Tag: 1963

Afraid of differences

  I was four when I learned of my deformity. Before that, my left hand, different from my right, was still mine. It was part of me until, later, it defined me. Mom had taken me to the playground. A Sunny day, the air…

Cleaning a bigot’s plow

“Now what are you talking about? I know what’s right and wrong. And you hanging out with a colored is not right. What would your parents th …” Kent’s words hang in the air, his sentence unfinished. He knows what my parents do. He…

1963 – No law against domestic violence

I open the door for Deputy Garvey. But it’s not him. He’s pudgy around the waist and not much taller than me. His eyes squint into a fine line that matches his lips. I motion him inside but don’t ask him to sit. “Problem?”…

Contending with Fear

I sit next to Gladys and, without choice, allow my head to throb. My eyes are filled with invisible grains of sand. My body is limp from exhaustion. Mrs. Roberts must feel the same way, only worse. She also has to contend with two…

Bare Bones of Justice

      I feel woozy. Isaac’s baby sister had died too young and his brother had been murdered. “No need being mad at Uncle Elias,” Isaac says. “He’s seen more things than most of us. He knows the rules, the law of the…

Sitting in the back of the bus

I’m sitting with Isaac in the back of the bus as we pass Pease Park, one of my favorites. Daddy said Governor Elisha Pease owned the land for a slave plantation. But Pease believed in the Union’s cause so I must imagine that he…

Separate but (not treated) Equal

After Isaac puts the Pontiac in neutral and maneuvers it out on the driveway, he asks me to hand him a screwdriver. He tightens some do-ma-hickey then replaces the battery with the one he picked up at the local auto part’s store. “You sure…

Retaliation of the wrong kind?

Isaac grabs Olvie’s arm as she reaches the doorknob. “Olvie, don’t you do it. I don’t need protection just because a man’s called me names. I’m used to it. And you marching over there and giving him a tongue lashing will only make things…

Snake panic, friend panic

  Tanner finally stops. He looks around but doesn’t see me. He settles on a hefty rock and lights a cigarette. “Tanner,” I say quietly so I don’t scare him out of his railroad pants. He flinches but recovers quickly.  “What?” “I have two…

Snoopy of Dog Pile asks a question

“TV Guide says Mayberry is calling to us,” Olvie says. “I don’t much care for Aunt Bee. She’s a prude. But I like it when she lectures Andy. Still, Andy and Barney are country bumpkins. But that Opie Taylor? He asks questions that make…