Monday, June 05, 2006

Sometimes...

I get "taken over" by things beyond my control! Dragonflyfilly had an entry on Friday that I just caught up with that reminded me of one of those events.

In 1988 I got "bumped" from the Paint Department where I had always worked to the "Chassis" department. I only knew the few paint people who got moved along with me, and we got scattered around the department in short order.

I landed in a team of 10, working over my head shooting brake line bolts and a few screws and hooking a spring underneath the car. As I got to know people the Korean War veteran who was my team leader pointed out to me how proud he was that his team were all veterans, all male, and all white. I was taken aback, but didn't say anything. I, like so many others, tend to hold my tongue in spite of how I seethe inside about things.

Each night as we started up from lunch, a friend from Paint would stop on his way back in from the parking lot to "mooch" a cigarette. I'd happily give him one, and a light, glad to see a familiar face and have a minute of conversation.

After a week or so, my team leader came and asked me "why I let that no good black so and so do that night after night"? I turned and looked him in the eye and said:

"I guess I should tell you that these spots on my face aren't freckles, Norman; one of my parents is black, and Eddie's my half brother!"

No one spoke to me again for about 6 months after he went around the shop with that bit of gossip...

:o)

alan

20 comments:

Clandestine said...

excellent story! :)

Heidi said...

Good for you Alan!

cherish said...

Chuckles!!!

Great come back!!

I work at a church and one of the parishioners stopped by. We got on the subject of tattoos she proceeded to say she would not associate with anyone with a tattoo, she would not do business with anyone with a tattoo all those people are no good. I allowed herself to dig herself into a hole she could not easily climb out of because I have four tattoos, winks!

dragonflyfilly said...

yeah, i agree, great comeback and thanks alan, for stopping by, and for your support and for your story...it sure is taking a long time for the world to become a gentler place eh, ...that must have been very difficult for you to work in an environment like that.

cheers for now,
pj

scrappy rose said...

;-) I'm glad to have you on my side. You are on my side, right? :-)

kath said...

good for you alan! knowing that sort of hate still exists makes me ill..

it is up to us all to keep up the positive energy and to stand up for what we think is right..

it makes me proud to know that some of us do..

take care!

Jon-Marc said...

GREAT GREAT STORY.

A few months after my husband and I started dating we were holding hands walking through midtown Manhattan and a man (obviously a tourist) walked past with his family and said to us "Don't shove your perversion in my families face! Can't you see there are kids all around?" to which I promptly replied...

"Go back to Cobblers Bluff or Whiskey Flats or whatever God forsaken stand of cacti you call home and get the f*&% out of my city!"

Keep well and keep happy,

Jon-Marc

boo said...

proud of u {{hugs}}

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

OMG, what a fabulous comeback!

sttropezbutler said...

You are the best! The BEST!

STB

I n g e r said...

Alan, I think I'm falling in love.

GREAT story!

xo Inger

Jen said...

Alan, you never cease to amaze me!

ConnieJane said...

Love it!!! Great comeback!

alan said...

I couldn't help it; I'm with Kate, I actually feel sick when I hear the things that come out of some people's mouths. It wasn't anything I really thought about or planned, it just happened...

I have tears in my eyes fairly often anyway, listening to NPR as I do. The Senate debate this last few days has me swinging very rapidly between rage and tears...let alone the rest of what's going on in our world that "they" are too busy to talk about!

alan

JLee said...

that is fantastic! I make sure and mention that my brother in law of 20 years is black when people start talking that shit. And then I make sure and mention my other brother in law is from Pakistan. double whammy!

MB said...

Chuckling. Bravo!

puhpaul said...

Good job Alan! It reminds me of a story my dad told me. He and my mom were going out for dinner with a couple of friends who just happened to be of African ancestry. They got to the restaurant and my dad asked for a table for four. The host looked at the black woman and said "and you're with him?' indicating the black man. Without missing a beat my dad said, "no, she's with me, she's my wife," and took her arm and walked out.

Hawaiianmark said...

When I was at Drake, and The Lady C came to visit (all tanned and such) we were walking into a bar (1979) and some doofus says

"blacks and mexicanos aint a-loud in here"

So I say -

"damn good thing we are Hawaiian; s'pose we all aint a-loud in here either"

But he sez -

"Oh ... your Hay-Y-an? Then youse all be welcome"

To which I took the Lady C, turned about face and walked to the nearest blues bar, and proceeded to have a great night.

Ignorance is ..sooo...

Ignorant.


Great post my friend!

Aloha.

TDharma said...

oh mah gosh I got a good laugh outta that one, Alan! What an a**hole that guy was. Wish there were more folks like you, and less like him, in the world.

Barbara said...

Ha, ha, ha! I just KNEW you were a soul brother!