Memory Lane -in the Good Old Days
Another stroll down memory lane bumps me right against the Jim Crow laws. You know that separate but equal equality for the blacks. Remember back when good ol’ boy Harry Byrd our illustrious senator and governor closed down the schools rather than have black and white children in the same classroom. Heaven forbid! I don’t suppose I need to go into the two sets of water fountains, bathrooms, restaurants and entrances do I? Equal? Right?
Another real advantage to the good old days was if you got caught driving drunk, speeding or other traffic incidentals the friendly policeman might just turn a blind eye or take you home. That was if you knew the right people, lived in the right neighborhood or didn’t kill a white person in the act. The law was more lenient, less equal but more tolerant assuming you were the ‘right’ kind of folk. Glad to see that advantage fall away.
Politics aside, as a seven-year-old, I walked about a half mile to school by myself, sometimes with my siblings, but usually on my own. There were no lines of parents in cars outside the elementary school. When the bell rang, kids filed out and went home on their own. I had built into my walk home a stop at the local Mom & Pop store where a fireball could be had for a penny and lasted all the way home. The sense of independence that walk instilled has held me in good stead my whole life.
Since shoes were not mandatory except for school and church, I acquired a life-long habit of going barefoot. I wish the habit of sipping lemonade on the porch on a hot day with nothing to do, had stuck as well. But back then, it was okay to do nothing at least for a time. Not so much these days, it seems like you’ve always got to be busy.