The recent shooting at the Holocaust Museum in D.C. had a lot of people, including myself, thinking “How does such an old guy live with so much hate inside him”. You would think that after almost a century of life the dude would have learned to live and let live. That’s how I was raised when it came to respecting people of different racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. While I grew up in NY, my mother was from North Carolina and I got to spend some time in the South during very racially contentious times in the 60’s. As a young boy my grandfather took me “across the tracks” to teach me to judge people by their character, not their color. He was blind, but more importantly he was color blind. My uncle Tom on the other hand was an entirely different animal.
He was an old stereotypical uneducated Tarheel farmer with overalls, a chaw of tobacco in his mouth, a coffee/spit can in hand, and hated everyone and everything. He lived with my Grandfather and had a “job” as a security guard at the Greensboro, Coliseum which they lived across the street from. You know, one of those 80+ year old coots who slept on a folding chair while a game or concert was going on.
One summer a friend and I hitchiked down to vist my Grandad and had a classic encounter with Uncle Tom. My friend Ray, who Tom called the “Eyetalian”, walked into the house one afternoon and Tom was cussing under his breath… “I have to work tonight with a bunch of g-damn Ni****s jumpin’ up and down at church and acting like they ate up with the dumb ass”….we asked him what he was talking about and he said that there was a big Ni**** Church Revival that night at the Coliseum and was bitchin’ he had to go work it.
Later that afternoon Ray and I took a walk down High Point Road to get some Bar-B-Q….as we are walking past the Coliseum Ray points up, laughing his ass off, reading the marquee…”Tonight: Black Sabbath”. As soon as we got back to the house we found Tom so we could tell him the news…. “Tom, it’s not a church meeting, it’s a rock band, BLACK SABBATH!….without missing a beat Tom started mumbling… “Goddamn long hair hippies smoking the pot and who knows what”!! Old dude was truly addicted to hate.