My first trip to the big city was quite memorable. My sister went often on the train with my Mother because she was ill and sent to the Children’s Hospital. I didn’t understand that these were not fun trips. I just knew that I had to stay home. Finally the decision was made that the whole family would go and we would see some of the sites. We came in at the night and that time the building on the post was the tallest one in the downtown area. It was beautiful. It wasn’t what I was most interested in. I couldn’t wait until the next morning when we could go to the zoo.
I got to ride an elephant! It was the first one I had ever seen. We saw Shasta a “liger”. It was crossbreed between a lion and tiger. There were many other animals that I had never seen.
My parents were quite embarrassed when I saw the first black man in person. I walked right up and asked him if I could shake his hand.
He smiled and said “why”?
My parents caught up just in time to hear me say, “Well I have never seen a person who is black, we’re just brown and I wonder if your hands feel different.” My parents were mortified. The gentleman was gracious and kind. He asked where I was from. He shook my hand and told me that my hands were a little rough and could use some lotion. Then he said, “Your shoes are kind of funny.”
“Oh they are moccasins and they are really comfortable. Hey thanks for shaking my hand, you are a really nice guy and I am glad I met you.”