Saturday, 08/22/09, Public Square

bookrox1It’s Saturday!

wicked will be at WaldenBooks in TowneWest today from 12 noon to 2ish (maybe as late as 3!) for a book signing.

Tonight at the Cotillion is The Flicker Lounge ’80s Band Reunion.  How many long-time Wichitans spent their 18th birthday at The Flicker (and that wasn’t the first time you were there!).  🙂

What’s on tap for your Saturday?



Filed under The Public Square

15 responses to “Saturday, 08/22/09, Public Square

  1. David B posted on yesterday’s Open:

    Americans for Prosperity may rally tomorrow at noon at
    Representative Todd Tiahrt (R – 04)
    155 North Market Street, Suite 400
    Wichita, KS 67202

    Anyone interested in going to support reforms?

  2. Truer words were never spoken —

    “When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.”
    – George Bernard Shaw

  3. jammer5

    From Mudflats, and excellent reply to the morons who equate Obama and Nazis:
    On my 21st birthday, I woke up in the morning and drove to Dairy Queen. I got soft serve vanilla ice cream with strawberry topping and I ate it for breakfast. Why? When I was a child I asked once if I could have ice cream for breakfast, and my mother said, “You can have ice cream for breakfast when you’re 21.” And so I did.

    My father spent his 21st birthday in a prisoner of war camp. Deaf in one ear, and completely flat-footed, he could have easily been a “4-F” and escaped service for medical reasons. He was a peaceful man but he, like so many of his generation, felt the need to serve his country, and to fight againgst the fascism that was threatening to engulf the democratic nations of Western Europe, and had even attacked the United States.

    When he was 20 years old, he’d been taken prisoner by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge, was marched for miles, imprisoned, and starved. Like many men of his generation, veterans of World War II, he didn’t talk about it much. He held his memories close to his chest. If he talked to anyone about them, I didn’t know. It was only many years after his service and just before his death that he shared some of those memories with me.

    Starvation does strange things to people. He told me that after a while in the camp, he had the same recurring dream, every night – a stack of pancakes topped with two fried eggs, sunny-side up. He’d dream that dream over and over, a still frame, a picture of a breakfast that never came. He told me that his fellow prisoners got so hungry that once they had killed and eaten a cat that had strayed into the camp. You don’t forget a story like that.

    Or the story of the man in the camp, who snapped. In peace time, we’d have called him a boy. Suddenly and without warning in the middle of the day, out in the yard, his mind went. He ran for the fence in a desperate effort to escape. There was nowhere to go, and in broad daylight with armed guards everywhere, he didn’t stand a chance. My father, who was quick to pick up languages, had learned some German. “Don’t shoot! He’s crazy! He’s lost his mind! He doesn’t know what he’s doing!” my father called out to the guards as he ran out in the yard waving his arms. The man kept running for the fence, and he climbed, and the guards didn’t shoot. They waited until he reached the top. And then they shot him. They left him there for three days as a warning to anyone else who might have been thinking about escape.

    Any survivor of World War II has stories. Millions were never able to tell them. Their lives ended on battlefields, and in gas chambers, at the hands of the Nazis. My dad was able to tell me some of his experiences, but most of those memories died with him, like they died with many vets and victims of the war. I didn’t even know he’d received a Purple Heart until after his death. But he survived. He survived to marry the girl he left at home, to buy a house, to get a college degree, to start his own company, and to raise a family of five children.

    I asked my dad if he ever got his stack of pancakes with the fried eggs on top. I imagined it being his first meal after the Russians had liberated the camp. The Germans had heard that the Russians were coming, and they left quickly in the night. The prisoners hadn’t known what was happening until two days later when the Russian army came and let them out, confused and near death. No, he told me, he never did have the pancakes and eggs. It took months in the hospital to build his system back up to where he could eat normally. He began at 5′11″ weighing less than 100 pounds, and started with an IV, then a liquid diet, then cream of wheat, and finally solids. A fellow prisoner, he said, on his way from the camp to the hospital in France had managed to get a hold of a box of donuts and had gorged himself. He died a free man, but still a victim. By the time my dad was able to eat that stack of pancakes and eggs, the desire had passed.

    I remember as a child I was not allowed to watch Hogan’s Heroes. It wasn’t a joke in my house. There was nothing funny about prisoner of war camps. There were no handsome well-fed prisoners with secret tunnels under their bunks, and pirate radio equipment who always managed to play their captors for the fool. There were frightened, emaciated young men whose minds and bodies were broken an ocean away from home, who were shot on fences , and who ate cats, and watched their friends die. There was nothing to laugh about. Those were Nazis.

    I am tired of people comparing Obama to Hitler. I am tired of seeing signs with swastikas and nazi symbols at health care rallies. I am tired of people saying that a health care plan designed to uplift millions of Americans to give them dignity, and choice and the ability to care for their families, is like Naziism. I am tired of Rush Limbaugh.

    As time passes, and as the greatest generation becomes a memory, passing into history one soul at a time, it is up to the generations that follow them to keep “Hitler” and “Nazi” out of the clutches of those who would make them political buzzwords for people they don’t like, or policies they don’t understand. Those words remind us of the worst that people can be. There is nothing horrible about Germans in particular that caused them to do these things. This is humanity’s dark potential, and something that we all need to remember, whether we were there or not, or whether our family was affected or not, because this is what people can do to each other. To strip those words of their power and meaning in order to create political fear for self-gain is inexcusable and needs to be confronted and refuted whenever it arises, by all of us, whether we support the current health care bill and the current president or not.

  4. David B

    HELP ME! Say something kind and encouraging.

    I went to the anti-reform rally. 1 in about 40.
    Typical right wing fruit-stand,
    Birthers. “It’s PROVEN the birth certificate is fake.” Deathers. “Death Panels are in the bill.” Kansas State Sovereignty flyers. (Meeting in Mulvane Aug 23rd, a Beck inspired 912 outfit. Heritage Organization flyers on what cap & trade will cost Kansans.

    When informed of my ignorance or insulted, I said, “Thank you very much, sir!” I only engaged one neurologist in some conversation. He was reasonable, but was full of misinformation.

    When I arrived, one swaggering guy was talking about his guns and I heard him say “Obama” and “whacking him.”

    I asked him, “You don’t want the president whacked to do you?”

    He said that would be the best outcome.

    I asked him,”You are not going to harm the president are you?”

    He asked who I was and I introduced my self and asked again, “You’re not going to harm the president are you?”

    He got very cagey, people backed away as he mentioned his first amendment rights.

    Had he said the wrong thing, I would have used my cell and called the police right in his face.

    Tough to be there on my own… but I needed the sun, anyway..

    I feel like I need a shower.

  5. WOW, David, you’re brave and I admire you for going. I was chicken and went to Rox’s book signing.

    We are in Kansas! It doesn’t surprise me that typical Kansans were present. But Kansas in one of a very few states where ill-informed people are the majority.

  6. David B

    It was fun.


    If I knew Wicked was so babe-alicious, I would have changed my choice of entertainment! Yeeehaa!

    • wicked

      David, good luck finding that person in the pphoto. Add twenty years to it and you’ll be close. It’s the friendliest photo I have and was taken back in the day when I was involved in community theater.

      Of the three of us that signed our books today, I’m the oldest, and all three of us have grandchildren. 😉

  7. Well, I got a hug at the book signing! Did you get any hugs at the ‘anti-reform rally’?

    • wicked

      Of course fnord got a hug!! Julie stopped by with the girls, too! I abhor book signings, but doing it with my two friends made it fun. Everyone who stopped by was wonderful. I sold all twenty of the books ordered for the occasion and came home smiling. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, fnord!! And it was great to meet your mom!

    • tosmarttobegop

      OH that it too colded! I am still laughing but that is so cold! If he did would he admit it? And would you want a hug at such a event?

  8. David B

    Grrrrrr, not a single hug. One “God bless you,” though… and one agreement that we were both wanting the best for America from the same person.

    I was praised for maybe being naive instead of a monster…

  9. David B

    I want to make a LARGE pro-reform banner that will take two to hold. They had two giant anti-socialism banners.

    I was out-gunned, but not outmaneuvered.

  10. Iggy,

    While at today’s book signing I bought not just wicked’s latest but also “The Family.” Now I just have to find the discipline to read a book instead of a blog. 🙂

  11. Terry Krier

    Can I please please use your words and your story to email to my friends rather aquaintences who have fallen prey to the lies and myths being passed around the internet now. Your story needs to be passed on. It was a great piece.