NIGGER

 

 

I was making a passage up the East coast in my sailboat, a 27 ft Newport sloop named the Sabrina Ann

I would work my way along.  I might stay somewhere for a day, a week, a month, it depends. I had stopped outside Savannah, Georgia and splashed my hooked in a sleepy little river side placed called Thunderbolt.  Why not.  I went by the name of Capt. Flash, 

Thunderbolt was a shipyard, a few restaurants and  a couple of bars perched on a bank above the river.  It was near a civil war battle site called Fort Pulaski.

I was able to work as a qwick sketch artist down on the Savannah River.  I had to take a bus to get there.  I had to walk in a little from the river to the bus stop.  I remember while waiting for the bus looking around and being able to see five churches.  Little over kill I thought.

When the bus came I got on and paid my fare then turned and looked where to sit.  I was surprised to see that I was the only white person on the bus.  The other passengers were all black and all sitting in the back.  How ironic I thought.  Not much has changed.

There were bench like seats that sat over the wheels that faced inward.  I sat on the one across from the driver.

We rode on for a while making stops.  Then near downtown an old black guy got on.  apparently the driver and him knew each other.  Maybe like an old uncle or something of that nature.

There was profuse how ya’ll doing etc.  Then the old guy sat on the seat next to me.  The bus was stopped at a red light when outta’ the blue the guy said in a loud clear voice, “I don’t care what they say, you a good nigger”.

Well let me tell you, ya’ coulda’ heard a pin.  I was mortified.  I tried to melt into the seat, blend with it while looking for the nearest escape route.  Then to compound it he again said the same thing.  This time the driver turned and said something to him, then the light changed and we moved on.  A couple of stops later I got off, glad to escape with my life.

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