I made New York, 200 miles away in five hours, which wasn't bad in those days. I understand it takes three hours today. Not that I waited long for lifts. In my kilt, together the sophistication of the motoring public between New York and Boston, it was simply a matter of getting out of one car and getting into another.
The holdup was the lack of direct connecting roads, which was odd given that two famous cities were so close together. But back then it was one Dinky Toy road leading to another, nothing like the 401 between Montreal and Toronto.
Otherwise it was great hitching turf with lots of interesting middle class males ready for someone to keep them awake on a monotonous drive. There were few "two-headed monsters", as Alan and I called courting couples, whose heads were so close together in the front seat that they looked like a single beast with two heads as they approached - and they never picked you up. But one woman, the only one on the whole trip, albeit with and son and daughter below 10, took me beyond Yonkers, which my father always considered the outer limits of metropolitan New York City.
I checked into the International Student Hospice in the East Village, posing as a student from McGill. It was like a frat house, and like Lambda Chi Alpha in Montreal, it was filled with guys from all over the world. There was a Welshman called David Cadagon, who seemed like a possible Alan replacement, who said he would consider joining me on the venture.
The Harlem riots were breaking out, but it wasn't clear how important they were or would be or how long they would last, or how important they would be. What's more I was planning to do racial stuff in the south not in New York and I wanted to get the Massachusetts Service Corps story written and sent. And I feared having to work from cold notes, as they were rapidly becoming. It was a recurrent fear of my life - "cold notes". Over a very short time after the note-taking of an event turns one's notes into indecipherable scribbles and the story becomes an ever-more vague recollection.
I was now out of money. The deal was that my mother would extend money until the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Journal came in with their first cheques, which couldn't expected yet. My mother was to develop the pictures and send them on. In time she sent me $50 with instructions not to spend it.
Yet I was still having the time of my life, according to the log. "New York is big noisy and confusing. After a few days I have decided it was the best place I had ever seen. Yogurt sells here for 25 cents for a large container. And I can get the late city edition of the New York Times!"
I made no note of it in the log, but I also saw my favourite movie of all time - "Zulu" with Michael Caine and Stanley Baker, the fantastic rendering of the 1879 Battle of Rork's Drift in Natal. I was not aware of it at the time, but the film had just been released. I just put it to the wonders of New York that they would show such a fantastic movie which I saw twice that day and once more a couple of days later.
I was now touring the town with a guy I met at the youth hostel. Peter Wright, a Princeton grad, was licking his wounds after having been rejected by the Peace Corps for being "hostile". My log notes: "Either he has cooled down a good deal or the only the meek are to inherit the Peace Corps." Then one night at 3 or 4 am, the hospice director "burst into the room like a storm trooper" and evicted in him for not paying the rent. "Peter produced the receipts to say he had paid, but was evicted nonetheless. We were all asleep. My crime was turning on the light and asking bleary-eyed 'What the hell is going on here!?'
Now both evicted, "Peter and I pushed on to Sloane House (YMCA) West 34th Street near 8th Avenue where we are now. We have paid for a week ending Sunday next. After that who knows."
There was a growing air of desperation as money drained away. Peter seems ready to go to his father in Philadelphia and we both have a good lunch in the grand surroundings of the Princeton Club. Not surprisingly, his father is a Princeton grad too, and our sumptuous lunch was put on his tick. For the moment I was feeling a lot like a PG Wodehouse character at the Drones Club, not an unpleasant feeling. Peter is good fun, but I and secretly wish he were gone so I could resume my life as a grotty Grubb Streeter and turn to finishing my Commonwealth Service Corps story while I still had a roof over my head. As we parted, he was vaguely talking about graduate school and going into the care and keeping of his parents once more.
While the Harlem Riots are going on, I could not think of what to do about them, and I had no money to stay in town. New York's half dozen major dailies were pouring out a Niagara of words and pictures three times a day, leaving little for me to contribute - or so I thought. So as soon as the Service Corps story was sent, I decided to head for West Virginia and do a story on the War on Poverty in Appalachia the heart of the "poverty zone."
Getting into a big city is easy enough. Getting out is another matter. Getting out of New York was another matter still, like hitching a ride on the inside of a machine gun barrel, as I stood at fork of two highways hoping that someone would be insane enough to risk stopping to pick me up as car after car whizzed by bumper to bumper only a few feet away from where I stood. While hitching at night was never a good idea, at least there would be fewer cars and less of a risk of a pile up if one stopped, but that was hours away. And if that did not work, dawn would be an ever better time, between 4-6am when they could see me clearly there were fewer drivers on the road.
Then magically, a Rolls Royce oblivious to all danger stopped and a uniformed chauffeur got out and approached me, took my bag a directed me to the front seat with all civility, addressing me as "Sir" and putting my bag in the trunk, and calmly resumed the wheel of the Rolls and headed off at speed. The man at the back, of whom I have little memory, made some remark about my being lucky he picked me up, before returning to perusing his papers stacked on either side of him. I took the chauffeur's lead and spoke when spoken to. I said I was headed to West Virginia to do stories on the War on Poverty, but the man in the back did not seem interested in that, only in best place around the then nearly completed Washington Beltway where he would let me off and not in a place me in the same danger in which he found me.
I later described what had happened that day and was told he was undoubtedly a "rich a Washington lobbyist", which it what I accepted him to be even if I was not entirely clear what a Washington lobbyist was or did.
I remember hitting a diner in Virginia and hearing for the first time in situ a southern accent and I found myself amazed. She was the cashier who told departing customers: "Ya-all come back, ya-all!" So they really did talk that way! So it wasn't only on the Andy Griffith's Show. I was amazed at my amazement because I knew that lots of people spoke like that. I had heard a few in the north over the years. But I was now in Dixie where most everybody spoke like that, and quite surprised at my surprise.
After spending a comfortable night in an apple orchard outside of Charles Town, West Virginia, I awoke feeling like Huck Finn and ready to do battle with the world and thirsting for a new story in the poverty zone of Appalachia. First I went to the state capital, Charleston, as distinct from Charles Town where I had spent the night, checked into the YMCA, then checked out the local newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail, to see what they could tell me, how and where to hunt for Hill Billies. (I am proud to say I guessed the derivation of the term from that trip, noting the presence of officially named Maryland and so many Jameses and Charleses in the region, with their close association with Catholicism. Those names were choices of the local establishment, I figured, and the poor despised Hill Billies named nothing and were likely Protestant followers of William of Orange. When I asked where the name came from in the '90s by my then wife, she having heard it from her then secret lover, I told her of my speculation, which turned out to be the story he told her, and she was amazed. It was perhaps the last time she showed any respect for my acumen.)
Getting to the YMCA in Charleston, a well-spoken young guy came to my room. I was looking for contacts with locals and I was welcoming. He asked for a cigarette and we started talking about the weather and the Goldwater nomination.
"And then the conversation turned to sex as it often does" the log reports. He told me he was a homosexual and he suggested we get together. I graciously declined and in a calm journalistic way asked him what it was like - since he was the first homosexual I had ever met. He said one out of six males was homosexual. He said he was quoting the Kinsey Report. We talked about tolerance toward their number and I had the idea he was subtly trying to sell me on the idea.
"Apparently, YMCAs are filled with homosexuals. He mentioned his next door neighbour, an AP correspondent of all things, was one. He maintained that even in a small city such as Charleston there were several gathering places. He said he found it as satisfying as any other sexual relationship (he indulges in both hetro and homo), but regretted that there was no lasting relationship for any length of time. He had a girlfriend, but said he preferred my company over hers.
He hoped that homosexuals would be accepted by society. But doubting the likelihood of this, he said he intended to become a heterosexual. It would take time. One of the missing virtues in a homosexual relationship is the lack of durability. 'A man may come up to me and say he loves me. Sexually perhaps, but a man will always be a man. It is not like a woman saying she loves you and she will be dependent on you always. Even if a situation like this could exist, it would be undesirable,' he said."
So my log concludes on the point: "So the homosexual world not only runs into legal and biological problems, it also has its own problems of dominance and subservience, which leads to instability."
I concluded: "Homosexuality is slightly repugnant, but perhaps it is merely a prejudice such as we have against Negroes and Jews etc. Anyway, it bears investigation if nothing else." A visit the local paper was brief but helpful: The reporter I first addressed took me to a map on the wall and directed to me to follow my nose into one of the turnoffs from the main road, and maybe take a turnoff from a turnoff if that suited me.
I soon learned that cars on the highway were all locals turning off five or so miles after they picked me up. One was a segregationist. "At first we talked about Vietnam and about the possibility of war with communism. He talked logically. But when he turned to the Civil Rights Act he turned into a raving lunatic. He claimed Negroes were 100 per cent dirty had venereal disease and 'breeded bastard kids'" and committed almost all crime. He believed they should have the right to vote, but should stay separate from whites. He failed to understand that keeping them separate meant inequality."
In the end, he made the plea quite common in the south that many of the faults blamed on the south were as bad in the north and northerners should attend to their own failings rather focusing on the failings of the south.
Next ride was a door and window salesman and a well-informed and intelligent fellow he was too. On all views, that is, until the Civil Rights issue came up, at which point he repeated what my previous ride said with the same screaming vehemence.
Then for first and only time three black men picked me up but only one did the talking. "'Man,' he said. 'I was fighting in Korea and dis white boy from Arkansas says he don't like me - Was' troublin' you man?' I said. 'Why you is a Negro, Man,' he said. So I say, what of it Man? I bleed red, when you cut me Man, my flesh is as white as yours, Man.' After dat, we like dis Man," he said, closing his fore fingers to show unity." I asked the driver whether he was still barred entry at restaurants. "Despite the Civil Rights Act there are many places which still refuse service. Signs on these establishments vary: Some say 'We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.'
Others more bluntly say 'For Whites Only' and still others say 'No Coloreds Allowed'."
Then I was picked up by a man in an old car, who was going to a catfish fry with a bunch of family members.
This was beginning to feel more like Hatfield and McCoy country of narrow twisting logging roads. In this primitive area, I now dressed in my Canadian soldier quasi-uniform as Scottish kilts were beyond the comprehension of the locals and easily mistaken for a "love that dare not speak its name."
The problem is here - and throughout - was that I would commit my experiences with my interview subjects in long-lost notebooks because that material was meant for publication. The result is that very little of these experiences survives in the log. So my memory of the catfish fry with 20 Hill Billies, all sounding like Duke of Hazzard extras, is vague. It was by a river or a lake.
There was plenty to eat in terms of potatoes and catfish homemade Kool-Aid for the kids. I was busily interviewing adults. While I don't remember details, I recall being disappointed by the general adult view that the War on Poverty was just a "boondoggle" - first time I heard the term meaning an "unnecessary, wasteful, or fraudulent project". I remember one saying that "we aren't getting any of those jobs; they will all go to college kids who will help Democrats get elected. It was my first lesson in realpolitik. Meanwhile their know-nothing kids were dancing to a battery charged record player. What quotes I got from them were not useful as they were not aware of much from the outside world, but thought I might be, and at least tell them how well they did the Twist. "Where y'all come from" they would ask without much of a clue what Canada was, much less where it was. As far as poverty is concerned all seem to have access to electricity and television, though few seem to have or want a telephone - or much else. President Johnson's War of Poverty will come and go and leave them alone - as I increasingly felt it should. This is what little survives in my log: "This morning I returned from spending a couple of days with some real Hill Billies. They seem content with their lot despite their poverty. Most of the time they watch TV. They have no running water or telephone service, but they usually have a TV set."
After a good day of hitch hiking through the night and following day I arrived in Columbia, South Carolina, wearing my kilt. I had resumed wearing it for main artery travel. After trying unsuccessfully to get a ride into Savannah, I entered a restaurant, where I aroused the interest of a 19-year-old waitress called Sylvia Hendrix. It was Sunday night and there were very few customers and lots of time to talk. Sylvia, fair-haired and pretty, was excited about my trip and would love to come along. Without thinking of the disadvantages (women cannot piss and shit off rail cars, only in them, I was later to learn), I was keen for her to join me.
"I said I would like to discuss the possibility of her coming after she finished work at 11 o'clock. We were given a ride to her empty but spacious apartment by two university student friends of hers who happened by. They stayed and we talked till all hours. After they left Sylvia and I discussed it in more detail. She was all in favour except for one thing. Her mother's reaction to it would be negative and some her relations might say it would kill her. Sylvia doubts this, but it must be considered. I told her that if things remained platonic, all well and good and ditto if they did not. So I give her a couple of days to make the decision while I do the Hill Billy story, which was troubling because I was so much for the War of Poverty, but those guys at the catfish fry, who I liked and respected, had no time for it at all. I struggled with that story and didn't like the final product.
Sylvia's flat was comfortable, inexpensive so I ended up spending four days, visiting the state house and seeing much to my astonishment, the Confederate Stars and Bars flying high and proud as the state flag. It was as shocking to me as it would be to find a swastika flying over the state house in Munich. I also saw the Beatles film Help! - with English subtitles! It was plain the Liverpudlian dialect would be too hard for the "ya'all" types to follow. It was even hard for me at times.
I did take the opportunity of getting those university students to sit down and discuss civil rights. My plan was to have a one or two black students join us, but the white guys would not hear of it, so I didn't even think of recruiting black guys, who, I was beginning to notice, were not on the streets I travelled, or at least, were few and far between, and in plainly in subservient, if not servile roles. So I settled with the two guys I had met the night I met Sylvia. They invited another along, whose views were incendiary while the other two were merely vehement. I cannot remember much of what I wrote, except that it came more easily than the Hill Billy one. But what struck me was that they were young people like myself, who shared my views on most things, certainly no more or less than my contemporaries in Montreal, but on the Civil Rights issue they were ferociously adamant. But it was deeper than that. They were soon talking about the Civil War, then a century ago, and spoke of "damned Yankees" and "blue bellies" and "carpet baggers" as if they were a clear and present danger on the streets outside, which they were, of course, with all "outside agitators" coming from the north that summer to wreck the "Southern Way of Life". Not that I saw things that way then.
But one day my comfortable way of life with Sylvia came to an abrupt end. As my log notes on August 20: "What is the suave James Bond-ish thing to say when the mother of a 19-year-old girl with whom you have been sharing an apartment arrives on the scene? After staying with Sylvia for four days, I decided to make like a US tourist - and evacuate. Sylvia woke me up and said she would be a few minutes shopping for a few things. I decided to have a bath in her absence and I was just getting out when I heard a 'tapping at my chamber door - only forgetful Sylvia, I muttered.
Only this and nothing more."
Girded in a towel, I went to the door and opened it to find a boy, perhaps 12, who asked: "Where is Sylvia?" I said she was out for a few minutes but would be back. He departed and I thought he might have been the paper boy, but then recalled we did not receive a paper. I was drying myself when there was another knock at the door.
There was the little boy again, but he kept silent. Without my glasses I could barely discern a large female halfway down the stairs. She repeated the question and I repeated the answer. Then she abruptly demanded why I was in Sylvia's apartment. There was a firm maternal ring to that voice. Then I said stupidly: 'I have been staying here for a few days.'
"'Where is Sylvia?' she asked for a third time.
"'I'm not sure,' I repeated, 'but she should be back in five or 10 minutes.'
"She turned and went down the stairs. I closed the door, packed and carried my kit down the fire escape at the rear of the building and put it in an empty shed.
"I returned to the apartment up the fire escape, to discover the woman searching the apartment. Keeping to the fire escape unobserved by her or the boy, I climbed higher still, to a point which commanded a view of the two possible routes of Sylvia's return. I soon saw her coming laden with groceries completing the domestic scene to a tee. I ran down to intercept and warn her. I offered to go in with her, but she said it would only make things worse. I moved into the Davis Hotel but it transpired that she would not being accompanying me.
"I left Columbia and got three rides as far as Akenville, South Carolina, where I slept comfortably on a flatbed truck chassis. It was good to know that I had not been spoiled by such a long run of soft mattresses. One ride treated me to a southern delicacy: boiled peanuts. The peanuts are taken unripe and boiled with salt, and they tasted, as expected, like soggy, boiled unripened peanuts boiled in salt - Ugh!"
At Gainesville, Florida, I was picked up by an antiquarian and his wife, who were the most reasonable Americans I yet had met. "They even chatted about Cuba without emotion - rare in the US."
The couple represented what civil rights workers called the "Deep North". While the northern and part of Florida is just as much a part of the Deep South, or Dixie, psychologically as Alabama or Mississippi, southern Florida had adopted northern attitudes that produces liberal majorities. Being the home of growing numbers of northern pensioners, arriving faster than they were dying off, went a long way to produce of this result, plus the maritime lifestyle also imbued a liberal outlook on the peoples of Miami to Jacksonville and Tampa et environs.
Of course, such thoughts were far from my mind on the road as I discovered the unspoken, unspeakable truth about Florida. Its image as a holiday resort, a land of pleasant homes, palm trees, beaches and half-naked women, is not the whole story. In reality it is 90 per cent swamp, filled with alligators and a host of creepy-crawlies. It was impossible to camp by the roadside as the swamp was no more than a few feet from the tarmac.
And no one was picking me up. A sheriff's deputy picked me up and drove me to the county line, so I would no longer be his responsibility. Another cop appeared, asked me for my ID and said he'd be back in an hour and would offer me a gator-free night in jail. I thanked him and said I might very well take him up on it. But then an air force technical sergeant in a convertible Triumph stopped. He was heading for the Orlando air base.
All went well. He was good guy who loved his British sports car, a rarity in the US. We said our cheery goodbyes as he turned off for the airbase. And it was then I discovered that I had forgotten the log book in his car.
"I dumped everything in the streets of Orlando and left for the base. I walked seven miles. The air police were as helpful as they could be, but I could not provide them with much information. I was about to give up when I heard the purr of the Triumph engine coming up from the distance and sure enough it was my tech sergeant coming to return the log book to the guard post check point."
It was off to Miami.
One plan was to go on a raid against Cuba, which was much in the news. From Orlando I was given a ride by a Cuban, a tough looking guy in his thirties, who hardly spoke English, but managed to convey that he was somehow involved in the fight against Castro's communist regime. As I could not communicate with him, I slept through most of the 250-mile trip.
I also wanted do a story about the Deep North of Miami, how it was geographically in the south but spiritually in the north. I would focus on what success school integration had been. I asked if I could use the Miami Herald library and then once there, the use of a typewriter. At first they were obliging, and I got into the library and found the librarian helpful in gathering a lot of notables who were quoted as saying the right things which I typed out. Then I went out found a local school with black white students and went from one to the other until I had enough and went back to the Miami Herald to finished up, but an officious middle-aged executive told me to leave. Too bad, I really valued the air conditioning, which was rare in newspaper offices in those days. Not much missed was the Miami Herald's Muzak, which gave the place sound like a supermarket. It was the first and last newspaper office I ever encountered it.
There was also a story about Florida raising the minimum driving age from 14 to 16. I thought I would get another story in Miami, but the kids at the school, either didn't have cars or access to them, or were indifferent. I learned that it was more of a problem in the more rural northern parts of the state. One way or another, there was no story and I could get easily. And with my money running low I needed something that would fall from a tree.
I went over to the Miami News and was welcomed there in the same incremental way, first into the library and then into the editorial department. I also had forged letters of introduction from fictitious news editor of the Montreal Gazette and from another non-existent news executive at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, stationery purloined from a shelf at the Gazette when I worked there and the CBC letterhead from my mother's desk, one addressing "To whom it may concern" and one introducing me a special correspondent and the other as a stringer, asking that the bearer be given every assistance possible. This tended to break down barriers at newspaper offices. Using them sparingly got me in and out of good and bad situations as they arose from time to time.
With an indifferent Deep North Miami school story done and dispatched to Mother, who was to send them on with pictures to the Ottawa Journal and the Toronto Star Weekly, I headed north into Alabama. Having covered 600 miles in a day without spending a penny, I was pleased with myself. By now I was going directly to the Mississippi "war zone" with as few stops as possible along the way. My rides, one after another, were telling much the same story time after time - that some of their best friends were "nigras" but they were going too far too fast. Each appeared to be less averse to blacks voting than they were about school integration, which they were all dead against.
It was well past dusk when I was dropped at a turn-off on the road in southern Alabama and wondering if I would just flop down the wide grassy verge spread out beyond a row of trees. I remember the scene together with the weather and the smell in the air as palpably pleasant, no bugs to speak of beyond a cloud of shad flies swirling around the big street lamp marking the turnoff. I decided to wait for a car or two and then turning in, as the grass did seem inviting and as comfortable as I could expect that night.
Then a big white Mercury convertible lurched into view and came to a sudden halt, and a man in his mid-thirties, looked at me in my kilt, and said: "And who might you be, boy?"
I explained myself and he told me to get in. He was drunk and getting drunker, taking a swig from a bottle in a brown paper bag. Having learned that this was my first time in the state, the man in the white seersucker suit was determined I should not leave before seeing the "prettiest sights in Alabama". I said that as long as they were on the way Mississippi, I was all for it. What followed for the most part from a drunken ramble in the dark, in which the prettiest sights were all but invisible to me in the moonless night. Except in one case when he stopped the car and asked me to approach a monument. Which I did. In the dim light I could perceive what looked like a monster on a pedestal. It might have been a Martian in the dark. The expansive fellow lolling in the behind the wheel, his bagged bottle of hooch triumphantly wielded aloft from time to time said: "I bet you can't tell me what that is."
"That," he said, "is the boll weevil." I recalled from somewhere that the boll weevil destroyed the cotton crop about 50 years before, and again confessed ignorance why a cotton-picking town would erect a monument to a bug which caused such devastation.
"Well," says he, "back then Enterprise had another name. And even in the days of king cotton, it was not doing that well. Then the boll weevil came and wiped them out completely. But someone came up with the idea growing peanuts. They renamed the town Enterprise and never looked back and put up that as a thank you to the boll weevil."
We drove no farther as he said it wanted to go home, which turned out to be on the way back. So he left me by another grassy verge on the roadside and I flopped down under my poncho to get a few hours before dawn.
After a few rides, I finally was taken aboard a van filled with "nigger tombstones", the property of two amiable brothers, Sonny and Wayne Fairchild, who sold them to black undertakers. They were quite pleased with themselves having invented a material with the durability of marble but one-ninth the price. Looking back on it, they seemed to be a fitting pair to leave me at the border of this truly bicultural border I was about to cross, between white and black.
Being white myself, it was hard to be objective. The vast differences between French and English at home seemed trivial compared to what existed here. Speaking the same language brought them no closer. In white restaurants, Elvis and the Beatles blared from the juke boxes. In black places, it was Motown and Stevie Wonder.
At the time, objectivity was the holy grail of the profession I sought to pursue. We fancied ourselves as battlefield heralds, attempting to secure agreements with one another as to the size of the contending forces, and their deployment. More than 50 years later such niceties have been discarded. "Truth", that is, subjectivity, became the norm that would make journalism morally judgmental and increasingly reprehensible. But back then, newspaper stories had a two-side minimum, and objectivity was venerated with religious zeal.
So with that in mind, I declare to a three-minute prejudice, a gap between the time I meet black and get some sense of him. Such a gap exists before what I might call "personation," which would have been automatic with a white person. Of course, if he were well dressed or well spoken, or if he wore the foreign dress like the Ghanaian I knew in school, those three seconds would be cut to one or none. And subsequent meetings of course would have treated as a normal friend or an acquaintance, as routinely happened with the Jamaica Regiment cadets I met at Banff two years before.
Trying to sum up white attitudes encountered since I crossed into Dixie at the Virginia line was that whites in groups either students in Columbia, South Carolina, or two or more men on the road (women don't pick up hitchhikers) one finds they are apt to take a harsh line on race relations. But when alone in intimate atmosphere of a car on the road they often soften, particularly at night. It is often a time for the expression of true feelings before a hitch hiker who will disappear and tell no one who matters to them. First, not being a firm about denying the vote to blacks as they might be in groups, but still vehemently against school integration, they go as far as they can.
Frequently, one hears: "If my friends heard me talking this way, I'd be stomped." A few were more flexible on allowing integration at kindergarten level, but rejecting anything thing like full integration, while many will say that the educational systems are equal, they know full well that they are not. As parents, they do not mind being "averaged up", but will not tolerate being "averaged down" as the white kids most inevitably would be should schools be integrated wholesale. So sacrificing one's children for the general good is not a vote-getter, and understandably so.
But one thing I was beginning to note even then, that was southern whites had real experience that northern whites did not. The partnership between black and white may have been one of rider and horse, but there was, above all, a real relationship, an intimacy that did not exist in the north, where blacks were seldom if ever to be seen among whites socially.
In the south, blacks were a familiar sight to whites from birth and often their first playmates. At the same time these relationships ended when whites and blacks were placed in separate schools, much in the same way neighbourhood Protestant and Catholic playmates were divided for the same reason in Montreal. In the south, though, this stratified socially constructed relationship was greatly re-enforced and buttressed by the hallowed rules and restrictions of the "Southern Way of Life", the protection of which all white southerners were resolutely committed.
The two brothers stopped their truck in Lynch Street, the headquarters of the civil rights movement in Mississippi and bid me goodbye and good luck.