Friday night, Webster ave, Bronx, New York.

30-story brown brick buildings.

Butler Housing, also known as The Projects.

The loud stereo vibrations of grandma’s bleach smelling studio

15E apartment welcomed us.


Wine & Spirits were lifted by the likes of Motown.

The raspy voice of Smokey Robinson,

the doowop of The Temptations,

invasion of The Intruders,

glamour of The Supremes.

And how can I ever forget that three-octave vocal range

of the sweet melodious sound of Marvin Gaye?

Oh yes, the time was gay, indeed!

The occasion? It was Friday.

The DJ? None other than Yodi-yo!

The nickname the streets had given my mother.

She mixed and matched from cassettes on the tape player to record albums on grandma’s

‘Ol Skool’ turntable.

I sat in the corner and watched…

“Oh Yodi, that’s my jam!” Grandma would say as she jumped up to dance

with a shot glass in one hand and a can of malt liquor in the other.

I gazed in amazement; her wig nearly fell off her head,

but not one drop of liquor spilled.

“Now that’s skill!” I thought to myself.

DJ Yodi-yo looked over at her sister and yelled, “This one is for you!”

Her sister instantly turned into her Tina Turner alter ego.

She ran around carefree and barefoot.

Bottom of her feet black.

She strummed her fingers to her imaginary guitar,

came over to me and said proudly,

“I’m Tina Turner, and don’t you ever forget that!”

Yup, good times…

Hours later, the liquor began to speak.

You know how the saying goes,

A drunk mind speaks a sober tongue.

Bottles breaking, angry curse words being yelled across the room.

Somebody getting kicked out or even throwing a broom.

Marvin’s Gaye’s

lyrics now whispering in the background.

What’s going on?

Studio 15E closed.

For tonight.

That won’t be remembered tomorrow.

Next Friday.

Same Time.

Same place.


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