What Is Tomorrow?
|Taken July 2007
|My Dad and Me
Let The Truth Be Told…
This is a true statement as all of my writings are. I don't
want anyone wasting energy wondering did this "really happen" the way he is writing it? Trust me, it most certainly
did and the fact that I waited a few days to reflect on it all before penning it should also be most duly noted.
Friday August 8, 2008
The first 15 minutes or so of my late afternoon visit to Huston-Tillotson
was spent lolling around the guard booth talking to the security officers, looking at that lone CAMPUS PATROL CAR that was
parked which I personally equipped and donated to the school's POLICE Department about 5 years ago. I reminisced
back to the times when Amos Keith was the Chief and they were building a certified police force with little support and understanding
from the school... They had cops but they were riding around in broken down golf carts sharing a radio frequency with the
maintenance department. It was a joke.
I used to be a cop and I knew I could help so I called our Motorola
guy Darryl Logterman and asked him to go over to HTC and assess the need. With his recommendation I donated a complete
radio system for their Public Safety department along with 2 police cars that had cages, lights, sirens, mobile radios and
the frequencies required to contact other local agencies if they needed assistance or criminal checks.
Contrary to the way most people are... I didn't do it for a write-off
or special acclamation. The main reason I am even telling you about it is the fact that all the reasons I did it were
thrown away because the administration did not understand that they NEED real campus police who are respected by outside agencies
in order to keep outside agencies from coming on-campus harassing the students with undercover schemes. In other words,
the school's police can handle problems in-house and that helps the reputation of the school inevitably in the eye of the
public. Now all they have is SECURITY again and they have to call Austin Police in... who have a keen tendency to criminalize
anything, which is NOT always the right thing to do.
I was talking to my friends, thinking about all of that silently
to myself and noting that the car was dirty and looked like it needed attention. I was "thinking" this even as I awaited
the casket of my father to be brought to the school that he worked all those many years ago, the school I used to play on
the metal fire-slides, the school I met many of my friends and wife as well as the school that my dad first met
Huston-Tillotson is HOME to me and I suppose even though I am doting
on their unappreciativeness with that lone patrol car and what I was trying to do for them, just LOOK at all they have done
for me. I am in awe just looking...
I went up the hill and thought about the Librarian Mrs. Brown who
used to give me dimes for candy when I was a little boy.
As I walked to the Chapel I remembered the white with blue trimmed
building that towered there before the chapel was built. My dad had an office in there and I used to
play with Michael Emery on those fire-slides.
I remember all of that like it was yesterday even though it was
50 some-odd years ago... If yesterday is today then what is tomorrow? As my dad would answer, "When tomorrow comes it
will be today so live today as your best."
I went into the air-conditioned building thinking about all the
times I visited Stan Murphy and then I started thinking about Mrs. Lawless and her husband and the Canteen, which was replaced
by the Student Union Building. The Canteen's foundation is still visible but I am sure most of the students (if not
all) are completely unaware of the fun times that I saw growing up at HT.
I sat down in a chair near the door and started calling some
friends of mine like Ken Lamkin who lives in Houston and who is very sick. I didn't think he was
coming and I just wanted to let him know that I knew he would if he could. I am glad I have a lot of minutes on
my phone because I needed them.
I called a few more people and then I started wondering, "The funeral
home should've delivered the casket by now" but it wasn't here.
I called Boo King's cell and then after calling his home too, realized
that he was out of town. My mom called and said that she had stopped by the funeral home and they were running a little
behind but he was coming.
Today was like everyday....
So I waited some more... What's the rush? We are on CP time
and Daddy's already gone even though I don't believe he's actually G O N E, not really.
I feel him all around me.
I remember the wisdom that he imparted after each spanking he gave
and I loved him more for explaining WHY whatever it was that got me in trouble was wrong. Yes, I love my Daddy
today and tomorrow as much as I loved him yesterday.
They finally showed up as I was shooting the breeze with Connie
Kirk on the chapel steps. Connie Kirk is my friend and we have been since birth. All her family, the King's and
mine were close coming up in Austin. All of us.
We are family. They know it, I know it and now so do you.
As the youngsters today say, "And It's ALL
Finally people started arriving and it was a lovely Celebration
that ran-over a bit because of a late start. That CP-time thing again I suppose...
Dr. General Marshall and Coach James Wilson spoke about working
with my dad, things I saw first-hand by being there too. People stood up who were taught by my dad and my wife proudly
was one. I know deep down that my dad was my ace in the hole with winning her because of the enormous amount of
respect she had for him as her instructor. I know...
WHy didn't I take his class? Are you crazy?? There is no
way I wanted to be graded by my dad. He very seldom gave an A or a B. He was a hard grader and he demanded all his students
to want to do their best and I was lazy.
I am just also happy to note that I loved and respected her
dad too... and he knew it.
Love and respect are things that cannot
be glossy overed or faked.
There were also just
a few minor embellishments by one or two speakers toward the end but to that I say,”It's all-good too."
People are always going to change the story to fit their points and so I suppose the intent is more important than dwelling
on the fact that a few stories were told... The intent was beautiful... SO I guess it's OK for today. I don't think
my dad would've minded so I will let it go for now...
I went into the restroom after it was over with and ran into Dr. Charles Urdy who used
to work at HTC back in the day with my Dad. He also was on the City Council when I was trying to start a co-op cab company
and eventually when my parents, brother and I bought Harlem Cab, a company I started working for 9 years prior to
that in 1975.
I had been holding what I can best
refer to as severe animus for Dr. Urdy all these years because of HOW, in MY VIEW, he mishandled the whole taxicab
issue. Still, I shook his hand because I was honored that he had come to pay respect, told him I forgave him and
once inside the restroom started bantering a bit about a friend of his and once mine from back then... Mr. Charles Miles.
Charles Miles was a friend of my parents back in the political
times of fighting racism in Austib, You know in many ways I realize people don't really get it that you can be on the
same side of an issue but the personality conflicts between you will cause you to never be on the same page regardless of
the side of an issue you stand. It's simple and complicated at the same time.
Why was I asking about Charles Miles? Charles Miles
bought the Capital City Argus weekly paper from Arthur Sims and it has disappeared. I thought Charles had passed
to be honest with you. Dr. Urdy said, "No, Charles is my neighbor and I just saw him a few days ago."
I was happy to hear that Charles is alive. I asked Dr. Urdy to have Charles call me since I own the website name of
that paper, www.capitalcityargus.com but I am not using it... yet.
I also saw my
late God Mother Ada Simond's husband Luther and his stepson Gil Askey who had come to pay their respects to my dad and our family. Gil came all the way from Australia! That is
The place was packed and it was nice
to meet and greet people who I knew growing up and hear them say things about my dad which I knew were true too..
Saturday, August 9, 2008
We ensembled at
my parents house in NW Hills to go to the church. We left the house with 4 limousines and a limobus, escorted by 5
of my friends, 2 APD officers and 3 Precinct One Deputy Constables. I knew all of them and I thanked them for their
service, noting to memory to do something special for them in the future just to show my appreciation... and to Constable
Luke Mercer too for the service.
We got going and the trip not only went without a hitch
but it made me proud that they were able and willing to do it. I used to do motorcycle escorts under former Constable
Don Nesby, the pioneer of police funeral escorts in this county and it was in receiving the GREAT SERVICE that I felt what
I had also given to others... comfort in knowing that others care.
As I reminisced I also
realized that I will never be able to do a funeral escort again because I don't drive or ride bikes anymore. I
can't see that well. I was one of the first members of the Precinct One Escorts and I was so proud to see them work
the streets and intersections WITH the APD officers in tandem... you would really have to BE me to feel the way I do. We got to the church and it was packed. I was surprised but then remembered
that even though my dad was 98 years old, even though most of his friends were already gone to glory before him, even though
he retired over 20 years ago... even though all that... WE were still here. WE know all these people... WE being my
mother Bertha and sisters Joan, Janet and Pat, my brother James and me... These people are coming to pay their respects to
US too. I thought about a phone call I got from my friend Darwin
McKee because he had failed to respond to my message about my dad's passing in as timely a manner as he normally would've.
I appreciated his call and it made me realize the respect level that I never thought about before between Darwin and me.
It was from that realization point last week onward that I started paying attention to the calls from people like Ben Okafor,
Alex Giorgis, Julius Rogers, Willie Brown, Sammy Coffman, Grant Coffman, Bill Kirk, Jerry Harris, Chike #75, Ken Lamkin, Tim
Bridges, Harold McClung, Thurston Bilal, Jonathon Clark, Anwar Mustapha, Robert Simmons, Carole Strayhorn, Eddie Butler, Raymond
Clayborn, Thomas Henderson, Freddy Wells, Loretta Delco, Shemarry Robinson, Zak Foto, Lulye Mersha, Mrs. Britton, Elias Yohannis,
Holland Wiler, Al Adams, Curtis Walker, Reginald Sadberry, Aubdo Dickson, Ed Herndon, Vernon Crayton, Amber Williamson, Kenny
Myers, Jon Persinger, Frank Sotillo, Robert Simmons, Ugo Okoye, Dennis #17, Jolene Slama, Rick Epstein, Russ Bookbinder,
Butch Kunco, Duff Stewart, Tom Jones, Tim Jones, Jim Steinke, Marcus Wright, Michael Wright Sr., Michael Wright Jr.,
Patricia Jenkins, LaShaun Martin Wright, Dr. Michelle Wright, Latoya Wright, LaShaun Yvette Wright, Robert Jenkins, Siobhan
Jenkins Barbee, Ashley Jenkins, Nancy Barnes, Elia Diaz, Pixie and her husband, Jeanette Barlow, Bill and Debbie Brink, Eula
Ethridge and a whole bunch of people I am leaving out because I am too tired to remember. My Bad. But you get
the point too. I appreciate all of you taking the time to call or text
me condolences. And you know, if you say "All of you" real fast, it says something better. Rest in Peace daddy... Rest in Peace.