Marijuana and Sesame Street?

No, this is not some tell all that the entire staff of Sesame Street, that most beloved of tv childhood icons (certainly in my family with about three sets of kids have learned from it!), were all stoned. So not like our most famous space saga franchise in which some of the major players spent their filming days stoned etc., which was a bit disillusioning to learn…oh well.

I have for a period of time followed a superb blog on the history of drugs and substance abuse. It appeals to the history bug/buff/geek/triiva-guy in me for one thing. But it is also fascinating beyond words. It has set me ‘aright’ on a number of misconceptions I had in my lifetime before and after my medical education. The blog is “Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society.” Yes, there is such a society, it was news to me too.

The post that caught my eye this date, August 16, 2018, is “Hidden Figures of Drug History: Joan Ganz Cooney.” Who, you might ask is Joan Ganz Cooney? I had forgotten who she was, but I did remember her name. Only when I started reading the post did her personage come back to me.

Ms. Cooney was the founder, innovator, and driver behind The Children’s Television Workshop and Sesame Street. As a child psychiatrist-developmentalist and parent, I have to state my disclaimer that I have admired Sesame Street for decades and cannot say enough good about it. As much as Head Start and other similar early childhood educational movements, it has benefitted our preschoolers beyond measure for generations. (Even more than Barney…).  Her storied accomplishments are highlighted and recounted in the article. I was dutifully reminded of how important this woman was to America.

The post though has a different emphasis that was surprising beyond words.

Ms. Cooney’s service on the now largely forgotten “Shafer Commission” of the Nixon Presidency is highlighted. This article is worth reading for anyone interested in (drum roll please…): Nixon, legalization-decriminalization of pot, Watergate, the fate of federal reports that displease a President, and other fascinating tidbits one never would anticipate aforehand.

So no more spoilers, feel free to read this post, it is a true rare gem.

 

 

Advertisements

Where is the Mexico of My Childhood

This morning, June 6, 2016, I heard a story on the car radio from the regional NPR station from Mexico. I always sit up and listen whenever I hear anything about Mexico as I have a lifelong fondness for anything Mexican, in contrast to the lamentable anti-Mexican, anti-immigration hyperbole that seems so common nowadays much to my personal regret.

The piece was from an “inserted” American radio journalist who described riding in a several car private “convoy” of cars traveling over 250 miles into Mexico, up to Reynosa at the US-Mexican border. The families apparently made this trip several times a year. the families had moved to the US in the last several years, transplanting, themselves, their businesses and lives to the US out of fears for their own safety in the narco-terrorist dominated realities of Mexico. I was somewhat shocked to hear that the extended families had indeed experienced some of their relatives being kidnapped in past years which clearly influenced their collective decisions to relocate to the US. They returned to their hometowns to see older relatives, participate in family reunions and hometown gatherings and festivals. They did so taking extreme precautions  usually arranging for police car escorts for defense and safety against bandits, kidnappers and the like. On this occasion, they were not able to have police escorts and the journalist’s anxiety and fear was tangible. Fortunately for all, they arrived safely in Reynoso. However, they experienced one close call when just behind them three young men stopped a car behind them.

Continue reading