The Sand Bar and Grille

The Sand Bar and Grille welcomes visitors the year round, albeit more in season than not. Some stay a short time, while others find a way to never leave. The Brunette in booth six was digging in. She sat quietly moving her finger around the top of the drink drawing imaginary circles on a melting glass of soda when she had the sudden epiphany that her life, like her finger was going nowhere. Above her head the circling ceiling fan reinforced the fact her world was going as of late; in circles. So when I returned from paying the bill she smiled and offered, a, “But why can’t we stay another week?” to ears that didn’t hear her. When she asked if I was ready to go she failed to raise an eyebrow as I laid the rope down on the table. I wanted to stay, but this time I was the villain. A game of tug or war, anyone, I said? For she knew I was already drifting out to sea and thinking of home. She on the other hand would never leave; thus the reason of the rope. Must be why she left her purse on the seat just opposite the world’s longest bar and walked out with me, without saying a word. Holding hands we walked off to a receding shore line oblivious to our arrival, heading out to meet the tide. Twenty impatient toes eager to find sand between them. The sunset blazoned in oranges, grays, blues and crimsons yielding every known warm feeling it could muster despite the thunderheads on the horizon. It would be hours before we would remember what we left there. Days before we would find buried treasures in not just the past, but woven in summers long lost mosquito nets.

 

From that moment on, I was no longer a liberal, a believer in the self-correcting character of American democracy. I was a radical, believing that something fundamental was wrong in this country – not just the existence of poverty amidst great wealth, not just the horrible treatment of black people, but something rotten at the root. The situation required not just a new president or new laws, but an uprooting of the old order, the introduction of a new kind of society – cooperative, peaceful, egalitarian.

-Howard Zinn, from his 1994 memoir, “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train”

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5 thoughts on “The Sand Bar and Grille

  1. I once saw a documentary on this man (“Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral” – 2004). A very remarkable man indeed. A compassionate, committed and very likable wise-progressive thinker and educator. I never knew his writing was so lyrical. Thanks. You have inspired me to go to the bookstore or library and read more.

  2. Admire the Howard Zinn quote. I am 62. We felt that way in 1968. We wanted to change it. We couldn’t. I see democracy evaporating because of the megabanks and the megacorps. They are more powerful and controlling than most countries.

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