So, back in 1966…….
In December, 1965 I turned eight years old.
January of 1966, my family and I moved to Glendale, California from Cocoa Beach, Florida. I went from living in a small town where I knew lots of folks to a big city, where I only knew … nobody. Just my parents, my sister, my Aunt Gail, and Uncle Dick.
On the way to my first day of school, I saw a neighbor girl going in that general direction. Could that little girl possibly show me the way? I followed her. Gratefully, she managed to get us to school.
Everything in Glendale was beyond scary. Not one thing was familiar. I think my mother showed me where the grade school was, but I couldn’t remember how to get there.
The next day, I followed her. She was nice, and knew her way to school! Perfect!!!! After a week or so, her mom appeared. She was also nice. She started walking my new friend and me to school.
When my new tour guide’s mom first appeared on the scene, she seemed very cordial. In the most polite way imaginable, she asked me to ‘please’ walk a little further back. I did. Then she asked, in the most polite way, to please stay back a little further…I did. I was asked to stay back , and then further back. I reluctantly obliged until I was so far back, I was certain to get lost forever.
Eventually I found my way to school walking alone.
It wasn’t for many years to come, (1972, high school) that I realized that that lady hated something about me. She couldn’t have me near her daughter, so I had to stand back.
I watch the news. I watch Dateline, Little girls are snatched up, raped, kidnapped and worse. All of those things could have happened to me.
I would like to ask what that mother was so afraid of to put me in that kind of jeopardy?
My father was Swiss, my mother Mexican. I would like to ask that mother why she asked me to lag so far behind her and her daughter…was it because I was half Swiss or half Mexican?
I am a non-white. Period.
For my grand kiddos