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Totem Pole Trophy

Original Owner: 
Totem Pole Trophy
Totem Pole Trophy
Totem Pole Trophy

Before we even get in to Will's story that came with the Totem Pole Trophy, I would like to express how very odd I think it is that a trophy for a 1979 Cake Bake would be in the shape of a Totem Pole.

What is the point of that? Okay, and back to Will's story titled Prince Paul's remix version of Buddy by De La Soul aka Buddy (Native Tongue Remix):

I was a fat white boy from the south. I'm still a white guy from the south. I'm also a big nerd and have been a weird big nerd forever. This is the setup. In 1990 I was a nerdy fat white 13 year old boy from the south. I listened to crap. Radio crap and the worst kind of radio crap. I was not cool, I was not "with it" I was ignorant. In an effort to fight boredom and because I was a huge nerd, I made homemade mix tapes. They were clips from radio and tv and whatever was going on around me. I recall that it was the summer of 1990. We lived in a double-wide white trash nightmare of a trailer. My parents were divorced and they were alcoholics. Every day of the school year I would go to eighth grade and be ridiculed for being fat or white or a nerd or any particular combination of those three things. Every night I'd watch my mom get drunk and my sister would veg out in front of the TV and my only escape was radio mix tapes.

Summer 1990. I don't remember everything about that summer, but I do recall that it was very life changing because I was going to high school the next year and I was going to the high school that nobody wanted to go to. Racial tensions were high in my small southern NC county and redistricting for racial quotas was common. I had become a victim of this and was going to be bussed to a predominantly black school in order to maintain their 25% white folk quota. This is the way it was in the south and we accepted that. Every day of that summer was like a Bataan Death March into the unknown. Every day that passed was a day closer to what I was sure would be constant descrimination and daily torture. None of my friends had been redistricted. They got to go to the rich white school, so it was me and nobody entering into the unknown sea of being the minority.

At night I did my radio mixtapes and I was really hating the music at the time and I happened to come across and early hip hop station out of Greensboro NC. This was unusual. Highly unusual. The radio station was over 100 miles from my house and I never got that station ever. I immediately recognized it as a sign that I must tape it and tape it I did. The first song was Prince Paul's Native Tongue Remix of Buddy by De La Soul. That's a lot of words, but if anybody reading this knows even half of how that all fits together then they know that I had hit radio goldmine. GOLD!!! It was De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, and the Jungle Brothers on one song and it blew my young mind up. It was like nothing, i mean, nothing I had ever heard before. Nothing at all, and it still is burned into my brain. I am in the song and the song is around me. There is no other version of that song to me. This is the only one.

That song changed my whole summer and onward. It was like the epiphany moment for Navin Johnson from that movie the Jerk. If this music was out there. If there were people who thought like this who enjoyed this and just happened to be black, well, then everything would be just fine. I would be just fine. The fact that something like this could be on the radio and effect me gave me so much hope and ease. I knew that if this existed then anything was possible. I listened to it all the time, over and over and everything was alright and everything has been alright ever since. This one song, cast through the radio waves one hot southern summer night almost 20 years ago, showed me that we aren't different. We can be the same and we can be eclectic and we can love one another despite our color differences. High school wasn't easy, but it wasn't hard and I had as many black friends as I had white and we found out that we could all be buddies, but not like in the song. Eventually I lost the tape and forgot the name of the remix and there was no Internet to just download it and I couldn't find it until yesterday. The day Michael Jackson died. The song is, if you don't know, about sex. Something any 13 year old boy can get behind. Lemme drop some lyrics:

Girl, I heard you're lookin for some good times
If you Quest from the Soul, here's what we'll find
Whole lotta fun, lots of fun together
Just like kissin cousins (Yeah, that's kinda clever)
Close like bosoms, bosoms stay close
If you be my Buddy, I won't toast
That we're like Ethel Mertz and Lucille MacGillicuddy
You can be mine and I can be your Buddy

Then I grew up and bought a trophy from a '79 Boy Scout cake bake from some random thrift store. It had a funky totem pole on it.