I am from New York or Newwww Yawk. I love diversity and all types of people.
I hate racism. Again, I abhor racism.
The photo above is what happened. Being 51, I have just about heard everything there is to hear. I have never been to Missouri. Even if given the chance, I will avoid it.
I have viewed my share. I shudder at all the stupid snapshots in my mind and heart memories of racial tensions and wars.
Why and what for are the words that come to mind.
But here is a story I have never told. I was 7 and just back from uhhh “science camp school” where I spent the first part of my second grade year with my Dad the engineer. He was on assignment and brought me along. It was November 1970 and I walked into the room and there was my first African American teacher. I just stopped because that was when the busing started in the 1970s. Yes, I just wrote the 1970s. There are people who are older than me.
It was 1970 around Christmas.
Ms. A. had a principal who was from Alabama and well, I am not going to second guess even as an adult how the hostility made it very hard to do her job. I will as a professionally trained person hypothesize that hostility made it very hard for her to teach US.
It set the mood. One side, the Alabama principal, Mr. E., was old school this is how it is done and I have been ordered to put up with this lady who is different than me. He was southern white and made you know it. And Alabama wood shed old southern boy was the way he did things. He viewed her as very inferior and maybe even as an ape.
Remember I was only 7 years old, not even 8 yet. I could see that she was a gentle soul and was very overwhelmed. She was nervous all the time. Some parents and kids didn’t want her there and shrugged that she was there. There were few if no black teachers YET. Our public school was new and so was the neighborhood built by poor construction people from Missisippi and Alabama and Georgia. Some of the neighborhood kids I no longer see could not get used to her and used the N word.
We grew up in a suburb of Tampa, Florida. Tampa had Catholic and Spanish and Italian Ybor City, a very progressive area, but the outlaying areas were still hostile to Catholics, Jews and transplants from New Yawk like me. My parents saw people shake their heads and say “You money is good, but you all are strange strange strange.” Or “why don’t you go live with those Iiiii tall ians in Ybor City?” Or they rolled their eyes at us because they liked the job and the money it brought. Or they gave us a cheesey “bless y’alls heart smile”.
Remember I was only 7 years old. I am still ultra observant. My big eyes could see that we got caught in the middle. A friend of my parent’s son had trouble reading at the end of the year. Remember this African American teacher lady was ALWAYS NERVOUS. She was being professionally cut from the top and the back.
And both sides were nervous: Mr. E and Mrs. A, the black lady. I still shudder to remember how she would shake in front of class. There was no violence but the violence was done to both sides and two souls. My now friends , then children, still shudder to think what stereotypes and hate do to people. Tell ya what I almost remember a few of us making a pledge to be always friends and not mean like the grownups who were racists.
Folks: we got caught in the middle. Some of those kids I did hang around ARE STILL MY friends. The school secretary was just as mean as the principal. Both gave the impression of white old school world.
Remember they the kids in the class were 7 like me. I remember two mean ones. I won’t say what happened to these kids. And I am still friends with the other 15 kids who are now adults with their own families. We go “way back”. I hope our being friends just makes it obvious that even though we got caught in the middle, our eyes are open to how some people do not accept others.
I would like to think or hope that we did. I would like to hope that when justice won out and this principal was fired, we stayed friends in a changing time. We have been hanging tough since 1971. I went on to private school and they stayed in public. But we stayed friends.
My second grade teacher showed up around eighth or ninth grade. She was in the middle of a civil suit against the local school district. So, she knocked on my door. Blame went high for how awful this principal had shook her up so bad that she was unable to do what she was hired to do. I told her I supported her against mean people. I hope I gave her hope.
In Racial wars = no one wins ever. And we the transplanted kids ended up caught in the middle of all the hostility. Our learning suffered in many ways. And nothing gets done. People get sidetracked and nothing gets done – ever. And we who are all friends now got caught in the middle and never really got to know why the then grownups are or were the way they are or why they ended up being so mean.
I am still shaking my head because I shudder to think what would have happened if these people in Ferguson would just do the right thing and arrest this cop and put the whole thing on trial. Maybe even move the trial.
Just do it folks. Something has to give here.
No young man should have to die this way — ever. He should have never been shot at all. There are too many Nazi types in the middle of this country. I pray he didn’t die in vain. These cops like the one in Florida who shot that man in a theater are too bleeping gun happy.
It is time to do something about this and say when. I am still shuddering.
I haven’t written an actual real blog entry other than showing links here and there.
Fine with me today. Whew, though because what a summer this has been for me. We moved last June after 16 years in one place. I just paid the third Duke Power bill by the seat of my pants and by getting rid of something precious I will get back later. I will get my cello back later. Or try violin lessons. Yeah, that sounds good. That sounds really good.
My own personal growth and development and the ability to try new things I have never tried before ever.
So? Nothing like waiting for the legal people to give you something so you can get on with your life.
Yes, I got rid of something I had about 10 lessons to squack on. I will get it back. I don’t use credit cards and pay any interest, Period. Say what you will but we are awaiting for the final papers to come through making us the official owners of our house we are already living in now. It was my hub’s Dad’s anyhow. Being that my dahling is the last surviving relative and was the POA before all this, we don’t have to move again. He had the keys and the house is well … uhhh uhhh, paid forever. Being that POPs was a wounded WWII vet, they get a huge tax cut, so Pops as I used to call him paid the walls and roof off.
I know I am going to piss a lot of people off by getting a house a 4 bedroom 2 badther with a pool out back in Florida. Super tough. But I am 51 and waited out the housing crisis and said no to overspending and overbuying anything. Heck, I waited 16 years for a house. I am married 16 years and have had so much loss in our married life. But I’m not going to whine about it at all. My husband lost his entire family: his next older brother, his other brother right after we got married, his mother and last his father last year. All this in 20 years time. He is it.
I waited for a house and hung in there — when most women would’ve have made a beeline for any divorce court because they are Veruca Salt from the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and demand that they deserve it because they are a false princess who is actually Miss or Mrs. Bitcharella who used to be Bridezilla. The single ones have no social skills. Trust me, she is the one filling and the looser in the end because most of them work in doctor’s offices because they have no college and refuse to do the work for a Bachelor’s. They have no degree. Her other name is Shortcut Shelly. She moans now about not having any money, pays the mini on her credit cards acts jealous and weird to those who did go the extra mile. She takes second best … because.. just because.
I don’t. So?
Shortcut Shelly was partying at 20 married at 21 and had no intentions of ever showing any academic effort. She was divorced at at 31. Most are heavy and well, you know where this is going. I am just observant and tell it is like it is.
So there… I wrote it.
It is just nice nice. It is nice knowing that some fool corporation doesn’t get money from me EVERY FREAKING MONTH. Hey folks, I am very open about things. It is public record here in Florida. So? I don’t want to say what I am tempted to do when we get those papers. Teehee, maybe I should go up to Countrywide or Bank of America and stick my tongue out and rattle a copy of what makes me a free and clear homeowner without having to have their fingers on papers they drudge up and over charge me for their nonsense.
So all the squirrels dead grass and land land land of this one acre 10 minutes from the local Pinellas beaches are shared mine with my husband. If a laughing gull with the black head flies over head, he or she is mine temporarily.
Whew, what a summer. Moving has meant that I am not always in the same room as my hub is. We share an office now and a kitchen and a dining room.
We are happier now because we are not so cramped in that 2 bedroom one bath apartment we became a married couple in back in 1998. And it is still sinking in that I live in a house, not an apartment.
Believe me, I have pictures of all the befores of the rooms we are going to renovate and we have to pay for over the next few months. And believe me, there is so so much work to do that it is overwhelming.
This is why I have taken no pictures of the inside of this place. And this is why we have had bout 10 yard and garage and estate sales. I don’t go into debt. Every dollar counts and there is too much stuff. I don’t do credit cards and have regrets about them. I don’t like a lot of stuff in the house. When we moved in here, we had my deceased in-laws stuff and OUR STUFF. What CLUTTER!
GET RID OF ALL ALLLLL OF IT, we said. We kept the pictures and other serious sentimental schlock. We even got rid of a TV. The stand broke and we sold it. Someone bought it. We’ll get a new one. OUt it went. Money in our hands. If it is junk, it moves and makes us money.
And now onto our renovation schedule. I am and am not looking forward to this. Trust me, we have to do this now, not our Mr. Mold old Landlord.
Our renovation schedule includes starting with the Master bedroom and bathroom. And just told hub that I would like to investigate enclosing the room for the laundry and get another washer and dryer and add an AC and heating vent in the garage. We don’t have basements here. After seeing the flood on Long Island where I am originally from, I am elated we do not.
Then after those two items we take a break until choosing to seriously overhaul the living room, family room and basically tear the kitchen apart. Yes, I am going to survive another another kitchen reno. Yes, I will. That is what those bins are for — to store things in while they demo and put in a new kitchen.
So this is why I haven’t said why we have been having garage sales. And this is why no one round here has been taking photos of the inside or real outside of our place.
Flat out it is a mess. It looks better than when we first moved in. I can walk around here now.
The Dining Room is bare now. We have an Ikea Bjursta 10 seater table in there with no chairs. We have to buy those. I just sold my old table and chair set this past weekend. That took forever to do that. And we are just flat out tired after this move. So stay tuned for a vacation in the coming months and more stories of the weird yard sale people. Trust me the last two episodes are worth a serious laugh.
How many more days and it is ours? I am waiting to see. I am praying for patience.