"Write with the door closed. Rewrite
with the door open."


~ Stephen King, on writing
 
 
In 1968, when Martin Luther King was murdered, my dad wrote a letter to The Los Angeles Times that I quote in my memoir. In part:

"…If we are to lend credence to our mourning, there are acknowledgements that must be made now, albeit belatedly. We must act on the altogether proper assumption that Martin Luther King asked for nothing but that which was his due. He demanded no special concessions, no favored leg up the ladder for his people, despite our impatience with his lifelong prodding of our collective conscience. He asked only for equality, and it is that which we denied him.

We must look beyond riots in the streets to the essential righteousness of what he asked of us. To do less would make his dying as senseless as our own living would be inconsequential."

Tomorrow, forty-five years later, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day and the second inauguration of President Obama. Fittingly, both Abraham Lincoln's and Rev. King's bibles will be used as he takes his oath of office. I know unequivocally how appropriate my father would have thought that to be; how frustrated he would have felt that the basis upon which our country was founded - "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." - is still being denied so many; yet how hopeful he would have been with President Obama's resolve to pursue what Rev. King once suggested-- "that all men should have a place in the sun."
 
 
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My dad, once quoted as saying that although he felt his writing was “momentarily adequate,” did not believe it “would stand the test of time.” Fast forward decades to the recent "Twilight Zone" marathon. How incredibly honored and humbled he would have been, as was I, to read what Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe wrote on New Year’s Day:
“It all comes down to ‘The Twilight Zone’ — someday the world will understand this fact. All life lessons, all of human nature’s tricks and tragedies, are contained somewhere in Rod Serling’s slow, black-and-white, low-tech short plays. Also, many, many contemporary TV shows and movies have roots in “Zone” episodes.”