Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK & Me

When I was very young, I would often go with my family to Love Field airport in Dallas to drop off or pick up visiting relatives. My father seemed to have a knack for spotting old friends or famous people in the crowds and sometimes we'd have an opportunity to meet someone special.

I remember once we were introduced to a very nice black man. I guess it stuck in my mind (I think I was 3 years old) because we didn't encounter many black people in my white neighborhood in Dallas, Texas. But I remember how my father spoke with such respect as he introduced us. Clearly, this man was somebody special and I was told I would remember meeting him. And I did.

I was much older before all the blanks in my child-like memory were filled in and I realized that that man was Martin Luther King, Jr. He was on his way to a meeting of the Atlanta Pastor's Conference, and my parents told him about my grandfather who would also be there. We later heard that my grandfather did meet him there and when Dr. King heard his name he said, "Oh, I just met your three beautiful grandchildren in Dallas!"

I remembered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he remembered me.



*Author's note -- please take a moment to read the comment left by "Douglas". That's my dad, telling the rest of the story.

23 comments:

  1. THAT IS SO KEWL...I HAVE HUGE GOOSEBUMPS!

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  2. WOW! What an incredible memory for you to be able to share about!

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  3. Wow! Not many people can say they got to meet MLK...that is something you will keep with you forever :)

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  4. wow! That is truly amazing!

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  5. WOW - what a wonderful story. Please keep telling it. :)

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  6. This is the coolest thing ever!!

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  7. I am glad that Dub put a link to this memory on FB. That is a special moment to cherish. Thank you for sharing it.

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  8. I can fill in more blanks. We were meeting your Aunt Becky, who ran up to us and said, "You'll never guess who was on my plane!" I said, "Martin Luther King." I had spotted him emerging out of the chute." Days earlier, we had watched TV coverage of his acceptance speech as he received the Nobel Peace prize. As Becky collected luggage, I saw that no one crowded around. That's when when I gathered you kids and went to him and said, "Dr. King, I want to congratulate you on the Nobel prize. We watched you on TV. I wanted my kids to be able to say they met you. " He was gracious and friendly. Talked with us about 17 minutes as I recall. He gave us his autograph, but I don't know if we still have it. The memories we have forever.

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  9. Thanks for filling in the blanks, Dad! We do still have the autograph. David has it. David is my older brother.

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  10. Wow Donna what an experience(and memory)..thanks for sharing :)

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  11. Incredible, Donna. Now that I have "met" your dad, I know where your genuine kindness comes from. Thank you both for sharing.

    Mary

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  12. Oh that is just totally awesome and I'm so glad you shared. I loved your father's 'filling in the rest'. What an amazing memory.

    Thank you

    Karla

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  13. Wow that is incredible!! What an amazing story. Dr King touched SO many people no doubt and that's lovely that he remembered you! :)

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  14. Donna, this is such a wonderful memory. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

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  15. Thanks for linking me to this Donna. It's always nice to hear of our heroes being kind to the 'normal folk'. On a trip to Memphis I was able to go to the Civil Rights Museum. It's a MUST visit. Very moving.

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  16. Aw this is a great story! Thank you for sharing. :)

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  17. Cool story. Basic and very cool. The real stuff is always basic.

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