By Roy Douglas Malonson
“How do I say goodbye to what we had? The good times that made us laugh outweigh the bad. I thought we’d get to see forever, but forever’s gone away. It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. I don’t know where this road is going to lead. All I know is where we’ve been and what we’ve been through. If we get to see tomorrow, I hope it’s worth the wait. It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. And I’ll take with me the memories, to be my sunshine after the rain. It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.”
As I sat and thought about the most recent opportunity I had to sit, fellowship and enjoy the presence of family, friends and especially dear classmates of mine from George Washington Carver class of 1968 my heart was uplifted. I decided to start this editorial with the last words I rendered at the reunion as Master of Ceremony, It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday. Because, while it may have been hard to say goodbye to yesterday, the memory our class had the experience to reflect back on just recently will forever be in my heart.
To see so many of my classmates who have matured, done productive things with their lives in good spirits and health was enough memories to last me a lifetime. I have to express this, because as I’ve gotten older and lost so many who I came up with, I have learned not to take anything for granted. Therefore, I appreciate the members of the class of 68 keeping it real in the “44” and realizing that it’s still all good in the hood.
Our reunion was significant to me for more reasons than one. We did something that a lot of people have gotten away from. For one, being able to congregate back to the same community that most of us grew up in and experienced many of our “firsts” in was amazing. It was a great feeling to be able to return to the community where the school we attended still sits and thrives. I have to stress emphasis on this factor because many people from our communities have become too important to bother with where they came from. Nowadays, folks go and spend a fortune to host functions and events at elaborate hotels, instead of embracing where we come from.
Many folks would rather spend their money outside of the community where there is no expectation or intent of the revenue cycling back into the Black community. I’m assuming it means more to some people to patronage fold that don’t look like them because there is a misconception that it will me more momentous and professional or something. I’m sure I will never understand the full reasoning, but I do know that the class of 68 showed up and showed out in raw fashion.
Everything was wonderful from the Black Steering Committee, who designed and orchestrated everything to the hosting site at the Beulah Ann Shepard building and extending on to the Black caterers and service provided by Dwight Thomas’, A Prime Affair. At our reunion, love was in the air and good clean fun was had by all present. It took my mind way back to the days where we were forced by law to pull together and make it happen within our own space, utilizing our own resources. This is why I wholeheartedly appreciate our class doing it just the way we did it.
This particular reunion opened my eyes to something that so many of us have gotten away from. The Black community is STILL a self-sufficient and functionable community. We have the resources and ability to pull together on our own to make things happen within our