Obviously he wasn’t really a man without a country, but considering the tenor of the times, even in a place like Fayetteville, it is understandable that he might be reluctant to reveal too much to a stranger.
Our encounter began when, slogging my way towards the bus stop, a man stopped to give me a ride. Though our journey together lasted only a few short minutes, I learned a great deal - both about my new acquaintance and human nature in general.
We talked about the weather - the favorite topic between two newly-met strangers - and where we both came from before coming to Arkansas.
After a brief hesitation, the fellow, a doctor from the Middle East, told me of two American states he had lived in previously. I didn’t press the issue further,
He had no way of knowing anything about me, save for what I had told him in a few brief sentences, plus the fact that, in addition to having a shaved head, I also had a goatee.
If you hailed from the Middle East, would you readily offer the information up to someone who fits the physical stereotype of a skinhead to a T?
It made me wonder what experiences he might have had previously. Living as we do in a world in which buffoons brag about not being Politically Correct, might someone have launched some casual bigotry in his direction? Or had someone offended him by some unthinking words? Had it come from strangers like me, or from co-workers?
You just never know, do you?
For whatever reasons, he was reluctant to reveal his country of origin to me - but this is America, and people don’t have to unless they want to. If he didn’t want to tell me, that is fine with me.
I am sorry that he may have felt uncomfortable when the subject came up, though. At any rate, I hope the louts he may have met on his journey through life have been few and far between.
A neat little CD featuring a real up-and-comer, Frank Sinatra, entitled “Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good Years.”
I see only great things in store for this singer in the future. What’s that you say?
Oh . . .
Ah well, send in the clowns.
Now on YouTube: Jacob George
My interview with the late Jacob George,
veteran and peace activist
"On the Air with Richard S. Drake" celebrates 25 years on the air in 2016.
Quote of the Day
I want to praise activists through the years. I praise those of the past as well, to have them honored. - Studs Terkel