markwilliams (markwilliams) wrote,

"Do You Think It's Time?" a.k.a. an otameal cookie for America

This was probably the most affecting email I received on election day -- it was from my dad.

Headed "Do You Think It's Time," it was less an epistle to his (middle aged) kids, and more like a blog entry -- except, of course, he doesn't blog (and whether my kids will, in favor of whatever hyper-videotext network they'll have at their disposal, remains to be seen).

He wrote it from an experience he'd had in Berkeley, my hometown, that propitious morning:

"Do you think it's time?" 

"Yes, past time" I replied to the elderly black granddad I encountered pushing a stroller this morning on College Ave., as I exited the Great Harvest Bakery with my oatmeal cookie.

As I stepped out the door he and I locked eyes and I offered the first greeting, saying "looks like it's gonna be a great day, doesn't it?"

"Do you think it's time??" he replied.

"More than. Past time, in fact" I replied, briefly relating how well the black and white soldiers got along in the newly-integrated army when I served there in the Korean War. "

You've been around long enough to know, then" he said. After a little more conversation his wife exited the bakery and we parted ways, me with a smile on my face this sunny morn following our first big rain, and he with both a smile and the hint of a tear in the corner of one eye.

Two granddads, there to witness a vastly overdue change in the weather, the direction of things. Let's hope America is wise enough to seize this moment -- since there are plenty of moments coming down the pike, ready to seize back.

Oh, and did I mention that my own epistolary style -- especially the one I use in my journalism -- was mostly gleaned watching my dad write letters, on his typewriter (!), to all his pals and relations?

I got that from him, and a certain deep fondness for oatmeal cookies, myself.

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