A Man Called Mother
You could always find mother sitting on his screened in front porch in the 700 block of Ashland Avenue. He seemed to always be standing guard over his two story partially brick framed house where so many have walked through his doors and emerged a completely different person than when they went in. Mother was a person who took in those that others had given up on or tossed away. The forgotten ones and those left to fend for themselves after all of the social-experiments had failed. That house had a reputation of finding that ingot of good in a person and turning it into a gold mine of talent and righteousness.
Ask anyone around the neighborhood and they would tell you tales of mother and how he was able to reach those that was once thought unreachable. How he could take those harden by society, jail and circumstances and mold them into citizens with more than a purpose. They became citizens with a cause. But the most interesting thing about mother was not the fear he injected into those who wish to challenge his authority. It wasn't his copper-tone, light brown African-American skin that instilled that fear. It was the addition to his blackness that made everyone coming into contact with him, stand up and take notice. It was his mixture of black and the DNA from an ancient yet extinct tribe of Indians called the Whayasa Tribe.
When asked what that meant, the definition will vary determined by those you asked. If you asked the many people who he is in the process of helping, you would get one answer but if you asked those whom he had already rescued and released from his home, the description would be totally different. I guess the best description of what this means would come from mother himself. Ask mother what does being from this unique and extinct but distinct tribe of Indians mean and mother would always tell you that in his presence you must always watch what you say.
It wasn’t his stern looks that got you back on track nor was it his booming voice that could control any room. It was the fact that what was promised was delivered as advertised and with a swiftness unseen with only the aftermath as evidence. Those offending the sensibilities of mother would receive one clear and concise warning, detailing the next sequence of events if the offense continued. Then as promised, followed by a loud and sometimes deafening clap of thunder, witnesses would see the results displayed upon the individual and surroundings as detailed a few minutes earlier. After one round of this, whether you were the receiver of the correction or a witness, the lesson was learned and mother would not be taken lightly again. For those who never witnessed or felt this sensation, they found it hard to believe that a person so compassionate and so caring could be so devastating. This lesson was often times used once during the introduction phase of a new group coming through and never had to be used again.
Many thought that mother’s long and lanky frame did not support the amount of strength necessary to run a home like he built and was obviously confused by the stories that they heard emitting from this place but for those housed within the walls of this sanctuary, they knew differently and that his looks were certainly deceiving.
Those within the community knew of mother and his reputation. From the Mayor of the city all the way down to the local gas company employee. If anything happened within that community, they knew where to go for answers to solve that mystery and they knew that mother could be trusted to personally take them directly to the source of the disturbance. Mother was never afraid to stand up and step up when it came to protecting anyone in his community, in his block or in his city. Those seeking to commit a crime there knew never to do it anywhere that mother or his influence existed because the entire neighborhood would turn out with him, at trial, to see justice done. This not only made the neighborhood safer but the community as a whole and like a silent traveler, this ease was slowly making its way through the entire city and soon, those with a desire to commit crimes or take advantage of people within those city limits would have to face more than just one man, they would have to face an entire city of law enforcers.
If there was one wrinkle in this satin fabric of life in this town, it was the secret that mother held. A secret that only three people knew about and two of them were not physically present to inquire upon. This secret has haunted mother for thirty-three years and it was nothing that he could easily shed. There were rituals which must be performed in order to give mother his final yet fatal release from this secret but choosing to take that route was a little more complicated than just saying “yes”.