Note to Shop Owners

Dear Shop Owners,

On Saturday, November 12, as I wandered in and out of shops in Juliette, Georgia, I noticed confederate flags and merchandise featuring the flags available for purchase in several establishments. In a couple of shops I had amassed an armful of souvenirs, as reminders of the little town where Ruth and Idgy were brought to life in Fannie Flagg’s novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

As soon as I noticed the flags, symbols of the ugly racist history of our country, I returned the items to their proper places and left. I didn’t raise a fuss, but neither did I spend any money in these shops. 

As protests go, it was a small one, but important to me. Maybe I didn’t get to come home with a Towanda t-shirt, but the spirit of Towanda was with me.

Sincerely,

Leslie Noyes

Fight racism however you can everywhere you go. It’s as important now as it ever has been.

Peace, people

The Fight Never Was About Me

Your fight is over, someone typed, how’s it feel to be a loser?

The fight, I say, was never about me,

My whiteness

My straightness

My middle class existence

My religion 

The fight was about the others who are also us.

For their rights

For their justice

For their well being

For their freedom to worship. Or not.

And OUR fight isn’t over.

A Death in the Family

She lived a good life
Protected and nurtured us
Now lost forever

Yet birds keep flying
The sun continues to shine
Heedless of her death


Our grief is immense
Life, though, continues apace
While this old world turns


I’ve been asked repeatedly today how I feel about Trump winning the election. Truthfully I feel like there has been a death in my immediate family. Ultimately I know we will be alright, but right now I’m experiencing a deep grief.

I spent a sleepless night in which my thoughts circled relentlessly like a dog chasing its tail, and I recalled reading Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s book, On Death and Dying, in which she introduced the five stages of grief:

  1. denial, 
  2. anger, 
  3. bargaining, 
  4. depression, and 
  5. acceptance

From my psychiatry courses in college (where a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing) I remember that one can cycle through these stages in a variety of ways unique to each individual. 

I ran through denial pretty quickly. The numbers were there. And while it was heartening to note that Hillary won the popular vote, Trump undeniably took the electoral college votes. 

Anger is my current companion. I’m not angry at Trump or his supporters so much as I’m angry at their willful ignorance. They don’t care that he has no real plans to implement his policies. They like him because he’s not a career politician, and he isn’t politically correct. 

I’m angry at the registered voters who just didn’t show up. I’m angry at those who used their votes to protest by voting for non-viable candidates. I’m angry at the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle voter suppression tactics that were employed in several states.

I can’t imagine there’ll be much bargaining involved, but depression is anger’s little sister and I’m going to do everything in my power to avoid going down that rabbit hole. Today I smiled at everyone I saw and hugged a woman at work who supported Trump. Little steps.

Acceptance? That’s going to take awhile. But I won’t be like those conservatives who disrespected President Obama and actively rooted for his failure these past eight years. I’m going to support Trump as our president while continuing to fight for the rights of all those living in our country: health care, reproductive rights, racial and gender equality, etc. 

I know other bloggers have addressed this much more eloquently than I, but I think the healing starts when we lay it all on the line. This piece was part of my healing process. Maybe it will help someone else along the way.

Peace, people.

Joe Biden at FAMU/VOTE BLUE 

Warning: This post is all over the place. It started out as a recounting of my experiences at a rally featuring Joe Biden and then it morphed into the lists of accomplishments of both major party candidates. So sue me.

Living in a high-profile state is a treat during presidential election years. In the past six months I’ve attended separate events where former President Bill Clinton, and Vice-presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, have spoken. Today I was privileged to be present at a rally featuring Vice-president Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. 

Today’s event was held on the campus of Florida A&M University with dozens of local and state Democratic candidates in attendance. I’d been to FAMU before, and gambled that parking would be in the same place even though the venue had changed. It was a great gamble. I quickly made friends with a young woman who was headed to the rally, and we walked up the hill together.

After standing in an epically long line for nearly two hours we finally made it through the metal detectors as some of the local dignitaries finished speaking. I’d resigned myself to being in the back forty when a young man came and asked if my friend and I would like to move closer to the stage. Soon we were standing just a few yards from the the speakers. Better still, we had a shade tree. 

Congresswoman Gwen Graham was on hand to welcome the Bidens. Gwen is a strong voice for Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives. My hope is that she’ll be our governor some day.


By the time the Bidens arrived my feet were in agony. I hadn’t really planned on attending the rally today and had worn boots that, while darned adorable, weren’t all that comfortable. So I did what any sensible person would do–I took them off. Ahhhhh! 

The Bidens took the stage together. Jill spoke about meeting Joe when he was running for office and she was a college student. She’d attended a campaign rally and was impressed by his passion and integrity. So much so that she voted for him.

The Vice-president spoke then. He is personable and funny and invested in making this country a place where everyone has a place at the table. He spoke about the cuts Trump has proposed and the programs those cuts would affect: Social Security, funding for education, and health care chief among them. 


As Joe Biden began winding his speech to a close I decided to put my boots back on in preparation for walking down the hill. I asked a sturdy young man If I could lean on him and he gave me a huge grin. He probably thought I was a nut, but patiently stood there as I got my left boot on. 

When I put my right toe into its boot I got a Charlie horse (cramp) in my calf and almost said a bad word, but managed to restrain myself. I thanked the young man who held my hand through the whole thing. Age does have its privileges. 

The crowd was fired up and ready to vote as we headed in separate directions. My new friend had cut class to be at the rally and thought she might catch the end of it if she hurried. She promised to vote tomorrow.

Tomorrow. Election Day 2016.

I’m sixty years old. I cannot recall a more important or divisive election in my lifetime:

On the one hand we have Trump:

  • a blustering demagogue who has been in bankruptcy proceedings numerous times, even though he encourages people to think he’s a great businessman. 
  • someone with a history of litigation against those he’d rather sue than pay for services rendered.
  • a bully who encourages violence against those exercising their rights to free speech.
  • a misogynist who has bragged about groping women because as a celebrity he can do as he pleases. 
  • a man who has refused to release his tax returns and has shady ties to Russia. 
  • an anti-Semite.
  • a candidate who has mocked the disabled, stereotyped Latinos, Blacks, Muslims, and women. 
  • a man who has been endorsed by the KKK.

Then on the other, dare I say, sane hand, we have Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Cut and pasted from a Daily Kos article:


Oh, she’s also been endorsed by more newspapers, Conservative and Liberal, than any candidate in history.

Is she perfect? No, but she has faced numerous investigations by the FBI and a GOP led congress and neither entity has charged her with a single thing. 

Don’t sit around thinking your vote isn’t needed. It is. 

Peace, and common sense, people.