Just going through my luggage, clearing out some things to make way for enlightenment
Tuesday, October 18, 2005Working my way back...Part 1
Back in the early 1980s, The Spinners, who had gone several years without a hit, scored a big one with a cover of the Frankie Valli/Four Seasons hit of the 1960s, "Working My Way Back to You." For years I was under the impression that the Spinners were an east coast group because they really encompassed the "Philly" sound. How surprised was I to find out they are, in fact, from the Ferndale suburb of Detroit. I only give this information to place the title of this post in context. I am working my way back. There will be no other mention of the song or either group that recorded it. Consider that a Black History moment.
So... I am truly working my way back... from a ridiculously long weekend in the air, on the rails and on the road... from the cold I caught in Jersey and cultivated in Chicago... from so many things. I'm still not completely done because I have to drive Edward Jones, author of The Known World, back to DC following his appearance on our campus last evening. I keeps it moving. But I guess first things first.
The rain was nearing its end when I left New Jersey on last Thursday morning. That was the morning the power went out and I was forced to run around in the dark trying to get myself together. Oddly, I didn't forget anything, except to wake up to catch the bus that was supposed to take me to DC to catch my plane. I ended up taking AMTRAK to DC, which is always a pleasant trip. Once in DC I took the Metro to the airport, stopping by Pentagon City along the way to grab something at Macy's (I'm a shopaholic... I admit it. I NEED HELP...). From Macy's it's only one stop to Reagan Airport... could be two... who remembers? I had something new to wear.
Let me say that I really hate to fly or maybe I just hate the thought of flying because I live for the convenience. I also love airports. I always have. I love all the people on their way to somewhere, each with a story to tell. National is unfamiliar to me, but airports are designed for the unfamiliar. That may be one of the things I find comforting... they are designed so that anyone can use them. On my way to the gate I passed a very well-dressed brother holding a signed marked with 3 Ms.
"Brother, you're going the wrong way," he said.
"Am I," I paused, looking around at the signage.
"You need to be here for the march," he said.
"Not at all," I said and went on 'bout my business.
For my thoughts on the Millions More Movement please refer to the previous post, The Millions More March.... Just one more reason not to go, August 2005. Anyway I got to my gate and flight. On board it was wonderful to find that I had the row of seats to myself. I luxuriated... at least until I got to Detroit and Buddha, himself sat next to me for the connecting flight across the lake. Perhaps I should have taken comfort in his presence, but the seats are small and he needed 2. I let him have all three and found an aisle seat in the row immediately in front of me.
Once in Chicago I jumped on the "L" and met Crofton downtown at Bennigans. At that time I also met LeRoy's good friend, Kevin... a beautiful person. Immediately following communion we drove to the south side to commune with the rest of the family at LaRonya's.
I am so glad that Crofton and LeRoy prepared me for the rest of the family, but if they hadn't I woulda been ok. They are just like mine... KRAZY! There must be about 50 first cousins and they all grew up together. Among those I met were LaWanna, LaKrista, LaKeitha and a few others, marked with the "L" prefix. Not unsual to me as my family went through a "K" thing in the 70s. That's why we have Kali, Kysee (Kee-say'), Kareem and Keenon. It was just like home... folks laughin', cryin', eatin', drinkin', cussin' and fussin'. It was really a great evening despite the occasion. That's when I found out that LeRoy's remains remained in New York because his female progenitor of life refused to sign the release. Her reasons remain unclear, but there is speculation... though none of that makes sense either.
LeRoy had a wonderful memorial celebration in Chicago. Just Friends screamed for the gods! It is amazing that some of the best events that folks plan and execute are memorial gatherings. LeRoy's siblings and extended family made very clear what he meant to them. After all I went through to get there, I am glad I went, not only to support my best friend, but to honor his brother who I grew to love like my own.