Blog 112 Ramblings
While the original intent of these blogs back in 2014 was to reminisce about our (mostly) good memories of days at Jeff, from time to time I feel a need to dwell on other things. Lewis Carroll said it very well in his poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter.”
‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings.’
This morning, I recalled a statement I made some forty-odd years ago: “I don’t know when middle age starts, but when I get there, I will let you know.” I never got there, and then, one day I realized that I had leaped right over middle age and later middle age. Here I am, old. Isn’t it difficult to finally acknowledge that you are old? I think realization hit me when I turned eighty. Pretense dropped away, and here I am.
The middle-age thought came to mind after reading an article in USA Today, focusing on Tom Herman, (head football coach at The University of Texas) in an interview after the rioting out country has been enduring. Mr. Herman, who is 44, described himself as a “middle-aged man.”
Another article related an encounter that CEO of American Airlines, Doug Parker, had with a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, Jacque Rae Hill, while on a Southwest flight (which is unusual, to say the least.) Ms. Hill saw a book belonging to Mr. Parker and asked him about it, leading to a long discussion. That book is White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin diAngelo, Ph.D.
I may or may not read the book, as it sounds a bit more scholarly than I am up for. But the title alone expresses a personal sentiment that I intend to explore further.
I have been asked on maybe a dozen occasions if we had (a) any black or (b) anyAsian classmates at Jeff. The answer is no and a few of the two races. Integration into public schools began in 1958, when President Eisenhower sent troops to Arkansas to enforce the new law. At the college level, my rusty history recalls Brown vs. The Board of Education (or similar notation) in which the Supreme Court opened The University of Texas to integration. Even though the Civil War ended 135 years ago and school integration was accomplished sixty-two years back, we still have a divisive mentality in the country.
At Jeff, we our class included a fair number of highly capable Hispanic classmates, some of whom I have developed a friendship with over the years, just as I did with some of “in” group at school. (I will dwell on that a bit later or in another blog.) But if any of you recall, there was not a lot of interaction back then. Ruth Hernandez Stewart
and I had a fruitful email dialog last year on that fact and how at our reunions over the years and lunches, there is still not a lot of mixing. I attribute that more to the fact that at our infrequent gatherings, we tend to spend our two hours visiting with old friends rather than making new friends from the old days. I would enjoy further conversation on this subject from anyone who wishes to contribute. Post on here or reply to my email.
And finally, I suspect that at least ninety percent of our class were reared in a churchgoing family. Some of us still practice today and some have dropped out over the years. In this time of stress and radical upheaval I urge that those who pray, do so, asking for the healing of our country. And for those who remember their upbringing but have no church family today, send up a prayer as well.
Till next time…