A border town between North Carolina & Virginia. Circa, 1728. But incorporated only after the revolution–a confederacy of a town. Large tobacco plantation gave way to manufacturing until that moved out of town too. Several centuries of rural poverty, juxtaposed with white owners.
Met Cory a boy of about 17, a waiter at a local music and food, laminated menu type of place.
Very handsome young man, with an identifiable cultural heritage that hangs on in his language. “Yes sir, no sir, right away sir.” An unnatural deference, he even bowed his head as he finished taking my cheeseburger order.
I asked him what he thought I was talking about when I said “the place had a deeply southern feeling.” He knew right away. He had been up north and said he himself noticed that there was a suspicious respect that he paid that ran deep. I remember thinking before I spoke with him that he was a “black boy” and I was an old white guy.
We made a connection. I liked him and I could tell that he liked me.
He smiled wide, brought the check and I tipped him well.
He had moved away from that town but was not sure why he had moved back.
“Do you like living here,” I asked? He made an ambivalent face and said, “I guess so.”