Nonexistent prejudice, a tender reminiscent time from my childhood, prior to the moment of realization that racial prejudice existed right then and would continue throughout my lifetime, and likely, forevermore.
Arriving home after high school, a friend of color and daughter of a U.S. Army colonel was with me. I introduced her to my parents. We planned to grab my tennis racket and drive to the Fort Ben Tennis Courts.
Tennis racket in hand, I grabbed my keys, we said good-bye and returned to my car. The engine wouldn’t start! Anxiously I ran to tell my dad, a mechanic. He would know what to do. He came outside and raised the car hood.
Standing with my dad, we looked at my engine. In disbelief, I realized the distributor cap was missing! I turned to look at my dad. Surprisingly, his look of, ‘I did it’, sent a displeased message to me, in silence.
Gathering my composure, I returned to apologize to my friend. My car needed repaired and I would be unable to play tennis. I wish I could recall whether we took her home, or if her parents came to get her.
Imposed prejudice is a rude awakening for an open arms child to comprehend. The harsh reality is, that it steals innocent joy from a child and replaces it with an unjustified, haughty seed of prejudice.
In future years I’d be the wife of a Pharmacy Tech for a U.S. Army Hospital in Augsburg, Germany. Our careers since then were all Equal Opportunity Employers, where pride existed without prejudice.