Dear Reader, peace to you and yours today. It has been a long, long journey traveling through life since I last spoke up here. I'm glad you made it thru too!
I'm in the City of Angels – which is not too far from Maison Musique – as I am blessedly visiting with my family. It's the perfect time to tell of what I know, and what I love.
My father was a good man. A good man in the true sense. And as his third and youngest son, last of all his children, I experienced him only for what his striving was: To be a devoted and cooperative husband, and an effective guider and provider for his offspring. No more, and no less!
I had it easy. All of the family dynamics were well established by the time that I arrived. And let me tell you... it is a good thing that: Alton John Perez knew where he stood. His sense of right and wrong was a quiet place; he was not particularly boisterous – though no less bold.
So many aspects of my young life were kept safe and free that, in retrospect, I know that I took a lot for granted. My father's life has a sense of rarity to me now. I can understand the challenges that he faced; and it is clear that he choose to avoid the foibles and stick to the program: his own sense of right and wrong. Alton J. Perez, DDS. worked hard for it.
A man who (by most appearances) easily could have “jumped the fence” that is, passed for white. He came to Los Angeles from the 7th Ward of New Orleans; and appearances weren't of too, too much worth to him, actually. Somewhere early on, he discovered that it was best for him to ultimately, and knowingly, rely on god. He credited my mother, Phenella DuPlessis Perez for much of this realization.
This last fact was routinely stated only by his great friend, and brother-in-law, Paul Peter DuPlessis, my uncle, and also – as he would say – “my namesake,” whom we laid to rest... and raised up high just yesterday. Indeed, I owe a great tribute to Uncle Paul; as he was essential to my mother's protection; and instrumental, at the very least, in my parents' meeting.
It was a significant challenge for Paul to say goodbye to 'Baby Nell'. Of course this has been a challenge for all who knew her. Nevertheless, in characteristic fashion, Paul Peter accepted his life and picked up his own wounded cross. And drove it far...! (For thirty hours, feeling alone behind the wheel...) trying to find his way home.
May we now know them as they were known, only... anew.
Paul Peter DuPlessis seemed to enjoy taking responsibility for most things. His sense of right and wrong... legendary! He was a beautiful man; and I loved his mind, and his voice. He was particularly boisterous.
Paul wrote song lyrics. Uncle would recite, or sing, his lines aloud seemingly at the smallest request... and would then suitably silence himself with an air of satisfaction that he had played his part well. Uncle Paul's favorite subject: Love. or, Universal Peace among all people. Devotion and romance brought him to a place that only one other has ever known. A unique man needs a unique woman. In this case her name is, Lillian Epps DuPlessis.
He did not shy away from the pronoun, “me.” One of his lyrics, “Posses Me” contains nine uses in the span of an AAB form! In another song, “The Art Of Loving” Paul presents an ultimatum to the world:
There is a need in everyone, that must be satisfied. And unless we get it done, the human race will die.
When I attempted, in collaboration with him, to get across that, you can't... really say that – in a song. He answered me incredulously, as if I had completely missed the point. “Well it's the truth!”
I know that his sentiment is something many of us, if not all, feel inside. Paul Peter DuPlessis was bold enough to send it down his right arm, and write it down. He was like a hammer. He was an inspector; and his head was hard as a rock. And in characteristic fashion I, his namesake, have an answer – that I did not share with the master. Dare I stumble as I write it down here.
That we all must die one day; and that this inevitability has a tendency to play tricks on our minds. This sense of doom seems to always want to do battle with our own sense of right and wrong. The trickster wants to convince us that all will be lost after the lifespan is over. And all too often we allow this illusion to blind us to the love that we know has carried us here. But it seems to me, that as long as we as organisms continue to have a certain and particular jungle of nerves in the middle of the body, our human species will be demanded of, and supplied with, all of what we need. The key is to relax!
Of course some are dying at this moment; and we do feel them. And some are being born at this moment – and one shall be arriving around here soon! Let us all feel the new life coming into the world now. We always have the choice. I am forever grateful for our fathers who provide this means. And, I am dearly proud of Paul & Lil. I am honored to have played a part in their comfort in the last days, and help him carry his cross, up that hill. And he asked to hear some Pops. And I read Danny Barker's stories to him. We watched Tiger. Uncle let me listen in on his soul. With love terrifically in front of him – he blessed all of his family, all the way. Praising, and playing it cool... all the way!
Peace to Lil. And to all who belong to Paul.
Peace & Pops,
Esquizito aka Eric Paul Perez
Maison Myles, Los Angeles
My Catalogue of CD's Available Thru A Locally Owned & Operated Retailer Worthy of Your Support:
MOMENTS OF SOUND: ESQUIZITO 1996-2006 is now available in Digital Download thru:
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