Monday, November 7, 2011

A weekend.....

 As promised.... another post after the eventful weekend! Saturday, along with co-workers, we took a group of the boys to Ohio. The boys that came were ones who come to the center frequently. We drove to Salina, OH where a fun little cabin awaited us. The big question was.... who was going to ride with me in my car? haha It was either me, or the van with Fr. Denny along with a TV and of course, the Xbox. Poor Jonathan had to ride with me first haha... after getting out of the city the music wasn't coming through.... this is what happens when all I have in my car is a Taylor swift CD...... haha oops

Once we got to the cabin, I felt like I was babysitting 10-11 year old boys instead of hanging out with 18-22 year old's. Each ran to the rooms to claim their place to sleep. Once that was done we went out to the little pond out back where the competition of skipping rocks began, and "who can hit the bush with a rock on the other side of the pond." In the distance you could see a deer stand... or in other words, "the club house." As they ran around looking at everything and laughing I couldn't help but laugh right along. Then they found one of those paddle boats and of course they had to pull that out.  

Getting a little too close to the water in the back?

Everyone in the boat: Success!

Of course there were a few, uh malfunctions. Once they were in, the peddles didn't work oopsies.... so they were just kind of.... floatin around. And then of course they got scared and jumped out as soon as they got close to the edge, no one grabbing the rope. So, it went a float. haha I have not laughed that hard in a long time, tears streaming down my face. Amazingly enough, no one actually fell in, just a little water on the shoes.

Later in the night, as it began to get a dark outside, I guess the environment created some creative minds? The boys thought it would be a great idea to make a movie! Of course a murder movie. Typical, car breaks down, creepy house near by and people are disappearing left and right ;) Yes, we made a movie.... well only half. After yelling how the plot would go, and then filming some we got a little side tracked. Too bad though.... I think it would have been a hit haha

Sunday morning we woke up, ate some fillet Mignon and eggs (no that was not a typo.... that was breakfast, compliments of Trader Joe's donations). Then off to Dayton to see an art exhibit. The exhibit was titles, "KKK: Kin Killing Kin," by James Pate. The art was a powerful and thought-provoking series of images reflecting Pate’s deep love for youth and his great concern for the epidemic of youth violence in the African American community. This is one of the most critical social ills of our time—Youth violence. Here is some of his art.

"Your History" I'm the king of the drug trade, Which is the number one option and the number one means of commerce that dominates my exposure. I am ready to kill or be killed by any kin that opposes my effort. I'm prepared to lose my life at the hand of any kin in defense of my commodity. I'm a descendant of the Ife Kingdom Olokun, founder of the Yoruba Dynasty of West Africa. I am what I am not.

After viewing the art work we got to meet the artist, James Pate. The exhibit was moving and the conversation was beautiful. As we sat in circle and listened to the voices and stories of many African American males that came just to see the boys, I couldn't help but sit there and watch each of their faces. Each face was so involved, every one of them grasping on each word that was shared. Then they shared their lives, their troubles and triumphs, their wishes. (To a minimal.)

During the Civil Rights movement over 6,000 African Americans were lynched. In our world today 2,000 African Americans are killed because of youth violence. Many of those killings are brothers killing brothers. Many of these pictures hold a history of America's past and Americas present. In many of the pictures if you look the into the backgrounds you find African Americans being hosed down by firemen, in the foreground, kin killing kin. What America fought so hard to make disappeared, is still present today. It's just in a different form.

This weekend I got to watch these boys evolve from the men they are into silly teenagers running around a cabin doing things I did when I was 4 years old (skipping rocks) riding in a boat (any time) and making a video (definitely did that in high school) then back into men. I got to hear what they thought of the art, hear about their lives and get to know them a little bit more. I know I have barely been here at all but I had this feeling of being.... proud. Proud and privileged to be able to just sit and watch them, even if I am the intimidating white girl that's always around, skinny and pretty eyes. I'll take what I can get :)  


  1. What an amazing experience! Thanks for letting us be a part of it!

  2. Sounds like an all around great experience for you and the boys. I want to see the video you guys made - sounds like you had fun!