Ex post facto . . .

In Fort Lauderdale, Books and Books has opened a branch in the Museum of Art. What a great combination: you come in to look at art, you get tired so you pick up a good book, order a glass of wine, and get off your feet.

It’s a bit odd having a reading sponsored by your ex. In the first place, he was dressed so much better than I, but then he always was.

Here’s how Bruce Rogow introduced me:

“Why should I introduce somebody who says something like this about me in a book: ‘When I first spotted him across the room, he looked beautiful. Studying photographs later, he wasn’t.’”

I read a bit about how Mississippi had been in the early 60s, and—in his honor— the chapter where I met him.

I finished and before I could ask for questions, Bruce leapt to his feet and took the mic: “I thought we were in love,” he said, “but Norma makes it sound like I was nothing but a ride out of town.”

I need a Bruce in every audience. He kept giving me prompts: “Tell them about what happened at the Meredith March.” “Tell them what Miss Hosford said at your wedding reception.”

I talked about how much fun it was to bring Bruce to Mississippi after we married. He was afraid of nobody and treated bigots like well-intentioned people who couldn’t possibly mean what they said. One year at the Christmas party, Uncle Doug said to Bruce: “I can’t believe Bobby Kennedy is running for President. I’d vote for Martin Luther King before I’d vote for Bobby Kennedy.” Bruce clapped him on the shoulder. “Doug, that’s great. I’ll be sure and tell Dr. King next time I see him. I don’t think he knows he’s got this kind of grass roots support.”

5 responses »

  1. Everyone should have an ex like Bruce is right! Wish my ex were as charming.

  2. I want to know all the answers to the other questions he asked. Great post.

  3. So funny, Norma. Be sure to include that anecdote in all your talks.


  4. Me too!!

    • At the wedding reception, my aunt Miss Hosford said: “Do you know what your Uncle John and I do after we make love? I was horrified that someone might hear her. “What?”
      She: “We fall to our knees and thank the Lord.”

      I drove down to the State Capitol to see the Meredith March for black voters’ rights arrive. I didn’t have the nerve to march, but I wanted to salute their courage. The streets were blocked off and behind the blockades, white people held signs saying, Go Home Commies and Nigger Lovers. Down the way, I saw the march coming, people with banners singing. I stood in the open street between the two. A policeman approached: “Are you with them?” He pointed to the yellers and spitters. “No.” Are you with them?” He pointed to the marchers. “No.” “Well, you can’t stand here in the middle.” I drove home defeated: I was caught in a State with no middle.


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