Tag Archive | WM3

The waiting

The waiting is almost over for Tom Petty’s Verizon Arena show and I couldn’t be more excited.

Maybe that makes me a little girl, but his show in Memphis about a decade ago was probably THE best concert I’ve seen, and his music is a huge part of the soundtrack of my life. And my children’s. Can’t wait.

(Hard Promises,  especially, got me through a dark spell. Be sure to click on “the waiting” link for an excellent version of one of my favorite songs.)

Speaking of important/influential people in my life, two icons from my youth departed in the past week.

As Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, Jonathan Frid was an immortal — and someone I rushed home from school to see for a few years – but he passed on Friday, April 13, at 87. (Oddly, just last night I was talking to John about him and we got up to that news this morning. Cue Dark Shadows soundtrack …)

And Arkansas native Levon Helm laid down his weight yesterday at the increasingly younger age of 71.  You made us proud, Levon.

The most important icon from my youth to pass on in April was, of course, my father, who died 30 years ago at 48 on April 24. That’s thirty, 3-0, three decades – so hard to believe in some ways and the reason T.S. Eliot’s “April is the cruelest month,” from “The Wasteland,” sticks so in my head.

And the reason I’m waiting for April to be over this year.

The waiting for the West Memphis 3 to be released from prison may be over, but the waiting for them to be cleared is infuriatingly and embarrassingly far from over, a point made very clear at the William H. Bowen School of Law symposium Wednesday, April 18.

“Exploring Evidence: Lessons from the ‘West Memphis Three’ Cases” was interesting, informative and eye-opening, proving that even though followers might think they know it all, there’s always more to boggle the mind.

This won’t go away, folks. Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Miskelley are still waiting for justice – as are the memories and families of Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore.

All eyes will be on Arkansas again soon as this mishandled and bungled case gets so much new publicity – movies and books will begin springing up all over later this year.

At some point justice will be served.

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April may be the cruelest month in some ways, but April in the Quapaw Quarter is beautiful. One of the nicest things about living downtown is walking the dogs, especially through Mt. Holly Cemetery.

Life downtown keeps getting better, too, as Main Street continues to come back to life. Check out the information about an “idea generation” meeting May 5 to be held at the Oxford American, which has big ideas and plans of its own. Promises to be good.

We downtown-dwellers are excited.

Mt. Holly Cemetery is beautiful anytime, but it's especially radiant in the spring.

"Whatcha doing, Dad?" Tess and Zuzu love running through Mt. Holly, but they don't understand stopping for photos.

Ain’t wasting time no more

So, this is what 12 hours in grad school (for a master’s in gerontology) looks like. That’s just the textbooks – also included is massive reading of articles and chapters from other books, as well as some full-length (and cool) feature films that deal with aging issues. And massive writing of papers, and quizzes and tests.

First semester books

Hope 12 hours doesn’t fall into the “what was I thinking” category. I know I want the degree, and my dreams have started talking to me again, so I’m sure I’m on the right track.

Can’t be as tough as finishing the last two years of my bachelor’s degree (English major, psych minor, massive reading) with two toddlers, right? And this time it’s (lots ’o) cash on the barrelhead, instead of student loans to cover tuition and daycare. So there’s that.

And I’m determined not to let it eat my life. High on the priorities list will remain grandchildren, exercise, other family and friends (two- and four-legged), blogging, and, I hope, at least some of my volunteering. (The West Memphis 3 are free, but the fight isn’t over.) Low on the priorities list will have to be reading for pleasure, housework (hooray!), sleep and most other activities.

I’ll make lists but remain flexible. Or ignore them after making them. Must stay calm. Procrastination runs deep in my veins, so that’ll be a battle too, but, again, must remain calm.

To remind me to do that, a new tattoo, done masterfully by Brandon Johnston at 7th Street Tattoos

Jansport bookbag in “Bleeding Heart” print

It says “shanti” in Sanskrit, which translates to “peace.” (And, no, it doesn’t really say “soy sauce” or any other epic fail; my Nepalese friend Bimal Poudel proofed it for me.) It’s turquoisey-blue for the fifth chakra, which is the center of communication and creativity in thought, speaking and writing. In balance, it’s great. Out of balance, you’re screwed.

The intention is to have something to focus on if I’m feeling stressed or blocked.

And it looks really cool, too.

On the plus side, as well, I got an iPad for notetaking and the cutest Jansport book bag. John likes to tell people that now I have the complete Mac set: an iMac (but it’s old), a 15-inch Macbook Pro, a 32GB iPod Touch, a Verizon iPhone 4 and now a 32GB wifi iPad.

But he just got his first Mac, a 13-inch Macbook Pro, and he uses the iMac all the time, so he’s a convert himself, finally. (We were a mixed marriage for years.) He’s also super-supportive and a grad student too – he gets to go for free since he turned 60 and is taking two Conflict Mediation weekend seminar classes to work on the certificate to go with his law degree.

So Lolly and Pop go back to school. And we won’t be wasting any time. 

And to end on a happy note, here’s Jason Baldwin walking in Memphis!

Bittersweet surrender, but free at last

Long, emotional day – up at 4:30 to drive to Jonesboro, home again at 4:30 this afternoon. Sent packing from the courtroom line after being told repeatedly that we’d made the admissions cut. Oh, well. At least we got to see them walking freely outside.

Can’t possibly imagine how Lorri and Damien, Jason and Jessie and all their families feel, not to mention the families of murdered little boys whose killers still run free thanks to cowardice and pomposity.

But it’s Jason Baldwin who breaks my heart. What a noble soul.

At least maybe now he’ll have a chance to cuddle a baby on a couch as I’m doing. That makes life, even with all the disappointments, ups and downs, worth it.

This Lolly is tired. Over and out.