Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

An Amazing Time To Live

On the eve an historic election I have been reflecting about the changes I have witnessed in my lifetime. My grandmother, Hazel Windle Cary talked of the fact that she had seen such a vast change in America during her lifetime (1896-1968). As a kid I didn't pay much attention to the details she spelled out. Now I have lived a year longer than she did and I am doing the same sort of reflecting.

One memory in particular has stayed in my mind. In 1948, in the little communities of Gering and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, the famous Harlem Globetrotters performed. I was not fortunate enough to get to see them, but I really liked them. They were such wizards with the basketball and the music that played during their show was so lively and upbeat. I can still hear it in my mind today. "Sweet Georgia Brown" was their theme song.

I was 13 and quite an idealist as far as politics and social things were concerned. You know, that strong optimism young dreamers have? I wonder if young people have that strong optimism anymore? I hope they do as it comes in handy as we start out on life's journey. At any rate, I was a young civil rights fan. I didn't know much about it, but I knew unfairness when I saw it in the newsreels and heard about it on the radio.

At any rate, the Harlem Globetrotters came to town and they were not allowed to stay at the Scottsbluff hotel!! They had to stay in the Gering Hotel instead. The incident probably was old stuff to them, but I remember how ashamed I was that I lived where that could happen. So much has been done about such prejudice -- and still there is more work to do 60 years later. But to think that a black man is close to being President of the United States of America is absolutely amazing to me. Whether he succeeds or not, the miracle of it is amazing.

I am so proud of my country and the progress made in my lifetime. I have been an innocent bystander as this progress has been made, but even innocent bystanders can feel good about good things.

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