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[Comments] (8) Civil Rights Movement: Today in class I did a lesson on how to write a summary of a magazine article, using an article on the reopening of the Emmett Till case. Amaziningly, none of these kids had heard of Emmett Till, or seen the famous pictures of his tortured, bloated body in his coffin. Yet every day they reap the advantages fought for by those who have gone before.

As part of trying to explain to them what life was like, "back in the day", how segregated America was, I told them that I had never eaten a taco until tenth grade, nor Chinese food until I was a senior in high school. They couldn't believe it. What did you eat? They asked.

Not lasagna. Lasagna was unheard of. (Though they did serve it at Prom when I was in ninth grade, an exotic, gourmet delicacy.)Not enchiladas. We wouldn't have known how to say it. No pasta, except spaghetti and macaroni.

We were pretty poor, so we ate a lot of fish that Dad caught. Free trout. Probably a couple of times a week. On Sundays we would have pot roast cooked with carrots and potatoes in it. I still enjoy that meal. Spaghetti. Yummy Balls. Macaroni and Cheese (homemade.) Meatloaf. Pinto Beans. Split Pea Soup. Very rarely, fried chicken, or ham. Or sometimes roasted lamb. My mother used to brag that she could feed her family of seven on 1/4 pound of hamburger.

The constant vegetable was Swiss chard, which grew well in our garden. Or Mom would buy boxes of frozen green beans. In the summer she would visit farmers and get truckloads of stuff, which we would can. Nobody knows how to can food anymore.

Every Thanksgiving, the turkey carcass got made into soup. I refuse to do that anymore, and I refuse to eat turkey soup. However, I find myself making chicken soup out of the remains of chickens that I roast, so there you have it.

This is probably somewhat different from what Emmett Till ate, but we lived in different regions of the country and hail from different ethnic groups. People come together more nowadays.

Emmett ate greens; we ate Swiss chard. I suspect we both ate turnips.

[Comments] (1) Wild Puffs: This morning when I woke up, Gretel was huffing at an insane cotton ball that had sneaked under the door. The Demon Dog of cotton balls. Nightmare of Cotton Ball. The cotton ball possessed. Then I put my glasses on and discovered that it was a Xochitl paw.


© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.