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Friday, February 14, 2014

HALF A LOAF Chapter 2 Mercedes had Mercy on Me

Montgomery Ward Catalogue
courtesy free clip art
As I continued to grow up I had accepted my lot which was to be the Piedmont poor boy.

The division between the accepted and those who were to be looked down upon were defined by their clothing and their demeanor.

The division was the Nordstrom/ Monkey Ward line.  I wore clothing from the catalog department of Wards while the rest wore clothing from places like Nordstrom or the equivalent.

During some of the special events many of the girls would show up wearing a gown from Paree as they preferred to call it.
When I got home each day I would remove my Wards clothing and put on some second hand stuff.  In the midst of all this I remained happy which was more than most of the kids could say even with all their opulence.

With my best efforts I could never best the other kids either in athletics or school subjects and that was discouraging to me.  It seemed there was always someone just a little better or smarter so it was something I had to live with.

Thankfully my parents never got on my case for they knew I was doing as well as I could.  During the years I discovered that there was one thing I was better than all the other kids and that was being consistence.  I didn't vary much and while I never was the best I always performed at a high level.

Never having been exalted I didn't have to be expected to maintain that level of perfection.  Those who failed in those pursuits were looked down upon as not trying and were not respected by their peers.

In this area social standing was everything and since I wasn't uppity enough I was excluded from almost all the extracurricular activities which gave me more time for things I was interested in.

None of the guys would invite me to hang out with them and the girls avoided me like the plague.  It would have cost them dearly to go out with me so they just avoided me altogether.  

It didn't help that I would go to dances with girls in the next school district and occasionally go to a show with one of them.  The one thing I didn't do was invite one of them to a get together at my school for they would have been miserable being ignored and put down with snide remarks.

Something happened during my senior year that changed things drastically.

A family moved in that was very rich and had a great deal of influence in the community.  They had a daughter who took a liking to me.  

Her parents had enrolled her in Mills College while she was still in elementary school.

She wasn't impressed by all the foolishness that the others thrived on.  We were together a great deal of the time and because of her standing the snobs didn't dare to exclude her and me from the parties they threw.

I realized that nothing had changed as far as their attitude toward me.  It was much the same as before.  For the first time in my life I wasn't ignored I just wasn't accepted which didn't bother me for I was used to that treatment.

This gal was named Mercy or was called that for her name was really Mercedes.  I thought that Mercy was a good name for she showed mercy on me by dating me.  

The time I spent with her my senior year and the acceptance by her family caused me to hope that sometime I might get beyond the Half Loaf Life I was living.

To be Continued


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