She could have been with the IRA. “The troubles” in Ireland were stoutly brewing at the time. But it was hard to imagine Celia fusing bombs. She was too fun-loving for that. An infectious laugh from the look of a 50s movie star like Audrey Hepburn, she was Northern Irish with an English accent. No, more like Jean Simmons in Spartacus. So it was hard to figure why she wasn’t worthy enough to stick around legally in San Francisco.
☞ It was crazy indeed to think of marrying a woman barely known even though as a gesture to help her out of her predicament. Barnstorm crazy, because I’d recently got my head kicked in a recent marriage rodeo, and Celia’s room-mate was my ex-sister-in-law. But Celia’s green card would not be renewed. So in the spirit of the Code of the West, I suggested to the damsel in distress the marriage solution. But Celia blew it off. Of course, she’d already been made the offer. Naw, she wasn’t going to risk a phony marriage for citizenship in a country that rejected her.
☞ Imagine, having a person of principle like that as citizen of these United States! She wouldn’t have even had to spread her legs; just say she did. But she didn’t want to be a scoff law! Where would it stop? What an absolutely undesirable character! An intelligent woman paying her way with a steady job? A single woman with no child to bear as a burden? A person so personable she might have married a millionaire and added to the economy. And in all likelihood, she would never have taken up fusing bombs. But the United States Department of Immigration thought otherwise.
☞ The day Celia was scheduled to fly out of San Fran for Vancouver B.C. the distractions of starting a new business made me forget until Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News at 5 PM. As Dan signified the date of Celia’s flight out, he headlined the broadcast with a story concerning the libraries of San Diego, how they were forced to shut down due to the flood of pregnancies in local hospitals.
☞ It was some time around the Bi-Centennial, 1975-76. Difficult to check when exactly it was because the splendiferous libraries built over the years in most communities had already been hurting. Fund cutting was a daily occurrence. But let’s just say for symbolism, 1976, celebrating two hundred years of survival as a nation. It was also about ten years after the Johnson administration re-opened the immigration valve, virtually closed since the twenties. Celia was likely part of the new policy. There was a new emphasis on immigration. New stops were in place, more openings.
A hint of the new openings were then seen on-screen at CBS: an image from south of San Diego: a woody inclined slope leading down from a new opening on top which was actually a torn section of chain-link fencing. Through that opening a steady line of penguins waddled down the slope and out of the frame and into a car waiting to whisk them to some Mercy Emergency. They weren’t actually penguins. They were women, looking ten months pregnant made them waddle down the incline like penguins. And in their footsteps were trampled funds for Shakespeare, Plato, Thomas Jefferson, Alice In Wonderland, at the local library.
☞ In the 90s, while teaching at Waseda University in Tokyo, it was announced that the American President Clinton would be speaking on campus. The usual Japanese crowd made seeing my president in the flesh undesirable, but later tuning in local news at home rendered a view of Daitori-o Crinton speaking to the student body of Waseda. Flicking on the Sony, the first words I hear from Daitori-o Crinton sounded much like a recruitment call: “We need more Asian peepull!”
What’s this thing about needing any kind of peepull? I dunno, but Clinton sure did. And Obama after him. Following the same line, the Obama administration’s immigration record shows over six hundred thousand peepull allowed entry from Asian countries, and only fifteen from the UK. And we don’t know how those fifteen legal limey’s were colored. President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s immigration policy, seeded from 1965, bloomed in full flower.
☞ Another angle on this subject was offered in Trying Times 24 Jan 2016t: Clinton Limbo Lingo Law. That post had a little fun with a law the Clinton apparatus actually wanted to pass whereby every language spoken in the country was to be made a national language— and screw this one you’re reading. Their list of proposed national languages demonstrated that most every form of language is spoken in America— save perhaps Australian aboriginal dialects or wandering tribes in the Gobi Desert. With every language family represented within American borders, we may conclude that all peepull exist within the general population. Therefore, it’s of little necessity to let more in. All manner of folks are already represented. We can hear them squawking now. Let them squawk no more, but time is needed for absorption. Stop immigration and perhaps a racial balance might be achieved, a slim chance of healing from present destructive inter-racial bleeding. In other words, reinstate the old immigration policy which was passed by an earlier bunch of racism-lite hypocrites who wanted to keep out the kikes and wops. Then at least it might have seemed more equitable to banish Celia, not to kick her out for another brand of genes.
☞ Around the time of Celia’s departure, Bob Dylan’s song “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” was minted. Picturing Celia saddened by her predicament was emblematic; it could’ve been the cover for that song. She was on a visit from the city that day and trying to enjoy a picnic. The shot of her so cast-down didn’t seem the best of the lot when it was snapped, but when told of what happened, what was going to happen, the picture definitely gained a meaning.
Using masses of people as political pawns by power-hungry idiots definitely carries some sad symbolic freight. Celia was an emblem of that sadness. The meaning of it has grown through the decades.