Don't Even *Think* About Questioning Evolution

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.

That’s the wording on schoolbooks in Cobb County, Georgia. A Georgia judge today ruled that the wording must be removed because it violates the separation of church and state.

“By denigrating evolution, the school board appears to be endorsing the well-known prevailing alternative theory, creationism or variations thereof, even though the sticker does not specifically reference any alternative theories,” U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said.

Gadzooks. Even when you don’t say phrases like “under God,” they’re going to strike it down. What’s wrong with asking students to “critically consider” what’s in the textbooks?

Brender and Eddie

I dream vividly – often the dreams fade quicky, so don’t try to ask me after I get to work what I dreamed last night. And by vividly, I don’t mean bright colors, I mean an entire movie. Last night’s movie included a soundtrack, and I scratched out the outline of the dream when I first woke up this morning so I could share it later.

A radio is playing. It’s Billy Joel, and the song is that one about Brenda and Eddie (Scenes from an Italian Restaurant), except Billy Joel pronounces it “Brender & Eddie). I never understood why he did that; perhaps it’s some northeast US regional accent. The dream soundtrack only includes the middle part of the song, not the Italian restaraunt part at the beginning and end. Brender and Eddie were the popular steadies and the king and the queen of the prom. (bomp bomp)

The music is coming from a car stereo. This is a nice car. It’s a Mercedes 500 series, black with brown leather seats. It’s difficult to look out the window because I’m upside down in the passenger seat. I can lift my head and see pine trees around a lake; it’s a beautiful sunny day. La la la la riding around with the car top down. It’s not a convertible, but I am riding around in a car (it occurs to me later that maybe it’s *me* that has the top down… and the bottom up).

In the backseat, behind the driver, is a bride. She’s wearing a white wedding dress with a thin veil. I can make out her face a bit; she’s familiar but I can’t place who she is. She’s either crying, or she wants to cry, or she’s just finished crying. Brender and Eddie were still going steady in the summer of ’75 when they decided the marriage would be at the end of July.

The driver is definitely a movie star – I recognize his face, but not his name. I’d go google him but I can’t recall a movie that he’s in. If I stumble across his name later, I’ll edit it in. He’s a tall thin man, short clean cut brown hair, plays mostly bit parts. Sort of reminds me of the principle Seymore in the Simpsons cartoons. He’s wearing a tux. Brender and Eddie were the popular steady and the king and the queen of the prom (bomp bomp) lal la la driving around with the car top town.

Upside down, I can see in the air vents of the car. There’s no dust in them. I think, “that won’t help me,” though I’m not sure what I need help with. Sitting upright maybe. When they decided that marriage would be at the end of July. I look at the bride, she’s turned her face to the side, looking down and away. She holds a tissue to face, outside the veil. That’s not right, the tissue should go on the inside of the veil where the runny nose is. The bride is saddened by something.

We’ve been on the road a while. Amongst the pines was a a semi-rural house, ranch style, with a front patio. It reminds me of my childhood home in Tucker, Georgia, near Tucker Lake. I can see the lake, too. I lift my head and look out the car window to see it. I say something like “and that’s why property values toward town will start appreciating, and those in the suburbs will start declining.” They got an apartment with deep pile carpet and a couple of paintings from Sears. A big waterbed that they bought with the bread they had saved for a couple of years. I think those song lyrics will upset the bride. I look at her again, upside down, and see the pine trees moving past her window. Her dress has pearls sewn into it.

I think the bride might be “Brender,” I’m not sure. I look at the driver, the movie star in the tux. I wonder if he might be Eddie. I wonder if he shops at Sears. Brender you know that you’re much too (sweeter?) and we always knew she could want more than that out of life.

The driver, the clean cut movie star, agrees with me about property values, “…and that’s why I’ve always said…” He drones on. I look out the window, see a massive overpass, a bridge. I also see a spawling suburban neighborhood. One of the houses is a two story, brick on the bottom half, white wood on the top half. There’s white wood around chimney, too. I think that’s probably a fire hazard but there’s probably brick inside to keep the wood safely away. They started to fight when the money got tight, they just didn’t count on the tears, whoa-o-o-o…

It bothers me that I don’t know if I’m going to the wedding or returning from the wedding. Oh, I recognize the bride’s face – it’s my old college jitterbug partner, Debbie. She was a tiny thing, perfect for lifting over my head and swinging around. Nobody looked any finer, she was more of a hit at the Parkway diner, and we never knew you could want more than that out of life. I don’t think the bride is Debbie, though – it feel like she’s standing in for somebody else, or maybe a collage of people. A collage of people that includes herself.

I’m still upside down. I can almost reach the radio if I want. If I could reach the radio, I could change the channel. I don’t make any attempt to reach the knobs though. I can’t see out front windshield of the car though and that bothers me.

We’re going up one of those huge overpasses, way up in air. The bride asks me a question, though I didn’t hear what she said. It occurs to me (yes, even in my dream, this occurs to me) that the highway is symbolic of Brender and Eddie’s marriage. We started before they were married, traveled through suburbia, traveled down a long freeway, now we’re about to go off a bridge. This is like a broadway dream production of a Billy Joel musical. I don’t know who I am – the producer? Or am I in the play like the bride and groom are, and I don’t know what role I’m playing? I’m not the musical director, that’s for sure – I can’t reach the radio knobs and turn off the Billy Joel. Perhaps it’s me, my relationships, and all my friends and parents and strangers relationships all wrapped up in one long Billy Joel highway metaphorical dream musical. That sounds right. From the high to the low to the end of the show. They got a divorce as a matter of course and they parted the closest of friends. No wonder the bride isn’t happy.

I wake up, and Patch is looking at me like he patiently does every morning. He’s waiting for his walk and I’ve overslept on a Saturday morning. I’m not a talker in the morning, I sort of *think* my fading dream thoughts at him, “that’s all i know about Brender and Eddie, I can’t tell you more cuz I told you already and here we are waving Brender and Eddie goodbye.”

Patch isn’t interested. He just wants his walk. Whoa, whoa, whoa-o-o-o-o-oa.

New Family Photos (1971 -1972)

“I’m on top of the world, Ma!
And I wanna get down!”

These photos start in late 1971 while still living in Tucker, Georgia and bring us through our move to Houston in early 1972, and then our visit to Arizona and Mexico in late summer.

1970 3rd Qtr – Tucker
Stone Mountain. They were still working on the large carving on the front of the mountain at the time. I also played a year of football that Fall and you can see here that I enjoyed it very much.

1970 4th Qtr – Tucker
Christmas in Tucker. Toys!

1971 1st Qtr – Mardi Gras
I wasn’t there. I do remember the beads my parents brought back though.

1971 2nd Qtr – Tucker
Easter in Tucker. Weren’t we cuuuute?

1971 3rd Qtr – Tucker Lake

What I remember most about this lake is the other side in the woods was scary to me – it was so far away, and only big kids would walk all the way around.

1971 4th Qtr Tucker Christmas
Our last Christmas in Tucker. Back then you could still call it Christmas.

1972 1st Qtr – Houston
This is the house Mom still lives in today. The backyard still had grass back then.

1972 2nd Qtr – 4th of July
A bike parade and a firetruck are the best way to celebrate Independence Day.

1972 3rd Qtr – Arizona
Later that summer we took a trip out west to Tuscon Arizona, then over the border to Mexico. I remember getting a clay puppet and getting it all boxed up. When Customs asked me what was in the box, I told them I couldn’t tell them because it was a secret.