Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, July 3, 2015

7/3/15 RMB July 4th Celebrations

7/3/15 RMB July 4th Celebrations

Dear Rita Mae Brown,
There is much to celebrate as this 4th of July approaches. America. At our best, we are quite good. At our worst, I suppose, well, I don’t want to write about our worst. 

The Comic-Con invasion takes place in San Diego next week. I recall a small group of executive members, sitting around a room some thirty-odd years ago, celebrating every mailed in registration. They were tallied with the goal being the break-even point, where “the con” would finally be in the black for the year, it took several years to reach that point.

My friend Maeheah Alzmann was the secretary and when she was unable to attend, I stood in her stead and took notes for her to record later in their ledgers, or however it was recorded. This was before everyone had laptops and email. There were 3x5 cards with attendee’s names and many, many typewriters lined up at the registration desk on opening day. Badge names were typed on Avery labels.

The organization that once struggled to pay for rented rooms in the Civic Center, now negotiates with the city to expand our huge Convention Center in hopes that they might be able to fit The Con inside it. I enjoyed the festivities more decades ago, when every panel was easily accessible. It has grown into a dragon with three heads.

The week following is the San Diego Pride Festival. Marriage equality, who would have thought. Some did and held fast to that vision. I was just happy that our military could openly serve. That seems quite important to me. If anyone deserves to live freely, openly and honestly, it is those who put their lives on the line to allow us all our freedoms.

The tide is fierce and it has risen high. I am concerned about the undertow. After each party, someone must pay the tab. The backlash has begun and I pray the pendulum does not sway too far to the right and for those whose lives are balanced on the edge.

We have much to celebrate and much to contemplate. Can we do it with dignity and respect? When we are good, we are great. When we are not, people die and others are wounded, some irreparably so.

Does any of this have anything to do with the burning of the black churches? Something tells me it does. Tension in the air brings out the worst in some, the best in others.

Best wishes for all,


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