Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 6, 1975 · Page 34
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July 6, 1975

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 34

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, July 6, 1975
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Page 34
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itt July **« Black Rhodesians Begin Talks ;v 1 1 DAR ES SALAAM, TaBzawa Leading black Rhodesian politicians opeoed talks Saturday with three African presidents, seeking to bury dissert and present a united front in efforts to wrest black majority rule from Prime Minister Ian Smith, Rhodesia's white minority leader. Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere gave airport receptions to two large delegations arriving separately for the talks. Arriving from Lusaka, Zambia, were Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda and four top leaders of Rhodesia's African National Congress -- Bishop Abel Muserewa, the Rev. Ndabaninge Sithole, Joshua Nko- mo and James Chikerema. They were preceded by President Samora Machel of Mozambique, which gained independence from Portugal only 10 days ago. The two parties were driven in motorcades to the Kilimanjaro Hotel for a two- day conference, to be joined later by Botswana's President Seretse Khama. The conference was being held behind closed doors amid strict security precautions. Last April, Presidents Nyerere, Kaun- da, Machel and Khama were given a mandate by the Organization of African Unity to try and find a peaceful solution to the 19-year constitutional dispute sparked by Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence from Britain Weil informed Tanzanian officials said the first issae to be dealt vifc would be internal differences plageing the African National Congress, FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND SPECIAL * COME IN AND REGISTER * SATURDAY SUNDAY * FOR FREE * aVIS PRESLEY TICKETS I TO BE GIVEN AWAY 2 sets of 2 each KING DRAWING MONDAY, 10A.M. * J *; IHAVEITYOURWAY'.I 1315 WASHINGTON ST. E. (2BlocksE.ofChas.Hi) NOUS: SAT. 10 ti 12 f J. SWL111 H'S 11 P.i. *** Speaking the Language Is Willie Russell (Right) Georgian Talks with Helpers on a Project in Niger RICA Willie the Well Digger Finds'The Real World' By Hugh Mulligan N NIAMEY, Niger - UPi - "The real 4orld," said Willie the Well Digger, "is Tout there in the village where you're heed- led. You got a reason to get up in the Irporning." £ With a hitchhiker's thumb sweep, he ·gestured toward the Sahel, the fringe of Kennedy bridge in flaming silhouette. "The frogs are always first to make the scene when you hit a well," he laughed. "Don't know how they get the word. Then the village chief shows up with a couple of scrawny necked chickens and maybe a bottle of palm wine." Willie learned Djerma, a tribal lan- ihe Sahara, where for the last two years, guage in central Niger, in a few months: rt»e 1 DAIJIA P/\vn? ir/\l,,nt/iA« KA Utt. lt.«ntAj4 "Ife. nieir Tlin tmrVlC n0V0r phsitKJP " NOW jas a Peace Corps volunteer, he has hunted *water for the still 'suffering survivors of iJVest Africa's seven-year drought. ·'. Willie Russell, a 26-year-old black from !Newan, Ga., has come to love Africa like jio place on earth. e*; · "it's the people and the world they make *for themselves," he said, sitting on a hotel *terrace in Niger's pleasant, riverfront Capital, but letting his thoughts drift to a ;inud and straw village 70 miles north in *the parched savannas. "The way they !laugh at trouble and help each other out. ·-Even in the worst days, I'd fall asleep at knight listening to the big calibash drums Cheating for a holiday or a baptism." *] His mind's eyfe twinkled at a procession sof simple village pleasures. "The expres- *sion on the people's faces when you hit waiter, 150 feet down, and they pass around *that first sip. The food, man - it takes ^s'ome getting used to, but there ain't no- tthing like it in the States. And Sunday Anights after the big market when the people all gets together to sing and dance and £yisit all around, and maybe there's a wrestling match between two villages.. . *; "Not too many big things, but I love it. *These people taught me a whole hell of a ilot about living." ^ Willie had come to town, six miles over *dirt roads, to pick up a load of cement for ^casing a new well and to rap with a report- £er about what an American black finds in s-Africa. t: "I was scared when I got here," Willie ^confessed. "Of the people, not the ani- 5,mals. Hell, I only seen two snakes since |I been here. They went one way and 1 went £the other. But quick. And the only croco- £dile I ever saw in is the museum here. T -was afraid I couldn't relate to the people. I £was two years in India and hated every- Irthing about it. Africa's different. There's 'Mimes I think I could spend the whole rest £of my life here, but K know no matter how --long I stay, I'll always be an American. |Ain't no changing that." It's easy. The verbs never change." Now he often goes for days without speaking a word of English. "People passing through the village," he related, "often take me for a Ghanfian, because of my facial structure, I guess. They immediately start talking in the Hausa language and I got to wave 'em off. They don't much take me for a borio bi -an Afro-American." He doesn't wear the "grand ba-boo," the long-flowing African tunic, but he likes native-style embrodiered shirts with wide, draw-string collars. "Cool for this weather and easy to find in the market." S ' WILLIE PAUSED to listen to the night * chorus of frogs strike up on the Niger's grassy banks as an enromous sunset '" spread out across the sky and caught a .,samel caravan coming over the John F. Willie's house in Culam, the village where he is now showing the people how to find water, doesn't have electricity, so he goes to bed early, around nine, and reads magazines from home by lantern light. Most days, he's up at six, "with the giraffes and hippos," trying to get as much of the hole dug as the climbing sun and rising humidity will allow. The projects he directs are all self-help, so everyone from the chief on down lends a hand. His daily diet consists on spicy soups, yams, millet cooked in tangy sauces. "I learned to eat African when the cook just messed up American dishes and kissed butter and ham goodby long ago," Willie said, ravenously compromising a U.S. -style charcoal steak with a blizzard of ground African black pepper. "I used to weigh 180 pounds. Now I'm down to 150.1 keep writing my mother that I ain't never been healthier." What Willie loves most about Africa is the respect and affection shown for old people. "My grandparents taught me to respect my elders. Grandpa was a sharecropper back in Georgia, and that's how he brought me up. Love, he always said, was a lifetime deal not the garbage you see in the movies." ' What Willie misses most are Sunday mornings back home, church services and hymn singing in the clapboard Methodist church. "These people here," he pointed toward the.mosque, "got their religion and I got mine. When I'm riding in a bush taxi, with the chickens and the goats and all them children, I just sit tight and everyone piles out to pray." * * * HE MISSES baseball, too, and thinks often of afternoons spent playing second base for Columbus Tech in Atlanta. He might have tried the pros, but for a knee injury. Was he that good? "Never seen no better," Willie laughed. Early in his love affair with Africa, Willie dreamed of buying his own camel "and cutting around like a real desert dude." Now he is possessed by an eyen more compelling dream that inhibits most of hs life's savings and all of his letters home. He wants to bring his mother, Edna Russell, to Africa for a visit./Maybe even to stay. "I think a lot about it, and all the good things she's done for me in her life," he said in a tones as muted as melancholy as the frog serenade. "Mom does domestic work in Lookout Mountain, Tenn., working in other people's homes. She'd love it here. It would be a big cultural shock at first, like it was for me, but when she saw the work I'm doing, and the love I have for the people, I just know they're going to love her too. "I wrote her how the whole village stayed up all night to listen to the Ali- Foreman fight. Seven thousand people gathered around one radio in the marketplace. I tell her to come out and join'the real world." Mom just sends him a can of his favorite pipe tobacco and tells him to come home to the States where he belongs. "Maybe I will," Willie"Tnused over his tobacco pouch. "But she ought to come see it before it's too late." Gordon Johnson B. St. D. V. M. Harry Newell B. St. D. V. M. Ronald Smith D.V.M. Wish To Announce * The Association of Claude Pittman D.V.M. . · A in the Practice of.. Veterinary Medicine AVALONDOGCAT HOSPITAL-SO.CHAS. GATEWAY ANIMAL HOSPITAL-ST.ALBANS GARY REESE, EVANGELIST CENTRAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH YOUTH REVIVAL - July 9th - 16 Buchanan Street and Bigley Avenue WEDNESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY AT 7:30 PM All PERSOHS1 THRU 100 YEARS OFA6EAREMVITED *?-*;': SATISFACTION GUARANTEED ON ALL PRODUCTS SOLD OR TOUR MONET CHEHFULLT REFUNDED COLDMNDtlOYALKOCK TURKEYS Prices in effect at all Fas Click tertians fhrtngh TINS., Jdy 8,1975 ME ACCEPT FOOD STAMPS »i H$H»MKI nuts ictiiiicuiiiiii^ ' /I O «A 22 LR ALL 20 FAS CHEK STORES ARE OPEN ON SUNDAY V GROUND BllF 3 IB. or Hart Li. SUPERIOR ALL BEEF MINERS »" SUPERIOR BACOH SPIN BLEND SALAD DRESSING FANNINCS BREAD BUTTER picnics JUST RITE PORK BARBECUE CHASE SANBORN COFFte STORM'S SUNBEAM BREAD 3 !20I. 14 oz. 3LB.CAH 20 01. $ LOAVES SINGLE LOAF39 S 2.69 1.00 PRODUCE ROGER CUNNINGHAM, MUSICIAN CALIFORNIA POTATOES BAG $149 FRESH ICEBERC HEAD LETTUCE MEW CROP YfLlOW BANANAS 2 , 39 CMUFMHH nww wiwi- icuvir -- ^^ uiuruinrM ^^ ^^ j^ ONIONS B 69 ( CAMOTS 2^39 R[D LUSCIOUS BltK CHERRIES IB. SAHTAHOSA PLUMS IB. fii COUPON COUPON SANKA 7-30 REG. 2.89 INSTANT COFFEE 5 WHb 802. FAS CHEK ONLY EXPIRES 7/12 7-13 DOVE LIQUID REG. 89 WHk 22 oz. FAS CHEK ONLY EXPIRES 7/12 COUPON KEEBLER 7-10 NUTFUDCE COOKIES 1LB. CO( * Recj.89« J jf FAS CHEK ONLY EXPIRES 7/12 7-10 KEEBIER FITTER PATTER COOKIES R«fl.«9 10 Witt, FAS CHEK ONLY EXPIRES 7/ Harry C. Mikds and E. Roy Morton, Pastors

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