Then, now and looking forward

3 09 2013

On Tuesday, September 10, we’re holding a Civil Rights commemoration at North Sarasota Library starting at 6 PM (with singing of Freedom Songs starting at 5:40 PM while people are arriving).

The impetus to gather people was mainly the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL, in which Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Robertson lost their lives. But with the current attacks on voting rights since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (like the Voter Purges here in Florida), Civil Rights are as immediate and pressing now as they have ever been.

Here’s the flyer –
Sept 10 event poster corrected draft

We’re fortunate that County Commissioner Carolyn Mason will join us to read some of her original poetry, and we have young people from the neighborhood involved, and we’re fortunate that all the available seats have already been reserved (and we’ll be maintaining a waiting list, to fill in spaces for those who can’t make it that night). If you can’t be there, WSLR (96.5 FM Community Radio in Sarasota) is slated to record audio of the event and broadcast it on the actual September 15th Anniversary of the tragedy.

We’re working to join the threads, the generations, and the purpose all together.





Undergraduate sunset

5 07 2013

More precisely, the sun is setting on my son’s undergraduate career. But he’s dragging it out as long as possible. And I don’t blame him.

Nolan E. Bensen graduated this past May from New College of Florida here in Sarasota. It’s a very special place with a unique culture that I believe approaches the ideal in undergraduate education. But more on that another time.

Nolan took some time off from college and had to earn his way back to his current position of achievement. He returned in a much better place to appreciate the possibilities at New College and he’s leaving there with goals that’ll probably contribute to a career path and a vocation. He’s bonded with many friends and contributed to the learning community in which he earned his undergraduate degree.

The sun setting on a major chapter from somebody's life.

The sun setting on a major chapter from somebody’s life.

Although he graduated in May, he’s still on campus working for the summer. In August, he’ll relocate to New York City to attend graduate school at Columbia University.

I took the sunset photo as his student colleagues were crossing the stage to shake the hand of the New College president and receive their diplomas. I hoped he’d like to see some time how the sunset looked while he was graduating. And I look forward to seeing what new chapters dawn for Nolan in the months and years ahead. But it’s a poignant end to a happy time during which my son was enthusiastically excelling in the same town where I’m living. It may never be so easy to enjoy seeing him again. His accessibility will certainly be more limited. And the energies will continue to eddy and swirl in the wake of his departure…








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