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An Open Report / Another Encounter On Highway 9

Monday morning, July 11, 2011, as I made my way up Highway 9 towards the Continental Divide with the Southern Cross in hand as I do most mornings before entering the offices of the SLRC on my 9 mile stroll. I would be stopped by an elderly white woman who unleashed a small tirade.

We don’t need that around here she exclaimed pointing to my flag. You are a disgrace and an insult to the good Colored people of this community. You ought to be carrying the American flag; after all it was the one that freed your people. And with all the tourist from the North who come here and spend good money in this town, not to mention who live here are as insulted as I am. Mam I said, you must be a Puritan like Harriet Beecher Stowe. This flag is a symbol of the people of the South. It encompasses our morals, our mores, our religious values, and not to mention the Honorable Stand made by the Southern people Red, Yellow, Black, White, freed or indentured, against those who would illegally invade our homeland and derail the process of social vertical mobility that the African people were surely on before the likes of you came here with your Yankee Avrice ways. I am finished talking to you, she said and pulled away.

Not more than five minutes later as I made my way onward, I could see the car approaching again. This time it stopped beside me, and an elderly White man got out. Oh God, I thought, I hope he don’t shoot me; even though that woman had gone off on me, I had been a total gentleman in the course of our interaction. Sir, he said with his hand extended. You must be Mr. Edgerton. We shook hands. I’ve been following you for years now, and have wanted to meet you for a long time. That woman is my wife. She came home ranting about how she had gotten you told, and didn’t particularly like what you said to her. I’ve been married to her for now over forty years, and yes she is a Yankee, and yes I’ve been trying in vain to tell her that the beautiful flag you’re carrying is as much the Southern Black mans as it is the Southern White mans. I brought her back here to apologize to you for her behavior. Get out the car woman and apologize he said to her. She got out came over to me and mumbled something that he nor I could understand. You can do better than that he said. I apologize for the way I talked to you. I had a feeling that she didn’t really mean it. The gentleman reached in his pocket and handed me $15.00, and asked me to have breakfast on them. Before I could say no, it was not necessary. He gave me a hug that was just love. As got in the car he turned and said to me, Mr. Edgerton, you’re right, she is a Puritan, but less after today. I was delightfully surprised as they both waved and pulled away. Now I was no longer walking, I had my downtown strut going on. Then I heard the Rebel Yell as several young White boys shouted out HK! I thought as I would be later told by Commander Gary Johnson of the Sons of Marion, Alabama as I recalled the events of the morning to him; what a great way to start your week HK.

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