Rick Dunn listened to Donita Johnson’s mother, and that’s what started it all.
Rick went to the Juneteenth celebration at Little Rock’s Mosaic Templars in 2014. After a showing of the PBS documentary about the Freedom Riders, a woman stood and addressed the audience.
“She was this very distinguished-looking lady, with locks and African garb on. She said, ‘I’m a member of this church and it doesn’t matter what your color is, what you’re economic status is, we welcome everybody,'” Rick says.
It was the Rufus K. Young Christian Church she spoke about, just a few blocks from where he lived, so he visited the very next day. Every Sunday for months after that, he returned, sitting in a pew behind that woman and her daughter, Donita. He thought Donita was beautiful.
Donita noticed Rick at church, too, though only because his skin tone was lighter than that of the other congregants.
“He was the only one there that looked like him,” she says.
On Dec. 7, he approached Donita, simply asking if he could stop by and see her while she was working at Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library.
Donita told him that would be fine, and she enjoyed chatting with him when he did stop by, although she did have to stop the conversation at one point to ask his name.
The following week, he invited her to get ice cream.
“We got to talking there, sitting on a bench inside of Kilwins and I told her I loved music and she loves music, too. We kind of hit it off pretty good,” Rick says.
SOURCE: Kimberly Dishongh
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette