[Excerpt from "To Fight Another Day", published here, 1/30/10]
...We are good people, and, in spite of those who would prey upon and destroy us — of those, who cruise our tree-lined hills with jealousy and contempt for the peace our parents and grandparents have worked so hard to give us — we ought to go right on being good people.
That is the war to be won here, Brancher.
We live in a place, where you can look straight up into the sky on a clear, starry night and see a flurry of golden, shooting stars raining like gold coins from the heavens ..or the International Space Station pass overhead, looking very much like a traveling planet.
We live in a place, where our children carelessly play outside, well after nightfall, and summer lovers steal kisses in the shade of dogwood trees, ..bewitched by the fragrance of Concorde grapes on a passing breeze—where old, silver-haired friends look back on harder times from the comfort of a porch ..and laugh out loud! We live in a truly blessed place, this majestic and wondrous Penn Branch.
This neighborhood is so much more than where we live – it’s who we are. We are good people, and it’s going to take more than men with guns to take that away from us.
We will be vigilant.
We will be careful and wary and prepared for the worst, ..but, we will be Penn Branch. We will never give it up.
Dedicated to Ms. Alberta Paul and my mother, Mrs. Shirley Dyer