Jenkins was a stranger to Lancer. He only recalled ever seeing him once. On a sunny spring day inside a coffin at his funeral. Continue reading Soldiers of the Great War (Part One)
The calamity of Trumpvirus has made me glad my parents aren’t alive today to witness our disgrace. Only father’s and mother’s astonishment might’ve surpassed their disappointment in us.
As I’ve written elsewhere, by the time father and mother reached 27 and 16, respectively, they endured the Jim Crow South, the Depression, and World War II. After those preliminaries, they formed the devoted black masses who broke the second-class barriers which suppressed the truest of all Americans. Continue reading Social Eye Rolling
Six Christmases away from Quarropas and I’ve just learned what had been the area’s “local radio station” has now become an on-dial sports talk destination. As if WFAN and the New York Metropolitan ESPN radio conduit insufficiently failed capturing bar stool jocks. Continue reading Cozy and Comfy
Old Paint was wheezing harder than usual. After all the part swapping, repairs, and just general babying of that car, what finally forced my hand was a check engine light. Sure. It could’ve been a fouled sensor. Or maybe it might’ve been the first sign of the head gasket preparing to crack.
In any case, I read the yellow dashboard light as a clear warning from the gearhead gods. It became the straw which broke my camel’s back. Continue reading Old Paint Was a Lemon
One aspect of our society we should hope never succumbs to speed, convenience or economy is the habit of exchanging Christmas cards. The real paper ones sealed inside envelopes, bearing stamps, and dropped in mailboxes.
Unlike the rotary phone, black & white televisions, and phonographs, inventions that became consumer goods which progress raced by and rendered obsolete, printed cards delivered via surface mail, bearing stamps, contained in covers carrying the sometimes nearly indecipherable scrawls of well-meaning senders who held the recipients in worthy esteem, are worthwhile remnants of our less instantaneous time.
They reflected humanity. Ours. Continue reading Christmas Prisms
Hear music as ether. Good ether.
With zero apologies to Marcel Proust, music not madeleines better allow ourselves to re-immerse ourselves in the past and fully revivify it. Not so much live music at that as tunes sound engineers have massaged down to their last notes. To me, too much concert music sounds ragged. Live performances allow bands license to mess with the perfection which either narcotized or motivated me in the first place.
I generally prefer my ether unadulterated and exactly the way I’ve come to favor it. Continue reading Good Ether
Three Augusts ago I resided at ease in suburban splendor. So much so I took several vacation days to visit Kewpie in Miami. She’d been laboring on film shoot. Warren joined us.
When she wasn’t eye-rolling on-set shenanigans or prima dona outbursts, we treacherous three gamboled along South Beach. Had I known my carefree days were short, I would’ve behaved way more carelessly.
Hmmm. Just might suggest that as my epitaph.
Two years ago, Quarropas, the old hometown, remained somewhat recognizable. That was if a long-time resident squinted. By this time last year, it was less splendiferous since every soul making that loaded word “home” a desirable refuge had died away.
August 2014 marks my first year in Las Vegas. Continue reading Shoulder to the Wheel
Here’s a question that indelibly colors its speaker: “Where you at?”
Having lived in Metropolitan New York, I’ve doubtlessly heard it. Now relocated to Las Vegas the phrase echoes frequently. It insults my ears. It diminishes the level of regard the speaker will be held.
“Where you at?” sits among the worst of first impressions. Continue reading Bloody Mouth
This post follows Phony Gold and Our Patrimony. Language and characterizations reflect the times, people and places.
Without Waymon our two-family home shrunk. That’s a statement I couldn’t attribute to his wife Camille, or sons Richard and Junior together. Combined my aunt and cousins lacked my uncle’s single vitality. Waymon’s subtraction multiplied emptiness.
Although obviously gone, one truly became aware of his absence after the funeral. Esteem him, fear him, my uncle lived 93 years. He’d known a lot of people. Not all of whom went before him.
The significance of Waymon’s death was such that even mother made a pilgrimage to our old modest homestead. Certainly acrimony ruptured my parents. However, that happened in 1966. So long ago time had blurred its sharpness.
In their reckless haste to denude Waymon and Camille’s portion of our house, my cousin Boopy and her husband Dim overlooked “the pen.” To them, the instrument must’ve been among the most meaningless of trifles. Like all those photographs of her family.
The implement was more than an expensive writing tool. Boopy’s grandfather Waymon bought it for a single use, a distinct purpose. He’d paid attention to the processes which granted blacks greater inclusion into American life. All of them affirmed through signatures. What he had in mind was no less momentous than those bills enacted. Continue reading Our Patrimony