Monday, September 16, 2013

Birmingham 50 Years Ago

On this day fifty years ago I was a college freshman in St. Paul, Minnesota---a small religious school with little access to TV. There were newspapers in the library that I didn't read. I don't even recall having a radio. The only memories I have of mid-September 1963 relate to my mad crush on Raymond Cook, a fellow freshman whom I dated a few times until he broke up with me on the advice of 2 senior girls who were charged with keeping an eye on him while his parents carried on in Africa as missionaries. So it was that September 15, 1963 made no impression on me. In fact, it was not until months or years later that I consciously recognized what a terrible tragedy had occurred on that day. Last week I read an online essay that really got to me and my sense of guilt for not caring for so long about those four girls killed by a bomb. True, it seems that almost every day innocent girls and boys are killed in the streets. But this was different. It was an evil premeditated KKK attack on a black church on Sunday morning. Though I can never take back my lack of caring, I do have the forum here at our shop to make a statement. So this past weekend I made a little "home-made" plaque that John will frame. It's a small effort to remind others of this dark day in our history.