On the chance you've been sunning under rocks lately I'll invoke a recent event that occurred in Sedalia at the storied state fairgrounds. Happily, I'm not referring to politics or rival vitriol or the bitter debate over an unfortunate presidential parody. I speak of another noted Afro-American who graced Sedalia on a singular mission to entertain and as a result remind us of the rich musical heritage we share.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Chubby Checker.
On an August evening kissed with light breezes and mild temperatures the iconic performer visited a city in the news, one he claims he has passed many times and never stopped in. How fortunate for the audience he chose to stop.
Rather than divisiveness and numbing umbrage Mr. Checker embraced a wonderfully diverse audience and reminded them of our rich musical history. He inaugurated his performance by summoning the attendees seated in the cavernous fairground grandstands in the rear to "gather" up front.
No one percenters in this crowd. Composed of every age, appearance and ability several hundred cheered and sang the night away, dancing to songs from iconic black and white singing legends of every background. Poor, rich, healthy, infirm, educated and otherwise this human weave rejoiced in the simple pleasure of "getting along." Numerous individuals were summoned on-stage to display their best efforts at twisting - the dance not the words or actions of individuals with agendas but the act of having a good time. The crowd rewarded them with thunderous ovations. One could not help but look around and wish this scene more common.
Come on America, relax. Recall a history weaned on adversity now maturing into a mosaic of diversity, change and progress. Remember the battles fought, the challenges met and the fact we are still here, still trying to get it right.
We will get there. One song at a time. Relax citizens, breathe. C'mon baby, just do the twist.