(TriceEdneyWire.com)—“Stay Woke!” are the words of my best friend, Dick Gregory. Who in America hasn’t heard of Dick Gregory? I’d known him personally for years before he transitioned a few days ago. We met in 1986 when Congressman Mervyn Dymally invited him to my home state of Louisiana while I was a candidate for the U.S. Congress. Dick spoke at a fundraising event for me and didn’t ask for a dime—not even his airline ticket. That was impressive because other celebrities required all kinds of perks.
After the campaign, I moved to Washington, D.C., and out of the clear blue, he called. He was stranded in Baltimore and needed to get back to D.C. I had a reputation for helping anybody and I figured that turnabout was fair play. I picked him up and after an animated conversation back to D.C., we became friends. Fortunately, that never changed.
He soon became known as my best friend and “running buddy.” We attended many events together, but the term “running buddy” came from the fact that we’d run on every track we could find. We’d run through Rock Creek Park and tested new health equipment about which we were told. My home is filled with all kinds of exercise and health gadgets. He introduced me to just about every vitamin ever made.
He and I shared a passion for reading. He introduced me to his huge required newspaper and magazine reading. He also bought two of every book he thought worthy of reading. That was a lot! It was a gesture of friendship, but, because I had every book he had, he benefited by being able to call me during his frequent travels to resource certain information. This proved challenging because his calls often came from other time zones or countries and required me to wake up and search for the information he needed.