Friday, November 04, 2005

A Moment of Innocence, Dearly Paid For

I just read this marvelous account of the first day in
Montgomery, after the Supreme Court ruling was issued and
finally reached Alabama. December 20, 1956... not 50 years ago.

"King, in his suit and dress hat, followed by Fred Gray,
Abernathy, Glenn Smiley, and a flock of cameramen and
reporters, boarded a city bus before dawn the next morning.
'We are glad to have you,' the bus driver said politely as
he rumbled off down the street. Photographers on board took
pictures of King sitting next to Smiley near the front of
the bus. The integrated group achieved a convivial banter
with the driver, who went so far as to make an unscheduled
stop to pick up Reverend Graetz. Summoned outside by the
bus horn, Graetz was treated to the sight of Smiley leaning
casually out the front door of a city bus. "What time do
you want me for dinner tonight?" Smiley shouted grandly, as
though he had transformed toe bus into a personal
limousine. Graetz joined King and all those on the bus in
laughter. It was a moment of innocence, dearly paid for."

On the facing page, someone shoots at King's house with a shotgun.
Five pages later, his house is bombed. Again.

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