5 Day Music Challenge, Day 2: Blowing up Fish

Thanks to Danica from Living the Beautiful Life for nominating
me for the Five-Day Music challenge.

The rules are:

Post a song a day for five consecutive days.

Post what the lyrics mean to you.  (Optional)

Post the name of the song and video

Nominate two (or one) different blogger each day of the challenge

For the challenge, I decided to focus on how I first became aware of music and to describe over the next five days how my taste in music broadened and changed.

I met my best friend James one August day in 1969 at Colonial Lake.

It was a hot and muggy and all the fish in the lake died.

James was lighting up Cherry Bombs and tossing them into the lake.

When I asked why, he said he was ‘blowin’ up’ the fish’.

I laughed and asked where he got his black eye.

He said he got in a fight that morning at school and decide to cut out.

I told him I almost got shot the night before ‘cause I really did.

“You almost got shot!” I could see I had his respect. “What did you do?”

“Scream.” I answered. Then we laughed an’ blew up some more fish and
became best friends.

James and I ran with Charleston’s hippies.

Here are some of the songs we played:

The Who – I Can See For Miles

Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles

Cream – Strange Brew


The Mamas & the Papas  – Look Through My Window


Donovan – Sunshine Superman


Hair – Walking In Space


My Nominees are:

Joyfully Stated


Bird Flight

In the South of my Childhood

Trigger Warning: This post describes violence.

CPTSD differs from PTSD in that CPTSD  is the result if multiple episodes
of abuse sustained from months to years.

My dissociative disorder is in part the result of the institutional racism and homophobia of the mid-20th Century.

Emotional development can not happen when the brain constantly thinks the survival of the body is at stake.

As I begin to remember my childhood, I find that I have panic attacks that make it almost impossible for me to move.

As I type this my heart is racing, my skin crawls and I feel as if I am crushed.

It feels like dying.

The details of the memory are out of reach yet they are as vivid as if I am living it.

The South of my childhood was saturated with racism and antisemitism.

“I can buy and sell you,” was a common childhood taunt.

The South of my childhood believed that “intellectuals” and “yankee snobs” were the source of its problems.

Art was for sissies.

Compassion was for Sissies.

Intellect was for sissies.


There are therapists who say that severe PTSD is the aftermath of a confrontation with human evil.

M. Scott Peck, the psychiatrist who authored the best-selling self-help book,” The Road Less Traveled, described evil as a form of militant ignorance“.

According to Peck an evil person is consistently self-deceiving, to avoid guilt and to keep up an image of perfection.

They also;

• Deceive others as a consequence of their own self-deception

• Project his or her evils and sins onto very specific targets (scapegoats) while being apparently normal with everyone

• Commonly hates with the pretense of love, for the purposes of self-deception as much as deception of others.

• Abuses political (emotional) power (“the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion”

• Maintains a high level of respectability based on lies.

• Is consistent in his or her sins. Evil persons are characterized not so much by the magnitude of their sins, but by their consistency (of destructiveness)

• Is unable to think from the viewpoint of their victim (scapegoat)

• Have a covert intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury

According to Peck, evil people realize that what they are evil but they can’t tolerate the pain of introspection. They can’t admit that their actions are motivated by evil.

In the South of my childhood the “good people” beat the rest us into our place.

It was a “moral” obligation.


On the first day of the first grade, we children were told to open our books.

Each child was asked to read and as the children stumbled through their paragraphs, the teacher corrected them.

I knew how to read because my Grandmother had taught me when I was four.

I read my paragraph with no difficulty.

The other children snickered.

The teacher sneered at me.

She sent a note to my Mother.

It was I had caused problems in class.

My Mother beat me and screamed at me for causing trouble on the very first day of school.

This was the only time my Father ever stepped in.

My Mother was screaming at me to stop crying while she beat me with a belt buckle.

My Father grabbed her arms and asked how she thought I would stop crying while she beat me.

I was frightened and confused.

It would be years before I understood that as a “kike” I had stepped out-of-place.

I had done the unforgivable thing of behaving as if I was better than the “white” kids.

In the South of my Childhood, kikes were not white.

The next morning I walked alone to the bus stop and noticed that a group of parents was there with their children.

At first, I felt safe because I still associated adults with protection.

But they surrounded me and the parents ordered their children to beat the faggot out of me.

One of the parents pulled out a pair of scissors while the other adults held me down.

She was the next door neighbor.

She said that she was going to cut my eyelashes because they were too long and too pretty.

She said that if I moved she would cut out my eyes and it would be my fault.

This was when I discovered that if I left my body I felt no fear or pain.

That was the morning Bobby was born.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015 All Rights Reserved






17 St. Phillip Street –Part 18-

Art by Rob Goldstein
Annabelle Zelda Marshall

Annabelle Zelda Marshall was sipping an iced tea (sans ice) when the raid began.

She was confused and asked a sprinting drag queen what the shouting was about.

“It’s a raid!” he shrieked, as a policeman gathered him up and shoved him through the door.

Margaret sat quietly and watched the commotion.

Eventually a cop went to her table.

“Come with me, please.”

“Why?” asked Annabelle.

“This establishment is closed.”

Annabel slowly rose, using her cane to support her weight.

“I thought prohibition had been repealed,” she said, as she gave the cop her arm.

The cop took Annabel’s arm and examined her closely. He had never seen a fag who look so much like his grandmother.

Outside Paul was in a headlock and demanded to see his lawyer.

Annabel wondered what kind of crime Paul could commit.

She looked up at the cop who had her arm and said: “I thought I was going to see a play about Jesus. A friend did say it was blasphemous but I surely didn’t know that one could still be arrested for blasphemy!”

“What is your name, please?”

Annabel was proud to say her name: “Annabel Zelda Marshall!”

“No—,” said the officer. “Your real name.”

“That IS my real name!”

The officer again examined Annabel’s face; this is one convincing old drag queen, he thought to himself. “Step into the light for me.”

Annabel lost her patience: “My Pappy was one of the noble heroes in the great battle against Sherman in Atlanta. My Pappy almost died trying to save that honorable city but he didn’t die, no! He came back here to his home and his Pappy’s home and his Pappy before that and now I have to stand here because some Yankee transplant doesn’t know my name? Marshall. Marshall. M-A-R-S-H-A-L-L!”

The cop had heard the name: “As in Gunsmoke?” he asked.

Paul, who was face down in the street with his hands cuffed behind his back heard Annabel’s speech and shifted slightly: “That’s her real name!” he said.

That earned him a kick in the face.

“Cuff the old fag!” said the cop that kicked Paul.

“She’s a woman!” screamed Paul. He got another kick.

Annabel hiked the hem of her skirt: “Do ah have to lift mah skirts to avoid incarceration!” spat Annabel.

The cop’s eyes grew wide and then he laughed.

“What the Hell is a woman your age doing in a queer bar?”

Text and image Rob Goldstein (c)2016 all rights reserved

17 St. Phillip Street – Part 16-


Art by Rob Goldstein
Society Street

Consider the culture of the City of Charleston in 1971.

These were the early days of the Second Reconstruction.

Charleston was in a state of pleasant decay.


Art By Rob Goldstein
A state of pleasant decay.

The Old Slave Market still had its holding cages and rusted shackles.

Most of the old aristocracy and white middle class old openly longed for the good old days before the War of Northern Aggression.

They referred to the South as a conquered sovereign nation.

Bobby was glad that the South was defeated.

Bobby hated the thought of slavery.

He hated anyone who defended it.

He felt nothing but contempt for what he called the wannabe
royalty of Old Charleston.

Charleston’s transvestites loved the Old Aristocracy.

They loved its pretensions.

And Bobby loved the drag queens.

They adored 19th Century drag.


Art by Rob Goldstein
The United Daughters of the American Confederacy Night

They organized a United Daughters of the American Confederacy drag pageant  every Halloween Night at the gay bar.

Halloween Night was the one night of the year that it was legal in Charleston for men to publicly dress as women.

Dozens of drag queens gathered at the bar in hand-made antebellum costumes.

After the contest was over and the bar closed they gracefully strolled to Battery Park in their gowns.

The scents of cheap perfume, wilting roses, and wisteria mingled in the
humid autumn night.

And if the fog was thick enough, the city looked haunted.


Art by Rob Goldstein
And if the Fog was thick enough, the city looked haunted.


Rob Goldstein 2016
Text and VR based graphics (c) Rob Goldstein 2016