John Melançon's Life

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Just getting it

writer John Updike wrote book "Terrorist"

just doesn't get it

if it happened in a poor neighborhood, I don't think you'd have anyone writing about it

it's class.

Sedition for selling home to black couple

[both from] blue-blooded Kentucky families, husband and wife
Tried for sedition
bought a home and then resold it to a black couple
and convicted.
40 years.

On not bitching

I'm afraid -- Dan's always upbeat -- that things will get so bad-- that he's just going to [be so down he won't be able to function]

Eva I have a lot of respect for
from time down there

I've told Eva (about Dan)-- don't coddle him too much.

Once someone gets away with bitching, it gets to be a habit

You know it's Eva whose trying to make sure Cassidy has [some connection to his Jewish roots]

On showing love in a cruel world

[Regarding Jakob, helping him in every situation]

That is not showing love.

Love is a black man and woman
[having to teach their children to act subservient to whites to keep them from being killed]

A parent in the ghetto
[teaching children]
not messing with certain groups of kids

On Education

Professor who lived near the Community -- I don't even know what he taught, I was that ignorant [of college and university that I didn't think to ask]

he used to really get me going
people who knew about teaching tried to tell me [he's just trying to get you going]
[me: Devil's Advocate]
but he'd get me every time
I'd be [ranting about something or other]

Their daughter, of the professor and his wife, joined the community-- only one from the area to do so
said she never paid attention to what her father and I had been going on about

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington. That's how I got to know so much about that town, it's idealism

And the connections, my god, the people had connections to the highest echelons of the powerful, like Boeing, that huge lumber company, ....

Betting

I bet 10, 10, and 10-- $10 to win, $10 to place, and $10 show.

On being respected by the community they went to help

[The intentional community in Georgia]

we went there to help poor people, a community of poor people with their own culture

[the others in the intentional community knew more, did more for the community of poor people]
and yet I was the one they felt the closest too. It was a question of background

they always felt I was one of them. And they respected me for that.

[helping, being tough]

Green bananas

Green bananas.

recollection by John Melançon

[The reason I know bananas are shipped here green and gassed to ripen them is that]
in one of my jobs in my youth I worked in the warehouse of probably A&P. So this was a Philadelphia warehouse for A&P and one of our jobs was to go around filling the orders for these stores-- not talking about six jars are something, but skids of stuff that fill up a truck.

Everything [was stored in huge warehouses, including for fruits and vegetables.]

The bananas were gassed there.

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

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