Friday, December 1

Dear Jim,

What a great Fall. The sycamores are beautiful. A lot of leaves have fallen. We´ve had perfect temperatures. There has not been a lot of wind. And the hills are green, though barely.

Today I talked with dad. I felt sad listening to him. He needs people to tell him he is a wonderful man and has led an exemplary life. He is helpless and needs a thousand hugs.

He is slipping. He said, ¨The days are getting longer.” Then I said, ¨No dad. They are getting shorter. Today is December 1st.¨

Twice more he said the days are getting longer. I said, ¨No. They are getting shorter.¨ He said, ¨The 25th or something, then they´ll get longer.¨ I said, ¨The days have been sunny so you think the days are getting longer.¨ ¨That´s right.¨

It is supposed to be sunny through next week. This is the kind of weather you would ride all day in in Golden Gate Park or the Marin Hills.

Remember that Christmas I gave you the baseball book with the painting of Big Rec on it? I think of the games we used to watch there. A lot of times it was really cold.

I´ve been thinking of San Francisco a lot. The City had great baseball fields – Big Rec, Funston, Balboa Park. I liked Crocker Amazon field best because of the dugouts. They were real dugouts. Dug out, cemented, stairs put in, and a roof put on. Very classy.

That was when The City and the nation had confidence in themselves, and the money to spend on classy things. When I was in high school those dugouts were also used as watering holes on Friday and Saturday nights. So many wonderful parks were made a lot less wonderful by the kids in the seventies who were always out drinking.

I think about this all the time. We boomers led the nation down the tubes. We owe the country a huge apology. It probably wouldn´t forgive us, but we don´t deserve it.

I´m listening to a book about a forty-three year old black man who got strangled to death by a cop on Staten Island three years ago. The guy was selling cigarettes in a park. He sold them for a lot less than they cost in a store.

A huge tax had been put on cigarettes in New York City after 911 to pay for reconstruction. But people wanted affordable cigarettes. So cases of cigarettes were bought out-of-state and brought into NYC where people bought them from guys like this forty-three year old.

The man started selling cigarettes when he got out of jail for selling drugs. He figured selling illegal cigarettes would be better than returning to selling drugs. But the cops did not want a black man selling illegal cigarettes in this park across the street from a fancy apartment house that had just been built.

The author talks about jail. He says when Marion Cuomo was governor of New York, 20-30 prisons were built.

The Progressive Media also talks about the prison boom of the eighties and nineties. The Progressive Media says the boom was a plot to put black and brown men in prison.

But the Progressive Media forgets how violent black guys were in the sixties and seventies – how many white guys were beat up. I´ve been thinking that the so-called revenge of Middle America against Black America may have really been pissed off white boomers who remembered getting beat up in high school by black guys, being afraid to take the bus because of black guys, or having to transfer to a different school because of the black guys. Progressives are offended by such a statement.

It´s a great book. Great narrator. It´s nice to save my eyes listening instead of reading.

Well Jim, there isn´t a lot of razzle dazzle in this one, but I wanted to stay in touch.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko