Thank You for Andrew, Warrior of the Cause

I sat at a big empty table. The small tables were full of poets. I was preparing, reading over a poem I wrote for Open Mic Night at a coffee house in Santa Rosa, California.

He walked in with a group of Native Americans, one dressed in full Navajo regalia, and sat at my table like we had agreed to meet there in another life.

I never saw him before. (or his exotic friends)

“So how are you doing?” he asked like we had been talking all day.

“Well, I’m trying to memorize this poem.” I looked around the table, now full of interesting folks that followed him in.

“So, who are you guys? Are you gonna read tonight?”

Andrew (sitting next to me) looked at my face a little closer.

“Oh! You’re not the woman I met today at the Health and Harmony Fair, are you?” He looked a little embarrassed that he had commandeered my table.

“Nope” I chuckled “But you met me now.”

As Andrew and I introduced ourselves properly and began chatting appropriately for strangers, we were interrupted. 

“Go to your Cheyenne people.”

The gentleman in the full regalia—Indian headdress, and native attire was sitting at the head of the table. He looked straight at me and spoke that one sentence.

“How does he know I’m half Cheyenne?” I whispered to Andrew.

“He knows a lot of stuff.” Andrew replied.

They all listened as it was my turn to read and I took my place at the microphone. I returned to the table and talked to Andrew for a long time  about his mission to get donations of food and clothing for a reservation in Flagstaff Arizona. We exchanged numbers and I said I would help.

We worked great as a team. We got a big truck donated from a local used car dealership and loaded it with food and clothes. Andrew drove the truck from Santa Rosa to Flagstaff and returned to become one of my very good friends. 

In the last twenty three years since, Andrew and I have shared many experiences, wonderful and tragic. 

We have traveled in separate directions, found each other again, lived together, lived in separate towns, listened to each other cry on the phone, and  shared stories of our personal adventures, relationships, political causes, births and deaths, and lessons learned with and without each other.

I am thankful for Andrew, who has the passion of a warrior when it comes to justice and humanity. I am thankful for his inspiration of character, generosity of time, and continuos friendship.


~ by leakelley on January 6, 2009.

One Response to “Thank You for Andrew, Warrior of the Cause”

  1. *cheers Andrew*

    He sounds like a wonderful friend.

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