John Melançon's Life

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Gypsy girl

As a child I fell in love with this gypsy girl
she broke my heart by saying she couldn't be my girlfriend because I wasn't a gypsy

Dad as vegeterian

I wasn't a vegetarian based on high principles or anything, but out of awareness of being a hypocrite. If I went fishing, I know I'm asking the fish not to bite my line. I could never go hunting. So as soon as I heard about vegetarianism,

my artist friend who was also a vegetarian [they roomed together, and were poor-- they'd tell girls they would cook them up dinner if they brought the vegetables], he wasn't

he thought I was the brave one, the tough one

Dad on going it alone versus community

Jen called here last night (2005 March 11) because she thought Jakob was getting arrested after they spun out passing a truck and crashed, missing the guard rail (apparently a good thing), into a ditch. Opie hit the windshield and was whining, Jakob and Jennifer both hurt their shoulders (were they actually buckled?). The car has to be towed and that will probably use up all their $200. The trooper (?), of course, was obnoxious about it, but the real question is why wasn't Jakob arrested if he doesn't have a license? He was in the police car giving his statement when Jen called.

A beginning of the story.. the French Market, New Orleans

[Transcript of an audiotape recording Dad made.]

to start this story

to remind you that it's difficult to convey your ignorance at the time this story took place. There's so much one didn't know, etc.

I'll begin I guess ... these memories are rather vague but let me begin with me running away from a kind of orphanage I was in.

I must have planned it somehow because I remember I had a little bundle of clothing or something.

But at any rate I'm walking along a road and some guy in a truck

with vegetables or something on it

stopped and picked me up.

Volleyball

Dad was a really great volleyball player, he said. The neighborhood he was in had their own neighborhood version (permanent positions) and he played center at the net. Somehow volleyball had caught on there.

Was the star of the team that beat everyone in the neighborhood, never got knocked out, until they got a team together of real athletic types from outside the neighborhood who beat them for that one game.

Could jump high and stay there, sometimes would fake hitting the ball with his right hand and spike it with his left.

Business is business

business is business

that's the kind of bartender I was

I know some would get themselves tips by giving free drinks

never did that

Another bad thing about poverty

[We were talking about the increase in diabetes in a factoid in this week's Newsweek - which I could explain by rising obesity (type II diabetes, I think, that is). The even higher numbers for black men, and to a lesser extent for black women, I could only speculate that the situation of the urban poor is somehow like that of third world countries that have westernized. In those cases I think the deal is that their local food production ends and "Western culture," that is unhealthy food, comes in. Fatty and calorie-filled food and less physical activity.

Concern for fellow man

2001 October 31

We were talking about health care, and how every lie about a national health system (no doctor choice, high cost inc. in taxes) has come true under private health care. How one would probably have choice, and more important Dad said is be able to use a doctor wherever you are in the country without being penalized. And, I added, everyone would be covered. That is most important.

Patriotism

Patriotism has always been used as a cloak for the worst type of people.

I guess that's why it makes me so sick.

For hundreds of years in this country people can't raise their children to be normal, they have to hit them to make them not act normal so that they won't die. [I think this refers to blacks in the south, specifically.]

That's tragedy.

Not someone dying in the line of duty.

Good men, evil men

Good men try to find a solution to things. Evil men try to find someone to blame.

I wrote that during the Depression and it's just as true today.

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