All posts filed under: Being Laod

Missoula, 1976

By: Bryan Thao Worra At 3 years old in Montana, I became a citizen on Flag Day During the American bicentennial. That and a cup of coffee gets you A cup of coffee even if you write A thousand poems for a million elephants. I didn’t stay there, of course, But in that city I met my first ghosts And dinosaurs, gorgons and ancient gods. I played with a young girl named Dulcinea, Discovered the family pigs eaten by a bear, And saw my first neighbor die, Crushed beneath a fallen telephone pole. I wish I remembered his name. Our family dog Dutch, in his tragic jealousy, Tried to kill me a few times. I still have one scar from it after 40 years. But I miss him anyway, Because that’s the way refugee memory works. Author’s Note: Based on a true story. This week, June 14th is Flag Day, which celebrates the adoption of the US flag in 1777 by the resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Congress first established it in August, 1946, …

Conversations with Sarky: The Early Years

This is Part One in a series about Lao American music artist, Sarky Mekmorakoth. Music has always been an integral part of my life. I fell into it escaping from the harsh realities of being a 1st gen immigrant child of refugees: out of place, out of time. I found out just how much power it holds, too. Sometimes the electric charge was filled with feverish euphoria and other times, just an echoing sadness filled by gravity-induced silence, and everywhere in between. Early on, it was my light at the end of the tunnel–the constant melody that sang to me about my worth, filling that primal need for hope within me with hollow, deep, bass-filled down beats. About the only thing that could compare to my love of music and its magic, was my insatiable love of books. If music gave me hope, books and stories showed me what could be waiting if I persevered. In the mid-80s, when I first discovered Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” it became my anthem. I didn’t know …