Saturday, January 8, 2011

Car trouble: the Bad and the Good

The Bad: I had to take my car in because the temperature gauge was past the H at every stoplight. Unfortunately, they discovered two things that required replacement and a couple hundred dollars from my pocket, as well as a few hours of the day. When I first got to the waiting room, the TV was on ESPN, where they were highlighting Jim Harbaugh's possible offers. An older gentleman wandered in and interestingly, changed it to "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air", mid-episode. I'm not sure what the plot was, but it involved a lot of the older daughter crying, "Daddeeee..." and the father getting enraged with the kids. Oh wait, that's every episode. Oh snap! Oh no, she didn't! Thankfully, I had my Kindle. He left after his oil change and I flipped it back to ESPN.

The Good: The man who loads up the service center's used oil in a tanker comes and sits down and we strike up a great conversation. He had been raised in Columbia, so he was familiar with my neighborhood and enlightened me that a lot of the inexplicable rumble and boom noises are coming from the big quarries nearby, (as well as the fact that they run 24 hours a day). But what was most fascinating was the fact that he is 50 years old and was a boy when integration went through in South Carolina.

I couldn't help but ask him about that. He said that as a boy he wondered why his mother would put their tokens at the front of the bus and then they would have to exit and re-enter at the rear door of the bus. His mom would chide him to just do it. He said even the teachers he had a young boy didn't give him a direct answer. It wasn't until he was about 10, that he said he had a young teacher who told him about segregation. I had to ask if he ever felt angry or resentful about it and he said no, and if anything, his father would come down hard on him and his siblings if they displayed any racism.

We also talked about the state of the world today--how we all have pretty much more than we need, but it's easy to be greedy when so many things are accessible and in your face or you start concerning yourself with everyone else has. Needless to say the time flew by.

He also generously commented that I looked as lovely as "that lady John Lennon was married to". Somewhat dejectedly, I clarified, "Yoko Ono?" He said "Yeah! You know, when she was young! I thought she was beautiful." Well from him, I'll take it as a compliment.

And one last thing:

Does this man look 50 years old to you?!


Jamie Ko said...

now that's proof that there is still sincerity and niceness (the only word I could think of) in this world. seriously a nice gentleman.

Pound said...

you didn't enjoy watching hilary banks whine about how hard her life is? ahahaha i used to looove that show. that guy must be pretty nice not to have resentment over segregation. and you didn't take kindly to being compared to yoko? why ever not???