In April 2017 Martin is gone and Willie Wood has dementria living out his life in a nursing home in DC
“Has anyone seen my old friends Abraham, Martin, John, Bobby, Megar, Malcolm, or Muhammad—can anyone tell me where they have all gone. They freed a lot of people, the good die young.” I just look around and I feel all alone.”
These are the lyrics from “My Old Friend Abraham!” written and performed by song writer Dion Mucci.
Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, and Mahalia Jackson all followed his lead, but their song was never hearn among today’s black leaders.
On April 4, 1968, I was standing on the corner of 9th & U streets in North West Washington, DC with my co-worker, NFL great Willie Wood.
We had just had a sandwich in Che Maurice a popular in-crowd restaurant in the Nation’s Capitol. Willie and I were working for the DC Recreation & Parks as Roving Leaders (Youth Gang Task Force). It was a bright sun shiny day and we decided to just hang out on the corner and enjoy the beautiful weather.
I remember folks were just driving by and honking their horns and yelling at Willie who was a legendary athlete in the city and a member of the World Champion Green Bay Packers football team.
I know some of you are asking the question, “What was an NFL player doing working for DC Recreation & Parks?”
In 1968 NFL players were not making the asinine money NFL players are making today. Willie needed a second job to supplement his income as an NFL player. During the off-season he returned home to work as a Roving Leader or teach school.
Suddenly, someone drove by and yelled “Harold they just shot Dr. King in Memphis.” On April 4, 2017 I am left wondering where has he gone? We stood on that U street corner never knowing that it would be a day we would never forget!