Posted in Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

As Natural as Breathing

Here’s to the good old days of Dick Van Dike and Mary Tyler Moore.

My World With Words

A 1965 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show shows Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) and his wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) accepting an award on behalf of Rob’s boss, Alan Brady (Carl Reiner). The award, given by the fictitious Committee for Interracial Understanding, is for Alan Brady’s contributions to understanding and honesty between the black and white communities.

mary-tyler-moore-dick-van-dyke-joel-fluellen-4 Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, Joel Fluellen

One sentence in Rob’s acceptance speech gets to me. “It seems to me understanding should be as natural as breathing,” he says. “And you don’t get awards for breathing.”

Understanding in the racial divide is hard work. I’ll be the first to say, I don’t get it, I don’t get what it’s like to be black in America.  I’m white, I grew up in an almost exclusively white neighborhood and school district, although as an adult, I entered into much more diverse scenarios.


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My real name is Debra (Debbie Sue). Sarah is a nickname given to me in high school. My husband has always called me that so here in Florida It's all I am known by. I was born and raised in Illinois. My son and I moved to Colorado in 1982. I taught school for 17 years. Then I ran a homeschooling/preschool/daycare until 2006 when I moved to Florida after my son, Bobby died suddenly. He was almost 26. Danny and I live and work at a state park here. I miss the mountains and climate of Colorado. I miss snow and the four seasons. I miss Bobby.

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