This season brings memories of legless, homeless men on the sidewalks outside the theaters in downtown Birmingham. They propelled themselves on little scooters, similar to the devices that mechanics use to work under cars, with a half brick in each hand. Often, they sold pencils. Every now and then there would be a blind man with a metal cup and a shiny steel-bodied guitar.
I remember the exotic aroma of hot tamales sold from little bicycle carts.
Until her last days, my mom fretted over my query, "Mommy, are those burr heads?" wondering about the young African American family on the bus bench next to us, late at night, on our way home from the picture show.
Birmingham, black and white. Worlds away.
Intolerance doesn't compute with a child. Hate has no reference point. Love is everything.
Go ahead, grow up. I'm happy right here.
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