An Old Cracked Tune
By Stanley Kunitz
My name is Solomon Levi,
the desert is my home,
my mother's breast was thorny,
and father I had none.
The sands whispered, Be separate,
the stones taught me, Be hard.
I dance, for the joy of surviving,
on the edge of the road.
First full vacation day at home with kids was relatively peaceful...older son slept till about 10:30, younger son caught up on DragonFable, Club Penguin and some other online game he'd been dying to play while we were away. After lunch we went out to Borders with a collection of holiday and leftover Bar Mitzvah gift cards because younger son was dying to get the brand-new Erin Hunter Warriors: The New Prophecy book (Sunset), where older son got sequels to two books he had enjoyed and younger son added the Dragonology build-your-own-dragon set to his pile -- dragons were his thing before penguins, and at the moment they appear to be sharing space, since we were told a long story tonight about a dragon, a phoenix, a penguin, a kiwi and Cat Island (which is younger son's name for Rosie, our big yellow cat, when he is using her as a character in his stories where she is the only creature that can move of her own free will).
Stopped at Best Buy so kids could inspect a couple of Nintendo games they ended up deciding they didn't really need to spend their holiday money on. Took younger son to violin, then banished both boys outdoors for some exercise in the late afternoon while I wrote Trek news (Shatner in TV Hall of Fame, Spiner in London). Watched Xanadu while folding laundry, having bought myself a copy with birthday money because I haven't seen it in forever and the news that it will be a Broadway musical made it necessary to remedy that. It's as painfully awful as I remembered! And so much fun! And caught up on unpacking, burning new music to put on mp3 players -- mine and son's -- and putting about a month's worth of LJ entries into memories, which took much longer than I expected. Someday might even manage to clean off the dining room table but that did not happen today.
Gerald Ford...like so many of my generation, I suspect, who were old enough to witness Watergate unfolding but not to understand it until much later, my overwhelming memory is of Ford looking embattled after he pardoned Nixon before all the facts came out and earned the wrath of nearly every voter in the US. I understood very little about the issues in the 1976 election (I was nine years old) but I was pretty sure Carter was going to beat Ford because Ford let Nixon off without a trial. On the other hand, Ford was the first president I ever wrote to, about the need for a Halleys Comet fly-by (which NASA cancelled under his administration, leaving the US behind other countries in research when the comet arrived in the 1980s). Unlike the little "thank you for writing to me" cards I got from Carter and Reagan, I got a full-page letter from a White House secretary from Ford's administration, so this has always been a big point in his favor. Like Carter he seems to have been more successful and popular as an ex-president than as a president.
But you can see the Tiffany window at the front of the nave, which always seems to have light shining through it, even at night when it must be lit from within.