Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Who Am I?

Happy birthday! Well I'm sure we've both had a couple since Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor, Maine, fogged in as it were. I once spent another summer like fogbound for 29 days in 1967, on Grand Manan Island, part of a cultural archipelago that includes Deer Island and FDR's beloved Campobello Island, New Brunswick, the only "officially bilingual province". The French speakers are mostly up north on Gaspé and along the St. Lawrence River, John and I visited back in 1971 along there in a made over used Telco van into a "Starship" they painted on the front. About that Draft. As you recall we all had numbers way up there, and "fortunately" an other he and I split a tab of the "bad brown acid" going around the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in 1969, so he had an excuse of "flashbacks" he told me from a doctor or he probably would have gone? I don't know I stayed 1A technically myself waiting for the number to be called and then to decide if I was to take up residence among relatives where my grandfather came from in Canada. In 1968 I worked in a Jewish camp washing dishes at Timber Lake so I espied Jimi Hendrix in a sidewalk café in Woodstock, NY where we used to go on our days off, unless it was with the 6' 6" black camp basketball star from Roosevelt, Jeffrey who cleaned the toilets and carted the Central Park horse manure, then time off with him was a trip to Harlem and out to Roosevelt to rediscover my South Bronx roots, having lived there from 1954 or so to 1960 in the Patterson Houses projects nearby the then busiest firehouse in the City, and attending its poorest Catholic parish, St. Rita's on College Ave. for $1 a month. Any way, the numbers as I recall went 1-150 then 1-100 (then I was out, but had already returned from Canada anyway) and then 1-50, then none for the Draft. Ironic isn't it (or wasn't it) we had the first JROTC Marine Corps in the country in Newfield HS in Selden, a town named after a judge who testified on behalf of Susan B. Anthony when she posed as a man to vote in Upstate New York, according to the "local history" published since I've read, in what thanks to principal Mr. Lacina's impetus, became one of the top 50 school library systems in the US. The circa 1970 Army JROTC was in what turned out to be Paul McCartney's American manager's town in Connecticut, the other two branches out on the "Left Coast" in California, I found writing a letter back then, connected somewhat with Smithaven Ministries which was giving draft advisement in the Smithaven Mall. PBS's "Defense Monitor" show asked back after the first "desert karma" about 1991 whether the $1 billion a year spent in 20,000 mostly poor school districts was worth it, before they went off the air, watching the Pentagon. Any women in it? I don't know "Brooklyn Bridge" and others lived nearby, JROTC and rock 'n roll? There weren't that I recall, do you recall any women in it? I should have made an outline, I've probably forgotten now why I was writing you. The big house 12 room house we had in Seal Cove, Grand Manan Island we had torn down next to the Provincial school it was too large to repair and they wanted it painted and the foundation was cracked and the big box twisted in the wind. It might have been an earlier landmark but never inquired. The former sardine factory closed and is for sale, only about 15 years old owned by Bumble Bee now. Anyway it seems more Mexican-Americans and Chicanos were becoming victims in Vietnam along with the disproportionate number of black African-Americans in the conflict. President Nixon asked Jewish "rat pack" star Sammy Davis, Jr. to go over there on a fact finding mission to show you some of the perhaps whacko politics we once had on our brains. (Source of Hispanic report: 1st issue of "Lowrider" magazine, about the cars in the mid 1970s, the founding editor describes how someone snuck into the military industrial complex and "liberated" the Hispanic statistics which were put on placard signs shown in a photo of the demonstrations out there, disproportionate casualties). Reminds me more recently like (the k key is right next to the l key) the about 50/50 signs for and against Bush, the against moved up the street out of the President's view and away from his cheering gallery I bussed into the middle of outside St. Patrick's Cathedral a few years ago when President Bush visited the new Bishop? I was picking up PCB cleanup maps for research in Waterford, NY the following day at the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation on Peebles Island in a former Arrow shirt factory. A woman archaeologist I know of excavated Pierre Toussants remains, a "former slave born in Saint-Dominique now called Haiti" from the old St. Patrick's graveyard known for his charitable works [I worked in the "First Almshouse" burials found in City Hall Park in 1999 next to Horace Greeley's statue] now in the crypt under the altar there with Cardinal O'Connor's). Well its winter and believe it or not I've had many digging jobs during winter in the past sometimes under the shelter of greenhouse (also the name of one of the companies, Barry Greenhouse who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, originally from Brooklyn). My colleague Nancy, she's the one with the M.S. from RPI in Public Archaeology, was just out at a sewerage treatment plant in Queens today backhoe testing whether the ground there was landfill or not for Earth Tech a division of TYCO, Inc. The Landmarks Commission requires that a "Register of Professional Archaeologists" be onsite in NYC setting standards that are actually required by law now in the state of Mississippi, which has quite a bit of archaeological history and prehistory in it. I worked there in 1979 and in Alaska in 1980 Greyhound through Mt. St. Helens ash. I can't recall the statistics, I used to 1/2 hour lunch across the street in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in Lower Manhattan digging in what was once the Livingston and Captain Kidd properties many years ago for archaeologist, but it seems that if the National Guard, once referred to the units that protected the new US government which met in NYC (and again recently after 9/11 it met) and over 10 years in Vietnam roughly 7,000 National Guard were ever there, that they today are disproportionately called upon, when technically, if you see my point they are State Militias that are supposed to be guarding their respective states, more than just a semantics issue. I've had to study them in the Bowery, site of former graveyards also, white and black. George "gone Gonzo" Myers again.

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