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Some ideas for permanent memorial to honor Brother Asaiah’s life

Posted: December 31, 2013 - 4:41pm

It was good to see MarthaEllen Anderson’s recent letter to the editor, reminding us of Brother Asaiah. I miss him, as I’m sure all of us who were fortunate to know him do. I miss his letters to the editor and his wisdom and his kindness and his evenhandedness. I’m glad he gave us a park on Pioneer Avenue in honor of wisdom, knowledge, faith and love, tenets he held in high esteem.

It’s been 13 years now since he took his leave of our Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea, and there is concern among some that our memory of him is fading, or even unknown to newer arrivals. In that regard there are those who would like to erect a statue of Brother Asaiah in the WKFL Park. It would serve as a reminder to all of who he was, what he stood for and what he meant to us.

It seems to me, however, that our little park is getting smaller and smaller, especially since the northeast corner is now occupied by a public restroom. If there is to be a statue, perhaps another location could be found for it, such as the museum. 

Another less conventional but interesting possibility might be on the old Barefooters’ property at the head of the Bay: Just imagine, coming upon a statue out in the middle of all that tall Fox River grass. Now, I’m not convinced that a statue of himself is something the Brother would necessarily have wanted, but others may feel differently. “Throw me in a paper sack, walk away and don’t look back” is the sentiment I recall.

As far as creating a permanent memorial to honor Brother Asaiah’s life and memory, a different and admittedly less visual option might be an endowed annual lecture devoted to the dissemination and propagation of the principles he held dear. The Brother was a man who believed in peace and communication and the respectful exchange of ideas. A recurring annual event, perhaps on Civil Rights Day/Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or on 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, perhaps sponsored by the college or the museum, might be a more dynamic, a more vital memorial and testimonial to our dear departed friend. The Brother Asaiah Bates WKFL Memorial Lecture Series. I think he might have liked that.

The Public Arts Committee of the Parks and Recreation Commission is meeting on Jan. 9 at 5 p.m. in the city council chambers. 

Ken Landfield 

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LJ 01/01/14 - 09:01 am
Honor Asaiah by asking 'What Would Bro Do'?

I do not think Bro would appreciate a statue in his 'honor' quite the opposite really, that would be as if absolutely no one was actually listening to what he had to say when he was with us on earth.

I also don't think that Bro would appreciate turning WKFL into bathroom, I don't remember, did we vote to approve that atrocity? Did the public have any input whatsoever when they decided to put a ridiculously expensive bathroom covering the park he gave the community?

Knowing Bro, I feel that he would have rather that money went to keep the Boys and Girls Club open.

Ask yourself now, What would Bro do, in our community today? It is easy to see, if you remember what he did do.

He spoke out to protect this incredible Cosmic Hamlet from Oil and Gas, he spoke out for children, he stood up to those in power who would ignore the needs of the community for their own selfish wants.

What would Bro think and do about the city of Homer today? What would he say about the City council closing the Boys and Girls club meanwhile building million dollar bathrooms?

What would he say about the city council ignoring the citizens requests because of lack of money meanwhile planning a 15 million dollar police/fire station?

Bro was a gift to this community and he can keep on giving. Anyone who understood Bro knows that he is still with us, watching over this Cosmic Hamlet he loved so well.

When in doubt, look to the mountains and ask "What would Bro do", then follow through because that is the real way to honor Homer's prophet.

Captain Nemo
Captain Nemo 01/14/14 - 09:24 am
LJ Great reply

Great reply that is exactly the way I feel.
Would you consider submitting your reply as a letter to the editor ?
Parks and Rec meeting coming up this Thur I think.
We could use some speakers with your point of view.
You can call me at 2991696

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