Frozen, Burning Images


« Brain food from the heartland

by Louie b. Free (Contact)   | 347 entries




 A few images are stuck in my head from last week.

 Images of lives not lived-cut short-too soon.

Atty George Sofranko is someone I got to know o're the past few years. I first interviewed George for WYSU , talking about an area drug  court. I often saw George flying by my downtown fishbowl/zoo window . I always told George that somehow he had his wheelchair rigged or jacked up to exceed the speed limit.

As regular listeners know-last week George died. I was with him the evening before he passed and witnessed the saddest of sadnesses-a mother's tears falling on the hospital bed just after the doctor said that her son was , in fact-passing. George's mother assured him that Jesus loved him and that George's father was waiting for him in heaven and that she,his mother, wouldn't be far behind. ---something very wrong with that picture-a mother losing her son.

I was with both of my parents when they died-and that's the way it is supposed to be. The parents pass  first-we're not supposed  bury our children.  George was diagnosed just before he became a man- just after graduating high school. As I drove home from the hospital, I couldn't help but to wonder-what kind of life did George have ? Did he ever have a girlfriend? Ever get laid? Ever really think of a future in the way most do? After all, he was a very bright guy-a law school graduate ! He knew what he had and knew where it was going. O're the past months, George and I had some very intimate conversations that I may address in a future blog. What I will tell you, is what George always asked me for when I left. The conversations always went like this:

Me: "George-is there anything I can do or bring for you?"

George: "Louie, bring me another body,a body that works..."

The night before George passed, I heard his mother-tear's streaming from her eyes: "George, you'll have no more more pain..."

And then there's  

Jaron L. Roland, 20, of Fairmont Avenue and Darry B. Woods-Burt Jr., 19, of No-Yo(north Y-town). Their family didn't have the opportunity to kiss these boys goodbye.  I haven't been able to get-what I imagine to be-their last minutes of life, out of my head. These two young ones were also tortured befoe dying-but without pain medication and without their loved ones at their sides. These two young ones had their hands and feet duct-taped and had plastic bags duct-taped over thier heads-they were suffocated-without anyone holding their hands-without anyone loving them-at their sides.

AND I wonder what went through their minds in their last minutes-with their last breaths...did their short lives flash before them? did they beg for their lives with tears in their eyes? Who did they cry out for? Did they cry out for their Moms? Dads? God???--and no one answered---no one there to stop the plastic bags from being duct-taped to their young heads-prohibiting life sustaining oxygen......did they feel the tears-their own tears-streaming down their young cheecks? Did their murderers hear their then-muffled cries once the bags were over their heads? Did their killers ever-even for a second-have a thought of compassion? If so-what did they do with that thought?

My forever-to-be unanswered questions go on and on and on....

I cannot - I DO NOT want to know what goes through their loved-ones minds.

I've recieved a LOT of communication regarding these two boys-yes,I call them boys, as I remember 19 and 20 years old-they were young boys. Many have told me that these two were involved with something or else this wouldn't have happened to them. Well, that doesn't take away the horror of this. Calling these boys "gang-bangers" or "thugs" doesn't take away the pain, horror or our responsibility for these murders. In fact, if we can do that-we need to take  a long look in the mirror-if you dare to see who's truly responsible for these murders. We've created a "community" where we can look away from things like this-move away from things like this- seemingly brush away horror like this by calling OUR children-yes-these ARE OUR children- "gang-bangers" and "thugs" as if somehow that absolves us of responsibility .

We live in a world with so much pain, I cannot understand how we can be so unfeeling,so uncaring to each other. All of us will die-some awfully-some with illness, some - the fortunate - quickly.

Lives gone too soon.

and what becomes of all the little boys,
who never comb their hair,
well they're lined up all around the block,
on the nickel over there.

so you better bring a bucket,
there is a hole in the pail,
and if you don't get my letter,
then you'll know that i'm in jail,
and what becomes of all the little boys,
who never say their prayers,
well they're sleepin' like a baby,
on the nickel over there.

and if you chew tobacco, and wish upon a star,
well you'll find out where the scarecrows sit,
just like punchlines between the cars,
and i know a place where a royal flush,
can never beat a pair, and even thomas jefferson,
is on the nickel over there.

so ring around the rosie, you're sleepin' in the rain,
and you're always late for supper,
and man you let me down again,
i thought i heard a mockingbird, roosevelt knows where,
you can skip the light, with grady tuck,
on the nickel over there.

so what becomes of all the little boys,
who run away from home,
well the world just keeps gettin' bigger,
once you get out on your own,
so here's to all the little boys,
the sandman takes you where,
you'll be sleepin' with a pillowman,
on the nickel over there.

so let's climb up through that button hole,
and we'll fall right up the stairs,
and i'll show you where the short dogs grow,
on the nickel over there.



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