Thursday, September 22, 2011


John McWhorter has it right when he writes: "The present-day Republican establishment, with its know-nothing ideology and blithe absence of concern for most American human beings, has become tragically similar to the famously inert, heartless Senate of the Gilded Age, which for decades killed almost all progressive legislation even when it had been carefully hammered out in the House." Do we really need another Republican leader of the Hoover mentality (which of course was after the GA)? I cannot abide for the anti-education, anti-regular folk, anti-freedom crowd that wants to push America back into some 1950s mentality.


Just watched a nice documentary, Afghan Star, about a television music-contest show akin to American Idol, designed to reintroduce popular music to Afghanistanis after their long dark ages under Taliban rule. It basically follows the attempt by four young singers to capture the hearts (and cell phone votes) of enough of their countrymen to garner nationwide fame and a sizable chunk of cash (no telling how valuable $5000 would be to them). The production is one step above amateurish and the quality of performances not what I am used to, but the singers all garner fervent support (often based along ethnic lines), and the show is a hit throughout the country and with just about everyone except religious fundamentalists. I must say that a few performers, especially the young woman who danced on stage during her farewell performance and incensed just about everyone, were extremely brave in challenging the restrictions they have encounter in recent times. Heck, even the fans who clamored for seats at the live performance struck me as brave, considering the possibility of terrorist attack. The documentary does remind viewers about the cultural blind spots in Afghanistan, but also reveals a diversity of viewpoints and a hope that the country can eventually, perhaps, join the rest of the world in enjoyment of the arts. I was shocked by just how dirty many people appeared. And I was surprised and delighted by the beauty of some of the buildings, especially the mosques, and how they stood out from the mud-colored towns and neighborhoods.

Friday, September 9, 2011


What I miss at this old age
is sitting high like some tree sage
in a stately southern oak
not thinking of being rich or broke.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Dad sitting in our kitchen on Keystone; must have been late, cause Mom looks like she is about ready to hit the hay. I think this picture was taken after the wedding of my sister Beth, so they may have been pooped from all the activities of the day.

Dad, with my brother Paul (who is about fifteen in this pic) goofing behind him.


My paternal grandfather Francis "Frank" Tidd. He was visiting the house on Keystone, probably around 1982 or so. He was professional caliber athlete (in tennis and golf) as a young man, and I believe he was a scratch golfer most of his life. WWII intervened and he trained for the D-Day invasion, but was pulled at the last moment to serve as an artillery instructor (much to his everlasting chagrin). For most of his working career, he was a Cadillac salesman in New Jersey, then retired with my grandmother to Clermont, Florida. He was a scary fellow---stern, taciturn---but I spent a few weeks with him not long before he died, and I liked him very much.


At my Eagle presentation, by HCSD Sergeant Beausoleil, Bill Athey, and myself. I had just turned 15 here.

Paul, Dad and I at Paul's Eagle ceremony, the picture taken outside at Brorein Scout Camp.


(l to r) James Francis Tidd Jr. (me); Barbara Morley Tidd (Martin); Elizabeth "Beth" Ann Tidd (Peterson); Paul Brook Tidd. Picture from around late 1965 or early 66. Probably taken in Hawaii, although more likely when we got back to Charleston.


My Dad holding me at about age one (1961), probably in Connecticut or New Jersey, possibly on the way back from (or to) his sub training.


Herewith a couple of pics of my parents, both from early 1980s:

Thursday, September 1, 2011


One-year-old me embarking on a life of letters and editing?


Here he is, in his second season (although first was a washout because we moved days before the start of the first game). #50, third-string center and backup defensive lineman, for Citrus Park Yellowjackets. Can you believe the blonde hair? This was in 1972.