O. graduated from middle school last night. It was a nice atmosphere. All of the 100 8th graders were supportive of each other. They marched down the aisle into the auditorium one at a time. As each child crossed the stage they called out the child's name and cheered them on.
When one boy got on stage the entire 8th grade class stood and clapped for him. O. later told me that no one from his family came to the graduation so they were his family. When another boy came on stage they started clapping, stomping their feet and chanting - the boy started dancing freestyle.
Three of the boys that graduated were blind. They came into the auditorium, across the stage and back to their seat without assistance - no cane. Most of us didn't even know they were blind. Last night was a "good night".
My neighbor took O. and their daughter out to dinner at a sea food restaurant - they consider him family.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.