I am Roland Sheppard, returning as Roland Garret Sheppard. Email address firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com)
Due to AOL probems, the list had to exclude me. I have had the same probems with aol, when somebody claimed that I was sending them spam. They then shut me down. I informed AOL that I send no mail to anybody that I have not met through email responses.
Good to see you back on the forum's board. How about posting a short bio or introduction of yourself, so we can get to know each other.
My Name is Roland Sheppard, I am a retired Business Representative of Painters Local # 4 in San Francisco. I have been a life long social activist and socialist. Prior to my being elected as a union official in 1994, I worked for 31 years as a house painter.
I was in the words of Robert Tressell, a Ragged Trousered Philanthropist, a phrase that Tressell used, in his book, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist, to explain the exploitation of workers under capitalism who willingly sell their labor and donate the surplus value, which their labor produces, to the boss.
House painting was my vocation, but working for a better world has been my lifelong advocation.
I became especially interested in the environment when I was diagnosed with cancer due to my work environment as a painter.
I learned how to write essays, when I first got a computer, in 1998. Using the internet and my word processor, I was able to put together all the medical legal arguments on my breakthrough workers' compensation case in California, proving that my work environment, as a painter, had caused my cancer. During the course of the five-year struggle, I won a $300,000 settlement of my court case and, incidentally, I learned how to write.
I have led a unique life. I am one of the few people remaining who were at the Audubon Ballroom when Malcolm X was assassinated. In my retirement, I am writing about my life experiences as a socialist, as a participant in the Black Liberation Movement, the Union Movement, and almost all social movements.
My essays, which can be found on my website at:
http://web.mac.com/rolandgarret, are based upon my involvement in and the struggle for workers democracy and freedom for all humanity.
It is my hope that my essays and my contributions to this forum will help present and future generations of Freedom Fighters.
Are your familar with a Robert Frost poem, the name as best as I remember is something like "Two Tramps In Mud Time". (http://www.bryantmcgill.com/World_Poetry/%7ER/Robert_Frost/Robert_Frost_Two_Tramps_In_Mud_Time.html)
You line about vocation and avocation reminded me of the poem, I had forgotten. It is my favorite poem of all time. Here is aother link, http://snipurl.com/1qfum
Did you know of the poem?
When I was a lad, I was on a cooperative farm and I chopped wood for the love of it.
I was able to split the logs faster than two people cutting the logs with a chain saw and five people bringing the logs, I was quite proud of myself, and we all enjoyed the split logs, for they were our source of our heat -- both cooking and warming during a Western New Jersey winter. (We only cut trees in areas that were in need of thinning.) I worked hard, but it was both a labor of love and a necessity.
I like the Billie Holiday quote, from one of her songs, "The incredible we do right now, the impossible takes a little while."