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CONGRATULATIONS, MISS NELLE ! 




I first read Harper Lee's southern gothic story To Kill a Mockingbird when I was 12, at the Brookstone School in Columbus, Georgia.

I was too young to fully appreciate the novel's themes, but its compelling characters made a deep and lasting impression, ultimately becoming part of my personal mythology.

I've always aspired to be like ATTICUS FINCH:  a beloved, respected, tireless crusader and a morally upright community leader.

Atticus is educated, honest and articulate, yet free of racial and class prejudice. He does not hold himself to be superior to his neighbors. In fact, he hides his extraordinary skills (for example, he's an expert marksman) until they're necessary. Atticus is the intersection of supreme intellectual confidence and absolute social humility.

As it turns out, I'm no Atticus Finch.

I'm more like BOO RADLEY: a pale, reclusive, misunderstood shut-in.

I keep to myself, emerging for the occasional creative, caring or heroic act. These go, for the most part, unseen, unsung and unpunished.

And I'm more like the MOCKINGBIRD: I don't do much but make music for folks to enjoy...(and that's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird).

Congratulations, Ms. Lee, on the 50th anniversary of the publication of your masterpiece -- and thank you.

RANGE 



1959
"When a man with .45 meets a man with a rifle, you said,
the man with a pistol's a dead man.
Let's see if that's true. Go ahead: load up and shoot."

1966
"You see in this world there's two kinds of people my friend:
those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig."

1971
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?'
Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself.
But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world,
and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself
one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya? Punk?"

2008
"Get off my lawn."

BECOME A HERO 



"The noir hero is a knight in blood caked armor.
He's dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that
he's a hero the whole time. "
~Frank Miller

"No hero is mortal till he dies."
~W. H. Auden

"No man is a hero in his own country."
~John Monash

"One must think like a hero to behave
like a merely decent human being."
~May Sarton

"I think of a hero as someone who understands
the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom."
~Bob Dylan

"I think a hero is an ordinary individual
who finds strength to persevere and endure
in spite of overwhelming obstacles."
~Christopher Reeve

"And there is no trade or employment
but the man following it may become a hero."
~Walt Whitman

POKER IN A PITCH DARK ROOM 



"Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man.
No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."
~John F. Kennedy

"At the bottom no one in life can help anyone else in life;
this one experiences over and over in every conflict
and every perplexity: that one is alone.
That isn't as bad as it may first appear;
and again it is the best thing in life
that each should have everything in himself:
his fate, his future, his whole expanse and world."
~Rainer Maria Rilke

"God does not play dice with the universe;
He plays an ineffable game of his own devising,
which may be compared, from the perspective of
any of the other players, to being involved
in an obscure and complex version of poker
in a pitch dark room, with blank cards,
for infinite stakes, with a dealer
who won't tell you the rules,
and who smiles all the time."
~Terry Prachett

GRAVITAS ~ DM on Tone 



Morgan Freeman, my favorite actor, has a very distinctive speaking voice. He speaks with quiet confidence, calm reserve and comforting authority. There's compassion in his delivery and gravitas in his measured tones.

Mr. Freeman's voice is so compelling that anything he says rings true. And when he speaks, you cannot help but listen.

I want to play the flugelhorn
the way Morgan Freeman speaks.
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