Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Few Facts About Me

I never got any sleep last night and now I'm here at work and doing my best to try to stay awake. So right now, I'm gonna do the impossible, something I've never done here on the site before. I'm gonna try to come up with 100 facts about myself. Maybe you've seen this on other sites or done it yourself if you have one. there's not really much about me that's that fasinating I think, but I hope to surprise myself as I do this. Maybe I'll surprise you , too.

1. My full name is Samuel Marquieth Johnson.
2. I'd rather be called Marc. The use of the name Sam showed up when I was in school, but around the house, my mama called me Marc. Bless her for that.
I was born on June Forteenth, 1966. That's Flag Day.
3. I thought al the flags out that day were to honor me. At least that's what my mama told me when I was young. Bless her again.
4. My mama was a hard working woman who took care of seven kids, six girls and one boy from her late husband before I showed up. Boy was I the odd man out until my kid brother showed up.
5. At the age of two, allegedly I was reading regularly. I was taught to sound out the words that I saw and pulled it off well, I'm told.
6. My house was the first on the block to have a color tv, thanks to my dad who was a tv repairman. You don't see those guys anymore.
7. at the age of five we moved from the projects to a beautiful neighborhood in Savanah in 1970. We were the first black family on the block.
8. I never went to kindergarten. I wound up going straight to first grade at age six and enjoyed one more year of freedom.
9. I was never a striaght A student. In fact, I was just a kid with hyperactive tendancies. So, my first grade teacher Mrs. Steel (perfect name for that taskmaster) prescribed drugs for me to calm down in class. I can barely remember most of the first grade and second grade because of it.
10. At the age of seven, I found out that I had the talent to sing. My mama played piano in church and I sang in the youth choir for years.
11. My best friend on the block was a kid named Aaron Campbell. He and his brothers were the coolest guys around.
12. I started to collect comic books when I was 7. I read the devil out of them, as much as my mom hated it.
13. It's kind of her fault. She would buy 'em for me. Bless her one more time.
14. My mom and dad never married, but they lived together for a time while was between relationships.
15. My father was a jerk. The less said, the better.
16. Okay, not really. He was abusive towards my family and did his best to try and muslce up on everyone.
17. In 1975, he and Mama got into a fight on an hot August night and the police showed up. I cried hard that night when he packed his stuff and left. Bust it was for the best for the family that he leave.
18. One year later, he showed up after marrying another woman and told me and my kid brother that he wanted us to come over to his new place and spend the night there. I said no, but Martin wanted to go with him. The next day, Dad filed for custody of him and kept him there for months, away from me and Mama.
19. She battled him in court through Summer, Fall, and most of Winter. That's when I began to change. I started to become introspective. I was never really home much that time because I didn't want to be there and started to roam around and do my own thing. That's how I became the guy I am now.
20. Dad lost the case and Martin came home on a Sunday night in January of 1977. That was also one of the rare times that it ever showed in Savannah.
21. Martin is one of the best friends I ever had. He's still my kid brother, though.
22. Although these days, he treats me like I'm younger than him since he has kids.
23. On June fifth of 1981, after my mama had married and divorced her second husband William Thompson (who was thirty years her senior), we packed out bags and moved to Detroit to find a new life. we moved with my aunt Laverne, her husband Donald and my grandmother Iya. Most of my mother's family moved there from Savannah and lived a wonderful life.
24. We did not. We wound up moving back to Savannah on Valentine's Day, 1982.
25. Because she sold the house to my Aunt Vivian (a contrversy unto itself), we wound up having to move into a two bedroom apartment with my sister Patricia until we could find a new house.
26. We found a house three months later that had room for us all. But then, Mama was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Because of that, Martin and I had to move in with Dad and his new family so not to disturb Mama while she was going through chemo. Bless her.
27. I hated living with my father. I had to sleep in the same bed with my brother at the age of 15. We never slept together ever.
28. He was also still very abusive to me and Martin. He also abused his new wife. But he didn't care. He was rich after conning folks with adjusted repair bills and takign in fenced goods and selling it in the store.
29. On October 21, just a week after her fiftieth birthday, my mama passed away. I didn't cry that night. I said a prayer and hoped she was in a better place.
30. When I was in the ninth grade, my mama came out to see me perform in my high school chorus. She got to hear me perform "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie. The only thing on the stage was a Kermit puppet, but you could hear someone singing the song. When it was over, it got a round of applause. When the curtain opened, you could see the puppetteer, who then introduced me as the voice and the applause got louder as I came out. I could see Mama from the stage and I saw tears in her eyes. Her boy did good that night. Real good.
31. When I was twelve, my mama and I had talk about death after a relative had passed. I told her if I were to ever die for her not to go to my funeral. It would hurt her too much. She told me she didn't want me to go to hers as it would do the same thing to me. We made a pact that day after a hug and a "I love you".
32. The day after her death, I decided to go to school and to try to just try to make it a normal day. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I went. Somehow, word got to the school and everyone gave me cards and sympathies. I said my "thank you"s and trudged on though the day. My first class was mixed chorus and my teacher was a woman named Mary Sue Regan. We practiced on our notes at the beginning of class and then we began to work on a new song she wanted us to try: "The Rainbow Connection". Before I could finish the first verse, I began to cry. Soon, the cry became a howl for help as I fell to the floor and began to breakdown. Miss Regan picked me up off the floor and we began to cry together. She held me for as long as she let me and I was a lost youth, losing a mother at her prime. I cried though the entire first period and most of second. After an hour of this, Miss Regan said that the principle knew about what had happened and if I wanted to stay at the school all day and not go to class, I could. So that day, I roamed around the school with a couple of my friends then who kept an eye out on me to make sure I would be okay, Russell Whitney and Danny Starnes. Those guys were wonderful that day.
33. I didn't go to Mama's funeral. But it was big. The church was standing room only, with folks having to stand outside. Maybe it was a god thing I didn't go. She would have missed me with that much of a crowd there. But at least she had a lot of friends. God bless her.
34. To get my mind off of having one parent gone and another a complete jerk, I threw myself into radio as an intern for a local AM station, WSOK. I was part of crew called the Teen TImers and we had our own show from Noon till Two on Saturdays. I was the crazy one. My father hated it becasue I wasn't going to be the jerk that he was when I get older.
35. I wound up graduating from Summer school in 1984 after finding out that becasue of the different curriculum between Savannah and Detriot, I would be short two credits and would have to make them up, which my dad hated becasue he had to pay for the classes. When I finally got to walk up to get my cap and gown, was I given a congrats from the guy since I was his first kid (that he knew of) to graduate? No. We drove right home that night and he looked at me and said, "It's your turn to do the dishes. Get 'em done and take out the trash." Now you see why there's no love between me and the jackass.

You know what? After doing all this, I don't wanna write anymore. I didn't think I would go into my life story here, but as I started writing, it just came out. Why don't we pick this up at another time, where we start out from whne I started college, I get my first real radio job, how I met my ex wife and more crap.

Right now, I just wanna think about Mama. Bless her.

1 comment:

faustina said...

Sam, I am so sorry I had never read this until today. I feel like I let you down, what with you putting your heart out there and no one even responding.
I so know how that feels.
I miss you, kid.