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Tales my Mother Told

May 22nd, 2011

When I was about five or six, Mom took me on a trip downtown: that is, from suburban Des Plaines, Ill, into the Chicago Loop.  On a  bus.  This was before so many autos, and easier than the commuter train.

We got on the bus, took our seats.  Little me was looking around.  Suddenly I exclaimed in my piping, piercing little voice, “Mommy, why is that man black?”

A black man was sitting about four rows ahead of us.  My mother turned to me and said, quiety.,  “Well Tommy, that man’s skin is black, just like your skin is white.”

Tommy looks at her, looks down at his own bare arm, and says loudly, “My skin isn’t white–it’s orange!”

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