• Sheila Penelope Thorne

Death in the Family Circa 1998



It was my dad’s worn copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X stuffed on the bookshelf almost behind the Tales of Edgar Allen Poe. It was finding gold. When I was younger, at my mom’s workplace, I’d I heard the university professors whisper in hushed tones about Malcolm, and here was a book. I read it quickly, but was afraid to let anyone know I’d read it.

I sent him a copy of former chief of defense during the Viet Nam war, Robert McNamara’s book. We had a long discussion on if McNamara’s should have revealed knew militarily, we could not have won Viet Nam. AT the time, I was just overwhelmed at having gone to high school with so many kids with a parent in the military and now at university with about a quarter of the class in school on the GI bill fresh from Viet Nam.

I suppose death is mental flossing for us all things we wished we’d done, things we wished we hadn’t said that we replay back and forth. I feel fortunate, I once had a conversation with my dad about my name, “why Penelope?” He responded, “I  wanted something Greek, if your brother were a girl, he’d be Pandora. That’s why the dog’s name is Plato.”  Thanks for the memories and smiles dad. My favorite brother and I appreciate it.

#family #politics

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