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Jonathan Gramling
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Vol. 10   No. 4
FEBRUARY
19, 2015
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The Capital City Hues
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UNIQUE HITS
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                                    Life can be a B
It seems like forever since I last wrote a column, although it’s only been a little over two weeks. A lot has
gone down since that time. One of the only ways I can gain solace is to write. An old friend of mine died on
February 4th. Anna Robinson Lindsey, a dear friend whom I met in the early 1990s died in Tampa, Florida of a
massive heart attack, ironically while I was writing a story on National Wear Red Day and the Foundation for
Black Women’s Wellness on heart disease and the African American community.

While there is a big part of me that loathes social media, it is my presence on Facebook that allowed Anna’s
daughter Pam to connect with me to let me know what happened to Anna. As soon as I saw Pam’s name
come up on my e-mail asking me to call her, I knew that Anna had died. While Anna died on February 4th,
Pam wasn’t able to contact me until February 12th for I had not seen Anna in 17 years, yet she was a big part
of my life in those days and there is something in us that never forgets.

So I flew down to Tampa the next day. Friday the 13th. A snafu deprived me of the rental car I had reserved
and things didn’t turn out quite like I thought it would. It reminded me of the time that I flew down to Tampa for
Valentines Day. Anna had booked us on this romantic five-hour cruise out on the Gulf of Mexico.
Unfortunately a storm brewed and high waves made many a passenger sea sick, including Anna. We spent
most of the romantic cruise with me comforting Anna through her sea sickness on the back of the boat. It
was a good moment, just not the kind that one would want for Valentines Day. Anna was a wonderful woman
and friend.

I am so glad that I went in spite of the well-laid plans that went astray. I ended up walking to the funeral,
about two miles away, and spent most of the time alone. But I was able to think back and appreciate this fine
woman who was a part of my life.

And maybe because of the quirks of life — Anna getting sick on that February 14th so many years ago — I
ended up with the flu by the time I got back to Madison. It’s a strange sense of connection, I readily admit.
But although I hadn’t seen Anna in 17 years, there was still a cosmic connection there, even if it was only in
my own mind.  

And I have been in an emotional and physical funk all week, trying to deal with these things, wondering why
I feel this way after 17 years and feeling guilty that I do. Anna was a good human being and the world is a
worse place without her in it.

And then the Lord works in a mysterious way. I wanted to do nothing, but I still had to come out with a paper
and I had made arrangements to interview members of Madison College’s Black Student Union and I needed
a story. I didn’t have a notion to go out there, but go out there, I did.

And the members of the Black Student Union cleansed my soul. Here are these wonderful young people who
are trying to make things better for African American, other students of color and all students on the Madison
College Truax campus. I loved their sense of mission and camaraderie as they work to make Madison
College a more conducive place for students of color to get an education and graduate with a degree. We
really connected and I left Madison College inspired by what these fine students are doing. I wish them much
success in their work.

So I am thankful to these students as well as friends for seeing me though a difficult passage in my life. The
Lord works in mysterious ways. Cherish those you care about today because tomorrow is promised to no
one, no matter what we may think.

***
I am concerned about the proposed Governor Walker initiatives like turning UW-Madison into a sophisticated
voc-tech school, which is a wonderful mission for Madison College and the proposal to make Wisconsin a
Right to Work state, which in my experience in Mississippi during the 1970s means the Right to Work for a
Lower Wage. Governor Walker seeks to make Wisconsin a state that the Koch Brothers could only dream
about. And in return, the Koch Brothers will spend upwards of $1 billion on Walker’s presidential campaign.  

Walker is sacrificing Wisconsin’s long-term quality of life for short-term gains in his political career. Long
after Walker has become president of the United States, Wisconsinites will be paying the price for his
political ambition. God help us!
Empowering Healthy Women
National Wear Red Day Creates
Solidarity on Women’s Health
NAMI Premiers Jono Oliver’s Home on February 26th
at the Barrymore
ARROZ CON POLLO RECIPE
FROM OUR NEW
COLUMNIST: Sujhey Beisser
Rev. Alex Gee