From Pine View Farm

The Fife and Dumb Corps 0

A pedestal holding a flute labeled

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When I was a young ‘un, back in the olden days, I had a summer job for three years with the local health department. It was a fun job working with a mobile clinic for migrant agricultural workers. We would move the clinic, which was in a modified house trailer, to various locations convenient to the local labor camps (that was the term) over the course of the week. Local doctors and nurses volunteered to offer medical care (they may have gotten some small remuneration, but I can guarantee it wasn’t much).

That’s when I learned how to back a trailer (an experience that came in handy years later when I bought a trailer boat). The downside was that whatever darned fool designed the clinic put the dentist’s office in the back, when it should have been over the wheels (dentist equipment is heavy), making it difficult to tow because the balance was out of whack, but that’s another story.

Anyhoo, it took me a while to figure out why the health department building had four restrooms and two drinking fountains.

Then I got it. It was built in the days of “white” and “colored.” (Not that those days have gone away, but at least the signs have.)

As a Southern boy who grew up under Jim Crow, I understand why some humans are so eager to deny the humanity of other humans.

It gives them a reason to feel special.

Especially when they know they are not.


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