Tuesday, June 30, 2009

early start -or- around the fire and into the frying pan

Leaving early to get to downtown...

Persons of prejudice beware the following.

I spent the better part of last week walking to go around East St.Louis, Illinois, because it has a reputation for danger. I made the bridge to Missouri and now I am told by many there a few areas in St. Louis safe to walk. I am sure this has merit, but I have some experience with unsafe areas in my city of Louisville, Kentucky . I was "bused" in the late seventies in integration's first years and grew to know and love many I went to school with. Later, as a carpenter, I have spent years in Louisville's West End building homes in what some may call unsavory neighborhoods, again growing to know and love many.

Last night before bed I called one of my best and closest friends (a 63 year old "black" man) to talk of this situation. I asked if he knew anyone still in St. Louis, but we laughed that all the men were dead, killed years ago. We also laughed that the advise I sought from him I already knew - keep my head up and keep walking- not a wasted call as we spent years together working in the "bad" streets of Louisville and have a great friendship. He told me I'd be all right, and we exchanged "I love you's" as we hung up. You can't choose your family and you can't deny true friendship either. Color should not determine a man.

I have more to say about this, but I am on a walk for Diabetes awareness and need an early start before the griddle gets too hot.

1 comment:

Jeff Grigg said...

As a white guy, I've been to many of the worst places in Los Angeles county. I've walked though down town L.A. after dark. I've ridden my bicycle through some of the "worst" areas of Saint Louis, on a regular basis. Even in the evening or after dark.

For the most part, these are good people. You shouldn't be too concerned. My white friends tend to be overly fearful.