A most unpopular opinion…..

I know I hold many unpopular opinions and here goes another one….I responded to someone advocating for shutting down a local walkway….as a first responder, I can tell you people NEED to get outside and get fresh air and sunshine, when they don’t, it leads to high rates of obesity, depression, self-isolation, not taking care of themselves in general, overdosing, etc. When evaluating patients, there are people who when you ask what they have been doing, haven’t been outside for days and in some cases weeks. Sunlight kills viruses, gives you the Vitamin D you need to build and have a healthy immune system, reduces stress and helps combat obesity, especially more so now with the gyms being shut. I’d rather be outside than in a gym anyway. This shutting off an avenue of relief is causing more harm than good. People are already complaining of packing on the pounds and their emotional states are tanking, I’m actually scared about the mental health of some of the people I know. Packing on the pounds will NOT help people fight off Corona and this is coming out now from New Orleans. E—-, please be considerate and please do not advocate for taking away the one piece of sanity left many people have. I know people are scared and everyone has the right to be but the scarier part, and much sadder, will be the suicide rate and increased health issues, including alcoholism and drug abuse, that will most likely be one of the unforeseen results of this. Tennessee has already seen 2 times the amount of suicides than Corona deaths. What does that say? Please, please, please, if you don’t want to go there, don’t go but many times people need another option and every day with another option or options being taken away, it hurts more and more people.

Why be a traitor?

So maybe I’ve walked or driven over the location of the house where Benedict Arnold owned in New Haven, CT. Maybe I did the same of the house where he lived before New Haven. Why would people mark the location of a house of a man who is the most vilified of the American Revolution?

Why did Benedict Arnold become a traitor? History tends to gloss over this question. I had a client who was telling me about learning about Arnold in class. After they told me what he had been learning, I asked if they had discussed Arnold living in New Haven and what he did for the Continental Army before his betrayal?

Guess what answer I got?

Betrayal doesn’t happen overnight. Keep that in mind.

Read The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold by Joyce Lee Malcolm.

Thomas Hickey

Have you ever heard this name before? I hadn’t until a few days ago.

Perhaps because, unlike John Wilkes Booth, his plan (or was it?) didn’t succeed to kill George Washington.

The plot Hickey was involved in happened even before the Declaration of Independence was written. There were many others who were involved, some of whom were Washington’s own Life Guards, yet Hickey has the notoriety of being the person hung in the first public execution for treason against America.

Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch walk through the timeline of the plot to assinate George Washington step-by-step in their book The First Conspiracy.

What history has recorded and left behind, Hickey was the fall guy, the example. Washington made the call for a swift execution and Hickey was the most named and thereby became the example.

I know I’ve walked near, or maybe on, the spot where Hickey was executed. So have millions of others. Another piece of American history brought to light.

Spit like a Tommy Gun

Dear Eunice Hunton Carter,

I wish I had a chance to meet you and I want to get a copy of the picture from the cover of the book your grandson, Stephen, wrote about you.

The picture of you standing and holding the floor at a Republican convention, refusing to yield, is awesome. The picture is what drew me to the book. You stand out with the white ruffled collar and as you look closer, the dignity and poise become clear. I especially love the finger pointing down, showing that either you aren’t going anywhere or are calling someone to come and speak directly to you. Again, I would have loved to witness that confrontation.

Stephen’s book really struck a chord with me in a way that few books, especially biographies, ever really have. I may not have been there on your level, I don’t foresee myself ever working for a federal prosecutor, but I can only imagine the frustration, disappointment, and criticism you received and experienced. You made your choices. I just wish that you had left more of a personal record like journals and letters. Did you have them and throw them out, burn them, or chose not to keep them? I would love to know what you thought about what happened in your life.

What you thought would be such an inspiration. For women the word “ambition” can still be a dirty word for many different reasons, even among other women . You had it and never hid it and no matter how imperfect you were, I admire that. You never stopped and I admire that as well.

You obtained a position that many would envy to have yet were left with the “women’s issues” that ironically brought down a gangster that seemed not only untouchable, but invincible. This is something not even the best script writers can come up with.

I can only begin to imagine the sense of mourning and disappointment to want so much and even after giving up so much in time, family, and energy to be passed over it. Again, the reasons for this can only be guessed at. Stephen does an awesome job framing this and working through the possible reasons and rationale behind certain decisions. Yet we will never know the real reasons.

I’ve had my share of working tirelessly for people only to be publicly humiliated and shunted aside. For me this has led to showdowns in parking lots, nasty social media exchanges, nasty phone calls, etc. The story about the tea party made me laugh as I have been in similar situations. How did you handle this? On to Plan B? I know that’s what I would do. Onwards and upwards.

By the way, I went on the Internet and saw pictures of your house on Jumel Terrace. Gorgeous.

Wherever you are, I thank you for the inspiration.



Be like Eliza….

I’ve never found history boring and have found the more one learns, the more there is always to learn. (The same can be said of science and other “subjects”, or areas of learning. Yes, math is included in this.)

Last night, even with a hockey playoff game going on in the background, I finished Tilar Mazzeo’s work Eliza Hamilton.  Eliza’s life was a Shakespearean type drama and Greek tragedy rolled into one. Eliza was born into the Schuyler family of New York, who were cousins to the Rensselaer family. Does this name sound familiar? Eliza’s father, Phillip, fought in the Revolutionary War and was one of George Washington’s top generals. This is how she came to meet Alexander Hamilton.

Mazzeo divulges into Eliza’s life before and after Hamilton and how her life afterwards was always under his shadow. Mazzeo also goes into how history isn’t always what we think it is and there is always much more to each story given. Mazzeo goes deeply into the Maria Reynolds affair: did it really happen and was it a cover up for something else going on? The whitewashed history books don’t talk about people’s fiances and back door dealings that all of the Founding Fathers partook in. Mazzeo’s biography of Eliza is only the third of fourth book I’ve read that tackles this subject. The two best history teachers I had were the only ones who discussed this and Hamilton’s link to the Crash of 1792.

Eliza not only lost Alexander in a duel. Her oldest son, also Phillip, was killed in a duel shortly before Alexander was. Eliza dealt with situations and events most people could not picture today yet she survived and preserved what she wanted to preserve of Alexander’s legacy. Eliza also took her grief and made it into something positive.

Be like Eliza.

The Power of Value & Dead Scooters

I was doing a Word of the Day for a while.  I found one of the notepads recently where I jotted down my ideas about the word “value”.


Value goes beyond money.

Volunteer value.

Value vs. Worth

Worth = money?

How much do you value……?

What is the value of…….?

Love/ monetary/ friendship/ financial

I was thinking of this word after an EMS shift where my partner and myself moved a couple of hundred pound dead mobility scooter.  The person who called is a “regular” and she called for a “fall” but the “fall” was really a dead scooter.  The home health aide said they told the person not to call but the person did anyway.

We dragged that scooter across a tiny condo to the person’s bedroom using a canvas stretcher.  Then we took the person’s vitals.

The service I work with doesn’t bill for refusals.  We couldn’t help the scooter.  The scooter was blocking access to the tiny kitchen.

I guess in this case our value went beyond money.

girl eating lollipop
Photo by bruce lam on Pexels.com

Caleb’s Crossing

Even though this book is a work of fiction, Caleb’s Crossing could easily be used as a jumping off point to teach early American history, women’s studies, Native American history, colonial history, and much more.

It was fascinating to read this as I have visited both Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts and the Mashantuckut Pequot Museum in Ledyard, Connecticut.  This is one of the many parts of American history I shake my head in sorry at and feel like Western civilization trampled and nearly killed off peoples who could have helped this country on a different course.  What Geraldine Brooks writes about is a “missing” piece of American history.  I will especially never look at Harvard University the same way again.

Rinker Buck: The Oregon Trail

This is a book about memory on both personal and national levels.  I didn’t want it to end.  Someone had it on the list for a local book club and karma bought it to me a few days later.  This is the type of book that is both heartbreaking and profound at the same time.  I will hold onto this book for a long time.

Rinker Buck is a fellow resident of the State of Connecticut.  Rinker takes a journey with his brother, Nick, across the Oregon Trail during the summer of 2011.  Rinker brings in his personal life and past into the American past and through self-reading brings out the truth about America’s past and the Oregon Trail’s past.  Rinker also talks about how the past is changed and hidden away and covered over and rewritten and reinterpreted. Many parts of the Trail are literally paved over.  Other parts have been taken over and renamed and their history glossed over.  Other parts are never discussed at all in the course of the teaching of American history.  Rinker brings these memories out to the forefront.  Yet reading it, I feel that his journey barely touched the surface.

A must read.

Connecticut SB 487

Good morning.  Thank you for taking the time to have this hearing and for incorporating individual testimony.
I am in support of SB 487.  I know there are many countless others who share this as well.
I want to let you know that Thomas Paine, who wrote the short book Common Sense, which as you know helped spur the American Revolution, was in favor of hemp production and believed hemp was one of the products that could make America strong and keep America independent from outside economic influences.  Most textbooks take out this part of his work.  I didn’t discover this until I read the complete book.  If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so.  I believe Mr. Paine would find the banning of hemp a travesty and if he were here today, be in favor of this bill.
I don’t know if Mr. Paine knew about marijuana or cannabis, I can’t ask. Yet I do believe he would find what we are doing today in banning plants a travesty.  Marijuana and hemp are that: plants.  The banning of plants is incomprehensible.  I’ve heard every argument from many people about why marijuana needs to be banned and I don’t get it.  Hemp as well.  Early Americans used hemp for rope, clothing, and everyday items.  America would not be America without the hemp ropes used to build the ships that sailed before metal was able to be processed securely.
Do we really need to sit here and debate about THC, reefer madness, gateway drugs, self-medication, and processing ad nauseam?  Marijuana is a plant that has a world of possibilities that we as adults are well aware of.  Any substance can be abused and we are well aware of that as adults as well.
Would you rather have the marijuana processed in a clean facility and you know what is in it than processed in someone’s garage or basement?  I can tell you from experience as an EMT that many people, even from their “regular” dealers, are sold marijuana laced with substances they don’t know about.
Are people afraid to admit to their own use?  Afraid to admit that their children may be using?  I know I would rather be out in the open than hiding.  Wouldn’t you rather be able to monitor what is going into the marijuana before people smoke it or at least give them the options of their own plants?  I know if someone told me today I have a disease or sickness where the best alleviation of it is to smoke or intake marijuana due to the THC, I would want to grow my own plants and gladly pay the State to do so.  It is small price to pay and cheaper than many prescription options.  Or are you afraid of the prescription drug companies?  They won’t lose out, they actually serve to benefit in the long run.  Many of them already use marijuana in their pills.  Look it up if you don’t believe me.
Why are you enabling the large dealers, many of whom are white and never see jail time and run enough marijuana to run a small empire and pay no taxes whatsoever ever on their transactions, to continue to do this?  Wouldn’t you rather have the money from their transactions, which can run into the millions of dollars, in the State coiffers than in their pockets?  Why are you enabling mass incarceration, or are you afraid of all the people who run the prisons here in Connecticut?
Please go out among your constituents and talk with them.  Listen to the people here today that have been persecuted when they are trying to take care of themselves.  Help bring crime down.  Help bring money and common sense into Connecticut.
Thank you.

Review: Pictures of Hollis Woods

Hollis Woods is trouble, or is she?

As this story unfolds, the reader meets Hollis in both the past and present.  Hollis has been written off and Hollis is always running.  Yet now Hollis finds herself in a situation where she must care for herself and her caregiver.  As this story unfolds, Hollis reveals what happened to get her to where she is now.

An excellent, inspirational story.  A must read, especially for preteens and teens.