March 05, 2023
Did You Know: The term “Hoochie Coochie” comes from the French word hochequeue ” (“to shake a tail”) and refers to a small bird that shakes its tail feathers.
How the term, not the bird, evolved to refer to a tent show at a county fair where “ladies” performed provocatively for an audience of men and curious boys has been lost in history.
In those infamous tent shows “tails” were indeed “shaken” so the redefining of the term makes sense. How do I know that? Because I was once one such “curious boy”.
This Rimshot started out as The Sad Saga of Ja’ Morant … an NBA superstar speeding headlong towards self-destruction. Then I asked myself:
“Self, which will likely attract more “views” i/e.”clickbait” …. The Sad Saga of Ja’ Morant – OR – The Hoochie Coochie Show at The County Fair?”
A rare bit of insight into social media marketing.
This sordid tale began in the mid 60s … a for-real Ku Klux Klan rally took place in a field outside my hometown of Kinston NC. My BFF and I were “curious teenage boys”. We went … standing on the periphery, we observed the quite provocative goings-on.
We were no more “racist” than any middle-class white boys growing up in a 100% segregated small Southern town in the mid 60s. We were “curious teenage boys”
As I recall some 60 years later, Grand Dragon Robert Shelton was the keynote “incitor”. A bunch of men were dressed in the traditional white robes and peaked hats. I don’t recall if they wore masks or not. They DID burn a large cross. There were several Confederate battle flags flying.
Grand Dragon Shelton was a fiery speaker and obviously well-practiced in a style similar to a pentecostal revival preacher … minus the snakes. He knew what his audience wanted and he gave’em both barrels. They responded enthusiastically.
My BFF and I quickly reached the same conclusion … These sumbitches are NUTZ.
Checking “attend a Klan meeting” off our “bucket list”, we returned to my 1957 Nash Rambler and to our version of Mayberry. Our boyish curiosity satiated.
Jumping forward 50+ years, that curious teenager evolved into a still curious mid-60-ish Baby Boomer attended a Reverend William “Bully” Barber Hoot & Holler Race-baiter Rally in Downtown Raleigh.
I was no more a disciple of “Bully” Barber than I had been of those krazy Ku Kluxers 50 years earlier. Simply a rare opportunity to check “attend a for-real Race Baiter Rally” off that bucket list.
Unlike the Klan Rally, I maneuvered close to the stage to observe Barber’s Hoot & Holler. I would estimate the crowd (“mob”?) that day as 4-5,000 filling several blocks of Fayetteville Street.
A similar “Bully” Barber Show a month or so later drew a slightly larger “mob” of maybe 7-10,000. SLIGHTLY exaggerated to “at least 80,000 maybe more“ by a bald-faced lying local CBS-affiliate owned by a local radical liberal media mogul. I digress.
A handful of opening acts preceded “Bully’s” grand entrance. They did what “opening acts” are suppose to do … get the mob revved up for the headliner.
“His Bullyship” took the stage resplendent in ceremonial robes befitting a Pope, or a Grand Dragon, or a satanic cult leader; surrounded by a dozen ebony shaved-head NFL linebacker-types who glared across the audience looking, I feared, for “smart-alecky white baby boomers who once attended a Klan Rally outside Kinston”. YIKES!
Grand Dragon Shelton… Oops, I mean Rev “Bully” Barber … was a fiery speaker and obviously well-practiced in a style similar to a pentecostal revival preacher … minus the snakes. He knew what his audience wanted and he gave’em both barrels. They responded enthusiastically.
I reached the same conclusion I reached in that field outside Kinston 50 years earlier … These sumbitches are NUTZ!
From a field outside Kinston to Downtown Raleigh 50 years later. Both goggle-eyed gullible audiences were artfully played by silver-tongued hate-mongers. … sigh.
OK BobLee, but what about the Hoochie Coochie Show?
I’m getting to that. It was the mid-late 60s. A dozen or so “Dooley’s Boys” in Ehringhaus Dorm at UNCCH figured our “rite of passage” college experience would not be complete without a visit to The Durham (or was it Granville) County Fair and it’s notorious Hoochie Coochie Show.
With my pal, Tilden, as our guide; off we went … our curiosity and hormones overflowing.
NOTE: Hoochie Coocie Shows are pretty much extinct now days. The Internet offers much better(?) risque material than any tent show ever could … without the danger of (1) being knifed … or (2) spotted by a neighbor who might tell your parents … or (3) finding your neighbor, or your school principal, sitting beside you in the tent.
The #1 Rule for attending a County Fair’s Hoochie Coochie Show back in the day was to go on Monday night, no later than Tuesday, because the local Sheriff will get wind of what’s really going on “inside the tent” and will shut it down. We went on Monday night.
I’m fuzzy on the details … there was a huge Nubian on the stage beating a drum and ready to cold cock anyone who “got too close” to the performers.
I recall something about ping pong balls shooting out into the audience … and the performers were Definitely Not NFL Cheerleader quality.
I can’t speak for my Dooley Boys buddies, but “rushing the stage” was never my intent. Erasing the whole “rite of passage” experience from my memory was my hope. Obviously THAT hasn’t happened.
I am the sum total of all three of the above Life Experiences … as well as multi-decades of many others. All those experiences comprise BobLee The Internet Legend.
What the heck does any of this have to do with The Sad Saga of Ja’ Morant?
Each of us is the sum total of our individual Life Experiences. Our reactions to Life are determined by those ever-increasing experiences.
Ja’ Morant is The Second Coming of Alan Iverson. He is That Good for the Memphis Grizzlies … plays a similar position as Iverson … and is headed full-speed to the same pitfalls that plagued Iverson his entire career.
Morant has not outgrown his upbringing. Like Iverson, Morant cannot shake his “crew of hommies”. Will he be able to in time to save his career… ???
You can take the young black man out of his ‘hood. But even a $200,000,000 guaranteed contract cannot take “his ‘hood” out of a very talented young black basketball player.
Morant is from Dalzell South Carolina – a “suburb” of Sumter SC. Like LaGrange is a suburb of Kinston / Goldsboro. “Greater Sumter” is 45% low-income black.
Ja’ grew up with both parents … his father a barber. Former NBA star Ray Allen was from Sumter and Morant’s role-model growing up. Morant was a local phenom in high school … two years as an All-America at Murray State … high NBA draft choice … now a superstar … staring into an abyss of his own making.
Morant’s basketball career is incredibly similar to the half-dozen or so NBA players who have come out of Kinston from “Cornbread”Maxwell in the mid 70s to Brandon Ingram now starring with New Orleans … with Jerry Stackhouse and others in-between.
The Kinston players with the exception of NCSU’s notorious Charles “Amphibious” Shackleford have avoided self-destructive behavior. Ja’ Morant has NOT but still has a slim chance to do so … if positive influencers can intervene.
Morant’s “crew” is dragging him into an on-going series of very “bad scenes”. Ja’ is learning begrudingly that the global stage of The NBA is a tad different from “the mean streets” of Dalzell SC … just a tad.
Does Dalzell/Sumter SC have “mean streets”??? Kinston certainly does. “The worst in the state” some say …
You may recall it was Michael Vick’s “crew” / “posse” / “entourage” etc. that destroyed his NFL career with the dog-fighting issue.
Look into the details of the Brandon Miller Murder Mess at Alabama … and the eerily similar tragic mess at UGa involving their superstar DT – Jalen Carter.
Athletically-gifted young black men “behaving as their upbringing taught them to behave” learning the hard way that how they dealt with stress and conflict “where they came from” is unacceptable in mainstream society.
OK, what IS “mainstream” in America 2023 ? … Men can get pregnant? … Pedophilia is acceptable social behavior? … It’s OK to kill a baby if it might crimp one’s life style? … “Beetlejuice” can become Mayor of Chicago? … etc … etc … etc. …….. Aaaiieeeeee!!
NO. I am not excusing their behavior at all. Actions still have Consequences … or at least “should have”. Just sayin …
NO. I am not getting more specific about those ping pong balls …
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