When I was growing up in the olden days, my white middle-class generation expected their lives to be the same as their parents: the dads worked while the women stayed home and had kids. We were taught that people (men) stayed in one profession their entire lives. And we (I, myself and me) were supposed to follow that pattern: study hard, do well in school, and if you were my gender, have the brain power to find the right mate and make a home; if you were the anointed gender, you chose what you wanted to do, rose up the ranks, saved money and then retired healthy and whole and comfortable.
Not so much. Wars, tragically unnecessary; protests; women’s lib (kudos Betty Freidan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug); the struggle for civil rights (bless you Freedom Riders, Martin Luther King, Malcom X); recession; assassinations; partisan politics; market crashes; a generation’s rebellion, and then the next uprising and the next… change. Little and big, slow and fast, too soon and not soon enough.
When I grew up and went to Berkeley, I firsthand watched the generational shift, then covered the seismic changes for the Daily Californian. The revolution was unstoppable. Until it stopped. And then started. And then stopped. And then started again. That’s evolution, friends, not revolution, and it’s the way of the human beast.
My personal and professional evolution has followed a similar pattern – stop, start, stop, start, hold, leap, do-overs, do-agains… a human life. I’ve been comfortable and uncomfortable, been flush and hung on by a thread. I was kicked out of third grade chorus because of my singing ineptitude, but that didn’t stop me from taking – and loving – singing lessons as an adult. I was always the last chosen for any sport, but that didn’t stop me from taking karate at age 40. I believe that dreaming and tilting at windmills makes life worthwhile.
I am a proud union member, and have been since 1977. I’ve been a receptionist; a WGA Guild committee member and a PGA Board member; volunteered as a student mentor; produced and written television; created film scripts that live but have never seen the light; volunteered for political campaigns; been a legal secretary; an economic associate for a Chamber of Commerce (fooled them on that one); worked as the right hand for the owner of a Major League baseball team; and written a novel.
I’ve practiced many professions, but at my heart’s core I am and have been one thing: a writer. So, welcome, and please enjoy my thoughts, my characters, my stories, and soon, my novel.