This tale from my childhood has been remembered several times over the past few weeks and the real moral of the story is just how completely senseless and illogical racism is now back up the clock several decades to a 5 year old Debra……..
My paternal grandparents whom I called Nanny and Pop-pop were pretty cool for old people. Every summer, they would give us a break from our parents by taking us to Ocean City, NJ for a week or two. They would find the cheapest flea-bag place to stay but we didn’t care, we were a couple blocks away from the ocean and boardwalk, we were in heaven.
Please don’t ask me for a logical reason but one thing we loved was to swim in the pool in front of the Ocean View motel right on the boardwalk. We would pay $0.50 for the privilege of swimming all day but once you left the pool area, you were out of luck.
So it happened one fine morning down at the shore many decades ago, my sister and I mustered up fifty cents and started what should have been several hours of fun time in the boardwalk-pool but about a halfl-hour into my swim, Nanny and Pop-pop called us out of the pool.
We just got here and there were no clouds in the sky, no turds floating in the pool, no logical reason to leave so I protested and was stearnly told to get out of the pool.
At that moment, my grandparents were the most stupid people on Planet Earth.
Later on, my sister offered a reason, not logical, not rational but a reason.
Brace yourselves……a black family had the audacity to take their kids swimming.
That was it.
Proof positive my Nanny and Pop-pop were absurdly stupid.
They wasted my money
They wasted my time.
What were they thinking?
We could catch the black?
They had black people cooties transmitted in an aqueous medium?
It doesn’t matter, from that day, they were not the sharpest crayons in the box and anyone with racist views were drooling (can’t come up with a term that won’t offend so use your imagination here) in my world because no excuse anyone has forwarded is any better than the “get out of the pool” reaction I endured as a five year old kid.