Archive for August, 2010

Fridge Magnets

Posted: August 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

Among the many magnets on our fridge is one belonging to me. It is a black and white photo of Martin Luther King staring off into the distance with his fingers laced together. I bought it in the Kennedy Library in Boston on our first trip to America, it was a belated honeymoon for us, the year we got married, we bought a house and couldn’t afford to go on holiday. Anyway, that magnet has followed us from house to house and fridge to fridge and has always held pride of place right on the top right hand corner of the fridge door.

Dr King has been a hero of mine for as long as I can remember. Like many other kids, when my Dad got home early enough from work, he would read me a bed time story. One evening however, he sat at the end of my bed with a book I didn’t recognise.  On the cover was a well dressed black man and as black men were a rare sight in Ireland in the 1970’s, it struck me immediately. My Dad explained who he was and how he wanted me to listen to one of his most famous speeches. He then started reading the “I have a dream” speech. I didn’t understand all of it but listened away. At a point towards the end of the speech, my Dads voice started to crack, I asked him what was wrong and he just smiled, hugged me tight and kissed me goodnight.

So, flash forward 30 odd years and my wife is back from a short trip to the states. Herself and her buds had been to Memphis to see Graceland and while there, went to the civil rights museum which is housed in the Lorraine Motel where Dr King was shot. Knowing my admiration of the great man she picked up a beautiful parchment with the “I have a dream” speech printed on it.

When she got home, I was unravelling the parchment and my four year son was sitting on my knee. I was reading through the speech for him and after a while my voice began to crack and I stopped. The little lad gave me a big hug and a kiss and told me “every thing’s going to be OK Daddy”. I hugged him back really tight and gave him a chocolate biscuit.