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Saturday Was A Good Day
8/27/2014 4:22:59 PM

By Barney Blakeney

I’ve always liked the song “Today Was A Good Day” by rapper Ice Cube. More accurately, I like the theme. I really listened to the lyrics for the first the other day - uh, nah! In a lot of his music and acting roles Ice Cube portrays this real hard gangsta dude. He’s actually a shrewd businessman. But the theme of a day being as good one resonates with me.

I had a good day Saturday. Between Wesley UM Church and Fetter Health Care Network, Nassau Street was rockin’. The ladies at Wesley did their monthly community breakfast thing and the Fetter folks did their community celebration of National Health Center Week. The activities were pumpin’ - good food, good folks - I had a ball. What really made my day was my interact’ions with guys I ran into all day long.

The day started off with a meeting of the fellas at Wesley. The guys at Morris Street Baptist did their thing Saturday also. They usually have a slammin’ breakfast and fellowship. Last time we watched the movie “12 Years A Slave” together. Wendell McCoy and those boys don’t cut no slack and the guys are a lot of fun to be around. I couldn’t hook up with them because of the goings on at Wesley.

At Wesley we had a good meeting and got some business done. Hangin’ around with the ladies was a blast too. When I asked Paulette about my tip she sang the words to the spiritual song, “Jesus Paid It all”. I had fun.

Me and Teddie stopped by the watering hole afterward. The old man and a few of the regulars were there. They got to talking football - I ain’t no sportsman. I don’t even remember who won the superbowl. And guess what? Don’t care. But eventually, they got around to my favorite conversation: current affairs. We talked about a lot of stuff - of course, the Michael Brown murder was part of it.

The best part of my day came when I let my brother-in-law talk me into attending his sister’s 80th birthday party on Wadmalaw Island. Man, it’s a beautiful thing when family comes together. I last saw those folks in December when their mother, the family matriarch, turned 100. Them ladies got it goin’ on. Again, good food, good folks.

The coup de gras came when a bunch of fellas ended up on the back porch sippin’ an jawin’. Okay, I pretty much was the only one sippin’, but we all took part in the jawin’. And it was outa sight!

It was several of my brother-in-law’s nephews, a friend of their family, me and three guys from Mount Pleasant. Turned out, I know the Mount Pleasant guys. We each have history from different times and places. They each cautioned that a conversation with me could end up in print.

Hey, I write about my experiences. So far nobody’s gone to jail. Still, they made me promise that what went on on Wadmalaw, would stay on Wadmalaw. I get accused of a lot of stuff - everything from misquoting to writing stuff that never was said. Listen, I make mistakes, but you don’t stay in this business 35 years jerkin’ folks around. I was bound to keep my promise. But ya’ll, that conversation was too good to keep among us. I asked the fellas for a pass. They gave it to me.

We talked about a lot of stuff in that conversation also - everything from football to current affairs. Then we got into some honest and heartfelt discussion about being men, fathers and sons. It got deep, ya’ll.

Guys were talking about the fathers who were in their lives and those who were not. We talked about Black men cheating on our mothers in a culture where cheating wasn’t considered cheating. We talked about the siblings on the outside, how some strong Black men supported them all and how some equally strong Black men didn’t.

We teased one guy as the rich guy among us. He told how his dad and many others like his dad sold moonshine liquor to support his mother’s kids and the outside kids. And one guy opened up to tell of relationships that sours when a son realizes the father he adores wasn’t treating his mother right.

I can’t begin to relay the conversation on the back porch. I imagine most guys, young and old, know the stories. I think sisters reading this know the story as well.

And to my brother having a hard time right now, it’s gon be alright, bruh. You’ve got a house full of shoulders to lean on. And if ours don’t get it, you know who to take it to.

But back to the porch, Saturday was a good day. All day long it was about brothers who bring stuff to the table and drop it like its hot. Those are the kind of brothers we need to deal with the madness of kids who take guns to football games and shoot at police officers. More of us need to be that kind of brothers.

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