Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!

When I woke up this morning, the blue had only a small piece of the sky. Clouds covered the rest. The forecast is for clouds and a high of 55˚, but that little glimpse of blue made me hopeful. The sun popped out for a bit then disappeared only to reappear a little while later. I hope the sun wins despite the forecast.

My memory drawers are overflowing. I make new memories all the time while the old memories are still there vying for space. I can recall exact moments. If I close my eyes, I can see those moments as if they are newsreels of my life.

My mother told me about an encounter when I was about three. We were on the elevator in the Sears building near Kenmore when a Black lady entered. That was the first time I ever saw a Black person. I asked my mother what was wrong with her. The woman started a tirade and called us racists and other choice names all peppered with swears. I didn’t remember the encounter, but my mother told me we, the three of us, were the only people on the elevator. She said I was scared and so was she. The woman kept screaming at me and my mother. When the elevator stopped so people could get on, my mother hustled me off so quickly I almost couldn’t keep up. We left the building.

I do remember one encounter. My uncle, only a couple of years older than I, and my brother were at the subway station waiting for the train. We were going to the pool near Storrow Drive. My brother and uncle were a bit away from me on the platform. A man approached me. I remember he had rotten teeth and a straw hat. He asked me if I wanted gum. I said yes so he told me to go with him, and he’d give me my gum. All those warnings my mother used to give jumped into my head, and I bolted away from him. When I told my uncle, he didn’t believe me. I never told my mother.

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2 Comments on “Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today, is another clear blue, breezy, spring day. The high temperature will be in the mid 80s.

    My memory drawers are also assessable if I can remember the name of the person on the drawer. 🙂 People’s names are getting harder to remember as the years go by.

    When I was a little kid in Brooklyn, my grandmother lived in a mixed neighborhood which was becoming more minority and I knew about blacks. I called them, chocolate people. However, when we moved to Texas I never saw any blacks except in downtown. Dallas was a segregated city in 1953. We were also considered a minority being Jewish. The majority WASPs, (White Anglo Saxon Protestant), tolerated us but they suspected we were either communist fellow travelers or civil rights agitators. I remember the separate restrooms, water fountains, and signs on the city busses, “Colored to the Back” of the bus. The small jewish population kept a very low profile so as not to draw any attention from the more demonstrative and violent bigots. The new Jewish Community Center, opened in 1957, and it didn’t have the word Jewish on the sign. It was named, “The Schepps Center”, for Julius Schepps, a Jewish philanthropist, who founded a large dairy in town. Unfortunately, we are slowly backsliding to those awful days.

    A friend of mine worked in the Pentagon which is located in Northern Virginia across the Potomac River from D.C. The building was built in the 1940s and has more restrooms than any other office building of that size. When it was designed, Virginia was still segregated and it had to have separate White and Colored restrooms.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Today was a nice day here too. I didn’t need a jacket at all. It was 59˚. I was hoping we’d break 60˚, maybe another day.

      I remember my childhood. I only wish I could remember why I was in the kitchen.

      When I was growing up, there was one black family in my town which was mostly Irish and Italian. On the Cape, it was the same, but the family was Cape Verdean. My college had one Black student. There was no color line and no specified bathrooms. I remember when I was in high school, one of the priests organized a get together with kids from the city and us. That was the first time I had ever seen more than one Black in the same place.

      My father never said disparaging thing, but I found out about his prejudice when I said I was going to Africa. I remember he told me the Africans stink. I think I laughed at him. He was not happy. He forbad me to go. I reminded him I was over 21 so I was making my own choice. He did come round and changed.

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