Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hand In Hand.

20 years ago, I hung out with a couple of Iranian guys at a bar I liked in Compton. I had been in L.A. for a couple of years, and they were of similar SoCal vintage. I had left behind a small town, but behind them was a trail so much trickier than my own.
We would drink a little and, yeah, we smoked some opium, too. It was only ten years removed from the Iranian hostage crisis, and it would be accurate to say that these guys were still not being invited to Sunday cook-outs in Redondo Beach. Not until they met me, anyway.
We talked about family and sports and weather and our countries, too. We had much more in common than the newspapers said we did.
That Compton office closed a long time ago, and I've thought about those guys often through the years. I met a couple of Iranians this afternoon--about that same age, with similar spirit and, today, a seriousness of tone. They told me they had been at home and up all night, watching CNN while their country broiled. They said they had to get out of the house, and warned me to stay away from the YouTube video of a young girl being killed in Tehran.
If you are lucky, you will have known Iranian people in your life; such a warm, welcoming culture and such lovely friends.
And tonight, brothers, I'm thinking once again of you...

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