My sister, Susan Rae Miller Tweedy, has been having an impact on world events since she was a little girl. In 1971, she spearheaded a successful campaign to overturn a 50-year-old policy at Mary Gage Peterson Elementary in Chicago that prohibited girls from wearing pants to school. She was one of the first women to pump gas and load trucks for UPS in the Windy City. She later became, according to one guidebook, the “doyenne of the Chicago music scene” as the owner of the beloved Lounge Ax rock club with her partner Julia Adams. During the Lounge Ax years, Sue met and married acclaimed singer-songwriter Jeff Tweedy and gave birth to two future rock stars of America. Today, among her other prominent contacts, Sue is on a first-name basis with the man who will soon occupy the White House.
President Obama would do well to give my sister a place in his Cabinet for her astute observations of important moments in history. Sue has been reporting on major happenings for as long as I can remember. Responding to a challenge by the late John F. Kennedy, landing men on the moon and safely returning them to Earth was a shining moment for our nation and one of the most remarkable achievements of the twentieth century. For a brief moment, the entire planet was united as all eyes were on the courageous astronauts and the talented NASA scientists who were responsible for Apollo 11. But no reporter captured the gravity of this event with more skill and poignancy than young Susan, writing in her diary 39 years ago today. Here, my friends, ripped from the pages of 11-year-old Susan’s actual diary, is one of the most powerful primary source documents you will ever see:
Walter Cronkite couldn’t have said it better. (And I bet his hair never smelled like a Garden of Earthly Delights like my sister’s Herbal Essenced locks did.)
As I continue to illegally scan my sister’s diaries next month during our trip to Chicago, I will share her insights on other world events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the March on Washington, the Iranian Revolution, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the creation of the Internet. In the meantime, may I suggest that Barack Obama consider Sue and me for top positions in the Bureau of Indian Affairs? As you can see in the photo at left, we have a long history of sensitivity to issues affecting Native Americans.