I never knew my paternal grandfather, or what became of him. I don’t know if my grandmother was left a widow, or just left behind as Jefferson Friday moved on to a woman with more passion and zest. Whatever the reason, Mary was left with two young children to raise on her own in Sherman, Texas. Continue reading Backstory.2


My mother was a heroin addict before I was born. She implored my grandmother for help and went cold turkey as my grandmother cared for her over a harrowing week. More than 20 years later, I sat at the Alhambra Cinema with my mom watching Diana Ross in “Lady Sings the Blues.” As Lady Day detoxed cold turkey in a jail cell, Mom shook and cried beside me. “It’s just like that,” she plaintively whispered in the dark. Continue reading Backstory