I like to consider all the contradictions we humans hold within ourselves,
myself definitely included. One of my regrets is that I have not done more traveling
outside of the country. I have not visited very far from either the Mexican
and Canadian borders. At least, I have been to many places in the United States,
but my ignorance of other cultures is unfortunately one thing I have in common
with many other Americans. It is not for a lack of interest in the world, and
that is where the contradiction lies. For most of my life, I have been hooked
on current events. I am always curious about what is going in other places.
When it comes to the media, I am a frequent flyer.
In 1957, when I was seven years old, the modern black civil rights struggle began to have an impact on my consciousness. The news on TV showed black students attempting to attend the segregated public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. Angry, white mobs threw rocks and bottles to prevent their entry. I asked my mother where Little Rock was, and she pointed to the spot on the large wall map we had of the United States. It was the first time I considered a location outside of the South Jersey/Philadelphia area. It seemed like a different country, and in many ways it was. It was least not the United States I knew.
I probably should have become a journalist. When I was a teenager, I had a hobby of collecting daily news stories and created a page for that day's events. My sources were newspapers, radio, and TV. I became quite anal about it, eventually collecting a dozen small notebooks. Some days so much was happening, I had to use two pages. Eventually, I was so overwhelmed by news that I gave up the hobby. I don't know where those notebooks are now. I left them in my parents' house.
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