While searching through some old files, I found this letter I wrote to the editor of the Austin American-Statesman. The tear sheet didn't show the date, but based on my age and the reference to a May 8 news item, it had to be 1981. Here is what I wrote:
As a 46-year-old native of Austin, I would like to apologize to Mr. and Mrs. James Michener for the actions of two Austin drivers. According to the May 8 Houston Chronicle, James Michener and his wife were told to go home (referring to their Pennsylvania car tags) on two separate occasions while driving in Austin.
We used to have a slogan here, "Austin, the friendly city." I wonder what happened to it?
Reading this now, nearly 30 years later, I wonder if the reason they were told to leave town might be because of Mrs. Michener's race. In Where Love Once Lived I included a marriage between a young couple, one black and one white, and how this marriage affects their parents. I have no first-hand information about mixed marriages, but I've always had an interest in equality and what it would be like if race didn't matter.
How about you? Do you think we'll ever have racial equality in this country?