Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rant #1,102: Everybody Is a Star

And yes, that is so true, isn't it, in this day and age of Facebook and Twitter and all the social media we have around today.

And today, I am a star, well, sort of.

I am the star of a very short form video that is on the Newsday newspaper website, which was taken during the Reunion my old community, Rochdale Village, had on October 5 of this year.

The Reunion had gone on for a few hours by the time that this video was taken. I was bushed, and I look very, very tired.

It was actually taken twice, because the sound level was not good on the first one that was shot.

The photographer took me into a corner of the room we were in, and he basically asked me questions about why we had the Reunion and why Rochdale was so important, even nearly 50 years after we moved into the place.

What he shot was longer than what made it to the video that was posted, but basically I said that Rochdale was a different type of community, a community where integration was embraced, something that was revolutionary for its time.

Funny thing, as I talked about this concept, they showed people who attended the Reunion dancing, talking to each other, and socializing at the Reunion.

Not one person that they showed was one of color.

Believe me, they were there. We reached out to everybody who grew up in the development during its early years, 1964 to the mid 1970s, and we did get a diverse mix of people, and yes, we did get people of color there.

How none showed up in the video is beyond me, but anyway, my message was clear.

Rochdale was a great experiment, but all good things have to come to an end.

And Rochdale did, for me in 1971 when my family moved to the suburbs.

For others, it ended at different times, but essentially, it ended for just about all of us as we entered the 1970s.

It wasn't the same neighborhood we moved into by then, and just about all of us moved onto what we thought was something better.

To those who don't know what this neighborhood was, just think of it as an urban Mayberry, where seemingly everybody knew everybody.

We lived in nice apartments, and when you live basically on top of each other like we did, you learn a lot about socialization.

I made many friends there, but as the years went on, the friendships waned and we all moved on.

The Reunion celebrated the 50th anniversary of our old neighborhood, and also celebrated the fact that Rochdale lives within all of us, even to this day.

I wish I could post the video here, but it is one of those that you can't "lift" of the site.

Here is the address:

And by the way, the title of this entry is appropriate, because it was the title of a song by Sly and the Family Stone.

Sly's girlfriend at the time--I cannot remember her name--lived in Rochdale.

Yes, the same community I lived in.

It was an incredible place to grow up, and when Newsday actually prints the story about our old neighborhood and the Reunion we had, I will let you know about.

Even if you did not live there, it is a story about urban living that definitely needs to be told.


  1. Cool! Watched the video.
    Now when I read your "rants" I'll hear them with your voice.
    Pretty funny, Only white people in the video.
    All The Best,

  2. Yes, that is exactly what I said. Kind of strange. I swear, others were there, but for whatever reason, they never made it into the video. Thanks.



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