picture of Walter S. McAfee

A Hidden Giant

Though I lived and worked just a few miles from where this hidden giant of science lived and worked; though his nephew was my professor and thesis advisor at University of Michigan; though we frequented the same barbershop, for Christ’s sake; I never met Walter S. McAfee. I didn’t even know who he was until after he died. I now know that he could have, as much as anyone, claimed to be a founder of The Space Age.

The Good People

My favorite uncle, William Wise Hayden, died in 2004. Uncle Bill was a factory worker at Ford Motor Company and a proud United Auto Workers member, and in his off hours he was a man about town and an avid photographer. I visited Uncle Bill at his Detroit home a few months before he died, and during that visit he gave me one of his most prized photo albums. I felt as if he was bequeathing the album to me, and that feeling was reinforced when I read the words on the cover. The words, typed on a blue plastic label affixed to the green vinyl album cover, were: ”BETWEEN THESE COVERS ARE THE GOOD PEOPLE.”

The Brenda Perryman “Tapes”

My friend Brenda Perryman succumbed to Covid-19 on April 5, 2020. Shortly after she passed, I vowed to publish the video interviews she produced for the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (recorded and edited by our friend Michelle Wyche Watson). These interviews are a testament to Brenda’s community involvement, her commitment, and her talent. Take some time to watch and enjoy, and if you knew Brenda, to remember.

Still Struggling

I try to publish an e-mail newsletter regularly as a means of sharing and discussing current events with friends and colleagues. I haven’t published one lately because I haven’t known where to begin. As soon as I decide to write about one travesty occurring in our world, an even greater one seems to rear its ugly head. Viral pandemic. Economic collapse. Police brutality. Climate destruction. Racial subjugation. Military misapplication. Voter suppression. Tribal politics. Failing alliances. Following the rate of real and potential disasters is like drinking from a fire hose – it’s just too much.