Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A True Hero of the Past

Perhaps Richard and I are going over the top on this thing about the Super Bowl and our Iggles, but it is time to take a look at a true hero. In the wake of Bush being unfamiliar with the Voting Rights Act, as blogged about below, I stumbled across a story about a Philadelphia Eagle of recent legend, Jerome Brown.

Jerome is still a legend in his hometown, and I will be having lunch Sunday with a good friend who will be wearing his jersey, these dozen and more years after his death. He was a big man with a big heart who epitomized family and community values.

He was a true hero. A small excerpt:

The legend of Brown began beneath the muscular oak trees shading the brick courthouse here in June 1988, when a group of hooded Klansmen began singing from their sheet music of hate during a rally on the town square.

"I don't see no African dances," one member shouted. The chants continued until, suddenly, no one could hear the Ku Klux Klan at all. A pulsating bass from a stereo began to fill the air and shake the sidewalk, a tickle-your-toes vibe that blasted out of a black Ford Bronco with its windows down and 12 speakers at full volume.

Brown was behind the wheel, the 290-pound maestro of a daring music intervention. He parked right in front of the K.K.K.'s grand dragon, and, in effect, drowned out the hate. The rally broke up peacefully when not even the Klan dared to compete with Brown.

They knew exactly who he was: Brown was not only No. 99 with the Eagles; he was also the faithful bodyguard of Brooksville