Time for a dive into my Limited by Truth and Facts Serious and Silly Civil Community of Common Commentary Blog Posts.
Welcome to yet another in an irregular schedule of Blog Posts intended to inform, enlighten, entertain, educate, empower and make you THINK, LAUGH and SMILE.
This post is about Race (not the track and field kind of race but Race with a capital “R” which circulates and permeates throughout our world mostly in a destructive unhealthy way which can be FIXED even CURED if only folks would listen and have and keep an open mind). I have provided a previous post on Race, which I invite you read or re-read, and want to enhance my position on the issue by proving an EXAMPLE.
Off to the Race or is it races. You make the call since I at the Post. And I’m off!!!
Rudy Ray Moore
This is my true story which occurred in the mid 1970’s. This one is about my meeting the Legendary Comedian Rudy Ray Moore. I just watched Eddie Murphy play Rudy Ray Moore as Dolemite and was thrilled to re-live memories from decades past.
After Military Service, and throughout college at Temple University in North Philadelphia, which was the same Philly neighborhood where my Dad, his parents and brothers grew-up and lived, I worked for a flooring contractor who was a skilled craftsman but needed the boost I provided to build his business mostly focusing on customer service.
I knew some local folks and during conversations I mentioned the business. Several asked if we would work in their North Philly neighborhood. I asked, “aren’t there some local contractors”? I was told no. They don’t live and work in this neighborhood. And they certainly don’t want to come “down here”. I developed relationships and within a month or so we were in North Philly every week doing 1-3 flooring jobs. One customer gave us a “tip” which was a cassette recording of Rudy Ray Moore’s comedy.
We listened to the cassette of Dolemite everyday for months. We recited each “bit” as we drove from job to job. One day while eating lunch I read in the newspaper that Rudy Ray Moore was coming to Philly for the premier of his Dolemite Movie.
We looked at each other and said”We’re going”!!!
We had two weeks until the premier so we went about our business carefully scheduling work that would not interfere with our going to see Rudy as Dolemite in the movie.
Finally it was show day and time. We finished worked early enough to get home, shower, change, eat and get to the movie theater in Downtown Philly around 6PM. The movie was scheduled to start at 8:00 PM.
We were the first to arrive. The ticket office was not open. By 6:30 PM the crowds began to arrive all standing around in front of the theater waiting for Rudy’s arrival.
We stood in our spot to be first in line to buy movie tickets. The crowds pinched towards the curb when the big white stretch limo arrived inching its way to the front of the theater. The limo stopped and didn’t move for an eternal few minutes. That is when the passenger side front door opened and out came one of Rudy’s crew. He went to the rear of the limo and opened the curbside door where Rudy’s posse, ladies and the man himself, Rudy Ray Moore, emerged all dressed to the nines with Rudy wearing a white suit, white fur coat, wide rim brim and feathered boa.
The crowd went wild cheering, screaming Rudy’s name and making room for Rudy and crew to move towards the theater entrance. We were still in our spot. As he got closer Rudy’s eyes and my eyes met. He had a look of doubt on his smiling face. He came right to me and my my boss, looked around and said, “what are you two doing here”. Without hesitation we replied, “Rudy we love you. We listen to you everyday and recite along with you”. And with that we began to recite:, “The twelfth of May was one hell of a day……………… Rudy smiled with delight and said, “you two come with me”. Rudy escorted us into the theater saying, “you two are my guests I got this for you” meaning we did not pay for our seats. Rudy went to the middle of the center section of the movie theater, looked around, told his crew to sit and relax but to leave two seats next to Rudy for his two light skinned fans.
Rudy sat down. An elderly lady sitting right behind Rudy asked Rudy if was going to wear his Brim throughout the movie. Rudy replied. “No ma’am. Momma raised me be better than that”. The lady thanked Rudy, praised his Mom for raising a fine son and replied “I know she did” with a Huh-Um for emphasis.
We all loved the movie. People applauded at the end. Rudy stood, smiled and waved at everybody.
Out on the street the crowd stayed seeking one last glimpse, maybe a picture or autograph from Rudy. He was most accommodating and obliged everyone who came his way. We did not have a camera only wonderful, unique to us, memories we shared everyday for years after our meeting the Great Rudy Ray Moore, comedian, actor, entertainer and gentleman.
Eddie Murphy was spectacular in his role of Rudy Ray Moore but it wasn’t until the end of the movie when the man himself, Rudy Ray Moore, appeared which for me, and those who knew or met Rudy, was a time to, once again, be part of a time when laughter, humor and silliness were included and welcomed in our society and culture.
I ask everyone to watch the Eddie Murphy movie about Dolemite and Rudy Ray Moore the man who brought Dolemite for us to enjoy, learn and grow.
Eddie, in his way, brought Rudy to Life and Rudy, in his way, gave us Dolemite, a character to admire, respect and see in ourselves much like any created character that speaks to us all.
Fast froward to the 1990’s. I worked for a small business owner who first asked if I would work in inner city urban communities. I said, of course, why wouldn’t I? He told me some of his staff won’t go “down there”. I said, “I will” and that sealed the deal. Several of my first assignments were “down there”. The word spread among the locals. Within a month I was “down there” every week providing my services, making money and earning TIPS. By the way, the word TIPS is an acronym which means “To Insure Proper Service”. The better the service the better the TIP. I think I received TIPS not only because I was good at what I was doing but more significantly I arrived on time, went the extra mile and came to their “down there” neighborhood. Incidentally, all the work I did “down there” came from referrals which we all know is the best form of advertising and is very cost effective as well.
SYK (So You Know instead of FYI), “Down There” are neighborhoods most folks avoid unless they are on a specific mission and neighborhoods that are featured on the nightly news especially when life struggles are in the forefront. That is keeping it real!!!
Have and Keep an Open Mind.
Keep It Simple – Keep It Real, just like Rudy, Eddie too.
POWER UP YOUR POWER ‘CAUSE THE POWER IS IN YOU!!!