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View Diary: I Really Just Don't Know What to Think (158 comments)

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  •  I not only pulled into the driveway, (16+ / 0-)

    but walked up to the door.

    A friend and I took a break from college finals for a drive in the country and a picnic. Getting dark on the way home, and my POS '79 Fiesta (loved that car) locks up on a country road. Vapor lock, overheating. I know that if I wait 15 minutes or so, and pour some more water in the radiator, we'll be good to go. But I have no water.

    I decide to walk up the driveway about a mile to the farmhouse for some water. I grew up in smalltown MN in the 60s-70s, and as a black guy I was well aware of how my intentions might be perceived by the homeowner. Little did I know.

    The first thing I saw as I approached the house was blinds being pulled slightly aside. I knocked lightly on the door, then stepped back off the steps. Then, "What the hell do you want?"
    "Car broke down. I'd just like a little water for the radiator, please."
    "This isn't a goddamn public thoroughfare!"
    OK, I thought, and considered leaving, even though the only other house we had seen was at least 3 miles in the other direction. Then the door started opening. The first thing I saw was the barrel of a shotgun. He was an old farmer, between 60 and 80 years old. Dude glared at me, then went on for 3 or 4 minutes about the sanctity of his home, and the right not to be bothered, and that I was trespassing. I just stood there looking bland and mildly contrite, while freaking out on the inside

    I was scared shitless. However, he was no longer pointing the gun at me, and he hadn't uttered "nigger". He calmed down towards the end, and eventually let me fill my container up at the outside faucet.

    This was middle of Iowa, 1986

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