Monday, January 16, 2012

Another MLK Problem

All of the hullaballoo over the inscription on the recently opened MLK Memorial reminded me of another mistake on MLK weekend over 20 years ago.
In 1990 our son, who was almost 9, was quickly becoming an exceptional swimmer.  We spent many weekends crowded onto bleachers around 8-lane pools smelling chlorinated air and watching for hours to see him swim just a few minutes in total.  This particular MLK meet was for 8&unders, but there were probably hundreds of them in the DC metropolitan swim league known as Potomac Valley Swimming.
That particular meet Dan did quite well in most every event he swam.  His second place ribbon was in the 100 M Individual Medley, where he got a 1:43:69 -- yes, recorded down to the hundredth of a second by averaging the times clocked by 3 timers on each lane.
When the ribbons were handed out, it quickly became apparent that someone in the D.C. Department of Recreation had fallen down on the proof-reading job.  The honoree for which the holiday was named had become Dr. M. L. Kink, Jr.  Ribbons in all eight colors had been printed incorrectly.
No one even suggested the idea of reprinting the ribbons or passing out stick-on G’s!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be disrespectful, but I burst out laughing as I read your post. I can just imagine the look on all your fellow parents' faces!

On a more serious note, I recently saw "The Black Power Mixtape." Very interesting to see so much footage of Stokely Carmichael and to hear him and other leaders explain their disagreement with MLK Jr.'s approach (and how in some cases in the intervening years people have changed their minds back around)...


12:32 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

Oh no! I can't imagine how horrible whoever was in charge of those ribbons must have felt!

6:58 AM  

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