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Saturday, December 27, 2008


Bob Bernet

K.M. -
I ran across your blog after reading "The World of Normal Boys." I was born in Dallas in 1955 and I must say that you have captured the same nuances and thoughts that I had as a gay teenager. One segment especially stood out when you wrote about how Robin was familiar with almost everyone in school, yet so few of THEM knew who HE was. That is the first time I have ever seen that observation in print, but I felt that as well. Ironically, this wallflower ended up chairing the last two high school reunions. Thank you for a poignant story that will have a message for years to come. Now it's time to pick up "You Can Say You Knew Me When."

By the way, in reference to your most recent blog entry: I was twelve or thirteen years old when Eartha Kitt unleashed her tirade against Mrs. Johnson and I don't recall that being considered a bold act in my household. My parents voted Republican, but bad manners is bad manners and that is how Ms. Kitt's behavior was seen by most people at that time. As a result, her remarks did more to hurt her cause than to help it. As I have grown older, I would even go so far as to say that her behavior was even cowardly. She picked an easy target and venue to make her point by attacking someone on the periphery as opposed to a legitimate policy-maker. That is not admirable or bold. I see it as nothing more than bullying.

Similarly, in 1975, I remember watching Orson Welles berate Jack Ford (Gerald Ford's son) during an appearance on "Dinah," Dinah Shore's talk show. Welles took on this self-righteous tone and verbally attacked Ford for his father's pardoning of Richard Nixon. Jack Ford, understandably, was taken slightly off-guard by the incident which left an awkward residue for the remainder of the program. I just think it is cowardly when celebrities take advantage of a captive audience by directing their venom toward people who may be close to a situation, but not influential or relevant in the decision-making process. I will certainly miss the others on your list, but for me, Eartha Kitt leaves this world as an example of how not to conduct yourself.

Thank you for the blog. It's a great way to initiate thought - which seems to be losing favor these days. All the best to you.



I appreciate your kind words about "The World of Normal Boys."

I don't see Eartha Kitt's Vietnam protest as bad manners or cowardly but as speaking truth to power. Though Lady Bird Johnson was not the President, she certainly had his ear, which is a kind of influence. And where better to make an anti-war statement than inside the White House, where decisions were being made?

In times of crisis, we each have to decide where and how to raise our voices.

Thanks for your comment. I'm always glad to hear from readers.

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