Queens, New York> St. Louis, Missouri> Omaha, Nebraska
"...the good life." - Stan Matzke, John Rosenow and J. Greg Smith
My home and heart... yet, my reminder of work to come. Omaha is the city my mom was born and raised in. I spent a lot of time here as well and contributed much of who I am today to this city. Omaha, was just one of many things I associated with my DNA. My Uncle Roland was a natural born genius and today, I thank him for his major influence on my writing and imagination. He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and while that sounds scary to most, I found that he was sweetest soul I ever met. My uncle read the dictionary...he could equate mathematical equations in his head without thinking and on a good day, he provided words of wisdom for anyone who would listen. The characteristics that made him "different" according to his diagnoses, added to the animation that I needed for an engaged reader.
17 1/2 years. My Uncle Bernard fought a battle everyday that many of could not understand. Loyalty is a term that everyone desires but one that many cannot fulfill. Bernard was all of this, allowing not one prison cell to hold him back. 17 1/2 years. I came to visit him throughout my whole life describing beaches and my life outside these bars. While he was hard on himself for his physical absence, he passed these acts of loyalty and advice through letters, phone calls and visits. However, my favorite was the soul that he passed down to his son, Bernard Jr. His son and I spent a lot of time reflecting on our past in Nebraska while planning a future that traveled beyond this location. While my cousin and I spent many years apart we found that this made no matter in our bond and shared interests. We found that the Long Family was merely a bouquet of flowers...trying to bloom, the best way we knew how.