Bob Ourlia

11 years at the News

This feeling of anger has been here now for 21 months. It has grown so familiar. For a single emotion, it has many dimensions. In morning, though low-grade, anger propels me out of bed, keeps me from falling back asleep and forces me to begin picking up the telephone before my first cup of coffee is gone. Sometimes the anger flashes to pink, then to red. Sometimes it allows me to remain cool and confident and focused, to keep a clear head in the face of confrontation and potential violence.

This weekend I was on an airliner, going to see my fiancee, who had to move away to keep working, earn money and continue her career. On the plane was a scab, evidently on her way home to visit somebody. Last week a man — no, not a man, a scab — threatened to murder me. Last month I heard the story again about my grandfather coming home from the Ford plant, his face broken and bloodied by the Pinkerton goons. Last year my uncle told me how he was fired in the early days of the UAW for asking for a raise.

Sometimes, like those times, this anger becomes a fury. They really believe they can do this in our town, in our lives? Sometimes this anger feels good. Really, really good.

© 1998 Detroit Journalism Photography. To secure reproduction rights to any image e-mail GeoWaldman@aol.com or call 207-607-0468.