Playlist for 12/3/2011

Dec 03

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Segment 1
TMBG – It’s Spare the Rock
Ella ID
TMBG – Wake Up Call
Cat & a Bird – Bee Jive
Chip Taylor – I’m Just Thinkin’ About What I’m Thinkin’ About
Elizbeth Mitchell – You Are My Sunshine
Keller Williams – Hula Hoop to Da Loop
Bill Withers – Grandma’s Hands

Segment 2
Interview with Lego guy
Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem – Bear to the Left
Patty Griffin – I Love
ID/prep to rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock
Jingle Punx – Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Mary Timony – Clap Your Hands

Segment 3
Justin Roberts – Big Field Trip
Apples in Stereo – Energy
Los Lobos – Heigh-Ho
Billy Kelly – I’m Thinking of an Animal
Potjeikos – Seasons

Segment 4
ScribbleMonster – Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child
Deedle Deedle Dees – Sojourner Truth
Love & Rockets – No New Tale to Tell
Ralph’s World – What’s New Pussycat?
Roland Alphonso – El Pussy Cat Ska
Stray Cats – Stray Cat Strut

Segment 5
Telephone Company – Identical Twin Brothers
Tim & Space Cadets – Superhero
Bill Janovitz – The Farm Where Everyone Does What They Want To Do
Dan Zanes – Hello (w/ Barbara Brousal)
Duplex – That’s How We Make a Sandwich

Segment 6
Luna – Sweet Child O’ Mine
Harmonica Pocket – Spiders in My Breakfast
Pop-Ups – Up and Down
Matt & Kim – Daylight
TMBG – Particle Man
TMBG – Spare the Rock

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“In a Town This Size”

Dec 01

(No kid music content here.)

I lived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, until I was 12 and we moved to Minnesota.  Bartlesville was an oil town, the worldwide headquarters of Phillips Petroleum (for which my dad was a research scientist).  It was a relatively well-off town, with strong schools (my dad was on the school board, in fact) and a stronger cultural core than you might expect for an Oklahoma town of 35,000.  It even boasts the only Frank Lloyd Wright designed skyscraper, the Price Tower, and hosts the annual OK Mozart festival (which was launched while we were living there).  It was a good place to grow up.

Like most families who moved to Bartlesville, my parents asked around about the best pediatrician when they got there from Arkansas, and received the consensus advice that the doctor to see was Dr. Bill Dougherty, Jr., who was a young and skilled pediatrician, respected in the community.

And, it turns out, Dr. Dougherty engaged in the consistent sexual abuse of children, patients and otherwise.

I first heard a bit about it maybe five or ten years ago (or perhaps even earlier); at that time, what I heard was that his abuse was solely of kids in a scout troop. It turns out, unsurprisingly, that it was far more extensive.

A new film, In a Town This Size, tells his story and, heartbreakingly, the story of his victims.  I watched the movie (made by one of his victims, Patrick Brown) this morning, and it was chilling.

Neither my siblings nor I were among Dougherty’s victims; my mom never left us in the examination room with him alone.

But it was striking — and rather intense — to see people my own age, people I easily may have been in school with or played on soccer teams with, discussing the abuse.  One talked about the visual that haunted him from his visits, that of one of those cat clocks with the eyes that go back and forth, and it made me remember that same clock in what must have been the same examination room (a room that, like all of Dougherty’s, had doorknobs too high for a child to reach).  The victim speaks of focusing on that clock during the abuse.  To a person, the victims in the film — and there are quite a number who shared their stories — have stories about how intensely Dougherty’s abuse affected their relationships, their professions, their families — their lives.

The film also includes an interview with a person, probably mid-70s, who was close friends with Dougherty and whose kids all went to him as their doctor.  In one of the toughest parts of the movie to watch, he describes his growing realization that this friend of his — a person he trusted entirely — had abused and stolen the childhood of at least three of his six children.  He later discusses his struggles from within his faith to consider forgiving Dougherty.  (The filmmaker speaks frankly about how low on his list of priorities “forgiving Bill Dougherty” is.  I can’t argue with him.)

Sometime in the ’80s, Dougherty’s crimes became slightly known and he retired from medicine.  The local paper published a story about “a local pediatrician” — not naming him — and his victims.  Due to the statute of limitations in Oklahoma, and the lack of recent victims speaking at the time, he was never criminally charged, and evidently still lives in Bartlesville, only leaving at night, in disguise.

The movie was obviously of particular interest to me because of the personal connection.  But it’s also a good reminder that pedophiles don’t come with name tags or signage, and that part of our job as parents is to be aware of everyone who’s around our kids.  That doesn’t mean assuming everyone is wicked, but it does mean being cognizant, speaking with our kids, and listening to our kids.  I am so grateful to my parents for doing that (and that doesn’t mean for a second that I’m blaming victims’ parents, or the victims themselves, for abuse).  I hope we’re doing the same.

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