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WHEN ELLIE MET JACKIE

Do you know what I discovered this week? This weekend I will be celebrating my 38th wedding anniversary and my sixty-ninth birthday. (When I say “weekend,” that is not a slip of the tongue—I plan to party for three days straight!) I am so thrilled to have something else to think about other than Donald Trump.  He is turning out to be such a consummate liar, grand manipulator, and narcissistic, racist muckraker that I can barely breathe.  I am convinced he is a very mentally unstable person, and I can’t help wondering if God has quit his day job because the more King Trump/Bannon reigns the more I feel as if we’re slip-sliding into Hell as a country.  One of the things I’m going to do during my birthday weekend is see Wonder Woman, and boy would I love to be her for just one day, and be left alone with Trump.  Me and my truth-telling lasso would do some serious damage against Herr Trump.

Wonder Woman RJ Matson Roll Call

Cartoon used by permission: RJ Matson Roll Call

Of all the things that Trump has done that upsets me the most is how he has been like a pied piper to the racist elements in our culture.  I was feeling pretty sad this week about that until I ran across the most amazing article in the NY Times by Sheryll Cashin about how “interracial love is saving America.”* WHAT?  She has this premise that even though it looks as if our country is sinking into a racist quagmire, interracial couples are “chipping away at White supremacy” in a way that makes you want to stand up and cheer.  Cashin cites how Thomas Jefferson stressed with great emphasis that interracial sex and marriage should never be allowed because it would “stain” the White race since he considered the Negro to be “inferior in mind and form.”  (I have two words for you Thomas Jefferson—you hypocritical dog, you:  Sally Hemings—slave and mother of six of your children.)  Ms. Chashin states that it was love that overturned the miscegenation laws in America in 1967 (Loving vs. Virginia), and now at least “one quarter of Americans have a close relative in an interracial marriage,” and when polled, “91% of respondents said that interracial marriage was a change for the better or didn’t matter at all.”  Boy, we’ve come a long way, Baby, from our forefathers’ days!

INTERRACIAL COUPLE HOLDING HANDS ofcommonsense dot me

Interracial Hands: http://www.ofcommonsense.me

Suddenly it dawned on me: I am part of the “salvation” of our nation—me and my man (WW—“White and Wonderful”)!  Hot damn!  And since our 38th anniversary is coming up this weekend, I thought I’d meditate on our love story and share the hope I feel with my readers that no matter how things look now—the killing of innocent Blacks, Muslims, Hindis, Latinos, and Asians—we are never going back to the days of our ignorant forefathers.  Interracial love and understanding is here to stay, and it is growing.

Below is a snippet of our love story of hope.  Enjoy!

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“Ellie and Jackie”/Photo Credit: William Clarke

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WHEN ELLIE MET JACKIE

(A Story of Interracial Love)

Forty-five years ago, a Black girl from the inner city of Cleveland and a White boy from the sheltered suburb of a New England town bumped into each other in a hippie commune in the early 70’s.  Those were heady times and full of experimentation, but just because their paths crossed didn’t mean they should have been attracted to each other.   Most of the White people the girl had known (except for an occasional student in college and a couple of teachers along the way) were ones she feared or hated because of their cruel and horrid treatment to her.  In fact, the girl was often heard to say to anyone who would listen about her views on interracial dating that:  “There ain’t nothin’ no White man can do for me, Chil’!”  The boy grew up in an all-White neighborhood, and even though there were a couple of Black kids in his school, the only Black person who ever came to his house was the mailman, which the family dog continuously chased and tried to bite because the dog “didn’t like Black people,” or so the story goes.  (The dog never chased anybody else—just the poor Black postman.)

The girl belonged to a theater club in her hippie commune, and one day she snuck into the dark hallway of the balcony of the theater during auditions.  She wasn’t in a position to see the actors who were auditioning but she could hear their voices.  When a booming voice that sounded like the voice of God and resonated like James Earl Jones filled the auditorium, the girl’s heart skipped a beat.  She had never heard such a mellifluous voice.  The girl instantly knew that only a Black man could have a voice like that, and in a community that had no Black men but scores of White men, she scurried as fast as she could to see what fine Black male specimen encased that heavenly voice.

our skin color doesn't define us

Stock Photo: Google

The boy’s white skin wasn’t the only thing to surprise the girl.  When she introduced herself to him, she discovered that his name was “Jackie.”

“What kind of name is that?” she said.

“It’s a New England nickname for John,” he said.  The girl looked into his gorgeous blue eyes and almost lost her breath when he spoke to her.

“Well, my name is Eleanor although some people call me ‘Ellie’ which I really don’t like because REALLY—do I look like an ‘Ellie ‘cause seriously would anyone have called Eleanor Roosevelt ‘Ellie’ to her face and that is really who I’m named after at least that is what I’ve been told but then again my mother was crazy and my name could be Diana for all I know…” she said in one breathless run-on sentence.  (The girl was blushing but since she was a golden mocha color, the boy did not notice.  I don’t think the boy ever figured out when the girl was blushing.)

The boy laughed—a deep ground-swell of a laugh that the girl remembered thinking was of a timbre that Santa Claus would kill for.

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“Ellie and Jackie”/Photo Credit: E. Tomczyk

The boy won the audition into the theater club, but the girl was too petrified to talk to him after their initial meeting.  So she had her girlfriend invite him to a dinner party in which the girl would be present as well.

The girl thought the boy was arrogant as Hell.

The boy thought the girl was argumentative and pushy.

The girl said, “I hope we see each other again.”

The boy said, “Sure, I’ll give you a call.”

Weeks went by, but the boy never called the girl.

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“Ellie and Jackie”–14th Anniversary/Photo Credit: E. Tomczyk

The more the boy ignored the girl, the more she pined for him.

“I can’t believe he said he’d call, but I haven’t even heard a peep,” the girl said to her girlfriends one day.

“Do you like him?” asked one of the girlfriends.

“I don’t know… I just thought there was a spark there,” the girl mournfully replied.

“Then why don’t you call him and ask him out on a date.  This is the 70s, Girl!  You don’t have to wait for him.”

That is what the girl did.  She called the boy.  It turned out that his car was broken down and he had no money.  All he had was a beat-up company truck. He wanted to arrange a date where he picked her up in style and took her to a fancy restaurant.

The girl said, she didn’t give a damn about riding in a truck just so long as it didn’t leave them stranded on the road, and as to a fancy meal, if he could boil water, he could invite her over for dinner for a couple boiled eggs.

He made “Shrimp Wiggle.”  (Can of shrimp, can of Campbell’s mushroom soup, and a can of peas on toast.) All the girl could think was, “Oh, Lord Jesus, if this is how White people eat, then no wonder they don’t have any rhythm!”

The girl ate the Shrimp Wiggle and loved it because that night they talked for twelve straight hours.  As the girl’s roommates wondered whether they should file a missing person’s report, the boy and the girl spoke about their fears, their abuses, their rejections, their pain, their scars, their ambitions, their likes, their dreams, and their goals.  They looked into each other’s souls and they loved what they saw.

The next morning when the boy took the girl back to her apartment, they both knew they had met the love of their lives and that one day they would spend the rest of their lives together.  The End.

Anniversary Couple

“Ellie and Jackie”: Happily Married for 38 Years

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ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (“AHA”) MOMENT

I am discovering that my man and I are pushing back bigotry and racism one interracial love at a time.  There once was a time when neither of us could have imagined our life together.  Now that we have lived the reality, we know that “perfect love casts out all fears.”

Oh, and Happy Birthday to me.  (The girl and the boy married on the girl’s birthday in 1979.)  I gave myself the greatest birthday gift a girl could ever get:  the love of a very, very good man!

***

               QUOTES TO CHEW ON

“I have never had the least apprehension that I or my friends would marry Negroes if there was no law to keep them from it, but as Judge Douglas and his friends seem to be in great apprehension that they might, if there were no law to keep them from it, I give him the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the law of this State, which forbids the marrying of white people with Negroes.”Abraham Lincoln, The so-called “Great Emancipator” (1858)

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay, and red, and placed them on separate continents, and but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend the races to mix.”—Virginia trial court Judge Leon Bazile, who heard the case of Richard and Mildred Loving in 1965 and ruled against their interracial marriage.

“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”—The 1967 Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Loving v. Virginia

“The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.”—Bruce Forsyth

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WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT “ELLIE AND JACKIE”?  CHECK OUT THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “THE FETUS CHRONICLES: PODCASTS FROM MY MISEDUCATED SELF” ON AMAZON!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

Birthday Anniversary Celebration 

REFERENCES

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/03/opinion/sunday/how-interracial-love-is-saving-america.html?mabReward=ACTM_TC4&recp=7&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine *

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/05/18/528939766/five-fold-increase-in-interracial-marriages-50-years-after-they-became-legal

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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“Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing, Baby . . . .”

Do you know what I’ve discovered about this Valentine’s Day?  I got struck by Cupid’s arrow some 41 years ago and it was true love—go figure!   I am black, and he is white.  We met 7 years after the Supreme Court struck down the miscegenation laws across America via Loving vs Virginia.  We married 12 years after interracial marriage became legal in the United States.  (But even though the anti-miscegenation laws took effect in 1967, it took South Carolina until 1998 and Alabama until 2000 to get their acts together—and they did it by a mere 62% (SC) and 59% (AL) of the voters.)  Oh well, good thing WW (white and wonderful) and I went on about the business of building our lives and being outrageously happy without waiting for the naysayers and the racists to give us permission to love.

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WW and The Blogger loving life together when they were young

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WW and our babes (mutual admiration society)

WW and I owe a great deal of gratitude to Mildred and Richard Loving.  God knew what he was doing when he allowed the burden of overturning the miscegenation laws in America to be placed upon their backs.  They were simple country people who had grown up together and fallen in love.  They weren’t interested in brandishing a cause—they just loved each other.   When they married in DC where interracial unions were legal, they came back to their home in Virginia to start their lives together.  I have often tried to imagine what it was like when the white sheriff and his two deputies broke into the Loving’s home in the middle of the night while they were sleeping and dragged them out of their bed and put them in separate jail cells—tormenting Mrs. Loving with the threat of rape from other prisoners.  They pled guilty to “breaking the law” and were sentenced to one year in jail, but it was suspended for 25 years if they agreed to leave Virginia and never return together— leaving behind their home, their land, their parents, their friends, and their relatives.

Richard and Mildred Loving

Mildred and Richard Loving courtesy of http://www.laprogressive.com/prop-8-jim-crow-nuremberg-and-other-unjust-laws/

The trial judge of Virginia (Judge Leon Bazile) issued the following statement when asked to reconsider his judgment against the Lovings:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

When I read Judge Bazile’s statement, I wondered what type of marriage he had.  Was he happy?  Did he touch the soul of his wife like a deer panting after running rivers when it is with thirst?  Because, you see, WW and I have experienced that type of deep, deep love.  When I see the signs of the racists who equated the mixing of the races to communism or heralding the Anti-Christ’s reign of terror down on our country, it causes me to ponder how many of these men beat their wives, or how many of these people divorced each other, or even how many lived in cold silence as they forced themselves to simply co-exist until the end of their days?  How many of them listen for the garage door to open and feel a rush of excitement that their man or their woman has come home to them at the end of another day after 34 years?  How many of them go to dinner and never utter one word of conversation to each other because they have nothing in common?  Because you see, WW and I can’t shut up from sharing what we’ve experienced while we’ve been apart because we’re each other’s best friend and best listener.  We love many of the same things, and what we don’t love, we pretend that we do.  I wonder if the people in the picture below got marriage so perfect that they can now sit at the right hand of God and judge all others outside of their spectrum.

Race Mixing

Civil Rights Image Archives

It took the Lovings nine years to win their case to stay a married couple in Virginia.  In 1967 they prevailed and Chief Justice Warren issued this statement:

“’Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.’

The Supreme Court condemned Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law as ‘designed to maintain White supremacy.’”—Wikipedia

***

The most romantic words I’ve ever heard were from the lips of Richard Loving on the HBO special just before the Supreme Court ruling when his lawyer asked if he had any message for the judges:

“Mr. Cohen, tell the court I love my wife!”

Interracial Marriage cartoon Kevin Sters

Kevin Siers/Cartoonist:  www.charlotteobserver.com

I am discovering what I’ve always known:  I love my husband, and I can’t imagine having lived life without him.  I would be half the person I am today.  Marvin Gaye was right when he sang:  “There ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby . . .” In the beginning of our marriage, people used to stare at us all the time and occasionally make cracks about our interracial status (“hey Zebras”).  But now when people of any race stare at this old couple quickly scooting towards our 70’s, they often ask how long we’ve been married, gasp at the answer, and then ask us our secret.  We used to throw two-word one-liners at them:  “it’s communication, it’s respect, it’s laughter, it’s prayer. . .”  But now we just say it is love, and the definition is I Corinthians 13:4-8.

LOVE

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies.

***

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, MY LUV!

THANK YOU RICHARD AND MILDRED LOVING—I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO CHAT WITH YOU IN HEAVEN!

I love You allvoices dot com

www.wallpapermania.eu

QUOTES FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

“Love is no game! It is no flowery softness! It is hard work-a quest that never ends. It demands everything from you-especially the truth. Only then does it yield rewards. -Cupid”Rick Riordan, The House of Hades

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”—Charles M. Schulz

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.”—Thomas Merton Author and Husband

Let us grow old together because living well is the best revenge!

More about how WW and I met in my new book, Monsters’ Throwdown at Amazon and Kindle

REFERENCES

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/us/06loving.html

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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