Friday, January 30, 2009

An Open Letter to Jimmy Carter

Photo: Beebe

Dear Mr. President,

Due to the infinite powers of synchronicity our paths crossed just a minute or 2 before 0830hrs this morning at the 200 block of South Brevard Street in Charlotte North Carolina where I have been honestly employed as a bicycle messenger since July 3, 1998. This morning I picked up US Mail for 2 of my clients which has been the daily routine for 8 of the last 10 years that I have done this job. As I rode towards the One Wachovia Building to deliver the first of the 2 drops I realized that I was perhaps 10 minutes ahead of my normal schedule but could not figure out exactly why. I pedaled west on East Trade Street passing the taller than life Mahatma Gandhi statue who sees me most mornings and I acknowledge his presence with a happy yell. Up a few blocks just as I was making my left onto South Brevard the first of the 3 black and tinted SUVs in your motorcade travelling East on Trade was making it's right onto South Brevard. As I straightened out then came the second dark SUV, which wound up immediately to my right as we both occupied separate lanes of the 2 lane one way street. I looked into the back seat of the big suburban which was being dramatically illuminated by a low rising sun from left to right across my frontage and in through your window. From 3 meters away at about 18 to 20 forward miles per hour I saw your spectral form sitting almost in the middle but more behind the front passenger. Just as I recognized your human form you glanced over your left shoulder in my direction but I am truly not sure if you ever saw me. At that instant the SUV directly behind you came fast hard left to intercept me while putting itself between you and I. Still rolling the secret service agent with light eyes had the window down and was all over me with degrading language that honestly made me feel marginalized and in his emotional vice. I became defensive as I looked right into his eyes and yelled, "Sorry, this is my job I do it every day!" Less than 18 inches to my right moving forward his verbal barrage continued as did my response. Your SUV had just crossed 4th Street when agent angry swerved across my front wheel and off ahead to catch up with you. Then the 2nd sedan of the 3 behind the SUVs which appeared to be being operated by perhaps a high ranking Georgia State Highway Patrolman came across the lane right for me at a high rate of speed with window down on my right to give me more loud aggressive verbiage about what I am supposed to be doing. Within seconds of him hearing my profane response he too accelerated off to the front to catch up with your group. Mr. Carter I realize that you are indeed the 39th President of this fine country in which we dwell but please let your guys know that anger is not something that should be perpetuated. They made me scared for my life and that immediately put me in endangered instinctual mode which once someone goes there it is hard to come back. I felt extraordinarily shocky for the rest of my day through the now. Your presence and our fleeting shoulder to should meeting has given me transfer on a new level and I am compelled to let you know that I too hope for peace in the Middle East. I am aware of what is going on there and I know that the only way my 9 year old daughter has a chance on this globe is for it to stop and really change. You were here promoting that new book of yours which I respect but hope that you can convey to your Secret Service agents to open their eyes and be careful how they address humans out in the world for to have hope in peace anywhere, peace must me initiated.

Honestly and Respectfully,

Billy Fehr


KingJimmy said...

I wonder if the secret service knows anything about providing service with a smile? :-)


Why does "Carter" need that many agents??? He needs to stay in Ga and live out his retirement,just my opinion. I think your 9yr old daughter and our kids will do more for peace over there in their lifetime than Carter ever could or will. Sorry for posting. I've been lurking around for awhile. Good reading here, but I had to post on this one,


the technIAn said...

You won't have to worry about him being protected like that forever. Once you are in the ground I think they stop the stupid motorcades. Good write up and I can't say it is a surprise. I have been pretty lucky with my encounters of commuting and such and put it mostly on being aware that not being a pedestrian and not being considered a motor vehicle by anyone other than my state legislature, I am solely responsible for my safety.

Screw everyone that isn't on two wheels and keep your eyes and ears open. We are a minority and get treated as such.

Anonymous said...

Send him an email

Maybe they thought you stole his bike: