Thursday, August 14, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I just received an email from Jennifer Coissiere saying I've been tagged to participate in the Book Buzz Tag. I guess she was determined to help me keep me my word to blog on a regular basis. This is her link.

Thanks J.C. for handing me a challenge. Now let's do this and keep it moving.

Here’s the idea (you can copy this paragraph to use in your post):
I am going to list three categories of books. 5 MUST Read Books, 5 Books on Your Nightstand, and 5 Look For These Soon. Keeping with the theme, I am going to tag at least 5 bloggers. They should put these same lists on their blog but SUBTRACT one book from each list and ADD one of their own. Then they should tag at least 5 more bloggers. It will be fun to see how the lists change as it goes around the blogosphere. Please come back to this post and leave a comment so I can see how the lists are changing as they go around the blogosphere. Since this is Book Buzz…please keep your lists to titles released in 2007-2009.

5 MUST Read Books:
Them by Nathan McCall
Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
Seen It All, Dome the Rest- Pearl Cleage
Conception by Kalisha Buckhanon

5 Books on the Nightstand:
Up Pops the Devil by Angela Benson
Blood Colony- Tananarive Due
From Harvey River by Lorna Goodison
Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke
Trading Dreams at Midnight by Dianne McKinney Whetstone

5 Look For These Soon:
House at Sugar Beach by Helen Cooper
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
In Love With a Younger Man by Cheryl Robinson
Red Light, Green Light by Margaret Johnson-Hodge
The Signifying Monkey by Henry Louis Gates

The bloggers I’m asking to post the lists (and make one book-for-book change to each list if they wish)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cruisin' On a Summer Afternoon

This is the first time I have participated in something like this, something called a meme. I had not a clue as to what a meme is, so I looked it up.


Show Spelled Pronunciation[meem] Pronunciation Key
a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.
[Origin: 1976; < href=""> (accessed: August 06, 2008).
Modern Language Association (MLA):

Yasmin Coleman of APOOO Books threw out the challenge to cite thirteen things one remembers from childhood summers and to link it to your blog. I blog so seldom; on the spur of the moment I decided to participate. Maybe this will be a start of my blogging on a regular basis.

This exercise reminded me I have written a collection of childhood memories that have a working title of what else? Childhood Memories. Obviously, I need a better title. Two of those have been published and I need to work on polishing some more up and submitting somewhere. Growing up in Oakland, California was a lot different from the Oakland today. We roamed the neighborhood and beyond during the summer; sometimes, our parents didn’t know where we were but we knew to be home before dark. I grew up in a multicultural family neighborhood and there were a lot of Leave it Beaver moments. Boy, were those the days.

So, to get on with the Thursday Thirteen, I present thirteen summer occurrences I remember about my childhood.

Links to the post on Thursday Thirteen Childhood Summer Memories (with links to other posters’ blogs) and the original Thursday Thirteen are below.

1. 4th of Julys in Arkansas, either down in the country in Union County or in Little Rock surrounded by cousins and good food. Being the child of African American southern parents, making the trek back to the south to our place of our roots was a way of connecting with our history and ancestry.

2. Walking more than a mile to the swimming pool at Diamond Park. It would be a big group of us carrying our swimwear, including a swimming cap; even as a little girl, I had to protect the do. I write about my hair woes in the story “Shirley Temple Curls.”

3. Gathering at the top of E. 21st Street, watching the boys drive their homemade go carts down the hill. This was a bittersweet memory as one of my childhood friends, Tyrone was killed when he rolled down hill into the path of a bus and was killed. I wrote about this in a piece, “Blackberry Summer” that was published in a journal.

4. Digging up some change to go to the corner store for a big, fat, juicy dill pickle and pack of Kool-aid. There was nothing like it; busting open that packet of Kool-aid, preferably my favorite, grape and rubbing the pickle in it. mmm. Good stuff.

5. Roller skating and riding our bikes. Now my sister and brother claim I would be sitting on the porch reading while they were skating and biking but I know I did those things because I broke my arm roller skating when I was nine and stayed in Children’s Hospital for two days. But I can remember sitting on the porch reading a Nancy Drew mystery. Yep, my siblings were right, I did sit on the porch and read when I wasn’t playing and wrote in my journal also.

6. Going to our cabin in Morgan Hill as a teenager. That’s where my dad’s civic organization, East Oakland Business and Professional Men’s’ Assoc., had their annual summer picnic. Some of the Bay Area’s Talented Tenth attended this event and there were some cute guys! Mariea Johnson’s family had a cabin there also and I remember going to her debutante party in Berkeley. I definitely need to write about that, especially since the death of Dr. Clarence Avery this past spring.

7. Walking over to Jennifer’s house and the smell of her father’s gumbo meeting me at the front door. Her parents were from New Orleans and there was always something good at her house.

8. Gary U. S. Bond’s “School is Out at Last” blasting from the cars at the end of the school year. That was the standard song in the 60s. Jennifer, Lisa and I would be in one of our bedrooms watching Dance Party and American Bandstand, learning the new dance steps. Occasionally, one of us would show a new step from a visiting cousin or something we brought back from our visits to the South.

9. Walking to the movies from my cousins’ house at the Fruitvale theater on Saturday afternoons. My dad would give us money; it cost .25 cents to get in the theater. Wow, I’m dating myself.

10. Going to Housewives Market and seeing all the cases of different meats and foods and visiting with people. It was the meeting place for black folks. We also got back-to-school clothes there. We kind of mixed it up with items from Cap wells and Rhodes. A little downtown mixed with uptown.

11. Going over to Celia’s house on the day her mother made tortillas. Those were the best and the beginning of my love affair with Mexican food.

12. Playing tetherball and kickball at Manzanita School playground. I remember Deborah Stewart wanted to fight me because I beat her playing tetherball. She was a bully. Hey, I need to write a story about this.

13. Walking to the library once a week and carrying as many books as I was allowed to check out. My mother, the schoolteacher, saw to it we, my brother and sister and I got library cards as soon as we could write our names. It was big brown building over by my first elementary school, Garfield, around the corner where my little red-haired kindergarten friend, Peggy lived. I have a story about our friendship.

August 7, 2008