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It's Alright to Cry -- Writer's Poke #263

In 2nd grade, it was a big honor, of course, to be allowed to run the film projector. Mrs. Brandt made us earn the privilege by handing out tokens for good behavior. Being in charge of the film projector might be worth 25 tokens, and it took a LONG time to earn 25 tokens -- maybe as long as two weeks or more, depending on how naturally naughty you happened to be.

Those of us that hadn't yet learned the benefit of deferred gratification might elect, then, just to man the film strip, turning the crank every time the accompanying record beeped. Film strips weren't nearly as sexy, but at 10 tokens, they were quite the second grade bargain.

So what kinds of things did we watch? It's been nearly 30 years, but I still remember Rosey Grier singing "It's Alright to Cry." How unusual was Rosey, a big, African-American football player, singing a song about how it was okay to express your feelings. And as far as I remember, none of the guys immediately started crying all of the time around school, but neither did any of us make fun of Rosey for singing about crying. He was tough, and that gave him some credibility, at least to a pack of 2nd grade boys. I'm sure if he had tried to pass off that notion to a bunch of 4th graders, things would have been much different.

When is it alright to cry? When was the last time you cried? Cried in public? Cried in front of complete strangers?

"Tearless grief bleeds inwardly." -- Christian Nevell Bovee


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