Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Title Of This Blog.

The title of this blog came from Chapter One of Codman Hislop's book The Mohawk. The Chapter's title is Upstream. In the chapter Hislop says, "Men have always looked upstream when they came to the Mohawk, for upstream was west."

The word upstream also characterizes the valley's history, especially over the past half century as it has had to struggle against industrial and economic decline. The valley is no longer a destination for people, but simply a conduit through which they travel on their way to some place else.

Upstream also defines my life which began in 1956. I was born into a family of 14 children (same mother, same father), struggled against poverty to finally earn an M.A. in English from Suny Albany. My wife came from a similar background. She raised three children, while also becoming an R.N. Our greatest struggles have come in the last few years, the worst being my wife's battle with stage three primary peritoneal cancer (a form of ovarian cancer). During this same period, we were falsely charged with neglect of our youngest child (after successfully raising two boys, one of whom just graduated summa cum laude from Albany with a M.A. in English), a battle we won, but at a significant price. I will have a lot more to say about this in future posts, as well as commentary on the failure of foster care, our family courts (which do more to dissolve families than to unite them), Child Protective Services, Social Services and more. My experience with "the system" did a lot to destroy many prejudices and beliefs that I use to hold and has given me a burning desire to fight injustice wherever and whenever I see it.


  • I am so impressed by your perserverance and your willingness to share your story. I read your blog daily and would encourage everyone to subscribe so as to keep up with your posts.

    By Blogger threecollie, at 9:29 AM  

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