Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog

Getting old is not for wimps. I made my 75th anniversary (born 24 March 1947) while I was in hospital  at Veterans Administration New Orleans. I remained there for almost three months. After my discharge, I returned home in preparation for a follow up procedure.

On early Tuesday morning, June 26th the follow-up medical procedure was completed. A small mass had been detected on my left kidney. By all indications the mass was cancerous. My options were 1. Ignore the small mass and I would probably live out the rest of my life before it became a major problem. 2. Have an operation to remove both the mass and kidney, I only need one kidney to survive. 3. Have rods inserts into my back and the mass destroyed by something called cryoablation. From what I understand, physicians would use extreme cold or extreme heat to complete the procedure.

In consultation with my brother, Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand, I decided on the third choice.

I remember being wheeled into the operation room and subsequently next waking up when brought back to my room. On the next day I was discharged. My daughter Asante, and her partner Peteh picked me up Wednesday evening around 4:30pm and brought me to my apartment at Ashe.

Almost a week later, I have been feeling up and down. I have had to accept that recuperation was going to be longer and far more uncomfortable that I thought it would be.

Meanwhile, I was receiving information that some of my contemporaries were making their transition. Chuck Siler was a major comrade, we had been stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, in 1969. After our service stints, we both returned to New Orleans. Long story short, last week I received notice that Chuck, who was then living in Texas, had suffered a heart attack and transition into ancestorhood.

Some mornings when I get up, and as Mr. Whithers says: the sunlight hurts my eyes, although I don’t always feel physically up to facing another day; my will and pig-headedness carries me forward. Usually I am buoyed by conversations–that’s what friends are for.

I am older now than I was yesterday. Regardless of life’s inevitable roadblocks, I intend to keep on stepping, working on SEEING BLACK.

More in a minute. We gon’ be alright.




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  1. August 1, 2022

    ‘Tis truth and I was saddened at Chuck Siler’s transition news. I have remade my artistic self many times in my 61 revolutions. Chuck gave me confidence when I came to him for critique.

  2. August 1, 2022

    Fondest wishes for a complete recovery!

  3. August 2, 2022

    My Mission,to get up ER’ Mornin…to see what K done share… been at this since 1969….it keeps gettin betta

  4. Hunter Adams #
    August 3, 2022

    Curtis Mayfield sang, “Keep on pushing.” Glad you can still shout.

    Wishing you a recovery of wholeness and wellness.

  5. Arian Thomas #
    August 12, 2022

    I like that line “transition into ancestorhood.” It’s a fresh take on the perspective/view of death. Erases the morbidity of what’s natural and offers a sense of optimism in its place. I may not know who Chuck is, but he seems to have been a good man. I hope you and your friends always keep that memory of him.

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