Re: Happy Watermelon Day

Tom — Once upon a time as a willfully ignorant senior at Edison High School in Tulsa, I was a devout acolyte in the Church of Environmental Nonsense. I even had a green flag decal on my car with the stars on the flag replaced with the ecology symbol (my front license plate was white with a large peace symbol on it).

On one Earth Day several years ago, while teaching at Memorial High School (Edison’s rival), I was standing in the hall next to my classroom door during passing period between classes.

The principal strolled by and I stopped her. I told her that today was Earth Day, and on the first Earth Day in 1970 I walked almost two miles to school wearing a gas mask as a symbolic protest against pollution, wore it all day, especially in the special Earth Day assembly we had in the gym, and even posed with it on during art class.

She said, “Charles, you have always been a radical.”

And so right she was.

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10:24 am on April 22, 2021

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