Thursday, April 28, 2016

Still On The Bus

Like I explained in my Earth Day post, I don't own a car. It's by choice and I have already listed the reasons I started. The reasons I continue are more complicated.

The first thing is you simply cannot be clinically depressed on a bus. You can be sad but you still have to pay attention, have the right fare ready, know which bus to take, what time it gets there. You need to be a little aware and that staves off that depression a bit. Bus riding also builds in walking, which is good provided you do not have to walk too far.

The other thing is no matter how bad off you think you are there is someone on that bus who is much worse off. I have seen people on the bus, who I knew the bus was going to be their home for however long it took the bus driver to kick them off because they are sleeping not riding.

I have seen acts of charity, kindness, and honesty. I lost both my house keys and an Iphone6 and both were turned in by other riders that never met me and never knew me. My father once told me that poor people can still have honor. I try and remember that.

My father also told me that when all a person has to keep, and sometimes give, is their pride then you accept that gift, and never shame the gift, no matter how large or small. On the bus the gift is a smile, getting up for someone older or infirm, or just engaging in conversation with a 38 year old man in footy pajamas who is wearing aluminum foil antlers.

If you think you are clinically depressed, crazy, mentally disabled or whatever, you will come away with a different take on your life, when you see the real sorrow people have to live in every day. It really makes you think a bit.

When I get off the bus, I know I am coming to a comfortable home, with food, warmth, friends, gadgets, guitars, and just everything I need. Everyone else on the bus? I don't know but I do worry. But being on the bus shows me there are still good people, working hard, and trying to survive.

So thanks to everyone on all the buses, trains, and other public transportation I have used in these past 2 years. I will never own another car, so people who keep offering me cars, thanks but no thanks. 

People need me on that bus, and I need to be there as well.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Earth Day 2016

Earth Day is on the 22nd of April this year and I don't really care. I know that sounds crazy but instead of talking about Earth Day and the earth itself, I decided that actions would be louder than words, so I did something, that I felt would really help.

I gave up cars.

Yes, when my wife died in 2013 we had two cars. My wife's car, which she drove 12 miles to work every day, and back home those same 12 miles. She kept it clean and hated the times when I had to drive her car because we were going somewhere together and she just did not want to put up with the hassle of me being the passenger not the driver. 

My car, on the other hand, was like the "Wreck of the Hesperus." You could have done surgery in the back seat and no one would notice. My car was the do everything car of the two cars, and life was grand. Until she died and I started pondering life.

I have to say that up until my wife died I had not really considered my position in the world. When I was young I really didn't care about the resources I was using or how they were used. If someone would have told me that they would have to use a condor to beat a bald eagle to death to get what I wanted I would have only asked the question:

"How Much?"

Because really that's the only question these days isn't it? How much can I get for myself? Where is my piece of the pie? Why should I give two shits about others? Why? It seems dumb sometimes, doing something good, making a sacrifice.

So I sold one car to a neighbor, and shipped my wife's car to my son in Mississippi in September of 2014. So I was then, and still am, without a car. The bus stop is right outside my apartment on both sides of the street, so it's pretty easy. I work, ha-ha, for myself so there is not a time constraint, so it works.

But I am not doing it for me. I am doing it for my son, his kids, your kids, people I have not met, and all those ones that are going to come after me. How stupid am I to think you can change the world one bus ride at a time? I must be crazy. Then the first time I rode the bus, I found this note, on the seat next to where I sat down.

And I have not stopped riding since then, and am going to ride the bus today. For me, for you, for real change, and just because I can.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bruce Springsteen, history, and a bunch of dead guys.

As everyone who watches the news has heard by now, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have canceled their show that was to be played on April 10th, in North Carolina. As most people again know, North Carolina has recently passed a law, that discriminates against a certain part of the population.

I work as a historian and ephemera salesman by trade and when stuff like this happens I always go back and see what the dead guys said. You know, those founding fathers, politicians, and other pundits, celebrities, and just plain folks who decided to comment on this very subject. I go back and see what they said, just in case there might be something from back then that might teach us about now.

This is what I found. These are exact quotes. Not one word has been changed.

"Liberty, the precious boon of heaven, is meek and reasonable. She admits that she belongs to all-to the high and the low, rich and the poor, the black and the white-and that she belongs to them all equally."

Gerrit Smith

"Law can offer us a moral precept. To the extent that laws are founded on morality and on logic, they can lead men's hearts and minds. But this aspect of law can have meaning only to the extent that the constituents of the law are moral and rational."

Robert F. Kennedy

" every man his chance-to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity-to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him-this, seeker, is the promise of America."

Thomas Wolfe

"In the cause of freedom, we have to battle for the rights of people with whom we do not agree and whom in many cases, we may not like. These people test the strength of the freedoms which protect all of us. If we do not defend their rights, we endanger our own."

Harry S. Truman

"While democracy must have its organization and controls, its vital breath is individual liberty."

Charles Evans Hughes

"The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias. The spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to the earth unheeded. The spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, nearly two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned but has never quite forgotten-that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest."

Learned Hand

"A manly assertion by each of his individual rights, and a manly concession of equal rights to every other man, is the boast and the law of good citizenship."

Benjamin Harrison

"Under our constitutional system, courts stand against any winds that blow as havens of refuge for those who might otherwise suffer because they are helpless, weak, outnumbered, or because they are non-conforming victims of prejudice and public excitement."

Hugo L. Black

"We ought not to separate the science of public law from that of ethics. States or bodies politic are to be considered as moral persons having a public will capable and free to do right and wrong"

James Kent

"We want a state of things which allows every man the largest liberty compatible with the liberty of every other man."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Laws have their proper place, but the responsibility of worthy citizenship is a personal one. We each have a separate and individual share in eradicating social evils and in refusing to perpetuate practises odious to a free nation."

Herbert Brownell, Jr

"Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not."

Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Anglo-Saxon civilization has taught the individual to protect his own rights. American civilization will teach him to respect the rights of others."

William Jennings Bryant

"....Yet most of all grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all years-a brotherhood not of words but of acts and deeds. We are all of us children of earth-grant us that simple knowledge. If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure. Grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace-that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, and equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean world our hands can make."

Stephen Vincent Benet

"The immediate future of the world has been laid on the doorstep of the individual American."

William B. Huie

I know this is just a bunch of dead guys, and I hated history in school, just like everyone, including Bruce, hated it. And we can ignore it. As Americans we have shown we are good at that. Or maybe, just maybe, we could consider all these words and what they mean, and how it could really be some day. 

Maybe the change starts with a bathroom? I certainly do not know. All I know is what has gone before, and hatred and prejudice, have never won. Hatred and prejudice might get a foothold here and there but it will never win. Too many good people like @a4evanygirl, for that to happen. 

Be True.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Maybe It's This

Maybe it's just going to be a situation, where no one gets what you are doing, or why you are doing it. If it feels right in your heart, then the rest does not matter.

Do it.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

What It Might Be

These are hard and strange times, as they always have been. Strangeness did not start in the year 2000 or even in 1200. It did not start when we switched from 8 tracks to cassettes. No, we as people having been acting strange, as soon as we pulled ourselves up from that primordial soup, and it continues to this moment.

We take things, we leave behind things, we never know what really is going on inside the head of that other person. I know this, because I know people, and I also know that everyone has everything good and bad inside them at the same time. Everything.

It's what we choose to use, and what we leave behind, that makes us what we are right now at this very moment. 

Be true.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


I walk around smiling and saying hello to everyone I meet, especially the ones who look like they are having a bad day. I always gets smiles and salutations. It's nice. Take a chance and try it sometime. You never know what might happen, but I do know you will never be there again. Take a chance.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016


"The Constitution does not provide for first and second class citizens"   Wendall Willkie

Friday, January 15, 2016

This week

This week l participated in three days of tours at the wonderful Agriculture Museum in beautiful Santa Paula, California. Thursday night I participated at the wine and food tasting affair at MVC on Main Street in Ventura. I mostly stayed out of the way and learned a lot about food. Everything was grand and tasty, and I think everyone enjoyed an incredible night. Next week; more kids and tours. Come to the Agriculture Museum or the Museum of Ventura County, and bring your children. Help us celebrate agriculture, it's workers, and our shared history by supporting your local museum.      

Friday, December 25, 2015


Even if you are feeling alone on this Christmas Day remember you still have a light that shines in all the hearts of those you love and who love you.