Willie Ruff: A Call to Assembly

Straddliing his knee, my back and head leaning on his resonant chest, I I felt his calm and welll-modulated voice recount for me the wonders of the St. Louis 1904 World's Fair. The big fair convinced Daddy Long for all time that humankind's greatest achievements were the result of its "book learning," and he said I shoud get all I could of it.

"Boy, that's the onliest thing white folks can't take away from you. Can't nobody take nothin from outta your head."

....Memory, so prized by the unlettered, was the mark of gumption and aptness with Daddy Long's crowd. And while he was a stickler for book learning, he thought every man ought to have good "remembers."

..."Hook your pointing finger right her onto miine, " he said. "Now hold on tight. You see," he said, as he tugged on our hook, "we got us a connekshun now; we bound up together. A man can keep his good remembers if he conneks one thing with another in his head. I like to make pretty poems and sayings to connek up particulars for my remembers."