A Colleague’s Tribute to Southern Author James Street

 (GM Griffin) You are at an awards ceremony. Robust conversation fills the rented room full of colleagues who are also tirelessly driven to report what they see with their eyes. Many never clearly knowing why.
The sound of tinkling rented glasses competes with the drone of workers with bylines meeting in person and sharing what would later be termed, “Good Vibrations.”
You are to receive an award from a legendary colleague replete with Hollywood Writing and Directing credits, Southern novels, essays and opinions on international affairs as, “Reporter from the Pentagon.” The white-haired man presenting these awards for excellence in radio broadcasting eventually calls you, for you are being recognized, too.
You receive your award as your heart beats and you squeeze the flesh of his hand. He feels like a fellow writer at that moment. The perspiration and cold palm you gave him would not ever be mentioned. Your secret is safe with a colleague. You speak and as you return to your seat and corral swirling emotions just jettisoned throughout shared air you feel at one with the effort and are satisfied to belong.
Moments later, you refocus your thoughts onto the proceedings. Like the dream you just left you now see the white-haired man’s head gently “lying on the table like a child’s when it’s tired” atop the rented table where he sat between congratulations.
So, you write about it to let your heart beat. After all, you are a Journalist.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLFwGQW-ZwE]

More Information: “James H. Street” From Wikipedia http://tinyurl.com/875eums ; “James Howell Street (1903–1954)” From Arkansas History and Culture http://tinyurl.com/7myogxc ; “MISSISSIPPI WRITERS: James Street” http://tinyurl.com/75z2o3n 


 James Street Family
Personal Photographs

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4 thoughts on “A Colleague’s Tribute to Southern Author James Street

  1. FROM a READER in Atlanta, a First Grade Teacher:

    “It is so important to keep these stories alive, and what a beautiful job you and your friends have done on bringing this story to life for others to experience.

    The main part of this speaks of so many complex things…the power politics as told in the perspective of the Pentagon reporter. This eludes to many discussions you and I have had. He do doubt searched and questioned the goings on of the world as we do now…but that is not what stood out to me in the message of this narration…

    This is what did stand out to me: The beauty of it was the joy he had in his final moments. I got tears in my eyes when you spoke Scott Jarret’s words:

    “James Street’s head was lying on the table like a child’s when it’s tired.”

    As you know, I am a first grade teacher, and I see this every single day. The energetic, joyous child has suddenly grown tired and just spontaneously puts their head down on the table and with ease drifts off to sleep. How different are any of us as adults from who we were as children in first grade. The child lives in all of us.

    It is sad, but at the same time, what a beautiful way James Street exited his life.

    Thank you very much for this. It was just beautiful.


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