I can envision Sir Isaac Newton sitting beneath such an apple tree as the one that stood grandly in the meadow on Grandaddy Gene Brown’s farm. I mean, if you think about it, the apple that “inspired” Newton to develop his theory of gravity was probably not your local grocery store variety. In my vision; ostensibly inspired by the cartoons of my youth which portrayed, if erringly, the falling apple rousing Newton from his reverie beneath the tree by clouting him on his esteemed noggin; the apples hanging above Newton’s reclining form, were as varied in size and shape as the “wild apples” in the meadow.

What if the theory inspiring apple was one of those babies? In my vision, I can see two possible scenarios, depending upon the size of the falling apple. If one of the smaller ones had plopped down onto Newton’s head, he probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But in my vision, it’s one of those huge, hard ones that releases itself from the branch above Newton and whacks him on his honorable head, rendering him unconscious. While in this state of somnolence, EUREKA! Newton dreams up the theory of universal gravity. Well, it could have happened that way!

Although a falling apple did start Newton’s thought process about gravity, the theory-inspiring apple didn’t actually hit Newton’s head. It hit the ground, like falling apples are wont to do. Another errant idea is that Eve tempted Adam with an apple but theorists believe that it was more likely a pomegranate. The word used to describe that fruit can also be translated as apple; historically, giving apples a bad rap. And what of the proverbial, “Bad Apple”? The “Bad Apple” is a person of less than stellar merit. As a matter of fact, the scientific name for an apple is “malus”, a Latin word meaning “bad”.

We never hear of someone being referred to as a “Good Apple”. But we know that apples are good because they’ve been known to “keep the doctor away” by contributing to the health of its consumer. We know that, how good an apple is, depends on the tree. People say that the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.  The Good Book says that a “tree is known by the fruit it bears”; I presume that the obverse is also true.

One thing I know with a certainty and that is that; the “Wild Apple Tree” in the meadow, on Gene Brown’s farm was a good tree, with strong roots and a sturdy trunk. Its limbs and branches were strong and the fruit it bore were good fruit. Although the apples were varied in shape and color, they were all pleasing to the senses; and though the original tree is no more, the fruit and seeds of the tree still prosper. It’s interesting that apple trees are not native to America. They were imported from overseas. From the first seeds and saplings that endured the arduous journey over oceans, the country eventually became populated with these hardy trees with their precious fruit.

Another interesting fact about apples is that, the trees which produce the beautifully colored apples that adorn the shelves and bins of the produce section in your favorite market, cannot be grown from seeds they must be grafted in order to create the trees which produce those apples. Think about that for a while. Usually cutting a tree means the death of that tree, but not so with the cut and grafted apple trees. The fruit of these trees is even more beautiful than that of the trees grown from the original seeds.

Yes, I love reminiscing about that old “Wild Apple” tree that stood in the meadow on Gene Brown’s farm. That tree, with its gnarled, outstretched fingers, stretching out from equally twisted and roughened limbs and branches; firmly rooted in the rich black soil of the field. That tree with its green, yellow and red fruit, peeking form beneath a green afro of leaves waving and fluttering in the gentle summer breeze. I never had the pleasure of meeting Gene Brown, he was gone to Glory long before I was born, but I saw his apple tree. I climbed his apple tree. I ate the fruit of his apple tree. I guess that’ll do, for now.

See you next week!


My Jams ’76

jams 76

“Gwin, your mother is here to pick you up early don’t forget your signed papers and have a happy birthday!”

What?  Did the teacher just say that mama was here already?  OOOWWEEE!  She must have something good planned.

Anyway, once I saw mama, I said, “Why you picking me up so early?”

Mama smiled but she didn’t say anything; she just walked me to the car.  Once we got inside, she cranked it up and turned on the radio.

I bet you can’t guess what happened next!

Ok, I’ll tell you!

The DJ started talking and he said, “This song is dedicated to Gwin!  I hope you enjoy yourself on your birthday today!”

Then he played one of my favorite songs, “Enjoy yourself” by The Jacksons.

How did he know it was my birthday?  Mama must be magic!

Great day in the mornin’!!!

Miss Time Machine has successfully delivered us right into 1976!  Honey that sister is tired from having to drop Gwin’s son off at school this morning.  Please believe that she hates making pit stops in the 21st century.  Home girl swears that she burns more gas whenever she has to stop anywhere in the 2000’s.

Hell, she once told me that a trip back in time isn’t cost effective until she passes over 1987.

Yass!  Don’t be giving me the side eye, I’m just telling you what she told me!

So how are you kids doing in 1976?  I see T. Wayne, Geo Gee and Cousin Ron over there shooting the breeze! Where in the hell are the rest of y’all?  Come on and holler at me in the comment section.

And so…

Let’s get this thang started!

My Jams ‘76

 You’ll never find another love like mine:  Lou Rawls

I think I shook my damn head for  35 seconds before I could type anything about this song!

Do you hear that piano playfully responding to Lou’s vocals?  Where do we hear genius like that in today’s R&B?   Submit your essay response via comments.

I shole hate it for whoever Lou was talking to!  Dear brother Lou told that chick that she would be missing him “late in the midnight hour…”  Hot damn!  That lovin’ must be miraculous!

‘Cause if it’s not, my ass is going to sleep!

“You’re gonna miss my lovin’…”


 More, More, More:  Andrea True Connection

Yes Gawd!  The White people have arrived!  This blonde porno queen purred her way right on over to the soul charts in 1976.

I don’t give a damn if you don’t like it!  I liked it!

 Keep it coming love:  KC and the Sunshine Band

Let’s just be honest, KC ain’t exactly no Luther Vandross when it comes to vocals but in the ‘70’s that joker was always good for a catchy jam!

Two thumbs up brah!

Now during one of the choruses I could have sworn I heard him say “Keep me comin’ love…”

Now what is that supposed to mean?


“Don’t stop it now…Don’t stop it no…”

 Low down:  Boz Skaggs

Another brother with a melanin challenge!

Well I don’t give a tinker’s damn about the fact that he didn’t look like my folks, this sucker was banging!

There is no listening to this jam without playing air guitar!  Yass!!

“Dirty, dirty low down!”

Dazz:  Brick

The South is here y’all!  These boys are out of Atlanta, Jawja!

Brick brought something new to the game!

These jokers flipped the script all the way around.  One of the members of Brick described Dazz as a fusion of Disco and Jazz.

Baby they DID that!

Free:  Deneice Williams

If you wanna know what an Angel sounds like, listen to this jam!

Who gives a damn that she is requesting her freedom from love’s bondage; that’s beside the point!

I just can’t with Neicy on this jam!

I remember playing this song over and over while I thought about that special boy—What’s his face?

Heaven must be missing an angel:  Tavares

Such handsome brothers!  I just love this jam!

They say that there is something special about the harmonies created by family members; especially siblings!

Don’t believe it?  Check these brothers out.

 Young hearts run free: Candi Staton

Kids, this is real talk right here!

BAYbee, the music is nice but the lyrics are serious!  This beautiful woman, and do believe me when I tell you that Queen Diva Candi is gorgeous, is telling you youngsters:

“…Young hearts, to yourself be true, don’t be no fool when love really don’t love you!”

Where in the hell are my QUEENS??  YASSS!!

 “Young hearts, run free, never be hung up, hung up like my man and me.”

 I’ll be good to ya:  Brothers Johnson

All the ladies loved this jam!  But I have one question for you:  Can you say: “Lightnin’ Licks?”

Yessuh!  Them Johnson Brothers stormed on the scene in ’76.  I chose the word ‘stormed’ because they were collectively known as Lightnin’ Licks and Thunder Thumbs on rhythm guitar and bass guitar respectively.

Well on this jam, it was all about the “lightnin!”

“I’ll be good to ya, good to ya, good to ya!”

 Turn the beat around:  Vicki Sue Robinson

FLUTE!!! To be honest, this was one of my first encounters with that beautiful instrument!

Did you hear that freaking flute player on this jam?  You gotta listen close because it’s quick!

Now don’t get me wrong, Queen Diva Vicki gave every musician some love on this monster but that damn flute did it for me!

“…I know that you want to get your thang on!”

Love ballad:  LTD

Jeffrey?  What?  Yasss!

“I have never been so much, in love, before….what a difference a true love made in my life…”


I simply cannot…tears….tears…somebody come get me…my ass is on the floor in a fetal position!

 Sophisticated Lady: Natalie Cole

WHERE ARE MY DAMN QUEENS!  Ya’ll should be all over this jam!

God rest Queen Diva Natalie’s soul!!!  This sista brought it with this track!

You oughta see me walking around here with my big legs rocking these “high heel steppers!”

Yes, yes y’all! To da beat y’all! (I retain the right to jump decades and/or genres when talking sh!t)

Harvest for the world: The Isley brothers

 “When will there be?”

“I wanna know!”

Ron, sadly, we all want to know!  Chris is pounding on them black and whites baby!

 Something he can feel: Aretha Franklin

Mama once asked me what I wanted to ‘give’ him when I was singing this jam.

I knew better than to answer that question. Moving on!

 Message in our music: The O ‘Jays

NOPE!!!  I just can’t!

Please go listen to it!


 I don’t want to lose your love: The Emotions

‘Cause if you tell me to go baby/ I will leave you alone/ don’t ask me to stay then do me wrong! YEAH!

What the hell else can I say to that????

I got nothing!

You must check this jam out!  The Queen Diva Wanda and her Queen Diva sisters are straight killing it on this one!

 After the dance:  Marvin Gaye

“I’m walking out of here with you baby!”

Marvin I know, but baby I am already two steps ahead of you!  I knew the moment that I saw you that I was gonna let you…

Oops, I better keep it clean!


Darn!  That’s the end!  (Nod to Schoolhouse Rock)

Looks like we are at the top of the hour so I gotta be out!  Remember, this list is in no particular order and it is not exhaustive.

Why don’t you tell me your faves from 1976.  I had to leave off a ton of them and it hurts me to the bone!

God Bless you and keep you 1976—WE GONE, BYE BYE!





I’ll make this short and sweet.

I am weird.  Downright strange.  Unusual even.

Never been normal and never will be.

I can guarantee you that anybody who knows me will happily agree with every word I just wrote.

Don’t believe me?

Check this out!  I once got a ‘love letter’ from a young man who said, among other things, “Gwin, you are weird but it is a strange kind of weird that makes me like you.”  I promise you, that’s what he said– verbatim!

What the hell?

Best believe, he was no e.e. cummings, but strangely enough, I actually felt complimented by the fact that this little lover boy called me ‘weird.’  To be honest, I embraced it!

I still do!

In fact, I think it’s cool that I am just as comfortable laughing at George Carlin as I am laughing at Richard Pryor.  Or that I am just as happy singing “Moonlight Feels Right” by Starbuck as I am singing “Master Blaster” by Stevie Wonder.

Now I’ll admit that I do have a special passion for soul music; I enjoy exploring this in the “My Jams” series.  But I digress!

Anyway, speaking of “Moonlight Feels Right,” I once attended a fabulous Christmas party at a beautiful home perched on an inlet of The Chesapeake Bay.  Frankly, I like to credit that experience to my penchant for daydreaming while listening to that song.

Perplexed?  Well go back and check the song’s lyrics.  After you do that, meet me in the comment section and let’s chat about it!

Do you want to know something else?  I like the fact that I can switch from one form of English to another.  Now in this case, I am not alone.  Frankly, most folks of a certain age are very adept at doing so.  If you are interested in learning more about this valuable skill set and how it is expressed in the black community, you should probably check out this article. Honestly, I think that all kids, regardless of ethnicity, need to learn how and when to properly do this.  Um hmm– I said it!

Oh yeah, by the way, I am probably the only person below age 96 who knows all of the words to the closing theme of “The Lawrence Welk Show.”  As a matter of fact, I’ve been known to sing that little ditty at a moment’s notice.

Baby even my white brothers and sisters find that shit strange!

No matter!

I am a weirdo and I’m good with it!


Sunday Shoutout: Motivation

Rod 2 image


Today’s Sunday shoutout is about MOTIVATION!

Summer is coming!  Time to shape up!  Forget aesthetics, I’m talking about wellness!  OK, we can’t completely forget aesthetics; we’ll just make it secondary to health 🙂

My friends, this dude right here is all about trying to help folks like me and you establish a healthier way of living.  As an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, I would venture to say that he probably knows what he’s talking about.  The fact that he is also a Biology major at a prestigious American University doesn’t hurt either.

If you want to learn more about establishing and maintaining a healthier lifestyle why don’t you check him out.  You can find him here.

Side note: This young man and I once shared a body about twenty something years ago, I did ALL the work and he just chilled!  LOL! He was my first major assignment in life and by all accounts it looks like I got an A+ !

Mama loves you man!

Did I do a good job son?



Ron’s Time Tunnel: Wild Apples



Great Grandaddy Eugene (Gene) Brown was the father of my paternal grandfather, Charlie James Brown, as well as my grandfather’s oldest brother, Fletcher Brown (also my father’s name), Aunt Willie Eva (the oldest daughter), Aunt Annie Bell and the baby, Pecola or Aunt “Babe,”as she was affectionately known to my siblings and I. As a matter of fact, I believe everyone called her Aunt Babe, including her own grandchildren. Uncle Fletcher died long before I was born.

Grandaddy Gene was a landholder and successful farmer who’d somehow and through the most trying of times; which included such adversity as was encountered during the “Great Depression” and the “Jim Crow Era,” managed to gain and retain ownership of his, “forty acres and a mule” and then some. On that land, he grew crops such as cotton and peanuts. Alongside these “cash crops” he grew “subsistence crops” like; corn, greens, field peas, butterbeans, okra, snap beans, and many others. Of course, this was all before my time, but I was an attentive and incidental student, who listened closely to the stories told by the elders.

On this farm, my Grandfather also grew sugar cane. When harvested, the sugar cane was transported to, and fed into, the onsite “cane mill.”  The mill was powered by the mule that pulled a “sweep,” which then turned two live oak “rollers,” between which the cane stalks were fed. The rollers crushed the stalks of sugar cane, producing a sickly sweet juice which was strained through a burlap strainer into a barrel. The cane juice could then be used or sold as syrup for biscuits, or as jugs of juice for drinking.

I recall the stories that were told about the farm and its various industries. I recall the descriptions of the different types of flora, which grew, blossomed and bore fruit on the farm, but the “Wild Apple” tree, I saw with my own eyes. It had survived down through the years, sharing its fruit with two; maybe three generations of Browns terminating in my generation; for the tree is no more.

I can recall the times when my father would take us out “in the country” and to the farm. The only structure still standing on the old farm was a corn crib, which my Uncle Harry used for his hog feed and corn, of course. Uncle Harry still farmed some of the land; using the “U.S.S. John Deere” to cultivate and grow corn to feed his livestock. The corn crib, the tractor and the pigs were all fascinating entities, but the object which drew me with black-hole-like force was the “Wild Apple Tree” and its fruit of red, green, and gold.

We called these apples “wild” but that was actually a misnomer. The only truly “wild” apples native to the United States are the crabapples. I’ve eaten those too and believe me, there is no way that one, could ever be mistaken for the other. The apples at the farm were wildly sweet and insidiously tart, but the crabapples were harshly acrid. They elicited a pucker reflex exponentially greater than lemons, or any other “sour” food, for that matter. They’d leave your mouth feeling like cotton for hours after ingestion, but not the farm’s “wild apples”. They were only “wild” insofar as they grew on a mostly abandoned farm which, was no longer a home to people; just rabbits, hogs, squirrels, and deer.

Once on the farm, I’d dash past the pig pen and the corn crib then dash across the open meadow; quickly climbing the short-trunked tree and scooting out onto the low, thick branches. It was a wonderfully easy tree to climb and the rewards for the miniscule effort it took to scale the tree, were the oddly shaped, golden, red apples. These apples didn’t look like the ones in the store. They didn’t have the familiar “apple shape.” They were squatty and wide. Some were large and some were smaller. They were harder than the “store-bought” kind, but once one was past the outer covering, they were sumptuous.

No doubt, each apple was unique; no two of them the same.

Hmm, as I think about that fact, I am reminded of something else…

I’ll elaborate next Friday in Wild Apples Part 2.




My Jams ’75


My Jams '75



Ain’t she sweet?

See her walking down the street

Now I ask you very confidentially

Ain’t she sweet?

Mrs. Scott is my teacher and she has a ukulele.  Every day she sings “Ain’t She Sweet” when it’s time for us to leave school and go home.  I love Mrs. Scott! She is very pretty and she has the longest hair you ever saw!  Most times she keeps it in a bun but sometimes she takes it down so we can see how long it is.

Besides being pretty, she is very nice!  She always lets us do all kinds of fun things! One time she let us make applesauce and homemade whipped cream.  It tasted so good!

Oh yeah, today was a little bit different.  When Mrs. Scott sang “Ain’t She Sweet,” her voice wasn’t the same.  We could barely hear her.   Guess what?  When me and my friends were leaving our classroom, Mrs. Scott started crying.  It was the last day of school and we never saw her again…

What’s up sisters and brothers?  Can you believe that it’s already 1975?  I just be damned!  Where does the time go?

By the way dear ones please believe that Mrs. Scott did her job and she did it well!  Go ‘head on Mrs. Scott, you did the damn thang!  You are at the top of the heap when it comes to elementary school teachers!  Don’t cry; let the little birdies fly!

Thanks to her, that’s exactly what we did!

And so…

Now, y’all already know that I run on a platform of honesty and transparency.  So BAYbee when I tell you 1975 was a challenge for me, I mean it!  I almost had to rename this post “My Jammy Jam Jams ‘75” after having filtered the list down to my absolute favorites.

Imagine if I had included my favorite rock jams? Whaaaa?  I simply cannot fathom such!

Y’all, in 1975, the Gods and Goddesses of Soul offered way too many goodies to choose from! Tearfully, I had to leave so many off.

So folks don’t kill me if you don’t see your jam (ahem, cough, cough… Write me in the comments section)!

And away we go:

My Jams ‘75

Lovin’ You by Minnie Riperton

Can you say “whistle register?”  Yes baby, when this Queen Diva hits the high note it registers as high as you or I could whistle!

I see you young’uns— Mariah and them—but baby, when it comes to Ms. Minnie, all of ’em need to bow down!

That’s The Way I Like It by KC and The Sunshine Band

Yass!  KC had everybody claiming he was half black and everything else.  Y’all just let it go, the brother is white!  Ever heard of “blue-eye”soul?

All I gotta say is that brothers and sisters come in all colors and this brother had soul on lock.  Did you hear them blasting horns in this jam?  I simply cannot…and that’s a good thing!

You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate

Yessuh, the UK is in the house! This brother killed it!  The hair on the back of my neck stands up when I hear Errol Brown’s voice dancing around and on top of them damn violins!

Tack was running around the house singing, “I believe in Malcos!”

Baby… the man said, “I believe in miracles!”

European countries have always shown much love to the blues and soul genres.  We sendin’ it right back my loves!

Right Back Where We Started From Maxine Nightingale

What the hell did I just tell you about the UK?  Yass honey, Ms. Queen Diva Nightingale was bringing it!

Flat out, this was just a fun ass song!  Please somebody listen to this jam and teach our kids how to play real instruments!

England was rocking this one in 1975; we didn’t catch on until 1976.  I decided to stay true to the ‘actuals and factuals!’

“OOOOOhhhh and it’s alright…”

Get Down Tonight by KC and The Sunshine Band

The white black boy does it again childrens!

“Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight!”

Peep the brass!

I Love Music by The O’Jays


‘The Sound of Philly BABY!’  Gamble and Huff y’all!

Just wait!  From this point onward, “My Jams” will be ate up with ‘The Sound of Philadelphia!’

Brass! Strings! Percussion! OOOWEEEE!!!!

Speaking of percussion, the freaking percussion at the beginning of this jam!  What?

And the harmonies!  To say anything else about the composition of this song is stating the obvious!

This is a ‘fair’ song.  I’ll tell you what a fair song is in October!  Just stick with me!

“Get it on, get it on funky funky music!”

Rockin’ Chair by Gwen McCrae

I don’t think you ready!  Did you hear that Queen Diva on this track?  Naw, y’all ain’t ready!

Sounds like her then hubby, singer George McCrae, was a lucky man! This sista answered him back after he called for her to “rock your baby.”

George, consider yourself ROCKED!

 L-O-V-E by Al Green

I just can’t say anything else that hasn’t been said about Mr. Green as a singer.

What I will say is that this is a spiritual kind of jam!  Can’t you tell he’s talking about something bigger than romantic love?

“It’s all in the heavens…can’t you see?”

Go watch Al perform this jam on an old ‘Soul Train’ episode.   Now I warn you–you might cry; but in a good way!  The brotha is clearly testifyin.’

By the way, he’s rockin’ a perm and a brown and white plaid jacket!  Yasss!!!


Slippery When Wet by The Commodores

 Ah yes!  My Alabama homeboys brought the natural funk with this one!  Yessuh!  You’ll definitely see these brothers again on future ‘My Jams.’

Bertha Butt Boogie by The Jimmy Castor Bunch

“I said no questions!”

Ain’t gonna lie!  They used to call my mama and her sistas the “Butt Sistas” because they all had junk in the trunk! In the South, that’s not a bad thing!

What kid didn’t like this song?  I loved it back then…but I gotta leave it in 1975!


Dreaming a Dream by Crown Heights Affair

Disco is coming baby and it’s coming strong!  This is a jam that you can chill to!

I put this one on when I want to go back in time and zone out!  You really owe it to yourself to listen to it! If you love ‘70’s disco rhythms then it’s got everything you need!

Valentine Love by Norman Connors featuring Queen Diva Jean Carne and Funk master Michael Henderson

You haven’t lived if you don’t know this jam.  They played it every Valentine’s Day.  I simply cannot!

Much too much smoothness in one place!

By the way, Jean Carne sounds as good TODAY as she did then!  Go check her out! Brush up on them old school Divas.  Can you say:  “Don’t let it go to your head?”

K-Jee by MFSB

I told y’all back in the early ‘70’s that I would talk about this joker again!  Well the time is nigh!

Do you remember the Latino couple that technically spanked John Travolta’s character (Tony) in the “Saturday Night Fever” dance contest?  Guess what?  They were dancing to this jam!

Hell even Tony knew that they were better than he was!

I might not be a ‘70’s dance champ but I still gets busy with this Philly jam!

Rolling Down A Mountainside by The Main Ingredient

Just go listen to this one!  That’s ALL I have to say about that!

Sun Goddess by Ramsey Lewis-Earth Wind and Fire

There are no words!

Let Me Make Love To You by The O’Jays

“I won’t stop ‘til you ask me to…beg me to!”  WHAT?????

I simply cannot!

Summer Madness by Kool and the Gang

It looks like this is one of those jams that was released one year and then did some kinda magic return thingy in another year.  Either way, I am including it in 1975.

To me, you must listen to ‘Summer Madness’ while riding in your car on a sultry summer night! Try it this year and tell me what you think 🙂

Uh oh!  The clock is about to strike 12:00 midnight!  Ms. Sexy Lady G has got to get up outta here!  By the way, you do realize that I, Ms. Sexy Lady G, am the one who dictates these posts to Gwin.  She is nothing more than a, whatchamacallit?  Typist!  Oh yeah that’s the word!


Bye, bye 1975!

Respectfully and tearfully dedicated to the Late Great Prince Rogers Nelson 😥

RIP my love!




















































That’s What I’m Talking About!



One of the goals of my blog is to share stories, ideas, information and concepts that I hope will edify my readers.  Bearing this in mind, I decided to share a story that I read on about a police officer who engaged in a bit of goodwill by shooting hoops with some young men.  Believe it or not, the officer was present because someone had reported these kids for playing a noisy game of “street” basketball.

Say what?
Yeah, you read it right!
Anyway, the unexpected response from the officer, which was captured on this video, went viral.
Now, if you have any knowledge of law enforcement, you already know that this so called “basketball cop” was engaging in a bit of “community policing.”  If you are new to the concept, think of it this way, to get respect, you need to give respect.  Cops who practice this style of policing invest in the community by taking time to get to know the people that they are sworn to serve.
In essence, mutual respect between the officer and the community makes for a safer environment for all!
Listen, I have no misgivings about the dangers that law enforcement officers face.  I say this with confidence because both my father and my brother have worked in this capacity. Trust me when I tell you, it is no fun worrying that something tragic might happen to your loved one while he or she attempts to “protect and serve.”  By the same token, I am also acutely aware of the dangers that many individuals face when they are approached by a hot headed law enforcement officer.
Y’all, all I’m saying is that  law enforcement agencies would do well to drop adversarial approaches and pick up “community policing” techniques.
I think that this video helps to prove that point 🙂

Get Outside and Play!


baby gwin and mama
Me and Mama


“Take your a$$ somewhere and sit down!”

“Don’t you see grown folks talkin’?  Go on outside and play!”

These were a few of mama’s favorite commands especially after me or my brother had asked one too many questions.  To be fair, mama wasn’t the only one to say that to me… and damn near every other kid in the general vicinity.  In fact, we were just as likely to hear those declarations from aunts, uncles, family friends, neighbors and so on.

You see, in those days, every responsible adult kept watch over all of the children in his or her presence.  That said, there was an unspoken agreement that if a child misbehaved, he or she should and could be disciplined by just about any sensible grownup.

Talk about neighborhood watch!

Anyway, whenever  we took our a$$es outside, we played all sorts of games.  Some of my favorites were:

Mother May I?

Blind Man’s Bluff



Hide and Seek (When I got older the boys wanted to play something called ‘Hide and Go Get It!’)  But intuitively I knew better than to play that game.

Moving on…

Needless to say, my cohorts and I played all of these games at school as well.  But, at school, we also engaged in something I like to call ‘hood cheerleading.’

Confused?  Ok, let me explain.  Basically, a ‘hood cheer’ is a chant that sounds similar to the formal chants that you might hear from a ‘real cheerleader.’  However, ‘hood cheers’  had a tendency to lean more toward the omlish side.

By the way, ‘omlish’ is a Southern term for a little girl who acts like a grown woman, probably a corruption of ‘womanish.’

Either way, I loved ‘hood cheers.’  Believe it or not, I can still vividly remember the excitement of engaging in these little ‘call and response’ masterpieces!

Now, if you will, please check out 9 year old ‘me’ as I say my rhyme in one of my favorite ‘hood cheers:’


ALL:  Hooley, Hooley! Who think they bad?  

Me:   I do!

ALL:  Hooley, Hooley! Who think they bad?

Me:   Well I think I’m bad and Gwin is my name.  Boys follow me ’cause they like what they see.  I got this dude on my mind, don’t you worry ’bout his sign!  I got his picture in a frame, don’t you worry ’bout his name!  

ALL:  Um! She think she bad!

Me:  BayBEE… I know I’m bad!

ALL: Um! She think she fine!

Me:  Finer than the best red wine!  

ALL:  Hooley, hooley!  Who think they bad?

And on it went until each girl had her chance to tell us why she thought she was bad—in rhyme form!  It should be noted that my rhyme was pretty standard; most of the girls said something very similar.

That sh!t makes me die laughing as I think about it today!

Side note:  I went on to become a well respected high school varsity cheerleader for 3 years.  I was also Co-captain my senior year.  Suffice it to say, by that time, my cheerleading style was much more refined, precise and sportsmanlike!  LOL!!

At any rate, I hate to be the old fogey lamenting over “the kids today…”  But I do have to say that children’s games these days lack the creativity and imagination that accompanied the games that we played; not to mention the exercise 😦  Frankly, schools are partially to blame because they opted to remove recess and physical education from the curriculum. Honestly, I think we need to rethink that move.

So now that you’ve  heard my take, what games did you play?

As for me, I’m glad mama’nem made us take our a$$es outside!








Ron’s Time Tunnel: Good Luck!



Greetings All,

Right now our dearest Ron is knee-deep in college exams.  Most of you already know that he is slated to complete his degree very soon.  I am so proud of him, as I am sure all of you are!

By the way, if you are thinking about going back to college or you are already in college, let Ron be an inspiration to you!

That said, today is a great day for you guys to revisit or catch up on “Ron’s Time Tunnel” posts.  Please believe that Gramp, Man, Boy, Aunt Vulla, The Right Reverend A. Jordan Smith and The Great Raytakka are waiting for you 🙂

You will not be disappointed!

In either case, I am sure that Ron will grace us with another marvelous story as soon as time permits!

Go get ’em Ron!