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One of my dogs barks back at the out chorus of Average White Band’s 1974 hit remake of the Isley Brother’s ‘Work To Do’, as there are guys singing “Work, Work…..Work Work…” as the song closes. Roscoe feels the need to answer. Good boy!!

Why does gout feel like there’s shards of glass in my shoe when I run?

Is it fair to have a gout flair and an attack of diverticulitis while on the road? I stepped on stage for soundcheck with Arlo Guthrie in the midst of such and told him and he looked concerned for a minute, patted my shoulder, and then just laughed and walked over to his own mic. That’ll help cure you...Woody Guthrie's son silently saying “shut up and sing…”

MY cure for both? Lace up the Sauconys and go do 3 miles with the dogs...what a man! Ouch…


I have relatives that made for real the passed down adage “Aunt/Uncle/Grandpa So-And-So died for your right to vote/speak English/whatever...” Don’t folks sometimes simply just die?

Why must I always strive to be exceptional? Why must I constantly feel like I’m chasing the ghosts uphill of Benjamin Banneker or Ralph Bunche or George Washington Carver. Somedays I just want to sing well, come home, have a rootbeer, and not be recognized, admonished, or otherwise examined in the light of making a clock by copying a pocket watch, winning a Nobel Peace Prize, or finding a myriad of things to do with peanuts.

News for the right AND the left; The content of my character is always under scrutiny.

And to the right? Please stop thinking that because we have a Black President Thursday that racism disappeared on the next Friday afternoon. Please stop chastising me for seeing racism where I claim to see it. There are a million excuses as to why this current President shouldn’t be where he is, some of it is called We Hate Obamacare, Where’s your birth certificate?, secret Muslim or Muslim affiliation, Tea Party, etc. Can we just admit that there’s a considerable contingency that don’t want a Black president, and are particularly more vociferous about invoking the word socialism and other anti-American keyword stuff? Socialism? Really? In making people well? Might as well close those other hallmark socialist institutions like public school and public libraries. Oh, we doin' that too? OK, at least we’re consistent...  

And to the left? I’m not so far Kumbaa Yaaah that I don’t see how far many have come since, well, pick a benchmark - Plessy vs. Ferguson, Brown vs. Board, when that barber at the barbershop 3 blocks from my house in my mixed neighborhood in Willingboro, NJ in 1971 looked at me when I came in and said, “We don’t have the equipment to do that type of hair...”, pick any one of those and see how far we’ve come, yessir.

Look, I”m not a an anarchist, or a nihilist, or the Anti-Christ.

I just ask you to forgive me if my tone in achievement recognition hasn’t caught up to your recently celebrated equality and makes you angry. It’s been so racist 'round here for so long. I need a minute to adjust... I have a hitch in my step and my soul too. Forgive me. Damn gout.