Day Tripper

Day Tripper: (n) a person who goes on a trip, especially an excursion lasting one day

I was well into my thirties before I realized my parents were very conservative.

I should have known.

My mother would tell absolute strangers that she voted “a straight Republican ticket.” That meant she walked in, pulled the lever down for all the “R” candidates, no matter who they were.

Honestly, throughout my high school years, I was not interested enough in politics to distinguish between the colliding hordes.

All I knew was that the Beatles came to America and I liked what I heard and my parents decided the Fab Four were communists, attempting to use African music to raise the heart rate of American youth, to lure them to their will.

Because of this, I was not allowed to watch them perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. I had none of their records. If one of their tunes came on the radio, I had to listen to a speech about how evil they were (while trying to hear the plea from them to “hold her hand”).

I had one escape.

My friend, Paul, would invite me over to spend the weekend at his house, and Paul’s parents liked the Beatles. His mother even said they were “cute.”

Unfortunately for Paul—who wanted to play basketball, goof off and eat foods his mother normally would not prepare unless there were guests—I sat directly in front of their stereo and listened to the Beatles for hours at a time. Matter of fact, Paul finally complained to me that I wore out part of the vinyl on a Beatle record because I played it over and over again.

It was the song, “Day Tripper.”

The guitar lick and the drums made me want to dance. I was fat, awkward and had never really thought about dancing before—but Day Tripper did it to me. Sometimes I forgot where I was and began my little dance routine, which made Paul look over and laugh at me. I didn’t care.

I wasn’t concerned about what the lyrics meant.

I wasn’t thinking about whether John Lennon was more popular than Jesus.

And I certainly was oblivious to whether Paul was dead or not.

I was a kid who heard a beat, who felt joy, and for a moment was transformed from my swirling uncertainty of adolescence into a jubilant being who actually believed that “love is all we need.”

It just “took me so long to find out.”



Collect: (v) to bring or gather things

I collect.

I grab my basket and step into life, picking up things that suit my fancy, meet my needs or stir my soul.

From democracy I collect the value of personal freedom.

I collect a wisp of meditation from the Buddhists.

I collect tenderness, mercy and endurance from my sisters.

I collect devotion to country from communist China.

I realize the danger of eating too much pork from my Muslim brethren.

I collect the value of play from the children encircling me.

I collect my thoughts by rejecting my prejudices.

I collect the true history of my life by quieting the ideas I wish to promote.

I collect fruits and vegetables at a good price at Aldi.

I collect the power of the Golden Rule from my friend, Jesus.

I collect a searching, inquiring and probing mind from my atheist friends.

I collect a respect of science from God.

And I collect a respect for God from science.

I collect things that other people think are meaningless so I can have a personal treasure in my heart.

I collect a respect for things old, current and even those things which sniff of the future.

I stand in awe of Earth as I collect my trash and throw it in the garbage instead of allowing it to go “blowin’ in the wind.”

I collect my anger and force it into a small box, where it doesn’t think it is bigger than it actually is.

I collect those little boxes of anger and open them up in my private times to address the concerns.

I collect passion for my dreams.

And I collect dreams to welcome passion.

I am a collector.

Not much of what I collect has a dollar value.

Yet all of what I collect is valuable.

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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbakan: an industrial city in south central Russia, capital of the republic of Kaskaskia, population 154,000.

For me, it was my grandfather’s root cellar. Now, if you don’t know what a root cellar is, it is an unfinished basement in an old farmhouse where they used to keep potatoes and various produce to make it last longer before rotting.

It was a scary place. It had stone steps that wound around a corner into the darkness, and as a child I was frightened to death to even open the door and look within. Matter of fact, my Grandpa died and the house was sold before I ever worked up the courage to know what was around the bend in the darkness.

Likewise, being raised in America during the time of the Cold War, I have much the same feeling about Russia. It is my geopolitical root cellar.  When you mention ANYTHING in Russia–like Abakan–I immediately get visions of the Soviet Union with wild-eyed, crazed Cossacks, hunching over big, red buttons, trying to decide whether today is the day that they will murder the imperialist Americans.

Now, I now know this isn’t true. I am a fairly sophisticated, intelligent person who has read a newspaper or two, and has even occasionally perused a news magazine. I understand that Russia is not out to get James Bond, nor is it trying to murder young children–or for that matter, brainwash us through socialist media to become communists ourselves.

But still, there is a chill that goes down my spine when I hear the word “Russia.”

I feel ashamed. I think it’s time for me to give my own version of “To Russia, With Love.” But I am reluctant. I still fear that around the corner there is a dark place lurking to swallow young boys who shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Aren’t we all silly? But after all, silliness is often just belief that has not yet been exposed.