throw it to me, dad

This picture was taken soon after June 20, 1953. I say that because, to the best of my knowledge, the baby in the picture is me. My brother would have been six years old. My mom was 25, and my dad was 29.

Mom Dad Geoff Steven I think

Today is my dad’s birthday. If he had lived, he would be 91 years old.

So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.

-- Jack Kerouac, On the Road

throwback a-vo-dee-oh-doe

This was taken in the summer of 2000:

winchester lovebirds

In 1966, the song “Winchester Cathedral” was a worldwide smash, selling 3 million records. The artist’s name on the label was The New Vaudeville Band, which didn’t really exist, although one was formed for touring purposes after the record became a surprise hit. In the U.S. it hit #1, supplanting “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes. It hung around the top spot during the month of December of ‘66, taking #1 on the 3rd, relinquishing the spot to “Good Vibrations” for a week, then regaining the top for two weeks before finally being knocked out for good on the last day of 1966 by The Monkees with “I’m a Believer”.

When the Grammy Awards were given out for 1966, a year of Revolver and “Monday Monday”, the award for the Best Contemporary Rock & Roll Recording went to “Winchester Cathedral”. You can see why Robin and I had to take that picture.

mixed messages

What to write? Things have gotten so bad in Ferguson, Missouri, which is to say things are as bad as ever for all oppressed Americans, particularly African-Americans, particularly African-American males, that I find myself speechless when it comes to writing here. And I know I speak from a privileged position … I’m an upper-middle-class white man with a great wife and family, living for 40 years in a place that, for better and worse, I am proud of. This weekend, I got to spend some time with the grandson, and this photo pretty much sums up how that went:

japanese restaurant

I spent Sunday afternoon with an old friend I hadn’t seen for awhile. The weather was great, the company was great, the event was great:

august 2014

But all the while, this is happening (I first saw this photo on the Twitter account of Darwin Bond Graham):


How do I come up with blog posts to reflect life at the moment?