This was one thing I agreed with my father about: independence. After spending my childhood in Synanon, I had no trust in any organization to take care of me, and that meant the government and the crooked corporations that Ray and Theresa spoke of, although, at that time, I still had no understanding of what a corporation was. In my mind, I saw corporations as massive cement buildings where the production of vague things were assembled and unleashed onto unsuspecting American citizens. Once, when I’d listened to Allison rant on and on about the promise made by General William Sherman in 1865 of “forty acres and a mule” to displaced freed slaves and how that promise had never been delivered, I’d snapped, “Don’t hold your breath.” She’d had a good laugh over my dry, sarcastic comment, but I was serious.

Synanon Kid Grows Up by C.A. Wittman

A Father’s Tattoos are Love Letters to his Children


Daddy hums to Marvin, but he couldn’t carry a tune if it came in a box. He’s wearing a Lakers jersey and no shirt underneath, revealing tattoos all over his arms. One of my baby photos smiles back at me, permanently etched on his arm with Something to live for, something to die for written beneath it. Seven and Sekani are on his other arm with the same words beneath them. Love letters in the simplest form.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Happy Father’s Day!