Vol. 2 No. 23                    November 14, 2007
November 14, 2007
STORIES & COLUMNS

* The Literary Divide: Attacks on Cosby & Pouissaint's book unfair, unfounded,
by Dr. Paul Barrows

*
Highlander Research & Education Center: Civil Rights training ground,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
4th Annual Gospel Fest: Singing from the Soul,
by Jonathan Gramling

* United Way Listening Session,
by Tom Kuplic

*
Asian Wisconzine: At the Peace Corps, working for peace, finding love (2),
by Heidi M. Pascual

*
Politicas de hoy:  Los veteranos y la conmemoracion de los caidos,
por Alfonso Zepeda Capistran

*
Simple things: Outer space, inner space,
by Lang Kenneth Haynes

*
Voices: Friendly places,
by Dr. Jean Daniels

*
Prematurity Awareness month,
by Pamel Pfeffer

*
Making the homeless visible,
by Laura Salinger

*
Centerspread: Dia de los Muertos & The Spirit Continues,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Miss Wisconsin USA Michelyn Butler,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
China Dispatch: Learning more about China's past and present,
by Andrew Gramling

*
Immigrant Success Stories: JJ Madera/ Two years and counting ... (3)
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Wal-Mart opens Supercenter in Monona: An African American touch,
by Jonathan Gramling

* Letter to the Editor



HOMEPAGE

ARCHIVES

    I was driving in my car today down a well-worn road in my life, one of those routes where you can almost put it on automatic pilot as you day dream about something important or inconsequential in your life. I realized that Thanksgiving was fast approaching and began to think about the things I should be thankful for. Even if we are in a horrible funk, there is indeed something that we should always be thankful for. Sometimes it is our own arrogance that blinds us from the deeds that others --  and God -- have done for us.
      On my long list of things to be thankful for are my parents. My dad has been dead for over 18 years and my mom died a little over two years ago. Yet I still hold them close and feel their presence in my life. It is their values -- honed by the Great Depression and World War II -- that I appreciate the most for they have helped me to strive and survive to this day. No matter how much we try, none of us can anticipate every situation in our lives or the things that people do to us -- seen and unseen. It is our values that guide us through those easy and difficult times. It is our actions shaped by our  values that others see when we are aware of it or not. So I am grateful for those gifts that I inherited from my parents and I hope that I have, in turn, passed them down to my son.
      And the other day, I drove by the Memorial Mile at Olbrich Park where the Vets for Peace had placed thousands of tombstones to represent the Americans who had lost their lives in the Iraq and Afghanistan fighting. Not represented were the tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis who have died. I am grateful that my son is in China teaching English and not waging war on foreign soil. While I still worry about him, my concern is dwarfed by the concern that the parents of the military over there must feel. It is a horrible part of this human condition that we live in that one person's gain is oftentimes another person's loss. Yet I can't help but be grateful that my son is out of harm's way.
      While I may not always show it, I am grateful to be living in this country. While America continues to squander its greatness, I must always realize that life here is still pretty good. Even the poor in this country have more guarantees of life than a middle class person in many other countries of the world. I recently went to Mexico with two friends, Juan and Teresa -- indeed I am grateful for their friendship. While I found Mexico to be exceedingly beautiful and its people very cordial, I also got a sense for the severe poverty that many people are mired in there. There is an intense competition and struggle for survival there. People earn little money for their labors. People must work day and night to survive and secure what few creature comforts that they can. It gave me an appreciation for why people might cross mountains and deserts, hop freight trains and leave all of their loved ones behind in order to come to the United States where there is some hope that they can secure a better life for their loved ones. This is where the economic action and the opportunity are. There is little to none of that back home.
      All too many Americans take for granted the bounty to which they are born. And while we feel that this is to what we are entitled, there are no long-term guarantees in life. There are many starving people in the world. There are many more people near starvation. We should be grateful for that which we have. I'm not saying we should settle for what we have or accept readily the social condition in which we find ourselves. Yet, for all the trials and tribulations that we face, it could always be much, much worse.
      The Capital City Hues continues to sputter along in its growth and development. While we want it to just zoom along and grow at a fast pace,  that isn't going to be the case. I must always remember that Rome was not built in a day and it took God six days to create the earth. Certainly it will take this humble endeavor longer to evolve and develop. While not everyone reads The Hues, I am grateful for the people who do pick it up,  read and find value in what is written there. I continue to perform  bookkeeping/accounting work for non-profits in order to pay my bills and then still work full-time on The Hues.
      Sometimes that can be a little discouraging, especially when money is tight and the advertising -- which we need to pay the bills -- seems far and few in between. Life can be a downright struggle. And yet I have to be grateful for the advertisers that I do have. There are folks like Don Becker and Northport/Packers Apartments who are there for us every issue. And MG&E comes through on a regular basis. I do have to appreciate that which we do have and I am very grateful. Now having more to be grateful for would also be quite nice.
      And while I receive relatively little compensation from The  Hues -- I won't be retiring at age 65 or perhaps 70 years old for that matter --  I am grateful that I have the opportunity to follow my passion of writing about race relations and diversity issues. Relatively few people can say that. And the comments that I receive from people about the paper and the articles contained within -- articles that boost people up and inform them -- are worth much more than gold. While they don't put food on the table, they are food for the soul. In a society where it seems money is the only reward, the sincere comments of others can be downright rewarding. I am very grateful to those who have taken the time to comment. Believe me; it makes all the difference in the world.
      And I could not rightly end this column of thanks without saying how grateful I am to Heidi for sticking with me through my quixotic quest of finding a diverse loving world in the midst of a world that sometimes has gone mad with racial enmity and indifference. My weekly schedule is that I have no schedule. My comings and goings almost appear random and one week is never the same as the last or the next. Heidi says that I am community property. And in spite of this relatively poor, preoccupied dreamer, Heidi still finds it in her heart to care for me. What she sees in me, I will never know. Yes, I am grateful. Life is not fair, but God is good.
Citizen Soldier
Col. Marcia Anderson
  Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                                                    
      Thanksgiving