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Friday, February 02, 2001

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Blood letting

I finally passed my blood tests, that is I finally had enough iron in my blood that they let me donate blood. Since they changed how they do it I've been just under the last few times I tried and between that and just not taking the time it's been six months since I donated. I always worry about starting to bleed after I've left the clinic. In many years of donating, it's only happened twice and was not a problem, but I still worry.

I read "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" by Janisse Ray today. She juxtaposes reminiscences of a poor childhood in southeast Georgia with the history of the longleaf pine and the ecology that it protected. She celebrates her very poor, very religious, very strict upbringing in a very loving family, but mourns how the poverty and lack of vision has stripped the trees from the landscape and thereby stripped not only the land but the animals and plants that depended on the trees. It's a sobering look at the love and humanity of people that are often sneered at by those who just pass through and a sad understanding at how people can destroy what defined and shaped their ancestors.

We have so many preconceptions that people have to fit in. While I don't think we can allow people to hurt other people or restrict free speech, we have to be careful about fitting people into little boxes. Too many times we look at people like the Georgia "crackers" and this they are no good. We think they destroyed the land because they were stupid and have cars in their front yard on blocks because they are too lazy to fix them. This book shows how they don't fit in our preconceptions

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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