April 14. "... this morning (4-11) I heard the happy squawks of the pheasant, and there he was on the wall, fat and splendid after the winter." Mae S had a good reading tour and was home to enjoy a bit of privacy, greet the pheasant and walk the fields alone.
In 1934 Meridel LeSueur had participated in her first march. Not a military parade but an army of protest against unfair labor conditions in Mpls. People died in that strike. She wrote, "You could hear only lies over the radio. And lies in the papers." She reflected, "Our merchant society has been built upon a huge hypocrisy, a cut-throat competition which sets one man against another and at the same time an ideology mouthing such words as Humanity, Truth the Golden Rule, and such." Class struggle is not a new crisis. Poverty has been killing people for centuries. It is a form of political violence. I suppose that's why Jesus said there will always be poor people. But that does not justify or condone or excuse governments and leaders who allow it to continue. We pray Obama will find the courage to declare, "It is time to begin true and honest dialogue on how to bring about a peaceful and just world."
I rarely think much about old beaus but today I remembered Jimmy Manuelita. I'd met him at Fort Defiance, AZ. But I hadn't paid much attention to him until the bake sale and dance at the Catholic Church. I had come with a few of my fellow nursing students. We'd made cookies and cakes. Jimmy approached me and asked what I'd brought. I led him to the table, pointed to my cake and he purchased it. He put the small and neatly frosted chocolate layer cake on a table to be guarded by his friends. Then I slipped into his arms for our first of many dances. He was tall, dark and handsome. He had a perfect smile and laughed often. Our romance lasted two blissful weeks. We were not lovers and neither of us was heartbroken at our last goodbye. By then I'd met Leonard Stewart and was soon enjoying another brief romance. Just think Jimmy and Leonard are probably old now... like me. I think Fort Defiance was my Camelot and nothing terrible ever happened to me there. What has become of all those bright, beautiful youths? How innocent we were.
Feona the happy pig died today. She is buried under the flowering crab apple next to Ikwa the lame lady dog.
April 15. And so the days pass one by one, and step by step we move closer to our graves. When my Uncle Bob was 18 he joined the Navy. I have photos of him so handsome, so brave, so happy. In one he is holding me in his strong arms and I appear to be about 3-4 years old. He was 19 when he came home on leave. We lived in Fosston, MN. He was injured in a car accident. Everyone was drinking. He was a passenger. He suffered brain trauma that left him in a coma for months. When he woke up we had all become strangers. But many years later when I went to visit my grandmother, his mother, I took little Annie along. She was about 4 years old. My Uncle Bob was so glad to see her! She was someone he knew! He called her, "Annamarie". He embraced her and closed his eyes ... rapture on his face. "Annamarie," he kept repeating. He thought she was me. Almost 30 years had passed but in his mind I had remained a little child. And now I had returned at last, at last.