Remember the Titans

Yes, I do. You may remember them from the Denzel Washington movie of the same name. I remember them because I moved in as a student the year after the Titans took the State Championship in a game against my new school, G.C. Marshall.

Ironically the first person and friend I met on campus was a Black man, the first Black person I’d ever met, who was funny and smart. I didn’t understand the racial tensions until The Titans (T.C. Williams) came to our school to play football, with multiple SWAT teams, police cars and a heavy police presence. To this day I do not know who was being protected by such a force, perhaps the police did not either.

I did meet one neighborhood titan, a smart, very nice gal, sassy and an oboe player in the school band. Turns out we were born on the same time on the same day and year. We were just in touch last week after…. forty years. I haven’t seen J in 30 years but she’s just helped us narrow down neighborhoods. The first thing I’ll do is have her family over for dinner!

Her mother, Elsa, used to host great parties. She introduced me to eggplant, a fruit one could not readily obtain at the local grocery store back in the Johnson administration. I just scanned and emailed J two of her mother’s eggplant recipes on cards from the 70’s.

These are sacred memories, that last a lifetime. Some people I know never leave the small town in which they were born, never go off to college or get a job out of state. That’s all well and good. My family, and J’s moved all over the place, for different reasons (her dad was military) and while it was difficult to get to know new people every few years a few have stuck.

I’ve a good friend from grade school, some from high school, college and many beyond. It’s great to be able to contact an old friend and say, hey, I may be living in your town soon, any ideas?

To old friends, Dee


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