In their lives together, my parents, like most of us, experienced many failings but it was their self-perceived failures before their marriage that would galvanize their union in a way so many of us aspire to in a marriage. Yet a step back and a retrospective view of these events suggests that they were not actually failures at all. They were instead merely life-shaping events that led them both to where they believed they were ultimately meant to be. Continue reading
He was born to working class parents in Cushing, Oklahoma, a very small community not far from Tulsa. His given name was Ted Lester Oliver, though he went by the moniker TL, and he arrived in his humble surroundings on July 8, 1933, the very nadir of the Great Depression.
We have no cultural memory of this time in American history. We do not as a people recall that it was a time that shunned hope and extinguished dreams, and that no corner of the industrialized world was untouched. The entire planet, it seemed, was on the precipice of a collapse and imagination fails me as I think of my grandparents’ determination. To spend each day looking for work, to turn to each other and their community for hope, at times, perhaps, knowing that the day would bring only desperation with no fruitful outcome. Continue reading
I stood there transfixed, bathed in the flickering light of the black and white set, which was eerily quiet. Only the sound of horse hooves plodding along the black asphalt broke the silence, a team of white horses pulling a black box draped with an American flag. Leading them, a cadre of soldiers and sailors some with rifles and others carrying flags.