Today I heard a beautiful Eulogy. It honored an unselfish man…. one who was a Seeker of Peace. A believer in Goodness and Equality. But I cannot talk about that tonight. Not really. So. Maybe some other time.
But tonight, perhaps it is a good thing that I have a story about a lot of things.
Yes, there is probably not a day that goes by, that I don’t think of some little thing that has happened in my life, that I’d like to share with something.
I drove through my old neighborhood today. I grew up in Dayton, Ohio. I guess the section of town was called…. well…. do no know what it was called back then. Today, I would call it dangerous.
But it was right near Shawn Acres Orphanage, just a bit north of downtown. That neck of the woods. As I drove through… I was reminded of the corner market store on Theodore Avenue. We would go there for penny candy and orange sodas. I saw the first garage-hub, where I started my afternoon newspaper route. Lucille Connor’s house. Strit’s. Tuck’s. Oh. The whole nine yards. I saw the house where I used to beg the neighbors (a Lithuanian family) for Kugelis (Potato Pudding)… pretty much on a daily basis.
It all came back to me in a rush.
Yet, our old house, didn’t look at all the same to me. Not one bit really. But it holds an incredible amount of memories. I mean… THAT many kids sharing THAT little bit of bathroom space. Whew boy. You are bound to make a bunch a memories there.
But the story I REALLY want to share is this. When we were growing up, our parents instilled in us a sense of fairness and consideration when regarding others. Love others. Be kind. We were taught to believe in Human Rights. All people are created equal. And the human rights movement was beginning to take hold during my youth. When I was just a babe…. I told my Dad (I was an early talker)… I said … …. “Dad. I am going to try and come up with a signal for solidarity among us common people.” So one day, while sitting on his lap… I showed my new sign. It stuck. I started doing it everywhere.
Before I ate my Gerber’s Blueberry Brickle. Or…. after my nap. Anytime I was in a large group of people… I would throw up my saluting fist.
And look what happened. Four years later…. Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a gesture of solidarity at the 1968 Olympic games. Both Americans were expelled from the games as a result. But a least they made the statement.
Yes… just another little tidbit from my life….. that I remembered today.
Rock on, my friends. Rock on.
“What is true of every member of the society, individually, is true of them all collectively; since the rights of the whole can be no more than the sum of the rights of the individuals.” – Thomas Jefferson