Home > Uncategorized > Me and Jermaine go back like 8-tracks and cracker jacks.

Me and Jermaine go back like 8-tracks and cracker jacks.

As stated in a previous Taurian Films blog, Monday was a good day as it was another step towards the production of HTB, a project involving myself, Jermaine Spencer, my brother from another mother, Stephney Keller, my better half and Annie Cruz, an actress and good friend of ours. It was a momentous occasion because it was another tangible step towards goals Jermaine and I have had for years.

Now pardon me as I get nostalgic and maybe a little mushy here as I recount some of the history of Jermaine and myself which goes back a quarter of a century.

The place was Clinton, MD. The school was Henson Valley Montessori School. I was switching up schools from one that I can’t recall at this time. My mother took me by Henson Valley and honestly I can’t remember anything discussed at the school or about the school. The one thing that mattered was what I saw when I went outside, namely a MASSIVE playground. I knew then that I had to go to that school. And my mom thankfully obliged. At Henson Valley, grades 1, 2 and 3 were in the same room, as were grades 4,5 and 6. Montessori schools function differently than regular schools and for my money provide a better educational style for that age group. I’d send my kids to one if I could.

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Us as kids

But Jermaine and I were in the same room, myself in first grade and Jermaine in the second. Now we were not friends when I started there or even a few months into my attendance there. We didn’t dislike each other, he just had his circle of friends and I was developing my own. That all changed when my birthday rolled around. I needed to hand out invitations for said party and I wasn’t really tight with but a couple people in the class. So they were invited and the others were invited pretty much because a dozen invitations came in the pack.

And so one of them landed in the hands of Jermaine and he came along to the shindig at Chuck E Cheese’s that saw at one point a number of kids trying to get their hands on Chuck E. Not to hug him like a lot of kids do when they visit the place. No, these kids, myself among them, were trying to lay hands on Chuck E. I am not certain why, but Chuck E soon had to retreat as he was being savaged by a group of 6 and 7-year-olds.

Or maybe we backed off…or maybe our parents pulled us back. Going back that far is a bit fuzzy on the brain.

One thing that sticks out is for whatever reason, from that moment forward Jermaine and I were linked. We hung out all the time at his house or mine. Oh the things we did. From crafting our own insecticide, which was really a bunch of stinky chemicals dumped into a cooler with my old My Buddy doll, to playing inside model homes while realtors were showing the houses to potential buyers, we had a ton of adventures….we both had accidents involving scars to our heads, mine requiring stitches and his needing staples, we went to Art Monk Football Camp together, those horrible haircuts his father gave us….I could go on and on.

We went from going to Henson Valley together to St. Phillip’s. His mother worked a few miles from the school so my mother would take us to school in the morning and we would walk to his mom’s job after school. We would pass by a Toys R Us on our way so many many days were didn’t show up to his mom’s job for a while as we would hit up the TRU first to look at the toys. Not like we didn’t see them just a day before, but there we were again and again.

Not sure of what we were thinking at the time, but what choice did we have. So much of our clothes came from the Children's Place. LOL

Not sure of what we were thinking at the time, but what choice did we have. So much of our clothes came from the Children’s Place. LOL

Our toy interests lined up regarding Transformers, GiJoe, MASK, Centurions, Visionaries and so much more. His collection was a bit better than mine and if we weren’t so good of friends at the time I would have ganked half his stuff.

Our gaming interests were in lock step as we both has Nintendo systems and would often borrow each others games and we spent many a sleepover night up late playing Battletoads, Captain Skyhawk, Super Tecmo Bowl and watching WWF wrestling tapes, Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street movies we had seen a million times but kept renting from the Blockbuster around the corner.

As we got older we also found out our creative interests were the same. We both had a big love for comic books, Jermaine preferring Spider-Man and me with my love of the Fantastic Four. We were both pretty much Marvel Comics guys though we did dabble in DC with Batman and Superman as most kids did.

At one point we started creating. We started creating our own stories, our own characters. There was one time, he and I spent the entire weekend building a town with Legos and writing a script and story we performed for our parents.

I wish I could find it now, but there was at least one issue of a comic we called “New Force” that we created together and did the pages ourselves. While in hindsight it wasn’t the prettiest thing it put us on the path to what we would do eventually. Many of the characters we created I am using today, a number of them are set to appear in the second season of my Web series, Party Girl.

As we got older, we drifted a bit, I will say. We had different circles of friends as we progressed through middle school. We never fell completely out of touch or anything, we just weren’t as inseparable as when we were kids. It happens. There were times I will admit, that kinda bugged me, I felt I was losing my best friend, but I got older and realized that would never be the case.

Getting even older and into college our interests mirrored each other with his film classes at Clark Atlanta. We had started to work then on a production company with me, Jermaine and another gent. We were three pieces of a puzzle coming together, hence the name Jigsaw Entertainment we gave ourselves. That 3rd guy eventually fell off the face of the Earth and it was back to me and Jermaine as we found it needed to be. We would manage to collaborate on one short film, The Pact, about a group of friends who make a suicide pact. Jermaine shot this through casting I arranged from where I was living in Louisiana. A rough cut of it exists online on youtube, though, good luck finding it.

Jermaine’s path eventually took him to LA to work in the industry there. My path led me to journalism and while I never took any formal film or scripting types of classes I would still write screen plays and attempt to get projects going. Many of them were failures and non-starters but I kept going.

And we kept going, talking, planning, thinking of the things we could do, the projects we could get done. Of course they would be much easier if I was in Cali as I wouldn’t have half the trouble of finding reliable people to help on the projects and I could keep him motivated to stay the course and keep grinding on our projects. Not that he wouldn’t or that he doesn’t, I would just push a little…heck, a LOT more.

But…long story longer, all that creating, that talking, that planning, that friendship led to days like Monday were we can see a tangible step towards the goals we set for ourselves and really didn’t even know we were doing it at the time when we were kids. We were just having fun and being creative kids.

Graduation Day from Louisiana Tech. A long time coming but glad my bro was with me.

Graduation Day from Louisiana Tech. A long time coming but glad my bro was with me.

Through it all I have had my bro with me. He was there when I graduated college, he’s been around my sons, and through some tough stuff I have had go on in my life. He’s always had and always will have my back and that means a ton to me especially since due to some money management issues I had and just stupid planning or lack of planning I missed out on his wedding day in Jamaica which kills me to this day.

But we’re here and this is happening now, the fulfillment of two synched dreams.

It’s great day.

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  1. Dr. Elvira M White-Lewis
    January 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    A great story and well written…. Mom

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