Sunday, April 17, 2011

Changes, Ted Church and 1943

We are getting to the end of the 1943 letters. I got the word a couple of days ago that Ted Church died on Friday April 15th. When I first came to New Mexico, to apply for a job at an alternative school in Albuquerque we stayed with Ted and Liz. We being my parents and I in the spring of 1975, 36 years ago. I moved to Albuquerque and in my 20's I often saw Ted in my young judgmental way, I felt I knew so much and that many men were sexist and domineering, which they probably were. Now I feel a deep sadness at Ted's passing. Over the years I became quite fond of him and deeply appreciate the work he did for Friends and for our yearly meeting.
So I am thinking of 1943 and of these men who would meet in 1970, my father and Ted. Dad is out at CPS camp and where is Ted? In February of 1943, Ted was in the last graduating class of the Los Alamos Ranch School, as it closed to be taken over by the US Government and the name of the school became the name of a city and synonymous with a weapon. Down the road from Los Alamos in Santa Fe that February my future companion helpmate and ally was being born. Reading this date prompted me to ask me, 'you never knew New Mexico before Los Alamos, did you?' He said no. This state changed that year, much of the world changed in those few years of that war. As I read fathers writings and those of Peggy Pond Church, Ted's mother, I realize that they walked in a world and saw a world that we have never known.
A lot was lost in that war. Somehow that is on my mind. All the choices that people made, scientists, soldiers, civilians. Each day we recreate the world by the choices we make, without thinking in a blink of an eye, a mesa becomes a city, a weapon is created. Imagine what would the world look like today, if rather than the US creating the bomb, Germany had and yet we had won, the bomb would have been labeled 'evil' and no cold war? who would we all be then?
What futures are we creating today? as we type in these words? as we all communicate quickly with one another? what is it we do not see, that others will see in the future?
I feel lucky a great richness to have known both my father and Ted Church. What different paths they took out of the mountains they were both living in in 1943.

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