Matt Tager Contributor, Legacy Magazine
In an affluent suburb just outside of Atlanta lies a 300-acre estate that holds the Constance P. Merriwether School for Girls (grades K through 12) and being Spring, it’s naturally time for the school’s annual cotillion or classy social dance. All year the girls talk about what they’ll wear, who they’ll wear and, more importantly who the most popular and rich boys are at the nearby military academy.
A week prior to the dance, the head mistress, Avery Merriwether, great great great granddaughter to the school’s namesake, calls the military academy to arrange for the young men to be brought to the dance as escorts for the young ladies.
“Yes ma’am, our young men are certainly eager and looking forward to the dance on Saturday night,” says the cadet sergeant on the other end of the phone.
“Splendid!” Avery replies, in a southern accent that would make Scarlet O’Hara jealous. “And, just one more thing, sergeant…” she adds before ending the call.
She lowers her voice just slightly, even though there was no one to hear in her spacious 600-square foot office adorned with antiques, bookcases and a large antique conference table. “Can you see that there are no Jewish boys included … we wouldn’t want to expose our young ladies to their … beliefs … if you understand my meaning.”
“I’ll see what I can do, ma’am,” answered the sergeant.
“Splendid! Your understanding is most appreciated” and hangs up the phone.
The night of the cotillion, three large military buses from the academy pull up to the front of the school loaded with all black cadets. The head mistress, Ms. Merriwether, runs down the front steps in complete shock and horror. A 6′ 3” black cadet steps off the bus and Avery cries, “Oh my lordy lord, there must be some kind of mistake!!”
The cadet answers, in his most polite yet official tone: “Ma’am, I might have made a mistake and you might have made a mistake but Captain Goldstein … he NEVER makes a mistake.”