Monday, March 21, 2016

Journal 8 - Response to "Holding On" by Andy

(Part 1)  
    I believe the dreamers and eccentrics are mostly looked at as "crazy" in today's society, but it is less "crazy" than it was in the past.  I personally feel like it is a person's person opinion, as well as their morals, on whether they encourage your idea or they are against it.  Without the dreamers and eccentrics, we would not be anywhere near as technologically advanced as we are at the present time.  One of the easiest current examples to use is Facebook.  Facebook started out as a small idea, slowly caught on, grew some more, and has now become a global staple for communication.  Another past example would be the "space race" to become the first country to "command" outer space.  If neither the United States nor Soviet Union pushed themselves to reach this possibility, who knows when space would have been explored.

    As far as personal experiences, a boring cliche one would be working out.  I've had so many doubters over the years until they see me later on.  Consistency is key and as long as you are happy and seeing the results you desire, that is what matters most.  Other personal ideas in the work place for me unfortunately fall on deaf ears and I have already discussed my ideas with the highest authority that I am allowed to contact.  It's obviously frustrating when you have an idea, others agree with you, yet you cannot convey that idea to who would have the most power and final say in the matter.

(Part 2)
    I am enjoying Holding On so far.  The strengths of the book so far for me includes the short interviews/stories and how they were recorded then written.  Each short story gives you a brief look into someone's life and they are descriptive enough for me in which once again, I can place myself in their shoes and visualize their experiences as well as reflect on them.  I also enjoy the dialect and characteristics for each person since it is raw and unscripted. (On the last page of my book it does unfortunately say "In most cases, the oral histories in Holding On are heavily edited transcripts of interviews which ranged in length from one to four hours." page 216)  The weakness for me would be if I am interested in the person, I have no more information on them at the present time of reading.

    My one big question is: how are these people doing today? I sadly assume some, if not most are unfortunately deceased.

(Part 3)
    One of the profiles that has made a larger impact than others for me would be Harold C. Cotton - Hat Blocker - Greensboro, North Carolina (page 55).  The theme for me is staying true to yourself, which I always do. The reason I use that phrase is due to Harold putting in the necessary work to first achieve a job followed by putting in his time and loyalty, which earned him ownership of "Bob's Hat Shop".  The quality and respect he had for his work kept business steady.
    The most important part of his story, in my personal opinion, is when during the civil rights movement he was asked by a "black Marine" "Can I get a shine?" and Cotton replied, "Have a seat.".  This was the first time an African-American had his shoes shined up front and not in the back of the store.  Afterwards, Cotton stated "From now on, anybody that come in here can get up on the stand.  I don't care whether they close us up or not."  This goes back to the theme of staying true to yourself.  He was put in a position in which he believed it was fair to provide service to all in the same area and get rid of the segregation that was "normal" to keep his business operating smoothly.


  1. no matter where you turn doubters will be there (and just as i always i shall plow through them like a bulldozer) but now a days i dont think that being labeled crazy is a big issue anymore since now it seems you must have decently deep pockets if you want to follow your dreams.

  2. I also liked this passage and I think it was great how he finally said anybody could use the stand even if it closed them down.


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