My husband comes from the Anacostia neighborhood in SE Washington DC. Anybody familiar with this area knows it is the quintessential definition of ghetto. More to the point, it is a slum. His story was tailor-made for Horatio Alger.
He got a job in a brokerage firm at the age of 17 as a janitor and a kindly old white gentleman assuaged his liberal guilt by taking a shine to an obviously bright young African-American boy from the neighborhood and helped get my future husband into a junior college, taught him the commodity trading business from the ground up, and three years later Archibald - his name clearly a hint to this blog's theme - was able to earn a scholarship to this gentleman's alma mater, Georgetown, and the rest, as they say, is history. A sort of reverse Alan Iverson story.
A curious thing began to happen. Archibald started putting distance between himself and the old neighborhood and managed to turn himself into a version of that white gentleman but, unfortunately, without his generosity. To this day, he still insists that he earned his scholarship to Georgetown and, as a result, has no one to thank for what later success he so clearly earned, being a poor kid from the ghetto and working so hard and on and on into the night. As much as I love him for his other attributes, he has a hole in his soul in this area.
I thought naming this blog the way I did would be a fitting testament to the gentleman who helped my husband. He had a delicious sense of irony. And now you know . . .