The following is a review of 100 Blocks Stories by Ty @tymonday Thompson #crewLove
Was finally able to read 100 Blocks Stories by @tymonday! In a word: brilliant! These interconnecting stories offer us a powerful lense into the urban landscape, in this case Spanish Harlem, but the stories have a universal moral appeal that transcends geography and goes right to to the gut and heart. The writing is lucid and poetic without being flowery-- descriptive without descending to overwrought expression. Thompson is equally at home discussing drug wars and epidemics as he is in painting heartbreaking scenes of personal intimacy and suffering. You will not be disappointed in reading these searing yet sensitive accounts of what it means to grapple with the broad range of social realities that this book depicts. I'll leave you with a couple of examples, this is from 'Preacher Man', which speaks to me for obvious reasons. Our protagonist and narrator is offering what is essentially his last will and testament in epistolary form, a literary conceit that unites Alice Walker's "Color Purple" and Nas' "One Love" in just a few pages Thompson is able to render in vivid land and images the story of a minister whose life traces the pilgrimage of a people on the Great Migration while at the same time giving us a sense of the religious and spiritual ethos of a transplanted people. It also touches on the struggles between nonviolent civil rights leaders and their more aggressive and youthful kin. And the story celebrates the simple beauty of a black family life. And then this from his story "The Legend of the Young Killers": "Twin fog lights cut through the precipitous autumn dusk that helped to paint the ominous backdrop to an otherwise calm East Harlem Sunday evening. The V8 engine of a 2011 Mercedes Benz CLK 550 calmly decreased from a cat - like pur to silence as the bug eyes covers extinguished the light" How's that for beautiful and poetic opening to a story that captures mayhem and chaos. Thanks Brother Thompson for taking the craft of writing seriously. And thanks for the magnificent literary debut. I heartily recommend that you all go on Amazon.comand buy this book today! Kudos my friend. Bravo!"
Roosevelt elementary school was my initial remembrance of how easy life was as child. I was never one of those kids that could not wait to grow. As I saw my mother struggle with life’s potholes, growing up was not an option I was looking forward to. At Roosevelt, I expanded my network of people and I can honestly say I gained a piece of knowledge from every person that I encountered. I had my first fight, crush, and girlfriend”, kiss, and taste of how cruel humans can be. My younger sister and I were what used to known as “latchkey kids.” Our mother worked two jobs to keep our lights on, food on the table, and pay the debts my father had accumulated chasing his pipe dreams. School was a safe haven for me. I enjoyed learning something new every day. My days would begin each looking from to seeing the happy faces I would encounter in the classroom to my mothers’ arrival home at the end of her long evening, just prior to my sisters’ bedtime. I was a “big boy”, so I was allowed an additional liberties; making sure the dishes were washed, garbage taken, and my baby sis snug in her pull out couch bed. These are some the memories I had and still cherish to this day. I really believe it made me the man I am today.
By the time my Moms would arrive home, she was dog tired, frustrated, and happy at the same time. Although the world was tough for a young single mother in the 70s he loved my sister and I as much as any mother loved her children. I feel the reason I was a “relatively” good kid was I was afraid of losing my mothers’ love if I ended up like my father. My father was the definition of the absentee parent. From the time I was around seven years old until my early teens; he popped in and out of our lives. After every failed get rich quick scheme, it seemed to would have to go find himself. It got to the point I was resentful of his returns because that meant I went to the “second” man of the house. He would come back and attempt to reclaim his position as if nothing happened. Needless to say this building animosity would come to a head around my sixteenth birthday. Eventually, in our older years, we attempted to salvage some type of relationship. It never quite made before his death. So is life! That would be how my inner feelings and the way I saw people would change during my Air Force life.
To be continued...
Memoirs of a Flyboy: My Life in the U.S Air Force and Beyond
By Christopher A. Eaddy, #crewLove
This is a love story so unreal only my comrades in arms will really get it. First of all, let start by saying my twenty-five years in the greatest fighting service on this earth was a learning experience filled with highs and lows. I have seen the weird, the hilarious, and good of people this earth has to offer. It should also be stated that the names of the characters have been changed to protect their happy homes!
When a person decides to join any of the armed forces it is usually one of the following reasons; to escape an existence that was not fulfilling, they have outgrown their parents’ home, or running away from someone or something that they believe will disappear over time. This is not a scientific fact, it is just evidence I gathered from conversations during my travels. It is amazing what a person will divulge after a little weed and booze!
Growing up in Englewood, New Jersey, I have seen my share of despair, happiness, and every emotion in between. Today, Englewood is a suburb of New York City, however, when my friends and I were raising havoc back in the 70’s, was just a racially-diverse of four wards in Bergen County. Wards, for the unfamiliar are sections of one city that normally divides families by social classes. The First Ward, included the affluent section adeptly named Englewood Cliffs, where most of my Jewish and White friends resided. Today, Englewood Cliffs boast residents like jazz musicians George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, comedians, Joe Piscopo, and Eddie Murphy. I never knew that my friends were substantially wealthy then me.
Growing up I never thought anything diabolical about the fact that most my favorite play mates disappeared after the school bell rang. Somehow they would magically appear the next day on the school yard and everything went back to normal. It was an enlightening experience to have been exposed to all the beauty and sometimes ugliness that New Jersey had to offer. First, let me say, I never had a racial incident while growing up in Englewood. My White friends and I knew there was a difference but it was one of those unspoken things that we were glad to keep silence. After school I had a crew of black friends that I am as tight with today as I was forty years ago. During school hours, it was a socialization heaven after school hours; we went back to neutral corners. My very first neighborhood friend, Jack, introduced me to many of the childhood malice that in later years make me realize that I had to get out of Englewood!
To be continued....