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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, April 20

42

We saw 42 last week and were moved by this portrayal of Jackie Robinson and his difficult breaking of the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947. Chadwick Boseman does well in his role as Robinson, but for most viewers, the noteworthy thing about the film was Harrison Ford’s recreation of Branch Rickey, with his bushy eyebrows, gruff demeanor, cigar firmly in place, spouting wisdom to Jackie and to the many white racists on the Dodgers and the other teams they had to play. The movie was shown in one of the largest venues at Harkins, about half filled, including some thirty or forty high schoolers who had been bused in for the film, probably as part of a social studies class project. The movie was sort of hokey Disney, in that everyone, blacks and whites, seemed to be Disney-like attractive, too good and too good-looking to be true, giving me nearly the same reaction I had to seeing The Help. But it was the story of a real person, one who suffered through taunts and death threats to him as well as his wife and child. If it had been a fictional story about race relations in 1947, it would have been viewed as simply that—a Disney evocation of ugly times past. But it was about a real person. Jackie Robinson, at the urgent request of Branch Rickey, agreed to sign a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers to be the first black player in a milk-white sport. Rickey exhorted Robinson to demonstrate his courage by never, ever, giving in to his anger, no matter how ugly the provocations became, and did they ever become provocative, from the “Nigger, nigger, nigger, get your monkey face outta here!” from Ben Chapman, the Phillies manager, to the death threats mailed in to Rickey's office. It took Robinson a full year to win over his teammates. And he did it with his bat, his fielding, and his ability to run the bases and discombobulate opposing pitchers. The movie ended and many of us in the audience felt compelled to applaud. What a nice feeling, to have shared with several hundred people the belief that we had finally rounded a corner in our nation’s race relations. How awful it must have been—nearly a century after the Emancipation Proclamation—to be looked upon as third- or fourth-class citizens. To be spit at, insulted, beaten, even killed by torch-bearing, white cloaked KKKers. To be restricted from public water fountains, swimming pools, restrooms, theatres, hotels, restaurants, public transportation, assuming their skin color would contaminate the whiteness of the water or the air. How could rational human beings have treated an entire racial segment of our society as we did? How good it is to see the advances we’ve made in our social attitudes. We’re now on the brink of accepting gay marriage, racial equality, women’s rights, and reproductive choice. I hope I live long enough to see the total acceptance of the above issues as well as the end of the religious differences that now threaten us. One or two more generations need to die before we can get to those lofty social goals.

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