As I was about to go on stage tonight someone told me that Dick Gregory had died. That's not really the kind of news you tell a comedian right before they're about to perform; especially a comedian who's met, worked with and admired him; a comedian who cites Dick Gregory as one of her influences.
I'm not mad. The friend who shared it couldn't not. Dick Gregory is one of our Giants. But I had no time or space to process this before going on stage.
It was a great set.
It couldn't not be.
Of course, when I got off stage I went to my phone to get details. When I saw that Dick Gregory was 84-years old I tried not to freak out. I have this irrational fear when passing celebrities are the same age as one of My Parents. I know there's no connection. And yet when it happens, I call home to check on them. They ask why I'm calling. I say, no reason and hope my lie is convincing. It's probably not.
To be honest, it's harder to sit in this diner and write this then it was to get on stage but I had to do both.
As the guard changes and the next generation steps up to hold the line, I'd like to think I did, and will continue to do, Mr. Gregory proud.
I'd say more but I have the powerful urge to go home and lay eyes on my two favorite Old People. How can I not?