Jump to our home page
See what is happening with this book
Read a random section of the book. Changes every week.
Read an outline of the story
See the pictures from this book
Check out the author's blog and get into the conversations about this book
Read the author's posts of his observations of his travels, now that he's grown old and wanders in a motorhome
Subcribe to get email about Peter's blog posts
Blog posts below arranged most recent at top
Leaving the place better than we found it
Seeing with my eyes closed
Thomas Jefferson on gun control
How to lie convincingly
Our hardy heartland
Breaking the cycle
How to catch the sun's comings and goings
Thoughts from the inside
Leveraging the internet to build our walls
Twitters from the past
And the invincibility of youth
Without ego projection
Yet another gift of the road
The charming side of obstinance
The creative part of photography
A movie critic looks in the mirror
We are not alone
As part of the system
Defecting from the rear guard
The end of Kumbaya
The wanderer's poet
Running out of dirt
Striking a balance
The Bay of Fundy, where the sea breathes
How to photograph them with anything, even your cellphone
A simple question we get every day
We may be failing to fail
And why no one should hesitate to examine them
Becoming a hero in one's own life story
A writing assignment
A new discovery of something old
Finding new eyes to see old landscapes
Hick humor
Toys for photographing wild places
Experiencing life with God
A radical thought about our radicals
You're on this page
Hidden heroes among us
Resetting our parallel processor
A village with heart
A lesson from the road
The bullet dodged
A soul sparkles
Isolation in style
Painless ways to lose your virginity : 11/12/15
Blog posts above arranged oldest at bottom
Jump into the conversation about the book
Buy this book in one of its forms
Get hold of the author or join our mail list



Click any picture
to zoom in
Prodigal Son
Redemption with style
04/29/16

On March 25, 1965, I was only 15 years old and already confused. I was grateful to this fine land for taking me in as a refugee, and had no patience for troublemakers like Martin Luther King saying there was anything wrong with this magnificent country. The confusion was that these marchers were carrying American flags as they tried to cross the Edmund Petus Bridge in Selma, and somebody was attacking them with police dogs and water cannons. Somebody was beating on my adoptive countrymen, and that wasn't right.

So it was that a young bigot was set on a course for redemption. The rest forms history book quizzes for our kids. But for those my age, we lived through it.

On March 25, 2016, I had the good fortune to be able to commemorate this American journey we have all shared. I threw in with a bicycle club that needed a photographer for the remembrance ride from Selma to Alabama's capitol in Montgomery.

A long ride on a ratty bike provides ample time to reflect on the past 51 years.

Most inspirational were not just the black and white mix of the bikers, but the folks driving by. We all wore shirts proclaiming what we were doing, and not one angry epithet from the cars passing by -- but plenty of yowls of support.

Sitting in the Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta some days later, listening to a recording of one of Dr. King's pastoral sermons, he just happened to be talking directly to me. As a minister, he of course liked Bible stories, and that time he preached about the prodigal son, the young sinner who pulls himself together and comes home to lead a righteous life.

I never understood why the prodigal son's dad was so happy to see his son recover, given that he had another son who had never strayed. Dr. King helped me understand.

Our liberals in Berkeley don't earn that many points for practicing racial justice, but Alabama rednecks coming from generations of racism and hatred, to change their hard hearts to tolerance, and even brotherly love, now that is worth celebrating. Not that bigotry has left the world, but seeing first hand the changes in the South, I understood why the prodigal son's dad threw a party.

Click to zoom in
Inside the casemates of Fort Morgan

Click to zoom in
Prattville Mill Dam

Click to zoom in
Brown Chapel where the Selma-to-Montgomery March started

Click to zoom in
Commemorating the marchers' gift of brotherly love

Click to zoom in
A victory for justice

Click to zoom in
I was already tired

Click to zoom in
Johnnie Hall remembers his dad and the marchers

Click to zoom in
Patriots remembered on the Montgomery Capitol steps
(Overlay from diorama at Lowndes County Interpretive Center)


To get email about more such blogs,
Subcribe to get email about Peter's blog posts

Spam Note: We never have and never will provide your email address to anyone else for any purpose. All blog post email will include a one-click unsubscribe link.


Copyright © 2021 Peter Shikli. All rights reserved.
Website by Bizware Online Applications