Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ice cream with Negros

Thinking of the sad outcome of the trial in florida I wondered what my mother would have thought, I would not be surprised if she might have cried.  When I was a kid the civil rights movement was in full swing and she sided immediately with the negro, (blacks or African American was not often used at that time).
We belonged to a hobby club of adults and kids, doesn't matter what hobby, it met once a month, there were 30 or so regulars and 100 or more total.  All white, until one day a large black women joined, a Mrs. White.  Everything seemed fine, people were polite, so far as I was aware as a kid.  Once a year we had a display/show of this hobby and the best won ribbons and prizes, open to the public there was a steady stream of visitors through for 2 days.  Well, the jolly negro lady won first prize, a pile of ribbons and trophies, by a mile, her stuff was fantastic.
During the summer, Sunday afternoons, members took turns hosting visits to show off their hobby project, and ice cream was served on the front porch or in the back yard.  To my mothers distress she learned that Mrs. White had been told she was not welcome at some of the homes.  Mom was really bent out of shape.  Our turn came, and my mother called Mrs. White and begged her to come, and come early and stay.  Sunday rolled around, and Mrs. White sat on our porch eating ice cream, the neighbors all came out and faked trimming hedges or watering flowers, the club members arrived with their mouths open seeing who was on the porch.  My mother and Mrs. White became good friends which lasted until she (White) died a couple years later.
A few Sunday's later Mrs. White hosted the club.  Mother, dad, and me sat on her porch eating ice cream in an all black neighborhood, I played in her house part of the time, first time in a black person's house, it was the same as ours, same stuff, but her kitchen smelled better than ours, she must have been a fantastic cook.  Well we were there about 3 hours, we were the only club members to visit.  My mother was pissed, and embarrassed for her own race.
Two things happened after that.  Mrs. White quit the club, and my mother at the next meeting stood up and told the club what a bunch of scared mean people they were, then she (we) quit.  The second thing that happened, my mother went to some civil rights rallies, I didn't go I don't know how many, and, a few Sundays later that summer she along with Mrs. White and some other Negro ladies enjoyed more ice cream on our porch, and sometimes on theirs, finally the neighbors got used to it and left their poor hedges alone.
Dad just went along, I don't think he had his heart in it, but so far as I know he didn't try to stop it.  I think he knew mother was sensitive to racists destroying peoples dreams.   Long after he died, and before my mother passed she and an elderly cousin told me mother had been married before.  During the depression she married an American Indian.  Mom said he was the best looking man that ever lived.  The family hated him and caused the two of them every kind of trouble, refusing to help him find work even on their own farms, and this was the depression, it was tough.  After a few months they decided to divorce.  My Grandfather would not even give this man money for a train or bus ticket home near Tulsa, about 60 miles.  The next to the last time she saw him he was walking out of Kansas in the dust.  In the late 1950's she is watching a national game show on our first television when out walks her Indian ex.  Introduced as a WWII hero with medals, he owned a big house on a lake north east of Tulsa, and he won a few rounds before leaving the show.  My mother was a forgiving person.  She loved her sisters and brother's-in-law until they all died before her, even though their racist actions destroyed her first marriage.  But she never stopped trying to improve things.


  1. Sounds like your mom was the bomb ... ; )

    1. Darrel,
      That was good! Thank you!
      Just the opposite here with Mom. And, I actually blame this on dementia because this was so unlike her - But, she bacame fixated on Hillary and called Obama a nigger. She has settled down.
      I served with some of the best black people in the world and some of the worst - Ernie Delco comes to mind as does Eugene White. The first man I ever wrote a performance report on (APR - If you can't remember that far back)and that was a referral report - like less than a overall Four or something - I think he managed a three. We were drinking at the clib after White had been sent stateside for discharge and Ernie told me that he told Eugene White that people like him were why blacks get called niggers.
      Do you remember his picture in the urinals? Oh, God! That was fucking funny! Ernie got put on the base Human Relations Council and his picture was in the Hahn Hawk (base newspaper). Somebody got a bunch of the papers, cut out Delco's photo and placed them face up in the urinals. So, Delco goes into the John with that stoggie in his mouth and looks down and sees that he is pissing in his own face! He told me that he almost bit that cigar in two!
      I suspected you, and Delco suspected me.

      Back to your post...
      Racist come in all colors.
      Shit the Thais hate the Vietnamese and the Japanese think the Koreans are the Niggers of Asia.
      Add in religion and look at what we have:
      Sunni's and Shittes
      Catholics and Protestants

      And the beat goes on...



    2. Ron, It was not me I assure you I spent no time with my hands in a urnal, nor do I remember the men you mention. Why were you writing a performance report at Hahn, I thought only crew chiefs did that? I am sorry your mother has dimentia, but for our parents and grandparents generations that word, that insult, was common. For our generation it was common as white kids to hear and use it, less so now thank goodness. I can't think of much of anything that is cleared up, or defined better with it's use. Insults and racism and bullying will never go away, but my mother thought, and me too, that if we work at it, avoid certain reactions and base instincts, avoid language and action that enables these words and people to endure, we just might be able to live in a time when it is fading, when things are getting better, who knows how much better it could get. It's like the joke about the climate, "what if it's a hoax and we make a better world when we didn't have to?", Many older Americans claim, as Rick Perry did this week, their is no racisim any more. Apply the climate joke.

    3. NAC; She was a normal person, only more so. She once tied a horse near the house, it tangled and pulled the rope so tight it was strangling it's self, she dashed in grabbed a wicked big butcher knife, grabbed the rearing horses rope, got the knife under the rope on it's neck and cut it free, could have been trampled. She had periods of serious depression. She use to stand on the back step and shoot the chicken she wanted for dinner in the head with a rifle, had to stop that, chickens got to where if the back door opened they all raced about in panic. I was a really late baby, she was mid 40's when I was born.

    4. No, Leive made me his (White's) reporting official.
      I was a Sergeant and he was either on one striper or had been busted to Airman Basic. I had my E-4 admin clerk Mar-Cuss (E-4) writing Penny's (E-3)apr.


  2. Wonder example of the empathetic heart that guides us all through the refinement process that mankind may experience, in time, "the great art" contained within Love's seed!


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