Typewriters were very expensive and my family could not afford one.
I was one of two kids from Baldwin County that was chosen to go to Washington along with hundreds of other kids across the country.
Before we left, the Alabama delegation took a trip to our state capitol in Montgomery for a meeting with the governor.
The governor's name was George C.Wallace.
The same George Wallace who in 1963 stood in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama to block African Americans from enrolling.
Wallace embraced the evils of segregation.
He pitted whites against blacks, the South against the North, the working class against the so-called elites.
Meeting my governor was not an honor for me.
My heroes in life were Dr. Martin Luther King, and Robert F.Kennedy, who had fought against the very things that Wallace stood for.
Keep in mind, that I grew up, or, when I grew up, I grew up in a place where King and Kennedy were not exactly held in high esteem.
When I was a kid, the South was still coming to grips with its history.
My textbooks even said the Civil War was about states' rights. They barely mentioned slavery.
So I had to figure out for myself what was right and true. It was a search. It was a process.
It drew on the moral sense that I'd learned from my parents, and in church, and in my own heart, and led me on my own journey of discovery.
I found books in the public library that they probably didn't know they had.
They all pointed to the fact that Wallace was wrong.
That injustices like segregation had no place in our world. That equality is a right.
As I said, I was only 16 when I met Governor Wallace, so I shook his hand as we were expected to do.
But shaking his hand felt like a betrayal of my own beliefs. It felt wrong. Like I was selling a piece of my soul.
From Montgomery we flew to Washington. It was the first time I had ever been on an airplane.
In fact it was the first time that I traveled out of the South.
On June 15,1977, I was one of 900 high schoolers greeted by the new president, President Jimmy Carter, on the south lawn of the White House, right there on the other side of the ellipse.
1.state capitol 州议会大厦
例句：When I walked into the state Capitol, a hometown crowd was there to clap, cheer, and hug me for my performance.
2.come to grips with 面临
例句：Meanwhile, some countries and regions must still come to grips with such problems as economic slowdown, rising prices and mounting employment pressure.
3.learn from 向…学习
例句：We should learn from experienced teachers.
4.hold in high esteem 对...十分尊敬
例句：The students in our university all hold him in high esteem because of his eminence in the field of ecology.