My Great Uncle Calvin was One of the Griots of my family – and there isn’t a day where he isn’t far from my thoughts.
Unc drove a truck for a period after he returned from the Korean War and he would always regale me about the deviations he made on his route to visit pockets of our family all over the country.
He served up those stories on the highway with that his pistol of his coupled with a host of oral histories about our family that I remembered by equal parts repetition and awe.
Unc was that person, who seemed to know everyone in the family collective and in turn everyone knew him and they loved him for it.
Unc was cantankerous and he swore off giving fucks long ago – all while staying humble in the face of his own hypocrisies with a clear set of eyes – powered by the redemptive power of his faith in the Almighty.
Unc never hung his head to no man – he had a swag that would repel or pull you in.
More often than not, he’d pull you into his orbit.
One thing that couldn’t be denied…
Was that he loved our family.
He guarded the history of our family as tightly as the twin pistols he’s holding in this photo.
That day he told me “get this history while its here to be got” is an event that I constantly replay in my mind.
When I repiled that I didn’t have time to trace the past – he told me in no uncertain terms – to grab a notebook and… I did.
Only for it to change the trajectory of my life and so many others.
When I saw this pic…
I thought of that day and I gripped the history of my folks a little bit tighter.
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