Monday, January 10, 2011

A Time to Cry

The Day My Childhood Ended

When I was in junior high in Oakland my favorite class was journalism. The class was run under the watchful eyes of Mrs. Leydecker. We were told to look for something newsworthy. Then we were shown how to research the story. The final step was learning to write the story in a way that would make someone want to read it.

We learned the sacred "W's: Who, What, When, Where, and Why"

In my role as a fledgling reporter I was invited to interview our new Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marcus Foster. I did my homework on him and then went to district headquarters for the interview. 

During my interview I came to realize he was full of new ideas. Instead of punishing poor attendance, he wanted to establish rewards for good attendance. He wanted to make the schools safer by issuing Student ID's with our photos (seems almost quaint now). He wanted to institute ways to allow for the immediate removal of unauthorized people from any school property. He felt school grounds must be free of fear.

I was so impressed. Dr. Foster demonstrated such energy and he was wonderfully articulate. I reported that we finally had a Superintendent with no desire to simply be a caretaker. He was planning to take us to new places.

On November 6, 1973 Dr. Foster was gunned down by the SLA using a hollow tipped bullet they first packed with cyanide.

The passing of Dr. Foster signaled the official end of my childhood.

This weekend the same feelings welled in me as America's eyes turned to my adopted home of Arizona in disbelief and horror as one of our elected officials was the victim of an attempted murder. Making the sadness even worse was that her staff, a child, a federal judge, and those unfortunate enough to simply be near her became victims as well. 

This is not a time to make political statements or speculate "Why". There is no "Why". There can never be an acceptable reason for senseless violence.

This is a time to pray.

This is a time to cry.

Roadboy's Travels © 2011

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