Living Legend in Dallas

I believe that we have lost our sense of struggle. When I say we, I mean my peers, Generation X, and the group older than us that is sometimes referred to as "Tweeners." Our parents, grandparents, their parents, everyone who came before us struggled so that we wouldn't have to. And yet the trials that lie before us call for just that. This country has led us to believe that there is no longer a need for us to "sacrifice for the cause," especially those of us who are able to read an outlet such as this. I recently hadthe opportunity to meet someone who has for years fought the good fight in the battle for justice and equality, and continues to challenge the system today. Someone who is an example of the energy and passion that is lacking in these important times. A few weeks ago, Cheryl Smith hosted a Bowling Fundraiser that benefited students in State Senator Royce West's Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Internship Program. Our church put together a team to bowl in the benefit, and needing someone to fill out the roster I was more than happy to oblige. This was actually an enjoyable event, and unbeknownst to me the guest of honor was Dick Gregory . About halfway through the night, I exited my lane (I'm sure after bowling a strike or spare) and noticed that everyone's attention seemed to be focused to my immediate left. Turning in that direction to see what was going on, I nearly walked right into Mr. Gregory. Admittedly I didn't recognize him right off, but I soon realized I was face-to-face with greatness. Out of nowhere, surprising me still today, I was awash in feelings of pride, honor, excitement, and awe. At that very moment my mindtraveledd back to my first knowledge of Dick Gregory, which was Jet Magazine's coverage of one of his hunger strikes. Mr. Gregory then extended his hand towards me, and I shook his hand. His eyes told a story of a man who despite many years in the trenches, was still yet holding on. Dick Gregory is not a physically imposing man, yet there was grandness about him, something that seemed even statuesque. However, his casual dress and beaming smile seemed like he would at some point pick up a ball and start bowling with us. I generally try to play it cool around celebrities, often to my own detriment, and searched for something to say. This occasion deserved any level of respect that I could quickly pull together. "Thank you," I said, wanting to keep it brief, knowing hundreds of others were waiting to meet him as well. "Thank you for all you have done for us." Mr. Gregory also posed for a picture before shaking my hand once more. Those brief moments seemed like hours, as I have rarely been moved to that extent. The evening which seemed to have briefly stood still now moved forward. The man who is referred to as comedian, writer, activist, nutritionist, andentrepreneurr continued to make his way down the lanes; graciously shaking hands and taking pictures. I went back to the business of strikes and spares, thankful for my chance encounter with Mr. Dick Gregory.

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