Bio: Memories of a White American Middle Class Childhood
Birth: 19 August 1950 in Biltmore, NC. And I have the papers to prove it.
My father was Chief of Surgery at Swannanoa VA Hospital. All the doctors lived in little white houses on the hospital grounds. We had a nice view of Black Mountain. The VA had the finest trauma doctors in the world.
Before that, when I was but a possibility, my father had been a Major in the Army Medical Corp in Japan. They treated anybody that came in, or was carried in, in order of need (triage). It did not matter that they were our soldiers, their soldiers, or civilians – they were all people. The blood & guts were the same.
We moved to LaGrange, GA when I was 6 – my father wanted to go into private practice. It was different!
I awoke my 1st day in Georgia & my parents took me to my 1st day ever of school. Inconvenient, but I would learn to read! Laid down that evening with the comics – apparently my schooling had been a failure. My father explained that reading took some time to learn – years was mentioned. The real shock here was that I had to get up the very next morning & go to school. Again.
LaGrange is/was a Mill Town. Mr. Calloway owned the town (pretty much). We lived in a white duplex. The 2nd half became the medical office. Very short commute. My parents could check on us kids anytime. My mother, one of the 1st class of Medical Technicians in Georgia to accept women, was Med Tech & secretary.
My father’s practice got underway. Growing smoothly till one day a black man, hat in hand, came through the waiting room & asked where he should go. My mother: ‘Just sit anywhere’. He protested but sat down in a corner looking down at the floor. Every other patient, every white patient, left. There was no Internet – but that waiting room was empty for the next week. So, what can you do? My father spoke to black preachers. They told him nobody wanted this fight. That having access to a skilled doctor was the big thing. Going in the back black door to the black waiting room was just the way it was. This was not the color blind Army or VA.
School: I was a whiz at multiplication tables. Gave me the impression that I was doing well. Then in fourth grade the teacher divided the class into 3 reading groups. Cognitive dissonance: I realized I was in the slow group. Maybe this reading thing was gonna take some concentration. I asked my father what the very first classic book ever was. So I slogged through the Iliad. I’d insisted on the full original version – I relented a bit, went with English. The original was Greek to me. I had to read most every sentence 3 times to parse it out. I learned lots of cool words & how to make run-on sentences. But I couldn’t actually follow the story. I proceeded nonetheless: Odyssey, Aeneid, Anabasis/Xenophon. . . & 100’s more.
With this addiction to reading, my academic success was assured. The professional resume fleshes out the details. It does not document my increasing preoccupation with social justice, endless war, nor most pressingly Global Warming. I have come to understand that the thread that ties all these problems together is corporate corruption – from the Supreme Court right on down through Congress to county commissions & school boards.
To attack this problem directly, I am running on a pledge of Straight Arrow ethics – rejecting corporate funding through Pacs, Super Pacs, & bundled Party money – to establish a Straight Arrow Caucus in the House of Representatives so pledged. Representatives representing people.
Money is not speech.
Corporations are not People.