Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Miss You My Friend

I was looking for something in my library the other day and came across the following note from my mother. It was written on the day my husband and I returned from our honeymoon. As with most things these days, I thought back at how happy I was then, and it made me cry.


Then I looked at the other side of the note and saw that my mother had written me this lovely welcome home note on the back of a HILLS LAYAWAY advertisement, and it made me laugh out loud.
This is soooo Harriet. Finding this made me miss her and Dan more than ever. And like every other memory I have of them both, it made me laugh and thankful I had them in my life. And it made me cry that they are no longer with me.

Today is my 27th wedding anniversary.


If you haven't heard of her before, listen to this song by Eva Cassidy. (Esp around the three minute mark)


All of those years we spent together
Well they're part of my life forever
I hold the joy with the pain
And the truth is I miss you my friend


I love this song, but sometimes time ISN'T a healer. Sometimes its more than I can bear. I've been having a rough time of it lately. As Harriet would say "Better days are coming" I sure hope so mum. I sure the hell hope so.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Night Irene........Good Riddance



My friend Ski called me yesterday. Since this has been a daily occurrence for 40 years or so, it was nothing out of the ordinary. But this particular conversation happened to be the same that I had with about four or five other long time friends this week.

The gist of it was that they had been thinking of me all week. Every time news came on about Hurricane Irene, they would have themselves a little chuckle.

What does that have to do with me you might ask? For that answer we have to go all the way back to 1973. I was a shy awkward junior at Lawrenceville Catholic High School. We had an English teacher named Sr. Angela. For all you English majors out there, yes, she's the reason this blog makes you cringe. I learned absolutely nothing in high school English. The proof being right here in front of your eyes.

All of you of a certain age who grew up in Lawrenceville has their own sister Angela story. I could write plenty of posts about this crazy old Polish nun that most took great pleasure into literally driving crazy. There would be one about Sr. Angela and BJ; Sr. Angela and the band room; Sr. Angela and "pennies from heaven;" I could go on and on and on........feel free to chuckle to yourself as a favorite pops into your mind. I'll give you a minute.......

Done? I bet some of you haven't thought about her in years.

How about the bangs and the white faced make up she wore that made her look dead! Sometimes I feel badly about how she was treated. But then I remember just how crazy she was!

Anyway, here's my story. For those of you that I met later in life, my name in high school was Eileen Quinlan. For some reason Sister Angela insisted my name was Irene McQuillan. FOR TWO YEARS! Stupid, I know. But it drove me crazy. When she would call on me to answer a question, the whole class would laugh. Not cool for a shy high school student. After a while I think she did it on purpose.

Word of this spread quickly considering there were only about 400 or so kids in the school. When Jeff Devinney and Georgie Duke got hold of this, I knew I was doomed to be Irene McQuillan forever.

As if that weren't bad enough.......During this time my friends and I spent many a night sharing bottles of Boone's Farm (ewwwww) wine at St. John's Ball field on 36th Street. Naturally, my curfew was about a half hour or so before anyone else my age so I was usually the first to leave to go home (We didn't want to piss off Bud!) EVERY NIGHT when I would leave to walk out of the park twenty or so 16 year old kids would break into the song "Good Nigh Irene". EVERYNIGHT! You can use your imagination as to how embarrassing this was for a shy 15-16-17-18 year old kid. Yes, it went on for years, and years, and years........

It quickly spread to everywhere I went. Everywhere! Even during basketball games when I was a cheerleader (I know, I don't believe I was a cheerleader either!!) For years.

It took only one or two visits from high school friends to Mercyhurst for "Irene" to follow me to college and beyond. Same thing for the singing. You haven't lived yet if you haven't been serenaded with "Good Night Irene" by people you hardly know while leaving a keg party with a boy you have been dying to meet since the first week of freshman year. I guess the plus side of that would be that at least he remembered my name!!! (Poor thing didn't know what he was getting himself into, God rest his soul!)

It even followed me to the FBI for cryin' out loud.

Few in the life I'm living now know me by Irene. Every once in a while, I will run into someone from my younger days and when they call me Irene, my kids or whoever I'm with think something like they must have not know me very well if they can't even remember my name.

If only.....................

Enough about me.

Happy to report that old friends and new have seemed to escape Hurricane Irene with minimal damages.

Thank God, GOOD NIGHT IRENE!!!!

Good Riddance.

*I should have named this post "What Hurricane Irene Means To Me." Sort of like the high school essay I never learned to write!!









Sunday, June 26, 2011

And The Big Man Joined The Band

Judi over at Stories From The Road says is better than I ever could.

"the background music of my life, the soul of a generation.
A sound that will play on.
"

RIP Big Man. You will certainly be missed.



When the change was made uptown
And the big man joined the band
From the coastline to the city

All the little pretties raise their hands

We certainly did.........Thanks for the memories.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Decoration Day


Sooooo, where was I????? I've been missing in action for a while. Sorry about that folks. I'll try harder to write more often. I promise.

As we fire up the grills this Memorial Day weekend, several thoughts are spinning in my head. As usual!

First up, to the men and woman, many of whom were kids, who gave their lives so that assholes like me can enjoy the freedoms to bitch about stupid things on this here blog, I am eternally grateful.

Memorial Day, or as my mother called it, Decoration Day
brings out a whole gamut of memories.

One of my most cherished memories as a kid is going to the cemetery with my grandmother, aunt and mother to "decorate" the graves. In later years, my parents took my kids with them. If I had to miss for some reason, my mother would call and tell me the daily total of graves that they "did." She would go on and on about how tired she was. And in later years, about how thankful she was that my kids were there to help.

I laugh because Harriet was much better at delegating than doing. I can't believe some CEO didn't pick up on that during her life and nab her to head their production lines. I can hear her now. Come on Bud, just do it now. 1,2,3. Boom, boom, boom. And it will be done. Silence for about 20 seconds. Let's go. Come on. Here, this shovel is all ready for you. She would drive you crazy, until you just did it. No matter how tired or busy you were. You just did it. And she would sit there and tell you exactly how to do it. Herself, never breaking a sweat.

Anyway, I am getting off subject. Yesterday, I grudgingly continued that tradition and made the cemetery runs. Decorating graves of relatives that were dead long before I was born.

One of those is my mothers brother who died in 1945. He is buried way back in the corner by the wall in St. Mary's Cemetery in Lawrenceville. When I made my way back to his and his wife's graves yesterday, I read his gravestone. He was discharged from the service on May 28, 1945. 46 years to the day. Strange coincidence.

His grave was decorated only with the flag that the cemetery staff puts on all the veterans graves.

George Jenkins enlisted in 1939. He left Pearl Harbor three days before it was attacked by Japan. My mother used to say that my Gram was so relieved when she heard he missed the attack.

As a kid, I remember going through my Gram's cedar chest and reading his letters home. Most information was blacked out with magic marker. I distinctly remember that. I also remember hearing stories of the various battle's he was involved in. I wish I would have paid better attention.

One of the items in that cedar chest was a huge Japanese flag. My cousin Jeff and I would look at it all the time. It scared the hell out of me because it had blood and bullet holes all over it.
My grandmother said she would tease him and tell him that she was going to wash it for him. And he would reply "Mom, if you only knew what I went through to get that flag."

I wish I had the opportunity to ask him. After he survived the war, he returned to Lawrenceville. Got married, bought a house. And died.

After surviving the war, him and his young wife died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home they purchased as newlyweds. He was home from the war for only 6 months. My mother said my gram was never the same after that.

The least I can do is put a few geraniums and petunia's on him and his wife's grave to thank him for spending the last four years of his life fighting for my freedom.

Geeze, I need to quit complaining.

*When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I took that flag to school for show and tell. We think my teacher never gave it back, because no one saw it after that. That flag would be worth a small fortune today.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY or GOOD GOD HARRIET

*This is a previous post from Mothers day 2009 (with a few additions)

My mother passed away over eleven years ago. There is not a day that goes by that I don't missed her. "Harrietisms" pop out of mine and The Madonna's mouth a few times a day and they still make us laugh.
I have turned into my mother. I don't mind.

At my mothers funeral, I delivered the eulogy. Her friends asked me, how did you do that? It must have been so hard. To tell you the truth, it was not hard at all. I started writing hastily on a piece of paper around midnight the night before her funeral. They say you should write about what you know. Well, I knew Harriet. Everyone knew Harriet! I started remembering what people said to me when they came up to the casket during the viewing. Of the 1,200 people who signed the book, yes 1,200, their comments were going to be my eulogy.

Here is what I came up with:

Everyone has a Harriet story. Today, I want to mention a few that I heard over the last few days....... At least the ones I can repeat in church.

There are four things my mom loved in this world.
1. Her Husband
2. Her Kids
3. Her Grand kids
4. Layaway
Not necessarily in that order.

She seemed to always make scenes in front of priests---Father, you know what I'm talking about don't you?

My Mother NEVER held a grudge.

She was a "child bride"

I believed that the gray streak in her hair was paint until I was 21.

She had hundreds of good times in Conneaut throughout her life. And who will ever forget the infamous "fall under the car"

She went to weight watchers and stopped after every meeting at Eat'n Park for a strawberry sundae.

She was responsible for getting all the guys at Quincy's Pub to quit swearing and watch The Guiding Light.

I guess now my sister and I have to learn how to wash and hang curtains.

She was the only person I know who believed OJ was innocent.

She was constantly telling my father he was hard of hearing when she couldn't hear herself.

She believed there was nothing like a good night at Zalewski's.

She honestly believed the Devinney boys were angels.

We were all sworn to secrecy about how she looked in a bathing suit.

How many times have we all heard my father yell "Good God Harriet"

She was every ones Aunt Harriet. Now even her great nieces and nephews friends call her Aunt Harriet.

You see, she wasn't just a Green or a Quinlan. She was a Devinney, a McGregor, a Gallagher, and an Olzak. She was a Piezak, a Flannery, a Neuch, and a Slemenda. She was part of everyones family.

I always thought if ones wealth is measured by friends instead of money, mom was a multi-millionaire.

I want to thank everyone here for being such good friends to her.

One of the nicest things I've heard over the past few days came from one of our old neighbors. This woman lived next door to us for about two years when she was 7 years old. She was now in her late 40's. When she read about mom's passing in the newspaper, she came to the funeral home because she just wanted us to know what a difference my mother had made in her life in the few short years they were neighbors. They were neighbors 35 years ago!!!

I want to leave you all today with one last thought. There is no need to worry about missing my mother. All of my life I've been told that my mother will never be dead as long as I'm alive. That surely is the best compliment I've ever been told in my life. If I can be half the person she was, or have half the amount of friends in my life then I'll die a millionaire too.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO MY MOM
Harriet Green Quinlan
Dec. 14, 1929 - January 19, 2000

As we say in the Quinlan Family: "Be dood to yo muddel Modwet". (Translation: Be Good To Your Mother Margret) Happy Mothers Day.

*Note: The woman I mentioned above who said my mother made such a difference, we lived next door to them when her little brother was dying of polio. My mother helped her mom while he was sick. Jimmy died when he was 5. My father was a pal bearer.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Sissy


I was blessed in my life with a runner up mother. My Aunt Babe, My mother Harriet's sister. What's that they say at Miss America if she cannot full fill her duties? If for any reason Miss America cannot perform her duties the runner up bla bla bla........My childhood was something like that. If I needed permission to do something and I couldn't find my mother, Aunt Babe had complete authority over us kids.


My mother and her sister were 14 months apart. To write the words they were close just doesn't do their story justice. They spoke in a language known only to themselves. Even us kids had trouble following what they were saying. They never had to finish a sentence in their conversations and they always knew what the other was thinking.

And the phone.......Good Lord, the phone. It used to drive my father and my Uncle crazy. Uncle Pud used to yell, half kidding, What can you possibly have to talk about so many hours in the day???? They would spend the day together, get home, call each other the minute they walked in the door to recap and say how much fun they had!


The day of my mothers funeral 11 years ago, my Aunt Babe told me she didn't know what she was going to do because there hadn't been a day in her entire life that she didn't talk to her sister. She was talking to me not as my Aunt, but as a woman who lost her only sister.


Come to think of it, I don't think they ever took separate vacations. Year after year we all went to Conneaut Lake, probably for close to 40 years.


They loved singing the Dolly Sisters. Every time they got in a car, I swear they would start to sing. I think it was out of habit. When we kids were little, they did it to keep us quiet, but they were still doing it when we were into our 30's!


My uncle used to kid them that us kids were going to grow up confused about which one of them was our mother. I could go on here with stories, but you get the picture. These two woman didn't do much in thier lives without one another.


A few years ago my Aunt Babe was diagnosed with dementia. Some days are better than others. My Uncle and her still live in the house they have lived in for the last 30 some years. I'm sure its tough for him to repeat everything over and over because she can't remember he told her the same thing five minutes earlier. And five minutes before that.


After my mother died, sometimes it was hard for me to see my aunt because she was such a part of my mother. Every once in a while, when I was having a particularly bad day, I would call her and we would have a good cry.


When I stop to see her these days, my heart breaks and I wish my mother was still alive. She was always her memory, even when her memory was good! And I'm sure Harriet would welcome the challenge now. My mother was so patient. There's not a doubt in my mind that she would have wanted to sit by her side day after day reminding her over and over what she had for breakfast. I can hear her now. "Oh Sissy, you remember yesterday we saw so and so." or "you remember that white dress with the blue polka dots that I had on the time we went to the parade in 1959."


Last week, my niece Elisabeth was in town so we could make wedding plans (whole other post!). I wanted to give her my mothers wedding gown and veil to do with what she wants. She could wear it or take it apart and use the lace for something. Anyway, my mothers wedding gown is in my grandmothers cedar chest in Aunt Babes attic. I knew it was going to be tough to get her to remember that we were coming down to pick it up. But I thought it would be nice if some of her grandchildren and I could go through some of the stuff. Maybe it would stir up her memory and she could tell a story or two. Most of the stuff the grand kids had never seen. When we were kids staying at my Grams my cousin Jeff and I would look through that stuff all the time.


Uncle Pud and I lugged the stuff down from the attic. Four of her grandchildren, Elisabeth and I started going through the boxes which among other things consisted of my mothers prom gown, shoes, both their wedding gowns and bridesmaids gowns. Both of their wedding gowns were folded in their original boxes like they were bought yesterday. My mothers from the Marlaine Shop (in the Clark Building) and Aunt Babes from Joseph Horne's Bridal Shop.


We passed around each of the dresses and held them up to our bodies and took a ton of pictures. Aunt Babe slid hers over her arms and put on her veil. We all took pictures and laughed about the waistlines and had a wonderful time. Every five minutes or so, she would ask what was in the boxes. One of us would tell her that it was her or my mothers wedding gown. She would ask if she had seen it. We would say, "Yes Aunt Babe, we just took your picture in it, remember?" She just looked at us with a blank, confused look on her face not remembering that we all took pictures of her a few minutes earlier. Even though she couldn't remember, I think she had just as good a time as we all did.


It was getting late and everyone was leaving. Elisabeth and I were packing up my mothers beautiful wedding gown to take with us. When we had it all packed up, Aunt Babe asked if we were taking that box with us. I said yes, Elisabeth is getting married and she might want to wear my mother's gown. I also said something like wouldn't she be thrilled that her Elisabeth is getting married. Then Aunt Babe looked at me with the clearest look I've seen in a while. She said to both of us "My sisters wedding gown is in that box. I've kept that dress for her for 60 years. Would you mind if I just touch it one more time?" With that, the three of us burst into tears and hugged each other and then she hugged her sisters dress one last time.

Note: Funny Aunt Babe wedding story: Last year while sitting at my nephew Jeffrey's wedding she looked around and said to Uncle Pud "I don't know who any of these people are, but they sure know how to throw a party!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Wee Bit O' March Madness Or The Madness To March or The March TO Madness

Now where was I???? Last we spoke, Steelers were going to the Superbowl. We all know how that ended. I'm ok with it though. Green Bay seems like a nice enough team. At least we didn't lose to a bunch of creeps.

The High Holidays (St. Patrick's Day) came and went without incident. I decided to march this year. I wasn't going to, but Devin really wanted to and I didn't want him to go by himself. It turned out to be a lovely day, despite being the 8th anniversary of Dan's death.

Speaking of Devin, he's been home with me for a few months now. He had to have back surgery. Poor thing. His back is "messed up." Those were the words of the Dr. when he came into his room the day after surgery.

Some good news. My niece Queen Elisabeth is engaged. Wedding date is May 27th, 2012. The best part is she is having her wedding at Fallingwater. I am so excited. More wedding plans to keep me busy. Woo Hoo!

So enough with the catching up.......

How about this years March Madness!!!! Holy Shit. First let me say that I come from a long line of basketball crazies.

Last night after Virginia Commonwealth University and Kentucky both won by making last minute shots I immediately called my father. It was well after 1 am. As I was dialing his number I heard my friend say something like "You father is going to be up and would answer the phone at this time of the night?" Not only was he up. He picked up the phone on the first ring. Instead of hello he started screaming. "Can you believe it, can you believe it? Both games won in the last second. I can't believe it.... Hello." He didn't know who was calling. He figured it was one of his kids or grandkids. I'm sure he had already talked to my brother 20 times throughout the night. He was so wound up. I'm betting he stayed up most of the night watching replays on ESPN.

And how about Butler's coach! He looks like he's about 15 years old.
How cute is he??? Even though they beat my beloved Pitt. I'll be rooting for them to make it to the finals. As I said above about the Green Bay, at least Pitt wasn't beat by a bunch of creeps. (ie Duke!!)

Best all round image so far for this years March Madness

Please look at how high this kid is jumping. Unfuckingbelievable!!! Who does that??????

The Madness continues...........................(in more ways than one!!!!!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Erin Go Bragh!


May those who love us, love us


And those who don't love us,


May God turn their hearts.


And if he doesn't turn their hearts,


May he turn their ankles


So we know them by their limping.


*Irish Blessing

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time Is A Healer

And He will raise you up on eagles's wings,

Bear you on the breath of dawn,

Make you shine like the sun,

And hold you in the palm of His hand.


Dan D'Amico

6.14.53 - 3.14.03



As the song says "Time is a healer for all hearts that break."

* I love both songs. The second, by Eva Cassidy I think I must have listened to 100 times the first few months after Dan passed.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Happy Groundhog Day

And more importantly, Happy Birthday to my niece Queen Elisabeth aka Bitsy!!!!
(shown here in one of her Grams rain bonnets! Isn't she beautiful?????


Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Here We Go, AGAIN!


Sooooooo, As you may have heard by now, THE STEELERS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!! Woo hoo. My town is covered in black and gold from end to end. If you aren't wearing a Steeler shirt, you look like a tourist.

Some of my best memories of growing up were of the weeks leading up to the Superbowl. I'm happy the Steelers are doing the same for my kids. That's mighty nice of them, don't ya think?

As in years past, everyone has their Terrible Towels or Steeler flags hanging in the window. Half the fun of being in the Superbowl are these weeks leading up to it. The media gets a little carried away though. I really don't think its breaking news when one of the Steelers has breakfast!

Pittsburgh is such a football town. Here is an interesting take on the difference between the NFL and MLB. It would be even funnier if it weren't so true.

Happy Superbowl Week!!!! Have fun. Enjoy the ride.

And I'll be sure to concentrate on the Glorious Mysteries when saying my Steeler Rosary!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Jolly Holiday


Tonight I was transformed from an old, cranky 53 year old lady with sore knees back to a skinny lanky 9 year old who was still trying to get used to wearing glasses mesmerized by the magic of Mary Poppins.

I remember watching that movie for the first time like it was yesterday. What I didn't know that magical afternoon in 1965, was that I would remember it vividly more than 40 years later.
What I also didn't know was that the following week, my favorite afternoon pass time, sitting in the Arsenal Theater on Butler Street in Lawrenceville would become something I could only enjoy in my memory.
Mary Poppins was the last movie to play at the Arsenal Theater. A few weeks later, they tore it down to make a parking lot for PNC bank. Sigh, a parking lot.
It's hard to say whether my love for Mary Poppins came about because it was the last movie at the Arsenal. Or was it the perfect movie for a nine year old girl to escape into.
Probably a little of both I suppose.

That Christmas I can remember getting two things. A Mary Poppins doll. And the movie soundtrack. I still have the doll. The album? I'm assuming it got too scratched up from playing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious over and over on my parents blue hi-fi. Either that, or it was replaced in importance by 45's such as Stone Soul Picnic, Sealed With A Kiss, and Hey There Little Red Riding Hood.

Anyway, I mention all this because tonight my best friend Ski, who I have known since childhood, took me to see the live version of Mary Poppins.

Let me tell you, with out a doubt, it was the best show I've ever seen live. Ever.

First there were the seats. FIRST ROW, CENTER, yes, front and center. Mary Poppins was singing to me. And I was singing back to her, (not so sure the person next to me appreciated that) And the Bird Lady. Ahh, the Bird Lady. She was looking right into my 9 year old eyes when she sang Feed The Birds. And after all these years, it still made me cry.

Tonight was a truly magical night made extra special by that fact that as I watched one of my favorite childhood memories actually come to life, I did so with someone who I've been friends with since the days when I saw the magic of the movie for the first time. Ski. My non-lesbian life partner.

What a joy both her and Mary Poppins are.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

A Bad Dream



I'm sitting here, awake, at 5:00a.m. It doesn't happen very often, but for some reason I can't sleep. Among other things, the events of yesterday are on my mind. I try, but I can't think of anything appropriate to write here concerning the events in Arizona yesterday. While listening to early morning radio I heard someone on KDKA read the following speech.

These words by Bobby Kennedy, spoken the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, say what I want to say. Take a minute to read it. How sad that exactly two months later, this mindless menace of violence he speaks of found its way to him.

On the Mindless Menace of Violence



City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968

This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.

Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.

Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.