Freedom Beat Across America: In Search of America's Heartbeat

Archive for the tag “Boomers”

Dottie’s thoughts about war

(In August of 2011, four American women set out to search for the heartbeat of the country.  Dottie wanted to search for history, from the Civil War to today.  Melissa wanted to meet with the young and old who serve in the military, and speak to their families about what it’s like to be a part of something so big, yet so personal.  Genie wanted to test the difference between the wars of her sons and grandchildren and those of her own generation.  And Skylar, being eleven, wanted to see the America she’d never seen before.)

Again, this is not exactly a guest blog.  This is Dottie finally finding out where she stashed the journal she kept on our trip across the country.  We enjoyed revisiting our trip and thought you might also:

Aug 12, 2011  Clarksville, Tennessee

Arrived about 1 pm.  We will be here two days, three nights.  On Aug 14 we will interview several wives of deployed soldiers about the life of the military wife – those that are left behind to keep the home fires burning, their stress of child-rearing problems, of having to take care of everything and what their men are like when they come home after a mission.

Aug 13, 2011  Clarksville (in the am)

The second day in Clarksville, and Genie and Renee are trying to line up some military wives to interview.  They are finding it is not an easy task.  The CO [commanding officer] is not giving an order to anyone, but there is a strong suggestion that it wouldn’t be a good idea.

Renee being persuasive

What we offered was the option of complete anonymity.  That way we wouldn’t jeopardize their’s or their spouse’s security.  One of the things I find interesting in our quest is that speaking to anyone that is remotely associated with the media is approached with extreme caution.  This is because of the media’s lack of integrity and negative reporting.  I watched a news program the other day after the recent helicopter being shot down [August 6th, Afghanistan] and resulting in the death of thirty people [30 American troops, 8 Afghan soldiers].  In their news coverage, they revealed the families’ home town, their names, and virtually any information that would be needed should someone or an organization want retaliation.

The other side is, I find it hard to accept that what is asked of the men and women who often make the ultimate sacrifice, that their families must also make sacrifices.  They too are asked to deal with the kind of stress often associated with a person going through a divorce, at each deployment.  The spouse who remains at home must step into the role of a single parent.  They take care of the household and everything that goes with it.  Then when the deployed spouse comes home, it is difficult for the “visiting” spouse to pick up where they left off.  In the case of men coming home, the decision-making and discipline of the household is expected to revert back to him, causing conflicts within the family.  The very things we fight for as a nation are split asunder.  Freedom of speech.  The right to pursue a happy life with those we choose to love, and raise a family and preserve the sanctity of home.

It all comes down to family, doesn't it?


A broad is a broad is a . . .

The other day we got into an online discussion of the term “chick lit”. As I remember, it started out as an easy definition of a relatively new type of novel that fit in well with the “Sex and the City” crowd. Then the bookstores picked it up as a genre label for those exact types of stories. Then, for some reason, it became something of a sneer (probably about the same time “Sex and the City” started to lose favor). So, during this discussion, someone referred to “Pride and Prejudice” as chick lit, and another took umbrage. Turned out the first one wasn’t kidding and didn’t even mean it as a dig, but just as a type of story primarily appealing to women.


One gentleman made a comment to the effect that chick lit referred to a “broad collection of fiction” (emphasis mine). Which made me chuckle, but also got me to wondering.

In my youth, “broad” was not an especially complimentary term for a woman, but it wasn’t derogatory either. It was generally used for women who were attractive in an earthy way, handsome rather than pretty, not at all dependent on men but quite accepting of their support, and always happy to have a stiff drink with the boys. In other words, women who were comfortable in their female skin, with or without men, and that was always good enough for me.

Joan and Rosalind

It might have been the feminists or women’s libbers who began to attack any term that men slung off as an easy reference to females. Somewhere along the line it became non-PC to use this one. I remember an older gentleman friend who almost got in a fight with a red-faced but determined young gallahad whose girlfriend had objected to being referred to as a broad. We smoothed everyone’s ruffled feathers and then left, trying to explain to our baffled friend that while we’d grown up with the term and fluffed it off, it was probably the first time that young girl had ever had it applied to her. He honestly hadn’t meant it badly.

the great Lena

So I looked it up, and my Webster’s has no mention of the word “broad” referring to women, so I guess it’s still non-PC (these things fluctuate). It does say that “broad” means wide, spacious, clear, open, obvious, coarse or crude. But it also says that it means ‘tolerant in outlook’ and ‘dealing with essential points’.

the Lady Bette

I’ll drink to that!

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