The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks…Book Review

An amazing story that needed telling!

This book is a non-fictional glimpse of scientific advances and the horrid racial inequality in our “not very distant” past. It is a riveting read. The story chronicles the struggles of poor black folks during the 50’s and 60’s, in a way, that will leave you forever changed. The sacrifices of those who advanced medical research are present, along with, the greed which always follows the money.

Many of the legal, and ethical, dilemmas, exposed in this text, are unresolved to this day. The author does not attempt to decide the “right” from “wrong” but, very effectively, invites the reader into the lives of real people. I laughed, I cried, and I feel enlightened by this book. A must read for those who endeavor to be educated and informed.

Remember when?

The Rifleman-A famed Cowboy Show from my day.

A while ago I made up a list of 100 things that have changed since I was a kid. Not all of the things were for the better…you decide.

Do you remember?:

1.when you needed a bottle opener for a soda.

2.when suntan lotion was made from baby oil not sunscreen.

3.when no one really cared if their mittens matched their coat and hat.

4.when each school bus stop had a “patrol” boy or girl.

5.when chocolate was believed to cause acne.

6.when cars had no air-conditioning.

7.when people hanged their clothes out to dry.

8.when most families had more than two kids.

9.when your bike was your favorite toy.

10.when ice skating took place outdoors.

11.when there was almost always snow for Christmas.

12.when only sailors wore tattoos.

13.when no one under 18yrs. drank coffee.

14.when almost no one dropped out of high school.

15.when talking on the telephone,you needed to stand near it.

16.when people in the movies got shot, there was no blood and little pain.

17.when parents decided how to raise their kids,not the state.

18.when birch beer was a popular soda flavor.

19.when candy bars cost a nickel.

20.when families had the time,space and interest to grow their own garden.

21.when braces were only something rich kids could afford.

22.when movies were not rated.

23.when TVs had only black and white images.

24.when you had to wait a week to get photos developed.

25.when home movies had no sound.

26.when every car needed two sets of tires;summer and winter.

27.when McDonald’s had no happy meals and did have golden arches.

28.when everyone wiped their feet before entering.

29.when ALL pies were homemade.

30.when carving a pumpkin was very dangerous.

31.when medicine tasted bad.

32.when cars had no seatbelts.

33.when neutering your pet was seldom done.

34.when charcoal grills were the most popular picnic cookery.

35.when comic books were popular.

36.when football players played their whole careers for one team.

37.when women coordinated their shoes and handbags with the season.

38.when people misused a product and got injured,it was their own fault.

39.when most households had two parents.

40.when DNA evidence wasn’t even considered possible.

41.when a person’s sex,race or religion could hurt their chances for employment.

42.when watches needed to be wound daily.

43.when art class was only about holding the paper the right way.

44.when a two by four was actually 2″x4″.

45.when school milk came in a bottle and you needed to shake it to move the cream.

46.when chewing gum was the worst thing you would find in school.

47.when girls could wear only skirts and dresses to school.

48.when you never saw a woman police officer.

49.when immigrants needed to learn English to function in the U.S.

50.when saying “Merry Christmas” or “God Bless you” didn’t require thought.

Then I thought of 50 more:

1.when astronauts were considered heroes.

2.when a milkman came to your house.

3.when your dog was free to roam your neighborhood.

4.when you never heard curse words in a school yard.

5.when refrigerators needed to be defrosted.

6.when TV was not broadcasted all night long.

7.when your teacher’s political views were a secret.

8.when dogs lived to ripe old ages without yearly shots.

9.when people, really did, go Christmas caroling.

10.when kids had bedtimes.

11.when book matches had the striker on the front.

12.when littering was common.

13.when your doctor made house calls.

14.when girls had to wear gymsuits.

15.when your clothes needed ironing after every wash.

16.when boys were expected NOT to cry.

17.when your parents smoked in the car.

18.when a snowstorm was considered a foot or more,not an inch.

19.when every “proper” home owned a set of encyclopedias.

20.when Lincoln Logs were really cool!

21.when riding in the back of a pick-up truck was a thrill not a gamble.

22.when Brazil nuts were called “nigger toes”.

23.when ALL waitresses wore hairnets.

24.when the TV repair guy was a frequent visitor.

25.when you never considered locking you house or car.

26.when you owned “play” clothes and “school” clothes.

27.when you got “shots” at school not at the doctor’s.

28.when schools did not have cafeterias.

29.when infants grew up healthy even though they were not nursed.

30.when you didn’t know your friends’ religion and didn’t care.

31.when the most dangerous thing about sharing a soda with a friend was the chance you may catch their cold.

32.when going to the dentist was a terrifying experience.

33.when you could stop at your neighbor’s house for a drink or use their bathroom.

34.when you heard someone was “gay”, you thought they were really happy.

35.when hair conditioner was called “creme rinse”.

36.when you waited for a holiday show in a specfic time slot with excitement.

37.when anyone over 30 seemed like a senior citizen.

38.when girls were not allowed to play organized sports.(and when they were,could not play on the athletic field or use the “good” equipment!)

39.when you argued with friends, parents rarely got involved.

40.when “working” mothers were considered selfish.

41.when hitchhiking wasn’t considered a dangerous activity.

42.when your Halloween lasted as long as you could and produced pillowcases of rewards.

43.when you had to wait to hear your favorite song on the radio.

44.when your parents had friends over and the kids were not a part of it.

45.when people dressed up for church,court, and holidays.

46.when meals were eaten at a table not in front of the television.

47.when visiting the library was for books not videos.

48.when TVs had no remote.

49.when kids got fewer phone calls than their parents.

50.when the amount of fun you had was measured by how dirty you got!

Feel free to add you own. If you remember most of these,you’re old baby!