The Lounge: Adept2u's American Album

by: Adept2u

Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:01:56 AM EST

This is a re-posting of my favorite diary.  As the herd has increased in size with so many new and old friends showing up I thought it was the best way I could introduce myself to everybody.

MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!  I probably should have led my diaries here with this one as way of introduction.  I've produced a blog or 200, but this is the one I've always been proudest of.

My family was really started by two men, and no they weren't gay. My Pop got a job as a computer programmer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in around 1968 when I was four years old. This was a tremendous opportunity for him. The list of professions that a Black man could hold wasn't that long then, and although he had secured a great job as a social worker after college computers seemed the wave of the future.

That's where he met Jim a man who loves me like a father. He is a White man from Iowa. His eldest sibling was born in the 1800's. He grew up on a farm the last of 15 children, I can never remember exactly how many. I think my Pop was the first Black man he ever had more than just a brief conversation with, and he is the first person I can remember that is not a member of my biological family. He and my pop shared an office and became like peas and carrots. I used to fantasize and think of them as Bill Cosby and Robert Culp from the old TV show I Spy.

Adept2u :: The Lounge: Adept2u's American Album
One day my pop comes home and tells me that he and Jim had gotten jobs with the Borroughs Corporation, and not only were we moving to sunny Southern California but we were going to be moving in with Jim and his family. That was nothing but gravy to me. I'm an only child and my very best friend in the whole world was Jim's son Brian, it was going to be like a permanent sleep over. Plus my pop had just bought a brand new Chevy Camaro with the 396 and we were going to drive across America.

Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee;
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, "Nigger."

I saw the whole of Balimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That's all that I remember.

Countée Cullen

That poem has always stuck with me because I had similar experience on our trip west. We stopped at a motel in Oklahoma City that had a pool brimming with white kids. Now for a kid who had grown up in Ohio Oklahoma City is plenty hot and a pool is quite a treat. We checked into our room where I changed and then raced for the pool. I jumped in, and 3 different moms grabbed their kids out of the water. That's right it emptied out from maybe 10 kids to none in like 3 minutes, and as one kid was crying at his mom that he still wanted to swim she looked at me and said you can't go swimming with that nigger.

Although I obviously do remember the incident I can't say it left a scar on me or anything. I told my mom what happened. This lady was one of thousands of warriors in the battle for civil rights. She did multiple sit-ins and took several arrests, so she was well trained. She changed into her suit and took me back to the pool and we played in the pool until the sun went down. None of the other kids came back to the pool but I don't remember caring.

Well five days in the back seat of a 1970 Camaro didn't turn out to be exactly the most fun thing in the world. In order to calm the- are we there yets? my pop hyped a trip to Disneyland to the point I was afraid to even move in the back seat of the car. After we got to Pasadena we settled into a motel and after two weeks that seemed like four months Disney day came. My parents woke me woke up bright and early on a Saturday and we headed for Anaheim. Jim's family had come west 4 months earlier to scout a house big enough to hold two sets of parents and four kids, and they were there as well, so my brother Brian and I were going to have a funky good time. We got there right when the park opened and went to the Oscar Meyer pavilion for breakfast. Ten minutes later I erupted in a blinding fever. To this day it is the sickest I think I've ever been. They took me to the infirmary where I went to sleep. When I woke up the park was closing. All I got to see was Mickey waving goodbye and all I got was a picture with him and a whole pack of unused E tickets.

My Momma Sherry is Jim's wife and her brother is Uncle John. Uncle John heard this tale and a couple of weeks later as I really was knocked out for days my uncle John showed up at the door at the crack of dawn with Brian in tow. We jumped in his 69 Beetle and he took us to Disneyland. We had so much fun at Disneyland I thought they would throw us out.

My four parents eventually found a house that would hold us and after a few months in the motel we moved in together like a regular hippie commune. We stayed like that for 6 years until Jim and Sherry divorced, but our family didn't end in divorce. Although our house split up our family did not. I got a new Momma Betsy from Jim a new Poppa Ron from Sherry. When my own parents split up a few years after that I got another set of fantastic parents. All us kids have grown up to be happy and healthy and we've even raised some children ourselves.

There is a lot of talk going on about unity, and where the pro and amateur parts of America are. We haven't even had a big speech on what it is to be a pro American like Barack did on race. It's frustrating and when you see some of the reactions from Palin or McCain's rallies it's even scary. We know that there are some people who are just mean and hateful, but when the spotlight of our 24/7 media hits them it gives us the impression that there are more of them than there actually are. That races and religions can't live together. I guess that's what motivated me to write this.

This is my American album.


I don't see America as what happened to me in Oklahoma City. I see America as my Uncle John taking (Im the guy in front Uncle John is right behind me) me to Disneyland. My America has a White man moving his family together with that of a Black one and growing together. My family contains White people, Black people, Jews, Asians, Christians and Muslims. If I left anyone out I have a sister Laura who is looking for a good man. We are the real America and I just believe that there are a thousand times more of us than there are of them.

Namaste friends!


and the beat goes on, I had to update it with a picture of my Grandboy.

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So what's a lounge anyway? (2.00 / 34)
We do discuss things very seriously in the herd, but a lounge is where you can kick your feet up and chew the cud.  Did you notice when you put up a diary you didn't get a tip jar?  Ratings and tips etc don't matter too much on the moose, I've never seen anyone "downrated" seriously here, its normally an issue of confusing fierce and fail, and lordy I've done that : )

"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."  Namaste Friends!

when i fail, it's a fierce thing. (2.00 / 32)
heh.  good to read this story again.  never gets old.  thanks for the repost.

[ Parent ]
Thanks, what a beautiful life story! (2.00 / 28)
I hadn't read this before (unless it was during chemo brain time) so I'm glad that you posted it here and now.

thank you so much for sharing. (2.00 / 29)
Sad, but beautiful. Your voice is desperately needed over there, but glad to read you here.  

Too bad they chase off (2.00 / 21)
so many of the good voices, eh?

That place is much poorer for it.

[ Parent ]
What a great story. (2.00 / 25)
I'm sure there are many families like yours.

Thanks for sharing.  

thanks for the reintroduction Adept2u, (2.00 / 25)
I'd never seen that piece before. I'm still laughing about you and your mom taking over the pool for the day. Glad there were no deep scars.

So Beautiful. (2.00 / 21)
Your family IS America. It's been a difficult, sometimes horrific road, but your family's "road sign" points to the future.  Just wish we could know how many miles to love, acceptance and equality.

Adept (2.00 / 19)
i'm so very happy to see you again.  this beautiful story is a gift, and i can't thank you enough for sharing it.  so much love in every word.

Twitter Doesn't Make You Martin Luther King

Happy New Year Adept ! (2.00 / 20)
to you and Sweetie and the whole family  

"If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

Bernice Johnson Reagon

HI! (2.00 / 19)
Happy New Year to you too!!

"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."  Namaste Friends!

[ Parent ]
Hi Adept2u, good to see you again! I love your story and pics. (2.00 / 18)
Happy New Year!

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

ADEPT 2 U! ADEPT 2 U!! (2.00 / 16)

Between seeing a diary from you and the two slices of coconut cream pie I had for lunch, it's been a very good day indeed.

Adept2u, thanks for reposting your family Album for us n00bs. (2.00 / 12)
the love you have for them is evident in every word.

peace. seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.

I remember this diary from the first time you posted it (2.00 / 11)
And it was a pleasure to read it again. A truly unique life story.  

I guess someone didn't like this comment. LOL (2.00 / 6)

[ Parent ]
my apologies fcvaguy! (2.00 / 6)
and I'm really glad I got back here to change this. I've been told it happens to everyone so now I can say I've done it. Meant to Fierce and Failed insead.  

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

[ Parent ]
Not a problem at all (2.00 / 3)
I figured it was an errant rating. I appreciate you taking the time to correct it. :)

[ Parent ]
Hello Adept (2.00 / 9)
What a pleasure to read this charming essay, and get to know a little more about you. I never got to know you when we were Daily Kos bloggers, and I have regretted that. Here's to second chances.

bro adept! OT! (2.00 / 8)
Astronomers have a mind-blowing new theory: that there are 17 billion Earth-sized planets in our galaxy. They don't yet know how many of these worlds are in habitable zones, but the implications of this discovery are amazing. So much that some claim the "quest for a twin Earth is heating up."

Simply put: If there are 17 billion Earth-sized worlds In our galaxy, it's clear that the Universe is bubbling with life.

The team, lead by Francois Fressin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, used the latest data from NASA's Kepler mission to find that one in six stars have "a planet 0.8 - 1.25 times the size of Earth in an orbit of 85 days or less."


Now, let's be really conservative and assume that only one percent of those planets is in its star system's habitable zone. That's 170 million Earth-sized worlds that may harbor some kind of life.

Let's keep being skeptical. Let's say that only one percent of those planets have actually developed actual life. That leaves us with 1,700,000 worlds bubbling with lifeforms.

It's most probable that these worlds would have a variety of organisms but, continuing to be pessimistic, let's suppose that only one percent of those Earth-sized worlds have developed complex animals. That's 17,000 alternative Earths full of three-headed monkeys or whatever.

Finally, let's presume that one percent of those planets' animals have evolved so much that they have developed a civilization similar to ours. That's 170 worlds, people. 170 worlds is one amazing number, at least for me.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

The exoplanet research is giving me hope. (2.00 / 8)
Still, "skeptical" is a relative term. 1% for any of those variables may be unrealistically high. Add in the oddness factors and we could still be alone in the galaxy very easily,  which may effectively make us alone in the Universe for a long time (and maybe ever).

Is a molten core and strong magnetic field a requirement? That could lower those odds below what is required for 1, much less 170.

The oversized moon, how important is that? Ours is very likely a rarity, and could lower the odds so that only one in a given number of galaxies hosts a planet with all the right stuff to harbor intelligent life.

I will be ecstatic to find signs of life at all elsewhere, but cognizance and advanced life requires time. In our local sample of three (Mars, Earth and Venus) potentials there may have been simple life on all of them at an early stage, but only we are around now. I fear this may be the much more common case.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Do the Drake equation with the new number for me! (2.00 / 7)
I put the link in a comment to fogiv.  If you need me to chase down the value of any of the variables for today let me know.

"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."  Namaste Friends!

[ Parent ]
I leave that exercise to others, (2.00 / 5)
with more patience than me (anyone ;~). The Rare Earth Hypothesis may apply here more aptly than Drake.

I don't know, of course. But the arguments in REH strike me as viable, and the lack of evidence to date for alien intelligence either indicates their low-observability or provides support for REH.

I am an enormous fan of the idea of alien intelligence (AI) (Ringworld is one of my bathroom reads now, the Niven Known Space vision was my babyfood). But if they are there and near it gets more likely every year that we should have seen them by now.

The desire for AI also plucks my wishful-thinking bone, which always makes me question. Since the dawn of cognizance we have searched for a Reason, a father figure to take away the cares of living, and have created religions which we believe against all evidence to fill that role. Those who trend away from religion or never had one to carry as cover have a strong tendency to seek something to fill that void, as I do.

That does not make it true, however. Only in living memory have we begun to have a clue what the Universe looks like, and long before then we mapped our desire for cover onto it. As we learn more we lean towards anything that supports the idea, led by that same early-homo inclination.

A core aspect of that desire is to be Lesser. Among non-theists it is very common to hear talk of the diminitivity of mankind, how we 'are but dust' on a vast canvas. Envisioning infinitely superior races invisibly around us lets us carry that shirking of responsibility more easily, putting the task of breaking path to whichever among them is the most advanced.

Maybe, quite possibly, we are the most advanced.

There may not be a Father in the sky, knowing relatively All. Neither natural or supernatural. We may in fact have to shoulder the burden of figuring it all out ourselves, never to be gifted the Tree of Wisdom but rather having to plant and tend it ourselves.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
You KNOW you're talking to the wrong dude about seen by now : ) (2.00 / 6)
I guess in general I feel consciousness is divine. I wish Wendy's Wink from DK would come over here and talk to you about evidence, heck fire I wish she'd come over and post her work, she writes haunting stuff, and is actually a real authority on hard evidence yeah the military especially has some, has written books on the subject.

"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."  Namaste Friends!

[ Parent ]
I hope you are right, (2.00 / 3)
but I would be insincere if I said I think you are.

I do not see a single sign of involved divinity in the universe. Neither anything encompassed in actual religion or its step-child 'spirituality'.

Being one of the non-authorities on the subject (along with every other human) I leave associated topics open for consideration, but to me the universe is what it looks like and will only fulfill my desires for what it should be by act of random chance.

Unlike many of my non-theistic ilk, I find in that absence of external divinity more reason for meaning in life than I found as a theist. We are the meaning of life, we create it all the time. Your grandson is the master of the universe and the reason it exists, he will create goodness and endow the universe with meaning.

Should we be so fortunate as to find others like us who are within reach of communication I will be extraordinarily pleased to meet others who give meaning to existence as well. With all respect to your friend's research, that they would be so incompetent as to crash craft all over the landscape or so naive as to partner with an Eisenhower-era US government (or lose battles to Victorian polar expeditionaries suffering bilateral frostbite) seems much less possible than what theists provide much more well developed support for.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
OOOH Yummy I saw that (2.00 / 6)
I get into discussion with scientist types on the twitter about what is "known" all the time.  I can remember sitting in my university astronomy class and them not thinking earth like exo planets existed at all and now look at us.

Time to revisit the Drake equation!

Holy mother did I read Chris is doesn't fear equations like this?  wonder what it spits out with the new number?

"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."  Namaste Friends!

[ Parent ]
I don't fear the math, (2.00 / 4)
but I am lazy... ;~)

I fear the truth may be that we are more alone than we might hope, because I would love to meet our unearthly counterparts. I am just about convinced that they are out there, but I am almost equally coming to feel they may be separated by time and space to a much greater extent than we might hope. Enough, perhaps, that we may remain alone as a race beyond the fathomable future.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Our understanding of both (2.00 / 4)
Time and space is highly incomplete.  It's my opinion we're in the birthing stage like a child becomes more aware of what's out there.

"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."  Namaste Friends!

[ Parent ]
I taught a seminar on Rare Earth with an astronomy colleague. (2.00 / 5)
We added a few terms to the Drake equation and then had the students find optimistic and pessimistic estimates for all the terms. We evaluated it with all optimistic values and it predicted a billion planets with complex life. We then evaluated it with all pessimistic terms. What was that value?


And if there are two or three more terms that we don't know about yet...

It would be lovely to have other complex life in the galaxy but I don't take it as a given.

[ Parent ]
Oh boy! A real astronomer!! (2.00 / 4)
I've been an avid sky watcher/telescope pointer since I was a lad.  Got me a 10 inch dobsonian and a great pair of binocs.

So what do you think of Plasma cosmology?  I read something I think this month that stated voyager had found evidence that our sun was exchanging charge with the rest of the galaxy.

"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."  Namaste Friends!

[ Parent ]
That sounds cool, but I'm just a cell biologist - my colleague was the (2.00 / 5)
astronomy resource. I'll ask my son the physics buff though.

[ Parent ]
"just" a cell biologist made me lol EOM (2.00 / 5)

"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."  Namaste Friends!

[ Parent ]
Oh, you should see the gentle pity that physicists have for biologists! (2.00 / 5)

[ Parent ]
so nice to see you again (2.00 / 7)
I enjoyed reading your work at DK, and I'm enjoying this here at the Moose. I always liked your take on the world and the universe -- is it as some say, and only what can be proven, or is there indeed more that we do not yet know?

I tend to hang out with the we-don't-yet-and-may-never-know-it-all crowd, meself.

Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas. -- Anonymous

Ohhh…lovely diary! Thanks so much! And good to see you, too! (2.00 / 8)

Nice diary my friend (2.00 / 8)
and thought provoking.  It is good to see your diaries again

What a moving story to share... (2.00 / 8)
I don't mean to sound like some sort of idealistic wingnut but, to me, on some level, that's America - usually trying, often failing (e.g. Oklahoma) but never giving up, never becoming so cynical that you're paralyzed (sorry for imprecise use of "you," I could be talking about myself on those things too).

And it's so wonderful to see your writing again - it's as beautiful as your grandson :).

I love this diary (2.00 / 5)
although I'm older and was reared in the exact opposite type of family I find it so encouraging that we ultimately ended up at the same place.  

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

Whoa, how did I miss this? (2.00 / 5)
I remember that lovely family photo of yours and some of this story from before, a long time back, and finding it really moving. Also, kind of like my own in some ways. My hippie parents moved in with a lot of families. One was a Rastafarian family for like two or three years? They had two kids, one my age. I'm still very very close with my auntie, their mum, who I love dearly. Growing up, folks moved in and out of our houses from all sorts of places and races. I think it was a good way to grow up. Very holistic. Very full and enriching.

Yours sounds a little more All-American but I love this story! Lucian is so cute that I could literally scream out loud seeing those big eyes! God, he's going to be a lover when he grows up. Oh man.

Love to you. About to head out to work.

*kisses on all your heads

Hi, Adept. Sure have missed you. Thanks for sharing your family. I'm from (2.00 / 4)
Iowa myself. Dumb thing is, when I managed to get to CA I let myself get talked into coming back here.

Again, sure have missed ya and I'm glad I saw this diary.



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