"Who is that?" Katie asked. Her son, equipped with headphones surrounding both ears, and connected through a thin wire to a small box beside him, said nothing.
Katie muted the television set and nudged her son with the toe part of her foot. "Who is that on TV?" she repeated. Her son looked at her mouthing the words and responded "Eminem."
"I thought those rap guys were mean looking black men," Katie responded. She adjusted her foot to rest behind the back of her son.
"Mom, where have you been? He's a guy... twenty-something now..."
Katie looked at the performer holding the microphone close to his mouth, moving his head up and down and pointing it seemed at her potted plants in the corner of the living room.
"The music is good. I don't like his lyrics. Why does he have to swear all of the time like that?"
"They all do, Mom. Rap's about swearing in part. It's also about personal expression. His real name is Marshall Mathers. He has a wife and a little girl."
"He does? And he does this?" Katie took a drink from her extra large cola drink.
Her son did not answer her question and she turned the sound back on.
The rapper continued with his song and Katie's son continued to use the small box and headphones, sitting close to the television set, his legs crossed as if he was watching a Native American ceremony. After another moment, her son turned and asked, "Remember "Stan?"
"One of your friends?" Katie responded. The televisionshow moved to commercial.
"No. The song."
Katie thought and then said "No."
"Yeah you do, Mom. You have the song on one of your MP3s. It has the woman singing and then he raps and it goes back and forth between the two. You said that it makes you sad to hear it..."
"That's him? I thought it was some black guy...Doctor something or another. You know that song is too close to home for me, kiddo..." Her son turned and looked back at his mother's face.
"Him. Dr. Dre is the guy who discovered him. He was rapping in a club as a warm-up act and Dre saw him and signed him up right away. Five records later, there he is on the TV and radio."
"Would you like to be a rapper?" Katie asked her son. He did not respond.
Katie walked over, sat down beside her son, andremoved the headphones from his sweating head. He turned to look at the person removing his hearing device.
"Would you like to be a rapper like Eminem?" Katie asked verbally and in sign language, spelling out the word "Eminem".
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Walton, known to many as
"settummanque ("set-tum-man-quay"), the blackeagle",
is a former member, employee, volunteer andHe speaks frequently to groups relating the
cheerleader of the programs of the Boy Scouts of
importance of Scouting today, is a freelance writer
for several Scouting-related publications, and a
participant in an Internet mailing list called
Scouts-L with well over 3500 daily readers worldwide.
Walton has five books he is currently writing,
editing, or shopping for offers: "Patches and Pins",
"I Thought They Just Went Camping", "Eagle Feathers",
"Ask Settawho?" and "Wreathless". He is a
Minnesota resident and former commander of the Army
Reserve's 318th Public Affairs Operations Center, 88th
Regional Readiness Group based in
He is currently on active duty assigned to the 335th
Signal Command (Theater), Third
the organization provide resources and assistance
toward the commercialization of emergency and routine
communications throughout the Southwest Asian theater
He is a member of the Yahoo freewrite group Coffeehouse
Percolator (CHPerc) and the prompt was "The Show". I
wrote the story centered around a young man enjoying
one of his favorite musical artists -- even though he
may not be able to understand the lyrics nor to hear
the music track.