Monday, June 28, 2021

Bye Bye, Rudy

If only....

If only Rudy Giuliani had left the office of the mayor of New York City on December 31, 2001 and gracefully submitted himself to a dignified retirement, living out his days as an elder statesman of the Republican party; our mental image of him today would be as "America's mayor", the hero of September 11, 2001. What a difference twenty years makes. 

As John Lennon once sang, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

His historical legacy has been forever shattered. This truth was only hammered home this past week when he was suspended - perhaps permanently - from practicing law in the state of New York. Rudy's great mistake was entering into the orbit of former-president Donald J. Trump. Past experience tells us that coming into contact with Trump on any level can be a career-destroying thing. Giuliani has not only ruined his reputation due to his continuous hawking of the lie that the Democrats stole the 2020 election, he is in the process of being investigated by the very office he once sat at the head of. He could very well wind up doing a serious stint in the slammer. No doubt about it: this is not a good time to be Rudy Giuliani.

I would almost hope that a court of law would be lenient with poor old Rudy. For the last two or so years it has become painfully apparent that the man has lost more-than-a-few of his marbles. This is most definitely not the Rudy of yore. He always had a somewhat unintentionally goofy side, but this latest incarnation is something else indeed. He is obviously deeply disturbed and quite pathetic. This is not a man who is thinking clearly. He needs to be committed to some cozy facility out in the country and spoon-fed oatmeal. I once met the future mayor of New York back in the eighties on the corner of 86th Street and Madison Avenue. He seemed like such a sensible and rational fellow. I wonder what happened.

Perhaps I'm being cruel. When I started writing this piece this morning it's working title was "Bye Bye, Bird Brain". That's a little too much, I think. Why kick a man when he is down about as low as a public figure can go? But it cannot be denied that Giuliani has dug his own grave in this matter. As too many have found out the hard way, associating with Donald Trump can be lethal to one's professional life. Just ask Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. The road is littered with the bodies of people who were foolish enough to attach themselves to Donald Trump's star.

Yeah, the decades-long public life of Rudolph William Louis Giuliani is kaput. We're talking fried and cindered here. There is no use going out on a rehabilitation tour; that option has long been out of the question. The man needs to lock himself away and pray that the American people forget about him.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY



(110) Trumbo - YouTube 

Of all the Hollywood rebels, Dalton Trumbo was undoubtedly the greatest.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Chauvin Faces the Music

The photograph on the front page of this morning's New York Daily News spoke untold volumes. Devin Chauvin, the disgraced, ex Minneapolis cop looked stunned when he was sentenced to twenty-two and a half years in the big house for the brutal murder of George Floyd thirteen months ago. In my opinion, the guy got off light. With good behavior he could be out free as a bird by the year 2036. By that time, he'll be two years younger than I am now. What kind of punishment is that? That's no punishment at all. They should have thrown the book at the murderous little thug. Floyd's death was cold-blooded murder - nothing more, nothing less

The images of the nine-plus minutes that Chauvin leaned into George's neck are ingrained into our collective memory forever. We will never be able to erase the sound of George pleading for his life and calling out for his deceased mother from our minds. The only good thing to come out of this man-made tragedy is the fact that a revolution of consciousness overcame America at that moment. After the murder of George Floyd in broad daylight we can only hope and pray that America will never be the same again. Fortunately for posterity (and justice) the entire incident of George's killing was captured on a cell phone video by a teenaged girl who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. She has since been awarded a Pulitzer Prize in photo journalism. Isn't life strange?

While the extreme right wing continues to portray the Black Lives Matter folks as a "terrorist" organization (and I consider myself one of them), this social movement shows no signs of ebbing anytime soon. For all of my life, I was always of the opinion that race would always be the elephant in the American room. I'm more optimistic today than I've ever been in my life. Perhaps we're on the verge of finally rounding this corner - maybe not in our lifetimes, but perhaps during the lives of our children.

Wouldn't it be nice? I'm being naïve, I know.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Friday, June 18, 2021


What a fantastic and beautiful thing to wake up to! Wow!

Exactly one year and six days ago I posted a piece on this site where I argued that June 19th ("Juneteenth") should be made into a national holiday (see link below).  Because I was feeling rather low yesterday, I was not connected to the news all day and just stayed in bed reading and watching DVDs. When I woke up very early this morning, I had no idea that I was living in a new federal holiday (This year, June 19th falls on a Saturday so we're celebrating it today). It was not until I drove to the store at about a quarter to five AM when I saw a photograph on the front page of the New York Daily News of a smiling President Biden signing into being this new holiday. This is, beyond a molecule of doubt, my happiest morning in a very long time! It's a shame that it's too damned early to drink a toast to Joe! The liquor stores open up in over an hour here in New York.

In addition to the first African American vice-president and several lawmakers at the signing ceremony, there was Opal Lee, a ninety-four year old lifetime activist. Five years ago she walked from her home in Texas to Washington D.C. to call attention to this very issue. I can well imagine that yesterday was the happiest day of this lady's long life. Hats off to Joe Biden for having the courage to do this.

So help me Mitch Miller - I did not see this coming.

To no one's surprise (certainly not mine) there was much boohooing and gasbagging from the loony right wing - within congress and without - regarding the new Juneteenth Day. Some are even suggesting that "a holiday just for black people" will only divide us further. Predictably these knuckleheads are missing the much bigger picture.  Let me remind everyone that Juneteenth is a holiday for us all. I am less free when any other human being is unjustifiably  denied their freedom. Today is not merely a day for my black brothers and sisters to celebrate; it's also a day for this grumpy old white guy to celebrate as well (And I'm gonna be doing some SERIOUS celebrating! You'd better believe it, baby!)  

In all fairness, it must be pointed out here that, to my utter and eternal astonishment, only a handful of GOP members voted against Juneteenth in the House, and it passed the Senate unanimously. Bravo for them!

Some are arguing (as some are prone to do) that we have too many holidays as it is in the USA. While I don't believe this to be the case, I would further argue that we do away with October 12 as a National day of rest. It can still be "Columbus Day" but we can celebrate it in the same manner we do "St. Patrick's Day" - which is not a holiday, but still gives me a dandy excuse to get falling-down-drunk every March 17. What we should do is combine Veterans Day with Election Day as a single holiday - both being in November. This would make voting a whole lot easier for all Americans. This ain't rocket science, kiddies - although I would advise you not to hold your breath waiting for it to happen.


Our knowledge of Christopher Columbus (who never even set foot in what is now "the continental United States") is based upon a popular 19th century novel - and not on historical fact. The sad truth is that when Columbus and his gang of "explorers" arrived in the Western Hemisphere in 1492, they committed untold acts of genocide on the native people. Scores of thousands of them (the exact number is lost to history) were murdered in cold blood. No, we shouldn't be celebrating that guy at all!

So there you have it my fellow Americans of all races and creeds: the first Juneteenth of our lifetimes and what will be, I am certain, many many more. It's something that African Americans have been quietly observing since June 19, 1865, when the slaves on the far-reaches of Galveston, Texas were finally informed by Union General Gordon Granger that the war between the states was over and that slavery had been abolished by the late president, Abraham Lincoln, two-and-a-half years before with the signing of the emancipation proclamation. Henceforth, they were finally and eternally "free" (at least technically - we're all still working on that "freedom" bit). Although we have come a long way, we have a very long way to go. Let's get moving.

Happy Juneteenth, everyone, and God bless us - one and all!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Celebrating Juneteenth 
from The Rant, 12 June 2020

This is a great day, indeed.


The Stars and Stripes Forever
by John Phillip Sousa.

This calls for a little patriotic music, ay? I have always loved this one!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Charlie Reaches Out Across the Decades

Forty-nine years ago, when I first heard Charles Chaplin give this speech at the end of The Great Dictator, I was changed forever.

Charlie Chaplin was one of the the bravest men who ever lived. That speech, more than anything else I can think of, was my political awakening. Think about it: The greatest speech in all recorded human history was not made by a politician. It was not made by a king. It was not made by a queen. It was not made by a prince or a princess. It was not made by a preacher. It was not made by a businessman or woman. It was not made by an old soldier or a young one. It was not made by a billionaire. It was not made by a potentate. It was not made by a senator or a congressman. It was not made by a president....

The greatest speech in all recorded human history was made by a little tramp. Go figure.


I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. …..

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Charles Spencer Chaplin, 1940


Here is a link to listen to Chaplin deliver this brilliant oration on YouTube:

(77) [Best Version] The Great Dictator Speech - Charlie Chaplin + Time - Hans Zimmer (INCEPTION Theme) - YouTube

"Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men!"

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

POST #1024: Meditations on Mitch

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated he will refuse to confirm a Supreme Court nominee picked by Biden in 2024 if the GOP wins back the Senate.

Mitch McConnell brings out the very worst in me. I don't believe there has been an American politician in my lifetime whom despise more than old Mitch. Just check out this choice sample that I wrote on April 9, 2013:

Mitch: Plutocracy's bitch
"So, Mitch is going to block legislation that might prevent the next mass murder of innocent children? Fine. 

"Since extreme violence seems to be the order of the day, might I share with you this insatiable little fantasy of mine? It involves our boy Mitch. You see, I have this dream of beating the distinguished gentleman from Kentucky to a fucking, bleeding pulp. Confronting him in a dark alley somewhere in the District of You-Know-Where, I can visualize pounding his skull to the very edge of existence. Once he got the message, I might then be seriously tempted to set the decrepit old son-of-a-bitch on fire - just to keep things interesting, you understand. But that kind of treatment would be much too harsh and brutal - even for the likes of Mitch McConnell. Just stuff the bruised and bloodied little bastard into a dumpster behind some third-rate pizzeria on K Street, where he can think things over while he recuperates.

"Great Googley Moogley! I cannot believe I'm even thinking such horrible thoughts - and on so lovely a Spring morn! Inviting though the fantasy may surely be, violence on any level has never been my shtick. It's just that Mitch brings out the very worst in me, as that little tirade so clearly and horribly illustrates. It is merely a daydream, don't worry. I don't advocate violence  against anyone - for any reason - not even a corrupt and reprehensible old bugger like Mitch McConnell. I know full well that the Prince of Peace admonishes us to be kind and gentle to one another. But isn't the scene described above a helluva lot more palatable to the senses than the random slaughter of innocent children? I ask you."

I am descended from many generations of folks who called Kentucky home. It doesn't fill me with a damned bit of pride that the people of that state would send this  corrupt and contemptible hack back to Washington every six years since 1985. Is it his seniority that keeps getting the little thug re-elected? And to think that his pestilent presence will be felt in the senate for another five - LONG - years is really too depressing to even think about right now.

He turned 79 on February 20. Maybe bad health would force him to retire before he is up for re-election in 2026. It's not that I want Mitch McConnell to die - I really don't. I just want the hideous old bag-of-dirt to go away - permanently and forever. With the exception of Donald Trump and George W. Bush, there no one who has done more damage to the country that I love than Mitch McConnell.

Sorry, but I needed to vent.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Suffer Little Children
from The Rant, 4/9/13

Here is the full piece quoted above.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

One More Insurrection for the Road

Just a brief note to update you on the latest saga in the complete craziness of Donald John Trump, our former president:

The deluded and silly twit still believes that he is going to be "reinstalled" as the chef-executive of our government in less than two months. The incredible thing is the unsettling fact that a full one/third of the American people believe the same thing. We've had a handful of nutty presidents in the colorful history of this country, but not one of them was quite this bat-shit insane - my apologies to bat-shit.

What worries more than anything is the prospect of a couple hundred thousand MAGA-maniacs rolling into D.C., armed to the teeth and ready to do battle with the armed forces. Some of these folks are insane enough to believe that they can take on the might of the United States military with their puny AK-47s. This is the kind of dark comedy that Paddy Chayefsky and Kurt Vonnegut never would have even considered as a a plot line in all of their wildest dreams. If this worst-case-scenario does transpire, the possibility of blood in the streets of the capital is real, and should not be dismissed lightly.

If ever there was a time to reserve the Rubber Room in the closest psychiatric center to Mar-a-lago, this would probably be as good a time as any, ay? And while we're on the subject, Donald Jr. and Eric might be admitted overnight - just for observation, you understand. As an ex-drug abuser, I can tell another user from ten miles away. And while I am hesitant to pass judgment against anyone, there is something within the countenance within those two boys that has me wondering and asking some serious questions. They cannot possibly be of their right minds. This might be the golden opportunity for these two scions of wealth and privilege to plea insanity-due-to-acute-drug-intoxication if and when the moment comes for the both of them to face some serious legal music within the halls of justice. I'm not really expecting that to happen, but hey, I can dream, can't I?

I never dreamed that we would come to this point. Even during the darkest days of George W. Bush and Richard Nixon, I never lost faith in the essential promise of America. When, during the climax of the Watergate nightmare, the overwhelming majority of the people of this country came to their senses and rejected The Trickster outright, as young as I was (a week before my 16th birthday), I knew that we were in a good place. When he left the White House in August of 1974, his ratings were in the proverbial toilet. In the twenty years of life left to him, he never had chance for a comeback. Trump has a very good chance. 

And as far as King George the Second is concerned, when it comes to the point that I am actually nostalgic for the guy, you know we've hit a low that is difficult - if not impossible - to climb out of.

Again, I can't emphasize this enough, kiddies: keep your eyes on Washington for the next month-and-a-half. Only Donald Trump can prevent a bloodbath worse than the one that occurred five months and one week ago in the hallowed temple of democracy. Let's all hope and pray that the old freak is, somehow, overtaken by the better angels of his nature.

Good luck with that one.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


New York City
by John Lennon and The Elephant's Memory Band.

This is Lennon's most crankingest rocker:

Que pasa, New York. Hey! Hey!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

POST #1022: Random Observations

This is just a series of randomly collected thoughts that I had posted here and there on the internet. 

1. Take His Comeback Seriously:

This is a portion of an editorial that appeared two days ago in the Washington Post:

"[While] Trump is not a serious person, he is a serious threat to our democracy - and we make a grave mistake if we dismiss him as a punch line. What has made dictators and demagogues so dangerous is their ability to pull vast numbers of people into their personal delusions - to turn their paranoid fantasies and megalomaniacal dreams into a harsh reality for millions."

Yeah, barring being sentenced to a very long stretch in federal prison between now and then (or of him dying), Trump has every intention of checking back into the White House on January 20, 2025. This would make him the first president to serve two non-consecutive terms of office in one-hundred and thirty years (Grover Cleveland being the the first and last one). Progressives need to work diligently and overtime to assure that this potential atrocity does not happen. As things stand at present in the GOP, he has a better than even chance at receiving the nomination and about a 50/50 chance of being reelected. It's going to be an excruciatingly long three-and-a-half years, boys and girls.

2. Gaetz- Gate:

Florida congressman Matt Gaetz just keeps sinking deeper into it. Allegedly Gaetz attempted to coerce a woman who was scheduled to testify against him not to cooperate with the Feds. This on top of an investigation into whether or not this good, conservative man is guilty of sex-trafficking underage girls. While Gaetz should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, there is way too much smoke to deny that, somewhere, a fire is raging - a fire that will presumably incinerate Gaetz' political career. He is someone whom I have never been failed to be fascinated by: a man so transparently phony that he invites lampooning. His photographic images don't even look human; he reminds me of a computer-generated characterization of a used car salesman. I have spent enough time in the state of Florida to know that the place is not quite infested with geniuses, but even I would be stunned were Matt Gaetz to be reelected next year - assuming he is not in prison by then. Hey, you never know.

4. Red-Handed Rudy:

A forty minute audiotape has just been uncovered by CNN that specifically exposes Rudy Giuliani extorting an unnamed Ukrainian government official into opening up an investigation into Joe Biden and his hapless son, Hunter. He should immediately be disbarred by the New York Bar. It is further proof that anyone even vaguely associated with Donald Trump walks away permanently tainted. As I wrote on this site back in April:

"It reminds me somewhat of the recent travails of Prince Andrew. When the Duke of York's obituary is published years from now, the photograph at the top will not be of him wearing that silly military garb that he loves to parade around in; it will be of him with a lecherous arm around the waste of a seventeen-year-old Virginia Roberts at a private party in 2001. He must know this and it must drive him crazy. I suspect that Rudy Giuliani might be having similar thoughts at this moment."

 Rudolph Giuliani's historical reputation has been similarly damaged.

No doubt about it: these are strange times to be a citizen of Idiot Nation.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


My brother Jeff posted this YouTube video early this morning of Elvis Costello performing at the Obama White House. Paul McCartney is in the audience;


Monday, June 07, 2021

Back in August?

The unsettling thing about people who are severely mentally disturbed is that they tend to gravitate toward people who tell them things that they want to hear. Such is the case with the ex-president of the United States. He likes to keep disgusting yes-people like Stephen Miller, Sidney Powell as close at hand as is humanly possible. They gently whisper sweet unrealities into his gnarled little ears and everyone is happy. Donald Trump, as most of us who pay attention to these things have come to understand, is about as crazy as a mattress full of demented bed bugs. What the people around him have been telling him of late is that the results of the 2020 election will soon be reversed and that he will be back in the White House in August. When this occurs. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be expected to promptly pack up their offices and leave - just like that.

I know what you're thinking and I agree: it just doesn't get any weirder than this. Isn't this a wonderful and interesting time to be a citizen of Idiot Nation?

To make matters crazier, now most of the Donald's half-witted MAGA-millions believe the same idiotic thing, that Adolf von BabyBrains will again be the chief-executive in a mere two months time, leading the beloved ship of state with a firm grip and orange gaze. 

Said Bess Levin six days ago in Vanity Fair:

"While some people see Trump is an unhinged has-been whose delusions should be ignored, others think treating “evidence of a possible seditious conspiracy as mere loose talk from an addled man” is dangerous, and that we should pay very close attention to what Trump is reportedly telling people."

Thankfully, the Trump Mob have not set an exact date of his reinstallation, so no plans are in the works (I hope) to schedule the massive bus convoys to swarm into Washington at any particular time. If such a date is, in fact, announced, you may expect a shit storm of the kind that occurred in D.C. on the sixth of January last. This could get as ugly as we've seen it since the 1860s. Hang on to your hats, campers.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Midnight in Manhattan (from the BBC)

Excellent documentary on the publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and its influence on literature.

Highly recommended!

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Black Lives Matter in Goshen, NY - One Year Later


One year ago yesterday I was lucky enough to attend a Black Lives Matter demonstration in the town where I live, Goshen, NY. The following day I published a piece about the event on this site. I've decided to repeat it on the first anniversary of its posting - which is something I have never done before. I only do it now because I believe it to be one of the better things that I have written in the fifteen years (to the day) since I started The Rant.

Happy reading, Campers!


When I moved back to my home town of Goshen, NY in the nineties after living away for almost twenty years, my original plan was to be gone in four months. Yesterday I was reminded why I don't regret sticking around for a whole lot longer than that.
The day after Martin Luther King was murdered in April of 1968, I took part in a rally and march that commenced at the iconic Presbyterian church park in the center of the village. I was only nine-years-old at the time but I had a strong feeling that, by being there, somehow, I was taking part in history.
Exactly fifty-two years and two months later the people from Goshen and the surrounding community came together again to express their solidarity and dismay for the murder of George Floyd by some sadistic police officer in Minneapolis a week and a half earlier. For over an hour the people marched and cheered and talked and sang. Like the overwhelming majority of the rallies across America in the last week, this one was peaceful and beautiful. To the best of my knowledge, the village police weren't there, but they didn't need to be. They know the character of the people of the Hudson Valley all too well. They probably figured we'd be well behaved, and we were - HONEST!

The only ugly moment of the event came at the very beginning. The first speaker was a senior from my old alma mater, Goshen High School. She graduated with honors. I dropped out at the start of my junior year. My hat is tipped to her. As she was beginning her talk on what it's like being a young black woman in America today, an angry white man with a smug look of privilege splattered across his kisser, barged onto the podium. Sticking an iPhone into her face he demanded, "Read that!" The poor kid was shocked and confused. When one of the organizers gently informed her that she didn't have to read it if she felt it wasn't appropriate. She went on with her talk, and the angry white man stormed off muttering, "So you won't read it, huh?"

There are oodles of angry white men out there, have you ever noticed that? I have to confess to you that I am one of them - but at least I'm angry for all the right reasons, dag nap it!

It was a perfectly beautiful day to hold such a beautiful event. What struck me was the crowd. Most of them were very young - and a lot of them were quite white. You've got to give a standing ovation to the millennials of all sizes and colors.  As I've written on this site before, I have nothing but awe and admiration for these kids. My generation was handed the strongest, economically sound nation in the history of the world. And what do we bequeath them? A socioeconomic and ideological cesspool. I have no doubt that it is the people who were born in the last decade of the twentieth and the first two decades of the twenty-first centuries who are going to turn this damaged planet around and shake it up in a way that it's never been shaken up before. I long ago stopped holding my breath waiting for my generation to get with the program. That ain't gonna happen, campers. I don't trust anyone over thirty. Sorry.

By mid-afternoon yesterday I was quite ready to hit the sack. I had been awake since before midnight the previous evening and, by the time I arrived for the festivities at just before 4 o'clock, I was having difficulty keeping my eyes open. That all changed the moment the event got under way. What happened yesterday charged me up in a way I haven't been charged in a very long time. Since I was old enough to form my own opinions on complicated matters, I've been a skeptic with regard to the future of the relation between the races in America. That defeatist attitude on my part is beginning to fade away. The cold-blooded-murder of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis on May 25 may very well prove to be the tipping point. People with dark skin (and most people whose skin is not-so-dark) are mad as hell and they're not gonna take it any more. So be it.

Yesterday, once again, I had the honor of being an eyewitness to history. Life is good.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


It's ironic. In the early years of the twentieth century, the newly formed NAACP conducted a survey on the best and worst places for "negroes" to live in New York State. My home town of Goshen placed at the dead-bottom of that list. The reason for this, I surmise, is due to the fact that, in those bad old days, Goshen was a seasonal trot racing town, many of whose residents were transplanted southerners who owned and raced trotting horses. If only the old bastards could have come back from the dead and gotten a good look at their beloved church park yesterday! Wouldn't that have been a hoot-and-a-half? In 1920, black lives didn't matter much in Goshen, NY. In 2020 they do matter - big time. You'd better believe it, Buster!