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The Truth was Yearlykos 2006.  UnConventional is, of course, the book that was produced from that event.  Original produced as an e-book, it is now available in print as a fundraiser for Yearlykos 2007.

I am one of the many - some well known, some not so well known - who make an appearance in the book.  In this diary I hope to whet your appetite by sharing my appearance, telling you a bit more about it, and urging you to consider buying it.

After all, if you can't get to yearlykos, it is one way you can actually find out what some of us look like - if you dare, keep reading below the fold!

I appear on page 114-115, between Mark Warner on 113 and Larry Johnson on the two pages following mine.  First, here is my picture:

UnConventional teacherken

In UnConventional, there is phrase from my statement which appears across the picture.  After printing my name is says  

"My awareness of segregation started me down the path of being a liberal."

 In the biographical statement that sentence is emphasized.

You will note I am holding a picture taken of me when I was quite young.  In fact, that picture is almost contemporaneous with the incident I describe in my brief biographical statement.

Here is that statement:

I grew up in a household where my parents were moderate Republicans, and I actually distributed Republican literature in 1952 and 1956.  But my own outlook began to change as the result of a winter vacation over Christmas break, 1956-57.  When we arrived in Miami I noticed signs pointing outside for "colored" bathrooms," and the bathrooms in the terminal said "Whites only." Up to this point I had no awareness of segregation, even though there were no blacks in my suburban New York elementary school.  I started to ask questions, and my timing was superb because the following Fall saw the desgregation of Central High School in Little Rock.  I think it is fair to say that my awareness of segregation started me down the path of being a liberal.
    In 1960, my mother, who held a state appointment from Republican Governor Nelson Rockefellar, told me that she was going to vote for Kennedy.  First, both of my parents had encountered Nixon in the Office of Price Administration and could not stand him.  But for my mother there was another issue.  She said that if a Catholic could not get elected in 1960,  what hope would there ever be for a Jew?  My mother was quite insistent that we not have barriers to political participation at any level, for us as Jews, for Catholics, for Blacks, for anyone.
    Both of my parents had a strong sense of social justice, which of course is part of the heritage of being Jewish.  This also helped shaped my political views in the direction of being a liberal.  I thought that government had a role to play in helping those in need, and I came to accept the idea that those who had more had a responsibility to help provide for those who had little.  By the time I graduated from high school, I was committed to civil rights, to social justice, and I have been a liberal ever since.

For many well-known kossacks you will see pictures and statements such as these.  Here I note that contrary from what you might expect from my diaries, mine is actually one of the shorter of such statements.   You will be able to read about BarbinMD, Hunter, mcjoan, Jerome a Paris, ClammyC, thereisnospoon, kos, his wife Elisa, and many, many more.    The quality of the photographs is outstanding, as is the superb layout of the book itself.

You will note my holding a picture of the young Ken, many decades before he became a picture.  Not only will you see what we look like now, but you may be amazed at how we appeared in our younger days.

There are pictures of the big names -  Howard Dean, Joe Wilson, Barbara Boxer, Wes Clark.   There are pictures and descriptions of sessions.  If you were there it will bring back many memories.  If you were not, it will connect you with the vitality of what happened.

The book is tied together with extensive prose from one of the best writers in the blogosphere, our own Hunter.  Let me tempt you with just the beginning of his opening essay, which appears on page 6:

My own trip starts from Northern California, just before the sun comes up.  The valleys here are covered with fog, the sun is just beginning to light the eastern sky, and there are fourteen hours of driving ahead of me before I reach Las Vegas.  The road goes through Sacramento, across the Donner pass to Reno, then drops down through the entirety of southwestern Nevada, through a procession of small desert towns that to visitors seem to each live and die in their own glass display cases, the still snowy upper peaks of the Sierra Nevadas never leaving the western horizon.

For Hunter, as for many of the attendees, this was the first ever political convention attendance.  We got to know one another, from the well-known to some who were just lurkers, but still an essential part of the community.  Two people who drew a lot of attention were our youngest blogger, 15 year old Ava Lowery, and a 70'ish woman named Ellie Perelli who had been a blogger, and through a fortunate set of circumstances was able to post her very first dkos diary as momster during the convention.

I bought the e-book version when it came out, and keep it on my laptop, where it is quite accessible and useful to help explain to people about dailykos and yearlykos. I am also purchasing the printed version.  I suppose one could treat it like a yearbook, and go get all the people who appear to sign it for you.  I probably won't do that (although I promise I will be willing to sign copies at yearlykos for anyone who really wants me to) - I can actually use it as a resource in my teaching, and sometimes books are more accessible than things on a computer.  In fact, I may buy two copies, one for home and one for school?

In the past people have been willing to accept my recommendations on books.  I am asking that once more you trust my judgment - and besides, this helps to raise money for Yearlykos, which keeps the costs down, which makes the convention more affordable.

Thanks for reading.

And now that you know what I look like, don't let that discourage you.  There are a lot of pictures of good-looking people as well.


Originally posted to teacherken on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 07:45 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  this is to help raise money for Yearlykos (21+ / 0-)

    therefore I think that the diary deserves a little priority, not because I wrote it, but because of its subject.  

    Offer comments and mojo, to be sure, if appropriate.

    BUT PLEASE - help make the book Unconventional more visible.  Consider recommending this diary.


    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 07:42:45 AM PDT

  •  so what is a good time to post a diary like this? (5+ / 0-)

    I really don't know.  I finally got my act together to get the picture up, and work on my text, which I had to retype because I don't have what I sent in and I do not have Adobe to do anything except print PDFs.  

    I do hope this gets some visibility.

    If you have read the ebook, consider offering some comments here to raise the visibility.

    Again, I did this diary because we need to promote the book.

    Thanks for any help.

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 07:49:09 AM PDT

  •  and leaves on the current so liked that picture (8+ / 0-)

    that without telling me she set it up as the wallpaper on my laptop.  I come home one day from school to open up my computer and see my mugs -- at age 10 and age 60.  Oh well. . . .

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 07:51:24 AM PDT

  •  sadly, not getting much visibility (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Boyle, 4Freedom, SaraPMcC

    well, I tried.  And I will post links on open threads as they appear, if I am online at the time.
    Peace all.

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 08:02:50 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for sharing, teacherken (5+ / 0-)

    It is freaky how closely we are aligned in history and,  of course, chosen careers...

    I too had parents who were moderate republicans (though they themselves seemed to be more apolitical at times).  I learned later on that registering republican in my very conservative Montgomery county ( in a suburb of Philly, not far from Haverford) was a necessity for those who wanted to work for the county.  One of my father's sisters and one of his brothers were on the Republican Committee of the County as they were both county employees.  

    As a child I remember Eisenhower (as we shared a birthday) but I did not pay attention to much until, in about 1956, I went with my Dad to North Carolina to visit a sister of his whose husband was a marine.  It was just he and I.   We stopped at a diner late at night as my dad needed constant coffee since he was the driver and we were going straight through....

    I was fascinated as the diner seemed odd to me. There were two sides to it...mirror images.  But most of the folks were seated on the side we went in...and just a few black people on the other side. I still did not get that this was segregation as I did not know what segregation was.  Finally, a young black kid walked on our side for something, and suddenly there were some shouts of "n***er, what you want?"
    He quickly headed back to the other side.

    Dad drank his coffee quickly and we left.  He knew I was confused.  When we were on our way, he explained what segregation was.  I was stunned and saddened by it.

    Since I did go to a school where there were African American kids, the notion seemed strange immediately to me.  
    We had one black policeman on the small police force and he was often my father's partner on patrol.  Now, understand, we were a segregated town when it came to neighborhoods but that seemed normal then, not racist, as all our neighborhoods were ethnic...the Italians living on the West and North around our Catholic Church; the Polish living on the West and North by their Catholic  Church.  The Irish surrounded their church on the Eastside. And the "colored people" as they were called back then lived East and south.  The last three blocks on the North End of town were mostly the
    "mit-i-gans" (I always wondered where they were from until my mother whose first language was Italian explained to me when I asked what country they were from....explained that she was saying "Americans..."). So they were essentially the WASPS (white anglo saxon protestants), and they were the ones who lived in the houses that were not in rows (attached to many other houses).  The Jewish families lived even further to the north of the town.
    For me, normal was living with your ethnic group, but interacting with them all. I thought that was how the world worked.  So the angry way that kid was treated frightened me.

    When I came of age in the 60's I was moved even further to the left during Vietnam.   While our fathers were all WWII veterans, and we were all raised with the patriotic fervor of recent immigrants, my cousins and I became very involved in the anti war, anti poverty, civil rights movement.

    I am probably not going to be able to make it to the dkos convention, but I will be actively involved in posting during it and learning about many of you and what is going on.

  •  Already ordered mine (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, cfk, 4Freedom, SaraPMcC

    and I'll be picking it up in Chicago. :) And this was before the spouse asked me to do so -- hope there's a similar book for 2007 (but hope I can duck enough cameras!)...

  •  My rebirth as a liberal came in the summer of '67 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, cfk, 4Freedom

    Prior to that, I don't think I gave much thought to politics or anything outside my little world. That summer though... I spent three weeks in Ann Arbor, MI at a Writer's Workshop for high school students. Kids from all over the country came together to hone their skills at short stories, poetry, and essays. I was away from home for the first time in a looser, less structured environment, and staying on a college campus. A very politicized college campus. The kids in the workshop were housed in dorms, ate at the Student Dining Hall, and hung out at the Student Union after our classes finished. All very liberating, for a geeky girl from Fenton, MI with a controlling mother.

    The last week I was there, Detroit exploded. The riots were the biggest news around. Everyone was talking about it. At the conclusion of five days of rioting, 43 people were dead and 1189 injured. One of the girls in the workshop who lived in NYC had planned to come home with me for a short visit to my little town, until her mom decided that even 60 miles away from Detroit was too close.

    That was the summer before my Senior year in high school. It radicalized me, and opened my mind to all sorts of points of view. Nothing was ever the same after that summer.

  •  Great pic, teacherken! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks for putting this up.

    Keep up with the links - wouldn't have seen it otherwise in a busy day, and we want you to have visibility.

    •  oh, I have plenty of visibility (0+ / 0-)

      the point was to promote UnConventional and i think the diary by hyperbolic pants explosion is helping a great deal.

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 06:35:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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