Autumn

Autumn

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mr. Sam

He seldom speaks, Mr Sam. He's an old man at eighty-eight and short and semi-bald with just a fringe of gray hair, and he's very wealthy. He earned his money the hard way.

I didn't know these simple facts until yesterday. Or, I should say I wasn't aware of his personal history. I knew his was old, and bent, and sported gray hair and I also knew he had money, just not the extent of it.

Mr. Sam usually walks in and remains in the background, especially if others are in the room. He'll walk around and read the bulletin board, gaze at the artwork, or just sit and read. He's quiet. Yesterday was different. It was just the two of us.

Me, "Good morning, Mr. Sam. I like your tie." He's dapper, Mr. Sam.

"Thank you. My wife, she likes to dress me." I smiled.

Then, "Mr. Sam, may I ask where you were born?" He has a very distinctive accent.

"I was born in Palestine. My father, he bring us to this country when I'm a young man. I love this country. We arrive in New York and we live there for until after the war."

"World War two," I asked.

 "Yes. I served and fought for my new country. I'm proud when I arrive home to this my new country. I then invest in real estate and now we are happy. It was all good until nine-eleven when the planes they hit the buildings in New York."

I waited, unsure. He takes a deep breath. He continued, "It's nice how the military men when they arrive home, now, are treated well. We too were treated well and it is as it should be for they are heroes like we were after the war."

Me, "In which campaign did you fight, Mr. Sam?"

"Europe. I fight in many places. You've heard of the Battle of the Bulge? I was there."

"What happened after nine-eleven? You mentioned all was well until then."

Mr. Sam turned and took a seat. He releases the middle button on his jacket and then smoothed his tie and shifts back in the chair. His old watery eyes look into mine.

"The people here treat us very badly. They call us names. We are Americans. I raise my children to be good Americans. I own much of this city; many shopping centers, land, and houses. I own the condo building at the beach where we live, pay much in taxes. I fight for my country. Yet, they call us Arabs, murderers, terrorists."

He paused. Then he points a finger at me. "And, you, my friend, you Mr. Stephen, even you put one of those stamp things on your front door. It said, 'License to shoot terrorists,' which hurt my feelings."

Damn.

"You know, Mr. Stephen, we hid in our home. My whole family, we hide for weeks. We are afraid to leave house afterwards because we are shamed and scared someone treat us badly or worse yet, shoot at us. You remember afterwards how people were mad at anyone from the Middle East? You remember that, don't you?"

I said, "Yes, Sir."

He continued, "Here I am born in Palestine, the cradle of civilization where the West meets the East in that beautiful land that is taken from us by the Jews, a land where I still have relatives. To this day I do not return as it isn't the same. It isn't the same, Mr. Stephen, because I am an American."

By this time I'm sorry I had asked any question. I changed the subject and he left the building a few minutes later.

Just before he left I said, "I'm sorry."

He smiled.

Shame, hurts.

Stephen






25 comments:

  1. This man served the country and can be proud of that, so why is he ashamed over your sign? Does he somehow equate himself to a terrorist?

    If he does that's his problem, not yours.

    There have been no Americans storming homes and killing entire Muslim family's or storming Muslim embassies sodomizing ambassadors and killing staff while shouting "GOD is great".

    You shouldn't have said "I'm sorry". You did nothing wrong by exercising your 1st Amendment right.

    I don't think the approximate 3000 families that lost loved ones on 9/11 would be apologizing.

    Terrorist are the enemy. If he can't process that, then it's his problem.

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  2. Despite "Anonymous" not providing his name, I'm in agreement with much of what he said. Palestinians never had a country, and Israel is only 1% of the land in the Middle East. Why do the Palestinians INSIST it's the only place they can live? It's because none of the other Arabic countries will put up with them.

    If he's not a terrorist - and doesn't identify with them - then he has no reason to be offended.

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    1. Good points all, Rev. Paul. Thank you my friend.

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    2. Why should NATIVE Palestinians, who have lived there for the last two thousand years, leave their homeland for racist Europeans from Poland, Romania, Germany, Russia and the US???

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  3. Replies
    1. Yes, indeed, very much so. Thanks, my good friend.

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  4. I agree with all statements mad so far, and cannot add to them. you are a priceless commodity in and of yourself Stephen. He is a wise old man who spoke his mind. That is what is great about our country.

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    1. Thank you, my friend. But, I'm only worth about a nickel...

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  5. When I was a young man I often blurted out something that would hurt others feelings. Even today at 69 years old I sometimes say things that are "funny" without realizing it wasn't funny to someone different from me or with a chip on their shoulder. I cannot take back everything I said that offended people and I cannot educate every young person to be careful what they say. Sadly people say things and other people are offended. I have been offended and have come to realize the highest level of accepting people is to be polite and even kind to someone who has offended. Often anymore they are members of my family but regardless of who it is that mis-speaks or inadvertently steps on my toes I challenege myself to be the better person. I hope I'm winning this battle. It has been months since I last flipped someone off (A driver who intentionally cut me off) and years since I called any SOB's what they are. I lived in California during the Rodney King riots. I was a little worried and that day I ran into my nieghbor, a black women, and she was polite and cheerful as usual. I don't know what she thought inside but in those circumstances I have always assumed she made the extra effort and I liked that. We can all be nice if we want to and the reward for it is ours.

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    1. Thank you for the kind comment..my friend.

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  6. He wonders why people were upset and called him names???

    Right or wrong, perhaps everyone remembered that it was the Palestinians that were out dancing in the streets on 9/11 when the towers fell.

    Perhaps people remember and realize that the Palestinians openly hide those that would fire missiles into Israel.

    Perhaps some recall the celebration when those 2 Terrorist PUNKS went into that household and killed most of the family including the infants there.

    Yes, all that in his "cradle of civilization" where HIS relatives live.

    I respect his service to this country, but he needs to remember that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

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  7. NO Palestinians "danced in the streets when the towers fell". This LIE is a popular bit of Zionist propaganda. You are welcome to Google it.
    If "SOME" Palestinians were dancing, how do you know WHY they were dancing? A particularly unscrupulous Jewish man handed out candy to Palestinian children, and filmed them celebrating... and then claimed they were "celebrating the attacks." They are kids who were given candy. Duh, of course they were happy.
    Clearly, you are an agent of the Zionist state. You cannot provide ONE SINGLE BIT OF PROOF for anything you stated. Feel free to do so.
    Well, the missile part is true, but...
    I would GLADLY "hide those that would fire missiles into Israel". If someone expelled you from your homeland, wouldn't you "fire missiles" into their homes and bases???
    Israel is a racist, ethno-supremacist state, brought into being by violently expelling the NATIVE inhabitants of Palestine and replacing them with a racist group of Europeans from Poland, Romania, Russia, Germany, and the US.

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    1. video doesn't lie

      http://youtu.be/oMOZvbYJMvU

      http://youtu.be/KrM0dAFsZ8k

      two networks, one liberal & one conservative, reported this

      You obviously love terrorists from your post.

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    2. "ethno-supremacist state". Where in the Middle East can Arabs vote in Democratic elections? Nope, not Palestine, not Lebanon, not Saudia Arabia, In Israel. Israel where Muslims are free to practice their religion. In the other 17 Arab states in the middle East Jews and Christians are not allowed that freedom.

      How long have Jews lived in the land now known as Israel? Over 5000 years. In fact only three governments have ever existed in these lands and they were all Jewish governments. Most of the "Palestinians" arrived in that land after the begining of the 20th century. There were some Arabs living their before but most were goat herders moving with their flock. Most Palestinains came from Jordan and a handful of other Arab countries.

      The ironic thing about this is that if the "Palestinians" had accepted the UN resolution there would be a country legally known as Palestine and it would be over 64 years old. But they preferred to spend all their money and effort trying to kill jews. What a shame; what a mistake...

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    3. Enough. I did not write this post for my readers to become angry and fight...and it shall not happen on my blog. I respect every persons right to their own opinions and welcome those opinions, but keep it civil. I also believe if your are willing to call a man a 'terrorist lover' please be man enough to use your true name. With that said I will no longer accept anatomist comments.

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    4. Excuse me, anonymous comments.

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  8. Aww... poor Mr. Sam. Very well written Stephen.



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  9. I'm sorry I missed this post Stephen. Well now that I think on it maybe me missing it was for the best.

    I normally won't jump into the Israel/Palestinian thing myself but once they start throwing that "homeland" crap I do get a bit miffed. So it is better I missed it.

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    1. I think perhaps I should not have written it...thanks, my friend.

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  10. "if your are willing to call a man a 'terrorist lover' please be man enough to use your true name."

    Bingo!

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    1. Funny, isn't it, how many hide behind empty spaces. Thanks, my friend.

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  11. dear sweet one - sorry to be getting to the street fight so late in the game. i am kinda with PioneerPreppy tho - i hate these kinds of discussions because everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion but if the post wasn't written as a political piece...then politics shouldn't enter into the comments. there are many blog posts written by people that i consider friends and i completely disagree with what they are saying. but heck, it's their blog and if i don't have anything good to say, i keep my mouth shut. good manners in my mind.

    anyway, just wanted to state that i enjoyed the manner and the spirit in which the post was written. i can very certainly empathize with Mr. Sam....and i know that the sign on your door is not for people like him.

    again, a very touching piece. makes me stop and think. and wonder. so, it scores aces in my book. what puts this post over the top is that it happened, it happened to you and you shared it with us. it was an event in your day. an event that should make us all stop and wonder. thank you for sharing.

    your friend (who's still got that "thang" for the Duke-man - bahahahahah!),
    kymber

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  12. My dear kymber, don't sweat it...and you're correct, I did not write this as a political piece rather it was written to reflect the sadness of an old American, a veteran, at the abuse he received for nothing more than outward appearances and his heritage. Thank you for the nice comment about Little Bit. She is indeed beautiful and I miss her dearly. God bless you. Tell Jamie hello for me.

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