A little “Hi” to My Amigos at Roosevelt Junior High (Creators of a Better World)

by on February 2, 2011 · 5 comments

in Education, From the Soul, San Diego

Hola, Chavistas de Roosevelt
Middle School.
I just want to tell you
I think you’re beautiful and fly and cool
and take time to say
I loved the letters
that you recently sent my way.
All your comments and questions
warmed my soul and made my day
as I sipped coffee
and read them at Jitters,
a coffee cafe,
just chilling
on a nice Southern California day,
sun out the window,
misty blue sky,
birds flying, at play,
CD bumping something
funky and hip,
your words of thanks
planting a smile on my lip.
What you asked and what you had to say
on top of the mellow setting I was in
on that day,
made for
one big Good Old Day.
Oh, I love it when I meet
folks like you
who are so bright
and alive,
out here like me
busy trying to extract
the truth from all the jive,
looking for ways
to keep hope alive,
an enterprise
for which,
I hope you realize,
we should never apologize.
I surmise,
that would not be wise.

We must keep our eyes on the prize:
building a better world,
before the world’s very eyes.

Now, to some of what you brought up:
Why didn’t I play in the NBA?
Well, I tried to
but I wasn’t invited to stay.
But with one of you saying
that my stories were amazing,
that beats anything the NBA
could have ever
shoved my way.
And each of you were amazing
in your own little way,
especially the way
you listened to me
and engaged me
and understood me
and felt the depth of my pain
as I shared my feelings
about Christina Taylor Green’s demise.
You were with me
as we sorted out
the significance
of such a precious little girl
losing her life.
I sensed you all realize
that true hope lies
when human beings
and sympathize
and strive
to arrive
at deep levels of thinking
as we enjoy this incredible ride
in the Milky Way.

But, hey, don’t thank me for coming
to see you.
No, indeed. Thank you.
I can’t think of anything
I’d rather do
And here’s a few tidbits
I’d like to share
before I’m through:
Chanel likes Chicano Rap
and I do too,
especially when it leads us
to creating our better selves
and I know that, in the spirit
of the Cesar Chavez Service Club,
you’re working on yourselves,
learning that you might, perhaps,
be better at taking control of your life
better than anyone else.
With that, let me say,
always be yourself
since that’s all you can ever be
because he is he
and she is she
and they are them
both generally
and specifically
and who are we
if not you
and me?
Please feel free
to simply
take that all in literally.

And, Kalin,
my friend,
to get a bit more personally,
your take,
your philosophy,
that emerged
in our conversation about anarchy
made more sense
than anything on the subject
that has ever come to me.

Angelica, keep writing down
lyrics to your favorite songs
and imagine
writing lyrics to your own songs
with the whole world singing along.

And expressing your ideas?
Daniel, you are right by far
that doing such
could help people know what you’re into
and what kind of person you are:
keen of mind
and creative
with ideas
sitting on the edge of your soul
like items at a bargain bazaar.
A rising star?

Draw on, Sarai.
You’ll have a collection by and by.

And as to the question
in sixth grade, how tall was I.
I don’t have a reply
but I was close to six-three
when I graduated from junior high.

How old am I?

Was it hard playing basketball?
No, it was not if what I remember is true.

Now, for my last words:
Keep on reading
and writing
and remember why
and I hope to see
you all again too
by and by.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ernie McCray February 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

Those kids were so inspiring.


Sherry Engberg February 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Perfecto mundo Ernesto.


Ernie McCray February 2, 2011 at 6:38 pm



Anna Flores February 3, 2011 at 12:37 am

Thank you Ernie for coming to visit our Chavistas. I really enjoyed watching them interact and connect with you. I’m hoping for many more visits from you! You are wonderful!


Ernie McCray February 3, 2011 at 10:56 am

I shall return.


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