Gerald and I went to Montgomery, AL, for the dedication of the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) Wall Of Tolerance and to have our name enshrined on a brick in the wall.
I was sitting beside an elderly woman and we began talking about our hats. I told her that I was allergic to the sun and I wore hats to protect my skin and she said she'd always worn hats to church, but she wore them now because she'd lost nearly all of her hair.
I introduced myself and told her where I was from and she said, "You came all the way from Ohio for this?" I told her it was one of the most important things in our lives. When I asked her name, she responded, "Sippie." I asked, "Were you named for Sippie Wallace?" She exclaimed, "Honey Chile, how on earth would you know about Sippie Wallace--you're too young--and you're too white!" I laughed and said, "Bonnie Raitt would never let us forget those wonderful women Blues singers!"
She didn't know Bonnie Raitt and when I told her about all the work Bonnie had done to guarantee that the old-time Blues and rock singers and composers received their royalties, she was amazed. She asked, "Is she a singer too?" I answered, "Yes ma'm, she's a blues singer!" Sippie said, "Well, pshaw, is she a white girl?" I said, "Yes, ma'm." Sippie said, ""Well, doesn't that just beat all?"