Henry – My Bestest Friend

 

Henry was my very bestest friend of all. Him and me, we was close but he couldn’t come to my house, He said I could come to his house but mom said NO! But he was my bestest friend of all time!

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1949, we lived on Franklin Ave. near Chicago Ave. and there were streetcars and huge spiders that weaved the power lines to make them go. I had just started schools at Adams Elementary on Franklin and Bloomington Aves. It was seven hundred miles from where we lived and I had to walk it twice a day and all alone, until I met Henry, my bestest friend.

Henry lived one block from where we did. We were in the same class at school but we couldn’t sit by each cause he sat in the back with other kids like him. They weren’t really like him cause me and him was friends, besides he didn’t look like them either.

We had another friend we called Heidi cause she looked like Heidi in that story. She had long blonde hair her mom made her wear in pigtails and a pretty smile. She lived on the other side of Franklin Ave. from Henry so we walked her to school and back on her side of the street where we passed the place where they made the Old Dutch potato chips – yum, it smelled so good all the time. We were the three Musketeers!

One day, as we were talking home on Heidi’s side of the street, some men came out of a nasty bar. You could smell all the smoke and booze on them. They were dirty and stunk bad. One man tried to grab Heidi’s pigtails but Henry stopped him. Henry was big for his age so he was the muscle man but he was only six.

The drunk guy pushed Henry into the snow bank by the street where he got all muddy from the black snow. He tried to get up but the drunk man pushed him again and said, “Get your nigger ass on outta here!” Heidi and I grabbed Henry and started to run home. We ran all the way to Heidi’s house first then Henry and I ran to his house and told his mom who got mad and had Henry’s dad walk me home.

I couldn’t tell anyone at home about what happened cause I wasn’t supposed to be friends with “one of those people”. Mom would have gotten mad at me so I just sat in my room and wondered cause I didn’t know what “nigger” or “one of those people meant” but I was worried about my friend Henry.

The next school day, Henry’s dad met us after school and walked us home. He was big and looked mean so if those drunk guys came out of that nasty bar again he would take care of us – they didn’t.

Henry’s dad was really nice. He said Heidi and me was family and he took care of family. My dad wasn’t like that.

One day in early spring Heidi told us she was moving away when school was over. She said her mom and dad bought a house in a nice white neighborhood. I didn’t know what that meant but she was happy so it must have been ok. Henry didn’t say anything about it. He looked sad so I said I wouldn’t move away and he would always be my bestest friend in the world. He hugged me and I hugged him and Heidi hugged him and me. It was nice.

When school was out, I didn’t get to see Henry much cause I had to work in our little store and mom said I shouldn’t be friends with “those people” cause “our people wouldn’t like it.”

What does “those people mean, mom?

“Just do as you’re told!”

I would sneak out of our apartment and meet Henry in the alley behind his house. We would talk about stuff and say how much we missed Heidi and school. We even helped his dad fix the fence. I learned how to pound a nail in straight. It was great being with my bestest friend and his dad.

It was in August I think, that Henry told me some new neighbors had moved in next door to them. They were different and his dad called them “those people” like my mom did Henry. I was confused. What does “those people” mean?

When school started, Henry and I again met up to walk to and from school but that year we had one of “those people” with us. His name was Andrew but we call him the “Wolf Boy” cause he could howl like a real wolf and he had the neatest cool shirt with a wolf on it. I wanted one just like it but I only got hand-me-downs from my brothers who didn’t like me, or Henry or the Wolf Boy. They called us, “you people”.

During that winter, Wolf Boy’s dad was arrested for being drunk on the street. His mom said they was going home to the “rez” to be with “their people”. Henry and me had a goodbye party Wolf Boy in his backyard. I stole some Hostess cupcakes and Coca-Cola from our store. Some days I still hear him howl.

In the spring, my parents bought a house way out in Bloomington and we moved. It had a big back yard and was a real home but I missed Henry. My parents kept the store and sometimes, when I was working on sorting beer, soda and milk bottles to get the deposit money back, if I was done early, I would sneak over to see Henry. He wasn’t always home and I couldn’t call him cause they didn’t have a phone so I would leave him a note. But as time went on, we lost contact and I was alone.

I missed my bestest friend, there was no one like him in our neighborhood or my school. My mother said it was because “those people” didn’t belong in our community.

Why mom?

“Because no one will sell them a house.”

Can’t they rent one?

“No, once one of them lived in a house, none of our people would want it.”

But Henry is my friend and I miss him.

“I told you to stay away from him. He’s a nigger like his daddy!”

What’s that mom?

“A negro, one “of those people”, you know they do nothing but steal from us.”

Henry never stole from me!

“He’s not white like us!”

But mom, his mom is white like us and his dad is really nice.

“She’s a tramp!”

How come she’s white and Henry isn’t?

“She has bad blood.”

What’s that?

“Enough, go do your chores and forget about Henry!”

Henry, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing please remember, YOU ARE my bestest friend and always will be! Please don’t forget me – I haven’t forgotten you.

 

Nyk

April, 2015

What I think of Obama

Last night I was asked what I think of Obama.

 

My answer was simple:  He’s a traitor!

 

What about Hillary Clinton?  She is a self-serving, arrogant liar who politically preys on women.

People say we need a woman president. What do you think?

To vote someone into office just because they have XX chromosomes is about as intelligent as drinking acid because it’s in a water glass.

Wake up people, stop voting with your emotions and start voting with your brains.

 

First Amendment Rights in action!

I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of any political party!

Election 2016

Why, when I hear the name Hillary do I think of the name Richard?

Why, when I think of Hillary Clinton being president do I think of Richard Nixon.

Neither is/was qualified morally to lead America.

Both have committed crimes against the Constitution and the People of America.

Notice I’ve not mention Obama? Notice Hillary is not really (ahem) mentioning Obama?

I think it’s sad that people are parading around saying it’s time for a woman president. Is there something I’ve missed about women? Do having fallopian tubes, a womb and mammary glans qualify a person to be a better president, or not?

Stupid me, all these years I’ve been thinking it’s intelligence, management skills, honesty, diplomacy and commitment to the values of the Constitutions of America that make a good president. (There’s more but you get the idea.)

Now wait, I think I’ve got this part right, either a woman or a man can have those qualities? Am I right?

So, in my humble opinion I think we had best forget about the Nixons, Clintons, Obamas and the “Time for a woman president” philosophy and elect a damn good president regardless of chromosomes.

I want the best PERSON our country has to offer and I want a better way to evict that person from OUR WHITE HOUSE if he/she does not follow the Constitution, obey all laws and remember who he/she works for!

ps: Same holds for out senators and congressmen/women.

 

Election 2016

Dear 2016 Presidential Candidate,

You have asked for my support and here are my answers:

I will not vote for you simply because you:

Belong to a political party, or not,

Are right wing, left wing or not,

Are of one race or another,

Are of one gender or another,

Are rich and famous or not,

Have a college education or not,

Have been in the military or not.

I will vote for you if you are:

Always Fair and Honest,

A strong and just leader who believes in fair laws and courts,

A firm believer in the Constitution of the United States of America and what it stands for,

A strong believer in keeping to a budget,

One who remembers and honors those who guard our country, our cities, our homes and all our relations.

One who respects other beliefs, positions and opinions and still puts America first,

One who remembers that America is the world, America is unique, America is many nations, beliefs, colors, languages and    cultures,

A person who holds close advisors with these same values,

A person who not only listens to but actually hears Americans.

Refresher for some, New Concept for others and a Dream for the oppressed.

 

 

First Amendment (specific to Freedom of Speech)

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

An overview

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the “separation of church and state.” Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of “blue laws” is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person’s practice of their religion.

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. For more on unprotected and less protected categories of speech see advocacy of illegal action, fighting words, commercial speech and obscenity. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message.  The level of protection speech receives also depends on the forum in which it takes place.

Despite popular misunderstanding the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.

The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. Implicit within this right is the right to association and belief. The Supreme Court has expressly recognized that a right to freedom of association and belief is implicit in the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. This implicit right is limited to the right to associate for First Amendment purposes. It does not include a right of social association. The government may prohibit people from knowingly associating in groups that engage and promote illegal activities. The right to associate also prohibits the government from requiring a group to register or disclose its members or from denying government benefits on the basis of an individual’s current or past membership in a particular group. There are exceptions to this rule where the Court finds that governmental interests in disclosure/registration outweigh interference with first amendment rights. The government may also, generally, not compel individuals to express themselves, hold certain beliefs, or belong to particular associations or groups.

The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through the courts (litigation) or other governmental action. It works with the right of assembly by allowing people to join together and seek change from the government.”

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment

 

“any puritanical law that forbids certain practices, especially drinking or working on Sunday, dancing, etc.” Dictionary.com

Words which would likely make the person whom they are addressed commit an act of violence.  Fighting words are a category of speech that is unprotected by the First Amendment.  Chaplinsky v New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942).”

 

Native Peoples of the Americas knew about and practiced this concept long before Europeans.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Carrot-Top

Carrot- Top

 

It was strange – all the ooohs and aaahs after the loud thump was heard.

I saw him, he passed right by the window on his way to the cement. He said nothing but thump!

We all rushed to the windows. Through the red splatter on the glass we saw him.

He lay quiet, face turned from us, blood his pillow.

One girl fainted – two threw up.

The boys, faces pale were being “men” about it.

Our teacher quickly closed the shades but it was too late. The memory fixed.

They let us out early that day.

“Now you go straight home!” they said.

I rushed home to tell everyone but I told no one.

I was alone.

No one was home much.

It was 1949, I was five.

I wasn’t a latchkey kid.

We didn’t lock the house.

I was a lonely kid.

They called me Carrot-Top. It hurt.

I can’t remember my father’s face.

I wanted to go to my friend’s house down the block. They had a new RCA console color TV. It came with a little statue of a dog listening to a record player (“His Master’s Voice”).

I wanted a dog but mom said no. “You won’t take care of it.”

I couldn’t go outside. Mom wouldn’t allow me to but she wasn’t home but she said I couldn’t leave the house if no one was home but I was alone.

I was lonely.

I wanted a friend.

One day we moved.

-tbc-

Spring

Jonquil neath snow awakes,

Green swords challenge the sky,

Sleep not eternal.

 

On silver stems,

Buds swell.

The first.

 

Robin, heavy with promise,

A rush to build,

Impatient arrivals await.

 

Sounds,

So soft, so sweet,

Emerges the future of the forest.

 

Farewell northern gales,

Fair winds caress,

Renewal begins.

 

It is spring.

 

 

 

 

 

Trees

Silent sands hold a rock.

Fallen tree, do thoughts follow?

 

Pain, no less yet tomorrow

I wonder, is worth unseen?

 

Remembrance an illusion

Arrow’s flight lost in storm?

 

A wish granted, forgiveness

Renewal, a tree grows

 

Be it mighty or forlorn,

As shelter or food,

Mighty weapon or tool

 

Once was, now is

What will be?

Is there tomorrow?

 

Street advice

Dude, don’t ask me to walk in your shoes.

They won’t fit my feet.

Pay your own debts

You made them, not me.

No, I won’t fight your war,

The battles are all yours.

Never ask for a handout

When a hand up is more help.

If you hunger I’ll feed you.

If you bleed I’ll bandage you.

If you fall I’ll help you up.

But I will not be you.