21 January 2008

A Few Things, then reflections on the MLK, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast

Before I forget these tidbits.

1.  For my birthday, my mother purchased me a card that has Johnny Cash singing Ring of Fire when you open it.  #s 1, 2, & 3 have taken it over and love it.  They take the card into #1's room, turn off the overhead light, turn on a lamp, open the card and dance like mad.

2.  I have never doubted the skills of the VOR, she has fantastic organizational, rhetorical, logical and sewing skills.  But after last night's event I must add athletic skills.  (This week, the VOR and I have been taking turns rocking #3 to bed - in an attempt to wean him from nighttime nursing). Last night, #3, presented his firewall - no more.  He coughed to keep himself awake, he scratched my arm to keep awake, he tickled the VOR's throat, he wiggled, cried, screamed, he did whatever he could to keep awake telling us he was not participating in our scheme.  In the midst of this stonewalling spectacle, the VOR was able to get him asleep, but...I was laying on my back snoring very loud (at least that is what I am told).  At the moment the VOR was able to get #3 asleep and about to place him back in the crib I started to really have at it snoring.  The VOR could not yell at me (that would wake #3 up) nor could she force me to roll on my side (she was out of arms reach).  So she performed one of the greatest athletic moves ever witnessed in New England (if not the world).  With #3 in her arms and gently placing him in the crib she lifted her left leg, stretched to its fullest length and kicked me hard in the side, waking me up and thus ending my snoring fit, and then gently placed the boy in his bed.  Absolutely amazing.

Okay, now reflections from the breakfast.

I went to bed around 11pm, #3's protest started around 2:30 and lasted for the remainder of the night.  I got out of bed around 6, got ready and then looked up directions on the web.  Unbeknownst to me I took directions down from the South, not the North.  My right turns were really lefts and my left hand turns were really rights.  Eventually I figured it out and arrived at the venue.  I was a bit puzzled by the lack of cars in the lot, I surmised the cold kept people away (it was 14 degrees after all).  Once inside I realized the breakfast began at 8, not 7.  

Eventually people arrived and I found my seat.  Every year the Minister's Alliance, a primarily African-American pastor's group, sponsors the breakfast in order to reward scholarships to outstanding students; 26 received scholarships this year.  This breakfast brings all the usual suspects out of the woodwork:  the Governor (who talked more about the Patriots than Dr. King), Senator Reed (low-key approach), Senator Whitehouse (grandstanding as usual by praising the day Bush leaves 1600 Pennsylvania), Rep. Kennedy (who brought nice words, but appeared to be shaking), the mayor of Providence (who is Jewish and didn't seem to care too much for Mine Eyes Have Seen the Coming), the mayor of Cranston (a white Italian male who compared himself to Dr. King when school students at a High School booed him) and the mayor of Warwick (whose irenic tone I'm sure was aimed at Whitehouse).  The main speaker was the Rev. James Miller.

Jim and I had lunch last week; he informally discussed what he wanted to talk about.  I thought good luck, he had a whole bunch of stuff.  But man oh man did he deliver.  It was one of, if not, the best sermon(s) I have ever heard - hands down, no foolin'.  If ever I doubted the power of the spoken word, especially a sermon - those doubts were quickly erased.  Hopefully I can get a copy of his sermon to upload to the blog.  The event closed with a singing of Lift Every Voice and Sing; we were not able to sing this at worship yesterday (the organist is good, but it is a tough song to play right).

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