I grew up in a house that was steeped in the beauty of democratic politics. My mother, sitting in her rocking chair in the dark dining room, set into the streets of Brooklyn. With windows at sidewalk height framing feet passing by, and through the iron bars set in place for protection, the late day sun slanting thru the dusty air there; she sat, slung across the chair with her legs curled to the side looking at the radio from which came the liberal voices of my generation ...and country music icons, (and a young Don Imus.)
Up above her on the wall were pictures and quotes torn from the magazines and newspapers that she was always reading. Some she copied down in ink on the kitchen door, or painted around the top of the bathroom up by the ceiling; many of these clips were from the brothers who had already been killed on those days when everyone in the neighborhood seemed to sit down on the nearest stoop and weep; those days when even in the pall of scandal and darkness, there were still those who stood up and stared into the face of their murderer, regardless of the effects on their careers and lives, for what was right and moral for all people. There was a kind of hope in those days, and underlying it all was this feeling that even though we spoke of alternativesas we negotiated through checks and balances, humanity prevailed.
When I remember Teddy it will always be as part of that dark, cool house in Cobble Hill, full of hope and love for the process...before it all went bad...and standing as a little girl seeing America's royalty go by in the back of big old convertible cars, with police in white gloves holding back a crowd, and them waving, all tanned and full of possibility...and my mother, a good Massachusetts girl, who believed in the rights of others and care of the poor. What is there left to believe in?
"What is it about (this) that drives you Republicans crazy?..." he asked. Why do you hate the working class so much? What has become of us? What will become of us now? Godspeed Teddy...
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