Monthly Archives: July 2015

Racism in 1953

It was 1953, in Hampton Virginia, where we had just moved from Erie, Pennsylvania. My dad had been recalled into the Air force for the Korean Conflict. His “Greeting” letter from Uncle Sam had been a shock. We had to leave our newly remodeled house behind and move to Virginia to be with him.

I was on the city bus riding home from my high school in Newport News. A young man, a college student, arms loaded with books boarded the bus paid his fare and grabbed on to the nearest railing.

The bus pulled out into traffic. “Move to the back of the bus,” the driver snarled. The black student ignored him. “I said now, move to the back of the bus,” he repeated.

“No sir,” the student replied. “I am getting off in a few blocks.”

I watched in amazement. I had heard about the civil rights movement but had never encountered such an incident. I silently cheered for the young man. The driver’s face got redder as his anger rose. He jammed on the brakes and pulled into a fire station. Two burly firemen came out to see what was going on; when the irate driver told them, they boarded the bus and physically threw the student out the door.

I was so shocked that for a moment I didn’t know what to do. Then I got my whit’s about me, opened my notebook and recorded the driver’s name and ID number from the front of the bus and the number of the fire station, then described the event on my paper in a few words. My knees were shaking as I went to each passenger on the bus and asked them to sign my petition. Most passengers, about 20 of the 30 on board signed it.

I really didn’t know what to do with the petition itself … at home over dinner I told my parent what had happened. They praised me and encouraged me to do something with the petition. I took it to school and my English teacher persuaded me to write an article and send it along with the petition to the bus company.

I did. Sad to say nothing ever came of it, no response or explanation ever came.

To this day, I haven’t forgotten the young man and his humiliating experience. As a young person, I became aware that discrimination is insidious and we all must monitor our feelings and actions toward others. Because of it I became a champion of the underdog.

Categories: creative writing, essay, memoir, personal stories, reflections, stories, Writing | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Take Three Deep Breaths – Seriously. Do It Now.

Feel better? Yesterday at the Safety Harbor Library in my workshop, Take A Break! De-Stress @ the Library we learned how to “Quiet your mind and gain powerful coping skills, such as power naps, mindfulness, and meditation.”

We had a fun group of women and they told me later that their favorite part was deciding to be a ‘passenger’ in life instead of always being the metaphorical ‘driver.’ We talked about whether our many roles and multitasking, and other’s expectations had put us in ‘control’ too often, and instead of living by a ‘to do’ list it could sometimes serve us well to make a ‘to don’t’ list.

Mostly, while taking a full two minutes to eat one raisin we found that when we hurry through life we miss the savory moments. Where is your mind when you are eating, doing the dishes, or driving the car?

Take Three Deep Breaths – Seriously. Do It Now.

Categories: Story Circles | 1 Comment

Moving Moments From The Past

Another session of moving memories from our group. We missed Sheila, who was on vacation, and in August, I will be away and Sheila will lead the group.

Assignment for August 19th: It is summer! Time to relax and have some fun. So Spend one day this month exploring a place you’ve been meaning to visit but haven’t yet –– a local museum, art gallery, beach, take a boat ride, watch a sunset at a beach bar, or whatever. Does it remind you of anything in your past? Tell us about it in 600 words or less.

Our word limit helps you keep your writing tight and allows more people time to read in class. Later you may wish to expand it into a longer piece for yourself or to submit someplace for publication. A few of our students have expanded their short pieces into books! Jan

Categories: Story Circles | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Technology Frustration & Writing

Hi Everyone,

Well, after months of trying to set up a website which would include my author page, writers blog and one other element for my business – Golden Solutions – I give up. I’d hired an expert, paid a new web hosting company (Fat Cow) and only got more confusion. The worse part was after the expert set up the new site I lost all 148 of my followers. So I am back to the original blog. I guess I’d better stick to writing!

Here is the new assignment for the Safety Harbor Story Circle, July 15, 6-7:45 PM.
Last month we talked about using your senses in writing in order to get the reader more involved in your story. This month write about an activity you did alone or shared with someone, it could be sewing, canoeing, dancing, horseback riding, or just sitting on a beach. Use your senses in describing the place and the people involved. As always keep it to 600 words or less. Our word limit helps you keep your writing tight and allows more people time to read in class. Later you may wish to expand it into a longer piece for yourself or to submit someplace for publication. A few of our students have expanded their short pieces into books! This class is free and open to the public. No reservations necessary.

Announcing a new one-time class! Safety Harbor Library, Saturday, July 18, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Take A Break – De-Stress at the Library! What’s the difference in Mindfulness and Meditation? Learn how to quiet your mind and use powerful coping skills for a more balanced life, with Jan Golden. Free of charge but reservations are necessary. Call 727 269-6719

Please sign-up to follow this blog and get an announcement for each new post. And if you enjoy it please spread the word. Thank You and happy writing. Jan

Categories: Story Circles | Leave a comment

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