The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal


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More dead, better dead, more better dead...
bigbananaslug
bigbananaslug
Two brilliant men died today. Brilliant in their own ways.

Eugene McCarthy, for whom I worked as a campaign volunteer in 1968, at the age of sixteen.

Richard Pryor, who made modern comedy, as the heir of Lenny Bruce and Lord Buckley.

As my old friend Eric Peterson wrote me tonight, "Not sure which saddens me more..."

I remember going to bed early the night of the California Primary in 1968, only to have Steve Gale (who'd just gone to work for Bobby Kennedy after working with me for Clean Gene) call me to tell me that Bobby had just been shot. I remember waiting while Kennedy's great heart kept his body alive, he already brain dead.

I remember going to see Richard Pryor, him full of anger at the way blacks were treated.
And I remember Silver Streak: "We bad, we baaad!" And Pryor's eyes saying more than he ever could with his voice.
Richard Pryor was unique, now there are hundreds. There is still prejudice and discrimination, but it isn't sanctioned by law and custom, not anymore. Pryor did as much to make us all understand as anybody, Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson, anybody. And it is understanding that builds bridges, that makes barriers fall.

It was Bobby's death, and the wisdom of people like Richard Pryor that made me realize that the Government wasn't going to fix it. I realized that we all, of and for ourselves, needed to fix it. And now we have new challenges we need to fix. Because that's the turn of every generation.

Bananaslug.

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It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...

(Anonymous)
Bananaslug,

Thanks for the props.

My mother's (no, she hasn't changed a bit) was as follows:

"Eugene McCarthy had 22 more years than Richard Pryor, but with "assisted living" I'm not sure that was a good thing. Still, I feel sadder about the latter.

"One of your father's proudest moments at calpubco was getting Calaveras County to go with McCarthy."

Our mutual friend, Mr. Salas, was inside Kennedy's SF headquarters, while I was outside them, at the time he was shot. Our paths wouldn't cross until we both wound up in Casa Primera at AESC, UCSC a couple of years later.

Best regards to all, and write if you get work... *grin*,

ep

Re: It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...

shhh...don't tell! They think I _am_ working. They pay me for this editor gig.

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