The way I roll

By RUDY CHEEKS  |  March 16, 2011

But this is particularly embarrassing to me because both Clifton clans are neighbors and friends and, well, please don't vote me out of the neighborhood for this faux pas.

And one more note about the Roots Café that I neglected to report on last week. The interior design is very attractive, full of warmth and life. It is the work of Sherry Ryan, who studied design "many years ago" at the University of Denver, Pratt Institute and elsewhere. She got involved in the Roots project because Roots head ramrod, Len Cabral, studies yoga with Sherry and other instructors at Providence Healing Arts, the capital city's Santosha school of yoga. The main mission of the school, run by Sherry and Maya Breuer, is the training of yoga instructors. Len, one of those people who wisely goes with his instincts about people as well as creative matters, knew of Sherry's design talents and sensed her artistic passion and invited her to check out the space for Roots.

"The building spoke to me," she told me. "I considered it a rescue mission." She was especially impressed with the tones in the original flooring and chose the palette for the space based on colors she "picked out of the floor" that just happened to be colors that also reflect the mission of Roots as a celebration of our state's rich multiplicity of ethnicities. It is a truly attractive space.


The "Political Scene" item in Monday's Other Paper about the "Recall Chafee" movement was a good laugh. I suspect that nearly the entire 119 partisans who have launched the movement on Facebook are the same people who spend an inordinate amount of time writing those "readers comments" on the BeloJo web site that are unstintingly negative and depict all public officials as thieves and ne'er-do-wells.

The whole thing reminds me of an incident that took place many years ago. The late great Rhode Island R&B singer Rick Mendes (who was about 17 years old at the time) was acting in an amateur theatrical production with another old friend of mine, Richard Pace (also 17 at the time). Rick, who had a bit more experience than the others in the cast, had taken it upon himself to direct the entire production, much to the dismay of the other performers. (Well, Rick was a take-charge kind of guy.)

When Rick started demanding that the various performers "face this way" or "face that way" in their stage movements, Richard finally had enough and, extending one mighty digit (and you know which one) into Rick's face, blurted out, "Hey Rick, face this!" To all you recall birds on Facebook: "Face this!"


. . . to Representative Jim Langevin, who announced via an op-ed piece in the BeloJo a week ago that he had changed his mind on the issue of marriage equality (aka "same-sex marriage"). Jim came about this change of mind (and, perhaps, heart) honestly. He described his feelings attending a commitment ceremony of one of his staff members. This is ultimately how acceptance of superior behavior — as absolutely normal — will occur: one person at a time, by connecting with other humans. I don't care for mayonnaise. Is there something wrong with me or something wrong with you because you love the stuff? My best friend is left-handed. Only 10 or 12 percent of people are left-handed. What does that mean? My feeling — not a damn thing.

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