jfishbein at snet.net
Tue Jun 7 13:00:20 MDT 2011
Great story and great message.
Thanks for sharing.
From: "Fisher, Ed" <edwd at ti.com>
To: "spridgets at autox.team.net" <spridgets at autox.team.net>
Sent: Tue, June 7, 2011 2:26:13 PM
Subject: [Spridgets] WTH?
Wow, from politics to racism, I'm glad that y'all have made a switch to a less
incendiary topic! OK gang, here is a racism story, from my personal
I bought my first house in Plano, Texas (suburb of Dallas) in 1986, after a
short time, a black family moved directly across the street from me. Before I
knew it, in my mind came the thought, "Oh no, there goes my property value".
What the hell was that I remember thinking. Sure, I was raised by a long
lineage of racists (as well as alcoholics) but I thought that I had overcome
all of that with my enlightened thinking. After all, I was a flower child of
the 70's with peace and love and togetherness the mantra of our age. I was
angry that this racist thought about my new neighbor had crept into my head.
I was ashamed too.
Otis, his wife, and their 3 kids turned out to be a delight. The care that he
gave his home, yard, cars, etc was meticulous and first rate. His kids were
respectful, fun-loving, and had learned the same maintenance and discipline
that their father had modeled for them. They turned out to be the best
neighbors that I could have ever hoped to have. How much more shame I felt
that my upbringing had followed me into adulthood.
One day Otis met me outside and said that he was going to deploy in what I
later learned was to be Desert Storm, he was an active reservist, and asked if
I would be willing to watch out for his family. I, of course, said that I
would be honored; after all, he was going to rout out a dictator while I
worked my sissy job at Texas Instruments. It was the least that I could do.
It was a long year, I had to do very little for his family, replace a water
heater, fix a couple of cars, no big deal. They were a pretty self-sufficient
group. When Otis returned home, he and I met in the middle of our street and
embraced. He thanked me profusely for the help and care that I had given to
his family during his absence. I said, "Otis, there is something that I need
to tell you". We sat on the curb to talk.
I confessed the thought that had infiltrated my mind when they moved in, and
the shame that I felt then and that I still felt to that moment. We both had
tears spilling out. Otis put his big ol' arm around my slumped shoulders and
said, "It's OK Ed, we were taught the same BS as kids". So, here was a man
taught to not trust white folks that asked me to watch over his family while
he was gone. How much I learned that day. There was also a white kid taught
not to trust blacks that would have done anything for that wonderful family,
and I do mean anything. How much I learned, and how much I never want to
Politics, racism, economic news, religion, you name it can eat you up if you
listen to the sensationalism or let bad experiences rule you. Sure, we fought
with the blacks when I was in junior high school, it was a tumultuous time,
but I tried to grow out of it. I learned with Otis that I still had a ways to
go. Don't we all? Give all of this vitriol a break, at least with this group
of Spridget folks. This is not the community for that sort of thing is it? I
have so often told others about y'all and your helping of each other and
sometimes total strangers. Please let us keep that spirit alive. After all,
there are plenty of blogospheres, chat groups, like-minded people of EVERY
persuasion out there. Seek them out if you want validation, argument, or
whatever. Let us help each other to be better. That is what one of our
departed modeled for us, so well.
More information about the Spridgets