Jennifer Hickson, Boston, W. B. U. discussed on WNYC Programming


Hour from PRX I'm Jennifer Hickson our next story comes from main stage show in Boston where we partnered with public radio station W. B. U. R. remember when you were eight and there was something a special toy a gadget a jacket or something that you just had to have like at any cost provider content it was a book but not just anybody here's Colin channel live in Boston the Shubert theater when I was eight years old I got involved with the forty two year old woman this is nineteen seventy one in Jamaica one day as a primary school and the guy had gone to Miami and he came back and he told us a story something he'd seen in a Walgreens his description was it's a combination of a comic book a magazine and a book book the Superman annual I've never heard of an annual comic book I've never seen a comic book that was bigger than about twenty pages so I decided I had to see one which meant going to the biggest bookstore in Jamaica sank stars my mother was very strict my father was already gone wasn't yet dead he was a cop he was scared of my mother who is a pharmacist my brother and I were scared of her to so every Saturday she would take us to the drawing classes in downtown Kingston was sort of looks like an old southern town with these buildings with these rules and we go to our class and those fifteen minutes between when she when we left and went to pick this up thanks for the book's biggest bookstore in Jamaica five minutes run around the corner I told my brother I'm going inside to the bathroom I'm coming back before money comes my brother name is Gary he wanted to be a priest or so he would say to be considered in a sense I wanted to be I must on auto practical so I ran around the science does and in those days in Jamaica still had meal cards and who had cars and had reggae playing everywhere and it went to the bookstore and its street strange to me because it's cold it was air conditioned to help myself well and I look up and ten stepped in front of me at the cash register was a woman in the blue polyester suit she was a color of strong T. and here was like broccoli no hot cold could cut through that so I said to her excuse me miss is there something here call us to put mine on you all and you says less yes and you tell me where it was and then I went around to the where it was on the shelf and it was a big sign above it that said no reading aloud so I skim through it it was the size of a family Bible heavy it had a hard cover their interviews with the people who drew the Superman comics there were other storylines that we've never seen before and there was about a whole year's worth of Superman comics in one book I ran back to our class I started going every week I became friendly with the cashier I would go in hi jiggle hello until she started sending a clerk to guard me while I read the Superman annual under the no reading alongside so one weekend I think that I plus I think it is the the Superman annual didn't get to see my lady friend and I was thinking about her but how nice she was and how different she was from my mother and I started thinking how nice she was I felt obligated to be nice to her the study feeling obligated to be nice to her well my eight year old mines are the connecting something which is I want the book if I ask my mother for the money to buy the book she was a no I'm a single mother but if I had a friend who worked in the store then maybe I could get her to like me in a special way and may be we could work something out so when I got back the thanks that the next time and I walked in the store and I hold myself she holds herself long I said little friend what happened to you I didn't see you last week but you know and I began to improvise well I was with my mother you know and we were shopping and you know I like to help my mother a lot so that's why I didn't come if you are a nice little boy E. I went around the kana ran back to at school made it next week I would steal the book I made a plan a good plan a we could plan I just like watching the scenes with Simon Templar I feel like watching it takes a thief with Robert Wagner Alexander Monday America made this so I went in the store the next week ran inside did not hug myself as one of the reasons all my god you wouldn't believe what happened I was out shopping with mommy like last week and the bag broke you have about you could give me little friend of course and give me about to run out the front entrance and you walk around the back way come in through the back entrance with the bags under my shirt pull it out Superman animals their ticket drop it hold annual was there to spider man was there as well and why should a superhero be alone so walked out nice and easy perfect taste when I got back to art school my brother the priest was there what you have in the bag no when your brother is twelve and he wants to be a priest and anything he says is believed and you want to be an astronaut and anything you say it's other worldly you get defensive so there was only one I'm so none of your damn business and he asked me again and I said none of your beeswax and then my mother came we got in the car blue Ford escort my brother says mommy Colin how books from science does and my mother stopped the car she looks at me where you get money to buy books from what is not books mummies comics well where you get the money to buy the comics from and I experienced early onset pre pubescent amnesia because that's it I couldn't remember that time when Cody came and he gave me the money that time you may conclude for money you begging people money because you think you have enough I don't why is it nobody ever believes me when I say anything you T. for the books the engine make it on steel you thief I need a thief your teeth you T. for the books no me I did not teach the books show me the receipt okay will that make you happy I rummage around I must be drop it I'm going to drag about concerns does better tell me the truth now don't shame me in front of people there was a simple calculus when you're in the backseat of a two door car in nineteen seventy one in Jamaica where parents can do anything they want in any fashion for however long you see let's go to the store because in the store you have witnesses were not in the family so we get there my mother walks in she does not hold herself becoming a member of the says which can hear back from the amnesia again I think it was a conference and I see my lady friend observing all this and I am the fortunate son that one mommy we walk up to her this boy here said he bought three book from you Superman Spiderman another one you remember him buying anything from you I looked at my lady friend my lady friend looked at me we had a connection thank you look at my mother if you look back at me and she said words I will never forget little friend I am so disappointed and I learned the power shame years later my second book came out I got a letter from Sangster is books they were opening a new store in Kingston and they would like me to come to do a reading their and when I went to the store all the memories of that hi I just came back but also a real connection of what it means to be disciplined in different ways there was a discipline of my mother the discipline of force and then there was the discipline of someone saying in her own way I know you can do better do better and I never stole books again mon jun eventually condoms of a library card and left his life of crime behind council writer poet and professor father of two kids yoga person and for a time the bass player for Brooklyn based reggae band the sanctions bookstores are still alive and well in Jamaica Colin is ready sign books at several of their locations he always hopes will see his old friend but so far no luck leave our next story also features some powerful women from a grand slam in New Orleans where we partner with public radio station W. W. Eno here's Audrey Edwards with a tale of two grandmas thank so I started rebelling at a young age like a very young age you see I was born into and raised within an extremely conservative and Christian household like some real Footloose right so there is no dancing no makeup no jewelry vegetarianism modest dress we couldn't watch TV on the Sabbath so it's nineteen eighty five and I was six years old and I was over it so I started practicing at little acts of civil disobedience I would strap oak leaves to my feet bounded by rubber bands instead of putting on my church shoes I would engage in ferocious debates as to why I should be able to watch the nineteen eighty one Greek mythology cult classic clash of the Titans on this because it was about god's he's a resist ons came when I was dropped off for school and before I went to class in the first grade I snuck into the bathroom and I changed into a teacher that I cut the neck out of and I slung it low and I put on a bow in my hair and I have jelly bracelets all the way up to my elbows that I had borrowed from the bad girl on the block and I sauntered into class and I was immediately sent home and it was at this time that my grandmother's decided to intervene because you say they saw a little bit of them and a little bitty offeree no they didn't know each other and they lived in different cities but separately and respectively they decided to create the sanctuary where my wild spirit could roam free because they had been wild they didn't abide by rules and they did not abide by convention so my manager she had been a flapper and she brewed whiskey during prohibition and my grandma hall she was keen boxer in she was voted the most beautiful deep or say of Los Angeles in nineteen forty eight and she accepted that award with three children up from the three different husband in tow and they took me under their wing and I remember that first day that my parents dropped me off to my nana's house and she said come here and she took me back to a dresser drawer and she said open it and I pulled it open and it was like a portal into another world and inside the dozen.

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