Monday, August 15, 2005

Some background

I guess it would make sense to give you a little back story so you can get the full impact of my stories. So, here goes...

Now:

I am a 36 year-old Christian African American man who was born and raised in Washington, DC aka Chocolate City. I currently live just south of DC in suburban Maryland with my wife Michele and our 2-year-old, Cydney. We are a Christian family. That's important to say because it may save some folks a lot of time and trouble. This blog is and always will be G-Rated. No nonsense here! We're very active in our church. In fact, Michele and I are part of the leadership of our little church.

It all started:

...in May of 1969 at Providence Hospital. Yep, that's when I made my grand entrance as the 2nd born of Joan and Milton Jr. That makes me Milton the third ("there are three of us and we're all good lookin'" - to borrow a few lyrics from Whodini). That first year of my life we lived in the Fort Chaplin apartments off of Benning Rd. NE, not far from the Shrimp Boat.

When my parents brought me home, Lisa (my older sister) was none to pleased. Up to that point, she was livin' large as the only child. Life was good having 100% of the attention. That was all shattered when I came to the roost! I have pictures of me in the crib with Lisa glaring down at me. You can almost see the daggers shooting from her eyes!

A year later, we loaded up the truck and moved to Riggs Park.

*Cue "The Jeffersons" theme**

We traded up from our little apartment to a three-bedroom, semi-detached brick home on Chillum Place. It was great growing up on Chillum Place. It was a nice, quiet block complete with an alley behind the house, which would be our playground. More on that later.

Ahhh, Proximity!

Our home was what you might call "centrally located". We were within walking distance of shopping (Giant Food, People's Drug (nka CVS), Crown Teaching Aids and Dobson's Barber Shop), schools (Jesse LaSalle Elementary and "Dirty" Bertie Backus Middle School) and transportation (A few years later, Fort Totten Subway station would emerge within a stone's throw). Each of those places would figure prominently in my life. Again, more on that later.

Supporting Cast Part 1: Who's Your Daddy?


Milton Jr. was my mother's husband, my father, my daddy, my pops and my Idol. In my mind, Daddy was the strongest, smartest, bravest man there was. He always had an answer and sage advice ready when I needed it most. He was also the bearer of "The Look". The Look was Daddy's chief tool of discipline. See, whenever we misbehaved or looked like we may have been thinking about possibly misbehaving, Daddy would give us this stare that said "DON'T...MAKE...ME...GET...UP!" Ten times out of ten, that was all we needed to be replanted on the path of righteousness.

Daddy stood about 6'1", in the neighborhood of 225lbs, had a light complexion with hazel eyes. It's also important to note that Daddy usually operated outside the laws of fashion. More on that later.

Daddy also always seemed to have a pocketful of change. I'm talking $30 or $40 worth of coins! This was our "Early Warning System" of impending doom. When we'd be sent to bed, whether as punishment or regular bedtime, we'd sometimes lay awake laughing and giggling. Daddy would hear us and issue Warning Number A: "Y'all go to bed now!" Normally, we'd quiet down for a minute or two and then the shenanigans (<---I said "shenanigans"! HA ha!) would start right back up. This prompted Warning Letter 2: "I said, go to bed! If I hear any more noise, I'm coming up there!" Most times, this put an end to chuckles for that night, but there were those rare moments when our "common sense" took a "common break" and we'd continue to cut up. This would be met with a full deployment! Instantly, you'd hear "CHING, CHING, CHING". You guessed it - all that change in Daddy's pockets that signaled to us that he was a man of his word and on the way up the steps! Now, there were twelve steps leading up from the first to the second floors (I know this, because for some strange reason, I always counted them as I went up or down the staircase). There were only three "CHINGS" because Daddy took four steps at a time! At the top of the steps, Daddy would kick in (really!) our bedroom door and, in one fluid motion, unsheathe his belt and commence to administering one whap of the belt each. Usually, we had blankets on us so, we wouldn't feel the actual sting of the belt, but the thought of Daddy unleashing on us "stung" enough. Well, that's background enough on Daddy, but rest assured that there will be plenty more entries about Daddy in the future. Next: Supporting Cast Part 2: Joan, the Kind-Hearted (aka "Go Outside And Get Me A Switch")

4 comments:

KIM said...

OKAY, JUST AS I AM REALLY LAUGHING OUT LOUD, IT ENDS!!!!!! I WAS ALL SET TO READ ABOUT JOAN AND THAT WAS IT!!!!!
HOW OFTEN DO YOU PLAN TO WRITE AN ENTRY? NOTICE I SAY PLAN CAUSE I KNOW LIFE DOESNT ALLOW US TO DO EVERYTHING AS PLANNED......

GlowWorm said...

ManOhman what a bio! Too dang bad that it is not complete! Once you're done, I'll reveal my identity! Ha Ha Ha!

Diggity-Dig said...

Thats some good stuff there ol' Del. You'll have to keep a brotha informed to when you update the site.

Joyce Bell said...

Thank you so much for memories of Dad. Although I am a few years older, I too remember "the look" as well as the warnings at times. When I was small Dad was away in the Air Force most of the time, so I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa on Benning Road. There are stories there to be told as well.