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DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


January 6, 2015

Jobs: Beginnings and Ends

Roy Meachum

Frederick News-Post reporter Ike Wilson brought it to life. He was curious about my first job and how it came to pass. Unlike several people interviewed by the paper, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, the local paper in my hometown, played absolutely no role…

 

…and none of my family or friends got involved, which would be embarrassing as it turned out.

 

The job turned out to be at the Memphis Tennis Club. It was the summer before I turned 14, in October – it was then I discovered the whole female gender. Sex! Through Bobby Jackson, I learned to appreciate what was missing in life. To a girl, at a Glenn Miller concert, I was bold enough to ask: Her panties? I wanted to know the color of her “unmentionables.” She responded: “White.” It turns out to describe the pale color, reminiscent of lost virginity. It turns out that she answered for most of her Southern sex. That judgment survived into my adulthood.

 

Anyway back to the job: most of “the clients” were in the Army – officers. Their fancy uniforms made a fetch of bachelorhood. I don’t remember “ladies” in any bunch, either when Bobby preached the sermon of reality, or not. In the bedroom, I hung on his every word.

 

The reason I lost the job: UNIONS.

 

A touch of reality to the pre-World War II South; I didn’t come up with the words. There were others in joining the AFL-CIO; some adults. Anyway everybody who preached the Union was sacked! I found myself out on the sidewalk. Showing numbers I believe, in order to feed the children.

 

The figures show the divisions between Management and Workers are out of kilter and they are getting worse as the time goes on. Suddenly we have elected a Republican Congress. That makes no sense in a land dedicated to the notion of equality. There in Memphis, I started to make sense: equality.

 

Maryland is a border state like Missouri. Killing Ferguson’s Michael Brown is tantamount to defeating Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown with the overwhelming odds in his support.

 

There is in an article in Sunday’s Washington Post, penned by a Civil Rights writer. Patricia Sullivan agrees with the author, Darryl Pinckney: BLACKBALLED, The Black Vote and U.S. Democracy. I don’t care how you find them “uppity.”

 

Between American citizens, this is “unacceptable.”

 



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