Sunday, January 18, 2009


I cried all through the Lincoln Memorial concert. The mall looked wonderful. Obama looked wonderful - he looked presidential.

The show was beautifully produced.( Except for some awkward moments with eagles. Those of us who have tried to chase eagles out of the garbage cans are not impressed by their close-ups),

.But everyone (well, almost everyone) on stage dressed in winter going to church clothes or dress uniforms. Smiling. Usher,, Queen Latifah, Herbie Hancock, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder standing so tall, proud, and happy. The choruses - church choirs, military glee clubs, kids. The flags. Bruce and U2. I cried because Pete Seegar has lived to sing "This Land is Your Land" today and because Odetta didn't. I cried remembering my first trip to DC, the antiwar rally in the fall of 69, and walking towards the mall for the first time as Richie Havens sang "Freedom".

And now its forty years later and everything seems possible. I don't think I had ever imagined today. Those forty years seem like a moment standing and shivering under cloudy skies. Today I raise my head and look at the present and the future.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Great poem from nephew Jacob: Bad Dog

My nephew has given me permission to share this brilliant poem he wrote a couple years ago. He wants a per cent of any profits involved. I didn't dare tell him that there is no money in poetry, even very fine poetry like this.

Bad Dog

I am a bad dog.
My gas makes a fatal fog.

I once stole my master's new car.
I drove 120 mph into a bar.

I drink martinis with the baby.
My behavior couldn't be worse if I had rabies.

I once watched a NASCAR race.
I bit a racer there in the face.

In one day, I stole a steak
And throw a car into a rake.

If you think I'm going to the pound
You're wrong! Cause i am one bad hound.

Friday, January 9, 2009

more touching Snowzilla news

Family portrait at the 2003/2004 Snowzilla

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

good weather for Snowzilla

Its been cold. Now, those of you who don't know Alaska may say "duh - Alaska -cold in January?". But Anchorage usually has pretty nice winters. Not as cold as Berlin NH or Fairbanks AK. (I have wintered in both of those places.) Not as snowy as my hometown of Rochester NY.

But the last 10 days have been cold. Highs of 0, lows of -25. Our usual crystalline winter days obscured by ice fog. Not like Fairbanks' -50, but inconvenient and unpleasant.

Nonetheless, Christmas and New Years have been wonderful. And Snowzilla has flourished.

Snowzilla became part of Anchorage winters three years ago. A neighborhood eccentric built an 18 foot snowman in his yard full of derelict vehicles and assorted trash. The story was (inexplicably) picked up internationally. Crowds swamped the pretty little subdivision (including me and my sister and nephew) posing for pictures.

This year, in the week before Christmas, local officials served Snowzilla's creator with a court order forbidding the snowman as a danger and a public nuisance. On the evening news, the fellow said sadly that he would comply. The next morning, low and behold, Snowzilla stood tall. A Christmas miracle!

Aalskans sprung into action to defend a person's right to build gigantic snowmen. See for pictures of tiny snowman picketers at City Hall, carrying signs like "Snowpeople have rights too" and "Obama save us".

Last weekend I rounded up some neighbors and went to visit Snowzilla. He was as awesome as ever. I don't think anything could make me happier than a giant snowman.