Thursday, July 28, 2011

Greenwood Lullabies

There’s something about Greenwood that I just can’t get out of my head.  It’s a paradox, a study in intertwined opposites.  It's one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.  Many parts of Greenwood and the surrounding areas are blanketed with lush, vibrant green forests.  The trees stand tall and strong, yet seem to sway and move about like old men conducting important business.  They protect and they watch. 

In this heartbreakingly beautiful place some of the worst and longest atrocities were visited upon blacks.  Yes, slavery.  Slavery was not about work.  Slavery was about cruelty, it was about rape, it was about humiliation, it was about tearing apart black families and it was about the wearing away of will, hope, pride, and peace. 

One of the things about slavery that seems to add a pungent odor to its stale air of humiliation is that people around the world knew about it and thought it was just fine.  Whether or not blacks were beings just one layer removed from animal was a given.  It seems as though there were very few people in the world who could look at a black person and see much more than a dollar sign, a work man, or an opportunity for quick sexual satisfaction.  There was a general agreement that blacks were stupid, disgusting, and deserving of nothing.

That will always be part of the history of this place.  If you stand on the Delta's rich farming soil long enough you can almost hear the cries of mothers who lost their sons to the fields.    

When I visited Greenwood in June, I met rich people who clearly treasure their Southern heritage.  I also met people who live at a level of poverty that I’ve really only ever heard about.  The homeless in most major cities eat better than some of these. 

I met heroes of the civil rights movement, men whose minds hold the memories of how change happened, who are barely be able to feed themselves.  I also met people who live across the street and around the corner from their children, cousins, and grandchildren.  Their lives are rich with love and simplicity. 

I'm stirred when I recall the look in the eyes of some of Greenwood’s residents.  I feel saddened when I think of the drunkards loitering street corners at three in the afternoon.  Yet, my heart soars when I think of the warm embrace that will always await me there from aunts, uncles, cousins, and the beautiful green landscape that seems somehow to envelope me in wonder.  

I’m supposed to go back.  The filmmakers need more scenes.  I wish we were going back today and I wish to never go back.  Greenwood haunts me, yet it calls me home.  Everyday I feel more and more convinced that what God intended for me to find on this journey was not Booker Wright, but the knowledge that I belong to a place of wonder.  I do come from the stuff of legends.  The song of the slave is my soul's lullaby.  

How can a place, a dot on the map, create such conflict within me? 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Just Want To See Him

I wanted to get a different perspective on Lloyd Cork's letter so I read it to a good friend who's taught English for 11 years at the college level.  Over the last couple of years she's developed a writing program for prisoners so I definitely wanted to get her reaction.

Immediately she began talking about literacy levels.  She said that the letter really indicated to her that he had low levels of literacy and that he was unfamiliar with how to organize his thoughts in writing.  There were sections of his letter that seemed scattered and almost insane to my ear.  She simply heard a man who was struggling to get his thoughts into words.

It dawned on me how difficult it is to truly communicate with anyone in writing or even over the phone.  I'd originally thought that maybe I'd interview Lloyd Cork in letters, but I don't want to limit his ability to communicate with me because I'm expecting him to exercise a muscle that he's never had the chance to develop. I don't know what kind of education he had.  I do know that when I met his mother the filmmakers asked her to sign a release for the interview and she had to make a mark because she didn't know how to write her own name.

There's a good chance that the best I can hope for with Lloyd Cork is a phone interview.  The telephone, however, has its own problem.  Silence.  If I ask a question and he goes quiet over the phone I won't know if he's shifting out of discomfort or if he's looking into the distance in an effort to remember.

I just want to see him.

I tell myself that I'm hoping a meeting with Lloyd Cork will bring me peace, but I know now that nothing about this process (making the film, doing the research, writing about it) will ever bring me peace.  Then I tell myself that if I can hear economic and social desperation in Cork's life story that maybe I'll see that he and Booker were both affected by the same lack of opportunities for blacks and that they just took different paths.  But I already know the answer to this, I got it from Erlene.

I'm just not that naive anymore.  The journey is not the thing.  Maybe I'm just inquisitive and I want to look a known murderer in the eye because I can.

Or maybe there is more.  Yes, Lloyd Cork probably murdered Booker Wright.  I strongly suspect that the murder was unplanned.  If I was 100% certain I would probably save myself the hassle of filling out forms and figuring out travel.  As tired as I am of chasing ghosts, I just feel that something awaits me in a face-to-face meeting with him.  A nugget not made of peace or of understanding, but maybe another link to the puzzle.  Maybe a final dead end that closes the door on the questions.

As tired as this whole thing makes me, as soon as this post is finished I will write another letter to Lloyd Cork to start the arduous process of getting approval so that I can meet with him.  The honest to goodness truth is that I don't even know why.

Friday, July 22, 2011

He Wrote Back

Today I received a letter in the mail from the man who murdered my grandfather.  Actually, I should say that today I received a letter from the man who is serving a life sentence for murdering my grandfather.  I don't know if Lloyd Cork killed Booker Wright.  I know that when my grandfather was dying in his hospital bed that he told people that Lloyd Cork shot him.

If you're not familiar with what's odd about the murder then here's some background.  First, 38 years after it happened, eyewitnesses to the murder seem reluctant to talk about it.  See this post and this one.  Second, the trial itself seemed to raise more questions than it answered.  Third, Booker's lifelong companion is being less than helpful with this research.

At some point in my life I watched a TV show in which a person was asked to place their hand in a box that either had a snake in it, jello, or a boatload of cash.  That's kind of how I felt when I reached out to Lloyd Cork.  That's actually how I still feel.  In the letter Cork claims that he didn't kill Booker.  But this line is the anthem of most prisoners, so does it really mean anything in this case?

In the letter he sent me, Cork explains that he let Booker borrow a car of his even though it had $100k in the trunk.  If he'd have said that the car had $1k in the trunk it would've sounded suspicious from what I know about this man's economic background.  Saying that he had $100k sounds almost insane.  The most important thing in the letter is that Cork said he'd be willing to talk on the phone with me and/or meet me face-to-face.

I definitely want to meet him in person.  The filmmakers are trying to figure out a way for me to call him and record the call so that they can include it in the movie.  I'm wrestling with the best course of action.  I really want to see the look on his face.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"May 2011" or "A Blood Disorder, Breast Cancer, Deal Memo Revisions, and Hair Stylist Etiquette"

This is a post about things that were happening in my life and in this project several months ago.  I wrote a draft of this awhile back, but it's taken me some time to revisit it.  I want to apologize in advance because it breaks lots of "blog rules".  It's way too long and it deals with too many different topics.  Plus, I'm posting it out of chronological order.  But, I write to rob my problems of their power.  So, I'm writing about May 2011 because, even though I cried my way through it, I did eventually make it through.

May 2011 was a nightmare.  In a nutshell, I had to deal with an annoying blood disorder, had a breast cancer scare, had deep concern for the development welfare of one of my children, and tried to negotiate contracts Hollywood style.

The blood disorder is not major or even remotely life threatening, but the treatments are a hassle

Until last spring, the one and only official treatment I'd had was about eight years ago.  It took seven hours and I had to do it in the same room where people receive chemotherapy.  Everything in that room was grey.  From the carpet to the recliners that lined the walls to the side tables that were covered with magazines, everything was grey.  Even the liquid they pumped into people seemed to be tinged with a grey gloominess.

I sat in that room for seven hours while people came and went for their chemo treatments.  Some people looked hopeful and energetic, others really looked like they were at death's door.  One guy sat down for his treatment and a nurse came over to tell him that his test results had come back and the doctor needed to speak with him privately.  I will never ever forget the look on his face as he searched hers for a clue as to how bad it was.  His hand searched for his keys, his book, and his drink while his eyes desperately scanned her face.  All the while she avoided looking at him.  I remember praying for him and for every one else that came there for the medicine they hoped would save their lives.  I felt so guilty sitting there getting an infusion because I was feeling a little rundown.

About a week later I saw the doctor to go over my blood work.  He said that my numbers were up but that I would need to come back once a month or maybe even every couple of weeks to repeat my treatments.  I had a full time job and a full time ministry at my church, and I didn't know if my spirit could withstand the heartache of that place.  I smiled, shook his hand and never went back - that was about eight years ago.

Earlier this year I noticed that my hair was falling out.  I went to my new stylist and asked her for advice.  She said, "Hmph, I don't know why it's falling out.  Maybe you should try a different shampoo."  I was a 36 year-old woman sporting a comb over, this wasn't about shampoo.

With my tail between my legs, I went back to my old stylist, Stephanie.  Stephanie is awesome, but her shop is far from where I live and she really doesn't keep up with the latest styles.  What she does do is take great care of her client's hair.  Mine thrived under her artful touch for almost ten years.  But I got restless and wanted someone closer and more adventurous so I'd moved on.  Unfortunately, I don't know the proper etiquette for breaking up with a hair stylist.  Was I supposed to have a conversation with her about it?  Maybe I was supposed to give her flowers and say, 'It's not you, it's me."  Well, I didn't, I just stopped making appointments and hoped that I'd never run into her at the mall.

When I went back to Stephanie, she did not ask where I'd been or why I started seeing someone else.  Instead she ran her fingers through my hair, walked around the chair to face me, looked me in the eye and said that she only sees my level of breakage in women who have health problems.  She urged me to get myself to the doctor.  Then she gave me a super cute cut while we got caught up on one another's lives.  I promised myself that I would never stray again.

I'd already scheduled an annual with my primary care physician so, while I was there I asked her to order the blood work I knew that I needed.  I got the blood work done and then went to California on vacation because my husband was on spring break.   Late one night after a long five hour drive across the desert, I walked into my house, leaned on my counter and listened to my voice mails.  I had four messages, all from my primary care physician's office.  I needed to go to a cancer research center post-haste.  Deep down I knew that this was probably about my blood condition, but having the nurse leave me urgent messages about going to a cancer center definitely put me on edge.

I went to the cancer research center and the hematologist was both interested and surprised at how low my numbers were.  He kept asking me questions about my lifestyle.  Was I able to do this?  Was I able to do that?  Did I get winded easily?  How often did I feel like I was going to pass out?  As I answered his questions, I realized that I'd let my disorder go for way too long.  I acknowledged feeling all of the symptoms he was describing, but I also told him about my relatively active lifestyle.  He smiled and said, "I'll be amazed to see what you're able to do when we get you well."

He signed me up for five sessions of treatments, which he said should definitely get me back to normal.  Thankfully, in the last eight years they'd developed some new drugs and the treatments only took a couple of hours each.  Figuring out childcare in the middle of the day was nuts, but it was only for a handful of appointments, so I wasn't that concerned.

That same month, March of 2011, I had my first mammogram.  Feel free to stop it just too much?  About a week after the appointment, the office that conducted the mammogram called back to say that they needed to take a more in-depth look because they saw something in one of my breasts.  They wanted me to come back as soon as possible - literally, she called on a Monday and wanted me to come in that Wednesday.  I was in the middle of the blood treatments and I just couldn't make it in that soon.

Then in April David called to tell me about the film and then he and Raymond asked me to make a documentary with them.  Come May, I'd finished my blood treatments and I was just waiting on the results that were certainly going to tell me that they'd been effective.  I was still putting off the mammogram thing.  My husband and I were starting to talk with a good friend (a special education teacher) about a concern we had for one of our sons.

In early May, David Zellerford and I were going back and forth and back again regarding a little document called a deal memo.  Every one in my family and I mean EVERY ONE (except my husband who is really too smart so he doesn't count) has asked me if I have a contract with the filmmakers since I'm co-producing and this is our family's story.  Each of them seems to have a cautionary tale.  It happened to Ashford and Simpson, it happens all the time - big, bad Hollywood people take advantage of unsuspecting everyday individuals.  They come like thieves in the night, steal your ideas, make millions and leave you trying to figure out how to pay for toothpaste and toilet paper.

There's just one problem.  It's Booker Wright's story and, as much as my heart feels attached to it, the story doesn't belong to me at all.  Raymond and David have the 1966 film and they can do whatever they want with or without me.  They're including me because they're good guys and they want my family involved.  Nevertheless, I knew that no one in my family would agree to be interviewed if I couldn't say that I had some sort of contract.  So, I painfully asked David (more than once) for something in writing.

He sent me something.  It seemed to entail everything we'd agreed upon verbally and I was pleased with it.  I showed it to my attorney who was decidedly not pleased with it.  He had several revisions he thought needed to be included.  For several days I had what felt like a thousand awkward conversations about things that really went over my head.  I'd talk to David and feel great, then I'd talk to the attorney and feel not so great, then back to David, then back to the attorney, and into infinity.  David likes to scream and apparently, I like to cave.

One last thing.  My husband and I were learning AT THIS SAME TIME that someone in our family may have a life-altering disorder.  But hey, I get to make a movie, right?

The worst day was on a Thursday in mid-May.  Since I home school, doing anything during business hours is simply a pain, so I usually try to stack several appointments on one day so that I only lose one day of school and only have to arrange for childcare once.  On this particular day, I'd arranged to have my simple follow-up with the hematologist and I was finally going in for the follow-up breast exam.

All week I'd been on the phone trying to find a happy medium between what my attorney wanted for me and what David was willing to give up.  Maybe it was hormones, maybe it was sleep deprivation, but I basically had a meltdown.  I went to see my blood doctor and he said that my body didn't respond to the treatments the way he'd expected.  He thought that there must be a THIRD disorder that was keeping my body from efficiently making new blood.  He wanted to test me for a whole host of disorders and diseases.  I smiled and hopped in the car and went to the breast center.  My mind was racing.  What kind of underlying disorder?  Cancer.  That's why I'm not making new blood, I have breast cancer.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but having never been to medical school it sounded completely plausible to me.

As I raced down the freeway I prayed and tried to calm my thoughts.

Thankfully, my friend Jill had offered to meet me at the breast center.  I got there before her and promised myself I would at least ask her how her week was before launching into my battery of problems.  She walked in wearing her trademark blue jeans with a white top.  Her eyes sparkled with glittery eye shadow and her plump pink lips were turned up in a warm, calming smile.  She asked me how I was doing and I immediately started crying and talking.  I motioned for a box of Kleenex, which she dutifully put on her lap and then began dispensing tissues to me one at a time - all the while nodding and moaning at just the right moments.

In the end, I think cried for about three hours that afternoon.  I'd convinced myself I was going to die.  I was actually trying to figure out how to tell David and Raymond that I wasn't going to make it to Greenwood because I'd be spending my days in a chemo room, and not to get medicine for my simple little blood disorder.  I was desperately worried about my son.  Would I still be able to home school?  Would all of his little dreams still be able to come true?

I went in for my first test.  The technician rubbed my back while I cried.  She told me that if all was fine I wouldn't even need to see the radiologist at all.  I went back to the waiting room and poured out more emotion to Jill.  Someone came out to tell me that I would need to see the radiologist after all.  More tears.  This was it.  I went in to see the radiologist.  I lay down on the table while she moved an ultrasound scanner over my breast, her eyes staring intensely at the screen.

Finally she looked down at me and said, "I have your results.  I understand you have a friend outside waiting for you, would you like me to go get her?"

I lost it.  I cried so hard I could barely breath.  The radiologist's eyes got really big and she awkwardly waved her hands in front of my face, "It's good news, it's good news, I just thought you might want your friend with you."

I was fine.  No cancer.  The doctor left the room and as the door was slowly closing behind her I heard one of the nurses say, "Is she okay?"

The doctor said, "She has young kids, she's scared."

After another round of treatments for my blood disorder the numbers finally look decent.  The deal memo is signed and filed away.  We're working with my sweet son, finding creative solutions to make sure that he can be the boy he wants to be.

God is still God.  In the end, it is always okay.  Looking back, those days seem almost comical.  At the time I felt desperate, clinging to scriptures with a death grip.  Sometimes I wish He would send me a postcard with some clues on it as to how everything will work out.  Alas, there are no postcards, just heavenly promises.  But sometimes holding onto the promises feels like holding onto a slippery rope with sweaty hands, no easy feat.

As each day ticked by, I tucked myself deeper and deeper into my love for my grandfather.  His mystery, his honor, his bravery all melded together to make a safe place for me.  If I could smell him, I knew he would smell like home.  The closer I got to my trip, to the culmination of the research and the angst, the more confident I was that I'd be able to really feel him.  All the stories I would be told, all the testimonies I'd hear about him would pile on top of each other and make the figure of a man and I'd finally be able to see him, to feel his presence and to glimpse his spirit.  Then this season of adding a part-time job to my already full life would finally seem worth it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Obviously, the reason I'm working on this documentary film is to learn as much as I can about my grandfather and to bring his story to the masses.

BUT, the thought of being immortalized on screen for my children and grandchildren and anyone else to see definitely made me feel a little self-conscious.  To be clear, I tirelessly worked on research for this film up until a few days before I was supposed to leave.  But, in the final hours before my scheduled departure I will admit that I shopped and shopped.  I spent hours at Nordstrom's, Dillards, Gap, Old Navy, Kohl's, and Target.  I shopped so much that our credit card company called to make sure that the card hadn't been stolen.  I got my legs waxed, my brows waxed, had my hair done, and my toes as well.

We've been back for a few weeks now and I haven't seen any of the footage, but Ray was very generous when were in Greenwood.  After watching the dailies from the first day of shooting he said that I looked great on film.  So, I really didn't think anything more about it until I got home.

The other day I was in a conversation with one of the production coordinators and I kept using the wrong word.  She'd giggle and correct me.  I'd thank her and then refer to people by the wrong names.

I hung up the phone after talking with her and I remembered that I do have a bad habit when I'm tired.  In a nutshell, I mix up words and sound like a bumbling idiot. One day I told my son to pick a ball up off the floor.  He wouldn't budge.  I told him again, I even pointed at it.  I looked at him crossly and he looked back at me with eyes filled with tears.  He said, "Mommy, there isn't a ball on the floor."  I realized I'd been saying "ball" when I meant to say "robot."  I know, I know it's sad.

Anyway, when we were filming the documentary I was usually running on a few hours of sleep and several cups of Starbucks Instant Coffee.  I started to wonder if, during some of the interviews I said "Joseph Norwhal" instead of "Booker Wright" or things like that.

So, I called the producer.  YES, I called the producer even though I know he loathes talking about this kind of stuff.  This is how the conversation went.

"Hey, David, sometimes, I say the wrong word when I'm really tired.  In any of the footage did I sound out of it?"

"No, you sound fine.  But you do look tired in a few of the scenes and when you try to show concern for people you usually look angry."


"Hey, if you need coddling talk to your director."

Really, that's how it went down.

It gets worse.  For reasons I can't explain (or am too ashamed to admit to) I called him again a few days later to see if he was kidding or not.

"David, do I really look mean and tired?"

"Are you seriously calling me so I can puff you up?  Is this a vanity call?"

"Yes, it is and I'll be calling again in about 20 minutes.  Do I look mean and tired?"


"In any of the scenes."

"No, everything with you looks great."  (Which I think in Davidspeak means, "Please, stop calling me.")

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Isn't It Interesting?"

I keep thinking about my 11 days in Greenwood, Mississippi (although one of them was really spent in Oxford).  I've been back home now for as many days as I was away and I still don't feel completely like myself. Did this experience change me in ways that won't revert back?

Going to Greenwood was emotional.  I visited my grandfather's grave, went into Booker's Place for the first time, met the woman whose son murdered him, learned that Booker Wright was beaten after appearing in the '66 film, rarely got more than a few hours of sleep each night, and got to be a part of making a movie. It was exciting, emotional, exhausting, and weird.

There were many moments when I was raw and exposed with people I hardly knew and may never see again.

A few times in Greenwood I got really tripped up.  First, I got punk'd by Po (this post is coming, promise).  Then I found myself asking some really terrible questions about my grandfather in an effort to understand the possibilities surrounding his murder.  Halfway through our stay in Greenwood some people came forward to say that Booker Wright was mean to them and to certain types of people.  I wanted to defend him, but then I remembered that I'd never met him.

Some information came out about my grandmother and a terrible thing that she did.  In the end, the filmmakers agreed that particular piece didn't really relate to Booker's story.  But I first needed to give them the sordid details of my grandmother's past to help them understand why it didn't relate.

All this to say that, by the time I got home, I felt like I'd been through an emotional washing machine that was only set to spin.

To say that I feel powerless is an understatement.  I have felt, continue to feel, and will always feel incredibly grateful for the team of bright and hardworking researchers who are uncovering source after source for this work.  But I'm not the first to know anymore. Sometimes I'm the last to know.  Sometimes it feels like every secret in my family is in danger of being uncovered and examined with a cold objectivity that only sees how we represent the world at large.  "Isn't it interesting?"

For the last couple of weeks the director (Ray De Felitta) and the producer (David Zellerford) have been going over the footage and trying to make decisions about the direction of the film and what more they may or may not need to go back to Greenwood to shoot.

I'm not there.  They're in New York and I'm in Phoenix.  My face, my raw emotions, my instinctive reactions, and a variety of perspectives on my grandfather's character were recorded and are being examined by a room full of guys I met three months ago.  They've offered to send me any clips I'd like to review, but for some reason I'm not quite ready to see any of it.

They recorded a lot.  A lot of me and a lot of other people.  There are several directions they can take with this film.  Sometimes I find myself hoping that all the stuff with me and my family was junk and that they'll have to take whatever else they have and leave my family behind.  I know that's unlikely.

Most days, I'm excited and thrilled to be part of such an interesting project.  In my normal life I home school two princely boys and spend the better part of each day with oatmeal in my hair and tempura paint on my arms.  This journey is simply a treat.

On the other hand, there are days like today when this project is making it hard for me to feel centered.  The control freak in me wants to "stop by" the New York office and look over their shoulders to see exactly what they're doing.

To get refocused, I'm trying to spend more and more time in my "regular life" doing "regular things".  For the first time in a long time I worked today on my home school plans.  My boys are going through a dinosaur phase, so I asked them if they wanted to do a unit study on dinosaurs and they were both thrilled.

I think I'll get buried in homeschool planning while I wait for myself to come back.

The Case of the Missing Eyewitness

One of the witnesses in Lloyd "Blackie" Cork's murder trial shared more details than any of the others about what happened the night that my grandfather was murdered.  She testified regarding the people Cork was talking to, she saw Booker kick Blackie out, she saw Booker's gun, she was also standing so close to Booker that she was injured as well.  Most of the other witnesses seemed to corroborate pieces of this witness's testimony.  She was the one who had the closest thing to the "whole" story.

A few months ago we got a lead on how to find her.  A family with her last name owns a Greenwood radio station.  For the last several days I've been trying to get a hold of one of the family members.  Yesterday I did and they confirmed that they do not have anyone in their family by that name living in Greenwood.  They also explained that, while their family's been in Greenwood for more than two decades, they weren't living there when my grandfather was murdered.

We have two other on the ground, local sources who are excellent at uncovering people for this research.  A guy who owns a local store and a woman who just seems to know everyone.  Neither of them knows my witness.

I noticed this morning that in the transcripts the lawyer frequently asks the jury if they can understand her.  Apparently, there was something about her speech that made it difficult for them to always get what she was saying.  Maybe I need to find some people from the outlying, more rural communities to help locate her.

I really need another break in this puzzle.  I'm  starting to feel burnt out on closed doors.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back to Square One

David, the producer, called M.W. today.  He thinks that she answered the phone, tried to disguise her voice and said that she wasn't home.  The woman he spoke to said that M.W. would be traveling for a week.  Obviously, this is unlikely.  Over the weekend she told my mom that she'd be happy to speak with David.  She made no mention of upcoming travel plans.

I'm pretty sure that her daughter has gotten to her again.  For whatever reason, M.W.'s daughter does not want either of them to be a part of this.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Daily Download

My mom spoke with M.W. today.  Not only did they speak, but it sounds like they had a really lovely conversation.  M.W. seemed nervous about speaking with David and asked my mom to tell him in advance that her memory is not very good.

My mom seemed worried about this until I reminded her that she said the same thing.  Everyone says that at first.

One of the production coordinators (PC) on this project is a photography nut.  She did some additional research on the connection between Tom Boring, the dentist and Bill Eggleston, the famous photographer.  Apparently, there are a few photos that are somewhat famous that include Tom Boring, the dentist who was friends with my grandfather, Booker Wright.  In at least two of the photographs Tom Boring is naked.  In one of them, he appears to be in a room filled with graffiti.  It turns out that he'd spray painted the walls himself.

The PC went on to explain how important Eggleston's work is and that he was a part of the Warhol scene.

So, my grandfather, whose life ended when he was 46, worked for over 20 years at a historic restaurant that is still in business today, ran a successful nightclub that was visited by musical greats like BB King, was interviewed on a news program that was shown around the country, became close friends with a man who was somehow part a group that would revolutionize art around the world, and then he was murdered either by an angry man who acted alone, an angry man who was hired by a white cop, a woman from the club, or a woman from Chicago.

How in the world did his story sleep for all these years?