From: Bob Davis (earthjuice_at_prodigy.net)
Date: 2003-07-04 16:17:18

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    I trust that everyone here will have a happy, healthy and safe holiday....
    Today I thought that I would do a "re-run" and re-post an essay that I wrote last year on
    this day....


    Back in the 1970's I was an optimist. As I got older, I became more and more pessimistic.

    And then, one day......I woke up and started.

    "remembering the things that I thought I had forgotten".

    I started thinking about what a great time I had as a teenager and as a young
    "twentysomething", back in the 1970's.

    I thought about all of the wonderful people that I knew at that time and how much of an
    influence on my life that those people had.

    I wondered whatever became of those times and those people? There was indeed a "vibe" that I
    shared with those people at that time, which is often difficult to put into words. If you
    were a person who was there, you know what I am talking about.

    There was a "universal groove", that often transcended things like race, geography, age and

    The whole world seemed full of potential, and as a young man I was a believer in that

    I thought it could really happen. I thought the "groove" would last forever.

      a.. With one group of people I would wear my Eleganza suits, my nik nik shirts, platform
    shoes, applejack brim, wide bow ties...
      b.. With another group of people I would wear my army fatigues, tie dye t-shirts, overalls,
    tie a bandana around my head....

    Sometimes I would get confused and wear the "wrong clothing, with the wrong group".

    Even when that happened, it didn't make any difference because I was also wearing my
    "starchild", rose colored glasses.

    Didn't matter to me.

    The joints still rolled up the same way and the "groove" was still positive. Back in those
    days, each experience was a learning experience.

    Later of course, I changed, in concert with how the world around me changed.
    The "groove" became less important.
    Ca$h was slowly becoming the overriding factor.

      a.. I found myself working in the very center of the corruption, that back in the 1970's I
    would have been willing to destroy at the drop of a hat.
      b.. My world during the 1980's became consumed with money, degrees, titles, power, false
    prestige, gaining influence, making the climb towards goals, which today seem quite hollow.
      c.. I was keeping up with the times.
      d.. I had become the very image of that species known as: Black Urban Professional (ie;

    In fact, some people even thought of me as a role model and I was invited to talk with their
    children in schools and homes, with some hope of influencing them into a more positive

    I realize today that I had very little impact, but at the time, it made me feel good because
    I had done it. And "feeling good", was what it had become all about. I thought that all
    was cool, because that is what was expected of me.

    Now realize that it is far more important to actually have some impact, than to just "feel
    good". I also began to wonder how it was possible for me to "feel good", in the face of all
    of the "human carnage" that was in front of me. People around me were drugged out, in debt,
    selfish, etc.

    Interestingly enough, during this period of time, I lived in BOTH the north and the south.
    In retrospect, the cultural differences between the two had been largely erased.

    Of course it made little difference to me as I tooled around both Houston and New York/New
    Jersey in my sports car that could take sharp curves at 75 mph. and my "GQ" wardrobe.

    Although, by material standards, I may have been considered to be "healthy". In fact I was
    sick. I can only see now in retrospect that it was all superficial. Even worse, I was also
    asleep. I was consumed by a very deep coma. Then one day, in 1993, I started to wake up.

    I was at work, sitting at my desk, about to leave to attend yet another "business lunch"
    where I would once again be the only person of color there, once again to be a "credit to my
    race" in a forum where it has little context.

    It was exactly 12:22 pm, and I will never forget that moment.

    The giant skyscraper I was in shook.

    I didn't know what was happening.

    I could "feel" the direction it was coming from.

    Like an idiot, I rushed towards the direction that I could "feel". I looked out of the window
    and saw that the even bigger skyscraper, located right across the street was on fire and that
    the smoke was pouring out of the parking lot inside of the building.

    I immediately rushed back to my desk and called my wife and said...

    "Something just happened at the World Trade Center, I don't know what it is, but I'm sure it
    will be on the news, I'm getting the "F" outta here, cuz if I don't leave now, I'll be
    trapped here..."

    I hung up the phone and started to haul azz...

    I passed co-workers who asked me where I was going and I said...

    "Same place you should be going..."

    I passed my boss and told her the same thing.

    When I got down to the street, there was complete pandemonium. People were running all over
    the place.

    The smoke, which I had seen earlier, now became a very real thing to me. The entrances to
    the subway stations were blocked off.

    I ended up walking from lower Manhattan to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. When I got there
    I heard a news report that said...

    "Someone tried to blow up the World Trade Center...12 people were killed, and many more were
    injured..." That was in 1993

    And with that event, I began to..."remember the things that I thought I had forgotten"

    And with those memories, I began to wake up from my "drunken slumber". The event was a
    catharsis for me. I can only see that now in retrospect. Vision is always "20/20" in

    It wasn't long after that event when I built the very first web page I ever built at:


    That page is a reflection of where "my head" was at in 1993.

    I wanted to say something about the "polarities" and how the extremes and conflicts of those
    "polarities" had impacted me.

    It hasn't changed very much at all in the 9 years that it has been up on the Internet,
    because "my head" is still in a similar place.

    Someone named Charles Isabel inspired the concept. I have never met him, never talked with
    him. But I feel like I know him.

    As the days and weeks passed, there were reports on the news that the people responsible for
    bombing the World Trade Center had been caught and would be brought to trial. Soon the names
    and faces would appear on my TV screen and I got angry.

    It became clear to me that these people weren't just attacking a building.

    They were attacking an entire way of life.

    As I thought about it further, it was a way of life that I also found some conflicts with.

    These people had the guts to try and destroy an entire way of life, much as I might have also
    been willing to destroy it back in the 1970's.

      a.. They showed the "blind cleric" on TV.
      b.. The interviewer asked the "blind cleric"...
      c.. "Did you mastermind the explosion at the World Trade Center..."
      d.. The "blind cleric" said...
      e.. "What explosion, it NEVER HAPPENED..."

    At that moment in time, all of my other concerns seemed trivial, because I began to emerge
    even further from my "1980's & 1990's COMA".

    Much has happened to me since 1993.

    The "fast lane" and "buppie" lifestyle afforded to me by my "Wall Street mentality" of the
    early 1990's seem to be a distant memory.

    The focus is far different now.

    I write this because today is the Fourth of July.

    The Fourth of July was always my very favorite holiday of the year.

    When I was a teenager, it was a day of bbq's, block parties, and more. As an adult, I would
    always have a BIG BLOWOUT PARTY at my house each year. Each year the party would be bigger
    and bigger, with more and more "buppies", but also with many good friends and relatives. In
    retrospect, those parties were an exercise in "conspicuous consumption".

    "Clarity comes with time..."

    This year as I sit here on the Fourth of July, I sit here in somber reflection over the
    events of the past year and think about how much my life has changed since 1993.

    At the heart of that change has been a rediscovery for me. I have indeed, "remembered the
    things that I thought that I forgot". And it is the details of those memories that shape
    the focus of my activities today.

    It has nothing to do with "nostalgia", It has everything to do with the future.

    My future as an individual., My future as an American.

    My own generation has been lost in the wilderness for many years. I think that other people
    are also "remembering things that they have forgotten". Some of us are slowly but surely
    finding our way back.

    In my opinion, it is my own generation, the one that was supposed to change the world, is
    actually the cause of much of what is wrong with the world right now. Therefore, it is the
    responsibility of my generation, as we near the age of 50, to fix the mess that we have
    created. However, we need to act quickly, and decisively because time might just be running
    out on us.

    Since 1991 I have been living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It's a great place for me to
    be at this time in my life. Philadelphia is often called the "cradle of liberty".

    This was a concept that I didn't understand until recently. Visiting the historical places
    that I learned about, as a student has been an eye opener for me, because it takes things out
    of the conceptual realm and into the realm of reality.

    I now truly understand why the concept of "America" is something that we should all cherish.
    The concept of America, while sometimes being quite distant from the reality of "America" is
    what allows us all to sometimes do stupid things, and then later redeem ourselves.

    In the 1970's this country tried to "redeem itself".

      a.. That is something worth remembering.
      b.. In 2002 this country once again has an opportunity to "redeem itself".
      a.. It's not going to happen as a "mass movement"
      b.. It's going to happen on an individual basis.
      c.. It has happened to me, I think that it has also happened to many people of my

    I think that they remember what America is supposed to be like. They have begun to remember
    that America can't be the way it's supposed to be unless we are all in it together. It's
    actually one heck of a concept.

    However it's a concept that becomes meaningless unless each person is willing to commit on an
    individual basis.

    Finding a way to commit is difficult for people who are still "asleep".

      a.. It really is TIME TO WAKE UP.
      b.. It's time to understand the past, so that we have a direction for the future.
      c.. It's time to understand that direction and be proactive in implementing it.
      d.. In the 1970's we knew that we all had to be in it together. In the 1980's and
    1990's...(we forgot it). In 2001... (we remembered it)
    I think that things will be different going forward.

    I am once again, an optimist and today I will be wearing my..."rose colored starchild

    "what a long and strange trip it has been..."

    --Bob Davis 7/4/2002
    (CEO/Editor of Soul-Patrol)