Personal

Posts that are personal reflections

Class: A Personal Story

Class: A Personal Story

 I was born in 1946 in a small mining village in western Pennsylvania, about forty miles north of Pittsburgh, along a big bend in the Allegheny River. The house in which I lived during my first year of life had neither hot water nor indoor plumbing. It was a company house, and my grandmother had […]

Socialism and Muhammad's Economic Blueprint

Socialism and Muhammad's Economic Blueprint

 The following is an interview of me (MDY) conducted by Cedric Muhammad (CM), who is an aide to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. An abbreviated version of the interview appears in The Final Call, the Nation of Islam’s newspaper. It is available […]

Poisoning People in Apollo: All in a Day's Work

 Apollo is a small town in western Pennsylvania, part of the old coal and steel belt that surrounds Pittsburgh. The shallow Kiskiminitas River, a tributary of the Allegheny, flows through the borough. Although it is close to my hometown, I never knew much about it, except that my artist uncle once made a glass carving […]

Ten Years on the Road, Part Two

I grew up in western Pennsylvania. There were woods nearby, and while I often played in them, their wonders—the trees and birds, the changing seasons—escaped me. I never asked why the robins flocked to the neighbor’s yard in the spring or marveled at the bushes glistening in the sun after an ice storm. I didn’t […]

Ten Years on the Road, Part One

 We’re driving in a dust storm somewhere in the Navajo Nation in Arizona. We’ve just passed “Church Rock,” and to the north in Utah is The Valley of the Gods. We can barely see the road, and the tumbleweeds are dancing on the highway, careening off the windshield and dashing madly across the desert. 660 AM […]

A Little Night Music

panis angelicus Sometimes at night in our motel room, I put on headphones and listen to music on my computer. I subscribe to Rhapsody, which gives me access to millions of songs. I pick one and go from there.  Once a piece is chosen, Rhapsody recommends others; a second song leads to a third, and so forth, […]

As I Turn Sixty-Five

 I began teaching, at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, in 1969. I was twenty-three years old. Like all new employees, I had to fill out employment forms. One of them concerned my pension. I had to mark my expected retirement date. Everyone then considered sixty-five to be the normal retirement age, so I added […]

"That Which is Full of Wonder"

There is something astonishing about rock arches, and every time we see one, we marvel that nature could produce such works of art.  How can there be such a thing as Landscape Arch, the longest in the world, an impossibly thin span of 290 feet, stretching like a rainbow between its sandstone moorings and made […]