Momma fell ill the day the Louis Jordan released his new
song “Somebody up there digs me”.
I went to Midland Record Store to pick it up for her.
I wasn’t a fan of Jordan but Momma
loved the way that man sang.
“Something about the way he smiled makes me feel like I know that man”,
she would say.
Come to think of it
Momma would say she was somehow related to anyone who liked to smile.
That was the last album I bought for
her, Momma passed a month later.
Ironic, I wish somebody up there did watch out for her.
Pop didn’t make much of Momma’s
After the wake I sat in her
He said that tears
wasn’t gonna bring her back.
never forget what he said after I asked why my Momma, someone who was so good
to everyone was taken so early by god.
He said that Mr. Darwin got it all wrong.
“The weak are not taken out early, it’s the folks that are
too good for this cruel world that are taken from us, to remind us what we
should be like”.
Maybe he was
But it’s still not
Momma’s passing added
another rule for Pop.
about things you can’t change.
comes from the saddest places.
Charles Dean was my best friend.
He was two years older than me but we
were in the same grade.
sick as a child so he started school later than the rest of the kids his age.
Physically he was superior than most
He came from share cropper stock.
Strong, agile and
mobile. He stood 6 feet tall of solid muscle at the age of twelve.
He was the fastest runner in Midland
and the smartest kid I knew.
could he throw a football.
from the white school would come to watch him play pick up games to learn what
a perfect spiral looked like.
think because both of us lost our Momma’s we could relate with one
Charlie’s momma died
giving birth to him.
He felt he
owed it to his Momma to make something out of himself.
More than just throwing a football he
knew power and choice came from intelligence.
If it wasn’t for Charlie I would of never gotten into the
Charlie and I would make
up science experiments in his daddy’s garage.
We’d find discarded chemicals in the trash and mix them
together thinking we could create chemicals that could make us fly.
I’m surprised we didn’t burn down the
place with all the crazy things concocted in that dusty garage.
We even tried to give one of Pop’s old
chickens a heart transplant.
work but at least we got to eat chicken for supper.
Charlie would say he was going to be the next George
He’d say he was
gonna invent something more than just peanut butter.
George Washington Carver was the name of Midlands black
elementary school, junior high and High school.
Carver was a fitting role model for us, we celebrated his
name because he reminded us we were equals in intelligence.
Charlie planted this seed in me.
I could become someone of relevance,
someone that could change the world.
It was simple, put your mind into it and you can change the world.
I was gonna change the world.