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Saturday, November 4, 2017

This Was Prelude, but not the Beginning


Ward Samuel Washington had already worked a full day at Raymond Manufacturing International, where, as General Manager, he was responsible for the thousand and one daily details arising from employee, supplier, production, and record keeping issues, but he took the time to remove his grey sport coat, loosen his tie, and roll up his sleeves. He knelt down and scooped up a handful of dirt from the ground and rubbed it into his uncalloused palms.

“Give me the bat,” he said as he stood. “It’s my turn to take a swing. I want to break that bastard’s head.”

The moment had come. This was prelude, but not the beginning.

There would be no more apocalyptic visions; the time for dreams was over. Now it was time for deeds, for action, for full throttled movement towards the bloody climax of human history.

He had already put in a full nine hours and he was tired, ready to go home. He knew that his wife would have dinner waiting for him and that after dinner his children would ask him for help with their homework  - but for this he would delay his drive home. This was important.

“Give me the bat,” he said. “I want to break this bastard’s head.”

But don’t imagine that this act of brutality was a world changing event. Neither was it a life changing event for Ward S. Washington. This street-side assault, this battery which left his starched white shirt spattered with blood and flecks of bone changed nothing. He and the others who cheered him on, and who took their own swings with the bat, remained exactly was they were.

This was prelude, but not the beginning.

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