Tiny droplets of ocean spray hit my face as I turn into the wind. I am bundled up warmly from head to toe; knit hat, quilted jacket, gloves, and warm socks inside my shiny red rubber boots. The sun is at a quarter slant in the sky, for it has been up for hours. But we chose to rise leisurely before venturing out on this late winter morning. My partner and I have come up to Semiahmoo Resort for a long weekend and rejuvenation get-away.
For those of you old enough to remember Archie Bunker, the quintessential cantankerous character of the ‘70’s show All In The Family, then you will understand my father. Or at least a side of him.
But he was not all cantankerous, my dad. And like Archie, my dad was a man who saw the world around him rapidly changing from the one he grew up in.
Sometimes, neither man, the real or the fictitious character, knew how best to handle worldly topics such as; the women’s lib movement, racial diversity, or economic disparity. Sometimes, they wanted the world to stay the way it was, the way they knew it. But the times they were a-changing.
My dad, and Archie Bunker, were men of principle. They were hard-working, family men who grew up in an altogether different era.
My dad was born into a time just before the great depression hit. His childhood overshadowed by WWII. He was of the greatest generation. He grew up knowing sacrifice, not only for one’s country but also for one’s neighbor and fellowman. A quality which shaped him, becoming a thread of service throughout his life.
He watched Shirley Temple on the big screen and Dick Tracy was his favorite cartoon in the Sunday papers.
My personal protest in the wake of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many to list
A few weeks ago, I walked 2.23 miles.
I did so without fanfare to honor the memory of a young, black man named Ahmaud Arbery. He went jogging one evening in his neighborhood in Georgia, much like the quiet, sleepy neighborhood I walk in every evening with my partner walking next to me. He and I hold hands. As we walk, we may talk about our days or maybe not at all, but just listen to our footsteps hit the pavement below our feet.
We do not fear walking in our neighborhood will cause suspicion or alert our neighbors to caution. These notions never enter our minds. Ahmaud Arbery was not afforded the same tolerance.
Instead, he was gunned down by three white men who felt he was “suspicious” yet all he was guilty of was jogging.