The gateway to freedom...was somewhere close to New Orleans where most Africans were sorted through and sold. I had driven through New Orleans on tour and I'd been told my great grandfather had lived way back up in the woods among the evergreens in a log cabin. I revived the era with a song about a coloured boy named Johnny B. Goode. My first thought was to make his life follow as my own had come along, but I thought it would seem biased to white fans to say 'coloured boy' and changed it to 'country boy'.
I think for my parents it was like "A Boy Named Sue," the Johnny Cash song. A guy named Sue tries to track down his father to take it out on his father for naming him Sue. And his father says, "Look, I knew I wasn't going to be around. So I gave you the name so that you would grow up strong enough to take the hits and fight back." So I like to believe that's why my parents gave me this stupid name.
The Scoutmaster guides the boy in the spirit of an older brother.... He has simply to be a boy-man, that is: (1) He must have the boy spirit in him: and must be able to place himself in the right plane with his boys as a first step. (2) He must realise the needs, outlooks and desires of the different ages of boy life. (3) He must deal with the individual boy rather than with the mass. (4) He then needs to promote a corporate spirit among his individuals to gain the best results.
I actually loved to dress like a boy, and I still kind of do and try to sneak boy's pieces into my wardrobe. I have Levi's boot cut jeans that actually might be from the boy's department, but I love them. Those jeans and flannel are my favorites. If I could choose anything to wear for the rest of my life, I'd just want a boy's outfit.
I've always been very chauvinistic, even in my boy-obsessed days. But I was always a gentleman. I alwaysd treated my boys like real ladies. Always escorted them properly and, in fact, I suppose if I were a lot older - like 40 or 50 - I'd be a wonderful sugar daddy to some little queen down in Kensington. I'd have a houseboy named Richard to order around.
[Lennie meets Joe - he works out that she was named after John Lennon] I nod. "Mom was a hippie." This is northern Northern California after all - the final frontier of freakerdom. Just in the eleventh grade we have a girl named Electricity, a guy named Magic Bus, and countless flowers: Tulip, Begonia, and Poppy - all parent-given-on-the-birth-certificate names. Tulip is a two-ton bruiser of a guy who would be the star of out football team if we were the kind of school that has optional morning meditation in the gym
The boy, who did everything well and with a natural unslumped grace the wraith himself had always lacked, and whom the wraith had been so terribly eager to see and hear and let him (the son) know he was seen and heard, the son had become a steadily more and more hidden boy, toward the wraith's life's end; and no one else in the wraith and the boy's nuclear family would see or acknowledge this, the fact that the graceful and marvelous boy was disappearing, right before their eyes. They looked but did not see his invisibility.
Many years ago a very wise man named Bernard Baruch took me aside and put his arm around my shoulder. "Harpo my boy," he said, "I'm going to give you three pieces of advice, three things you should always remember." My heart jumped and I glowed with expectation. I was going to hear the magic password to a rich, full life from the master himself. "Yes sir?" I said. And he told me the three things. I regret that I've forgotten what they were.
I think we all have a hunger that's hard to name. A lot of people who come to my retreats have never named it before, or else they've named it in church, but they can't actually see the connection between what they're doing with food and this yearning. I call it "the flame" that they have: They yearn for big answers to live a big life. But they have to start with the most basic fears.
I named my camel Katrina. She was a natural disaster. She slobbered everywhere and seemed to think the purple streak in my hair was some kind of exotic fruit. She was obsessed with trying to eat my head. I named Walt's camel Hindenburg. He was almost as large as a zeppelin and definitely as full of gas.
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