Spring 1966 age 11
My teacher said I was stupid. I don’t know why she said that. I always got the best grades at my old school. I read all the time and I loved Clinton School.This new school has some kids who are mean. My grandma said they are simple minded. She said not to pay any attention to them, and besides it will cost them. I have some friends, Bobbie and Mary. Grandma always prays for me when I get home from school. she prays for the mean kids, too. She said I have to be a good example at all times. So I ignore them and pray for them. Besides they are simple minded and it will cost them. I don’t know how much it will cost but I think it is probably a hundred dollars.
.A year ago grandma and I moved here to this neighborhood. We came here from North St. Louis because our old neighborhood had a lot of crime .Also Grandma’s favorite uncle gave her this flat in his will. Her Uncle looked white, so grandma said he didn’t have a problem living here. He was a lawyer until he retired. He always came over for holidays and gave us presents. We all had so much fun. Sometimes I laughed until my side hurt. Grandma said the rest of the family moved away and changed their name. She said they became white. I don’t know how they did it.
I can see the neighborhood is different when I walk out the door. The streets are clean. We are the only family on this block who isn’t white.
My grandma got a new friend the first day we moved in. Her name is Serene. They drink coffee and talk about Jesus. If it wasn’t for Jesus they both would be dead. Serene is old like grandma and white. She owns the flat two houses down. She is very nice to me. She brought over a Twinkie for me this very day. I love Twinkies and Serene knows grandma doesn’t have the money to buy them. Sometimes Serene buys three Twinkies in a week just for me. Sometimes she gets me a Pepsi! Serene takes us everywhere we go since grandma doesn’t have a car.
The reason grandma and Serene love Jesus so much is because they say they have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. I don’t know what that means but Grandma almost died when her diabetes got bad. She was in the hospital a week. Serene said she was saved from a car accident to lead people to the Lord. .Serene took grandma and me to her church when we moved here a year ago. We have been going ever since. . It is a big church .Some of the people do not like us. Grandma said I can’t let things bother me. Some of the people here don’t want colored people to come to the church. Serene said they are simple minded.She said they will pay for what they do. I don’t know how much it will cost them but a fine is a fine and it is good. She has become just like grandma.
Serene has grandchildren and they come over to visit us, too. She has a grandson named Jimmy and we are best friends because we both like to go the library and go to Ted Drews on Chippewa to get a real hot fudge sundae.
I think I like this neighborhood and my grandmas friend Serene, and all my friends. I do not like simple minded people who call me names.Someday they will pay for what they do. And it will cost them a lot. Maye even a hundred dollars.