One of the things I liked about playing Chess was the people whom I met along the Chess road. The road led me to twenty five states in which I participated in a USCF tournament. Some people make a point of attempting to play in every state. In my case it was happenstance.
I came of age in the South. You can take a boy out of the South, but you can never take the South out of the boy. My father was a Southern Baptist; my Mother was not. My father said he “knew” he was going to heaven. My Mother asked, “How can he know? Nobody knows…” I am agnostic.
Southern Baptists are very conservative people who feel threatened by change, or by anyone who is “not like us.” They do not like anyone who is “different.” The people among whom I came of age did not like John F. Kennedy because he as a “Catholic.” They hated “Jews” because they had killed Jesus Christ. I pointed out Jesus was a Jew and was turned on with venom. “Jesus was NOT A JEW! Jesus was GOD!”
My parents voted for Barry Goldwater
because he was a “conservative,” which was a code word for “racist.” My father worked for a new newspaper, the Atlanta Times, because it was an alternative to the “liberal” (pronounced “liBRUL”-as in “He’s one of ‘dem damned liBRULs!) Atlanta Journal & Constitution, for whom my father once worked. The newspaper was ahead of its time and went belly-up, and so did my father, who had put EVERYTHING into the paper.
I can still recall the first time I saw an American of African descent. An older, dark-skinned woman was walking on our street, about to head up what we called, “the hill.” One of my sisters noticed her and yelled for us to come to the picture window. There were black people living within walking distance of us, but we never saw them because that’s just the way it was in those dark days. The high school I attended, College Park, was integrated the year after I graduated.
Chess helped expand my horizons. I met a fellow whom we called “Mad Dog” with affection. He was really a meek and mild kinda guy, except when sitting across from you at a Chess board. Someone said he played the Alekhine defense “like a mad dog,” and it stuck. I, too, would play the Alekhine defense in those days, and invariably had difficulty playing against the Mad Dog’s Alekhine defense.
Mad Dog was Jewish, but had been excommunicated from his family when he married a gentile, with whom he had a daughter. Like my father, the Mad Dog worked for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. We would sometimes get together and play Chess in the Central City Park, located at Five Points in the heart of the city of Atlanta. Former Georgia Chess Champion Bob Joiner also worked downtown in the office of the Public Defender. John “Smitty” Smith worked for the state downtown, and we would play Chess during lunch hour. Years later Chess tables were put in the park, which had a different name. I had to travel to Grady hospital to participate in a memory study in my sixties and walked around our old stompin’ grounds, surprised to see one of those really large Chess sets, in addition to the usual size tables, which were full of players.
Mad Dog was my friend. We did things (he was then divorced) like get together after work at a bar called “The Beer Slug,” which was actually named The Beer Mug. The Slug provided free wings and held things like trivia night. One time a legendary Chess player was with us and we were leading with only one question left to answer. We were having trouble coming up with the answer because they were distracted by two pretty young women. I was racking my brain to no avail when I had to hit the head. “I’ll be back in a moment guys, so do not answer until I return.” They agreed, all smiles as they turned back to the pretty girls. I had a “eureka” moment while whizzing and returned with the correct answer, only to learn they had already turned in our answer, which had been provided by one of the girls. Unfortunately, it was WRONG! I will admit being a prick about it, but, what the hell, I thought later, these two guys, not exactly ladies men, were having the time of their lives…One time the three of us went to a tennis court to hit the ball around, or so I thought. The legendary one and I were attempting to warm up, but the Mad Dog would have none of it. “Let’s PLAY!” he yelled. “Don’t you want to warm up, Mad Dog?” asked the legendary one. “Hell no. Let’s PLAY!” Mad Dog served and I hit a wicked return that caused him to move quickly and…he went down like he had been SHOT! He was crumpled up on the court, writhing in pain. That ended our evening of tennis…Mad Dog was tuff, though, as he refused going to the emergency room. I spent the night on his couch in case he needed help later…
Mad Dog and I would discuss all kinds of different subjects, but the one I recall most vividly is the time he discussed his Jewishness. When he told me his grandparents had been in Nazi concentration camps and had the serial numbers on their bodies to prove it, I was SHOCKED! I mean, it’s one thing to read about such things, but to know someone descended from concentration camp survivors is another thing entirely. The words to a Dylan song came immediately to mind:
When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side
The Dog became interested in Bob Dylan
rather late, relatively speaking, but when he did, he almost became a Bob Cat. He may have liked to quit his job and travel with the Bob Cats, but the Dog limited his shows to a reasonable number. He knew I had been a fan since early teenage years and, after he became a fan, thought more of me. The Dog asked me to drive him to a Dylan concert in Bristol, Virginia. The venue turned out to be what looked like some medieval castle, which we thought was appropriate, but which was a local school of some sort. The Dog had gotten involved with other “Bob Cats” online, with whom he hooked up, having the time of his life. I, on the other hand, was under the weather, but nevertheless made the best of the situation, and have wonderful memories for proof.
The last time I saw Mad Dog we were at the 350 Pizza joint across from the House of Pain, which was the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, for those of you who are unaware. His father had passed away and the Mad Dog was attempting to inform me that since his father had died, he was now the man of the family. “It’s a Jewish thing,” I recall him saying. He was telling me this life was over and a new one beginning. I told him I understood, though the legendary one never got his mind wrapped around that fact. Mad Dog enriched my life, and I am a better person for having known him. People come and go throughout one’s life, but sometimes the memory lingers…
In an interview promoting his new book,
David Cay Johnston
was asked about support of the Trumpster by Joy Reid,
“Why aren’t those numbers getting worse. They seem to have stayed exactly the same.” She was talking about the mid-thirty percent where his support seems to hover.
“Well Joy, as we begin season two of Trump: The White House Reality Show, we are getting a very good measure that there is a segment of the populace who are going to support Donald Trump no matter what… I mean if the worst possible thing could happen, if Robert Mueller
proves Donald Trump is a traitor, you’re going to see a segment of the population supporting him for an entirely different reason. Unfortunately there are people in this country who hate the civil rights movement and those people are going to be with Donald till the end of his life.”
had about the same kind of support when he became leader of Germany as the Trumpster has now. Hitler never had a majority of the people behind him, and neither does the TrumPet. His support emanates from a little above one third of the people of the United States of America. Do not forget THREE MILLION MORE Americans voted for Hillary Clinton
than voted for the Trumpster. If EVERY VOTE COUNTED in our country Donald Trump would NOT BE PRESIDENT! If every voted counted in our country, George Dubya Bushwhacker
would not have become POTUS! A war was fought in this country in the 1860’s to decide whether we would be ONE COUNTRY or FIFTY STATES. Why is it that some, if not most, of those states are “not in play.” If you happen to live in a “red” state, such as Georgia, it matters not for whom you vote. Why vote? This will change only when young people become mad as hell and decide to not take it anymore. Now is the time, but where is the outrage?
Donald poppinJay Trump
is a Republican, or as I think of them, RepublicaNazi. The RepublicaNazi party spawned poppinJay, just as they have accepted “Nazi-avowing Holocaust-denier Arthur Jones
who is running unopposed in the March 20 Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District.” (http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/opinion/ct-sta-slowik-gop-nazi-st-0207-20180206-story.html)
There is a reason this man is running as a Republican. Unfortunately, he is not alone.
All The White Supremacists Running For Office In 2018
Plus candidates who’ve said white supremacist things, hung out with white supremacists, or talked to anti-Semitic publications.
By Christopher Mathias
The leader of any country sets the tone. One does not need a weatherman to know which way the RepublicaNazi wind is blowing.
When young there were so-called, “liberal” Republicans. Now there are no longer even any “moderate” Republicans. The party has become the RepublicaNazi party. You are either, as we say in the South, “With ’em,” or “Against ’em.” I want the world to know I stand with the latter group. The RepublicaNazi’s need to be eradicated like the German Nazi’s were during the second world war.
‘Year One’: A visual reflection of the first year of the Trump presidency
Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures
A gathering of hundreds of white nationalists in Virginia took a deadly turn when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters and killed one person on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. The state’s governor blamed neo-Nazis for sparking the unrest in the college town of Charlottesville, where rival groups fought pitched battles using rocks and pepper spray after far-right protesters converged to demonstrate against a plan to remove a statue of a Confederate war hero. The violence was the latest clash between white supremacists – some of whom have claimed allegiance to Donald Trump – and the president’s opponents since his January inauguration. (Photograph by Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures)
Here’s a really clever effort to effectively eliminate the Electoral College that doesn’t require any changes to the Constitution or any federal law: https://www.nationalpopularvote.com
Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many
choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any
ideas? Appreciate it!