East 4th will never be the same anymore,
the Rev died this morning.
I have known the Rev for all of my 54 years here on Earth and in Brooklyn. His loud booming voice was a trademark for our block along with his laughing. The Rev knew my whole family, my mom, sister, brother, father, grandfather, grandmother, etc. He used to tell me sometimes that they spoke to him from beyond the grave, especially my mother. He used to tell me that my mom told him to watch over me because she's no longer here and needed him to do so. And although I don't really believe in much, I always believed the Rev somehow. Because "I can speak to the dead you know, because I am a Profit sent here by God". Yeah, the Rev just had that kind of power, the power to make you believe in something.
"Hey Ron, you know you got to take me with you to the mountains one day, I want to see the mountains and your house in the country" Well, I never got to take the Rev up to Delaware County and I'm feeling bad about that now.
One time back in the 90's the Rev drove with Bob Brennan, Tommy Brennan and I to Kennedy airport to see us off on a trip to Spain. He was hooting and hollering in the car the whole trip and made me totally forget about my fear of flying.
"Hey, what's going on Man?"
"Good morning to you beautiful"
"Ahhh, haaaa, haaaa, Woooooooo!"
"You know I'm a Profit sent here by God"
"You've got a dollar, I've got a dollar"
"You're FUNNY Boy"
From giving away food that the Rev had in his trunk to just being out there polishing his car, you knew everything was always all right when the Rev was there. He kept and eye on you and he kept an eye on your house when you were gone. Yeah, thats some Rev action going on and you knew it.
You know back in the 70's the Rev used to come out of the Margaret Court dressed in a long white fur coat, big old white hat with the two most beautiful black women holding each of his arms. He'd walk with them to his big white Caddie and they'd be on their way. Oh, I know what you're thinking, but no one ever really knew and no one ever asked either.
"Hey Ron, you know you and I got to take this show on the road and go preaching together. I got a white suit for you and a hat you could wear. We'll visit prisons and churches all over the country and preach together"
Well, it all sounded good but with two kids, a full time job and a wife it may be a little difficult.
"Hey Rev, you got to wait till I retire in five years or so, then we'll do it!"
I really thought the Rev was going to be around a lot longer, from one day driving his car to the next morning having a massive stroke. It just all seemed to happen too quickly for me. You see the Rev was supposed to live till 100 and still be polishing his car out there right now. There was a trip to the mountains for us, there were trips to the Hollywood car wash together like before. There was supposed to be more hanging out on my stoop together, no the Rev was supposed to be here on East Fourth much longer than this. This just isn't right.
After the Rev had his stroke I went to visit him a few times in the hospital. While his body seemed strong his mind was not all there. He really didn't know who I was although he could stand straight up and still preach the word of God just like always.
I remember giving him a great big hug before I left and kissing him on his cheek.
"You know I'm a Profit, and God speaks through me"
No matter how much I never believed anything else,
I always believed the Rev.
And I'm glad I did.