Strangers in our Midst


They dress strange, they talk strange, they eat strange things, they wear their hair strange, they sing strange, they think strange…they are strangers in our midst. They didn’t come from here, they weren’t born here, they come from the outside, from somewhere else, somewhere strange.

I know how it feels, I am a stranger in their midst, living as an American among Turks. Where’s Turkey? It’s somewhere strange. But to them I am strange. I know how it feels to be stared at as if I am a freak in the freak show. I know how it feels to have people talk to me in baby talk even though I speak pretty good Turkish. I know how it feels to have people walk on the other side of the street when they see me coming…because I am strange.

Fort Wayne isn’t very strange, unless you are a stranger there. Waynedale seems pretty normal, an all-American place, unless you didn’t come from America. Lots of Turks would love to live in America. My good friend from Central Asia just got his green card to settle there, maybe in Boston or Chicago he says. I know how he will feel, like a stranger.

But it doesn’t have to be too bad, not if we learn how to treat strangers in our midst…like they are not so strange, like we want to learn about their ways, like we like them. Some people here know how to do that. They invite me to have a tea or coffee with them and we chat. They ask about my home, I ask about theirs, we get to know each other. There are plenty of strangers in Fort Wayne, people from every corner of the earth, who just need a Hoosier to treat them nice, show a little hospitality, make them feel a little more at home. You might hear an interesting story or get a tasty recipe out of the deal, or better yet, you might make a friend out of a stranger.

The Waynedale News Staff

Ron Coody

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