Archive for September, 2012

ON GOLF—Lesson 2

September 27, 2012

The Downswing

Well, I assume that you now have mastered the gentler aspects of the golf swing…the grip, the stance, the “takeaway”, and the pause at the top of the backswing. We are now ready to move into the violent areas, i.e., the downswing where you actually strike the ball!

There are a few things to mention before getting into the actual mechanics of the movement. First, I preach the use of the shoulders and hips to generate “the swing”, not the arms. We’ll explain this in a bit more depth, later.

Also, you should not be moving your body back and forth during the actual swing. In order to check this while practicing, face away from the sun so that you can see your shadow, and place a tee or other small object at the top of the shadow of your head. Then, go through the swing and make sure your head’s shadow is maintaining its position relative to the tee. The core of the swing is ROTATION, not a LUNGE. If your head (and thus your shoulders and body) are moving to the right of the tee on the backswing, and forward to the left of the tee on the downswing, then you will have significant problems in returning the clubhead to the same spot from which it began its trip. You will probably hit a few inches behind the ball, or hit the top of the ball. Remember, I emphasized controlling extraneous, unneeded movements in Lesson 1; this is more of the same.

Okay, we have you with the club at the top of the swing; you’ve reached that position by rotating your shoulders until they are perpendicular to the desired line of flight. As you rotated them, you made sure that the club head was moving straight back from the ball, and low, until the turning motion made the hands and arms go up to the position described in Lesson 1. The side of your left wrist is straight, not hinged, and your left arm is straight and the elbow locked. Note that your hips have also rotated along with the shoulders; you are now ready to commit mayhem on that innocent sphere resting before you.

Your first move back to the ball is with a rotation of your left hip and simultaneously your left shoulder. DO NOT TRY TO STEER THE CLUB WITH YOUR HANDS AND ARMS, LET THE SHOULDER AND HIP ROTATION DO THE WORK! As you make this move, the torque generated by the moving club head will automatically snap the wrists, which you had “cocked” on the backswing. You really don’t have to think about doing it.

At the same time, the rotation should be shifting your weight to your left side; this is very important. One of the biggest faults that beginners have is that they keep their weight on their right leg and try to “swing up” at the ball to get it into the air. They usually top the ball, slice the shot if they make any kind of decent contact, or some other wretched result. They usually say something, if not a curse, like “I looked up before I hit the ball”. Actually, in all my teaching I’ve never seen someone “look up”, what really happens is that they drop their right shoulder while trying to swing up at the ball, not shifting their weight.

A small anecdote—when I was working as a ranger at the fancy golf club in Jackson Hole, James Wolfensohn, at that time President of the World Bank and a club member, often invited colleagues to spend the weekend. On one occasion, he and Alan Greenspan were playing along with the requisite body guard clinging to the rear of the cart. Greenspan was one of those who doesn’t shift weight throughout the swing; he always looked like he was swinging “up hill.” Wolfensohn was a better golfer, but still not great. The next summer I mentioned to Mr. W. that I was pleased to see that he and Greenspan evidently didn’t spend a lot of time on the golf course, given that between them they controlled most of the money in the world. But I asked, “When you and he play for a quarter a hole, is that a real quarter or is that a quarter point on the prime rate? He chuckled and replied, “Alan is coming out next month, perhaps  I’ll suggest it”. I further note that the next month, the prime rate dropped a quarter of a point—–I wonder?

A word about striking the ball—with your irons, you should be striking the ball ON THE DOWNSWING; and with your driver and “woods” have a sweeping motion. Those horizontal lines on the irons’ clubface merge with the dimples on the ball’s surface, and with the downswing impart backspin and height to the shot. Watch the pros; they take a bit of sod with each of their iron shots, called a divot; it starts where the ball was sitting and goes forward from there. The club was descending when it hit the ball, and continued a bit further into the ground; hence, the resulting divot. Once you have become fairly adept at controlling the club on the downswing, you can get more height on your iron shots by playing the ball forward from the usual spot, and can hit lower shots like under a tree limb, by moving the ball back in your address.

Here’ something else—take your club in your right hand, and make a slow, complete swing. You will note that with that right hand in control, the clubhead gets near to the “hitting zone” probably about a foot or so behind the ball’s position. But just about the time it gets to the ball, it wants to start up and your right arm wants to move the club around to your left side, away from the hitting zone and the ball.  Now, do the same thing but with the left hand and arm. You will see that the clubhead is just getting to the hitting zone when it reaches the ball, and is able to stay low to the ground beyond the ball, after hitting it. This is why the weight shift is so important, and why we want you to keep that “damned right hand” out of the shot. Beginners, as well as high handicappers, think they have to steer the club with their right hand when in fact they shouldn’t be driving the club through the swing with their hands, at all. If anything, they might think about “pulling” the club through with the left; that keeps the clubface square to the desired line of flight, when coupled with the shoulder and hip turn.

You might think about bringing the club head from “inside” the line as it descends, and imagine that you’re “swinging out” at the ball. This might either create a nice draw, or a straight shot. After you learn control, you will be able to “shape” some of your shots. In any event, this allows or encourages you to extend the arms through the shot, finishing with the hands and clubshaft wrapped about the shoulder-neck area. This extension increases your clubhead speed, and thus provides more power and distance to the shot.

A word about tempo. Most good golfers don’t appear to be swinging particularly fast, and they aren’t. They are generating clubhead speed with their rhythm and tempo, timing is more important than a major lunge at the ball. Sometimes they forget; I have seen a person who has been considered to be the best golfer in the world for much of the last decade, sometimes dip his body and lunge at the ball on his tee shots. On those occasions, he usually is having a very bad day with his drives; when he doesn’t do that motion he is highly consistent and accurate. Again, watch the pros, many of them appear to be in slow motion. If you happen to be using graphite shafted clubs, you will have to swing more slowly in order to allow the shaft to “kick in” and provide the desired extra power that graphite contributes. If you swing too fast with these shafts, the clubhead will have struck the ball before the shaft snaps into the shot, thus robbing you of some desired distance. I’ve found that graphite shafted clubs hit about 10 yds. further than their steel shafted counterparts. Generally, it is considered to be about 10 yds. difference between clubs as one goes through the numbers, e.g., a 6-iron will hit about 10 yds. farther than a 7-iron, but not as high. And a graphite-shafted 7-iron will hit about as far as a steel-shafted 6-iron.

Another thing that affects your distance is the elevation of your golf course. I recall playing at Pebble Beach, which is at sea level. I had been living at 7000 feet in Carbon County, Wyoming, and found that the ball doesn’t go as far at lower elevations. In fact, there appeared to be about 15 yds. difference between the distance I could hit, with the same club! Although I was playing well at that time in my life, I continually left my shots to the green short of the target at Pebble Beach, not knowing which club to use. I shot a 92 from the back tees, mostly because I was having to chip on to the greens and usually two-or three-putted on the unfamiliar grass.

Well, now you should be ready to bring the golf course to its knees, pleading for mercy. If you follow these instructions, you no longer will have to file an Environmental Impact Statement with the EPA, prior to teeing off. Our next lesson will be on The Short Game, where most of your strokes are made and where the greatest improvement in your scores can be achieved. And where I currently have a lot of trouble!

Always Be Happy!

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ON GOLF–LESSON 1

September 22, 2012

A number of years ago, in the early 70’s, our little town lacked anyone of note to manage the shop at the nine hole golf course “up on the hill overlooking the town”. My wife and I were asked to take it on and so we did, a bit reluctantly at first but enthusiastically later on. We performed this task for three summers and, as both of us were busy with other things like my “day job” as a school principal and she involved with teaching some college classes, in order to keep things going we selected some of my better eighth graders to collect greens fees and cart rental fees, clean the locker rooms and environs, and present  a picture of confidence and competence to the visiting public.

Things worked out well and we received a third of the greens fees, 10% of the cart rentals, and any profits we could garner from the sale of merchandise. Mostly we merely ordered clubs for folks, charging them “cost plus 10%”; this sounds like a good deal for them but at that time, lots of people preferred to order more cheaply-made equipment from catalogs that had inflated retail prices along with beautiful, tempting photos of the gear. Wilson and Power-Bilt were popular brands at that time, and we ordered a set of each, Wilson’s for my wife and Power-Bilt Citations for myself. As a side note, that year we each won our club championship, but I had to use her clubs as my new ones hadn’t arrived and I had sold my old ones. Using those ladies’ clubs, I had to swing more slowly to counteract the flex of the shaft and as a result, shot 70-74, my best two consecutive rounds ever! (Maybe I should still use ladies’ clubs).

As things developed, there were numerous requests for someone to give lessons, so under the sponsorship of the local Adult Education program, I put together a series of group lessons and I began to really study all the literature relative to learning to play. I quickly discovered that I had a terrible swing, very flat, and one that I had developed after reading Ben Hogan’s book, Power Golf. He also had a flat swing but somehow was a lot better at it than I.

Another thing I learned is that according to several writers, the golf swing is the most complex single movement in all of sports as it demands that every part of the body move in concert with its colleagues to bring together an effort  focused on a tiny, stationary target, the ball. Almost anything can affect the swing, from a loud noise to a hangnail; for those of us who watch the pros play we know that from day to day, their swings change as do the conditions under which they function. No nice, weatherproof indoor arena. At the same time, one must recognize that even in a “golf match”, the golfer is actually not playing against human opponents, he or she is fighting against the course. The competition could be likened to saying to your human adversary, “I can get around this course better than you”, and then set about doing so. There’s no defense allowed, unless of course etiquette is ignored and you issue a loud cough or other sound in the middle of the enemy’s backswing. Or intentionally step in his putting line and leave a large heel dent in the grass around the cup.

One sees advertising that tries to lure the golfer to fantastic venues, along the oceans or in the mountains, scenery galore as well as prices. But what it comes down to is, can you hit the ball where you want it to go, and from any kind of lie, consistently? If so, then it doesn’t matter which golf course you’re playing, it all comes down to each shot you make, how you make it, and whether it’s satisfactory or not. One of my friends who was a really good player, often shooting in the upper 60’s for 18 holes, attributed his success to his knowledge of Maslow’s Theory of Self-Actualization, rooted in existential thought. Under this, each golf shot is independent of any other, either the one before or the one after. This allowed him to forget the bad shot and look forward to the next one as a happening onto itself. Of course, he also had some athletic ability having been the center on the St. Cloud State Hockey team in the 60’s. But you get the point; golf is a game of the individual against the landscape; great scenery is merely a bonus! I found though that when I’m playing at one of the more beautiful locations, I tend to ignore the surroundings and concentrate on the course itself. Thus, I’ve played at Pebble Beach and the Municipal Course in Gary, Indiana; the former in view of the Monterey Peninsula, the latter close by the steel mills belching red and yellow smoke across the fairways. Generally, I focused on trying to hit the ball, leaving the scenery for my camera while waiting to play the next hole. I don’t think I took any photos in Gary.

So, let’s look at some of the things I’ve learned from trying to teach folks to play this great game. Most of my clients have been beginners, or near beginners, and most have been women who didn’t want their husbands trying to teach them, placing a premium on marital harmony rather than discord. I always would tell my students that golf is more like chess than checkers, it demands an intellectual approach if one expects to be good at it. Yes, there are the elements of the basic swing, but each actual shot is different from the one before or the one after, varying with distance, topography, the spot where the ball sits, windage, proximity to water, etc. All of these need to be considered before selecting the club to use for the particular shot, and how to adjust the swing to match the conditions.

We’ll start with some terminology. I assume you know that the flagstick in the hole can be referred to as “the flag” or  “the pin”; the area from which you begin a hole is the teeing ground, or just, “the tee”. The closely-mowed area to the green is the fairway, and has “rough” on each side. Around the edge of the green is “the collar”, “the fringe”, or some call it “froghair”. Some areas of rough are staked with red or yellow markers; these areas are called “hazards”(yellow) or “Lateral hazards”(red) depending on whether they are to the side or they are to be crossed in hitting toward the green. Many of these contain water, such as a lake or creek.  (The 8th hole at Pebble Beach demands a nice shot over a cove of the Pacific Ocean!—that’s a Big Hazard!)

Another common ‘hazard” is a “bunker”, or “sandtrap”, or merely “trap”, These need to be identified because there are different  penalties for hitting into them as well as getting out of them.

Some shots which often deserve colorful commentary also have names: the most common one is a “slice”, in which the ball starts out toward the target and decides to curve away to the right (for a right handed golfer); its counterpart is deemed a “hook”, curving toward the left. Mild versions of these are the “fade” for the former, and the “draw” for the latter. If a player can consistently hit these, it’s a good thing; if the consistency is attached to one of the more dramatic curves, it’s bad. Most pro golfers try to hit one or the other of these curving shots; the draw has a lot of topspin and therefore will roll farther than the fade, which has backspin and generally stops fairly close to where it first lands. The decision is whether to “go for distance” or “go for accuracy”.

As we get into the actual mechanics and cautionary statements, my descriptions are for a right-handed golfer; you lefties just go back and substitute the opposite term and you should do fine!

THE GRIP

There are several ways to grip the club, but most people use either the interlocking grip or the overlapping grip. With the former, the left hand is above the right hand on the club, and the left index finger is placed between the right pinky and ring finger. This creates a “bond” with the hope that the two hands will work as one during the swing. The overlapping grip is similar except that the left index finger merely lies atop the right pinky and ring finger, on the space between them. In both, the right thumb lies loosely across the shaft, not pointing down and parallel to the shaft. This would cause problems, as the thumb would then be pushing on the shaft and move it slightly out of the correct  path back to the ball. Actually, the strength in the grip comes from the last three fingers of the left hand, and the middle two fingers of the right hand. The others are just along for the ride.

Furthermore, the “V “ formed by the thumb and index finger on each hand should both point toward the right shoulder. If the right hand “V” is pointing below the right shoulder, bad things can happen (hooks and slices, et.al.) because the right hand becomes highly dominant in the swing. MOST BAD SHOTS CAN BE LINKED TO THE RIGHT HAND GETTING INTO THE SHOT—more on this as we look at other things.

It should be mentioned that a few players new to the game use a “baseball” grip, in which the hands are not linked. I recall a player who used this grip, and who had exceptionally strong hands and wrists, bringing clubs to me for repair; having snapped the steel shaft inside the grip when his two hands were working in opposition to one another. This happened twice!

Also, these recommended grips are to be used with only slight variations for all shots except putting and perhaps very short shots near the green.

THE BACKSWING

Assuming that you have positioned the ball directly out from the inside of your left heel, that your feet are approximately shoulders’ width apart, and that your back is straight (not vertical, just straight), let your arms hang down. Where your hands are now located, that’s where you should be gripping the club, not extending your arms out away from the body. I once read that the golf swing, being vertical in nature, is an unnatural movement; the arms are more easily manipulated in a horizontal swing. However, in the vertical movement one wants them to get back to their “ most natural” position, i.e., where they are located with the arms hanging. If you watch the pros on TV, you’ll note that with most of them, their arms when viewed from behind appear to be going straight down toward the ground.

For a number of years, I had trouble slicing the ball off to the right. I decided I needed some lessons, and discovered that I shouldn’t be taking the club back with my arms; rather, I should rotate my shoulders toward the right while keeping the club head low to the ground until it wants to start up toward the “set” position at the top of the backswing. While this was going on, I needed to pay attention to my wrists, cocking them sideways but not straying from having the left wrist straight, up and down. In other words, there should be a straight line along the side of the left wrist at the top of backswing, no “cupping”(bending the left hand backward) or “drooping” (bending the left hand inward) allowed. During my beginners’ classes, I noted that women tended to “droop” their left wrist, men tended toward “cupping”. I can’t explain it.

This is a good time to mention that as in many sports, one can get closer to consistency by controlling variables. On the human body, all of the various elbow, knee, wrist, ankle, shoulder joints need to be controlled. I brag that I can teach almost anyone to be an 80% free throw shooter, even The Shaq, if they can minimize the errors introduced when the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints are not working in unison. It has struck me as strange that some of the NBA players who can hit jump shots from far away can’t hit a free throw. In looking at their shots, they “flip” the jump shot with only their forearm and wrist; they shoot their free throws by” pushing” the ball with all three joints starting at the shoulder. It’s quite difficult to have all three working exactly together.

The same principle is also in the golf swing. With the back swing, using the shoulders, keep the left elbow locked, and the arm as straight and extended as possible. Of course, one is keeping the head still, not moving the body forward or backward, just rotating the shoulders and torso. At this point, we have stabilized the left wrist and arm, thus minimizing errors. I used to play with some guys who didn’t lock their left elbow on the backswing; they would bend that arm a bit differently on each shot, and therefore the club was going to begin the downswing from a different position each time. Naturally, they were never consistent.

How far back one takes the club varies with the individual; John Daley takes it back so far that it is pointing down his left side toward the ground. The recommended “ideal” is to have the club close to horizontal at the top of the backswing, and pointing toward the target. There should be a right angle with the right arm, the upper arm horizontal and the forearm vertical. And of course, the left arm is still straight and locked. This does not mean one must take the club to that horizontal position; in fact, as you observe the pros you’ll see a wide variance among them. But how far you take the club back has a bearing on how much clubhead speed you can generate on the downswing. And remember, we’re swinging with our shoulders, not our arms. They just follow along, dragging their cocked wrists along with them. The weight of the club, in its movement, will snap the wrists for you as you swing at the ball.

Once you’ve reached the top of the swing, we introduce another step—the Pause. I’ve observed many problem golfers who don’t pause at the top of the swing, setting the stage for what comes next. Instead, they start their downswing with their arms before their shoulder turn to the right has been completed, thus having parts of their body moving in opposite directions. THIS MUST BE EMPHASIZED-LEARN TO HAVE A TINY PAUSE AT THE TOP OF THE SWING IN ORDER TO “SET” EVERYTHING BEFORE PROCEEDING ON. Also, at the top of the swing (the set position) your weight should be on your right side, shoulders and hips perpendicular to the swing path  (desired line of flight).

Finally, let’s look at the swing path. Imagine a line from the ball on the ground, to the intended target. When you take the club back, start it straight back from the ball and then somewhat “inside” that line as the hands and club come up to the set position. If you take it back “outside” that line, there’s a very good chance that you’ll get the dreaded slice, due to the fact that during the downswing the club face will not be hitting the ball squarely from behind; rather, it will “cut across” the ball and impart some clockwise spin that produces the slice.

THE DOWNSWING (next lesson: will include the weight shift using the lower body and shoulders to initiate the move, the pull with the left hand, the extension of the arms through the hitting zone, and other details. We shall also get into various problems, their causes, and how to remediate.)

Always Be Happy!

New Vistas, New Plateaus

September 8, 2012

New Vistas, New Plateaus

Even at my somewhat advanced age, I have decided that the best way to keep going is to seek out new vistas and new plateaus as the centerpieces of my daily activity, in spite of any issues of Health and Wealth, and to seek Intellectual pursuits in order to maintain some semblance of awareness  and involvement.. I find that I am still capable of events stirring morsels of excitement within me, some related to my career as an educator, and others generated by my own choice of paths to follow throughout each day’s menu of opportunities.

Numerous examples, for instance, have arisen out of my various school evaluation assignments; the Dexter Elementary School at Ft. Benning, Georgia is what I would have liked the elementary schools of which I was principal, to be. Serendipity (“finding treasure where least expected”) raised its head in a visit to a Cairo school, wrapped in the shadow of The Great Pyramid, that has the most comprehensive and effective special education program I’ve had the good fortune to see in action. This, in spite of little interest or emphasis on special education services throughout the Middle East, but an example of what one person can do in order to initiate “a cause” that brings light into the otherwise dark world of the handicapped. I saw kindergarten children in a Wyoming elementary school using “smiley face” rubrics to evaluate their own work, and to use in establishing their own goals for improvement. Each time one of these examples appeared, I experienced “New Life”, and realized that mentally I’m not yet retired.

Speaking of retirement, a couple of years ago I began to search for the “best place” to live during that next stage, and as a beginning I made a long list of what kinds of things I would like to have available as I begin to experience physical changes and challenges derived from the aging process. Such things as availability of health services, senior citizen transportation, physical therapy, shopping, proximity to a major airport, entertainment, volunteerism, cost of golf, fishing, and so on. As I considered each location, I graded it on this legal page list of desirable qualities; some of the choices were the Prescott, Arizona area, Western Colorado,  Charlotte, NC (where my grandsons live), and of course, my “hometown” of 40 years, Thermopolis, Wyoming.

And Surprise! Remaining where I am proved to be the best choice of all; the major cons of being two hours from an adequate airport, and the two months each year of really cold weather, were easily overcome by numerous other considerations. Among them, no state income tax (it would have cost me an additional minimum of $1000 annually to go to one of these other states), cheap golf (I have my own cart), fishing (I have a lifetime license), a great climate during most of the year (except this year’s summer, which was bad everywhere), a nice home with 22 trees and lots of grass, etc. etc. etc. Of course, we have to chase the damned deer out of the yard; yesterday there were three young bucks lounging in the shade near the boundary fences. I have a membership at one of the local swimming pools for an annual fee of $100 (we have the World’s Largest Mineral Hot Springs), another membership at the local rehab center’s health club for $15/month, with free personal trainers. If I need to get something fixed, all the owners of local businesses are former students of mine, and there’s no red tape. The mayor was one of my staff years ago; I once put the current County Clerk into in-school suspension for an altercation during middle school PE. The best auto mechanic in town is also my golf partner.

But one of the highlights, and one which none of the other sites can challenge, is that our town has what has been designated by an independent organization as the “best dinosaur museum in the US”. I happen to be a member of the educational board attached to the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, and I look forward to many happy hours of volunteering to do everything from “cleaning” and restoring fossil bones, to organizing docent guides to lead tour groups as the Elderhostel folks and others spend a week or so here.  I mean, who doesn’t love a dinosaur?  We have the rights to three dig sites, one right here in Thermopolis, one near Douglas, Wyoming (from where our 106 ft. long specimen came), and another on the Wyoming-Nebraska border near Lusk, Wyoming. And, I can always go south for the cold months.

Now there’s more excitement. Yesterday, I signed papers to buy a second house here, in anticipation of our thinking of selling our present house in a year or two, and my wife relocating for part of the year to be near the grandkids. I prefer to live in the West, and just visit the East.  One of the elements of this decision has to do with my present battle with peripheral polyneuropathy; I am in the third week of a steroid therapeutic regimen having the purpose of determining how it affects my general health and which among the many side effects may have nasty consequences, if any. I did some investigation of extracts that had been recommended for consideration by a friend, but their benefits do not fit my particular need. If the disease cannot be halted, it could result in a major lack of ambulatory ability, and a one level house would be preferable; my new place is all on one level, and even has well-made ramps in the event that a wheel chair would become necessary. Of course, we hope not, and as a matter of fact I haven’t felt this good since I was in my 50’s—no pain anywhere, lots of stamina, reduction of former health problems. Physical therapy two or three times a week is focusing on helping me to regain my ability for good balance, along with increased strength and flexibility. So far, my golf swing hasn’t improved, but it hasn’t deteriorated either. And I have a house to use for visitors! Assuming that we can effectively deal with this disease, I am scheduled to make a couple of school visits in early March to Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and in late April to Bahrain. I guess I had better get my Arabic language cards out again! I’m also planning a stopover in Troon, Scotland, for a wee bit of golf.

Actually, in a year or so the house may become a vacation rental; I learned recently that there is a market for that even in this little town, due to the fact that it is a tourist destination that people like to sample for more than just a day or two. It depends upon my health situation.

For several years, I was principal of a residential facility for multiple handicapped youngsters to age 21; most of them were labeled as severely emotionally disturbed, and needed lots of support. Our town has a similar facility, but for younger students to age 13 or so, and I have the opportunity to use some of my experience to do some substitute teaching, and maybe lend some other support. Again, this community has lots to offer for me, and similar opportunities would be difficult to replicate elsewhere.

Changing the subject, I recently read an extremely well-written blog by my favorite blogster, providing a comprehensive and articulate commentary about the evil influence of Islamaphobia rearing its ugly head throughout many of our social networks and political decision-making. The blog, “It’s a Halal Life”, can be accessed on wordpress.com; the author is Senior Editor of an Islamic publication which covers a wide variety of topics including finance, health, diet and nutrition, and relationship concerns. I strongly recommend reading this blog in the hope that it can provide a good window into understanding many of the issues surrounding this unfortunate circumstance. Much of what she writes focuses on the lack of knowledge that most of us have about the core of Islam, and are unaware of how its roots are shared with Christianity and Judaism. At its heart, it is not the violent ogre that it is often characterized;  rather, a reading of the Qu’ran will reveal that it is based on a demanding yet forgiving God, and that charity toward others is a major theme throughout. Many people think that one should automatically “be proud of America”; my view is that we are “ lucky to be an American” but I can’t be proud of everything our country represents as long as racisim and intolerance such as this remain in the forefront of political and social action. I am proud that our country has, at least in its founding documents, the mechanisms to address these problems—if only we will.

Always Be Happy!        To Our Life!