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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

My friend Bill Duker’s poem was well received and I was asked if I would provide another. I do not intend to do so on a regular basis, but below is a poem recently written which is worthy of dissemination to a broader audience than just a few friends.

The price we pay to imagine we’re free, Wave the flag “from sea to shining sea."

Freedom to speak unspeakable hate; Freedom to bear arms, as if we were a military state.

Freedom of religion, because “In God we trust;” Trial by a jury of our peers, as if that were just.

No cruel and unusual punishment, except execution. Freedom of a press, once a responsible institution.

Freedoms that lead to massacres in schools, Freedoms that allow the organizations of fools.

Freedoms that allow hatred to infest, Freedoms given to those we detest.

None of these freedoms protect a mother’s right to choose. None of these freedoms can give back all we lose.

None of these freedoms work in a world gone wild, Without civility; freedoms that are out of style.


Readers, I am not qualified to critique poetry or literature. The best I have done is write reviews for a mystery bookstore many years ago. However, sometimes Mr. Duker gets to me with words that he literally throws together in a few minutes. This is an example.


The first or second day after the Roe v Wade leak, I wrote, semi-tongue-in-cheek, that if I were a football coach from the Big Ten or one of the west coast football programs, I would be going after every outstanding players recruited by Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma and the like where abortion is fully or almost fully banned, and try to get them to change their minds.

What I forgot, and for which I owe all women, particularly competing women athletes, the deepest of apologies, is that I did not focus as I should have on women’s athletics which are really big time stuff. There are many colleges and universities where the women’s athletic teams are as popular and as big or more so that their men’s counterparts.

What about these great high school athletes? If some track or basketball star playing in Oklahoma or Texas were to get pregnant, the pun is too obvious, so I will just say she is in big trouble. If the female athlete has to carry a baby to full term, her athletic career could be over. We are not just talking about losing a year or more of college competition but also, in some instances, a professional career as well. Many women golfers on the pro circuit played college gold. Pro women’s basketball and track and field are big deals, not to mention all the Olympic events. Women’s swimming and diving come to mind.

My advice to any young woman athlete is to get the hell out of Dodge (and Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and Oklahoma) as fast as you can. You cannot afford losing a year having a baby. And then there is the matter of taking care of the baby.

It should have occurred that all these people who are insisting that every pregnant woman have her baby have not addressed for one second who pays for and takes care of the child after birth. Seems only fair that the State Legislatures so quick to stop abortions "no matter what" forgot to address the aftermath of their horrific decisions.

Then, and I could write volumes on this stuff, there is the inherent unfairness of the star quarterback on the men’s football team, impregnating the star center on the women’s basketball team. Whose season will end prematurely.? Whose Olympic hopes could be in tatters?


Things went very well for me yesterday at the hospital. I need to wear the brace for another two weeks but only when I am walking. I can do anything that does not hurt my leg. The crutches will be around for awhile, but I should be fully recovered in maybe six weeks, maybe sooner. Thank you all for wishing me well

By the way, all my medical care, except the private doctor who first saw me for euros 56, was free, including the ambulance. We brought the surgeon who saw me three times and took X-rays twice a gift with which he was very pleased, but very surprised.


We go for our Covid tests in an hour and then my job is to stay out of Barbara’s way.

Another major hurdle overcome. Not only did we both pass our tests but the pharmacy could not have been nicer. When the pharmacist learned I was on crutches, she came out to the car and I never had to move. Virtually without exception, the Florentines are very very kind .


Marlins were not even competitive losing 7 to 1.


Someone once defined “ambivalence” as watching your mother-in-law go over a cliff in your new car. To say that I have mixed feelings about returning to Florida tomorrow is an understatement.

How happy I am will, to a great extent, depend on how I can get around for the next several weeks. There is plenty to do and lots of people to see if I can get around.


Go Ukraine

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