Mary Beth Writes

Did you ever have to tell the truth when it was hard? Did you ever lie to avoid a hard situation?  Did you ever know a hard, wrong thing but you told no one because it was going to be complicated and some people wouldn’t believe you and you might end up disrespected or worse for “telling on” someone else?

Most people work hard at learning truth-telling when they are 4 and 5-years old.

These are questions I’ve been considering since we watched the Jan 6 commission reports. Monday morning former Attorney General Bill Barr said that he’d told Trump three times the election had not been stolen.

Bill Stepien, head of Trump’s campaign, admitted he knew from election night onwards that there was no fraud. That the numbers were so large for Biden it was not feasible that what was happening was crooked. And he said this to Trump. (BTW, as of Twitter this morning Stepien’s baby has not been born yet)

On and on. All those people (were they ALL privileged white men?) were aware that Trump was telling lies to destabilize our confidence in our election. 

As one commenter said, “His lying created an existential threat of people losing trust in our government.”

Those so-called leaders could have said the election was true and valid in November and December after the election. They sat on their thumbs. January 6th happened and our nation will never be the same. These men have known the dangerous Stop the Steal propaganda was and is a traitorous lie, but they said nothing. Barr waited for his book to come out and the rest have “just been busy”?

Those men would have been busted from nursery school.

Disgust and anger over here.

And just because it is so easy to say, “They are all crooked.”  They are not. There are women and men who have been chipping away to demand and find the truth since January 2021. Trump was impeached twice. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger have become household names. Many Democrats are working to safeguard our republic in this crisis.

This is not a time to be cynical.  It’s too easy to say, “all politicians are corrupt.”  That’s approximately as true as all plumbers are …. And all doctors are … and all teachers are …  and all people who own pit bulls are …  yadda yada.

In a crisis, our best practice and skill is to know the character of those around us. Pay attention. Know what’s going on. Being informed is a radical act when lies and slander fly.

We had Global Climate Crisis here the other evening it rained so hard there were WAVES on our street, although it only lasted a half hour. This was the biggest rain dump we have witnessed since we moved here.

We are all in Global Climate Change now.

What’s going on where you live that you have never quite seen or experienced before?

You want some Upbeat? 

I got that, too.

Last weekend we went to the DePaul (Chicago) graduation of our daughter who completed her master’s degree in computer stuff. DePaul is so huge they only do the graduation ceremony for a few of their schools at a time.  She was scheduled for graduation of the Fine Arts School plus the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media. This was a thousand (?) students plus their families) and it was in Wintrust Arena (where the Blue Demons play). And we had to be there at 8AM! 

It was awesome! I had tears in my eyes often, and it wasn’t just my pride for my smart kid who. (Who, when she was in grammar school and someone would how old I was, would answer before me because math lives in her brain.)

It was glorious being in that arena where America was at its absolute finest. Young people of all races, skin tones, and attitudes. All proud of themselves. Families who were dignified and elegant, families in screaming t-shirts with their grad’s name on them. Skinny little dads from India or Pakistan with dress pants and sports jackets and small smiles, the kind of parents who worked two and three jobs for decades to get their kid to this moment. African American families beaming. Hispanic people. Folks from everywhere.  So much dark hair!

Move over politics and the damn Dow Jones. This is our best American story.

We want to know when and where this nation is working? Go to the college education of a public university.

The service started with a powerful acknowledgment of the native land on which Chicago and DePaul was built. Then we heard the Star-Spangled Banner song by a handsome man with dark skin and a huge smile and a voice to call angels.

I have never been more proud to be American.

Our daughter gave herself the future she has been working towards. Recently she started an amazing job that pays an amazing amount of money.

Last Friday she adopted a shelter pup.

Meet Pork Chop.

 

(I’m going to be gone a long day. Send your comments as usual; I will post them tomorrow evening.)

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

A little teary, here. Thanks.

clapping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Witnessing your child's graduation is ...so much! A wonderful experience. Re: Jan 6. Liz Cheney's words "... your dishonor will remain" has stayed with me. They live inside me. Despite Stepien knowing that there was no fraud and Trump Lost, he now works in a campaign that promotes the election was stolen. The fact that the lie continues is truly frightening. Disgust and anger here, too. Trump is a traitor, and should be treated as such. Patricia

Handsome, alert fellow! He will be a great companion for her.

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Three Things / Story, Eclipse, Brando

1. I scheduled my Substack story to go out at 8AM this morning. I just looked to see why it didn’t show up and it says it is going to be sent at 8:49 tonight. I’m going to leave it like that. Maybe 9PM on a weekend night is a good time to send short fiction. Let me know if you have an opinion.

2. I read this quote by Marlon Brando who said this early in his career. “I’m not afraid of anything and I don’t love money.”

Even though this is probably not exactly true of me and you, I do love the bravado.

Peace Like a River / Book Report

4/3/2024 She Writes

I just finished reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and I am going to talk about it for a little bit before I forget how profoundly interesting and evocative this book was and is, at least to me.

I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

My Grandkids & 'Wandering Stars'

4/1/2024

The past month has been jam-packed. The week in Mineral Point. Len’s two-day seminar in Chicago. Last week we had various grandkids here for three overnighters and yesterday our family came to Easter dinner here in our house which was clean after a week with grandkid overnighters so you know that was a piece of cake. Len smoked two hams (yes, hard to keep them lit) and I made the largest amounts of from-scratch scalloped potatoes plus macaroni and cheese that I have ever made. As in, I grated four pounds of cheese Saturday afternoon. “On Wisconsin.”

Ghost on a Post / Poetry with Third Graders

3/12/2024

This is what I texted to Len this afternoon after I finished the poetry class with third graders. “I’m done and back. The kids were great and I’m a limp washrag, Teaching forty 8-year-olds for 90 minutes is way more energy than Everest.” I then drank half a beer (I NEVER drink in the afternoon) and fell asleep until the Mineral Point afternoon ‘change of shift siren’ shrieked for several minutes. It’s been a full day.

How 2 Write a Poem (3rd grade edition)

3/7/2024

Next week is my Writers Week at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. I won this when my story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” (Read Here) won first prize in the 2023 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring contest for short fiction.

Winning that contest motivated me to open my Substack account. So far I’ve published 17 stories and only published once twice. (Who noticed that?)

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