Once my writing mission on Stanley Clarke and the Return to Forever reunion concert is accomplished, the rest of the weekend, (Aug. 1st, 2nd & 3rd) is all about family fun and food and fellowship and festivities. We went to the Jungle Island Theme Park and to the beach and to the pool. We walked along South Beach and we saw all the sights at the Lincoln Road Mall.
We visited the Old Dillard African American Museum in Fort Lauderdale, formerly Dillard High School, which was the first one in the area built exclusively to educate Black students. The museum’s Jazz Room featured memorabilia associated with the luminous alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley , an alum of the Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk bands and former music teacher at the Old Dillard High School. And, surprise of all surprises, the Jazz Room also mentioned Philadelphia’s own brilliant vibraphonist, Khan Jamal, claiming him as one of Florida’s most esteemed native sons, because although he was raised in Philadelphia, he was actually born in Jacksonville.
That Sunday morning, (Aug. 3rd) we had a happy good time in prayer, praise, music and worship, at the United Christian Church of Christ in Coconut Grove. My cousin, Dr. Marthenia Dingle Dupree, who is the pastor of the church and daughter of its founder, Bishop Irving Dingle, led the service. Then…like all good times…the Dingle Family Reunion Weekend had to end.
But I felt so blessed and so fulfilled I wasn’t even too tired to have a great day at work on Monday (Aug. 4th) with my esteemed colleagues in the Office of Strategic Partnerships. During my midday break, I meet up with my buddies Herb Green and Charlie DiPatri in the IT lab for our “write lunch.” We catch up on each others’ projects, encourage each other in our dreams and aspirations. At some point the conversation eases into a peaceful quietude. We all turn to face our computer screens. I begin to chip away ever so gently at this essay I’ve been working on for my next book project. Way too soon, it is time for us to return to our respective duties and stations.
After work, I am still pumped up, ultimately inspired enough to write this, my very first series of blog entries. It is such an honor to take you on this Cultural Collideoscope. Thanks for joining me. And please, stay along for the journey, my personal, transformation journey. Asante Sane. Abundant Blessings. Peace & Love.
Image: Old Dillard Museum (http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/olddillardmuseum/home/index.html)