Monday, December 25, 2006
Happy fabulous Christmas to everyone.. The year is almost over... We lost the Godfather of Soul on Christmas Day.. RIP, James Brown.. Life continues on though, doesn't it? It' amazing all that we have these days.. the technology and the world at our fingertips.. The kind of information and advances to allow for learning a lot faster but human behavior and various mentalities really prevent society from truly making a step forward.. Personally, I think our best days and times our behind us.. I'm sure we're gonna have fun and do big thangs in this "keepin it real" world but back in the day was the real fun that admittedly we took for granted, during my time, before my time and probably generations ago but as a person who is growing quite fond of the past, it's never too late to recognize just what we had.. Yeah, we had issues with the whole civil rights stuff and all sorts of other movements.. Crimes being committed on people of color but despite all that, family was important and love mean't a great deal.. People of color went hand in hand with people of strength even when we of today's times misinterpretted those moments of strength..
Today, I had fun reminiscing with someone about pancakes.. This person talked about how her mother in Arkansas made her pancakes with the slightly crunchy edges.. *smile* I love those too.. I often did that by mistake even when I was trying to make pancakes like they do at the restaurant, so smooth and light... All that talk of pancakes reminded me of the summers I spent in Mt. Pleasant(east Texas) with my grandparents.. My grandmother(Senora) spoiled me with fresh milk straight from the cow, fresh eggs that I sometimes picked out myself, and pancakes made from scratch.. Some real country cooking on the farm.. She put some pounds on me so when I got back home in LA my mother would put me on a diet right away... Incredible days, sweet memories...
This past week I've been in touch with a relative that I never met before. He called me all the way from Delaware. A man named James Royal originally from Daingerfield, Texas with an incredible amount of information about family going way way back. The information is really something and of course it points out we weren't a perfect people but we were strong.. We were hardworkers. We owned and developed some beautiful land but typically the most fascinating stories are the ones about the drugs, crime, affairs of the heart, etc etc.. James shared with me information about his great grandfather Ben Royal born in 1860. This man had a white father and it's assumed that his mixed features were what made him attractive to women because he had plenty and took advantage of this constantly.. He fathered many many children, some of them with relatives like an attractive cousin or a sister-in-law that caught his eye. And all these women lived pretty close to him, sometimes even living on the same farm which he did very well at.. Most men back then and in these areas of east Texas had farms. There were even some women who did very well in these small towns.. We always hear about the struggles of black people back in the day but somehow there was folks making money and doing very well in spite of those struggles and predjudices.. My great great grandmother Mariah was described in one of the documents that James found as "Rivers family matriarch, Mariah, was a woman of substance and ingenuity with vast land holdings and a church named in her honor." She first built the church herself after slavery ended. The church still bears her name today but the tradition is being lost to the new generation who chooses to forget rather than to honor... That's the problem today... folks make the choice to forget thinking the past wasn't cool or had no relation to what's going on now.. My next book shows how incredible the past was and how it's so much a part of what some wish for today, everyday; wondering what happened to love...true love... Until Again is some powerful stuff and it came to be that way because I've chosen not to forget... My choice is a discovery that I wish I had made many many years ago.. I think if I had, I'd be a lot farther along in life but no matter because it still feels good.. You want excitement, love, danger, strength, happiness, sadness, passion, romance, tragedy, perseverence...look to the past..