Besides, Rheba owned a bar.
In my memory, it was a long, narrow room with dim lighting and lots of chairs that could be pushed back if dancing broke out. Which, on the few times I was there, it often did.
The crowd would be so enormous that we would be packed face-to-face or back-to-back and dancing was the alternative to standing so close to a stranger, with no purpose. Conversation had to be avoided for the most part, because there was always a trio playing loud music in the corner, or the blast of a sound system.
Since it was the early 70's, the music was, of course, Motown. Loud, rhythmic, heart pounding, sweaty music to jump and fly with. I knew the words, felt the cadence, sang and danced and lost myself in the sound of hoots of laughter and raucous calls.
On one particular turn around the bar, I happened to look sideways into the mirror that framed the room. There I was. Young, slim, blond, blue-eyed. Starkly white. The only white face in the room.
Suddenly I thought about how my boyfriend must feel in our very white city. Years later I was to contemplate our children: when they look in the mirror, they see a combo color; a light brown that's not quite one or the other. They very often have no comparisons, no one whose color matches theirs, no crowd in which to get lost.
|My daughter and son with their Grampa.|
For the most part, their faces in the mirror are not startlingly different, not pasty white, not dark berry. They have a part of several heritages all in one (in my humble opinion) gorgeous countenance.
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