“We Dem Boyz!”


Happy Hump Day, All!

So, how are your weeks going so far? As for me, I am staying focused … things change … I adjust and adapt. Then, I start again. Each day is a new opportunity for me … just to be the best that I can be.

Do you know what “We dem Boyz!” means? I am sure that there is no single correct definition for it. Yet, for me, it means we are friends who share some important things in common. “Those are the guys!” Oh!! “Yeah, we dem boyz!!”, as the title of a song on the latest Wiz Khalifa CD goes. It is so interesting to watch people change depending on who they are talking to or who they are dealing with. That is a skill that I haven’t really mastered because I try to be myself … the same person … in as many situations as possible. For me, I don’t have to remember a lie I told nor who I told it to … nor do people have to guess how I might handle a situation … except those who don’t really “know” me … I think all of us may have a group of friends that we identify with … “Our Boys”!

I still enjoy all kinds of music and fondly remember back when I played trombone in elementary school at Rochambeau. I played in both the band and the orchestra; I had standing solos in the orchestra at the school auditorium and even marched with the band in the streets of the City of White Plains for a Memorial Day Parade or two! I went to music school … on scholarship … at the County Center for several summers. I learned to play drums, basic piano while I studied trombone at the Summer Music School there at the Westchester County Center. I truly love music … I have an ear for it … the different sounds and melodies of everything ranging from classical music to fusion jazz … even hip hop and some pop music. When I taught and lived in Cali, Colombia, I embraced even more salsa music as well as the horn arrangements on some of the popular music in Colombia. I had played trombone with a group in White Plains first called “Inner City Funk”, then our name changed to “The Whole Damn Family”! That’s because several of the members were actually married, had children together … and so on and so on. I was the “head of the horn section” and played a mean cowbell with a sawed off pool stick!! We had 13 well blended “pieces”, including three female vocalists, congas and timbales played by Frank Jones. We were “bad”, Baby! “We wuz dem boyz!”

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to “Mr. 305” aka Pit Bull and “FLO Rida”, two of the Miami area’s rappers who try to keep it positive … keeping it “real”, so to speak. I often listen to rap music and hear lyrics that I am SURE some of the youngsters emulate. So that’s why me and EE are out here, too, just to let them know that there are options. Pick a good role model, let the “young people” be young people. Yet, dare to show them options of how to be “spiritual people”, too, without shoving it down their throats. Some of us “oldsters” can use an occasional attitude adjustment every now and then, too. Have a great Hump Day!


John I. Cook

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