From the recording Never Too Late

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by Neale Eckstein, Fox Run Road (ASCAP)
NE: vocals, acoustic guitar, gryphon
Greg Greenway: vocals
Matt Nakoa: electric guitar, organ
Craig Akin: bass
Alan Goodrich: drums


My mom she owned this luncheonette
In the center of the town
I was growing up in Durham
1950’s in the south
All the black folks sat at the back of the bus
That would drop me at her door
Where I could spin on a red swivel stool
That was bolted to the floor
Some sat in the front 
Some sat in the back
Some couldn’t sit anywhere at all 
Some went to the front door
Some went to the back
It didn’t make much sense when I was small
It didn’t make much sense at all
Mom would fix me an ice cream sundae
That I’d take across the street
To the barber shop with all the comic books
That was my favorite place to be
I could watch the Five Points traffic
Listen to the black men with their shears
Who kept my flat top neatly trimmed
And high around the ears
Some places had separate entrances
Water fountains with  “white only” signs
But the barber shop had none of that
The customers were black and white
My mom, she served everyone
Though the black folks never stayed
I never asked why they never sat
Just always been that way
One day a black man ran into the barber shop
Said there was trouble up the street
All the stores were closing early
Woolworth’s called the police
I ran across Chapel Hill Street
As Mom was turning off the neon signs
She grabbed her purse and locked up quick
She’d parked near the Five and Dime
Police cars were blocking Main Street
We made a U-turn and sped away
I asked her what was going on
I don’t think she knew what to say
Heard the grown-ups talking
Watching “sit-ins” on TV
I was too young to understand it
Or I just didn’t want to see
But whenever I see a red swivel stool
I smell tobacco haze
And I think about how much has changed
And how much has stayed the same