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Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I've been thinking a lot lately about Nobody Particular while scanning the paper for the latest on the oil leak into the Gulf. Everyone's attention span these days is like a computer, with multiple windows open, one of them constantly fixed on a little window on that leaking pipe and whether or not they've fixed that gushing catastrophe. When the top kill operation failed, something very dark settled in my mind. And that is when a remembered Nobody Particular. Molly Bang's unique rendering of the story of Diane Wilson and her fight to protect the Texas bays from rampant chemical pollution. The story is often dark, and takes discouraging turns, which in real life must have been unimaginably difficult for Wilson. My 11-year-old daughter read our copy of Nobody Particular book after school this afternoon. When I asked her what she thought of Diane, she said, "I think she's strong". (I thought "brave", close enough!)

It will take many strong Dianes with acts great (calling the oil giants to task) and small (picking up pebbles of tar) to clean up this mess, and helping us all learn from it.

My daughter will travel in a month, as part of a Children's International Summer Village, to Jacksonville, Florida. It will be, I know (from being a CISV delegate more than 30 years ago) the beginning of some great international friendships. Sadly, it is also likely to be, given the location, the environmental lesson of a lifetime.

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