Sunday, May 1, 2011

'Old School' All The Way

My brother, Greg Lewis, is a paragon of strength and good humor. Today, I return from his intensive care bedside, not broken but humbled.
I know that God is on top of  this, and I am somewhere near the middle of His universe. I know that Greg is now resting his final moments on His creation, and that soon my brother -- who always had sage answers for my undying queries -- will have that omnipresent answer that we all shall seek one day.

Greg Lewis and Rosa Parks, one of dozens of black luminaries
who got "good ink" from a great friend and journalist.

Greg is old school. We met in North Carolina as a pioneering fivesome -- including Mae Israel, Ron Topping and Ken Campbell. I was the only one from "The North," and my alleged Yankee upbringing repulsed Greg and "Top" early on.

But not for long. We had so much in common. We were all race men, who tackled the white opposition in different venues and always came out superior. Then came the Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party to Greensboro in November 1979. We covered the heck out of the story, to the point that at least one of our senior editors was trading our intelligence to the FBI after five people were shot dead in the city's streets during a public protest. (The assailants were never criminally convicted.)

Our coverage was tight, and we were named Pulitzer Prize finalists and won the National Headliners Award. We were young and oh-so- awfully good.

I could go on and on about how Greg has inspired me, how our friendship spanned decades and miles, how our phone conversations always ended with, "I Love You."

Never said that to any other man. None other were so worthy.

(Here is the link about Greg from Richard Prince's "Journal-isms"  blog.)