When I was in the ninth grade I hooked up with a bunch of crazy young men. We all thought we were tough. That was probably from listening to too much NWA music. We called ourselves The Six Man Posse. Everybody had a posse or a crew back then. I feel so old. Out of the six of us, I can only account for two still being alive. That's really messed up since I am only 33 years old. The craziest fool in this group was Dee. I used to go to his house in Gentilly, get a free haircut, drink Crazy Horse Malt Liquor and play basketball at the school around the corner. That was about 120 pounds ago when my jump shot was so sick it needed medication. We had the unstoppable pick and roll game. I loved those cats. Just like I mentioned the other day when I was talking about decisions, I had to stop hanging over at Dee’s house because no one else in the group was getting up to go to school. I loved my boys but I didn’t have time to drink and smoke all day long. A few years ago I was sitting at my desk reading the obituaries in the newspaper and saw Dee’s picture. At the age of 25 he was gone. I found out why but I won’t mention it here. I had spoken with him a few times. He had lost a lot of weight and wasn’t the same vibrant guy I used to know but he was still my boy.
Yesterday I was just thinking about how frustrating it was that I always seem to run into people since Katrina that remind me of stuff I don’t want to be reminded of. Part of my responsiblities at work is training people to enter data into a software package that we use. There was a bunch of older black ladies in class today which was cool with me because there presence automatically keeps me in line and this stomach virus has me off my rocker. One of the ladies looked really familiar. I looked at the sign in sheet and her name looked real familiar too. As the day went on I became pretty sure about who she was. I wasn't 100% sure so I decided I wasn’t going to say anything. You just don’t know how stuff like that affects people. I mentioned who she might be to my co-worker and she made a good point. Maybe she needs to hear what you have to tell her. So many times young brothers leave us and the world just adds their name to the running total of wasted potential. Maybe a cat like me could tell her something to make her smile. I was discreet about it. I waited until the class was over and the people who didn’t know her were leaving.
Cliff : Excuse Ms. K? I don’t mean to be out of line or anything, but did you live on Myrtle St. in Gentilly around the corner from the school?
Ms. K.(eyes lighting up): Yes I did.
Cliff: I thought that was you.
Ms. K: I was trying to remember your face all day.
Cliff: Can I just tell you, your son could always make me laugh. I had a lot of love for that fool.
Ms. K (Smiling widely): Cliff, wasn’t he a character?
Cliff: Yes ma’am, he sure was.
Ms. K: He would be happy to see you doing well.
In light of that, I am dedicating Talking All That Jazz by Stetsasonic to The Six Man Posse; Dee, Dave, Renell, Truck, Doug, and Cliff. You couldn’t fade us…………….Those were the good ole days.