Jeff Wegerson, Edgewater, Chicago
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I was 23. I traveled from Chicago to San Francisco by boxcar. Riding the rails. It was the first time between those two cities. There were mistakes that caused me to go through Minneapolis and Seattle and Portland. I had two companions to Minneapolis. After that I was on my own. The whole trip took ten days. Rarely did I speak to anyone. And then only to find out what track I should look for an empty boxcar. Several days from Montana to Seattle I spoke to no one at all. In Seattle there were a few others riding the rails. Still I recall only minimal conversations.
Somewhere in Oregon the train stopped. It was night. These two young teenage boys appeared. They had been drinking. They were friendly. The older had responsibility for the younger. They left.
I got to thinking. What were they doing in the rail yards at night? Why were they drinking at such young ages. Where were their parents? Was the older a surrogate parent for the younger?
And then something strange happened to me. I started crying. I had been saddened by my thoughts. I sobbed. For a long while the emotion spilled out of me.
I had been alone for too long. I was exhausted, to be sure. My need for human contact had slowly lowered my intellectual and emotional armor to the point that a simple story of not uncommon plight passed straight through to my feelings.
Would that someday such sufferings as theirs replace the wars and genocides that even now labor mightily to provoke the emotions of empathy.
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Green Party Presidential Race update by green in brooklyn (a dKos diary. 4 May 04)
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[Happening Now http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Happening_Now] is/was an interesting experiment in participatory promotion. The idea is that if you have something that you want other dKosers to participate in, then you, anyone, can post an entry in *Happening Now* which provides a one-stop shopping guide for what is *Happening Now*. Over the period between 11/14 and 12/8, I collected links to activities posted in dKos diaries and then reposted them in *Happening Now*.
I received a couple of rave reviews ([here http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2004/12/4/94617/1067/42#42] and [here http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2004/12/5/11912/3821/2#2]) and a few more participatory entries by others ([see here http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php?title=Happening_Now&action=history]). But on the whole it was an effort of my own. Today I removed all the entries that had been moved from _Current_ to _Recent_ to a new area which can be seen in _Examples_ . If you think you might be interested in assisting the *Happening Now* idea, first check out the page itself and the Examples page, then come back here and comment.
Here's what we can do now to move this idea forward. I will continue to post entries into the page (caveat: that I catch and interest me). If there are some others of us who will do the same then the page can continue on in its limited functionality and usefulness for those of us aware of it.
It has been suggested that the way to make this page work is to get Kos on board to promote it and provide a link in the upper right Menu. That's fine, but I will not request that until I see a level of interest and support that would merit such a request. If it becomes a success then it will "recommend" itself. I have already gotten approval to have a dKosopedia front page link.
I know some will argue that it's a chicken and egg situation and because [the egg came first http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Which_came_first_the_Chicken_or_the_Egg] I agree. That's why I'm looking for a bit of support to move this up to the next, yet not final, level.