Reader’s Forum—Allen Cox

For our exploration of The Notion of Family, several Politics for the People members have chosen a photo from the book to respond to with thoughts, words, a photo or a poem. Today is our third in the series and is from Allen Cox.

The Notion Of Family, LaToya Ruby Frazier pg 29; Gramps on His Bed, 2003

I grew up in the projects, South Jamaica Housing  Projects in Queens.  My summers were spent in a working class community in Cincinnati Ohio, where my mother grew up.  I think it was called Evenston. There was a Coca Cola plant nearby that many people in the community worked for. When I went back after many years a highway had been built in front of my grandmother’s house, a place where homes once stood, now gone.

I’m writing about Gramps in his bed. This picture reminded me of my stepgrandfather, who was known as Mr. Friason– my grandmother’s second husband. When I was eight or 10 years old I spent my summer vacations at their home in Cincinnati, Ohio. I look forward to hearing Mr. Friason’s booming voice calling out “Ice Water” Ice Water, to my grandmother from his bed after his early morning ride on his bicycle, to this very day I don’t know where. As a kid I never thought of Mr. Friason’s behavior as strange, he just kept me laughing all the time. His bed seem to be his sanctuary, I never seen him leave it except when he came home from his bike ride and to go to the bathroom. He was always laughing and called kids baba. He used to smack his thighs so hard you could hear the smack from anywhere in the house. I just found out recently that Mr. Friason was very famous, he was one of the few Americans who walked across the United States and he also got honors for fighting in World War II. This is what Gramps in the bed reminds me of and I want thank LaToya Ruby Frazier for bring back these fond memories of Mr. Friason.

 ~Allen Cox
Allen Cox with Dr. Jessie Fields in Harlem on Primary Day.

Allen Cox with Dr. Jessie Fields in Harlem on Primary Day.

Allen Cox is a community organizer and independent activist.  He is a member of the NYC Independence Clubs.

Politics for the People Conference Call

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