A LONG OVERDUE ROAD TRIP – PART TWO
After getting a fresh haircut by my fraternity brother Jamaal we headed to another frat brother’s house, he hosted several brothers during homecoming weekend. When Ryan and I arrived we were greeted by Ken, his wife Sabrina, and a host of fraternity brothers. In an instant it started to feel like old times.
Conversations started about our time on the yard (campus), our achievements, our brawls, but most importantly our epic parties. African-American fraternities and sororities pride themselves on serving their community through volunteerism, partnering with other community organizations, along with assisting with projects and youth mentoring, but we still are still fraternities so we love to party. So many of our stories included talks about late nights and early mornings. It was truly great to see so many of my frat brothers and catch up on how their families are doing, their career aspirations, and their plans for the future.
So after laughing about stories our and fraternity, university, and friends; we drove down to LU for the Step-Show. Step-Shows are competitions of rhythmic dance and synchronized foot movements normally set around a theme (see Stomp the Yard or School Daze). Amongst greeks they are very serious competitions and the winners earn bragging rights until homecoming the next year. My fraternity went first and the steps are stellar, which is to expected from my fraternity (Phi Beta Sigma) as we are known for a high level and complex stepping.
The chapter step team does a Scooby Doo theme which was quite entertaining. In the end my chapter won for the best fraternity so it was good night. Afterward we planned on going out to an after party, but we got back from the step show and started talking and reminiscing and realized it was 1AM in the morning. We all decided to just keep talking and enjoying each others company until we got sleepy.
I woke around 9AM, grabbed some leftover barbecue for breakfast, and started talking again. Nothing like great conversation and that was the theme for the weekend. My other frat brothers Ryan, Alfred, and Keith joined in discussing everything from jobs, kids, to our faith. After breakfast we got dressed and headed to the yard for the homecoming festivities.
Normally homecoming day looks like this; the homecoming Parade, the pregame battle of the Bands, food vendors, live music, and a lot of conversation! Now mind you it’s been a long time since I’ve gone to homecoming so it really felt good. I immediately noticed all the changes to campus, I had seen a lot of them on videos and social media but to see them in person those videos and pictures didn’t do them justice. First I noticed the Student Center had been expanded to two levels, a new Physical therapy building had been added, and numerous other projects I saw during my time there.
We parked and I immediately ran into old classmates, teammates, fellow greeks, and student leaders that I had not seen in years. I took me an extra hour to make a 15 minute walk because of being stopped for conversation, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Made it to our fraternity bench and caught up with more fraternity brothers, sorority sisters (Zeta Phi Beta) and numerous friends, wives, husbands, and children. The day was just underway, had a chance to speak with a university president Dr. Kent Smith we had a great conversation about his vision for the university and the new changes that were underway. I even saw my advisor from my term as Freshman Class President Mr. Lawrence, had a great conversation about books to read and stories from my freshmen year.
Headed to the game and saw my Lions play. I admit I was worried at first but in the 4th quarter the pulled out the win in true Langston Lion fashion!
After the game my frat brother Keith and I went to visit Dr. and Mr. Clark. Dr. Joann Clark was the Dean of our honor’s program at Langston and probably one of the sweetest women I have ever met in my life. Her husband Mr. Lester Clark who was also a professor at LU, have lived in small town of Langston for years, so whenever I am in town I always go by their home. After spending time with them and grabbing some great food we headed back to campus for couple of minutes and then went back to Ken’s house in OKC. Once we got back we ate and then got ready to go out. Some good friends of mine Marc and Kerry were throwing an afterparty and some of fraternity brothers and I brought a table. Enjoyed the music, had some great drinks, and got to talk more classmates and friends I had not seen in years.
The next day Ryan and I hoped in the CX-3 drove about an hour and a half northeast to my hometown of Tulsa so I could see my friends and family there. Got there around noon and started the rounds around town to see some of my neighborhood landmarks including my grandfather’s park, Langston’s Tulsa campus, my childhood home, and the historic Greenwood Ave also known as “Black Wall Street” because it produced more African-American millionaires than any other neighborhood in the country.
Then went by one of my best friends Devin’s home. He and my other longtime best friend Marco were there. We watched football, listened to music, talked about music, and enjoyed the day.
Later on that day my mother Janice, brother Jeremy, nephew Jeremiah, and my brother’s girlfriend Diamond all drove in from Omaha to catch up with me. I was very happy to see them all. I did not know it would be my last time seeing my little brother Jeremy alive. Last Friday (12/09/2016) he passed away in his sleep due to health complications.
So I am very thankful for my time home also thankful Mazda and Drive shop for providing my the Mazda CX-3 as a great car to get us around Texas and Oklahoma for a great weekend. I wouldn’t be able to do all the things I did without having the Mazda CX-3 to drive around and spend time with friends and family. It was an amazing road trip.
The CX-3 has a starting price of $19,660 for the sport model and increase depending on upgrade or model choices. It’s a compact ride that’s perfect for teens, college students, young professionals, newlyweds, and even small families or retirees. To learn more about the Mazda CX-3 visit their website, and be sure to connect with them on Facebook & Twitter.