Saturday, May 29, 2010

Immigrants R Us

The South Carolina Legislature is considering an anti-immigrant bill much like Arizona’s draconian law. It requires police to check a person’s residency status when stopped or detained for any reason and makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit work. Opponents of the bill say it would lead to racial profiling, marginalize the state’s Hispanic community and polarize the state. On May 28, people who oppose the bill dominated public comment before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee claiming it was un-American and racist.

Bill Bunch, a small-business owner said “It smacks of racism and it smacks of pandering. You’re using these people as pawns for your own political gain.”

I serve on the Board of the S.C. Hispanic Leadership Council. Our Board President, Lad Santiago told the Legislators that “It polarizes our community by allowing for overt distinction of physical attributes and a law that allows this is an affront to all that is fair and just in America.”

Exactly what is fair and just in this land of immigrants? Discrimination and injustices against the “shanty Irish” or the Chinese “yellow peril” because of their race and ethnicity was certainly not fair or just. Over 400 years ago people from Europe migrated to what is now the United States and since then immigrants have come here from every country and region of the world. From the dawn of human history, people have constantly migrated all over the world. But as Hegel said, “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.”

A consensus of historians agree that indigenous people, also known as Native Americans or Indians, were in the Americas at least 10,000 years before the European Christopher Columbus “discovered” America in 1492. Many Native Americans are descendants of people who lived in the southwest and far western region of what is now the United States. Their forebears were there thousands of years before white Europeans came to this continent. They are now called “illegal immigrants” by race-baiting politicians.

When the Spanish arrived in the Americas, Europe was ravaged by war, oppression, religious fanaticism, disease and starvation. Native Americans were generally healthy, and mostly peaceable. Columbus sold his sponsors on the idea he would find a passage to China and the riches of the Orient, but “discovered” the Americas instead, so he decided to pay for his voyage in a commodity he found in ample supply—human lives. He seized 1,200 Tiano Indians from the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic), crammed them onto his ships, and sent them to Spain, where they were paraded naked through the streets of Seville and sold as slaves in 1495. Because Columbus captured more Indian slaves than he could transport to Spain in his small ships, he put them to work as slaves for his family and followers throughout the Caribbean.

It was cheaper to work Indians to death and replace them than keep them alive. In California the native people were forced to work in the fields on a starvation diet. They died from overwork, starvation and disease and were continually replaced, wiping out the indigenous populations.

As a descendant of Choctaw Indians I despise the nationalistic and historically blind rhetoric we hear about immigration.

European conquest of Mexican Native Americans exemplifies such blindness. European Americans under the flag of the United States took the land from these indigenous Americans in the Mexican Wars. Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, and the new Mexican republic included present-day Mexico and the territory that today constitutes five southwestern states and more territory further north.

In 1835 United States settlers in Texas revolted against Mexico, fought at the Alamo in 1836, and formed their own republic. In the years that followed, the United States pushed farther westward. The imperial doctrine of Manifest Destiny, the belief that God had destined the United States to be bordered on the east and west by the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, was used to justify the United States’ encroachment upon Mexican territories. It finally provoked a war in 1846 that enabled the United States to take almost half of Mexico’s territory.

Hard-working Mexicans in the United States had ancestors who lived in the Southwestern part of what is now the United States for thousands of years before there was a United States. Their ancestors were forcibly removed by the United States. Should they be treated as undocumented criminals?

The best solution to the immigration question is Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation at the federal level that will:

Provide a path to permanent resident status and citizenship for all members of our communities;

Reunite families and reduce immigration backlogs;

Secure the border in a humane way;

Punish unscrupulous employers who drive down wages and make it hard for honest employers to compete in today’s economy;

And provide rights to all workers in the United States.

Such Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation must also be enforced primarily by the federal government. The Arizona and proposed South Carolina laws, in practice, will take even more resources away from state and local law enforcement who need to focus on apprehending real criminals who steal and commit violent crimes rather than on poor and peaceful working people who harvest our crops, construct our homes and do service work for our travel and hospitality industry.

A fair and just America must live the promise we make to the world. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”[Emma Lazarus]

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gays in Government

Is He Light in the Loafers? Is She a Homo in Heels?

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Elena Kagan, the United States Solicitor General, don’t seem to have much in common. Though both are attorneys, Graham, Colonel in the US Air Force Reserve and buddy of Senator John McCain, is a Republican. Kagan, former dean of Harvard Law School and Obama’s recent Supreme Court Justice nominee, is a Democrat. However, rumors about their sexual orientation surround them both, and the common question is, should it matter?

When then Congressman Lindsey Graham, ran for the US Senate in South Carolina to succeed Strom Thurmond in 2002, Dick Harpootlian, the Democratic Party chairman in South Carolina, put out a press release saying that Graham, was "a little too light in his loafers". Graham said it "was intended to slander me" and gay writer Andrew Sullivan said it was an example of "liberal gay-baiting." Harpootlian claimed he didn't realize “a little too light in his loafers” was a euphemism for homosexuality.

Recently, William Gheen, a zealot for strict enforcement of immigration laws and head of Americans for Legal Immigration, asked Graham to "tell people about your alternative lifestyle and your homosexuality." Graham supports immigration reform and Gheen said that immigration reform activists threatened to out Graham if he didn’t support comprehensive immigration reform rather than more restrictive laws and their strict enforcement.

On May 17, the Associated Press discussed questions about Kagan’s sexual orientation. "She’s 50, single and has a short haircut. Yup, definitely a lesbian. Or is she? And if so (though that appears to be a big "if"), so what? Should it matter?”

The article said that doubts about Kagan’s sexuality aren’t new but speculation about it is greater now than ever. Uncertainty about her sexual orientation increased when Obama announced her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court a week ago and it has been handled ineptly.

Kenneth Sherrill, an expert in the politics of gay and lesbian rights at Hunter College in New York said, "Even the leadership of the Democratic party is still uncomfortable handling the issue. They don’t know how to handle the question with a ’So what if she is?’" I agree. I was a strong supporter of gay, lesbian bisexual, and transgender rights when I was the Democratic nominee for Attorney General in South Carolina in 1998 and have continued to be on my radio show and in my essays.

Acceptance of gay men and lesbians is a reality now in our pop culture with television shows having gay characters. Increasingly, we are open about homosexual family members and friends.

But with gay public officials, coming out is a big deal, and same sex marriage is a potential issue for the US Supreme Court. The Obama administration appears to think the country is not ready for a conversation about a lesbian on the court.

The Associated Press was told by a White House official that Kagan was not a lesbian, after media reports on the issue surfaced when the administration was considering her. The Obama staffer provided the information only on condition of anonymity. A month before Kagan was nominated, the White House criticized CBS News for an online blog by a Republican, who said she might become the "first openly gay justice."

Ben LaBolt, a White House spokesman criticized CBS, claiming it put out "false charges." Using the word "charges" sounds like it would be a bad thing if Kagan were a lesbian. Later LaBolt said he was talking about the blogger’s suggestions that Obama had an ulterior political motive to please gay rights activists who might help him get reelected. The White House launched a Kagan-is-not-gay campaign that was picked up by Maureen Dowd whose “Supremely Girly Girl” in the New York Times depicted Kagan as a man chaser.

Dowd wrote, “Ignore those wicked whispers about her sexual orientation. I cannot categorically assure you that she never flirted with another young woman when she was at Princeton. But I can categorically assure you that if she did, it would only have been to impress the cute guy in her Philosophy 101 seminar.”

Gay bloggers have implied that Kagan should make a public statement out of respect for herself and the gay community. "In a free society in the 21st century, it is not illegitimate to ask," wrote Andrew Sullivan, "And it is cowardly not to tell."

If Graham is gay he has a case of the J. Edgar Hoover syndrome. The legendary former FBI Director was a gay cross-dresser, according to credible reports, while engaging in homophobic rhetoric and gay bashing. Graham voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, an anti-gay bill, as a US House member in 1996. In 2004, he voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment, another gay bashing legislative initiative. The gay rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, gave Graham a 0% rating in every reporting period from 1995-2008, other than 1999, when he received a rating of 9% on Gay Rights issues. Graham has consistently denied basic human rights to gay and lesbian people. Let’s hope he isn’t another political hypocrite. Otherwise, his sexual orientation shouldn’t matter.

Why doesn’t the White House just say, “Elena Kagan is not a lesbian, but so what if she was one?” And Lindsey Graham should say, “I’m not gay, but so what if I was?”

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Slick and Slimy Killer

When I was a kid our family lived in Mobile, Alabama. We enjoyed the "fish jubilee" over on the Baldwin County side of Mobile Bay. This occurred when the moon and tide reached a certain alignment which caused fish and crabs to swim up to the edge of the water, especially at night. By moonlight with small nets we scooped up flounder, red fish, trout and crabs teeming in the shallow water at the edge of the bay. We also enjoyed our annual vacations at my grandmother’s cottage at Sunnyside Beach near Panama City in the Florida Panhandle.
The sandy beaches were as white as snow. We enjoyed fishing; catching red fish in a cove, flounder under a bridge in a small bay called Phillips Inlet, and red snapper and grouper by bottom fishing out in the Gulf. We gathered oysters in bays and coves. This abundant sea life is now threatened by a slick and slimy oil spill caused by slick and slimy British Petroleum (BP) executives.

The BP oil spill will destroy much of the fish, shrimp, crabs, and the oyster beds. The Gulf region accounts for about one-fifth of total U.S. commercial seafood production and nearly three-quarters of the nation's shrimp output. The oil spill is becoming the nation's worst environmental disaster ever, threatening hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world's richest seafood grounds

"It is of grave concern," David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press. "I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing.”

Meanwhile congressional committee members, probing the spill, focused on possible defects in critical safety devises. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif) called it “a calamitous series of equipment and operational failures. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), an oil industry supporter, said there was “in all probability shoddy maintenance,” as well as “mislabeled components.”

Among the possible ways to plug the leak that is spewing 210,000 gallons of oil a day, BP proposed a so-called “junk shot” procedure, in which shredded tires, golf balls and other material would be pumped into the leak. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) said BP is “largely making it up as they go….When we heard the best minds were on the case, we expected MIT and not the PGA.”

The disaster contributes to a sense that government failed again, just as it did during Hurricane Katrina. Cade Thomas, a fishing guide in Venice, Louisiana said, “They lied to us. They came out and said it was leaking 1,000 barrels when I think they knew it was more. And they weren't proactive."

Without crucial environmental and safety studies, the Obama administration intervened in court to ensure that BP’s Gulf drilling operations would go forward. The administration’s efforts applied specifically to the site run by BP. It exploded on April 26, killing 11 workers and creating an oil slick that is an unparalleled disaster on the Gulf CoastThe Obama administration joined BP in quashing environmental challenges to Gulf drilling in 2009 legal actions by Ken Salazar, Obama’s Secretary of Interior. They asked the federal court of appeals in Washington, DC to overturn their decision that blocked new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico’s outer continental shelf, referring to the same area where the explosion later occurred.

The appeals court partially approved Salazar’s pe
tition, with the condition that the administration produce an environmental impact study for Gulf of Mexico drilling operations. The Obama administration granted BP acategorical exemption” from producing a legally required environmental impact study and approved its exploration plan for the location of the future spill.

The Department of the Interior appealed the ruling, arguing that exploration had begun, and that “attempting to restore the status quo would therefore be extraordinarily difficult.”

Democrats have pushed deregulation as much as Republicans. In the 2008 elections BP employees gave Obama $71,000, more than they gave to any other candidate. They have spent tens of millions lobbying in the past three years, purchasing support of powerful politicians in both parties. BP, the 4th largest corporation in the world with yearly revenues of $327 billion, gave about 60 % of their campaign contributions to Republicans and 40 % to Democrats in the last election cycle.

In 2008 candidate Obama rejected calls to open new areas for drilling, saying, “It would have long-term consequences for our coastlines but no short-term benefits, since it would take at least 10 years to get any oil.” He said off-shore drilling would not lower gas prices. And, “when I'm president, I intend to keep in place the moratorium here in Florida and around the country that prevents oil companies from drilling off Florida’s coasts.”

On March 31, 2010, Obama flip-flopped, proposing opening the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the north coast of Alaska to drilling.

Nowadays we vacation at Edisto Beach in South Carolina with our children and grandchildren and enjoy fishing, crabbing, and shrimping together. How long before the slick and slimy bosses of big oil bring their deadly oil slicks here too?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010



When I cease to be
And there are for me
No more bends in the road
No more grand adventures to come
I shall not cease to be
For me there is no end
I will live on
Forever and a day
In the happy dreams of my children
And the hopes of the ones I love.

For our children reflect the best in us
And pass it on down the line.
The dreams of our children live on in the lives
Of their children, you see
And that’s why I know each precious one
Has just a spark in them of me.
In Elliot’s lopsided grin and the twinkle in her eye—
When you see her merrily twirling round
I hope you will think of me.
For she is part of me and I of her.
In her I will live on.

Our Madeline, the lover of stories
Drowns in books and the tales that they tell.
Her mother passed that love on to her
But she got it from me,  as well.

The serious side of me I see in Davis
Her way of silently studying a thing just so
To understand how it must go
Though no gift in math I own
That’s hers and Gil’s alone
And one that inspires pure awe.

What about our sweet rambunctious Sam,
Who gives a squeeze and hug on the fly and then is off, posthaste?
What of me is in him?
The glint in his eye, his grin?
Somewhere in there
Is a hint of me and someday
It’ll come out.
You’ll see
And someone will say
That’s just the way of her
Isn’t that just like his JuJu!

Oh my many friends, can you not see?
We shall never cease to be!
For us there is no end.
We will live on
Forever and a day.
In the glorious dreams of our children
And the lives of the ones we love.    

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Terror Scare in Times Square

Blowback From Predator Terror in Pakistan

Was the botched terror attack in Times Square retaliation for US terrorism perpetrated by predator drones in Pakistan? Our war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is tremendously more expensive than such amateurish blowback attacks by sympathizers of al Qaeda or the Taliban. We have spent almost $270 billion on the war in Afghanistan. It is a big money bonanza for the US military industrial complex and big oil companies. One of Osama bin Laden’s tactics has been to use relatively inexpensive terror attacks to provoke the US into increasingly expensive military ventures and higher energy costs that bleed our economy.

Pentagon parlance for the war in Afghanistan is “Operation Enduring Freedom” but a more accurate term is Operation Enduring Terror. According to Pakistan authorities, 44 predator strikes carried out by the CIA in Pakistan in 2009 killed more than 700 innocent civilians and only four of their intended al Qaeda and Taliban targets. As a result, those attacked might be striking back. Hakimullah Mehsud, one of the leaders the CIA said they killed in January seems to be alive. Mehsud appeared on a video on May 3, threatening attacks on major US cities in acts of retaliation against the US drone attacks on Pakistan. A second video showed Mehsud saying that "good news will be heard within some days or weeks."

Mehsud referred to reports of his death as lies and propaganda in the footage that was apparently recorded in April. The BBC's correspondent in Islamabad said if the video is verified it will end all speculation about his death. US and Pakistani officials had claimed until recently that Mehsud was killed in a US missile attack in the remote tribal region of north-west Pakistan. But last week Pakistani intelligence officials said they believed Mehsud was only wounded.

Is there a link to the failed weekend bomb attack in New York and Mehsud? Claims by the Taliban group that it was responsible for the failed attempt to detonate the car bomb in Times Square have credibility. Faisel Shahzad, the person arrested for committing the act, is a 30 year old naturalized US citizen originally from Pakistan. He spent much of the past year in Peshawar province of Pakistan, a haven for Taliban activists. Shahzad is reported to have trained with Taliban operatives. Whether or not he acted alone, blowback seems to be the most logical motive for the Times Square scare.

The Dawn newspaper in Pakistan reported, "For each al Qa'eda and Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die. Over 90 per cent of those killed in the deadly missile strikes were civilians, claim authorities.”

President Obama has been much less reticent than President Bush to increase air strikes on Pakistan and shares responsibility for the blowback in Times Square. The President doesn’t get it. Obama made a crude and dehumanizing joke at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He said his daughters were huge fans of the Jonas Brothers and warned, “but boys, don't get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You’ll never see it coming.”

Shahzad was on board a Dubai-bound flight at Kennedy Airport when FBI agents and New York Police Department detectives arrested him. He lived with his wife and two small children in Shelton, Conn. for three years. After Shazad became a naturalized U.S. citizen on April 17, 2009, he spent much of the past year in Pakistan where his wife is currently living. Details of his activities in Pakistan remain speculative, but Shahzad last entered the U.S. on Feb. 3, 2010 after a five-month visit to the country of his birth. The NY Times reported that 7 or 8 people allegedly linked to the Times Square scare have been arrested in Pakistan.

In the past two years several people with American citizenship or residency have been accused of terrorism in the U.S. like Maj. Nidal Hasan, a U.S.born Army psychiatrist of Palestinian descent charged with fatally shooting 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, and Najibullah Zazi, an airport shuttle driver from Afghanistan, who pled guilty to a bomb plot on New York subways.

Terrorizing Afghanistan and Pakistan with war brings blowbacks of terror from the terrorized and their sympathizers. War is not the answer.

The two bumper stickers on my car read; War is Terrorism: With a Bigger Budget and Peace on Earth.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Madeline’s First Soccer Game

I took Sam to soccer practice today after I picked the kids up from St. Joseph.  Coach Jeff will bring Sam home.  Goodness, it seems like only yesterday when Madeline was playing her very first game…..
Madeline’s First Soccer Game
March 6, 2004

It  was Madeline’s first soccer game and we were all there to cheer her and her teammates on:  Cyndy, her mother, who had played soccer at Bishop England, is the  coach (officially); Jeff, her father, a former soccer player as well, was the assistant coach ( totally unofficially). The rest of us were mostly the cheering section: her little brother Sam; and her four grandparents, Gammy, Tommy, TomTom and JuJu.

The age range is supposed to be from 3 to 5.  On our team there are no 5 year olds. Of the 10 or 12 team members, Madeline, Caroline and Serena are the three 4 year olds. Neither Serena nor Caroline was there, probably because they thought the game was rained out.  It was very threatening the whole time, and was raining on our side of town when we left for the game, but no rain fell at the field.

They wore royal blue shirts, tucked in (mostly) to black soccer shorts (complete with drawstring) long socks with shin guards, black soccer shoes.  Those who had scrunchies or ribbons had royal blue to match their outfits. Madeline is #22 on the mighty Blue Bell team.  They clearly like wearing the outfits better than anything else about playing.

As coach Cyndy moved around the field prior to the starting whistle, Madeline was glued to her side – was her shadow, with both arms wrapped tightly around Cyndy’s leg.  This continued pretty much off and on throughout the game itself.  The referees were very understanding.

It was clear the green team had experience. They were bigger and older.   They did drills before the game. They lined up in their positions and stayed there; when the play began they ran for the ball.   They kicked it down the field many times and they scored many, many goals.  It drove our parents crazy, but seemed not to faze our players. I am absolutely positive that some of their players, maybe even a majority, were over the age limit of 5.  It crossed my mind that we needed to challenge them – after all, it wasn’t fair to our guys!  Were they playing by the rules?  But then, it wasn’t my place, so I made do with only one or two pointedly sarcastic side comments. 

To our team, discipline was an unfamiliar concept.  So was taking position and keeping it.  Madeline, though, once she lined up with the team at the beginning of the game, never moved off the line during the first several minutes of the game –just stood there where she was lined up, even facing away from the ball.  Jeff and Cyndy had told me that in practice they had not seemed to understand the concept of lining up.  At least Madeline had figured that out!  The others wandered around, no one looking at the ball, no one running down or up the field or toward the ball.  The first girl who played goalie did seem to understand the purpose for being there and tried to block several of the numerous balls that went into the net. Mostly she played in the dirt as the ball rolled over her shoulder on its way in.  The team members wandered off the field; they picked up leaves; they moved into the woods; they sat on the blankets and played with little brothers and sisters.

There were several breaks and very short quarters (I am unclear about how long).  Some of the smallest kids cried – I don’t exactly know why -- cause they needed naps, cause they were confused, cause they felt pressured, cause they didn’t like the green team making all those points, cause they couldn’t have the treats till after the game.

Cyndy asked me to take Madeline to the bathroom about mid-way through the game.  On the long walk over, she told me that she didn’t have to play anymore.  Her mother (the coach) had told her she didn’t have to.

“Is that for ever, or just for this game,” I asked.

“This game’” she said.

“Well, do you want to play?”

“No, not really. I don’t think so.”

“Do you want to cheer your team,” I asked, “the mighty Blue Bells?”

“Oh, yeah”, she said, “I want to.”

So on the way back we passed an older team who were really playing intently. She noticed.

“They are really running and kicking the ball -- they’re good,” she said.

“Yeah, and you know, how they get that way is practicing – whether it is soccer or gymnastics or reading, whatever.  Doing stuff over and over till it gets easier and easier”

She immediately picked up on that. “I can read some of my books by myself and I do gymnastics.”

“Yeah,” I said. “And can you do stuff you couldn’t do when you started?”

“I can go through the tunnel.”

“Could you do that at first?”

“Well, I wouldn’t.”

“See, it takes practice. You couldn’t and now you can. So here we are back again.  Why don’t you cheer for the team and then when you want to go back in, you can tell your momma you want to.”

“OK,” she said, happily running off to her father on the sidelines.

At first the moms and dads could do little except laugh.  The girls were so cute and clueless.  Then we all began to holler – “Kick the ball”.  “Come down here with the rest of them.”  “Go on back in.”  “You’re doing a good job.”  “Run.”  Even that seemed too much to expect.  Jeff wanted to know how much time was left.  (We hadn’t even had the first break yet!) 

Most of them had never been to a soccer game before. None had ever played before.   Prior to practice, some had never even kicked a ball or been on a soccer field.  With -minute practices going into this first game, they had not had a lot of opportunity to polish skills!!  It was also important to know that they HAD to get better and that unless they had a good time, they wouldn’t want to come back.

“Team work,” Tom said – “You’ve got to get them to understand that they have to play as a team.”  “Dad, you’ve said that 15 times already,” responded Jeff, feeling frustrated himself and trying to discover the best way to motivate a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds.  “You’re driving me crazy.  If you say it again you can’t come to any more games.”

Slowly we began to see improvement.  They began to pay attention when their parents or the coach told them something.  One threw the ball in from the sidelines with really good form and seemed pleased with the praise she got.  When Madeline was playing in the goal, she actually stuck her leg out in an attempt to block the ball.  They began to run up and down the field  (mostly down the field with the green team in command)  They looked at the ball – not necessarily doing anything -- but at least looking at it, rather than at the leaves, the mud holes, the shin guards or their parents. And they looked like they were working hard, some with shirts out now, hair coming loose from barrettes, little faces red and flushed.

By the end of the game, they were running after the ball.  Each time the ball was put into play, one of them would kick it, or at it, then the green team would swoop in and start moving it down the field.  Our Blue Bells would fall in behind and follow them down the field – all running, all running down the field, all running behind the ball.  What an improvement!  Jeff regained his enthusiasm. “And to think, I wanted to quit while ago,” he said, finding it hard to believe.  We had things to really cheer about, shouting words of encouragement to the players.  Trouble was, the cheering was distracting and whoever was moving it around pretty good, or whatever, would hear the cheers and look over at us, losing concentration.

And then the game was over.  Time for the treats.  Really different than when Madeline’s Dad was playing – before healthy eating came into vogue.  Their treat was always some sugary drink or other.  Not this crew.  Ice cold water and a cup full of grapes. Jeff quickly pointed out, “Yeah, playing soccer means getting treats.”  (That’ll motivate ‘em!)  Many high fives, many hugs and a line up to high five the winning team.  Nobody was keeping score (well, I guess somebody was, officially or unofficially, but WE weren’t) Of course we found out later that all the Dads knew EXACTLY what the score was.  The green team parents, siblings, and coaches lined up to make a bridge for them to run under and our team got to run through it too.  “We’ll have to do that next time,” someone said.

We gathered our stuff up and headed off to the cars.  Madeline was unhappy (not about the game)  and I couldn’t figure out  what it was about, but saw her cheer up when she was assured that the grapes were the immediate after game treat and her promised ice cream treat was not off the table, but coming up soon.

Cyndy, Sam, Gammy and Tommy loaded up into the car.  As we passed on by, walking toward our own car, I heard Jeff and Madeline talking as they waited their turn to get in.

Jeff spoke. “When, we get home this afternoon, we’ll get that goal out and set it up and practice some.”

“Ok,” she said, distractedly, thinking about the ice cream.