The First Bite

A weekday in Harlem, Albany, GA, circa 1960s 

America has a multitude of best-kept secrets. The Albany Georgia Civil Rights Movement  is one of them. It started in the fall of 1961. I was seven years old, and my late sister, Betty, was just shy of twelve.To my knowledge our late parents—like most of the more than 20,000 blacks in Albany at the time—were not active in the Movement. Quite the contrary, they sheltered us from it, for obvious reasons: extreme southern white bigotry was nothing to mess with. Yet that is exactly what a few brave souls chose to do, mess with the racial status quo in order to force change. You will meet many of those heroes in future posts.

I have many vivid memories of my parallel life growing up on Hazard Drive while this crucial part of American history unfolded around me. These memories were the bud for my work-in-progress novel, PEACH SEED MONKEY, where I have placed a host of fictional characters inside the very real present-day Albany, with flashbacks to the highly charged 1960s.

I invite you to visit here often (and subscribe!)  to learn how important the Albany Movement was ~ and still is ~ as an instrument of change and a model for the Women’s Movement, Vietnam protests and subsequent non-violent struggles for human rights throughout the world. Although the Movement is crucial to this story, PEACH SEED MONKEY is a work of fiction and will set out to do what novels do best ~ present the author’s exploration of a certain truth.

Leave comments, join the conversation as I’ll be sharing snippets from my process and travels—both mythic and actual—as they pertain to and inform the story; sometimes going back to 1960s Albany and my childhood house on Hazard (now a parking lot, for real); sometimes looking around my present-day life in northern California and even projecting ahead to the world our teenage daughter is headed for. I will let you in on why this is a story I am powerless to resist.

A few more hearts ~ photo gallery





Heart on Mir's foot



Love Still Abounds

As summer winds down I realize it has been a while since I shared a Happenstance Heart story so…here’s one: found by our daughter yesterday while making a fruit salad ~ dinner for a bevy of college friends. Nature is an unmatched artist.




The Quotable Barack Obama

Path to Decline.SIGN copy

Watch the full speech on my blog…

Read more…

Short Documentary: Girls of The Leesburg Stockade

This short documentary is about the women featured in this post.

Read article by :

Click here to read the letter requesting nomination for the Presidential Medal of Freedom — sent to President Barack Obama on April 26, 2016 by Congressman Sanford Bishop, Congressman John Lewis, & Congressman Hank Johnson. Please support!

Follow this link to sign petition and PASS ON TO YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS.

Hillary Makes History


Nobody deserves the White House more than Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her husband Bill broke it down beautifully for us last night at the Democratic National Convention 2016 in Philadelphia. Bill preached. Michelle Obama had already parted the waters with her dynamic self on Monday to kick things off. then along came Bill to preach the gospel of Hillary, Read more…

Please Sign Petition to Support the 15 Leesburg Stockade Women’s Nomination for Presidential Medal of Freedom

Screen shot 2016-07-26 at 11.46.00 AM

Summer, 1963 ~ Photo by Danny Lyon from his book: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement  ©1992

From a petition started by Brittany Dawson  ~

On July 15, 1963 fifteen outstanding and brave adolescent girls took a stand for their rights and were imprisoned for it, enduring terrible conditions and circumstances while confined within an abandoned Civil War stockade – a large holding cell that contained a broken shower head and a broken toilet – located deep in the backwoods of Leesburg, Georgia. The women, then ages 12-15, ended up in the stockade after their participation in a 200-strong peaceful march from Friendship Baptist Church to the Martin Theater in Americus, GA to purchase tickets at the theater’s white entrance in protest of its segregation practices. While in custody, the girls were deprived of clean water, adequate food, proper hygiene, and contact with their families for two months.

Awarding this honor will send a powerful message about our nation’s fight for equality and justice that continues to this day. It will bring awareness to the younger generation and provide insight to the struggles these young women had to endure in order to receive the basic privileges we take for granted today.

A letter requesting nomination for the Presidential Medal of Freedom was sent to President Barack Obama on April 26, 2016 by Congressman Sanford Bishop, Congressman John Lewis, & Congressman Hank Johnson. Please support!

2016 Presidential Honor of Freedom Recommendation Letter

Follow this link to sign petition and PASS ON TO YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS.





Haley Gray ~ Young Avante-Garde Jazz Artist


From the sidelines of her childhood I’ve watched Haley Grey grow from a vibrant, bright-eyed baby to a beautiful young woman with an enthralling singing voice. Now, at 18, she is coming into her own; headed to Hampshire College in the fall and celebrating the release of three brand new songs: Sleepless Eyes in the City, My Boy and All Enough for Me... Read more…

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