Crossing the divide



child friends

In the ideal world we would begin like the picture above and keep seeking out a wide variety of people to be in our lives. I have talked about Patricia Raybon’s book My First White Friend which centered on her experience as a child of integration and the change that came over her when a young white girl started talking with her. Raybon continued to experience isolation as an adult. After a career in journalism, she began teaching at a mostly white state university in Colorado. There she met and quickly married her husband, a very light skinned African-American.

In her classrooms, she was surrounded by a sea of white faces. But I did not get the sense that she was talking white her white co-workers either faculty or other staff. How where they responding to her? Did  they think she was too angry? Did they tell funny stories?

The idea of reaching out across the life span made me get back in touch with my best friend during a turbulent time in my life when I was underemployed and wondering what to do. We both ended up going back to school to become librarians. I sent her a message reminding her never to underestimate the power that friendship can have. She didn’t show me the answers but with her help I was able to find my way.

Now in my mid 60’s I am hoping not to end up like one of the characters from I’m Not Rappaport. Ossie Davis, the African American old man was stuck there on a park bench with an irascible, foul tempered old white man, played by Walter Matthau. It was an entertaining movie but it would not be a life I would choose. Let’s have a nice tossed salad of people in our lives.




Learning from others



I have busied myself since I returned home from work interacting with a few visitors and leaving comments on their blogs. I also changed the appearance of my blog and updated the tagline. For some reason I have not been able to let go of the slightly sardonic title A Little Local Color. I had chosen it because I wanted to alert readers that I might be commenting about race and racism although not in an angry in your face tone. Perhaps I have less to be angry about as I age.

The updated tagline includes a reference to unicorns which reflects another part of my personality. I like to throw in humor and funny pictures like this



If you or your friends are in this picture, I do apologize. More likely, you’re off on another adventure with the zombies.

scary doll




I hope to inform, cause you to think about something I saw or even just have a good time and share your perspective. That’s what blogging is about.




Cookies galore!

Here is a picture of Liz before our Girl Scout cookies arrived

zombie woman

Yes, a complete Zombie, lifeless. Not the woman that I love. Where did that woman go?

We had ordered and waited so patiently.  Waiting and waiting for them to arrive:


girl scout cookies

I had the solution when I saw them in the store last week. I didn’t know that there would be a display at the place where we do most of our shopping. I got a box of thin mints and a box of shortbread cookies and they are to die for. And then, wouldn’t you know, we were home today cleaning house (how often does that happen?) And then lo and behold the young mother with her two children arrived. Now we have 8 boxes of cookies and we are like



I guess we’re easily satisfied. We will return after the boxes are empty.


Rachel being chatty

Another interesting new reader is Rachel, a talkative, sarcastic and prolific writer with almost 5,000 followers. She is pictured below talking with some of them. Rachel likes quick little snippets and book reviews and it’s too bad I don’t have a book for her to promote. She probably knows where my girl scout cookies are.



Reading the mad woman

woman and pet


One of my latest readers is a popular blogger who writes under the title Musings of a mad woman. She has children, a dog and a cat. The picture above is how I imagine her. I rad a few of her amusing little blogs.One was about failing at meditation in which nearly everything that could go wrong does. She thinks maybe she should masturbate, bu then the dog and then the cat want to play. Finally a nurse comes to save her from torture. It’s time for motherhood.

These are all familiar scenes and I’m certain many well meaning people have fallen into one or perhaps all of these traps. It’s not actually clear whether people were actually intended to mediate. What do we do? Empty our minds of thoughts about that project we’re supposed to be doing at school and work? Maybe we’re living fantasy lives that are far more interesting and varied than our real lives? Perhaps our fantasy lives should meditate on why our real selves aren’t as interesting as they should be.

I wouldn’t be surprised. But the mad woman has thousands of readers so maybe I should write about meditation and become more popular. Or maybe I will get a dog to take for walks and lose some weight.

My readers lead such glamorous lives.Two Satanists and one mad woman. Who knows what I will find this weekend?




Girl Scout Cookies!



America, where are our Girl Scout cookies? It has been about 4 weeks since Liz and I ordered from the young woman who brought her children with her to charm their way into our hearts. We were instantly smitten. We wanted, no needed, our fix of Thin Mints for the year. It would be a few weeks before we would be savoring their goodness.

Girl Scouts are one of the traditions of late winter and early spring you can count on. Like the basketball playoffs, football player drafts, flowers and buds on the trees. Girl Scout cookies help us to regain the pounds we foolishly claimed we were going shed during those new years resolutions we made under the influence of some intoxicants.

We have heard that people in our community have been receiving their cookies. And to make matters worse, some little cherubic girl scouts were at the grocery store plying their wares. No orders for you little tots. We have sworn our allegiance and our bellies to those three urchins who disappeared into the darkness.But perhaps, if our order has not arrived by next week we will cheat on our little friends. We will buy those store displayed cookies and spend the day indulging ourselves until we are too full to go for our Sunday afternoon stroll.



Setting the agenda

Thursday afternoon I had a teleconference with two Milwaukee County employees from the Community Access to Recovery Services CARS)  of the Division of the of the Behavioral Health Division. We were setting the agenda for our Recovery Advisory Committee meeting to be held March 10th. This committee is guiding the implementation of Milwaukee County’s Comprehensive Community Services program. On the other side of town several employees of our agency were having the February birthday celebration. Partly because I am an introvert, I decided to skip the party. It’s possible that I could have asked to use an office for the telephone call. But I also had an appointment on the East side which I knew it would take me 30 minutes to arrive so I stayed in my office to take care of this business. In addition I was praised by the women I met with for my hard work on the committee.



This helped me get through the next day and a half as if I was skating on ice. We also had a birthday party at our office on Friday which was like this picture

black women friends

So that was also on my mind. How much partying with my co-workers could I stand for one week? I mentioned this when I stated I was totally against going to the Thursday party. By the time we were finished with our birthday party I was exhausted. I had to drink some coffee to wake up for the afternoon. So I accomplished a lot this week. I survived 2 days of training, 1 party, 1 very important meeting agenda and several meaningful appointments with our consumers. Thank Darwin, it’s Saturday.