Seems Like Even Older Times.

My moms, Lillie, and my late father, Arthur James Files, Sr., one random afternoon back in the seventies. My brother and I were also there with them.

The above picture was taken at the Sawgrass Recreation Park, located in the Everglades, just west of Fort Lauderdale, Florida (which is where I was born and raised).

My daddy and my brother (also named Arthur James) were avid fishermen. Every. single. weekend they went fishing, and my father often dragged me and my mom along. I caught my first and only baby alligator at Sawgrass Recreation Park, which freaked me out because once I reeled the thing in, the marshes across the way immediately parted and six-hundred pounds of angry alligator mama began swimming towards us. We quickly got that thing off my hook and threw it back. I hated fishing in the Everglades. There were no buffers between humans and the wildlife. My father and brother would fish right on the bank of a canal and an alligator could just pop its head up at their feet and it would be over. Seriously. When I learned that alligators could run up to 40mph on land, I stopped going fishing with them in the Everglades altogether, having decided that my life mattered more than a plate of fried fish.

My father and brother fished in the salt water of the Atlantic when they weren’t fishing in the fresh water of the Everglades.

And when they weren’t fishing in those spots, they fished in brackish water in one the many canals throughout Fort Lauderdale (the city is dubbed the Venice of the Americas).

Now, notice how fairly well-dressed my father is, considering we’re there to fish.

I never saw my father dressed down. Ever. He didn’t rock jeans or shorts or sandals or anything of that nature. Always slacks and dress shirts and dress socks and tasteful shoes—my father shined ALL of his shoes every night. I used to look at him like he was crazy, but it was one of his rituals. He knew that first impressions went a long, long way.

Check out my mama’s ‘fro. And them pants.

Black love. It’s a beautiful thang.

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6 thoughts on “Seems Like Even Older Times.

  1. >I love this picture. I love seeing black love. Because it feels so good just to see it. I love me some black men…strong and fantastic. (so what my husband ain't black). ROFL…I told you black me don't love me. Beautiful picture…but the whole shining the shoes everynight…oh hell nah!!

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  2. >ROFL!!! ROFL!!! ROFL!!!Okay,Dawnya…you've got me ON THE FLOOR with the whole "so what my husband ain't black" thing. Just the way you said it. Priceless.Hey, get your love how you can. We're all the same color on the inside.(Although I did hear about this one guy who drank so much, when they cut him open he was green in there. But I guess that's an exception. Nevermind.)

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  3. >Lo, my grandfather used to do the same thing. his thing was clean nails and shined shoes. Actually Black womano used to say you could tell a lot about a man by the way he takes care of his shoes. I am lazy — I send mine out to be shined and I suppose that is why I particularly love suede.On a serious note. I see you have walked down memory lane in two posts today — mmm, the writer in me is curious. Everything okay?Sending you a big ole teddy bear hug just in case.

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  4. >How very intuitive of you, Juan. Such good attention to detail. Everything is fine, though. I happen to keep that pic of me and Bubs on my fridge and when I looked at it today I had the bright idea to scan it and share it with the readers. I also keep that pic of my Mom and Dad on the fridge and once I did the first post, I figured, hey, I miss my Daddy. Let me talk about him and what this picture makes me think about.

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  5. >Ah, it's times like these I remember my old dad. The things he used to say…like, "What the hell are you doin' in there all day? Why don't you get out and give someone else a chance?"

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  6. >yeah, lo…i was feelin' what juan was saying about your trip down memory lane. but it does bring back memories of the 70's and black men back then and before were classy and dressy despite their economics & finanical income. seem like everything went to hell after the popularity of music videos in the mid 80'si still got mad love you dawnya…but since you didn't see the forest, fo' the trees, invest in some black shoe polish for yo' hussssband.

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