Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Prepping for Oprah-oma (Well Thinking About It), Two Photos Emerged

While searching for photos of my younger sister during the big-hair 80s, Crandall in a box-cut picture with Sally Jesse Raphael glasses showed up. And he's working on an electronic typewriter. I know that table very well and am trying to guess if this is in my first year of college returning home to write a paper.  I remember the typewriter, though. It was the one before I moved to a Brother Word Processor (the fancy kids at Binghamton had Apple computers. I learned after hand writing my first paper that college professors would not accept my writing on Mead, double ruled paper). I saved up money and bought my Brother Word Processor and thought I was Mr. Cool writer extraordinaire.

I'm also see the photo showcases a Syraco plastic bookshelf (with a copy of The Color Purple up front) and, of course, the gigantic spoon and fork that I tried to use to eat, but mom never thought  was funny. I believe the floral centerpiece is still alive and well on Amalfi Drive and, I might be mistaken, it is placed on the dresser in my bedroom). I do think paintings have disappeared, however.

Then, yesterday afternoon, Dr. Kris Sealy sent me a professional photograph of me taken during the MLK Dinner where I was announcing winners of the MLK Essay contest. I told her, "My tie is poppin'" and reflected, "I'm so glad Tunga left one of his tie clips behind." I wear it all the time so he's near my heart when I'm trying to act all professional and stuff. He's better at it than I am.

Now, it's surreal to look at these two photos side by side I still see myself as the kid at the table (or laying on the couch reading books and using my mom as a pillow). I know both these photos are me, but somewhere I've lost the transition from the boy into the man - the foolish, nerdy kid that has turned into a University professor. Reflecting on the in-between spaces is just surreal. It sort of freaks me out.

The one constant, though, has been the writing - and my life quest to meet Oprah Winfrey. I still want to  have a talk show like hers where I bring joy to the world like she did. I saw her as an academic, a psychologist, a sage, a personality, a therapist, a teacher, a mother, a sister, and a role model. In retrospect, I realize my life as a teacher has sort of helped me become of a variation of her, expect I've been a father andbrother. In that sense, I've made my vision come true (but I still want to sit one on one with her some time).

I was thinking about this because I get to speak in Oklahoma for the Divergent Award in a couple of weeks and I'm trying to figure out how I want to address the crowd. In my head I've been singing "Oprahoma," as if my 30-minutes of fame on stage will be this incredible Broadway event. I have visions of Oprah sneaking up behind me in a cowboy hat, too, where we can co-present together. I know this won't happen, but I'm definitely opening with Oprahoma! That's the Jim Carey (and not Chitunga tie clip) party of me.

Who is that old guy with all the white in his hair and beard? And why does he look like he's singing, "Hallelujah?"

He's never been able to sing.

Maybe he's impersonating a large mouth bass. That would make sense.

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