Uncle What Now?

Posted in Falling Apples, WhatNot on March 10th, 2014 by Diva

In the early 1970s, we drove from our military housing at Griffiss, AFB in upstate New York – a base which has been closed for years now – to Oneida County to visit one of Dad’s “friends” from his time in Vietnam.

He was called “Uncle Snuffy.” Anyone else’s name is lost to time and foggy memory, but that one I remember.

I recall a few details, too. The house was large, at least compared to our little two bedroom apartment on the base. It was situated in the woods, on a creek that ran near the property. I remember being outside with the adults, maybe on a back patio, but mostly what comes back is the attic bedroom with the (daughter? niece?) girl who was close to my age. She had a big dollhouse in that room, which was fascinating to me, as I’d never before seen a miniature house with scaled-down dolls and tiny furniture. There was even itty-bitty silverware and other accouterments.

There were many kids there and a bunch of (parents?) adults. My Mom and Dad, Uncle Snuffy, and his (wife? girlfriend?) gal pal kept diplomatically telling us kids to get lost, to remain in the upstairs bedrooms, to disappear and continue our play without bothering them. When we did venture downstairs, due to hunger or thirst or boredom, we were given what we wanted and then shuffled back upstairs.

I wasn’t put off by it; I enjoyed the place and the play. There’s was a lot of distraction in that house. But …

… but now I remember the strange, sweet smell that lingered in the air near the adults, indoors and outside. It was different, but not so much I thought to inquire. And at least once, when one I went downstairs alone, my Dad was there but my Mom was strangely missing. I was told she went to the store to get more beer, but on the way back up, I heard her voice behind a bedroom door.

I wrote it off. I was seven. Some kids question such things, but I didn’t.

Just a few years ago, it occurred to me Uncle Snuffy probably got his nickname for a reason. I assume it was due to a propensity for drugs, which is a reasonable assumption based on the history of a lot of Vietnam vets. And tonight, as I smoked a bit of pot myself – which I can admit publicly now, because recreational weed is recently legal here in Colorado – I suddenly realized what the sweet smell in that old memory was.

But more so, I know what my Mom was up to in that bedroom.

Rather than be disturbed, upset, or grossed out at the thought, though, I’m just sad I can’t verify it with her. Sure, I’d like to know if my recollection is true, but I’d also like to confirm my suspicions that this apple really hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

Scratch that. I know it hasn’t. I’m deluding myself to question it. My lifestyle is probably mostly genetic, but also a fair bit the way I was raised. Love can encompass many people from many different places, social strata, and cultures; the physical manifestation of that is nothing of which to be ashamed.

So what I really mean to say is I wish I could talk to her, if only for a little while. Maybe to confirm my memory or just to work out some of this irritating menopause shit that’s happening to me now.

Wishes aside, I wonder what happened to Uncle Snuffy, that house, and the other adults and kids who were there for those weekends in the woods. Where are they now? Are they alive? Are they happy? Are they anything like me? Is it even possible to be like me?

How many unicorns are out there?

I’m a rebel, Dottie. A loner.

One School Too Many.

Posted in Falling Apples on February 21st, 2008 by Diva

There is a history department in a school in the northern UK, unnamed in official reports, which does not teach the history of the Holocaust because Muslim students may have anti-Semitic reactions.

Another school in a different area of the UK, also unnamed, skips teaching about the Crusades because of it would directly challenge what is taught in some mosques.

That’s not all the schools or even a majority of them, but to me, it’s too many. To balance religion with education, some subjects must be taught with empathy, diplomacy, and care, but it is never a good idea to skip them altogether. A well-rounded student – a well-rounded human being – is one who hears all sides and decides for themselves what is right, true, and correct.

Knowledge is not truth itself, but one can’t find truth without it.

The school which does not teach all of history, even the most uncomfortable topics, is not only doing a disservice to their pupils, but intentionally disregarding millions of people – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers – who died at the hands of bigotry, xenophobia, and hatred.

More than that, it allows bigotry, xenophobia, and hatred to remain unchallenged.

Worst of all, it exhibits tacit approval for students – who grow up to be adults and leaders – to continue to hate without a single question of or confrontation on their beliefs.

That, my friends, leaves us doomed to repetition.

Around we go.

Immigration, Naturalization, Assimilation.

Posted in Falling Apples on June 19th, 2007 by Diva

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people. – Teddy Roosevelt, 1907

I tend to agree with the above, but before I get slammed for being racist, answer this question for me:

If you moved to France and refused to learn the language or do anything else in your power to assimilate to the culture, would you be treated as an equal by the French?

To expect that a dominant culture change for you rather than require you to assimilate to it takes some chutzpah.

To demand said dominant culture do so? Words like “arrogant” and “self-righteous” spring to mind.

This is especially true if one has entered the US illegally, but that’s a post for another day. Maybe.

It would help if my blood didn’t boil when I think about it too long.

Hey, Dad?

Posted in Falling Apples on May 27th, 2007 by Diva

I’ve got something I want to do with you.

Just one time.

Agree to live long enough for it to happen, okay?

See my beard; ain’t it weird?

From My Dad.

Posted in Falling Apples, WhatNot on April 11th, 2007 by Diva

I am not a Democrat or Republican, so I guess you could call me a WIG. I [have] served under several Commanders of the United States. I honored all, ’til Nixon the nut proved he was one bubble off of plum. Mental illiness, sexual misconduct, and being just-plain dumb followed.

1. Hillary should be discounted because she was president while Bill was getting a blowjob. Please don’t get wrong … I love blowjobs.

2. Mr. Bill and Hillary took things from the White House to furnish there new apartment. This would have not been caught until CNN reported it. Wonder where the Secret Service was?

The Dem’s just made a major F#$@K up: They refused the FOX Network. Sorry folks YOU JUST DIED AS A PARTY.

With that last bit, I think he’s trying to say that to turn down FOX as a host for a debate is to say “We’d rather preach to our own choir.”

Dear Dems:

It’s not fraternizing with the enemy, you idiots; it’s getting your message out to everyone, and especially to the people who wouldn’t normally get it.

Of course, far be it from me to put words in my Dad’s mouth. Next time I’m in L.A., I am SO setting up a WordPress blog for him. In the meantime, I think I’ll just post his stuff here occasionally.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.