by baldilocks

This piece is by Todd L. Adams. When Todd and I were working together, he asked me to edit this piece along with a number of others, which I did without compensation. Considering what he did to me, I thought about incorporating his work into one of my stories and passing it off as my own creation. But, these days, I find that I’m unable to consciously do wrong even to those who have done it to me.

And I have a lot of true-blue friends. A lot.

See what you think.

*****

Took a little drive today. Started out my front door, packed some bags with a few things for the road: maps, snacks–the usual for a short ride in the car. Looked around and thought east would be a good way to go.

My heart turned toward my favorite uncle, and I decided to head down South to see him. I hadn’t seen him for a few years at that point, sad to say. I called him while we were on our way and he was glad to hear from me.

Now this “little” drive was some 2,200 miles as the crow flies and I had not been on such a trip in a long time–since I was a young boy. Back then, I used to ride the Greyhound across America when going to see family and, thereby, saw this wonderful country of ours. Fear and trepidation mixed in with a little excitement were the norm for these trips.

As we made our way south, I didn’t realize at the time, that this trip would take me not only to see my uncle but also to see the past. With each passing state, county, and town, I found myself moving backward in time. I saw the places in which Jim Crow lived; I saw the homes of my ancestors and the fields where they worked for so many years. I imagined the load they had to bear during those troubled times–to stand in a field from sunup to sundown in the humidity and heat while pulling those sacks behind; every day trying to fill them knowing that they could not, because those sacks were bottomless.

I saw this and more. I went there with certain prejudices in mind, expecting to see the Rebel flag flying and white hoods at every turn, but what I found instead were warm people like my friend Mary.

Now don’t get me wrong–I know there are a few of those hoods still hanging in a closet or two, but I had to let go of some of those preconceived notions. This South had many faces, light and dark living together, and working together.

I saw beauty and the flow of time there. I felt connected to this place in a way that was different than before–fire hoses being used, the dogs of war released on our people. But during this trip, I also saw new things which were the product of the flow of time–African American mayors, business persons, teachers, lawyers, doctors and, yes, policemen.

I saw many things on my little drive, but what I had not expected to see was a new view of me.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks

Can you reconcile the left’s image of California as a green progressive state that cares for the environment and the animals within it with this description of reality from VDH:

If I find a dead dog dumped on the alleyway (as I have three or four times over the last 12 months), with a rope around his neck and his insides exposed from dog fighting, I bury him and pass on calling the animal-control people. In fairness to them, what would they do, run an investigation into rural dog fighting—in a state in which felons are routinely released from prisons and jails, and sanctuary cities offer amnesties? I suppose a Queensland with his face ripped off is small potatoes. (Does multiculturalism trump the ASPCA or PETA?)

Nor do I ever contact the state EPA or the county when monthly I collect baby carriages, car seats, tires, used paint cans, old Christmas trees, mattresses, and dirty diapers dumped on the side of the road—despite occasional junk mail signifying the address of the polluter. About 50 pounds of coils of old worn-out drip hoses are out in front of my house today, a huge pile of plastic junk dumped as if my roadside was a free waste site. (Is the theory that my house qualifies for public service waste removal and thus someone poorer, in our spread-the-wealth society, has a right to dump his trash there?) How can such a green state that refuses to sell plastic bags at the coastal grocery markets prove indifferent to the spoliation of its rural hinterland?

The answer to Mr. Hanson’s question is simple, to not be indifferent to this would be to admit to realities that the liberals in the state find inconvenient.

This is going to end badly for the state but I suspect when it does the media will still not report it.