On the morning of the Martin Luther King Day parade in Bay St Louis, my neighbor’s adult son was passing by on the street and I called out “Good Morning!” He seemed surprised to hear a voice and he had to look around to see who had greeted him. He waved and went on a few more steps before he turned and called out, “there’s going to be a parade today!” This, in parade happy already-gearing-up-for-Carnival Gulf Coast Mississippi.
At St Rose church, at the end of the Sunday service, a young man, well dressed, got up to share a few reflections about MLK, about his parents’ and his grandparents’ generation. He said, in effect, “It’s really hard to realize what they went through. We almost have no idea. Things are so different today.”
MLK parade day was also the first day I took a spin on Bill’s loaned bike. Like a kid again, playing, easy flat streets to navigate. As I was heading for the coast road and the trail along the beach, I went by a house and an old fellow was walking down his driveway, doing some kind of lawn chores. He spotted me and raised his arm in friendly salute.
Riding along the bike path that follows the coast road, I could see far down on the beach, a couple of kids running along the edge of the sea. Their bare feet kicked up sand and water spray. One chased the other. They hooted and hollered, lost, or found, in the moment.
In the coffee shop, a very elderly man came in by himself, was greeted as a regular, and proceeded to have his usual oatmeal. He was leaving at the same time I was. I was surprised and delighted to see that he had arrived on a very well used bicycle, a comfort bike, as they say, and he had a large wooden stick tied to the back fender. I said to him, enthusiastically, “That’s the way to get around!” He immediately apologized, said “Oh no, of course, here, get around,” as he moved over to let me pass my. It took me a moment to realize what he thought I had said.