There is so much information in my brain. So many thoughts and ideas. This book will be so powerful when I figure out how to pull from every single event that transpired in my life. OMG, there were so many events. Looking back and listening to the passionate stories that my mom just poured on me I realize that I was raised in a rich household. Not monetarily, but with love and protection. Despite all.
Please pray for “Once Upon Ade’ ” to develop into a book that isn’t just for the author, but for the reader as well. The reader must be first.
Once upon Ade will be a “once in a lifetime” read.
So I just had a sit down with my mom after a long day of helping my father repair some wooden steps on his porch. Boy was it a sit down. I had to interject and tell my mom that enough was enough. She informed me that my life back East was a lot deeper than I remembered….revisions, revisions and so many revisions.
I do realize that as a book progresses and nears completion that the title will most likely take shape, but why not start the process earlier?
So far I have received two awesome titles from two very awesome ladies. Thank you ladies. You know who you are. The titles are:
1. Once Upon Ade
2. A day in the life of Ade
What do you think? Please share your comments here @ ineedatitle.wordpress.com
Thanks everyone and have a great day, night or whatever time of day it is in your part of the world.
Wesley’s dad was about 6’1″ and fairly athletic. With his large hands and muscular body, he could throw a football as good as the guys in the pros. The days when he wasn’t exhausted he would grab the football from inside the shop and tell us to go long. ‘Going long’ simply meant that we needed to run as far away from him as possible. Since the auto body shop wasn’t very large, ‘going long’ forced us to run out into the street. Gordon’s Auto Body was located on the corner of Plymouth and Elwood Street. I lived on Watson Ave, which intersected these two streets. Bristol is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It was first incorporated in 1720 and a better part of the city planning has not changed since. Bristol is a pretty old township where the street names can suddenly change at any moment. Right outside the metal fencing that enclosed Gordon’s auto body shop was the infamous Elwood street corner. My mother detested this corner for many reasons. For starters most of the addicts that she dealt with received their fix on this corner. The minute she would get them off the street and into her office, Elwood Street corners magnetic pull would place them right back where they felt most comfortable. Crack pipes and small capsules with assorted color tops were always littered across the ground. My friends and I were children of Bristol, but we did our best to avoid this corner. Nothing good ever happened there. The stench of pee and fermenting alcohol was constantly present. This place was the jungle, where lions micturated in order to mark their territory. There were no sidewalks in Bristol, so little children were often hit by cars cutting the corners at high speeds. During the day Elwood street was a bad dream, when the sky turned black it became a nightmare. Most nights I was in inside my house getting ready for bed before Elwood street came to life. At night this was the corner where prostitutes offered their bodies to men willing to fork out a few bucks. It was an awfully dark and dirty spot. The bulbs in the street lights overhead always needed to be replaced. Salt used to melt icy roads from previous winters left seven inch pit holes on the roads. Overgrown vegetation burgeoning from the forest concealed years of human waste left here by the towns residents. Every now and again my mother would organize a clean up day. On these days she hoped to fix the community up and give life back to an area that needed a boost. My mother was very involved in the community. She was very well known and respected. Because of her stature in the area, the Department of Waste Management always donated large rakes, shovels, trash bags and anything she needed in order to pick the community up. Sometimes she even managed to receive these large metal dumpsters. On these clean up days, the city would deliver all the supplies, including the large metal dumpster and deposit it right on Elwood Street. We were given 24 hours to put as much crap into these oversized metal bins as possible. Once our 24 hours was up, the city would return back to Elwood street and haul away the dumpsters. Clean up days were always interesting because my mother had so many doubters. Not a single person believed that we could fill these bottomless bins up. “You just watch and see,” my mother would always say. Twenty-four hours later my mother confidently stood in front of the dumpster. Not too far behind her stood the same doubters now gawking at a completely full dumpster. Mattresses, couches and full bodied refrigerators took up the bulk of the space. Branches from trimmed trees, wooden 2×4 planks with nails sticking out of them, plastic bags, shoes with mud caked up inside of them. Anything and everything that needed to be picked up off the ground was now in the dumpster. Everything except for the soda, beer and malt liquor cans. They were ours.
I am an East coaster, if you haven’t yet figured that out. This I am certain of. For starters I have always been a good runner. I guess everything I said earlier wasn’t a complete lie. I blame stray dogs and intense P.E. coaches. Growing up, I rarely found myself seriously ill. Except for the common cold, I was a pretty healthy kid. I knocked on wood a lot while growing up. My mother and father were both born and raised on the East coast. They’re pretty old. Really old to be honest. My dad just turned 74 and my mother is sitting at a sexy 66 years of age. Even with reconstructed knees she gets around better than some of my out of shape friends. If all holds true, then I have a long life ahead of me. Currently, I live on the West coast. Yeah yeah yeah, I know I am pretty audacious. After all that talk about the inferiority of West coasters, I now reside on enemy territory. Well hey, it wasn’t by choice. Nevertheless, I lived in the suburbs of Bristol, Pennsylvania. That’s as East coast as it gets! Geographically, I grew up on the outskirts of Philadelphia. But I still claim Philly. It sounds more ‘gangsta’. Playing basketball with my friends in the neighborhood and pulling stolen bikes out of the forest(woods) was where I spent the bulk of my time. Yes, you read that last line correctly. I spent 90% of my time playing basketball and retrieving stolen bikes. Sadly, 8% of my time went towards school and the remaining 2% was dedicated to miscellaneous endeavors. You can clearly see when and where my imbalanced life took root. For 16 years I lived in these outskirts and never once did my parents pay for a bike. They never had to. The neighborhood woods provided my friends and I with an ample supply of ‘hot’ goods. If a free bike is available why pass on it. It takes a very special eye to differentiate between stolen items and purchased ones. After school, myself, Pierre and Wesley ( two of my good friends) would hustle home, change out of our uniforms, (we all attended catholic school) and approach our parents. The trickiest part was getting the ‘ok’ from our parents to let us go outside and play before doing our homework. I remember Wesley always being the first one to show up at my door on his stolen bike. Wait a minute, perhaps I should clarify that we never stole any of the items that were found in the woods. Someone else held up the bike store and dragged all those items there by hand. It wasn’t until the latter stages of my East coast life that I realized the danger that the items in the woods possessed. Myself nor the lot realized that members of local gangs stored their stolen goods in the woods for safe keeping. It’s frightening to think that at anytime our leisurely stroll into the woods had a strong possibility of landing us in some hot water. Now at the ripened age of thirty, I laugh when reminiscing on the thoughtless sans consequential life that I lived.
Is anyone out there the product of an East coast upbringing? What’s that? Did you say that you’re from Chicago? Hmm…ya know as much as I love Chicago, that’s the midwest. Not taking anything away from my Chicagoers, but ya’ll have a different style that has slight variations. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chicago. Downtown is incredible. The architecture and style hits you the minute you exit the subway. The food is amazing and not to mention one of my best friends is a Chicago native. Anyone else? Oh really! So you’ve lived on the East coast but unsure if you can call yourself a product of the East coast? Is that where your trepidation lies? Hmmm, let’s see. Have you ever walked into a coffee shop, department store or any public establishment and immediately felt the eyes of every patron undressing you right where you stand? At the gym do people ask where you’re from and then say, ah, that’s what I thought? What about this one. When was the last time you were sick? Been a while, huh? Well statistics show that 87% of children growing up on the East coast have overall style, stronger immune systems, determination and not to mention a better chance at achieving success. East coasters create better resumes and more often than none excel in the work place. People originating out of the West coast, have shorter life spans than East coasters. On the basketball court, East coasters are usually the first to be picked up on a team. Unfortunately, West coasters often find themselves sitting on the sideline waiting to get on the court. East coasters can lose weight faster than people from the West coast. We love to run and the enzymes in our blood are richer. East coaster possess a thicker grade of skin. About a year ago, a cancer research institute conducted a study attempting to find out geographically where melanoma hit the hardest. Any guesses to where this form of cancer was most prevalent? It was out West. This finding is attributed to the exceptionally cold climate mixed with the elevated humidity levels. The mutated gene has a hard time metastasizing when in these kinds of weather conditions. Now do you see how a true East coaster is easily distinguishable? If you are beginning to see the light and with this information can now firmly defend your East coast upbringing then you are a fool. An absolute, blithering fool. Although it would be so cool if this were true, it saddens me to say that every single word that you just read was made up. A lie. False. Completely lacking any and all relevance. But I had you going didn’t I?
My name is Ade and I’ve been running all my life. I’ve ran on canals. I’ve ran up mountains. I’ve ran along river banks. I’ve ran on the shores of several beaches. I’ve ran from dogs. I’ve even ran from a bear, believe it or not. A big brown hungry grizzly bear, but we will speak about that later in the book. Like many men, I’ve ran from relationships only later to turn around and try to run back to them. I’ve ran from big spiders crawling across my living room carpet. Spiders really have a way of getting you to pick up your legs and drive your knees into your chest. Sounds like high school sports all over again. I’ve ran from responsibility and tried to pin the negative results on someone else. I’ve ran from competition, then regretted being smaller than ‘mini me’. Thanks Skip Bayless for that one. I’ve ran from my actual height which is somewhere between 5’9″ and 5’10”. The insoles that I wear probably aren’t needed anymore. However, that extra inch is crucial. I’ve ran from family when all I needed to do was run to them. I’ve ran from reality. I’m still running from reality. For 30 years, I can regretfully but honestly say that I have been burning tread on countless athletic shoes. For what?