I Become a Man

Hard to believe, sixty years ago today I was Bar Mitzvah’d. I long ago forgot what my Torah and Haftorah portions were about. At Fairmount Temple, we didn’t have to deliver the weekly sermon, as many B’nai Mitzvah boys and girls do. But I recited my Hebrew portions perfectly and my voice didn’t crack when I chanted.

Later, the rabbi told my parents I would be a great rabbi. Obviously, I never followed that path. Instead, I went through a period in my twenties when I rejected Judaism altogether because my Judaism was middle class and I was rejecting the middle class.

I came back to Judaism first when I began noticing that an inordinate number of leaders of the Vietnam era antiwar movement were Jewish. I learned about the history of the Jewish Left in America and began to see Judaism as a social justice movement that was on board with my beliefs. The rabbi who married Emily and me was shot while marching down south with Martin Luther King, Jr. I saw him as being on board. The board of directors raised hell and said a rabbi shouldn’t be political. The board was not on board. 

Through action for social justice, I discovered a spiritual side of Judaism that had nothing to do with ancient rituals. I began meditating. When Zen masters meditate, they chant, “Om.” Jews chant, “Shalom.”

* * *

Ken Wachsberger is a book coach, editor, and the author of You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You. Ken’s other books may be found here and here. For book coaching and editing help, or to invite Ken to speak at your meeting, email Ken at ken@kenthebookcoach.com.

Schedule your complimentary 30-minute coaching and editing session now.


I Didn’t Organize

They came for the women but I was a man, so I didn’t organize.

They came for People of Color but my skin was white, so I didn’t organize.

They came for refugees from injustice but my ancestors arrived two generations ago, so I didn’t organize.

They came for working men and women but I owned my own business, so I didn’t organize.

They came for the poets and prophets but I minded my own business, so I didn’t organize.

They came for people who loved untraditionally but I was a man who loved a woman, so I didn’t organize.

They came for me, and there was no one left to organize.

(with gratitude to Martin Niemöller)

* * *

Ken Wachsberger is an author, editor, book coach, speaker, and organizer. He is the editor of the landmark Voices from the Underground Series. He may be reached for speaking or coaching at ken@kenthebookcoach.com or https://kenthebookcoach.com

Old People-Young People Unite to Free Martha Mitchell!

If my calculations are correct, today is a special day in Yippie history. Fifty years ago yesterday (stay with me), Martha Mitchell, the wife of Attorney General John Mitchell, declared herself a political prisoner.

I was in Miami Beach at the time, one of thousands of Yippies and other antiwar youth who had come to town to protest the Democrats and Republicans, both of whom held their presidential nominating conventions there that summer.

We Overcome Ugly Smear Campaign and Find Shelter

An issue in the early days of the summer revolved around the attempts of us young people to convince the city council to grant us park space to sleep and eat while we were there. Local right-wingers opposed our efforts and recalled images of dirty hippies rioting in the streets of Chicago in 1968 to instill fear in the hearts of the local citizens, many of whom were Jewish and whose average age was 63. The city council threatened us with more police and more weapons.

Old people began to avoid us. More than once, a senior citizen walking toward me on the sidewalk crossed the street so she could avoid passing me. We were shocked and humbled. Our youthful arrogance had prevented us from seeing old people in Miami Beach—especially Jews, whose stereotype had them all being rich—as an oppressed minority.

We realized that most of these old people had probably never met a hippie other than through the media, let alone touched one, so we visited the parks where they spent their afternoons and the free lunch programs where many of them ate their only meal of the day. We sang songs, spoke, and passed out leaflets telling who we were and why we were there.

Meanwhile, we petitioned them for signatures to demand that city council give us a campsite. We won and were given Flamingo Park, one of the senior citizen hangouts. During the days that followed, they offered their homes to us as refuge from the teargas that filled the streets and they fed us chicken soup to replenish our energy. They visited us every evening.

Uniting to Free Martha Mitchell

And we organized a march to protest the militarization of Saigon and Miami Beach.

I was Yippie media coordinator at the time. My job was to alert the media every time the Yippies had an action, which meant any act of political theatre that might be considered newsworthy.

This day, I went down the entire extensive list of I don’t remember how many names but it seemed like a hundred at least; and I repeated, “Hi, this is Ken from the Yippies. We’re having an action to protest the militarization of Saigon and Miami Beach.” I gave them the time and place and told them to join us.

Then that night, Martha Mitchell called reporter Helen Thomas and declared she was being held a political prisoner by the FBI. We immediately changed the theme to the much-easier-to-recite “Free Martha Mitchell March.”

It was held fifty years ago today.

Two Generations Put a Ring on It

Through it all, an old people-young people coalition emerged. We voluntarily changed the slogan of credibility to “Don’t trust anyone over 35 and under 60.”

The culmination of our symbolic alliance between young and old took place at Lummus Park on the Sunday before the Democratic Convention began. There, Yippie sponsored a “Wedding of the Generations.” Abbie Hoffman delivered a Yiddish poem, “Nixon Genug,” that only he and the senior citizens understood. Then, Jewish poet Allen Ginsberg, acting as “rabbi,” married us.

The night before the conventions began, we got high together at Flamingo Park and Om’d in a huge circle with Allen Ginsberg.

As I look back at it with the eyes now of a senior citizen, I see that thread as a high point of the summer.

* * *

Ken Wachsberger is an author, editor, book coach, speaker, and organizer. He is the editor of the landmark Voices from the Underground Series. He may be reached for speaking or coaching at ken@kenthebookcoach.com or https://kenthebookcoach.com.


My mother, Shirley Pollack Wachsberger, died Sunday, November 21, two months after turning one hundred years old. We buried her the day before Thanksgiving.

Tough Broad

Mom was a tough broad. That’s the term she used to describe herself when Dad died ten summers ago. It’s what she was when she overcame paralyzing personal and social pressure to give up and instead earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology when she was in her fifties because education was so important to her.

But Mom was also shy and polite to a fault. One holiday season, the story goes, Dad’s mom baked a poppyseed cake for her. Mom hated poppyseed cake but she didn’t want to hurt Grandma’s feelings so she told her how much she loved it. Grandma baked her another one every year after that until Alzheimer’s took away her recipe. Until the end, Mom always said she loved it. I don’t know if Grandma ever saw her eat a piece after the first year.

She was gorgeous. At Glenville High School, where she graduated, two fellow classmates were writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman. As Mom told the story, artist Shuster invited Mom to his studio to draw her. If it hadn’t been for her shyness, Mom might have been the model for Lois Lane.

She was a community organizer, one of the pioneers who built Beachwood, the suburb on the east side of Cleveland where I grew up. She played a leading role, usually as president, both with my dad and on her own, in the Beachwood Arts Council, the PTA, the Montefiore Women’s Auxiliary, American Field Service, and other community organizations. They taught prisoners and inner-city kids to read.

Always Learning

She was a voracious reader. I would call her every Friday to welcome her to the weekend. When I asked her what she was up to, she always said, “Nothing. Just reading.”

She read everything I wrote starting with my days on the underground press, and so did Dad. Mom, in particular, was ready to hear a new viewpoint. She was outspoken and passionate and had been long before I came around.

In high school, according to family legend, she spoke out about the need to have classes that spoke to the concerns of women. The school responded by adding a cooking class. She knew it wasn’t enough.

Mom was an early reader of Ms. Magazine. She used to tell me about how the issues always arrived with the covers torn. She was sure the sexist pig mailman was ripping them. She read the magazines from cover to cover in defiance.

Meanwhile, Dad’s vote was going from Barry Goldwater in 1964 to Barry Commoner in 1980.

How Can I Rebel Properly?

During this period, my friends were all rebelling against their parents, but they loved my folks. I would say, “Yes, but,” and try to show that I had rebelled against my parents, too, but I could never say it with conviction.

I hitchhiked one year, probably 1971, to Washington, DC, to participate in a women’s rights rally. I hitchhiked with five women. On our way from Lansing, Michigan, where I lived, to DC, we spent a night on Edgewood. Mom made us all dinner, and breakfast the next morning. Then Dad drove us to the freeway. He gave me $20.

How could I rebel against them, like my friends? Do you see how they made me suffer?

Goodbye, Mom

Emily and I are grateful that we were able to see Mom the day she died. We were with her for an hour and a half, and she was awake and alert most of the time. Both of us said our last words to her. Emily thanked her for being such a great role model. I told her it was okay for her to let go. We told her that David and Carrie sent their love.

We were sad when we left. We both looked for reasons to be optimistic but neither of us expected to see Mom alive again.

Brother Bob called later that evening to say she went peacefully in her sleep. I like to think she heard my final words.

For her rich life and her dignified death, we can all be thankful

* * *

Friends who wish may contribute to the Si and Shirley Wachsberger Scholarship Fund, c/o The Beachwood Arts Council, 25225 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood, OH 44122.

Mohamed Faces the Music, and It’s Joyful

Joy and music filled the air as an estimated sixty supporters and members of the media gathered on the front lawn and porch of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House Tuesday, June 1, to celebrate the freedom of sanctuary guest Mohamed Soumah. They arrived in cars, on foot, on bicycle, and on scooter. It was an impressive number for a quiet Tuesday morning on an Ann Arbor side street.

“Freedom” is a relative word. Most of us don’t on a daily basis fear being detained and deported to a home where you will die soon after you land. Mohamed did when he was ordered out of the country by the former administration.

Deportation Means Inevitable Death

Mohamed is a dialysis patient who requires treatments three times a week. The services that he needs to keep him alive are not available in his home country. Deportation, therefore, would have meant death. Fearing for his life, Mohamed was forced to seek help. He entered sanctuary at Ann Arbor Friends in October 2018. He has lived in fear ever since because

  1. Sanctuary only gave him symbolic protection at best when he was inside the house.
  2. He had to leave the house three times a week for his dialysis treatments.

Saved by Humane Guidelines

But under new guidelines from the administration in Washington, ICE agreed to change Mohamed’s status. On Tuesday, May 25, at a meeting with his lawyer and ICE, Mohamed was given an order of supervision, which requires periodic check-ins but declares him at least temporarily off limits to the evicting eyes of ICE.

This is the relative freedom that Mohamed finally gets to enjoy and that his many supporters, who have grown to care for and love Mohamed as a family member, came to share with him.

We Are a Sanctuary People

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Mary Anne Perrone, a long-time leader of the sanctuary movement in Ann Arbor and a Steering Committee member of Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary, emcee’d the event: “We are a sanctuary people and today is a very good day. It is a day of announcement and celebration,” she declared to a hearty cheer from the crowd.

Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary (WCS), sponsor of the event, is the coalition of fourteen religious congregations and two unaffiliated groups in Washtenaw County that has connected the local sanctuary movement with the national scene since early in the previous administration.

An Inspiration and Blessing to Us All

Sheila Johnson, representing Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House, and also a member of the WCS Steering Committee, welcomed the crowd to what has been Mohamed’s home since he entered sanctuary. “Support for Mohamed went far beyond the Quakers,” she noted as she did a shout-out to WCS for leading the effort. “Mohamed was a productive member of society. He was forced to seek sanctuary because of unjust laws. He needs continuing help because he is still ill.” Calling him an inspiration and a blessing to us all, she quoted the Quaker saying, “Let your life speak,” and thanked him for giving them the opportunity to do that.

Mohamed: You Didn’t Forget Me

Mohamed was greeted with extended applause. “What you guys promised me, you did it,” he began. He thanked the community and the press for treating him “like a human, for not forgetting me. All I can offer is thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget.” He acknowledged being scared going for his meeting with ICE last week. “I was in the dark. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy.” But now he feels relief. “It’s good to not have to look over my shoulder.”

We’ll Keep Fighting for You

Sabrina Balgamwalla, director of the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic at Wayne State University’s Law School, which represents Mohamed, told the crowd how happy she was to be one of a long line of legal advocates who have defended Mohamed. “He has given as much as he has gotten. We were happy to get an order of supervision and happy that executive immigration enforcement priorities have changed.” Turning to Mohamed, she promised, “We’ll keep fighting for you.”

They Were All Immigrants and Refugees

Reverend Doctor Deborah Dean-Ware, pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd/United Church of Christ, and another WCS Steering Committee member, praised the day as an example of what we can do when we come together. Pastor Deb, as she is known, organized Mohamed’s team of three-times-a-week driving clergy, wearing full vestments, so he would always be protected by religious symbolism outside Quaker House. She reminded us that sanctuary was “also a biblical statement to welcome the stranger, the immigrant, the widow. Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Jesus, they were all immigrants and refugees.”

We Cannot Collaborate with Injustice

Rabbi Josh Whinston, from Temple Beth Emeth, thanked WCS for challenging the community over three years. “Religions love to talk. Acting is harder than words.” And then arose the opportunity to act. “Saving a life takes precedence over nearly every other commandment in Judaism,” he explained. “We couldn’t say no. Our choice was, talk about or do. We cannot collaborate with injustice. When the law of the land is unjust, we must rise up against it.”

By Doing the Right Thing

The final speaker, Reverend Joe Summers, from the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, noted that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all claim Abraham as our spiritual ancestor, and yet, “he was an immigrant” who was dependent on the hospitality of others, making hospitality a sacred obligation for all our traditions. He noted that the sanctuary movement often aids those fleeing violence that our government has caused but has not wanted to own. He thanked Mohamed for being a gracious guest. “Shame on the past administration and all who tolerate this being done to those who come to us needing sanctuary, safety, and healing. By doing the right thing, we recover our strength, vision, hearts, and our humanity.”

Help Still Needed

Emcee Mary Anne Perrone brought the formal presentations to a close by reminding us that Mohamed still needs our support due to his fragile health.

If you are so inspired, please send donations to ICPJ, 1414 Hill St., Ann Arbor, MI. 48104 (memo:  Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary) or online at www.icpj.net, again designating it to WCS. 

But Bask in Today’s Joy

But for today, we feel joy.

As Mary Anne concluded: “This is such a joyful day.  Bask in the joy; and keep hope in new possibilities as we stay in the struggle for immigrant justice.”

Here’s a link to the video of the press conference: https://fb.watch/5S5iihu7xy/.

* * *

Ken Wachsberger is an author, editor, and book coach as well as a member of the Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary Steering Committee. He may be reached at ken@kenthebookcoach.com.

Photos courtesy of Richard Stahler-Sholk, also a member of Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary Steering Committee.

Mohamed Wins New Level of Freedom. Come Join Him in Celebration

Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary and Ann Arbor Friends invite you to come celebrate the newfound freedom of Sanctuary guest Mohamed Soumah.

Date:               Tuesday June 1

Time:              11 a.m.

Location:        Front yard of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House

Address:         1420 Hill St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Theme:           Freedom Celebration Press Conference

Mohamed has been living in sanctuary at the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House since October 2018. Under the harsh policies of the former president, he faced immediate deportation to his home country of Guinea in West Africa.

Deportation would have meant certain death as Mohamed is a dialysis patient who requires treatments three times a week. The services that he needs to keep him alive are not available in Guinea.

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But under new guidelines from the administration in Washington, ICE agreed to discuss with Mohamed a new arrangement.

Thirty supporters waited outside the ICE office in Detroit in a quiet vigil of solidarity and support, as he went into his meeting on Tuesday May 25. He was accompanied only by his attorney, Sabrina Balgamwalla, director of the Wayne State University Immigration Law Clinic.

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They emerged from the meetings forty-five minutes later. His look of relief was confirmed by his first words: “I am relieved.”

Mohamed was given an order of supervision which requires him to check in virtually or on a periodic basis, but allows him to take walks through the neighborhood or go to a store without fear of immediate deportation.

“Now I can go anywhere. This is a literal relief. I appreciate you all showing up. It means a lot to me. Since I have been here, you have been as a family I never had.”

His next ICE appointment is August 17 but, according to Balgamwalla, this is just a standard check-in. “He was given an order of supervision, like we wanted. He’ll be under regular supervision. There were no special conditions.”

She added, “They were impressed that he had his paperwork.”

For more information, including about speakers, contact Rich Stahler-Sholk, rsholk@gmail.com, 734-660-1647.

It’s Biden’s Moment, and Trump Knows

I’m not a lover of Joe Biden. I always thought liberals were sellouts, not heroes. The definition of liberal that I learned in my coming-of-age years was someone who always said the right thing but then pulled back at the time of decision.

But when a crazed, mini-authoritarian boar is the only alternative, liberals look good.

Biden looked good last night in the first debate. He was decent. He was – I can’t believe this is a campaign issue – pro-voting.

He is more pro-family and pro-life than Trump, whether you define those terms from a right or a left perspective.

He spoke in complete sentences.

He soared over a low bar.

He had at least two missed moments:

  1. When Trump touted his 200+ endorsements from military and law enforcement, Biden could have mentioned his nearly 500.
  2. When Trump pointed to poor forest management as the cause of the California fires, Biden could have pointed out that 58 percent of California forests are federally owned and so Trump’s responsibility; only three percent are state-owned.

But those lapses didn’t hurt him. I think Biden is driven by the sense that history is calling him to this moment. Whether you believe it or not, Biden does, and it gives him energy.

Trump, meanwhile, is tired, ignorant, and standing naked and aware in front of an electorate that is embarrassed.

Ken Wachsberger is the author of You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You and editor of the four-volume Voices from the Underground Series.

On the Liberation of Auschwitz: Never Again

The main camp of Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp during World War II, was liberated seventy-five years ago today by the Soviets along with the Birkenau death camp and the Monowitz labor camp. By the time the Soviets arrived at Auschwitz, many of the inmates had already been forced out as the Nazis began a hasty effort to cover up their atrocities. Those inmates, mostly Jews, were marched for three days to another camp, Bergen-Belsen. Many died along the way in what became known as the Death March to Bergen-Belsen.

Thirteen-year old Goldie Szachter was one who survived. Only days before the march began, she had been selected, along with a hundred women including her mother, by Dr. Josef Mengele to die in the gas chamber. The “selections” were common occurrences at Auschwitz. Mengele, known as “the Angel of Death,” would line up the Jews, then walk up and down the rows saying, “You to the right” or “You to the left.” If you were ordered rightward, you lived another day. If you were told to go to the left, you had just been selected to die in the gas chamber. Goldie was told to go to the left.

As this selection was taking place, the Soviets were already getting closer to the border. Nazi Headquarters knew it was all over for them. Orders had already begun to trickle down to the camp overseers to start the cover-up. But as they were trickling down, the selections continued.

Goldie’s group was thrown into the gas chamber as the orders reached Auschwitz. The Nazis faced a quandary: Do we have time for one more gassing? Yes. No. Yes. No. I don’t know how intense the deliberations were or even if more than one person was involved in the decision but it took about eighteen hours for a decision to be made. Goldie and the women sat and waited all that time in the gas chamber. No other group had ever waited that long before being killed. Maybe they were already dead, they wondered, and this was what death was like.

And then the decision was made: Time was too precious now even to kill a hundred more Jews. Suddenly the door to the oven opened. Goldie and the one hundred women were released and returned to their barracks, concluding what turned out to be the last selection of the entire war and probably the only one that wasn’t carried out.

They then participated in the Death March to Bergen-Belsen. Goldie, her two sisters, and her mother survived along with a few other family members. After the war, Bergen-Belsen became a home for displaced refugees. Her mother died there in a makeshift hospital.

Goldie and her sisters lived in the camp for, I believe, two to three years before immigrating to America. Goldie, known in adulthood as Golda, met and married Sylvan Kalib, a cantor in Farmington Hills, Michigan, as well as a music teacher at Eastern Michigan University. Sylvan was enthralled by her story, which was complex beyond the selection scene. I was honored when he asked me to help him write it.

The result was The Last Selection: A Child’s Journey through the Holocaust. It was published by University of Massachusetts Press. Portions of the book were used in the ABC Daytime Emmy-Award Winning movie on children in the Holocaust. If you’re interested in learning more about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, The Last Selection is a good place to begin.

* * *

I can’t speak for anyone who endured the Holocaust but I grew up in its shadow and feel it as part of the legacy I have inherited from my ancestors. When I hear opponents of Trump’s barbaric immigration policies call the camps where refugees are imprisoned “concentration camps,” I’m not offended. I don’t see it as a show of disrespect for those who died in the ovens.

Rather, I think the Jews who survived so they could let the world know what had happened so that it would never happen again, as was the stated motivation of many survivors, had exactly such situations in mind.

“Never again.”



Mica Died on This Date

November 22. The date is forever associated with President John Kennedy, who was assassinated on that date in 1963.

I think also of Mica Kindman who died on that date in 1991.

I was honored to work with Mica as his editor while he wrote his autobiography, My Odyssey through the Underground Press. The book recalls Mica’s adventures working primarily with two underground newspapers during the sixties and seventies: The Paper, in East Lansing, Michigan, and Avatar, in Boston. The underground press was the independent, noncorporate, dissident press of the Vietnam era. His story was one of two dozen insider histories that I compiled, edited, and published in what became my four-volume Voices from the Underground Series.

Muckraking at The Paper

To his friends in East Lansing in the sixties, he was Michael Kindman. In 1963, Michael was one of some 200 honors students from around the country who had been awarded National Merit Scholarships, underwritten by Michigan State University and usable only there. Together, they represented by far the largest group of Merit Scholars in any school’s freshman class. At MSU? The nation’s first agricultural land grant college?

Two years later, he founded the legendary The Paper, the Lansing area’s first underground newspaper and one of the first five members of Underground Press Syndicate, this country’s first nationwide network of underground papers during the Vietnam era.

The Paper connected the emerging radical campus community of Michigan State University with the activists of the East Lansing community. It is best known for its work with Ramparts, the premier left-wing glossy magazine of the era, in exposing MSU’s role as the number one CIA front organization in Vietnam in the sixties. The bureaucrats, academics, and police who built the infrastructure of oppression in Vietnam that forced the Vietnamese peasants from the villages into the cities, carded them, and forced their daughters into prostitution, then bombed their homes anyway, received salaries from the CIA that were filtered through an account at MSU. Most of these “professors” never actually showed up on campus.

Through Underground Press Syndicate, underground papers around the country exchanged subscriptions with each other to spread the word and build solidarity. One of those papers was Avatar, a paper out of the Boston area whose poems and essays explored a mystical dimension that attracted Michael’s attention.

Getting Sucked into Avatar

So in 1968 he left The Paper, headed east, and joined the staff of Avatar, unaware that the large, experimental commune that controlled the paper was a charismatic cult centered on a former-musician-turned-guru named Mel Lyman, whose psychic hold over his followers was then being strengthened and intensified by means of various confrontations and loyalty tests. Michael got sucked right in, not surprisingly. He was bright and might have posed a perceived threat to the leadership so they worked on him with mind control games and punishments.

It took him five years to escape, which he did from the commune’s rural outpost in Kansas. He headed west, eventually settled in San Francisco, worked as a carpenter, came out as a gay man, and changed his name to Mica.

By the time I caught up with him, he was working as a home-remodeling contractor, a key activist in the gay men’s pagan spiritual network Radical Faeries, and a student. He was also dying of AIDS.

I worked with him for two years on his autobiography. He died peacefully on November 22, 1991, two months after submitting the final draft. I got the call from his partner, Tony. I believe he lived as long as he did because he was inspired to complete his book.

Mica Press

Meanwhile, after receiving multiple publisher rejection letters from my agent that told me they loved the concept but didn’t want to touch the content (one gave me a “rave rejection”), I realized I wasn’t going to find a commercial press to publish my collection or an agent to represent me. I knew I would have to create my own press to tell the story of the underground press. With the help of Joe Grant, one of the other contributors, we created Mica Press.

In its Mica Press iteration, Mica’s story appeared as one piece – by far the longest – in a 600-plus-page, 2-column anthology. Twenty years later, Michigan State University Press worked with me to divide the anthology into four separate volumes, known as the Voices from the Underground Series. Mica’s story is all of volume 2.

The below image shows Mica’s patch on the famous AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Ken Wachsberger is a book coach, editor, and author of the upcoming You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You.


Ninety-nine out of 100 breast cancer victims, according to accepted statistics, are women, which means that men are by far the most likely primary caregivers. And yet men are the most inept at asking for help, especially in taking care of themselves.

In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Azenphony Press is pleased to announce a special month-long reduced cost of $6 for the soft cover version of Ken Wachsberger’s Your Partner Has Breast Cancer: 21 Ways to Keep Sane as a Support Person on Your Journey from Victim to Survivor. The cover price is already a low $7.50.

Also for this month, the ebook price has been slashed 50% from its already ridiculously low price to $0.99.

You can order soft cover or ebook version here.

Your Partner Has Breast Cancer was written to satisfy Ken’s own need to figure out how to keep sane while he was coping with his wife’s breast cancer adventure and also losing his job during the summer of 2000. The first draft was finished at the hospital while Emily was receiving her final chemotherapy treatment.


Features include

  • Discussion of the 21 ways
  • “The Cancer Journals,” a section Ken included to inspire support people to write and share their own journals
  • Additional resources to help the support person keep sane
  • Focus on becoming a survivor, not just being a victim

While the breast cancer patient is the designated victim, with good reason, the support person, the caregiver, is the silent victim, the one who takes on both shares of the household chores; answers questions from well-wishers; assumes double income responsibility; becomes both parents; feeds, clothes, and washes the designated victim; sleeps less; and is always the pillar of strength, even when he or she doesn’t feel like a pillar of strength.

By addressing the emotional needs of the main support person, Your Partner Has Breast Cancer fills an important void that social workers, religious leaders, support people, surgeons, and nursing staff agree has been empty for too long.

“Ken has in a thoughtful and caring way shared effective ways that worked for him as he was a great husband and father supporting his wife and children in his family’s battle against breast cancer. I am confident that these ways will have a powerful impact in helping all support people, but especially guys who may be struggling, to be loving partners as they battle breast cancer in their families.”—Marc Heyison, President/Founder, Men Against Breast Cancer

“All I can say is wow! I found this booklet helpful, informative, moving, and clearly a labor of love.”—Dr. Helen Pass, Director, Division of Breast Surgery, and Co-Director of Women’s Breast Center, Stamford Hospital, Stamford, CT

Ken Wachsberger is a long-time author, editor, educator, political organizer, and book coach who has written, edited, and lectured on a wide range of topics including writing for healing and self-discovery. His upcoming book, You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You, is set for February 27, 2020, release.

Azenphony Press has published and promoted a diverse catalog of books since its founding in 1987 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Subject areas include the Vietnam era underground press, censorship, the Holocaust and Jewish resistance, the I-Search paper (a first-of-its-kind textbook), writing for self-discovery, how to keep sane as a breast cancer support person, and puns.