Samuel was the only black man, I had ever seen and as far as I knew the only black man living in Fife at that time. He was well known in the community and to patrons at the local working men’s club. Samuel always had a smile on his face, always ready with a joke or to laugh along with you’re a well-told joke, everyone liked Samuel. well, he was easy to like. Samuel was married, his young wife unlike him was white. Their kids, however, were wild, they would not take a telling from their mother, as for their dad, well he was so laid back he was postpositively horizontal, and would laugh off any of their misdemeanant as,
“They are only boys”.
The family home was one in a row of council houses. Their next-door neighbour, a retired man whose pride and joy was his gardener. The neighbour was exasperated with the kids taking sort cuts through his garden, damaging crops and flowers, that would not have looked out of place in a show tent. Taking on Samuel one day the neighbour told him,
“You’ll have to stop those kids of yours from running through my garden”
To which Samuel replied,
“How do you know there my kids”.
The youth club,
I was a co-founder of a youth club, in the village, we held our club nights every Tuesday and it was on one of those club nights, I was told there was a boy at the door who wanted to speak with me. I went over to the open door and sure enough, there was a little lad of around seven years of age standing directly under the light of the door lamp.
“Yes, can I help you?” I asked
“Can I join the club?” he asked by way of reply
“Do you know anyone here already, pals, schoolfriends …….?” I questioned
“Yes, my big brother comes to the club” he told me
“And who is your big brother?” I asked
This brought on screams of laughter from the other members of the club, who by now had given up on their play and had gathered around the door to curious as to what was going on. What had set them off? Well, the wee boy was black, and there was only one other boy in the village was like himself black, his brother. All I had seen was a wee seven-year-old boy. Until that moment I had no idea I was colour blind.