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 << The happiest time in any man’s life is the time before he becomes a


I enjoyed your joy in reminiscence of childhood.  That sense of freedom and
exuberance you had as a child is almost exactly, minus the snows, of
course, growing up as I did in Mobile, AL where I lived until I moved to LA
at the age of 15.

You had snow, but we had the swamp.  Where we would 'shoot hooky' (ditch
school).  We would each bring a potato along to roast in a made campfire.
If we were lucky we would be able to down a bird or three with our BB guns,
tear off the heads, pluck the feathers disembowel and roast on a improvised
spit.  I know its cruel but it was a joy of childhood.  Picking
blackberries we had to be aware of the occasional water moccasin
(cottonmouth) but no one ever got bit.

Just before the swamp was the baseball area where we would play in
semi-organized leagues every spring to summer.  This brings up a couple of
incidents that belie the idyllic scenes I just set:

We were playing streetball when a ball was hit over my head and I ran to
chase it and throw it back in.  Out there I noticed a station wagon with 6
nuns in it.  Being Catholic I ran over to see if they needed directions
when I stopped 10 feet from the car cause the driver needed a shave.
"Klan!", I  yelled and rushed back to my friends.  The neighbors came out
and the criminals fled.

The other incident involved Mardi Gras.  At a parade a white boy, bout my
age which was maybe 12, came along with a basket of roasted peanuts that he
was selling.  Next to me a little black kid bout our age held out a dime to
him.  The vendor asked "Y'all wont some pie-nuts?"  "Yes, sir" was the
kid's answer.  That was the start of a realization that led to a
transformation.  That was when I first knew, realized, that something was
rotten in Denmark.  The Klan we understood in their hatred of us.  But the
black kid's response triggered the train that led to the thought that that
hatred, all around us in segregated Alabama, had triggered its opposite in
ourselves, a hatred of ourselves.

This is illustrated by the fact that, to this day, there is an intra-racial
racism in conquered peoples, around the world, demonstrated by the fact
that we, the lighter skinned, feel and are looked upon as superior to our
darker brothers.  Despite, or maybe because of the fact that the lighter
skinned's ancestors were raped more often and the darker skinned resisted
more.  There was a tv show, "Frank's Place", (taking place in NOLA)
discussing the 'paper bag test' where to join a social club one had to be
lighter than that paper bag.  https://www.jstor.org/stable/4137914?seq=1

This realization, occurring in many at many places was the start of the
"Black Power Movement" and its herald "Black is Beautiful".

But to my point for writing:  I would appreciate it if you began your
postings from "Unrepentant" with an introductory few sentences of
paragraphs such as the beginning three appended below.  Reading these first
three, one would have to want to read more.  They are a fine and inviting

<<No matter how old I get, I’ll always have vivid memories of being a small
boy in Woodridge, NY and doing all the things small kids do. Like walking
in the woods, swimming in the ponds and rivers, riding my bike, flipping
baseball cards, and playing ringolevio.

<<But winter had its special pleasures. Back then, the snowstorms predated
the milder winters, with which greenhouse gases tamed mother nature. After
a big snowfall, we’d build forts in downtown Woodridge and throw snowballs
at each other. We’d also have free rein sledding on the village’s hills,
with no worries about cars since the roads were barely passable.

<<In this chapter from Robert C. Harris’s 2008 “Collection of
Autobiographical Stories
you’ll get a good taste of the excitement of wintertime. Robert’s mother
Eleanor and mine were very close. Eleanor wrote a column called Woodridge
Whirl for the local paper and my mother took it over after the Harrises
moved to Florida.>>

Well written, well said.
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