The summer of 1939:
"Waiters, all colored, and passengers, all white, moved up and down the aisle. The din of the car was like any other restaurant except the clatter and grind of the steel wheels on steel tracks was the background setting for all other sound. Now and again, the locomotive’s whistle would blow and crossing bells would clang. The car rocked gently, and my beer swayed in its glass. When the train lurched, my beer jumped. The waiters never filled the glass any more than a little over half full.
"I watched some of the experienced Negroes slide though the crowd expertly wielding hot coffee, trays of food, and pitchers of water. One of the gees, his name tag read Julius, had a kindly look, another, a big man, Clarence, was gleeful, and still another Augustus had angry eyes and looked at the passengers with thinly veiled contempt and/or resentment.
"Our eyes met – Augustus and mine. He didn’t look away. Instead his look turned inward; it was a disguise. His privacy was inside of him, readable through his eyes when he wasn’t careful. He was a man trapped in spotless white livery branded by a name tag and serving people he didn’t much like. Either that or I had a wild imagination.
"I heard someone yell, 'Hey, boy. Hey, boy. Over here, boy.' The waiter’s eyes went flat as if he was no longer there. His body did what it was told to do, but he disappeared somewhere inside of himself, or so I deduced being a detective and all.
"I glanced at the swell across from me. He was studying me impolitely; maybe like I had done the waiter. I didn’t like it. I suspected the waiter didn’t like it either.”
...“Outside on the debarkation platform, Augustus Williams asked me, 'What was that ruckus on the train all about?'
"'Sorry, sorry. I got in a jam. I needed a way out.'
"He squinted at me. 'You set me up?' He chuckled. 'Why me? Clarence -- the colored man that was standin closest to you -- is a big, strong man. Why didn’t you insult him: He mighta thrown all of you out the windaw.'
“'That happy mug?' I shook my head. 'Naw. I picked you cuz I’m a good judge of character. I new exactly what you’d do.'
"He thought about that for a moment and then blew out a big, deep belly laugh.
"'Sorry about the Miss Negress and kiss-my-white-fanny stuff,” I said. 'Didn’t mean it.'
"He looked at me strangely, and nodded.
"When the eastbound train pulled up to the station, amidst its steam and smoke and bells and whistles, Augustus said, 'I’m going.' He motioned with his head toward the rear of the train. Before he left, he stuck out his hand. I thought it was to shake with me, but the forty bucks I’d given him was in his fist.
“'I don’t need your lettuce, man. I make my own.' His eyes were bright. He smiled.
'“Keep it for your trouble. I coulda got you fired,' I said.
“'No trouble,' he said, smiling abruptly. ‘It ain’t usual for a colored man to get away with hittin a white man. I enjoyed it. Besides, not everything is about money.'" - from my novel, Otis Moon.
“It’s true, when African Americans were livin in the ancient and, uh, the, ah, advanced civilizations of Stockton and Oakland, California, my, uh, people -- the Irish -- we were still livin in the trees. However, unlike the Scots who were also livin in the trees we wore wooden underwear. The Scots didn’t invent underpants until hundreds of years later and, uh, they still don't wear em under the kilts. Anyway, like the Scots and the Welsh -- or Whalish -- we climbed down out of the trees by ourselves. The English, uh, they had to wait for the fire department.” (posted earlier)
Please give to the National Urban League: 120 Wall Street, 8th Floor/ New York, New York 10005/ 212-558-5300
“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grand-children are once more slaves.” - D.H. Lawrence
Please give to the Make-A-Wish Foundation: 4742 North 24th Street/ Suite 400/ Phoenix, Arizona 85016/ 800-722-9497
“If success is the, uh, tenth rung on a ladder, ah, whatever it might be, money, social status, what have you, a lot of people start at the first, the lowest rung. But, plenty start higher up, um, at seven, eight, or nine, and so their ascension isn’t really much to brag about. As time goes by the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The, ah, climb gets easier for the former and harder for the latter -- no pun intended.”
Please give to Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDs Foundation: 1140 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 200/ Washington DC 20036/ 202-296-9165
"To enslave ideas, ideals, idealism, ah, to torture imagination, dissent, argument, to take the life of belief, hope, free will, begins with the, uh, imprisonment of free speech, the free pursuit of the truth, and the freedom to report the truth." (a version posted earlier)
Please give to Children's Leukemia Research Association: PMB 369 Donation Center, 6632 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield, Michigan 48301/ And:
585 Stewart Avenue #18/ Garden City, New York 11530/ 516-222-1944.
God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Ahura Mazda, Gautama Buddha just before His first cup of coffee in the morning. (a version posted earlier)
Please give to Loaves and Fishes: 1351 North C Street/ Sacramento, California 95811/ 916-446-0878
It is the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dog:
Xīn nián kuài lè – Have a Happy New Year. - Metro/ Amy Willis
It is the Year 4716 on the Chinese calendar.
“Pope Francis and his diplomats have been quietly pouring energy into negotiations with the Chinese government that could help end a decades-long dispute over control of the Catholic Church in the country.
“But as signs of a possible breakthrough have emerged — how bishops get ordained has long been a sticking point — some Catholics are worried. They fear that the Vatican, in its eagerness for a deal, could betray clerics and parishioners who have illicitly practiced their faith for decades and risked arrest and persecution by worshiping in the so-called underground church. They are also alarmed that a deal could end the independence for which the underground church has long stood.
“The dissension escalated on Friday as the retired archbishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, intensified his criticism of the talks, saying that a reconciliation could result in 12 million Chinese Catholics being effectively put in a Communist-controlled ‘cage.’ He has accused church bureaucrats of ‘selling out’ Chinese Catholics, and warned, ‘A church enslaved by the government is no real Catholic Church.’” - Jason Horowitz and Elisabetta Povoledo/ New York Times 2-9-18
“At least 17 people were killed when a teen opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
“Fourteen others were wounded, five of whom suffering life-threatening injuries, hospital officials said.” – NBC News/ 2-15
Parkland and Florida: I’m sorry for your loss, your suffering; to lose children to murder …
Maine hunting laws, predicated on sportsman hunting ethics, prohibit clips with a capacity of greater than 3-rounds in shotgun tube-magazines and 5-rounds in centerfire and semi-automatic rifles. The only exceptions are .22 rimfire or semi-automatic handguns with barrels shorter than 8 inches. Automatic weapons are illegal to hunt with. - various sources over the years including Maine hunting regulations/ and, The Maine Way: General Hunting Provisions.
To regulate the ethical pursuit hunting of animals in limiting magazine capacities has historically been a part of Maine hunting traditions. Magazine limits should be incorporated into civilian laws. For instance: A five-round magazine in an AR-15 would require five magazine changes, a ten-round magazine, two changes, in order to match the capacity of a 30-round banana clip. Manual actions -- pump, bolt, lever -- prohibit or don't provide the mechanics for a semi-automatic action of a rifle, wherein an expended round is gas-ejected to provide space for the next round, propelled into a firing chamber from a spring-driven magazine.
Maine civilian laws do not prohibit magazine limits in open or concealed carry firearms. - various sources over the years.
Please give to the Broward County Chapter of the Red Cross: 600 NE 3rd Avenue/ Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304/ 954-797-300
Happy Valentine's Day.
Saint Valentine of Terni, a third-century Roman, is the saint of love. - Wikipedia (kind of)
"Over the years St Valentine has come incorrectly to be associated with finding love, the Church says. He is the patron saint for those who have already found their soulmate. St Raphael is the patron saint for happy encounters and it is to him those fearing the Valentine's post should properly direct their prayers." - BBC News
St. Eugene de Mazenod is the Patron Saint of Dysfunctional Families: he "(g)rew up with parents who fought constantly amid interference from his grandmother and a neurotic maternal aunt, who never let his father forget that they brought the money to the family."
- Catholic News Herald
"Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Season of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, penance, abstinence, and reflection, which prepares for Christ's Redemption. On the Day of Ashes, a Christian is marked on the forehead by a paste made of ashes and formed in the shape of a cross." - Catholic Online
February 09th, 2018
edited: 12/28: Klansman in tie, II: "I’m as popular in Oakland, California, as Ortho Weed Killer in a Caesar Salad.''
The Honest Ulsterman, a literary publication in Northern Ireland, will publish my short story, The Horse and the Cowboy. I appreciate the opportunity.
Please give to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America: 322 8th Avenue, 7th Floor, NY, NY, 10001/ 866-828-8484
“You don’t have, ah, to be a Democrat to believe in the human rights of a Democrat; don’t have to be gay to believe in the human rights of gay people; don’t have to be a black woman, uh, to believe in the human rights of black women. But, if I had to pick one, I’d, uh, be a beautiful black woman for about fifteen minutes, take all my clothes off and stand in front of a mirror. Maybe investigate a few things. Then change back into, ah, uh, hmmm…” (posted earlier)
When a negative reaction to President Obama’s election manifested itself in various ways -- from a rush to buy guns in the belief that the Second amendment would be either weakened or destroyed by his presidency -- or in the vigorous and aggressive opposition to his politics or of his prospective politics or even in reaction to his color, the Democrats complained. But like it or not it was democracy.
When a negative reaction to President Trump’s election manifested itself in various ways -- from mass protests to a reactive belief of policies of racism -- to vigorous and aggressive opposition to his politics or of his prospective politics, or in reaction to his lack of color, the Republicans complained. But like it or not it was democracy. (a version of this was posted earlier)
A carbuncle is a roiled mass of skin or a beautiful gem. The incredible gem is pictured in the logo below and at the bottom of the short story section...
Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material -- cartoons, blogs, shorts, essays, articles -- on the website (there has been a very limited editorial input in some of my work). Quoted sources are noted. I am responsible for all posts.
Kevin O'Kendley: P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496, and 200 P Street, A-32, Sacramento, California, 95814, email@example.com.
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