Flannery Correspondence

June 19, 2010


Filed under: Funny or Odd, Good News for a Change, Human Gold — BrianOFlan @ 13:04

In line for the RedBox, a carefully dressed black man approached me. He was not well dressed — his button-up collared shirt was worn, plaid and maybe flannel but it was tucked in and every button done. His baseball cap was old but his haircut tight. Everything about him was old but careful, especially his perfect posture. What struck me was how lively his movements were for being an antique.

I started talking to him because he started talking to himself. Extra loud, almost belligerent.  I thought having a conversation would be better than watching him rave on to nobody and everybody.  The whole time “The Ballad of Curtis Lowe” played in my mind.

They should have those RedBoxes outside so people won’t line up and get in the way.  But, oh no, it’s all about the dollar.  No concern for customer safety or convenience.

America isn’t here anymore; it’s lost.  I’m 76 years old and I remember when America was real… then it all started to change.  Used to be, a little girl could walk down the sidewalk at 9PM at night, six blocks or more without anything terrible happening to her.

Everything’s for sale, from Obama on down — anything you want, no problem, just hand over the money and tell us where you want it, you got it — and all the people you need to work it.  We have slavery every day.

Child molesters don’t get killed.  They stay alive in prisons with murderers and rapists.  I tip my hat to policemen.  They have a hard job because America’s not the same.  If you want to clean up this country you’d have to round up and kill men.  You’d have to lynch 200 men a day, from the time the sun comes up until it goes down.  Heh heh, that sounds bad but that’s what it’d take.

I wish there was a way to change the system, restore some good name for America.

It’ll never happen.  You try to change politics or clean up this corruption, people will kill you.  They like the corruption.  Everybody’s in on it.  Nobody wants to see anything true.

So you’re 76, how have you spent your time?

Well, my wife and I raised three children.  Now they’re grown up but they say, “Dad, you were hard on us.  You were strict.”  I put them in private school because I wasn’t about to send them to public school where the teachers weren’t allowed to whip them with a belt.

Grandchildren?  (Yes.)  Good.  Everyone healthy?

Yes, everybody’s healthy but they got an education, you know.  I worked two jobs my whole life to make sure to pay for their schooling.

Where’d you work?

I worked at the same company for over thirty years — a good union job doing industrial deliveries.  I got into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Wow!  Few people can say they spent a solid three decades with one company.  Do you still work?

Working that long is the only way to draw a good pension.  I retired in 2005 but the IBEW still sends me letters saying they’ll put me to work if I ever want it.  They take care of their own.

It’s nice to be able to retire.

Sure… but I still want to work.  If you go home and just sit around then you die.

It was time for him to order his food so I shook his hands and we parted.  I wish I could figure out a way to get his name.  I’d look him up and invite him to Sunday picnics in the front yard.  (I have a hard time asking total strangers who they are.)

I don’t agree with everything he said.  Advocating lynchings, for example.  He thinks America is a lost cause:  “Nobody wants to see the right thing happen.  Well, maybe a few individuals here and there but not enough.  Everyone’s for sale.”  I hope we’ll turn to make one last stand for civilization.

It did my heart good to see an old timer so determined to avoid death-by-retirement.  I hope I’m so capable when I’m in my fourth quarter.

Moral of the story:  Talk to strangers.  Offer them your name.  Find out how they’ve spent they’re decades.  What’s more important than people?

1 Comment »

  1. Just wanted to let you know I’m reading!
    Love your thoughts here about one last stand and the question you ended on.

    Comment by Keri Gilbert — July 31, 2010 @ 02:28

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