Eden M. Kennedy

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works a straight job and is just about finished writing her first novel.

Several years back I used to work around the corner from the Native American Community Center in New York. I had an aquaintance who worked there (he was the tallest gay Apache Indian I've ever met), and he invited me over one night for a ceremony honoring a member of the community who had died. There was a drum circle, and singing led by a woman whose tribe I don't remember but she'd spent several years touring with a Duke Ellington-style orchestra, and never before or since have I heard such incredible prairie wails belted out with the Andrews Sisters' tone.

Then there were speeches. A kid named Cochise got up to speak. He looked like kind of a punk, but he seemed perfectly comfortable in front of the crowd. And I'll never forget what he said.

"What I'll miss most about [the dead person] is that whenever she saw me she'd say, "Hey! Toe Cheese!"

So today as you scrape whatever variation of that first pilgrim/Indian meal you manage to conjure up into the garbage, remember Cochise, whose name rhymes with "toe cheese." And remember to recycle, and for god's sake don't drink and drive.