Notes on Class Notes

At 22 – everybody
says “Don’t rush.
You’ve plenty of time-
you’re young yet.”

At 23-24 – “Don’t
get serious. There’s
still plenty of
opportunity to
look around.”

At 24 and 9 months “You
should have
married at 22 –
Its too late now.”

Notes on Class Notes

At 22 – everybody
says “Don’t rush.
You’ve plenty of time-
you’re young yet.”

At 23-24 – “Don’t
get serious. There’s
still plenty of
opportunity to
look around.”

At 24 and 9 months “you
should have
married at 22 –
Its too late now.”

The Cloisters NYC

The Medievalist.net announces the reopening of this museum in Fort Tryon Park. I lived in the city from age 14 and it was my permanent address until I married.

My aunt had really wanted me to see the collection. Many days when she was not working, we would go to the beautiful grounds by public transportation. And we
would find it closed. Holidays and odd closings meant that we never got in.

Years of colleges, work and growing up, I finally married in 1952. We had two children before revisiting the city.

We went to the museum where we were able to wander at our own pace. It is a very small area of exhibit space and I heard a very loud voice saying ‘Where are All the sarcophagi?’

I knew that voice, that tone. The other patrons froze, posed like cardboard cartoons. The voice came from a little person barely able to see the artwork. At four years old, our daughter Janis, had added this word to her vocabulary. A soft laugh befitting museum decorum came from the crowd before resuming viewing.

Value of Fur
Will there ever be a use for mink stoles? Winters are cold and if for no other use, they might keep someone warm across their bed or knees. It seems a pity that such a mark of Black middle class dignity should go to waste. Obviously the three I have inherited with my in-laws’s possessions are vintage over 50 years old. She saved and took five dollars every Monday morning to a store where she could not try on clothes. Went quickly home because she could not lunch downtown. Like other women, she wore her furs to church and club meetings as a way of honoring her husband. Even before statues were falling and letters on streets infuriated some, she withheld all but minimum credit card payments to protest injustices. A card she was unable to get before the 1960s. She continued to wear her mink pillbox hat and coat on Sundays even though her Black Methodist Church refused to let her attend nor serve as Sunday School Supervisor. Her husband, the treasurer left as well. They took their talents to the little historic Christian Science Church.where she found it a comfort after a cancer diagnosis. It was personal for her. She later studied to become a practitioner, developing a home business. Foregoing her own degrees to help her husband, she showed her brilliance in living.
She slipped away one morning reading her lesson. She would have known who needed warmth and friendship in her community. (Gladys Reaves Harwell}

More about Howard University

A friend asked if Howard University was not all male. My answer:
Morehouse College is the all male counterpart to Spelman only because of proximity and custom. At some point, i think, near the time I was in school (1944 to 1948), Atlanta University formailzed the relationship between a cluster of individual colleges pretty much on the same property.

According to WikiLeaks, Howard was conceived in Washington DC by a small group of Congregational Church people to train ministers, and formally organized as a college In 1867, then University. It was named after a Civil War hero, white, head of the Freedmen’s Bureau and later Howard President. That person got the US government to financially support it. I have always heard the connection is broad.

As women were not likely thought of as preachers, they might not have been a priority. The reason they might have been students is, in my thinking, of the contraband (name given) black families who fled the South to a Union camp of soldiers. Not knowing what to do with them, the army used them as cooks , medical teams etc. A big hospital developed and one of Denise’s relatives ended up heading it. Thus the addition of a medical school part of Howard at end of war. These DC people would have been the most likely to be a group the Bureau was helping to readjust from slavery. It worked thoughout the South.

I do not know when the School of Religion was formalized but that was where I did graduate studies as the only single woman. The number before me was just 1. Wives went at minimal cost. I had a fellowship with a stipend. Many of my relatives, including women, and my father went there.

My history lesson for the night. Glad to have the project.

Performance Art

The brilliance of the Black Lives Matter signage lies in its simplicity. Its message is clear, bold, and provocative.

On its own, it is non-threatening and passive. And yet, there seems to be an invitation to deface and destroy the message.

The news reports the numbers and methods used to attack this inert poster painted on public streets.

Videos rarely show the original painting process. The yellow letters do not include an artist’s name nor sponsors. There is no hidden message. Nothing jumps up to trip a passer-by.

Instead the news shows paint cans spilling, bent figures swinging brushes, and other creative ways to attack the sign.

We also get a view of police, the authority figures, removing the offenders so the letters can be restored.

The play of characters are befitting of a ballet. The Alvin Ailey dancers could tell the story brilliantly as would a musical on Broadway.

I wonder how long this recreation will go on before the energy of the defacers weakens. Before they realize their message, whatever it is, could be better served. Before they get the message.

The Constitution Today
We could be in a new Awakening. Do not stop concerns for equality. At other times in our history, those governing and benefitting by repression of others, promised a few visible tokens to quiet the streets. When tokens do not work, leaders have been jailed or assassinated.
Today, a baseball team will change its name, companies and museums will belatedly review their practices. Unfortunately, police continue to kill citizens on the street or in their beds.
If the constitution fails along with placebos for peace, America fails.
Reprint fro facebook today)@leartisteboots.Wordpress.com

The Image Counts
A few photos and a lot of images entertain my quiet times. There is no way to push an off button for an active mind. I choose pleasant, creative thoughts, and push away dangers as much as possible.

Today some photos stand out. My studio photo staged with my brothers. If not yet three, my mother would have orchestrated the set up. White silk, smocked dress, white leather hi-topped shoes , seated with one brother to equalize heights. So innocent but conniving?

My wedding picture, of course, but not as interesting as the hour before. One brother’s role was to assure the groom’s arrival. My cousin was my one attendant and we were waiting in the Sunday School room behind the altar.

As we waited, I said “They are late. I think we should go.” She said, “We can’t. Let’s just dance.”

I sat at the grand piano, whispering, “I will play.”

With grandiose arm swinging and pretend exaggerated key hitting, Fay began her performance of a life-time abandonment.

Just before the crash of crescendo and floor, the not-too-unhappy-father figure entered, appalled, to announce that they were ready to begin.

Occasional Meeting
Place: On the counter
-Hi, I hardly recognized you.

I know. Saw you looking at me.

-Such a nice shade of red.

I try to have some shade of red this time of year.

-The green goes well.

I like to check the color chart.

-It makes a vibrating sight. Are you headed for soup or spaghetti?

i much prefer the salad. But spaghetti will be OK. I like to keep my color as long as possible.

-I quite agree. Haven’t seen Lettuce in awhile. Have you?

No, I heard she messed up. Got to the roots and as they would say “put her foot in it.”

– (Laughing) Now I remember. Miss her. If you go to salad, which do you prefer to wear? The blue or the tomato color?

If I have a choice, it will be the blue. The tomato color looks so much like soup. Kinda washed out.

-I so agree. I am going to stop talking soon. Its slice day. Stay cool if you can. Good to see you.


The Sun rose
Then the King rose
From his throne and said
To those kneeling before him
“I bless you
And your crops.”

In the silvery moonlight
They rose as one.
Say my name.
My name is Rose
Wild, Rose.

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