Another memorial service with a twist

The man was 97 years old, had been in CCC and the military in WW II. He started a business and was the first Black contractor in Phoenix to be registered with the state. Back in the bad old days, the telephone company would not give Blacks private lines, they could get only party lines (for you young folks, a party line was a phone line shared by several households; if another household had someone talking on the phone, you had to wait until they hung up). This man applied for a private line for his construction business and plead his case by citing the “old biddies” on the line who would take their phones off the hook while their kid was sleeping so no one could call anyone on that line. Bad for business.
The manager at the phone company called this businessman to tell him his claim was denied but got one of the “biddies” instead and she cussed him out so bad he gave the private line to the man.
Such comments about problems with race have been rare at Black funerals, in my experience. My wife concurs. This story was in the program and several speakers and the eulogist told other stories about discrimination in the military and other facets of life then for Black people. The minister recalled asking the deceased one time if he believed in God. He replied, “Yes, but he favors White folk.”
As you can imagine, a number of the participants were very old themselves and could recall personally the outrages that dogged the lives of people then.

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