Letter to the Editor

The White Kid

LetterI want all of my friends to know my name is Tom and the color of skin is white.

I mention the above because everything I read in the newspaper or see on TV says: “Are you Black or White?” I was talking to a couple of Editors of newspaper last week. I’ve written well over 200 articles each year would always be on Christmas and “Yes Virginia, There is A Santa Claus.”

Won’t be my last this year. My young Cousin took a massive heart attack the next morning that took his life. I was unable to attend the wake or funeral.

I want to explain how this ties in with my article on color of skin or Black or White.

My Cousin’s Mother’s maiden name was Monahan and she was my Mom’s Sister. They were born and raised in South Amboy.

One day a little Black girl knocked on the door and Grandma took this little kid in the kitchen for milk and cookies. She said, “We are all God’s children and are created equal.” That was well over one hundred years ago and I’ll never forget that story as long as I live.

My Mother married my Father (John Clark) and lived on State Street in Perth Amboy until 1928. They moved to Metuchen that year. I went to Washington School Grades 1-6 which was 2 blocks from my house. There were no Black kids in my school because they went to Franklin School which was 2 blocks from their homes. Franklin School became the High School in the Forties so we were all together now. Two of my best friends were Black kids. We played baseball every day and all summer long. In the winter we would shovel snow and my Mom would invite us in for hot cocoa. Charlie Butler (was Black). We graduated in 1950. He wrote in my yearbook, “Clarkie, you are a great baseball player and you will be with the New York Yankees in a few years.” I wasn’t great and the Korean War came along and we both got drafted. I went to Charlie’s wake and funeral years later.

I did play some baseball in college so Clarkie didn’t let Charlie down.

The V.A. Medical hired me and I was assigned to a Nursing Home at Lyons, NJ. Many Residents were Korean Vets. Some guys were Black and had no family or friends. They now had Tom. A guy named Mark was one of those guys. He died and I made the wake in Trenton that night. I was the only White guy there and I was treated like a king. When I was leaving, a guy said to me, “Tom, this is not a good area. Follow me and I’ll make sure you get on Route One.” I mention this because I have not made a wake or funeral in a long time.

I have a message for some White people out there. “We have too many fakers.”

Yes, my friends, “When is the last time you invited a black kid in for a cold drink or a cup of hot cocoa?”

Thomas Francis Clark

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