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The Mic Is Open



          I know everything about Diamond Bar even though I’ve never been there. I know that if you knocked on almost any door, talked your talk and made people comfortable, they would invite you in. They would bring you coffee and ask you to stay and watch the game with them. As they relaxed and began to trust you, they would begin to let you in on little secrets. Poems they’ve written. Drawings they’ve done. Songs they’ve recorded on a Casio four track. Little films they’ve made on their cell phones.


          It might be Mom or Dad or the kids. Uncle or grandma or neighbor. Brother or sister’s email which has the music they’ve recorded in Iraq. These people don’t line up at open mics. They don’t know that open mics exist. They don’t know that open minds exist, minds open and eager to hear what they have to say. Minds open enough to understand that a mortgage problem can wind up a sex poem, that having a cousin in prison can make you paint a picture of a forest, that ugly abuse can foster beautiful music.


          The future of our country depends on people just like this. I know you will find them. Good luck tonight!



Email on the occasion of the first open mic in the history of Diamond Bar, California; April 19, 2008

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