Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Black to the Future

It's late afternoon on March 23, 2050.

"Grandaddy. I need some help with my homework". Jesse, a cute little girl of 9 snuggles up to her grandfather.

OK baby, what do you need help with.

"You know that President that just died? Well we need to do a report on him. Our teacher told us to interview someone who was alive when he was President. So I figured I would interview you".
You mean President Obama baby?

"I guess" the little girl shrugs.

OK, well what do you want to know?

"I don't know. Tell me about when you voted for him and stuff like that".

OK. Well, it's actually a very funny story. See, I was in Chicago on that Saturday before the election. I was absolutely determined to get back to Los Angeles to vote. I mean, this was going to be historic, and I didn't want to be sitting on the sidelines for this moment in history. So I left Chicago on Saturday evening. I was supposed to go bowling with my brother Cory and my nephew Cory, but they wouldn't let us. Some snake league was bowling. In hind sight, its probably best that I didn't get the chance. You'll understand why later.

Anyway. I left Chicago that evening, and back in the day I actually drove cars. Not how you guys have flying cars now, I actually had to steer and drive myself. So I drove all the way to Denver, Colorado. I made it there on Sunday evening. From there, I had to drive to Salt Lake City, Utah. I didn't make it to Salt Lake City until Monday afternoon. I would have caught a flight from Salt Lake to Los Angeles, but your grandfather isn't the flying type. So I bought a ticket to ride the bus. Well, the company the ran the buses back then was called Greyhound, and let me tell you that they were the absolute worst. I got on the bus, and the bus was supposed to leave at 6:30 p.m. Well, at 7 p.m., the bus was still sitting in Salt Lake. And as a matter of fact, the driver put me off the bus so that they could put on some other passengers.

I was so upset. It really was beginning to look like I wasn't gonna be able to make it home in time to vote. But I got a bright idea. I called someone from my job, and I figured out that if I took the bus to San Francisco, I could pickup a car and drive myself to Los Angeles. So I went for it. I made it to San Francisco around 2:30 p.m. that Tuesday afternoon. Greyhound was supposed to get me there earlier, but again, they were the absolute worst company back then. Probably the reason they are no longer operating this many years late.

So I left San Francisco at 3 p.m. Well unlike today, we had a such thing as traffic back in my day. And San Francisco was notorious for having some of the worst traffic in the country. I can't deny, I was weaving in and out of the car pool lanes trying to pass up some people. Eventually I made some headway, and I was flying. I mean, going so fast that I could have given these flying cars of today a run for their money. I had to drive 344 miles, and I needed to get to my polling place by 8 p.m. It was hectic for sure. I pulled up to my polling place at 7:58 p.m. (Pacific Time) I ran inside. Out of breath, I asked the lady for a ballot. She said "you barely made it". I told her that after all that I had been through, I was happy that I made it at all. She handed me my ballot, and I went to do my civic duty. I finished voting, got my stub and my "I voted sticker" and I went back out to the car.
As soon as I got back in the car, they made the announcement that Barack Obama would be our 44th President. I was ecstatic. I mean, after traveling all that great distance, I had cast the ballot that sealed the deal for Barack Obama.

"No you didn't Grandaddy. You just voted, that's all"

Hey, I'm telling the story not you. Were you there in 2008?

With a big grin on her face, Jesse shakes her head no.

Alright then. Anyway. The most important thing that I want you to take from this story is this; too often our people, back then, believed that their vote was insignificant. And unfortunately, that's exactly what certain segment of our population wanted them to believe. But President Obama reminded people that it was not only a privilege to vote in this country, but a responsibility. And plenty of our ancestors died for us to have just this very privilege. That's why I tried to move Heaven and Earth to get myself home in time to vote. I mean, I knew one day that you and you brothers and sisters would need to hear this story. And most importantly, you one day would tell your own children and grandchildren. Your Grandaddy voted for the first Black President of the United States. I know that it doesn't seem like much now considering that we've had other Black Presidents, including Barack's daughter Malia, but you need to know that on November 4th, 2008, the world did change. President Obama did make it to where we as black people understood that we were important in this country. And yes, we could make a change.
So when you do your report, you make sure you let your class know that though I never thought I'd ever see a black President, I give glory to God that I was absolutely wrong.

"I will grandaddy, I will!!"



Cherish said...

that was beautiful i too cant wait to tell that story to my grandkids, mines isnt fullof obstacles tho but its still significant nevertheless

Sexxy Luv said...

you have me excited to tell my story to my future grand children. lol I'm excited that i took my children with me that day because they to will have a story to share. :)

great post!

Just Jasmine said...


What a great story and I love hat Malia was President. I can see that. she is definitely poised for greatness. You can tell.

greyhound? lol. in ny you can go down to chinatown and catch a 10-15 dollar bus to pretty much anywhere.

but very cute indeed

QueenofPlanetHotflash said...

Yes We Can!! Beautiful story :o)
Thanks for adding me as a friend come visit and comment on my site

The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

You have a good story to tell. I just rolled out of bed and voted. *sigh

It will be a great story for everyone to tell to their grandchildren, great grand.

mrs. mary mack said...

Greatness! I love this story.

ToshaRenelle said...

This brought tears to my eyes! This was well written and a very good read! PRAISE GOD for being apart of history and Thank you for stopping by my blog, today, because it led me to your blog and this post! Awesome! I can't praise it enough!

Anonymous said...

well...I dont have grandkids...but Im sure that I will have fun with them

Anonymous said...


Diamond said...

What a great, great piece you've written! Love the way it's told.

Cat said...

nice, can't say I have an exciting story to tell like that, just the 1 and 1/2 hour wait. Talk about determination. Hope that spirit continues!

clnmike said...

lol, that was heart warming.

MR. CHAP said...

I love the post. I need to read this to my listeners...

the 3rd tWin said...

nice. my goodness... ima be 71 one day, tellin my grandchildren about the hour long wait i went through at 8:20am just so i could vote. it really did feel like i was making a difference, even though mccain got georgia that night... still dont see how that happened- wait, never mind...

still, i spoke my opinion. i took positive action. + now look. im apart of this wonderful history + i couldnt be more proud.