1919 BEK (Black Eyed Kids) Incident in Sandoval, Illinois Disclosed
Written by wolverat on May 25, 2020
A century old (1919) black eyed kids incident in Sandoval, Illinois is disclosed by the grand child of the experiencer. How many other similar incidents occurred so many years ago?
“The following story was told to me, back in the 60s, by my grandfather. It was an incident that took place sometime in early 1919 near Sandoval, Illinois.
He told me it had been hot the past summer and the heat lingered for months, so he had all the windows and both doors open on his house. He was sitting on the porch reading a book because it was too stuffy to be inside. He went in to make a snack, get a drink when he heard a knock. This struck him as odd because most people would just call out that knew him so he figured it was a vagrant looking for a meal or labor. He lived by the train tracks so hobos would come from time to time and I guess it was normal. So he goes to the hall and two kids are standing in the entranceway and call out “may we come in to rest. It’s a long way home.” So he says they were welcome to sit on the porch but it’s too hot inside to be comfortable. He asked if they came from the rails and they just said “we need to come in, may we?”
From what he said the kids made him feel peculiar because:
1) they wouldn’t look at him directly;
2) they were too clean.
My grandfather said that riding the trains was dirty. You’d get grease on you and coal dust and sometimes you get cuts on your hands or knees (he lost his leg doing the very thing which kept him out of the war). But these kids, from what he said, were pristine – like they were going to Sunday school. They weren’t sweating and their hair was neat and it struck him as odd. If they had walked in open fields in the middle of the heat they would be unkempt or disheveled. He asks again if they would like to sit on the porch and the girl (it was a boy and girl but the boy didn’t speak) just repeated “May we come in?” and then she just kept asking “May we, may we, may we…” over and over again until my grandfather slammed his hand down and says “Damn you both, no!” The girl stopped speaking and he said they both just stood quiet until the girl looked at him, ‘eyes black like coal’ and said once more “Mister, may we please come in?”
My grandfather just walked to the kitchen and sat down not knowing what to do. He said he felt like someone punched him in the stomach. He said he sat there until his dog came rushing in the house ‘shaking like a leaf.’
So at the end he never told anyone. He chalked it up to heat exhaustion, but he said it troubled him for years. I just wonder how far back of stories of BEK go?” SS
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