Friday, April 20, 2012

I remember it well..

President Obama in Famous Rosa Parks Bus April '12
I saw this online this morning and wondered what the President must be thinking. He wasn't even born when Rosa Parks made her stand and refused to give up her seat on this bus to a white man. I remember it well, though. I was in high school. At the time of her famous ride, it brought to my mind the many years growing up in San Antonio, Texas that I rode the city buses. If there were a seat available, I would sit at the very back of the "white" section in order to listen to the African -Americans talk. I was fascinated by them individually and as a culture. As part of the time I spent doing this was in the late forties, a lot of the conversations were sprinkled with what was probably the "jive talk" of the day. To me it sounded like a foreign language. I thought they were an exotic race of people. And I loved the fact that most of the time they were laughing and enjoying each other's company. Looking back, I suspect their laughter might have been to keep from crying at such unfair, humiliating treatment.

I was very curious about the "special" treatment I thought that blacks were receiving -- I often would sneak a drink out of their water fountains that were labeled "Colored Only". Surely it must taste different than ours at the "Whites Only" fountain. Of course it didn't. As a young child I never ever thought of the real meaning behind segregation. Prejudice is not inherent in children.  We know that they must be taught to hate.

Rosa Parks 1913-2005
What a courageous, great lady Rosa Parks was. She is known as the "First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement".

I have known a few African-Americans personally in my lifetime. Most of them were just like me in their beliefs and dreams, and many were higher achievers than I. The first time I was in a school class with one was in California in the eighth grade. I tried to make friends with the young girl, but she rebuffed my offer of friendship. Looking back, I remember she seemed scared to even talk to me. What a shame that the treatment of parents of children during that time caused them so much suffering and fear. It took the likes of Rosa Parks, the brave Freedom Riders, and the first young teenagers who ventured into the white schools in Arkansas and Alabama during the early years of the civil rights movement to bring about the society of today when we are witnessing the first black President. How proud Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King (in the background of her photo) would be!

March 31, 2012
We recently observed Earth Hour. Every year more and more countries "turn out the lights" to encourage environmental consciousness. For one hour the lights went out! I read my library book for that hour by the light of my great-grandmother's kerosene lamp. The flash of my camera makes it appear to be much brighter than it was in reality. It is not easy on aging eyes! As I squinted at times, I remembered the tale of how young Abraham Lincoln often studied his law books by light from the fireplace. I don't know if that is just another legend, but I resisted the urge to stop reading and continued to do so for the whole hour. If he could, I could!

Tomorrow, April 21st, is Earth Day. If nothing else, why not go to your local nursery, if you haven't already, and pick up a few veggie or flower plants and stick them in our Mother Earth? One good thing that has happened in our small community just in time for Earth Day is the institution of a recycling program! Now that's a great way to honor the earth!



  1. Great stuff, all of it. What a courageous lady Rosa Parks was during that dangerous and troubled time when she took her stand. Thank God for her and those like her who refused to be intimidated and beaten down by prejudice.

    Hooray for Earth Day!!

    Thanks, Marilyn

  2. I remember it also. Good blog