In Lieu Of
Having just returned from Pennsylvania Thursday, midday, the Suburbo is in abeyance and, hopefully, will return starting Monday, the 21st. In the interim, I'm going to be totally self-indulgent.
Tomorrow, Saturday, May 19th, is my 69th birthday (woohoo!). I'm going to use this opportunity to do a quick, photo-illustrated retrospective that reflects on "what a long, strange trip it's been."
I'm going to try to organize this, a bit, by "category," with photos, reminiscences, and commentary. If you want explanations or clarifications regarding the photos, just write and ask.
Hope it's not too self-indulgent and thanks for reading!
Happy Birthday to me.
First Takes - Family
From 1st grade through high school, I grew up at 929 Thompson Drive in Bay Shore (South Shore of Long Island -- pictured below) with my family. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Going to Yale from 1967 to 1971 was the formative experience in my life. It was an incredible time to "grow up. We experienced Woodstock and campus "turbulence" (MayDay at Yale) as well as all the emerging "liberation" and "rights" movements (Black civil rights, women, gays, the environment, the anti-war movement, etc.) My first two years at Yale it was an all-male institution. My last two years we were co-educated. I played football & lacrosse the first two years on the Yale teams and then got involved in campus and national politics --- and academics! Incredible professors (Charles Reich, Vincent Scully, William McFeely, Cleanth Brooks, Eugene Genovese, et al) were everywhere. I was even (for a brief time) a member of Skull & Bones! It was a great time to be young and on campus.
Here are some of the photos I dug up to illustrate those years.
Forty-two years --- starting in Rye Brook, NY (Blind Brook High School from 1973-1984), Winchester High School north of Boston (1984-1987), back to Westchester County and Bronxville HS (1987-1994, and then north to Cambridge, helping to found the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, MA (1994-1995) and that overlapped with the beginning of my time at Brown University in Providence, RI (1994-2007). A sabbatical took me to Fairbanks, Alaska for several months (fall, 2004) and then I moved on to Yale for a year (2007-2008) and, finally, New York City --- teaching at Essex Street Academy (2008-2009) and finishing my career at the Urban Assembly School for Design and Construction (2009-2014). Teaching gave me a chance to coach (tennis, volleyball, basketball), direct plays, write (3 books about education) and work with brilliant people who have become lifelong friends. It would take too many photos to document the entire voyage but here are a few, selective shots.
Growing up in the Sixties music was everywhere. The Beatles arrived when I was in 9th Grade --- perfect timing. I had already abandoned my accordion and was learning to play guitar; took a few lessons on the bass guitar and, voila, was in a band! My brother and I played together quite a bit (he's really good -- and we still hack around occasionally) and, when I lived in Providence, I got to play with the "MAT Band" and "The Overdue Bills" (a blues ensemble). Music is always fun and integral to my life --- so much so that I drew a flaming guitar and had it tattooed on my arm! So, here are some photos. Enjoy.