Friday, November 9, 2007

Barnyard animals and at-risk youth

I've seen many a fine combination in my day, from Snoop and Dre, to Parton and Rogers. I've stood witness to the powerful one-two punch of Corchianni and Monroe, and can personally testify that the sum of cornbread and pintos is greater than its parts. But I must go on record as saying that nary a twosome has captured my fancy as that which is stated in the title of this post.

In our effort to lay the groundwork for the Bridge Project, it's our joy to work closely with the kids at the local Boys and Girls Club. A few weeks ago, I went along with them on their trip to Happy Hills farm. On that long dirt driveway, two totally opposite entities came in contact with one another; a fugitive bull, and a van full of kids with names like Elrahim, Tazmine, Drakeela, Precious, and Yadira. Up until this encounter, I "thought" I knew what funny was. I was wrong; horribly, horribly wrong. I have now learned that one has not truly known comedy until one has heard the musings of at-risk children on the vagaries of the bovine anatomy. Trust me.

A few days later, while in the gym at the Club, I was witness to another unusual encounter. While the kids were lined up on the wall, waiting for instructions, there appeared in the open doorway, the head of a full-grown horse. He sniffed a couple of the kids, and then hurried off. He was being ridden by a high school student that I recognized from the Club. Oddly, the group seemed utterly unmoved by this event. Apparently the kids had some prior experience with the horse. Enough so that they found his sudden appearance acceptable. One of them even informed me that it was "normal." Here I had to take exception. It may have been a common occurrence. It may have even been a daily happening. But there is simply nothing normal about a young black male, sporting a pair of Air Force 1's, riding a stallion bareback through the projects.

By the way, if you read my last post, you know of my obsession with spell check. You'll be amused to know that every name listed in the second paragraph got flagged. It's yet another indication that the little man who lives inside of my computer is a flaming racist.