Monday, December 27, 2010


Although we didn't got to Palm Springs this year, this is still one of my favorite holiday photos. We have a white Christmas here in Chicago that is not to be sneezed at. But I do love the decorated palm. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

First Amazon review of A Sixties Story

I never realized how much it would mean to see my first review on Amazon: 

Toni Apicelli's memoir of an age, A Sixties Story, is a simple, direct and admirably modest recollection of her own life as seen against the times she lived in. It is full of remembered and researched detail covering more than half a century of post-war American life. Apicelli is an unflinching story teller who writes her story beautifully. Her account of being young in those times supplies a much-needed corrective to numerous unchallenged and ideologically motivated pejoratives about the times. A Sixties Story is ideally suited to be a primary source document for college history courses, generous in first person perceptions of cultural, social, political and economic history. If for no other reason, pick up a copy of A Sixties Story to find out how Toni and her friends reacted to the wide-spread panic of the Cuban Missile Crisis!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I decided to take a picture of the back yard and post it with some semi-profound words about the beauty and stillness of winter snow on the back yard, yadda, yadda. But when I turned to go in, the back door stuck. In a second, the beauty turned into a freezing cold early morning nightmare. There was no way this could have happened. We'd been in and out of it the day before. I yanked on it. It was stuck. How could this be? I yanked harder. It was stuck. I yanked more and considered my options. This was surreal but all too real. We don't have a key buried outside and my neighbor who has a key wasn't home. I didn't have my cell phone so I couldn't call Mark and tell him to come home and let me in. My gloveless fingers were getting really cold. My ears were wishing for their earmuffs. Oddly, my sandaled, sockless feet weren't cold. I found a metal basil nametag stuck in a pot and after some time and a lot of twisting and turning, I was able to force the screen out of the door. My fingers were really, really cold by the time I forced the inside window open and crawled through it to warmth and safety. The house never felt as welcoming as it did at that moment. The door is still stuck shut. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Sixties Story Press Release


2010 – New Release Shares Author’s Memories of Tumultuous Times in American History
A Sixties Story
is released by Toni Apicelli
Toni Apicelli was raised in quiet north side Chicago neighborhood and was a popular high school cheerleader in the early 1960s. As the 1960s ushered in the civil rights movement, she found herself questioning the status quo around her and becoming more involved in the burgeoning protests. She, like many others of her time, felt betrayed by the dishonesty of the government and turned to the counterculture movement as a way to make the world a better place.
While Apicelli experimented with less addictive drugs, her younger sister Teri became addicted to heroin. Apicelli moved and traveled around the country, working for a short time with the newly formed VISTA in the deep south, protesting at the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention, temping and living in Washington D.C, New York and Southern California. While Apicelli eventually landed on her feet, her younger sister was not as fortunate. 
A Sixties Story is a thoughtful portrayal of the confusion and craziness of the 1960s through the eyes of a young woman who wanted the world around her to make sense. It is beautifully written, and the author’s frustration and anger at the status quo come through loud and clear.  Toni Apicelli is a writer, editor and proofreader living in Chicago with her husband of ten years.  She earned her BA in California, and her MA in Writing from DePaul University in Chicago in 1998. 
For further information contact: Ray Robinson at 317-228-3656, via email at,  or through the website at:

A Sixties Story

Toni Apicelli
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-160844-564-6                    164 pages                                                                       US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

About Dog Ear Publishing, LLC Dog Ear Publishing offers completely customized self-publishing services for independent authors. We provide cost-effective, fast, and highly profitable services to publish and distribute independently published books. Our book publishing and distribution services reach worldwide. Dog Ear authors retain all rights and complete creative control throughout the entire self-publishing process. Self-publishing services are available globally at and from our offices in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Dog Ear Publishing – self-publishing that actually makes sense!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

what a night

It was quite a night at Katerina's for me. It turned out to be a great party. Even though I had to read out loud in front of everyone, at least everywhere I looked there was the smiling face of a friend. Photos and video follow when we can figure out what we're doing with them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stay and hear great jazz after A Sixties Story book signing

Just wanted all to know that at the book signing, I'll do a reading (for about 10-15 minutes) around 7:15pm. I'm hoping everyone will stay to hear our favorite jazz singer, Jeannie Lambert with Greg Fishman on saxaphone and guitarist Andy Brown. They are all great! Their set starts at 8:00pm. Katerina's has great food and drinks at reasonable prices (1920 W. Irving Park in Chicago). Hope to see you there on Monday.

You can see and hear Jeannie at: and on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Notes on A Sixties Story book launch and ordering signed copies

I've been a busy bee getting a book signing announcement in the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, Reader and maybe Time Out Chicago. 

We are going to record the Dec. 6 reading I do at the book launch at Katerina's ( from 6-8pm and post the reading on YouTube so the world can share in the experience. Yikes. The world. Weird feeling.

 And I set up ways for people to get inscribed or non-inscribed books if you don't want to order them from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

(1) For the people who plan to come to the book signing, I'd like to sign the books this week at home and bring them to Katerina's on Monday. If you'd like me to do that, email (you can respond to this email) and be sure to let me know if there's anything special you'd like me inscribe. I'd like to do it that way because there'll be no waiting for you at the book signing (I'm being an optimist that there will actually be a line of people waiting) and I can have time to think about what I'm saying to you. We can handle payment at Katerina's. I'll have plenty of books there if you don't want me to sign it in advance. 

(2) For those who aren't coming to the book signing, to order inscribed or non-inscribed book(s), send a $14.99 check (it's $14.99 for each book) made out to me and be sure to include your address and anything special you want me to say. Send it to:

Toni Apicelli
PO Box 25029
Chicago, Illinois 60625

Amazon and Barnes & Noble can handle credit card purchases. I wish I could, but I don't want to be responsible for other people's credit card numbers. Identity theft issues are daunting.

So, I think that's about it. The first 50 books are sitting in my living room. Another 50 are on the way. And it's still surreal that this is actually happening at last. 

Hope I see or hear from you soon! Your support through it all has been so wonderful. I hope you enjoy the book!



Monday, November 29, 2010

A Sixties Story is published at last!

It's published! I'll have copies at Katerina's on December 6, from 6-8pm, so you won't need to bring one if you come. Katerina's is at 1920 W. Irving Park in Chicago (

It's also available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

If you want a signed copy, email me at and I'll let you know the address to send a check for $14.99. Be sure to let me know where to send the book and if you'd like a special inscription.

Hope to see you at Katerina's!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Book Signing at Katerina's December 6!

My first book signing will be at Katerina's 1920 W. Irving Park in Chicago (see the link for more information about this great jazz club). It'll be from about 6-8pm on December 6. Our favorite jazz songstress Jeannie Lambert and guitar accompanist Andy Brown will start their set about 8pm and I can't think of a better way to celebrate my book launch. They are great! Hope you'll be there. I need all the friends I can get!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Some quotations from A Sixties Story readers

Here are some quotations from people who have read a pre-publication copy of A Sixties Story.

Toni Apicelli is a real "child of the 1960s," and a prototypical Baby Boomer, of course. Her memories of the post-WW II United States belong not only to Ms. Apicelli of Chicago, Illinois, but to many Americans born in those several years following V.E. and V.J. Days in 1945. As she reminds us, the Fifties were not as placid as we wished that they were, the Sixties broke and set new societal molds, and the succeeding decades only teased with both backward steps and some glimpses of renewal, hope, and, finally, change. The future has some significant precedents to live up to, which Ms. Apicelli points out in her book.
--Anthony Rama Maravillas, Ph.D., Professor of History

Those who lived through the sixties will know this rings true. Everybody else will get a real feel for what those tumultuous days were all about.
--Ilene Cooper, author, Jack: The Early Years of John F. Kennedy

A Sixties Story is a great read whether you were fortunate enough to have lived through those times or not. Toni takes us on a quest from the streets of Chicago through the redwood forests of Northern California that is both intensely personal as well as political. I had forgotten about VISTA--the domestic Peace Corps and a refuge for many who had been active in civil rights before the Black Power movement. Toni's book captures the idealism and drive for change we all believed so possible and reminded this reader how sweet even sad times can be.
--barbara knight 
mental health professional 

Those of us born in the late 1940s were kids born on the cusp. Grounded in the sedate ‘50s, we were hurled by personal and public dynamics into the chaos of the ‘60s. The journey was both physical and psychic. It wasn’t always straight; destinations were not guaranteed or uniform. In A Sixties Story, Toni chronicles one such journey through its prompts, starts and turns. It’s an interesting (and memory jogging) read."
--Sandra J. Rowe, Public Affairs, American Hospital Association (colleague)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

new cover design ... and election notes

one of the new cover designs
One of the two new cover designs has arrived. The other is scheduled to be here on the 29th. I never dreamed that it would be so difficult to get the cover right. But it is. I'm really hoping that my book is a good holiday gift idea, but at this rate, well, I don't know. I'm out of rationalizations of why this is probably for the best. It is what it is.

I'm so worried about the election. It just can't be that many of the sensible people who voted for Obama would rather go back to the disaster we had with Bush or worse, much worse.

I don't know why the Democrats don't run on their record. I heard that 15,000 infrastructure projects were completed with TARP money. More jobs have been created on Obama's year-and-a-half watch than were created in Bush's eight years. Why not tell people that? And health care reform will save millions of dollars over the next few years. Isn't that better than spending 700 million dollars to make rich people richer? It's a crazy world, but hopefully people won't be crazy enough to vote anything but Democratic.

I wish we could be at the Sanity/Fear Rally this Saturday. I'm sure it will be fun and people will feel very good about being there.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Two good films: The Blind Side and The Social Network

After blogging that whole cynical political diatribe on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon I saw a movie that blew my stereotype of rich southern Republicans right out the window: The Blind Side. I won't ruin the film if I say it's about a remarkable rich Republican family from Memphis who take in a black 16-year-old and raise him as their son. It's a true story. I have to say that it's hard for me to believe that such a selfless, wonderful act could be done by the people I've come to hate so much for their selfishness and greed. I know we're just talking about one family. But it happened. So that blows the possibility of profiling Republicans right out of the water.

The other movie I saw and liked was The Social Network. It was interesting to me that the story of the rich Republican family was heartening and the east coast Harvard story reinforced my cynicism. The Social Network is a the story of the brilliant obsessive Harvard freshman who created Facebook. To do that, he took a road in the business world that was not pretty. He was not particularly likable. But the movie is an Aaron Sorkin triumph. All of it is well done.

I found myself being shocked at the partying scenes in The Social Network. These kids are way over the top doing things I never dreamed of. I guess the sexual revolution and the drug scene have taken this turn. I was surprised that the exclusivity of the fraternities and sororities we scorned still have a hold in colleges. With this group, there's no political awareness or feeling of being committed to anything that I could discern, and therein lies a big difference from what I was doing in the sixties, even if we were wild. But I will say that I never partied like these kids do. Other people may have. But not me. And I'm glad. I don't feel like I've missed a thing.

I wish that there were more Republicans in Congress who were like the family in The Blind Side. In fact, I wish there were more people in the world who were like the family in The Blind Side. They are my new heroes. I love Facebook no matter how it came into being. And I'm grateful for the films that tell the stories we need to know.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Want the country back? Vote Democratic. It's our only hope.

The conservative right is always saying that they want their country back. I don't know for sure, but I think they are alluding to the country the United State was in the fifties. That was when (for white people especially) there were lots of good jobs and schools and people had high hopes for an even better future. It certainly wasn't perfect, but they are right, it was better in many ways.

I want that country back too. But we won't get it back if we do what the conservatives want to do.

Why were our public schools were so good--even mine, although my mother was a single mom raising two kids herself on a secretary's salary? Why was the country able to provide health clinics where working parents like my mom, could get free school immunizations and basic health care for their children. Why were the wages and benefits better?

In the fifties the unions were strong so wages and benefits for 'blue-collar' jobs were better. Those in 'white collar' jobs were loyal to the businesses they worked for because the businesses provided good wages and benefits and a stable income. People felt that if they did a good job and stayed with the company, they would benefit and so would the company. 

More income meant more income tax money was collected.

The tax money collected was used by federal, state and local government to provide a good life to the people who paid the taxes. Tax money help provide good jobs to millions of people who worked in the public schools educating the work force, to police and fire departments that kept neighborhoods safe, for state and government jobs that kept programs and services running--programs created to maintain a structure within which people could live their lives better. Tax money provided funds for good jobs in public works projects that built and maintained public buildings, roads and bridges, all of which names just a few of the social services for which people and the government spent and still spend tax money. 

Higher wages and benefits and better working conditions also meant people could afford to buy all the necessities of their good middle-class life: second homes, multiple cars and boats, along with food, clothing and the other necessities. They could send their children to colleges and had time and money to take vacations, spending their hard-earned money all over this country and in the world. In turn this spending made businesses that were providing those goods and services successful. 

Another difference was that the tax rates were not the same in the fifties. Then the top tax rate was 91% (and, surprise, there were still many rich people who lived incredibly well). Now the top tax rate is 35%.

And back then, people saving money through mandatory tax deductions for the social security system felt they would get their money back in their old age. The way Roosevelt set it up in the forties, money collected through social security taxes was held in a fund and invested so that the fund grew as it earned compounded interest. That fund would then give back their tax money--their non-voluntary savings--when they were old. (Note: Earnings over $100,000 are not taxed and put in the social security fund. Why, I ask? Why should only the lowest wages be forced to pay into the fund and not the highest?)

However, the social security program was changed in the sixties when, to help fund the war in Vietnam, President Johnson put the social security fund into the general fund and spent it. And he doubled the amount that baby boomers were forced to save in social security. Every year since then the fund has been spent as part of the general fund.

So, essentially the forced-tax retirement savings have been stolen from the social security fund and spent with the general tax fund. These days people are no longer assured that the money that was taken from them for all of their fifty year work lives will be returned to them in the form of social security checks in their retirement.

These days they call social security an entitlement program and I guess they are right. We are entitled to get our hard-earned money back.

So the whole foundation of the country was different in the fifties. It was firmer, richer and more stable and secure.

Over the last forty years, that foundation has been eroded. Tax rates for the rich have been lowered steadily. Unions have been broken and disgraced in several ways, some of their own making. But a good example of how it was usually done was when Reagan broke the air traffic controllers union. Reagan made sure that striking air traffic controllers lost their jobs. After that and other examples, people became more and more afraid to join unions and participate in strikes.

Subsidized housing was cut drastically during the Reagan years, throwing more people into chaotic life situations so it was harder to work and get their children educated.  Less taxes were paid because more people were either out of work or were paid less. More taxes were needed to pay for things that working people used to be able to pay for themselves. Desperation and anger grew and so did the number of people who turned to criminal ways to make money. Communities were devastated by crime. Not just minorities were affected, whites were also affected.

Desperate people were told that everyone was to blame except those who really were: the rich and powerful who ran the businesses. Just as they hoped, white working people began scapegoating minority working people and not seeing that the problem was the rich and powerful. As they became more desperate, they were willing to work for less and settle for less of everything. Working people were told that those who wanted a society that distributed income more justly or fought for a fair living wage were evil and they were to blame for deficits. And they believed it and elected conservatives.

But it wasn't other working people who were profiting. It was the rich and powerful military and industrial complex that even Eisenhower warned us against. Defense contractors were among the largest winners. But businesses who were given tax breaks and moved offshore to avoid any taxes won big as well. Wall Street was given a free hand to loot pension funds and savings accounts with sales that were unregulated and fraudulent--and they paid themselves handsomely as they did it. Then in the Bush administration, the economy collapsed under the weight of all the greed at the top.

Those who lost the most were not the rich, who pay only pay 15% tax on money that isn't earned through working (which is essentially invested money). It was the middle-class and the poor who lost the most: jobs, homes and savings accounts. Their money disappeared into extravagant salaries and perqs paid to executives in all manner of big business, health insurance and prescription drug companies, investment brokers and bankers and as well as defense contractors.

The truth is that it's been conservative policies that have run up the USA deficit. Reagan and the conservatives quadrupled the deficit during Reagan's eight years. It shot into the stratosphere during the Bush years.

Clinton and the Democrats cleaned up Reagan's mess, despite fierce opposition from the very people who had created it. And now Obama and the Democrats are cleaning up the mess that Bush and the conservatives made, despite fierce opposition from conservatives.

This administration and liberals in Congress have passed policies to protect the citizens of the United States, which is the job they were elected to do. Conservatives have opposed them every step of the way.

This administration and liberals in Congress have created more jobs in the past year and a half than Bush and his cronies created in eight years.

Through TARP loans provided over the objections of the conservatives, the car industry has been kept alive and millions of jobs are still in place. Those loans have been paid back to the government.

Fiercely opposed TARP money also provided unemployment funds to give people at least a little something to fall back on. Because it's spent on necessary goods and services, that money comes back into the economy at a greater rate than what was paid out.

Over conservative objections, the government stabilized the financial system through TARP loans to banks and wall street investment firms. Most of that money has been paid back.

Conservatives complain that small businesses have been ignored when actually there have been eight tax cuts given to small businesses and money earmarked for small business loans has been lent to banks.

The 40% of the TARP money that the conservatives insisted be given in tax breaks, well, the jury is out on how much it has helped. That lost tax revenue will never be paid back. Conservatives want to give up 700 million more dollars in tax revenue, creating more deficits, by continuing tax cuts to the richest people.

Thanks to the liberals, now there are regulations in place to protect people from thieves who take their money and give them nothing in return.

Everything this administration has accomplished has been fought tooth and nail by the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats. Their interests don't lie with improving the lives of the people who elected them and pay taxes. They want to please lobbyists for huge industries such as defense, prescription drugs, health insurance, and businesses that pollute the world. Their interests lie with the rich and powerful. That's why they want tax cuts for the rich. They want the rich to be richer and the poor to be poorer.

So yes, I want my country and my world back. I want the fifties world where executives earned 10 times their highest paid salary, not 100 or 200 times. I want tax rates for the rich to go up. I want United States businesses who take jobs and their companies offshore so they can avoid paying union wages and U.S. taxes--I want them to pay taxes. I want money to be provided for jobs that will improve the infrastructure of our country so that people will go back to work and buy food, clothing and shelter so the businesses will have someone to sell goods to. I want the social security fund to be kept separate from the general fund so it can grow and pay for itself. I want regulations on health insurance and prescription drug companies so they are not allowed to cheat people and charge exorbitant rates, which will lower healthcare costs.

I want the world of the fifties back so we can start from where we were and then we can improve on that.

The only way to get it back it is to be able to outvote the conservatives, which means electing more liberals (there's that scary "l" word again) to Congress. These days it takes 60 votes to win a vote in the Senate (And I ask you, how democratic is that? What happened to 51% majority wins?). So we need to elect 60 good Senators and a majority of Representatives to the House. We already have a great President.

We can do this.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

fall posting #1

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted anything. Time is flying by.

Update on A Sixties Story: The final book contents and cover are due for my approval October 12 and 13. If all is well, I should have a book a couple of weeks after that. I never dreamed it would take this long.

Last week we went to a book signing at Sandmeyer's Book Store in the south loop for our good friend Bob Gordon's book, Residential Design Studio. Here's what Bob says about the book:

"I am pleased to announce a book signing for my new book,  ResidentialDesign Studio” , published by Fairchild Books. It has 343 pages, in full color, and features 600 drawings and photographs.

The book includes chapters for each residential type; single family, townhouses, remodeling, walkup apartments, mid-rises, and towers. There are also chapters on important residential spaces; kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. In addition, there are chapters on “Mixed-Use”residential/commercial design, and urban design. This will explain howresidential design relates to the context of the community where it is built. Sustainability and accessibility are discussed throughout the book. Each chapter also includes a selection of “Case Studies," to show examples of some of the best residential projects already built in the U.S. and abroad. It gives an international sense to residential design."

The book is beautifully done as is his first book: Perspective Drawing: A Designer's Method, which includes his own wonderful drawings. Both are being used as textbooks at several colleges. We enjoyed them even though we aren't enrolled in a class. Find more info on Bob at:

We also were lucky enough to get into the Muti concert in Millennium Park. We got there two hours early and were amazed at how long the line was for free seats. So we rented chairs and sat about halfway back on the lawn. It was a great concert made even greater by his recent announcement that he has to cancel all the fall concerts due to illness. We're hoping for a full recovery for him.

I had jury duty yesterday. What an experience. Instead of sitting all day in a big room reading a book, our "group" got called right away to a jury selection. It took all day and felt like the third degree sometimes. It was an amazing experience but by the end of the day, my back was killing me. I was rejected and am guaranteed now that I won't called for jury duty for a year.

I've managed to get in some beautiful walks and bike rides during this perfect fall and hope for many more. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Life is what happens while you're making plans

"Life is what happens while you're making plans" is one of my favorite sayings. And it's once again proving to be true. Life events have delayed publication of A Sixties Story a bit longer. I'm not sure at this point how long.

To keep my mind off that, I'm pretty busy with the web design refresher course I'm taking. I'm developing my writer's website,, as my class project. Soon I will be online with this blog, through the publisher of A Sixties Story, and, which will have links to those sites as well as to my other writing and web design projects. I plan to do a reading from A Sixties Story and put it on YouTube, but I'll wait until I have a publication date.

Cool weather is here and there are still flowers blooming in the back yard among the leaves falling from the trees. I am so grateful that the hot, humid weather is gone. Fall has always been my favorite season in Chicago.

I'm thinking of writing projects to keep me busy between freelance jobs. And we're starting to plan that trip to Europe next year. So much to do, so little time.

Friday, August 27, 2010

they work hard for the money

Tonight I rode the Lawrence bus with the hard-working people who live along its route. It was Friday night. The street and the bus were crowded. The bus moved slowly and stopped often.

Outside my window I noticed a slim, beautiful young woman with long dark hair halfway down her back standing as she chopped something at her small umbrella stand. From a nearby chair, her young daughter was half-sitting, half-standing, chattering happily to her smiling and nodding mom. The school day was over, mom's work was just beginning. A block or so on, I saw a man setting up the red and yellow umbrella for his stand. I hoped they weren't too much competition for each other. Clothing racks were set up on the sidewalk, hoping to interest the people walking by. On the bus, one very tired man in work clothes slept slumped against his window. Three little girls sat a few seats in front of me smiling and laughing as they played a game together under the caring eyes of their mothers (who had just picked them up after work perhaps?). I was not the only tired older person smiling from their energy and joy.

It may not be PC to use the word poor. I'm not sure. But it struck me as a I looked around that the working poor work hard for the money. Very hard. And they probably don't make much money or get any benefits as a reward for all that hard work. They get by. They work hard to get by.

We heard this week that South Shore Bank went under. A bank with a heart. Part of the reason they went under was that they didn't foreclose much; they gave people a chance. And they didn't get any TARP money. Just the big banks, that did foreclose, got our tax dollars. What's wrong with this picture?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cover designed by Eric Martin ...

I love the cover Eric designed. Now I'm really jazzed about it finally being published.

So here's what Winston Churchill had to say about writing a book:
     I Like this quote I dislike this quote

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

I think I'm still at the state where it's a tyrant ... I'm longing to fling the monster out to the public. Soon.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

On writing ...

When I started writing my book I thought it would come together quickly and easily. After all, I had lived it, all I had to do was write it down. But as it turned out, transferring a picture in your mind and all the feelings that go with it into words is not easy at all. It's not just the moment, it's everything around that moment that makes the moment memorable.

That's why I put the Cesare Pavese quotation at the beginning: "We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten."

I found this image on the internet and it seemed to capture the way the door opened to my past as I was writing. As I wrote I was sometimes surprised at how wrong I was about when some things had happened. I had associated memories with events, but when I researched the events, what I was remembering hadn't happened then, it had happened at another time. While checking the dates I would come across other events that I had forgotten were happening at that time. They were part of the memory and I needed to put them in to create the context for who I was and what I was doing.

I was lucky to be writing about a time that I really enjoyed and that meant a lot to me. Going back through the years and years of memories was mostly fun, although the frustration and the sadness I experienced then was often difficult to revisit. Even after all these years, I cry when I see news footage of JFK being shot and of demonstrations where billy clubs are crashing on people's heads. And when I think of my sister. We would have had so much fun sharing these memories.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

hypocrisy and hypocrites

Hypocrisy: The act or practice of feigning to be what one is not or feel what one does not. Republicans say they are against deficits and that's why they voted against unemployment benefits (although it's paid for by insurance) and health care (although it will lower costs).

Hypocrite: A false pretender to virtue. However, Republicans created huge deficits during the Bush administration to fund tax cuts for the rich and two unfunded wars.

What surprises me even more are the people who believe whatever Republicans say no matter how hypocritical it is.

What a woild. What a woild.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

grampa's farm

how you gonna keep 'em down on the farm?
Took a trip to grampa's farm. It's three miles out of Manning, Iowa. Lots of memories from when Teri and I were young are still in the wind and everywhere there, even though the farm buildings are gone. Seeing old friends who loved her was good for the soul. We all miss her so.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

almost june

A Sixties Story will soon be available in print and in four e-publishing formats, including the latest, iBookstore for the iPad. Veddy exciting.

I've been keeping away from too much news since the oil spill. It's so depressing that we have unleashed into our ocean what the earth kept wisely buried for billions of years. And there's been another hit to the economy because Europe's PIIGS are going under: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain--all overextended with no good solution except to be bailed out by other countries. Doesn't seem fair. And it's scary so the stock market drops. Greed runs the world unwisely.

In order to make sure that the younger folks can have jobs, we feel it is our civic duty to retire. Sitting in the back yard looking at our flowers and basking in the warmth and sunlight of our hard-earned good fortune seems the best option at this point. It's a lovely day every day in our back yard.  The roses are blooming. Playing around with photoshop earlier this month gave me this photo of our amazingly giant tulips.

Friday, April 23, 2010

pre-self-publishing jitters

A Sixties Story will be published this summer. I'm excited and nervous. It's amazing to me that at last my goal of telling this story will be met. I hope that it adds depth to the image of the sixties and what it meant to us. It was much more than getting high and jumping around like crazy people at be-ins, although that was undeniably part of it. What drove me and many others was the desire to change the world for the better. I started trying in the civil rights movement and haven't really stopped since. I participate in politics differently now, mostly as a voter, an internet activist and a donator to causes I believe in. 

When I heard us called "hippy dippies," I knew I had to get the book out. Even though George Carlin coined the phrase and I loved his comedy, there was more to hippy than dippiness. My determination was reinforced when I was at the '68-'96 reunion of the Democratic Convention in Chicago and a woman labor organizer pointed out into the audience and said, "your stories have not been told. You need to tell your stories." My friend poked me and said, "get that book written." I started writing in earnest. It's 2010 and I'm self-publishing my sixties story at last. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

rock 'n' roll reunion

It's time to send the final version of A Sixties Story to dog ear, my self-publisher. Doing the final tweaking of my book brings back so many memories and on the social networking sites many of us are back in touch. So many years ago we lived our sixties lives and now we are all adults.

Here are a few of us last fall at The Abbey in Chicago for the 60s and 70s music reunion. Maybe you recognize Fred Glickstein (second from right). He played with the group The Flock, that recorded in the 60s and 70s and played on the same bill with many of the major groups of the day. The four of us in the photo went to high school together.

I am so heartened by the effect pressure from online activists is having on the political process. We are all still here and have found a way to be heard. So far, people are still the only ones allowed in the voting booths. The Supreme Court hasn't let corporations vote yet. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

health insurance reform blues

So today is the first day in the Senate with 59 votes, which will scotch health insurance reform. I know the teabaggers are happy that they have found yet another way to shoot themselves in the foot. They are OK with giving bankers hundreds of billions of dollars, but god forbid that they should have their government give them decent health insurance reform for the taxes they pay. Better for Congress to keep giving the money to corrupt defense contractors, bankers and the like. 

I have good health insurance, why should I worry about others if they aren't worried about themselves? But I do and they aren't. In fact, to them, I am the enemy. Strange world we live in.

In our neck of the woods, our lives are simple and uncomplicated and we are so grateful. We are both working at decent pay levels and we have great health insurance through a union, which is another thing the teabaggers are dead set against. God forbid that a union should get people better pay, hours and benefits. They have been told that unions are bad and they believe it. Sad, really. People keep themselves and millions of others down out of sheer stupidity and blind faith. 

And we are forced to be ruled by them. Fortunately, we have our lives arranged so that they aren't hurting us much yet. I know things will be very bad with social security and medicare so I am trying to get as healthy as possible so I won't need to go to doctors. I seriously wonder how much of my money I will get back on my 50-year social security investment.

Doom and gloom for the country. Why would Obama want to be President? What a waste of a beautiful mind. He'd get more respect as a Constitutional lawyer (or anything) than as President of millions of stupids who think nothing through and are only good at name calling. It's sad that honest debate about issues and policies that affect all of our lives degenerate into people wearing teabags and carrying signs saying Obama is a nazi and worse. 

Well, on we go.