Thursday, February 1, 2018

Driving, Politics, Neighbors,

Mother resented being required to have a picture ID in order to vote, a common tactic in southern states to minimize black votes, because it meant that she, who didn't drive, had to be transported to the local DPS and stand in a long line to get certified. This was especially ironic considering that she and Dad, having migrated down from Ohio, were some of the few original Republicans in Waco. The rest of them were former Democrats who'd turned their coats when Lyndon Johnson made integration a keystone of his presidency.
My parents dodged controversy, although they did have strong opinions that they expressed within the family. Fio thinks it was an immigrant thing--don't stand out, keep your head down, stay safe. An example--they lived in Waco, but Fiorella pounded a sign into their front yard when she was running for the school board in Austin, and three minutes after she got into the car to drive back home, Dad had pulled up the sign, saying the neighbors might think it was a For Sale sign.
"What will the neighbors think" was the family mantra. Fio heard it when she started swinging around the street light pole during a long, tiresome wait for a bus downtown (because Mother didn't drive). Singing in public was another no-no, but little did Mother know that Fiorella sang long and loud when she walked home after school every day (because Mother didn't drive).

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