It is for you, the young of the Millennium, that I’m writing this. I wish to all get-out that I had something like it left me by my grandparents. But, back then when they were alive and I was little, folks just didn’t write much and particularly not like a story or a book about something very important that happened in their childhood. They just hand-wrote letters and post-cards and such to each other, once in a while. And those got thrown in the garbage.
And there’s another reason that I want to tell you this story. And that’s because being reared in Mobile, Alabama back in the 1940s and 50s was totally different than the way that you guys are being brought up. A normal kid’s life was very, very simple back then. That kind of life would be extremely boring to you these days...with television; videos; computers; little league sports; your lessons in music, karate, and dancing and such. But Manuel and mine was exciting and scary, and very uncommon in those times, and come to think of it, in these times, too. You’ll see why. And we never got caught doing all those things we did; well, least-wise, only once.
Too, I feel like I owe it to Manuel to write something about us. He’d like that, seeing his name in print. And I kind of want to leave a written history about how in just one year two ten year olds, me white/him colored, could become life-long friends during a time in which it was forbidden by both races for white kids and colored kids to play together, much less become closer than blood brothers. And though we saw very little of each other after that year, l948, we stayed real close through many letters, a lot of phone calls and Christmas cards. And our relationship did not come to an end until three hours AFTER Manuel was buried.