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TBD on Ning

Kat, or maybe it was akabukowski, once said to me that everyone thinks their life would make a good book.

She is probably right. What do you think?

Here is your chance.

Let's all tell stories from our experiences as we traveled through time.

 

Ahh, but there has to be rules. They will be pretty loose, but rules there must be.

RULES:

1. It can be any experience that you want to tell us about.

2. It can be as short as one line. Or as long as fifty. Anything over thirty will be deleted.

3.You do not have to end the story at fiftyy lines, but you have to quit writing at the end of fiftyy lines. You can not post again until at least one other person  has posted something.

This ensures that everyone gets a chance.

4.You can continue on the same subject or jump to a new one.

5. Nothing is required to be in chronological order.

6. Very Graphic Sexual discriptions should be posted in the sex talk group. You can direct us to go there if we want to read about it.

7. No one will be checking the facts 

8. Additional rules will be posted and implemented as I see fit.

Step right up and post. who knows, the next knock on your door may be Spielberg asking for the movie rights.

Tags: adventures, death, joy, life, love, poverty, power, riches, sex, sorrow, More…war

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I quickly found out that most of the ideas that I had accumulated about Negros (that term was acceptable back then) were plain old prejudices. Had no basis in the area of reality. A lot of them were a hell of a lot smarter than I. they didn't stink. And on and on.

Not to say that everything went smoothly. But looking back, I find it amazing that it all went as well as it did. 

Union Carbide was one of the major employers in the area. There were a number of Union Carbide employees who were attending a night class taught by the instructor that I had for Freshman English.

At that time, the  rumor was, that Union Carbide would not hire blacks for any position except janitorial, no matter what their qualifications.   

The Instructor gave most of the UC students a failing grade. When challenged about the grades, She stated that no one from Union Carbide would get a passing grade from her until they started using the same hiring practices for all races. She was forced to resign.

Thirty some years later, I was working as a DOD contractor. A new government employee was assigned as the Contracting Officers Representative for my contract. We traveled to Texas and Calif. Got along very well. One day we were talking about our respective backgrounds. He was a retired Army Ltc. and a Graduate of WV State. When I told him that I had attended WV State in the 50's he got very angry. He said that we whites had ruined his school. Before whites started attending, it was one of the premiere Negro Colleges. Having a degree from WV State carried a lot of weight in the Negro society. Now it was just another small college. We never got along after that. Luckly for me, he was promoted and relocated.

 

One of the benifits to being a student at WV State was that we got to experience a lot of negro society.

Charleston WV had a fairly large Negro community. Many of the upper level Nego performers were booked into the Charleston Civic Center.  Big Joe Turner, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, The Midnighters, Shirly and Lee, Ruth Brown, and many others. I saw all of them in person, and even got to talk to some of them. Was eating in a local rib joint, "Wagg's" at the same time Nat King Cole was there.

Fats Domino played at one of the School Dances.

I also had manditory ROTC. The Instructors were really Sharp. The  ROTC Commandant was Ltc. John Woodruff. "Long John".  (Google Him)

Since I commuted and the weekly ROTC drill was held after school on Wed. I had no way to shave before drill. The inspecting officer would go down the line with an index card which he would rub along your jaw line. If your beard made a scratching sound, you were assigned demerets. I have a heavy beard and was really piling them up. Since too many demerets would cause you to fail the course, I was in trouble. I got permission and went to see Ltc. Woodruff. He agreed that his instructors were being a little unreasonable and recinded my demerets. Really pissed of the LT who had awarded them. At the time, I had no idea how famous "Long John" was.

Guess this has rambled on way to long.  But it was an interesting part of my life. 

OK, Google let me down on this one. But here is a link to Ltc. woodruff's Obit in USA today.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2007-11-01-38804549_x.htm

The next time I get my Driver's License photo I'm wearing Church of the Invisible Pink Unicorn goggles.

 

Austrian Niko Alm fought for three years before he was able to take his driver's license photo. Austrian authorities had issues with Alm's preferred headgear: a pasta strainer.

But this week he finally was able to take the picture how he wanted, thanks to Austria's religious freedom laws. Alm is a self-described member of "the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster," which is spiking off the charts in Yahoo! Search. The satirical religion, also known as "pastafarianism," rejects creationism and says that an invisible flying spaghetti monster created the universe. The spaghetti church, which is headed by a "pastafarian primavera," was founded in 2005 when Kansas schools were under pressure to teach the theory of intelligent design rather than evolution. On his blog, Alm wrote, "Today I was able to get my new driving license, and in it you can clearly see that I'm wearing a colander on my head to demonstrate my allegiance to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster." It took three years for Alm to be able to take the photo, because he had to prove that he was psychologically fit to drive.
:)

Love it!!!! I had seen reference to Pastafarianism but had no Idea what it was. Figured it was an offshoot of rastafarianism or something.

I belong to the Unitarian Universialist  Church and possibly some of the members ride unicycles. A lot of Mainline Christians think we are pretty offbeat.

Yep, It's still there. And it is hard to understand. As a matter of fact, I don't believe it is understandable.

I think it is in some ways like religion. it is something that some humans seem to need. Others don't.

Believe it or not, It is much better now than it was 50 years ago. But, on the other hand it may not be better than it was 40 years ago. In the sixtys it was discussed a lot. There were conversations between the races about why prejudice existed. Many people made an effort to understand it and overcome it. I don't see much of that anymore. Most people seem to try to avoid having to confront it. It is much easier to function in society if you do not allow the subject to rear its ugly head. But, it's there.

The military has been trying to eliminate race since the second world war. It has not been successful. In the day to day functioning at the work place, be it in a intelligence center or in a foxhole, it rarely causes any problem. However, When it comes to socializing, the races usually are seperate. Whites, Hispanics,

Blacks, each seem to congregate mostly with others whose skin color are the same.

One interesting relationship I had over the years was with a Black Officer.  When we first met, i was the Maintenance Officer for an aviation company in Germany. He was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logisticts for the Army Security Agency. I was a CWO3, He was a Bird Colonel about four levels up the chain of command above me. I was responsible for the maintenance of one unit, he was ultimately Responsible for all of the units like mine. We got along well.

I retired a couple years later and went to work for a Defense Contractor that supported the same command that I had served in. A few years later. he decided to retire. I arranged for him to come to work for our company. We were still good friends and worked well together. I thought.

Eventually we ended up in a unique situation where four of us were responsible for a $300,000,000 dollar contract. He was put in a position where he was kind of a figurehead but had no real authority over the other three of us. Each of us were responsible for growing our part of the operation. And we each answered to a separate VP.   We often were in competition. He wanted each of us to work for him and it probably should have been organized that way, but it wasn't.  He got frustrated and quit. Just before he left we were walking down the hall together and he unloaded on me. It was all my fault. I was prejudiced aginst him because he was black. I had tried to undermine him at every step.

I was flabergasted. Then I was pissed.

I had always liked him and thought we worked well together when the situation allowed it. I have given this a lot of thought over the years since. Maybe I could have supported him better?  Was I suposed to defer to him because he outranked me in the military? Or is it possible tht he was the one that was prejudiced? Did he assume that all whites were out to get him? Had we really been friends for 20 years? Or was it all a charade? On who's side, or both? I really don't have a clue. 

 

Oh Oh, Now we are getting into the relationship area. Another  completly non understandable area. When I ask my wife of 37 years why we could no longer be as open and honest as we were when we were dating; her answer was; "we now have a lot more to lose". So, we are now divorced. 

I do not promote racism, but I willingly admit that I believe most people are racist by nature unless taught otherwise. Just observe the lunchroom formations in elementary and high school. Most kids gravitate to tables where there are more people of their own 'kind'. I once stumped my history teacher in high school who was going on and on about equality. I gave him this scenario to answer: If you were on a lifeboat escaping a sinking ship and saw three strangers equi-distance from you (a white guy, asian guy, and black guy)  and you could fit in only one more other person on that boat with you, what would be your immediate tendency?  My history teacher was flabbergasted. He replies, "Are you giving us an alibi to be racist?" For me, it was just food for thought.

 

I am of color so I in my lifetime I have felt racism directed at me, not as blatantly as I have observed it directed at others. People do tend to gravitate to their own kind. I don't think there is anything essentially wrong in that predilection though society frowns down upon it. What is wrong is when one group of people starts to believe in their superiority over other groups. Underneath all our skins we share the same color blood, 99+% of the same DNA, experience the same pain, shed the same tears. We are more similar than different (biologically) so none of us have an excuse to express superiority over others. Though IMO racism is just a defense mechanism to cover up great personal insecurities. I have observed that people who are secure in their self worth and place in society,regardless of culture or race tend to be less racist.

Well said, Ma'am.

I've got an extra colander if you ever need it Kooner.

 

I'm fortunate in that I have not personally been exposed to that type of unadulterated racism.

I value my life. I have my stories; others have theirs. Their stories may run parallel or perpendicular to mine. What makes life more meaningful for me is when my story intersects with others at certain points and I am enriched by their experiences as hopefully they are enriched by mine. I am grateful for those points of intersection both online and offline. They make the journey even sweeter and even the bitter intersections add character to one's story especially later on when you look back at the milestones. 

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