Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fireworks, continued

Fireworks II

First, a clarification; the quote in the April 19 entry, 'Don't bring a knife to a gunfight', attributed to a 'conversation with Leroi, Omaha, 1982', may have given the misleading impression that I was the one having the conversation, and thusly, the quote.

Actually, the quote, an approximate derivative of the original, is attributable to Lahonse 'Lip' Jackson, who had said, "Nigguh! Don't brang no knife to no gunfight!" as he stood over Leroi Levers, who at the time was bleeding on the sidewalk outside Miss Rachel Jefferson's Beauty Parlor & Tire Shop, near 32nd St. and Benson.

Leroi, just before producing a six-inch switchblade, had said to Jackson, "Nigguh, don't let yo' big-lip mouth write a check yo' black ass can't cash," or words closely to that effect. It was at that point that Jackson, being sensitive anyway about his larger-than-normal-even-for-a-Black-person lips, reached into his jacket pocket and produced a small-calibre firearm, saying, "Cash THIS, Nigguh!", whereupon the aforesaid immediately discharged the weapon and emptied its contents into the upper body of Levers.

Since both men are currently deceased, I took the liberty of modifying the language to remove the offensive racial slur*, the mispronunciation, and the double negative. I think they would both probably be happy that the quote was moved forward and put into circulation.

Although the dispute had originally begun over foul play in the closing seconds of a pick-up basketball game at the East 32nd St. Drug & Alcohol Rehab playground**, it escalated during a visit to Bee Bop's Package Liquor Store, and erupted into violence in front of Miss Rachel's place before several onlookers. Leroi expired shorty after the confrontation and was pronounced 'DAS' (dead at scene) by the Lincoln County coroner and Miss Rachel, who, upon the arrival of St. Mary Mother a Christ Hospital EMTs a half hour later, said, 'The nigguh's dead.'

Lip Jackson, thereafter known as, 'Cash' Jackson, went on to live a happy and fulfilled life as an enormously successful investment banker until dying under extraordinarily mysterious circumstances*** in a horribly tragic boating accident in 1979. He was never charged with the death of Levers in the susequent criminal non-investigation.

7th Precinct deputy police commissioner, Wilson 'Bug-Eye' Washington, said, "It looks to me like they'll need a new point guard down on 32nd Street."


*not a slur when used within a racial group. It is only considered offensively derogatory when used by those outside the group, in application to one within the group. From a journalistic standpoint, it would be okay to use the quote, as is, I suppose. On principle, we'll have to let it stand.

**known for Amos Bigby's standing rule, spoken to a visiting player from Kansas City, 'We don't call no fouls down here, Nigguh. We call an ambulamps.'

***see; 'Lip Jackson Death Ruled Foul Play'; Omaha Register, 5/21/79.