces…and others’ expectations.

How, today, can we reason with our inner decency when our hands are filled with pads, pods, and phones and our ears are filled with buds? Our inner voices are outvoted every waking instant. A friend of is fond of pointing out; “We are entertaining ourselves to death.” (Man, I wish I’d said that.)

Simply put; I believe we are good and the outside forces tend to deflect and misdirect and confuse that goodness.

That said, I don’t believe you’re a pessimist……but you’re damn sure acting like one.

Please stop.

Turn off the devices for a moment – not forever – don’t panic – for a moment.

Listen to what you know is right.

Save the world.

Geezer rant over.

Verdi and an Unexpected Question

Verdi and an Unexpected Question

Sometimes I find myself in the middle of something wonderful and BAM! It suddenly dawns on me I’m in the middle of something wonderful.

This can often happen in a theatre rehearsal, occasionally several times in one evening.

It’s always jarring, sometimes scary, and always to sought again and again.

Today, it happened at lunch

I attended a preview luncheon for UKOT’s production of Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA.

  • Portofino’s served a fine meal – check.
  • I got to chat with one of the best actors in the area; Tom Phillips – check.
  • The room was packed – check.
  • Everett McCorvey gave an update on UKOT’s activities;
    • LA TRAVIATA opening next week.
    • BOUNCE the basketball opera opening with a world premiere in Lexington in November (opera/basketball/Lexington – talk about the “best of all possible worlds”).
    • SHOWBOAT in the spring.
    • The opera outreach program has booked two shows (schoolchildren K-8) in over 50 venues throughout the state.
    • Singers being recruited to Lexington from all over the planet and accomplished singers and citizens being exported all over the planet. We are infesting the planet with remarkable young people.
  • Check, check, check, check, and CHECK!

Then three of those young performers blew the luncheon-ers and the walls of the room away with excerpts from LA TRAVIATA. Thabang Masongo was confident and polished. Jessica Bayne was passionate and vulnerable. Michael Preacely was gigantic and……Michael Preacely!

And the music of Verdi is sublime and emotional and important on a cellular level.

All of these delights and miracles were expected.

What was unexpected was a question from one of my tablemates, a first-time attendee of these luncheons; “Obviously, these singers come to UK with a gift. What does the opera program do to enhance that gift?”

Everett answered with an impressive description of the instruction and coaching that each student receives. Michael spoke of being taught to apply the facts of instruction to the acts of performance. Jessica spoke of the variety of instructors and the nurturing ambiance of the UK opera community.

I thought of two things I have watched Everett instill in students for 26 years.

  • “Participation” means more than signing the guest book. It means coming to class/rehearsal/performance having practiced and being prepared to share that practice/improvement immediately and eagerly.
  • Our students believe they belong in every room and have a contribution to make in every room. The room may or may not be about them, but they are prepared and confident and competent to make any room better.

BAM!

Something wonderful.

And I’m living in the middle of it in my home town.

Tough Day

Man!

It’s been a tough day.

  • Hurricane Maria, determined to out-muscle Harvey and Irma, is bearing down on our “51st state”, Puerto Rico with winds that may be an all-time record for a landfall.
  • Mexico is hammered with a second major earthquake in a week.
  • The Rohingyan Muslim refugees are dying in the mud of Bangladesh.
  • My country’s president gave a scary speech to the United Nation General Assembly that only lacked him banging his shoe on the podium to complete his descent to the level of Khrushchev.
  • My beloved Reds just imploded from an incipient no-hitter and a four-run lead to a one-run deficient and a pitching change in about two minutes.
  • My undefeated college football team is playing Florida this weekend. We haven’t defeated Florida since alligators crawled out the primordial swamp.
  • It rained most of today. This affects me more and more…dammit.

And yet I cling to an apparently ludicrous optimism.

‘Splain dat.

It’s the little things.

  • I just got a picture of a 5th grade class in Louisa, Kentucky after an OperaLex-supported performance of “All About Teeth”, a 45-minute opera about dental hygiene. This was part of the SOOP (Schmidt Opera Outreach Program) tour. Everyone in the picture was smiling. You could say they were “all teeth”. The performers were smiling as well. Everyone involved was made bigger and better. Something perhaps, for my state’s governor to ponder.
  • I spent time with a young plumber today (young being anyone who is younger than me – which is just about the whole world). He did excellent work and made excellent suggestions. He has gifts that I do not. He is a veteran – he has physically contributed to make my life and freedom possible. He noticed the odd accumulation of whiskies and brandies in the house (the result of an adulthood well-spent in the alcohol industry). He lit up and we discussed his home winemaking efforts with passion on both sides. I suspect, from other comments, he may have little admiration of our governmental agents (elected or employed) and may be a Trump voter. He’s a good guy with a bright and inquiring mind. My house was made better by his visit, as was I. I can only hope he feels the same.
  • Over the decades, I have developed the resilience of a UK football fan. I believe, against all history, we will beat Florida this weekend.

I wish I could change the path of a hurricane.

I wish I could calm the surface of the planet.

I wish I could dry up mud and prejudice.

I wish I could make every day a sunny one.

And yes, I wish I had a different president.

I can’t.

What I can do is try to do as little harm as possible, try to make things bigger, try to make things better…

Try to be civil.

Little things.