#leronebennettjr (Part 2) When I emerged from the gym, I found him waiting with the Ackie parents again, his expression screaming, I'm ret'ta go. We strode wordlessly into the autumn night, and as we crossed the street to his car, he grabbed my hand. Mortification crossed my face. We were right outside of the gym. MY FRIENDS COULD SEE. SIR, I HAVE TO ATTEND THIS SCHOOL. But he wouldn't release my hand until we successfully crossed the street and folded into the car. My grandmother resurfaced when we returned to the house. Within two minutes, she read the scowl on my face and tilted her head back. That laugh we all loved bounced off the walls. He held my hand, I bemoaned. In front of everybody! More laughter, from both of them now, the traiters in perfect cahoots. And then, blinking away tears, she said, You'll be happy he held your hand later. I am; now that I'm thirty-one. Of course I have a million fun facts, like how his children couldn't watch Disney movies (yay, dancing magpies ). But when the first grandchildren came along in the 80's, like all grandparents, he abandoned his personal philosophies and let them do whatever they wanted. Disney? Disney it is! We watched The Little Mermaid until the VCR broke, particularly for his favorite character, Sebastian the Crab and favorite line/song, Under Da Sea. He sang this song well into my twenties. These are the facts, the memories, that ease the heartbreak. My grandfather lived a spectacular, fulfilled long life. But the passing of your last grandparent cleaves away a home to which you can never return. I'm grateful for the time I had with him, for those moments when he took my hand when I didn't know I needed him to. I know he wrote many books. I know his work touched and changed lives. I know he recorded history and shifted space and was so deeply loved. My family thanks you for all the kind words and prayers. It's just a testament to his spirit, that all people move things when they come to this world, but some leave the world trembling when they go.
My grandfather, #LeroneBennettJr, passed away on Valentine's Day morning. I've seen some outlets sharing news about his life and his accomplishments, but I thought I'd share a few other facts that Google can't provide. Despite the many revered books he wrote on history and race in America, he was a lousy cook. His specialty was hot dogs, or hot dogs and pork & beans to be exact, a delicacy he prepared for me in the fall of 2000 before my first Homecoming Dance. I was fourteen-years-old and had been abandoned by my mother, who traveled on business and my grandmother, who also conveniently disappeared. It was just him, me, and hot dogs and pork& beans. After dinner, I dressed in this frilly lavender number better suited for Easter Sunday or a baptism (I should have been suspicious when he actually approved of it) and he carted me off to the dance. I was antsy in the car with nervous excitement, prattling on and on, growing jumpier as we got closer to Whitney Young. The twinkling streetlights shone down as he pulled up across the street from the gymnasium, and escorted me inside. The halls swelled with people and floor-rattling music, and my eyes went wide. I grinned to my grandfather and waved goodbye. I waved goodbye until realizing my dismissal didn't mean anything to him. He wasn't leaving. Oh no, he remained in that foyer, making space with the Ackie (7th and 8th grade) parents. I was a freshman, and none of the high school parents were staying, but that didn't matter as he eyed the roaming boys like a bird of prey with outstretched talons. Side note: the bird of prey would fly again two years later at my Sweet Sixteen, making my party the most well-lit occasion this side of Chicago. Any who, after a lot of huffing from me, he eventually left, more than likely just to his car. Looking back, I don't know why he brooded the way he did, as his ultimate plan was successful. No sooner did the latest hit by Ja Rule or N'Sync play, did the hot dog and pork & beans ruin my life. The lousy meal roiled my stomach to the point I could hardly stand, let alone find the love of my teenage days and run off. (Cont.)
Take my class! Link in bio. #Repost @invisiblepodcastradio with @get_repost ・・・ Our first workshop of the year begins February 24th with @imanijosey at @saicathomansquare! Be sure to RSVP today for your seat. We have an amazing list of featured moderators that we'll be sharing with you along the way! RSVP via http://sites.saic.edu/cs/homansquare/
#authorlifemonth Day 7: your dedication page.
#Authorlifemonth Day 6: an awesome moment. I would say hanging out at the @naacp convention last summer 📚
#Authorlifemonth Day 4: shelfie. My grandfather’s books. I meant to take a pic of my grandfather’s book shelf, but didn’t get a chance. Instead, here are a few of his books! This could also count as my Day 3 photo (writer fuel). Until I have a shelf of my books staring back at me, I won’t be done. #leronebennettjr
#Authorlifemonth Day 2: non-author photo. Dance life 💃🏾
Let’s play catch-up. #authorlifemonth Day 1: your books (and short stories 😜)