Saturday, October 10, 2009

Grandma Miss Ella Martin

This morning, Black guy on Saturday Q was having living-room reminiscence with Miss Ella Martin in his head, out loud, real loud -- he spoke 4 or 5 character dialogue. He gasped between characters and spoke as fast as possible.

"Miss Ella Martin, what color did the number 7 train used to be?
Sky blue on October 7, 1983.
Miss Ella Martin, what color was the number 7 train in 1977?
Sky blue, sky blue, sky blue, sky blue, sky blue.
Sky blue?
Yes, sky blue.
Miss Ella Martin, in 1983 what color was the number 7 train on Friday, October 17?
Coleen, do you remember what the doors of the number 7, what color they were?"

The man pauses, looks around when the train stops, rocks from side to side. The white noise of train movement begins and he begins again.  His head's on a swivel, attempting eye contact with all on train.

"Holly, do you remember what color the doors on the double R train, in 1877?
Orange, they were orange, Miss Ella Martin.
That's right, Holly, I was there when your great grandma died, I was there."

He covers his right ear as if he's talking on the phone and picks up his bag and sits directly next to a redhead.  He leans toward her and continues his dialog as loud as before.

"Miss Ella Martin, where did you used to live?
Queens Burrough Bridge, Coleen, that's where I used to live.  Do you remember what color the Queens Burrough Bridge used to be?
Grey, Grandma Miss Ella Martin.
That's right, grey, in October of 1973 it used to be grey. And do you remember the double R train crossed the 59th bridge into Queens Burrough, and what color doors it had?
Sky blue with an orange pinstripe, Grandma Miss Ella Martin."


  1. Wow. I don't know what to say to this. It makes me want to laugh and cry, all at the same time.

  2. I love this. You have such a gift for pin pointing the beauty of a moment. Where other people may have been irritated at this guy for being loud and obnoxious, you saw it for something so much more.

    Well done.

  3. Thank you, both. Thought this a not-so-rare moment beautiful enough to share, and glad you enjoyed it.