Daily Archives: May 3, 2009

Randy Ford Author- fatigue and shock in Manila

      People spent their time going around Manila in shock…fatigued and shocked.   They constantly asked themselves, “When will our city get back to normal?   When will the students go back to studying?   When will it be safe again?”   Susan tried to get Ted to stay home.   He still rode an hour every morning to the university and taught his classes.   Counting the trip to Fort Santiago, two and a-half-hours by bus and jeepney; and heaven only knew how safe it was.   Susan thought, “If he had any brains, he wouldn’t chance it.”   She didn’t know why he would continue.   She still went to her school every day.   She went, but it wasn’t as far.   “Gosh, tell him you’ll miss him if he gets killed.”   And she didn’t know how much the Peace Corps knew.   They had to have known what everyone else knew, but did they really keep track?   Were volunteers on their own?   Then Susan read in the Manila Times about bombings somewhere, and it didn’t matter to her where the bombings occurred; anywhere would’ve been too close.   “We’re handicapped,” she said. “We can’t get all the news.   Then, too, what is he doing all that time he spends at Fort Santiago?   They close all the classes, and what does he do?   He goes to the fort.   And she felt so uneasy that she sometimes had to show up down there too.

       It was her other side that Mr. Araya saw, the cheerful, easy-going woman that they all knew.   She didn’t miss a day of school.   Obligation there was an obligation.   She said, “I don’t want anyone to say that I didn’t take my teaching seriously.   Mr. Araya will tell you.   I’m a very good teacher.”

      And everyone knew…it was something people talked about…why Ted married her, or she married him.   Someone had to go with him, to make sure he knew when to turn around and go back.   She didn’t have a problem with him following his dreams.   She would follow them too, but would stop him when it got too harry.   For her sometimes it paid to be a chicken.   She didn’t want to hear about failings and shortcomings and was trying to be content as a counterbalance to her spouse.   Unlike him she wasn’t trying to cram everything she could into a lifetime.

       For three or four months Susan intended to take Mr. Ayala to see a show at Fort Santiago.   When she brought it up to him, he got the idea that the theater in the fort would be the perfect place for his students to perform.   He promoted the dance troupe, the glee club, and the rondalla all the time, so he naturally came up with the idea.   Poor Susan.   His heart was in the right place; but his faith in Susan was not based on reality.   He made her regret that she had thought of him, and she obsessed on it so much that she thought of nothing else.   And then, suddenly, the problem was solved for her.   Mr. Ayala fabricated an excuse for Susan that got her off the hook.

      But it didn’t help her with Ted’s situation.   He still insisted on showing up at the university.   Then to spend all that time at the theater.   She knew it took a lot of  time, though she couldn’t understand how he could stay alive at that pace.   To achieve what?   Then she was told that he spent a great deal of time in the dungeons, and she felt cheated.   At least he avoided the fighting.   You wouldn’t have found him in front of the Congress building, Claro M. Recto Street, or Malacanang.   Of course there was the lure of being there that he resisted and would’ve, in a strange way, enjoyed.   He still stayed away.   So he tried to explain to Susan why he had been spending so much time in the dungeons.

      A man who didn’t stick his neck out (who was always cautious) would’ve stayed away from Nick…a self-proclaimed Moist.   Ted’s big production was also risky and called for material Nick could provide.   Ted’s drama in the dungeons.   It would take everyone, everyone’s energy and input.   But it hadn’t jelled yet.   The one thing it had to be was relevant…okay, topical.   With all the goings-on, he could’ve easily been distracted, but his project had become personal.   In actual fact, he couldn’t escape it.   He was stuck with it, and the dungeons, as if he were a prisoner.

      Randy Ford

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Susan Clardy- SOMETIMES THE BLUES: THE LETTERS AND DAIRIES OF FRANK HAMMON, A LONELY FRONTIERSMAN IN GLOBE AND PHOENIX, 1882-1889, History

      SOMETIMES THE BLUES: THE LETTERS AND DIARIES OF FRANK HAMMON, A LONELY FRONTIERSMAN IN GLOBE AND PHOENIX, 1882-1889 by Susan Clardy.  Foreword by Don Dedera

      Frank Hammon was among the flood of educated young men who came west in the late-1800’s seeking adventure and fortune, and found instead hardship, tragedy and back-breaking work.  Unlike many of his contemporaries, Hammon recorded his thoughts and the daily routine of his life in letters to family and in a private diary.  In her engaging book, Hammon’s great granddauhter fills in the gaps in his description of life in the bustling mining town of Globe and the farming community of Phoenix, and paints a vivid picture of the world around him that includes such colorful characters as the Apache Kid, Sherif Glenn Reynolds, scout Al Sieber, gun-men Black Jack Newman and Ed Tewksbury, and future governor George W. P. Hunt.  Miner, lawman, rancher, and swimming pool operator, Frank Hammon was a frontier Everyman.  His diaries and letters, supplemented by Susan Clardy’s meticulous research, provide a revealing view of ordinary men and women struggling to survive in territorial Arizona.

      2007, 328 pages

      ISBN 0-910037-47-7

      $39.95

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Rosen Publishing Group- GREAT MUSLIM PHILOSOPHERS AND SCIENTISTS IN THE MIDDLE AGES, Youth Non-Fiction

      GREAT MUSLIM PHILOSOPHERS AND SCIENTISTS IN THE MIDDLE AGES six-part series (Rosen Publishing Group, 2006)

      These richly illustrated books provide excellent reference sources and interesting biographical reading for intermediate level students and above.  Although each book focuses on a particular individual, linkages are made among the featured scientist and philosphers as with others in different eras and regions. (Middle School and up)

      The Middle East Outreach Council established the Middle East Book Award in 1999 to recognize books for children and young adults that contribute meaning-fully to an understanding of the Middle East.  Books are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of the Middle Eastern subject, as well as on their characterization, plot, and appeal for the inteneded audience.  Awards are announced in Novemenber for books published during the period from January of the previous year through September of the current year.  For the purposes of this award, “The Middle East” is defined as the Arab World, Iran, Isreal, Turkey, and Afghanistan.

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Dale Lightfoot- IRAQ (MODERN WORLD NATIONS SERIES), Youth Non-Fiction

      IRAQ (MODERN WORLD NATIONS SERIES) by Dale Lightfoot, series editor Charles F. Gritzner (Chelsea House Publishers, 2007)

      Part of the MODERN NATIONS SERIES by Chelsea House Publishers, this entry on Iraq is clearly written, well organzed, and nicely illustrated (great photos and maps).  Written by a former contractor who worked with Iraqi universities to rebuild the country’s educational program, this book gives a thorough overview of Iraq’s culture, geography, and history, but also touches on popular culture, and youth culture.  (Middle School and up)

      The Middle East Outreach Council established the Middle East Book Award in 1999 to recognize books for children and young adults that contribute meaning-fully to an understanding of the Middle East.  Books are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of the Middle Eastern subject, as well as on their characterization, plot, and appeal for the inteneded audience.  Awards are announced in Novemenber for books published during the period from January of the previous year through September of the current year.  For the purposes of this award, “The Middle East” is defined as the Arab World, Iran, Isreal, Turkey, and Afghanistan.

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