Category Archives: Uncategorized

Salaam Love & Love InshAllah

These books explore the journeys of these individuals trying to walk the line between cultural norms and personal choices as they navigate through dual identities, generational gaps, coming of age, racism  and self-actualization.

Each story magnifies the life of these young people and through them , magnifies the community psyche.

“Muslim men are stereotyped as either oversexed Casanovas willing to die for seventy-two virgins in heaven or controlling, big-bearded husbands ready to rampage at the hint of dishonor. The truth is, there are millions of Muslim men trying to figure out the complicated terrain of love, sex, and relationships just like any other American man.In Salaam, Love, Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi provide a space for American Muslim men to speak o
penly about their romantic lives, offering frank, funny, and insightful glimpses into their hearts—and bedrooms. The twenty-two writers come from a broad spectrum of ethnic, racial, and religious perspectives—including orthodox, cultural, and secular Muslims—reflecting the strength and diversity of their faith community and of America.By raising their voices to share stories of love and heartbreak, loyalty and betrayal, intimacy and insecurity, these Muslim men are leading the way for all men to recognize that being open and honest about their feelings is not only okay—it’s intimately connected to their lives and critical to their happiness and well-being.’

Love InshAllah “These heartfelt tales are filled with passion and hope,loss and longing. One follows the quintessential single woman in the big city as she takes a chance on a Muslim speed-dating event. Another tells of a shy student from a liberal college town who falls in love online and must reveal her secret to her conservative family. A third recounts a Southern girl who surprises herself by agreeing to an arranged marriage, unexpectedly finding the love of her life.These compelling stories of love and romance create an irresistible balance of heart-warming and tantalizing, always revealing and deeply relevant.”

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Kindergarten Registration in Union City – already?!?

This information is from the New Haven Unified School District website:

Parents of children old enough to start kindergarten who have not yet enrolled are urged to begin the process immediately. Enrollment packets can be picked up at the Centralized Enrollment Center, adjacent to the Educational Services Center at 34200 Alvarado-Niles Rd., Union City.

Children born between Oct. 2, 2008, and Sept. 1, 2009, are eligible to attend traditional kindergarten in 2014-15, and children born between Sept. 2, 2009, and Dec. 2, 2009, are eligible for transitional kindergarten. More information is available by calling 476-2625.

For parents of children starting kindergarten in the fall also should be aware of the Tiburcio Vásquez Health Center’s summer vaccine clinic at the Logan High Health Center. The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 9, 16, 23 and 30 and Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27. In addition, free dental screenings will be available from 10 a.m. to noon at the Aug. 13 clinic.

Parents should bring their child’s immunization (yellow) card and picture identification. For more information or to make an appointment, call 471-2520, ext. 60174 or 690-6044.

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Talking into the Ear of a Donkey : Poems

“[Robert Bly] is . . . the most recent in a line of great American transcendentalist writers.”—The New York Times

With poems ranging from the ghazal form to free verse, Talking into the Ear of a Donkey is Robert Bly’s richest and most varied collection. In the title poem, Bly addresses the “donkey”—possibly poetry itself—that has carried him through a writing life of more than six decades.

from “Talking into the Ear of a Donkey”
“What has happened to the spring,”
I cry, “and our legs that were so joyful
In the bobblings of April?” “Oh, never mind
About all that,” the donkey
Says. “Just take hold of my mane, so you
Can lift your lips closer to my hairy ears.”


Robert Bly is a professional writer who makes more than $600,000 per year from his writing. Now, he’s ready to share his secrets. 88 Money-Making Writing Jobs presents the best outlets writers can find to turn their words into profit (including many that few people think to seek out).

  • Along with an overview of each job, you’ll discover:
  • A breakdown of what it typically pays
  • The nuts and bolts of what you’ll write
  • What it takes to work in the field
  • How to get started
  • Resources for finding the work

For anyone serious about a career as a writer, this guide offers the best information on how to make incredible money in ways that are fun, challenging, and make the most of your writing talents.

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June 6

Today is June 6. Read about what happened this date in history


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The Secret Language of Color

In this beautiful and thorough investigation, The Secret Language of Color celebrates and illuminates the countless ways in which color colors our world.

Why is the sky blue, the grass green, a rose red? Most of us have no idea how to answer these questions, nor are we aware that color pervades nearly all aspects of life, from the subatomic realm and the natural world to human culture and psychology.


Organized into chapters that begin with a fascinating explanation of the physics and chemistry of color, The Secret Language of Color travels from outer space to Earth, from plants to animals to humans. In these chapters we learn about how and why we see color, the nature of rainbows, animals with color vision far superior and far inferior to our own, how our language influences the colors we see, and much more. Between these chapters, authors Joann Eckstut and Ariele Eckstut turn their attention to the individual hues of the visible spectrum—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet—presenting each in fascinating, in-depth detail.


Including hundreds of stunning photographs and dozens of informative, often entertaining graphics, every page is a breathtaking demonstration of color and its role in the world around us. Whether you see red, are a shrinking violet, or talk a blue streak, this is the perfect book for anyone interested in the history, science, culture, and beatuty of color in the natural and man-made world.


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Conversations with Maya Angelou

Author(s):Maya Angelou (1928- 2014) and Claudia Tate

Publication Details:Conversations with Maya Angelou. Ed. Jeffrey M. Elliot. University Press of Mississippi, 1989.p146-156.

 From Literature Resource Center (check the link for the full text)

Source:Poetry Criticism. Ed. Ellen McGeagh. Vol. 32. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001.

[(interview date 1983) In the following interview, originally conducted in 1983, Angelou discusses the influence of other writers, social conditions, and her own experience upon her work.]

I try to live what I consider a “poetic existence.” That means I take responsibility for the air I breathe and the space I take up. I try to be immediate, to be totally present for all my work. I try. This interview with you is a prime example of this. I am withdrawing from the grief that awaits me over the death of someone dear so that I can be present for you, for myself, for your work and for the people who will read it, so I can tell you exactly how I feel and what I think and try to answer your questions cheerfully–if I feel cheerful–as I can. That to me is poetic. I try for concentrated consciousness which I miss by more than half, but I’m trying.

Did you envision young Maya as a symbolic character for every black girl 

growing up in America?

 Yes, after a while I did. 

It’s a strange condition, being an autobiographer and a poet. I have to be so internal, andyet while writing, I have to be apart from the story so that I don’t fall into indulgence. Whenever I speak about the books, I always think in terms of the Maya character. 

When I wrote the teleplay of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, I would refer to the Maya

 character so as not to mean me. It’s damned difficult for me to preserve this distancing. 

But it’s very necessary.

What writers have influenced your work?

There were two men who probably formed my writing ambition more than any others. They were Paul Lawrence Dunbar and William Shakespeare. I love them. I love the rhythm and sweetness of Dunbar’s dialect verse. I love “Candle Lighting Time” and “Little Brown Baby.” I also love James Weldon Johnson’s “Creation.”

I am also impressed by living writers. I’m impressed with James Baldwin. I continue to see not only his craftsmanship but his courage. That means a lot to me. Courage may be the most important of all the virtues because without it one cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. I’m impressed by Toni Morrison a great deal. I long for her new works. I’m impressed by the growth of Rosa Guy. I’m impressed by Ann Petry. I’m impressed by the work of Joan Didion. Her first collection, Slouching Toward Jerusalem, contains short pieces, which are absolutely stunning. I would walk fifty blocks in high heels to buy the works of any of these writers. I’m a country girl, so that means a lot.

How do you feel about your past works?

 Generally, I forget them. I’m totally free of them. They have their own life. I’ve done well by them, or I did the best I could, which is all I can say. I’m not cavalier about work anymore than I am about sitting here with you, or cooking a meal, or cleaning my house. I’ve tried to be totally present, so that when I’m finished with a piece of work, I’m finished. I remember one occasion when we were in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria some years ago. I think I was with my sister friends–Rosa [Guy], Paule [Marshall] and Louise [Meriwether]. We were sitting at a table near the bandstand during some tribute for someone, and I felt people staring at me. Someone was singing, say, stage left, and some people were performing a dance. It was very nice, but I felt people staring; so I turned around, and they were. My sister friends were all smiling. I wondered what was happening. I had been following the performance. Well, it turned out that the singer was doing a piece of mine, and they had choreographed a dance to it. I had forgotten the work altogether. The work, once completed, does not need me. The work I’m working on needs my total concentration. The one that’s finished doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to itself.

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Write Your Story @ the Union City Library….reaching for the Moon!

airplaneHello it’s Wednesday May 14th. 8:20 am…. It seems that I was NOT clear in the story below… Dotson, Keller, Pollacek and I were NOT the ones that 
kept up any of the mimicking behavior. We were all there the night it started, the next morning we told the Colonel we were embarrassed and would not do that again,
he told us that he thought the whole thing was funny.. In a few days we saw that the ragging was not funny to him, we had not mimicked him at all since that first night…
Our guilt stemmed from the fact that after day 4 or so we didn’t stop the other 20 or so guys that had kept it up.
I am going to rewrite the piece below to explain that part in a clearer manner…  



Searching for the right word is tough, mimicking, harassing, hassling, picking-on,
joshing, there might be another dozen words that sort of fit. None of them really fit, exactly.
One may be just fooling around, out of affection, just a joke, no one meant anything mean.
You know how young people are, just being funny and foolish, right?


This story grew out of a writing prompt “Conflict” at the Senior Center, here in Fremont.
Sadly, much of this story is way too true, names have been changed.
The last time I saw Dotson, he was almost begging for forgiveness for
the four of us, for not stopping the mimicking on the second day, between
the four of us, (I was the smallest) we could have stopped it dead, right then.
I was 18 at the time, 52 years ago and shame and regret has only spread, wider and deeper…

Conflict: Alcohol vs Ragging over Col. Argy

an unresolved question

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Back then, in the Navy, a sailor from Kentucky was known as the “Kentucky Colonel,” every one of them. Our favorite was Argyle “Argy” Sibley, he was from outside of Pine Knot, in the SE corner of the state, near  the joint of KY, TN and VA. Col. Argy called it “Kay-Tin-Vaaahh county, kinda confused but sorta peaceable.”
There is no doubt “The Colonel” was the most popular guy in the squadron, tall and lanky, a tad ungainly, with strange, “unfiltered ciderey”   looking, blond hair that appeared unkempt even when closely cropped. He had a permanent smile like a dolphin, an even disposition, and a love of all, as he said, “the long the short and the tall.” 
Everyone loved him, from the Skipper all the way to the bar girls in all the dives we visited out-side of the gates, all over the far east. I can close my eyes today and hear the b-girls in Sagamioska struggle with, “Colonel Argy”, that was almost as tough for them as, “Darrell”, that was the cutest…
Col. Argy, was the best shipmate ever, he actually would give anyone, “the shirt off of his back,” he did that once, for a little kid with a bloody nose in Olongapo, outside of Cubi Point in the Philippines. 
To this day, 52 years later, it’s a complete mystery to me, why almost all of us, his best friends and squadron mates, without any planning or collusion what so ever, destroyed his future happiness.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Colonel had a little quirk about him, after about four or five beers he would turn real red and splotchy and would stammer and stumble through his stories. At the same time he talked about five times his regular amount. He’d be on his feet, waving his arms and swaying back and forth, side to side, stuttering and faltering though a story of moonshiners and tent revivals, mules and farmers, and winsome young females, both humans and horses…
One of the guys started mimicking Argy, not the red face of course, but the body language and the accent, though mostly the stutter. We would all laugh, even The Colonel, at the beginning at least. The whole thing was real funny, other guys started doing the mimicking too. It spread from at night in the bars, on to the flight line and in the barracks even to the galley. In short order, people that didn’t really know him would stammer at him…  It wasn’t funny any more, his dolphin smile even slipped a bit.
Dotson, Keller, Pollacek and me, we all stopped the ragging on Argy almost immediately, some others didn’t for a while. The four of us could have stopped it, we should have stopped it, we were young and stupid, we didn’t stop it. Within a couple of weeks The Colonel, our best friend, no longer had a stutter just while drinking, it was full time now. By then everyone had stopped with the ragging, it was too little, too late. His normal demeanor had changed too. Mostly now his head was down a little his eyes were avoiding you, he seemed shorter and shrunken. He talked a lot less, avoided going off base to the night spots. A few of us tried to keep him with us and get him back to his old self. We failed, we failed him, he had never failed us.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In Nov. of ’62 Argy was rotated out, he had had orders to pick up with our sister squadron in Rota Spain, but the Squadron Flight Surgeon had got him switched to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. They would work on his speech problems there for six months and if they weren’t successful  he would get a medical discharge. At the terminal on Guam about a dozen of us were seeing him off. The Skipper and Maintenance Officer and the Flight Surgeon and his wife joined around eight of us enlisted men to say goodbye and good luck. It was a pretty quiet sendoff and as Argy was turning to climb up to the Pan Am 707 he turned and tried to say something, he failed…
Most of us stayed and watched the big jet climb into the darkening sky. The Flight Surgeon’s, normally friendly wife, turned her back on us and walked to their Ford. The remaining 7 or so of us enlisted men took the base bus to the Enlisted Men’s Club. An hour later one of the guys said, “that it was too bad that alcohol had caused The Colonel’s stutter.” Dotson and I blew up and said, “that we, all of his buddies, had caused it. A few minutes later 13 squadron mates were fighting outside in the crushed coral and mud. No one won the argument or the fight. Five months later I left Guam for a bomber outfit on Whidbey Island, Washington State. I never heard of Argyle Sibley again, I thought of looking for him a thousand times, I never have.
In 2008 I spent a couple of days with Dotson, we talked of many things. Finally at 3am in a Seattle Hotel Coffee Shop we discussed Argy, we didn’t have a lot to say, it seems that shame grows like a mold or a fungus. It never goes away, or sprouts like a tree, it just lives on, in the lower, darker places, hiding from the light.
A year or so later Dotson passed on, at his memorial, one of his daughters asked me about The Colonel and her Dads obsession about not ragging on a person’s disabilities. I told her a little of the insidious evils of alcohol. But mainly I spoke of the gross and repulsive evils of the human being, even when we didn’t mean it… It’s us humans have the most deleterious effects on other humans, sometimes  even the humans we love…
*the above story was submitted by Bruce Haase .
*the above picture was taken by Paul Schwafel /friend of Bruce Haase — May 12, 2014
“The U-2 photo was a chance opportunity, for sure. I had been to the Travis airshow (R.I.P. Eddie Andreini), and knew a U-2 was on display. On Monday, I kept the camera ready at home, just in case the B-52 on display came over the house on its way back to North Dakota. At 5:00pm I heard some pretty solid jet noise, migrated to the back yart, and eventually spotted the U-2 on climbout. It made a right turn to make a heading back toward Beale. As I watched it I noticed the moon and thought “this thing’s got a chance”. I was right, and got the lucky snaps.-Paul Schwafel, UAL Mechanic, retired”

Write Your Story @ the Union City Library

Join our senior library member Bruce Haase and write your memoir. Bruce is a life long

Bruce Haase

Bruce Haase

reader, he now writes memoire-based, creative non-fiction. These are informal meetings to support each other and organize your thoughts for writing. Sharing is optional.

Meeting takes place Tuesdays: May 20

 1 — 3 p.m.

Please bring your pen & paper.

For more information  : Bruce Haase

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