Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Down by the River at St. Anthony Main

Today, the daddy is chilling. When he's chilling, he hangs out around St. Anthony, a riverfront offering visitors acres of parks, trails, picnic areas, landmarks, a Movie Theater, restaurants, shops, family-oriented events, entertainment and attractions and numerous walk or bike trails to explore.

Around lunch time, the daddy steps into the Astor Cafe to have a salad, juice and coffee and check out the people strolling by. Later in the afternoon, he drops into Vic's, munches on a cheese and fruit tray and sips a glass of Trimbach white wine.

Vic's has a great wine list and the best food in St. Anthony Main. Also, at Vic's, you can sit inside
and look out its wide windows and see couples outside drinking on the patio or strolling on the sidewalks. You can see women walking dogs and guys biking.

But what the daddy really likes about St. Anthony Main is that all the streets, restaurants and shops are near the Mississippi river; and the daddy likes to leave the shops and stand in the middle of the Stone Arch bridge and watch the water flow in and out the damn.

Standing in the middle of the Stone Arch Bridge today, the daddy is thinking of Emmett Till, a sweet 14 year old black male kid from Chicago who was visiting relatives in a small town called Money, Mississippi. Supposedly, he whistled at a white woman. For this alleged action, later that night, some white came to his relative's house with guns and flashlights, pulled him out of bed, took him away in trucks, beat him to death, and threw him in the Tallahatchie river.

To my knowledge, no one was convicted for this crime, though many whites and blacks knew who did it.

As the daddy stares into the river, he thinks of Emmett Till and the great poet Langston Hughe's poem about rivers. It was his first published poem:

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers.
Ancient, dusky rivers

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Your post reminds me of If These Walls Could Talk. I wonder other tales the river would tell if it could.

Vigilante said...

Your post reminds me of Robert Redford's A River Runs Through It. Especially, narrator Redford's voice-over lines in the final scene. I will not quote them because they can only be appreciated in context. The "It" in the title can be understood in many senses.

Anonymous said...

I go to a club down there to hear music. Live jazz. Do you live in Minneapolis or St. Paul?

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Being a literalist, I'm a terrible poet and even worse at interpreting poetry. . . it was a struggle getting through literary criticism in grad school.
So I think of the real rivers I have known. There is something about a river that always attracts me. When I'm in a river, especially one out in the middle of nowhere I can feel the life force around me. I can look up at the trees and the rich lush green surrounding me and really feel the warm moist womb of Mother Earth envelop me. I haven't been in a river all summer. That's sad.

truth said...

The St. Anthony main area is beautiful. The Mississippi River definitely would have some stories to tell if it could. They would probably get worse the further south you go down the river.

Christopher said...

The first time I saw the Mississippi was on the highway that crosses from West Memphis, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee.

I was blown away by the width of the river.

There are some really cool spots just north of Memphis to walk and watch the big barges saunter past.

I like the south. I think I was a southern boy in a past life.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of that area lately MacDaddy, I live just west of Minneapolis, I'll come and take a strole down that way, maybe close to 3:00 I'll hit the Stone Arch Bridge. Maybe we'll run into each other.

I'd come down that way for lunch but I have an Appointment at 1:00 till about 2:00.

Kind of reminds me about my gal down that way, not as much as the place that we first met, but close.

sdg1844 said...

I've always loved that poem. I remember it from my childhood.

rainywalker said...

"Then, wonder-wise, I rubbed my eyes
and I woke from a horrid dream.
The moon rode high in the naked sky,
and something bobbed in the stream.
It held my sight in a patch of light,
and then it sheered from the shore;
It dipped and sank by the hollow bank,
and I never saw it more."

There is something about water and fire that fascinate's man and is healing. The Swahili [in a word I have forgot] called it, "dreaming the fire." They have made it an art form for centuries.

Anonymous said...

I loved the poem by the way MacDaddy.

I've been wondering around down by the Stone Arch Bridge for about an hour, was hoping to run into you, well I'm hanging at Dunn Coffee bros coffee north of the bridge if your in the area.

Nicki Nicki Tembo said...

Something about those first big boat rides over here that resonate in my soul - looking out at the Atlantic, glancing at the Mississppi and the like often saddens me.

MacDaddy said...

"I wonder other tales the river would tell if it could."
kit: Yes.
vigilante: I've never seen A River Runs Through It. Sounds good. Maybe I'll rent it this weekend.
anon 1: That club you're talking about is Sophia's. I, too, used to go there. In fact, I went there about two nights a week. It closed about six months ago, I think.
anon2: Sorry I missed you. Beautiful down there, isn't it?
sagacious: Well said. You may not write good poetry, but you sure write well about nature.
Truth: Something tells me you've been down to St. Anthony Main many times and walked across the Stone Arch Bridge.
sdg: Thanks. Are you blogging these days? If so, what's your blogging address?
rainywalker: Beautiful. People who really love great writing should go to your blog.

MacDaddy said...

christopher: It's too states like Tennessee and Arkansas have such a terrible history of racism. It takes away from the fact that it is such a beautiful part of our country.
nicki: Sometimes I think the rivers talk to us but I'm not so sure some of us want to hear. For example, I'm not so sure we want to hear about the middle passage and how sharks followed the ships to catch the slaves who often jumped overboard rather than live a life in chains. Yet they passed their blood and spirit to us; and we can still hear those voices in our speech, our walk and our songs-- in those blues with a feeling that still linger with us.

Nun in the Hood said...

Hi, MacDaddy....Thanks for writing about my favorite walking bridge, The Stone Arch.....The Langston Hughes poem was so poignant, especially in the wake of the Emmit Til story....Next time I walk that bridge I will remember him.....

MacDaddy said...

nuninthehood: Good to hear from you. I will think of him too. The next time I post about St. Anthony Main, I will include more photos and another poem I wrote about him. Blessings to you and the other Sisters.