Pursuing Justice from a Place of Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friend and I saw Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest child, Bernice, speak at the Boston Public Library as part of the Lowell Institute Lecture Series. Like her father, she is a minister, as well as being CEO of the King Center.

She inherited her father’s mesmerizing speaking skills. She started out by encouraging the audience to visit the new Legacy Museum and Memorial that just opened in Montgomery, Alabama. I had heard a little about the lynching memorial, but I made a promise to myself to really read about it and the museum. She then launched into her (and her father’s) philosophy of nonviolence to create social change.

A theme she repeated a few times was that justice must come from a place of love, not anger and retaliation. She quoted her father’s work and explained that when he had the idea for the bus boycott, his goal was not to shut down the bus company, but to infuse justice INTO the bus company.

I asked myself multiple times during her talk, “Is MLK Jr. rolling in his grave, knowing that 50 years later, we are still failing at combating racism?” His hope that his four children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin is still a hope and nowhere near a reality.

I haven’t read any of MLK Jr.’s books, but hearing her quote from them, I am eager to read them. I’ll start at the beginning, with Stride Toward Freedom.

Even though King barely knew her father (she was five years old when he was assassinated), she seems to share his passion for this crucial social justice work.

 

 

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Wreckless Eric at Atwood’s

I went to Atwood’s Tavern for the first time the other night to grab dinner and see Wreckless Eric perform. Allen and I arrived about an hour and half before the show started and nabbed a table near the stage. I really liked the vibe there = low lighting, beautiful wood bar and paneling on the walls.

The food was very good. We shared mussels and I had a chicken sandwich and Allen had a crab cake sandwich. The potato salad side had a lot of herbs going on, which was shocking at first but then I learned to embrace it.

Allen has been listening to Wreckless Eric for decades but I didn’t know of him until Allen introduced me to his music months ago. Be warned, one of his biggest hits from the late ’70s, “The Whole Wide World,” has earworm potential.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric played a great set. He’s a very talented musician, and he entertains the crowd with funny stories and quips. And he’s English so he had me at hello just because of that. After his show ended, he personally sold his CDs and signed records and memorabilia for the fans lined up to meet him. What a cool bloke.

Pi(e) Day

I’ve heard about Table Talk pies over the years, and I finally had the chance to try some…five, in fact.

I read in a neighborhood newsletter that a local high school’s band members would be selling Table Talk pies for a National Pi(e) Day fundraiser on March 14 near my office. Because of an ill-timed snowstorm, I had to wait for a rescheduled sale. Good for me but sad for the kids, they were selling the snack pies for $.50 each instead of $1.00 each because of the delayed sale.

I bought all five flavors on offer: apple, blueberry, cherry, lemon, and pineapple. They were damn fine pies, as Twin Peaks‘s Agent Cooper would say. And the snack pie is the perfect size for, well, a snack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pie is not my go-to dessert, but I would buy these again when the pie mood strikes.

A Tour of the USS Albacore

I finally toured the dry-docked submarine in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the USS Albacore. It was a Navy research vessel from 1953 to 1972. After it was decommissioned, it was moved to a facility in Philadelphia but came back to Portsmouth in 1984. It was no small feat for community members to create this museum and bring the Albacore home, so it’s an inspiring story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tour is self-guided, and there are audio descriptions in most areas. Unfortunately I only got a few photos because my phone died in the middle of the tour.

bunks on the USS Albacore

Bunks!

kitchen of USS Albacore

The kitchen staff cooked meals for 50 men in this kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m 5’1″ and I can’t imagine sleeping in those bunks! It was a great tour. All of the research and subsequent improvements to submarines was over my head, but it was still interesting to read about.

There is also a small museum with models and artifacts and a video screening. This is definitely worth a visit whether you are a submarine or Navy fan or not!

Bill Murray and Classical Music?

I attended a unique concert that paired Bill Murray orating and singing American classics with three musicians performing classical and musical theater hits. I was intrigued and slightly skeptical going in and satisfied and elated going out.

The crew is touring for an album they released called New Worlds. Bill Murray reads and sometimes acts out excerpts of the writing of Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, and Billy Collins. In between his orations, Jan Vogler, Mira Wang, and Vanessa Perez perform excerpts of works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, and Maurice Ravel. I was impressed by the power of Bill’s singing voice. The man has pipes.

Bill was himself…comedic and goofy one minute, deadpan and apathetic the next. The musicians were superb and treated their instruments like living, breathing things. They got the audience involved by inviting us to sing along to such disparate songs as “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from Porgy and Bess and “Loch Lomond,” a traditional Scottish song.

On paper, it’s weird, but in reality, it works. If it comes to your town, go!

 

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