Maybe this is our war, Allison pondered, our chance to stand up, be counted, leave a legacy.
Allison found herself suddenly in quarantine. She had been caring for her parents, both vulnerable seniors with marginal health. A virus had come to town that targeted people just like her parents.
To keep them safe, she had to stay out of the world for a while.
She imagined Ursula, Marilyn’s grandmother, as a young white woman, newly married, organizing a group of other white citizens to stand up against the racial purists of her day. How might that have felt? What were Ursula’s fears? What made her decide to go ahead?
And what will we do now?
She thought about what Ursula had faced: Spanish flu pandemic, world wars, racial terror. A great depression. And all I have to do is stay in this house, with these two people I love and who can annoy me beyond belief.
To keep herself busy, Allison continued researching the history of her community, searching for the through line that would connect her to the future.
Technology is powerful, and its reach is immense. From her parent’s couch, through the screen of her laptop, she could scroll through digitized records of local newspapers and other chronicles of the times. Sometimes, she fell asleep, hypnotized by the tiny print swirling by.
Today, she sat bolt upright at the sight of a name and address she recognized.
The address of her own green house, now being cared for by Leo as he obeyed the stay-at-home order, and the name of Ursula’s husband, Sydney.
In an announcement of a meeting of a certain society that, at the time, was considered appropriate to advertise in public.
After all, this society meant to save the purity of the races.
In her own home, Allison thought. It was her war, and it came to her own home.