Archive for September 2021

James Robert Kane, “No Escape: Long Journey Back from Nam”   3 comments

I just finished reading these 123 pages. A small package of powerful words, quick to read, but long in the impact. This book should receive so much more attention than it has. In well-designed powerful writing the author sends the chill of terror as men fight a war they didn’t ask for and don’t understand. If only more of us were exposed to the horror and its aftermath how different our choices might be! Yes, it’s mostly fiction, but, based on the author’s time in drafted service, it is also powerful reality, including the ravages of the PTSD experience. If you have the courage to experience the message in a short period of time, then you must read this novel.


Several years ago I saved up enough to buy myself a Movado watch at their store in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was a simple classic design as they made them at that time. Mostly black, of course, and I loved it. So much that I had it with me on a cruise. I can’t even remember which cruise it was, though I do know it was the Holland America line because every evening before bedtime I’d enjoy a visit to the steam room, the whirlpool bath, and a rest on the heated recliner. When I returned to my cabin at closing time and readied for bed, I remembered I had put my Movado into the pocket of the terrycloth robe they provided in the ladies’ locker room — the robe I had left hanging there. No need for further detail. I never did recover the watch. Maybe – I hope – someone checked the pockets, found it, and enjoyed it over the years. More likely it went into the ocean with the laundry water. At any rate, it was gone and I grieved it. I thought of buying another one, but by that time watches had gone all big and fancy. On occasion I’d check, with no good result, to see if one was for sale somewhere until I finally gave up. I have two other watches that family gifted me hoping they’d replace the Movado. They did replace it on my wrist, but not in my heart.

Then one day a few weeks ago I woke up thinking of the watch, headed straight to Google and there it was. A used one for sale at a price I could afford. ($135.00). I am so enjoying my “new” Movado, but that’s not why I’m telling you this story. It turns out the sale site was a kind of consignment shop for the 1%. The RealReal. I now get daily emails with the current offers – clothes, shoes, bric-a-brac and other etceteras. Not everything is out of range, but, for example, you could buy a Louis Vuiton vanity case for $1495.00, or Chanel boots for $1295.00. Or there are Gucci sneakers at $595.00. Today there weren’t many handbags offered, but they are often available $1000.00 plus.

That’s why I’m writing this blog, to make real the difference between the two (or more) Americas. I don’t know how to say it, how the languages of money are as different and difficult to comprehend as the difference between spoken languages, with all the errors of understanding that follow – a lesson in social distance.

There you have it – my Movado watch observations.


If I like a book, I want to share it. and I enjoyed reading this one.

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

Basically a “how to” book, I read it as our local social justice group worked on firming up its method of conducting meetings. As it turned out we chose to follow The Circle Way: A Leader in Every Chair by Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea as more appropriate to our needs. But I enjoyed The Art of Gathering for a few reasons. First, it is well and interestingly written, second, it had suggestions that would have been fun to follow in the days when I still gathered larger – or even smaller – groups such as informal dinner parties or even therapy groups. But mostly it turned my memory back to my days as professor and workshop leader. How neat it would be to go back and do some of those classes and presentations utilizing some of this book’s suggestions. It comes as a surprise to me, but I feel free to recommend it as a good read for anyone who deals in any way with structuring groups for business, professional or personal social needs. That, I think, includes almost anyone who interacts with other people.



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