He was holding a rappelling rope and he was standing outside of his barracks door. He had nothing on but the first generation of the Army grey PT shorts, no T-shirt. It was late 1987. I was a cherry in the 82d Airborne Division. He was my neighbor in the barracks. It was one of my first nights there. He had the room right next to mine, at the very end of the hallway in a single man room.
Green was short and stocky. He was what I became to know as a shit house lawyer. He knew enough about just about anything going on to make sure that he could tell you how the problem needed to be solved. He used enough big words to make you think he knew the deal, but most of us just kinda laughed him off.
He invited me into his room. He had it all darkened out. It seemed as if I was walking into a dungeon pit. He was tying knots with this big green rope. He seemed to know a million. He showed me a girth hitch and in line bowline. They were cool. Turns out he was from Slocomb, AL. I was from Dothan. We were close to the same age, I think he was a year older. When he found out I was from Dothan, he pulled out a few books from off the shelf. They were photo albums. He started showing me pictures. He wanted to see if I knew any of the folks in the pictures. I was looking through the pictures. There were normal pictures, you know, family pictures. But one section, tucked in the middle, were obvious pictures of a clan rally. As he saw I was looking at those pictures, he tied a noose and showed it to me. He was proud. He said that his uncle taught him that knot when he was six. Said it was the first one he ever learned. He said, “that’s when I knew that I loved knots and hated N…….”
I’m pretty sure he is still around the Wiregrass. Last time I checked on him in Facebook, he was a prison guard in the panhandle. Figures. Its about upbringing! Racism sucks.