I haven't been able to get my mother on the phone yet tonight to talk to her about the proceedings at her induction into the Half Century Club for graduates of Benedict College. It is probably because she is on the phone with her sisters, whose SIXTIETH college reunion has either just taken place or will be happening soon.
This is waaay back -- before the seatbelt was mandatory, before unleaded gas was popular, before King and Malcolm X and John Kennedy had each taken a bullet for the human race, before Pampers and airbags and cassette tapes and VCR's -- before practically everything that you see now existed, if you are under forty years of age.
I guess I'll get to talk to her a little later -- actually, this post is in its own way a method for me to kill some time until she and her sisters get off the phone, but they are talkers. In fact, we are all talkers, the way some people are chain smokers, or binge drinkers, so I am sure that I need to keep writing, to keep thinking up a few more lines to entertain both you and me until I think the line is clear.
If you have old school parents like mine, who are from the Deep South, you know how unlikely it is that they will click over when they hear the phone beep.
My mother is a Jay Leno fan, so I am sure when we talk, we will touch on tonight's guest of honor, Sarah Palin, and ruminate about what Jay might have up his sleeve to make her look bad -- not that it would be hard for a third grader to make Sarah look bad, but still, thinking about Jay's antics will take up a few minutes.
We'll talk about Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley, and both of us will say "what is wrong with Tavis?" in the same cadence, because I learned from her how to be exasperated at the kind of dumb shit certain egotistical, limelight needing black people will do or say when they think someone is paying attention to them.
What we won't talk about, but what I will write here, is the irony of her accomplishment -- to come back to her undergraduate alma mater after teaching school for thirty eight years -- in light of the recent statistics that show almost HALF of African American high school students do not graduate these days.
Congratulations, Mom, on a life well lived!!