I was alone at my museum. Not exactly alone, but my family wasn’t physically with me at the moment. In fact, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis was packed, as it should be, because it is an amazing place to take kids. I had an opportunity to go see the dinosaurs by myself if I wanted. Or the Star Trek exhibit. Or whatever I wanted to do. Instead, I found myself wandering. I stumbled into the Pop Culture exhibit and got lost in the comic books. That’s when I heard it. “Daddy!” I turned my head. It wasn’t my kid, but a flood of memories swept before my eyes. I decided to … [Read more...]
Some 20 odd years ago, I first read the play Fences by August Wilson. I was a high schooler – a senior, I think. One of four black students in a graduating class of about 100 at an all-boys prep school. There were many reasons why I was different. There were many reasons why I felt I didn’t belong. There were many reasons why I didn’t want to be there. Yet, there I was. I don't remember all of those days vividly, but certain ones stand out – one being the day I noticed a copy of that play sitting on a stack of textbooks for the school year. It had the ghost-like outline of James Earl … [Read more...]
If you’ve ever been to a pumpkin patch, you are familiar with a vast overwhelming pasture of promise. You approach the patch with the belief that the perfect pumpkin is there. You have to put in the work, but it’s there. Yet, your search uncovers pumpkins that are overripe or not quite ripe. Then you find the pumpkin with the perfect shape, size, color and you lift it victoriously – only to find that it is rotten on the other side. Or marred by the imprint of a foot or collision with the ground. The paths in the pumpkin patch are aplenty. You can follow the well worn or drift into the … [Read more...]
Fatherhood causes one to be reflective about a great many things. There is the grand mystery of life itself, the mystery of those weird silica packets that come in brand new shoes. (Really, why are they there and why do they tell you not to eat them? How many people eat things that come in shoes? Really.). And there is the mystery of one’s own childhood. A lot of people like to blame their parents for things. Today, I would like to do something different. I need to atone for some things. So … Mom, I am sorry. I am sorry for the pain I caused you through the sheer joy of mischief … [Read more...]
Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.
-- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom SawyerFor years I had the pleasure of teaching The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I loved following Tom and his adventures and witnessing his foray into young adulthood. The simplicity that … [Read more...]