Friday, 4 November 2011

R.I.P Anthony Jericho Greenidge - Tribute poem by The Wordy Phoenix

This may sound a bit silly but the death of Anthony Jericho Greenidge really resonates with me... Like many many MANY Grenadians, I feel like I knew him. So many many days I woke up out of bed to him playing 'Lovely Day' and screaming through my radio 'WAKE UP AND LIVE!!!!' and so I would roll out of bed and do just that...

I'd been a fan from very young I had been one of the 'school children on the buses on their way to school' Jericho told the bus drivers to drive safe with. In college I heard songs me and my friends loved in his morning segment and if you know me you know my tastes are various! I never expected to hear it! My island can be rather selectively conservative...

One day, as an adult, i bumped into him'a well know chicken franchise', how excited was i?! I wanted to say hi, i convinced one of my friends to go over and invite him to Writers Association of Grenada meeting, that friend reluctantly did. Then, i waved giddily at him.

He nodded at me.

Then switched seats with his son so that we couldn't see his face anymore, giving us his back.

I felt snubbed.

I was disgusted, possibly even hurt!

How could the man i enjoyed listening to so much treat a fan like that?

And just so a grudge was born.

It just so happened that i had the opportunity last March to attend a Introduction to Media Class hosted by him. which you can read about here on the government site or here on the WeeFM radio site) It was a great experience. I made new friends, learned a lot but what i enjoyed the most? What i looked forward to the MOST? I got a glimpse at the man behind the mask.

Often I'd get there early before class started and he and i would sit and talk. Of philosophy, psychology, people, expectations, life experiences, life lessons...It was then i got a true glimpse at him. It hit me then, as we left one night, as people called him out left and right with every step he took...i knew that he was tired but he answered everyone that called to him in a jolly accommodating tone...and i thought to myself...waw

You must be so tired...

I thought, this job of yours, the media personality that you are and that we love so much, is a full time, almost 24/7 job! He was expected to smile at everyone, wave at every single person that felt they really REALLY knew him....i realized that what i saw that night, was just a tired father, trying to have dinner with his son one on one....

And just so a grudge died...

As our classes went on (and trust me he was no 'perfect' teacher!) i also looked forward to those talks, i got a 3 dimensional picture of this guy, he stopped being this awesome maverick personality i listened to on the radio for half my life and became a friend, calling me 'Lizzy' something not many are privy to.

I never attempted to ask him for 'favours' free radio space, or beg him to come to or announce something for free at his job, for my benefit. (though i was STRONGLY pushed to by most who knew of my interaction with him) Because i didn't want that. Who would want that? For people to continual use you for how you can benefit them? I have no idea if my lack of favours made any difference to him, which is okay too, the way i see it, friendship is not selfish.

I'm just glad i got to meet the man behind the mask. To meet in the street on a first name bases. 'hail each other up' and have a conversation that was just... a conversation!

copyright notice: This poem is the soul property of the author and is not to be reproduced in ANY form or fashion without her permission, the absence of which will lead to immediate legal action.
This is my tribute poem inspired by my interaction with him:

The Walls of Jericho
By: TheWordyPhoenic

His voice ushered in the sun,
“Wake up and live!” he'd say, with melody and conviction.
And many eyes were opened,
Many silences accompanied,
By the voice of a local maverick.

An evangelist of uniqueness,
Both informative and slick!
Just one man, with a grand plan:
To be committed to country, inspire self development and the recognition of opportunity.

Even when the mike switched off,
Often never did he…
Our streets? Where his!
We even loved his kids!

The man with personal walls as tough as our own,
Who valued time alone.
Who cultivated his truest friendships, outside of the public eye.
Who's most comforting moments where when he could lie,
In bed.
Rest is head.
No phone,
No complaints, of busy dial tone...

But how much did we see?
The 'man'' behind the 'wee'?

A select few,
Got a peek at the bon-a-fide you,
When the walls of Jericho came down.
There stood a man that could smile, could frown, could joke. could play, could jam and could jig!
Without judgement, a nation sized big!

Thank you, for sharing your life with us.
A country, a people, a world...hung on to your every word.
Now the walls of Jericho have crumbled and in the wake of our loss, let's us remember, let us not forget..

That so much, MUCH more than a mere personality was he,
A friend!
His voice permeated the air waves,
dissolving differences,
Engulfing generations.
Though the walls of Jericho have crumbled and fell,
let us remember that it was a man,
a brother,
a son, of both our soil and of a mother.
A mortal man, who started it all...
The mortal man, who God has now called.

R.I.P Anthony "Jericho" Greenidge

A man I looked up to professionally, equal to but not separate from the man I considered a friend.


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