So, I haven’t posted a lot lately. Partly because I’ve been busy and partly because pretty much everything I wanted to post was a negative reaction to negative incidents going on in this country and I just didn’t want to go there constantly with this blog. Sometimes is fine, all the time, not so much. I’ve been having a hard time being optimistic and did not want to go all curmudgeon, all the time. Then came the weekend of the 4th of July. I took a couple of extra days off from work and spent the long holiday weekend with my family. On the day of the 4th we went to a place for lunch here in Dallas, off of lower Greenville, called the Truckyard. It is an outdoor seating area with a bar on one side and several food trucks to choose from on the other. We had lunch and a couple of drinks sitting outside in the shade enjoying a warm but beautiful day. Next we made our way to Northpark Mall to watch dinosaurs snack on unlucky humans in Jurassic World. It’s amazing how a couple of mojitos make that more funny than scary, lol. It was the perfect way to beat the heat of a Texas afternoon in July. After the movie we jumped on DART and went down to Fair Park to watch the fireworks in the Cotton Bowl. We got there well before dark and had a chance to sit and do a bit of people watching. It was fun and as the crowd got larger as it started getting dark the “wave” made it’s way around the stadium a few times. The fireworks were good although they played some really cheesy music with them. Someone seriously needs to work on that. One of the issues with riding DART to an event like that is that while it may be a bit crowded going, it’s not too bad because people arrive at varying times, but everyone leaves at the same time. So there was a huge crowd waiting for the DART trains. And here finally, I come to the point of this post. The first is that it was a very mixed crowd of people. There were lots of white people, lots of black people and lots of hispanic people. All enjoying a community event together with no issues whatsoever. Brings a bit of perspective. Because even though there is institutional and systemic racism rampant in this country, when it comes right down to it, most people are happy to live and let live and that is encouraging for the prospect of changing the course of things in this country. But this is what really struck me. I was standing a bit behind the others in my group and was looking around people watching again while waiting for the train. And I’m not exaggerating when I say there were hundreds of people waiting. Off to my left were two old gentlemen. I’d say in their late seventies or early eighties, both white haired and clearly elderly. They were both wearing the ubiquitous old man summer outfit of short-sleeved button down shirts, with knee-length shorts and white socks with sneakers. And they were holding hands. They were clearly solicitous of each other in the crowd of people, hanging on tight, making sure the other was ok. I focused on their large, gnarled hands intertwined and it brought me to tears. Not because they were holding hands, but because they COULD hold hands. These were two men who not only felt it was safe to do so, but were completely ignored doing so as if it were the most natural thing in the world. This is not something that has been so for very long. I don’t know if it was the SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision that made them feel safe or if they had felt so before that, but I know that while I have seen some young gay and lesbian couples showing affection in public I had never seen two older men doing so. It was unsafe to do so for so very long. Men holding hands in public not so long ago would have been at the very least verbally attacked and more likely physically attacked. And I stood there in that crowd, waiting for the train, watching those old guys just be a couple and do so without harassment or disgust or whispering and pointing or any other negative reaction and I was proud of my country. Proud that it is finally realizing that love, no matter it’s form is a good thing and everyone deserves it and deserves respect and dignity no matter who they love.
Love on the 4th
10 Friday Jul 2015