Edited by 'Techsan'
My name's Dan, I'm a man in my sixties who spends a lot of time reminiscing. I always think about the past. The good, the bad, and often times I think of the 'Do Overs'. What is a do over you are probably asking yourself? That's the part of your life you wish you could get back and do it over.
We all have that in our lives. Whenever you look back and say, "I wish I could change that, or I wish that never happened," you are wishing for a 'Do over'. This 'do over' is about my own black experience.
It goes back to the 1960's when I was a young man in my twenty's. I was in the insurance business and was just trying to get ahead. Everyone said I had a gift for gab. Anyway, I was married and had two beautiful daughters and a wonderful wife. (She was beautiful also). I was one of the top notch salesmen in our office. Word got around I was offered a position with another company in Ohio; we lived in Michigan at the time. The money was good (but not great) and there was a lot of interstate traveling involved. Since I was licensed in Michigan also, I was expected to travel there periodically to take care of accounts. My wife wasn't very happy about the move but was going to stand behind me and so we moved to Ohio.
I worked late almost every night. I had to because that's when I could talk to couples together about their insurance needs. That was just the way it was. My wife really didn't like it. She didn't know anyone where we moved and spent all her days doing things with the girls. I know she wasn't happy but I wasn't quite sure what to do.
I liked my job, or position as my boss called it, but I spent a lot of time away from my family. I usually got home around 8:00 or 9:00pm every night, sometimes later. When I traveled in the state or to Michigan I often had to spend a night away from home.
One day my boss told me I would be traveling to Michigan for a day to see a couple of accounts. I knew this would be an over-nighter. When I got home and told Jan, my wife, she was really angry.
She looked at me and said, "Dan, while you're gone I want you to think about us, about our family. We are not going to go on like this much longer. Your daughters need a father and I need a husband."
I looked at her and told her I was trying to make a living for us. I was trying to get ahead. We argued like this pretty often. This time though I believe she really meant it.
I asked her what she expected me to do?
She said, "Everyone else seems to do all right and the husbands are at home in the evening with their families."
I knew she just wanted me to get a job locally and spend more time at home. She wasn't interested in big money but was interested in a close family.
I knew that was something I had to think about. But the next day I had a trip to Michigan to think about. I still had this job and wanted to do my best.
After I had completed my business in Michigan and started to head home, I was thinking about my situation and what I should do. I had no answers.
Just to change the scenery I decided to drive through part of the city instead of just following the interstate. So I took the next exit. Kind of a bad choice of roads. It was a predominately black neighborhood. It was daytime and I did know my way around, so I wasn't overly bothered by the neighborhood. As I was driving along I saw a gal in a two piece bathing suit turn up a residential street. I had to check this out, so I went up to the next corner and turned around and went back to where the girl had turned and went down the same street. I could see her about a half a block away just strolling along.
I was trying to think of something to say to her when I pulled up along side of her. Nowadays you would be in deep dodo if you stopped to talk to a gal on the street but back then it was no big deal. When I pulled up alongside of her I said, "Excuse me. Can you tell me how to get to the interstate from here?"
She looked at me for a few seconds and then strolled over to the curb alongside my car. Damn, she looked good!
She was a black girl. Actually she wasn't black and wasn't a girl. She was more of a light chocolate and was a woman. A damn beautiful one. Her bathing suit was orange with yellow flowers which really made her color stand out. Later I found out she was 22 years old.
She came up to the car and said, "You need to turn around, go to the main street, then go to the second light which is Shaffer, make another left, go about a half mile and then you will see the signs for getting on the interstate."
I was just staring at her. She stood about 5"5', weighed maybe 125 pounds, had her hair in a pony tail which you normally didn't see on black women at the time. But her hair was long and looked good. She had a nice rack, maybe 34B's, a true hour glass figure and a nice looking bubble butt.
She looked at me and said, "You didn't hear a word I said, did you?"
I smiled and said, "Yes, I did."
She said, "Okay, how do you get to the interstate from here?"
As I mentioned earlier I knew my way around so I pretty much repeated what she said. "I have to turn around, go to the main street, make a left, go down to the second traffic light, make another left, go about half a mile, then follow the signs."
She smiled and said, "You really did hear me or you knew your way around in the first place," and we both laughed. I wanted to talk with her in the worst way so I had to think of anything to keep her there for a few minutes. So I looked at her and said, "You are one good looking woman" as sweet as I could say it. She said, "Thank you" and laughed.
"So what do you really want?" she asked.
I don't know why but I started telling her the truth. I said, "I was driving up the street, saw a woman in an orange and yellow bathing suit turn the corner and said to myself I have to have another look. So I turned around and had to think of something to say to you so I could get a better look."
She looked at me and laughed and said, "I believe you. I think you're nuts but I believe you. No sane person would tell me that."
I asked her, "Where are you headed?"
She said, "Home."
I asked, "Where is home?" and she said, "About two blocks down this street."
"Would you like a ride?" and she looked me real hard and said, "Sure."
"I'm surprised you got in," I said.
She laughed and said, "This is a black neighborhood. I just live down the street. I'm probably a lot safer here than you are," and smiled. She said, "My name is Alisa. What's yours?"
"I'm sorry. Just call me Dan."
So she just looked at me and said, "Hi, Dan."
I drove about as slow as I could. I liked her and wanted to talk awhile. I asked her why she was wearing a bathing suit and just walking around.
She said she had just left her brother's house and was swimming. Since she was wet she thought she would just walk home while drying off instead of changing clothes. She had a little sack with her that she said contained her clothes.
When we approached her house she told me to slow down. I didn't think I could go any slower without stopping. She pointed to her house and on the porch was a huge man. A big black man, maybe 6'3" and nearly 300 pounds.
I said, "Holy Shit." I looked at her. "There's a gorilla on your porch."
She laughed and said, "That's no gorilla. That's my dad. He's nothing but a big Teddy Bear."
I said, "Yeah, right! What's he going to say when he sees a white honky bringing his daughter home. He'll probably beat the shit out of me."
She said, "You read too many magazines. My brother Bobbie, whose house I was at, is married to a white gal so interracial is not that big of a deal here. You better walk up to the porch with me because my dad does believe in manners."
As we got out I saw a few of the neighborhood teenagers sitting on their porches. I asked her if I should lock the car?
She laughed and said, "If this car is parked in front of my house, it is so safe you could leave your keys in it and put your wallet on the hood... I'll guarantee it will all be there when you get back in your car."
As we walked up to the porch we heard whistles and a lot of, "Hello, Alisa." She waved and smiled and said, "Hi, guys."
As we approached the porch her dad stood up and she said, "Dad, I would like you to meet Dan. He was at Billie's and offered me a ride home."
He stuck out his hand and said, "Welcome, Dan" and I said, "Thank you, sir."
He looked at Alisa and said, "Maybe you ought to get some clothes on if you are having company."
She looked at him, gave him a peck on the cheek and smiled and said, "Yes, daddy." She then told me to come in and sit on the couch while she got dressed.
Her dad said he was off to work and grabbed his lunch bucket and went to his car and drove away. Alisa came out of the kitchen with two glasses of lemonade and offered me one.
I said, "Thank you" and asked if she was going to change clothes.
"Not unless you want me to," she replied.
I said, "I'm not that stupid." She just laughed.
Their house was a little run down, as were most houses in the neighborhood, and most of the furniture was old. But it was clean and homey looking. We began talking and I asked Alisa about her life.
She said she had a 2 year degree in nursing and worked at the hospital down the road. She had one day off during the week and this was it. I asked her if there were any boyfriends?
She said she was single and she dated but there was no one special at the present time.
.... There is more of this story ...