CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FIFTY-FOUR
“Lots of people?” Jeraine asked.
Valerie nodded, “Just a heads up.”
“It’s cool,” Jeraine said. “We’ll be okay.”
“Good,” Valerie said. “They want us to be ready to go in five minutes. Can you do that?”
Jeraine looked and saw that his father had set up his standup base. Jeraine saw Seth O’Malley’s father zip down the stairs faster than Jeraine would have thought a 90-something year old could go. Bernie headed to the piano. The rapper’s drummer was ready to go.
“They’re waiting for you,” Tanesha said.
Jeraine hugged her and went to the stage.
“I, 2, 3. . .” Jeraine said.
The band began to play a soft jazz melody. Jeraine nodded to the camera man. They turned the camera onto Valerie.
Their service for Annette started. The band played soft jazz while Valerie began the service.
“Welcome,” Valerie said. “I’m Valerie Lipson. You probably know that Jeraine and Jabari went to the memorial for Annette. We wanted to really celebrate Annette’s life. We have a few people who will be with us online to talk about Annette. Her television show created a wonderful tribute to her. Jeraine, Jabari, and Miss T are here. . .”
Valerie gestured to where Tanesha was holding Jabari. They waved. She gestured to where Jeraine was playing the guitar.
“We’ll take an hour or so and then our musical guest will perform,” Valerie said. “All the proceeds to this event will go to help support Annette’s children. If you can spare even a dollar, we ask that you help out. The link will be on your screen.”
“Thank you for your generosity in time and spirit,” Valerie said.
“Okay,” the cameraman said. “They are rolling the reel. Nicely done.”
Everyone cheered for Valerie. The band continued to play under the direction of Jeraine. The adults danced while the children played. For the next hour, they danced, listened to story, laughed, and even cried. By the time the rapper started his set, they had raised nearly a million dollars for Annette’s children.
They all stayed until the end, even the children. They cheered when Jeraine and the rapper said “goodbye” to the audience. Slowly, they thread their way through the Castle and to bed.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday...
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