Readability

A Little Drive

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

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