Lefty Parent

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Circle of equals

Posts Tagged ‘autobiography’

Coopster Created Part 10 – Long Drive Home

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

It was Sunday December 23 and dad, David and I sat in a booth at dad’s local favorite Xenia coffee shop that served breakfast fast food style. Instead of having someone wait on your table, you bought your food at the counter like you would at McDonalds and took it back to your table. That way no need to tip, which dad always tried to avoid. That morning’s conversation was mostly about football, including Miami of Ohio’s upset victory over Florida in the Tangerine bowl Friday night, plus yesterday’s pro football playoff games. We distracted and medicated ourselves with vicarious game highlights, instead of acknowledging the sadness that our long weekend together was ending, and we had the long four-hour drive back to Ann Arbor ahead. Dad’s drive that day would actually be eight hours, since he had to turn around and drive the four hours back down to Xenia alone. At least he would have the playoff game between the Dolphins and his local favorite Cincinnati Bengals to listen to on the radio.

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Coopster Created Part 9 – Dr Z

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

It was Thursday morning December 20, just eleven days left in a very eventful year, and just some 100 days left until my nineteenth birthday. The thought of turning nineteen in April felt strange to me. All my teen years I had felt like an eighteen-year-old in waiting. That milestone was pretty much the age of majority, gaining one the right to vote, to drink, to smoke tobacco (if I cared to which I didn’t), plus the adult possibility of being drafted, and whatever decision I would have to make if that happened. But having achieved that iconic Alice Cooper “I’m Eighteen” thing, I really had no similar desire to get any older than that.

There was that iconic statement from a young activist, “Don’t trust anyone over thirty!”, that was often repeated by those above or below that age. I couldn’t tell you who said it, but it was really very provocative for people on either side of that divide. I had no desire to get that old, and somehow lose some real or imagined revolutionary cred. I had lived in that zeitgeist of almost, and then actually eighteen, for years now. Comfortably so apparently, and the thought of turning nineteen somehow felt like the clock would start ticking, and before I knew it I’d be thirty. Weird!

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Coopster Created Part 8 – Barracuda

Friday, July 13th, 2018

It was Wednesday December 19, and my radio, coaxed me to a waking state, tuned to the rock station WABX. I heard yet again the title song from Bowie’s new album Aladdin Sane, the lyrics of the song’s chorus intrigued the Coopster in me…

Who’ll love Aladdin Sane
Battle cries and champagne just in time for sunrise
Who’ll love Aladdin Sane

“Aladdin Sane” sounded exactly like “a lad insane”, and I was sure that double meaning was intentional on Bowie’s part. Who would care about a young person with crazy, outside the box ideas? But what if that young person was in fact a wizard with magical powers. Might that provide a method to their madness? I had often been afraid to express some of the innate wildness inside me for fear people would ridicule me, see me as “a lad insane” as it were. Perhaps I needed more faith in my outside the box thinking!

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Coopster Created Part 7 – Rehearsal

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical version of the Cinderella story was the current production of YTU, in rehearsal for a January curtain. It was the first time since I met Angie and Lane three years ago that none of the three of us were in one of our theater company’s big musical productions. We were like alumnae now, moved on to other venues to pursue our continuing interests in theater. And with the departure of Robert this past fall, the theater company’s founder, and the recent untimely death of its musical director Tara, our youth theater group had acquired new adult leadership. YTU was now affiliated with the new Community High School, and CHS teachers Steve and Betsy, were playing the Robert and Tara roles. Beyond these two new adult overlords, most of the youth currently in the company were our friends and comrades.

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Coopster Created Part 6 – Angie & Lane

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

It was Saturday, December 15, and I awoke from my second night in my basement “lair”, as my mom was now jokingly calling it. My clock-radio had been tuned to the Rock radio station WABX last night and the music popped on. As I was wrestling myself into consciousness I heard that great lyric from the “Karn Evil 9” song on the new Emerson, Lake and Palmer album…

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside

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Coopster Created Part 5 – The Basement

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

It was Thursday morning December 13, as I came to consciousness in my bed in what had been my bedroom and was now my mom’s office slash guest room. I woke up from a dream where I was still traveling except I had lost my plane ticket home and did not have the money to buy another one. I was grateful it was only a dream and that I was in fact home. The light through the casement window was more subdued this morning. Yesterday’s sunshine had given way to a more typical gray winter day. My stuffed full backpack was still there leaning against the side of the Herman Miller chest of drawers, like I was still backpacking and just spending a few nights in my host du jour’s guest room. My head was kind of stuffy and achy too, from smoking all that weed yesterday. But I was still glad I had, and looking forward to firing up the joint Clark had “lent” me, at least at some appropriate point on this day. My clock radio indicated it was 10:25, so getting to bed after 2 AM last night it was still a good night’s sleep. I noted that my clock radio had the same sort of electromechanical mechanism of flipping metal slats displaying the appropriate series of numbers – on mine, one to twelve on the hour slats and double zero to fifty-nine on the minutes – as the big boards in the European train stations that I loved to watch and listen to them clickity clack.

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Clubius Incarnate Part 1 – Dubious

Friday, December 15th, 2017

My parents when I was three

I didn’t start talking until I was three years old. Prior to that I responded to words and sentences from my mom and dad, as well as others, but rarely uttered more than a word myself. My smiles and frowns, head nods and shakes, plus following verbal instructions, and other nonverbal indicators reassured my parents that developmentally I was on track. My dad said I was just “dubious” about the world. He sensed my shyness and introversion, which he shared. My mom was the opposite, gregarious and an extrovert, and worried more about things, including her mostly silent son. Perhaps to tease her, or to ease her worries, or both, my dad made up a story that I was a noble Roman philosopher reincarnate, skeptical about this modern world I had been born into. “Clubius” he called me, since it rhymed with “dubious” while sounding classically Roman.

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Coopster Created Part 4 – Billy & Alice

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

It was still Wednesday December 12, but no one really cared. The four of us were in line outside Crisler Arena, my three comrades listening to my stories as I continued to recount my European journey. Though we were already pretty high, Clark produced one of the “jays” from his pocket and we joined many of the other people in line who were engaged in the same concert preparation.

The oval indoor basketball arena, which seated over 12,000 was situated just east of the “Big House” (UofM’s biggest in the county college football stadium). The arena had been built in the mid 1960s, based on a growing interest in the University’s men’s basketball team after Cazzie Russell led that team to three straight Big Ten championships from 1964 to 1966. Several years later the arena was renamed after Herbert “Fritz” Crisler, the retiring Michigan athletic director, who had played a key role in championing the place being built. As my mom and dad explained it to me, he had been a famous and innovative Michigan football coach during the 1940s, whose greatest legacy to the game of football was to invent the concept of having a different set of players play defense and offense, transforming the game into its modern incarnation.

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Coopster Created Part 3 – Eberwhite Woods

Friday, November 17th, 2017

The churchyard from Eberwhite Woods in winter

It was still Wednesday December 12 and I walked through the familiar streets of my home town. There were patches of dirty snow on the ground, in spots shaded from the sun, remnants from a snowfall probably more than a week ago. But the sky was clear and the temperature was above freezing, which was quite a nice day in Ann Arbor terms for this time of year. From Bicycle Jim’s I was walking west on South University through campus with the UGLI and graduate library on my right and the law school across the street on my left. Though this was my home town, I felt like an outsider of sorts on this street in the midst of campus, just a “townee” and not at this point a college student, at least until next fall when I planned to go back to Western in Kalamazoo.

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Coopster Created Part 2 – The Blue Front & Bicycle Jim’s

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

The Blue Front

It was still Wednesday December 12, a mild winter day in Ann Arbor with the sun shining and the temperature above freezing. I walked along the sidewalk on the north side of Wells street headed west, looking out onto Burns Park and my old elementary school to my left across the street. School was in session for the rest of this week before the two-week winter holiday, and kids were out at recess running and playing with their youthful energy and a hint of that manic intensity that went with being temporarily unleashed from the classroom.

While I was phasing in and out of consciousness in bed this morning, before officially waking up and starting my first day back in the States, I had heard the vocalizing of a large scrum of kids about fifty yards from my window. I knew they must still be playing their large unsupervised soccer game before school. Probably my fondest memory of my school days in fifth and sixth grade at Burns Park Elementary School were those big, pretty much every morning and lunchtime, loosely organized games. They were “anarchic” in the best, informal governance, sense of that word. Run by the assembled group of kids, with no adults in sight, and only a few simple rules. Sixth graders on one team versus fourth and fifth graders on the other. All soccer balls in play at the same time. No official score kept. Between morning and lunchtime games, it was a good forty to sixty minutes of aerobic exercise each school day, and I remember us playing pretty much in any weather conditions.

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