By John Lewis
Recently a group of old black guys was congregating at our Florence Douglas Senior Center. Fortunately our director Peter Wilson assessed the situation and observed that they were attracted to the pool table in the corner of the game room. Although there has been a pool table there for as long as anyone can remember, clearly it was now attracting an unwanted element. Peter sprang to action and, without any discussion or hesitation, he disposed of this nuisance.
In case these individuals didn’t get the message, (and they might have missed it since no one took the time to speak to them about it), Peter hired some armed security to hammer the point home. Well, these people must be dense because it is like six months later and they are still hanging around, wanting the pool table returned.
What must the good citizens and dues-paying members of the FDSC do to get these people to realize that we just would rather not have them around? So I took it upon myself to go ask them. I found a group of these old guys (did I mention that they were black?) and I went right up to them! I know what you;re thinking — I must be the bravest guy in Vallejo! I didn’t even bring an armed guard! Well, I talked to them about it and you are not going to believe this but I found them to be, I don’t know, polite, articulate, dare I say gentlemanly?
So here today I have a dream. I dream of a day — soon! — when the pool table is returned to the spot from which it was removed, and I, this old white guy, will be invited and learn to play pool with these men on that table. I have a dream that these guys welcome me and that even those old ladies who play bingo or bridge will give pool a try, and we will start tournaments for players old and young, skilled and nubies. In my dream there are so many people wanting to play that we will need more tables and maybe we will need to add a new wing to the center and we can name it for Dr Kay Flavell. I dream that Vallejo youth of all colors will come to these skilled players and learn not only a new skill but also what it means to be gentlemen. (And ladies.) And in my dream we all learn that when we have issues with others, that we can talk to each other and work it out, because if we don’t learn that, then there really isn’t any hope for us, is there?
Note: All opinions expressed in the “Primal Scream” column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin