Too many thoughts to express but I’m gonna try. I have to listen to calls for work on occasion. I’ve heard some doozies over the years. I swear one day I will write a book. This week I heard something that generated the question what fresh hell is this? I cannot believe this happened in my lifetime.
Daughter: Go on daddy, tell the nice gentleman when you joined the Army
Dad: I didn’t join, they drafted me.
Customer Service Rep (CSR) asks a few more questions which confirm “Dad” served in Korea for two years. Means he is eligible and could apply insurance.
Daughter to CSR: He’s still upset about it. He was born a Perez. He served with the last name Perez. When he got out, moved to IL and started our family, he was forced to change his last name. Our last name. It’s all legally done though. The name change. He did it so I could go to Catholic school. They accepted us after we took the last name Perri.
The daughter is three years older than me. Her dad two years older than my mom. How could this have happened? I know this shit happened a lot for people going through Ellis Island. But not in 1960 something.
Then I thought how I went to Catholic school too. I knew a family also with the last name Perez. The family was an integral part of our community. The oldest son was good friend with my brother. The youngest son was two years older than me. He was the star quarterback in high school. His sister was a cheerleader. They got to keep their last name. What a difference 1240 miles makes!
Still hard to wrap my head around how this could happen. Then I realize I automatically have privilege. What do I do with that? Heady thoughts on this Friday morning.
As always, more to come.