If you spend any time doing business on the internet — “Branding Yourself” — is an important part of the process even if it seems shameful and unseemly and selfish: Enjoy it! It’s what you’ve become by being here!
When I was in sixth grade in Nebraska — around the time Alex Haley’s ovaric “Roots” novel was making its debut in the world conversation about America’s shameful treatment of slaves — our teacher, who was Lily-white born and bred and a staunch conservative from Oklahoma, decided to hold a “historical” debate with a bunch of 11-year-olds on the topic of abolition.
Children are some of the most vulnerable in society. They are trusting by default and unaware by necessity of nature. Popular culture and the Arts are filled with the sexual exploitation of, and the aggrieved results of, unattended children in peril with no one to protect their best interests except, oftentimes, their grooming predators.
Thirty years ago, as an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, I wrote a play: A Stone’s Throw. The full-length drama was about the dilution of the human spirit forged against the willful hard-edge of moral exhumation — but my production quickly became known on campus as “That Abortion Play.” You may download an early draft of “A Stone’s Throw” on this Boles.com Prairie Voice Archive Scripts page; and here some of the reviews of the production.
Memory is an acute thing. It can baptize you, take you over, reflect on where you’ve been and, in some extreme cases, incapacitate you. Memory can also warm, warn and welcome you — and this story is a matter of the latter in the name of one my earliest mentors and influencers, Rick Alloway. Yes is hard. No is easy. Rick Alloway was always a Yes Man in the most honorific possible way.
Rick gave me my start in radio at KFOR 1240 and KFRX 103 in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was 13-years-old, and he helped correct me, win me and convince me in every single way of the world. He was never harsh or cruel or condescending — even when you earned such treatment. His greatest talent was simply listening and being infinitely patient. In the radio advert below, Rick is in the front row wearing a mustache and I’m right next to him sporting the sun-sensitive hipster glasses.
A long time ago, in a lifetime far, far away — when I was still eating flesh and muscle — there was a grand tradition during Summertime in Nebraska for family and friends to get together and eat outside under the sun, moon and stars. BBQ was a rite of passage and to get there, you not only had to learn how to BBQ, you also had to be a master eater as well.