Allan started as a stringer for NGOs writing business/community narratives to pull heart strings and dollars. And while it’s awesome engaging 40 million people into the search for health, homeless, violence and child care injustices (details of which are stuffed, quietly and undisturbed, into his résumé), he felt it was time to redirect his passions beyond grants and dissertations. Up for an adventure?

As a Story Terrace writer, Allan interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better: you can read an autobiographical story of his own below. Get in touch today to work with him!

Accidental Escort

The year was about 1998, though I confess I don’t rightly recall the numbers. Chronology and I sometimes have a fighting relationship.

Anyway, there I was, standing in line on the street, next to get permission to go through the high-security screening house on the prairie of the White House lawn. “Everyone must be searched” someone bellowed consistently. When all of a sudden, a big bold arm smacks me on the chest, stopping me in my tracks.

“Sorry, sir,” the Secret Service guy says, “wait here a few minutes.”

Out of nowhere, a small entourage of Black vehicles, untelling of their occupants, pulls arrogantly up to the curb. Wandering eyes pierce us all as two or three guards jump free, scanning everything. Then, they part, and, reclaiming the feel of classiness, a regal woman lays her sturdy but adorned foot on the walkway, gently glancing about for wrinkles in her attire.

“Mrs King,” the agent in charge proclaims, “Good to see you. This way with your men, please.”

Turns out even the good guys with private guns had to go through the scanning. Off they were whisked. Silently I admired my fortune: “Wow, that was cool,” I say to whoever happened to be behind me.

Four or five minutes later, I’m jolted into awareness. “Your turn,” I’m advised. “Continue through the booth please.”

Inside the house, the armed guards re-dress after their searches, belting back their devices and pistols. I’m pushed past and told to go forth as I’m clearly no threat. “The reception is straight ahead” someone noted.

Steps outside, as I gazed about in awe, there she was. Standing quietly, alone, unharnessed by anyone. Only before that comes into focus, I see her stumble and squeal with surprise: “Oh my,” Coretta Scott King, the wife of America’s own Martin Luther exclaims, regaining her posture instantly.

“Oh dear,” she then says, stepping towards me as she recovers. “I misstepped. Believe I twisted my ankle!” she shares, to me I guess. I’m the only other one there.

Gallantly, and without options to hide behind, I meet her step. She smiles, smoothes her dress again, and says in the most powerfully innocent proclamation of righteousness my mind can comprehend …  says it literally this way, words from the mouth of the loving wife of an outstanding legend of justice, capturing what history never got: “Young man: Could you possibly help me make it to the White House?”

Then, needing no affirmation, she inserts her arm around mine and propels us both forward, never to utter another word to me. The White House awaits, and she needed to be there.