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 worse.”

“He’s right, Olvie,” I say.

Then I realize. Isaac’s endured this kind of treatment his whole life. So have his friends and family and so many others. I also realize that the bigoted man across the street is using Isaac to calm his own domestic storm, to diffuse the quarrel by placing greater importance on what he doesn’t know as his personal fear and stupidity.

We didn’t hear the rest of the conversation. And now, Deputy Garvey has driven off.

Something else occurs to me. “Olvie? You used to harass Isaac’s uncle every morning.”

“What? You think I’m no better than Roberts of Asshole? Is that what you’re trying to say?”

It’s a thought worthy of her Pursuing. “No. I’m just wondering why you stopped messing with him.”

Olvie shrugs. “Guess having his nephew work for me is a good enough retaliation.”

“Well, that makes me feel peachy,” say Isaac.

“Oh, Wisenheimer, don’t be so sensitive. It has nothing to do with you. You, I happen to like. Your uncle and me have had a beef a long while now.”

“Why? What did he do that was so bad?” Isaac asks.

Although Olvie turns to the side, I see the tears puddle in the corner of her left eye.

“That,” she says so quietly I can barely hear her, “is a long story. It’s also my story.”

 

Work in Progress – a novel about diverse friendships in 1963.

Daily prompt: Pursue

Standing up to obstacles

Imagine having to protest for your right to be admitted into Officer Candidate School.

When that conflict is resolved, you become a second lieutenant in the Army. But then, on an Army bus, you confront the Army Bus driver for telling you you have to sit in the back. The military police takes you into custody. You complain about the questioning and an officers recommends you be court-martialed.

You are transferred to a different Battalion where the commander charges you with several offenses including public drunkenness. But you don’t even drink. Thankfully, months later, you are acquitted.

You leave the Army and play baseball in the minor leagues. But you are not allowed to stay with your teammates. Still, you prove yourself – big time.

On this day in 1947, you are signed to a major league team- the Dodgers. During one game, the manager of another team yells “go back to the cotton fields.”

And something strange happens. Your teammates stick up for you. Then, in 1962, you are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?
It went zoomin cross the left field wall.
Yeah boy, yes, yes. Jackie hit that ball.
 
And when he swung his bat,
the crowd went wild,
because he knocked that ball a solid mile.
Yeah boy, yes, yes. Jackie hit that ball.
 
Satchel Paige is mellow,
so is Campanella,
Newcombe and Doby, too.
But it’s a natural fact,
when Jackie comes to bat,
the other team is through.
 
Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?
Did he hit it? Yeah, and that ain’t all.
He stole home.
Yes, yes, Jackie’s real gone.
 
Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?
Did he hit it? Yeah, and that ain’t all.
He stole home.
Yes, yes, Jackie’s real gone.
Jackie’s is a real gone guy.  – song  by Buddy Johnson

 

Way to go, Jackie Robinson!

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If you are a Christian

As I sit here researching human rights, including the treatment of immigrants, the poor, the oppressed, I am reminded of my spirituality and the religions that are based on LOVE. One Christian song goes like this:

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red and yellow, black and white

They are precious in his sight

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

If you are a Christian, do you believe the meaning of these words?

If you are not a Christian, what religion of love do you worship and celebrate? 

I know there are many and, for that, I am grateful.

With love,

Carolyn

Crazy Olvie

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The rock crashes through the front window and glass shatters over Gladys. Crazy Olvie reaches for the telephone that sits in its cubby space in the short hallway. “Hurry up, now. Read me the name of the Sheriff’s Department.”

I know she meant to ask me to read the number instead of the name. But I can’t help it. I look at her telephone list of numbers taped to her fridge and say in my best deadpan voice, “Sheriff’s Department.”

“That’s what I said.” Her voice is louder now. “Read it to me!”

She’s clueless.

Her cheeks flush and her eyes look like they belong to one of Dracula’s brides.

“Glendale-4123.”

Mom had laughed when she told me that every time Olvie has to phone her doctor, she freaks out and curses all the zeros. She hates sticking her fingers in the seven-through-zero slots because she doesn’t like waiting for the dial to spin back around to home base.  Lucky for her, these numbers won’t take any time.

Excerpt from my Work in Progress, Olvie and Chicken Coop (working title)