Eugene Pitt had walked
down those same stairs hundreds of times before, maybe thousands. But
this had never happened before. When it did, Eugene smiled and began
to think back . . . way back.
He had worn that same jacket for
years, the one with the words “Jive Five" on the back. He
thought nothing of it as he came to the corner of Nostrand Avenue and
DeKalb in Brooklyn 's Bedford-Stuyvesant section, and no one gave him
a second look.
Eugene passed the triangle where the four exits from
the subway station converged. Reaching for his subway token, he
remembered the days when the original Jive Five gathered on that spot
and sang for the subway riders returning home from a long day of
work. Another smile came to Eugene 's face as he recalled how the
group's vocal harmonies brought happiness to the passers-by . . . way
back, way back, twenty years ago.
A Although Eugene had moved uptown
a long time ago, leaving behind the housing projects and the street
corners, the candy stores and the school- yards where the .live Five
were born, he still loved to visit the old neighborhood. if only
someone would recognize blended into the night air at every cor- ner
and echoed in every hallway.
Eugene gave out a little laugh to him-
self just thinking about the fun they used to have. Girls would
gather around the group straining for a better * look, sometimes even
daring to sing along. There 'd be battles of the groups, which .the
.live Five always won, of course, because they were on their own turf
and rival groups didn't stand a chance. But that was way back. Maybe
no one else remembered. Eugene stepped closer to the plat- form as he
saw the GG train approaching. Suddenly, a guy who 'd been giving him
curious looks stepped up to him. Eugene, checking the fellow out,
noticed that they were probably about the same age. Maybe he was
supposed to know the guy? Did they go to school together? Was he from
one of the other groups? No, the face didn't look familiar.
& , “Say,
man," said the onlooker, “I couldn't help but notice that your
jacket says Jive Five on it. That wouldn't happen to be the Jive
Five, would lt? You know, the group that sang 'My True Story' and
'What Time is It?' and 'I'm A Happy Man'? Do you know them or