Someday Janet, there will be room for us to live
Then we can spread our wings and fly.
Someday after the winds of change have blown across
The small-minded people, we'll love.
In twenty years, or so they say,
The world will see how blind it's been,
And then, my love, we'll fly away
To lands we've dreamed, but never seen.
And then, my love, we'll share the hope
We've had to hide from them 'til then.
I composed that song when I was 16 years old for my girlfriend. Her name was Janet Mercer. She was 15 years old. The year was 1972 and we lived in an annex of Keesler Air Force base housing in Biloxi, Mississippi. Janet had flaming red hair, lots of freckles, wonderful dimples, and two of the deepest brown eyes on the planet. She looked like a poster child for an advertisement to travel to Ireland. I don't look like that. We were a couple that couldn't have looked more different than each other. Yet, there we were, in love, in that place and at that time.
Two kids in their teens, having their first serious relationship, always confront the normal difficulties of awkwardness and angst. But added to that was a keen awareness Janet and I had that we needed to be careful. We knew that our love could be dangerous to us. We were quickly made aware that, in spite of our ease with each other, there existed outside our little enclave of government housing a society of many people who felt perfectly justified in demonstrating how much they hated seeing us together. Sometimes we were denied service at restaurants, sometimes we were accosted while walking on a road, and other times people would glare at us or make threatening gestures.
Of course, this kind of behavior was not constant. It was, however, an annoying feature of our relationship. Many people, especially our school peers, people who lived in the annex with us, or other Air Force folks were perfectly fine with us. We actually had a few well-meaning adults tell us that interracial dating leads to interracial marriage, and although they, themselves were ok with that, the larger society will make being together difficult in the future. We were admonished to think about how hard things will be for our children. We weren't quite ready for marriage at that time, but I suppose some considered it an act of kindness to warn us about the future we would face.
About this blog.
This blog is a place where many of the confluences of my life can be shared. I am, at the core, a creative person. I approach everything from that basis... whether composing symphonies, playing the cello, being a serial entrepreneur, writing sermons and essays, flying airplanes, or creating software apps. I am deeply passionate about creativity, issues of social justice, and spiritual enrichment. These are fundamental to everything I do. Welcome to my journey!