“What Colors Do the Darkies Use For Kiwanis?” — A Valley Story

9 December, 2008

Many years ago, (((Wife))) and I were involved in the PTA/PTO down at the local elementary school (oddly enough, the same school (((Boy))) and (((Girl))) went to).  The PTA had their own bulletin board in the lobby and, every month, the officers decorated said board with appropriate images.

For December, a woman who was a perfect example of how bad the valley can get was decorating the bulletin board.  A narrow-minded Valley People woman.  Don’t get me wrong, folks.  This is a fun valley in which to live.  However, there are valley people, and then there are Valley People.  Valley People are the ones with more tattoos than teeth (including women); the ones for whom Atlantic City is exotic, and Disney is a once-in-a-lifetime event;  the ones for whom the mechanics of church are more important than any teachings. 

She decided that a multicultural ‘holiday’ board would be appropriate.  Of course, for many around here, multicultural means Catholic and Protestant.  Never mind the Muslims, Animists, Jews, Santeria, and myriad other religions present in our schools (when the art class does ‘holiday’ ornaments, kids who do not wish to participate are given blue paper (no, I’m not kidding)).  Seeing herself as very broad-minded, she actually thought beyond the dominant paradigm.

(((Wife))) found herself nearby as Valley People Woman decorated the board.  VPW had a menorah, a Christmas Tree (or pagan Yule Tree (though I doubt that would entered her mind)), and an outline of the continent of Africa.  VPW was running around like a squirrel on crack.  As she raced past (((Wife))), she said, “I have to go down the art room and get paper.  What color do the darkies use for Kiwanis?  I gotta find out what colors they use for Kiwanis.” 

(((Wife)))’s eyelids fluttered.  Her mouth did the fish-out-of-water thing.  None of the other PTA/PTO people were phased by the use of the word ‘darkies.’  Of course, (((Wife))) was blown away by ‘Kiwanis.’ 

When the end of the world comes, (((Wife))) and I want to be here in the valley.  Everything seems to be at least 30 years behind.  Of course, we’d spend the thirty years stuck in the valley, so . . . .



  1. Sounds like the Valley may be the end of the world…

  2. It took me a while to figure out the Kiwanis part. I think the colors she was looking for are black, green, and red…

  3. Ric: The 30%ers seam to be over reprented here, but it still works.

    Laurie: I probably should have pointed out that the Kiwanis Club is a social organization like the Rotary, Lions, Elks, Eagles, Oddfellows, etc.

  4. Lots of gold, and the Africa image needs a spinner. :)~

  5. ()-

    Does that mean they rent repentance? Clever little invention, that word. Who do they rent from? Could be the germ of a tidy little business, sort like the Vatican scams back when. (Please don’t tell me you were typing with your nose to make some arcane point. With your sinuses you don’t want your nose anywhere near a keyboard. In fact, I may have to washy my monitor just to be safe.)

  6. I suppose you’ll think that’s wishy-washy of me… Oh well, time to go brushy my teeths.

  7. I think the valley has actually regressed since my growing up there days. I don’t recall anyone using the term, “darkies.” I don’t have to tell you what term I heard a lot instead.

  8. Good one. Definitely a coffee on the keyboard moment.

  9. Philly: Spinner? I don’t understand you youngsters.

    Ric: No. Typo. Even I, a civil servant, am capable of msitaeks. Isht happens, you know? And it was bacteria, not a computer virus, so you’re safe.

    Chappie: Well, it wa a long, long time ago. Keep in mind, though, that I am only hilighting the most egregious offenses. And yes, that term is still used. Though the ones most of the VPs are complaining about are the Central American immigrants moving in, buying and fixing up the houses, and opening lots of little mom & pop stores.

    Nan: I bear no responsibility for any damage to your keyboard.

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