The Ides of March

Dear Junior,

I hope all is well. Everyone here is doing well, but we’ve noticed how fast time is moving these days. Soon the middle of March will be upon us.  Well, there was not much of a winter this year here in the Big Apple, but I don’t want to speak too soon and invite a major storm. March can be a peculiar month with strange weather. However, there are a host of birthdays this month and St. Patrick’s Day when the city’s pubs nearly run dry.  Your brother will be out that day, I’m sure. And who knows what time he’ll come dragging into this house. Well, it’s like the Motel 6 commercial, we’ll leave the light on for him. How are you doing and how is the West Coast? I saw on the news that some parts of Northern California were issued blizzard warnings. Mother Nature and Father Time are hard at work it seems.

Son, I have yet to watch your mother on Tik Tok. There is only so much a man can take. But I have heard she understands the concept of viral and is adjusting her “core” audience. At our age that means AARP but I digress. But, at the end of the day if it helps keep her active and happy then I’m all for it. I did warn her that if things reached the point where she is not sleeping and forgetting to help maintain the household, an intervention will be staged and her phone will be taken away. She threatened to retaliate by taking away my fishing rods. I tell you kid, she drives a hard bargain. However, so far so good and she’s doing just fine. Val must be even more old school than your old man! I think at some point, we all need breaks from technology Son, the human mind was not designed to be constantly “on”. It’s good that you are able to disconnect. Sometimes, just take a walk and leave the phone at home. But always carry identification as you know.

You know I read an article yesterday about America’s “missing” workforce. Many people who lost their jobs during Covid have not returned to the workforce, at least not in the traditional sense. I can only guess where they went or what they’re doing now. But what I do know is that it is not good for the economy.  Here, City employees were locked in a battle with the mayor over working from home and have been granted concessions. The reality is that Covid change things for good and we will never return to the “normal” we knew before.  I agree, the American Dream is not what we think it is. You can have a good life here, but it is not promised. The housing crisis is an issue here and I have not heard anything further about the plan to convert unused office space into residential housing. Time will tell everything. We do live in strange times Son. And with major companies slashing jobs and cutting costs, I am not sure what will come next, but it will not be good. Should you ever find yourself needing to change careers, remember pick something that will always be in high demand. Chat GPT has given me more grey hair I can tell you that. Even your mother noticed the new strands. I told her I learned of something that scared me half to death…. she replied that her last pregnancy was over 30 years ago. But getting back to what you wrote in your letter, that sounds terrifying and it’s like Pandora’s Box. Now that it is open, we can never close it. It is a very slippery slope. But the question I have is why do we need it? Are humans on the path to extinction? And by our hands? There are some things that mankind may not need. When you can, check out the Twilight Zone episode ‘The Obsolete Man’ with Burgess Meredith. You’ll find it interesting and relevant.

Go to Seattle. You know I always support travel. Your mother and I are headed to Boston the last week of this month. So, I’m taking care of the hotel now and a few other things. But it is a road trip we’re long overdue for. And we can’t wait. Of course, you and your siblings are always welcome. Obviously, with you in California I don’t expect you to ride shotgun, but you are always welcome kid. Give Jean and Arthur my regards. Did you at least cover half the tab for dinner? Please give them my regards. I’ll check out the book on Escobar, sounds right up my alley. In return, I want you to check out David Hilliard’s ‘Huey: Spirit of the Panther’. It will answer some questions you’ve had about the Panthers and America at the time.

In a country as large as America, there will always be problems. Ohio has its hands full right now, and Chicago is on the verge of a new mayor. We’ll continue to see more changes across the nation, but it may get worse before it gets better. As Oscar Wilde said, “we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars”. If you understand that, it’ll help as you move forward.

Stay safe Son and write soon.

Love, Pop.


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