In early 2008 I visited my childhood home in North Carolina with my wife Laurie and oldest son Andrew. Laurie was pregnant with our younger son James. Having children was already making me feel nostalgic about my own childhood, but something else emphasized it on that visit.
It was the summer of 1971, and I had just turned seven years old. My dad was an electrical engineer who specialized in industrial construction projects, and we would follow him to live wherever the jobs took us. For this project we had moved from Ohio to Georgetown, South Carolina. We actually lived at nearby Litchfield beach in a beach house – definitely fun, but pretty cold in the winter. Now my parents raised their children (two boys and one girl) to be color blind with regard to race, and for this I am eternally grateful to them. I don’t recall them ever saying a negative word about a person or group of people based on the color of their skin – or for any other reason. So imagine their challenges moving to the South in the middle of the Civil Rights movement.